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Comment: Re:It doesn't have to get it right (Score 1) 488

by mcrbids (#48850871) Attached to: Windows 10: Can Microsoft Get It Right This Time?

I bought a Dell laptop (Precision M3800) last week from the Dell business laptop dept. The sales guys assumed I'd want Win7 and the laptop (by default) comes with Win7 installed. When I asked about that, they said that it "technically included Windows 8 media" but that everybody wants one running Win7.

I find this quit interesting as Win7 has officially gone EOL. Personally, I plan on running Fedora Linux, but still....

Comment: Re:Maybe (Score 4, Informative) 93

by mcrbids (#48798525) Attached to: The Next Decade In Storage

Get off my lawn, blah blah...

Meanwhile, flash has revolutionized storage. We saw at least a 95% reduction in query times on our DB servers when we switched from RAID5 15K SAS drives to RAID1 flash SSDs. Floppies are history, and 32 GB thumb drives cost $5. SSDs have been catching up to their HDD brethren, now just 2-4 years behind the cost/capacity curve, and spinning rust has just about reached EOL, with Shingled Hard drives that make you choose between write speeds and write capacity being a necessary compromise for increased capacity.

I have no idea why you'd be so dismissive.

Comment: Re:Secret Ballot? (Score 1) 480

by mcrbids (#48797407) Attached to: How Bitcoin Could Be Key To Online Voting

You can't have an auditable trail and a secret ballot.

I don't see why these are mutually exclusive. The trick is to set aside the math for the ballots themselves with the math for verifying the ballots.

Let's say you take 100 ballots, and randomize their order. You make hashes of the ballots and hash the sum of hashes. Keep the hash of hashes and you can easily verify that the numbers add up, while simultaneously anonymizing the ballots on a per-voter basis, making it instead 1% likely that any vote can be attributed to one person.

Comment: Re:Buy two... (Score 1) 190

... or you could set up ZFS with a mirrored vdev and keep snapshots. All the benefits of RAID1, combined with all the benefits of keeping any number of sync'ed disks laying around. If you have many disks, go with RAIDZ and get the reliability of RAID5 too.

If you store lots of data, once you ZFS you'll never want to go back.

Comment: Re:Stupid/Misleading Title (Score 3, Insightful) 118

by mcrbids (#48676163) Attached to: US Navy Sells 'Top Gun' Aircraft Carrier For One Penny

Actually, those $0.02 make all the difference in the world.

1) Sold for $0.01 means that the new owner can do whatever they want with it, including sell it to North Korea for $5, hoping that the NKs have enough to make the check clear.

2) Paid $0.01 means that it's a demolitions contract, and the recipient has obligations to perform a service under specific terms. While many commercial contracts limit liability to the size of the contract, (in this case, $0.01 damages) my guess is that this wouldn't be the case for a DOD contract.

Comment: Confuzzling! (Score 1) 114

by mcrbids (#48604599) Attached to: Apple and Samsung Already Working On A9 Processor

So, the cheapest TV stick imaginable has a Cortex A9 processor, so reading about the A9 processor in development by Apple is something that doesn't inspire much in the way of excitement up front for me. But it looks like Apple's A5 is more / less the Cortex A9 with some tweaks, so now we literally have two similar products with the same name that are generations apart.

I know of their technical strength in the low-power scene, and the MIPS/Watt race, ARM still leads by a mile, but ARM could also really stand to have some standards for naming the variants in a semi-consistent way so that the merely technically proficient have a chance of keeping up. And, (dare I say it?) this is what trademarks are for and why they exist.

Comment: Re:Sympton of a bigger problem (Score 5, Interesting) 611

by mcrbids (#48603559) Attached to: Waze Causing Anger Among LA Residents

Buses do nothing when they're stuck in the same traffic everyone else is.

I would take exception to this!

1) Time spent on a bus is time not spent concentrating on traffic. Relax, read a book, maybe do some work.

2) Every person on a bus is a car not on the road, and that results in sharply lighter traffic.

I honestly have no idea why buses aren't free. Putting a bit of economics behind the problem can make a dramatic difference, even eliminating traffic jams completely.

Comment: Job security vs System security (Score 1) 247

by mcrbids (#48527941) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Convincing My Company To Stop Using Passwords?

I've found that there's a sweet spot to balancing system security and job security: recommend better practices than currently in place without becoming adamant about it.

If you get the attention of a caring boss, you'll get your implementations, so make sure it's really a good idea and will work well before recommending it. But, more importantly, if they decide not to do it, then you are basically off the hook for responsibility for *any* breaches that occur afterwards. "I recommended a two-factor authentication to prevent data breaches over two years ago, and every quarterly IT review ever since!"

What's odd for me as a developer is how many times I've talked to a tech guy who really "needs" us to add security feature X in our software, and we send over the information to turn it on after we write it, and they *still don't do it* even after they paid for the modification.

Mathemeticians stand on each other's shoulders while computer scientists stand on each other's toes. -- Richard Hamming