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Comment: Mythbusters tested landing an airplane (Score 2) 437

Mythbusters (almost as accurate as wikipedia) tested the myth of an untrained pilot landing a plane with coaching from the ground. They concluded it was "plausable".

But their second go-round with coaching assistance from an air traffic officer was much smoother sailing. Though the coach wasn't inside the simulator with Jamie and Adam, he was able to point out the gauges and controls and how to use them to correctly maneuver the plane. After being talked through how to steer and land step-by-step, Jamie and Adam each brought their imaginary planes safely to the ground, leading the MythBusters to rule this one "plausible" for someone actually flying the friendly skies. And at the end of the show, they said had they used the automation available, it would have been much easier....


Comment: BCD is used in accounting (Score 1) 100

by klubar (#46491481) Attached to: How Data Storage Has Grown In the Past 60 Years
Actually BCD was (is) mostly used for accounting application where rounding isn't acceptable. Scientists mostly use floating point where the rounding doesn't matter. For those who want a COBOL example PIC 9(6)V99 could well be stored and calculated as BCD arithmetic and would retain 8 digits of precision.

Comment: Seems about right for a cop on private detail (Score 2) 235

by klubar (#46434983) Attached to: Facebook To Pay City $200K-a-Year For a Neighborhood Cop
The $100/hour seems about right for what utilities and others pay for a cop on private detail. The officer gets some of that in overtime, the city gets the rest as "profit" and overhead. $200k/year for a trained, licensed cop seems in the ballpark once you take into effect training, equipment, benefits, hiring and other costs. Your $75K/year PHP programmer probably costs the company $150K/year once you add in benefits, recruiting, real estate and training.

Comment: Re:Sounds like a joke (Score 1) 365

by klubar (#45903307) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: How Many (Electronics) Gates Is That Software Algorithm?

Actually you have your choice (these and many more). Probably with all of these gates you could solve almost any problem:
Bill Gates (Chairman of Microsoft)
Melinda Gates (American philanthropist)
Robert Gates (Former Defense Secretary)Antonio Gates (San Diego Chargers Tight End)
Brent Gates (American professional baseball player)
Clyde Gates (New York Jets Wide Receiver)
Lionel Gates (American professional football player)servants[edit]
Artemus Gates (American financier and Undersecretary of the Navy)'

Comment: I believe it's: " reved up like a deuce" (Score 1) 295

by klubar (#45873587) Attached to: CES: Laser Headlights Edge Closer To Real-World Highways

...blinded by the light reved up like a deuce. A "deuce" is slang for a street rod which probably didn't have laser headlights. (

I hate to think how much these BMW laser headlights will cost to replace after a minor fender bender. I remember when all the headlights were the standard round ones and probably cost $20 or $30 to replace. Even cheap headlights are in the hundreds of dollars now... the current BMW headlight is probably $1000.

Now you kids get off my lawn.

Comment: Look into retrospect (Score 1) 285

by klubar (#45320965) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Simple Backups To a Neighbor?

You might look into retrospect ( The have clients for macs and PC (and some flavors of Linux) and it's pretty easy to use. You can back up remotely (on schedule or on demand) and could restore locally of the hard drive. You & your neighbor can also back up locally onto a 2nd hard drive. The program has been around for 20+ years, it's reasonably price and the support is slightly above average. They have a free trial.

Comment: Re:Sounds like... (Score 1) 121

by klubar (#44829389) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Cloud Service On a Budget?

I have to agree that the host/server/bandwidth costs should be a relatively small factor on your calculation. Reliability, security and responsiveness really should be more important. The difference between top tier and bottom tier hosting/cloud is probably no more than a factor of 2 -- you can easily burn thru that savings with a couple of hours of downtime or a hosting vendor screw up.

If cost is really important, I'd get it working first at a top tier vendor and then overtime try to squeeze out costs--either negotiating a better rate (based on your volume) or switching to a lower cost vendor.

Alternative, why not just buy more bandwidth to your location. The bandwidth costs should be relatively low compared to the overall project costs. Also, this will provide you with office redundancy (at least at some level).

Too often in trying to save money, people focus on the wrong part of the problem.

Comment: Best week ever for sys admins (Score 1) 182

by klubar (#44676831) Attached to: Dark Day In the AWS Cloud: Big Name Sites Go Down

I have to say with all of the big names having problems recently this has been one of the best weeks ever for the lowly corporate sys admin. Now if the company's email, file or web server--or even the coffee machine goes down, they can point to the big names that also have problems. It's great to be able to say that even at companies like Amazon, Google or Microsoft with all of their talents their servers also have problems. It's the greatest excuse ever for tripping over the power cord. And if that doesn't work, you can always blame the NSA for the typo in your email or the late TPS reports.

Thanks everyone and happy SysAdmin day! (which isn't today, but due to the unexpected outage is running late)

Comment: Re:Realistically (Score 1) 182

by klubar (#44676715) Attached to: Dark Day In the AWS Cloud: Big Name Sites Go Down

How up time is calculated is one of the really weaselly ways that companies set up SLAs. Some companies don't start counting downtime until it's reported, others require a minimum threshold of downtime before it counts, others define available in somewhat meaningless terms (e.g., server up, but network down doesn't count).

Comment: Re: Tubular in 1984? (Score 1) 607

by klubar (#43966235) Attached to: Apple Shows Off New iOS 7, Mac OS X At WWDC
I'm waiting for someone to announce a rack mount kit for a tubular computer case. Actually, anyone who needs cheap computing horsepower probably isn't buying mac computers. These are targeted at the single-shingle video producers and others for whom a single "work station" is fine. At the high end, all of the disk is iSCSI or something similar so TB doesn't matter.

Comment: Re:Seems an unnecessary feature (Score 1) 398

by klubar (#43918165) Attached to: Keyless Remote Entry For Cars May Have Been Cracked

At least on the Prius once the car is running even if you move the key fob out of range, the car keeps running (actually a good safety feature as you wouldn't want the car to shutdown on a key fob failure.) On the Prius (and maybe other Toyotas), there is a metal key for mechanically unlocking the driver's side door and a electronic slot for starting the car. You can use the electronic slot if the key fob batter is completely dead so I suspect it's a passive NFC device. There is also a mode that you can disable the active detection feature and always have to use the dashboard slot. Other models probably have similar features.

At the source of every error which is blamed on the computer you will find at least two human errors, including the error of blaming it on the computer.