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Comment: Re:Not enough (Score 1) 141

Sure, so you probably want to keep several spares handy, maybe even have a few hot spares that can be automatically deployed the moment there's a failure, and replace the failed drives at your leisure. Having almost as many hot spares as you have active disks is probably overkill for most scenarios. In fact they themselves calculated that with their parity technique it will give you 5-nines confidence in having 4 years of maintenance-free reliability. Probably a lot more cost effective to build the system for 5-nines reliability for a few months, and just make a point of replacing any failed drives within a few weeks.

Comment: Re:Naive to say the least. (Score 1) 141

A mean time between failure of 11.4 years means you can reasonably expect half of all drives to fail before then*. Assuming a constant failure rate (which we really shouldn't do), that means you can expect ~4.4% of drives to fail every year. Which leads to the benefit of lowering the warranty period: Every year of warranty increases the expected total production/replacement cost of the drive by 4.4% - reduce the warranty period and you boost profit margins and/or can reduce the price to undercut your competitors.

*In reality it's not quite so simple, MTBF is actually the average failure rate of a large number of young drives tested for (probably) considerably less than a year, with aging effects never taken into consideration.

Comment: Re:OK, based upon notebook shopping thus far (Score 2) 12

I suspect that in a computer of that size you wouldn't want anything other than integrated graphics. Sure, AMD or NVIDIA could provide a part low clocked enough, or cut down enough, to fit within the size and thermal constraints; but once they've done that they probably won't be much better than the already-integrated graphics.

Unless you have enough room for a proper GPU, low end discrete GPUs are increasingly somewhat pointless, since they always add complexity and cost; but don't necessarily outperform integrated ones by all that much.

Comment: Re:Positive pressure? (Score 1) 209

by fuzzyfuzzyfungus (#48932205) Attached to: Why ATM Bombs May Be Coming Soon To the United States
You'd probably need to use a different formulation than for cotton or cellulose based bills; but I suspect so.

Based on a look at paints sold for use on plastics and vinyl(like this one), the strategy appears to be to use a suitably nasty solvent as a carrier for the pigment and have the solvent infiltrate the polymer's structure, carrying the pigment with it. In a case where you need not worry about damaging the polymer(unlike commercial plastic paints, where the solvent can't be so aggressive that it messes up the underlying material permanently), like tagging stolen bills, you could presumably be particularly aggressive in your formulation.

I don't know the chemistry of the polymer and the protective coatings in common use; but you can usually find a solvent that will do the trick, especially if you don't mind a bit of damage to the material being worked with.

Comment: Re:Power Costs (Score 1) 141

How do you figure? I mean sure, presumably the spares would be inactive until a replacement was needed, to save both power and wear and tear, but how do you figure that that is an implication of needing to detect anomalous failure rates to avoid data loss? No matter what strategy you're using, if you've got N-nines projected reliability over Y years assuming normal failure rates, then if you're suffering from anomalously high failure rates you're going to need to replace some drives early to maintain the same reliability for the full Y years.

Comment: Get off my organic green carpet! (Score 1) 219

by Tablizer (#48932101) Attached to: One In Five Developers Now Works On IoT Projects

They changed "mainframe" and "server hosting" into "cloud", "client/server" into "rich client", "statistics" into "data mining" and "big data", the original Mac look into "Shading-free GUI's" or the "flat look", and "embedded" into "Internet of things". It's not the new technology I have trouble keeping up with, but rather the new names for old shit.

Next you know the young whipper-snappers will take "variables" and call them "dynamic constants" and rave about the New Way of Programming.

Comment: Past US history has problematical parts & prog (Score 1) 95

by Paul Fernhout (#48932071) Attached to: Snowden Documents: CSE Tracks Millions of Downloads Daily

Yes, bad things are happening. But unless we remember and celebrate the past successes, we may more easily give way to despair.

Examples of problematical episodes from US history: The McCarthy era in the 1950s, the internment of Japanese-Americans in the 1940s, the US Eugenics movement in the 1930s and before -- where the Nazis got the idea, the lynching of black citizens in the South along with a US white supremacy movement (again, long before "Arianism" took hold in Germany), the tragic Civil War of the 1870s, and many more such things... Plus so much problematical foreign policy, including grabbing big parts of Mexico and invading Canada multiple times, not to mention the systematic genocide committed against the Native Americans to steal their land (the US Army's primary function in early years was taking part in all that). The USA may criticize China's "human rights" record, but the US past is filled with many horrors that may be far worse than things China is doing now (even in Tibet etc.).

Governments always demand to be respected in various ways. Those ways may change over time. Yes, there are bad trends, and bad episodes, some still ongoing and growing like you and others including me point to, but the USA has muddled through them in the past. Some wrongs have been righted decades later (even as "justice delayed is justice denied"); others have yet to be resolved. Generally, the successes are helped along by efforts from citizens, as in: "Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it's the only thing that ever has. (Margaret Mead)".

I can urge you to read "A People's History of the United States" to get a broader perspective on all this regarding the USA. It is a perspective not taught in the past in most US classrooms or probably still in most civics classes for immigrants. It is the history of US citizens struggling repeatedly to control a government and industry (the two being intertwined), to keep them accountable to human needs. It is full of examples both of successes and failures. Here is an online version, but it is probably available in any major book store:

Another good book is John Gardner's 1971 book "Self-Renewal: The Individual and the Innovative Society". Here I quote what he says and comment on it:
""As I was browsing in a university bookstore recently, I heard an apple-cheeked girl say to her companion, "The truth is that our society and everything in it is in a state of decay." I studied her carefully and I must report that she did not seem even slightly decayed. But what of the society as a whole? Decay is hardly the word for what is happening to us. We are witnessing changes so profound and far-reaching that the mind can hardly grasp all the implications. ... Only the blind and complacent could fail to recognize the great tasks of renewal facing us -- in government, in education, ..."
    John Gardner goes on to say that every generation faces the problem of renewing itself to meet new challenges emerging from the very success of the old ways of doing things. And he suggests that social values are not some drying up old reservoir, but rather a reservoir of variable capacity that must be recharged anew in every generation. [He also suggests every generation must re-learn for itself what the words carved on the stone monuments really mean.]
    Democracy -- use it or lose it.
    Free speech on the internet -- use it or lose it.
    Social capital -- use it or lose it?
    P2P -- use it or lose it? :-)
    Again, Gardner's book was written in 1971, so, about forty years ago. Although it's true the last thirty years in the USA has pretty much been a disaster socially ("greed is good"), even if technically we have advanced, and there has at least also been a growing environmental consciousness."

This history of bad episodes (or government overreach) is not unique to the USA also. Even in the USSR and China and Germany in the past, things changed for the better after a period of tighter government controls (and yet may cycle again). And before those improvements, people learn the limits of the system and how to work creatively within them.

That does not mean a lot of people don't suffer in the meanwhile though... Or that such tight controls may not weaken a country to the point of internal collapse or incapacity to deal with an external threat. As in someone's sig on Slashdot, "if your country doesn't fight for you, why should you fight for it?" Other than through ignorance or misinformation or propaganda... A video game that explores that theme, btw:
"Beyond Good & Evil (video game)"

Still, given the USA has a lot of nukes (and maybe plagues and such), that does not mean this time it won't be different and the USA won't take the whole world with if if it descends further into fearful selfish self-destructive madness. That's in part what worries me most -- that the elite is essentially playing a game of "chicken" in that sense with the rest of the US population and the world. As in, "Give us everything we want (which is indeed everything) or the world will be destroyed as it plunges into chaos we created by our previous selfishness and paranoia".

There is also an aspect that when bureaucracy becomes enshrined in automated systems backed by police robots (e.g. Elysium), there may be no end to institutionalized cruelty. That can be true even though history has shown us enough of such cruelty when bureaucracies are just staffed by humans. (like the Nazi Holocaust powered by punched cards and patriotism and fear). But once all humans are purged from such bureaucracies, there is less room for "humanity" in at least some of the decisions at the edges. One can see that in, say, John Taylor Gatto's accomplishments as a school teacher in NYC helping kids to learn anyway (like helping them find apprenticeships), even when it was against the rules.

I agree a lot of bad things are happening (another example is "border checkpoints" 100 miles inland), just as a lot of bad things have happened. I'm just saying, we don't really know what will happen this time, even with intense surveillance. Probably, as another reply suggests, it will get worse in many ways before it become better. As I suggest elsewhere, intense surveillance is also an opportunity to set a good example and educate the watchers...
"On dealing with social hurricanes (like the US CIA) "

But at the same time there is much positive change going on. To take just one positive example (in part by researchers and some free market dynamics and limited government support), just look at how power from solar panels is now (or soon) about a cheap as power from coal. When I was a boy in the 1970s in the USA, everyone was afraid of social collapse from running out of oil. While some still fear that, anyone who looks at the falling prices of solar PV since the 1970s knows that "Peak Oil" is not going to be a civilization destroying event like we feared back then.

As another example of positive change (in part by some government regulation, especially at the state level), back then, rivers in the USA would catch fire! That does not happen in the USA now due to decades of progress from the environmental movement (even if China now has a similar environmental problems).

Before that, in the 1930s, Pittsburgh had air so choked with coal smog that the buildings were blackened and people suffered and died from the bad air, which is such a change from the Pittsburgh of today (even if China is repeating some of the same mistakes, but also now working to correct them). Some pictures are here:

This one shows a Pittsburgh building being cleaned, and you can see how dirty they were:

Or as another example, when I was a boy, the "Russians" were the enemy. They were evil. The Russian people were trapped and unable to communicate with the outside world. It is hard to explain how much the USSR was feared and hated and despised and pitied in the USA decades ago. We were all ready to blow up the world with nuclear weapons rather than have any Russian influence spread ("Better dead than Red"). Decades later a Russian emigre graduate professor taught me advanced math (a person who had learned math helping his father design missile guidance systems to target the USA). Americans are learning from Russian medical breakthroughs like with phage therapy for antibiotic-resistant bacteria. We have an international space station together and Russian rockets put Americans into space. My own kid now plays "World of Tanks" alongside Russian citizens on the WOT test server, working together with Russians and communicating as allies (granted, against another team of mixed-nationality players). Star Trek presaged this in the 1960s, with Chekov on the bridge of the Enterprise. We even now have instant translators of languages (to some degree), something that was just sci-fi back in the 1960s

Of course, sadly, now and then people beat the war drums that China is the implacable "enemy". That was ramping up just before 9/11/2001, but then suddenly went quiet for a time after 9/11. Or now its essentially the whole Muslim world or maybe Afghanis or Iraqis that is the "enemy" (ignoring how most of the 9/11 hijackers were from Saudi Arabia, our supposed ally, who the US president just visited with the change in king).

Another example is a bi-racial person becoming President of the USA. Granted, his politics are mostly just more of the same old corporatism, but such an election result would have been unthinkable to most US Americans in the 1950s (let alone his parent's marriage being illegal in the USA in some places and times).
"Anti-miscegenation laws or miscegenation laws were laws that enforced racial segregation at the level of marriage and intimate relationships by criminalizing interracial marriage and sometimes also sex between members of different races. Such laws were first introduced in North America from the late seventeenth century onwards by several of the Thirteen Colonies, and subsequently by many US states and US territories and remained in force in many US states until 1967."

So, even as since the 1970s (or before) the USA has gotten worse in some ways, it has gotten better in others. And we still have a long way to go, including an unending struggle as previous hard-won rights like "overtime pay" are chipped away until they (hopefully) get restored.
"Should IT Professionals Be Exempt From Overtime Regulations?"

Here is a book with more optimism:
"Blessed Unrest"
"A leading environmentalist and social activist's examination of the worldwide movement for social and environmental change
    Paul Hawken has spent over a decade researching organizations dedicated to restoring the environment and fostering social justice.
From billion-dollar nonprofits to single-person dot.causes, these groups collectively comprise the largest movement on earth, a movement that has no name, leader, or location, and that has gone largely ignored by politicians and the media. Like nature itself, it is organizing from the bottom up, in every city, town, and culture. and is emerging to be an extraordinary and creative expression of people's needs worldwide.
    Blessed Unrest explores the diversity of the movement, its brilliant ideas, innovative strategies, and hidden history, which date back many centuries. A culmination of Hawken's many years of leadership in the environmental and social justice fields, it will inspire and delight any and all who despair of the world's fate, and its conclusions will surprise even those within the movement itself. Fundamentally, it is a description of humanity's collective genius, and the unstoppable movement to reimagine our relationship to the environment and one another."

Comment: Re:Here we go again. (Score 1) 219

by fuzzyfuzzyfungus (#48932029) Attached to: One In Five Developers Now Works On IoT Projects
I'm not saying that SNMP is the correct mechanism for IoT, just that the state of discovery and interaction between IoT 'things' is so dismal(except where specially handcrafted by the vendor) that SNMP's MIBs look positively advanced by comparison.

Crazy-cheap silicon makes connecting things to networks relatively simple; but it doesn't solve the much more difficult problem of making those things interact in a useful way without either intricate top-down command and control or a ghastly nightmare of emergent oddities and security problems. At present, there appears to be very, very, little headway in making the 'things' that are supposed to be internetworking aware of one another, much less usefully so, with people either rolling their own totally isolated little thing or attempting to be the gatekeeper for all device interaction. It does not inspire confidence.

Comment: Re:Actually, it's part and parcel of absolute fasc (Score 1) 95

by cyberchondriac (#48931605) Attached to: Snowden Documents: CSE Tracks Millions of Downloads Daily
Not justifying the massive spying, but simply addressing the core logic presented here: Even if something is not 100% effective, does not mean it's useless:
Why have cops? Crime still happens. Why have diagnostic medical tests, yet people still get diseases. May as well stop chemotherapy too, I still have about 5% of the original cancer cells left that the first four treatments didn't kill. Many plots have been thwarted, particularly lately, and except in cases where a previously unknown informant steps forward out of the blue, the information comes from their spies and monitoring.
I'm only saying the objection to the spying should be based on privacy and personal freedom, not it's effectiveness; that's a different argument.
Now, you easily argue, tally up all those thwarted attacks, are they worth the cost to our liberties? Again, I'm not debating that. Clearly privacy is dead, between the data-mining corporations, and the governments.
We are product. We are potential suspects.

Comment: Re:Faraday's cages are not crazy. (Score 1) 52

by RabidReindeer (#48931373) Attached to: Georgia Institute of Technology Researchers Bridge the Airgap

I'm going to have to assume that the computers logged were using FCC-compliant CPUs, seeing as nothing was said about using special noisy CPUs.

For keyloggers, obviously shielded keyboard electronics and cables helps. Once it gets into the CPU, a lot of other noisy things are also happening. Although strewing a couple of modules around the site that do nothing much more than emit random character codes in the same RF format would be worth considering.

Comment: Re: Positive pressure? (Score 1) 209

by Immerman (#48931355) Attached to: Why ATM Bombs May Be Coming Soon To the United States

Most ATMs I've seen are outside, or in small lobbies of their own. Kind of pointless to have an ATM that you can't access when the bank is closed. Rarely are they air conditioned. So vent the gas back at the user - if they want to blow *themselves* up in a useless attempt to get the money (it's the rear door that isn't strong enough to withstand the shock, right?), well then there's not much you can do to stop them anyway.

Comment: Re:I'm 4 of 5 (Score 1) 219

by RabidReindeer (#48931313) Attached to: One In Five Developers Now Works On IoT Projects

I had to google IoT....

Me too. I had no idea that many people worked at Institutes of Technology.

Actually, I first thought of Game of Thrones, but I read things funny sometimes.

Internet of Things wasn't the first thing (no pun intended) that popped into my head and I've been programming things for years. Some of them even On the Internet (patent pending).

Comment: Re:define crazy. (Score 1) 52

by fuzzyfuzzyfungus (#48931301) Attached to: Georgia Institute of Technology Researchers Bridge the Airgap
The trick is that security measures have costs, in time, money, user convenience, etc. and it is considered 'crazy'(in the weak sense of 'not sensible', not the psych-ward sense) to voluntarily impose costs on yourself that are out of proportion to the costs of the expected threat.

There's always something you could be doing more securely; but only sometimes is it worth it.

Nothing succeeds like the appearance of success. -- Christopher Lascl