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Comment: Re:Service call? (Score 1) 238

A service call? Seriously? A syadmin (or operator if it's a big place) can't see the yellow light on a disk and replace the pack with in-house spares? Have we become so inept as an IT community that we can no longer do a walk-through of our machine room and service simple things like this? Maybe we do deserve to be outsourced.

And if one must have a service contract such that only the vendor can touch the hardware, (why would you do that? never mind) wouldn't you negotiate a provision that includes drive replacement (as drives are consumables that must eventually be replaced) without being charged for an "office visit"?

First off, are things so bad you still have to do physical inspection of the servers? Where we work, there are multiple monitoring systems and they don't expect anybody inside the data centers unless there is a change order for work of known parameters. Beyond that, it's not even the IT community in many cases but the business community that will all too easily not spend the money for the protection measures the IT department requests, decide to go with the said vendor, and not make the changes to the contract that the IT department requests (if they even get to see the contract before its signed).

Comment: Re:Power Costs (Score 1) 238

Now, what does it cost to swap it? Let's say the chance of failure is 20%, it takes ten minutes, and you pay the admin $30/hour (I just made up all these numbers). ($30/hour * 1/6 hour * 0.2 failures) = $1.

I don't know where you work at or what your processes are like that it only takes ten minutes to swap a drive. Where I work, it takes 10 minutes for the admin to tell that the drive has failed and determine what model it is for the replacement. Add in another 30 minutes to submit RFQs to three different vendors because his request for extra drives at implementation was denied. Once he gets a quote, it takes another 60 minutes of email and meetings with the guy that OKs budget requests before getting his boss involved and telling him that, yes, the department really does need these drives. Another 30 minutes over the next month checking on the backorder of the said drives till they finally ship. 90 minutes after seeing that the drives have arrived at the enterprise to go down to the loading dock, confirm that they have been delivered, get somebody to tell him who they have been delivered to, track down that wrong person and get them to find the drives which they have already misplaced, and hand them over. In that time is another 5 minutes to fill out the proper change control forms and submit them, another 15 minutes to explain change control request and answer questions at weekly meeting to boss and coworkers, 10 minutes over the next three weekly meetings to explain he is still waiting on the drives to complete that change control. 60 minutes to explain change control request to the server farm department of the IT department and argue till they give their permission. Another 30 minutes to schedule a visit time with the server farm guardians for time to access the lights out center (where the lights are never really out, but they like to call it that). 20 minutes waiting for the guy to show up to let you into the server farm to swap the drive and find the server. 10 minutes to do the physical work of swapping the drive. 20 minutes of checking on the drive swap to make sure that the drives have been swapped successfully and data is being replicated to it correctly. 15 more minutes in the weekly meeting to explain that the drive has been swapped and that the change control request is now closed. Which comes to more like six hours and five minutes to swap a drive.

Comment: The Real Question.... (Score 1) 192

by painandgreed (#48927289) Attached to: Computer Chess Created In 487 Bytes, Breaks 32-Year-Old Record

Great, let's just redefine "chess program" to mean "any program that anyone on earth could consider a game." There, now we have all possible chess variants covered you annoying pedant.

Well, the real question is if this program was replicating the same rules as the one that was previously accepted and supposedly beat?

Comment: Re:hello turbolift? Re:LSM (Score 1) 242

by painandgreed (#48925701) Attached to: Engineers Develop 'Ultrarope' For World's Highest Elevator

Flexible configuration: LSM elevators can propel a vehicle in any direction, and cabs can be switched from hoistway to hoistway, enabling the creation of “one-way” hoistways with multiple cabs in each. Modular stators allow the height of the elevator to be customized at installation and extended in the future with minimal disruption. LSM elevators can also accommodate inclined layouts, providing an alternative to stairways or escalators.

Sounds like a Wonkavator.

Comment: Re: Or maybe it's because (Score 1) 233

by painandgreed (#48924555) Attached to: Gamma-ray Bursts May Explain Fermi's Paradox

Interestingly, I oftened wondered if it was in the interests of intelligent life to focus their "expansion" inward to cyberspace vs. outerspace; transcending their evolution via forgoing the flesh bodies to machines of silicon based computers (or some such). Meaning, we're looking in the wrong places.

There was a Charles Stross book like that. The population of the solar system was moving into progressive levels of virtual worlds and never really looked at exploring the universe (except for the main characters of the book). Still, their civilization was limited by actual matter and energy in the real world. I find it surpassing they wouldn't look at getting some of that from nearby solar systems as the tech was there to do so. The main characters of the book did so, but they started early with great financial costs. Perhaps local matter and energy are so costly in the virtual world that it is really hard to get an investment large enough to make the jump. Sort of like the Easter Islanders cutting the last trees (or having rats eat the seeds) for fishing boats rather than to move to a different island.

Comment: Last Season of Star Trek (Score 3, Funny) 67

by painandgreed (#48918231) Attached to: Kepler Discovers Solar System's Ancient 'Twin'
Cue the Star Trek music as the Enterprise begins to circle yet another duplicate of the planet Earth. Spock turns to the Captain and says "It seems an exact duplicate of the Sol system, but formed billions of years earlier. Before even the creation of your solar system Captain. Most interesting."

Comment: Re:External Harddrive (Score 1) 249

by painandgreed (#48916751) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Best Medium For Personal Archive?

the problem with SAFE deposit boxes is that the renter of said box almost always has no contingency plan in place for access to that box when they die due to security restrictions on access that limit it to the renter only (and then only upon presentation of key, signature, identification, and perhaps a secret code and/or biometrics).

Yes, but that is a PEBCAK issue, not a technical one. It would probably be the same with any other secure off site storage. In this case, the backup hard drive is probably the least of the families worries or at least allows for eventual recovery if the computer is locked and nobody knows the passwords.

Comment: External Harddrive (Score 4, Interesting) 249

by painandgreed (#48916001) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Best Medium For Personal Archive?
Every year, I just back up my files to an external hard drive and put it in my safety deposit box in the bank. If my house burns down, I still have all my photos (long since scanned in all my old film stuff), documents, and even music. I've got the last several years in there so it would take three or so drives not working to really lose everything (after I lost everything at home). Usually I spend a little extra money to make sure I have small external hard drives that don't have wall worts to power them as they'll fit in the safety deposit box easier and I won't have to keep track of the wall worts either. In the past, I suggested my parents do the same with a flash drive and my father scoffed when I mentioned keeping on in the safety deposit box. Of course, his computer got hit with the encryption malware and they lost everything including the flash drive we back up everything several years earlier because they can't remember where it might be.

Comment: Re:Viva Jar Jar! (Score 1) 420

by painandgreed (#48888013) Attached to: Disney Turned Down George Lucas's Star Wars Scripts

You just don't "get" Jar Jar. The Force channels power through his clumsiness. His "accidents" are guided and/or re-shaped by The Force. It's not like Scooby Doo's F-ups where shear luck catches the bad guy; Jar Jar is divinely-guided chaos.

I can't really argue with that. This makes me sort of sad.

Comment: Re:Absolutely fair.. (Score 1) 114

by painandgreed (#48886779) Attached to: Apple Agrees To Chinese Security Audits of Its Products

In a world where several BILLION up-and-coming wage earners are ripe to purchase their products, which, incidentally, wouldn't exist if not for the cheap labor still extant in that very same country.

Maybe their regional ads will say 'Designed in California. Made in China'

Probably should actually say 'Designed in California. Made in Taiwan, Japan, and Korea. Assembled in China.'

Comment: Re:Paid sick leave (Score 3, Informative) 661

by painandgreed (#48886649) Attached to: Should Disney Require Its Employees To Be Vaccinated?

This is why the US system sucks - in the UK I get 4 weeks fully paid sick leave from my employer, and after that a further year of statutory sick pay from the Government. I also get 5 weeks paid holiday against which my sick leave does not count. In addition, I get reasonable accommodation to go see the doctor, dentist, optician, hospital etc etc.

Why is the "land of the free" not similar?

Because, due to history, mainly WW2, vacation as well as sick days and health care have mostly been relegated to the employers rather than by the government. Easy explanation is that it happened because during WW2, there was a pay freeze mandated due to the war effort, so employers started offering healthcare,sickdays, and vacation, above and beyond any required by law, as part of the job offer because that's what they could offer to get new employees in a time of a labor shortage. This continued after the war as it was now a standard part of employment. Thus, the middle class was largely taken care of and there was no large push to get the government involved. The cultural expectation is that if you want better of any of these things, you should get a better job which should just require work on your part. Also coming from that, is the cultural expectation that if you don't have better that what the law demands employers give you, that you are a slacker.

I have it pretty good in the US and get two and half weeks a year of sick time (which carries over from year to year, so at this time, I actually have about five months of sick time since I hardly ever use it) and after ten years, five weeks of vacation time a year (which also carried over). I'm happy where I'm at because while I could probably find a job that pays more, I probably couldn't find one that gave me as much vacation time which is now in higher demand to me than more money.

Comment: Re:Yeah! (Score 1) 512

Many of us are - we take in new information and change our opinions. I used to be a Libertarian...

I still am. While I like Sections 1 & 3 of the Libertarian party platform and don't think any other party has anything like them, I've gotten too old for Section 2 but see it as a pipe dream that would never get implemented even if the Libertarians did get into office.

% "Every morning, I get up and look through the 'Forbes' list of the richest people in America. If I'm not there, I go to work" -- Robert Orben