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Comment: No shit (Score 2) 67

by Sycraft-fu (#47510777) Attached to: Buying New Commercial IT Hardware Isn't Always Worthwhile (Video)

We consolidated about 20ish old servers (and added new systems) in to two Dell R720xds that are VM hypervisors. Not only does this save on power n' cooling but it is way faster, more reliable, and flexible. It is much easier and faster to rebuild and stand up a VM, you can snapshot them before making changes, if we need to reboot the hypervisor or update firmware we can migrate VMs over to the other host so there's no downtime. Plus less time is wasted on admining them since there are less systems, and they are newer.

On top of that they have good support contracts, and some excellent reliability features that you didn't get on systems even 5ish years ago (like actively scanning HDDs to look for failures).

Big time win in my book. Now does that mean we rush out and replace them with new units every year? No, of course not, but when the time comes that they are going out of support, or more likely that usage is growing past what they can be upgraded to handle, we'll replace them with newer, more powerful, systems. It is just a much better use of resources.

Comment: Is this all necessary? (Score 5, Insightful) 80

Seems like you are trying to work out a solution to a problem you don't have yet. Maybe first see if users are just willing to play nice. Get a powerful system and let them have at it. That's what we do. I work for an engineering college and we have a fairly large Linux server that is for instructional use. Students can log in and run the provided programs. Our resource management? None, unless the system is getting hit hard, in which case we will see what is happening and maybe manually nice something or talk to a user. We basically never have to. People use it to do their assignments and go about their business.

Hardware is fairly cheap, so you can throw a lot of power at the problem. Get a system with a decent amount of cores and RAM and you'll probably find out that it is fine.

Now, if things become a repeated problem then sure, look at a technical solution. However don't go getting all draconian without a reason. You may just be wasting your time and resources.

Comment: You first (Score 1) 270

Figure out what level of energy use, as a whole, is acceptable by your calculations. Then figure out how much that means you get to use. Make sure to include all forms of energy usage, such as heating and energy used in building and delivering goods. Adjust your energy use to meet that level, and see how that goes. Then we can talk. Otherwise, kindly STFU.

The reason I say this is not because I'm against trying to reduce energy consumption, I think conservation is always a good idea when practical, but because I'm sick and tired of hypocritical online eco-whiners. They'll bitch about how "people" should do something yet are unwilling to do it themselves. Somehow they see it as ok to bitch that others should be willing to make sacrifices but don't make any themselves.

So put up or shut up. Don't whine that "people" need to change their energy use, but then continue to live an energy intensive first world lifestyle. You are people too. If you cannot or will not adjust your usage, why would you assume anyone else would be willing?

Comment: No kidding (Score 0) 152

by Sycraft-fu (#47486671) Attached to: Dell Starts Accepting Bitcoin

I think a more accurate description of the Bitcoin community would be "highly greedy" or "has a poor understanding of economics". I don't think technical has anything to do with it. In fact if you've some technical knowledge, some understanding of the size of the financial system, and then knowledge about the bitcoin protocol you quickly come to the realization that it has a deal breaker problem (it has several in fact) and that is that it can't scale to be the amazin' world wide currency the faithful want it to be, it can't handle the transaction load that things like the Visa network does, because of the nature of the protocol.

So all the technically savvy people I know do not involve themselves in bitcoin.

Basically I see a few types of people who are in to bitcoin:

1) Hedge fund traders/scammers/etc. Basically people out to make a quick buck. They don't believe in Bitcoin other than they believe they can make money on it due to the volatility, complete counterparty risk, etc. It is just a market to be exploited and left.

2) Self described "Crypto-anarchists" aka "greedy wannabe libertarians" who think that bitcoin will free them from the tyranny of having to pay taxes for such unnecessary things like roads, clean water, and such. They like it because they think it'll lead to a world where they get to keep their money and be free of laws.

3) Doomsdayers/gold-bugs who have a poor understanding of the concept of money (namely that it is a theoretical construct and always has been, regardless of what item is used to represent it) and think that the world and economy are doomed, but if you have the right magic currency, you'll be ok. Because bitcoin has something "backing it" that makes it worth something no matter what and thus it is great.

4) People using it for money laundering, like the Silk Road. They use it because they figure it is harder to trace than dollars/euros/etc and so use it for payment for illegal items.

Comment: No (Score 1) 152

by Sycraft-fu (#47486629) Attached to: Dell Starts Accepting Bitcoin

You pay taxes in US Dollars in the US. You need to convert anything to that. Like if you sold a bunch of goods to someone in Europe and got paid in euros. No problem, and you can keep some of that in Euros if you like, but you need to sell some of those Euros to a bank (or other entity) and get dollars to pay the IRS. They only take dollars.

Comment: Pretty much (Score 0) 235

by Sycraft-fu (#47475683) Attached to: Nearly 25 Years Ago, IBM Helped Save Macintosh

The original "MHz myth" came out of Apple fanboys back in the PPC days. The PPC was supposed to be super amazeballs, beat up those nasty PCs, all that stuff. Well turned out when you got a new PPC Mac, it was slow, since everything was 68k code being emulated. So they latched on to the benchmarketing, the few PPC benchmarks that ran well, and that the MHz of PPC would get much faster. They said that PPC has a positive second derivative (growth of growth) of MHz, x86 had a negative 2nd derivative and so on.

Then of course x86 went and scaled waaay higher, so all of a sudden they started talking about the "MHz myth" and how MHZ didn't matter, PPC was better (again at a select few benchmarks) etc, etc, etc.

Comment: Also human (Score 4, Insightful) 275

by Sycraft-fu (#47472179) Attached to: Sony Forgets To Pay For Domain, Hilarity Ensues

Anyone on Slashdot who gets smugly superior about this and how "stupid companies are" is just being a hypocrite. We have ALL forgotten things in our lives. We've all forgotten an event we were supposed to be at, a bill we were supposed to pay, something we were supposed to bring with us. It happens.

What's more, everyone has been in a situation where something didn't happen because they, and everyone else, assumed someone else was going to deal with it. You don't go and check on everything that ever happens around you or involving you, you mentally categorize things you are and are not responsible for and ignore the latter.

So ya, companies, which are made up of people, can fuck up too. It's amusing, but perfectly normal.

Comment: No shit (Score 4, Informative) 170

by Sycraft-fu (#47463817) Attached to: Is the Software Renaissance Ending?

My two big hobbies are computer games, and digital audio production. I spend easy that on either one of them. Like digital audio, I not long ago bought BFD3. $350 right there, and it is nothing more than a digital drumkit. I'll never make a cent on it, it is just a toy to me, but damn is it fun. That's just one set of tools I've bought, there were more in the past, and I'm sure more to come.

Or gaming, I buy new games whenever the mood strikes me, get new hardware when I need it and then of course there's MMOs. When I played WoW that was $130 or so for the game and all the expansions, plus $15/month for like 3-4 years. A bargain in my book, I got a tremendous amount of entertainment out of it.

For all that, my hobbies are cheaper than some I know. One of my coworkers is in to cars. Fuck me can you spend a lot on that shit.

Hobbies cost money. Everything costs money. That's just life.

And as you said in terms of a business cost? That's chicken shit. $40/month is hardly on the radar of a small business. When my parents ran their small business (about 4 employees) their PHONES cost more than that. Never mind power, heating, rent, payroll, taxes, etc, etc, etc. Just having the requisite number of phone lines (two) cost more than $40/month. Such a minor cost it was just inconsequential.

Comment: What he's really mad about (Score 1) 170

by Sycraft-fu (#47463793) Attached to: Is the Software Renaissance Ending?

Is that he can't seem to milk the mobile app gravy train, or at least the perceived gravy train. I know a surprising amount of people who thought "Gee great, I'll learn how to make mobile apps and then go off and make my own company and be RICH!" They are the reason why there's so much same shit in app stores.

However, turns out that most don't make any money. Producing the 4,593,928,192nd tower defense game just doesn't excite anyone, unless you happen to do a really good job in an unique way, and these people aren't. So, these money chasers don't make much, if anything. Hence, whining like this. This guy doesn't wanna have a real job at a programming company, he wants to work for himself or with his buddies and shovel out crap and get paid.

That has never worked great, and what is left is drying up.

Comment: Well that's not always a bad thing. (Score 1) 170

by Sycraft-fu (#47463767) Attached to: Is the Software Renaissance Ending?

The idea that a tiny team can always make something amazing isn't true. Big projects often need big teams. The model shouldn't be "all tiny shops, all the time." You wanna do a tiny shop, go for it. Just know there are things you can't compete in.

Also it is a waste of resources to have people keep creating the same thing over and over. We should want to see 100 groups creating 100 word processors. If you can legitimately make one that would be an advantage for some reason then great, go to it, but don't do it just to "have another one."

Comment: No, sorry (Score 1) 706

But the Hobby Lobby issue was about religious fundamentalism, pure and simple. Insurance likes birth control. It is available generic, is reasonably cheap to synthesize and is way, WAY cheaper than a childbirth. A covered childbirth is stupidly expensive. The prenatal care, the actual birth and follow up (that's the biggest part) and then young kids cost more. They would very much like to not pay for that. Some cheap pills are far better than that.

The case was about controlling women's reproductive rights. That has been a major feature of a number of fundamentalist religions, and Christianity is no exception.

Comment: People are fine with worrying about something (Score 1) 706

Until they have to change their lifestyle. Then, they'll only do it if there is some reason. Otherwise like like to whine that Someone should Do Something! They'll wring their hands about the evil corporation/rich/whatever that are supposedly responsible, like shit on Facebook that says it is about change, and go back to living how they always have.

Reason is reducing energy use requires compromise in one form or another. You can either choose to stop doing/using some things, or you can invest more money in more efficient equipment (which of course means less to spend on fun stuff, at least in the short term).

Personally I'm a fan of option 2. You put more money in to efficiency and you reduce your energy usage and, in the long term, expenses. However it can cost a lot up front. My AC died a few years ago, cost of repair was way too high so it needed replacement. Well I had the option of getting a replacement for about $4800ish. However that was low efficiency, equivalent to the unit that my place came with. A high efficiency unit was $7000ish. Whole lot more money, I've not made it back, but it was worth it in my opinion.

Turns out you can affect a fairly substantial energy reduction if you work to buy efficient devices. Now that doesn't mean run out and replace everything (there's a lot of energy in building something too) but if when something needs replacement you get a high quality model that is more efficient and has a longer service life, you can do a good bit. You can then do even more with other changes to your life, like biking to work if feasible.

However I find most people don't agree. They go for what's cheapest now, long run be damned. That includes those that care about the environment, climate change, oil, etc. They "care" only to the extent of talking about it and suggesting others should do something. They are disinterested in making changes to their life.

Comment: Just something to consider (Score 1) 749

by Sycraft-fu (#47453549) Attached to: Obama Administration Says the World's Servers Are Ours

Is that if you do renounce your citizenship, the US gets all spiteful and will blacklist you from coming back.

Obviously you have to evaluate your situation, but just make sure you factor that in. You wouldn't want to say "Ya, don't really need that citizenship anymore," only to find you can't come back and visit family because the government got pissey about it.

"Hey Ivan, check your six." -- Sidewinder missile jacket patch, showing a Sidewinder driving up the tail of a Russian Su-27