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Comment: Clueless article (Score 4, Informative) 396

by alexhs (#47236227) Attached to: One Developer's Experience With Real Life Bitrot Under HFS+

People talking about "bit rot" usually have no clue, and this guy is no exception.

It's extremely unlikely that a file would become silently corrupted on disk. Block devices include per-block checksums, and you either have a read error (maybe he has) or the data read is the same as the data previously written. As far as I know, ZFS doesn't help to recover data from read errors. You would need RAID and / or backups.

Main memory is the weakest link. That's why my next computer will have ECC memory. So, when you copy the file (or otherwise defragment or modify the file, etc), you read a good copy, some bit flips in RAM, and you write back corrupted data. Your disk receives the corrupted data, happily computes a checksum, therefore ensuring you can read back your corrupted data faithfully. That's where ZFS helps. Using checksumming scripts is a good idea, and I do it myself. But I don't have auto-defrag on Linux, so I'm safer : when I detect a corrupted copy, I still have the original.

ext2 was introduced in 1993, and so was NTFS. ext4 is just ext2 updated (ext was a different beast). If anything, HFS+ is more modern, not that it makes a difference. All of them are updated. By the way, I noticed recently that Mac OS X resource forks sometimes contain a CRC32. I noticed it in a file coming from Mavericks.

Comment: Re:I'm ignorant (Score 2) 105

by alexhs (#47178769) Attached to: Evidence of Protoplanet Found On Moon

Given enough data, almost all theories are disproven. The only ones that remain are the ones that fit the data.

Given enough data, almost all hypotheses are disproven. The ones which remain and have not yet been disproven by evidence become theories.

Nope, the AC was right.

By your definition, there is ultimately no such thing as a theory. Newtonian physics don't fit as they've been invalidated by Einstein's general relativity, which itself is known to be wrong as it is inconsistent with quantum mechanics (which are also wrong for the same reason).

You can't claim that former theories that were refined / invalidated never were theories in the first place : The "not yet" in your second sentence is problematic as it only allows theories to be defined with hindsight.

Therefore :

When data doesn't fit current theories, you're forming hypotheses, and test them. If your hypothesis fits the data better than former theories on some domain of validity (whose boundaries might not be completely known at the time of formulation, and will be refined with time and experimentations), good for you: you now have a new theory. It will ultimately be replaced by better theories, usually with an extended domain of validity (data that were missing at the time of formulation and testing).

And that was well summed up by the GP.

Comment: Re:Are you kidding (Score 5, Insightful) 818

by alexhs (#46771371) Attached to: Study Finds US Is an Oligarchy, Not a Democracy

The problem is people vote for tax cuts for the rich because they think they will be rich one day.

“Socialism never took root in America because the poor see themselves not as an exploited proletariat but as temporarily embarrassed millionaires.”
-- John Steinbeck

Not only the USA, apparently...

Comment: Re:Inherent bias (Score 1) 351

by alexhs (#46702571) Attached to: Isolated Tribes Die Shortly After We Meet Them

We have considerably less data on the isolated tribes that die out before we meet them.

Well, that's what you think.

We know how many there are (*).
Should I remind you that the NSA never met you; however it knows more about you than your close family ?

(*) Obviously, the civilians only get a rough approximation, the exact number is classified.

+ - Ask Slashdot: Why Can't Slashdot Classic and Slashdot Beta Continue to Co-Exist? 9

Submitted by Hugh Pickens DOT Com
Hugh Pickens DOT Com (2995471) writes "Slashdot has been a big part of my life since I had my my first stories accepted over ten years ago. Some people my age do crossword puzzles to keep their mental agility, some do sudoko, or play bridge. I enjoy searching for and putting together a story a day for slashdot because it helps keep me on my toes to have readers find errors and logical fallacies in my submissions and I enjoy learning from the different points of view expressed on a story I have submitted. That's why I have been so discouraged in the past several years to see readership in slashdot drop off. As a close observer of this web site, I know that ten years ago it was unheard of for any accepted story to get less than 100 comments and there was at least a story a day that got over 1,000 comments. Those days are long gone. Not it's not uncommon to see some stories garner only a few dozen comments. That's how web sites die. If you slip below a critical level of readership, readers will abandon the site completely. I know from my own experience running a web site devoted to the Peace Corps that I used to have hundreds of comments to some of my stories but once comments slipped below a certain threshold, then they disappeared altogether. I think that slashdot is nearing that threshold and I fear that imposing Slashdot Beta on the site's readership will push it over the edge and I don't want to see that happen. I'd like to propose that slashdot continue running slashdot classic and slashdot beta in parallel. I'll stick with classic most of the time. One of the best features of slashdot classic is that comments can be displayed in four formats (threaded, nested, no comment, and flat) and in two directions (oldest first and newest first) providing a lot of flexibility in watching conversations develop. I switch between the formats several times a day depending on what I want to see. But slashdot beta also has its advantages in certain situations. Slashdot needs a blockbuster story or two every day where people can pile on and slashdot beta facilitates this by putting the most commented story at the top of the page and I think that is a good thing. Still I'll use slashdot beta occasionally when I'm on a mobile device but slashdot classic will be the format I use on my desktop. So don't deprecate slashdot classic. That would be like Microsoft disabling Windows 7 and forcing everyone to use Windows 8. And not even Microsoft is that stupid."

If what they've been doing hasn't solved the problem, tell them to do something else. -- Gerald Weinberg, "The Secrets of Consulting"

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