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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 + - SPAM: AT&T Is Spying on Americans for Profit, New Documents Reveal

schwit1 writes: The telecom giant is doing NSA-style work for law enforcement—without a warrant—and earning millions of dollars a year from taxpayers.

Hemisphere isn’t a “partnership” but rather a product AT&T developed, marketed, and sold at a cost of millions of dollars per year to taxpayers. No warrant is required to make use of the company’s massive trove of data, according to AT&T documents, only a promise from law enforcement to not disclose Hemisphere if an investigation using it becomes public.

Hemisphere is used far beyond the war on drugs to include everything from investigations of homicide to Medicaid fraud.

Link to Original Source

Submission + - The coral die-off crisis is a climate crime and Exxon fired the gun (theguardian.com) 1

mspohr writes: An article published by Bill McKibben in The Guardian points the finger at Exxon for spreading climate change denial which led to lack of action to prevent widespread coral die-off.
"We know the biggest culprits now, because great detective work by investigative journalists has uncovered key facts in the past year. The world’s biggest oil company, Exxon, knew everything there was to know about climate change by the late 1970s and early 1980s. Its scientists understood how much and how fast it was going to warm, and how much damage that was going to do. And the company knew the scientists were right: that’s why they started “climate-proofing” their own installations, for instance building their drilling rigs to accommodate the sea level rise they knew was coming.

What they didn’t do was tell the rest of us. Instead, they – and many other players in the fossil fuel industry – bankrolled the rise of the climate denial industry, helping fund the “thinktanks” and front groups that spent the last generation propagating the phoney idea that there was a deep debate about the reality of global warming. As a result, we’ve wasted a quarter century in a phoney argument about whether the climate was changing."

Submission + - Anti-Minimum Wage App launched by Employment Policies Institute

TigerPlish writes: In an example of why it is imperative to question the funding of every single Think Tank and "Resarch Organization," CNN reports the "Employment Policies Institute" — a conservative think tank funded in DC by one Richard Berman — which lobbies against minimum wage hikes for the Restaurant, Hotel, Alcohol and Tobacco industries — has launched an iOS app called Wage Engage. According to another source:

Wage Engage allows business owners to track minimum wage legislation in states relevant to them, and to offer their opinion about the impact of such increases. "You have an asymmetric battle. You have organized labor groups who can devote their entire days to advocating for a higher minimum wage. Then you have small business owners who didn't have the time, or didn't know about [the legislation]. The app lets restaurant owners tell their story in a personal way," says Michael Saltsman, the group's research director.

Please be aware that this "Employment Policies Institute" has nothing to do with the "Economic Policies Institute," which is a liberal think tank, which I'm sure also has its own agenda not aligned with helping The People. PS: Hey eds, are you going to outright delete this one, like you did Sunday instead of having the Firehose vote it up or down? Yeah I saw what you did.

Submission + - Maximizing economic output with linear programming ... and communism (medium.com)

mkwan writes: Economies are just a collection of processes that convert raw materials and labour into useful goods and services. By representing these processes as a series of equations and solving a humongous linear programming problem, it should be possible to maximize an economy's GDP. The catch? The economy needs to go communist.

Submission + - Ransomware Wreaks Havoc in the Cloud (lmgsecurity.com)

rye writes: Today, researchers at LMG Security released a video of the "Jigsaw" ransomware spreading across the "HackMe, Inc." corporate network in their "Play Lab," starting with the very first click on a phishing email, all the way to the encryption of HackMe, Inc's cloud repository. Watch as the ransomware spreads to the company's networked file share and OneDrive cloud repository. A perfectly creepy "Billy the Puppet" head pops up as the ransom note is printed in green letters across the desktop.

Want your colleagues or management to understand the true potential damage of ransomware? Just show them this video. Then, unplug your network cable, crawl under your desk and hide.

"What does it actually LOOK like when ransomware encrypts all the files on an employee workstation and then moves on to encrypt your company’s file share, and even cloud-based documents?"

XBox (Games)

Submission + - Microsoft is doing its own glasses like Google - Kinect Glasses (theverge.com)

An anonymous reader writes: A 56-page leaked document details Microsoft's plans to build a Project Glass competitor. Kinect Glasses is marked as a 2014 project designed to connect to a future Xbox 720 console. The document also includes potential pricing for the next Xbox — $299 with a Kinect 2.

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