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Transportation

Epic Mega Bridge To Connect America With Russia Gets Closer To Reality 365 365

Sepa Blackforesta writes: A plan for an epic bridge connecting Russia's easternmost border with Alaska's westernmost border could soon be a reality, as Russia seeks to partner with China. Sijutech reports: "If this mega bridge come to reality, it would be Planet Earth’s most epic mega-road trip ever. The plans have not been officially accepted since specific details of the highway still need to be discussed, including the large budget. Allegedly the plan will cost upwards in the trillions of dollars range."

Comment Okay, I'll bite (Score 4, Insightful) 593 593

"Mr. Snowden's dangerous decision to steal and disclose classified information had severe consequences for the security of our country..."

Here it is, put up or shut up: name one single way that I personally am less "secure" due to Snowden's actions.

That's it. One single example.

Either that, or quit pushing this bullshit.

Comment Re:The joys of youth (Score 2, Insightful) 147 147

Since it's not possible to install the just-released Visual Studio 2015 without .NET 4.6, this means developers must make the difficult choice between using the latest tools or risking crippling bugs such as this one.

If you're a dev, you shouldn't be chasing versions. Find a stable version, stick with it through your project. SE already has enough of that "stuff changing out from under me" feel without adding to the issue.

Yeah, easy to say. When I was programming Microsoft systems (admittedly 20 years ago) the problem was that you were faced with the choice of upgrading and risking crap like this or not upgrading and dealing with problems that Microsoft would only fix "in the next upgrade".

So glad I left that behind.

Comment Anything is possible with the right budget... (Score 3, Informative) 217 217

Lucky (?) for you, I just went through purchasing a storage refresh for a cluster, as we're planning to move to a new building and no one trusts the current 5 year old solution to survive the move (besides which, we can only get 2nd hand replacements now). The current system is 8 shelves of Panasas ActiveStor 12, mostly 4 TB blades, but the original 2-3 shelves are 2 TB blades, giving about 270 TB raw storage, or about 235ish TB in real use. The current largest volume is about 100 TB in size, the next-largest is about 65 TB, with the remainder spread among 5-6 additional volumes including a cluster-wide scratch space. Most of the data is genomic sequences and references, either downloaded from public sources or generated in labs and sent to us for analysis.

As for the replacement...

I tried to get a quote from EMC. Aside from being contacted by someone *not* in the sector we're in, they also managed to misread their own online form and assumed that we wanted something at the opposite end of the spectrum from what I requested info on. After a bit of back and forth, and a promise to receive a call that never materialized, I never did get a quote. My assumption is they knew from our budget that we'd never be able to afford the capacities we were looking for. At a prior job, a multi-million dollar new data center and quasi-DR site went with EMC Isilon and some VPX stuff for VM storage/migration/replication between old/new DCs, and while I wasn't directly involved with it there, I had no complaints. If you can afford it, it's probably worth it.

The same prior job had briefly, before my time there, used some NetApp appliances. The reactions of the storage admins wasn't all that great, and throughout the 6 years I was there, we never could get NetApp to come in to talk to us whenever we were looking for expansion of our storage. I've had colleagues swear by NetApp though, so YMMV.

I briefly looked at the offerings from Overland Storage (where we got our current tape libraries), on the recommendation of the VAR we use for tapes & library upgrades. It looked promising, but in the end, we'd made a decision before we got most of those materials...

What we ended up going with was Panasas, again. Part of it was familiarity. Part of it was their incredible tech support even when the AS12 didn't have a support contract (we have a 1 shelf AS14 at our other location for a highly specialized cluster, so we had *some* support, and my boss has a golden tongue, talking them into a 1-time support case for the 8 shelf AS12). We also have a good relationship with the sales rep for our sector, the prior one actually hooked us up with another customer to acquire shelves 6-8 (and 3 spares), as this customer was upgrading to a newer model. Based on that, we felt comfortable going with the same vendor. We knew our budget, and got quotes for three configurations of their current models, ActiveStor 14 & 16. We ended up with the AS16, with 8 shelves of 6 TB disk (x2) and 240 GB SSD per blade (10 per, plus a "Director Blade" per). Approximate raw storage is just a bit under 1 PB (roughly 970-980 TB raw for the system).

In terms of physical specs, each shelf is 4U, have dual 10 GbE connections, and adding additional shelves is as easy as racking them and joining them to the existing array (I literally had no idea what I was doing when we added shelves on the current AS12, it just worked as they powered on). Depending on your environment, they'll support NFS, CIFS, and their own PanFS (basically pNFS) through a driver (or Linux kernel module, in our case). We're snowflakes, so we can't take advantage of their "phone home" system to report issues proactively and download updates (pretty much all vendors have this feature now). Updating manually is a little more time-consuming, but still possible.

As for backups, I honestly have no idea what I'm going to do. Most data, once written, is static in our environment, so I can probably get away with infrequent longer retention period backups for everything more than 6 months old, while doing much more frequent backups of newer data (and /home, our RPM repository, etc). People who've been doing this longer than I have strongly suggested that I make heavy use of snapshots (and we'll have the space... for now) and back those up. Our planned backup system for the fresh is a 48-tape library with a couple LTO-6 drives in it (current on the older is a 60-tape doubled-up library w/ 2 LTO-5 drives) connected over FC to one of the two cluster head nodes. Software would be a personal choice, and while I'm not exactly *thrilled* with NetBackup, it does seem to work (and was what's been in use since before I started here). We haven't racked the new stuff yet, so we haven't even gotten that far.

Hope that helped a bit.

Comment Re:Morse Code (Score 1) 618 618

Oh, wait, you didn't need to pass a test for that.

I'm just trying to think how that would have been possible. I think back then there was a medical exception you could plead for. I didn't. I passed the 20 WPM test fair and square and got K6BP as a vanity call, long before there was any way to get that call without passing a 20 WPM test.

Unfortunately, ARRL did fight to keep those code speeds in place, and to keep code requirements, for the last several decades that I know of and probably continuously since 1936. Of course there was all of the regulation around incentive licensing, where code speeds were given a primary role. Just a few years ago, they sent Rod Stafford to the final IARU meeting on the code issue with one mission: preventing an international vote for removal of S25.5 . They lost.

I am not blaming this on ARRL staff and officers. Many of them have privately told me of their support, including some directors and their First VP, now SK. It's the membership that has been the problem.

I am having a lot of trouble believing the government agency and NGO thing, as well. I talked with some corporate emergency managers as part of my opposition to the encryption proceeding (we won that too, by the way, and I dragged an unwilling ARRL, who had said they would not comment, into the fight). Big hospitals, etc.

What I got from the corporate folks was that their management was resistant to using Radio Amateurs regardless of what the law was. Not that they were chomping at the bit waiting to be able to carry HIPAA-protected emergency information via encrypted Amateur radio. Indeed, if you read the encryption proceeding, public agencies and corporations hardly commented at all. That point was made very clearly in FCC's statement - the agencies that were theorized by Amateurs to want encryption didn't show any interest in the proceeding.

So, I am having trouble believing that the federal agency and NGO thing is real because of that.

Comment Re:Morse Code (Score 1) 618 618

The Technican Element 3 test wasn't more difficult than the Novice Element 1 and 2 together, so Technican became the lowest license class when they stopped having to take Element 1.

The change to 13 WPM was in 1936, and was specifically to reduce the number of Amateur applicants. It was 10 WPM before that. ARRL asked for 12.5 WPM in their filing, FCC rounded the number because they felt it would be difficult to set 12.5 on the Instructograph and other equipment available for code practice at the time.

It was meant to keep otherwise-worthy hams out of the hobby. And then we let that requirement keep going for 60 years.

The Indianapolis cop episode was back in 2009. It wasn't the first time we've had intruders, and won't be the last, and if you have to reach back that long for an example, the situation can't be that bad. It had nothing to do with code rules or NGOs getting their operators licenses.

A satphone is less expensive than a trained HF operator. Iridium costs $30 per month and $0.89 per minute to call another Iridium phone. That's the over-the-counter rate. Government agencies get a better rate than that. And the phone costs $1100, again that's retail not the government rate, less than an HF rig with antenna and tower will cost any public agency to install.

You think it's a big deal to lobby against paid operators because there will be objections? How difficult do you think it was to reform the code regulations? Don't you think there were lots of opposing comments?

And you don't care about young people getting into Amateur Radio. That's non-survival thinking.

Fortunately, when the real hams go to get something done, folks like you aren't hard to fight, because you don't really do much other than whine and send in the occassional FCC comment. Do you know I even spoke in Iceland when I was lobbying against the code rules? Their IARU vote had the same power as that of the U.S., and half of the hams in the country came to see me. That's how you make real change.

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