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Scientists Have Developed a Material So Dark That You Can't See It

hendersj Re:galactic hyper-hearse (238 comments)

That was my thought as well. The more appropriate quote, too, was not regarding the interior of the ship, which was merely black (and lots of it), but the exterior of the ship. Ford's line before the entered the ship - "It's so black - you can hardly even make out its shape. Light just falls into it." - seemed a much better fit for this story.

about 4 months ago
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Ask Slashdot: What To Do When Another Dev Steals Your Work and Adds Their Name?

hendersj Not a difficult situation at all... (480 comments)

Keep copies of the contracts and statements of work to show what you were contracted to do. Contact the client (not the developer currently maintaining the code, but that developer's manager or whomever at the client signed the contract) and ask them for a letter to clarify that you did the original work for them, regardless of the copyright notices in the code now.

Be polite about it, and most clients will be happy to help.

about a year and a half ago
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Ask Slashdot: Job Search Or More Education?

hendersj Re:Degree and non-tech skills are critical (182 comments)

Gah, I misspelt it. Of course, I meant Scrum. :) (What was I saying about being familiar with the terminology being as important as being able to do it?) :)

about 2 years ago
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Ask Slashdot: Job Search Or More Education?

hendersj Re:Degree and non-tech skills are critical (182 comments)

It's not an either-or, companies want people with a degree and real world experience so if you got one, work on the other. It can be really tough to land a good first/early job no matter how good your degree is if they got other applications also with good degrees and a bit more experience and the less prestigious jobs will often see that you're looking to get a bit of experience and leave for greener pastures.

Yes, it is important as well not to spend a lot of time early in your career hopping between different jobs. Employers want people who are stable, and I've seen plenty of people who spent 6 months at a string of different jobs be turned down because they're perceived as "too opportunistic".

It costs money to hire and develop an employee, and those who jump between jobs are perceived as not worth the investment of time or money to hire.

about 2 years ago
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Ask Slashdot: Job Search Or More Education?

hendersj Re:Degree and non-tech skills are critical (182 comments)

For my own part, I've done the studying for the PMP and just need to get to the point that I'm ready for the exam (I'm pretty good with project management, but I learned mostly "by doing", so I had to study up on the official terminology and such - and I'm not a very good exam taker, sadly - and I worked in technical certification and testing for a number of years).

Personally, I've ended up moving into technical writing, documentation, and training materials development. My background in programming, IT, and technology really serves me well for that - and along the way, I served as a technical instructor and a program manager. That makes for an interesting career path, too - you go from having done on-call 24x7x365 (or less if you've got more IT people and are part of a larger organization) to being able to work 9-5 if you want (as an independent writer, certainly) except when a deadline is looming.

I've found this to be a great way to get deep exposure to a number of different technologies as well - and the weeks that there isn't any work, I can rest up for the next job. I've had more vacation time the past two years than at anytime in my career - just no resources to travel yet since I'm getting started in this line of work. The only downside (which most consultants and contractors will be very familiar with) is the uncertainty of the next gig.

I guess the point here is that having business skills, writing skills, people skills, and great technical skills is a good combination as well - but if you want to continue down an IT path or working for companies, a degree is a huge foot in the door. I've been burned a number of times in job interviews because I lack a degree - and at least in the US, that should be a serious consideration for any candidate who is looking to get into the job market.

Jim

about 2 years ago
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Ask Slashdot: Job Search Or More Education?

hendersj Degree and non-tech skills are critical (182 comments)

70% of IT professionals these days have some sort of degree.

Tech skills on their own won't get you far - back in the late 80's and early 90's when I got started in the field, it was sufficient. I dropped out of college to pursue an IT career and did very well for 15 years in the field before moving on to other stuff.

Then I got laid off, and the lack of degree has really hurt my ability to get a job in this economy. I currently do contract writing for software companies, and that pays well enough - when there's work to do.

My advice would be to pursue the degree while working full-time, either as an intern or other full-time position. The degree, sadly, will be more valuable than the experience.

In the IT field, things that help are the ability to solve business problems (IOW, don't focus strictly on technology) and to manage projects. PMP certification will get you farther than any technical certification (the tech certification market has been in decline for years). Companies don't want to hire someone with specific technical skills - they want people who can function independently and can manage IT projects. Being able to do that will really help you.

A CS degree in combination with project management skills, familiarity with Agile/SCRUMM development methodologies, and business skills will take you farther these days than tech skills alone.

Jim

about a year ago
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New Documents Detail FBI, Bank Crack Down On Occupy Wall Street

hendersj Re:"Stifle descent?" (584 comments)

And there's a huge difference between "detailing the crack down on [OWS]" and "detailing the crackdown on [OWS]".

about 2 years ago
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New Documents Detail FBI, Bank Crack Down On Occupy Wall Street

hendersj Re:"Stifle descent?" (584 comments)

Looks like the author of the summary didn't RTFA, since they actually got it right in TFA.

about 2 years ago
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Ask Slashdot: Best File System For Web Hosting?

hendersj Take a look at BetterLinux (210 comments)

I spent some time late last year and earlier this year working very closely with the developers of BetterLinux, and in the work I did, I did stress testing (on a limited scale) to see how the product performed. It has some OSS components and some closed-source components, but the I/O leveling they do is pretty amazing.

http://www.betterlinux.com/

about 2 years ago
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Game Review: Borderlands 2

hendersj PS3 version - so far, so good. (117 comments)

The PC version multiplayer may not work well, but the PS3 version sure does. I started playing a solo game, and my stepson (who has his own copy and PS3) came online and joined my single-player game with no trouble at all. I wasn't even aware that it would do that. What is lacking is some player-to-player communication options when the bluetooth headset isn't available (had some trouble with pairing mine and ended up horking the PS3's bluetooth up until the next restart).

Having played the first game all the way through, I like the UI changes so far.

more than 2 years ago
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Ask Slashdot: Where To Report Script Kiddies and Other System Attacks?

hendersj How to secure your system (241 comments)

Use something like blockhosts to deny connections to addresses that have repeated unsuccessful attempts.

Use public key/private key pairs for authentication and disable password authentication completely.

Use a non-standard port for the ssh service.

Who to report them to? Unless you're actually compromised and suffer harm, there really isn't anyone who is going to look into it; seriously, reporting every potential attacker results in nothing more than a very large scale game of whack-a-mole.

more than 2 years ago
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Ask Slashdot: How Best To Teach Programming To Salespeople?

hendersj Don't look for one person to fill two roles (211 comments)

Pair someone with strong programming skills with someone with strong sales skills. Lots of tech companies supplement their sales staff with "sales engineers" who know the technology. It's not unusual, and many IT organizations are impressed to have someone with expertise sent along with the sales people.

more than 2 years ago
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Ask Slashdot: Recommendations For a Laptop With a Keypad That Doesn't Suck

hendersj Dell N7110 (300 comments)

Got this one myself last December, and I use the numeric keypad on it quite a bit - it's comfortable and easy to use.

I'm really happy with it.

more than 2 years ago
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The Nearest Supernova Candidate To Earth: IK Pegasi

hendersj Re:Hmmm.... (55 comments)

Yup. That thought occurred to me after you "called me out". Not a lot of people are familiar with Poe's Law (though more are now).

So something good comes out of my error. :)

more than 2 years ago
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The Nearest Supernova Candidate To Earth: IK Pegasi

hendersj Re:Hmmm.... (55 comments)

That you didn't find it funny is fine. I don't post a lot on /., so I don't expect everyone to understand when I'm being funny. But no, I'm not trying to "cover up" that it was stupid. It was intended to be stupid, but I neglected to put sufficient context in there. I didn't take my audience into consideration (I usually write things like this to people who know me well enough to know when I'm being satirical or silly about something).

I actually do have a bit of a background in astronomy, and I read Phil's blog regularly. Unlike others who comment on stories here, I actually /did/ read the story before I posted. But I could see the potential for stupidity in replies, so I was more or less doing a bad "Gumby" impression for the benefit of those who didn't RTFA and were replying (or thinking) in a similar manner.

I see your point about it "smelling" like Faux News tripe. My bad for not making it extrordinarily clear that it was intended to be satire (indeed, I well could have prefaced it with a comment saying "Here's how Fox News would respond to this:".

I'll grant that some additional context to make it clear would've pulled it off better.

Live and learn.

more than 2 years ago
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The Nearest Supernova Candidate To Earth: IK Pegasi

hendersj Re:Hmmm.... (55 comments)

You don't do satire, do you?

BMO, realizing that he wrote a reply to something without reading the follow-up post, tries to cover up his stupidity by saying something else that's stupid.

Well, done.

more than 2 years ago
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The Nearest Supernova Candidate To Earth: IK Pegasi

hendersj Re:Hmmm.... (55 comments)

Did you bother to read my reply to myself? I indicated I understood it, that this was intended satirically.

You fail at reading. Hard.

more than 2 years ago
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The Nearest Supernova Candidate To Earth: IK Pegasi

hendersj Re:Hmmm.... (55 comments)

And yes, I do know that not all stars go supernova. Folks, RTFA rather than relying on the summary. The summary should have been better written, and that's what I was aiming for - a little silliness, and a jab about the summary on /. being very unclear on a few points. :)

more than 2 years ago
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The Nearest Supernova Candidate To Earth: IK Pegasi

hendersj Hmmm.... (55 comments)

I'd have to say that if this criteria is for a "supernova candidate", the nearest supernova candidate to us would be THE SUN. Because it's bound to go supernova one day, just like every other star in the universe.

The next nearest supernova candidate would be proxima centauri. But it probably won't cause any damage to the Earth either, and probably isn't likely to go off for a few million years either.

Damn, I should've been an astronomer - if this is all it takes to "make news".

more than 2 years ago

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