Want to read Slashdot from your mobile device? Point it at m.slashdot.org and keep reading!


Forgot your password?

Slashdot videos: Now with more Slashdot!

  • View

  • Discuss

  • Share

We've improved Slashdot's video section; now you can view our video interviews, product close-ups and site visits with all the usual Slashdot options to comment, share, etc. No more walled garden! It's a work in progress -- we hope you'll check it out (Learn more about the recent updates).

United States

White House Office of Administration Not Subject to FOIA, Says White House 334

Posted by timothy
from the well-they-certainly-are-transparent dept.
An anonymous reader writes with this story at USA Today: The White House is removing a federal regulation that subjects its Office of Administration to the Freedom of Information Act, making official a policy under Presidents Bush and Obama to reject requests for records to that office. The White House said the cleanup of FOIA regulations is consistent with court rulings that hold that the office is not subject to the transparency law.

Comment: Re:well.. (Score 2) 760

Except most speed limits are complete bullshit, at least in the US.

There are highways in NYC that have a 40mph minimum and a 45 mph maximum. Think that has anything to do with the ability to fine pretty much anyone at any time?

Roads have pretty natural speed limits regardless of the imposed limit, and it would be trivial to figure them out by simply taking an average over the course of a few days. I would venture a guess for the majority of the highways it would be substantially higher than the posted limit.

Remember - speed doesn't kill... a line of courteous drivers, observing correct leading distance and allowing free merges can probably go 100+ on a modern road in modern cars. Recklessness, carelessness, and needless maneuvers is what kills, not to mention distraction and intoxication. Observe Germany's autobahns for an example,

Comment: Re:Swap drive now? (Score 4, Informative) 204

by harrkev (#49243809) Attached to: Endurance Experiment Kills Six SSDs Over 18 Months, 2.4 Petabytes

Okay, those numbers that you quoted are very arbitrary, I'd like to see anything to back that up.

SATA revision 3.0 = 6 Gbit/s

DDR3 - 1600 = 12800 MB/s
"MB" = Mega-BYTES, so multiply by 8 for bits/seconds
DDR3 - 1600 = 102400 Mbits/s
DDR3 - 1600 = 102.400 Gbits/s

So, the peak bandwidth is about 17 times faster!

Now, let's look at latency.
Typical DDR RAM latency is around 10 ns (give or take, but that is an average number)
Typical SSD latency is around 0.1 us, which is around 100 ns. About ten times more.

One more thing here about these numbers.... An SSD is **NOT** RAM. If you page, you have to get the data FROM the SSD and put it INTO your RAM. From there, the RAM must be read again. So, even IF your SSD were exactly the same speed as your RAM, it will still be slower because it must be copied into RAM first before it can be used.

As to whether it is unreasonable, that depends. It will not cost much to try, but still a rather bad idea if you do a LOT of swapping.

Comment: Re:No warning ? (Score 1) 204

by harrkev (#49243683) Attached to: Endurance Experiment Kills Six SSDs Over 18 Months, 2.4 Petabytes

Ummmmm. Solid state drives don't actually HAVE heads. RTFA (actually read the first article in the series). The Intel drive counts the bytes written. When it reaches it's limit, boom. It goes read-only, but only until the next reboot. Then, it goes dead.

This happens NO MATTER WHAT the state of the spare sectors are.

Comment: Re:No warning ? (Score 5, Insightful) 204

by harrkev (#49243349) Attached to: Endurance Experiment Kills Six SSDs Over 18 Months, 2.4 Petabytes

What pisses me off is that the Intel drive suicided. OK, I can understand that they track writes and shut it down once confidence goes down. I get that. However, the drive should be read-only after that!

If I had a drive that still held my perfect, pristine data, but I could not actually get to it, I would be pissed. What is wrong with going into a read-only mode?

Comment: Re:Swap drive now? (Score 5, Insightful) 204

by harrkev (#49243329) Attached to: Endurance Experiment Kills Six SSDs Over 18 Months, 2.4 Petabytes

So does this mean I can use my SSD as a swap drive now? Seriously, that would be awesome. Lots of times I go over the 16 gigs of RAM I have while editing 3D models and the second it starts to swap to disk it's painful.

Being an AC, I would chalk this up to a joke or trolling. But.... on the off chance that you are serious, I will bite.

Yes, you COULD use an SSD as swap, but it will not help THAT much. An SSD is much faster than a mechanical disk, but still a couple of orders of magnitude slower than real RAM. That upgrade would be like the difference between jogging with 50 pounds on your back, and then lowering it to 35 pounds. Yes, it will make a difference and make things better, but how much better to have no weight at all?

Just get more RAM. If your system cannot hold more RAM, then get a new mobo. If you regularly go over 16 GB of actual RAM in use, even going to a slower processor will be an improvement if you stop swapping. Hitting the swap file is a great way to make a fast processor do nothing for a while.

Comment: Re:Great keyboard (Score 2) 56

by harrkev (#49176211) Attached to: A Versatile and Rugged MIDI Mini-Keyboard (Video)

So, what is so great about it? I see that it lights up, but what else? The rugged part seems nice too, but not quite worth the money.

I used to have a Korg Nanokey, but I once slid a magazine on top of it and the cover of the magazine actually ripped keys off, so the Korg, while having a nice software bundle, gets an "F" for durability.

I also have the Akai LPK25 which is VERY nice since it has REAL (if tiny) keys. The only real drawback of that is that it is thicker, but worth it for the something that begins to feel like a real keyboard.

Comment: Re:Get ready for metered service (Score 1) 631

by harrkev (#49140311) Attached to: FCC Approves Net Neutrality Rules

Not quite true. Bandwidth IS a finite resource. The cable to each DSLAM can only carry so much data per second. This is why you (probably) don't have gigabit speed to your house right now. As people consume more bandwidth, the providers need to upgrade the equipment. However, hopefully this will persuade them to actually upgrade, instead of looking at slow speeds as a bonus (Gee Netflix. Sorry things are so low, but for a low fee of a million dollars, we might be able to upgrade).

Comment: Re:...and nothing of value was lost... (Score 3, Insightful) 294

by harrkev (#48994513) Attached to: Radioshack Declares Bankruptcy

In all fairness, when you get an Arduino from Radio Shack, you are getting a REAL Arduino, and some money goes to support the project. When you buy from China, you are getting a clone and, while it works, the Arduino project (that makes the software) gets not a penny. I am not against clones, but I like to buy an original every now and then to help support the project.

Or, you could buy a clone and donate $5 to the project to help support development.

Comment: Re:Anyone else concerned? (Score 3) 164

by TheMeuge (#48811983) Attached to: Man Saves Wife's Sight By 3D Printing Her Tumor

Is ist just me or is anyone else actually concerned that a have-a-go engineer can apparently quite easily achieve significantly bettr results than a team of so-called expert doctors in their own field?

RTFA please.
The description does indeed try to imply that the above is the case. But it's far from the truth, as much as internet armchair experts would like to believe.

The article itself appears to state that the problem was that 1) the initial advice was to wait, which after (appropriately) consulting with a number of experts they had done, and a followup showed progression. Even the first advice was not totally misplaced. Then what happened was that he suggested that the neurosurgeons basically invent a procedure specifically for him, and used 3D printing to create a model for them. The result was he did find someone willing to try (my guess is they refused the conventional approach) a less invasive procedure that removed 95% of the tumor. Now that may sound revolutionary, but neurosurgery is a tricky business, and depending on the tumor 95% may be equivalent to buying a little time while doing nothing at all, especially since they already knew that the tumor was growing aggressively. If the conventional approach would have had more of a chance of removing more of the tumor, possibly all of it with negative margins, that would be a far more definitive approach. Doctors aren't always right, but if you get a sufficiently experienced expert opinion, it'll usually reflect what is possible to do currently, with a reasonable margin of both safety and success.

Comment: Re:Just what's needed! (Score 1) 138

by harrkev (#48765963) Attached to: Connected Gun Lets Anyone Watch What Or Who You Are Shooting

Random urban sniper sprees just got a whole lot worse.

Really? I have not seen any evidence in the news reports lately. Is CNN burying a story on a sniper spree?

In the grand scheme of things, this rates a large yawn. Guns (especially rifles) still make a hell of a boom. Yes, you can not shoot from a LOT further away, but the people around you can still hear it, call the cops, etc. Even IF you managed to put a suppressor on this thing, any round that can reach any appreciable distance is, by necessity, going to be far above supersonic, so there will still be a lot of noise.

The current cost of this type of system also keeps this out of all but the most dedicated hands. Really, I see this being useful to hunters with too much money. Your average street thug will not be able to afford this. Besides, how often are rifles of ANY type used in homicides? They account for about 3% or so of all murders - a drop in the bucket.

I remember California freaking out about the .50 BMG round so they outlawed it. Total number of crimes committed with the .50 BMG in the US so far? Zero.

Comment: Re: Thanks, assholes (Score 1) 573

by harrkev (#48758467) Attached to: Gun Rights Hacktivists To Fab 3D-Printed Guns At State Capitol

I would suggest that the states with higher murder rates implemented tougher gun laws as a response to high murder rates.

And yet they still have higher murder rates. Those laws must not be very effective.

Let me put it this way. The areas that tend to have more crime also have higher population densities and lower incomes (more poverty). That is MUCH more indicative of the crime rate than simple gun ownership. Some place, like Wyoming, have a VERY HIGH gun ownership rate, but rather low crime. They also do not have any real big cities to speak of. If it were actually true that more guns = more homicide, then Wyoming would have a murder rate through the roof. As it is, Wyoming is infinitely safer than Chicago, which has done all that it can to ban guns.

I am not saying that gun ownership can't affect the murder rate. I am just saying that there are MANY other factors (mostly economic) that are FAR more important. As you have already seen, getting lead out of the environment has stopped way more murders than even banning all guns would have.

I'm quite happy for you to live your life as you wish, providing you don't go about gratuitously harming others.

Just checked my "to do" list. Oil change. Pick up groceries. Take my daughter to get her hair done. Wait.... Nope. Sorry, but "kill some random people" seems to be missing from my list. I am far too busy to fit anything else into my schedule, so everybody else is safe from me for now.

"Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain." -- The Wizard Of Oz