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Antarctica Needs a Network Engineer 226

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the no-cpu-fans-requires dept.
littlekorea writes "It's a little underpaid, but network engineers with a fetish for very cold weather might be interested to know that the Australian Government's Antarctic Division is seeking network engineers to manage its telephony, satellite and radio comms in Antarctica. According to the job FAQ, summer temperatures aren't a lot colder than your average data centre. But winters of -30 degrees celsius (-22 Fahrenheit) might make the morning jog a little challenging."
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Antarctica Needs a Network Engineer

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  • by base3 (539820) on Wednesday January 27, 2010 @09:43AM (#30917128)
    It should be an overclocker's paradise there! Of course, better get the best rig you can get starting out, because I'm pretty sure Newegg's shipping isn't as cheap to there.
    • by idontgno (624372) on Wednesday January 27, 2010 @10:01AM (#30917382) Journal
      Personal effects transportation limit is 1 cubic meter and 250 kg. I hope your OCable gaming rig is pretty compact. (Yes, even a tower system with all accouterments would fit, but that would be pretty close to all you could take.)
      • by Opportunist (166417) on Wednesday January 27, 2010 @10:57AM (#30918288)

        What else do you need? Clothing? Simply put on what you'll wear. It's not like changing clothes is mandatory, is it?

      • by tlhIngan (30335)

        Personal effects transportation limit is 1 cubic meter and 250 kg. I hope your OCable gaming rig is pretty compact. (Yes, even a tower system with all accouterments would fit, but that would be pretty close to all you could take.)

        1 cubic meter is pretty large, actually. It's 1000L of volume, and should be adequate for all but the largest cases (which will probably bust one of the dimensional limits. Of course, since it's mostly empty space, you could just bring the parts themselves and assemble it over ther

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by maino82 (851720)
      I'm pretty sure they don't have a distribution center there, though, so no tax! Bonus!
  • Extra job perk (Score:5, Interesting)

    by garg0yle (208225) on Wednesday January 27, 2010 @09:44AM (#30917130) Journal

    The ATMs there don't charge any fees [needcoffee.com]!

  • by Yuioup (452151) on Wednesday January 27, 2010 @09:44AM (#30917140)

    "We need to talk to you about something
    that happened at the North Pole."

    "If this is about the night
    the heat went out,
    there's nothing to be
    embarrassed about."

    - "It's not about that."
    - "We agreed to never speak of it again."

    "So we slept together naked."

    "It was only to keep our core body
    temperatures from plummeting."

    "He's speaking about it."

    "For me, it was a bonding moment."

  • by Bicx (1042846) on Wednesday January 27, 2010 @09:45AM (#30917146)
    Morning jog? This is a job for a flabby individual with lots of personal insulation, and jogging is out of the question!
    • by Shakrai (717556)

      This is a job for a flabby individual with lots of personal insulation, and jogging is out of the question!

      That explains why they posted the job on /. ;)

      • by ae1294 (1547521)

        That explains why they posted the job on /. ;)

        Not really as everyone on slashie-dot are basement dwellers which can only survive at the static temperature of their subterranean habitat... Not to mention they would have to ask permission from their mommy and we all know what she would say...

        • "Don't forget to put on your mittens"?

          Seriously, is there any basement-dweller's mom that wouldn't help her son carry the luggage if he (finally!) decides to move out of there?

        • by g0bshiTe (596213)

          what she would say...

          You'll shoot your eye out?

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Hoi Polloi (522990)

      Actually from my extensive winter hiking experience staying warm when you are moving is easy, in fact not getting too hot is the problem. The problem with getting cold is only when you stop to camp. Breakfast time is the worst. You have to get out of that nice comfy sleeping bag at the coldest part of the day, put on your frozen outer clothes and fiddle with an ice cold stove with half frozen fingers or gloves on. Just keep moving and you'd be fine. :)

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by Bigjeff5 (1143585)

        The cold and wind in places like Antarctica are not quite the same as the cold and wind in any place you have been winter camping. I work at the northern equivalent, and it would take one hell of a sleeping bag to keep you warm out in the open over night. There is no good protection when the wind chill makes it -70+F out there (which is what it was here just last week).

        It's also a really, really bad idea to go out anywhere by yourself, especially on foot. When the wind picks up and you get white-out cond

  • I live in the middle of Europe and we had -30 C (-22 F) last night. Thank you, I'll pass. (Also, I'm not a network engineer.)

    • by smitty777 (1612557) on Wednesday January 27, 2010 @09:56AM (#30917304) Journal

      So, just to put it in perspective, the average winter is between -112 to -130 F. The coldest naturally occurring temperature on the face of the earth was recorded there, which was actually colder than dry ice.

      • by jbeaupre (752124)
        I've always wondered how much CO2 could be pulled from the atmosphere in places like that. With or without added refrigeration. Completely impractical for global purposes, because where are you going to put billions of tons of dry ice? But still an interesting thought.
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by bluefoxlucid (723572)
          Oh, you'd drop it on a forest somewhere. Mountains, something with lots and lots of trees and thus lots of oxygen. The displacement would result in more sugar production by the trees.
        • by Shakrai (717556)

          because where are you going to put billions of tons of dry ice

          Just breed billions of tons of cows and the problem takes care of itself [omahasteaks.com] ;)

          • Did you really have to post that link so close to lunchtime, Shakrai? Now I'll never be able to get back to work.

      • by vadim_t (324782)

        That is kind of freaky.

        So what happens at that temperature? CO2 starts pooling as a liquid on the ground?

        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by Anonymous Coward

          There is not enough atomospheric pressure for it to turn into a liquid. It would go straight into a solid if it were cold enough. It would probably look like regular snow, which would make it a bit difficult to spot.

          • by ae1294 (1547521)

            There is not enough atomospheric pressure for it to turn into a liquid. It would go straight into a solid if it were cold enough. It would probably look like regular snow, which would make it a bit difficult to spot.

            It worked! Now.. if we can only keep it from exploding!

        • by Zantac69 (1331461)
          No liquid CO2 unless you get > 5 ATM pressure - so no worries there :)
        • by tom17 (659054)
          No [fsnet.co.uk]

          Tom...
        • So what happens at that temperature? CO2 starts pooling as a liquid on the ground?

          At atmospheric pressure, the transition from solid to gas, and vice versa, does not go via liquid. Have a look at the phase diagram [fsnet.co.uk] of carbon dioxide. So, no pools on the ground.

  • Obligatory (Score:3, Funny)

    by cashman73 (855518) on Wednesday January 27, 2010 @09:46AM (#30917154) Journal
    "Milt, we're gonna need to go ahead and move you down into storage B. We have some new people coming in, and we need all the space we can get. So if you could just go ahead and pack up your stuff and move it down there, that would be terrific, OK?"
  • -30C? Sounds downright balmy compared to Canada.
  • Raytheon (Score:5, Interesting)

    by rindeee (530084) on Wednesday January 27, 2010 @09:49AM (#30917200)
    For anyone who's interested, Raytheon Polar Services is almost always hiring for positions at the US South Pole research facilities.
    • by VShael (62735)

      Raytheon Polar Services is almost always hiring for positions at the US South Pole research facilities.

      Yeah. Lots of testers for their pain boxes, wasn't it? :)

      • Re:Raytheon (Score:4, Funny)

        by idontgno (624372) on Wednesday January 27, 2010 @10:04AM (#30917416) Journal
        Bad testing environment for that. A few minutes exposure to Winter ambient conditions and you'll welcome the warming glow of the Active Denial System (AKA open-air microwave oven).
        • Re:Raytheon (Score:4, Interesting)

          by Nadaka (224565) on Wednesday January 27, 2010 @10:37AM (#30917940)

          Funny but true. My father was "tech support" for the Airforce in the 70s and 80s at Malmstrom AFB in Montana. He serviced remote nuclear silo's and early warning radar. It was cold enough that there was a chance you would die on the drive out if you had to service some of the equipment at night, and thats if you didn't get stuck in a 30ft snow drift. And yes, he did step in front of the radar to warm himself up.

        • I think it'd be pretty cool to be able to walk around the polar base doing work outside, in t-shirt and jeans while being warmed from a microwave device. That's called progress =)
          • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

            by Anonymous Coward

            I think it'd be pretty cool to be able to walk around the polar base doing work outside, in t-shirt and jeans while being warmed from a microwave device. That's called progress =)

            If it's cool that just means you aren't doing it right. =]

        • by tibman (623933)

          Something similar. Best place to find a US Army Scout in the winter is standing behind an Abrams tank. The Abrams has a turbine engine with a hot jet type blast of exhaust coming out the back of the tank. I've done it a few times but always wondered how dangerous the air really was.

    • I applied to them for a 1 year posting at McMurdo once. I didn't have the electronics skills though. You have to be a bit of a jack-of-all-trades to work down there due to the lack of outside support, especially in the winter.

  • Have you seen the movie Whiteout [imdb.com]? While I like the idea of Kate Beckinsale being trapped there with me, the killing is a real turn off. Oh, and the snow. Just fuck that.
    • by PopeRatzo (965947) *

      I like the idea of Kate Beckinsale being trapped there with me

      She hates the idea.

      Just thought you should know.

    • Re:Seen the movie? (Score:4, Interesting)

      by smooth wombat (796938) on Wednesday January 27, 2010 @10:43AM (#30918046) Homepage Journal

      The idea of being trapped with Kate Beckinsale, for any length of time, while highly appealing, is immediately dashed when one realizes she smokes.

      Yeah, yeah, blah, blah, smokers. Sorry, if I'm going to have any sense of enjoyment being in close proximity to someone like Kate, I don't want them or me to be horfing up a lung or smelling like shit all the time.

      • by tehcyder (746570)

        The idea of being trapped with Kate Beckinsale, for any length of time, while highly appealing, is immediately dashed when one realizes she smokes.

        Well she can't smoke if her mouth's full, can she? Eh? Eh? Geddit?

  • thats one (Score:5, Funny)

    by ionix5891 (1228718) on Wednesday January 27, 2010 @09:50AM (#30917226)

    cool job

  • -30C? That's hot! (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Cyberax (705495) on Wednesday January 27, 2010 @09:51AM (#30917236)

    /me looks at the thermometer outside my window. It shows -49C (I'm in Yakutsk).

    Hm. I think, it might be a good idea to move somewhere where it's a bit warmer.

    PS: and no, it's not a good idea to put a computer outside at this weather. HDDs freeze to death quickly.

  • Even if we weren't all in a recession right now, demand for positions in Antarctica is always surprisingly high.

    • I'd imagine there'd have to be a female on the team. I mean, you know. Isolation is like... sex really, REALLY helps.
  • by NevarMore (248971) on Wednesday January 27, 2010 @09:52AM (#30917246) Homepage Journal

    I was going to scold Slashdot for posting a job ad on the front page. Imagine all the crap resumes that'll wind up in the HR inbox now.

    Then I realized I despise HR, especially those in the hiring/recruiting section.

    I'm imagining some choice resume snippets from this crowd -
      - I live in my moms basement and never leave, so I won't go stir crazy
      - I've seen that John Carpenter movie about monsters in Antarctica like 9 times
      - I could totally do a rad experiment where I overclock an old PDP-11 processor to 9ghz since its so cold
      - UHF? VHF? Fah! I can replace that with a hacked WRT router running linux for like $5
      - Penguin/Linux jokes galore

  • by the_other_chewey (1119125) on Wednesday January 27, 2010 @09:52AM (#30917250)
    I read a very intersting article about IT at the south pole a while ago. One of the most surprising facts:
    They need extra large fans to cool their servers. The Amundsen-Scott station is alomst 3000m above sea level,
    which means rather thin air - so they need a higher throughput to achieve the same cooling capacity than a
    data center at more usal elevations.

    The cold outside temperature means no real need for AC, but doesn't help too much in terms of cooling power:
    The difference between 295K and 250K isn't that big and outweighed by the lower air density.
  • Am I crazy or does that sound like the job of a lifetime?

    Makes me wish I were an Aussie.

    Given the exchange rate I'm thinking it would be a slight pay-cut, but I'd go in a heartbeat for the chance to do something ((presonally)) meaningful.

    One question? Is there a really good supply of STRONG coffee and/or coca-cola available?

    • by Krneki (1192201)

      One question? Is there a really good supply of STRONG coffee and/or coca-cola available?

      You need something to deprive your body from water and sleep? How long do you plan to live anyway?

    • by tehcyder (746570)

      Am I crazy or does that sound like the job of a lifetime?

      The former, my friend, the former.

  • I'm just waiting for the inevitable penguin/Linux jokes.
  • by foolserrend1975 (1692990) on Wednesday January 27, 2010 @10:03AM (#30917398)
    .....to "Hiring Freeze"
  • If you can handle working for a US-based company, you can make the same amount on a 6-month engagement with Raytheon Polar division. Bonus for the US-ians out there, the pay is tax-free since you're in international space for 20 weeks and you spend 3 weeks on each side of that in Sunny New Zealand. Good luck to the Aussie gov't filling this position, though!
  • by Required Snark (1702878) on Wednesday January 27, 2010 @10:04AM (#30917418)
    Check out the blog http://www.bigdeadplace.com/ [bigdeadplace.com] before you go. The book of the same name is also a must read.

    It's not just that being on the ice leads to crazy behavior, it's that the management is back in the US and they treat the workers like dirt. While they have picnics back in Kansas City. The NSF, which pays for it all, is equally brain dead. Here are some some "uncomfortable questions" from the blog.

    The Supreme Court has ruled that Antarctica is "a foreign country". The IRS has emphasized recently that Antarctica is "not a foreign country". Does NSF consider Antarctica to be "a foreign country" or "not a foreign country"? Do American citizens legally have Constitutional rights in Antarctica? Does NSF voluntarily support the Constitutional rights of American citizens in Antarctica? What legal model is used by NSF to determine the rights of American citizens in Antarctica? Since NSF manages all facilities at the stations, which areas or facilities are considered "public" areas (guaranteed Constitutional protection)? If there are no "public" areas, then what policies does NSF have to ensure protection of "free speech" and "free press"? What policies does NSF have to keep its contractors from undermining these protections, if any? If there are no civil protections granted to Americans in Antarctica, are employees explicitly told this by NSF and its contractors?

    Having pointed this all out, it also sounds like fun in a weird way, if you enjoy hanging with funny disfunctional drunks in a potentially lethal environment.

    • by pjt33 (739471)

      Why is the management of the Australian Government's Antarctic Division in the US?

  • Have a look at http://www.bigdeadplace.com/ [bigdeadplace.com] for an afternoon's worth of good reading.

  • by Luyseyal (3154) <[swaters] [at] [luy.info]> on Wednesday January 27, 2010 @10:35AM (#30917886) Homepage

    This is your chance to join the 300 club [theglobalguy.com]!

    -l

    /act now!

  • by odin84gk (1162545) on Wednesday January 27, 2010 @10:42AM (#30918030)

    Does anyone really want to go to Antarctica? It is a cold, harsh environment that will isolate you from your family, friends, and civilized comforts. It had its novelty factor back in the day, just like Mars does now.

    How is Mars / The moon more exciting/pleasant than Antarctica? Can we really expect people to want to populate the Moon or Mars without a large financial/spiritual/political motivation? Sure, there is the novelty factor of "OMG I'm on the moon!!!" but that can only last for a few years.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by ztransform (929641)

      Does anyone really want to go to Antarctica? It is a cold, harsh environment that will isolate you from your family, friends, and civilized comforts.

      You're asking the wrong crowd. A number of slashdotters would be quite happy in isolation from family, friends, bars, pubs, or any social interaction.

  • what morning jog?! im in IT you insensitive clod!
    • I think they mean the problem of getting from your bed to your computer when you forgot to close the window the night before (as I happened to do today). It costs QUITE a bit of effort to leave the cozy-toasty bed to drag your corpse to that chair, I tell you!

  • One Big Catch (Score:3, Informative)

    by Hoi Polloi (522990) on Wednesday January 27, 2010 @10:45AM (#30918086) Journal

    Before anyone from the US gets too excited about going out on an exotic job:

    Only Australian citizens, Australian residents with proof of eligibilty to work in Australia and New Zealand residents are eligble to apply.

  • Did They Mention? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Comatose51 (687974) on Wednesday January 27, 2010 @11:22AM (#30918700) Homepage
    They did also mention that the base get 16,500 condoms a year [reuters.com]. It gets cold and lonely there in Antarctica with nothing else to do except for each other.
  • by Jacques Chester (151652) on Wednesday January 27, 2010 @04:49PM (#30925430)

    It's very hard to qualify for. My father served two winter tours for the Antarctic Division in exactly this role. He loved it to bits -- he's a bit of a hermit, so only having to deal with the same dozen people for months at a time was his idea of heaven.

    However, a lot of people apply. A lot of them are very smart and qualified. My father has decades of experience radio, satellite, microwave, land line and LAN communications. You may need the same.

    Next you need to pass the rigorous screening process. You need to be in good physical condition. Dad spent months sweating away in a gym to meet the weight, blood pressure and cardio requirements. You will be checked for a large number of medical conditions, and if any of them turn up, you will not be accepted.

    Finally, there's the psych review. If you're going to be a winterer, you'll be living in isolated darkness for months with a small group of people with a pitiful satellite uplink to the internet (no youtube or games for you). Not everyone is suited to that.

When I left you, I was but the pupil. Now, I am the master. - Darth Vader

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