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Comment: Re:Minumum Wage will push these sooner (Score 1) 45

by servant (#49606357) Attached to: Robots In 2020: Lending a Helping Hand To Humans (And Each Other)
Continuing on the 'supply chain management' and 'fulfillment' rolls of places like Amazon that has gone a long way to reduce the human involvement. Newer Amazon warehouses (using Kiva robots) are using 'bots to bring stacks of warehouse shelves to the pickers. With more automated 'picking equipment' then even pickers aren't needed. Maintenance could be real maintenance on robots or just 'regrind and re-build 3D plastic robots' if they are wearing out.


Yes, my generation and the next won't get 'full replacement androids', but mail sorting and package handling has little people involvement even today.

Look at todays robo-bartender drinkbots. I would think 'frybots' would be easy enough to do. Cleaning bots are harder, but Roomba and commercial versions already take care of floors.

Factories already put out food without human touch. We are just talking about moving it to the 'next logical step'.

Am I afraid of it? No. But we need to figure out how to make people with limited skills useful, if you don't want 'Goodwill' or similar to be the predominate employer in the years to come.

Comment: Great! (Score 1) 160

by servant (#49602773) Attached to: US Switches Air Traffic Control To New Computer System
This has been needed for a LONG time! It was outdated when I was learning to fly in '70, even NASA updated their mission control a few times in those years. Yes, only doubling capacity is not as much as I hoped, but it should mean if we start developing the next version in 5 or 10 years, we can hopefully have it going before another 40 years are up. The trays of paper tracking chits always made me nervious. I always know being an air traffic controller was stressful, one of my flight instructors taught noobs how to fly as a 'stress relief' from being an ATC at the DFW center.

Comment: Who will be the first to make a NON-DCMA car? (Score 1) 649

by servant (#49520797) Attached to: Automakers To Gearheads: Stop Repairing Cars
If they do this, DIY cars and rebuilt junkers from the trash bin will be coming to a road near you... SOON! If one of the automakers would do a non-digital controlled car where the 'puters just monitor and report, not control, it will sell. This will allow pulling out the DCMA'ed puters by the roots. Or even better, someone does a OSS computer that doesn't use the computer or DCMA software that Detroit/Tokyo/EU/etc use and just does a wholesale 'field replacement'. With DIY & custom 3D printed cars, doing non-DCMA might be easier.

Comment: It's just a show, but... (Score 1) 141

by servant (#49442071) Attached to: Why CSI: Cyber Matters
I wish they would work a little harder to get the geek things right. It is fiction, and may be believable by the masses, but still it needs to be closer to reality. Overall NCIS is better than the CSI series in acting, and believability. But there are plenty of bad tech in both. Just be thankful it isn't another Scorpion.

Comment: All laws are discriminatory by definition... (Score 1) 1168

by servant (#49379795) Attached to: Apple's Tim Cook Calls Out "Religious Freedom" Laws As Discriminatory
It is discrimination to keep someone from or require some action of any person or group that is different from whatever they would otherwise want or be able to do.

Discrimination is not inherently bad. It is the application that is bad.

We don't have a 'right' to drive a car, it is a privilege. It is discriminatory against the people that want to drive a car that don't want to abide by other definition of 'civil conduct'. It is also discriminatory to allow ANYONE to get away with anything that EVERYONE is allowed (but not required) to do.

Get over it. Life isn't 'fair'.

Comment: Re:I didn't think they called them that these days (Score 1) 164

by servant (#48833095) Attached to: The Mainframe Is Dead! Long Live the Mainframe!
If the problem is small, use a small tool.


If the problem is big... use the 'appropriate size tool'.

When I was a systems geek on mainframes, it was the dawn of the PC (pre Mac) era. There were and are problems that are better suited to big data bases with lots of computing power. Sometimes it can't be parallelized. At the time, there were mainframes with 6MByte/sec i/o channels - 24 of them, 8 4-core processors run by a single Operating System (or several, users choice). Yes they were tuned to the workload of the company. -- Getting rid of the 24 mainframes in 12 data centers around the world cost a boat load of money. It cost much more to add in the number of 'file servers', desktop PCs, workstations, additional networking(that was needed in any case), add in UPSes wherever 'data was critical', in addition to the numbers of 'trained administrators' to help install, maintain, and train the PCs even after users were trained. ... The old IT department was discarded, except for the most critical functions - printing paychecks.

The number of stories of people not backing up their PC because it was 'so reliable compared to the mainframe' and loosing years of effort, and still blaming IT even after being warned verbally and writing, was legon.

Mainframes are great. They are not all things to all people. They should be just ANOTHER tool in the tool bag of society to help get the job done.

(From the days of Beowulf clusters, PCs have been trying to figure out how to 'create a cheap mainframe'. Real mainframes are not just CPU power, they are I/O power, shared resources that can be dedicated in large or small portions to the task at hand. They never solve problems by themselves, but no computer does. It still takes systems designed, engineered, programmed, distributed, and maintained for the life cycle of the application system to make ANY computer useful no matter how large or small it is.)

Comment: Re: I'm shocked, SHOCKED! (Score 1) 190

by servant (#48795989) Attached to: Tesla vs. Car Dealers: the Lobbyist Went Down To Georgia
IMHO they should let Tesla do their thing. Dealer networks are afraid that they are not needed any more and other companies will see the 'new' paradigm could work for them too and put dealers that don't add real value out of business. GM & Ford could do it where their dealers aren't adding value and make more $$.

Comment: All apps from one screen to another... (Score 1) 421

by servant (#48738715) Attached to: What Isn't There an App For?
There was a 'system that did that' years ago. SUN had java stations that provided desktops. You plugged in your ID card and you got your desktop displayed. You un-pluged your ID card (when you got up or walked away), your session was locked, and available to be displayed anywhere else with the same ID card. You remained logged in, your display was locked. You did NO computing locally (other than driving a printer or access USB stick data), all computing was done on a shared server.


It worked. Few bought into it. You were just born a generation late! =8-D

Comment: Re:"NAS" hard drives? (Score 1) 190

If you look at the Backblaze blogs, they publish their experiences with drives. Any 'green drives' are 'short life' drives, to date. They are just now starting to look seriously at 6T drives.


Backblaze does actively monitor their drives in their pods (data server computers stacked full of drives). They tend to use FreeNAS if I remember right for their pods, due to file system does 'self healing' (think RAID 5 or more on steroids). It is good, just not perfect. And they keep multiple copies in different pods to keep down single point of failure issues.

There is more to data reliability than just drives, it is still a good place to start.

Comment: Nice start... (Score 1) 190

Tape is and will stay for the foreseeable future the best near-line storage. I like the high density disk drives, but the cost per gig to store data once you get into the multi-peta or exabyte range is huge compared to tape.


I have always wanted a data 'black hole' that I could retrieve data from. But it still isn't there. One that does automatic HSM (hierarchical storage management) so you store in on fast devices, it stays there a while, then migrates (automagically) to slower devices, and eventually to 'archival storage' that can be slow to get to.

So far I haven't found an answer I can afford (personally). -- If you know of something, please let me know! --- Think 'net to SSD, to Disk, to slow disk/nas, to tape or optical drives. Tape and optical data still needs to be read and written on occasion to stay fresh (especially tape). Tape also wares out (so do optical media after 50 or so years, tape degrades dramatically after 5). -- also need multiple copies for when one gets 'bit rot' happens.

Commercially I like IBMs Tivoli Storage Management (just because I used it), but that comes at a pretty hefty price, but it works well when set up and tuned correctly.

Today's scientific question is: What in the world is electricity? And where does it go after it leaves the toaster? -- Dave Barry, "What is Electricity?"