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Comment: Go with the sys admin role (Score 0) 133

by statemachine (#46559543) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Moving From Tech Support To Development?

Programmers are hired straight out of college and can be outsourced and located anywhere on the planet. You can never compete with the 22 year-old who was taught with the latest programming language fad, and will work for peanuts. You, on the other hand, will have to learn the language du jour and have demonstrable experience with said language. Without a degree or certification your resume will be thrown into the trash without even a glance to your job history. In fact, your job history aside from your lack of degree, is the biggest thing holding you back. QA is not respected anywhere.

For Linux and VMware you can get certifications. Become a sysadmin and you'll have better luck at getting a job, keeping a job, and getting another job when that time comes. Maybe being a cable-monkey and setting up networks isn't as glamorous, but when the chips are down you can't outsource the need to have a human near the racks. And in the datacenters, you're always getting to work on the latest, and you're not stagnating. If anything, having 20 years deploying networks is more marketable than 20 years of writing C -- anyone can "write" C, not anyone can get the network or storage array back online.

Try that first. It's cheaper than moving.

Comment: Perhaps it's a monetary issue... (Score 2) 119

by statemachine (#32836768) Attached to: Twitter Throttling Hits Third-Party Apps

Does Twitter make money? I'm not trolling, I'm serious. A quick search yields this article:
http://www.pcworld.com/businesscenter/article/200635/twitter_to_promote_marketers_special_offers.html

Even the author of my linked article has doubts. If I wasn't making money, I'd try to limit my expenditures (bandwidth costs, etc.) too. It's not surprising to me.

So how do they make money?

Space

NASA's LCROSS Spacecraft Discovers Life On Earth 171

Posted by timothy
from the that-was-the-control-group dept.
Matt_dk writes "On Saturday, Aug. 1, 2009, the LCROSS spacecraft successfully completed its first Earth-look calibration of its science payload. 'The Earth-look was very successful' said Tony Colaprete, LCROSS project scientist. 'The instruments are all healthy and the science teams was able to collect additional data that will help refine our calibrations of the instruments.' During the Earth observations, the spacecraft's spectrometers were able to detect the signatures of the Earth's water, ozone, methane, oxygen, carbon dioxide and possibly vegetation."
Software

Best Free Open Source Software For Windows 324

Posted by timothy
from the where's-vlc? dept.
snydeq writes "InfoWorld surveys the FOSS-on-Windows landscape, detailing the 10 free open source solutions most likely to unseat proprietary offerings. 'Some, like TrueCrypt and VirtualBox, are real diamonds in the rough: enterprise-grade solutions that deliver many of the same bells and whistles of their commercial brethren, but for free. Others, like Firefox and OpenOffice.org, are already legendary, and their strong followings ensure their continued development and support at levels that rival the best proprietary solutions.'" Rather than click through 10 different pages, the slideshow presentation at least lets you hover over each page's link to preview the author's top picks.
NASA

NASA Hedges Their Bets On Return To Moon 205

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the never-win-big-from-playing-it-safe dept.
With budget cuts in the works for everyone these days, NASA has decided to float an alternate plan for returning to the moon that is just a little bit cheaper than the current proposal. Of course, the new option would be very reminiscent of the old Apollo space capsule instead of the tricked out shuttle currently planned. "Officially, the space agency is still on track with a 4-year-old plan to spend $35 billion to build new rockets and return astronauts to the moon in several years. However, a top NASA manager is floating a cut-rate alternative that costs around $6.6 billion. This cheaper option is not as powerful as NASA's current design with its fancy new rockets, the people-carrying Ares I and cargo-lifting Ares V. But the cut-rate plan would still get to the moon."

Has Bing Already Overtaken Yahoo? 319

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the very-good-name dept.
nk497 writes "Microsoft's newly revamped search tool Bing has already overtaken Yahoo in the US and globally, according to StatsCounter. The net traffic watcher said Bing has topped Yahoo 16.28% to 10.22% in the US, and 5.62% to 5.13% globally. Though the firm noted Bing's popularity may drop off after the excitement wears off, the firm also said: 'Steve Ballmer is quoted as saying that he wanted Microsoft to become the second biggest search engine within five years. Following the breakdown in talks to acquire Yahoo at a cost of $40 billion it looks as if he may have just achieved that with Bing much sooner and a lot cheaper than anticipated.' Google, of course, still leads by a considerable margin."
Robotics

Terminator Salvation Opens Well, Scientists Not Impressed 344

Posted by Soulskill
from the come-with-me-if-you-want-to-groove-baby dept.
destinyland writes "A science magazine asks an MIT professor, roboticists, artificial intelligence workers, and science fiction authors about the possibility of an uprising of machines. Answers range from 'of course it's possible' to 'why would an intelligent network waste resources on personal combat?' An engineering professor points out that bipedal robots 'are largely impractical,' and Vernor Vinge says a greater threat to humanity is good old-fashioned nuclear annihilation. But one roboticist says it's inevitable robots will eventually be used in warfare, while another warns of robots in the hands of criminals, cults, and other 'non-state actors.' 'What we should fear in the foreseeable future is not unethical robots, but unethical roboticists.'" The new movie got off to a good start, drawing $13.4 million in its first day. I found it reasonably entertaining; pretty much what I'd expect from a Terminator movie. If nothing else, I learned that being able to crash helicopters and survive being thrown into the occasional wall are the two most valuable skills to have during a robot uprising. What did you think?
Space

Russia To Save Its ISS Modules 280

Posted by Soulskill
from the reduce-reuse-recycle dept.
jamax writes "According to the BBC, 'Russia is making plans to detach and fly away its parts of the International Space Station when the time comes to de-orbit the rest of the outpost. ... To facilitate the plan, RKK Energia, the country's main ISS contractor, has already started developing a special node module for the Russian segment, which will double as the cornerstone of the future station. ... Unlike many Nasa and European space officials, Russian engineers are confident that even after two decades in orbit, their modules would be in good enough shape to form the basis of a new space station. "We flew on Mir for 15 years and accumulated colossal experience in extending the service life (of such a vehicle)," said a senior Russian official at RKK Energia...' Is Russia the last country where engineers are not (yet) forced by corporations to intentionally produce designs that fail two days after warranty expires? There used to be a lot of equipment manufactured by various countries (Germany is the first one that comes to mind) that lasted virtually forever — old cars or weapons systems, but one rarely sees anything of the sort these days."
The Military

Mariners Develop High Tech Pirate Repellents 830

Posted by samzenpus
from the scuttle-the-ship dept.
Hugh Pickens writes "NPR reports that owners of ships that ply the dangerous waters near Somalia are looking at options to repel pirates including slippery foam, lasers, electric fences, water cannons and high-intensity sound — almost anything except guns. One defense is the Force 80 squirt gun with a 3-inch nozzle that can send 1,400 gallons a minute 100 yards in any direction. 'It is a tremendous force of water that will knock over anything in its path and will also flood a pirate's ship very quickly,' says Roger Barrett James of the the Swedish company Unifire. Next is the Mobility Denial System, a slippery nontoxic foam that can be sprayed on just about any surface making it impossible to walk or climb even with the aid of a harness. The idea would be to spray the pirate's vessel as it approached, or to coat ropes, ladders, steps and the hull of the ship that's under attack. The Long Range Acoustic Device, or LRAD, a high-powered directional loudspeaker allows a ship to hail an approaching vessel more than a mile away. 'Knowing that they've lost the element of surprise is half the battle,' says Robert Putnam of American Technology Corp. The LRAD has another feature — a piercing "deterrent tone" that sounds a bit like a smoke detector alarm with enough intensity to cause extreme pain and even permanent hearing loss for anyone directly in the beam that comes from the device. But Capt. John Konrad, who blogs for the Web site Gcaptain.com, says no anti-pirate device is perfect. 'The best case scenario is that you find these vessels early enough that you can get a Navy ship detached to your location and let them handle the situation.'"
Operating Systems

A Secure OS For the Dalai Lama? 470

Posted by timothy
from the one-that-works-only-at-high-altitudes dept.
Jamyang (Greg Walton) writes "I am editor of the Infowar Monitor and co-author of the recent report, Tracking Ghostnet. I have been asked by the Office of His Holiness, the Dalai Lama (OHHDL) and the Tibetan Government in Exile (TGIE) to offer some policy recommendations in light of the ongoing targeted malware attacks directed at the Tibetan community worldwide. Some of the recommendations are relatively straightforward. For example, I will suggest that OHHDL convene an international Board of Advisers, bringing together some of the brightest minds in computer and international security to advise the Tibetans, and that the new Tibetan university stands up a Certified Ethical Hacking course. However, one of the more controversial moves being actively debated by Tibetans on the Dharamsala IT Group [DITG] list, is a mass migration of the exile community (including the government) to Linux, particularly since all of the samples of targeted malware collected exploit vulnerabilities in Windows. I would be very interested to hear Slashdot readers opinions on this debate here." (More below.)

A slow pup is a lazy dog. -- Willard Espy, "An Almanac of Words at Play"

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