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Comment: Re:Why do CS grads become lowly programmers? (Score 1, Funny) 637

by faedle (#47616665) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: "Real" Computer Scientists vs. Modern Curriculum?

I've spent some time doing "computer science".

Computer science IS boring. It's a lot of math and logic and tedium. Once you've gone over Turing's proofs, you either go into Cognitive Science or go full Math Retard (I did the latter) and become one of those boring researchers on campus nobody talks to.

Comment: Re: Alternative explanation (Score 3, Informative) 398

Bandwidth is perhaps cheaper than you suspect.

I worked for a regional ISP that serves about 50.000 subscribers. We had multiple 10 Gigabit Ethernet connections to various peering points, one of which happens to be where Netflix peered with us. Total cost for that peerage: the cost of the extra fiber capacity, plus engineering the peer.

As opposed to housing Netflix servers at our data center. First off, to service that many potential streams might require a few boxes and a not insignificant storage array. We actually did have a similar arrangement with another very large content provider: their stuff took about a half-rack. It then needs to be added to network monitoring, and you need to train your NOC staff what to do when that little red light comes on. And the equipment will fail: the "other content providers" equipment had a MTBF of a couple of months. The hard drives will take a pounding.

And we were small enough that when we asked Netflix to co-locate in our data center for free they actually said "Not interested."

Comment: Re:There are 1000's (Score 3, Insightful) 223

by faedle (#46682619) Attached to: Why There Are So Few ISP Start-Ups In the U.S.

My small city of around 200K just had one big wireless player (who also happened to be the cable company) announce they are leaving the market (and selling the spectrum licenses to one of the big guys) and the other three I know of buy their bandwidth from.. well, that same cable company and/or the local telephone company. There's no other place to ultimately buy bandwidth: there are three companies that transport and transit: the big regional telephone company, the local cable company, and Facebook. Everybody else is buying and selling Internet from the big guys.

I can't talk about the health of the small wireless ISPs here, but if you sit down and do the math, they are likely just barely making a profit. This may be why the local cable company has exited the wireless ISP market. (I live in an area with a small urban center surrounded by miles of farms and ranches, the cable company's strategy was to use the wireless to extend their range to these rural subscribers and infill in the few areas their cable network didn't cover). And this small cable company had the first LTE network on in the state, so they had a hell of a head start.

That's pretty much the picture in most places: the little guys are very little and increasingly getting smaller, and the big guys are only getting bigger.

Comment: Here's the $64,000 question (Score 3, Interesting) 2219

by faedle (#46181187) Attached to: Slashdot Tries Something New; Audience Responds!

" We want to take our current content and all the stuff that matters to this community and deliver it on a site that still speaks to the interests and habits of our current audience, but that is, at the same time, more accessible and shareable by a wider audience. "

Have you considered that those two points might be in conflict? That the precise reason for Slashdot's success might be that it speaks to the interests and habits of a fairly specific and narrow audience?

Comment: "Ditto." (Score 1) 237

by faedle (#46177327) Attached to: Update on the March of Progress: How Slashdot's New Look Is Shaping Up

I will not repeat what others have said about the design itself: I really have nothing to add. I hate it: it's wasteful of screen real-estate and makes the actual content more difficult to navigate.

I will only say this: Slashdot needs to ask who's driving this change. Slashdot was historically supposed to be about the USERS, and if the USERS didn't ask for this change, why are you changing it? Does the Dice "Product Team" just need to justify their existence so they created a new UI for a venerable website?

As far as I can tell, we (the users.. and even some of the editors of Slashdot, if some of the comments on the main site are to be believed) didn't ask for this change and we don't want it. That's enough reason to stop this project dead in its tracks before even more permanent damage to Slashdot's reputation is done.

Comment: Re:C'mon editors (Score 3, Insightful) 197

by faedle (#46177181) Attached to: QuakeNet: Government-Sponsored Attacks On IRC Networks

The fact that's buried in the Slashdot Blog and not prominently featured in either the "you're gonna get beta whether you like it or not!" popup and/or a sticky on the Slashdot front page tells this long-time Slashdot user that your "Product Team" isn't really interested in our honest feedback.

Beta sucks, period. It's a design change the users haven't asked for and don't want.

Comment: Re:Use NoScript to block Beta (Score 1) 127

The argument can (and should) be made that I shouldn't have to use browser tools like NoScript to make a site "readable." And few people will:

This "new look" for Slashdot pretty much guarantees Slashdot continues down the path of irrelevancy, as another wave of people decide the downsides of (say) Reddit now aren't nearly as bad as the Microsoft Windows 8-inspired Slashdot.

Comment: Re:He REALLY shouldn't from a trade-off standpoint (Score 2) 231

by faedle (#46110721) Attached to: Would Linus Torvalds Please Collect His Bitcoin Tips?

FWIW, while I'm sure Linus is living quite comfortably, and may in fact be a millionaire (which really isn't that much money these days: my parents were paper millionaires and they were a postal carrier and a government clerk.. they only were "millionaires" because the Southern California house they owned wound up being worth $600,000, plus another $400,000 combined in retirement assets), but he's not exactly living the life of a 1%er. From what I understand, he earns a respectable salary from the Linux Foundation, but not anything out-of-line for a talented software engineer in Portland.

He's not exactly shuttling around the West Hills in a limo. Unless you consider TriMet MAX (Portland's light-rail system) a limo.

Comment: Re:Well congratulations (Score 2) 125

by faedle (#46069293) Attached to: How Google Broke Itself and Fixed Itself, Automatically

Nagios can be built and designed in such a way that there are no false criticals and few spurious alerts. but it requires dedication, documentation, and attention to detail. Most Nagios installations I've run across are built and maintained by people who often lack one (or more) of these three traits, or are a single-man IT operation that can never devote the time or resources to doing it properly.

I have seen systems of Nagios and Zenoss (and a few others) that are devastatingly precise, accurate, and timely. However, they were typically set up by a highly dediated TEAM of sysadmins who's entire job for the organizations they work for is managing the tactical systems. It's a full-time job in and of itself, and not one that many organizations really devote the manpower to do "right." They do it just "good enough", which is why you are used to seeing the installations you are seeing.

Google's exactly the kind of organization that has the man- and brain-power to do it right. And it's not really that hard, it's mostly just simple attention to detail. And that's a trait I've found is lacking in a lot of the current crop of junior system administrators I've run across.

Comment: Re:It will never go away (Score 4, Interesting) 513

by faedle (#46024127) Attached to: HP Brings Back Windows 7 'By Popular Demand' As Buyers Shun Windows 8

While I agree that Microsoft will likely never "go away", to a large degree the statement that "the next generation .. will not be dominated by Microsoft" has already come true. The vast majority of new "screens" that people are viewing content on, surfing the Internet on, and generally "using" in their day-to-day life are smartphones and tablets. And Microsoft is being pummeled by Android and Apple. People are looking at what they used to buy laptops for and deciding "hey, I can do 90% of this with an iPad/GalaxyTab, and the 10% that I need to use a keyboard for my old laptop works just fine."

Behind the scenes HP (and the other manufacturers) would respond to Microsoft by saying "look, Samsung is killing us. Apple is killing us. Let us sell Windows 7 or our next new product is a laptop that runs Android."

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