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Comment: Re:Businessese Bingo and Telecom Workloads (Score 1) 37

No, the point of being a telecom company is to connect your customers together, move their data where they want it efficiently, and get them to pay you for it. Telecom workloads not only include digging ditches for your access line and running wavelength division multiplexors across them, they also include things like routing IPv4/IPv6, firewalls, load balancing, intrusion detection, preventing and mitigating DDOS, hosting CDNs, routing lots of private networks that all run RFC1918 addresses and maybe VLANs, MPLS, maintaining really large BGP tables, fast rerouting around failures, etc.

We're virtualizing that stuff instead of buying big expensive custom-built routers for the same reasons you're virtualizing your compute loads instead of stacking up lots of 1U machines. Internet-scale routers are blazingly expensive, and we want to use Moore's Law to do the compute-bound parts of the workload cheaply and efficiently and let us build new services quickly because we only have to upgrade the software, while using expensive custom hardware only for the things that really need it, plus a lot of that hardware is getting replaced by things like Openflow switches and SDN, which we'd like to take advantage of, and buying expensive dedicated-purpose hardware means you're often stuck overbuilding because the scale of your different types of workloads changes faster than you can redesign hardware.

Also, the transition of lots of enterprise corporate computing from traditional data center structures to clouds means that the communication patterns change a lot faster, and we need to keep up with them. This stuff does seem to be driven a lot more by the needs of the users (telecom and data center) than by the manufacturers of virtualization software or traditional hardware.

And yes, every bit of business buzzword bingo does flow across our desks.

Comment: Re:Start menu usage dropped in lieu of what? (Score 1) 257

by sjbe (#48028331) Attached to: Microsoft's Asimov System To Monitor Users' Machines In Real Time

I've been using a desktop for more than 15 years.

Newbie. ;-)

It is not a good habit to pin apps to the task bar.

Why not? I'll agree that it's a bad habit to pin a lot of apps or infrequently used apps but I pin the 6 or so I use the most to the task bar. Saves me at least one mouse click every time I use them.

Using a keyboard instead of a mouse on the desktop is like using the mouth instead of the penis for sex. Some like you seem to like it that way but do not speak for the rest of us.

Funniest analogy I've heard in a long time. Well played.

+ - California Gov Brown Vetoes Bill Requiring Warrants for Drone Surveillance->

Submitted by schwit1
schwit1 (797399) writes "Brown, a Democrat facing re-election in November, sided with law enforcement and said the legislation simply granted Californians privacy rights that went too far beyond existing guarantees. Sunday's veto comes as the small drones are becoming increasingly popular with business, hobbyists, and law enforcement.

"This bill prohibits law enforcement from using a drone without obtaining a search warrant, except in limited circumstances," the governor said in his veto message(PDF). "There are undoubtedly circumstances where a warrant is appropriate. The bill's exceptions, however, appear to be too narrow and could impose requirements beyond what is required by either the 4th Amendment or the privacy provisions in the California Constitution."

At least 10 other states require the police to get a court warrant to surveil with a drone. Those states include Florida, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Montana, Oregon, Tennessee, Utah, and Wisconsin.

California's drone bill is not draconian. It includes exceptions for emergency situations, search-and-rescue efforts, traffic first responders, and inspection of wildfires. It allows other public agencies to use drones for other purposes—just not law enforcement."

Link to Original Source

Comment: Re:Wrong question (Score 1) 255

by sjbe (#48021309) Attached to: Could We Abort a Manned Mission To Mars?

And what exactly could a human geologist do that a rover (built with current technology), coupled with a competent geology team on Earth couldn't?

So you don't actually want to think about it? The answers are the same as here on Earth. Sometimes a robot is necessary but we don't use them when we don't have to because working through them is incredibly awkward. There is no geologist that wants to work remotely when he can work onsite. Plus there is a LOT more to do than simply geology on Mars.

1) Speed - a human can work faster on site than humans working through remotely operated devices. When latency averages 13 minutes each way humans on site are a LOT faster. A human on site could accomplish vastly more in a shorter amount of time.
2) I defy you to find me an end effector for any robot that is as useful as a human hand attached to a real live human.
3) Notice and investigate things the robot wasn't designed to address.
4) Repair equipment that breaks
5) Utilize local resources in ways robots cannot
6) Do things other than geology
7) Design and implement tools on site

So a $100bn Mars mission is going to deliver $10,000bn in R&D payback that couldn't have been done without sending humans to Mars?

I said that the R&D payback would be much larger for a manned mission than for a robotic mission (or even a large number of robotic missions) which is true. I didn't specify any dollar amounts - The 100X number is just made up to get the point across though it seems to have whooshed by you. A LOT more technology would have to be developed for a manned mission and as a result there would be a much larger R&D payback. For a manned mission we would need all the robotics research PLUS life support, radiation shielding, food supply, medical technology, remote manufacturing, mining and much more. It's a far bigger, more complicated mission with a lot more R&D requirements. Bigger R&D will result in bigger economic payback.

Comment: Science != Math (Score 1) 443

by sjbe (#48019503) Attached to: Scientists Seen As Competent But Not Trusted By Americans

There is such a thing as a proven theory

You cited examples of mathematical theory, not scientific theory. While they overlap they are not the same thing. Mathematical proofs can and do exist independent of any real world phenomena as they are pure logical constructs.

All scientific theories are falsifiable. This does not mean they are wrong but rather that there is always the possibility (however remote) that a new piece of data will disprove the theory. If it cannot (theoretically) be proven wrong then it is not science. Theories that cannot be tested through observations of real world phenomena are not science.

Comment: Functional jewelry (Score 1) 171

by sjbe (#48014319) Attached to: When Everything Works Like Your Cell Phone

It's also far from dumb. It's intricate, complex and beautiful.

I think no sane person would argue that a good mechanical watch isn't beautiful as well as an amazing piece of engineering. (I cannot say the same for crappy digital watches however) That doesn't change the fact though that they are a single purpose device that generally speaking is seldom necessary these days. I don't really need to carry around an extra gadget whose sole purpose is to tell me the time 99.99999% of the time. There are occasions when that is useful/necessary but they are rare these days.

If you enjoy wearing a watch there is no problem with that. Just recognize that you are wearing a piece of functional jewelry rather than making a practical choice. I think a watch of any sort is a much better choice than wearing polished rocks embedded in rare metals.

Comment: Why we use fancy tools (Score 2) 171

by sjbe (#48014295) Attached to: When Everything Works Like Your Cell Phone

A good hammer, a good manual drill, a good screwdriver, will last a lifetime.

And will sit in a drawer for any but the most basic or simple of tasks. I have each of those tools and use them but 9 times out of 10 I find myself reaching for the cordless hammer-drill or the pneumatic nail gun because I value my time and don't believe in pointless effort. Plus a good part of the reason those hand tools last is because you are somewhat limited in the amount of work you can do with them. I can generate FAR more torque with my hammer-drill than with any manual screwdriver or hand drill. Pretty useful when trying to punch a hole in concrete or loosen a stuck bolt.

Many people, however, invest in pneumatic hammers, electric drills, and bit sets even though they know it will break.

Because they are FAR more productive with those tools. Maybe you've never done any construction. I have. Try framing a house sometime with a traditional hammer and traditional saw and miter box and then do it with a nail gun and circular miter saw. Then get back to me on how much I should value that old school hammer. Sure you can get the job done with the old tools and people did it for a long time. And it will take you 20X longer and require far more effort.

Comment: When would I need it? (Score 1) 171

by sjbe (#48014233) Attached to: When Everything Works Like Your Cell Phone

It runs a tiny bit fast (several seconds a month), but until it completely dies, I see no reason to replace it for telling time at a glance (something that can't be done with a smartphone).

Which is exactly why those devices remain useful. And there are times when that is valuable. I sometimes carry a (dumb) watch when I'm hiking or doing some competitive distance running. Also useful if you are flying a plane or navigating a boat.

Here's the thing though. How often to you *really* need to know the time at a glance and do not have several clocks within eye shot these days? I spend most of my day working near a computer that has the time right on the menu bars. My car has a clock. I have various clocks in most of the rooms of my home. Most places at my office have at least one clock visible. When would I truly need to know the time so quickly that I cannot take a few seconds to pull my phone out of my pocket. Why would I wear a relatively uncomfortable piece of jewelry with no other purpose just so I can know to the second what time it is throughout the day? Does that really make sense?

Comment: Doesn't scale well (Score 1) 171

by sjbe (#48014207) Attached to: When Everything Works Like Your Cell Phone

Needs not be slow - you just need enough land and fast-growing trees.

That gets a tad difficult when you are trying to grow enough trees for 7 billion people.

Furthermore wood burning stoves are rather dirty from an environmental standpoint. Most traditional wood burning stoves are quite inefficient and release a lot of particulate matter.

Comment: Why delay? (Score 1) 255

by sjbe (#48014137) Attached to: Could We Abort a Manned Mission To Mars?

Why the hurry? It's not like Mars is going anywhere.

Why the delay? You have something better to do? What could possibly be a better use of your time than the greatest exploration mankind has ever undertaken?

Plus, the robots have a lot of autonomy. They move around obstacles pretty much by themselves, with only occasional help.

I think you are grossly underestimating the amount of hand holding going on from mission control here on Earth.

Comment: Wrong question (Score 1) 255

by sjbe (#48014131) Attached to: Could We Abort a Manned Mission To Mars?

I hear that said a lot, but is it really true?

Probably yes.

Could a human crew carry more scientific equipment than Curiosity did?

Wrong question. You have to get the equipment there either way. The question is what can you do with the equipment once you get it there. Presently the state of the art in robotics is such that we are pretty limited in what we can do with equipment once we get it there. Generally speaking people can usually do a lot more in a short amount of time than even the most state of the art automation unless it is highly repetitive. It's exactly the same problem we have in automating factories here on earth. Automation can be extremely useful but for most tasks we still have no better or more flexible tool than a competent human being.

Keep in mind that even the most basic manned mission is gonna cost so much money you could send 50 curiosity rovers there.

And the R&D payback will probably be 100X as large on a manned mission. People focus too much on the mission cost without considering the full economic picture. Remember that you have to develop a LOT more technology for a manned mission and much of this technology is applicable elsewhere.

1 Mole = 25 Cagey Bees