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Comment Re:It works better when everyone does it (Score 1) 250

Thank you for your insightful post! It made clear to me that there is an "organizational culture" side to telecommuting.

I'm planning to move out of the big city here in Chile (Santiago) and telecommute to my present job. My boss is very open to it, but she probably doesn't see some of the issues that may arise. I work for a small government agency where we don't do technical work, so those "missing bits of information" you mentioned could be bigger and harder to spot and therefore they might have a huge impact in my productivity.

On the other hand, promoting a more rigorous way of communicating that can accommodate telecommuting, may improve general productivity as a whole. Today we rely too much in those in-office conversations, and this has a downside too.

Any thoughts are welcome

Comment Eywa? (Score 1) 136

We just awoke our planet's soul and it's fighting back... Jokes aside, this article makes me think about how we are used to having our technological creations interfere with our complex world without much opposition from nature. If there exists something like karma, it should look like this.

Comment Re:This Slashdot Not GenericDot! (Score 2) 56

How important is Chile in the global supply chain?

30% of world copper production, and the earthquake struck right next to one of the more important copper mines. But more important than that is the fact that we live in a planet with several hazards for living safely, and technology has to play a major role here. In Chile, we have greatly improved the building standards over the past century, to the point where the damages are negligible compared to a similar earthquake elsewhere. That's a very big triumph of technology applied to societal welfare.

In a way, we have an advantage, the earthquakes keep us prepared. But there are areas where they occur every 500 years ( and they may cause a huge catastrophe there.

As we have witnessed in several parts around the world (remember Katrina?) besides prevention and warnings, the logistics of the aftermath are very challenging as well. How can we improve this? How to help isolated people self-organize in order to improve their conditions until outside aid arrives? For example, could we include a microgrid-style strategy everywhere that interacts seamlessly with the "traditional" grid? Another thing is how to keep the communication lines open and the information flow as lean as possible, in order to help the authorities make better decisions on the spot.

Therefore, Chile may present a unique opportunity to develop and test different prevention and emergency response strategies. And this may be one of the more important things we can do for humanity in our role as responsible engineers.

Cheers from Santiago, Chile

Comment Re:About storage: Renew (Score 1) 2

Thanks! It was a very helpful answer. I didn't think about renewing everything every X years. Somehow I was set on staying with the original files/media and keeping the technology needed to read them... Is the DVD as a third option maybe too much? I know it may look as overkill, but only until shit happens... Of course the optical media should be also part of the renewal process before it becomes obsolete.

Submission + - Ask Slashdot: Storing family videos and pictures for posterity? 2

jalvarez13 writes: I'm in my early 40's and I will become a dad in less than a month. Until now I've been quite happy with a Canon Powershot S110 for taking pictures and video, but now I'm thinking in longer terms. If some of you have already thought or done something about this, what did you consider when buying photo/video equipment? I guess there are important decisions you made about to image quality, file formats, storage type, organising and labelling software, etc.

I'm also wondering if there are any other technologies (stereoscopic cameras?) that I haven't thought about and may be interesting to look at.

Comment Re:Basic jobs, but not to avoid talking (Score 1) 307

There are certain benefits of doing at least some of those tasks periodically. For us who work mainly in front of a computer, the extra exercise is more than necessary, even if you work out or run. The muscles you use are different and/or the same muscles are used in different ways, which in turn benefits you whole musculoskeletal system. Also, focusing on manual tasks allow our brains to take a break from the intelectual work and then go back with renewed energy.

Comment Technically, it's still winter here... (Score 1) 148

... in Chile. Anyway, this winter has been quite "normal" in terms of rainfall, which is good after several years of drought in the central part of the country. Here, harsh means heavy rainfall, which causes floodings and severe disruptions. But mild is bad too as a little less rain would throw us back into the drought scenario. Hopefully it will be similar to this one.

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