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Comment: Re:What about long-term data integrity? (Score 1) 370

by nine-times (#48465947) Attached to: How Intel and Micron May Finally Kill the Hard Disk Drive

but it allows you to recover the data in the event of a hard drive failure (and the loss of data on that drive).

Well, it allows you to recover data in the event of a hardware failure specifically on one of the hard drives, nowhere else, in such a way that doesn't cause data corruption first. In much the same way that if you have a redundant power supply, it will protect you against the specific event of hardware failure where one of your power supplies fails without there being a problem with your power source or damage to any of the other internal components.

That is to say, it's hardware redundancy. Nothing more. Of the events that lead to data loss or power failure, hardware redundancy does protect you against the case where the problem is limited to hardware failure of one of the redundant parts, and everything else works properly. A "backup" however should be a more generalized strategy for protecting against a total loss of the service, i.e. power goes out or data is lost.

Comment: Re:What about long-term data integrity? (Score 1) 370

by nine-times (#48465887) Attached to: How Intel and Micron May Finally Kill the Hard Disk Drive

And tapes can be lost or corrupted, or someone can burn the building down.

This is an old argument, and every time it gets revisited RAID starts to look better.

This isn't a competition. I'm not saying, "Screw RAID! It's a terrible backup." It's just not a backup. I'm not going to fight with you over this. Go ahead and use RAID as a backup. Maybe you'll be lucky and you'll never need to learn your lesson.

Comment: Re:What about long-term data integrity? (Score 1) 370

by nine-times (#48464439) Attached to: How Intel and Micron May Finally Kill the Hard Disk Drive

Sorry, no, in IT terms that's not a backup. It's a backup when it's an independent system with a history. Calling a RAID1 a backup to protect against data loss is similar to calling a redundant power supply a backup to protect against power failure. It's kind-of-almost-right in a limited sense, but it misunderstands the problem. It's just hardware redundancy, not a backup.

Comment: Re:What about long-term data integrity? (Score 3, Insightful) 370

by nine-times (#48462701) Attached to: How Intel and Micron May Finally Kill the Hard Disk Drive

You're both right. RAID can decrease the chances of data loss due to some kinds of problems, but ultimately it shouldn't be considered a reliable protection against data loss. A RAID can be lost or corrupted, or someone can overwrite or delete a file. If you want to assess the risk to your data and talk about the set of data that is protected against loss, you should only consider your backed up data to be "protected". The protection that RAID offers is too weak to be considered to be significant protection.

Therefore, the fundamental purpose of a RAID is to prevent the downtime due to failure of an individual hard drive. If you did not have RAID, then your data volume would stop running, and you'd have to be offline while you repair the device and restore from backups, so that's what you're successfully preventing. All the data that has been backed up (assuming your backup is good) should be safe, and any data that has not backed up is not safe, regardless of whether you have a RAID.

RAID is redundancy, not backup.

Comment: Re:Race baiters (Score 1) 473

by nine-times (#48457481) Attached to: Cops 101: NYC High School Teaches How To Behave During Stop-and-Frisk

Well I think you're missing a few things. For one thing, I may be wrong about this, but I believe that the majority of violent crimes are actually committed by white people. The statistic that gets cited a lot is that black people make up a disproportionate amount of violent crime-- that is, if they make up 30% of the population (I don't remember what their actual population is), then they make up more than 30% of the crime.

But anyway, that's not really the point. The point is, even if the majority of violent criminals were black, it does not then follow that the majority of black people are violent criminals. It's really a big logical jump to assume that these particular kids are violent criminals, so your talk about "educating these kids not to break the law" is completely unfounded.

But even forgetting all that for a second, I think you're missing a pretty important thing: Even if they were seeking out criminals for this educational program, it would still be the best thing for everyone involved. Essentially, they're teaching kids how to deal with police officers so that things don't escalate to the point of violence. Nobody wants more stories of teenage kids getting shot by police officers. These kids don't want to get shot, the public generally doesn't want them to get shot, and I don't think most police officers want to shoot them.

Now there's the issue of teaching the kids to assert their constitutional rights. I don't see this as a problem. They have every right to assert those rights. Now maybe you'll drag out that tired concept that we hear so often, "If you have nothing to hide, then you have nothing to fear." Why shouldn't these kids allow these searches, unless they're criminals, right? Well in just the same way, I'd ask this of the police: If your searches are legal and ethical, then you have nothing to fear. The only problem with people asserting their rights is that it prevents the police from conducting searches that they have no right to conduct anyway.

Comment: Re:Let's do the math (Score 1) 289

by nine-times (#48455237) Attached to: Complex Life May Be Possible In Only 10% of All Galaxies

No, you don't need FTL to be an interstellar species, but it seems like you would need it to reach another galaxy in the next 1000 years.

Actually, I'm not 100% sure that's what the guy I was responding to was saying, but he was certainly saying that our understanding of physics would have improved to the point of allowing FTL travel.

Comment: Re:Philosophy -- graveyard of fact (Score 1) 433

That would be my point."You can't identify which of us is useful or "serious" that's up to us to decide but we can't".

Who said that philosophers can't identify 'serious' philosophy? I don't know what you're talking about, other than that someone several levels up on the conversation said, "It's clear you do not know what serious (as opposed to populist) philosophers are concerned with." I don't think that statement was using the word 'serious' in the way that you interpret. I don't, for example, think that he was drawing a distinction between "good philosophers who are correct" and "bad philosophers who are incorrect."

You have reduced a so-called "respectable" field into nothing better than what I engage in with my friends while passing left.

Again, I'm not sure what you're on about. I mean, for one thing, I don't know what that statement is coming from. For another, I don't see a problem with imagining that a "respectable" field would be one that you talk about with your friends. Do you not ever talk about science with your friends? Do school children not perform scientific experiments, sometimes for fun? Does that make science no longer respectable?

Philosophy has its place but this current arrogant attitude of it being supremely important because everything can be technically defined as "philosophy" is exactly why it is currently useless.

I guess everything could be defined as "philosophy", in much the same sense that anything can be defined as anything. I can define "giraffes" as "rocket launchers", but I'm not sure that means anything, especially since I won't be able to get any agreement on that from either experts on giraffes or experts on rocket launchers. But why does that bother you?

Chemistry largely came from alchemy but it would be asinine to declare alchemy is an important or insightful field of study because of the gains from chemistry.

I didn't say that philosophy was an important field of study because is was a forerunner to science. No, I would sooner argue that "science" hasn't surpassed "philosophy" any more than "quantum physics" has surpassed "science". It's more like a branch, or a subset. "Science" is the modern branch of natural philosophy that uses some well understood engineering techniques to develop our understanding of the material world. Science can not develop our understanding of things that are not physical, or that do not lend themselves to that set of engineering techniques, so other branches of philosophy are needed to develop our understanding of everything else.

Comment: Re:Let's do the math (Score 1) 289

by nine-times (#48454911) Attached to: Complex Life May Be Possible In Only 10% of All Galaxies

Maybe not FTL, but what about worm holes...

Using a worm hole to travel between two points faster than light can pass between those points would be an example of faster-than-light travel. There's speculation that we possibly might someday figure out how to do it, but it's still at the point of being "really wild speculation that we have no real reason to think is possible."

Comment: Re:Let's do the math (Score 1) 289

by nine-times (#48452825) Attached to: Complex Life May Be Possible In Only 10% of All Galaxies

We don't know what will be possible in the next 1000 years, but it's entirely possible that out inability to travel faster than light is not a technological problem. That is, as our knowledge of physics becomes deeper, we might only confirm that FTL travel is simply impossible, no matter what technology we bring to bear. It's impossible for us to say with certainty, at least at this point in our development, but there is no reason to think that we can actually develop technology for FTL travel, time travel, teleportation, or a lot of other scifi technologies.

Now you might bring up flight, as many people do. "200 years ago, you would have said that there's no reason to think that we would develop the technology for manned flight, but we have!" True, but at least there was a precedent. We knew that flight was possible, because we'd seen birds do it. Even in traveling through space, there has been a precedent in that we've known for a while that meteors fell from "the heavens" for quite a while, and people may have suspected that it was the case even before that, so we knew that material could traverse the sky. And anyway, there didn't seem to be physical laws that prevented it, other than that we're heavy, and there didn't seem to be any way to get up there. There was the potential to build a staircase as high as your architecture skills would allow.

But FTL travel? All indications at this point are that it's simply impossible. If we were to posit that mankind will someday achieve inter-galactic travel, I would guess that it would be by developing suspended-animation and AI capable of piloting a ship over that kind of time frame. The logistics of planning that kind of trip are pretty unimaginable, but I still suspect it's more realistic than FTL travel.

Comment: Re:It's an encryption layer (Score 2) 85

by nine-times (#48451801) Attached to: Book Review: Bulletproof SSL and TLS

I think if you're an IT worker-- one who's actually interested in his job-- then this information is probably of some interest. It sounds like a lot of it would be things I already know, but "How to setup SSL/TLS properly so that it uses the bare minimum of resources," seems like a helpful bit of information to have.

Comment: Re:It's obvious (Score 1) 315

by nine-times (#48451693) Attached to: LinkedIn Study: US Attracting Fewer Educated, Highly Skilled Migrants

I'm not sure how it relates to the conversation, but the US still does have a lot of engineers. Unfortunately, a lot of them are scrambling in competition to build a half-assed mobile app that they can sell to Google for a billion dollars. That's the American dream these days: make a half-assed company that I can sell for a lot of money before people realize it's useless and the whole thing implodes.

Comment: Re:You get what you pay for (Score 1) 315

by nine-times (#48451545) Attached to: LinkedIn Study: US Attracting Fewer Educated, Highly Skilled Migrants

There's also the "Immigrant laborers are doing jobs americans dont want to do!" rhetoric...That does NOT attract the "best and brightest".

For the jobs you're talking about, it's not clear to me that they intend to attract the "best and brightest". They're willing to settle for, "Will work long hours picking fruit for almost no money, and will be too afraid to report me if I break labor laws."

Comment: Re:Armchair cognitive scientist (Score 1) 433

We've been simulating simple insects for decades

I'm not too familiar with what you're specifically referring to, but I would wonder if they've really simulated insects. It seems more likely that there have been projects that created and tweaked some kind of machine learning that resulted in behaviors similar to insects. The distinction may not be obvious, but it's one thing to say, "I've completely simulated the intelligence of a bee," and another to say "I've been able to create an AI project with artificial 'bees' that are able to exhibit some of the same swarm behaviors that real bees do."

"When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro..." -- Hunter S. Thompson