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Comment: Almost hit the mark. (Score 1) 307

My first year compsci class (in 1996) was intimidating due to the students the article was talking about. However, what was really intimidating was that the prof had asked the class the first day how many people had taken a coding course in high school. Since most had (city people), he decided to barely skim over the first 1/3 of the course in two days. In addition to being behind 1/3 of a semester in our first year right off the bat, us small town hicks also had to worry about money and time for rent, car, laundry, meals...

Comment: Re:"cloud" = "someone else's computer" (Score 2) 241

by uniquegeek (#48589841) Attached to: Is Enterprise IT More Difficult To Manage Now Than Ever?

To add on this, even if I did everything right with my infrastructure, I know our data is not secure because my users aren't.

I mean, 40% of them have a hard time finding a file they've been working on unless it's on the top of Excel's or Word's "Recent Documents" list. A lot of people don't even know where they're putting stuff.

Tons of them do the "I'll just email this file all over the place" instead of working on the one on the network. Same goes for USB sticks and personal devices, etc. People who know (or kinda know) where they're putting stuff don't know or don't care about the implications.

Add on top of that that the top tier of the organization dictating what they want for IT infrastructure when they have no idea what they're talking about (to the point they they're telling the IT director to throw out basic security principles). Enforcing a basic password policy? Let's argue about it for six months. And then next year, bring it up for six months again. Let's tell the IT director that "we know better" about all manners of what's needed for computer needs and security.

But guess who's held accountable if there's a breach?

Comment: give them reasons to explore (Score 1) 584

by uniquegeek (#48530885) Attached to: Programmer Father Asks: What Gets Little Girls Interested In Science?

Unfortunately, some entities remove the choice from them. For younger kids, identities are formed when they learn the "rules" of how things operate. They learn what box to put themselves in. This happens for gender itself, likes, dislikes, how to look, how to act.

I do sysadmin/helpdesk work at a private school. When I have to troubleshoot connectivity at a student's computer, I give them a simplified explanation and logic loop of things to try themselves. If the problem is more difficult and I take over, I use slashdot as my "does the internet work now" page, and.... leave it open when I leave, on purpose (true story)

I used to be the type to gripe about "*#$%$#!^ has to be pink for every girl, if I had a girl, she won't wear pink", which is wrong too. As someone else pointed out here, if someone is "girly-girl" type in some ways, that and the things they do don't need to be mutually-exclusive.

For the first 16 years of someone's life, they learn the "rules", then after that they learn which ones are ok to break. The dumb rules ought to be broken a lot earlier!

Comment: Re:Follow the money... (Score 1) 171

by uniquegeek (#48479237) Attached to: Ubisoft Apologizes For Assassin's Creed

You don't have the "right" to be entertained. Protection from going into gamer rage isn't a fricken UN-charter human right.

Should they do due diligence and adhere to better QA? Yes - putting out something that's that buggy is an embarrassment. It's a product - there are better products, and crappier ones. A buggy game isn't going to kill or maim you. If it does deep psychological damage, then you have bigger problems. Get over the ridiculous entitlement complex. This is not an issue that should be lawyer-ized. Do your due-diligence, and then vote with your wallet. It's not a difficult situation.

Comment: Re:What advice can I offer? (Score 1) 96

by uniquegeek (#47959049) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Alternate Software For Use On Smartboards?

I work in IT in a school, and the biggest problem I find is that those who teach, can't (or won't?) be taught. Teachers really do make the worst students.

In our environment:
5-10% of teachers are able to take the vendor's training and apply it close to its full potential,
20% explore with some of the tools but tend to use the very simple tools (i.e. writing).
40% use the basic tools only and are blissfully ignorant of the rest
and 30% of them forget what button to press to do X, which is something they've been shown ten times - though they insist you've never shown them and it's your fault you're holding up the class because of the #%@!%#@! technology that "doesn't work".

The software actually has more features on here than people seem to indicate. The libraries of static images is nice, but there are non-static items such as counters, video, other flash gadgets. One of the coolest things is the 3d cube with the document camera - you can load up a sample such as the human heart - and when you hold the cube under the document camera the heart rotates as well. Great for inspecting and showing things that are 3D.

I see other complaints on here about lack or training materials - but that's plastered all over their site, as well as a community of other teachers who share their saved files of lessons and notes.

At our school, every couple years we also get a trainer to come in to do a two day session with a few of our teachers who are more tech-literate. They are then responsible for holding a training session with the other teachers during a PD day.

Comment: nicer options, even with jeans: (Score 1) 432

by uniquegeek (#40850727) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Is There a Professional Geek Dress Code?

By the username, I'm assuming you're female. If you decide to stick with jeans, invest in some that are a dark shade, are well-fitted (get them tailored if you can't find a pair that fits perfectly), and are in good shape. Make sure you buy better quality tops; it shows. Some unique detailing will help, too. Invest in a few unique, shorter blazers that you can take on and off when needed (us ladies are always cold in those damn offices and server rooms anyways).

I've invested a little in a couple of decently-made pants (i.e. wool pants with good drape). If you hunt around a designer outlet store, scan the sale racks at some of the nicer department stores, or visit someplace like Winners, you can pay a reasonable amount for a mid-range item. I have a pair of Anne Klein wool pants that have taken a lot of abuse, still look pretty good, and have a couple more years use in them. Good wool is actually pretty hardy.

Stash a pair of dress pants and shoes at work, in case of big wig clients or meetings.

Some of that general advice would apply to the guys, too. Buy nicer stuff, and keep it in good condition. If you typically don't wear business, store one 100% business outfit (including shoes and dark socks) at work. I've noticed a lot of the men's suit stores now sell semi-casual shoes, shirts, and higher-end jeans that are meant to be worn together, sometimes with a sport coat. That will make a much better impression than your worn-out shoes from Wal-mart, and the $15 - 50% polyester shirt you picked up from the mall. Impressions really do matter.

Comment: north central (Score 1) 421

by uniquegeek (#40544139) Attached to: Slashdot Asks: Beating the Summer Heat?

I live in central Canada, so I use two A/Cs in my condo, at will. I love being Canadian.

I try to open the windows if I can, but my condo has no cross-breeze that I can generate, and I'm on the third/top floor. I am sure the insulation in this place is crap or non-existent. Our heating bill in winter is almost what a small house's would cost.

I have light-blocking curtain liners on all my windows, so I keep those closed in the morning (our side faces east), and crack them half-open in the afternoon. When I'm at work (September - June), I leave the drapes half-open all the time on a hot day. The plants need some light and I don't want my fish to get depressed :)

I drive with the windows down in my car if I am taking a shorter drive (>10 minutes).

Temperatures here recently have been hovering around 32C/90F.

I have never seen anything fill up a vacuum so fast and still suck. -- Rob Pike, on X.