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Comment: Depends (Score 2) 82

by fermion (#46778741) Attached to: SSD-HDD Price Gap Won't Go Away Anytime Soon
if you are talking about throw away worker drones or server machines, then no. There is no data on these machine, the costs to swap them out are minimal. I recall a place that had racks of a few hundred machines, a dedicated person to swap them out, and two died a day. Putting anything but the cheapest product in there would have been a waste of money. But the data machines, those were special. Probably cost more than the combined servers the fed to.

Likewise, worker bee machines that are pretty much dumb terminals are not going to use SSD. But other machines that people actually do and store work on, that may be something different.

Look, tape is on the order of penny per gigabyte. Hard disks are somewhere between 5-10 cents a gigabyte. SSD is about 50 cents a gigabyte. Many people still back up onto hard disk even though tape is more reliable. We are going to use SSD because there are benefits that justify the order of magnitude increase.

Comment: Re:McArdle is astute (Score 1) 4

by mcgrew (#46778449) Attached to: Obamacare is Not a Single-Payer Conspiracy [Bloomberg]

However, if there is anything in which I have confidence, it is this administration's commitment to slow, methodical, blame-laden screwings of the lower- and middle-class.

In what way has the lower and middle class been screwed by the present administration? I'll agree that the previous administration was great for the rich and crappy for everyone else, but I posit it's slowly improving.

The lower and middle classes have been getting royally screwed for at least half my life, and I retired earlier this year. The screwings started with Reagan's Capital Gains cuts, which caused an orgy of hostile corporate takeovers leading to layoffs and lowered hours. I was hurt badly when my employer staved off an attempted corporate pirate raid.

No, that suppository arrives with the Clinton Administration. I reckon she's wreckin'.

I certainly hope so, it would be nice for the US to raise to the level of the rest of the industrialized world from our historically barbaric health care "system". American health care is far from #1 in any measure except cost; ours is the most expensive. It's neither logical nor rational.

As to Clinton, if she's elected and half as good as her husband the country will be in fine shape. It would be incredibly hard for her to be anywhere as bad as George Junior, the worst President in my lifetime (AFAIC we've really only had two good Presidents in my lifetime, Eisenhower and Clinton, and as I was very young I could be wrong about Eisenhower but love that interstate highway system, as well as his cautions about a military industrial complex).

I'm more worried about Illinois. Dillard was Chief of Staff under Thompson and Edgar, and Illinois did pretty good until Ryan got in, and it deteriorated worse under Blago. It hasn't gotten much better under Quinn, but unfortunately Dillard lost the primary and the stupid Republicans nominated the only one of the four candidates that would get me to vote for Quinn.

Comment: Well said. (Score 1) 1

by mcgrew (#46778141) Attached to: Lies, damned lies, and ... oh no, you're going there.

Liars always lie. I think people mistrust statistics because they don't understand statistics, or worse, understand a little, just enough to be dangerous.

I worked with data and statisticians my whole career. I'm not a statistician, but learned a lot about the discipline from working with them. One of my co-workers had written a textbook on the subject that was used in colleges. Very interesting discipline.

Comment: Sounds like you work for the federal government (Score 1, Funny) 189

by MikeRT (#46777659) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: System Administrator Vs Change Advisory Board

Do exactly what they say to the letter. After the second "patch Tues" where they pound the ever lovin fuck out of Windows Server with updates and the CAB has a pile of paperwork big enough to roast a wild boar they'll suddenly regain a measure of common sense.

Comment: Re:Make Magazine (Score 1) 243

by fermion (#46776137) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: What Good Print Media Is Left?
One thing that surprises me is that every talks about Byte, but not the spin off of a great column in Byte, Ciarcia's Circuit Cellar. Circuit Cellar is a bit expensive, and very technical, but if you like really making hardware it is a must. Circuit Cellar is the part of byte that was hardware making. There was another part that review and broad industry connections, another part that was software, and of course the musings of Jerry Pournelle. If you are into reading international English fiction, Granta is also a must have.

Comment: Re:Spare Change (Score 2) 233

And this brings up charity versus philanthropy.

Charity is something you do because you believe you are wealthy enough to give someone money with no strings attached. This is what the salvation army wants you to do during Christmas. Not thinking that your money is going to be used to promote hate, teach people that science is bad, and generally ruin the minds of children. But many people still give because charity is good.

Then there is philanthropy. That occurs when people with money want to control the world. They decide what is best for everyone, and use their funds to make it happen. It is no better or worse than charity, just different.

Comment: Re:The sad part here... (Score 1) 194

by fermion (#46773387) Attached to: Nokia Had a Production-Ready Web Tablet 13 Years Ago
This was not really an innovative product for the time. The Apple Newton had full network capability, for instance. I know I had it connected to the internet and think I had a basic web browser. When the internet was pushed to the public, there were a number of dedicated machines, or internet appliances, that were introduced to the market, most few have heard of because they were failures. WebTV was a big one, I only know how it worked because I had to visit a dealer to fix a bug on a website I was working on. there were others during the 2000 time frame, but mostly the technology was not there.
User Journal

Journal: Mars, Ho! Chapter Fifteen

Journal by mcgrew

I started the long walk back to the pilot room wishing again for a bicycle or something.
A robot wheeled past. Hell, I should just flag down a robot. But, of course there was a reason for not having transportation; I remembered the climb up the boat when the whores locked me out and how tiring it was. A body needs exercise and the most I was going to get on a boat with two-thirds gravity was walking.

Comment: Mod parent up. (Score 1) 1305

by khasim (#46770271) Attached to: Retired SCOTUS Justice Wants To 'Fix' the Second Amendment

If you want to see it on a small scale, well ask yourself why the US has been unable to secure Afghanistan or Iraq. They had considerably more forces than your silly "1 aircraft carrier" scenario, it was hardly the whole population fighting, yet after years and years, they have been unable to secure the countries.

Mod parent up.

Anyone who thinks that modern, asymmetrical warfare means trading blows with similar weapon systems hasn't been paying attention to the last DECADE PLUS of our history.

There isn't a Taliban air force yet the Taliban is still around despite our air force bombing them for years.

Comment: Re:All I can say to that is... (Score 2) 64

When I converted a family member from MS Office to Pages years ago it was a struggle. The expectation was that there was only one way for a such an application to work, and that was defined by MS Office. Everything that was different was wrong, everything that missing was a glare. I get that. Most people in the US at least were trained on MS Office and they don't know anything different. OTOH, I got through the struggles, and Pages did the job as well as anything.

I have seen a similar situations with open textbooks. I have seen lately several that have clearly used MS Word. The layout and formulas are awful. I do technical work in LaTex. Obviously, because these authors have never used anything else but MS Office, and when all one has it a hammer everything is a nail, they just assumed that MS Word is the best thing to in which to write a book.

As an aside, I did write a short, 60 pagish, book back in the late 90's. I specifically chose because it had some features at the time that made putting together such a thing very easy. Also, 10 years ago, was much better at open old MS Word files than MS Word. Ms Word is still the absolute best way to right a Memo. MS Excel is still the best spreadsheet, but it is no longer so good that it is the only choice for many projects. MS Powerpoint is the worst presentation creator that I have used., Libreoffice is better, and Keynote used to be way better before Apple shoehorned it into the iPad and made that the official version.

MS Ofiice is the defacto format for file transfer though, and because MS is horrible at managing such a thing is becoming increasingly difficult to see such files with an MS tool.

Comment: Re:Easy Militia States (Score 1) 1305

by fermion (#46769649) Attached to: Retired SCOTUS Justice Wants To 'Fix' the Second Amendment
A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.

There is certainly a fantasy that militias are unregulated and are there to defend the local population against the government, but much like Mitt Romney and the South, the anti-federalists lost. Get over it. The amendment says 'well regulated'. As far as militias go, it did have a pretty good definition, I think it was in the Virginia charter or some other document relating to incorporation. Therefore if we did have militias, the people would have to be recorded, and there would have to be further regulation to insure that order was maintained.

Consistent with this fantasy, it would theoretically be perfectly legal for these groups to attack federal officials as was done in Waco and currently done in Nevada where a criminal has groups of militias defending his right to be a criminal. This really hurts no one because, as in Waco, if we had someone who was as forceful as Janet Reno, the feds would just go in and kill everyone and be done with. Which is really the issue here. Superior forces win. And as long as the militia can't own working tanks, or rocket propelled grenades, or tactical nuclear weapons, it is unlikely that a 'militia' is going to be anything but hamburger.,

Comment: previous art (Score 1) 133

by fermion (#46769391) Attached to: Bill Gates Patents Detecting, Responding To "Glassholes"
This device detects a flash and then overcomes the image with and LED. I don't know if it every made it to market,but this is the only way I can think of to detect a camera. Detect the infrared from the active sensor, and flash a high intensity LED back. I assume that the camera using the Google Glasses uses such an active sensor.

FORTRAN rots the brain. -- John McQuillin