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Comment Re:Simple experiment-- (Score 1) 154

We rely on our server uptime because of someone else's electricity (we should just generate our own)

I haven't yet seen a datacenter (or even a server closet) that doesn't have at least a small UPS (to allow graceful shutdowns). For mission-critical environments, you actually *do* have back-up generators and the like (Think hospitals). Following that analogy, a hybrid option is actually one that might be worth pursuing, putting services into a cluster and having part of the cluster hosted on-premise.

It all comes down to cost-benefit-analysis. The problem with doing that in regards to cloud computing is that some of the variables are not only vague, but they might be completely unavailable. There is not really enough information to make rational decisions on such aspects as privacy, confidentiality, reliability, and so on. Some of these might get better defined over time (such as reliability), but with confidentiality it all comes down to trusting your cloud provider.

Comment Re:dry ink (Score 5, Informative) 223

Has solved it already a few years ago with Epson Claria inks. They are still costly (based on the cartridge-pricing-model), but the whole point of that product is that it doesn't block the heads if you don't print anything for a while.

I have an Epson PX720WD myself (got it cheap out of a dealer going of of business), and use it *very* rarely. There may be several months between sheets, and nearly a year between color printings. I've replaced the cartridges once. And never gotten a blocked printing head.

Comment Ton of legacy (Score 2) 283

There's plenty of legacy stuff in intranets that require flash that is *not* easily upgradeable, or at least up to the user.

Case example on where I run every now and then in work, Cisco IMC controllers (server management cards).

http://www.cisco.com/c/en/us/t...

Their UI is based on Flash (and Java), for remote console, status data, and so on. If I point a browser to a CIMC server, the first thing I see is "Install flash player" if it's not already installed. Even if Cisco would release an upgrade *today*, how often are people interested in rebooting their servers for firmware upgrades as long as it's running ok?

Comment Informing the public *might* actually help (Score 1) 202

Anecdotal evidence, I know, but I've heard from a friends who has been living in mainland China for a few years now. This topic on rhino horns has apparently come up a few times.

This is one of those cases where having a public awareness campaign in China might actually help.

The issue: Lots of chinese believe that getting a rhino horn doesn't involve killing the rhino. They believe you can just pick them up from the ground - that they work like elk/deer/moose horns that drops away from the head every now and then. Once the locals have learned the truth, they have usually been apalled.

The mystical/medicinal crap aside, the fact that folks don't *know* that rhino horn has to come from a poached rhino is a big factor.

Comment Some certs are good, but not for the skills (Score 1) 296

Most certs do indeed prove only that you can answer multiple choice questions. However, there are certs that truly matter, but not from skills perspective (although that helps).

CCIE is a good example, since it requires the lab part (I know some folks actually try to do the lab part by rota, with several attempts, but it's still rare). Some others might be the architect-level certs from Microsoft or Oracle. CISSP is a bit in the gray area, it's not a vendor-specific cert, but many customers actually appreciate it.

Anyway, while the highest certs may "prove" something about your skills, the biggest benefit is actually in something completely different. If working for a vendor partner (Cisco, Juniper, Microsoft, whatever), they typically give you status levels based on the number of cert-holders in the company. So basically, if you have a good enough cert, you can waltz in and say "even if I come here to watch porn every day, you can still pay me and save money". What it really means that even if you are a slob who has just gotten the cert by rota, the company can afford to pay you due to the vendor discounts. If you actually know what you are doing, even better.

I mentioned the CISSP, it's an example of a cert where having you on the payroll does not mean discounts from vendors - but it might give the company a possibility to enter higher-paying projects. Many RFQs usually hand out points based on what certs the people involved actually have.

Comment Delay-tolerant networking (Score 1) 105

Effort has been underway for quite some time - by folks such as Vint Cerf, no less - to facilitate Internet over long delays. Surprisingly, there has been terrestrial (or aquatic) applications in the research as well, for example solar-powered sensor networks that can only transmit during daylight hours.

There's a nice overview architecture draft from 2003, especially interesting bits are in the routing section (12.3-12.4), see https://tools.ietf.org/html/dr... - the eventually published RFC https://tools.ietf.org/html/rf... has nowhere such interesting figures about routing between Earth and Mars :)

Anyway, the underlying arch is relying on putting a "bundle layer" between applications and transport, a layer 5 if you will - and the bundling will attempt to hide the long latencies. Naturally, for interactive applications this won't work, but for everything else why not...There are some implementations at http://www.dtnrg.org/wiki/Code.

Comment Re:Modem connection tones (Score 1) 790

Trust me, they are still used in M2M connections in places that only have PSTN and where cellular is flaky. I had to set up US Robotics modem and hook it up to a Cisco router's AUX port only last week so customer could do interoperability tests with their newly ordered modems. Yes, it's mid-2010's.

Granted, the speaker was turned off...

Comment Can you make the costs tax-deductible? (Score 3, Informative) 182

Since no one has mentioned this yet - I'm not sure if this applies in the U.S., but at least in Finland you can deduct profession-related (not necessarily work-related!) expenses from your income taxes.

This typically includes stuff like literature, computer equipment (if used for said income), and yes, even travel expenses. Of course the expenses have to be related to your profession - my education and entire professional history is from CS, so I cannot put e.g. gardening tools in there, but a trip to a conference related to your field can be easily put under training expenses.

Comment Re:I WAS a regular on Coursera (Score 4, Informative) 182

I have this problem as well with not just online courses but several video "tutorials". It's been numerous times recently that I've googled for for "how do I ...." and the top results have been videos. I typically have some idea on how to do what I'm looking for, and I just need to verify some details. So now, Instead of quickly skimming a text (or even a slideset) to find the exact bits I'm looking for, I have to try to fast-forward a video to a point where it gets interesting.

This is especially problematic when you are just looking at a talking head droning on, or just a video of someone doing stuff with an application. One exception has been when I wanted to cut down a tree in my back yard. There was no danger to surroundings since the house wasn't anywhere close by, so I figured I could just cut it down myself. In this case, the videos on how to use a chainsaw helped a lot, since it showed actually *stuff happening*, not just a talking head.

If these video lectures would even have transcripts, that would increase their usability tremendously. Considering that youtube is now offering closed captions created with voice recognition, such transcripts could perhaps be generated automatically soon...

Comment Re:Please let it be single-player (Score 1) 266

In a way, I hope for a video game crash similar to 1983. This may be the only way we might see actual creative gaming again, since the cool games are not going to come from the big names.

Are you nuts? The world of games is better and more interesting than it has been in *years*. All in one: Kickstarter. From about a period of 2003 to 2010, the only interesting games for me besides WoW were things like Civilization series. (Oh, and Half-Life 2).

Now we have a *ton* of "indie"/kickstarter projects. Some are not yet ready, but just off the top of my head (yes, I've put money in all of them): Star Citizen, Shadowrun (and the DLC Dragonfall), Torment/Numenera, Shroud of Avatar, Elite Dangerous. And even the "AAA" stuff is better than in ages - Far Cry 3, Skyrim, Portal, and so on.

Gaming seemed dead to me for almost a decade, the 2000-2010 were really dark ages, and I was thinking that maybe I've just "grown out" of games.Turned out that the problem was the games instead.

Comment Re:Alternative Title (Score 5, Interesting) 155

Not modem reset. The filesystem on Spirit had bunch of temp files and other stuff from the Earth-Mars flight, and apparently it just ran out of inodes. So basically they had to remote into whatever constitutes a bootloader with 20 mins of latency and remove some of the no-longer-needed files.

See http://science.slashdot.org/st...

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