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United States

Submission + - Getting out of IT, where to start?

cavtroop writes: I've been doing IT for almost 12 years now, with the typical progression: pc support, server support, network support, etc. I used to love my job, and look forward to coming into work, learning something new, and surmounting challenging obstacles. After years of doing this and that in IT, I'm now an IT Generalist, and finding a job is getting tougher and tougher — most hiring managers are looking for subject matter experts. My lack of a degree (I joined the military, and went straight to work after that) is also beginning to hinder me greatly.

I've been giving some thought to getting out of IT lately. I find I no longer enjoy my work — most of the work I do provides little challenge, and I honestly don't remember the last time I learned something new and interesting. With the recent news of IBM possibly laying of 100k people plus (and the years long trend towards out-sourcing), the prospects of ever getting a meaningful IT job again are looking dim.

I think its time to hit the eject button on my IT career. But where to begin? I tried searching for a career counselor, but most of the hits were shady fly by night places, or people that just want to sell you a book.

Has anyone out there in /. land had a similar experience? What can I expect, and where can I start? Any tips, etc would be beneficial.
Databases

Submission + - Microsoft rejects Visual FoxPro user petition

PetManimal writes: "Computerworld reports that Microsoft has rejected a user petition signed by 2,400 people calling on the company to continue developing Visual FoxPro. Microsoft, which bought FoxBASE back in 1992, has said it will support Visual FoxPro users until 2015, and has open-sourced some VFP tools, but after this summer's release of Service Pack 2 for Visual FoxPro 9, will terminate development — i.e., there will be no Visual FoxPro 10. Jay Roxe, Microsoft's group product manager for Visual Studio, cited several reasons for the decision:

For Microsoft to continue to evolve the FoxPro base, we would need to look at creating a 64-bit development environment, and that would involve an almost complete rewrite of the core product. ... As far as forming a partnership with a third party is concerned, we've heard from a number of large FoxPro customers that this would make it impossible for them to continue to use FoxPro since it would no longer be from an approved vendor. We felt that putting the environment into open source on CodePlex, which balances the needs of both the community and the large customers, was the best path forward.
The article adds that while interest in Visual FoxPro has begun to drop in the United States, the database programming tool/language remains a 'rock star' in China and Eastern Europe. The user petition wiki was created by Spanish developers, and contains a letter that says '.NET still lacks many of the better features that Visual FoxPro has in it for years'. The petition suggested that MS open source the full Visual FoxPro source code or form a partnership with a third party to continue Visual FoxPro development."
Displays

Submission + - Help requested:finding a sunlight-readable display

max3000 writes: "I'm currently building an embedded device that will be used outdoors. The technology is pretty much nailed down at this point, except the display. Quite honestly, I'm confused and lost in all the display technologies out there: LCD (TFT, passive/active, etc.), ChLCD, OLED, FED, AMLCD, EL, electrophoretic, ePaper like eInk, etc. (some of these may overlap.) Can you help a fellow (and confused) slashdotter? What I need is (apparently) fairly complicated: . outdoor-, sunlight-readable (i.e. "at-a-glance readable", not "squint-your-eyes readable) . diagonal size: 4"-6" . vga/svga (or a fraction, e.g. 1/8 vga or 1/4 vga) . at least 16-levels of grayscale (4-bit). More grayscale or color is even better. However, it should be a technology with a roadmap to color in 2-3 years time. . If not driveable directly from a PC, the display should come with a development kit that is. I thought it would be a joke finding a display with these characteristics but it's turning in a very long process... Thanks!"
Red Hat Software

Submission + - ESR gives up on Fedora and switches to Ubuntu

Jack Malmostoso writes: Eric S. Raymond is pretty pissed at Fedora after "an attempt to upgrade one (1) package pitched me into a four-hour marathon of dependency chasing, at the end of which an attempt to get around a trivial file conflict rendered my system unusable.". So, "After thirteen years as a loyal Red Hat and Fedora user" he decides to switch to Ubuntu, even though he "[is] not expecting Ubuntu to be perfect". Will ESR be missed in the Fedora world? Or more importantly, will he be loved in the Ubuntu community? The letter is published by linux.com: http://www.linux.com/article.pl?sid=07/02/21/13402 37
Robotics

Submission + - Singapore holds "Terminator" robotics comp

duc0n writes: "Singapore's Defence Science and Technology Agency has just recently started a robotics competition named "TechX". The goal? Design a robot capable of entering an urban proving ground, navigating obstacles such as stairs, elevators and doors, and able to recognize and engage a specific target (using "a means that [they] will provide for the robot to mark the target"). All this is, of course, hauntingly similar to the Samsung sentry robot story from awhile back. Applications have been open since January, but the final event is not set to take place until August 2008."
Space

Submission + - vast water reservoir revealed

Agent Provocateur writes: "WUSTL has a news bulletin about research which has shown a hidden ocean the size of the Artic. A seismologist at Washington University in St. Louis has made the first 3-D model of seismic wave damping — diminishing — deep in the Earth's mantle and has revealed the existence of an underground water reservoir at least the volume of the Arctic Ocean. It is the first evidence for water existing in the Earth's deep mantle. Full report here."
Media

Submission + - UK's Prime Minister's Office Dismisses Ban DRM e-P

rvincoletto writes: "UK's Prime Minister's Office Dismisses Ban DRM e-Petition:

Digital rights issues have been gaining increasing prominence as innovation accelerates, more and more digital media products and services come onto the market and the consumer wants to get access to digital content over different platforms. Many content providers have been embedding access and management tools to protect their rights and, for example, prevent illegal copying. We believe that they should be able to continue to protect their content in this way. However, DRM does not only act as a policeman through technical protection measures, it also enables content companies to offer the consumer unprecedented choice in terms of how they consume content, and the corresponding price they wish to pay. It is clear though that the needs and rights of consumers must also be carefully safeguarded. It is reasonable for consumers to be informed what is actually being offered for sale, for example, and how and where the purchaser will be able to use the product, and any restrictions applied. While there is good reason to expect the market to reach a balance as these new markets develop, it is important that consumers' interests are maintained in the meantime. Apart from the APIG (All Party Internet Group) report on DRM referred to in your petition, Digital Rights issues are an important component in other major HMG review strands on Intellectual Property, New Media and the Creative Economy. In particular, the independent Gowers Review of Intellectual Property commissioned by the Chancellor of the Exchequer, published its report on 6th December 2006 as part of the Chancellor's Pre-Budget Report. Recommendations include introducing a limited private copying exception by 2008 for format shifting for works published after the date that the law comes into effect. There should be no accompanying levies for consumers. Also making it easier for users to file notice of complaints procedures relating to Digital Rights Management tools by providing an accessible web interface on the Patent Office website by 2008 and that DTI should investigate the possibility of providing consumer guidance on DRM systems through a labelling convention without imposing unnecessary regulatory burdens. You can see the full report on the HM Treasury website. The Government has welcomed the Gowers Report and will now be looking to implement the recommendations for which it is responsible.
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