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Comment: Address space randomization does not help. (Score 3, Insightful) 62

by Animats (#47763103) Attached to: Project Zero Exploits 'Unexploitable' Glibc Bug

64-bit systems should remain safe if they are using address space randomization.

Nah. It just takes more crashes before the exploit achieves penetration.

(Address space randomization is a terrible idea. It's a desperation measure and an excuse for not fixing problems. In exchange for making penetration slightly harder, you give up repeatable crash bug behavior.)

Comment: Re:if 1 drive full, raid. Dual read write armature (Score 1) 181

by AJWM (#47762873) Attached to: Seagate Ships First 8 Terabyte Hard Drive

Back in the day, my college campus mainframe, a Burroughs B6700, had (in addition to its more conventional "disk pack" drives) a head-per-track (HPT) drive. The disk was several feet in diameter and the whole surface was covered with read/write heads (they didn't need to move).

Can't find specs on the B6700 version, but here's a blurb about the older B5500 version (from http://www.retrocomputingtasma...)

The powerful advanced systems concepts of the Burroughs B 5500 are fully complemented by the revolutionary Burroughs On-Line Disk File subsystem. With its "head-per-track" design, the Disk File provides all-electronic access to any record throughout the file in an average of 20 milliseconds.

        File organization, programming, and use are simplified because access is entirely by electronic switching, with no moving arms, card drops, or the like. Each record segment is equally available regardless of physical location on the disks. Multiple segments can be transferred with a single instruction.

        Module size is four disks totalling 9.6 million alphanumeric characters of information capacity. Up to 100 of these modules may be used with the Burroughs B 5500, effectively extending the memory of the computer systems by almost a billion characters. Transfer rate is 100,000 characters per second.

Comment: Re:Can we get a tape drive to back this up? (Score 1) 181

by bill_mcgonigle (#47762779) Attached to: Seagate Ships First 8 Terabyte Hard Drive

Just wanted to say, really good analysis - fair and on the mark. Tape has a very good home in the high end.

It's remarkable how amazing the low-end of hard-drive backup has become. I can set up a small business with a simple ZFS mirror (with or without SSD cache) and by running the default auto-snapshot scripts they can have a year's worth of data retention, on and off-site copies, encrypted even, for well under a grand, and the whole thing is random-access retrievable, online.

I think in real terms my QIC-80 drive from the early 90's was more expensive. And the DLT's we used at work were just astronomically expensive.

Comment: Re:Seagate failures (Score 1) 181

by bill_mcgonigle (#47762725) Attached to: Seagate Ships First 8 Terabyte Hard Drive

They used to be so good, but (wouldn't you know) it was when I bought a set of 24 of them (staggered lots) for a big ZFS NAS was the time their quality took a dive. Every drive failed within three years - yeah, there was a warranty but I'd trade not dealing with that on 24 drives, one at a time (failed about every 2 weeks)! And this was in an always-on well-cooled data center with clean power.

I switched over to Hitachi and have been much happier with the reliability. I'm hoping that the WD acquisition doesn't destroy them but they're the best bet right now. I did find that some of their big drives are 'green' and frankly the slowest drives I've used since the 90's. The trick is to use the NAS drives, and those perform how you'd expect a drive built anytime in the aughts or later to perform. And their power consumption is really trivially more - you can save far more energy by fronting your disk pool with SSD's (ZFS log/cache or dm-cache) than by buying the very slow 'green' drives anyway. Not moving heads is the ultimate power savings!

Comment: Welcome to the free market (Score 1) 199

by jd (#47762443) Attached to: Comcast Tells Government That Its Data Caps Aren't Actually "Data Caps"

Where providers are free to gouge and customers are free to... well... complain on Slashdot, but that's about it.

It's only actually free when there's freedom. Freedom to choose between genuinely different providers is a start. If they go to the same tier 2 provider, then the that will define the prices and services, so isn't a choice at all. If they ARE the tier 2, then they're the ultimate source of services and pricetag for all the tier 3s out there.

But there has to be more, since bandwidth throttling dictates bandwidth availability downstream. You can't sell what isn't there - unless you're Time-Warner or Comcast, of course. Try that with a physical product ("It'll cost you $elebenty, payable now, no refund, and if it doesn't do what we claim, that's not a lemon, that's the fault of some unidentified someone doing something somewhere somehow and we'd rather screw you than bother them"). So, freedom to know what you're actually buying and freedom to use statuary rights to obtain that product or a refund.

This is actually one reason I'm a little unhappy with free software. It has been telling vendors that it's ok to not provide what is offered. Not so much by actually doing that - free software has been, in general, superb about being up-front about what it can and cannot do, known defects and limitations, etc. More by saying in the license that the producer is entitled to lie through his teeth without consequence. A quick look at Oracle's conduct shows that vendors have paid very close attention to that clause.

Free Software relies on there being a viable alternative, that users can go elsewhere if dissatisfied. The resilience to fixing bugs in GCC and GLibC, in present and prior administrations, demonstrate that when viable alternatives are scant, such software is too complex to fork or replace unless it gets really, really bad. Which it has occasionally done.

When it comes to cable companies, it's infinitely worse. You're not in a position to run fibre from your home to an alternative tier 2 in another State. Partly because of expense, partly because laws governing interstate activities make it impossible for private individuals, and partly because the cable companies would raise all hell, three quarters of bloody murder and a dash of pint of high water to stop you. Which would not be hard for them, all they need to do is to persuade the tier 2 provider to not sell the capacity. If that failed, they could keep you tied up in knots with the FCC over whether you were an unlicensed telecom operator or not. Mind you, some of you might like knots. I dunno. If all else failed, they could SWAT the people running the cable, get you listed for suspected terrorist ties, or just repeatedly run a backhoe through your cable until you got the message.

You have no choice. You have no freedom. The cable operators have been redefining "monopoly" and "telecommunications" to whatever serves their purpose, not yours, and on multiple occasions. They have been free to do so because everyone likes simplified services and nobody in the States is going to vehemently oppose the "market at work". Even when it clearly doesn't. Not until it is far, far too late to stop things happening.

And we're way past it being too far. It was too far when telecos started replacing copper for fibre at select spots. Supposedly to improve service (which never improved). The reality was that DSL companies competing with the teleco all went out of business where this happened. No great surprise, you can't run DSL over fibre and everyone knew it. It was too late when telephonic "service of last resort" stopped being mandatory in many States. It was too late when ADSL was all private users could buy, SDSL was only sold to select businesses.

It was too late when rival multistate networks got bought up by the Big Telecos with not a murmur from anyone.

It was not because these were fatal in themselves, it's because people had become too stupid and too utterly dependent on being spoonfed by corporate giants (who are far less efficient than any big government ever thought of being, except at defrauding customers). The time for people to learn to think had passed. There wasn't anything left to think about. There were no examples to learn from. All that was left was a self-inflicted oblivion.

It's as if a hundred billion endpoints all screamed out and then fell silent.

And no Consumer Jedi to notice or care.

Comment: Re:Can we get a tape drive to back this up? (Score 1) 181

by Kjella (#47762357) Attached to: Seagate Ships First 8 Terabyte Hard Drive

No. At least not one that makes sense for storing one or two copies of a consumer hard drive. And you're stuck with a huge investment in one generation of tapes, unlike HDDs where you can gradually buy bigger and better drives. I'd rather see hard drives get cheaper and tape not than nothing getting cheaper at all. What's the real practical downsides to HDDs for the average person anyway? They're standard and can be hooked up to any computer (real fun if your tape drive dies on you or is lost/stolen). They're random access. Without a tape robot it's not more convenient. Without a environmental controlled tape vault I wouldn't trust their longevity claims.

Personally I think the ideal consumer backup solution is three hard drives, one offline next to your computer and one online hooked up via high speed Internet. Anything that nukes your files can't get to your offline copy even if the online copy is hacked or accidentally sync'd, anything that destroys all local copies like theft or a fire can't get to your online copy. One drive goes bad and you should still have two good copies though RAID1 on your main computer would be nice, just to avoid the downtime.

And for what it's worth, most consumer data isn't really worth backing up as they're just a cache to the Internet. I just checked and my total personal stuff (photos, videos, documents, source code, whatever) is 370GB, while I got 10TB+ of other things. And a lot of that which goes under personal is actually "backed up" in that friends or family got copies too, so strictly speaking I could do with even less. I actually see they have 512GB thumb drives now (at insane prices), actually my whole backup could fit in that now.

Comment: Re:What's the max bandwidth of coax cable? (Score 2) 199

by Kjella (#47762095) Attached to: Comcast Tells Government That Its Data Caps Aren't Actually "Data Caps"

Well, from the looks of it a coax cable can carry anywhere from 1000-1500 6MHz channels @ 42.88 Mbit/s so 42-63 Gbit/s, subtract TV channels (200 @ 10 Mbit? = 2 Gbit/s), divide by number of subscribers sharing the rest. It shouldn't take that much money to cut a loop in half though, just pick a midpoint and run two coax cables straight to the central office. Considering how rapidly things progress with competition I really doubt there's any technical difficulty in delivering more.

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Journal: Mars, Ho! Chapter Forty Five

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We both woke up around seven, still cuddled up on the couch. We'd been asleep for fifteen hours on that thing. We cuddled a little while more, then Destiny started coffee while I took care of the ship's air and corrected the course, since I was sleeping when the generator came back online.
We took another shower together after drinking a little coffee and she told the cook to make pancakes and sausage, and we watche

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