Dave, although you took very thorough precautions in the pod against my hearing you, I could see your lips move.
I agree that most of what people have can be re-downloaded. However, separating that out is a chore, and what if you miss something? Might as well back up the entire drive just to make sure. But that would be a great product -- a search engine service that you can upload a list of file hashes and have it return a url for each file that is available online.
I haven't used rdiff-backup, but I used to use rsnapshot (actually a homebrew equivalent to it) -- was backing up several hosts to a central one. But I really missed having all the backup metadata in a database, where I could do simple SQL queries to find out file patterns were taking up the most space (this helps you tune your include/exclude list). Also, trying to replicate a rsnapshot volume that had a bunch of hard links (each day's backup's common files were hard linked to the previous days' files) -- this made for some very slow copying, unless I did a raw image copy (30 systems, with 10 daily, 6 weekly, and 12 monthly backup each made for a lot of file inode entries). That's why I wrote Snebu, so for each file that doesn't change between backups, only one gets stored. And references between backup sets are handled in the DB (sqlite3 based) instead of via hard links in the filesystem. Oh, and files are also compressed (lzop compatible format), which is something that rsnapshot didn't give me.
My favorite feature, that I'm testing out now (should be in the next version once it is stable and I hammer out the UI issues) is the ability to have a shadow copy of the backup DB that you stick on a thumb drive. This allows you to make incremental backups of your laptop to the shadow copy and sync it back to the main backup later on. Other features coming include external plugin modules to support moving / copying older backup sets to independent volumes, and potentially tape changers and cloud storage too (however these will all be secondary storage locations, the primary will be local storage).
Rotational Vibration (RV) is the vibration the drive experiences from the platters rotating at high speed. When you put a bunch of drives in a cage, some interesting harmonics build up which can shorten the life span of the drives further. Enterprise grade hard drives are built to better withstand these vibrations, lessening the chance of failure. (At least that is what their literature says -- personally I'd mount the drives using grommets or something like what Rackspace uses [rubber bands I think?]).
I remember when tape drives stored a few times more data than hard drives, and were priced about the same. I know I can back up to external USB drives (which I do using Snebu, but I which tape drives were more affordable.
Even if you put the screen up by the window, with a mirror you can always move your head a bit to get a bit more visual context. With a camera and screen, that doesn't work. Unless they also put in head tracking, or use a 3d screen.
That one won't do 4K at any more than 30Hz refresh (HDMI 1.2 input only, no Display Port or dual-link DVI). And you won't have the same color calibration as a computer monitor. Other than that, if you are on a budget it's not a bad deal.
RHEL 7 Beta is based off Fedora 19, with a 3.10 kernel. Usually their beta cycles run about 6 months. Oh, and they heavily backport to their stable kernel (it is "stable", not meaning crashes less, but referring too the fact that the API/ABI doesn't change when they release updates).
Other than the not having to work part, we really do live like kings. We get to sit in a seat to be transported from place to place, our homes are heated and cooled, running hot water, plumbing, non-rancid food, quite a bit of food actually, we can pull up music and other entertainment on demand, and have great libraries at our disposal. The list goes on -- most royalty a couple centuries back didn't have it this good.
Why not just hook a microphone on the inside of the computer to pick up the fan noise, and use that as a random source? I'm sure there's some entropy in there.
That's why whenever I don't recognize the phone number, I'll pick up but don't say anything. If it is a human on the line, they will eventually say hello.
For that to happen, the charging would have to be via beamed RF energy instead of magnetic induction. What I'd rather see is a return to devices that only needed charging or battery replacements once per month or so. Like the old 2-way pagers I used to carry.
Personally, I've started syncing my files to a USB hard drive running off a Beagle Bone, via wifi, that sits in my vehicle. It syncs at night after I pull in. Now there is the possibility that the house will burn down, take my vehicle in the garage with it, but I figure I'm covered for a large part of the time when I'm at work (since my car is with me then).
Well here's a strange thought. If you don't have enough daylight after work, how about going to work an hour early, and getting out an hour early? Nothing really gets done early or late in the work day anyway, so co-ordinating with others' time in the office shouldn't bee that big of a deal (as long as everyone is there during a core 5-hour period).