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Comment Re:HAHAHAHA! (Score 1) 199 199

Texas, one can be self-insured by ponying up a $55,000 bond to the state, or posting a bond that a lien can be placed on one's real estate.

Honestly, I'll just take the insurance. $55k isn't a lot, relatively. Tap a car, and that is often less than the medical bills of the driver + the vehicle (which likely would wind up having to be replaced.) Plus, insurance companies provide lawyers while without them, you have to provide your own and fight all court cases yourself, which can be a major time waster.

As for insurance and autonomous cars, I would be genuinely surprised if rates drop, mainly for one simple fact: The first gen of these vehicles will need to have a manual override, especially for vehicles that go into rural areas or on farmland. So, insurance on those will stay the same. Vehicles only used in cities, and subsequent generations that never require driver interaction? Who knows. I wouldn't be surprised to see rates dropped, only to be raised on some other facet of life, such as health insurance.

Comment Re:How timely... (Score 3, Interesting) 91 91

SPARC and POWER still have a place. There are some computing tasks that can't really be split up among multiple nodes, so they still require gigantic CPU requirements. Usually this is related to legacy databases which cost less to keep on the legacy architecture than spend the time to try to move it to PC clusters.

Another use for SPARC and POWER (and to a lesser extent, ARM) are security applications. In theory (and this is theory, mind you), if another F0 0F bug is found on the x86 platform, perhaps giving attackers remote access to ring 0, having multiple architectures will help mitigate the effects of it.

Of course, with SPARC and POWER, virtualization is an integral component of both platforms, and for some tasks, it just might be the case that slicing off a lot of LPARS and zones may be cheaper than buying a lot of PCs and using a VMWare cluster, due to the license fees involved.

Comment Re:Electric is Evolution. Driverless is Revolution (Score 1) 865 865

Light rail does make sense, but the problem (especially here in the US) is getting right of way and having it be placed where it is the must usable. For example, Austin has light rail proposed every few years... but it would only connects the most affluent communities to each other, doing no benefit where it is truly needed. The places where it could do the most good to alleviate congestion, it never gets proposed, just because there are not the lobbyists to drive it forward.

Comment Re:Doubtful (Score 1) 865 865

Depends on area. Here in Austin where tenants actually are forced to bid for their rent price when their lease expires, just having an apartment for under $2000/month is a nice thing.

Until the economy tanks and apartments are extremely desperate to find renters, I really don't see EV charging stations going mainstream. Some "luxury" apartments, sure... it is a good way to have a reason to raise rent. However, there just isn't any incentive in this economy (which belongs to the landlord, especially with mortgages being so hard to come by for most people) for anything to be added to an apartment except more fees.

Comment Re:Error 1 (Score 1) 865 865

At the other end, there are Pacific Pride cardlock stations that are a set of pumps and card readers, and nothing else. One pulls up, swipes the card, fills up, and heads out. No attendant on duty. The advantage of these places is that you don't have to wait in line at a pump while someone goes in and grabs lunch.

I can see this being useful for a no-frills way of charging or swapping batteries, where someone wants to be on the road, and not pissing away time in line waiting for someone to stop looking at their phone long enough to pay for their bag of Doritos and their 160 ounce soft drink.

Comment Re:Not competition for steam machines. (Score 0) 169 169

If Microsoft created a render server (think OnLive on the LAN) where I can have a box stuffed full of GPUs, and machines on the LAN send it the graphics commends, and get real time streaming video back, then I'd be worried about Steam machines.

This setup? Not so much.

Comment Re:Urg. (Score 2) 43 43

Bingo. People are throwing up their hands and surrendering, when in reality, the bad guys tend to use fairly simple means to get their data.

A few things that help privacy for me:

1: Visit people, and have face to face conversations. Phones should go off, or in a pocket.

2: Have 2FA. This right here stops all but targeted attacks where an attacker is spending resources just to nail one certain person. To help with recovery, buy the new iPod Touch and copy your 2FA info onto that as well, so more than one device has the 2FA apps and codes.

3: Separate boot authentication from user authentication. My Windows box requires a hefty password to boot with BitLocker. Similar with my Linux machines and LUKS.

4: AdBlock, FlashBlock/ClickToPlay, and run your Web browser in a VM. Also work on dealing with Web fingerprinting (visit EFF's Panopticlick for more details.)

5: Avoid social networks. Once stuff goes there, it stays there.

6: Virtualize everything. Using Quickbooks or Peachtree? Put it in an encrypted VM.

7: Since some games will autoban you if you run them in a VM, perhaps consider a dedicated Windows partition just for those.

8: Here in the US? Go with EMV credit cards with no stripe. Banks are slowly rolling them out. This way, a credit card number can be grabbed, but it would be a card not present transaction, as opposed to slurping the info off the magstripe.

9: Minimize use of IoT devices. No Wi-Fi deadbolts, etc.

10: Have a smart firewall. One that blocks outgoing traffic. I used to have one that used a cheap remote that would raise/drop a voltage on a serial port, so when I left, I could hit the remote, and the machine handling the routing duty would insert an "away" ACL set (which basically blocked outgoing traffic except for OS updates.)

Comment Re:cost per bit... (Score 4, Interesting) 170 170

I can see this being used two ways:

A fast SSD.

A swap device/slow RAM.

This can make things interesting for SANs, especially because it adds another tier to the disk type hierarchy.

I'd like to see it used as a cache, as well for swap and the core OS files so booting is made quicker. However, it would be useful for database index volumes as well.

Comment Re: So what? (Score 2) 471 471

I've found that "business casual" means a lot of different things as per workplace.

When I first started at a call center ages ago, "business casual" meant the people on the phones had to wear a suit, tie and jacket, but there was the relative luxury that the top button could be unbuttoned.

Another startup, "business casual" meant just three layers of food in your beard.

Still another place used the expression to mean that wearing a decent golf shirt tucked in is OK.

Comment Re:EMC Isilon (Score 1) 217 217

Isilons are a cool technology. Take FreeBSD, add a custom filesystem (OneFS), link individual nodes via Infiniband, and let the custom code automatically select which nodes/drives to fetch data from. If a hard drive blows, it shrinks the array in order to maintain redundancy.

Of course, Isilons support deduplication, iSCSI (you create a disk image and mount that), and your NAS protocols of choice. If you set a hard quota, the presented directory can be configured to show the quota as the disk space present. Very nifty, and not that expensive for an enterprise array. Need more space? Add drives or more nodes.

For long term backups, Isilons support NDMP [1].

[1]: Of course, you can always connect a tape silo to a UNIX machine, write a script that SSHes into an Isilon node and pulls off /ifs/data.

Comment Re: Talk to Vendors (Score 1) 217 217

Unless I'm completely hallucinating, I have set up MPIO on ESXi for iSCSI, as well as a LAG (link aggregate) for a NFS based backing store.

iSCSI has its place in the enterprise, and it can be used in production. If the NIC supports it, it can even be used for booting. How does it fare against 8GB FC? In reality, there are a few tasks which will saturate a 10GB iSCSI link or an 8GB FC link, but not that many.

All of these are just tools in the toolbox. iSCSI is easier to get going ad-hoc (but still be useful with MPIO), FC is well known and well used, and FCoE seems to be popping up because it works well with Cisco Nexus architecture.

Comment Re:Talk to Vendors (Score 2) 217 217

Oracle has a SAN (well, SAN/NAS) offering which does similar with a rack of ports/HBAs that were configurable, assuming the right SFP was present. Want FC? Got it. iSCSI? Yep. FCoE? Yep. Want to just share a NFS backing store on a LAG for a VMWare backing store. Easy doing.

The price wasn't that shocking either. It wasn't dirt cheap like a Backblaze storage pod, but it was reasonable, especially with SSD available and autotiering.

Comment Re:VeraCrypt (Score 4, Informative) 114 114

There were two forks coming from TC. CipherShed was another, but it hasn't been updated since pre-alpha, so it is probably good to pronounce it dead, so VeraCrypt is arguably the successor for TrueCrypt as of now.

If I were only worrying about Linux, I'd either use LUKS or perhaps a filesystem based encryption process like EncFS. EncFS doesn't provide as much protection (it does let an attacker know file sizes in a directory), but it is definitely a lot more flexible, and the encrypted files can be backed up and restored with ease.

Comment Re:Never heard of it (Score 2) 114 114

The stego capabilities of Tomb are interesting. The print to QR code for backups for keys is also much appreciated.

For me, what is important in a TrueCrypt replacement is cross-platform compatibility. I could create a TC volume on a NAS with a Windows box, mount and toss some files into it with my Linux machine, then mount it on a Mac (obviously, not having multiple machines mounting it at the same time) for more items. VeraCrypt has kept this, and has added the ability to use TC volumes under W8.1, a long needed feature (well, if you want to actually see more than a permissions denied error, that is.)

I do think it is interesting how Tomb allows one to hide a key within pictures.

Of course, what would be nice for a unique encryption program would be something along the lines of PhonebookFS. Based on EncFS, it allows one to use multiple keys to mount a directory, each key showing a different group of files (called layers). In that directory are random, "chaff" files, just to keep people from guessing the contents of the directory by file sizes. The advantage of this system is that plausible deniability is always present.

I do applaud anyone who takes the "cypherpunks write code" motto to heart and actually writes something to benefit the community.

It's not so hard to lift yourself by your bootstraps once you're off the ground. -- Daniel B. Luten

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