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Comment: Re:hmmmm (Score 1) 205

by Dan East (#48944591) Attached to: There Is No "You" In a Parallel Universe

The existence of other universes is a theory, and even within that theory there is a limit to how many other universes exist, and thus there likely aren't enough permutations represented for there to exist a universe so incredibly similar to ours. I have no problem with people trying to reign in obviously wrong speculation even if the speculation is in regard to a theory.

Comment: Re:If I were Satya Nadella... (Score 1) 272

by mlts (#48943119) Attached to: VirtualBox Development At a Standstill

MS could seriously trump EMC/VMWare by updating Hyper-V so it had similar memory management features as VMWare, but had support for deduplicated VM images and a filesystem that can handle true clustering (not add-ons to NTFS, but either add to ReFS or have a dedicated filesystem like WAFL or VMFS where it handles file locking automatically without any additional fencing or other items.)

Another add-on that would put MS in first place would be infiniband support. Say one has three boxes with disk arrays. Add support so box #1 can use the infiniband network for disk I/O from the other boxes (which allows for the backend where VMs are stored to appear as one large filesystem... think EMC Isilon), so when more VMs are needed, the line between computer nodes and storage nodes can wind up blurred. This wouldn't be easy -- MS would have to work on something like an add-on to Storage Spaces that would allow for redundancy across nodes, as well as across hard drives. However, if they do this, they can kill the SAN completely. Need tier 1 I/O for a virtualized DB server? Add a couple 1U boxes with SSD (assuming they have a decent local disk array controller that can configure them as JBOD), plug them into the Infiniband switch and call it done. Add background autotiering and the old HSM (where data can be moved to/from tape in real time), and now backups are handled in a decent way.

As for security, MS could always have an API that can snapshot the RAM and disk of a machine, then scan that for malware. A rootkit can hide from an OS, but if the entire image is snapshotted where it can't run anything against a hypervisor, this might be a big step in active defense. This mechanism is out there for VMWare, but having it part of the core hypervisor would be useful.

Another security add-on could be having a TPM based infrastructure where some virtual machines can have their image encrypted (similar to BitLocker, except it would be outside the VM.) This way, if a rogue employee copies a .vhd file, it will be useless to them. As with BitLocker, having a recovery mechanism isn't difficult as well, it can be a data recovery agent, or the recovery key stashed in an AD schema.

tl;dr, MS would make a lot of cash if they worked on an VM infrastructure that could run "SAN-less", with working deduplication.

Comment: Re:VPN. (Score 1) 105

by mlts (#48942293) Attached to: Fixing Verizon's Supercookie

If worried about existing VPS offerings, there is always the old standby, a VPS or a cloud instance. It is more money and work, and the VPS owners can always snoop the traffic going in, but if one wants to pack their own parachute, this works.

These days, I just use a local VPN. I'm not needing something NSA-proof, so what they have is more than enough, as I'm using their services to protect against attacks by a Wi-Fi AP (which are surprisingly common [1].)

[1]: One coffee shop near me always tries to replace my hosted Exchange server's SSL/TLS key with its own from a local IP, for some oddball reason. The people running it have zero clue about it, and don't know how to fix it, as it is a corporate appliance.

Comment: Re:Pot meet Kettel (Score 1) 105

by mlts (#48942191) Attached to: Fixing Verizon's Supercookie

It can be gotten around... just hash the UIDs obtained, and look for the valid one that persists between transactions, especially with other supercookie data that most browsers hand over (font order is quite identifable, same with plugins... and we are not even near LSOs or other items.)

The only solution to this is a trustworthy VPN so traffic is encrypted from the device on out (and can't be modified without parties noticing.)

Comment: Re:Does It Matter? (Score 1) 272

by mlts (#48942169) Attached to: VirtualBox Development At a Standstill

VirtualBox has one advantage now, and that is that it is licensed at no charge. On Linux, this isn't a big deal (as KVM and Xen are decent alternatives), but a hypervisor on Windows or OS X, this can be important.

However, if one can choose a non-free solution, the competition has lapped VirtualBox several times. VMWare is extremely strong, both with Workstation on Windows or Linux [1], as well as Fusion on Mac. For a dedicated box with a tier 1 hypervisor, both Hyper-V (can be downloaded separately from Windows) and ESXi are quite useful (although there are limitations without the commercial management tools.)

I've tried various VM products, and the main reason that I chose to just go with VMWare is the universal-ness, and because it is at least a generation past the competition with dealing with RAM overcommits, snapshots, clustering [2], and other features. Plus, if a company sells an appliance, it almost always will be distributed as an .ova file, and other hypervisor architectures come in second. The downside of VMWare is the price... it isn't cheap ($250 for Workstation, ~$70 for Fusion), but it does work well.

Hyper-V isn't bad, as the latest iteration auto-activates Windows VMs sitting on it (no need to worry about a KMS server accessible by all VMs... just the operating system instances running on bare metal). However, usually it is implemented with the full Windows Server OS underneath, making an attack surface, as well as a point of downtime. However, for a Windows shop, the price is right, and it does a good job. VMware is great... but you do pay a king's ransom for the features it brings with it.

[1]: If one needs a home machine to run VMWare stuff on, one might be better off running VMWare Workstation ontop of Linux because ESXi cannot use USB hard drives as backing stores, while VMWare Workstation really doesn't care since it is a type 2 hypervisor and lets the OS handle the disk stuff. Of course, don't expect vMotion or other stuff... but if one wants a dedicated box just for virtual machines, this is a usable alternative.

[2]: Clustering and fault tolerance is brain-dead easy, either using VMFS on a logical drive from a SAN or a NFS backing store.

Comment: Re:Total disservice to taxpayers (Score 1) 291

by isorox (#48940865) Attached to: US Air Force Selects Boeing 747-8 To Replace Air Force One

Why does your president need such? Cameron popped over to the States the other week, he flew back in business on BA, not even in first (my wife would not be impressed if I sent her in business). He has his finger on 180 nuclear warheads, but seems to be able to do that from a civilian plane just as well.

Comment: Re:What could possibly go wrong? (Score 4, Interesting) 261

Then nothing is different.

Female mosquitoes aren't going to breed more because of this. Part of what makes mosquitoes so unpleasant is that their breeding mechanism is awkward and requires, for example, blood - our blood - to work. Finding a partner to breed with is the last of their worries.

As a result, what this boils down to is:

Status quo: virtually all females will breed with a regular mosquito, lifestyle unchanged.

Changed to: sizable numbers of females will breed with a GMO mosquito instead of a regular mosquito.

If plan works, enough females will go with the GMO, and breed shorter lifespan mosquitoes of their own, resulting in a (probably temporary, alas) reduction in the mosquito population. If the plan fails, either because the altered genes fail to do their job, or because females avoid the GMO mosquitoes somehow, NOTHING IS DIFFERENT.

What's the issue here? What can actually go wrong that's worse than the status quo? What scenario are you seeing that could happen as a result of this particular project? It's not like this is something out of a Michael Crichton novel. "We think we can reduce the mosquito population by releasing this RADIOACTIVE MOSQUITOS into the population! Their UNTESTED RANDOM GENETIC DIFFERENCES will render the entire population dead within the week! Also let's breed the mosquitos with FROGS just beforehand! Nothing could possibly go wrong!"

We know the generic differences. We know what we're releasing are otherwise regular mosquitos. This is not that terrible novel.

As someone who has good medical reasons to fear mosquito bites more than most, I sincerely hope this works. And I applaud them for trying.

Comment: Re:LOL ... what? (Score 1) 80

by FuegoFuerte (#48935629) Attached to: Mozilla Dusts Off Old Servers, Lights Up Tor Relays

That's the best they could come up with from their scrap pile? *puke* They'll pay more for power over the next 3 years than it would cost them to buy some decent enterprise-level servers with real switches.

The EX-4200 is great, for a basic SOHO or OOB switch, but I wouldn't use it where any real connectivity was required.

Comment: Re:How is maintenance performed? (Score 1) 147

by mlts (#48932881) Attached to: Former NATO Nuclear Bunker Now an 'Airless' Unmanned Data Center

Same as how upkeep is done in submarines. They also have very low oxygen, but enough for a person not to die. Of course, there are side effects... your thinking is slower, and wounds take a lot longer to heal, but it does work, and the low O2 in the air does keep fires from spreading.

"Now here's something you're really going to like!" -- Rocket J. Squirrel