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Comment Why all the desktop stuff? (Score 2) 134

I know that Solaris did have a workstation presence at one point; back when each vendor with a pet Unix had a line of workstations to run it, usually on their pet CPU architecture; but it seems very, very, strange that they'd be focusing on desktop features at all(especially if they don't have the resources to do them properly; especially with web browsers outdated and/or broken is worse than nothing).

You certainly hear about cool stuff that Solaris has; and others either lack or have only by virtue of pulling from Solaris(Dtrace, Solaris Containers, ZFS, probably some others); but 'desktop experience' sure isn't one of them. Especially when 'the desktop' also tends to imply needing workable support for a variety of desktops and laptops of various degrees of unfriendliness, it seems a strange place to put any resources.

Comment Re:Bacteria spread via the air (Score 4, Informative) 107

I'd be curious to know if the design of these cooling towers(unfortunately, results for 'cooling towers' tend to be heavy on the really big ones used by power plants, which aren't terribly relevant except sharing certain basic principles of operation) would allow for UV sterilization.

The idea that you can actually 'disinfect' something in the real world, outside of a cleanroom or high end operating room, for more than a few minutes to hours is mostly a polite fiction. Any sort of real world plumbing arrangment is going to be hosting assorted biofilms and other incredibly durable bacterial reservoirs more or less inevitably. As the massive success of modern sanitation systems has proven, you can get water 'clean enough' for the more-or-less-healthy to stay that way; but if you actually need to exterminate almost all the bacteria, you are picking a whole different fight.

If, though, you only need to ensure that the contents of the droplets emitted by the cooling system in operation are reasonably disinfected, intense UV in the outflow ducts might be able to do that, and UV isn't high energy enough to do too much violence to metal parts(plastics/rubber/etc. can be trouble; but you won't be commiserating with nuclear reactor operators over radiation embrittlement issues.)

Comment Re:weakly disguised hit-piece (Score 1) 319

If she voluntarily brought that parallel up, she's either desperate or stupid. Jobs got booted and went on to outdo Apple sufficently that they ended up buying him back and more or less gutting their own products to rebuild them around his. Fiorina? I, um, must have missed that part of her career.

Comment Re:weakly disguised hit-piece (Score 1) 319

The grim bit isn't so much having a given deal work out less well than hoped; but the downright absurd category error that made the idea seem even remotely sensible.

When you are peddling a bunch of expensive, reasonably tightly interconnected, enterprise datacenter widgetry and 'solutions'; it's not terribly uncommon to have re-badge versions of competitor's products, in areas you are weak in, so that you can satisfy the customer who wants everything wrapped up in a single vendor relationship, single point of contact, warranty and support agreement across the entire package, and so on. To this day, for instance, HP will sell you HP-colored Cisco switch gear that slots into their blade server chassis. They would obviously prefer that you buy their own, which they also have; but they'd rather sell you a big pile of HP blades and some Cisco switches than sell you nothing because you can't get the switches you want. Other vendors do the same sort of thing, as customer demand and the strengths and weaknesses of their offerings dictate. I'm sure it works out better some times than others; but it's broadly sensible.

The mindblowingly incompetent bit is, for some reason, applying the same logic to a consumer electronics widget; and then sealing the defeat by failing to secure important basics like "will our rebadged model get updated when the ipod does, or will we be left peddling last year's toy for as long as Apple feels like it?". That's what is just grim about this little tale. You don't come out ahead in every deal, yeah, so it goes; but running a company that sells, and has for years, to both enterprise customers and individuals; and not understanding the difference clearly enough to see that ipod buyers have different priorities than people buying blades or SANs? Seriously?

Comment Re:Natural effects of a maturing field? (Score 1) 347

So long as companies have an easy route to cheaper labor, I can't see how any union/professional association is going to make a difference. Unless laws give such groups teeth, whether that's through some sort of enforced collective bargaining process, or through certification requirements, all this IT union would do is stand outside the gates and watch replacement workers from India flowing in.

Mind you, the minute you do have a professional association, that does mean certifications, which means that a lot of self-taught workers (like myself) could be screwed pretty badly unless some sort of a grandfathering mechanism is put in place.

Comment Re:In other words: tradecraft (Score 1) 41

Unless we have enough spooks to covertly inject a ricin pellet into the leg of every script kiddie and bot-herder on the internet; we'll probably still need technological solutions to monitoring IT stuff.

If DARPA thinks that they can play offense if they just throw enough computers at the problem they are dreaming; but a cloak and dagger will only get you so far when dealing with people exploiting your software.

Comment Might actually work. (Score 4, Interesting) 41

Given neat tricks like recovering the RSA key GnuPG is using with nothing but a relatively unexceptional microphone recording of the noise emitted by the computer's power circuitry actually work; it seems quite plausible that you could detect abnormalities in operation based on measurements of the device's sound, heat, and so on.

What seems markedly trickier is dealing with devices whose behavior is variable enough that defining 'abnormality' is hard and generating a baseline 'fingerprint' isn't obvious. If the device's behavior is nice and predictable, you could theoretically force the attacker's malware to be extraordinarily similar to the legitimate software in order to evade detection. If not, though, the really nasty challenge would seem to be less in the measurement and more in knowing what signals to freak out about.

Comment Re:Somebody Else's Problem (Was:Sandy Hook) (Score 1) 1145

The majority? Really? We know that of the last few public shootings, it's pretty damned clear the perps involved were lunatics. The closest I can think of to a sane mass shooter is Anders Brevik, and while obviously sane by any legal definition, was clearly a ideologically nutty narcissistic nutbar who had been sending out signals for years that he was a dangerous extremist.

Comment Re:What the hell is wrong with people? (Score 1) 1145

That may be so, but considering the number of threats I've seen over the years that never lead to any action, how are we supposed to know when some kook is being serious or just being a macho man on the Intertubes?

For instance, I've been threatened with legal action about five times since I first went on the Internet in the early 1990s (well, Usenet really). I've had a couple of people threaten to come beat the shit out of me, one of them back in the mid-90s when I was actually using my real name and posted my phone number on email and Usenet posts!

Considering the US has over 300 million people, I'd suggest that several thousand probably make some sort of wild-assed threat every month, but of those thousands, we're talking only a handful ever act on those threats.

Comment Re:Antitrust... (Score 1) 222

I bought my Chromecast directly from Google Play. Came in the mail three or four days later. A week later, they had a whole rack of them at Walmart.

Other than a sort of "no Pepsi in the Coca Cola bottling facility" sort of way, I can't see how this would have any measurable impact on Amazon's competitors. It is typical of the kind of behavior that miserable piece of shit Bezos is known for. A grade A sociopathic prick.

Talent does what it can. Genius does what it must. You do what you get paid to do.