Neuroscientist: First-Ever Human Head Transplant Is Now Possible
Those profile pictures may not be photoshopped.
FTC Offers $50,000 For Best Way To Stop Robocalls
I propose that all robocalls use an unused audio frequency to indicate whether the call had been placed with malicious intent, thus making call blocking an easy problem -- simply block any calls with the evil tone set.
Ask Slashdot: Getting a Grip On an Inherited IT Mess?
Word for word, I thought your submission was something I wrote. I've been there, done that, so it is possible. The mess I inherited took me 6 MONTHS to fully comprehend and formulate all plans of attack. Meanwhile, I was trying to fix and maintain what I could.
To tackle the whole problem, where did I start? Everywhere, frankly. There was no one starting point. Everything was affecting everything else. I did my best to get written down exactly what was running on each server, including running daemons, system crontab, and all user crontabs. Basically, build a list of what exactly you can determine. Then, try to get into the mindset of your predecessor and try to understand why (as best you can) to see if that sheds some light on what else may be lurking out there.
I didn't get bogged down in formal documentation because I knew I would have to rebuild everything. I took copious notes and drew pictures of what I thought were the processes of the system, but this documentation was just for my own benefit. Once I could identify unneeded processes, I shut them down or side-stepped them and hoped I didn't break anything; if I did, that was just more information at my disposal. Other processes I simplified and consolidated where I could. Eventually, the system got more and more comprehensible.
Once I "got" everything that was going on, I built a fresh new setup that focused on simplicity and efficiency. This is when I focused on documentation. I kept the legacy system dormant but available, just in case.
Now, we have a darn good system in place. I used virtualization to segregate different services and to enhance security. Maintenance is now preventative. Management is happy because they can now grow the business without everything imploding. The focus of my work today is building new products and services. I hope my successor doesn't complain.
Ask The Bad Astronomer
If our moon weren't tidally locked, would early cultures have entertained sooner the idea the Earth is round?
Making It Hard For Extraterrestrials To Hear Us
What if the aliens are just waiting for us to go all digital before they deal with us?
Choosing a Replacement Email System For a University?
There is an assumption of privacy at universities; however, the university I worked for was subject to the public's open records requests. When requested, our IT department had to hand over the email of any employee (maybe student?). I believe this is a federal law (in the US).
Expanding on that concern, I wonder if online services allow IT departments to perform what is necessary for open records requests, or would that be a violation of TOS?