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Comment: Re:Super-capitalism (Score 3, Insightful) 470

by Kjella (#48466099) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Why Is the Power Grid So Crummy In So Many Places?

Comparing the U.S. the little toy countries in Europe is silly. They are about the size of one of our states. It is much easier given their pop. density to keep their little toy grids up and running.

The countries with lower population density in Europe has more stable power supplies. The countries with higher population density also have more stable power supplies. Those "toy" networks put together supply more than twice the US population wtih power. At least with ISPs the Chewbacca defense could say the US has more long haul domestic traffic, when it comes to the power grid....what? Snip all the interstate lines then and one state will be the size of one EU country and supply its own population and US power supply will be great. That's what you're saying, because you built one big network it must be crap. And it has to be crap, because...?

Comment: Re:its all about selling Autoloaders (Score 1) 272

by Kjella (#48464485) Attached to: Is LTO Tape On Its Way Out?

LTO-9 goes to 25TB/cart, LTO-10 goes to 48TB. Already announced.

As "announced" as Intel's roadmaps saying they'll reach 5nm or whatever, near as I can tell no LTO-7 or LTO-8 drives exist much less LTO-9 or LTO-10 and usually there's 2-3 years between generations so this is guesswork for 2020-2025 or so.

Comment: Re:Shyeah, right. (Score 1) 272

by Kjella (#48464339) Attached to: Is LTO Tape On Its Way Out?

But go pull the post-close EOY General Journal from 1996 off of one, I dare you.

I've got school stuff older than that, copied from one generation of drives to the next since the 1980s without ever needing a tape drive. Most data is lost because there's not enough redundancy and integrity checking, a private backup cloud makes total sense to me just add another node and it'll sync up another perfect copy. Doesn't matter what the underlying hardware is, as long as there's enough of them and it gets replaced in a timely fashion. Assuming that takes care of physical and geographical redundancy, you're left with misconfiguration, internal or external malice.

True, it's possible to make deleting disk backups easy. It's also possible to make it almost as hard as deleting tape backups by using a third party, sign off procedures and such. The only time you gain a significant advantage with tape is if you got a human in the process as an air gap defense, if you got a tape robot - which is what you want for a large, automated system - then theoretically whoever could hack your disk backup server could just as easily hack your tape robot server and instruct it to wipe all the tapes. Unless you use WORM media, but I don't think many do unless they absolutely must for legal compliance since you can't recycle tapes.

Even if something is irreplaceable it doesn't mean it's of infinite worth. A one-way file transfer gateway to a backup server in a mountain bunker might be enough, even if it's stored on a R/W disk. At least it starts competing with other far out possibilities like the hacker /sysadmin disabling or encrypting your backups until one day you wake up to "Your data is locked, pay me $$$ or go fish" or worse "Thanks for laying me off here's the letters F and U" only to discover the backups are useless. And I don't mean just an occasional restore test, if you're that paranoid you should also verify that what's on your WORM drives is what you so desperately need bullet proof backup of.

Ultimately the more exotic a technology gets, the less find it worth it which can lead to a negative loop where the lesser technology wins out anyway. I don't think tape will die but it can become more specialized, like companies don't having their own tape drives they just send encrypted backups to companies specializing in disaster recovery for when everything else has been nuked and just run the risk that the day-to-day operations are well enough secured by disk backup. Losing a day's worth of work is expensive, but also not fatal to most businesses.

Comment: Re:Hybrids are where it's at (for me) (Score 1) 421

by Kjella (#48463873) Attached to: How Intel and Micron May Finally Kill the Hard Disk Drive

For a laptop I see it but for a desktop I clearly prefer small SSD+big HDD for predictable performance and flexibility. Most big data is videos, photo and audio which are played sequentially or in big enough chunks like one photo at the time that random access times and IOPS don't matter, a defragged hard drive is simply perfect for the task. You get really cheap, slow 4+ TB drives that can't be beat on GB/$. Once I excluded that data, I found a 128GB SSD was slightly cramped and 256GB plentiful, I just checked and I'm using 180GB now but could easily get it down to 110GB if I wanted. I really don't have more data where an SSD makes sense.

Then again with Netflix, Spotify etc. I see a lot of people going very lightweight, with Steam it's pretty easy to nuke a game you haven't used in a while to free up space so I guess the trend is towards SSD being enough with hybrids as a temporary intermediate. Even on torrents download, watch and delete seems to be a trend instead of trying to archive the Internet. Some do, of course because they're pack rats like me. But I did clear out 5TB of content that I figured I'd definitively not watch again and some I guess I never watched at all, just started and got bored thinking I might return some day. The only content I need to keep is the stuff I've made myself.

Comment: Re:LOL (Score 1) 421

by Kjella (#48463609) Attached to: How Intel and Micron May Finally Kill the Hard Disk Drive

My first computer stored data on audio tape! (...) I don't think we're beating that unless someone here is old enough to have used core memory or fluid delay lines.

Commodore 64 or similar right? Heck, I did that and I don't think that's anything special here on /. it's 80s tech. Now let me get my dad in here so he can tell you all about vacuum tube computers, you kids and your fancy schmanzy transistors. In other words, I think you're solidly beat.

Comment: Re:40% are subsistence farmers (Score 1) 45

Considering that 30%~ of the world are subsistence farmers, and 40~%+ are involved in farming I am not surprised. I highly doubt that Sub-Saharan Africa should be worrying about the myth of the digital divide for most of the people there. Or the people that don't use money in central America. I mean 50% of the world eats with their hands. 1st world People have weird priorities sometimes. I hope this group isn't getting any donated money.

So were my grandparents, education precedes change. If you formulate it like "What good is Internet going to do for a subsistence farmer?" the answer is not much. Heck, you can say the same about literacy. If you formulate it like "How can we teach you more valuable skills than being a subsistence farmer?" then Internet is a great tool. Industrialized agriculture can easily grow a few extra tons of rice and beans, put them on a container ship and ship to Africa but they can't afford it. Internationally they operate with two limits at $1.25/day and $2/day at purchasing power parity, which generally means even less nominally in poorer countries. So the question is, if they work all day can they do something worth $2 to me? If so can they can stop working as subsistence farmers, work for us and buy their food.

Of course you can't expect much, they'll probably make Indian workers seem skilled by comparison. The language they know is probably not English. But at least they got a chance of tapping into a huge market where there's a lot of people who from their perspective have a lot of money. And very often there's this one guy who speaks English who can translate and sublet to others, that's how outsourcing to India works. I know that's how many migrant workers do it too, one team/work leader that speaks English most of the rest need translators. It gets the job done, they key is just getting on the lowest level of the ladder where learning more means earning more. The rest will work itself out.

Comment: Re:Various hacking tools? (Score 1) 217

by Kjella (#48460815) Attached to: Top Counter-Strike Players Embroiled In Hacking Scandal

I guess it's some kind of meta-game, the same way every forum attract trolls every game attract cheaters. Even playing free recreational chess, no prizes, no loot, nothing but a meaningless, unofficial ranking you run into people who set up a bot for shits and giggles. Then again it's better than the people who play games like a job, the goal is not to have fun it's to grind so you can reach the next level for more of almost the same. And with "Freemium" you can take the addicts' money too, not just their life.

Comment: Re:Time to invent a robot-killer (Score 3, Insightful) 115

by Kjella (#48458379) Attached to: How the Pentagon's Robots Would Automate War

Good luck sneaking up on a robot with 360 degree sensors and flipping a switch that's probably behind a locked panel when it's in combat mode. Or give commands to a robot that only takes digitally signed orders with a chain of trust all the way to a root key deep in a vault somewhere in the US, verified in hardware and tamper-proofed so you'll with 99.999% probability will break it before you can circumvent the signature validation. And even then they probably have unique single use kill codes to stop a malfunctioning robot. Assuming it won't just blow itself up rather than be captured, at least the essential bits. Sure you can take the physical parts like guns and fire manually, but I doubt you'll ever get much working software and without that you're still a man against a robot army that's totally indifferent to both your and their losses.

Comment: Re:Perspective (Score 1) 321

by Kjella (#48453545) Attached to: LinkedIn Study: US Attracting Fewer Educated, Highly Skilled Migrants

I have a high six-figure income, and I've money in the bank. I'm not a "1%er" but I'm up there with the rest...

If I recall correctly, any six-figure salary makes you a 0,1%er globally. It doesn't really show until you travel but then it's just weird, like people making less in a year than you make in a week. It's no wonder they like tourists or our money anyway, to them it seems we have insane amounts and because it's relatively cheap we're inclined to spend it more loosely as well. But if they ever came to visit me, they'd think paying >$10000/m^2 for an apartment is absurdity itself.

Comment: Re:Armchair cognitive scientist (Score 1) 442

by Kjella (#48446691) Attached to: Alva Noe: Don't Worry About the Singularity, We Can't Even Copy an Amoeba

And still it boils down to us giving it task and the computer executing it, once it's done it shuts down. What do you do to build an AI that doesn't have any particular purpose, just a general curiosity for life? What do you do to create a sense of self-awareness and an AI that doesn't want to be terminated? Computers are incredible at executing tasks people give it, but it doesn't have a self. It doesn't do anything by itself for itself because it wants to do it. But since we have no clue what makes us tick, I don't suppose there's much chance we can teach an AI.

Comment: Re:Microsoft Windows only (Score 1) 141

by Kjella (#48446555) Attached to: Highly Advanced Backdoor Trojan Cased High-Profile Targets For Years

Unix (Linux) is about as far from a monoculture as you can get while still remaining reasonably compatible between distributions, and it was built with security in mind.

It was designed from scratch to be a multi-user system, which is neat and took Microsoft at least until UAC in 2006 to really implement. On the other hand Microsoft is the one who had a fleet of PCs that needed managing and created AD, which is the bread and butter of most corporate networks. That you can ssh in and run scripts isn't even close, I know there are third party tools to mimic some of it but there it's Microsoft that has the native advantage. And you can lock it way more down than the defaults.

In the end, even when you work with sensitive or critical information it's about getting the job done. And here's the real deal with how it works most place. Say 100 admins choose Windows, 99 do fine and one is hit by lightning. And 100 admins choose Linux, 99 get the evil eye and one is a hero for dodging lightning. Who wins? Usually the Windows admins where shit didn't hit the fan, because the happy Windows users outnumber the miserable Linux users. Those who got pwned aren't enough to swing the overall mood.

Comment: Re:And the butchering of language continues (Score 1) 39

by Kjella (#48446301) Attached to: DreamWorks Reveals Glimpse of "Super Cinema" Format For VR Films

Well, I'm not sure I agree. The wikipedia definition:

Virtual Reality (VR), sometimes referred to as immersive multimedia, is a computer-simulated environment that can simulate physical presence in places in the real world or imagined worlds.

I think some limited forms of "simulated physical presence" is possible here in situations where you're not free to move, but the world appears to move around you, for example you're on a roller coaster ride. Granted that is somewhat like what you could do with 3D IMAX, but the goggles means you get full 360 degree experience as if you were the only one there, you can't break the illusion by looking at the people next to you. Being on the back of a giant bird like they show in the demo as well. Here's the Navy in a parachute VR simulator, you could probably get the tandem jump experience. What you don't get is control, you can't ride the bird or direct the parachute because it's a movie. You're on a scripted experience that must be exactly the same each run, it could still be pretty cool though.

P.S. Actual 3D movies with screen changes would probably be quite disturbing, it's one thing to flip from angle to angle and location to location on a 2D/3D screen, either you have to do it very differently or it's like getting randomly teleported around constantly.

Comment: Re:people drop their phones :( (Score 1) 200

by Kjella (#48444711) Attached to: Corning Reveals Gorilla Glass 4, Promises No More Broken IPhones

Fuck, I drop mine at least one a month onto something solid.

I guess the problem is you... I've had my iPhone for almost 4 years now, cracked the screen once from hitting a stone floor but I don't blame it and a case adds annoyingly much bulk, I tried it and stopped. It's different from back when the screen was a small auxiliary to a phone, using the screen is now the main purpose of a smartphone. That means it needs to be way bigger and more exposed, Apple or not.

Comment: Re:wow (Score 1) 453

by Kjella (#48444583) Attached to: In a Self-Driving Future, We May Not Even Want To Own Cars

Well, mainly because it'd be a total pain to let anyone else use it so there's no real advantage to rent it except for professional maintenance/repair/fleet management. If my apartment building had a "house Roomba" that I could book to come in and clean a few hours a week while at work I'd easily rent that service. Even with a daily commute I'd wager that a car could manage three rounds (7 AM, 8 AM, 9 AM in the morning, 3 PM, 4 PM, 5 PM in the evening) instead of just one as well as off-hour trips and not everyone needs a car every weekend so I imagine there's significant cost savings. Taxis are very nice in everything except price.

We warn the reader in advance that the proof presented here depends on a clever but highly unmotivated trick. -- Howard Anton, "Elementary Linear Algebra"