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Comment: Re:Wait a minute (Score 2) 248

by Webmoth (#48832993) Attached to: SpaceX Landing Attempt Video Released

Everyone is assuming that the spent fluid is being dumped overboard. Do we know that to be the case?

It's only necessary to expel the spent fluid externally if you want to reduce overall rocket mass while doing so. If that's not necessary, you can still use an open loop system but have a recovery tank to receive the spent fluid, thereby preventing environmental contamination. That's really the only reason to contain it; the cost of lost spent fluid is probably minimal.

Comment: Offsite storage farms (Score 2) 284

by Webmoth (#48464345) Attached to: Is LTO Tape On Its Way Out?

Tape media's greatest benefit is its long storage life. Providing you have the equipment to do it, you could read a tape created 25 years ago.

Tape media's greatest liability is its long storage life. Will you be able to find equipment to read it 25 years from now? If not, you have what we call write-only media.

I think that tape is going to disappear as a viable storage medium, at least in the small business sector. The equipment and media is expensive, and most small businesses don't have the resources to employ someone trained in proper media management.

The replacement is going to be offsite storage farms, whether from a third-party cloud provider, or farms owned by the company that needs the backups. As the per-byte cost of disk storage continually and rapidly falls and wide-area network (Internet) bandwidth increases, offsite/online backups are becoming more and more feasible. Data deduplication and image management software technologies mean that a company can have daily backups completely automated and available as far back as they want. Restoring a file or two from these backups is quick and easy. My company already supports several small businesses using this backup technology; as existing tape drives fail they are seldom being replaced with more tape hardware.

The downside of offsite/online backups is that bare-metal recovery of a failed system from those backups is still extremely time-consuming. Eventually the bandwidth will become available to make it viable; until then tape still seems to be the best option for bare-metal recovery.

Comment: Re:Thank you, Presidents Reagan and Clinton. (Score 1) 236

by Webmoth (#48315603) Attached to: The Plane Crash That Gave Us GPS

You have to listen/read carefully what Clinton said. The popular press reported it as "I did not have sex with that woman -- Monica Lewinsky." I believe what he really said was "I did not have sex with that woman, Monica Lewinsky."

Notice the subtle difference. In the second analysis, he is not referring to Ms. Lewinsky, but in fact addressing her. Which opens the question: then what woman did he not have sex with? Hillary? (I couldn't blame him for not.) Then from whence Chelsea?

Comment: Re:So they got their reservation using deception? (Score 1, Insightful) 1007

by Webmoth (#48242221) Attached to: Creationism Conference at Michigan State University Stirs Unease

Would you silence a dissenting view? That is not healthy for scientific discourse, no matter how wrong you believe the dissenting view to be.

If you wish to silence them, silence them using facts, logic, and argument. Do not silence them through a political process. You would ask them to do the same for your.

Comment: Carbon Footprint (Score 1) 153

by Webmoth (#38788333) Attached to: 'Electric Earth' Could Explain Planet's Rotation

But what is the carbon footprint of all this electricity that Earth is using? Surely that can't be good. We need a treaty with the other planets that curtails Earth's inordinate use of the universe's electricity! Why, it just might throw the interstellar ecosystem out of balance unless we get it under control!

Comment: History majors (Score 2) 312

by Webmoth (#38262028) Attached to: Institutional Memory and Reverse Smuggling

Maybe that B.A. in History isn't such a bad degree to have after all. Now all you need to do is convince corporations they need to have a history department to manage all of their documentation in such a way that it is discoverable and accessible.

One of my favorite lines is, "Your data is secure. We just can't access it." In other words, if you are going to use a particular medium as an archive, you need to ensure that the data can be read from that medium, in perpetuity. If the technology is in danger of becoming obsolete, the archived data must be moved forward to new media.

Of course, that isn't enough. The data must be indexed in such a way that the information you need can be found. Finding a needle in a haystack is easy with modern technology; finding a hand-drawn flow chart explaining how a particular "black box" in your manufacturing plant converts X to Y (and why it's painted blue) among hundreds of thousands of pages of poorly indexed documentation is exceedingly difficult.

Harrison's Postulate: For every action, there is an equal and opposite criticism.