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Comment Re:Whath's the need? (Score 1) 133

Chromecast sticks are useful in the office where you have a wall mounted TV and you want to display your laptop screen on it. No need to fiddle with the HDMI cable (or DVI -> HDMI, or VGA -> HDMI, or DP -> HDMI). They're also cheap enough that you can carry one "just in case".

Heck, at $35, they're cheaper then some A/V cables...

Comment Re:I prefer Google TV! (Score 1) 133

As already said: I've never felt like I wanted to be locked into the (much smaller) Amazon ecosystem.

Roku 2 or Roku 3 are both better choices then Amazon's product. More cross-platform with Amazon/Google/Netflix and more.

Only thing I dislike is that there is no way to pair bluetooth headphones to the device. Instead, the only viable option is to hook up regular wired headphones to the Roku 3 remote. (Which does a very good job, but it's not completely cordless.)

Comment Re:Has anyone experimented with SSD RAID? (Score 1) 195

Keep backups, keep backups, keep backups.

That being said, good enterprise SSDs are around $0.60-$0.80 per GB the last time I looked. About $650 for a 1TB unit with a super-capacitor inside (which makes it more resilient against power failures).

SSD in software RAID is fine, unless you are going to be writing to the array 24x7 at max speed, you will never have issues with drive endurance with modern units.

The big win is that a RAID-1 array of SSDs can vastly outperform a short-stroked, dozen or two dozen, array of 15k RPM SAS drives. Using far less power and noise to do so. So as long as you don't need massive amounts of space, the SSDs in RAID-1 make the best choice. In fact, I expect 15k RPM SAS drives to exit the market within 2-3 years, pushed out by the SSDs. The older 10k RPM SAS will probably suffer the same fate a few years after that, or may linger on as nearline storage.

I have three Linux servers using SSDs, all with either 2x RAID-1 or 3x RAID-1 setups. No issues with any of them for the past 12-18 months. One of the servers hosts VM images, and it's made a huge improvement in performance/responsiveness of the guest VMs.

Comment Re:Big but price has stalled (Score 2) 195

A few years? Consumer SSDs only broke the $1/gb barrier about 2 years ago, then dropped down below $0.50 about a year ago.

There are even some down around $0.30/GB if you shop around and aren't picky about brand name.

My price point is no longer about $/GB, but "how much space can I get for $100" if it's an office / light duty machine or "how much for $400" if it's a power-user / gaming machine.

So, please call me these new 2TB drives drop below $400. Which will probably be around this time next year, maybe as long as 18 months.

Comment Re:The bravest astronaut (Score 1) 50

SpaceX is a new company and had 19 launches before failure on this. Even now, we still do not know what caused this.

SpaceX has had more then one failure, this is just their first failure on the Falcon 9 series that resulted in loss of all payloads. The Falcon 1 rocket had 3 failures out of five launches, but was considered a "test" project. Falcon 9 launch #4 was a partial failure where the secondary payload failed to reach orbit. Launch #7 was an almost failure due to a fire during flight down in the Octaweb engine area.

I believe there has been at least one launch where a first stage engine acted up, but I can't find the reference.

Comment Re:You do'n't have to suffer with the touchpad (Score 1) 80

I've used a lot of keyboard nubbies over the years. The first one (c1995), the button was like a joystick and down by the spacebar. That one sucked. The next units were Toshiba Tecra series laptops with the nubby between the g/h/b keys. For the last 8 years, I've only used Thinkpad T series laptops. Both the Tecra and Thinkpad nubbies were quite good for the purpose.

One trick with pointer nubbies is that you really need to turn up the mouse pointer movement sensitivity to maximum. You'll overshoot on movement for the first week, but then your index finger will thank you because you need less effort to hit a target. Again, the purpose of the nubby is not to replace the mouse, but to let you do 90% of point-and-click operations (clicking buttons, positioning the cursor, basic drag-n-drop) without taking your hands off the home row.

If you're not a touch-typist, you won't see the benefit of a pointer nubby. If you do a *lot* of copy/paste or complex mouse operations, then a regular external mouse is better.

My current work unit is a Thinkpad T540p -- on that one, I dislike it, not because of the nubby, but because there are no physical left/middle/right mouse buttons. They got subsumed into the touchpad click surface. Fortunately, for the T450 and T550 series, they have brought back the physical button below the spacebar.

Comment Re:Just run your own (Score 1) 147

Hmm, that's a good point. However if too many people were going directly to the root servers, eventually wouldn't they take some action to limit access to whoever needs it (as opposed to who wants it) to reduce the workload on the servers?

The only reason BIND / unbound talk to the root servers is to find out which DNS servers are authoritative for the various TLDs. The DNS root servers do not return the answer for "what is the IP address of maps.google.com", they only return the answer for "what DNS server is authoritative for .com?". Once your DNS server has the answer for ".com", it goes and asks the ".com" servers about what server handles "google.com".

I've read that a well behaved DNS server will only talk to the root servers about once every 48 hours, or whenever it hits a new TLD that is not yet cached.

Comment Re:Just run your own (Score 2) 147

Services like DNS really belongs at the network level, not the local PC level. If only for the possibility that there are 2+ people on the local network who query the same thing and the DNS server can cache / return the results. Or, since the network server is likely to be left on 24x7, it can cache answers across reboots of your local PC/laptop.

Something like pfSense on the firewall to the outside world with "unbound" running does just fine for this. You can configure it to talk to your ISP's DNS servers, Google's servers, or set it up to start at the root DNS servers and do its own heavy lifting.

Comment Re:PDF link to PDF exploit (Score 1) 117

I dropped Firefox because they no longer have a usable sync across multiple devices. With two laptops, a desktop, a cell phone and a tablet, some sort of bookmark/password/history sync is absolutely essential to me.

Right now my options are... Chrome.

The killer feature for Firefox or Opera would be to offer some way to sync to any WebDAV backend. Then I could setup something like Owncloud / Seafile on my own hardware..

Comment Re:104Mb (Score 1) 85

Flash memory has, historically, been very expensive which is why you don't see larger amounts. There's also the long lead time and certifications for any new product. That's probably two years, minimum, between initial spec and reaching end users.

Not to mention that you're talking about low-end phones, which are always designed to hit the minimum specs. If you want bigger/faster, then you need to pony up for phones like the iPhone6 or Galaxy S6 which come with 64GB and 128GB options.

To downgrade the human mind is bad theology. - C. K. Chesterton

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