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Comment: Re:cell phones and notepads (Score 1) 377

by TheRaven64 (#48276481) Attached to: How Apple Watch Is Really a Regression In Watchmaking

Personally, I keep my appointment book with paper and pencil. I can access it anywhere, at any time, whether or not I remembered to bring a charger, whether I'm on a plane or in a meeting

I keep my calendar on an ownCloud server that I can access from any web browser and is automatically sync'd with my phone, tablet, and laptop in the background, so any one of those devices can beep and give me reminders of appointments, and I'll notice whichever is closer to me. It also integrates with Tracere on the phone that automatically silences the ringer when I'm in a meeting.

But your way sounds good too...

Comment: Re:How big a fuss is it, really? (Score 1) 377

by TheRaven64 (#48276457) Attached to: How Apple Watch Is Really a Regression In Watchmaking
I'm a big fan of Skagen watches. There's been a trend in men's watches to make them bigger and bigger (presumably so the wearer can say 'we are men, for we can lift big watches!' on a regular basis). I want a watch that's light and convenient and I've not found anything better. The thinnest ones that they make aren't water resistant and are light enough that you can barely feel them. I have one with a titanium mesh strap, which is marginally thicker and lighter, but I can still forget that I'm wearing a watch. The new smartwatches are just a continuation of the 'let's make watches big' trend. If I want to carry something that bulky around, I'll put it in my pocket, with my phone...

Comment: Re:Silly (Score 1) 68

by TheRaven64 (#48276445) Attached to: Vulnerabilities Found (and Sought) In More Command-Line Tools

If you have a DHCP client attaching to unknown servers, shame on you

Huh? First of all, DHCP has no authentication. If I pop up on your trusted network and answer DHCP broadcast queries faster than the router, then your DHCP client will trust me. Second, you realise that that's how most operating systems are configured to work out of the box? Plug in network cable (or join WiFi network), send DHCP broadcast packet, trust the response.

Comment: Re:Am I paranoid? (Score 2) 68

by TheRaven64 (#48276435) Attached to: Vulnerabilities Found (and Sought) In More Command-Line Tools

I doubt that they're inserted intentionally. If you insert an intentional backdoor, then there's a chance that it can be traced back to you. Pretty much any nontrivial program contains bugs, and if the program is written in C then a good fraction of those are exploitable. If you've got the resources to insert intentional vulnerabilities into open source code, then you've got the resources for the lower-risk strategy of auditing and fuzzing the code to finding some existing ones to exploit.

Comment: Re: Use the technology on a chromebook (Score 1) 62

To address each of your points in turn:

8GB is RAM was the minimum I was buying 4 years ago. Back then, it was because it was the sweet spot in price per GB. Unfortunately, in some machines it was the most that the board could support and so is now the thing making me ponder replacing the motherboards. Specifically, on my NAS box, because increasing the disks will increase the size of the deduplication tables, meaning that I'll need to increase the size of the RAM to get tolerable performance, meaning I'll need to replace the motherboard and CPU to be able to accommodate more RAM, meaning that I'll end up just keeping the case and optical drive - everything else is upgraded.

Swap out the hard disk for an SSD? The only machine I've bought in the past 6 years that wasn't SSD-only has been my NAS. The laptop I've just replaced had a 256GB SSD and it was replaced with one that has a 1TB SSD. Buying hard disks hasn't made sense for years unless you need a lot of storage that you rarely access (i.e. NAS / SAN uses), and even then adding an SSD for L2ARC makes sense (as long as you have enough RAM).

Upgrade the video card? I've not done anything that taxes the GPU in my old laptop, but then I'm not a gamer.

Not wanting to upgrade the CPU? You claim two bottlenecks. The first is disk to RAM. My laptop's SSD can do over 300MB/s sustained transfer and over 60MB/s on small random files. With a reasonable amount of RAM, the only limiting factor is the SSD write speed, because all of the working set lives in RAM. If you think that RAM to cache bandwidth is a bottleneck, then you're running some very unusual workloads. If you're doing the sorts of things where a 6-10 year old CPU is still fine, then you probably don't need to upgrade the machine at all: my mother was quite happily using a desktop of that sort of vintage, with no upgrades, until she replaced it with a laptop last year.

For reference, the machines I use when I need a bit more processing power than my laptop have dual (ZFS, mirrored) 3TB disks, 512GB SSDs split between log and cache device and 256GB of RAM. The large log devices speed up write performance, because you're almost always doing sustained linear writes to the spinning rust. The 256GB of RAM means that you very rarely even hit the SSD for loading files. They have 24 cores, and I can very easily saturate them all. If you gave me a 48 core machine, I'd use that instead, but currently the extra performance isn't worth the cost (doubling the number of cores roughly halves the time it takes for various things, but the linear gain is much smaller - going from one hour to half an hour was a big win, so was to quarter of an hour. Going from three minutes to one and a half minutes isn't that exciting).

Comment: Re:only for nerds (Score 1) 62

I did this for my NAS, but it was more expensive than an HP microserver with a similar form factor. The only reason that I did it was that I wanted to be able to use the machine for XBMC so I wanted a slightly better GPU. The only bit that I'm likely to upgrade is the disks, and even then I had to make some compromises (the case has 4 removable disk bays and a slimline optical drive bay, but I couldn't find a motherboard that had everything I wanted and more than 4 SATA slots, so I can't use one of the disk bays).

Comment: Re: Use the technology on a chromebook (Score 1) 62

I used to think desktop computers were upgradable, but it's not really true. Sure, you can bump the RAM and the disk easily, but by the time a new CPU is worth the bother, the socket and chipset have changed, so you need to buy a new motherboard. The new motherboard takes a different kind of RAM. The hard disk might still work if you're lucky (although you may find that the interface type has changed) but it's probably going to be the bottleneck in the new system so you probably want to upgrade it too.

The last time I upgraded a desktop, I kept the case and optical drive (which I replaced a bit later). I kept the hard disk, but added a second one and eventually stopped using the smaller one. After the next upgrade, I had enough parts to build a completely new desktop. If two upgrade cycles means that you've replaced every single part, then it's simpler and easier to just lengthen the upgrade cycles a bit and by a completely new system.

Comment: Re:Fear Mongering, does it ever go out of style? (Score 3, Insightful) 442

by TheRaven64 (#48267783) Attached to: Imagining the Future History of Climate Change

That the water would be so polluted by 2000 that we wouldn't have anything to drink.

I guess you missed the huge amount of regulation that has come in regarding pollution in waterways in the last 50 or so years then? Or do you think that this prediction would still have been wrong if factories had been allowed to keep dumping waste into rivers? In fact, maybe you should just try visiting some of the parts of India and China where they've managed to build an industrial base without such regulation and see how the water tastes. The entire point of making such predictions is so that we can avoid them happening.

Comment: Re: Climate p()rn (Score 1) 442

by TheRaven64 (#48267699) Attached to: Imagining the Future History of Climate Change
Arguing the facts doesn't appear to work. Read the posts above yours. A number of them are full of assertions with no citations backing them, followed by responses citing data showing that they're wrong. In a world full of rational people wanting to have an informed debate, that would be the end. Now go back to the last story about climate change on Slashdot. You'll see the same assertions being made, by the same people, and being contradicted then too. At some point, you have to just accept that either these people have some vested interest in denying the evidence and so can't be convinced by more evidence.

Comment: Re:Ideas come cheap. (Score 1) 65

by TheRaven64 (#48267655) Attached to: Check Out the Source Code For the Xerox Alto
Moore's law applies. The reason the Mac was so much cheaper than the Alto was that it was a decade later. The Alto was also heavily designed for experimentation. Programs were compiled to a bytecode with the bytecode interpreter implemented in CPU microcode. This made it very easy to change the instruction set and find one that was well suited to the requirements of the software, but for a commercial product you'd have wanted to sink a lot of that logic into the hardware.

Comment: Re:For the Future (Score 1) 73

by Rei (#48259471) Attached to: Location of Spilled Oil From 2010 Deepwater Horizon Event Found

I question how much it's still "oil". Oil, outside of reservoirs, evolves. The volatiles slowly separate out; their ultimate fate is evaporation and photodegradation. The shortest chains are lost rapidly, but the longer they get, the longer they take to disappear. As volatiles are lost, the oil thickens. It eventually becomes tar, and then basically asphalt.

Comment: Re:16 posts containing banal "jokes", 0 of any val (Score 3, Insightful) 46

by TheRaven64 (#48259019) Attached to: Largest Sunspot In a Quarter Century Spews Flares

So this is what Slashdot has become.

No, this is what Slashdot has always been. I started regularly reading Slashdot around 2000, and back then there were posts just like yours decrying the state of Slashdot today, pining for some golden age. And yet, looking at the archives, not much had changed.

Information is the inverse of entropy.