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Comment: Re:Question (Score 1) 350

by greg1104 (#48466063) Attached to: How Intel and Micron May Finally Kill the Hard Disk Drive

Hybrid drives do not use their meager flash to cache writes. The flash would wear out in an instant if they did that.

Hybrids that use some of their cache on writes have been around since the Desktop SSHD 2TB in 2013. They play around various flash types and methods for using it to keep that from wearing out too fast.

Comment: Re:Question (Score 1) 350

by greg1104 (#48463667) Attached to: How Intel and Micron May Finally Kill the Hard Disk Drive

Hybrids are useful for accelerating desktop workloads, where you're often using the same data each day. They don't work very well for multi-TB scale databases. If it's in the hybrid drive's cache, unless you rebooted recently it's probably in the hot part of RAM on a database server too. That means the reads that are supposed to be sped up aren't going to the drive at all.

And when there is a cache miss and you have to hit the underlying drive, on some of the hybrids those are mechanically slower. Manufacturers feels they can cut corners on the spinning part due to the flash in front. That means you can actually end up worse overall on a database using a hybrid. The things in the cache can just end up duplicating what's in RAM already, while the cache misses are slower.

Hybrids do speed up cache refills after a reboot a lot, which is an underlooked worst-case sometimes. On random writes they can also provide a durable battery-backed write cache that's integrated better than using a RAID controller for that job too. Database workloads vary a lot, so these may be very important to you.

Comment: Re:Empty article.. (Score 1) 350

by greg1104 (#48463565) Attached to: How Intel and Micron May Finally Kill the Hard Disk Drive

How loud are the fans in those servers? Too loud to put into a home computer, right? Well, the 15K drives are part of what the obnoxious fans in a typical server case are cooling. Even in a server environment where you can handle the noise of ventilating that heat, people can still worry about the total heat production of a server rack. It doesn't help that the 15K drives are normally smaller too, physically and in capacity, which means you need more of them to reach the same total storage.

Comment: Re:Congressional Pharmaceutical Complex (Score 1) 217

by greg1104 (#47794159) Attached to: States Allowing Medical Marijuana Have Fewer Painkiller Deaths

If you take someone who's inclined to take drugs heavily for an extended period, it's kind of naive to think they wouldn't have done that simply if their drug of choice today is taken away. The people you know who are fried from smoking could just have easily been messed up painkillers and anti-depressants if weed wasn't there for them.

Comment: Re:Is the target "hackers"? (Score 2) 62

by greg1104 (#47623677) Attached to: Oracle Database Redaction Trivial To Bypass, Says David Litchfield

That does highlight this feature is ultimately intended to provide extra security for regular users; it's not targeted at administrators at all. When the "hack" to bypass the feature is so simple, functionally that means that Oracle Data Redaction drops to no extra query level security whatsoever in the fact of things of SQL injection. If I were an Oracle customer, I'd ask for a refund plus significant damages.

I'll admit it: just saying that made me laugh. Good luck with that lawsuit given their license contract. "We pay for a license so we have someone to sue if things go wrong" is my favorite of the silly things some people say when advocating commercial software. Only in Soviet Russia do you sue Oracle.

Comment: Re:Check your local library, or Amazon (Score 1) 170

Most of the Palm programming books with a CD bundle shipped a copy of Code Warrior Lite. As already mentioned in the summary, that's not really useful for Palm OS 5 development work.

I don't think this poster was completely serious though. But they were very interactive.

Comment: Re:Dear Slashdot (Score 2) 170

PalmOS was more popular than the Amiga. At one point about 90% of smartphones were based on Palm software, and by 2000 they had already sold more than 7 million units--compared to roughly 6 million Amigas across its entire lifetime.

The only Commodore computer that outsold Palm was the Commodore 64, with 22 million units. The main reason Amiga seems like a much larger influence than Palm is that overall computer sales were so much smaller when it was active. 6M computers in the late 80's/early 90's was a lot. Smartphones are already shipping over 250M units a year.

Comment: Re:Sigh, that's another waste of time then. (Score 3, Insightful) 149

by greg1104 (#47548569) Attached to: Microsoft's Nokia Plans Come Into Better Focus

Whether Symbian is a good platform or not involves more than just if the code is functional. Sometimes a lack of applications is driven by a more fundamental weakness in a platform. One of the reasons the iPhone and iPad have done so well courting application developers is that Apple tries to keep everyone marching in formation, moving the platform forward without leaving current customers too far behind. (Their formation, of course, but they are Apple)

A good example is the "pixel doubing" that went into the early iPad design. That intentionally structured the design of the platform so that applications written for lower resolutions would continue working against the higher pixel counts. That's the sort of subtle thing you do to keep developers happy and application development flourishing.

Faced with the same sort of devices with multiple resolutions problem, Android leaves the whole mess in the lap of application developers. And Nokia has just abandoned the old stuff. If you're a phone developer, how would you feel about that? A lot of things like that influence whether applications are built for a platform or not.

And, yes, Microsoft has bullied their way into a winning position using their operating system monopoly for a long time, with IE being a good example of that. I don't think it's safe to assume that tactic will keep working anymore though. I don't know anyone who feels Windows compatibility is an important thing on their phone or tablet today. At best, I might want something that opens Word or Powerpoint documents someone sends me in an e-mail. You don't need Microsoft for that on your phone though. Their software is only needed if you expect to edit the documents with low risk of corruption, and that still happens on desktops.

Comment: Re:Typical (Score 1) 162

by greg1104 (#47546289) Attached to: Bose Sues New Apple Acquisition Beats Over Patent Violations

Dr. Bose did a lot of groundbreaking research back in the day. And, yes, nobody wastes $100M in audio research the way Bose does.

The problem is that none of that is reflected (heh heh) very well by their product line. You can't prove anything from a one-off sample in their office. The real key to home audio isn't cost no object performance; it's bang for the buck in real-world production. And it's there that Bose's products are sketchy, and the way they sue anyone who measures that fact should set off a warning light. All the money going into R&D is part of the problem--that's overhead that doesn't fund itself unless it's turned into product innovation. And it didn't in this particular case; the most fundamental patent in this lawsuit set is one Bose purchased , not developed. Not exactly a high point in Bose R&D history.

I'd like to discuss the lack of innovation in Bose audio products in objective terms, but their very deep flaws prevent that from even being possible. They don't use the standard measurements for speakers everyone else in the industry does. Their theater products ignore the THX specifications everyone else adopted. That pattern is everywhere at Bose. You can either believe in the ancient Bose mythology of not measuring speakers, or you can agree that the concrete numbers every other audio researcher in the world uses are important. Read some papers by Dr. Floyd Toole if you want to find out about reflected sound from someone in the speaker manufacturing R&D business who moved past the 60's.

Dr. Bose was a smart dude, but smarter than every other researcher put together? That's a very special breed of arrogance. I'll take the side of scientific consensus, thank you.

"You need tender loving care once a week - so that I can slap you into shape." - Ellyn Mustard