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Comment: Re:What about long-term data integrity? (Score 1) 427

by c6gunner (#48465033) Attached to: How Intel and Micron May Finally Kill the Hard Disk Drive

A RAID can be lost or corrupted, or someone can overwrite or delete a file.

And tapes can be lost or corrupted, or someone can burn the building down.

This is an old argument, and every time it gets revisited RAID starts to look better. Overwriting / deletion might have been a concern prior to modern filesystems which incorporate easy and cheap snapshotting, but nowdays that part of the argument just doesn't fly. Corruption is still a concern but, again, that's a risk you take with any backup solution too.

There's no such thing as a guaranteed backup. If you're very rich and very paranoid, you could certainly rig up a "backup solution" that involves copying your data every 5 minutes to 50 different offsite locations in 50 different countries, plus having some cheap third-world-labour transcribe all the zeros and ones to a paper copy for storage in an underground vault. And even that's not 100% because a really big asteroid will result in unrecoverable corruption. In the end it all comes down to how much you're willing to spend and what level of risk you're willing to accept. For most of us who aren't running IT departments that equation comes down to something like "ZFS RAIDZ2".

Comment: Re:Shock-resistance? (Score 1) 427

by c6gunner (#48464989) Attached to: How Intel and Micron May Finally Kill the Hard Disk Drive

Having said that, my ideal laptop would have oodles of storage but the drive would hardly ever need to "spin up" because almost everything I need would fit in the SSD. In "real terms" this would be at least a 128GB SSD plus at least 2TB of less expensive storage.

Try this on for size then. My current laptop has 3 x 1tb drives internal, but they only spin up when I need them to. My many OSs (several flavors of linux, 2 versions of windows, plus BSD) all run off of a single 480gb mSATA Crucial M500 SSD, attached to a cheap M-SATA-to-USB-3 adapter.

All the features you're looking for, plus the portability of being able to use your personal setup on any other computer just by plugging in to a USB port.

Comment: Re: Regular expressions (Score 1) 40

by TheLink (#48439301) Attached to: Critical XSS Flaws Patched In WordPress and Popular Plug-In

Many of these exploits and xss-worms would not have been effective if people had implemented the suggestion I made more than a decade ago:

Plenty of people suggest libraries to sanitize stuff, but when people keep creating new "GO" buttons and never a single "STOP" button - how can you be sure you've disabled every possible "GO" button? With my proposal, a "STOP button" could even disable future yet to be invented "GO" buttons.

Anyway since the Mozilla bunch supposedly have a better idea, how about getting on with it:

Comment: Re: It's all about the haters (Score 1) 178

by c6gunner (#48437631) Attached to: Android 5.0 'Lollipop' vs. iOS 8: More Similar Than Ever

You know what a logo is? Same as a brand - it's a promise of quality. For good or bad. If a product can demand a 50% mark up because of a given logo, it's because the logo has built up a significant level of trust in the high quality of the product, either directly or by word of mouth.

Not exactly. While there is some truth to that analysis, it completely ignores the much larger effects of marketing and fashion. A Rolex doesn't cost 3 orders of magnitude more than a Chinese knockoff because it delivers 3 orders of magniute as much "quality"; the price is a reflection of fashion rather than functionality. Similarly, a basic Starbucks coffee costs 2-3 times as much as a coffee at the local diner, but certainly doesn't deliver 2-3 times the "quality". And don't get me started on the absurd amounts of money people are willing to pay to scam artists and frauds (eg. Sylvia Brown, "psychic", ~$700 per hour) who deliver absolutely nothing other than vague promises.

tl;dr: people will buy expensive shit for reasons that have nothing to do with quality.

Comment: Re:Can government solve government problems? (Score 1) 135

by bmajik (#48397321) Attached to: Can the US Actually Cultivate Local Competition in Broadband?

My ILEC is CenturyLink, a national company. The neighboring ILEC is actually a locally owned company that is much smaller and is providing much better service.

The point is, even if I wanted wired IP service from a competing ISP, that's not possible because the ILEC owns the copper to my property and the ILEC cannot provide L2 connectivity over its existing infrastructure, and has no plans to upgrade that infrastructure.

Meanwhile, a neighboring, locally owned ILEC is running FTTH to its rural customers...

I haven't spoken enough with the competing ILEC to know if they'd be able to finance their fiber buildout without capturing the revenue from voice and data service on top of their plant.

I don't understand your reference to my state. I agree that we shouldn't make laws for everyone based on the conditions in a particular place.

That's actually a great reason to limit FCC oversight, since it is a federal entity and makes rules that are national in scope...

Comment: Re:Can government solve government problems? (Score 1) 135

by bmajik (#48397241) Attached to: Can the US Actually Cultivate Local Competition in Broadband?

Why does Verizon have the right to saturate my property with 700mhz energy?

I didn't sell that to them.

If they want to shoot 700mhz energy across (and through!) my house, why don't they have to buy rights to that? If they are preventing me from being able to do anything in my own home with 700mhz because of their harmful emissions, why don't I have any recourse against them?

Nobody would let me park across the street from your house and shine lasers or even flashlights into your windows.

Why is Verizon given this same privilege, albeit in a section of non-visible spectrum?

The current RF energy governance framework we have in the US may not be appropriate. The spectrum licensees certainly benefit from legal protection from competition, and from legal usurpation of my property rights on a massive scale...

Comment: Re:Can government solve government problems? (Score 1) 135

by bmajik (#48397141) Attached to: Can the US Actually Cultivate Local Competition in Broadband?

I am near the edge of my ILEC's territory. If I wanted a different ILEC from a neighboring territory to be able to provide service at my address, I would need to petition for the two ILECs in question to agree to "hand me off" from the current ILEC to a different one.

This comes directly from the state public service commission in my state (North Dakota).

Comment: Can government solve government problems? (Score 4, Interesting) 135

by bmajik (#48396731) Attached to: Can the US Actually Cultivate Local Competition in Broadband?

Legally, only one ILEC is allowed to run copper pairs to my property. They have no interested in upgrading their plant.

They have a protected monopoly.

In many jurisdictions, only one cable company can put coax in the ground.

They have a protected monopoly.

IP protections, like copyright, are a government protected monopoly.

Frequency allocations, overseen by the FCC, are a government protected monopoly.

Access Easements on private property for incumbent wire owners (e.g. the cable company can put a truck or a box on your property if they like) are a government grant of special privilege.

Given all of the government collusion with the current infrastructure, asking if government can address its own problems seems a bit silly. Of course it could. It could stop enabling all of the stuff it currently enables, for one.

If you try to factor the residential broadband problem into an OSI-type layer model, perhaps what makes sense is to limit vertical integration.

E.g. if there is physical plant, IP transit, content delivery, and content production, it would be problematic to allow, for instance, SONY, to own all 4 of those layers in some specific area.

Ideally there would be robust competition at each layer.

Another action the government could take would be to stop approving merger/consolidation deals that have the net effect of consolidating layers and/or markets in such a way that overall marketplace competition suffers.

In some communities, public utility ownership of layer 1 (physical plant) would make a lot of sense and would be voter supported. In others, it wouldn't, and wouldn't. Both models are worth trying.

As you go up the stack, there are lots of opportunities for different business models. Community owned IP transit? Why not? This is, in some regards, the case at current internet peering points. The members co-own the exchanges. It is in some respects like the agricultural co-ops that are so common in rural America - the land of rugged individualists.

People are, after all, not opposed to working in groups when they like the group and when the cooperation makes sense (as opposed to being coercive in nature)

Comment: Re:Go back to the pre 1984 AT&T model (Score 1) 706

by bmajik (#48354017) Attached to: President Obama Backs Regulation of Broadband As a Utility

I currently live on a farm 3.5 miles from the nearest town. The copper pair running to my property is so noisy that the phone company asks me if it always sounds so bad. It is actually provisioned out of a different town a bit further away. Of course it is not possible to get a DSL connection where I am. In fact, it is impossible to get any kind of wired broadband service where I am.

I have been making due with a Verizon LTE puck for the last year, and it is truly terrible. The key problem is that it is a metered connection; I pay for every byte that "allegedly" goes in or out of the box. I say allegedly because I know enough about tcpdump to suspect that Verizon is being a bit optimistic about my usage (and therefore, my bill). In addition to the high cost of a metered connection, the reliability is not very good.

So, I have taken it upon myself to build my own wireless link from the nearby town, where DSL service is available. I tested the p2p wireless link this weekend and it provided 25MBit of aggregate bandwidth -- more than the DSL service feeding it is actually providing.

In your world of government monopoly, do you think it would be easier or harder for me to have working and affordable un-metered broadband at my property?

Because while I had to build it my damn self, at least I was able/allowed to build it my damn self.

I buy my electricity and water from county-level rural cooperatives. It is clear that local, small scale operations can do an effective job of providing good services. I am amenable to the idea that perhaps last-mile infrastructure could be common carrier and community owned/operated.

I am a bit more hesitant to say that I want my choices dictated entirely by the machinery of government. I am currently in that situation and it is unpleasant.

Comment: Re:Why would anyone support this? (Score 2) 706

by bmajik (#48353895) Attached to: President Obama Backs Regulation of Broadband As a Utility

You should read this paper very carefully:

Also, Somalia currently has the cheapest and best cell phone service in Africa.

The "move to Somalia" argument is a pretty standard trope when having conversations about the proper size and scope of government. Of course, there are lots of reasons why overweight white software engineers from America wouldn't necessarily thrive in Somalia irrespective of what kind of government it did or didn't have, but that doesn't really seem to diminish how often the trope is pulled out, so let's try something else -- you know, actual data.

Rather than repeating an unsubstantiated bias, I encourage you to read the paper I linked.

I'll spoil it a little bit: The conclusion, of course, isn't that all governments are bad (that's a philosophical conjecture, not a testable hypothesis). It is, however, quite apparent that some governments are so bad that no government is actually preferable.

This is actually the case in Somalia.

Somalia may at some point transition to a government that is objectively better than their current situation, but their current arrangement is, as the paper argues, objectively better than their previously governed condition.

That does not compute.