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Comment Re:Why masters level? and not this at a lower leve (Score 5, Informative) 45

It's being accredited by GCHQ rather than designed or run, the university stipulates the course material, structure etc... GCHQ obviously felt that only the Masters level courses met their requirements (whatever they maybe) for accreditation. My Engineering degree was accredited by the IET, both Bachelors and Masters components but you didn't have to do the Masters if you wanted an accredited BEng so it is a bit unusual.

University in the UK is rapidly catching up with the US in terms of cost, I was amoung the first year of students who had to pay but it was only at £1000 per year. If I were to do my 5 year Masters in Computer Systems Engineering again now it would cost about £7000 for each of the 5 years (let's say $60000ish). They aren't typical loans however, government provided they charge a very low interest rate and are only paid back once you earn over a certain amount and increase in proportion to your salary. They do however survive bankruptcy and HMRC aren't known for writing debts off easily if you try skipping abroad etc... ;-) It is written off at normal retirement age otherwise.

Excluding doctors or vets it's unusual to spend more than 3 years doing an undergraduate degree at university in the UK, very unusual doing more than 4 years for a Masters. I elected to do a foundation year of extra mathematics and goffing off with jet engines... as you do.

Comment Re: Not just Android (Score 1) 112

Having the name, logo, colors or even font branding (let alone address) of the company on a security pass is a complete fail. If you drop it and a bad person picks it up they can then tell where it will get them access to, this is catastrophic if it's RFID swipe pass for barriers/doors. The only marking that should be present on a security pass is a photo, no name, no barcodes, nothing but a color photo of the owner. Lanyards may, in low security applications be color coded to some function or other (temp, contractor or perm employee for example) but not relied upon.

Comment Re:Programming is hard... (Score 1) 391

You've just introduced the hammer to the nail.

I think IT/Programming as an Engineer discipline also faces a challenge that no other ever has (or at least a greater scale of problem) and that's a matured Business Administration field that has well developed strategies for keeping costs down and aggressively turning new technology into commoditized blobs. I suspect the golden age of computing has already been and gone with the dawn of the Internet. No more glory days of the railways and locomotives, we've headed straight into the grind of delivering a commuter service of ever increasing efficiency and decreasing costs.

I don't fear that as such but worry that it's going to slow or even distort the maturing process. There's a host of new technologies (secured BGP, IPv6, DNS-SEC, DANE, HTML5 etc) which are crawling along in implementation because the benefits to end users aren't easily marketable or just opaque to managers who are "Professional" managers rather than capable leaders from our own field.

There was an article in The Register the other day about how the large players (Google, Amazon etc...) pursuit of horizontal scalability and vertical integration had effectively caused a skills shortage in "pure" Systems Administration. Couple those factors to aggressive out sourcing in IT and you end up with such a small field of experience that it causes a drought of innovation.

It's something like Building Architects and Civil Engineering, because their so out sourced and "small pool practices" they may churn out beautiful designs but there's no true revolution in construction industry practices. Why are robots not building houses to order, all the components (bricks, girders, windows) are fairly standardised, the requirements are well defined etc. Why isn't urban street furniture standardised so that instead of re-tarmacing or repaving a road or pavement a new "top" is dropped in to cover up the utility pipes and cables kept tidily arranged below?

Submission + - An open letter to the management of Slashdot. 14

onyxruby writes: I have been watch for some time now as Slashdot has started beta testing a new version of the website. As you are well aware the new site would constitute a complete change to the look, interface and functionality of

Change happens, and for those of us who work with technology for a living it is the only constant. Change is a process and in and of itself is not a bad thing when it offers improvement. Unfortunately the change that has been offered negatively impacts the look, interface and most importantly the functionality of Slashdot.
Many people have had trouble reverting back to the classic interface. The new interface simply does not offer the functionality of the old. Things like statistics, comments and layout are very difficult to find. You have a community that lives and breathes data and want to know their data. How is my comment ranked, how many people responded – it’s really all about the dialogue. Can I get the information that I want in a readily digestible format?

As you’re well aware the new site does not offer the very thing that people come here for. This in and of itself is not why your community has organized a boycott of Beta. The boycott was originated because the new version will be implemented whether the community wants it or not.

I want to explain why this change has gone down people’s throats about as well as Windows 8’s Metro interface. The reason has absolutely nothing to do with the interface and everything to do with the perception that the editors and management of Slashdot appear to have.

The message that has been consistently handed down is that we are “your audience”. We are not your “your audience” we are your product. People do not come to Slashdot for the news stories, there are untold other sites that provide those as well as professional and original writing about them. People come here for the community of insiders from across the industry.

Please respect the community and stop what you’re doing. You have commented that you don’t want to maintain two code bases. Your community works in the industry and understands this, which leads many to suggest you abandon the new code base entirely so that you are only maintaining once code base. Tell us what your trying to accomplish and I would imagine that a wide range of experts would be more than willing to help you meet your goals.

Submission + - A Modest Proposal, re: Beta vs. Classic 19

unitron writes: Dice wants to make money off of what they paid for--the Slashdot name--, or rather they want to make more money off of it than they are making now, and they think the best way to do that is to turn it into SlashingtonPost.

They should take this site and give it a new name. Or get Malda to let them use "Chips & Dips".

Leave everything else intact, archives, user ID database, everything except the name.

Then use the Beta code and start a new site and give it the name, and they can have what they want without the embarrassment of having the current userbase escape from the basement or the attic and offend the sensibilities of the yuppies or hipsters or metrosexuals or whoever it is that they really want for an "audience".

Submission + - /. Beta comments don't work, users upset. ( 4

magic maverick writes: Since the new /. Beta came to light, many /. users and commentators have tried it out. However, they are almost universally condemning the new commenting system. It simply isn't as good as the so called Classic system. Some users, however, haven't a bad thing to say. Mainly because they haven't had a chance to even use the new system. It simply doesn't load. One user, Magic Maverick , who lives in a third-world country with crappy Internet, had this to say:

I come to /. for the comments, but with the new Beta, I can't even see anything! It just says:

''Shazbot! We ran into some trouble getting the comments. Try again... na-nu, na-nu!

It seems like the "developers" need to take some advice from people who actually know what they are doing. I'm happy to help explain what graceful degradation means if they like...

Submission + - Dice Holdings, Inc, deleting unflattering stories from Slashdot firehose 4

An anonymous reader writes: Stories submitted to the Slashdot firehose that take a negative view on the site's redesign are being deleted. 4 hours ago, it was full of anti-beta posts. Now they are gone. That's right. A forum that usually leaves V14GRA spam in place for posterity is deleting user content.

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