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Submission + - IT Career Burnout: When the Thrill Is Gone (cio.com)

twailgum writes: "Burnout is as predictable in an IT professional's career as the long hours that precipitate it," notes a CIO.com article. "The demanding nature of IT jobs, coupled with a perceived lack of respect and appreciation, leads many IT professionals to lament, à la blues great B.B. King, that 'the thrill is gone.' Many eventually wonder whether a career in IT is still the right choice." What follows are seven practical ways to reignite your passion for your IT job, as suggested by IT professionals who've experienced burnout first-hand.
Cloud

Flash Comes To the iPad Via RipCode 117

suraj.sun writes "Texas-based company RipCode has announced a new 'clientless Flash video codec' that will allow Flash content to be streamed on Apple's iPad. This would include sites like Hulu and YouTube, assuming the respective companies don't find a way to block it. According to RipCode's press release, the TransAct Transcoder V6 captures the iPad's request for Flash content and converts it into a special format that the device accepts and plays. This is all done without a local client or user intervention. 'RipCode's Transactional Transcoding platform enables an alternate and immediate solution to this issue, opening up video content to users without requiring the content hoster to move to HTML5 or pre-transcode entire video libraries from Flash to an iPad-accepted container format. By transcoding the content "in the cloud," it is essentially analogous to a network-based Flash to MP4 or MPEG-TS video adaption layer.'"
IBM

IBM Breaks Open Source Patent Pledge 359

Jay Maynard writes "IBM has broken the pledge it made in 2005 not to assert 500 patents against open source software. In a letter sent to Roger Bowler, president of TurboHercules SA, IBM's Mark Anzani, head of their mainframe business, claimed that the Hercules open-source emulator (disclaimer: I manage the open source project) infringes on at least 106 issued patents and 67 more applied for. Included in that list are two that it pledged not to assert in 2005. In a blog entry, the NoSoftwarePatents campaign's Florian Mueller said that 'IBM is using patent warfare in order to protect its highly lucrative mainframe monopoly against Free and Open Source Software.' I have to agree: from where I sit, IBM likes Open Source only as long as they don't have to compete with it."
Image

Passive-Aggressive Wi-Fi Hotspots Screenshot-sm 263

the digital nomad writes "If you've had enough of your neighbor stealing your Wi-Fi connection or letting his dog s#%t on your lawn, there is now a better solution than suffering in silence with your brooding anger: leave your neighbor 'a message!' Passive-Aggressive Wi-Fi Hotspots let your networks say what you cannot. And if you're looking for some great name for your Hotspot, make sure to read this post by Gizmodo."
Security

Latvian "Robin Hood" Hacker Leaks Bank Details 170

eldavojohn writes "Move over Russell Crowe, an anonymous hacker in Latvia is being hailed as a real life modern Robin Hood. The hacker refers to himself as 'Neo,' claims allegiance with the Fourth Awakening People's Army, and is outing banks that are capitalizing off of the horrible economic status Latvia is currently suffering from. No word on how he is acquiring the information but it is slowly being leaked to TV sources via Twitter and the common people love him. The hacker is thought to be based in Britain but a TV reporter pointed out the fine line Neo is walking, 'On the one hand of course he has stolen confidential data ... and he actually has committed a crime. But at the same time there is value for the public in the sense that now a lot of information gets disclosed and the whole system maybe becomes a little more transparent.' An example of a juicy tidbit he revealed is that managers of a Latvian bank did not take the salary cuts they promised they would after the government bailed them out of economic trouble. You can imagine that taxpayers were upset and thankful they knew this information."
Government

Simulated Hack To Test US Government Response 73

superapecommando writes "Security industry analysts and lawmakers will get an unprecedented chance next week to evaluate how the government might respond to a hack attack on critical infrastructure targets. The Bipartisan Policy Center, a Washington-based non-profit established in 2007 by several lawmakers, will host a simulated nation-wide cyber-attack next Tuesday for a group of former administration and national security officials, who will be playing the roles of Cabinet members."
Sci-Fi

Star Wars TV Show Tainted By Memories of Jar Jar 474

bowman9991 writes "Can George Lucas' new Star Wars TV series, the first Star Wars spin off with real actors, atone for the flawed follow-ups to his original classics? Producer Rick McCallum calls the new series 'much darker,' a 'much more character-based series' and 'more adult,' while George Lucas himself calls it more like the first Star Wars film. The new TV show takes place in the 'dark times' between the last prequel Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith and Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope, when most of the Jedi and anti-emperor politicians were hunted down and killed. The characters of Boba Fett, C-3PO, and the Emperor Palpatine will return, and casting has now begun. Mark Hamill, the actor who played Luke Skywalker from the original movies, believes George Lucas lost his way, 'making it bigger and bigger and bigger and bigger until you're just exploding with special effects all over the screen like some fireworks display,' but thinks the new show is a 'positive' step forward. Hopefully George Lucas can wipe the memory of Jar Jar Binks, Anakin and Padme's romance, his shameless merchandising, and some lame attempts at humor from everyone's minds once and for all."
Spam

Researchers Claim "Effectively Perfect" Spam Blocking Discovery 353

A team of computer scientists from the International Computer Science Institute in Berkeley, CA are claiming to have found an "effectively perfect" method for blocking spam. The new system deciphers the templates a botnet is using to create spam and then teaches filters what to look for. "The system ... works by exploiting a trick that spammers use to defeat email filters. As spam is churned out, subtle changes are typically incorporated into the messages to confound spam filters. Each message is generated from a template that specifies the message content and how it should be varied. The team reasoned that analyzing such messages could reveal the template that created them. And since the spam template describes the entire range of the emails a bot will send, possessing it might provide a watertight method of blocking spam from that bot."
Windows

Newly-Found Windows Bug Affects All Versions Since NT 393

garg0yle writes "A researcher has found a security bug that could allow privilege escalation in Windows. Nothing new there, right? Well, this affects the Virtual DOS Machine, found in every 32-bit version of Windows all the way back to Windows NT. That's 17 years worth of Windows and counting. 'Using code written for the VDM, an unprivileged user can inject code of his choosing directly into the system's kernel, making it possible to make changes to highly sensitive parts of the operating system. ... The vulnerability exists in all 32-bit versions of Microsoft OSes released since 1993, and proof-of-concept code works on the XP, Server 2003, Vista, Server 2008, and 7 versions of Windows, Ormandy reported.'"
Businesses

Why "Running IT As a Business" Is a Bad Idea 364

snydeq sends along a provocative piece from Infoworld, arguing that the conventional wisdom on how IT should be run is all wrong. "Bob Lewis dispels the familiar litany that 'IT should be run as a business,' instead offering insights into what he is calling a 'guerilla movement' to reject conventional 'IT wisdom' and industry punditry in favor of what experience tells you will work in real organizations. 'When IT is a business, selling to its "internal customers," its principal product is software that "meets requirements." This all but ensures a less-than-optimal solution, lack of business ownership, and poor acceptance of the results,' Lewis writes. 'The alternatives begin with a radically different model of the relationship between IT and the rest of the business — that IT must be integrated into the heart of the enterprise, and everyone in IT must collaborate as a peer with those in the business who need what they do.' To do otherwise is a sure sign of numbered days for IT, according to Lewis. After all, the standard 'run IT as a business' model had its origins in the IT outsourcing industry, 'which has a vested interest in encouraging internal IT to eliminate everything that makes it more attractive than outside service providers.'"
Government

UK Wants To Phase Out Checks By 2018 796

The board of the UK Payments Council has set a date to phase out checks in a bid to encourage the advance of other forms of payment. They added, however, that the target of Oct. 2018 would only be realized if adequate alternatives are developed. "The goal is to ensure that by 2018 there is no scenario where customers, individuals or businesses, still need to use a cheque. The board will be especially concerned that the needs of elderly and vulnerable people are met," the Payments Council said in a statement.
Image

Confessions of a Public Speaker Screenshot-sm 111

brothke writes "While there is a plethora of books such as Public Speaking for Dummies, and many similar titles, Confessions of a Public Speaker is unique in that it takes a holistic approach to the art and science of public speaking. The book doesn't just provide helpful hints, it attempts to make the speaker, and his associated presentation, compelling and necessary. Confessions is Scott Berkun's first-hand account of his many years of public speaking, teaching and television appearances. In the book, he shares his successes, failures, and many frustrating experiences, in the hope that the reader will be a better speaker for it." Keep reading for the rest of Ben's review.
Communications

Telcos Want Big Subsidies, Not Line-Sharing 340

It seems that a recent survey of global broadband practices by Harvard's Berkman Center at the behest of the FCC has stirred the telecommunications hornet's nest. Both AT&T and Verizon are up in arms about some of the conclusions (except the ones that suggest offering large direct public subsidies). "Harvard's Berkman Center study of global broadband practices, produced at the FCC's request, is an 'embarrassingly slanted econometric analysis that violates professional statistical standards and is insufficiently reliable to provide meaningful guidance,' declares AT&T. The study does nothing but promote the lead author's 'own extreme views,' warns a response from Verizon Wireless. Most importantly, it 'should not be relied upon by the FCC in formulating a National Broadband Plan,' concludes the United States Telecom Association. Reviewing the slew of criticisms, Berkman's blog wryly notes that the report seems to have been 'a mini stimulus act for telecommunications lawyers and consultants.'"
The Military

Aging Nuclear Stockpile Good For Decades To Come 160

pickens writes "The NY Times reports that the Jason panel, an independent group of scientists advising the federal government on issues of science and technology, has concluded that the program to refurbish aging nuclear arms is sufficient to guarantee their destructiveness for decades to come, obviating a need for a costly new generation of more reliable warheads, as proposed by former President Bush. Senator Jon Kyl of Arizona and other Republicans have argued that concerns are growing over the reliability of the US's aging nuclear stockpile, and that the possible need for new designs means the nation should retain the right to conduct underground tests of new nuclear weapons. The existing warheads were originally designed for relatively short lifetimes and frequent replacement with better models, but such modernization ended after the US quit testing nuclear arms in 1992. All weapons that remain in the arsenal must now undergo a refurbishment process, known as life extension. The Jason panel found no evidence that the accumulated changes from aging and refurbishment posed any threat to weapon destructiveness, and that the 'lifetimes of today's nuclear warheads could be extended for decades, with no anticipated loss of confidence.' But the panel added that federal indifference could undermine the nuclear refurbishment program (as this report from last May illustrates). Quoting the report (PDF): 'The study team is concerned that this expertise is threatened by lack of program stability, perceived lack of mission importance and degradation of the work environment.'"

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