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Comment: Re:maybe (Score 5, Insightful) 197

by bill_mcgonigle (#47769963) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: What To Do About Repeated Internet Overbilling?

I thought everyone knew this, or were able to google it especially if they are able to upload something like DDWRT to their router. Perhaps I had too much faith.

especially in AT&T if nobody he's ever spoken with about the issue knew enough to mention encapsulation. It doesn't sound like he's a dope, just possibly missed this factor. Somebody there could have simply asked him, "are you counting the overhead of PPPoE and ATM?" and then his post may have been entirely different, if it even existed at all.

With millions of home users and thousands of techs, the onus should not be on the customer base to understand how the vendor's product works internally.

Comment: Re:DSL paload + ATM = 16% (Score 4, Insightful) 196

by bill_mcgonigle (#47769899) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: What To Do About Repeated Internet Overbilling?

Most places I've seen measure with encapsulation, because it's easier. The problem's not with the meter, it's with the small print

The problem actually is with the meter, if you're not allowed to see the meter.

"We're going to charge you based on this gas/electric/water/phone meter, but you have no way to verify the reading" is something the PUC wouldn't accept other than in the case of "the Internet".

Comment: Re:Official Vehicles (Score 1) 189

by bill_mcgonigle (#47769817) Attached to: DoT Proposes Mandating Vehicle-To-Vehicle Communications

the rules and licensing that happens on the State level should only be applicable to those roads.

Please explain the legal theory for the State being able to a-priori take away your right to free travel without due process of law and how that fits with, e.g. the 5/9/14th Amendments and the privileges and immunities clause. Remember, they seized most of these roads, however long ago.

Comment: Re:Mission Critical ... Red Hat... LOL.. (Score 2) 189

by bill_mcgonigle (#47769755) Attached to: How Red Hat Can Recapture Developer Interest

The whole point was that developers influence the choice of distro on the server

There must be cases where this is true. However, it's really unclear to me why most developers would care and why they would feel themselves qualified if they have competent sysadmins to work with.

When I've got my sysadmin hat on, most of the developers I work with are developing on Macs. They have no hangups about their code being deployed on EL systems in a big data center. Nobody is clamoring for a shelf full of MacPro tubes to deploy on.

When I've got my developer hat on, I usually write on a Fedora machine. But I'm not daft enough to try to run Fedora on a server and have to worry about the maintenance cycle. I put my configs in a puppet module that pushes the code out to whichever VM I'm going to run it on, regardless of the OS, hypervisor, hardware, or country that code is bound for.

If my code doesn't run on a particular distro, then my code is probably broken (or my devops is hosed).

Maybe there are some startups with a bunch of kids and one third-careeer CEO and they all tell him what's going to happen. Good for them, I guess. Someday a sysadmin might come in and help them fix their stack. Let's not speak of the failwhale.

Comment: Re: As a statisticians (Score 1) 104

by bill_mcgonigle (#47766781) Attached to: Statistics Losing Ground To CS, Losing Image Among Students

what's funny is that CS nerds and stats nerds work very hard together to enable hard drive firmwares that permit the very dense and cheap storage that scientists and statisticians need. Not to mention the broad applicability of coding theory to every other discipline. TFA might have a point on the margins but by and large he's trolling academia (which is working to bring attention to his issue).

Comment: Re:Hello, it is 2014 (Score 1) 105

Why even bother with 32 bit builds?

Especially if one of the claims is that the 64-bit renderer is "twice as stable"?

Frankly, that's not a claim that I was expecting to hear. People looking at cashing in on Google security bug bounties should probably be looking at datatypes that are not being properly used and are overflowing and crashing on 32-bit.

Comment: Re:Is it going anywhere? (Score 5, Insightful) 438

by bill_mcgonigle (#47765631) Attached to: Limiting the Teaching of the Scientific Process In Ohio

Is this one expected to actually have a shot in hell at passing?

No, it's just clickbait. There are thousands of stupid bills introduced in State legislatures every year. Slashdot sure doesn't have time to cover them all, but I guess one once in a while is good for revenue.

Comment: Re:Can we get a tape drive to back this up? (Score 1) 290

by bill_mcgonigle (#47762779) Attached to: Seagate Ships First 8 Terabyte Hard Drive

Just wanted to say, really good analysis - fair and on the mark. Tape has a very good home in the high end.

It's remarkable how amazing the low-end of hard-drive backup has become. I can set up a small business with a simple ZFS mirror (with or without SSD cache) and by running the default auto-snapshot scripts they can have a year's worth of data retention, on and off-site copies, encrypted even, for well under a grand, and the whole thing is random-access retrievable, online.

I think in real terms my QIC-80 drive from the early 90's was more expensive. And the DLT's we used at work were just astronomically expensive.

Comment: Re:Seagate failures (Score 1) 290

by bill_mcgonigle (#47762725) Attached to: Seagate Ships First 8 Terabyte Hard Drive

They used to be so good, but (wouldn't you know) it was when I bought a set of 24 of them (staggered lots) for a big ZFS NAS was the time their quality took a dive. Every drive failed within three years - yeah, there was a warranty but I'd trade not dealing with that on 24 drives, one at a time (failed about every 2 weeks)! And this was in an always-on well-cooled data center with clean power.

I switched over to Hitachi and have been much happier with the reliability. I'm hoping that the WD acquisition doesn't destroy them but they're the best bet right now. I did find that some of their big drives are 'green' and frankly the slowest drives I've used since the 90's. The trick is to use the NAS drives, and those perform how you'd expect a drive built anytime in the aughts or later to perform. And their power consumption is really trivially more - you can save far more energy by fronting your disk pool with SSD's (ZFS log/cache or dm-cache) than by buying the very slow 'green' drives anyway. Not moving heads is the ultimate power savings!

Comment: Re:Bets on first use (Score 1) 233

by bill_mcgonigle (#47758547) Attached to: California Passes Law Mandating Smartphone Kill Switch

There are, but the feature doesn't work as a theft deterrent unless almost everybody has it.

Every iPhone in use has this feature. iPhones are still the most-stolen phones.

Are you saying Android phones all have to have the feature to protect iPhone users? Because my understanding is that iPhone thieves turn off the phones immediately and keep them in RF-shielded bags/rooms until they're reprogrammed for the illicit market.

And I still don't get how you validate this feature if you're going to rely on it for security.

Comment: Re:Worldwide reach (Score 1) 233

by bill_mcgonigle (#47758471) Attached to: California Passes Law Mandating Smartphone Kill Switch

Yet I have not heard of a pandemic of hacker-led mass bricking of iPhones.

There are some psychopathic blackhats who just destroy for the sake of destroying. Fortunately these are few - evidenced by the near total lack of PC malware that destroys the computer.

Then there are hacktivists who would do something like bricking a million phones at once the first month after this bill's required new phones are on the market to prove the point that government mandates come with unintended consequences.

It will be interesting to see if they do that. It would be very unfortunate for the owners of those phones. They would argue that society will be better off for it in the long run. Not satyagraha enough for me, but I can see the thought process.

Comment: Re:What's so American (Score 1, Insightful) 489

a libertarian country would be 100% toll roads

Uh, every road in America is a toll road. Have you ever heard about gasoline taxes? Does pre-paying your road fees at the pump make you happier for some reason (would love to hear what that reason could be) than paying the fees as you use the roads (ala EZPass et. al. - let's assume you can use them anonymously).

The difference is that now the gas taxes are not all spent on the roads (they get diverted to police pensions and political cronies' boondoggles) and the money that is spent on the roads does not go through a true competitive bidding process (again with the cronies), making the costs higher and quality lower than they ought to be.

I abandoned that stupid philosophy that day.

It sounds like you did so without understanding how roads are paid for. Look, it's hard to know how everything works, but the more people do know how things work the more likely they are to be libertarians. Because people suck, especially those who seek power.

I don't want to live in an ideologically pure world; I want to live in a good world, and libertarianism wouldn't lead to a good world.

It's an ideologically-driven stance to accept more expensive, lower quality roads and political corruption and waste for the sake of a particular revenue model. Also one that necessarily supports a worse world.

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