Glove compartment. Buried in the back yard. Card in your wallet. Split up and hidden under a rock. In a desk drawer at work. Unlabeled and dissociated from the data you can store the key anywhere.
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And snapshots are expensive compared to incremental or differential backups.
Raid adequately covers hardware failure which is less than half of data loss situations.
Most electric plants are just fancy steam engines. Even the nuke plants. Boil water and drive the generators with the steam pressure.
Coal is just a more efficient version of wood. Wood is renewable and we already know we can run an industrial society on coal.
Also, look up the Stanley Steamer some time. We don't even need oil to have motor cars, just high enough quality metallurgy to build pressure containers. And if we save the books, we save metallurgy.
The most effective way for your data to survive a fire (or flood, tornado, lava, etc) is for it to not be in the fire. If you don't want to automate off-site backups then periodically drop a hard disk into a convenient bank safety deposit box.
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You're not off base. I think you're right on target. I also think that process sows the seeds of Google's fall, like every other tech company before you.
Look up psychology studies on creativity some time. Creativity and intelligence both benefit from collaboration but unlike intelligence, creativity is not a rapid-fire process. If intelligence measures how quickly you find a solution, creativity measures how many solutions you find over time.
Your hiring process biases towards high intelligence but middling creativity. You then use collaboration as a substitute for creative thinking -- many people, many viewpoints.
Unfortunately, you don't get genuine creativity this way. As often as not you get groupthink instead. Unusually smart groupthink but even so. This shows in Google's products, especially the user interfaces. Many of those UIs have steadily deteriorated over the past half decade. And you've selected for staff who despite their genius are quite literally incapable of reversing the trend.
Which brings me to my other complaint: Google looks at how people think "on their feet" to the exclusion of how they think and perform over time.
I don't know about you, but unless the problem is crazy-simple or something I've seen a dozen times before, I simply don't think in 45-minute timescales. Give me a week and I'll have three solid solutions. Give me a month and I'll have a dozen more, at least one of which is ingenious.
Give me your 45 minute segment of an all-day interview and as often as not I'll have only trash. Working trash but haphazard inscalable trash nevertheless. When you judge me by that trash, you grossly misjudge me.
Enthusiastic, yes. So enthusiastic you invest a couple hundred hours learning their specific tech before you interview, not so much.
The key to interviewing at Google is to drink the kool aide before you arrive. Download and use the core software they make available. If you're not enthusiastic enough about their tool chain to do that, mere competence won't carry you over the finish line.
Most companies couldn't get away with that but Google is Google. At least for now.
I recall several attempts. I just don't recall them being spectacularly successful. As was pointed out in the article you quoted: "The efficacy of this lava bombing is disputed by some volcanologists"
Yes, actually, there is something better about that land. First, it's 13,000 feet above sea level, outside most of the earth's atmosphere. Second, the winds above the side are unusually stable, making it easy to post-process the data with computers to get rid of atmospheric distortion.
It's one of the few places on earth you can collect astronomical data with quality comparable to a space-based telescope.
I don't remember them diverting lava to miss villages at all. Ten foot tall walls of advancing rock tend to defy human intervention.
Sorry, no, you don't get to declare the entire top of the mountain that's the single best astronomy spot in the world, land you don't own or make any effort to maintain, as your cultural heritage location. The handful of spots up there that aren't a straight-up moonscape are already protected. Get over yourselves.
'sides, it's sacred as in the aborigines spun yarns about it while performing human sacrifice against enemies at the oceanfront heiaus scores of miles away laterally and 2 miles down. Not sacred as in lots of cultural events were actually held in the thin air at 13,000 feet atop the mountain.
Incident response: you're done as soon as you restore his access. The higher-ups made the call to keep him working for the next two weeks. It is not your place to countermand of interfere with that decision. If they wanted his access cancelled, they would have sent him home. Every minute he loses to your behavior is another bit of knowledge that doesn't get transferred to the next guy.
Long term: You have serious problems to address with your backups and business continuity planning. How do I know? Because if your backups were in order you wouldn't have asked. You'd know that you can readily undo any damage the guy might cause.