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Comment: Yup. (Score 1) 129

by aussersterne (#47943091) Attached to: Slashdot Asks: What's In Your Home Datacenter?

Same conclusion. It's too easy to feel that precarity from the early computing age (not enough storage! not enough cycles! data versions of things are special!) if you were there. I think there's some of that going on here on Slashdot a lot of the time.

People in love with old Unix boxen or supercomputer hardware. People that maintain their own libraries of video, but all that's stored there is mass-market entertainment. And so on. It's like newspaper hoarding.

Storage and computation are now exceedingly cheap. 8-bay eSATA RAID cases run a couple hundred bucks, new. 4TB SATA drives run less than that. With 6 raid ports on a mainboard and a couple of dual- or quad-eSATA port PCI-x cards, you can approach petabytes quickly—and just for four digits. The same goes for processing power—a dual-processor Xeon setup (in which each processor can have core counts in the double digits) again just runs $couple thou.

And data is now cheap and easy. Whatever you want—you can have it as data *already*. Movies? Music? Books? Big social data sets? They're coming out our ears. The investment of time and equipment required, all in all, to put yourself in a position to rip and store a library of "every movie you've ever rented," and then actually do so, is much larger than the cost of simply licensing them via streaming. The same goes for music, ebooks, and so on.

There's just no need. Even my desktop is now starting to feel obsolete—for the work computing I do, there's a good chance I'll just go to Amazon cloud services in the next year or two. At that point, an iPad, a wireless keyboard, and a couple apps will probably be all the computing power I need under my own roof. If I have a desktop, it'll just be to connect multiple monitors for screen real estate.

Comment: Re:No surprise (Score 1) 57

by msobkow (#47943039) Attached to: Study: Chimpanzees Have Evolved To Kill Each Other

To be fair, most animals don't allow multiple males to lead the herd/pack/whatever, so it's harder for them to form an attack troupe like humans or chimps do. Yes, there are exceptions, but when those packs encounter another pack it's just as vicious a battle. And they will gang up on a lone intruder as well.

I don't think humans or chimps are as "special" as a lot of people would like to believe them to be. We're just tool-using animals at the root of it all.

Comment: No datacenter. Just a desktop computer (Score 1) 129

by aussersterne (#47942863) Attached to: Slashdot Asks: What's In Your Home Datacenter?

with 20 cores, 128GB RAM, 48TB online storage, and gigabit fiber coming in.

Yes, I use all of it, for work. But it's definitely not a "data center." These days, I don't know why anyone would want one—even moderately sized enterprises are increasingly happy to pay someone else to own the data center. Seems nuts to me to try to bring it into your basement.

If you just need the computation and/or the storage, desktops these days run circles around the datacenter hardware from just a few years ago. If you need more than that, it's more cost effective and reliable to buy into someone-or-other's cloud.

Comment: Why do this? (Score 1) 129

by aussersterne (#47942793) Attached to: Slashdot Asks: What's In Your Home Datacenter?

I sort of don't get it. White box PCs with many cores, dozens of gigabytes of RAM, and multiple gigabit ethernet ports cost next to nothing these days with a few parts from If the goal is just to play with powerful hardware, you could assemble one or a few white box PCs with *many* cores at 4+ GHz, *tons* of RAM, gigabit I/O, and dozens or hundreds of terabytes of online RAID storage for just a few thousand, and plug them straight into the wall and get better computation and frankly perhaps even I/O performance to boot, depending on the age of the rackware in question.

If you're really doing some crazy hobby experimenting or using massive data storage, you can build it out in nicer, newer ways that use far less (and more readily available) power, are far quieter, generate far less heat, don't take up nearly the space, and don't have the ugliness or premium cost spare parts of the kinds of gear being discussed here. If you need the features, you can easily get VMware and run multiple virtual machines. 100Mbps fiber and Gigabit fiber are becoming more common and are easy to saturate with today's commodity hardware. There are an embarrassment of enterprise-ready operating systems in the FOSS space.

If you really need high reliability/high availability and performance guarantees, I don't get why you wouldn't just provision some service for yourself at Amazon or somewhere else and do what you need to do. Most SaaS and PaaS companies are moving away from trying to maintain their own datacenters because it's not cost effective and it's a PITA—they'd rather leave it to specialists and *really big* data centers.

Why go the opposite direction, even if for some reason you really do have the need for those particular properties?

Comment: I used to have a data center (Score 1) 129

by msobkow (#47942773) Attached to: Slashdot Asks: What's In Your Home Datacenter?

At one point I had 5 machines all networked together, but nowadays you can get enough memory and CPU to install six different database servers on a laptop, so I'm down to one machine. I did have two, but my Linux box recently decided to go tits up so I've shifted everything to my WIndblows 7 laptop instead. Someday I'll buy another box for Linux, but it'll be a long time before I can save enough to buy a new machine -- I have other things that need buying first, and I'm on a disability budget nowadays.

Ah, how I miss the glory days of big-dollar contracting and being able to buy a machine with a bi-weekly paycheque without flinching. :)

Comment: There is a problem with that theory (Score 1) 246

by msobkow (#47942265) Attached to: New Study Projects World Population of 11B by 2100

That theory assumes that growth can be virtually unlimited, when it's not. At this point in time, the only energy source we have that can deal with providing the transportation, food growing, and energy needs of the population is fossil fuels. If we continue using fossil fuels at an ever increasing rate, global warming is going to decimate food production. And millions upon billions are going to starve to death, if we aren't killed off by some plague or a nuclear war first.

Still, it does bother me that the biggest population growth centers are those least capable of supporting an increasing population. That makes the likelihood of wars that much greater.

Comment: Not Coincidence, it's the point (Score 3, Insightful) 106

by SuperKendall (#47942203) Attached to: Apple's "Warrant Canary" Has Died

Apple double-pinky swearing that they'll never, unh-uh, not ever unlock your iPhone

That's not what they said - they said the've altered it so they CANNOT unlock your iPhone, even if they want to.

Given how the technology works, that is a quite reasonable assertion. iOS devices have had full device encryption for some time, without that key you have nothing.

All this "canary" bullshit begs the question why, if Apple really cared one little bit about their customers, don't they just come out and say what they have to say.

That just shows a misunderstanding of what companies are legally ALLOWED to say. Once you get the order you CANNOT talk about it, thus the device of the canary.

Comment: It only concerns me in one way (Score 1) 150

by msobkow (#47941381) Attached to: On Independence for Scotland:

It only concerns me in that a separation of Scotland would likely give the Quebec Separatists a second wind and we'd have to put up with their fantasies of keeping Quebec as it is now, keeping the Canadian dollar, and not taking on their share of the national debt. The Quebec separatists have always been in la-la land compared to the rational approach Scotland is following.

Canada has put up with enough nonsense from the separatists in Quebec. Personally I think if they try it again we should just fence off the original Quebec borders and kick the ungrateful fuckers out of the country.

Comment: Re:In before... (Score 1) 246

by bill_mcgonigle (#47940215) Attached to: New Study Projects World Population of 11B by 2100

Can we quibble about the statistical method to use after we've settled the basic cause and effect relationships? Here's the retired TED talk: Religions and Babies.

I think the title is supposed to be provocative but I find it has the opposite effect (two things young men don't want to talk about...) - it's really about assumptions underling the modeling of world population.

"Who cares if it doesn't do anything? It was made with our new Triple-Iso-Bifurcated-Krypton-Gate-MOS process ..."