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Comment: Re:Honest Question: Why? (Score 1) 371

by parc (#35999700) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: How Do You File Paper Documents At Home?

I recently dealt with the declining health of my grandmother and the repeated visits to specialists and general practitioners for her care. The #1 thing I did for her that extended and enhanced the quality of her life (and probably extended it for a year of fairly good quality time) was hustle medical records from one doctor to the next. If she saw a gastroenterologist I would immediately take all the notes taken and test results received over to her other doctors. This simple act (an extra hour of my time on top of any Dr's visit) identified and resolved 3 chronic health issues that she'd had to "live with" for nearly a decade. All because I had her paperwork and noticed that the 5 doctors she had kept running the same tests independently over and over but not equating all the results.

Without a paper trail, I'd never have figured it out. And before this experience, I just assumed all the doctors somehow used their secret handshake to share information.

Comment: Re:Here they go again... (Score 1) 141

by parc (#32676976) Attached to: Visa Launches PayPal Alternative

BOFA at least processes transactions in a FIFO manner as of some date earlier this year. Depending on your account, deposits from verifiable sources are credited and available for payment backing immediately on receipt. I haven't had a deposit held for verification of funds in a couple years. Online bill payments are deducted when they are actually paid, not when you schedule the transaction, and I've had EXCELLENT service from them when bill payments have gone afoul, even when it wasn't BOFA's fault. they've even paid MY late fees on bills that didn't get processed by the payee on time.

This isn't to say BOFA doesn't have issues -- I've spent more time in a "banking center" than I'd care to -- but they have addressed a LOT of my issues with them over the last couple years.

Comment: Re:Not if you have a magic time machine... (Score 1) 844

by parc (#31016282) Attached to: Is Programming a Lucrative Profession?

If more than one sample has the median value, then less than half will be more and less than half less. By definition at most half of the values will be more and at most half of the values will be less.

I did not correctly denote that the first two sentences talk about the salary study as a whole where the third and fourth are talking about my specific example.

Comment: Re:Not if you have a magic time machine... (Score 2, Informative) 844

by parc (#30906750) Attached to: Is Programming a Lucrative Profession?

No, if the median salary was 60K roughly half of them would be making less than that. Roughly half would be making more as well. 3 sample salaries that still result in 60k average are 30K, 75K, and 75K. 1/3 of the sample is less than 60K, but 2/3 is greater than 60K.

FWIW, my starting salary in 2000 was $65K, but my salary has risen considerably since then.

Comment: Re:A Very Shortsighted Article (Score 3, Interesting) 487

by parc (#29285343) Attached to: Build Your Own $2.8M Petabyte Disk Array For $117k

At 67T per chassis and 45 drives documented per chassis, they're using 1.5T drives. 1 petabyte would then be 667 drives.

The worst part of this design that I see (and there's a LOT of bad to see) is the lack of an easy way to get to a failed drive. When a drive fails you're going to have to pull the entire chassis offline. Google did a study in 2007 of drive failure rates (http://labs.google.com/papers/disk_failures.pdf) and found the following failure rates over drive age (ignoring manufacturer):
3mo: 3% = 20 drives
6mo: 2% = 13 drives
1yr: 2% = 13 drives
2yr: 8% = 53 drives

Their logic is probably along the lines of "we're already paying someone to answer the pager in the middle of the night," but jeez, you're going to have to take a node offline ever 2-3 days for the first year and then almost 2 a day after that!

Comment: Re:forums. (Score 1) 259

by parc (#28096177) Attached to: Best Way To Build A DIY UAV?

Hold up there, Tex. The law specifies that driving over the posted speed limit is prima facie that you are driving in a manner that is not reasonable and prudent. This allows the cop to ticket you [Texas Transportation Code Sec 545.351-2]. If you went to trial for a speeding ticket it is possible that you could argue the common speed of vehicles under similar conditions was what you were driving, and you could MAYBE get out of the ticket that way (although speeding about 70 in most counties, 80 in some is likely an absolute that you couldn't get out of), but you'd be relying on the whim of a judge or jury in that case.

The Texas Administrative Code specifies the procedures for setting speed zones [Title 43, Part 1, Ch 25, SubCh B] specifies how speed zones are set. IANAL, but I found nothing that says, "if people speed, you have to change the speed limit." It does seem to imply that, at the discretion of certain regulatory bodies and after an engineering study, a speed limit can be raised.

I'm also a lazy Texan, but Google works for me.

Comment: Could A.C. be a wheat/chaff solution? (Score 2, Insightful) 779

by parc (#27530775) Attached to: Slashdot Mentioned In Virginia Terrorism Report

This raises an interesting question: could I actually create an alternate communication method using A.C. postings alone? Using a cipher symbol alphabet consisting entirely of sensible words or sentences, I could hide inside of the more popular systems that allow anonymous posting and probably not even be noticed (I mean hell, how many people do more than scan the A.C. posting to see if it makes sense?).

Education

+ - Speaking Linuxski->

Submitted by
s31523
s31523 writes "In an effort to cut the cost of teaching information technology, Russian schools have adopted a plan to have all computers running Linux by 2009. According to Alexey Smirnov, Director General of the Company ALTLinux, schools formerly tended to run illegal copies of Microsoft operating systems, but after Russia entered the WTO, the laws became much stricter and schools began to be prosecuted for doing so. Some have criticized the plan, saying students will have trouble finding jobs later due to a lack of familiarity with the Windows OS."
Link to Original Source
Wireless Networking

+ - Monitoring Users on your home network?

Submitted by prowdtobebrown
prowdtobebrown (1110653) writes "Is there any way to monitor the network usage of users on your home wireless network? I'm living in a house with a bunch of guys (9 of us in total) so bandwidth sharing over a normal comcast cable line is a major issue. If someones hogging bandwidth downloading movies (which we don't want them to do for potential legal reasons as well) it would definitely help to know."
Networking

+ - Major Skype outage "not caused by a crash"

Submitted by dhollist
dhollist (811706) writes "According to Skype's website their system "has not crashed or been victim of a cyber attack. We love our customers too much to let that happen. This problem occurred because of a deficiency in an algorithm within Skype networking software. This controls the interaction between the user's own Skype client and the rest of the Skype network."

What is the difference between an outage where nobody can access the system and a crash? If my desktop computer locks up, but I don't get a BSOD, did it really crash, or is it an "outage" since I am merely unable to do anything? Is there truly a difference, or is it just semantics? An article in The Sydney Morning Herald provides additional information."

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