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Comment: Re:Only cheap for the big players (Score 1) 146

I would be very concerned about running a single m3.2xlarge in AWS.

Presuming you're hosting something that you intend to grow, you have no room to manoeuvre when your user growth maxes out. My rule of thumb is to deploy on a large until you max out. Then scale vertically to keep your site operational onto the xlarge, while you put the development into scaling out horizontally. Horizontal scaling will take development effort, often considerable amounts. You keep the 2xlarge in your back pocket for emergencies.

Of course once you have more than one box serving your content, then this is where cloud comes into its own. You ensure your boxes are distributed in different data centres, to increase your availability when disaster strikes - it will! At that point cheap single-box offerings are moot, because its apples and oranges.

Comment: Re:This sounds like an ad.. (Score 2) 146

Your maths is off. $60 a month is $0.16 / hour (* 12 / (365.25 * 24)).

Also you're using AWS wrong, if you're comparing a by the hour price, with a contract price elsewhere. If you take AWS 1yr contract pricing, then the m3.xlarge will set you back $127pcm or $81 if you commit to 3yrs.

Sure it's more expensive, but not the orders of magnitude more that you claim. AWS is probably not cost-effective for a single box, but that's not the real use-case for cloud computing. If your workload is burstable, then only being active for the hours you need will save. And if you're scaled up to more than a single box, then having your next boxes in a different availability zone to increase your overall reliability is very hard to do outside of cloud . Quality infrastructure costs.

Comment: Re:Revocation --- or Redundancy? (Score 2) 233

A good question, how can you trust the other end? This still comes down to reputation, doesn't it?

The most extraordinary thing we're seeing with the spying revelations, is the complicity of all three branches of government and the vast majority of the fourth estate in trampling all over our civil liberties. When the system of checks and balances has failed so badly, it makes it nigh on impossible to know who to trust any more except our close friends.

Now that some of the practices have got out, I'm sure the US internet providers are going to see some blow back - their reputation is surely damaged.

While previously globalisation has meant that worldwide trade had been busy merging into just a handful of players in each domain, I hope that scares like the current one, remind us of the need for bio-diversity in our corporate culture. How to enforce that happening is beyond me.

Comment: Re:Revocation --- or Redundancy? (Score 4, Interesting) 233

These are similar thoughts to my own. It needs to be about a web of trust, and it might just work.

If more parties are able to come along and say "I trust all these authorities" when it comes to doing business with me, this is the paradigm shift. I don't believe that there is *an* independent authority, I believe we should elect to allow *multiple* authorities to rate the trustworthiness of a certificate.

At the moment, outside of high-end corporate who roll their own, it is the operating system provider making that trust decision for all of us in their selection of root authorities. Now Microsoft, Google and Apple are all on the PRISM slides, and Linux is probably compromised in its own way - not one of them do I want to be the sole gatekeeper of my trust.

So, I believe that the 1st group that should be brought into this system are the banks. This is the group that has the most to lose financially, if you're the victim of fraud. Specifically *your* SSL, should be vouched for by *your* bank - with the condition that the online fraud protection on your bank account is only effective, if you were entering your card details in an SSL session they vouched for.

Now I see a future where we all allow multiple people to vouch for the goodness of certificates and authorities (I think this extends to public keys too) - particularly our social network. Anyone we trust to vouch may approve or *disapprove* any cert. Any time we do anything requiring crypto trust, we should be able to see how all the people we trust feel about it. I have a number of friends I'd really trust to always do a secure key-exchange; I'd boost their scores. Beyond that, the wisdom of crowds is a not a bad fallback.

We have to understand that trust is on an analogue scale. For many things it's fine that we don't have close to 5x 9s of trust. But when we do need to be really certain of who's on the other end, we should be able to push into our social network and see who will vouch for the other parties public key / certificate.

Comment: Re:Fraud (Score 1) 351

by Prehensile Interacti (#44872215) Attached to: London Tube Cleaners Don't Want Fingerprint Clock-in

Have the Snowden revelations taught people nothing?

If the powers-that-be want everyone's fingerprints, then they will use one of the many 0-days they have for the device in question (or in Apple's case, they'll just ask nicely), and then modify the software between the scanner and the hashing function, sending what they need back to HQ.

If they can take down Iran's centrifuges, which aren't even connected to the net, of course they can insert dodgy code into firmware.

Comment: Xbox One (Score 1) 357

by Prehensile Interacti (#44663409) Attached to: Steve Ballmer's Big-Time Error: Not Resigning Years Ago

I strongly suspect that the pre-order numbers for the Xbox One have just made their way through to board level action. We're hearing from everywhere that they are terrible. I don't think Ballmer had enough political capital to survive another disastrous product launch after Zune/Vista/Surface/Win8 et. al. and so had to go.

Comment: Look at when PCs were invented (Score 2) 432

This claim of ageism is highly skewed. I was 10 in 1981, when the first home computer came out in the UK (ZX81). In other words, still in school - there would have been 8 years ahead of me in the school system still. This defines "The Computer Generation" - people who had computers at home while they were growing up.

Now sure, some adult engineers made the cross-over, or came from a mainframe background, however surely their numbers have to be far fewer than the generation that grew up on computers?

Now I'm 42, and continue to do my best work each year - and my compensation reflects that.

Comment: Re:Why don't Valve innovate then? (Score 1) 197

by Prehensile Interacti (#37700164) Attached to: Valve Boss Expects Apple To Challenge Game Consoles

I imagine a new generation Apple TV with next gen A5 CPU (A6?) and iOS. Already capable of running all the games in the App Store.

I think you're bob on there. Updating the Apple TV Bill of Materials. With the iPhone 4s estimates

  • Apple A5 - $26
  • Memory 32GB NAND / 512MB SDRAM - $38

Would make a total BoM today of $97.40 (presuming they can't cost reduce the rest) - with a launch in 2012 some time, they ought to pull this off for their more typical margins.


Using Infrared Cameras To Find Tastiness of Beef 108

Posted by Soulskill
from the i-use-a-fork dept.
JoshuaInNippon writes "Might we one day be able to use our cell phone cameras to pick out the best piece of meat on display at the market? Some Japanese researchers seem to hope so. A team of scientists is using infrared camera technology to try and determine the tastiest slices of high-grade Japanese beef. The researchers believe that the levels of Oleic acid found within the beef strongly affect the beef's tenderness, smell, and overall taste. The infrared camera can be tuned to pick out the Oleic acid levels through a whole slab, a process that would be impossible to do with the human eye. While the accuracy is still relatively low — a taste test this month resulted in only 60% of participants preferring beef that was believed to have had a higher level of Oleic acid — the researchers hope to fine tune the process for market testing by next year."

US Colleges Say Hiring US Students a Bad Deal 490

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the talking-to-you-cliff dept.
theodp writes "Many US colleges and universities have notices posted on their websites informing US companies that they're tax chumps if they hire students who are US citizens. 'In fact, a company may save money by hiring international students because the majority of them are exempt from Social Security (FICA) and Medicare tax requirements,' advises the taxpayer-supported University of Pittsburgh (pdf) as it makes the case against hiring its own US students. You'll find identical pitches made by the University of Delaware, the University of Cincinnati, Kansas State University, the University of Southern California, the University of Wisconsin, Iowa State University, and other public colleges and universities. The same message is also echoed by private schools, such as John Hopkins University, Brown University, Rollins College and Loyola University Chicago."
PlayStation (Games)

Piracy and the PSP 272

Posted by Soulskill
from the arrr-ye-hearties dept.
In a lengthy interview with Gamasutra about the state of the Playstation brand in 2009, Sony's senior vice president of marketing, Peter Dille, made some interesting comments about how piracy has affected their popular portable console, the PSP. He said, "we're convinced that piracy has taken out a big chunk of our software sales on PSP," a platform that was slow to start anyway due to the lack of early interest from game developers. Dille mentions that while they can fight piracy with hardware upgrades in new versions, that doesn't do anything to help the roughly 50 million PSPs already out there. He goes on to address other aspects of the PlayStation line, including complaints about the pricing and exclusivity.

+ - Student Arrested for Making Video Game Map of Scho

Submitted by tanman
tanman (728257) writes "A Chinese student at the Houston-area Clements High School was arrested, sent to an "Alternative Education Center" and banned from graduation after school officials found he created a video game map of his school (Google mirror). School district police arrested the teen and searched his home where they confiscated a hammer as a "potential weapon". ' "They decided he was a terroristic threat," said one source close to the district's investigation. ' With an upcoming May 12 school board election, this issue has quickly become political, with school board members involved in the appeal accusing each other of pandering to the Chinese community in an attempt to gain votes."

Prof: So the American government went to IBM to come up with a data encryption standard and they came up with ... Student: EBCDIC!"