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Comment: Re:Meaningless (Score 4, Informative) 142

by Sarten-X (#48618333) Attached to: Backblaze's 6 TB Hard Drive Face-Off

I think you missed the point. Several points, in fact...

Backblaze doesn't care about one drive. Power consumption is a complicated matter, and they have a very simple plan, so it's best for them to build a full pod for testing, and compare the power and performance at the pod level. They can extrapolate that out to their planned expansion considering pods as the units of measure, rather that having to consider drives, controllers, fans, and power supplies as extra variables. That simplification is partly why they're using a pod architecture in the first place.

Reliability doesn't matter much to Backblaze, either. They store redundant copies of data, so their risk of loss is mitigated, jjust as it should be for any enterprise use of such drives.

When you ask "who cares how much data was stored on them vs how long it was in service", clearly the answer is Backblaze, because they cared enough to study that particular metric.

Now, all of this is really only obviously useful to Backblaze. They're running tests in their environment, with their design, for their criteria. Realistically, the vast majority of Slashdotters won't ever handle anything like Backblaze's system, so they have different priorities. Backblaze still released their test results, just in case anyone cares. That's why they've gathered such a following among nerds. They've repeatedly published their research openly, contributing to the public knowledge base for system engineers. Maybe somebody finds it useful, and maybe not, but it's still a noble principle they practice.

Comment: Re:Helium and the density of the disc (Score 4, Informative) 219

by Sarten-X (#48589303) Attached to: Seagate Bulks Up With New 8 Terabyte 'Archive' Hard Drive

"Reduce friction" is pretty close, actually.

The platters spinning around causes a lot of air to move around, as well. If that air is helium, the effects of the turbulence are less forceful, so moving parts don't need as much buffer space between them.

The individual platters don't change density, but since they can be packed closer together without aerodynamic damage, there can be more platters in a single unit.

Comment: Re:Hiding evidence (Score 1) 192

by Sarten-X (#48560041) Attached to: Microsoft To US Gov't: the World's Servers Are Not Yours For the Taking

If the New York branch manager is required to follow German orders through normal means, I don't actually see any inconsistency in the rebuttal. The Deutsche Bank branch acts as an agent of the Deutsche Bank, and is subject to the laws of the countries in which Deutsche Bank operates - probably many at once, and probably even some in conflict.

It is the responsibility of the corporation to ensure that its legal boundaries are determined by its establishment. Perhaps Deutsche Bank is merely an investor in an entirely-separate "Deutsche Bank USA", and all executive control is held within US boundaries, with the corporate charter expressly declaring that such foreign investors have no control. It would seem to me that the New York manager could then ignore the German orders all day, because he would be under no obligation to follow them.

Comment: Re:Microsoft is an Irish company (Score 1) 192

by Sarten-X (#48559923) Attached to: Microsoft To US Gov't: the World's Servers Are Not Yours For the Taking

Well... sort of.

They move their profits to their Irish subsidiary, but the US government may still have some legal authority to enforce their will, especially if it can be argued that the Irish branch is wholly controlled by US-based entities. Those American entities may be compelled to, in turn, force the cooperation of the Irish corporation.

Comment: Re: On Caring and Relevance (Score 2) 54

by Sarten-X (#48545703) Attached to: How I Learned To Stop Worrying and Love the Twitterbot

It's actually a mild form of identity theft.

Per TFA, the username was grabbed within a day of being released. It's someone's real name, not a well-known fictional character or such, so it's most likely that the new owner was trying to capitalize on the old owner's fame. Twitter's policies prohibit exactly this kind of thing, so TFA details the process the author followed to get it shut down.

It's not particularly notable to those of us who are deep in the world of security, and probably not surprising to most savvy users, but it's informative nonetheless.

Comment: Re:Standard FBI followup (Score 2) 388

by Sarten-X (#48543907) Attached to: Man Caught Trying To Sell Plans For New Aircraft Carrier

Police can even pose as a passer-by, encouraging someone to steal the car, or as a chop-shop owner offering no-questions-asked cash for cars.

In these cases, the legal system is punishing people for their antisocial behavior, just as with crimes that don't involve stings. Even if the crime actually occurred in a controlled situation, the perpetrator still fulfilled the legal requirements for culpability: They were aware that what they were doing was against the law, and they did it anyway of their own free will.

Being offered a large sum of money or a convenient opportunity doesn't magically dissolve the perpetrator's free will, despite what dbill seems to think.

Comment: Re:See me after class... (Score 1) 388

by Sarten-X (#48541233) Attached to: Man Caught Trying To Sell Plans For New Aircraft Carrier

Yes, there are some folks who are drawn to the Hollywood appeal of being super-secret spies. Some folks just want the money.

...Then there's one guy I heard of who abruptly left his company, retired at age 40, and promptly settled down in a particularly-disliked nation with a new very-young bride.

Temptation comes in many forms.

Comment: Re:I hate these misleading statements... (Score 1) 388

by Sarten-X (#48541199) Attached to: Man Caught Trying To Sell Plans For New Aircraft Carrier

No, it's called "misleading", and it's perfectly legal.

Entrapment is when the law enforcement officers don't give you the choice to follow the law. For example, if the agents had claimed to have taken this employee's family as hostages, and threatened them with harm if he didn't steal the plans, then he wouldn't have had a reasonable choice.

Rather, the agents here merely offered him a chunk of money. It may certainly be tempting, but the employee still had the ability (and the legal obligation) to decline.

Comment: Re:You have it backwards (Score 1) 388

by Sarten-X (#48541161) Attached to: Man Caught Trying To Sell Plans For New Aircraft Carrier

"Greedy and gullible" makes the perfect target for actual espionage, too. Of course, even greedy and gullible people can still say "no" and follow the law.

There are proper channels for reporting such suspicious contact, and people with clearances are required by law to use them. This guy didn't. He went ahead and tried to sell secrets, compromise security, et cetera... but the key detail is that he chose to do so, rather than report the event.

Sure, he was misled. He still believed he was selling secrets to foreign nations, and chose to willfully engage in a crime.

Comment: Re:Loss of context and common sense (Score 2) 116

by Sarten-X (#48540083) Attached to: NSF Accused of Misuse of Funds In Giant Ecological Project

(With the exception the lobbying, i can not think of an excuse for it in a data collection operation)

You're not thinking very hard.

"Gee, Mr. Mayor, it's really a shame that particular legislation is going to disrupt our construction. That means even more delays bringing in those new jobs and that economic boost we've been working towards. You know, with just a few small changes, that law wouldn't affect us. When's a good time to talk about that? Booked all week, huh? How about Saturday? Over a game of golf and a nice dinner? Fantastic! Glad that will work out. I'll see you then..."

Comment: Re:The French are the world's Standards Board (Score 1) 376

by Sarten-X (#48445083) Attached to: Blame America For Everything You Hate About "Internet Culture"

As is often the case, it's a little more complicated than that.

The French appreciate standardization and conformity more that Americans. Where Americans would care about getting a job done, the French care about doing the job correctly. Along with that, there is a distaste for frivolity and absurdity when those aren't the matter at hand.

Comment: Re:Well that's a start... (Score 1) 163

by Sarten-X (#48420879) Attached to: Number of Coders In Congress To Triple (From One To Three)

I'm not sure if you're serious.

The expert system you're looking for is a "judge".

What's actually written in legislation or on a contract doesn't matter. What matters is how a judge will interpret that law or contract in the context of your particular case. Yes, there have certainly been cases where a criminal defendant has gotten away with something because it wasn't technically a crime, and many contracts have been useless because they didn't explicitly prohibit a particular interpretation.

Just like computer programs, all well-tested legal "programs" are far more complicated in detail than their basic design document. There are many edge cases and known weaknesses to account for, leading to many seemingly-irrelevant statements.

Comment: An interesting specimen (Score 2) 200

by Sarten-X (#48399825) Attached to: A Worm's Mind In a Lego Body

I first learned about C. elegans while researching simple neural systems. There's a nice map of the neural connections available. Today, I stumbled across the name again, when Wikipedia informed me that Caenorhabditis elegans is the most primitive animal that sleeps. Now I find that there's a robot worm that I'd consider to be alive.

This guy's pretty awesome.

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