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+ - How Silicon Valley got that way -- and why it will continue to rule.->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes: Lots of places want to be "the next Silicon Valley." But the Valley's top historian looks back (even talks to Steve Jobs about his respect for the past!) to explain why SV is unique. While there are threats to continued dominance, she thinks its just too hard for another region to challenge SV's supremacy.
Link to Original Source

Comment: What the fuck (Score 4, Insightful) 282

by scumdamn (#49219343) Attached to: Scotland Yard Chief: Put CCTV In Every Home To Help Solve Crimes

is wrong with the comments section. We installed cameras around the house and ran the cables through the attic to the DVR in our closet. Houses in the neighborhood have been broken into and a car was stolen two doors down. We hope that having the cameras will deter crime and if they don't, we'll at least have footage. Our neighbor has a camera and it was very useful in catching some kids that burned down a bush in front of our house.

What the fuck is up with the kneejerk reaction to an article that is just suggesting that you try to get the bad guy's faces rather than the top of their heads? That sounds like good advice.


The Abandoned Google Project Memorial Page 150

Posted by Soulskill
from the Hello!-Wave-Lively,-Reader! dept. writes: Quentin Hugon, Benjamin Benoit and Damien Leloup have created a memorial page for projects adandoned by Google over the years including: Google Answers, Lively, Reader, Deskbar, Click-to-Call, Writely, Hello, Send to Phone, Audio Ads, Google Catalogs, Dodgeball, Ride Finder, Shared Stuff, Page Creator, Marratech, Goog-411, Google Labs, Google Buzz, Powermeter, Real Estate, Google Directory, Google Sets, Fast Flip, Image Labeler, Aardvark, Google Gears, Google Bookmarks, Google Notebook, Google Code Search, News Badges, Google Related, Latitude, Flu Vaccine Finder, Google Health, Knol, One Pass, Listen, Slide, Building Maker, Meebo, Talk, SMS, iGoogle, Schemer, Notifier, Orkut, Hotpot, Music Trends, Refine, SearchWiki, US Government Search, Sparrow, Web Accelerator, Google Accelerator, Accessible Search, Google Video, and Helpouts. Missing from the list that we remember are Friend Connect, Google Radio Ads, Jaiku, SideWiki, and Wave.

We knew there were a lot, but who knew there'd be so many. Which abandoned Google project do you wish were still around?

+ - Windows 93 Is Real, And It's Spectacular

Submitted by rossgneumann
rossgneumann writes: It’s 2015, but Windows 93 is finally ready. Your new favorite operating system is here and it’s weird as hell. The browser-based OS makes us thirst for what could’ve been if Microsoft didn’t skip between Windows 3.X and Windows 95. The fully clickable “OS” greets users with the Playstation 1 bootup sound signaling they’re about the trip into an alternate universe. The first version of Windows 93 went up in October, but its creator posted on Reddit last night that it’s finally complete.

Comment: Re:Actual Solaris Sysadmin Here - Here's the story (Score 1) 190

> SunOS/Solaris started out lean; when it got bloated, people like me jumped ship. Linux started out lean and it is getting bloated; when it is getting too bloated, I will jump ship again.

FWIW, Linus said that Linux is bloated. That was at LinuxCon in 2009. I don't think that's much of a factor. I'll agree with you that Linux has plenty of life left in it.

Comment: Re:Actual Solaris Sysadmin Here - Here's the story (Score 2) 190

> Wow. How impressive. Oh wait, Linux has had EDAC since 2006. But you keep paying your millions to Oracle. I'm sure its worth it.

Actually, this might be worth an illustration. It was a long time back, so I'm sure I've forgotten a few details, but I'll give you the big picture.

Around 2000, Sun Microsystems had a problem with the L2 cache on their 400mhz CPUs. It seems that IBM misrepresented the error rate on the chips, and they were having bit errors that were much higher than specified. Because of what was supposed to be an incredibly low error rate, they engineered the L2 cache with parity protection. That's enough to detect an error and cause a UE (uncorrectable error) event. So I know that your EDAC functionality in 2006 was in Solaris well before 2000.

After that problem, Sun Microsystems did two things. First, they mirrored the L2 cache. Second, they completely beefed up their handler for CE/UE (correctable errors and uncorrectable errors) along the memory/cache/bus/cpu to bring it up to Enterprise level error handling. You get an Uncorrectable Error in your CPU's L2 cache. Do you panic? I looked over the EDAC documentation and I could be wrong (please correct me, if so) but it looks like that would result in a panic. Or you could just have it log that the UE event happened but take no action.

What would Solaris do differently? It would find the page of virtual memory that had the corresponding error. Has it been modified? If not, just discard the page, log the event, and go on. There is a whole set of rules it goes through to determine the best way to keep the system running when it hits an uncorrectable error. Let's say that the page was modified and that there was an uncorrectable error in the L2 cache. We panic now, right? No. Solaris checks and sees who the page of memory belongs to. If it is a user process, then that process is simply killed (and the event logged) and the OS continues running. Only if it is a dirty page of active kernel memory do we have a panic.

That isn't just recovering from a soft error. That's recovering from a hard error. So, as this story illustrated, there are quite a number of things happening behind the scenes in an enterprise level OS. You picked a good example with Linux EDAC.

Comment: Re:Actual Solaris Sysadmin Here - Here's the story (Score 1) 190

> Why bother? Just shut down that server, replace the memory, restart. If your application can't handle a brief downtime for one of your servers, there is something wrong with the application, and no OS magic can fix that for you.

You know, it is kind of funny. Person A will argue, "See? Linux has all of the cool features of an enterprise class operating system. What makes Solaris on SPARC so special?" When you point out just a fraction of the things that Linux doesn't do, person B will jump in and claim, "OMG that OS is so bloated that people are running away from it for that very reason!"

Hey, Solaris on SPARC certainly has its issues, but let's be real here. People are not running away from it in any significant numbers due to the inclusion of enterprise-class features. The irony to that argument is that you'll find that many of these "bloated" enterprise-class features in Solaris have been working their way into Linux for years. Linux has been making great strides over the past ten years.

Comment: Re:Actual Solaris Sysadmin Here - Here's the story (Score 1) 190

> Also, yes, various Linux virtualization technologies you can hot-migrate running systems between software VMs within the same chassis (and warm migrate with downtime between hardware chassis).

In this case, it was a live migration over two different chassis.

> But the price/perf/features just don't add up in the modern world versus commodity hardware and open source software, except...

In the existing case with a large corporate environment with a Linux/x86 cloud and a Solaris/SPARC cloud, Oracle wins the spot for lowest price point for a system, and wins at the higher end because Linux doesn't (reasonably) scale that big.

> You just have to install the "mcelog" package on e.g. Debian/Ubuntu. I'm sure the same software exists for the other distros.

Will it simply retire bad pages (at a page level) as they happen, or is it able to detect when enough errors have happened on a single DIMM and to retire all the pages on the DIMM (because it understands the hardware layout and can map those pages to specific hardware)? That's the advantage of controlling the OS and controlling the hardware. Here is an example of multiple errors being detected by Solaris on a DIMM and it identifying and retiring all pages on the entire DIMM:

Fault class : fault.memory.dimm_sb
Affects : mem:///motherboard=0/chip=1/memory-controller=0/dimm=3/rank=0 degraded but still in service
FRU : "CPU 1 DIMM 3" (hc://:product-id=Sun-Fire-X4200-Server:chassis-id=0000000000:server-id=oryx/motherboard=0/chip=1/memory-controller=0/dimm=3)

Description : The number of errors associated with this memory module has exceeded acceptable levels. Refer to for more information.

Response : Pages of memory associated with this memory module are being removed from service as errors are reported.

Impact : Total system memory capacity will be reduced as pages are retired.

Comment: Actual Solaris Sysadmin Here - Here's the story (Score 4, Informative) 190

Solaris/SPARC is still going strong in large companies. One of the greatest advantages it has is that Oracle creates and supports the operating system, and Oracle creates and supports the hardware. (If you're running an Oracle database or some other piece of software, then that's an additional component that they create and support.) What this means is that if I'm having a problem, mundane or esoteric, I can go to one vendor and say, "Fix it." There isn't any bickering about what company's problem it is, and who manufactured my RAM, or any other the other silliness that crops up in vendor support. Large companies value this (as do us sysadmins). That also means they can do some very cool software tricks (which I'll mention a few here below).

The decreasing unit shipments is just as much a sign of virtualization as anything. Right now, I'm looking at an older T5240, with two eight-core CPUs which presents itself as having 128 virtual CPUs (execution engines or thread engines), and 64gb of RAM. This is by no means the biggest box on the floor. We carve these up into smaller systems using either Solaris Zones, or LDOMs. That's two different methods of virtualization with two different goals.

I did something great with an LDOM last week. I took a virtual server that was on the box and migrated the entire operating system and all the applications over to another LDOM... WHILE IT WAS STILL RUNNING. Aside from a quick (1 second) pause, the applications on the server had no idea that it just migrated to another piece of hardware while it continued to run. Slick! The original server had a failing DIMM. No worries, though even aside from ECC, the operating system automatically mapped out which parts of the DIMM were defective and retired the pages of memory so that they weren't constantly being exercised. Linux does all that... right? No?

Someone else, above, said, "I don't think you can have a zfs system fail and move it to different hardware like you can with vmware...". Nevermind that we can migrate a running operating system and application to another piece of hardware and keep it running. Yes, of course if you have a hardware fault, you can bring it back up on another machine. The virtualization with Solaris is quite capable.

In the environment of a large company where we're competing against Linux on the low-cost end of things, Solaris/SPARC is not only holding its own, but actually beating our Linux cloud counterparts in the costs of a virtualized OS/hardware. (I should ask my boss if we can publish a paper on this, because it is rather impressive.)

On the high end of things, we completely dominate. We generally use a T5-4 for our internal cloud (which really isn't the biggest Oracle server out there). It has 64 cores, presenting 512 execution threads to the scheduler. RAM goes up to 2TB. If someone starts out on a tiny box with only one CPU and 4gb of RAM, we can scale them all the way up to the top by increasing their virtualization settings. No migrating to different or unusual hardware. If an application team can't scale their code horizontally (hey, it happens), they can go way vertical in this configuration. We haven't had a need yet for an M6-32 (32tb of RAM, and 32 of the 12-core CPUs (3072 execution threads or "virtual cpus"). We have Linux surrounded (on the low-cost side and the high-performance side) in a large enterprise environment, and that's why Solaris is still there.

Now, I'm not an Oracle salesperson. But if Slashdot ever did an AMA with an Oracle sales engineer, I think my fellow Linux admins would be particular impressed on how far ahead Oracle/SPARC is in a number of key areas.

Comment: Re:Honestly (Score 4, Funny) 187

by Tackhead (#48992735) Attached to: The Poem That Passed the Turing Test

I have found the average Philosophy major to be indistinguishable from an Eliza program.

> I thought that some of the metaphysical imagery was particularly effective
> interesting rhythmic devices, too, which seemed to counterpoint the surrealism of the underlying metaphor
> of the Turing completeness of the program's linguistic algorithm which contrived through the medium of the
> verse structure to sublimate this, transcend that and come to terms with the fundamental dichotomies of
> the other. And one is left with a profound and vivid insight into whatever it was that the poem was about
> I mean yes, yes, don't we all, deep down, you know?
> !sudo -
> ^c^c^c
> !kill -9 1

+ - Slashdot poll: Best cube 3

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes: 1. Rubik Cube
2. The Cube (movie)
3. Tardis Siege Mode
4. Lament Configuration
5. Weighted Companion Cube
6. Borg Cube
7. The Inhibitors (Revelation Space)
8. Icecube

+ - Holder Severely limits Civil Forfeiture->

Submitted by gurps_npc
gurps_npc writes: As most people know, the US has for quite some time let police steal pretty much anything they wanted to, forcing you to (expensively) go to court to get back your stuff. Most of the problems came about because the Federal government let the local cops keep most of what they took.
Eric Holder, the US Attorney General, has changed the rules of that program, making it more difficult for the police to do it under the federal program. They can still use local state programs, but that accounts for only about 57% of the cash taken. Note he did not end the program entirely, he left in some excepts that amounted to about 1% of the current federal program. Still with this action he will have struck a serious blow to a despicable practice that serious newspapers and comedy TV shows decried as nothing more than legalized theft.

Link to Original Source

If I have not seen so far it is because I stood in giant's footsteps.