Become a fan of Slashdot on Facebook


Forgot your password?

Comment: Re:I call BS (Score 2) 184 184

For a RAID1, most RAID controllers (and software RAID implementations) will absolutely read from all devices so as to service the read ASAP.

For distributed parity forms of RAID, you inherently have to read from all devices.

The problem is guaranteed with distributed parity raid; the controller will have to wait for the slowest disk to complete the read. Both reads and writes will be limited to mechanical disk performance levels.

With a RAID1 mirror set, you can get a performance improvement on reads since the SSD would presumably service all of them. Writes will still be delayed by the mechanical drive(s).

In addition, most RAID controllers do not support mixing drive types. Most of them don't even recommend mixing drive speeds (e.g., don't even mix 10K and 15K RPM drives). So you are proposing a whole new product essentially, and the expected gains are quite minimal.

Rather than investing in new tech with questionable benefits, implement an existing solution. You can choose to setup a hot sync, cold sync, or backup device for a standard SSD array that is well-tested and performant.

Comment: Re:At the same time (Score 1) 323 323

Windows XP was the first consumer operating system to incorporate multiuser capability and reasonable security measures. But its security is so primitive compared to modern versions of Windows that it really does not belong on a network anymore.

On one hand, corporate networks regularly face threats that were not common when XP was developed. With the persistence of pass-the-hash and Kerberos attacks, Windows needs better authentication and authorization. These requires changes to core OS functions, and the new stuff is not being ported back. Kerberos armoring (MS implementation of FAST) and claims-based authentication are the long-term solutions to these particular issues, but neither technology is present in Windows XP.

On the other hand, users require application sandboxing and sane OS defaults at home. Since most applications expect default settings and most Windows users are incapable of making informed security decisions, you have a serious problem when the defaults are not good enough for typical usage. Windows XP suffered from inadequate defaults at launch, and SP3 only slightly improved the situation.

My opinion: Windows 7 / IE11 are the minimum requirement for a networked MS PC. Enterprises really should be running Windows 8, but public reaction to the UI pretty much killed that OS.

Comment: Re:Deadmans Switch (Score 1) 288 288

A dead man's switch triggers if the operator becomes unresponsive. This script is an entirely different beast---it triggers when the operator or another party *changes* something.

Combining it with a wrist strap is better but still not equivalent. It may work similarly 95% of the time, but it still requires conscious effort for the operator to engage the protection. It will not work if he is asleep or unable to respond quickly enough. A true dead man's switch will trigger without any operator action whatsoever after it is armed.

A true dead man's switch disables the equipment in the absence of active operator involvement; it requires the operator to take constant action, or else it will trigger. The proposed device is merely a quick shutdown tool and a basic anti-tamper measure.

As an example, if the operator were pinned to his desk immediately and unable to move, a dead man's switch would trigger while this device would not. Same thing if he were shot in the back of the head. If operator death does not trigger it, it is definitely not a dead man's switch---literally or figuratively.

Comment: Re:this already exists (Score 1) 288 288

They cannot cut your hand off, but they can compel you to swipe your finger to unlock a device. This differs markedly from disclosing passwords or encryption keys, which is considered self-incrimination and is therefore protected.

The Supreme Court has ruled on both scenarios. While the distinction may seem moronic to those of us familiar with technology, it is, nonetheless, the law. Biometrics are legally inferior as a means of protecting data.

Comment: Re:Subs as aircraft carriers (Score 1) 75 75

Well, aircraft are more flexible than cruise missiles.

Are they flexible enough to be worth neutering the sub? What kind of speed, range, noise, and depth limitations do you suppose you'll get from including a hangar and a runway?

If I had to guess, the trade-offs are disastrous---as evidenced by the fact that the US has zero in service.

Every square inch of hull adds 400+ lb of pressure at typical test depths. That is the physical constraint that every "feature" must be weighed against. Things that take up a lot of space get very expensive very quickly.

Comment: Re:Inflation, slow Internet, skill, slow PC (Score 1) 239 239

Chess, Go, poker are all games with spectator followings---just like football, soccer, and basketball.

Any game can be a spectator event if the experience of watching it is compelling. And once there is an established spectator community, it becomes a social event as well.

And let's not forget---an idiot with a camera is at least as entertaining as half of the sitcoms that populate (or plague) prime time television.

Comment: Because competing on an even playing field is hard (Score 1) 119 119

Microsoft introduced HTTP.SYS in Server 2003 to improve IIS 6.0 performance. They really wanted to beat Apache.

Each application pool has a dedicated request queue in HTTP.SYS, which provides very fast and low-latency network performance. This advantage may have been more significant on the slower machines of the time than it is today.

I am not a web developer or web admin, so I don't know how important the performance is---but I doubt it outweighs the security shortcomings.

As other OS functions (such as Windows Update) use the functionality provided by HTTP.SYS, this insecure design is difficult to fix.

Comment: Re:To answer your question (Score 1) 279 279

Everyone sounds revolutionary in whitepapers when they're looking for money. See if that revolutionary talk sticks around after they mass-produce their new hardware and have to support it. That's always when the magic disappears.

Transmeta couldn't build anything that competed with Intel's offerings. The power consumption was lower, but the performance sucked. They were about a generation ahead on power consumption but about 2-3 generations behind on performance.

Code morphing has an inherent penalty---negligible for some instructions, severe for others. Same for emulation. Now that Intel is focusing on performance per watt, these "efficient" architectures are going to get buried by a truly efficient native x86 implementation.

Transmeta existed in an environment where Intel was focused on improving performance almost exclusively. They had a little niche of the market all to themselves, and they couldn't even survive then. Now that Intel cares about power consumption, I wouldn't bet on anyone else gaining a foothold.

Comment: Re:Fast Lane = Not Faster (Score 1) 112 112

You might think something like that unless you actually read the article.

From the description and the diagram, it appears rather clear that they are acting as a local seed for clients on their network.

This is an obvious win-win. It reduces their transit to other networks and keeps BT traffic off their backbone routers (provided the "local peer servers" are distributed regionally). Users get higher speeds from a virtually dedicated seed connection.

The obvious downside is that the ISP knows which torrents are being downloaded by which users, so there are potential privacy or legal issues. From a technical standpoint, however, both the ISP and the users would see an improvement.

This is actual innovation from an American ISP. I'm shocked that it happened, and even more shocked that people are upset about it.

+ - Driving Force Behind Alkali Metal Explosions Discovered->

Kunedog writes: Years ago, Dr. Philip E. Mason (aka Thunderf00t on Youtube) found it puzzling that the supposedly "well-understood" explosive reaction of a lump of sodium (an alkali metal) dropped in water could happen at all, given such a limited contact area on which the reaction could take place. And indeed, sometimes an explosion did fail to reliably occur, the lump of metal instead fizzing around the water's surface on a pocket of hydrogen produced by the (slower than explosive) reaction, thus inhibiting any faster reaction of the alkali metal with the water. Mason's best hypothesis was that the (sometimes) explosive reactions must be triggered by a Coulomb explosion, which could result when sodium cations (positive ions) are produced from the reaction and expel each other further into the water.

This theory is now supported by photographic and mathematical evidence, published in the journal Nature Chemistry. In a laboratory at Braunschweig University of Technology in Germany, Mason and other chemists used a high-speed camera to capture the critical moment that makes an explosion inevitable: a liquid drop of sodium-potassium alloy shooting spikes into the water, dramatically increasing the reactive interface. They also developed a computer simulation to model this event, showing it is best explained by a Coulomb explosion.

The Youtube video chronicles the evolution the experimental apparatuses underwent over time, pursuant to keeping the explosions safe, contained, reliable, and visible.

Link to Original Source

Comment: Re:"Not intentional". Right. (Score 1) 370 370

That does not work since he is accessing Amazon, Netflix, and whatever CDNs are caching his shows.

With the growth of online video and IoT devices---and their resulting need for CDNs, redundancy, and resilience vs load/DDoS---simple IP filtering is becoming increasingly difficult for even a modestly connected household. And the difficulty is only going to increase over time.

I'm at the point where I'm about to give up on manual filtering entirely, and I don't have a lot of the shiny new networked devices. In the past, "dumber" devices have ended up being relegated to the cheapest bargain-basement hardware on the market. There are very few premium "dumb" devices anywhere.

I want privacy and security, and I want those things without being forced to buy the bottom-of-the-line crap. If they don't stop making invasive, insecure "smart" devices, I see bigger problems looming.

Comment: Re:"Not intentional". Right. (Score 1) 370 370

Corporations have an obligation to follow the laws and make a profit.

And if we notice any behaviors harming our overall social environment while simultaneously enriching businesses, we can pass laws to prohibit those behaviors.

It's certainly feasible to prohibit known-bad behaviors preemptively rather than waiting for the market to discover and react to individual acts of malfeasance or breaches of trust.

In addition, a violation of established regulations or commerce law generally provides firm legal footing for a civil suit against the violators. These cases tend to be litigated much more quickly and successfully. Or settled without taking the matter to court at all, which is really ideal.

Comment: Re:Hard To Imagine... (Score 1) 191 191

1. They probably derive from value from the vendor lock-in than they expect from sharing. The rival OSes can already join an Active Directory domain (some require third-party tools, some don't). Right now, if you want to manage a fleet of Windows desktops you need a few Windows Server licenses for your domain controllers---and the requisite CALs. There are already open source AD clones anyway, which is probably why 2008, 2008 R2, and 2012 functional levels have such nice new features. They want to maximize the number of Microsoft products you're using.

2. Until Microsoft storage demonstrates the reliability of EMC or Compellent, no one is going to care. Linux and Windows can both work as an iSCSI target, and that's good enough for people who want cheap, accessible storage. Customers who already demand reliability and performance are paying for it because they need it. Maybe there is a bigger market for people who could benefit from some middle tier of storage, but there are plenty of vendors in that range too. So, the question still boils down to "Why put that storage in a server and trust Microsoft to present it?"

3. At the enterprise level, if you're relying on AV detection to find malware, you're already behind the curve. Most of the new security features are targeted at the network-connected enterprise machines, with some trickle-down benefits for consumers. The VM/hypervisor idea will wreak havoc on the two performance areas that matter for Windows desktops---CAD and gaming. While I agree with the principle, it's not happening. Microsoft started research on Singularity almost 10 years ago, and little of that work has shown up in Windows.

Comment: Re:Hard To Imagine... (Score 1) 191 191

Modern versions of Windows (Vista and newer) will find your license server automatically, unless you configure either your OS image or your license server to do otherwise.

It's a simple matter of having the right SRV record in DNS, and the license server will add it automatically if it's setup by a user with the necessary privileges.

The current license server supports all modern Windows versions. I wonder if that will change once Vista leaves its extended support phase. I expect it will take minimal effort to maintain activation support for an older OS, so I doubt they will simply drop it and risk irritating their enterprise customers. At this point, they're the only ones willing to pay a substantial amount of money for an operating system license.

Comment: Re:track record (Score 3, Insightful) 293 293

Takeoff is the absolute worst time for an engine failure.

They still made it from LAX to Manchester with a failed engine. That's pretty impressive.

A dual-engine aircraft would not have fared nearly as well. The best expected outcome would be an emergency landing at the nearest airport.

I'm all for computer dating, but I wouldn't want one to marry my sister.