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Comment: Winchester drives designed for no testing (Score 1) 297 297

by Theovon (#49970539) Attached to: When Will Your Hard Drive Fail?

A mechanical hard drive is, well, a mechanical device, which can fail at any time due to vibration, wear, weak parts, and lots of other reasons. They're ticking time bombs. That being said, as with other mechanical devices, like cars, they are appropriately over-designed with wide tolerances. With cars, you get several years of warranty to have the weak parts replaced so that by the end of that period, it ought to be in good shape. Testing a hard drive is a time-consuming and expensive procedure, which is why only the enterprise drives get any factory testing. The rest just ship. To keep down the failure rate, drives are built with all kinds of mechanisms to compensate for variation. For instance, there are vibration sensors, and the firmware will slow down the spindle and read/write arm movements to ensure that the drive works *correctly* even if some have degraded performance. It is this approach that keeps hard drive prices low. While the failures are unfortunate, an alternative would increase prices for everyone, and the smart ones among us put new drives through burn-in testing anyhow. When I buy a laptop, I cross my fingers that the drive has been through some OEM testing. When I build a server, I do burn-in and use RAID.

Comment: Yes, but please don't end all alternative medicine (Score 1, Insightful) 666 666

by Theovon (#49958791) Attached to: Is the End of Government Acceptance of Homeopathy In Sight?

I agree that homeopathy is total nonsense. Unfortunately, it's commonly linked with other forms of alternative medicine that actually do work, and I won't want to see those go down as well. In fact, there is a push by the pharmaceutical companies for the FDA to regulate alternative medicines such that they will become no longer cost-effective to produce. Herbal meds take money out of the pockets of the pharmaceutical companies, so they will try to take advantage of homeopathy going down to elimiate herbal meds as well.

I could list all sorts of herbal and other alternative meds and their positive effects and side-effects. Two I'll mention:

- Dessicated bovine adrenal gland is useful if you have some mild adrenal dysfunction.
- Dessicated porcine thyroid gland is fabulous if you have a thyroid disorder and Levothyroxine hasn't been effective. The glandular is kinda like taking Armour Thyroid or Cytomel, except that you get the complete set of thyroid hormones.

Comment: Re:Government workers don't lie--they're just scar (Score 1) 222 222

by Theovon (#49913079) Attached to: Glen Greenwald: Don't Trust Anonymous Anti-Snowden Claims

Just to be clear. The government lies. Government workers just say whatever they have to to stay out of trouble. This results in lies, but the individual employees aren't lying, at least not intentionally. Only upper management has culpability for not specifying what to say that is truthful.

Comment: Government workers don't lie--they're just scared (Score 3, Interesting) 222 222

by Theovon (#49913061) Attached to: Glen Greenwald: Don't Trust Anonymous Anti-Snowden Claims

Edward Snowden had no family to take care of. He was a loner who could afford to flee the country. Most other people are not in this kind of position.

I don't care who you are; people act in their own self-interests. For many government workers, their self-interests include keeping their job, taking care of their families, and not getting thrown into jail. So when a government employee tells you something, you can't trust it. But that's not because they're lying. Most of the time, they're misinformed. Nobody in the NSA knows what anyone else in the NSA is doing. It looks like it's so poorly managed that the management doesn't know what the rest of the organization is doing. (Hey, they should try spying on themselves!) The rest of the time, they're just saying the minimum that is safe to say. The main thing impacting what they say is keeping out of trouble, so they'll say whatever achieves that goal.

Considering that neither you nor I have the circumstances or cojones to do what Snowden did, we're in no position to judge what he or anyone else has done. Most slashdotters in his position like to talk big right now, but the fact is, you'd be scared shitless and do absolutely nothing. Or maybe if you could manage in this economy, you might try to find a different job. Someone really smart and dedicated would work to gain employee status so they could be covered under whistle-blower laws. But that's neither you nor I. The same applied to every other government position.

And as I say, everyone else is in the same position. You want to judge the people who work for the federal government. But they act with total self-interest in the same way that we do. Don't make waves, feed your family, don't get arrested. The only way to fix these problems is to change the law, and that is slowly happening. It may take decades, but it'll happen.

Meanwhile, we all need to be cognizant of the needs to maintain both freedom in our country and also security. We should not sacrifice one for the other. But that makes this a delicate and dynamic balancing act. There are no simple solutions. And on our own, neither you nor I knows the whole solution (in part because the solution has to keep adapting to the ever-changing threats to freedom and security).

Comment: Revealing your knowledge will only hurt you (Score 1) 479 479

Keep in mind that the customer service person you get when you first call your cable company knows less than nothing. The have a script and some stock questions and answer, and they would likely get into trouble for deviating from those. Telling them that you know more than they do is likely to annoy them and slow down your progress.

I have found that the best way to deal with this is to actually go through all the trouble-shooting steps yourself that you know they'll put you through. For instance, you know how they tell you to reboot your computer and your router? And how they often don't want to stay on the line while you're doing that (or if you're using chat, you'll get disconnected)? If you can say, "I did that step already" to everything they come up with, you'll eventually reach the point in their script where they're SUPPOSED to escalate you to the next level.

This is painful, but there's no way around it. They're not supposed to escalate you immediately. If they did that, the second tier would get overwhelmed anyhow. So they're an important and necessary filter to deal with all the OTHER people calling in who are total morons who don't realize their router isn't plugged in.

It's like dealing with some doctors. If you know what's wrong with you, don't ask for the right drug. Find out what are the classic symptoms to tell them about so that they'll feel smart by writing you the right prescription.

Comment: Michael Larabel doesn't correct his errors (Score 2) 77 77

Here's one specific case:

Multiple people have contacted Michael Larabel and told him that it is in fact Jeff Bush, not Theo Markettos, who developed Nyuzi. I emailed Larabel directly. Multiple people pointed the error out on the forums. People mentioned it in response to Larabel's tweet. Larabel has been contacted in enough different ways that he simply could not have missed this, so he's intentionally refusing to correct the error. BTW, this is not his only error in the linked article.

Just to be clear, this is not an isolated incident, otherwise it wouldn't bother me so much. Innocent mistakes happen. But I've caught him on numerous occasions posting factual errors on his site. It is clear that he has zero interest in correcting his errors.

Here's another one:
And some others on this topic.

The OGP is more or less dead, although Nyuzi has the potential to bring is new life. However, Larabel got his information about the demise of the OGP from this weasel named Michael Meeuwisse who for whatever reason got a bug up his ass to undermine the OGP. I think he wanted to take attention away from us to put it onto his ProjectVGA. Now, disagreements happen. But Larabel is a sensationalist, not a journalist, so it was more in his favor to get his "facts" from some malcontent. Instead of me, the guy who founded the OGP who would therefore be able to present a different perspective and correct some of the factual errors. But that wasn't interesting to Larabel.

Does any of this matter in the long run? Not really. Nobody who matters really believed any of what Meeuwisse was saying, and it hasn't had any impact on what's going on with Nyuzi or any other work in this area. Meeuwisse and his ProjectVGA have disappeared into obscurity even moreso than the OGP.

The fact still remains that Larabel has zero interest in correcting errors or presenting rebuttals or any kind of balanced viewpoint.

Are you satisfied now?

Comment: Open Source GPUs (Score 4, Informative) 193 193

An open source GPU:
And its wiki:
And even some peer-review:

We could have fixed this problem a decade ago if the FOSS community had gotten behind the Open Graphics Project, but they're not as interested in FOSS-friendly graphics as they say they are. This is because most FOSS enthusiasts are more interested in gratis than they are in freedom.

Comment: Move those drivers into services around the trucks (Score 1) 615 615

by Theovon (#49706409) Attached to: The Economic Consequences of Self-Driving Trucks

There's still lots for people to do with those trucks. People have to load them, drive them between loading/unloading and staging areas, maintain them, fuel them, etc. Sure, a computer can back up a semi to a loading dock, but the logistics are more complicated than that, so humans will be involved. So basically, the effect of having self-driving trucks is that the same people that drive them all around the country can now just live at end and way points, and we can deploy more trucks for them to handle at delivery ends and way points.

Comment: Because people are stupid and lazy (Score 1) 545 545

by Theovon (#49694871) Attached to: California Senate Approves School Vaccine Bill

You see, eating more nutritious foods, and maybe avoiding certain conventionally grown foods that are known to suck up pesticides (i.e. only buy organic apples), and maybe using fewer BPA-laden containers, and maybe exercising, and maybe taking a good multivitamin, and maybe cutting your sugar intake. How about not smoking and cutting back on the binge drinking? We could also work to reduce the industrial pollution we pump into the air and water. But those things are all just too hard to do. This would mean you can't eat pizza and beer for every meal and put all your garbage into the land fill.

But vaccines are easy to avoid. So we'll just blame everything on them.

Comment: Systemd detractors are like climate change deniers (Score -1, Troll) 347 347

by Theovon (#49663081) Attached to: Linux Mint Will Continue To Provide Both Systemd and Upstart

I'm not saying that there aren't problems with systemd. But I'm noticing a trend in terms of the balance of attitudes about systemd and toward people who keep going on and on about how they hate systemd. They're in a shrinking minority, and everybody else is just moving on, both technologically and mentally. Currently, the systemd deniers are just considered to be annoying. But give it a year, and they the attitude will be quite different: In the same way that creationists and climate change deniers are thought of as morons by the rest of the scientific community, the systemd haters will be relegated to the class of trolls and bikeshedders who interfere with progress. And this has nothing to do with whether or not they're RIGHT about anything.

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