Catch up on stories from the past week (and beyond) at the Slashdot story archive


Forgot your password?

Comment Re:$480 million to fund managers (Score 1) 274

That is just crazy. These are not high-risk/return investments funds. Just load up on a diversified bluechip portfolio, and make sure you follow all the other sheep so that you can't be singled out for getting something wrong.

Will that strategy net you a 20% return on your investment? Because that's what Yale's fund managers achieved.

The bigger the fund the higher the percent returns, but that's not because they are better at "investing" (i.e. moving capital from losing companies in a competitive market to winning companies), it is because there are successively more exclusive financial instruments whose benefit to the market is successively more dubious but return higher and higher margins. In other words the system is gamed at multiple levels and the more money you have, the more exclusive gamed systems you get to play, and you pay the gatekeepers more and more, but hey "everyone" wins (where everyone means everyone at this level of exclusivity and higher).

Comment Re:Amazon doesn't understand helicopters (Score 1) 142

I wonder how they handle all those cases with respect to activities such as:

1) RC model airplanes
2) Model rocketry
3) Sporting (think golf, skeet shooting, baseball)

all of which may involve objects exceeding 200 ft but below 500 feet. Whatever do the poor misunderstood helicopters do?!?

Comment Re: Tell me about POWER and IBM. (Score 3, Informative) 85

I've been working with AIX since 1990. Prior to that a bit of SunOS. AIX is is different but generally well thought out. Most people who hate it simply aren't used to the differences. Lots of feature that we take for granted in today's Linux existed in AIX 25 years ago.

Tivoli Storage Manager is a dream. I remember setting up a high-availability TSM (well, ADSM at the time) server and having a client backup running during fail over testing. Client connection failed, continued retrying until the server was back up on the other node, then the backup continued where is left off. Transaction backup with rollback and resumption after server fail over! Try that with NetBackup or Networker or Avamar or CommVault.


Comment Re:Can we get a real Linux filesystem, please? (Score 1) 210

Btrfs, like ZFS and Netapp's WAFL, use a far more efficient copy-on-write strategy that avoids the write penalty.

WAFL doesn't do copy-on-write. Copy-on-write means a write to a block in a file requires the original block to be read, written elsewhere for the snapshot, then the new block written in the original location. That's exactly what WAFL doesn't do. WAFL writes all changed blocks for multiple files in big RAID stripes, updating pointers to current copies and leaving snapshot pointers pointing to old copies of the updated files. Very efficient for writes, but changes almost all reads, random or sequential (within a file) into random reads (within the filesystem) because file blocks get scattered according to write order, not location of the block within the file. That's why they want lots of spindles in an aggregate and they love RAM cache and flash cache.

But since you say that copy-on-write avoids the write penalty I think you know what is does but simply don't know that it isn't copy-on-write.

Comment Re:Maintenance and prevention are not always the s (Score 2) 185

After that blunder, I was asked to check on all the cameras servers once a week and make sure I could actually open up and view recordings from days past. This is a preventative action, but not really a maintenance one.

No, it's not preventative. It does nothing to prevent the problem. It detects the problem earlier (before, say, a business user does). That's monitoring. It's proactive, not reactive - perhaps that's what you mean?

Comment Re:Only in Canada eh? Pity! (Score 1) 277

I guess people are worried that our state of the art igloo geometric designs, dogsled aerodymanics and maple syrup chemistry are in danger if poltical decisions are made without the benefit of science. Luckily there are only 78 of us in the whole country. We can probably sort it out in about a fortnight over a few Molson's beers while watching ice hockey.

"Who won the damn gold medals at the last Olympics anyways?"

Ha! You can tell you aren't Canadian because you put the word ice in front of hockey - that's redundant.

Comment Jolicloud (Score 1) 1348

I've installed dozens of Linux distributions side-by-side on my various laptops over the years and invariably I would be booting into the Windows OS of the day (XP, skipped Vista, happy with 7). Partly because of need to access some Windows-only software but also a comfort level. Even though 90% of my laptop use is for web/Internet. This coming from someone who spent his PhD doing everything in CDE (and having an Amiga at home).

But then I tried Jolicloud 1.0. It is based on Ubuntu but feels a lot more like the iPhone in presentation. Applications arrayed on a home screen. Application windows maximized with very little OS clutter. Web applications promoted to feel like full apps.

It boots so fast on my SSD Thinkpad X200 Tablet and it feels comfortable. Perhaps this is the Linux Desktop everyone is waiting for?

Of course, I'm waiting for them to rev the Ubuntu base they are working on so the two-point multi-touch and Wacom pen of the X200 Tablet actually work (they work in Ubuntu 10.04 and 10.10, if I recall correctly). That and supporting tethering to my iPhone (both of which work in Windows).

"Confound these ancestors.... They've stolen our best ideas!" - Ben Jonson