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Comment Like it's sold in data centers (Score 1) 257

What you're describing for "unlimited" is what would be termed in a data center "unmetered". If I buy a 100 Mbit unmetered pipe, I can do exactly as you say, max out the 100 Mbit pipe 24x7 as I please.

What customers really want, most likely, is something like a "burstable" connection with reasonable limits. Let's say I buy a 100 Mbit "burstable" connection with a 10 Mbit commit. That means I can use up to 100 Mbits at any moment, but if the average is over 10 Mbit I pay more. (It's actually not average, it's 95th percentile, but we'll call it "average" for this conversation)

So there are limits! Fine. I'd happily go for an agreement that

1) states an average data rate,

2) Allows me to burst up to 4x or 5x that rate,

3) Throttles later in the month to maintain the average data rate or less.

4) As technology advances so that bits are cheaper/faster to send my average data rate climbs, or monthly price drops

I think the problem isn't with 1, 2, or 3, but with #4 It's much cheaper to send a GB of data now than it was 3-5 years ago. Why hasn't my usage cap gone up, or my monthly price dropped? Until that question is answered, all we're dealing with are lies and spin.

Comment Re:I'm not a panicky guy but... (Score 2) 416

I'm advising everyone to install Linux from now on, this crap is not worth it, not even for free.

If you're this late in the game and *finally* saying this, well, welcome to the club!

I switched almost 20 years ago to Linux, when my Windows 98 computer emailed a word file of customer names and (private) contact info with a virus. Realizing the risk of staying with an insecure platform, I jumped to using Linux for my workstation full time.

I've never looked back.

RedHat Linux became Fedora/RHEL/CentOS but picking the "main" commercial distro at the time has paid enormous dividends over the years! In the intervening years, I went from newbie to experienced software developer, with pay scale to match. Security has been excellent; the constant plague of malware and virus updates are a long distant memory.

This while serving thousands of users at hundreds of clients 24x7.

Yes, I still Windows - for games. And that is dwindling.

Comment Re:Man I want this (Score 0) 111

This is grownup LEGO.

No, it isn't. It's an attempt at a shunk down, big-box PC. You know, the boring beige boxes that nobody buys any more? I see no way that this saves money over time. The branding is in software, which this doesn't fix. See: Cyanogenmod which works with many already existing phones. It's highly impractical, expensive, and architecturally prone to failure, as you have a mobile, device commonly subjected to strong impacts, which is exactly when you don't want removable, (flimsy) interlocking pieces.

> I'm not going to buy a phone until I can get something like this, and I don't really care if it's made by google or someone else.

You're gonna be waiting a long time. Sorry.

Comment People being people (Score 3, Interesting) 154

There's no hard, fast answer, although it would probably be popular around here to assume that the right place is with the Tech dept. This is certainly supportable; I've seen plenty of clueless administrators blinded by blinking lights and flashy fluff make architecturally very poor choices!

At work, we are a vertical stack cloud-based software vendor. We work with hundreds of clients and deliver a very excellent product that saves our clients $$$. Several times now, I've seen IT departments that have ballooned into inefficient "candy stores" for developers who are mostly intent on increasing their take of the organization's $$. It mostly happens because the managers at our client organizations aren't techies in any sense of the word, so they take whatever techno mumbo jumbo blurted out by the techies as gospel.

When the powers that be at the organization bring us in, and ask the tech department, they are almost universally ice cold to the idea of working with us, as their job is potentially on the line. Change = BAD! And so we see a fight while the corrupt IT department and the management duke it out. We've lost a few, we've won most. In any case, we often come in as little as 1/5 the cost of the bloated, internal IT department's offerings, while offering better service, better security, and strongly worded privacy and availability clauses.

So there isn't a right answer, you know? Some CxOs are clueless or corrupt. Some IT departments are similarly incompetent or corrupt. It all really comes down to "people are people".

Comment Re:Surge Pricing - Why The Hate? (Score 1) 250

There is only a difference of semantics between the following two statements:

1) Conserving resources during an emergency by strongly discouraging the waste of a suddenly valuable commodity.

2) Taking advantage of an emergency by gouging customers in need of a suddenly valuable commodity.

There is literally no difference in practice between the two, the difference is intent of the seller, the actions could, quite literally be exactly the same. If we can use greed to make a bad situation better, shouldn't we?

This is the foundation of economic theory, and it rarely works out well to ignore economics altogether.

Comment Re:As someone who experienced both..... (Score 1) 345

I note that you are talking about the sound of the plane(s) at approach speeds, not the hypersonic speeds for which the Concorde is unique.

The issue wasn't that the Concorde was loud during take offs and landings, the issue was that the Concorde was ridiculously noisy at altitude, flying at 3,000 MPH or better.

You never experienced the Concorde at full speed. And that's why the Concorde wasn't economically successful.

Comment Re:Why? What advantages does this have over ZFS? (Score 2) 131

Disclaimer: I ZFS.

We had a problem that ext* just couldn't handle. We have a medium sized filesystem with about 250 million data files that we needed to back up. Every day. Rsync completely failed at the job, taking between 1 and 2 days to do the job.

Desperate to find a solution, we tried ZFS and snapshot replication. Our time to replicate to DR, dropped from days to a few hours, backup storage requirements dropped through the floor, and server load dropped at the same time! This is on a reasonably priced set of systems, Xeon-based intel systems with just 32 GB of RAM and 6x 4 TB drives.

ZFS is pretty decent, and has proven to be more reliable for our use than ext*. However, its licensing presents a developmental pit fall. On Linux, it won't ever be a "first rate citizen" even though the ZoL project has done a great job making it very available. ZFS also has a number of pretty terrible problems:

1) You can't remove a vdev from a ZFS pool without destroying the pool.

2) You can't upgrade a vdev's redundancy level once you've added it to a pool.

This means that, if you're careful, ZFS is wonderful. But it's easy to make a mistake that you can't easily back out of. See the section hating your data to see what I mean.

BTRFS has been "only a few years away now" for quite a few years now. I'm not convinced it will ever reach production ready status. Apparently it has some architectural problems that have been criticized pretty soundly. I'm no longer convinced about the future inevitability of BTRFS.

I sincerely hope that BCacheFS really delivers on these promises, I'd love it!

Comment Re:Why would you want this? (Score 1) 66

+1 If I had mod points you'd get one!

There have been a *lot* of smart people in the history of Computer Science over a very *long* period of time, and the best of the best of their innovations we now call "classic solutions". Solutions like SQL, POSIX, etc.

It has become popular to decide that such solutions are "antiquated" in the face of some new "great thing".

Remember NoSQL? Well, yeah. There actually *is* a very small set of problems for relating data not best served by SQL. But even those cases often collapse into something best left to the tried and true "stodgy" technology of SQL and a competent admin.

Object storage is another way of saying "REST API roolz doodz!" and while REST is a fantastic technology for integrating disparate product stacks, it's hardly a replacement for a proper, local, filesystem.

Comment Re:Give it time (Score 1) 114

Give it some time! We need to let the AI mature like a fine wine, and filter down into consumer devices.

The thing is, that consumer devices don't, themselves, *need* to have AI in them at all.

Try using Google Maps on your phone without an Internet connection. It's dead, Jim! Try using Siri without an Internet connection. Nope. Try using voice-to-text on your phone without a network connection. Bzzzzt!

AI doesn't need to be on your phone to be useful. As AI is developed, it'll be hosted in massive server farms (a la Watson) and time sliced for consumers. And even though we think AI will turn up in "high end" uses before it becomes a consumer item, the reality is that the economics of meeting consumer needs is just so incredibly lucrative as long as you can hit the scale that it's just as likely to be a consumer commodity before it's helping doctors diagnose brain diseases.

Comment Re:A "phone" is already obsolete. (Score 1) 138

We have an office in a small, very remote town. Until recently, we got 100 Mb Internet though a WISP by installing a microwave tower. Recently, the local power company installed fiber optic Internet, so now we have 100 Mb Internet at the same price, without packet loss!

Meanwhile, in our home town, Comcast recently announced support for 2 Gbit Internet for $350/month, and the entire area is blanketed with 4G LTE through ATT/Verizon/TMo.

I climbed a remote mountain. I facebooked the pix I took at the peak before hiking down.

What is this "darkness beyond the 'burbs" you speak of?

Comment Re:Just what I need (Score 1) 111

I see this as being something more like a stick computer. I have one playing a movie right now, an "MK809" that I bought on Amazon for $35.

I see that there's a potentially *huge* market for small, fix-function, programmable, embedded devices that run on a watt or two of power. (My TV stick is powered by the USB port on the side of the TV)

I am thinking about stuff like household A/C controllers that monitor outside weather, inside temperature, and time of day to optimize internal climate control to save money.

Control the traffic lights to minimize the amount of delay as traffic flows through town?

Monitor humidity levels, time of day, weather forecasts, infrared sensor data, and other variables to manage irrigation to keep plants healthy with a minimum of water usage. (California could *really* use tech like this about now) ... and so on ...

Comment A "phone" is already obsolete. (Score 4, Insightful) 138

I don't have a phone line for my home. Instead, I have a VOIP MagicJack that cost me about $20/year for unlimited calls. It is wired in place of my old phone line in my home, the old land line phones work the same way as always.

At my business, we replaced all telephone equipment with VOIP equipment. Audio quality is better than cellular, not quite as good as the old land line, but is plenty good enough, and we can have representatives take calls anywhere over wifi or any other Internet connection.

Over 90% of my use of my cell "phone" is for Internet-related activity, and the phone is really just one of many apps on the phone consuming data.

The idea of a "phone" is already obsolete. Why are we doing this, again?

Do you suffer painful elimination? -- Don Knuth, "Structured Programming with Gotos"