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Ask Slashdot: Are Any Certifications Worth Going For?

xQx Re:Don't take this the wrong way but (317 comments)

I did the exam 3 years ago, and I completely agree with the breadth of the information you're talking about. Also, I agree with you about the Cisco training manuals.

However, I used the trainsignal videos, which would be less than 4.5 days of video in total, and it covered everything you need to know to do the course. I have significant experience with Cisco CLI so the simulators were a breeze.

I also found the test didn't cover the content to the n'th degree. All questions were of foundation knowledge in the subjects covered by the training materials. ie. If you read the materials once, then went and did the test, you stand a great chance of getting a pass score.

It did not ask obscure questions, and most multiple choice answers were obviously wrong (ie. no giving the OSPF timer as a potential incorrect answer for "what is the RIP timer default value") None of the incorrect answers in the subnetting multiple choice were common mistakes by transposing a single bit - if you make a simple mistake in your binary maths, the answer you calculated was not an option.

I think the Cisco course content is vast and difficult, the test, however is as easy as it possibly could be for that content.

I'd never touched frame relay, ospf or VTP but trainsignal covered more than enough, and stressed the test's common questions.

If you ignore Cisco's boring-as-hell books and subscribe to the CBTNuggets or TrainSignal/PluralSight training then spend a few hours testing yourself with the testking practice tests, it's very reasonable that someone with previous linux or networking experience could cram and pass the CCNA in a week.

about two weeks ago

Ask Slashdot: Are Any Certifications Worth Going For?

xQx Re:There is a reason for this! (317 comments)

I'm going to have to take your word for it, because I did mine 3 years ago. I haven't bothered renewing it because I'm not looking for work.

At the time, I was really surprised about how easy the questions on the exam were. The reading material and topic covered were vast, but the exam wasn't asking tricky questions. If you studied all the topics, you only needed to understand them all to be able to do well in the test. (Not like the Microsoft tests that ask obscure trivia and provide four realistic options for your selection)

However, looking at the topics covered, it looks like what the CCNA qualification was 8 years ago is now the ICND1, or CCENT qualification.

This doesn't seem to cover much more than networking fundamentals that IT people really should know.

Either way, you don't have to buy routers and switches. Download a copy of GNS3 and get your hands on some Cisco IOS images. That's how I got experience with the Frame Relay stuff that was in the CCNA exam I did.

about two weeks ago

Ask Slashdot: Are Any Certifications Worth Going For?

xQx Re:There is a reason for this! (317 comments)

Understanding netmasks and broadcast addresses is worthy of a certification? Really? Are there really people who work in IT who don't understand the basic concepts of networking? Isn't this taught in the first year of college? I mean we're not in 1980 anymore!

Yes, Yes, Yes, Maybe - but the first year of college is about booze and women - P's get Degrees!

It is worth certification because it is such a fundamental component of the job of an IT person now that the Internet is ubiquitous, and because such a horrifying number of IT people don't have any understanding of switching, routing and subnetting is.

There is a reason CCNA qualifications are so widely sought - it teaches the fundamentals of networking that every IT professional should know.

about two weeks ago

Ask Slashdot: Are Any Certifications Worth Going For?

xQx Re:practical-based certs hold their value (317 comments)

The CCIE isn't a certification you just go and get!

Maybe you can just sit down and study pass the CCIE qualification exam, but the CCIE Lab is an 8 hour puzzle that only the most proficient Cisco engineers can pass.

If you're a CCIE and you just woke up one day and said "I'm going to go and get my CCIE qualification" and thought the CCIE Lab was a straightforward (not easy, but you know, not has hard as getting a postgraduate degree) affair, feel free to let me know in reply!

Were you thinking of the CCNA? In which case, yeah. I'd recommend you study and just get that qualification. It teaches you the fundamentals that every IT professional should know.

But telling someone with no Cisco training to "Go and get a CCIE" is like telling a year 12 student to "Go and get a PhD".

about two weeks ago

Independent Researchers Test Rossi's Alleged Cold Fusion Device For 32 Days

xQx Re:No contradiction at all (986 comments)

Yeah, except that this "scam" works. A Nigerian 419 scam ceases to be a scam if you get paid by the Nigerian.

The patent office is denying the patent because it seems to violate the laws of physics.
The scientists who tested the thing agree that it seems to violate the laws of physics, but that it does, in fact, work.

To put it another way, here we have someone who has circumnavigated the earth and is trying to get intellectual property protection over the map that he's just made which features a round world.
But the various patent offices are denying this protection because they know the world is flat.

Forgive me for not accepting the US Patent Office as the definitive authority on the limits of nuclear physics when we suddenly have a team of scientists saying “These values place the [device provided by the man who keeps ranting and raving about cold fusion] beyond any other known conventional source of energy.”

It appears this charlatan with his impossible device may cause us to redefine what is possible.

about 2 months ago

Ask Slashdot: How Would You Build a Home Network To Fully Utilize Google Fiber?

xQx Re:Combine the 2 (279 comments)

Are you saying here that 1) You don't punch both ends with the proper wiring (straight through) (you also seem to think it doesn't matter) and 2) that you are seriously suggesting wiring wallports to RJ-45 ends as opposed to a proper patch panel?

1) No, he's saying wire all the ends into the 568-b standard colors that will be clearly marked on the RJ45 wallports, and follow the 568-b pinout on wikipedia for the RJ45 plug ends.
2) Yeah, I read that too... I've always done the 'patch panel' end using standard wall-ports and a 6-gang wall plate. It fits in much better in a home environment than a 1RU patch panel. But he is suggesting not doing sockets at the far end, just getting one of those wall plates with a big hole and terminating them as plugs to go straight into a switch/router. I wouldn't do it that way, but if it's in a cupboard out of the way, it is the simplest and cheapest option.

What you do in a domestic environment is different from commercial.

about 2 months ago

The Guy Who Unknowingly 'Live-Blogged' the Bin Laden Raid

xQx "Three years ago today" (142 comments)

Sounds like a pretty lame excuse for Slashdot to publicise the day that the country with the biggest, most sophisticated, most expensive army in the world was finally able to track down and assassinate the man who evaded them for _NINE YEARS_.

The man who effectively declared war on the USA by murdering 1/50th the amount of 'innocent' civilians as the USA did in Japan 66 years prior.

about 8 months ago

Will the Nissan Leaf Take On the Tesla Model S At Half the Price?

xQx Re:They forget the POWER factor (398 comments)

Far more important than being "cool", the Tesla has 362HP of power avaliable, giving it a 0-60 time of 4.2 seconds.

The electric motor means you are never in the wrong gear - it's raw power when you need it.

The Nissan Leaf boasts 110HP, which will rocket your leaf to 60mph in about 10 seconds.

So, yeah, "the nissan leaf will take on the telsa model s" in the same way the toyota prius takes on the ford mustang.

about 8 months ago

Why P-values Cannot Tell You If a Hypothesis Is Correct

xQx Re:Oblig XKCD (124 comments)

While I agree with the article's headline/conclusion - They aren't innocent of playing games themselves:

Take their sentence: "meeting online nudged the divorce rate from 7.67% down to 5.96%, and barely budged happiness from 5.48 to 5.64 on a 7-point scale" ... Isn't that intentionally misleading? Sure, 0.16 points doesn't sound like much... but it's on a seven point scale. If we change that to a 3 point scale it's only 0.06 points! Amazingly small! ... but wait, if I change that to a 900,000 point scale, well, then that's a whole 20,571 points difference. HUGE NUMBERS!

But I think they missed a really important point - SPSS (one of the very popular data analysis packages) offers you a huge range of correlation tests, and you are _supposed_ to choose to best match the data. Each has their own assumptions, and will only provide the correct 'p' value if the data matches those assumptions.

For example, Many of the tests require that the data follow a bell-shaped curve, and you are supposed to first test your data to ensure that it is normally distributed before using any of the correlation tests that assume normally distributed data. If you don't, you risk over-stating the correlation.

If you have data from a likert scale, you should treat it as ordinal (ranked) data, not numerical (ie. the difference between "Totally Disagree" and "somewhat disagree" should not be assumed to be the same as the difference between "somewhat disagree" and " totally agree") - however, if you aren't getting to the magic p0.5 treating it as ordinal data, you can usually get it over the line by treating it as numerical data and running a different correlation test.

Lecturers are measured on how many papers they publish, most peer reviewers don't know the subtle differences between these tests, so as long as they see 'SPSS said p0.5' and they don't disagree with any of the content of your paper, yay, you get published.

Finally, many of the tests have a minimum sample size that should ever be analysed. If you only have a study of 300 people, there's a whole range of popular correlation tests that you are not supposed to use. But you do, because SPSS makes it easy, because it gets better results, because you forgot what the minimum size was and can't be arsed looking it up (if it's a real problem the reviewers will point it out).

(Evidence to support these statements can be found in the "Survey Researcher's SPSS Cookbook" by Mark Manning and Don Munro. Obviously, it doesn't go into how you can choose an incorrect test to 'hack the p value', to prove that I recommend you download a copy of SPSS and take a short-term position as a lecturer's assistant)

about 10 months ago

Nagios-Plugins Web Site Taken Over By Nagios

xQx Re:Copyright violation. (119 comments)

This battle was lost years ago when this volunteer organisation gave control of their domain to Nagios Enterprises to avoid trademark issues.

So they've been able to continue in their priviliaged position paying Nagios Enterprises SFA for theses years, until finally some mid-level bureaucrat decided that the money they were getting ($0) from nagios-plugins.org community group doesn't outweigh the brand-risk that they pose, and they brought the website back inhouse.

Wow, I would never have seen that coming!!

Sounds to me like Nagios Enterprises is readying its self for sale.

This is the open source business model. Cisco have been at it for years. Get used to it.

about a year ago

Nagios-Plugins Web Site Taken Over By Nagios

xQx Re:Copyright violation. (119 comments)

Yeah, and that would hold weight if you weren't using their trademark all over your site.

Seems to me this is just an occupational hazard of using somebody else's name for your site.

about a year ago

Overstock.com Plans To Accept Bitcoin

xQx Re:Guesses as to end effect? (202 comments)

Parent should be modded up.

Also, what is this "plans to accept" BS. There are heaps of online retailers who take bitcoin, and if they were serious they would have just used someone like coinjar.io to do the merchant service for them and convert it back to USD on the fly.

Slashdot - stuff that matters.... It will be news when Overstock.com ACCEPT bitcoin, not when they do nothing more than release a press release that they PLAN TO ACCEPT bitcoin some day in the future.

Thanks Slashdot for your thinly veiled Christmas advertising. Anyone wanna buy some Viagra?

about a year ago

Exponential Algorithm In Windows Update Slowing XP Machines

xQx So not news! (413 comments)

This whole article is interesting, but so not news.

I'm surprised that Microsoft is spending *any* time trying to fix this issue, given that the whole windows update process will be replaced in 4 months with the following:

if( operatingSystemVersion 6)


1 year,3 days

SpaceX Launch Achieves Geostationary Transfer Orbit

xQx Re:Oh great (131 comments)


SpaceX started merely as a loss-making venture poaching ex-government and contractor employees, and taking government money - it really had nothing meritocratic to bring to the table.

Very good point. I'd just like to clarify two minor things...

1. I agree with you, that it is very easy to start a business putting stuff into space that makes money from the outset. There are plenty of real-life examples where real innovation is achieved without any requirement for up-front capital (loss-making business models), usually it's funded from initial sales.

I forget the example business models and companies.... can you remind me of them?

2. Prior to getting "poached" by SpaceX, which "really had nothing meritocratic to bring to the table.", there have been DECADES of intense innovation in the space industry thanks to an overwhelming support and encouragement from government. This intense innovation has been _so succesful_ that NASA have recently retired their last government owned space shuttles.

Elon Musk was just standing on the shoulders of giants by proposing the incremental innovation of having rockets land intact...

Wikipedia has let me down... are you able to point me in the direction of the space innovation that's recently come out of the US government organisations, making Space-X's work redundant?

(sarcasm is often lost in text, so let me be direct: IMHO, private companies like Space-X are facilitating innovation in space travel. This is their contribution to society. You can piss & moan because private people are making money out of it, but it's better than government money being wasted on useless bureaucracy supporting (or causing) scientists resting on their laurels.)

1 year,15 days

Ask Slashdot: Package Redirection Service For Shipping to Australia?

xQx Remember, it's $1000 AUD, not $1,000 USD (206 comments)

If you import something for $999 USD today, it would be assessed as a $1,056.25 AUD import.

This would probably attract and additional:
$55 Customs Processing Fee
$50 Import Duty (assuming the standard 2.5% import duties)
$105.63 GST

It needs to be less than $1,000 AUD per shipment.

about a year ago

I wish my car could...

xQx Re:Missing option: (443 comments)

In Australia we legislate it.

If you are on a road signposted at 80kph (50mph) or more, and you're not passing or in congested traffic - and in the right lane... You can enjoy a hefty fine from the police.

about a year ago

China's State Press Calls For 'Building a De-Americanized World'

xQx Re:They are right, but (634 comments)

They are right, the world needs a better currency. Preferably one not regulated by nation states or corporations: maybe bitcoin or a descendant with its flaws fixed.

Okay, I'll bite (because I might learn something).

What are the flaws that need to be fixed in bitcoin, and given the world adopted democracy, Microsoft windows, and Keynesian economics despite their flaws, what makes you think bitcoin won't be accepted despite its flaws?

about a year ago

My favorite brand of snake oil is ...

xQx Re:Placebin (291 comments)

Actually, there are numerous scientific studies that prove that a placebos improve medical outcomes (compared with not administering any drug).

Here are some cool facts* about the effectiveness of placebos: http://listverse.com/2013/02/16/10-crazy-facts-about-the-placebo-effect/

This is why you can actually say [homeopathy/snake oil/Magnet Therapy] etc. all are "scientifically proven to improve your outcomes" and be telling the truth.
The real question is if [homeopathy/snake oil/Magnet Therapy] is any "more effective than a similarly administered placebo".

about a year ago



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