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US Army May Relax Physical Requirements To Recruit Cyber Warriors

SylvesterTheCat Re:Why not train? (308 comments)

You post has some good points and I thank you for posting it.

then if physical fitness needs to be fixed the taxpayers can fund it -- call it a perk of the job from a personal health perspective.

I think that I disagree with this part of your point. If they were capable of being fit to the level required for entry into the military service, they would probably have done it already. Really, the physical fitness level required for entry is NOT that high. Obviously, the original story says this is a problem.

My alternative is to take that money and invest it into a sharp junior NCO to make them into a warrent officer. I see a lot of the key cyber positions being intel and signal warrent officers. You get the benefit of a know quantity of a junior NCO, you are giving them a career track to grow into, and you get deployability inherent as a prior servicemember. The military also gets the inherent benefit of the warrent officer as a career professional who stays within their specialty as opposed to commissioned officers whose assignments go between one associated with their basic branch and "broadening" ones.

It is also important to understand why those physical any physical fitness standards exist. Yes, it is in large part to ensure the service member is capable of performing their job. Another reason is the ability to deploy world-wide. At any given time, a certain percentage of the armed forces is non-deployable for any number of reasons. The higher the percentage of non-deployable service members, the larger the required size of the standing force.

Deployable means being sent to places within a wide range of conditions, from the higher-echelon HQs and units (mostly above Division-level) that are within well-established fixed locations with permanent facilities at one end of the spectrum to the most austere environments at the other end and everything in between.

A counter argument then follows of "do they really need to be deployable?" Maybe, maybe not. If we want to deviate from a standard that applies to the bulk of the force, so be it. I am not necessarily opposed to that, I am pointing out that such a deviation should only be done after careful consideration for the second / third order effects.

To some extend, I do believe that there is some differences with how medical professionals are handled. I am referring to specialized medical professionals. They also have a whole separate accession process and perhaps that would be the appropriate model for the cyber field. As far as I know, the same physical and physical fitness requirements still apply to those medical specialties.

I hope this has been relatively coherent. Time for me to go to work... :)

about a month ago
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US Army May Relax Physical Requirements To Recruit Cyber Warriors

SylvesterTheCat Re:What a great idea! (308 comments)

Unfortunately, it's sometimes the people who most enthusiastically live up to the organization's standards that you have to watch out for.

I don't understand that how that could be an issue unless the organization's standards are themselves immoral or illegal.

Please explain.

about a month ago
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US Army May Relax Physical Requirements To Recruit Cyber Warriors

SylvesterTheCat Re:Good luck with that (308 comments)

A lot of interesting people now have jobs for life, hidden faiths, hidden loyalties but the US gov has no real idea who they are, why their private sector boss cleared them or if any or some digital database work was really done on them. That is interesting over the productive life, many result and academic advancements.

I don't really believe what you say. Clearances are handled by independent investigators, not rubber stamped by the people who need code written.

Non US citizens don't get clearances.

Exactly. The GP seems to have little understanding of how contracting works. I've worked in it from both the government's and the contractor's perspective. I also found the GP's comment to be a series of incoherent, rambling thoughts independent of their errors.

about a month ago
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US Army May Relax Physical Requirements To Recruit Cyber Warriors

SylvesterTheCat Re:What a great idea! (308 comments)

How long ago was that?

Replying with "no" is an option.

My understanding when I enlisted (over 20 years ago) and through now has been, that an admission of usage was itself not an issue, if there was no longer any current usage and drug test results were negative. One of the primary issues (maybe the only?) of concern was the ability of someone to blackmail the service member for (classified) information by threatening to make drug usage known to the chain of command. If the service member admits to usage prior to enlistment / contracting, there is no ability to blackmail.

It is possibly that has changed over the years. I can also see that if there is no arrest record or nobody to dime you out, answering "no" is the simplest answer.

about a month ago
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US Army May Relax Physical Requirements To Recruit Cyber Warriors

SylvesterTheCat Re:What a great idea! (308 comments)

Any large organization is always going to have a certain percentage of people who fail to meet and live up to that organization's standards.

about a month ago
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US Army May Relax Physical Requirements To Recruit Cyber Warriors

SylvesterTheCat Re:Why not train? (308 comments)

As a taxpayer, is that really how you want tax dollars spent?

Do you really want them to hire someone who does not meet the physical requirements to then pay them to get into the required level of physical fitness over enlisting / contracting (an enlistment is a contract) someone who does meet all the requirements?

about a month ago
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Islamic State "Laptop of Doom" Hints At Plots Including Bubonic Plague

SylvesterTheCat Re:But is it reaslistic? (369 comments)

The problem with biological weapons is that unless you make sure all your so called friends are immunised or leave they are also going to among the casualties.

Do you really think they see that as a problem?

about 3 months ago
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Laser Eye Surgery, Revisited 10 Years Later

SylvesterTheCat Re:Uncertainty/fear? (550 comments)

I had the PRK as well. I don't remember the "band-aid" contact, but that was almost 20 years ago. I do remember the different eye drops and how I would set my watch to multiple alarms through the day so that I would remember to use them. I was warned that the most common cause of post-op complications was failure to use the drops, so I took that seriously. I had no serious complications, other than halo effect at night, but that diminished over time.

I do remember two things when they did the procedure. The first was the strong hands on either side of my head that prevented from moving and the smell. It took me a moment to realize that was my eyeball tissue being vaporized.

about 4 months ago
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Laser Eye Surgery, Revisited 10 Years Later

SylvesterTheCat Re:Astronomy, and general poor night-time results. (550 comments)

I had my eye surgery done around 1996. Initially, I did have significant halo / diffraction spikes at night, but those diminished over time. I would guess that within 6 months to a year, they were pretty much gone. It may have been shorter than that, though. My memory is kind of fuzzy. (Yes, that was a pun.)

Seriously, I have no regrets about having it done.

Also the fact that it won't prevent future changes to vision.

I was warned of the same thing. Now, almost 20 years later, I am noticing a little deterioration in my distance sight. I first started noticing that I was unable to read street signs at a distance that others in the car could read.

I am thinking about looking into having it done again. I am now in my late 40s and if I can get similar results would consider it money well spent.

about 4 months ago
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Massachusetts SWAT Teams Claim They're Private Corporations, Immune To Oversight

SylvesterTheCat Re:Repeat after me... (534 comments)

Replying to undo moderation error.

No. You are flat-out wrong.
As a Title 32 Soldier, I do not answer to the Title 10 US Army, period.
By default, I am under the authority of the Govenor, period.

It's still federal troops being used against the citizenry.

No. Until I am placed under Title 10 orders, I am not a "federal troop." If I am placed on Title 10 orders, then yes, things do change. One of those things is that Posse Comitatus then applies, as funwithBSD points out.

about 5 months ago
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Continuous System For Converting Waste Plastics Into Crude Oil

SylvesterTheCat Re:Oil - Plastic - Back to Oil? (139 comments)

I don't know how they define "cost effective", but since the plastic mostly came from oil in the first place, any energy expenditure to recover it is a net minus overall.

That would certainly be true when cost is compared to the original cost of the petroleum used to produce the plastic. Depending on the current price of oil, it may or may not be true now and in the future.

about 5 months ago
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Has the Ethanol Threat Manifested In the US?

SylvesterTheCat Re:ok if your car is new (432 comments)

The guy who owns the station where I buy the gasoline says that it's all he uses in his car and van. He says the increased mpg more than offsets the higher price.

My best friend had a E85 pickup and he experimented with E85 and non-ethanol gasoline. He found that E85 was cheaper by the gallon and more expensive by the mile, at least according to the fuel prices at that time.

about 6 months ago
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Luke Prosthetic Arm Approved By FDA

SylvesterTheCat Re:Enhancements (59 comments)

When I read about the idea of commercializing this product I thought to myself why should these types of gear be only for replacing limbs?

Would it be useful to have a third, fourth, or more arm attachments?

Sure. That -would- be neat, but then you couldn't buy shirts off the rack anymore.

about 7 months ago
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US Military Drones Migrating To Linux

SylvesterTheCat Re: time for a new public licence (197 comments)

Yes. Also UAVs / UASs are not limited to only military applications and even within military applications only a few are weaponized. They just happen to get most of the media attention.

about 7 months ago
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Bill Gates & Twitter Founders Put "Meatless" Meat To the Test

SylvesterTheCat Re:why copy meat? (466 comments)

If you like the taste of diet coke better, you are a weirdo, but at least I can respect that.

At last! I have an explanation.

Actually, I refer the taste of Coke Zero slightly over diet Coke and both over sugared Coke. But what do I know? I am a weirdo.

about 7 months ago
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HealthCare.gov Back-End Status: See You In September

SylvesterTheCat Re:-1 Copied from Republican Talking Points (251 comments)

The administration has no idea :
1. how many have insurance now that did not a year ago
2. how many do not have insurance now that did a year ago
3. how many that have insurance through the federal exchange have paid for it
4. how many that have insurance through the federal exchange have a significantly higher rate and/or deductible than before
 

about 7 months ago
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Obama Delays Decision On Keystone Pipeline Yet Again

SylvesterTheCat Re:Build refineries in ND (206 comments)

An interesting idea. Distributed refining capacity would sound like a good idea.

I suspect that it was considered. At least, I would hope that it was considered.
I wonder what the cost, lead time, environmental requirements, etc. are for constructing a refinery.

about 7 months ago
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Ask Slashdot: Hungry Students, How Common?

SylvesterTheCat Grad school can be done on the cheap; I did it. (390 comments)

I went to graduate school at a state university from '98-'00 and I did it with minimal student loans.

I was (am) in the National Guard (no education benefits, just the paycheck) and I always had another part-time job. The first year as a Graduate Assistant was teaching a introductory computer class and after that as a part-time employee for a state department on campus. My car was 10 years old, had well over 100,00 miles, was mechanically sound and had been paid off for several years. I lived in my friend's basement for cheap rent and it was far from the lap of luxury. Somehow I still managed to have a pretty hot girlfriend. Yeah, I know... bring on the jokes about basement and girlfriend.

My first job after graduating paid less than $40k and I was debt free within 5 years.

The point is that it is possible to live on little if you have prepared for it and manage what you do have right.

about 7 months ago
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Commenters To Dropbox CEO: Houston, We Have a Problem

SylvesterTheCat Re:Justice (448 comments)

If "Condoleezza Rice" were substituted for "Susan Rice", would you opinion would be the same?

If yes, then I can respect the consistency in your view.

about 8 months ago
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Book Review: How I Discovered World War II's Greatest Spy

SylvesterTheCat "Seizing the Enigma" - an excellent book (102 comments)

I found a hardcover copy of "Seizing the Enigma" in a bookstore discount bin well over ten years ago. I found it to be an excellent read. The only (very minor) criticism I would have is the title. The book seemed as much (if not more) about the Allied prosecution of the German U-boat war as about the Enigma. Again, a very minor point about what seemed to be a very well researched and written book.

I still find it very interesting how Poland's role in breaking German encryption played in the overall history at that time. Poland very well understood that they were in a bad place (geographically and militarily) with regard to Germany and their military buildup and therefore, had a interest in trying to learn the details of Germany's intentions. I found Marian Rejewski to be a particularly interesting character. A Polish mathematician who was certainly smart, but not brilliant. Through determination (and some use of statistics) he was able to work with 2 other mathematicians to break a Enigma-encoded message. I find him to be a personally inspiring individual.

I cannot help but wonder what is happening in modern Poland with the actions of Russian and eastern Ukraine. Having joined NATO and the EU, I would still expect that they are more than a little interested in knowing what the intentions are of their neighbors.

about 8 months ago

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