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Comment Nothing New Under The Sun, Except This (Score 2) 190

Wireless communications may become more interesting in the future thanks to this pioneering research: http://www.nature.com/articles...

See also the theoretical paper: http://journals.aps.org/prl/ab... (http://arxiv.org/pdf/math-ph/0703059.pdf)

It's not clear what the implications are for signal loss or if this is more of an illusion akin to beam steering.

Submission + - Need advice on Enterprise Architect position

dave562 writes: I could use some advice from the community. I have almost 20 years of IT experience, 5 of it with the company I am currently working for. In my current position, the infrastructure and applications that I am responsible for account for nearly 80% of the entire IT infrastructure of the company. In broad strokes our footprint is roughly 60 physical hosts that run close to 1500 VMs and a SAN that hosts almost 4PB of data. The organization is a moderate sized (~3000 employees), publicly traded company with a nearly $1 billion market value (recent fluctuations not withstanding).

I have been involved in a constant struggle with the core IT group over how to best run the operations. They are a traditional, internal facing IT shop. They have stumbled through a private cloud initiative that is only about 30% realized. I have had to drag them kicking and screaming into the world of automated provisioning, IaaS, application performance monitoring, and all of the other IT "must haves" that a reasonable person would expect from a company of our size. All the while, I have never had full access to the infrastructure. I do not have access to the storage. I do not have access to the virtualization layer. I do not have Domain Admin rights. I cannot see the network.

The entire organization has been ham strung by an "enterprise architect" who relies on consultants to get the job done, but does not have the capability to properly scope the projects. This has resulted in failure after failure and a broken trail of partially implemented projects. (VMware without SRM enabled. EMC storage hardware without automated tiering enabled. Numerous proof of concept systems that never make it into production because they were not scoped properly.)

After 5 years of succeeding in the face of all of these challenges, the organization has offered me the Enterprise Architect position. However they do not think that the position should have full access to the environment. It is an "architecture" position and not a "sysadmin" position is how they explained it to me. That seems insane. It is like asking someone to draw a map, without being able to actually visit the place that needs to be mapped.

For those of you in the community who have similar positions, what is your experience? Do you have unfettered access to the environment? Are purely architectural / advisory roles the norm at this level?

Submission + - Learn FPGAs with a $25 board and Open Source Tools (hackaday.com)

An anonymous reader writes: Hackaday has a 3 part tutorial with videos of using open source tools with a cheap ($25) FPGA board. The board isn't very powerful, but this could be the "gateway drug" to FPGAs for people who don't want to spend hundreds of dollars and install 100s of megabytes of software and license keys just to get their feet wet. The videos are particularly good--like watching them over their shoulder. As far as I know, this is the only totally open source FPGA toolchain out there.

Comment Re:another way to wipe out life (Score 1) 25

You set some good deadlines but humanity has an opportunity to transcend these limits.


Type I
"Technological level close to the level presently attained on earth, with energy consumption at 4×1019 erg/sec (4 × 1012 watts)."[1] Guillermo A. Lemarchand stated this as "A level near contemporary terrestrial civilization with an energy capability equivalent to the solar insolation on Earth, between 1016 and 1017 watts."[2]

Type II
"A civilization capable of harnessing the energy radiated by its own star (for example, the stage of successful construction of a Dyson sphere), "with energy consumption at 4×1033 erg/sec."[1] Lemarchand stated this as "A civilization capable of utilizing and channeling the entire radiation output of its star. The energy utilization would then be comparable to the luminosity of our Sun, about 4×1033 erg/sec (4×1026 watts)."[2]

Type III
"A civilization in possession of energy on the scale of its own galaxy, with energy consumption at 4×1044 erg/sec."[1] Lemarchand stated this as "A civilization with access to the power comparable to the luminosity of the entire Milky Way galaxy, about 4×1044 erg/sec (4×1037 watts)."[2]

Comment Patriot Act Extension and the Autopen (Score 1) 237

Another rub on the Patriot Act, or rather the Patriot Act extension, is that it was not signed by the President. The extension bill was the first bill ever signed into law by the "autopen".

Article I, Section 7 - Every Bill which shall have passed the House of Representatives and the Senate, shall, before it become a Law, be presented to the President of the United States; If he approve he shall sign it, but if not he shall return it, with his Objections to that House in which it shall have originated, who shall enter the Objections at large on their Journal, and proceed to reconsider it. [...]

So it says "he shall sign it", not a robot. Is it law?

Comment Re:Patriot Act Doesn't Have to Authorize It (Score 1) 237

When did the War Powers Act become some nebulous catch all for everything not authorized by law?

Here is the text of the war powers act.

SEC. 2. (a) It is the purpose of this joint resolution to fulfill the intent of the framers of the Constitution of the United States and insure that the collective judgement of both the Congress and the President will apply to the introduction of United States Armed Forces into hostilities, or into situations where imminent involvement in hostilities is clearly indicated by the circumstances, and to the continued use of such forces in hostilities or in such situations.

(b) Under article I, section 8, of the Constitution, it is specifically provided that the Congress shall have the power to make all laws necessary and proper for carrying into execution, not only its own powers but also all other powers vested by the Constitution in the Government of the United States, or in any department or officer thereof.

(c) The constitutional powers of the President as Commander-in-Chief to introduce United States Armed Forces into hostilities, or into situations where imminent involvement in hostilities is clearly indicated by the circumstances, are exercised only pursuant to (1) a declaration of war, (2) specific statutory authorization, or (3) a national emergency created by attack upon the United States, its territories or possessions, or its armed forces.

So 1) we are not at war (or quasi-war by specific statutory authorization by the Congress), and 2) the war powers act does not authorize bulk metadata collection. It really only covers the introduction of United States Armed Forces into hostilities. I suppose you could argue that the United States Armed Forces are engaged in hostilities against the citizens of these United States of America though...

Comment Pride (Score 1) 629

Computer teachers and district network administrators hate being shown up by some snot-nose kid. The DA will charge this kid with unauthorized use of a computer system, typically a fourth degree felony, and the school will likely change none of their security practices. After all, becoming a teenage felon is a pretty good deterrent, right?

Who needs a password policy? Who needs two-factor auth? They'll just arrest anybody that embarrasses them.

This kind of crap happened at my high school 20 years ago. They ignored warnings about gaping security holes, coming down hard on the whistleblowers (i.e. me), then saw their network go down when some other kid exploited it months later.

Were there fewer fools, knaves would starve. - Anonymous