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Comment: That's nothing (Score 4, Informative) 361

In the 80's it was well known that the CIA was monitoring the USENET. Apparently there was a list of keywords that they searched for that became well known, so we used them all the time. We had it on good authority that the CIA had become amused by our antics. It probably relieved the boredom.

-Matt

Comment: Stupid argument (Score 4, Informative) 441

by m.dillon (#47347067) Attached to: Researchers Claim Wind Turbine Energy Payback In Less Than a Year

It's hilarious watching people argue over a topic that has already been shown to be a non-issue. The EIA (US) and German statistics show that, in aggregate, wind-energy sources produce a relatively steady amount of power. Individual turbines and even whole wind farms might not be deterministic, but all the wind farms taken together... are.

-Matt

Comment: Re:Mozilla doesn't build hardware (Score 3, Interesting) 89

by asa (#47289059) Attached to: Mozilla Is Working On a Firefox OS-powered Streaming Stick

Your attempt to confuse here isn't really helpful.

Google does *sell* Google Glass and Nexus phones and tablets and Chromecast and Nest and soon Dropcams and probably more. They are "Google products" branded and sold by Google as theirs.

Mozilla only has one device that it works on directly, the Firefox OS Flame reference phone. The rest of the hardware you see out there is being made and sold by someone else.

And that's not just true of the hardware. Much of the work going on to extend Firefox OS software into areas outside of phones is being done by third parties for their products.

Comment: Mozilla doesn't build hardware (Score 4, Informative) 89

by asa (#47288955) Attached to: Mozilla Is Working On a Firefox OS-powered Streaming Stick

Mozilla doesn't build hardware. We make software, including Firefox OS. Firefox OS is a completely open platform freely available for any company to build on top of without restriction. There are dozens of companies building Firefox OS-based products today and there will be more tomorrow, covering mobile phones, tablets, TVs, set top boxes, game consoles, streaming dongles, wearables, and more. Some of those companies are working directly with Mozilla and others are taking the code and running with it on their own.

Comment: I Suppose Next We'll Be Seeing Benghazi Stories... (Score -1, Flamebait) 465

by ewhac (#47260871) Attached to: IRS Lost Emails of 6 More Employees Under Investigation
I don't know who the miserable asshat is who keeps front-paging this blithering right-wing horseshit, but they need to be fired yesterday.

This is a non-story. It has always been a non-story. It has already been investigated, and what turned up was a gigantic pile of nothing. But then, that's all Daryl Issa's "investigations" have ever turned up.

Yes, the IRS investigated a bunch of applications for tax-exempt status for a number of "Tea Party" groups. They also performed the same investigations on so-called liberal groups. They're supposed to do that; otherwise any moron could claim tax-exempt status. Were there problems with the investigations? Yes, because the tax law that requires them is so vague that it's basically left entirely to the discretion of the investigator.

Were any applications denied? No, not really. Did the IRS investigate more "Tea Party" groups than liberal groups? It would appear so. It would also appear that there were a hell of a lot more "Tea Party" applications flooding in during the timeframe in question (which makes sense, given that the "Tea Party" is not grassroots, but entirely the construction of FreedomWorks).

As for how "terribly convenient" it is for multiple IRS personnel under investigation to have lost the data in question, well... Considering that the IRS is underfunded (sounds weird, but it's true); and considering that they have tens of thousands of personal computers, none of them brand new, and all of them in various states of disrepair and subjected to various forms of abuse; and considering that every one of those tens of thousands of computers are running FUCKING WINDOWS , then you are provably a drooling idiot if you think the probability for unrecoverable data loss is anything less than 1.0.

The only story here is that IRS regs concerning tax-exempt political advocacy organizations are hopelessly vague. Moreover, it's not a story that belongs on a tech-oriented site. If I wanted to read about fabricated right-wing ghost stories, I'd visit RedState. Get this shit off Slashdot.

Comment: Re:And the winners are... (Score 1) 164

by m.dillon (#47252161) Attached to: Endurance Experiment Writes One Petabyte To Six Consumer SSDs

And... that's it? What did SMART say? Did you actually wear the SSDs out as-per the wear indicator? Or did you hit a bug in the samsung controller before the wear-indicator maxed out?

To be fair, the precise situation you describe, particularly if you did not retune the RAID-6 setup or the mysql server, and if the server was fsync()ing on every transaction (instead of e.g. syncing on a fixed time-frame as postgres can be programmed to do)... that could result in el-cheapo samsungs not being able to do any write-combining and cause a 256:1 write-amplication of the data.

With proper tuning the write-amplication could easily be reduced to 4:1 and you would probably be able to run the server with SSDs. Maybe use Intel or Crucial though, and not Samsung. It isn't just the controller that matters... just using stock firmware doesn't really net you a good, robust SSD and there aren't too many real vendors who work on the firmware vs just OEM whatever was supplied with the controller. Intel is probably one of the better ones. They actually fix bugs, as does Crucial. Samsung... I dunno.

-Matt

Comment: Re:IO pattern (Score 2) 164

by m.dillon (#47251701) Attached to: Endurance Experiment Writes One Petabyte To Six Consumer SSDs

Yes, but it's a well-known problem. Pretty much the only thing that will write inefficiently to a SSD (i.e. cause a huge amount of write amplification) is going to be a database whos records are updated (effectively) randomly. And that's pretty much it. Nearly all other access patterns through a modern filesystem will be relatively SSD-efficient. (keyword: modern filesystem).

In the past various issues could cause excessive write amplification. For example, filesystems in partitions that weren't 4K-aligned, filesystems using a too-small a block size, less efficient write-combining algorithms in earlier SSD firmwares. All of those issues, on a modern system, have basically been solved.

-Matt

Comment: All still going (Score 1) 164

by m.dillon (#47250301) Attached to: Endurance Experiment Writes One Petabyte To Six Consumer SSDs

I have around 30 ranging from 40G to 512G, all of them are still intact including the original Intel 40G SSDs I bought way at the beginning of the SSD era. Nominal linux/bsd use cases, workstation-level paging, some modest-but-well-managed SSD-as-a-HDD-cache use cases. So far wearout rate is far lower than originally anticipated.

I'm not surprised that some people complain about wear-out problems, it depends heavily on the environment and use cases and people who are heavy users who are not cognizant of how they are using their SSDs could easily get into trouble.

For the typical consumer however, the SSD will easily outlast the machine. Even for a pro-sumer doing heavy video editing. Which, strangely enough, means that fewer PCs get sold because many consumers use failed or failing HDDs as an excuse to buy a new machine, and that is no longer the case if a SSD has been stuffed into it.

A more pertinent question is what the unpowered shelf-life for typical SSDs is. I don't know anyone who's done good tests (storing a SSD in a hot area unpowered to simulate a longer shelf time). Flash has historically been rated for 10-years data retention but as the technology gets better it should presumably be possible to retrieve the data after a long period on a freshly written (only a few erase cycles) SSD. HDDs which have been operational for a time have horrible unpowered shelf lives... a bit unclear why, but any HDD I've ever put on the shelf (for 6-12 months) that I try to put back into a machine will typically spin-up, but then fail within a few months after that.

-Matt

Comment: Re:Wow (Score 1) 224

by Bruce Perens (#47232659) Attached to: Interviews: Bruce Perens Answers Your Questions
It actually is a bit different for the Republicans, in that they are caught in an internal party schism of a scale we've not seen on either side since desegregation, if even then. It's difficult for the less right to look good to the more right, undirected pushing against the Democrats is one of the few ways they have to do it.

Comment: Re:Wow (Score 1) 224

by Bruce Perens (#47232465) Attached to: Interviews: Bruce Perens Answers Your Questions

Do not forget that ObamaCare was rammed through without a single Republican vote in the House or Senate.

It's the unfortunate case that Republicans don't generally support Democratic bills. Witness the recent student loan bill. There is not much question that a better educated populance means a better economy and a stronger nation. It's a truism that we could just pay for college education in a number of fields and reap economic benefits of many times the spending. Indeed, we used to do more of that and the country was stronger when we did.

Comment: Re:I really dig the Obamacare comments Bruce made (Score 1) 224

by Bruce Perens (#47231747) Attached to: Interviews: Bruce Perens Answers Your Questions

You meant "you wouldn't approve" rather than "you wouldn't understand".

Positioned correctly, it isn't all that socially reprehensible to state the sentiment that you don't believe you should pay for people who drive their motorcycle without helmets, people who self-administer addictive and destructive drugs, people who engage in unprotected sex with prostitutes or unprotected casual sex with strangers, and people who go climbing without using all of the safety equipment they could.

You don't really even need to get into whether you hold human life sacred, etc., to get that argument across. It's mostly just an economic argument, you believe yourself to be sensible and don't want to pay for people who aren't.

The ironic thing about this is that it translates to "I don't want to pay for the self-inflicted downfall of the people who exercise the libertarian rights I deeply believe they should have."

OK, not a bad position as far as it goes. Now, tell me how we should judge each case, once these people present themselves for medical care, and what we should do if they don't meet the standard.

Advertising is a valuable economic factor because it is the cheapest way of selling goods, particularly if the goods are worthless. -- Sinclair Lewis

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