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Comment: Cheap 2-4 year plus English (Score 1) 280

by shuz (#48612827) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: How Should a Liberal Arts Major Get Into STEM?

My suggestion is that you combine your interests and your knowledge. Technical people tend to lack one important concept and that is being non-technical and approaching problems from outside their focus. I would suggest getting a technical degree 2-4 years in the field of your choice from either a technical college or a state 4 year school. Choose the degree with the idea of how you might apply your arts based experience and education as well as interests to that degree. For instance Mechanical Engineering might lead to writing or designing instructional materials. A hard science based degree may lend itself to being a grant writer. A Computer Science degree might lend itself to a technical writer (The person who explains to the masses how to use software). Careers can end up being how you sell yourself as well. You might not need another degree at all as long as you have technical hobbies and general knowledge as well as high interest in a subject.

When you interview for jobs do not be meek. If you feel like the job is above your abilities or if you feel intimidated by a few aspects of the position know that you will have an opportunity to learn. You will make mistakes and your employer expect a certain level of learning from any College grad. Promote yourself with the abilities that you do have. Soft skills like attention to detail, the ability to work as a team, being friendly and social, being a self started, being able to self teach/grow. You also likely have hard skill such as an impressive vocabulary, understanding various cultures, critical thinking, computer skills.

The number one frustration I have with college grads is that all to often they think and say "I can't". Usually the case is you CAN, you just haven't learned and applied yourself yet.

Good luck!

Comment: Volkswagen-Audi group (Score 3, Informative) 195

by shuz (#48436715) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: What's the Most Hackable Car?

VW/Audi group cars can all be easily hacked via a Vag-com http://www.ross-tech.com/vag-c... device which is a relatively cheap hardware/software alternative to the programmer used at the factor or at a dealership. There are great community sites. for instance: http://www.audizine.com/forum/...

One simple hack I performed for instance was to enable bluetooth hud. Default from the factory the contact list from my phone would not be displayed one the radio or on the instrument heads up display. One simple code change displays my contact list, last calls received, and last calls made. The only negatives to the vag-com are that engine performance and emissions are locked out. Which means you can't disable the ~130MPH governor for instance.

Comment: Re:I, Robot from a programmers perspective (Score 1) 165

by shuz (#47919979) Attached to: Developing the First Law of Robotics

They would only fail if no action is taken. There is juxtaposition in law all the time. The key is to find if action is taken to uphold a law that results in another law failing to be upheld where taking no action causes both laws to not be upheld. Upholding at least one law is ideal. I am not suggesting that if you saw a bank being robbed that you join in robbing said bank to pay your taxes however.

Comment: Priority (Score 2) 165

by shuz (#47919891) Attached to: Developing the First Law of Robotics

An interesting experiment would be to include actions that affect other actions. Such that when one specific proxy falls into a hole, multiple others fall into a hole. Would the robot learn? Would the robot assign priority over time? For any given decision there is yes, no, and maybe with maybe requiring a priority check to figure out what the end result is. In programming we tend towards binary logic, but the world is not black and white. Likely if the robot was programmed to learn, the robot would eventually come to the conclusion of save proxy A = yes, save proxy B = yes.Followed by Save A first = maybe, save B first = maybe. Followed by likely hood of success A > B = Yes/No and B>A Yes/No. Followed by action. The next question would be what happens if A=B? What you would likely find is that the robot would either randomly choose or go with the first or last choice, but would likely not fail to take some action. I would find it interesting if the robot didn't take action and then try to explain that.

Comment: BA vs BS (Score 1) 392

by shuz (#47919617) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Any Place For Liberal Arts Degrees In Tech?

I know of a few successful persons in IT that have a BA in computer science. There exists colleges out there that do not offer BS degrees, however they do offer a BA in Computer science. The primary difference is that the students are required to learn a second language rather than dissect a frog. As far as computer programming goes, I pose this question: Which might help a person more 1. understanding the nuances of how languages differ and learning key methods to memorize and differentiate those languages, or 2. learning where electrons might be in relation to the nucleus at given energy levels? The math requirements are equivalent for a BA and BS. The approach to problem solving might be a bit different, however any team benefits from multiple different perspectives.

Note I have a BS in CS.

Comment: Tools for patch management (Score 1) 294

by shuz (#46778461) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: System Administrator Vs Change Advisory Board

MS SCCM and RH Satellite are the two OS vendor specific patch management solutions. However your licensing will end up being more expensive per server and could be cost prohibitive for a small company. You cheapest option would be to script patch groups. You could do this in Powershell and Bash. The CAB may not require you to list in great detail exactly what each patch modify's. They may only ask you to list out the patch numbers being applied. The point of a CAB is to make you slow down rapid poorly thought out changes, bring stability, and external oversight to IT changes. CAB may also have a purpose in letting your greater organization know what is going on. You will find the new requirements painful and often times annoying or illogical, however they will also make you and your organization stronger.

Comment: Management to take the heat (Score 1) 236

by shuz (#46734087) Attached to: GM Names Names, Suspends Two Engineers Over Ignition-Switch Safety

Typically in a business the management structure is paid more the closer you get to the CEO of that company. They are compensated more because, as the theory goes, they are responsible for the assets below them. Being responsible means that you need to have visibility and control over what you are responsible for and take the blame and credit for what might go wrong or right. If two engineers were put on leave, than I hope that the managers over them were also educated on how the engineers made poor decisions and how they might avoid the issue in the future. If the engineers kept this a secret, I would expect the QA and change control departments would catch the mistake(of hiding a change without changing the version number). To buy a story that just two engineers could have sole blame in a faulty component affecting 2 million vehicles is ridiculous or the result of some pretty poor management. My point, if two engineers were put on leave and potentially fired, some subset of the management above them should also be fired.

Comment: Re:A tragedy (Score 1) 162

by shuz (#46524399) Attached to: Full-Disclosure Security List Suspended Indefinitely

The only change top down management at Target care about is the stock price and which levers when pulled affect that price. Target already has a very distributed development and IT model where any one person doesn't know much about anything other than the very specific system they work on. Furthermore their infrastructure is highly locked down but clearly there was a fault that was exploited. People feel emotionally violated by any ID theft, which makes sense. However the protections given by credit companies largely cover the fraud and so the average person should not experience a large net loss from the incident. In other words, life goes on.

Each individual in the world is the most significant security threat to each other person. As each individual could eventually find themselves in a position where they can negatively impact someone else. It is up security experts to come up with methods to minimize this effect. Having a net gain of no productivity and having a net loss of no productivity is the only way to be 100% secure. We must take risks as individuals and as a society if we are to have any chance at improving our situation and ultimately survival (net productivity gains). The security stories over the past year are dramatized for maximum impact. They are all useful lessons and provide information for future decisions. But neither Snowden reports nor Target originated ID theft caused net global productivity loss. If anything they created net economic gains as managers poured more money into addressing concerns and avoiding perceived future loss.

Comment: Re:Government Regulation?? (Score 1) 385

by shuz (#46162743) Attached to: HP To Charge For Service Packs and Firmware For Out-of-Warranty Customers

Companies typically buy HP for their warrantied support. When I have an HP hardware issue I don't throw out the "commodity" hardware and buy new, I call up my vendor, order a new part and/or a tech to come out and fix the issue. If you don't have paid support for this you are just as likely to have hardware components fail as or more so than having a firmware bug bricking your server. Running expensive commercial servers without support is pretty silly and this news should not come as a big surprise.

Comment: Fujitsu and IBM enterprise a good fit (Score 1) 71

by shuz (#46034899) Attached to: IBM's x86 Server Business Back On the Market

Fujitsu is known for making some solid never fail tank style servers. I admin a few of these myself and didn't even realize the hardware vendor for many years until a cluster failover card failed and needed to be replaced. In this case it was a Fujitsu Sun system. I can only assume Fujitsu IBM systems would carry on the overbuilt stability minded servers you come to expect from an enterprise server like IBM.

I can't say the same for the other two contenders.

Comment: Re:Contracted Potential (Score 1) 284

by shuz (#45921707) Attached to: White House Reportedly Dismissing Key Healthcare.gov Contractor

I know that there are Accenture IT employees that are very intelligent and capable. The Software Utility Services division of Accenture comes to mind. However, like any company there are individuals who are not as capable. Usually the trick in IT is to get the right mix of lower capacity workers with higher capacity workers. The hope being that the higher capacity workers will both set and keep the bar high for the others as well as develop others to their level. The usual driver for this idea being money. Money does not always buy or retain talent, but usually talent is not acquired or retained without it. Accenture also has a lot of other US government contracts and it is possible that many of those contracts have been successful or at least met expectations. Accenture probably isn't the cheapest option either which is why they may not have gotten this contract to begin with. Though I don't have any personal insight into any of those facts. I just hope, as a US citizen, it works out for all parties involved.

Comment: Contracted Potential (Score 2) 284

by shuz (#45920085) Attached to: White House Reportedly Dismissing Key Healthcare.gov Contractor

In a company of 280,000+ employees, Accenture has the capacity and expertise to make the IT side of the government healthcare offerings work. My two biggest fears are both money related. One that the amount of money allocated to fix and maintain will be less than what is needed to do a sufficient job or that the money allocated will put into place less human assets of the correct expertise. Second that the correct expertise and money are both available, but that Accenture might direct more funds to profit while short changing the project with substandard expertise. If neither of these issues occur, then I expect this change could have positive impact. Throwing either new monies, or new management into the existing mix alone could have a negative impact. The right smart people, at all levels, need to be there, and care.

The Universe is populated by stable things. -- Richard Dawkins