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Submission + - Ask Slashdot: What new technologies to learn to keep yourself "employable"?

An anonymous reader writes: Hi, I've been a software engineer for about 15 years most of which I spent working on embedded systems (well they are small custom systems running Linux so far as the embedded part) developing in C. However, web and mobile technologies seem to be taking the world over, and while I acknowledge that C isn't going away anytime soon, many job offers (at least those that seem interesting and in small companies) are asking for knowledge on these new technologies (web/mobile), which incidentally I am interested in anyway.
The thing is that there are so many of those, Objective-C (for iOS) and Java (for Android), Javascript/CSS (for the web), Qt for cross-platform, etc. for the "front-end" part (not counting UX -ie: GUI design-), and then there's the "back-end" part, which has MySQL/NoSQL, Node.js, Ruby, and many seem equivalent like PHP/Python; and then there's a bunch of new languages and programming paradigms (functional programming, etc.). So it is very hard to pick (at least without prior knowledge) which ones are worth investing in for somebody with a limited amount of time, yet there seem to be a growing bunch of under 25 wiz kids that seem to know every one of these new technologies and get to change jobs like changing shoes!

Where would you suggest to start with to somebody that wants to learn a few of these kind of things to be employable again? How long do you think it should be devoted to learning this? Like, what would be the smallest set of "new technologies" that one should know to be employable these days?

Submission + - NSA Can Bridge Air-Gapped Systems ( 2

jddeluxe writes: An article just published in the New York Times outlines how the NSA has compromised systems not connected to the Internet.
The practice, ongoing from 2008, " relies on a covert channel of radio waves that can be transmitted from tiny circuit boards and USB cards inserted surreptitiously into the computers. In some cases, they are sent to a briefcase-size relay station that intelligence agencies can set up miles away from the target."
Break out the tin foil hats...

Comment Re:Color me shocked (Score 4, Interesting) 209

I've got to disagree about your belief that young people can not be effective managers. The military routinely turns young college graduates into officers and gives them leadership responsibilities. That system has been successful in the United States for more than two hundred years.

The main difference between the military and the private sector is in the preparation. The military has a specialized training program (OCS) specifically tailored for leadership principles that all applicants must pass before becoming officers. That lasts for several months. And, for young officers, there's a great support system of experienced officers and NCO's who can give them advice.

Private corporations generally don't offer training and mentorship programs any more due to cost cutting measures. It's common to have people promoted to management positions with no training whatsoever. And the closest civilian equivalent, an MBA, seems to breed arrogance.

Submission + - What's The Best Programming Language To Learn First? ( 3

jfruh writes: Sure, your first programming language was probably BASIC on the Apple IIe or Atari 800. But what should the kids today learn? Matthew Mombrea takes a systematic look at the question, considering it in light of which languages are the most commercially useful and which lay a good foundation for learning other useful languages.

Submission + - FDA Not Convinced Antibacterial Soaps Stop the Spread of Germs ( 5

barlevg writes: It's long been a concern that the widespread use of antibacterials soaps is contributing towards the evolution of drug-resistant "superbugs," but as the Washington Post reports, the Food and Drug Administration also does not believe that there is any evidence to support that the antibacterial agents in soaps are any more effective at killing germs than simply washing with soap and water. Under the terms of a proposal under consideration, the FDA will require that manufacturers making such claims will have to show proof. If they fail to do so, they will be required to change their marketing or even stop selling the products altogether.

The Washington Post cites concerns that triclosan interferes with hormone production, but it should be noted that is is based on animal studies, and that at least one human study has shown no effect on hormone levels in adults using toothpaste containing triclosan.

Submission + - Chinese spacecraft lands on moon

niftydude writes: A Chinese spacecraft has landed on the moon in the first "soft landing" since 1976.

The event, broadcast live on Chinese TV, means the country has joined the US and the former Soviet Union in managing to accomplish such a feat.

The Chang'e 3, named after a lunar goddess in traditional Chinese mythology, is carrying the solar-powered Yutu, or Jade Rabbit rover, which will dig and conduct geological surveys. The mission is expected to last three months.

Submission + - One in four cloud providers will be gone by 2015 (

dcblogs writes: Cloud adopters face serious risk in the next two years because of the strong possibility that their provider will be acquired or forced out of business, according to Gartner.The research firm is predicting a major consolidation in cloud services and estimates that about 25% of the top 100 IT service providers in the infrastructure space won't be around by 2015. "One in four vendors will be gone for whatever reason — acquisition, bankruptcy," said William Maurer, a Gartner analyst. Most of the time, the changes will come through acquisition. There is pressure on providers to cut costs, but Maurer is advising enterprise users to be gentle with their vendors. "You need to make to make sure that your service providers are successful," said Maurer. "Give them a chance to make a reasonable return on their investments, give them a chance to make some money."

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