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Comment: Re:It's all about the data prouction rate (Score 1) 160

Some of that kind of nonsense happens in Powerpoint presentations-- embedding images that might be a couple hundred megabytes each. I see that in marketing companies often enough, but it's still been a pretty steady rate of growth for the past few years.

However, I still don't see multi-gigabyte Word or Excel documents, at least not often enough that I recall it.

Comment: Re:We have more but we USE more. (Score 1) 160

In my experiences, a 90 percent full drive has as much time left before running out as it did a decade ago.

Not in mine. Granted, we're both going off of anecdotal evidence, but in my favor, my experience is based off of managing a few hundred servers and a couple thousand desktops.

It seems like most workstations/servers that I manage, if they're taking up massive amounts of space, it's very often because they're storing lots of old stuff. Several years ago, when we only had a 30 GB drives, people would go back and clear out, delete, and archive old data. Now they just store it, because why not? Storage is cheap. Most of the time, it doesn't seem like the data set is growing faster, but they're just holding on to old stuff longer.

So yes, I think it's true, if you have a 60 GB drive that's 90% full, it's a more pressing concern than if you have a 10 TB RAID that's 90% full. The RAID may be a bigger problem, but it's a less immediate problem.

Comment: Re:Automated digesting (Score 2) 162

by nine-times (#48205857) Attached to: Google Announces Inbox, a New Take On Email Organization

Actually, I'd like to see better methods of processing/digesting email, but not for personal email.

My work email is flooded with all kinds of junk, and I wouldn't mind someone trying to improve that. I get a bunch of ads that I wouldn't necessarily call "spam", but their ads. I actually want to get some of them (they're sometimes relevant to my job), but it's always super-low priority. I also get copied on a bunch of stuff that I might want to look at, often don't really need to, but that I do want to keep a record of the exchange in my email.

I also get automated notifications for certain kinds of things which could stand to have automated intelligent processing. For example, I might have an automated alert set to email me when a server isn't responding to a ping, and I *do* want to see that. However, if the server's internet connection goes flaky overnight, I might end up with 80 messages saying, "Error: is offline", and then a little while later, "Recovery: is online". It'd be nice to have all of those rolled up into a email digest that says, "You received a flood of messages with similar subjects. Here is a list of them, in order." I don't know practically how you'd do that, but I wouldn't mind if someone were to figure that out. Considering how much spam still gets through my spam filters, I don't expect a solution anytime soon.

Anyway, my only point here is that there are improvements that could be made.

Comment: Re:Compelling, but a mix still better... (Score 1) 394

by nine-times (#48191929) Attached to: NASA's HI-SEAS Project Results Suggests a Women-Only Mars Crew

That's no good as an answer. If you can't narrow the possibilities at all, then there's no point in planning at all. Maybe there will be a weird set of circumstances that require we send a donkey along on the mission. I mean, the possibilities are indefinite, so who knows what we could run into. Maybe the best solution is to send a crew made entirely of 5 year olds.

You've got to narrow it down. How can you make things as robust and redundant as possible, covering all the most likely possibilities, and as many of the unlikely possibilities as you can, without being wasteful? That's why NASA needs smart people to try to figure things out, rather than throwing up their hands and saying, "Oh well, we can't figure it out!"

I don't know that it would mean an all-female crew. I'm just saying it's not as simple as saying, "Well it's possible that you'll need strength, because anything is possible."

Comment: Re:Diversity is best (Score 1) 394

by nine-times (#48189491) Attached to: NASA's HI-SEAS Project Results Suggests a Women-Only Mars Crew

companionship from the opposite sex will likely be important for long term mental health.

Or it could cause problems. Imagine having to break off a relationship while stuck in a tiny spaceship with that person for months. Imagine if one of the women became pregnant. Lots of things could go wrong.

Comment: Re:Compelling, but a mix still better... (Score 1) 394

by nine-times (#48189457) Attached to: NASA's HI-SEAS Project Results Suggests a Women-Only Mars Crew

However I'd argue in a truly remote environment where no external help is to be had, that the raw strength a few very fit males could provide could be useful in an emergency.

I don't know... I think it'd make sense to try to evaluate the likelihood of needing that raw strength. What are possible situations that a manned mission to Mars would need strength? Now eliminate all of those situations where a group of women would be strong enough to accomplish the task. Now that that set, and eliminate the situations in which men would not be strong enough. Now you have the set of situations/tasks where men's strength would be of benefit to the mission.

Now you do a sort of risk analysis. Take each of the remaining tasks, and start looking at what the probability that the crew will be in a position to do that task. If the probability is low enough eliminate that task from your list. Look at what the consequences are for failing to perform that task. If the consequences are below a certain level of importance, eliminate them from your list. Look at what the alternatives are for performing each task.

Now take the remaining tasks, and weight the cost of the additional weight (and any other complications from including men) and weigh it against the consequences of not being able to complete those remaining tasks. How does that comparison work out?

I have no idea, frankly, but that's roughly how the decision should be made. I really don't know how often raw strength becomes an issue for space travel.

Comment: Re:Bad statistics (Score 1) 194

by nine-times (#48188577) Attached to: Developers, IT Still Racking Up (Mostly) High Salaries

Career-wise, it would be useful to tell us the likelihood of making each earning bracket *by career*.

Of course, depending on how you break it down, that might not tell you what you think it will. Like "Most likely to make millions of dollars per year" might give you top careers like:

* Heir to grandfather's fortune
* NFL Quarterback
* Billionaire philanthropist
* Lottery winner

Sure, with those careers, you're pretty much guaranteed to be rich. But what are the chances that you'll get one of those careers? If you wanted to try to plot your career path, it'd probably be better to look at the most common jobs that are most likely to pay well. So there are a lot of physicians making a lot of money. If you set out to become a physician, your chances of getting rich are better than if you set out to be a lottery winner.

Of course, there's another problem. These are the top earners right now, but we don't know what things will look like in 10 years. If you're 18 and trying to figure out what to do with your life, then being a physician would seem to be a great choice. Hypothetically, if there were medical breakthroughs in the next 10 years that completely cure all diseases and health problems, then you might find you get out of medical school without much of a career lined up.

Comment: Re:How many really make $140k ? (Score 1) 194

by nine-times (#48188053) Attached to: Developers, IT Still Racking Up (Mostly) High Salaries

It's not below the "poverty level", but $100k isn't exactly "rolling in it" if you're living in NYC. It's enough for a single person to live in a good apartment in a pretty good neighborhood, but you're not talking about a second sports car for a "sweet downtown loft". $100k is still in the range where you're probably just hoping your tiny Brooklyn apartment's rent doesn't go up, because if it does, you don't know where you're going to be able to move to.

Comment: Re:First taste of Mac OS X (Score 1) 303

by nine-times (#48170057) Attached to: OS X 10.10 Yosemite Review

I'm not trying to convince you to like OSX, but just to attempt to give an explanation:

Compared to Dolphin, I find Finder far too limited, especially the inability to show hidden files. I've got no idea why there is no such menu toggle built into it. What are Apple afraid of? This is especially annoying when I have to look for .m2 and .git files. Sure, I can use the command line, but it's not as intuitive.

As someone who provides support for general users, I think Apple has handled this reasonably well. There are a lot of hidden files that a lot of people would find confusing. There are .DS_Store files and .Trash folders, along with the /etc directory in the root. If they had a little button on the Finder to "show hidden files", I have no doubt that there would be a lot of users who would hit it, see all the "Junk" in places they didn't like, and try to delete it.

Apple provides a option to show all files that can easily be changed from the command line. If you have trouble making this change, then you're not someone who should see those files. Seems reasonable to me.

The mouse scrolling was odd; the whole concept of "accelerating" while operating the wheel doesn't feel as natural as moving 2-3 lines with each movement. I had to download an app to get it the way I wanted (or, the same as it works in Windows and KDE).

Seems like a preference issue. To each his own, I guess. I thought you were going to complain about the "natural scrolling", which is something I'd have a lot more sympathy for, but which is also an option that can easily be changed.

It took me ages to realise that Command-Tab cycles through open applications, but not the windows. I found several windows all hidden behind one another that had been there for days, because OS X's window manager didn't present them to me. Apparently, I have to use Expose or something like that to see all of them.

Again, seems like a bit of an issue of preference. Ultimately, Apple's logical breakdown of running processes is much more aimed at whole applications rather than windows. Notice that each application has one button on the dock, regardless of how many windows you have open. Notice that you can often close all the windows of an application without closing the application. Notice that you can (depending on some thing) close the application without actually closing the windows, i.e. the application closes and the windows disappear, but when you reopen the application, the windows are all there where you left them.

Their approach is sensible, and it doesn't seem to be obviously wrong, but I can understand why you'd want it the other way.

Oddly, most things on Mac are Command+. However, on the command line, Ctrl+C is still used to break a program.

In my opinion, it's actually fairly nice that way. You can use Command+C to paste text into a terminal window, and Ctrl+C to break the current program. Less confusing than windows, where the short-cut's effect will change depending on context. In fact, Microsoft has been advertising the ability to use Ctrl-V to paste into a command line in Windows 10. Apparently, it's one of Windows 10's biggest features.

My Mac has been set up to be case insensitive. LS, GrEp, cAT, TAIl all behave as if they had been typed lowercase.

Yeah, this is... well... it's a bit unfortunate because it can cause some confusion. It's an issue with their file system (HFS+), which has been made semi-case-sensitive. For example, you can do "mkdir tEsT\ dIrEcToRy" and you'll get a directory called "tEsT dIrEcToRy", maintaining the case that you types in. However, if you then type "rmdir 'Test Directory'" then it will delete it. Essentially, it's case-sensitive when writing but not case-sensitive when reading.

The reason for this, to a large extent, is lazy/bad developers. You can set the filesystem to be completely case-sensitive, and OSX will run fine. Apple's applications will run fine. Last time I did it, though, Adobe applications would crash constantly if they ran at all. Apparently Adobe had developed their applications without paying attention to the case of their library files. It's worth noting, also, that Windows seems to have the same problem. Also, this doesn't really keep things from working.

Pressing home and end take me to the top and bottom of the document, rather than the line I'm edit, making me have to do some finger gymnastics when I want to highlight an entire line I'm working on. That's probably just personal preference, though.

I think this was actually how things were done first (even on old Unix systems), and the Home/End buttons got re-purposed later to be the beginning/end of the line instead of the beginning/end of the document. Again, I'm not sure this is a matter of right and wrong, so much as a matter of what you're used to and what you prefer. Also, it's worth pointing out that Command+Right-Arrow will bring you to the end of a line, and Command+Left-Arrow will bring you to the beginning of the line. So you can still do that.

I can see if I were to switch to a Mac, I'd spend a lot of time downloading hacks and scripts to bring back the features I like to work with, and other scripts to do away with those that I don't.

My honest opinion is that doing so would be a bad idea, and largely a waste of time. Apple would release an update, and all your hacks and customizations would be broken. You'll be better off just getting used to the way things work instead of trying to tweak every last thing to work like KDE. It's largely not doing things wrong, but just doing things not the way you're used to.

Comment: Re:Wait, what? (Score 4, Informative) 303

by nine-times (#48169079) Attached to: OS X 10.10 Yosemite Review

including things like their version of Androids Intents (that they call "extensions")....notifications pane from iOS (stolen from Android, natch)...

Right, so you're upset that Apple is using plugins, extensions, and notifications because all of those things were invented by Android developers. Sure.

They're making it possible to make and receive phone calls on the desktop.

So they've added functionality. I don't' think anyone is complaining about Windows 8 for added functionality.

They're changing a bunch of apps to more closely mimic the cellphone UI. According to the review itself, this is resulting in UIs with excessive whitespace...

You might need to point that out in the review. I don't doubt what you're saying, I just need context, and skimming the review for a second, I didn't see anything specific about that.

Having used Yosemite for a while, I don't see there being a lot of extra unused space due to "mimicking the cellphone UI". It actually seems like, in a lot of cases (e.g. Safari), they've cut down on "wasted space" in a way that may have been inspired by the cellphone UI, but not in a way that sacrifices functionality. I definitely haven't had the experience of noticing that things are spaced out strangely as though it were optimizing OSX for touch interaction.

Mostly it seems like they just re-skinned it. The textures and colors are different, with almost the same spacing.

Comment: Re:Baby steps (Score 1) 351

We'll never reach a stage of certainty that nothing will go wrong. To paraphrase, it's difficult to make things foolproof, because fools are so ingenious.

Yes, I agree with you. There's always risk. However, when it comes to going into space, the whole process is dangerous and expensive enough when we've done everything we can to control the risks. Like you said, I think we mostly agree. I'm just arguing that we should work on the problem of sustainability first, keeping in mind the eventual aim of using that knowledge and technology for space travel and colonization. We shouldn't try to employ those techniques in space before we have good reason to think that we can be successful.

So, for example, the whole bio-dome thing failed the two times that we've tried it, but as you point out, we learned things. Let's try it some more! Let's continue to learn from that until we have a solid grasp on the requirements for building a sustainable biosphere.

Comment: Re:Wait, what? (Score 4, Interesting) 303

by nine-times (#48168709) Attached to: OS X 10.10 Yosemite Review

From what I can see of Yosemite, Apple is doing the same thing with Mac OS X.

Can you be more specific as to what you're referring to? The biggest difference in the UI is that they reskinned things and change the icons and whatnot. You might not like the changes, but it's hardly the same thing as Windows 8's problems. The only things I can think of that make it more like their mobile OS-- at least this is all I can think of off the top of my head:

1) They added "Launchpad", which was done a couple of versions ago and is completely optional. Remove it from the dock and you never have to see it again.
2) They expanded the functionality of the notification area, and I don't really see there being a lot of grounds for complaints
3) They have a controlled "App Store", which again, was added a few versions ago and is optional.
4) They added an application for Maps...? I guess this makes it more like a mobile device. Again, optional.
5) Their chat/messaging application has increased support for SMS messages, which is additional functionality, and at least sort of optional.

I'm not seeing the problem.

There are running jobs. Why don't you go chase them?