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Comment: ...by hiring them. (Score 1) 98

When I used to work for a university (mid-1990s), our department's sysdmin had gotten in trouble at the engineering school because he had written a script that would log into every machine multiple times until all ttys were exhausted ... so he could run his ray-tracing jobs undisturbed. I heard he got away with it for quite some time before one of their sysadmins came in early and realized something wasn't right.

They told him not to do it, but instead of banning him, they put him to work ... he wrote some pretty impressive software to make it easier for us to manage users, and a menu system for the non-technical users (a gopher-like interface that'd run elm / pine / news / lynx / gopher / etc.)

Comment: the pay depends ... (Score 2) 508

by oneiros27 (#47459903) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Future-Proof Jobs?

I have an ex-roommate who does refrigeration repair ... the pay's okay, but the hours can really, really suck.

He's on-call every couple of weeks, and might have to drive an hour away to fix a chiller at a grocery store; if they can't get to it and get it repaired before it warms up too much, they might have to destroy thousands of dollars worth of food. (and if you to go and get parts, you're kinda screwed) I don't think it's quite as bad as the 'always on duty' as some sysadmins get stuck with, but it can be much more stressful than you'd expect.

I also don't know if it's quite as steady work, even with the 'can't be shipped overseas' argument; my
understanding is that with the slowdown of new home construction, there's an oversupply of pipefitters, so companies aren't necessarily hiring. (this might vary by city).

Comment: Re:Solar activity (Score 2) 78

The guy who runs the website works for NASA, but I'm fairly certain that it's a side project, and not a NASA-funded website. (if it was, they'd have NASA logos on it, and not ads)

Solar Monitor used to be hosted by NASA, but it's currently at Trinity College, Dublin.

NASA funded projects would include Helioviewer (also ESA funded) and ISWA

However ... there was something a couple of years back and now NASA's not allowed to provide space weather predictions to the public ... so you have to get forecast information from NOAA's SWPC

Comment: Anywhere in Antigua or Barbados (Score 2) 148

The WTO (World Trade Organization) gave them an exemption from complying with US copyright laws, due to a 10+ year dispute over online gambling:

http://www.wto.org/english/tra...

At the DSB meeting on 28 January 2013, Antigua and Barbuda requested the DSB to authorize the suspension of concessions and obligations to the United States in respect of intellectual property rights. Pursuant to the request by Antigua and Barbuda under Article 22.7 of the DSU, the DSB agreed to grant authorization to suspend the application to the United States of concessions or other obligations consistent with the Decision by the Arbitrator.

Comment: Could it be because they suck? (Score 1) 131

by oneiros27 (#47377579) Attached to: Employees Staying Away From Internal Corporate Social Networks

The one they set up at my work had a 'what are you doing?' question, but it wasn't searchable... so if you wanted to try to find people who might be working or have expertise in a given field ... you got nothing.

It likely doesn't matter anyway -- due to how tasks are broken down, it's not like everyone wanted to advertise their skills. I've got a lot of experience that I don't list on my CV, as then I get people asking me about how to fix things all the time. As I'm a contractor, that puts me into awkward positions where if I help people from other projects, I can't charge time to their tasks ... but the company I work for requires me to track & bill every hour. The prime on our contract had suggested the it / sysadmin have a mentoring system, but to the best of my knowledge, they've never worked out how we'd change our time for it as we're divided up across 200+ tasks.

Comment: whiteboard + camera + projector (Score 1) 143

by oneiros27 (#47370775) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Replacing Paper With Tablets For Design Meetings?

I completely agree. The problem with a bunch of tablets is that everyone's off looking at different things. With a whiteboard, you can much more easily tell who's paying attention to the discussion vs. reading their e-mail.

You want to be able to save what was discussed? Bring a camera. The important thing is to take the picture without a flash from a stable location. You might have to experiment with where to take the picture from, so you don't get too much glare from the lighting in the room.

Sometimes you need to show something that you don't want to draw yourself -- that's where the projector comes in. Although whiteboards don't make the best projection surfaces (due to glare issues), you can then mark 'em up w/ the pens, then take a picture so you have notes for later.

If you need to *also* take a set of more permanent notes while you're working, either get a large pad of paper that you can keep to the side of the board. (I like the ones that are also giant Post-It notes) or a second projector w/ someone typing up notes as you go.

I'm not a fan of 'smart whiteboards' as I've heard nothing but bad things about them. I've probably been to more than a dozen conference rooms, and when I mention the one sitting against a wall, I'm told it's either broken, or a pain to use. (the one exception was an elementary school, which we only used it as a projector). The only advantage that I'm aware of is for when you're having a meeting that has participants in multiple places -- which I've never had to deal with.

Comment: Re:Hiring (Score 1) 536

Government contracting -- we got a bump in our funding for the year, but due to sequestration we knew we wouldn't have it permanently ... so we were actually honest in the job advertisement, rather than sucker someone in and cut them at the end of the fiscal year.

I got some interest from people who were willing to work remotely, but the manager (contractor) that was heading up the hiring wanted it to be a W2 position and not a 1099, which I assume is why I never got any of those resumes to review.

Comment: Hiring (Score 4, Interesting) 536

Most of the people who know Perl well already have jobs, and aren't looking to change.

We tried hiring someone to help me offload some of my work, and one the task I've gotten behind on is updating & maintaining some Perl code.

We had one person who I felt could've jumped in, but that management didn't like (as he had previously worked here, and left). The rest were folks who we'd have to train on OO, closures, and other higher level concepts.

If this hasn't been offered as a 12-month position, maybe we could've found someone. If we had advertised it as a general programming job, and then taught someone Perl, maybe it would've been gone better for us.

With trendy languages, you at least get people willing to apply -- even if it's the case that they don't grok the language, you at least get someone you can train up.

Comment: Re:CFL in Low Temperature (Score 1) 196

by oneiros27 (#47361173) Attached to: The lightbulb I've most recently acquired ...

I wish I knew -- the one I have to replace the most often is the one that I have outside my back door on a motion sensing fixture; I've been using CFLs, but they die in 1-2 years, typically over the winter. ... but the one I last replaced was an 'appliance bulb' in my dryer ... it probably cost me more in gas driving all over the place to find the right bulb. (and the bulb had broken, so I didn't know the exact shape. ... so the first bulb I bought was too big to fit)

Comment: Re:Transcript Please (Score 1) 148

I found instructions on how to get a transcript from the automatic closed captioning of YouTube videos. Unfortunately, the instructions are in a YouTube video:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v...

Of course, I have no idea what they're using for the video hosting -- I just see 'Missing Plug-in'. The 'alternate link' tells me that I have to install Flash ... like hell I will.

Comment: Re:Obama (Score 4, Interesting) 211

I don't think you can blame him for Guantanamo -- he's been blocked by Congress on that one: http://www.politifact.com/trut...

If you want to complain, you'll have to find some that you can actually blame on him ... luckily, you have lots to choose from : http://www.politifact.com/trut...

(and this is why when I ran for office, I only made one promise -- that I'd give fair consideration to everything put before me ... which meant I once had to abstain from a vote when I found that some complaints had been withheld, as I couldn't research if they were legitimate complaints or not)

Comment: Boston has solar powered trash cans, too. (Score 2) 119

by oneiros27 (#47351255) Attached to: Boston Trying Out Solar-Powered "Smart Benches" In Parks

Okay, technically, they're trash compactors, so that they don't have to go and empty them as often:

http://www.cityofboston.gov/pu...

That seems to make more sense to me than a 'solar powered bench' which looks to me to be two seats as the whole middle of it's taken up by a box. (which might be the point -- it'd be less comfortable for a homeless person to sleep on it)

I've seen other solar "urban furniture" that made more sense to me -- things like bus stops w/ solar panels in the roof (to power lighting, up-to-date bus info ... and sometimes advertising).

I've seen other 'solar phone charging stations' that make more sense to me than having it take up 1/4 of a bench:

http://inhabitat.com/nyc/solar...

http://www.gizmag.com/street-c...

http://bostinno.streetwise.co/...

Comment: Redress numbers (Score 1) 276

by oneiros27 (#47314201) Attached to: Federal Judge Rules US No-fly List Violates Constitution

Yes, they exist, but the big problem is that you don't know about it 'til the first time you try to fly ... and then you have to jump through major hoops (if you're even allowed to board).

The first clue is that the airlines won't let you check in online -- if that happens, make sure you give yourself a couple of hours at the airport, rather than thinking you'll just breeze through security.

Then you can go through explaining that no, the 3 year old you're traveling with is not whoever it is that they're watching. (oh, you laugh, but it happened to my neighbors)

It's a poor workman who blames his tools.

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