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Comment: Re:Maybe if they paid closer to industry standard. (Score 1) 156

by excesspwr (#33751322) Attached to: Cyber Command Will Miss Friday's Operational Deadline

You have got to be management.

At least hide the fact you need the data for your own personal use and are either job hunting and lazy or being inept at your job on reporting why no one wants the jobs to your higher ups. For crying out loud you even asked him to format it for you.

Try asking a legitimate question. For example : "Could you prove those cost of living allowance numbers? I live in the Denver metro area and that doesn't seem quite right? Also do you have a reference on those salary ranges or are you just making it up off the top of your head?"

Feel free to copy and paste into your own post or, seeing as how lazy you are, just reply with "ditto" :) If your joke was to pretend you were one of the management, it's to dead on for me to catch the sarcasm. Good show, sir. Good show.

+ - SPAM: Eye Tracking Devices Could Help Pilots Keep Their

Submitted by eyetracking
eyetracking (1690770) writes "Eye tracking devices that can detect fatigue could potentially save the lives of hundreds of airplane passengers and crew members. According to the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), pilot fatigue played a role in at least 250 airline accident deaths over the last 15 years. As the result of a recent mysterious air traffic event, investigators are looking into what caused a Northwest Airlines flight heading from San Diego to Minneapolis-St. Paul to fly for an hour and 45 minutes without radio communication and then overshoot the destination airport."
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+ - Ansca's Corona Challenges Flash Lite->

Submitted by Dotnaught
Dotnaught (223657) writes "Ansca Mobile, a start-up founded by engineers with experience at Adobe (NSDQ: ADBE) and Apple, on Monday released the Corona 1.0 SDK, a tool for rapid mobile application development. The Lua-based framework is iPhone-only at the moment but support for Symbian and other platforms is in the works. For developers without Objective-C expertise, it offers an easy way into creating mobile apps."
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+ - CRU head steps down, Michael Mann investigated-> 2

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes ""Phil Jones, head of the British climate-research center at the heart of the swirling controversy over hacked emails, has stepped down temporarily, pending an internal review. On the other side of the pond, Penn State climate scientist Michael Mann, who was included in some of the 1,000 emails, is also subject of an internal “inquiry” by the university that will determine whether a full investigation is warranted.""
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+ - No Country for Old Typewriters 1

Submitted by saddleupsancho
saddleupsancho (1315995) writes "Today's New York Times reports that Cormac McCarthy is auctioning his 45-plus-year-old Olivetti manual typewriter, on which all his novels, screenplays, plays, short stories, and much of his correspondence were written, to benefit the Sante Fe Institute where he is a Research Fellow. What would happen decades from now if, say, Richard Powers or Neal Stephenson attempted to auction their desktops or laptops? Settling aside completely any comparison between the three authors, is there something more intrinsically interesting and valuable, less ephemeral and interchangeble, about a typewriter as part of the act of creation than a computer? Or are computer-based devices just as sentimental to the current generation as McCarthy's Olivetti is to his? Would you offer more for McCarthy's Olivetti than if it were a generic PC, Mac, or Linux box?"
Book Reviews

+ - The Book of Xen

Submitted by swsuehr
swsuehr (612400) writes "The Book of Xen (Takemura and Crawford, No Starch Press, 2009) provides an excellent resource for learning about Xen virtualization. I frequently need to create test environments for examples that appear in various books and magazine articles (in the interest of full disclosure, I've never written for the publisher of this book). In the days before virtualization that meant finding and piecing together hardware. Like many readers, I've been using virtualization in one form or another for several years, including Xen. This book would've saved hours searching around the web looking for tidbits of information and sifting through what works and doesn't work in setting up Xen environments. The authors have done the sifting for me within the ~250 pages of the book.

"The Book of Xen", "A Practical Guide for the System Administrator"

As stated in the subtitle, The Book of Xen is written with the system administrator in mind; someone who is comfortable with tasks like installing Linux and working with the command line. While it wouldn't be impossible for someone completely new to Linux to accomplish the tasks in the book, a bit of experience would go a long way to both visualize and complete the installation and configuration steps shown in the book. As stated in the introduction, the book is organized "(mostly) alternating between theoretical and practical discussion [because] an admin needs both practical experience and a firm theoretical ground to effectively solve problems..." (xxiii).

The authors do an excellent job of explaining what Xen is and where it fits in the virtualization landscape. This explanation begins with the introduction where the reader gathers a brief history of virtualization along with Xen's place in the landscape. Xen's limitations and reasons for using Xen are also covered right in the introduction, along with an overview of the book.

Chapter 1 begins with a high-level overview of Xen. This discussion is excellent if only to get the readers on equal footing for the discussions to come later in the book. Included in this chapter is a discussion of various techniques for virtualization including Full Virtualization, OS Virtualization, and Paravirtualization. The section on Paravirtualization leads nicely into some of the underlying details of scheduling, interrupts, and memory, and other resource management which are handled by Xen and discussed later in the chapter.

Chapter 2 sends the reader down the path of installing and using Xen. It's a short chapter, coming in at about 9 pages, and the reader is expected to be able to handle an install of CentOS with just a bit of guidance from the authors on specific options to select. This is a key point for those among us who have a preference for a certain Linux distribution. The book isn't tied specifically to a single distro, as the authors note in the introduction, "[w]e've tried to keep this book as distribution- and version-independent as possible, except in the tutorial sections, where we try to be extremely specific and detailed..." (xxiv). The base or host system upon which the examples run is based on CentOS, which the authors acknowledge and highlight in Chapter 2, "[f]or the purposes of this chapter, we'll assume you're installing CentOS 5.x with the server defaults and using its built-in Xen support. If you're using something else, this chapter will probably still be useful, but you might have to improvise a bit" (13). There is discussion of the Xen-tools package in a later chapter which shows its installation under Debian Linux too. So far from being tied to one distro, the book is refreshingly neutral in this regard.

By the end of Chapter 2, the reader has a working Xen host system and a domain 0 or dom0 host upon which to provision virtual machines. Included in Chapter 3 is a discussion of how to provision guest operating systems, known as domU in Xen-speak. The authors devote a good number of pages to making this task clear, and work through examples of basic domU installation and the use of package management systems and Debian's debootstrap to create domUs. Additionally in Chapter 3 the reader learns how to convert VMware disk images to a format usable by Xen.

Chapters 4 and 5 examine details of the Xen backend, including storage and networking. Chapter 4 stands out for its recommendation of blktap and LVM (Logical Volume Manager) as the storage backend as well as an overview of LVM itself, along with the use of networked storage for Xen.

Chapter 6 looks at tools for management of Xen, focusing on Xen-tools, libvirt, and Xen-shell while Chapter 7 gives advice for hosting untrusted users with Xen. Chapter 8 discusses the use of Xen with Unix-like operating systems and includes sections on Solaris and NetBSD.

The ability to migrate the virtual machine from one physical machine to another is one of the advantages of virtualization. As pointed out by the authors, a virtual machine might be migrated to take advantage of newer hardware, to perform maintenance, or any number of other reasons. Chapter 9 is of interest for its discussion of Xen migration. Cold and Live migrations are examined and Footnote 1 on page 126 is interesting for its reference to the Kemari Project and Project Remus which are projects to add hardware redundancy to Xen.

Tools and techniques for the measurement of Xen performance are shown in Chapter 10, which walks the reader through basic usage of well-known tools such as Bonnie++, httperf, UnixBench, and others. More importantly for the Xen admin is the discussion of Xen-aware profilers like Xenoprof which is "a version of OProfile that has been extended to work as a system-wide profiling tool under Xen..." (151).

Chapter 11 covers the Citrix XenServer, which is the enterprise-grade commercial Xen product from Citrix. The authors summarized it best in the review of Chapter 11: "Can Citrix's product replace the open source Xen? As always, the answer is maybe. It offers significant improvements in management and some interesting new capabilities, but that's balanced against the substantial cost and annoying limitations" (174).

Chapter 12 begins the discussion of Hardware Virtual Machines (HVMs), which are virtualization extensions that enable "an unmodified operating system [to run] as a domU" (176). This means the ability to run an unmodified version of Microsoft Windows as a guest OS within a Xen environment. The HVM discussion in Chapter 12 leads nicely into Chapter 13, "Xen and Windows".

The main chapters of the book end with Chapter 14, "Tips", and Chapter 15, "Troubleshooting". Both chapters draw on the experience of the authors and provide value to the book for their recommendations. Though the tool of choice for troubleshooting is the nearest Google search box, it's still helpful to glance over the content in the Troubleshooting chapter if for no other reason than to maybe remember that it's there when you receive the dreaded "Error: DestroyDevice() takes exactly 3 arguments" error.

The Book of Xen is almost certainly a time-saver for anyone looking to implement Xen or virtualization with Linux. The back cover states "The Complete Guide to Virtualization with Xen". The book lives up to that statement and more."

+ - How Do You Track Automation Schedules?->

Submitted by Daemon_Maestro
Daemon_Maestro (266788) writes "I've got jobs that run on several systems: z/OS, Linux, and AIX. The z/OS jobs were inherited from my IT nemesis: the autistic man-child. His countless, oft-failing jobs are trapped in dependency hell and my jobs are getting fairly big. I'm attempting to document his mess (now mine) and part of that is visualizing the schedule, so I can draw out the dependency and see what's going on/clean it up. There really doesn't seem to be anything, outside of commercial scheduling software, that does this. I'm thinking of something halfway between Project and Sunbird with the ability to include documentation about each job and the things it affects, though it looks like I may need to roll my own solution. I'm wondering how others have solved this problem in their own internal documentation and cleanup efforts."
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Games

+ - EA restructures BF:Heroes pricing; fans enraged->

Submitted by rotide
rotide (1015173) writes "EA has attempted to join the "Free to Play" online game scene with the fun and ambitious Battlefield: Heroes online shoter. Unfortunately they appear to have fallen short of their own goals as they now feel it necessary to force their customers to purchase in game weapons to stay competitive on the battlefield. Not selling items to give you a distinct advantage was once their Cardinal Rule, but it appears even those rules are expendable when there is profit to be had."
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Windows

+ - So Much For XP Loyalty: Windows 7 Share's Big Grab-> 1

Submitted by CWmike
CWmike (1292728) writes "Microsoft's Windows ran to stay in place last month as Window 7's market share gains made up for the largest-ever declines in Windows XP and Vista, data released today by Web metrics firm Net Applications showed. By Net Applications' numbers, Windows 7's gains were primarily at the expense of Windows XP. For each copy of Vista replaced by Windows 7 during November, more than six copies of XP were swapped for the new OS. Meanwhile, Apple's Mac OS X lost share during November ... betcha Ballmer is having an extra giddy time with that news too. Hold on, however, Steve. Linux came up a winner last month, returning to the 1% share mark for the first time since July. Linux's all-time high in Net Applications' rankings was May 2009, when it nearly reached 1.2%."
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Games

+ - The Return of the Holiday Boardgame Guide->

Submitted by hapycamper
hapycamper (731425) writes "Perhaps the oldest running online holiday guide to boardgames, found over at Gaming With Children, returns to pitch a couple dozen titles for the new holiday season. Old favorites like Heroscape and Age of Steam are mixed in with the relatively new like the Tetris-like FITS, card game Dominon, or cooperative game Pandemic. A fair number of kids recommendations are included such as Animal Upon Animal and Go Away Monster!."
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Businesses

+ - Apple Treating Its Flash Chip Partners Unfairly-> 3

Submitted by adeelarshad82
adeelarshad82 (1482093) writes "According to an article in Korea Times, there are growing complaints in the semiconductor industry that Apple, the "smart" phone maker extraordinaire and major chip buyer, is manipulating NAND flash memory prices through its "questionable" purchasing strategies. Apple is contributing to the suppression in flash memory prices by ordering more chips from semiconductor makers than the amount it actually buys from them and waits until chip prices to fall to the level the company has internally targeted. Unfortunately for the flash industry, experts believe that Apple may be treating the flash market unfairly, but not illegally."
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Google

+ - Is Google abandoning Gears?->

Submitted by harrymcc
harrymcc (1641347) writes "When Google announced its Gears technology for giving Web services offline capabilities in early 2007, it looked like it could have a huge impact in speeding the transition from traditional software to the cloud. But Gears never got an outpouring of support from Web-service companies--even Google's own support in its own products has been scattered and incomplete. Now the company seems to be saying that developers who like the Gears concept should focus their attention on HTML5, which will bring Gears-like features--eventually. Is the Gears dream over?"
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The most delightful day after the one on which you buy a cottage in the country is the one on which you resell it. -- J. Brecheux

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