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Comment: Re:Automated troubleshooting? (Score 1) 265

by CAIMLAS (#47433847) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Unattended Maintenance Windows?

Or, chances are (if you're the ONLY sysadmin on staff), other people could stand not working for a while at 8pm once every other week while you do your maintenance at a saner hour. If you're not big enough to have multiple sysadmins and/or multiple tiers of redundancy, chances are you aren't big enough to justify 365/24 uptime. Someone else can not work so you can get work done, to enable them to keep working.

They probably work too much, anyway. No need for that to make you work too much, too.

Comment: Re:Self-balancing -- finally! (Score 2) 218

by CAIMLAS (#47276309) Attached to: It's Not a Car, It's a Self-Balancing Electric Motorcycle (Video)

This is incredible, really: motorcycles are much easier to balance at higher speeds. They made the most difficult part of riding a bike trivial.

I'm curious how much mass they had to add to the bike to make it self-balance like that, and how well it balance with a 200lb rider (driver? I guess it'd be driver, since it's got a cage). And on corners, as well - presumably the gyros/inclinometer or whatever feeds the steering data.

I want one of these without the cage and a gas motor, personally. 50mpg+ for a road trip would not be bad: 200 miles on a run is not good. 200 miles is almost tethered.

Comment: absurdity (Score 1) 765

by CAIMLAS (#46981451) Attached to: A Look at Smart Gun Technology

The absurdity of the premise behind "a gun that can't get turned on its owner" is almost beyond the pale.


Because guns don't generally get turned on their owners. It isn't a common occurrence, not here in the US, or anywhere else. If it was, we'd see a lot more "man shot in home by intruder with own gun" than we do.

It's an urban legend, up there with other silliness told by high schoolers to get their dates to snuggle close.

There is one and only one pragmatic use for limiting who can use a firearm: restriction of effective force into the hands of the "right people". The right people will always be those who have power, and want to keep you from it. Consider that for a moment before embracing so-called 'smart guns': the people pushing these want to restrict firearms to only the military and police.

That's worked out so well for people throughout history already, hasn't it?

Comment: Re:Isn't it love-hate for most liberals? (Score 1) 131

by CAIMLAS (#46974377) Attached to: Silicon Valley's Love-Hate Relationship With President Obama

What continues to blow my mind is, despite the breaches of civil liberties and outright offenses Obama and his administration have perpetrated against American citizens - and then lied about - we still have people who voted him defending him and saying he's doing a good job.

From a liberal point of view, Obama has been a worse President than Bush, by a long shot: if you look at "what has he accomplished", "what has he lied about" and so on.

And this doesn't even get into the NSA spying and things like that, which he's obviously quite fond of.

Unless, of course, we're trying to imitate a truly socialist state, like Soviet Russia. Then he's been excellent.

Comment: Re:Why? (Score 2) 348

by CAIMLAS (#46968843) Attached to: China May Build an Undersea Train To America


The "nothing compares to the bandwidth of a minivan full of tapes" maxim applies here. Specifically, it applies to the length of time it takes for a cargo ship to transgress the Pacific.

Rail can move a large number of people faster than a plane can.
Rail can also move a relatively small volume of cargo faster than ships can.

They want to be able to get R&D and "latest greatest" products and similar over here ASAP so that they don't lose out to fledgeling US industry which is popping up to deal with the length of time it takes to get foreign made products.

They may also want to have a more direct venue to get large numbers of Chinese people here to "colonize". They do own a large percentage of the US, at this point.

Comment: Re:Good on them. (Score 1) 348

by CAIMLAS (#46968815) Attached to: China May Build an Undersea Train To America

China's economic model can probably be called summarized as calling them pragmatic opportunists (lack of foresight for their empty cities and ecological destruction aside). They leverage the benefits of other peoples' shortsightedness (such as with the exchange rate, and consumerism) to benefit domestically.

Comment: Re:Rail+ ferry (Score 1) 348

by CAIMLAS (#46968797) Attached to: China May Build an Undersea Train To America

However, locally sourced labor and goods most certainly can compete with shipping by sea.

That's exactly what's happening: a lot of goods are being returned to US manufacture right now. Companies are starting with their emerging products and building the R&D and facilities to do it here, instead of offshoring the 'expensive' production part to China. For instance, go and try to find a new household appliance - you'll be hard pressed to find a GE or Whirlpool appliance which isn't "Made in the USA" now. We're seeing this happen with small bin electronics and inexpensive tools, too. Why?

Competition. They've been able to slash their product costs markedly by doing so. We're not talking just the cost of shipping, we're also talking about product defects and overall quality, turnaround on even minor R&D revisions, and so on.

If China can turn the current "time to market" of a product revision from about 2-3 months (after all is said and done) down to a month to a month and a half (at least for select customers and/or producers), the cost of rail over sea shipping would be marginal to the big picture of retaining American income.

Comment: Re:Does the nature of the business hold it back (Score 2) 254

by CAIMLAS (#46929579) Attached to: Anti-Virus Is Dead (But Still Makes Money) Says Symantec

ESET is by far the best I've had the opportunity to use.

Yeah, it's actually worth paying for: it's unobtrusive where it needs to be and I've not seen anything sneak by. The big things that break other AV doesn't hurt ESET. I make it a pre-requirement for anyone who wants my help on their Windows, and so far... no "I've got a virus" type requests. :)

Comment: bullshit (Score 1) 865

by CAIMLAS (#46922675) Attached to: Did the Ignition Key Just Die?

"we know electrical trumps mechanical more often than not"

We do? In what sense? A mechanical switch is simply a mechanically activated contact plate/circuit. That's as simple as it gets, really. Sure, you've got mechanical wear and tear, but mechanical items have progressive wear, often - their failure mode is not immediate unless it is a catastrophic failure.

Mechanical/electrical switches for ignition have one/two failure modes: your car won't start, or your car will stop. The second is drastically less likely than the first, and applies to almost every motorized vehicle, ever. It hasn't exactly been a major concern.

A simple mechanism is inherently less likely to fail than a complex one performing the same task. Good systems people know this: cyclomatic complexity is bad.

From what I'm understanding, 'switchgate' is merely the failure of the electronics associated with the mechanical switch, and circumvented safety measures.

This sounds a lot like the many lines of bullshit we've been fed by various government and corporate bodies, in the past. They're pushing this shit through regardless, using something they fucked up for an excuse to fix it with something nobody wants. (My recollection is that the 'complaints' have largely revolved around the $200+ chipped keys automotive makers have been using, after all... We don't hate the keys, we hate electronic meddling -unubtrusively- with our mechanical devices (ie cars).)

Basically, automakers just want more control of your vehicle, and the revenue stream which results from fixing it.

(Side note: Remember when they said electronics would reduce the cost and maintenance on vehicles, in the late 1980s/early 1990s? That was true, in so far as the cheap stuff that broke was often replaced. But they're replacing everything with electronics now, and so many of the things that should not be 'electronic' (ie just need a simple electrical signal to work), are.

Some people have a great ambition: to build something that will last, at least until they've finished building it.