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Comment: IMEI blacklists already do this. (Score 2) 218

by Jason Pollock (#46621635) Attached to: Smartphone Kill-Switch Could Save Consumers $2.6 Billion

Databases already exist with stolen IMEIs. This will prevent those devices from registering on a carrier's network, rendering them wifi-only.

Both systems require the owner to report the theft, which you wouldn't do if your phone is >2-3 years old - value is > insurance deductible.

Since the existing systems are already not used, there won't be any change by any new system.

The response is that thieves change the IMEI number (which can be hard). What is says is that any new system would have the same result - the thieves would change the identification number used to lock out the device.

Comment: Similar. (Score 1) 983

by Jason Pollock (#46465435) Attached to: How Do You Backup 20TB of Data?

I've got a large collection of movies (12TB). My backups are the physical DVD/BluRay/CD media. It does take a bit of time to restore a 4TB drive, rips are typically about 1GB/minute for BluRay or DVD.

My recommendation: don't store the collection as a single RAID array. That way, when you lose the array (which will happen), you don't lose the entire collection.

Personally, I'm too cheap to pay for the extra drives to implement mirroring, so I just use JBOD.

Comment: Wooden chopping boards. (Score 5, Informative) 205

by Jason Pollock (#46368741) Attached to: Water Filtration With a Tree Branch

Trees are great at dealing with bacteria.

We soon found that disease bacteria such as these were not recoverable from wooden surfaces in a short time after they were applied, unless very large numbers were used. New plastic surfaces allowed the bacteria to persist, but were easily cleaned and disinfected. However, wooden boards that had been used and had many knife cuts acted almost the same as new wood, whereas plastic surfaces that were knife-scarred were impossible to clean and disinfect manually, especially when food residues such as chicken fat were present.


Comment: Re:Where did the money go? (Score 4, Informative) 501

by Jason Pollock (#45126035) Attached to: Lessons From the Fiasco

It's a website that needs to be able to handle 3million visitors per day, with the majority of them being signups, or at least hitting the calculator. That's a lot of deep hits that can't be cached.

Then, add on a back-end that has to talk to insurance companies. These guys still have a tonne of Cobol code running around. There's nothing wrong with that (Seinfeld!), but I think it might indicate that their systems aren't necessarily built for online, real-time querying.

To recap, it is a multi-tier system:

1) Front end, performing user signup, and calculator.
2) Back end database. HIPA compliant, Sarbanes-Oxley compliant and able to deal with 100m customer records.
3) Feeds to remote systems, also HIPA compliant, Sarbanes-Oxley and other stuff.

So, you've got something that looks a lot like twitter (the back-end links), only more expensive because it needs to be Capital S secure, along with something that looks like an insurance company (the middle tier) and finally something that looks like a dot-com (front end calculator).

That's already a lot of hardware and software. "Free" open source doesn't actually save a lot of money here, since most of the money is in support (over 1/2 the 5year cost!). Now, triple it do deal with hot site failover, backups and other various disaster recovery plans.

Although they've had 3 years to get the system complete, the software was probably only developed in the last 10-12 months (at most). The rest of the time would have been spent in getting agreement on the data exchange formats with the insurance companies, deciding on a vendor to use for each part, and standing up an internal team to manage it. Then add in several parties involved playing schedule chicken with Congress, hoping for the whole thing to either be delayed or scrapped. Fun!

Finally, they went for a nationwide rollout for political reasons, which was guaranteed to result in peak traffic on day 0.

Comment: Re:Doesn't mean you can copy it. (Score 2) 216

If what you say is true, Steamboat Willie, as well as Fantasia are both out of copyright in the UK. I wonder why no one has started selling copies?

The first time I saw the whole "50 years on fixed performances", I went "YAY! I can put them online!" Thankfully I talked to a lawyer who told me that the script and music rights are transitive and _not_ extinguished by being embodied in another work.

Of course, my IP lawyer might have been wrong. Personally, I'd love for you to be right. How about you put something up in the UK and see what happens?

Comment: Not sure it's the panel. (Score 4, Interesting) 195

by Jason Pollock (#43187381) Attached to: Apple Faces Lawsuit For Retina MacBook Pro 'Ghosting' Issue

I've noticed this burn-in. However, I've noticed something else about it that makes me believe that it is not necessarily the panel itself. I've been playing World of Warcraft in a window, and when I move the window, the ghost moves with it - it maintains it's position relative to the top of the window, not the top of the screen. This would indicate to me that it isn't the display which is ghosting, but something further up the rendering chain.

Comment: You need to answer "What's In It For Me?" (Score 1) 379

by Jason Pollock (#41914655) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: How Would You Convince Someone To Give Up an Old System?

Once you can answer the WIIFM question, then you are ready to talk to Bob. Bob will be asked to do work - to change the way he works, to learn a new system. In the short term, this will cause hassle, frustration, delay and extra work. Those are all negative things. Change _itself_ can be perceived as a negative thing.

To be worth it, it needs to either save Bob time, or remove one of his pain points. The board doesn't matter, no one else matters. Only Bob's pain points matter.

So, look at the existing system from Bob's point of view. What does he spend most of his time doing? How can you make that faster and less error prone? If you can do that, then you have the hook to pull in changes that benefit everyone else.


Evidence of Lost Da Vinci Fresco Behind Florentine Wall 114

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the they-know-the-chemical-composition-of-his-preferred-paint dept.
Lev13than writes "Art historians working in Florence's city hall claim to have found evidence of Leonardo da Vinci's lost Battle of Anghiari fresco. Painted in 1505, the fresco was covered over by a larger mural during mid-16th Century palace renovations. Historians have long speculated that the original work was protected behind a false wall. Attempts to reveal the truth have been complicated by the need to protect Vasari's masterpiece, Battle of Marciano, that now graces the room. By drilling small holes into previously-restored sections of Vasari's fresco, researchers used endoscopic cameras and probes to determine that a second wall does exist. They further claim that the hidden wall is adorned with pigments consistent with Leonardo's style. The research has set off a storm of controversy between those who want to find the lost work and others who believe that it is gone, and that further exploration risks destroying the existing artwork."

A slow pup is a lazy dog. -- Willard Espy, "An Almanac of Words at Play"