Please create an account to participate in the Slashdot moderation system

 



Forgot your password?
typodupeerror

Slashdot videos: Now with more Slashdot!

  • View

  • Discuss

  • Share

We've improved Slashdot's video section; now you can view our video interviews, product close-ups and site visits with all the usual Slashdot options to comment, share, etc. No more walled garden! It's a work in progress -- we hope you'll check it out (Learn more about the recent updates).

×

Comment: Re:Never consumer ready (Score 1) 228

by rdnetto (#49483453) Attached to: 220TB Tapes Show Tape Storage Still Has a Long Future

It's usually cheaper to use consumer drives and some better software to manage the inevitable failure than to use enterprise drives.

There is NO difference in reliability between "consumer" and "enterprise" drives. The only reason to buy enterprise drives is because you have excess money that you are too stupid to keep. All the big storage companies use consumer grade drives, and several of them, including Google and Backblaze, have published data that clearly show there is no reliability or performance reason to buy "enterprise" drives. They are a scam.

IIRC, there is one difference: how they respond to read errors. Consumer drives will keep trying to maximise the likelihood of a successful read, while the enterprise ones will just fail immediately since they're expected to be RAID, so there's another copy of the data and taking longer to reply just kills the throughput.

Comment: Re:What the hell is going on a the USPTO? (Score 1) 58

by rdnetto (#49483429) Attached to: After EFF Effort, Infamous "Podcasting Patent" Invalidated

Serious question: how does one meaningfully distinguish between hardware and software patents? As I understand it, software is supposed to be unpatentable because it is just math, but the same could also be said of Widlar's negative feedback amplifier, since the mathemathical models by which transistors function were well established at that point.

The best argument I've heard against software patents is that they inhibit interoperability (e.g. the MPEG patents), but that's not specific to software - the same is true of Apple's magsafe connector.

Comment: Re:Way too many problems (Score 1) 74

by rdnetto (#49481783) Attached to: 1+ Year Running Arch Linux On a Lenovo Yoga 2 Chronicled

OK, so let's see. Other than the network card, mouse, 2D graphics, sound, CPU, 3D graphics, battery and the fact that normal usage melted it, it works awesome. I think I'll stick with Windows 10 TP on my laptop, where I've only had minor network issues requiring a reboot to get it back sometimes.

To be fair, Arch is a distro for people who are fine with things breaking all the time, which is what you'd expect of a bleeding edge rolling release distro. A review of someone who spent a year running Ubuntu on their laptop would be far more realistic in terms of what a casual user would experience.

Comment: Re:Sounds good to me. (Score 1) 892

If they offer average pay, they'll get average employees. If they offer above average pay, they miss out on exceptional employees. And if they offer exceptional pay, they'll likely go bankrupt as most of their employees will not be exceptional.

Negotiation exists because there's no objective way to evaluate the value of the employee to a company before they've been hired. If someone can get twice the work done (and can demonstrate this), they can justifiably demand twice the pay. Of course, the subjectivity is a double-edged sword, because it means that individual prejudices can affect the hiring process.

One way to solve this problem is to handle all negotiation through a well-defined algorithm. The would-be employee shouldn't even interact with a person for this part of the process, just with a webpage. Strong AI is obviously impractical, but you could probably do a pretty good job of predicting performance if you managed to trawl a big enough dataset for some key statistics.

Another approach is what this poster suggested, where pay (above a base salary) is determined by one's peers. In that case, the individual prejudices are averaged (which ideally negates them), and the valuation of the employee is done by their peers. You'd have to be very careful about how you implemented it though, as you run the risk of creating some major social/political problems with that approach.

Comment: Re:Like Coca Cola, git is the real thing (Score 1) 202

by rdnetto (#49461561) Attached to: 10 Years of Git: An Interview With Linus Torvalds

git pull --rebase origin master

There might possibly be no other command in the history of software development that has saved more man-hours than this gem.

Except when you forget the --rebase and now have hours of work fixing your tree.

You could avoid that by setting master.rebase for that repo, or setting branch.autosetuprebase=always globally. But even if you did accidentally merge instead of rebasing, the merge commit will contain the hashes of both parents, so it's simple enough to reset the branch.

Comment: Re:Mono practically useless (Score 1) 223

by rdnetto (#49455135) Attached to: Mono 4 Released, First Version To Adopt Microsoft Code

So use a different GUI library. WPF is pretty bad even when compared to WinForms. The Qt libraries are cross-platform, have existing bindings for C#, and are an absolute pleasure to work with. IMO, they blow the pants of WPF.

The value in Microsoft open sourcing .NET isn't in running existing Windows programs under Linux - they probably wouldn't work without WINE anyway, due to P/Invoke calls or lazy programming like concatenating backslashes instead of using Path.Combine(). The value is in being able to use C# to write new, cross-platform programs. And while Mono did have implementations of them, they didn't necessarily work the same way. I gave up on it completely after a particularly annoying bug prevented .NET binaries from running as a less privileged user.

C# is an excellent language, and arguably the best-positioned language in its niche - C++ has too much cruft, Java is struggling to catch up (and seems to lack a decent GUI library), D's userbase and funding is close to non-existent, and Objective-C/Swift aren't used outside of Macs. All the other languages are too immature, or lack the requisite feature set, to be competitors.

Comment: Re:Keyword: *SOFTWARE* (Score 1) 85

I wonder if IBM would produce a Power cpu for the desktop at less than Intel I7 pricing. I would not mind if the chip was made in China.
If they do, hopefully it will be a 96bit version, with programmable little Endien/Big Endien mode.

Why on earth would you want a 96-bit CPU? Even the current 64-bit ones can 'only' address 48-bits of memory (i.e. 281 TB).
And if you want it for a certain computationally expensive load, 128-bit would make more sense (or just doing the computation over 2 -bit words).

Comment: Re:Github is scary for critical code (Score 1) 116

The main advantage of Github, etc. isn't the hosting - you can use any SSH-capable server for that. It's in the issue tracking and other built-in features.
That means it makes more sense to have your backup server pull updates from Github, since it can't provide that.

Of course, an even better approach would be to use an alternative like Gitorious (now Gitlab?) that allows you to host it yourself, so you don't lose access to anything if your primary hosting goes down...

Comment: Re:introduce more STEM....? (Score 1) 407

by rdnetto (#49389669) Attached to: Millennial Tech Workers Losing Ground In US

I keep explaining that we need to cut away the entire college education system from the Government's hands. Leave that to the market; leave it to businesses to say, "Fuck! We are paralyzed, because we have to pay $250,000 for a professional, and need more than available to accomplish our business strategies!" Businesses should never be in this position, because their mode of growth gives them more-than-adequate warning about what positions they'll need filled; therefor, they should hire, train, and send to college cheap entrant employees, with preference for the lower-risk but similar-cost investment of hiring an available professional.

The problem I see with this is that it would give corporations power over the employees they have educated. No business would pay to have an employee educated if there was a chance they'd leave immediately after, so they'd either require them to stay with the company for N years, or make the entire debt repayable the moment they quit.

There also seems to be the implicit assumption that there will be enough jobs available for the entire population. I don't know how true that will be in the future, or if it's even true now...

Comment: Re:I call bullshit (Score 1) 166

by rdnetto (#49339029) Attached to: Internet of Things Endangered By Inaccurate Network Time, Says NIST

There's a difference between elapsed time locally and globally. Locally (i.e. on a single processor), you can have some meaningful concept of absolute time (i.e. whenever the timer interrupt fires). The moment you introduce a second processor, you run into issues where they can be ticking at different rates, and the non-trivial delay in communications between them means that you can't ever hope to synchronize them to the extent you can assume they are the same.

For most applications, you can get away with fairly large tolerances. e.g. wifi is probably fine with 1% variations in your concept of how long a second is. But that only works because you're using local elapsed time. If you need to compare timestamps from multiple nodes (global absolute time), you need to use approaches like vector clocks, because otherwise there's no meaningful way to reason about whether two events happened before each other.

tldr; protocols like wifi just need elapsed time to be roughly correct. Comparing timestamps between systems is much, much more complicated, and you can't even infer an ordering for the general case without casuality. (In that sense, there are a lot of parallels with relativity.)

Comment: Re:Join the mailing list (Score 1) 15

by rdnetto (#49285617) Attached to: Kolab Summit 2015 Announced

Kolab supports multi-domain, in fact even ASP multi-tenancy, environments. And seamless updates and upgrades are part of the enterprise values it provides under support. But naturally one needs to know what they are doing. This is a complex micro-service architecture that is more powerful than virtually any of the competitors. But that power comes at the cost of loads of opportunities to shoot yourself in the foot.

I think is simultaneously the best thing and the second biggest issue[1] about Kolab - it's a very powerful piece of software targeted at sysadmins. You can setup some very complex, enterprise grade configurations with it, but to do that you need to be willing to muck around with postfix, etc. By that same note, you need to have at least basic familiarity with postfix, apache, cyrus, etc. to actually set it up in the first place, which sets the bar fairly high. (I think it took me a week of practicing in a VM before I was ready to do a proper deployment on my home server.)

[1] The biggest issue would be its general bugginess. e.g. This bug affects anyone with an apostrophe in their name, but went untouched for over a year, despite a patch being included in the original submission.

Comment: Re:Does anyone actually use this? (Score 1) 15

by rdnetto (#49285489) Attached to: Kolab Summit 2015 Announced

I've been using it for little over a year (for the same reason as you - didn't want to put too much info into Google), and would describe it as half-decent. I use it as a diary, essentially - schedule, calender, todo list, etc. I still use Gmail for actual email though, because unless you own the domain outright (i.e. not a subdomain) you can trigger false positives for spam on other servers that results in you mail being dropped.

Pros:
-open source
-free (gratis)
-works

Cons:
-pain to setup - the target audience is sysadmins, so you really need to practice doing it in a VM first (especially since doing a complete uninstall is non-trivial)
-buggy - every time I've upgraded to a new version, I've run into a significant bug. (Inability to handle apostrophes in names, buggy apache module that keeps crashing the server, etc.) You can usually fix it if you know PHP/Python, but it's still a pain that makes for a poor user experience. (I've submitted bug reports with patches for these, but not all of them have been merged.)

Basically, it does take a lot of effort to get it working (I have 500 lines of notes on it), but once you've done that it will keep working pretty reliably. The official client is KDE Kontact, which works great for me since I use Linux anyway. I can see it working out poorly if your OS is Windows though (KDE for Windows isn't stable yet). It syncs well with Android too. I generally prefer to enter important events, etc. in through the webui though, since I don't quite trust the other clients to sync them properly.

tldr; it's probably the most broken piece of software I've used under Linux, but it works well enough that I continue to do so. I wouldn't recommend it for anything important (e.g. actual business use), but it's fine for non-critical personal use.

"Someone's been mean to you! Tell me who it is, so I can punch him tastefully." -- Ralph Bakshi's Mighty Mouse

Working...