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Comment: Why FTTC and not FTTH, anyway? (Score 2) 136

by maXXwell (#40170711) Attached to: BT Fibre Pulls Out of Chelsea Over Ugly Equipment Cabinets

This seems to be as good a place as any to ask this: why are providers going with FTTC anyway, rather than FTTH (fibre-to-the-home)? These large cabinets are artifacts of FTTC -- at some point the fibre has to be broken out into bundles of dozens or hundreds of copper (coax or twisted-pair) drops that then need to be driven with enough power to push the signal for the last few hundred metres. Isn't this already a flawed approach? Moreover, this reduces the total bandwidth available between the local exchange carrier and the premises.

As I understand it, FTTC permits the provider to deliver high bandwidth services (at least by today's standards) at lower infrastructure costs then FTTH. However, this seems to be 'kicking the can down the road', to use the prosaic expression.

So, how much are the providers saving? For example, I've read it costs the National Grid on average 13 times more per mile to run 400 kV transmission lines underground as it does via pylons. Is there a similar figure that can be cited for the difference between FTTC and FTTH?

We seem to be living in a golden age of infrastructure underinvestment.

Comment: Re:I would deploy a Domino cluster (Score 2) 333

by maXXwell (#39350399) Attached to: White House CIO Describes His 'Worst Day' Ever

I would deploy IBM Domino

A company I worked at a few years ago used Domino. I thought it was a great proof-of-concept for some future groupware product, but not ready for real-world use. It was broken in so many ways! I saved my list of Domino issues, which I've included below. This is for Domino version 7, so some of these issues may be fixed in subsequent versions. But to be this broken as recently as five years ago (and after 16 years of development, too!) is unforgivable.

So, check out my list of issues, and decide whether this is a product you would want to deploy in your organization!

Domino Issues:

- Slow.

- Spell checker with mailer is lame. Better to have MS Word-style
    spell checker.

- When using View -> Find in view, defaults in such a way that
    deletes all entries when the user thinks they are deleting a single
    entry. Virtually impossible to undo.

- When using View -> Find in view, can't delete individual e-mails.
    (see previous). Messages that are de-selected disappear from the view.

- Really crappy mailbox search algorithm

- Very weak mailbox filtering capability (compared with procmail)

- Hard to gauge where to wrap lines when using so-called
    `Internet-Style' messages. No automatic line wrap.

- When replying using `Internet-Style History', quotes sender
    in message envelope rather than sender in `From:' field.

- "Show source" on e-mail message does not show message envelope.

- Won't display HTML content of messages . . . good that it doesn't
    happen by default, but wish it were an option.

- View -> Show -> Source doesn't work for messages with no text in
    the message body, so no way to view headers of empty spam messages.

- Message size bears little relationship to actual content.

- Very slow over low-bandwidth connection. Much more overhead than
    IMAP.

- No multiple levels of undo -- can only undo last change

- When using find, it checkmarks all found messages. Then if you
    highlight one and attempt to delete it, it delete all checked messages
    *without prompting*. And no option to undo!

- When clicking on links in e-mail messages, unclear whether browser
    has been launched. Mouse cursor doesn't change, as it does with
    most other mail clients, unless you move it outside of the Notes window.

- Can't sort by date/title/etc in View -> Search this View in Tech Docs

- No Day of Week in Message. Month is numeric only.

- Mail Search is fucked. Try:
    "Author contains Sender/Organization AND outgoing".

- When opening mail attachments, no option to select which application
    to use.

- When opening mail attachments, cannot open an attachment with an
    unknown extension.

- Crashes when reporting certain messages to Symantec

- Cannot set different chimes for incoming mail. E.g. mail going to
    group folder due to mail rule makes same chime as mail going into
    mail inbox.

- Can't cut-and-paste into mail rules.

- No log to see when messages are deleted by mail rules.

- Can't respond to a message in a "meeting accepted" / "meeting
    declined" without cut-and-paste to a new memo.

- Copying a memo from a folder to a nested folder with the same name
    causes a duplicate of the memo to appear in the original folder.
    E.g. copy something from "Sent" to "Folders->Temp->Sent".

Cloud

+ - Build your own 135TB RAID6 storage pod for $7,384->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "Backblaze, the cloud-based backup provider, has revealed how it continues to undercut its competitors: by building its own 135TB Storage Pods which cost just $7,384 in parts. Backblaze has provided almost all of the information that you need to make your own Storage Pod, including 45 3TB hard drives, three PCIe SATA II cards, and nine backplane multipliers, but without Backblaze's proprietary management software you'll probably have to use FreeNAS, or cobble together your own software solution.

Using Storage Pods, Backblaze says it can provide 1 petabyte of storage with rackspace, power, and bandwidth for three years, for just $95,000. Using Dell hardware it would cost $500,000 — and using Amazon S3, 1PB costs $2.5 million.

(A couple of years ago they showed how to make their first-generation, 67TB Storage Pods: http://hardware.slashdot.org/story/09/09/02/138209/Build-Your-Own-28M-Petabyte-Disk-Array-For-117k)"

Link to Original Source

+ - SPAM: Red Bull Creation Contest

Submitted by Endoflow2010
Endoflow2010 (1971908) writes "Red Bull gives you wings, right? Well, apparently it also gives 16 teams the energy necessary to build brand new and quite random inventions as a part of Red Bull’s annual Red Bull Creation event. In a nutshell, Red Bull throws out a secret theme at the very beginning of the weekend and teams are asked to create gizmos and gadgets that exemplify that theme, all in a matter of 72 hours.

This year, it was “Energy In Motion,” and that’s exactly what we saw there. From spinning see-saws to a “WPV” (wedgie-powered vehicle), imagination was certainly not lacking at McCarren Park in Brooklyn yesterday.

The pictures are definitely worth checking out."

Link to Original Source
Security

+ - Reddit founder spent months stealing data from MIT->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "In the 24 years Aaron Swartz has been alive he’s done a lot in the world of technology. His first notable achievement was helping to write the RSS 1.0 specification when just 14. He then went on to co-found his biggest venture yet, Reddit. In 2007 Reddit’s parent company asked Swartz to leave and his current focus seems to be his new venture, Demand Progress. He sounds like the type of person you’d want working on your next big project, but is currently facing up to 35 years in prison for data theft.

Swartz was indicted in Boston today where he stands accused of breaking into a secure and restricted area of MIT. Multiple visits to that restricted area are thought to have occurred with him entering a computer wiring closet to access MIT’s systems. Once in he stole 4.8 million documents from JSTOR.

JSTOR is a not-for-profit service offering a digital archive of scientific journals and papers. The only reason he could have for taking such documents is because their access is restricted to academic establishments and libraries, but they are the places most likely to need the information in the archive.

The United States Attorney for the District of Massachussetts, Carmen M. Ortiz, plans to press charges because “stealing is stealing” regardless of what you steal and what you use to steal it with. A guilty verdict could mean 35 years in prison and up to a $1 million fine.

According to the indictment filing Swartz is also accused of taking mesures to elude detection and identification while accessing the system over several months. It is suggested he intended to share those documents on “one of more file-sharing networks.”

The computer used to grab the documents was an Acer laptop purchased on September 24th last year. On the same day he entered Building 16 on the MIT campus and accessed the network from a wiring closet using a guest user registration. The username used was “Gary Host” and his machine was identified as “ghost laptop”.

In order to elude detection the email Swartz used was a Mailinator throwaway address which automatically gets deleted after a few hours. He also setup software on the laptop that quickly downloaded large chunks of the JSTOR archive while at the same time sidestepping any security the system had in place to prevent such behavior. This was mainly achieved by continously changing the IP address of the laptop seen accessing the network."

Link to Original Source
Google

+ - Google giving away OpenWRT-based BISMark routers->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "More than two years after the launch of Measurement Lab, the internet connection speed and analysis project, Google and the National Science Foundation are taking things to the next step and providing testers with free Netgear routers pre-loaded with benchmark and diagnostic firmware. Measurement Lab (aka M-Lab) is a collaborative project tasked with aggregating truly vast amounts of data about internet connections in the US. Until now M-Lab has only consisted of software tools that you can run on your PC — but now, thanks to the Broadband Internet Service Benchmark (BISMark) project being led by Georgia Tech and the University of Napoli, M-Lab participants can provide data straight from the horse’s mouth: their router."
Link to Original Source
Supercomputing

+ - The common ground between supers and overclockers-> 1

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "We all know that a cooler processor can run faster, but did you know that a cooler processor also uses less power? Fujitsu found that by water cooling the SPARC64 VIIIfx processor from 85C down to 30C, power consumption dropped by 12%. 68,544 of these water cooled processors are used in the world's fastest supercomputer — RIKEN's K computer — for a total saving of almost half a megawatt. Now you have a valid reason to invest in that water cooling kit for your PC: it's green!"
Link to Original Source
AMD

+ - What to expect in OpenBSD 5.0 onwards->

Submitted by
badger.foo
badger.foo writes "OpenBSD-current just turned 5.0-beta, providing us a preview of what the upcoming release (slated for November 1st) will look like. Book of PF author Peter Hansteen takes us through the main new features and explains the development process that has consistently turned out high-quality releases on time, every six months for more than a decade."
Link to Original Source
Science

+ - Can Science Survive the Coming Age of Austerity?

Submitted by
Hugh Pickens writes
Hugh Pickens writes writes "Alexis Madrigal writes that everyone agrees you need science and technology R&D, but when budgets get tight, research into quantum dots or the fundamental forces that cause earthquakes has a hard time holding the line against health care or tax cuts for the richest Americans. Different countries are taking different approaches. Japan is focusing on its most elite researchers, giving up to $50 million to 30 different people. Other countries are just giving up on some areas of research to focus on others; for example, take US particle physicists, who will spend their careers trying to drive from the backseat as our European counterparts run the Large Hadron Collider. A third approach might be to reduce redundancies in research. "An idea to provide funding in a larger number of key areas that would avoid duplication is to create dedicated research centers where several investigators can work in parallel on complementary topics," writes Joerg Heber. "If we do less research we need to do it right. And using this crisis to think about our research infrastructure needn’t be a bad thing. It should be seen as an opportunity to reform the academic research system in a more comprehensive and fundamental way than the academic community and the politicians normally dare to think about.""

+ - SPAM: 10 Simple Step to SEO

Submitted by
l-austin-seopositive
l-austin-seopositive writes "The world is fast changing. Everything is slowly technologizing and more importance is being place on the world wide web. Every business should have a website, but what’s the point in having a site that’s ready to go if no one knows it exists? Here are the very basics of SEO, factors that all businesses should be aware of."
Link to Original Source

+ - Outgoing Federal CIO Warns of 'An IT Cartel'->

Submitted by JohnBert
JohnBert (2368332) writes "In a wide-ranging discussion with President Barack Obama's top science advisors, Federal CIO Vivek Kundra warned of the dangers of open data access and complained of "an IT cartel" of vendors.

He also believes the U.S. can operate with just a few data centers. Kundra, who is leaving his job in mid-August, offered a kaleidoscopic view of his concerns about federal IT in an appearance before President's Council of Advisors on Science and Technology.

In particular, Kundra is worried about the "mosaic effect," the unintended consequence of government data sharing, where data sets are combined and layered in ways that can strip away privacy and pose security threats. In the age of Facebook and Twitter, where a lot of personal data is already available, government data that may have been "innocuous in the past," can be used to "identify people that may not want to be identified," Kundra said."

Link to Original Source
Firefox

+ - Electrolysis: Firefox Gets Atomized To Run Faster->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "Despite a successful launch of Firefox 5 in June, Mozilla can’t especially claim to have had an easy 2011 so far. The transition to a 6-week release cycle is now in full effect, but the benefits of more Firefoxes in less time have still to be seen. Now it seems that Mozilla has found its groove and new projects are surfacing almost on a weekly basis. Electrolysis is one of them – one that may have a big impact on the speed and responsiveness of Firefox: Mozilla is splitting one big core process in many small ones and claims that Firefox will get gain speed, stability and security."
Link to Original Source

Never try to teach a pig to sing. It wastes your time and annoys the pig. -- Lazarus Long, "Time Enough for Love"

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