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Comment: And they're the LESS evil giant cable company (Score 1) 33

by damn_registrars (#47764589) Attached to: Time Warner Cable Experiences Nationwide Internet Outage
I was forced (by moving) to switch from TWC to Comcast. I can tell you from experience that everything that is bad about TWC is at least 5x worse with Comcast. TWC fixed this in a matter of hours; if it were Comcast they would have billed the customers for the problem and it wouldn't be working until at least Monday.

Comment: Launching the NWO from the back 9? (Score 1) 1

Today you're trying to take the side of President Lawnchair not doing - or being capable of doing - anything. This is rather contrary to your assertions last week that Obama is on the verge of propelling us into a Fascist Nightmare state.

Or are you trying to bait me in to pointing out that Obama has not taken nearly as much vacation as his predecessor (which is actually surprising considering how much Obama borrowed his actions from the playbook of that same predecessor)?

Comment: Hero worship anyone? (Score 1) 1

Now, to give credit where credit is due, Reagan was (as far as we know) the only president we have had to date with the ability to shoot laser-deathbeams out of his eyes. This was undoubtedly a distinct advantage in negotiation. There is simply no comparison between that and President Lawnchair's unique strategy of consistently caving in to GOP demands.

Equally important though is the undeniable facts that
  • East Germany was never particularly stable
    • And
  • The Soviet Union was already well on its way to collapse before 1981 due in no small part to mismanagement and complete abandonment of anything vaguely resembling Marxist principles.

Comment: Re:Can we get a tape drive to back this up? (Score 1) 245

by bill_mcgonigle (#47762779) Attached to: Seagate Ships First 8 Terabyte Hard Drive

Just wanted to say, really good analysis - fair and on the mark. Tape has a very good home in the high end.

It's remarkable how amazing the low-end of hard-drive backup has become. I can set up a small business with a simple ZFS mirror (with or without SSD cache) and by running the default auto-snapshot scripts they can have a year's worth of data retention, on and off-site copies, encrypted even, for well under a grand, and the whole thing is random-access retrievable, online.

I think in real terms my QIC-80 drive from the early 90's was more expensive. And the DLT's we used at work were just astronomically expensive.

Comment: Re:Seagate failures (Score 1) 245

by bill_mcgonigle (#47762725) Attached to: Seagate Ships First 8 Terabyte Hard Drive

They used to be so good, but (wouldn't you know) it was when I bought a set of 24 of them (staggered lots) for a big ZFS NAS was the time their quality took a dive. Every drive failed within three years - yeah, there was a warranty but I'd trade not dealing with that on 24 drives, one at a time (failed about every 2 weeks)! And this was in an always-on well-cooled data center with clean power.

I switched over to Hitachi and have been much happier with the reliability. I'm hoping that the WD acquisition doesn't destroy them but they're the best bet right now. I did find that some of their big drives are 'green' and frankly the slowest drives I've used since the 90's. The trick is to use the NAS drives, and those perform how you'd expect a drive built anytime in the aughts or later to perform. And their power consumption is really trivially more - you can save far more energy by fronting your disk pool with SSD's (ZFS log/cache or dm-cache) than by buying the very slow 'green' drives anyway. Not moving heads is the ultimate power savings!

Comment: Re:In other news... (Score 1) 193

The problem with solar is that it requires an upfront investment that pays back over a long term but does not significantly increase the value of your home.

It may surprise you, but some people buy homes to live in them. Not to flip in 3 years for a profit.

And I don't believe there's enough data in various markets to know whether or not solar panels would increase the value of a house more than their installation price (which is coming down, by the way).

Comment: Re: What's so American (Score 1) 442

Sure they do. Corporatist Democrats play for the same team of rich elitists than Corporatist Republicans. Why do you think that no matter what else happens to the economy, the bankers always get their dough? No matter what happens to the economy, Wall Street gets taken care of first.

And no banker ever goes to jail.

Comment: Re:progress (Score 1) 95

by PopeRatzo (#47759515) Attached to: Hackers Claim PlayStation Network Take-Down

Will you pay more?

Pay more for what? Dedicated servers? They had that figured out more than 10 years ago. How much more do you think it would cost to add dedicated servers to a game today? And yes, if people would pay $19.99 for some DLC that gives your character new hats, I'm pretty sure they'd pay for dedicated servers.

The reason they are not included is because Sony is so scared that there might be some kid in Slovenia playing a pirated version of their game. Not that the kid would actually ever pay for a Sony game, but they are outraged that there is a nickel in some kid's pocket that doesn't belong to them.

Comment: Re:Not surprising (Score 3, Insightful) 455

by squiggleslash (#47759003) Attached to: California DMV Told Google Cars Still Need Steering Wheels

I've been wondering that too.

The point of driverless cars is supposed to be a way to get us to that utopian transportation vision where we can go anywhere automatically by telling our transportation device where we want to go. This has been "possible" for decades but for one problem: all proposed systems required new tracks/roads be built that were separated from the current road system. That's prohibitively expensive. So in walks Google, and a few others, and says "We have all this technology, let's create something that interoperates with existing traffic on existing roads."

And they do some demos, and everyone thinks they've solved the problem.

Only they haven't. Google's cars, for example, have to drive on a "virtual track". There are holes in the track. Some of them are holes in the map, others are temporary detours and or obstacles that means the cars are unable to navigate them because it doesn't have enough information. To make driverless cars "work" as well as they appear to do at all across the whole country, Google is going to have to keep a constant, updated by the minute, map of the entire US road system, not just the official roads, but the private roads, the position of every driveway, etc.

So the DMV's comments aren't actually entirely out of order. Forget emergencies, you will have to take over every few hundred miles, assuming Google can update its databases to some decent compromise between up-to-the-second and "good enough", simply because the cars are going to have problems continuing.

Me? I'd prefer we look at our transportation system again and ask if this is really what we want and need. And if we're going to continue legally mandating suburban development and banning urban development, perhaps we need to look into improving PRT technologies and making them work.

Comment: Re:Bets on first use (Score 1) 224

by bill_mcgonigle (#47758547) Attached to: California Passes Law Mandating Smartphone Kill Switch

There are, but the feature doesn't work as a theft deterrent unless almost everybody has it.

Every iPhone in use has this feature. iPhones are still the most-stolen phones.

Are you saying Android phones all have to have the feature to protect iPhone users? Because my understanding is that iPhone thieves turn off the phones immediately and keep them in RF-shielded bags/rooms until they're reprogrammed for the illicit market.

And I still don't get how you validate this feature if you're going to rely on it for security.

Comment: Re:Worldwide reach (Score 1) 224

by bill_mcgonigle (#47758471) Attached to: California Passes Law Mandating Smartphone Kill Switch

Yet I have not heard of a pandemic of hacker-led mass bricking of iPhones.

There are some psychopathic blackhats who just destroy for the sake of destroying. Fortunately these are few - evidenced by the near total lack of PC malware that destroys the computer.

Then there are hacktivists who would do something like bricking a million phones at once the first month after this bill's required new phones are on the market to prove the point that government mandates come with unintended consequences.

It will be interesting to see if they do that. It would be very unfortunate for the owners of those phones. They would argue that society will be better off for it in the long run. Not satyagraha enough for me, but I can see the thought process.

Comment: Re:What's so American (Score 2, Insightful) 442

a libertarian country would be 100% toll roads

Uh, every road in America is a toll road. Have you ever heard about gasoline taxes? Does pre-paying your road fees at the pump make you happier for some reason (would love to hear what that reason could be) than paying the fees as you use the roads (ala EZPass et. al. - let's assume you can use them anonymously).

The difference is that now the gas taxes are not all spent on the roads (they get diverted to police pensions and political cronies' boondoggles) and the money that is spent on the roads does not go through a true competitive bidding process (again with the cronies), making the costs higher and quality lower than they ought to be.

I abandoned that stupid philosophy that day.

It sounds like you did so without understanding how roads are paid for. Look, it's hard to know how everything works, but the more people do know how things work the more likely they are to be libertarians. Because people suck, especially those who seek power.

I don't want to live in an ideologically pure world; I want to live in a good world, and libertarianism wouldn't lead to a good world.

It's an ideologically-driven stance to accept more expensive, lower quality roads and political corruption and waste for the sake of a particular revenue model. Also one that necessarily supports a worse world.

My problem lies in reconciling my gross habits with my net income. -- Errol Flynn Any man who has $10,000 left when he dies is a failure. -- Errol Flynn

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