Slashdot is powered by your submissions, so send in your scoop

 



Forgot your password?
typodupeerror

Comment: I switched! (Score 1) 343

by rnws (#49792511) Attached to: The Tricky Road Ahead For Android Gets Even Trickier
To a BlackBerry z30 running BlackBerry 10 OS.

Yes, voluntarily.

The z30 is the best goddamn phone I've ever owned (and that's been: Motorola (last GSM brick model), Nokia, Motorola, Motorola (RAZR), HTC (Desire) and Samsung (Galaxy).

Basically I got sick of Android never feeling "finished", one annoying thing would get fixed but another introduced, or things that were useful got taken away. Constant bloody change for change's sake. (Don't get me started on grey text on a white background - WTF?)

Then there was feeling like I'd gone back to a Windows ME PC loaded with bloat/crapware and an apparent, "We'll do security last" attitude. I've never trusted Android enough to perform anything financial (like banking) with it. Particularly anything browser-based where the baked-in browsers only get updated with the firmware (i.e. never). Then there's the whole not being able to un-install the vendor or carrier's crapware to save space or bandwith use or to reduce attack surface. The utter lack of regular OS updates for ongoing, evolving security vulnerabilites, because you have to rely on the handset vendor and not Google.

I've used Apple kit and it's OK, (I'm not sure I like the new visual design ethos though) but the growing number of voices beginning to complain about the perceived drop in the quality of the software was off-putting, then there's the whole fashionista-cult-like nature and Jobs-worship amongst Appledom that's more than a little weird for a friggin' phone.

With the BlackBerry 10, I get around two bars signal in places where my HTC got none, the call quality is excellent. I could immediately un-install the bundled Facebook, Twitter and Box and installed (native) ownCloud and LinkedIn apps. I've easily found native apps or web-apps (excellent browser BTW), for everything I already use. Strong encryption, excellent security model and highly granular app-privilege controls, hell I can even un-install the clock app! Oh and the OS has a built-in traceroute and NSlookup app - that got me on geek-factor alone.

The desktop/tablet app "BlackBerry Blend" is like having my own personal cloud, without needing any third-party cloud provider - it just works and is really useful. Then new BBM app combines the best of (old) BBM, Skype, WhatsApp and Snapchat in one place.

My only worry is they might get bought by one of the big three and killed-off in favour of very inferior OS's or Chinese or Korean companies which means two things will probably happen, the security and privacy will go out the window and the elegant and business-like interface and design ethos will go all super-kawaii Hello-Kitty or Samsung/LG soulless conformity.

Yes, I'm evangelising, but what the hell, BlackBerry 10 is bloody awesome and the z30 phone hardware is a delight to use and the finish is excellent. More people need to sign their praises. That and we desperately need an alternative to the American big three (if you count MSFT).

Comment: Er, Symform already? (Score 1) 331

by rnws (#48792077) Attached to: Would You Rent Out Your Unused Drive Space?
How is this even news? Symform http://www.symform.com/ acheived this commercially ages ago and has even passed from start-up to aquisition (by Quantum http://www.quantum.com/ last year. Even better, Symform has either quid-pro-quo or commercial options and doesn't appear to be some dodgy-looking coin-factoring operation.

Comment: Re:Established science CANNOT BE QUESTIONED! (Score 4, Insightful) 719

by rnws (#48633597) Attached to: Skeptics Would Like Media To Stop Calling Science Deniers 'Skeptics'
Therein lies a big part of the problem, why should their be a "side". Science is about the finding of fact and facts don't care what side you're on. You might want to deny that a certain type of virus won't affect you because of your religious belief for example. Problem is, the virus doesn't care, don't have a "side" and will kill you just as well as everyone on the other "side". People can deny all kinds of things as much as they like, but in the final measure, it doesn't matter squat, the climate will change, you will get lung cancer, HPV will infect you, whatever...

Comment: Re:It will never work (Score 1) 235

by rnws (#48478129) Attached to: Renewables Are Now Scotland's Biggest Energy Source
Cost is subject to volume it's also relative. Consider just how overbudget things like the UK's Trident nuclear weapon system is or the JSF for that matter.
It wasn't so long ago that an energy transmission cable was proposed from Iceland to the UK and Continental Europe so that all that geothermal energy could feed the mainland beast. Having flown over that part of the world a fiar bit, let me tell you Iceland is a one hell of lot further than Scotland's minor islands.

Comment: Re:Shyeah, right. (Score 1) 284

by rnws (#48467045) Attached to: Is LTO Tape On Its Way Out?
Speaking as an Enterprise vendor: 1. Nobody ewver pays list. 2. You aren't just paying for the device, there's a tonne of development going on. One dedupe appliance I worked with had over 120 engineers behind it that all have to be paid, plus every time you put something into the market, you find all kinds of weird-ass coner-cases that have to be diagnosed, debugged and fixed. You have global manufacturing, logistics and 24x7 support infrastructures to pay for. We also try and engineer-in more reliability, redundancy and durability than you can buy off-theshelf. LTO, for example, is *two to three orders of magnitude more reliable* than consumer hard disks.

Comment: Re:Shyeah, right. (Score 1) 284

by rnws (#48466849) Attached to: Is LTO Tape On Its Way Out?
As LTO can compress (for free) and encrypt (usually licensed) in hardware, I'd rather hope that your NetApp compression (and deduplication) is also free or are you paying for that? Even there you get better reduction ratios for less money if you purchased a dedupe appliance from Quantum, HP or EMC.
Tape is seldom the bottleneck if you have sized it correctly. If the tape is running slow (e.g. an LTO-6 drive running at 60MB/s) then it is the disk array that cannot supply it data fast enough. If the drive is running at 160MB/s then it's maxxing out (assuming you get no compression which today assumes 320MB/s). The vast majority of business arrays are optimised for IOPS and backup is a _sustained_sequential_ workload and once you empty their cache's most arrays just can't keep tape drive buffers stuffed, but few storage admin have the testicular fortitude to admit their big-$ array can't do sustained sequential workloads very well.

One more reason SSD's are such an improvement is they seldom have trouble keeping tape streaming and thus make tape work far better than disk ever could.

Finally, at the hundreds of TB, or in the peta-scale, disk is simply unsustainable at volume, between purchase, licensing, support contracts, power and cooling and generation migrations every 3 to 5 years.

Your home NAS is not the same problem organisations with very, *very* large datasets have to solve and thus very different cost-structures.

Comment: Re:Shyeah, right. (Score 1) 284

by rnws (#48466775) Attached to: Is LTO Tape On Its Way Out?
As LTO can compress (for free) and encrypt (usually licensed) in hardware, I'd rather hope that your NetApp compression (and deduplication) is also free or are you paying for that? Even there you get better reduction ratios for less money if you purchased a dedupe appliance from Quantum, HP or EMC.
Tape is seldom the bottleneck if you have sized it correctly. If the tape is running slow (e.g. an LTO-6 drive running at 60MB/s) then it is the disk array that cannot supply it data fast enough. If the drive is running at 160MB/s then it's maxxing out (assuming you get no compression). The vast majority of business arrays are optimised for IOPS and backup is a *sequential* workload and once you empty their cache's most arrays just can't keep tape drive buffers stuffed, but few storage admin have the testicular fortitude to admit their big-$ array can't do sustained sequential workloads very well.

One reason SSD's are so good is they never have trouble keeping tape streaming and thus make tape far more reliable than disk.

Finally, at the hundreds of TB, or in the peta-scale, disk is simply unsustainable at volume, between purchase, licensing, support contracts, power and cooling and generation migrations every 3 to 5 years.

Your home NAS and I daresay (what sounds like) your single NetApp NAS, are not the same problems organisations with very, very large datasets have to solve and thus very different cost-structures.

Comment: Re:Shyeah, right. (Score 1) 284

by rnws (#48466653) Attached to: Is LTO Tape On Its Way Out?
To get a drop-in replacement for an existing tape library so that you don't have to rebuild your entire backup workflow overnight.

If you look at most deduping PBBA's like Quantum's DXi range or HP's D2D, you can see they allow you to emulate a tape library as a *non-disruptive* drop-in replacement and they also let you creat SMb or NFS targets too so as new backup sets are created or as old tape sets expire out of rotation, new backup jobs can be created on the LAN instead.

Don't forget - what works _for_you_ may not work for the hundreds of thousands of other businesses worldwide.

Comment: Re:Shyeah, right. (Score 1) 284

by rnws (#48466341) Attached to: Is LTO Tape On Its Way Out?
I used to work at an LTO manufacturer and asked why we never drove the older generations down into the SMB space and it is simply this - the components are *really* expensive, the majority of the component cost of the drive is the R/W head, that alone probably accounts for 25% of the drive and you just can't push the price down much further, it costs what it costs. Also, the HUGE majority of these things go into libraries with hundreds of drives, thousands of slots and robots that can move upwards of 90km per hour.

Comment: Consolidation of manufacture (Score 1) 284

by rnws (#48466021) Attached to: Is LTO Tape On Its Way Out?
Several years ago when the overall tape market was declining, this was essentially due to the growth of LTO being masked as it cannibalised all the other tape formats (DAT, DLT, SAIT, et al), the overall number of LTO media shipments has continued to increase, that is, PB's shipped.

Two tape-centric factors are in play; capacities keep getting massively bigger but there are fewer customers that can actually use up all the available capacity. Spooks, arguably, but there are lot fewer intelligence agencies in the world than the small and medium-sized businesses that make up the bulk (around 80 percent) of the global economy. The Entertainment industries sure like LTO, its capaciousness and reliability has proven ideal for archiving the digital masters of their SD/HD/4k/IMAX/onwards and upwards formats. Though again, not that many when compared to the global economy.

The second factor is, everyone's known LTO-7 has been coming for a while and tape purchasing cycles always slow down around the introduction of a new capacity point. Organisations usually skip a generation (people who bought LTO-3, probably skipped four and upgraded to five) and once they do buy a new generation, usually buy a smaller library as they can now store double the capacity in a library half the size (and cost).

Like any tech, once the easy science and engineering is done, the market shakes out and the few reamining players begin to consolidate, usually down to one or two as tape has done, as disk is now doing and as SSD's will do in the next couple of years. Right now the only companies doing fundamental physics and materials research into tape are IBM and Fujifilm. Quantum no longer makes its own drives, HP will not make its own LTO-7, leaving everybody buying off IBM while the long-tail business windows down. IBM has played the same game here thay played with mainframes, they doubled-down and invested in new technology when everyone else was giving up in the face of Windows and PC's. The mainframe busines is still a $2bn per annum business and will remain a significant chunk o' change for many years to come. (Arguably, it's actually growing in some places...) That's a nice business model where all the costs have been sunk and what's left is maintenance margin. Well-played IBM. (As long as IBM's tape business can survive the sinking revenues of it's disk business which it's lumped in with).

Maybe to survive LTO will roll into a proper joint-venture, single manufacturer, where HP, IBM, Quantum and perhaps Oracle, throw in their IP to keep the drive technology best-of-breed and keep their share of that long-tail business. (Don't hold you breath though, too many ego's in that equation). Maybe it'll spin out into a niche business like OpenVMS has.

Given the problems the disk manufacturers appear to be having in shipping their new tech (SMD and HAMR) to the public in volume and the rise of SSD's, given that there is no significant amount of disk in (the massive global) archive, it's likely hard disks will die off well before tape does as it's far easier to swap out todays primary arrays for SSD's than it will be to migrate the mass of archives on tape.

Comment: Re:Shoot one (Score 1) 213

by rnws (#48426477) Attached to: Congress Suggests Moat, Electronic Fence To Protect White House
Immigration? Seriously? Puh-lease, go cry to the Native Americans already. How about those "annexed" Hawaiians who then had their land filled up with "immigrants" from the USA until a large enough number of them had moved in to vote for statehood. You worried that's what South Americans might do to your little paradise too? Turnabout's a bitch. Suck it up.

"Morality is one thing. Ratings are everything." - A Network 23 executive on "Max Headroom"

Working...