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Comment: Re:Depends on the tasks (Score 1) 77

The only gain in either situation from replacing them is theoretically increasing longevity. Neither case lends itself to a virtual machine unless the thing running that VM has a sparc processor, in which case there's no point for a VM.

Well, not entirely "no point"... (and I didn't even have to bring up zones ;) )

Comment: Re:"to not look inside the box" (Score 3, Informative) 161

by Penguinisto (#47511031) Attached to: Google Offers a Million Bucks For a Better Inverter

An awesome way to smuggle a wifi sniffer - or something naughtier - into the googleplex!

...more like an awesome way for Google to grab a profitable patent in exchange for the prize money.

Seriously - if you can pop those kind of specifications, you can make a hell of a lot more than a million bucks from the patent alone.

Comment: Re:Duh (Score 3, Interesting) 77

A cheapie SunFire v200/210 will run like a tank, but you'll be crippled by the server's top speed, and they do put out the heat if you push up the load average (and HVAC costs should always be factored in, yo.)

You'll also need to buy a lot of those pizza boxes to make up for the processing power that you can find in a box half its age, let alone the newer iron.

Sometimes you have to run the old stuff (I work in an environment where we have testbed boxes, and SunFires are a part of that, along with ancient RS/6000 gear, PA-RISC HPUX gear, etc. I can tell you right now that the old stuff cranks out a lot more heat (and in many cases eats a lot more rackspace) than the equivalent horsepower found in just a handful of new HP DL-360's.

Comment: Re:Curious (Score 3, Interesting) 125

by Penguinisto (#47508443) Attached to: Exodus Intelligence Details Zero-Day Vulnerabilities In Tails OS

What could allow remote code execution in Tails but not affect Firefox or any of the other software us non-terrorists use. A bug in tor itself?

Given that they likely had to add a few custom bits to insure anonymity, and likely modified or ripped out a few other bits, odds are good that the customizations are where the issue lies.

(...then again, perhaps the bug(s) can be found in the std. packages, but the researchers wanted to scare a smaller organization into becoming a customer first?)

Comment: Wait, wait... (Score 5, Insightful) 125

by Penguinisto (#47508417) Attached to: Exodus Intelligence Details Zero-Day Vulnerabilities In Tails OS

The company plans to tell the Tails team about the issues "in due time"

I'm 100% certain "in due time" would come a lot sooner if the Tails OS maintainers coughed up the right fee, which means that this is most definitely NOT responsible disclosure.

I get that security researchers have to eat too, but damn - this sort of reeks of extortion. Maybe I'm wrong, but I know if I had a code project and some company said they knew I had holes but refused to tell me upon asking, extortion would be the first effing thought that would come to mind.

Comment: Re:laying off...but needs more H-1B's (Score 3, Insightful) 256

This is simple business 101, and there's no reason to take it personally. Of course Microsoft is going to do what's best for Microsoft. They do not owe you a job, or a 6-figure paycheck.

...and we don't owe Microsoft our patronage - it works both ways, which is what GP was calling out.

Comment: Re:...The hell? (Score 1) 286

by Penguinisto (#47501677) Attached to: Why My LG Optimus Cellphone Is Worse Than It's Supposed To Be

Unless, of course, you have one of the lower end phones (which is exactly the kind he is referring to) and it doesn't have enough internal storage for you to replace all the built-in apps (which can't be removed without root).


On the other hand, things have come along enough to give you quite a substantial amount of room even at the low-end. I paid $149 For a Huawei 881c (Net10/Tracfone), and I've got 2GB of internal storage to play with for apps (something like 512MB out of the box, but you can tweak it w/o root to take the whole 2GB and shove your media onto a micro-SD chip).

At this point, the lowest of the low-end phones are only for, well, suckers. You can save up a few pennies and get something cheap, and do it without having to sacrifice too much out of the gate. For example, on my phone, this is what I don't have: the magnetic compass is missing, I can't tether it (w/o rooting the thing), it's 3g instead of 4g, and performance is only like 95% of the top-end flagship phones (e.g. barely noticeable). However, that's about it, and it doesn't really impact what I do on it.

Comment: Re:How many employees does Slashdot need? (Score 1) 271

by Penguinisto (#47485825) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: How Many Employees Does Microsoft Really Need?

LOL, you're so cute. When the employer RIFs the employees, does it give them a "2-week minimal notice," or does it show them the door (with possibly a small cheque to keep them quiet)? Remember, without an employment contract, you don't owe them anything—which is why smart companies have employment contracts.

I give them the two weeks' notice for one important reason, having nothing to do with the employer: Networking. The metro area I live in doesn't have a massive tech market, so out here you end up seeing a lot of former co-workers and managers in other jobs (and more importantly, you stumble across them in other job interviews).

Now if I lived in SanFran or Seattle (or even LA or NYC), I wouldn't give a flying damn and just pull the D-Ring if they deserved it. But, I don't, so I have to look after my future as much as I look after my present.

Comment: Re:I didn't read TFA (Score 1) 63

by Penguinisto (#47484619) Attached to: The New Science of Evolutionary Forecasting

That's the point. When they know certain conditions, they can predict, with some level of accuracy, what evolutions will take place.

I'm just curious as to how they overcame the more unpredictable factors such as random mutations (e.g. a cosmic ray bumps some life form's DNA a little, causing a benefit, etc.), or did they just count that as statistical noise, or...?

Comment: Re:How many employees does Slashdot need? (Score 1) 271

by Penguinisto (#47484189) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: How Many Employees Does Microsoft Really Need?

I can grok the ideal you have, but honestly, I think that it would be a huge morale-killer.

Think of it this way: You get hired on, and you do great work. But then, you have to always be mindful of company politics, and be sure to kiss the right asses (and stab the right backs), else the next periodic review may well see you on the street in spite of your contributions. I've worked for companies that did that, and everybody was constantly either worried about keeping their job, or were busily trying to sabotage their buddies in order to secure their own careers.

It would be akin to working on a renewable contract, truth be told, and if that's the case, then you may as well work for them free-agent and pocket the difference. Another analogy would be that it's like stack-ranking, but more aggressive in parts - each department would have to constantly justify everyone in it, and they'd have to fall to something like stack-ranking in order to keep tabs on who stays and who goes when word comes down to jettison someone.

Now I've seen the opposite as well - Fiserv (the web banking software company) has a nasty habit of doing layoffs every two years -- often with no rhyme or reason other than to make the numbers look good. At the appointed time, they demand that each department chop x% off their department headcount no matter how over/understaffed the department may be; it's become so routine that many employees term it the "bi-annual layoff lottery". Again, total morale-killer and team-killer.

With an eye towards all that, I propose something kind of radical here: I propose that companies look to hiring with an eye towards adaptability. That way, should a product or project either go sour, or should times change, odds are good that unless the company is hit/hurt overall, you can start moving folks to new projects and/or new product lines, giving existing employees priority for those slots. It wouldn't hurt to have solid mentoring and training cultures (and budgets) in place to help your good employees stretch out a little in their careers, so that they can more easily adapt right along with the company. But that's kind of a pipe dream, I know...

Personally, I've decided to become just as professional, mercenary and ruthless as the employer who I work for. If they're awesome and caring about their people, I'll be awesome and caring about them, and go above and beyond for them.

If they're a bunch of back-stabbing and self-serving asshats out to chase the Almighty Dollar with no regard for their employees' morale and careers, then I have zero problems with doing only what is required, moving to a better job elsewhere with only a 2-week minimal notice, and not really give a damn if my departure leaves them in the lurch for anything critical. I've happily done so before, then watched months later (via the grapevine) as they spent a massive amount of money not only paying for my replacement, but in cleaning up the damage from failed projects due to multi-month disruptions from having to find someone and then getting that someone up to speed.

Until that large awesome company exists that you would give an arm and a leg for? Well, you have to look out for yourself, and in the tech industry, there isn't exactly a lack of jobs for those with the skills and the drive to take them, you know?

Comment: Re:How many employees does Slashdot need? (Score 5, Insightful) 271

by Penguinisto (#47483261) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: How Many Employees Does Microsoft Really Need?

Nice flamebait, but let's make it an educational moment:

Every product/project-centric company builds up cruft over time, and not just Microsoft. Intel does periodic flushes as they dump R&D groups (I used to work for DHG at Intel). OTOH, let's face it - Microsoft's habit of counter-productivity between teams (coupled with their previous habit of stack-ranking employees) is frickin' *legendary*. MSFT seriously does need to clean house, and badly. They aren't the hungry company they were back in the '80s and '90s, and they've become about as nimble as a supertanker with a busted rudder. I mean, c'mon - who the hell else would sink untold billions of R&D money into a product (XBox/360/One) that still has yet to realize overall ROI, 15 years later?

The new CEO has a big job ahead of him. He's seen what happens to most tech companies as they reach middle age, and he knows that there's no crazy-ass visionary (e.g. Steve Jobs) coming to jump in and revitalize them.

Neutrinos are into physicists.