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Comment: First hand experience here (Score 4, Informative) 510

by SeanTobin (#41670729) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: How Do SSDs Die?

I recently had a "old" (cir 2008) 64gb SSD drive die on me. It's death followed this pattern:

  • Inexplicable system slowdowns. In hindsight, this should have been a warning alarm.
  • System crash, followed by a failure to boot due to unclean ntfs volume which couldn't be fixed by chkdisk
  • Failed to mount r/w under Ubuntu. Debug logs showed that the volume was unclean and all writes failed with a timeout
  • Successful r/o mount showed that the filesystem was largely intact
  • Successful dd imaged the drive and allowed a restore to a new drive.

After popping a new disk in and doing a partition resize, my system was back up and running with no data loss. Of all the storage hardware failures I've experienced, this was probably the most pain-free as the failure caused the drive to simply degrade into a read-only device.

Comment: Re:Just goes to show... (Score 4, Insightful) 585

by SeanTobin (#37559216) Attached to: Chrome Set To Take No. 2 Spot From Firefox

It's not the schedule. It's the process.

When chrome updates to a new version, I don't even know about it and everything just works (including all my addons). When Firefox updates, I have to wait an additional few seconds while it updates, I have to close out a splash page informing me of all the new features that I won't use and I have to figure out how to update and re-enable my all addons which have now magically turned off.

When I open a web browser, I want to do something. If you get in my way of me doing something for 30 seconds every few weeks plus spend 5 minutes trying to get selenium or other addons up and running again, you have failed at your purpose as a web browser.

It is even worse when you have a scenario where you have a few dozen firefox installs across various VMs.. I dread FF updates now because it means that I'm either reimaging test machines or going through a bunch of updates.

Comment: Simple & quick solution (Score 1) 335

by SeanTobin (#30892828) Attached to: Universal, Pay Those EFFing Lawyers

Have both parties present documentation on their legal bills. The prevailing party, having also won the fees receives the lesser of the two amounts.

Assume we have Joe vs MegaCorp and Joe's legal bill is $1,500 and MegaCorp's is $400,000.

If Joe wins and is entitled to fees, he gets his entire $1,500 (in addition to any damages). If MegaCorp wins, they get their damages plus the lesser of the two legal bills ($1,500). This promotes efficiency throughout the system.

Corporations will be incentivized to match their legal spending with the size of their "target."

Comment: Statistical significance in surveys (Score 5, Insightful) 555

by SeanTobin (#28595265) Attached to: The Mathletes and the Miley Photoshop

Surveys are inherently difficult to present in a neutral fashion, especially when attempting to determine correlation. Take the following (simplified) survey for example:

I like Cheerios:
[Yes] [No] [Sometimes]

Rate your proficiency at math:
[Excellent] [Good] [Average] [Poor]

Now, let's say you found a statistically significant correlation between people who like Cheerios and people who are excellent at math. Congratulations! You just did not find a correlation related to math proficiency at all.

What you did just find is a correlation between people who selected the first option in your survey.

Now, randomizing your answers is a good start and will resolve the above issue. However, there are hundreds of other things which can affect your results and there is an entire survey industry formed around these problems. The immediate problems that spring to mind about the survey in TFA is:
-Respondents must have internet access
-Respondents must have signed up to Amazon's mechanical turk
-Respondents were paid for the survey
-Respondent proficiency at math/language was self-assessed
-Respondents must be able to comprehend English

Anyway, I could go on but my point here is this: despite the fact that a statistically-significant correlation that was found, that correlation may not stem from the questions themselves.

Nintendo

+ - Wii Lightsabre - First Wii remote hack?

Submitted by Hillie
Hillie (63573) writes "Apparently someone has hacked the Wii remote and paired it with their Mac; They've developed a Mac OS X application that essentially allows you to use the Wii remote as a virtual lightsaber. Slashfilm has the scoop. You simply run the application, and then press 1+2 on your Wii remote to connect it to your Mac, and then presto! Swing that baby around. It even vibrates when the virtual saber strikes something (simulated) and the saber can be retracted using the B button. It's only sound, but still it's pretty fun to play around with. The whole Star Wars light saber thing has become a desperate want for all Star Wars fans everywhere since the Wii has been announced. There is also a video of it in action as well."
It's funny.  Laugh.

+ - Search Engines Illegal In Australia

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "A court ruling has given the recording industry the green light to go after individuals who link to material from their websites, blogs or MySpace pages that is protected by copyright.

A full bench of the Federal Court yesterday upheld an earlier ruling that Stephen Cooper, the operator of mp3s4free.net, as well as the internet service provider that hosted the website, were guilty of authorising copyright infringement because they provided a search engine through which a user could illegally download MP3 files.

The website did not directly host any copyright-protected music, but the court held that simply providing links to the material effectively authorised copyright infringement."
AMD/OSTG

Journal: AMD Updates Opteron, Turion Road Maps

Journal by OSTG Marketing
AMD has updated its Opteron rollout roadmap with an announcement of a quad-core processor for one-socket servers and workstations, and giving us a release date on the follow-up to its initial quad-core release, as well as its new mobile processor core. "That initial quad-core release will be followed in the first half of 2008 by the launch of Shanghai, its quad-core successor, according to Seyer.
The Almighty Buck

+ - Zprexa side effects played down for sales

Submitted by
MrCrassic
MrCrassic writes "From the article:

The drug maker Eli Lilly has engaged in a decade-long effort to play down the health risks of Zyprexa, its best-selling medication for schizophrenia, according to hundreds of internal Lilly documents and e-mail messages among top company managers...Lilly's own published data, which it told its sales representatives to play down in conversations with doctors, has shown that 30 percent of patients taking Zyprexa gain 22 pounds or more after a year on the drug, and some patients have reported gaining 100 pounds or more. But Lilly was concerned that Zyprexa's sales would be hurt if the company was more forthright about the fact that the drug might cause unmanageable weight gain or diabetes, according to the documents, which cover the period 1995 to 2004.
"

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