Follow Slashdot stories on Twitter


Forgot your password?
DEAL: For $25 - Add A Second Phone Number To Your Smartphone for life! Use promo code SLASHDOT25. Also, Slashdot's Facebook page has a chat bot now. Message it for stories and more. Check out the new SourceForge HTML5 Internet speed test! ×

Comment What *could* happen? (Score 2) 175

Yep. Hey, you know what's great? Talking to people. Sex. Building models. Organizing one's rock/stamp/severedhead collections. Writing code. Playing with the cat/dog/cockatrice. Martial arts. Photography. Reading. Taking courses. Exercising. Working out a sane budget. Listening to music. Playing music. Sewing. Legos. Fooling with hardware. Home improvements. Giving the domicile a good once-over at the ultra-picky level, just for the fun of it. Putting the yard in tip-top order. Walking the canine or the cat. Visiting Rome, Paris or Venice (while pretending to be Canadian, of course.) Or just going to see a friend. You know, in person, not with that phone-tumor. Taking a walk, preferably somewhere you haven't been or really love. Etc. Lots and lots of etc.

Television... I just can't bring myself to call that "great." The couch, it really does make for potato generation.

Comment Que? (Score 1) 35

you maintain that anyone from any other country in the world has a right to live in the U.S., but U.S. citizens have no right to live in any other country?

No. However, I maintain that Trump's wall is one of his stupidest ideas.

That's English for "Trump's wall is one of his stupidest ideas", BTW.

Which is not to say that most of his other ideas aren't stupid, because they really, really are. But the wall is special. Like Trump. Short-bus special. Profoundly without merit while at the same time comprising a financial boondoggle of titanic proportions, at the very same time when the country's actual useful infrastructure (not in any way to be confused with border "walls") needs money and effort.

So without regard to political party

Oh, yes. Completely without regard to political party. Just in regard to Trump and any bewildered sycophant who thinks building that wall is anything but a complete waste of time, effort and money.

Also, I like vegetables. So I'm rather appreciative of the workers who pick them. No matter where they come from. I like tacos, too. I would not be in the least bit offended by a taco truck on every corner. Especially if they offered a nice selection of vegetables, but, you know, either way, really.

U.S. citizens have no right to live in any other country

Hmmm. That's a very... interesting... postulate. Let me guess: you live in one of the states that has legalized pot, and you just got back from a test run of every heavy-hitting variety offered, is that it? Did you know that at some taco stands, I've been able to buy Fritos? FRITOS! Lovely, crispy corn chips! And Soda! MMMMMM! Don't Bogart that joint, my friend. Pass it over to Juan.

Comment Re:If you do engineering, you should be recognized (Score 1) 697

I'm not denying that there is a place for university courses and standardized testing. It's always been recognized. But if you're doing the same work as an engineer, for a similar period, then you're recognized as a PE in Australia after five years on the job.

I'm not arguing that one is better than the other - and readily admit that it's a lot easier if you can just get someone else to teach you - but if you're self-taught and applying it at a high level, every job is an exam and the pass-mark is 100%.

But calling me a technician is a little bit rude. All of our engineering work had to be done by us. This began with a design brief, and a project description. We'd design computers ( not assemble, design... ) and select the chips and chipset, measure up space and mounting points so we could design the circuit boards and begin putting together a new computer. No auto-routing - It was all done by hand to ensure we could achieve lower costs by using less layers - And we had to pre-calculate everything from power consumption to modes of failure. We had to create our own digital logic chips, and design of programmable logic was performed from data-sheets - not from high level applications.

When designing communications systems, we had to introduce error correction systems, and predict functionality of packet loss, and determine safe operating parameters with arbiter systems so that in the event of loss of control, the machine could be safely stopped.

When switching mains circuits, we had to calculate power factors and safe operating margins for all equipment, and unlike today when bugs are just a way of life, we had to demonstrate our computers would continue working under ALL conditions. A common test was for the boss ( a trained engineer and an expert ) to drop his keys onto our uncovered and uninsulated circuit boards and jingle them around, causing massive shorts, and our boards were not to fail in an unplanned method. All calculations had to be completed on time and any routines taking too long were trapped and reset, and the systems needed to come up from a reset without loss of data. Everything was designed to be redundant.Even code.

I'd suggest that's not the sort of stuff an engineer fresh out of uni could handle. Many struggled with the basics of electronics - especially timing circuits in digital systems. Most struggled with concepts such as building a UART from discrete logic, or constructing in-circuit emulators.

For those of us who did it the hard way, I'd suggest that the formal government recognition of our qualification as engineers was long overdue.

Comment Re:Why?? (Score 1) 211

Who cares about the fact that Americans invented flight first?

I think we are most concerned about who who invented the radio first? Oh yeah, it was the pre-cursor to the modern transceiver and the modem which makes digital life possible.

Also, I went to American school and my textbooks told me America invented everything first:
The Car
The Lightbulb
The Phone
The Computer
The Steam Engine
and of course, Al Gore got us the Internet

America first in everything. Also, is the best country to play in CIV 5, you invent everything first.

Comment It is true (Score 2) 437

However, like everything, if a technology comes along to supplant it, in this case, the cost of greener alternatives is lower than coal, it'll simply dwindle and fade over time, with absolutely no need for liberals trying to regulate the crap out of it.

This flawed argument ignores the incontrovertible fact that allowing coal to continue to provide energy on equal terms with other energy supplies rather than pressuring the market to switch to less environmentally damaging sources of energy would do real and substantial harm to us all. The bottom line is: the less energy produced from burning coal and supplied instead from less polluting resources, the better off the world is.

So in fact, there is a need for it to have the crap regulated out of it in a context where it can be replaced with (considerably) less polluting energy sources, which is exactly where we are today.

Comment Re:(sigh) You people still think you're engineers (Score 1) 697

Instead of identifying himself as an engineer, he should have said, "You are dicks." They clearly would not have been able to argue that.

Response probably would have been somewhat along the lines of "You are fined $500 for falsely representing yourself as an anatomist."

Comment Re:Market demand? (Score 1) 118

As Rei said: it is a solved problem, you build a road. This is a cheaper solution. That's what technology is after all, the ability to do things more efficiently.

Plus: who gets to decide what's "frivolous"? Certainly not you. Whatever people will pay the most for is the least frivolous, as there's no better objective measure of value.

Comment Re:If you do engineering, you should be recognized (Score 2) 697

Kind of sad to take that kind of an attitude. As I mentioned, universities weren't capable of much more than "Heath Kit" lessons of the era - Yes, I did do some study at university prior to getting a job in a lab, even if I never completed a course. Meanwhile, mid-80's I was already building computers from scratch, writing the OS firmware and then finding ways to improve on the architecture of the era.

What exactly do you think I was going to learn at a university that I wasn't expected to already know in the field? The head of department at the university I did briefly attend had already provided me with exemptions in every electronic and computer hardware related unit that was a part of the course. Even they didn't expect me to demonstrate any further proficiency in those areas.

I get that you were trying for a mix of condescending and insulting with your 1 in 10,000 remark, but in reality, anyone who continues working as an engineer for five years in industry, without being fired for being incompetent, has demonstrated they know all of the appropriate calculations necessary to do their job. At that point, it's pretty much 1:1 and the kinds of mistakes that get made are usually the same kind of mistakes that even a uni-trained engineer will make.

Even now, I still have to verify engineering estimates and ensure that they are correct, and it's rare not to find engineering errors in a large project - some big enough to prevent project success.

Being self taught wasn't instead of learning - and if you like the subject, it's never a hard slug. Being self-taught was the price of entry just to get a job in some of those industries in the early days. Learning on the job and being taught on the job both occur from that point on. It's just like university, except the passing mark on a project is 100% or find another job. Or, to para-quote NASA, Failure is not an option.

The Australian government recognized that 5 years of practical on-the-job training is as good as 4 years of university training plus 4 years of on-the-job training. Because it takes 4 years to train someone to the level than an employer will even look at them. So allowing an additional year for a non-graduate engineer to be trained at an accelerated pace is reasonable.

After all, simply having the title "engineer" isn't sufficient - you have to be doing the same work as a graduate engineer would be expected to do. It's not like I got a free ride or anything. Some would regard having to complete the equivalent of four years of university in a single year to be even more onerous.

I'm not the only one either - I've worked with a lot of other non-graduate engineers as well as graduate engineers and they were all at a very high level. It's not uncommon, but maybe you just got a bad batch up in Canada or something.

Here's the qualification requirements;

3.2 Engineering stream

Experienced engineer means a Professional engineer with the undermentioned qualifications engaged in any particular employment where the adequate discharge of any portion of the duties requires qualifications of the employee as (or at least equal to those of) a member of Engineers Australia. The qualifications are as follows:

(a) membership of Engineers Australia;or

(b) having graduated in a four or five year course at a university recognised by Engineers Australia,four years’experience on professional engineering duties since becoming a Qualified engineer;or

(c) not having so graduated,five years of such experience.

Graduate engineer means a person who is the holder of a university degree (four or five year course) recognised by Engineers Australia or is the holder of a degree,diploma or other testamur which:

(d) has been issued by a technical university,an institute of technology,a European technical high school (technische hochschule) or polytechnic or other similar educational establishment;and

(e) is recognised by Engineers Australia as attaining a standard similar to a university degree;and has been issued following:

(i) a course of not less than four years duration for a full-time course after a standard of secondary education not less than the standard of examination for matriculation to an Australian university;or

(ii) a part-time course of sufficient duration to obtain a similar standard as a four year full-time course after a similar standard of secondary education.

Professional engineer means a person qualified to carry out professional engineering duties as defined. The term Professional engineer will embrace and include Graduate engineer and Experienced engineer as defined in this clause.

professional engineering duties means duties carried out by a person in any particular employment,the adequate discharge of any portion of which duties requires qualifications of the employee as (or at least equal to those of) a graduate member of Engineers Australia

Comment If you do engineering, you should be recognized. (Score 4, Interesting) 697

As an industry trained engineer, I've been doing engineering for a few decades. From designing computers and electronics in the 80's to performing and presenting current scientific research, it's just been a part of my life, but previously, I could only refer to myself as an "Amateur Engineer". It's not that I'm not trained, I just wasn't trained in a university. Back in the 80's when I learned to design computers ( as an autodidact ) there simply wasn't a university path open for me as I was in high school at the time, and I was taken in by an R&D lab before I could study further and quickly gained skills and experience beyond what the universities were teaching at the time so never went back to university.

Still, not being able to refer to myself as an engineer caused many problem, especially when registering for government projects or work - where are best I could only call myself a "technician" despite having working in many roles where I was the lead engineer and managed other engineers. It made it pretty difficult finding new work at times also.

Now the Australian government has finally recognized that if you work as an engineer, doing the kind of work that an engineer would normally be expected to do, for a period of five cumulative years, you've proven your point and are recognized not only as an experienced engineer, but as a professional engineer.

Anyone might still be able to claim to be an engineer in Australia, but at least those who have spent years actually doing engineering as a career and were trained on-the-job have finally gained formal recognition as providers of professional services now, whether trained in a university or otherwise. And it's in legislation.

Slashdot Top Deals

"If it's not loud, it doesn't work!" -- Blank Reg, from "Max Headroom"