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Comment: Re:This is one reason why IT doesn't get respect (Score 2) 765

That's an important point. I'm less likely to offended at jokes that are directed at oneself, or one's own sex. I'm also more likely to be offended by a questionable joke *if I don't know them that well*. That's why people should refrain from them in a professional environment and why they're asked to do so.

One of my best buddies has a Chinese background, and there are "you must know kung fu" jokes that I could say in his presence. He knows me well enough to know I'm making fun of the racism of it. I wouldn't make the same joke at work to a colleague, especially one I'm not good buds with.

A lot of the arguments I see in response to this simple request are "Help I'm being oppressed". You're missing the point. The point is, don't be a jerk when it's known it would likely give offense. Having a profession has the expectation that' you'll be professional. We don't care what you do at home.

Have I seen questionable material and been amused by some of it when I'm browsing stuff at home? Sure. Was I impressed when Linux Journal was using words for the tentacle rape of women in their coding examples, and the lone female staffer was using cartoon avatars of her in S&M gear in a professional publication? Not so much. That's the distinction.

Comment: Re:The lesson here (Score 1) 266

by uniquegeek (#49096153) Attached to: Lenovo To Wipe Superfish Off PCs

This is a good point - I was pretty surprised with all the bouncy in-your-face crap software I found on the E series I bought for my dad last year. I removed virtually all of the "extras" immediately. That some of the Lenovo series has one that is verifiably sketchy; I'm not surprised. The things I was seeing smelled like adware/spyware right from the get-go. Somebody responsible for these partnerships with Lenovo obviously knew about it, at least to some degree. If I were a senior admin making these agreements with vendors, I would be damned sure the software is audited before I expose my division to that type of liability. Wouldn't you?

I guess I'm going to have to go through and do a more thorough examination of the Lenovos I own. And to think I was just about to buy my husband one of the larger-screen Z series when it became available here.

Comment: boomer + older market untapped (Score 1) 248

by uniquegeek (#49064183) Attached to: Smart Homes Often Dumb, Never Simple

My Dad lives in a seniors apartment where they still have their own kitchens. If you could designed simple safety IoT gadgets for seniors that would give their middle-aged children more peace of mind, that would be a big help.

A common issue in seniors apartments is that grannie and grandpa still fiercely fights for their independence. But fuses on ovens get pulled because grannie forgets what she did with her oven or stove, or that she already made bread. A sink overflows on rare occasion. Can we not make intelligent stoves that set timers for specific purposes (or calculate when bad things or bad timings are happening), or taps that check their flow rate and beep a reminder and auto-shut off? How about a gadget that senses when someone falls and alerts specific people (not an expensive monthly monitoring company?)

Comment: Re:We need to teach people to think, and to use to (Score 1) 291

by uniquegeek (#49064099) Attached to: Should We Really Try To Teach Everyone To Code?

I'm with you, the wrong question was asked. We shouldn't be asking where everybody needs to know how to code. The real question is whether everybody needs to problem-solve. People could stand to learn a whole lot more perseverance, too. Interestingly, computer science isn't about coding, it's about problem-sovling - people make that mistake all the time.

Comment: another alternative (Score 1) 467

by uniquegeek (#48894001) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Best Anti-Virus Software In 2015? Free Or Paid?

Create a separate regular user account that you use 100% of the time, and only use the admin account credentials when you know you are installing or updating something that's legit. Do or don't use anti-virus (I use Microsoft Security Essentials on my Windows machine because it's free, good enough, and not pesky).

If you do manage to get infected with something, create another user account and only copy documents over. Since the virus is likely hiding elsewhere in your user profile or in your user registry key, the virus is gone, by your perspective.

Comment: Re:Flash? (Score 2) 136

by uniquegeek (#48893969) Attached to: By the Numbers: The Highest-Paying States For Tech Professionals

The worth of a job is more than just the money.

I'm a junior sysadmin. I live in a nice 1200 sq.ft. plus a finished basement house, two-car garage, shop (that could function as a third garage if I wanted), and a large yard (large enough to take me 50 minutes to cut by hand, which I don't mind). I'm still in a city proper, technically in the suburbs, but very close to a major bus route. I do drive to work and that's 15-20 minutes, depending on the day. I'll be biking next summer along what's mostly bike paths (I just moved into the house this summer). I was able to put enough of a down payment on the house that it's already 1/3 paid off. My on-call hours are very good in comparison, and rarely anyone calls, so I'm spoiled that way. I work 8:30-4:30 every day.

My city is essentially free from the risk of natural disasters, and we don't really have weird bugs that can kill you if they're hiding in your shoes. Going to the symphony, theatre, and other events is both accessible and affordable.

Because I have a life outside of work, I can spend a fair amount of time with my spouse, and still have time for other hobbies (e.x. I just took up fiddle lessons last year because I've always wanted to play).

Many people in the Bay Area get paid twice what I do, but I have a quality of life that they don't. I'm able to enjoy a lot of my time *before* retirement.

Comment: Re:How to influence the innumerate with CS Ed stat (Score 1) 335

by uniquegeek (#48850715) Attached to: Lies, Damn Lies, and Tech Diversity Statistics

When we were young, my parents managed to always have a computer around for my brother and myself. When it came to doing "boy" stuff, I was encouraged to do that, but when it came down to actually doing it, it was my brother who got the time to do it. With some interests, I also occasionally heard "you might hurt yourself", whereas for my brother, it was ok.

My interest in computers and skill was evident (including to the point of fixing the computers at school while I was still a student). But when it came time for me to go to university, all of a sudden "you can do anything" became "you have to go to university here because the awesome tech university you want to go to is across the country and is a scary place for young women".

I persisted in tech regardless (despite programming not being available in my small school), and by and large, most people I've met in tech are ok. But I've also met quite a few people who
- ignore my expertise and only ask the guys in the room about tech stuff
- tell me I shouldn't go after certain jobs, training, or promotions because my biological clock is ticking (acquaintances and complete strangers)
- mansplaining (oh god, the mansplaining), and being talked over

God help a woman who decides to "have it all", too - they're a bad mother. But when that's the case, no one asks why the husband isn't stepping up to the plate to help with family chores more (or when they do, they are often mocked or treated badly by men and women - which is a whole other discussion).

I know that's personal anectodes, but it would probably help if people didn't pidgeonhole females so much, and tell them what they can't do and tell them what they want. It ought to get better with more generations, but I doubt the way parents shelter and baby their children, especially girls, is helping much. Women can be just as bad for reinforcing female stereotypes as the men are. Women's value is still in doing girly things and looking pretty. The few role models in industry or business still get judged on those aspects. Being told all those things, repeatedly, for your entire life can really take a toll. It is just so much easier to conform.

It's not drive that's a problem. It's that the drive is constantly beaten out of them.

Pidgeonholing men and telling them how they're supposed to be is a problem too - but again, that's a whole other discussion. Same problems, but the rules are just different.

Can we just all agree to stop being shitty to each other and including others who want to be included?

Comment: Not useful without more data (Score 4, Interesting) 97

by uniquegeek (#48678049) Attached to: My laptop lasts on battery for ...

You do know battery life can get shorter over time, right?

Our fleet of 80 Lenovo T420's standard batteries started from about 5:30 and went to 1:00 just after two years' use. Some died sooner than others. Some users use them always plugged in. I'd be surprised if one of them switches power profiles or uses a balanced profile when using the laptop. (Full on presentation mode 24/7.)

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!

If I have not seen as far as others, it is because giants were standing on my shoulders. -- Hal Abelson

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