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Comment: Re:Twas Ever Thus (Score 2) 120

Indeed. Back in the '80s when I worked for a Corporation that made Digital Equipment, we had an group that purchased our competitors equipment, evaluated it against our products in the same categories, and published a document called the Competitive Handbook. Outside of our financial information, the Competitive Handbook was one of our most closely protected documents.

Comment: Re:Ithaco Space Systems made the wheels that faile (Score 5, Informative) 55

by decsnake (#47020153) Attached to: NASA's Broken Planet-hunter Spacecraft Given Second Life

Is this: "crappy company delivers badly on contracts" or "company specializes in class of components that have a relatively high failure rate"?

While RWs are way more complex than you would probably guess and have a history of failures across the industry, I still think in this case it is the former rather than the latter. After it started looking looking like there were systemic problems with Ithaco wheels, we developed our own wheels in-house. They haven't been perfect but there have been no mission ending problems with ours (so far; knocking on wood etc), unlike the Ithaco wheels.

Comment: Re:Was FORTRAN really that hard? (Score 1) 224

by decsnake (#46874649) Attached to: 50 Years of BASIC, the Language That Made Computers Personal

It wasn't so much that BASIC was all that much simpler than FORTRAN. Rather that to run a FORTRAN program required mastering not just a little FORTRAN, but also JCL (or the UNIVAC equivalent) and the keypunch. Using BASIC was an interactive experience. The job control and editing functions (as primitive as they were) were built into the language. // EXEC VSF2CG //FORT.SYSIN DD *

Comment: Re:About time! (Score 1) 306

by decsnake (#46824653) Attached to: ARIN Is Down To the Last<nobr> <wbr></nobr>/8 of IPv4 Addresses

no argument about the basic evilness of comcast, but their core network engineers are really, really good.

I'm running V6 at home thru a tunnel and the only major sites that I see supporting V6 are facebook and google.

What this says to me is that the really big players have already gone to V6 out of need, as you pointed out about comcast.

Comment: Re:Remember when... (Score 4, Informative) 31

by decsnake (#46123515) Attached to: GPM Satellite To Usher In a New Era of Weather Observation

GPM is a joint mission with Japan. The Japanese space agency, JAXA, has provided the primary science instrument, the Dual frequency Precipitation Radar, and the launch vehicle. This is the same arrangement we had with Japan for GPM's predecessor, TRMM, the Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission. Besides the primary goal of better understanding the processes that drive our planet's weather there is the secondary goal of fostering international scientific cooperation.

Please do not confuse launch services with space exploration. NASA hasn't directly been in the commercial launch service since the dawn of the space age was over. Commercial satellite operators contract directly with commercial launch providers such as ULA, Orbital, Space-X, Arianespace or ILS.

I am in complete agreement with your point about lack of political support for space science and exploration. While there has been no real support for space exploration for decades, the past decade has seen a real drop in actual support (that is, money) for space science. I suspect that is true for science in general, but space is my business.

Comment: Re:LinkSys (Cisco) sucks Microsoft balls (Score 1) 189

by decsnake (#45857049) Attached to: Backdoor Discovered In Netgear and Linkys Routers

Serious question - which open firmware is the best choice for current router hardware? years ago, I put DD-WRT on my WRT54g (v2.0) and it worked great, but there's been a lot of forking since then and its not clear at all to me which firmware is the best choice for modern open friendly hardware like the boxes from ASUS.

Comment: Re: Secure password vs keylogger. (Score 4, Insightful) 174

by decsnake (#45603519) Attached to: Two Million Passwords Compromised By Keylogger Virus

A "secure" password does nothing to mitigate keyloggers. The only thing that does is two factor.

I think the comments regarding the password strength were general, and basically the usual Slashdot topic drift.

IMO it's way past time for two factor everywhere. Federating logins makes that much more feasible.

Comment: this is consistent with my data... (Score 5, Interesting) 277

by decsnake (#45400675) Attached to: 25,000-Drive Study Gives Insight On How Long Hard Drives Actually Last

I worked at an on-line service for several years way back in the late 90s and early 00s and this data is consistent with the data I collected then over perhaps an order of magnitude more units. While 25K drives may not be a lot in the scale of today's internet services it is more than enough to draw statistically valid conclusions, as opposed to that, oh, 1 drive in your desktop gaming system that failed 1 day after the warranty expired.

Assembly language experience is [important] for the maturity and understanding of how computers work that it provides. -- D. Gries