Esther Schindler writes: Those of us who telecommute cannot quite fathom the reasons companies give for refusing to let people work from home. But even if you don't agree with their decision, they do have reasons — and not all of them are, "Because we like to be idiots." In 5 reasons why the company you want to work for won’t hire telecommuters, hiring managers share their sincere reasons to insist you work in the office—and a few tips for how you might convince them otherwise.
richi writes: The Opera Web browser has a new 'power-saving' feature. Opera claims you can get 'up to' 50% more battery life — but is that likely? Uh, NO!
Yes, the actual software tweaks will make a difference, but the tests Opera's quoting are skewed, unscientific, and compare apples to oranges. But what do you expect from a company that's trying to get bought by a Chinese consortium for more than $1.2 billion?
Nemo the Magnificent writes: Is there an IT talent shortage? Or is there a clue shortage on the hiring side? Hiring managers put on their perfection goggles and write elaborate job descriptions laying out mandatory experience and know-how that the "purple squirrel" candidate must have. They define job openings to be entry-level, automatically excluding those in mid-career. Candidates suspect that the only real shortage is a one of willingness to pay what they are worth. Job seekers bend over backwards to make it through HR's keyword filters, only to be frustrated by phone screens seemingly administered by those who know only buzzwords. Meanwhile, hiring managers feel the pressure to fill openings instantly with exactly the right person, and when they can't the team and the company suffer. InformationWeek lays out a number of ways the two sides can start listening to each other. For example, some of the most successful companies find their talent through engagement with the technical community, participating in hackathons or offering seminars on hot topics such as Scala and Hadoop. These companies play a long game in order to lodge in the consciousness of the candidates they hope will apply next time they're ready to make a move.
Nemo the Magnificent writes: Cloud guy Elias Khnaser talks with Chris Kemp, one of the creators of OpenStack and now CTO of Nebula. Kemp describes his company as 'a turnkey private cloud appliance. We take OpenStack... and package it into a simple plug-and-play deployment that enables organizations to build on-premises private clouds that are very similar to Amazon Web Services.' Kemp says that while OpenStack is available for anyone to implement, it 'should be viewed as a toolkit, not a finished product... Nebula has invested heavily in ensuring that our product is secure by design. Securing OpenStack is definitely the hardest and most complicated task of all.' Note that when I visited TFA a Nebula video began to autoplay; YMMV. At least it was narrated by Patrick Stewart.
Nemo the Magnificent writes: A Turkish company has installed kiosks around Istanbul that accept recycled bottles and in return dispense kibble for the city's stray dogs. From TFA: 'In many cities around the world stray dogs are part of city life. One such city is Istanbul, where 150 thousand stray dogs and cats share the streets with 14 million human inhabitants. A clever device by the Turkish company Pugedon aims to increase recycling while providing food and water to stray dogs and waking up our kindness and humanity. The topic of stray dogs is often polarized. Turkey, in particular, has a history of controversial "solutions" to the problem.'
Nemo the Magnificent writes: What do you say when your 10-year-old asks you, 'What is big data anyway?' Daria Hutchinson works for a big-data analytics software company, Platfora. She thought a minute and said, 'I'm going to explain big data as it relates to your favorite online game, Fantage.' (For the uninitiated, this is a utopia of young girl pursuits.) Here's a little of how the conversation went. 'So the first thing about big data is that it is big.... Hadoop solves the size problem of big data... If your data gets too big to fit on your computer, you can just add more computers. It grows as your data grows.... The second thing about big data is that it comes in all different formats.... The third thing about big data is that it can come in very fast at times.... With big data, you have to be fast at capturing the data, but you also have to be fast at reading it. Nobody likes to wait. For some questions, a little bit of waiting is acceptable. For others, answers are needed right away.' Hutchinson captures the problem space pretty well, in terms a 5th-grader can relate to.
Nemo the Magnificent writes: This parchment manuscript has been around since the second half of the 10th century, when someone in Constantinople was transcribing and commenting on the mathematics of Archimedes. But it turns out there was a fair bit more on that prepared goatskin. 'Normally when you're looking at medieval manuscripts that have been scraped off, you don't find unique texts,' project director William Noel says in a 2012 TED talk. 'And to find two in one manuscript is really something. To find three is completely weird. And we found three.'
Everybody knows software development is a young man's game, right? Here's a guy who hires and manages programmers and he says it's not about age at all, it's about skills, period. A company that actively works to offer all employees the chance to learn and to engage with modern technologies is a company that good people are going to work for, and to stay at.
Nemo the Magnificent writes: In this guy's opinion most IT workers can't think critically. They are incapable of diagnosing a problem, developing a possible solution, and implementing it. They also have little fundamental understanding of the businesses their employers are in, which is starting to get limiting as silos are collapsing within some corporations and IT workers are being called upon to participate in broader aspects of the business. Is that what you see where you are?
Nemo the Magnificent writes: The Washington, DC area has more unfilled cyber-security jobs than anywhere else. The problem is that HR and hiring managers don't understand the career paths of security professionals, and they slap on requirements for high-level credentials, particularly CISSP. Seventy percent of posted security job openings ask for a CISSP, when the actual work mostly doesn't require that level of expertise — and the job doesn't pay commensurately in the first place — says the executive director of (ISC)^2. Here are a few lower-level certifications that hiring managers ought to be asking for, if only they knew about them.
Nemo the Magnificent writes: A friend of mine bought a Western Digital 'MyCloud' NAS server (non-RAID) a couple of weeks ago. WD implements the cloud service through its wd2go.com site. He reports that that site is down and has been since last Wednesday. No word on when it'll be back up. The only official announcements are daily repeats of this canned posting:
'Our My Cloud and My Book Live users are experiencing intermittent issues with WD servers that enable remote access when using these products. These issues include poor transfer speeds and/or inability to connect remotely. We sincerely apologize for this inconvenience and we are working very hard to resolve these issues and resume normal service as soon as possible. We thank you for your patience and will provide updates as they are available.'
Nemo the Magnificent writes: Ray Bradbury said that when he wrote dystopian science fiction he wasn't trying to predict a grim future, but rather to prevent one. 3D printing is in the early stages of preventing a future that Larry Niven imagined, in which organleggers abduct and dismember people for their parts. Why bother when you can print livers, kidneys, eyes, ears, hands, skulls, and trachea, as well as exoskeletons? Note: annoying 13-page slideshow format with navigation limited to next / previous.
Nemo the Magnificent writes: From the History-We-Hardly-Knew-Ye department: "A new study published in the journal Nature provides the most comprehensive analysis to date of the evolutionary relationships of influenza virus across different host species over time... In the 1870s, an immense horse flu outbreak swept across North America. City by city and town by town, horses got sick and perhaps five percent of them died. Half of Boston burned down during the outbreak, because there were no horses to pull the pump wagons. In the West, the US Cavalry was fighting the Apaches on foot because all the horses were sick... The horse flu outbreak pulled the rug out from under the economy."
Nemo the Magnificent writes: A few days ago we talked over a post by David Raphael accusing Verizon of slowing down Netflix, by way of throttling Amazon AWS. Now Jonathan Feldman gives us reason to believe that the carriers won't win the war on Netflix, because tools for monitoring the performance of carriers will emerge nd we'll catch them if they try. I just now exercised one such tool, NetNeutralityTest.com from Speedchedker Ltd. My carrier is Verizon (FiOS), and the test showed my download speed at the moment to be 12 Mbps. It was the same to Linode in NJ but only 3 Mbps to AWS East. Hmm.
Nemo the Magnificent writes: Ever been asked a question in a job interview that's just so abysmally stupid, you're tempted to give in to the snark and blow the whole thing up? Here are suggested interview-ending answers to 16 of the stupidest questions candidates actually got asked in interviews at tech companies in 2013, according to employment site Glassdoor. Oil to pour on the burning bridges.