Become a fan of Slashdot on Facebook


Forgot your password?

Slashdot videos: Now with more Slashdot!

  • View

  • Discuss

  • Share

We've improved Slashdot's video section; now you can view our video interviews, product close-ups and site visits with all the usual Slashdot options to comment, share, etc. No more walled garden! It's a work in progress -- we hope you'll check it out (Learn more about the recent updates).


Comment: Re:"Maybe?" (Score 1) 443

by linest (#44770889) Attached to: PayPal Freezes MailPile's Account

I suspect a lot of what PayPal does (e.g. freezing accounts with "suspicious" transactions and refusing to unfreeze until you provide proof you are who you claim to be and proof of where the money came from/where its going to) has to do with the international rules designed to prevent money laundering.

Additionally, an unscrupulous person could take advantage of the current uproar over Internet privacy by claiming that they would develop a snoop-proof email system, collecting those plentiful community-funded dollars, and running off with it. Wish I'd thought of it myself, actually. The guys at paypal pretty clearly did

Comment: Re:What is this Reddit? (Score 1) 75

No, it's slashdot. Whether that makes it better or worse would make for a reasonable discussion. If you're aware of a place where reasonable discussions happen on the Internet, feel free to clue me in. We'll go there and have one. I would rule out any of the sites thusfar mentioned.

Comment: Re:Backups? (Score 1) 140

by linest (#36415604) Attached to: Computer Glitch Friday Grounded US Airways Flights

The problem is that many aren't quantifiable - too many unknowns - so an airline is incapable of knowing if a backup system is cheaper or not.

I like that observation a lot. It could be carried further. You're talking about actual risks. Real decisions are made based upon perceived risks that sometimes consist of little more than assumptions. Especially once you get out of the IT realm and need something paid for. Since these are IT risks and they need to be communicated to non-IT people, there is a challenge there. It's not easy.

Your comment about software licenses being free for disaster recovery, on the other hand, seemed a bit too off hand. I believe the issues are the databases for crew scheduling and aircraft maintenance. That's the stuff that'll keep you on the ground. To my knowledge, there is no dominant application for aircraft maintenance packages. If that data is stored in an Oracle database, you're going to pay big bucks for DR licenses. On the other hand, if we assume that US airways is using a Jeppesen package for crew scheduling (I'd bet a small amount of money on this), then it relies on a 10 year old version of Informix. Disaster recovery for the database server software would (in my experience) be free. IBM's OK that way.

Comment: Re:Backups? (Score 2) 140

by linest (#36412172) Attached to: Computer Glitch Friday Grounded US Airways Flights

Because they've calculated the customer apathy and money lost is less than implementing backup procedures. Remember it's all about $.

I'm not crazy about the way that's phrased, but you are essentially correct. Establishing backup data centers, populating them with hardware, purchasing additional software licenses, establishing, testing and maintaining fail over procedures is nontrivial. When you consider the overall health of the airline industry, it's not surprising that the extra tens of millions of dollars were not spent.

It'd be interesting to know how many millions of dollars this will end up costing US Airways. I'll bet accepting the problem saves money over solving it. If you had a car worth $2000, you wouldn't spend $10000 to insure it. That's a rational decision.

Comment: Re:The number of devices is not most relevant (Score 1) 346

by linest (#36064082) Attached to: Making Wireless, Not Ethernet, the Heart of the Network

Why is it that we in IT have people that are so resistant to change instead of being the change advocates we need to be? As users start using the technology we support differently, it's up to us to find a solution, not to force the user to use the technology differently. To think that users will not change how they use technology is naive, at best.

I work for one of those forward looking IT departments that advocates allowing users to use their personal iPads for work. We also allow them to connect their own personal wireless routers to the network. Problem solved!

Nobody's gonna believe that computers are intelligent until they start coming in late and lying about it.