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Comment Re:No IT Specialists? (Score 1) 197

Should have clarified this in my OP, but we have outsourced IT for workstations, file&print, backup, etc, and we wouldn't survive without them.

The specialized and uncommon (acoustics is a niche market) engineering tools we use (some are off the shelf, others are internally developed) aren't in scope for them. Their business model is generally to provide support for IT systems that are common across their client base... systems that most offices have.

Submission + - Ask Slashdot: How to Teach Generic Engineers Coding, Networking, and Computing?

davegravy writes: I work at a small but quickly growing acoustic consulting engineering firm, consisting of a mix of mechanical, electrical, civil, and other engineering backgrounds. When I joined almost 10 years ago I was in good company with peers who were very computer literate — able to develop their own complex excel macros, be their own IT tech support, diagnose issues communicating with or operating instrumentation, and generally dive into any technology-related problem to help themselves.

In 2017 these skills and tendencies are more essential than they were 10 years ago; our instruments run on modern OS's and are network/internet-capable, the heavy data processing and analysis we need to do is python-based (scipy, numpy) and runs on AWS EC2 instances, and some projects require engineers to interface various data-acquisition hardware and software together in unique ways. The younger generation, while bright in their respective engineering disciplines, seems to rely on senior staff to a concerning degree when it comes to tech challenges, and we're stuck in a situation where we've provided procedures to get results but inevitably the procedures don't cover the vast array of scenarios faced day-to-day. Being a small company we don't have dedicated IT specialists.

I believe I gathered my skills and knowledge through insatiable curiosity of all things technology as a child, self-teaching things like Pascal, building and experimenting with my own home LAN, and assembling computers from discrete components. Technology was a fringe thing back then, which I think drew me in. I doubt I'd be nearly as curious about it growing up today given its ubiquity, so I sort of understand why interest might be less common in today's youth.

How do we instill a desire to learn the fundamentals of networking, computing, and coding, so that the younger generation can be self-sufficient and confident working with the modern technology and tools they need to perform — and be innovative in — their jobs?

I believe that the most effective learning occurs when there's a clearly useful purpose or application, so I'm hesitant to build a training program that consists solely of throwing some online courses at staff. That said, online courses may be a good place to get some background that can be built upon, however most that I've come across are intended for people pursuing careers in computer science, web development, software engineering, etc. Are there any good resources that approach these topics from a more general purpose angle?

Submission + - Canadian Supreme Court Delivers Huge Win For Internet Privacy (

An anonymous reader writes: For the past several months, many Canadians have been debating privacy reform, with the government moving forward on two bills involving Internet surveillance and expanded voluntary, warrantless disclosure of personal information. Today, the Supreme Court of Canada entered the debate and completely changed the discussion, issuing its long-awaited R. v. Spencer decision, which examined the legality of voluntary warrantless disclosure of basic subscriber information to law enforcement. Michael Geist summarizes the findings, noting that the unanimous decision included a strong endorsement of Internet privacy, emphasizing the privacy importance of subscriber information, the right to anonymity, and the need for police to obtain a warrant for subscriber information except in exigent circumstances or under a reasonable law.

Submission + - Canadian Court Sets Numerous Limits in Copyright Troll Case ( 4

FuzzNugget writes: Law professor Michael Geist summarizes a recent ruling by a Canadian federal court that will allow Voltage Pictures to proceed against regional ISP TekSavvy, but established a series of conditions that prevents the plaintiffs from simply sending out threatening letters en masse:

1. Any "demand letters" sent out must be reviewed and approved by the case management judge.

2. Letters must include a copy of the court order and clearly state, in bold text, that no court ruling has established liability for payment or damages by the recipient.

3. TekSavvy may only disclose subscribers' names and addresses.

4. Voltage Pictures must pay Teksavvy's legal costs before the release of subscriber details.

5. Any further action brought against subscribers must be case managed.

6. Subscriber information must be kept confidential and not disclosed to the general public, the media or anyone not directly relevant to the case.

With these limitations, the court makes it clear that they take individuals' privacy seriously and intend to discourage such scare tactics employed by copyright trolls.

Comment 4K in business (Score 1) 559

I'm not sure about 4k for home use, but I think it has applications in office environments.

The small company I work for (less than 50 ppl) just bought a 65" 4K TV for use in one of our meeting rooms for collaborative computer work. I tried outputting a desktop to a number of 1080p panels and the picture quality was quite shit (unless of course you stand far away to the point the panel seems too small and you can't read much).

I'm not sure why that is... 1080p computer monitors are fine, but for some reason it just doesn't translate to TVs.

At 4k, PC picture quality is acceptable - actually quite remarkable, and so we went this route. We just got the thing so time will tell how useful it is.

Comment Re:So Much for Democracy (Score 1) 381

You can't have a democracy and a precedent for simply removing elected leaders when you are not satisfied with the outcome.

I agreed at first.

But in theory such a system might be an improved one - if we can elect people based on their platforms and then axe them when their platform proves to be nothing but lies and deceit, we might eventually end up with elected leaders that do as they claim they will.

The problem, obviously, is doing it peacefully. Maybe if the Egyptians get a few more rounds of practice at this they'll get it down to a fine art and invent* the next form of government.

*this is how you know I'm a Civilization fan.

Comment Re:Uhm (Score 1) 656

Mod parent up.

There aren't many places on the net where you can go to discuss political topics rationally without emotional/inflammatory interference. You just don't get amuch of that on Slashdot, I presume due to the above average intelligence that most Slashdotters have in common (elitist as that sounds).

It's not part of the site's mission statement, agreed, but its uniqueness in this regard is what draws people to discuss out of scope topics. I don't think it's a bad thing.


Submission + - Imagine if Google Had Been Developed in the 1960s

Hugh Pickens writes writes: "Jennifer O'Mahony writes in the Telegraph about Google parody web sites including one by Designer Norbert Landsteiner that allows users to imagine what google would be like if it had been invented in the era of 'Mad Men' complete with a punch card machine, magnetic tape unit and central processor using Job Control Language (JCL), a scripting language used on IBM 360 mainframe operating systems to instruct the system on how to run a batch job or start a subsystem. To complete the theme, the search engine is quite noisy, with typewriter key clicks and bells, and constant printing and paper-loading noises. Landsteiner says the goal of the project is to “explore distances and heroism in user interfaces.” Another Landsteiner project re-imagines Google as as a BBS terminal in the 1980s."

Comment There, fixed that for you (Score 2) 308

"Here's the list of sites, including where they are hosted: Extratorrent (Ukraine), IsoHunt (Canada), Kickass Torrents (Canada), Rutracker (Russia), The Pirate Bay (Everywhere), Torrentz (Canada), and Kankan (China)."


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