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Comment: Re:Duh ... (Score 2, Insightful) 210

by Trailer Trash (#48468655) Attached to: Hacker Threatened With 44 Felony Charges Escapes With Misdemeanor

Prosecutors are no longer interested in evenly applying the law in a sane manner.

They're interested in high profile retribution which is intended to send a message which says "don't mess with us, or we'll do this to you".

And, somehow, at the CEO level when there's massive fraud and malfeasance ... absolutely nothing happens.

Because the justice system is dependent on how much money is in your bank account, and who your friends are.

Or if you're a member of "team us" with the prosecutor you don't have to worry, either. Look at cases where police officers actually are indicted for a crime and see how the prosecution is handled. A couple of names to google: "Jon Burge", "Johannes Meserle", "David Bisard". Note the charges - absolutely the minimum. Take a look at what happens when police officers falsify reports and such, too. It's crazy.

The justice system is mainly made to screw over poor people. The middle class are simply bankrupted by a prosecution, and the rich and those in government aren't touched.

Comment: Re:Can Iowa handle a circus that large? (Score 4, Insightful) 418

by Trailer Trash (#48467029) Attached to: Former HP CEO Carly Fiorina Considering US Presidential Run

So two people that couldn't even win a senate seat during favorable election conditions, a retread candidate, a guy with a toxic last name, a complete idiot who is known for being a punch line to everyone except the extreme right wing, a governor who barely dodges scandals erupting from typical New Jersey politics, and Bobby Jindal.

Anyone else want in, because I'm not seeing a lot to get fired up about here...

Yeah, all that vs. Hillary Clinton. We so desperately need a third party or Ross Perot type candidate.

Comment: There's another way to handle this that's easier (Score 1) 82

by Trailer Trash (#48462591) Attached to: A Toolbox That Helps Keep You From Losing Tools (Video)

Auto mechanics own their own tools. Most shops give a "tool allowance" for them to buy new tools on a regular basis, but the fact is that owning your own tools makes theft pointless and accidental loss expensive. Problem solved.

When I look at this toolbox and the amount of effort to "check out" or "check in" a tool - plus the fact that the capacity of the box is now 1/10th what it used to be - that $35,000/year is starting to look like a rock bottom bargain if they have anything more than 3 or 4 people using it.

Comment: Re:Yawn ... (Score 1) 167

by Trailer Trash (#48440167) Attached to: Microsoft Azure Outage Across the Globe

Linode is a standard VPS provider. I don't need "hosting" where the sites are on a machine with 1000 other web sites. I do high-end business-to-business sites that need to be available and very responsive. Because of using a variety of software pieces and having to run cron jobs and all that I also need access to the machine.

As for disk space there's no comparison between a service like Amazon S3 (or similar offerings from Google, Rack Space, et al) and a bunch of disk space. Disk space is actually pretty cheap, but Amazon's service level for S3 is something like 8 9s (literally). It's simply crazy. But it's what my customers expect. If someone hits a "play" link and the music doesn't play they'll move on to the next provider. I had a guy explain to me one day "if I have to wait 10 seconds I'm already on the next web site". He wasn't kidding. These folks work hard when they work and dead links are not acceptable.

Nothing's perfect, but with the right tools I can run a business offering a service level that would have been unimaginable 10 years ago, particularly for one or two guys.

Comment: Re:Yawn ... (Score 5, Interesting) 167

by Trailer Trash (#48418113) Attached to: Microsoft Azure Outage Across the Globe

Let me explain it from my point of view. I own and operate a one or two man software company that also hosts web sites. I work in the flim & tv music industry, meaning I have a shit load of music (literally terabytes) that has to be available for download.

8 years ago I owned a rack of servers downtown here that I managed myself. Honestly, it wasn't that bad. I bought reliable used 1U servers (mainly IBM and Dell) off ebay and stocked them with disks. I ran FreeBSD and Linux, used RAID, etc. But I always had two issues to deal with. The main one was "I have to always be available to handle hardware issues".

My company isn't big enough to hire someone to do it, but I managed for nearly 10 years with no disasters. In that time I had a motherboard crap (when I was starting out with one server - ouch) and a few disks fail. In all of those times I had to go in - sometimes in the middle of the night - and fix/replace whatever was wrong.

Then I found Amazon AWS. Here's the kicker - it was actually cheaper for me to simply "rent" storage from them than to rent rack space for my own servers. I moved my servers to - again it was cheaper although they're nowhere near as fast as my former dedicated servers were, but they're fast enough for my applications and I can always move to larger instances where needed. And that eliminated my maintenance issues for hardware while costing less per month and maintaining the same 3-4 nines level of availability that I've always had. Oh, one other thing - S3 makes it just as easy to secure my audio files but the delivery speed can easily saturate any pipe that the files are being delivered to.

So the cloud might not be "magical" and solve all the world's problems, but for small IT shops it's great. Everything I do is on the internet so the whole "what if your connection goes down?" issue doesn't exist for me. I do not recommend such a solution for everybody. I have clients in the industrial wholesale space and their inventory & sales system definitely should be on-site with off-site backups. But their web site can be hosted elsewhere.

Anyway, yes, the "cloud" is very useful for many businesses.

Comment: Re:Link to PNAS article (Score 3, Insightful) 114

Direct link to PNAS abstract.

Why, why, why is it that Slashdot always reports on new scientific discoveries with a link to a lay press summary or a press release, and never gives us the useful link to the actual papers with the real words by actual scientists? Aaaargh.

Hey, at least it wasn't Bennet Haselton telling us about it.

Comment: I hate to feed this, but (Score 1) 350

by Trailer Trash (#48379707) Attached to: Debunking a Viral Internet Post About Breastfeeding Racism

Anther issue that you bring up is that people who perform mechanical turk tasks see the world differently. Energy shortages are a problem in places like India where a lot of the "turks" live. Having not grown up in America their view of race is completely different than ours and they're not going to bring the usual prejudices with them.

Simply stated, there's no good way to get useful results in this manner.

Comment: Re:Hey, no worries! (Score 2) 86

by Trailer Trash (#48368401) Attached to: After Silk Road 2.0 Shutdown, Rival Dark Net Markets Grow Quickly

The only way to truly win the war on drugs is to quit fighting. There's no way to "win" and no reason to continue. Rates of drug usage are as high or higher than they were before the war. You can see in Colorado that marijuana usage didn't increase when it became legal.

But us not fighting would actually be a win. The free market would make many drugs really cheap (like marijuana) and drive the criminal drug gangs out of business. Remember, Al Capone was a liquor distributor who lived 80 years ago and you know his name. Think about that, and then try to name the head of any current liquor distribution company.

Comment: Re:Simple fix (Score 1) 158

by Trailer Trash (#48363241) Attached to: Apple's Luxembourg Tax Deals

It's worse than that. When you talk about making big evil corporations pay more - well, it ends up being little corporations like mine paying out the nose. 4 or 5 years ago I paid off a debt one year, which of course meant that I had a huge profit since I couldn't expense out the debt payment as I could employee payroll or something. I ended up writing the IRS a check for $12,000 or so. That's a lot of dough for a one man company. I joked at the time that I paid more taxes than Apple.

The next year I had a loss. Knowing that the tax laws allow large corporations to get a refund of prior year taxes when they have a loss I asked my accountant about it. His response was that it would cost far more to file the paperwork than what the refund would be. The loss wasn't huge (and is normal) but would have resulted in a couple grand coming back.

People (especially on the left) need to realize that raising corporate tax rates will not screw Apple, Google, etc. They have enough money to write the tax laws and they *will* be exempted. It's not only or even mostly Republicans doing that, by the way. It's at best a bipartisan effort and at worst a Democrat effort. If you raise corporate tax rates companies like mine will pay. And it would help the country better if I could spend that money myself or use it to hire someone.

Comment: Re:A matter of perspective (Score 2) 78

by Trailer Trash (#48360679) Attached to: Earth's Oxygen History Could Explain "Darwin's Dilemma" In Evolution

... evolution didn't go into high gear until the "Cambrian Explosion", ...

I'm not sure I believe that - one could reasonably argue that the growth in complexity from a soup of ribozymes to the first cell, was comparable to the leap from single-celled organisms to multicelled; or possibly far more involved than that. Another major leap was from prokaryotes to eukaryotes, a necessary precondition for (most) multicelled life, it would appear. What happened at the Cambrian explosion was probably just that now the organisms got big and touch enough to leave fossils.

Bingo. I always assumed we had a billion years of creating a massive set of genes and proteins that would be used later on, and at some point (the Cambrian Explosion) that complexity had reached a tipping point. Your normal bacterium is awesomely complex, but doesn't leave a lot of fossils laying around.

The key elements in human thinking are not numbers but labels of fuzzy sets. -- L. Zadeh