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Comment: ...since there have been no abuses... (Score 2) 316

Doesn't LOVEINT count?

Even if it doesn't, that's not the point.

I think we can all agree that having these sorts of communications records is a despot's wet dream. The fact that it hasn't been abused yet is immaterial. It's too tempting a tool for those with the wrong motives.

Comment: Re:s/Government-run/Government-regulated/ (Score 1) 355

What government will control it? City? County? State? Federal?

I think in practice, it wouldn't make much difference either way, but splitting them up this way would likely be less disruptive since these companies already have trucks, linemen, etc that maintain this infrastructure now. By just splitting up the company those "assets" would naturally flow to the company maintaining the lines. A government takeover would be more "messy" and would probably involve a lot more court battles.

Also, there is something of a precedent for this sort of arrangement. Electricity is usually provided by a local monopoly provider, and the state/local utility commission generally sets the rules for how it's run. ISPs are generally beholden to the PUC as well in the current situation. This would just reduce the part that the PUC runs while allowing free market competition for the rest of the company.

Unfortunately, I don't forsee our current crop of govt. officials having the stones to do anything like this anytime soon.

Comment: s/Government-run/Government-regulated/ (Score 2) 355

I don't think a government run utility would be better than what we have today, and would likely be worse. What would be better? What should have been done in the original 1996 laws:

        Force the telcos and cable companies to break up.

Really, it's as simple as that...

The main problem with the current situation is that there is near-zero competition. At best you have "competition" between two ILECs (cable and telco). In some cases they will "lease" their lines to competitors, but who wants to be in a business where you're the customer of your main competitor? That's guaranteed not to go well.

So in my "dream" solution...

Last-mile providers would be a regulated monopoly (duopoly I guess in the case where there is both twisted-pair and coax) that would just be in charge of the cabling and infrastructure between actual customers and the "central office". They would then lease the lines to "dialtone" (bandwidth?) providers at rates set by the local public utility commission, but would be barred from providing any content on those lines.

That would set up the situation such that multiple companies could compete based on the services that they could provide to customers and price.

I'm not holding my breath for such an outbreak of sanity though... ;)

Comment: Re:Data Breach (Score 1) 385

by PoochieReds (#38982339) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: How To Deal With Refurbed Drives With Customer Data?

You're assuming that the customer had the ability to wipe the drive after it failed. If it was defective then it's quite likely not to be the case.

This sounds an awful lot like someone returned the drive either mistakenly thinking it was defective, or after hitting some sort of intermittent failure with it. NewEgg (or the HD vendor) then "tested" it and stuck it back on the shelf without wiping it. Or maybe they replaced some of the solid-state components and called it a day.

Either way, I'd be very suspicious about putting my data on it. It certainly wasn't tested well after being "fixed" at the very least.

Comment: still an income, not a wealth tax (Score 5, Insightful) 2115

by PoochieReds (#37441640) Attached to: White House Proposes "Wealthy Tax"

Note that this is still an income tax -- not a wealth tax. Those who are already wealthy can and will always game this such that they report little income, thereby preserving their wealth. If necessary, they'll just keep their money offshore.

If he had any sense, he'd offer an amnesty to the wealthy. Allow them to repatriate their funds from overseas at a reduced tax rate so that money comes back to the US. The money the treasury makes on that smaller percentage would still be more than the zero they get from it today.

Comment: Re:It's actually very simple (Score 1) 368

by PoochieReds (#37352188) Attached to: Patent Reform Bill Passes Senate

Sure, but will that fact come out in the patent examination? Or will the person with the unpatented prior art be subject to lawsuits from Mr. First-to-file? I'm not a patent attorney, so I think this is a legitimate question...

For instance, suppose I "invent" an algorithm in some software I write. I use that algorithm but consider it obvious or just don't bother to patent it. Then, a year later someone else independently "invents" the same algorithm and decides to patent it. That person then discovers my use of it and sues. Am I likely to have to pay patent royalties since I neglected to file a patent when I originally invented it?

Comment: Re:It's actually very simple (Score 1) 368

by PoochieReds (#37349758) Attached to: Patent Reform Bill Passes Senate

On the flip side...

What often happens is that someone "invents" something and doesn't bother to patent it because it's obvious. Then someone comes along later and does file a patent for the invention, turns around and sues the person who originally invented it. First-to-file now means that if you don't recognize something as an "invention" and patent it when you come up with the idea, you can get screwed later.

Comment: Re:Question: (Score 4, Interesting) 101

by PoochieReds (#36051836) Attached to: Writing Linux Kernel Functions In CUDA With KGPU

There are also other concerns than the context switch overhead...particularly when dealing with filesystems or data storage devices.

For instance, suppose part of your userspace daemon gets swapped out, and you now need to upcall to userspace. That part that got paged out then has to be paged back in. If memory is tight, then the kernel may have to free some memory, and it may decide to flush out dirty data to the filesystem or device that is dependent on the userspace daemon. At that point, you're effectively deadlocked.

Most of those sorts of problems can be overcome with careful coding and making sure the important parts of the daemon are mlocked, but you do have to be careful and it's not always straightforward to do that.

Comment: Re:Fixes? (Score 1) 228

by PoochieReds (#34209362) Attached to: Red Hat Releases RHEL 6

I assume you're talking about client-side performance? If so, then yes it should be much better in RHEL6.

FWIW, The NFS tools don't really do much once you've got the filesystem mounted. (Ok, that's not 100% true with NFSv4 or Kerberized NFS but it is for the most part). Performance problems like this are generally in the kernel. I've got a patchset queued up to try and improve NFS write performance in RHEL5, but it probably won't go in until 5.7.

See this page if you want to test out what I have queued up so far. It's still pretty rough, but the results so far are quite promising:

        http://people.redhat.com/jlayton/

If you have a support contract, you should open a support case on this. Typically, performance problems are all about numbers so if you can quantify the problems you're seeing then we should be able to help.

Security

Ants Vs. Worms — Computer Security Mimics Nature 104

Posted by Soulskill
from the incompatible-with-raid dept.
An anonymous reader writes with this excerpt from Help Net Security: "In the never-ending battle to protect computer networks from intruders, security experts are deploying a new defense modeled after one of nature's hardiest creatures — the ant. Unlike traditional security devices, which are static, these 'digital ants' wander through computer networks looking for threats ... When a digital ant detects a threat, it doesn't take long for an army of ants to converge at that location, drawing the attention of human operators who step in to investigate. 'Our idea is to deploy 3,000 different types of digital ants, each looking for evidence of a threat,' [says Wake Forest Professor of Computer Science Errin Fulp.] 'As they move about the network, they leave digital trails modeled after the scent trails ants in nature use to guide other ants. Each time a digital ant identifies some evidence, it is programmed to leave behind a stronger scent. Stronger scent trails attract more ants, producing the swarm that marks a potential computer infection.'"

Facts are stubborn, but statistics are more pliable.

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