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Epic Mega Bridge To Connect America With Russia Gets Closer To Reality 465

Sepa Blackforesta writes: A plan for an epic bridge connecting Russia's easternmost border with Alaska's westernmost border could soon be a reality, as Russia seeks to partner with China. Sijutech reports: "If this mega bridge come to reality, it would be Planet Earth’s most epic mega-road trip ever. The plans have not been officially accepted since specific details of the highway still need to be discussed, including the large budget. Allegedly the plan will cost upwards in the trillions of dollars range."

Comment Anything is possible with the right budget... (Score 3, Informative) 219

Lucky (?) for you, I just went through purchasing a storage refresh for a cluster, as we're planning to move to a new building and no one trusts the current 5 year old solution to survive the move (besides which, we can only get 2nd hand replacements now). The current system is 8 shelves of Panasas ActiveStor 12, mostly 4 TB blades, but the original 2-3 shelves are 2 TB blades, giving about 270 TB raw storage, or about 235ish TB in real use. The current largest volume is about 100 TB in size, the next-largest is about 65 TB, with the remainder spread among 5-6 additional volumes including a cluster-wide scratch space. Most of the data is genomic sequences and references, either downloaded from public sources or generated in labs and sent to us for analysis.

As for the replacement...

I tried to get a quote from EMC. Aside from being contacted by someone *not* in the sector we're in, they also managed to misread their own online form and assumed that we wanted something at the opposite end of the spectrum from what I requested info on. After a bit of back and forth, and a promise to receive a call that never materialized, I never did get a quote. My assumption is they knew from our budget that we'd never be able to afford the capacities we were looking for. At a prior job, a multi-million dollar new data center and quasi-DR site went with EMC Isilon and some VPX stuff for VM storage/migration/replication between old/new DCs, and while I wasn't directly involved with it there, I had no complaints. If you can afford it, it's probably worth it.

The same prior job had briefly, before my time there, used some NetApp appliances. The reactions of the storage admins wasn't all that great, and throughout the 6 years I was there, we never could get NetApp to come in to talk to us whenever we were looking for expansion of our storage. I've had colleagues swear by NetApp though, so YMMV.

I briefly looked at the offerings from Overland Storage (where we got our current tape libraries), on the recommendation of the VAR we use for tapes & library upgrades. It looked promising, but in the end, we'd made a decision before we got most of those materials...

What we ended up going with was Panasas, again. Part of it was familiarity. Part of it was their incredible tech support even when the AS12 didn't have a support contract (we have a 1 shelf AS14 at our other location for a highly specialized cluster, so we had *some* support, and my boss has a golden tongue, talking them into a 1-time support case for the 8 shelf AS12). We also have a good relationship with the sales rep for our sector, the prior one actually hooked us up with another customer to acquire shelves 6-8 (and 3 spares), as this customer was upgrading to a newer model. Based on that, we felt comfortable going with the same vendor. We knew our budget, and got quotes for three configurations of their current models, ActiveStor 14 & 16. We ended up with the AS16, with 8 shelves of 6 TB disk (x2) and 240 GB SSD per blade (10 per, plus a "Director Blade" per). Approximate raw storage is just a bit under 1 PB (roughly 970-980 TB raw for the system).

In terms of physical specs, each shelf is 4U, have dual 10 GbE connections, and adding additional shelves is as easy as racking them and joining them to the existing array (I literally had no idea what I was doing when we added shelves on the current AS12, it just worked as they powered on). Depending on your environment, they'll support NFS, CIFS, and their own PanFS (basically pNFS) through a driver (or Linux kernel module, in our case). We're snowflakes, so we can't take advantage of their "phone home" system to report issues proactively and download updates (pretty much all vendors have this feature now). Updating manually is a little more time-consuming, but still possible.

As for backups, I honestly have no idea what I'm going to do. Most data, once written, is static in our environment, so I can probably get away with infrequent longer retention period backups for everything more than 6 months old, while doing much more frequent backups of newer data (and /home, our RPM repository, etc). People who've been doing this longer than I have strongly suggested that I make heavy use of snapshots (and we'll have the space... for now) and back those up. Our planned backup system for the fresh is a 48-tape library with a couple LTO-6 drives in it (current on the older is a 60-tape doubled-up library w/ 2 LTO-5 drives) connected over FC to one of the two cluster head nodes. Software would be a personal choice, and while I'm not exactly *thrilled* with NetBackup, it does seem to work (and was what's been in use since before I started here). We haven't racked the new stuff yet, so we haven't even gotten that far.

Hope that helped a bit.

Comment Re:My lawn (Score 1) 557

I haven't seen your house, but I'm betting that you have different types of trees planted on different sides, too. Say, deciduous trees for eastern/southern sides, and probably evergreens to the north. The deciduous provide shade and heat protection in the summer, but lose their leaves to provide light and some warming from the sun in the winter months, while the evergreens protect from northern winds.

Am I close? This used to be standard practice to help use Mother Nature for natural cooling/heating.

Comment Re:Typo: Digital Rights Management (Score 1) 371

I like Silverlight in that it sucks and makes DRM hard to use, which helps hasten the demise of digital restrictions management by pissing off users and causing the bastards pushing it to lose revenue. Free Software based companies have to resist -- who else will? We've taken over the entire computing world, and now we should use our power for good by refusing to support DRM or anti-features of any kind. If Linux doesn't support RestrictedBoot for example, Dell couldn't sell any servers with it enabled.

Comment Re: Typo: Digital Rights Management (Score 2) 371

If all of us good programmers refuse to participate in the DRM culture, then it will die from a lack of anyone with the skill required to work on it. If everyone on the street refused to accept DRM, market forces would have to change. It worked for music (but seems to be coming back with Spotify and the RIAA's amazing nearly billion dollar judgment against the only competitor...).

This is the last grasp for profit and power by a dying industry. They should just have the decency to go ahead and die.

In the mean time, the pirate bay exists.

Submission Cross-platform game coded in 8th->

eighthdev writes: Our "proof of concept" game, a version of the ubiquitous "24 game", was just accepted to the Apple App store — and we want to share the news that 8th is a viable option for cross-platform development.

The app's source code is included in the 8th distribution; binaries of the game run on all five OS platforms supported by 8th: iOS and Android, OS X, Linux and Windows.

Link to Original Source

Comment Well, my Nexus 6 hasn't pissed me off lately... (Score 1) 484

While I normally reboot all my devices at least weekly, I just noticed that, as of right now, and probably since I got the 5.1 update, my Nexus 6 has an uptime of over 624.5 hours, which is over 3 weeks. Color me surprised. My N7 2013 LTE crashed in the middle of doing stuff Thursday night, again with 5.1, so... I guess the N6 wins, in my book, for right now.

As reference, whenever things get really wonky, and nothing else works, I power the devices down (as much as that pains me as a *nix sysadmin), and it seems to fix the problems. 3.7 weeks (and counting) seems to be an amazing run for current hardware/software combos.

Submission Cyanogenmod Partners With Microsoft To Replace Google Apps-> 1

Unknown Lamer writes: Microsoft and Cyanogenmod Inc have announced a partnership to bring Microsoft applications to Cyanogenmod. "Under the partnership, Cyanogen will integrate and distribute Microsoft’s consumer apps and services across core categories, including productivity, messaging, utilities, and cloud-based services. As part of this collaboration, Microsoft will create native integrations on Cyanogen OS, enabling a powerful new class of experiences." Ars Technica comments "If Cyanogen really wants to ship a Googleless Android, it will need to provide alternatives to Google's services, and this Microsoft deal is a small start. Microsoft can provide alternatives for Search (Bing), Google Drive (OneDrive and Office), and Gmail (Outlook). The real missing pieces are alternatives to Google Play, Google Maps, and Google Play Services. "

Rather than distribute more proprietary services, how about ownCloud for Drive, K-9 Mail for Gmail, OsmAnd for Maps, and F-Droid for an app store? Mozilla and DuckDuckGo provide Free Software search providers for Android too. With Google neglecting the Android Open Source Project and Cyanogenmod partnering with Microsoft, the future for Free Software Android as anything but a shell for proprietary software looks bleak.

Link to Original Source

Submission KDE Plasma 5.3 Beta Brings Lot of Improvements

jones_supa writes: The KDE project today announced the release of KDE Plasma 5.3 beta. It brings better power management, improved Bluetooth support, improved widgets, Wayland support, new media center, and nearly 350 bugfixes. The power management improvements include settings that can be independently configured per activity, there is a new energy usage monitor available in KInfoCenter, and a battery applet identifies applications that hog power. Bluetooth applet brings added support for blocking and unblocking devices. New touchpad module has been added as well. The combined window manager and compositor KWin is now able to start a nested XWayland server, which acts as a bridge between the old X11 and the new Wayland world.

Submission NVIDIA's New GPUs Are Very Open-Source Unfriendly->

An anonymous reader writes: The Nouveau driver developers bringing up open-source support for the GeForce 900 Maxwell graphics cards have found this new generation to be "very open-source unfriendly" and restricting. NVIDIA began requiring signed firmware images, which they have yet to provide to Nouveau developers contrary to their earlier statements. The open-source developers have also found their firmware signing to go beyond just simple security precautions. For now the open-source NVIDIA driver can only enable displays with the GTX 900 series without any hardware acceleration.
Link to Original Source

Submission 8th: a new cross-platform development tool 2

eighthdev writes: If you have tried to write the same application for multiple platforms, you know that it can be a difficult proposition. Different languages, APIs and capabilities are just the start.

Our solution, which we call "8th", is aimed at small to medium-sized companies as well as individual developers, who want to target any combination of Windows, OS X or Linux — for the desktop, Android or iOS — for mobile.

If you want to save time and money on your development, give 8th a try!

FORTUNE'S FUN FACTS TO KNOW AND TELL: A firefly is not a fly, but a beetle.