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Ask Slashdot: What Would You Do With Half a Rack of Server Space? 206

Posted by timothy
from the give-it-a-piece-of-my-mind dept.
New submitter Christian Gainsbrugh (3766717) writes I work at a company that is currently transitioning all our servers into the cloud. In the interim we have half a rack of server space in a great datacenter that will soon be sitting completely idle for the next few months until our lease runs out. Right now the space is occupied by around 8 HP g series servers, a watchguard xtm firewall, Cisco switch and some various other equipment. All in all there are probably around 20 or so physical XEON processors, and probably close to 10 tb of storage among all the machines. We have a dedicated 10 mbs connection that is burstable to 100mbs.

I'm curious what Slashdot readers would do if they were in a similar situation. Is there anything productive that could be done with these resources? Obviously something revenue generating is great, but even if there is something novel that could be done with these servers we would be interested in putting them to good use.

Comment: Re:Best Wishes ! (Score 3, Interesting) 322

by v1 (#47521625) Attached to: Microsoft's CEO Says He Wants to Unify Windows

They've been pursuing the dream of one windows to rule them all since the days when

No, not really. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v...

When you decide it's time to "unify" a single product, clearly you've made a serious, long-running mistake.

Having a dozen different versions of a single product is just a short-term way to milk a few more dimes out of your customers, and has a pretty severe long-term cost. It's most lucritive in software though, because it doesn't cost a penny more to manufacture the $300 version than the $100 version once you're finished with development. If it were a car for example, that leather interior is going to cost more to produce. But those "better bits" are free to produce. So it's creme, pure profit.

And eventually the customers get pissed. Which is OK if your'e not in it for the long haul. Which unfortunately is what Windows is. Bad match.

Comment: bad maths (Score 1) 778

by v1 (#47493765) Attached to: States That Raised Minimum Wage See No Slow-Down In Job Growth

Raising the minimum wage doesn't cost jobs any more than inflation creates jobs.

It's a never-ending cat-and-mouse in a freemarket. Wherever they happen to be at this moment in the game, it reqiures the same people to play it.

Govt raises minimum wage. Consumer prices go up. Rinse, repeat, forever. Consumer prices are going to go up due to greed (as well as increases in minimum wage) so raising the minimum wage occasionally to offset it is necessary, even though it contributes to its own need.

Since the only way to offset inflation in a free market is to raise the minimum wage, it cannot be considered as a method to slow it. It's all just a shell game, aimed at trying to food the greedy into being less greedy, by doing things like lowering federal interest rates etc. They'll never stop it, all you can do is hope to keep its pace slow so you don't have runaway inflation. But it's a difficult act to balance, because retarding inflation tends to slow the economy.

Businesses

Microsoft CEO To Slash 18,000 Jobs, 12,500 From Nokia To Go 383

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the burning-the-platform dept.
DW100 (2227906) writes "Satya Nadella has taken an axe to Microsoft's 127,000-strong workforce by announcing a whopping 18,000 job cuts, including 12,500 from the recently integrated Nokia division. At least 13,000 jobs will go within the next six months." It's official, Ballmer's layoff record has been smashed. From the email sent to employees: "The first step to building the right organization for our ambitions is to realign our workforce. With this in mind, we will begin to reduce the size of our overall workforce by up to 18,000 jobs in the next year. Of that total, our work toward synergies and strategic alignment on Nokia Devices and Services is expected to account for about 12,500 jobs, comprising both professional and factory workers. We are moving now to start reducing the first 13,000 positions, and the vast majority of employees whose jobs will be eliminated will be notified over the next six months."

Comment: Re:This just illustrates (Score 1) 365

by v1 (#47340089) Attached to: Germany's Glut of Electricity Causing Prices To Plummet

Lower prices "leave a trail of blood in our balance sheet" according to Bernhard Guenther, CFO at RWE, Germany's biggest power producer

Sounds to me like "our production costs are so close to our competition's retail price, we're having trouble staying in business, pity us!"

No, this is not something for me to pity, and it most certainly isn't my problem to help you solve. You need to innovate and improve efficiency of your business, or close your doors. We don't do the "buggy whip" thing anymore. And your existence isn't critical enough to justufy subsdies/handouts. Innovate or die. (quietly if possible)

Businesses

Germany's Glut of Electricity Causing Prices To Plummet 365

Posted by timothy
from the these-low-low-prices-come-with-a-trail-of-blood dept.
WIth an interesting followup to the recent news that Germany's power production by at least some measures was briefly dominated by solar production, AmiMoJo (196126) writes Germany is headed for its biggest electricity glut since 2011 as new coal-fired plants start and generation of wind and solar energy increases, weighing on power prices that have already dropped for three years. From December capacity will be at 117% of peak demand. The benchmark German electricity contract has slumped 36% since the end of 2010. "The new plants will run at current prices, but they won't cover their costs" said Ricardo Klimaschka, a power trader at Energieunion GmbH. Lower prices "leave a trail of blood in our balance sheet" according to Bernhard Guenther, CFO at RWE, Germany's biggest power producer. Wind and solar's share of installed German power capacity will rise to 42% by next year from 30% in 2010. The share of hard coal and lignite plant capacity will drop to 28% from 32%.

Comment: Re:This is telling (Score 1) 365

by v1 (#47313841) Attached to: Microsoft Wants You To Trade Your MacBook Air In For a Surface Pro 3

I don't think it's so much the "style" aspect as it is the "comfort zone". Particularly with less-adept users, once they fight their way through the frustration of learning a technology, they feel a lot more comfortable with it "now that I have it figured out". These people aren't going to be able to make anywhere near as fluid of a transition to any different interface, on or off their platform. Even if the interface is "better", it won't look that way to them unless they're forced to use it for awhile.

It's very frustrating for them to go from having some (hard-fought) understanding of tech to getting reset back to "I don't know how to do anything". Can't really blame them for their apprehension.

That's how I try to explain it to prospective switchers. "For the first two weeks, you're going to hate it". It just can't be avoided no matter what you're going from/to.

Comment: Re:This is telling (Score 1) 365

by v1 (#47301075) Attached to: Microsoft Wants You To Trade Your MacBook Air In For a Surface Pro 3

Note that they didn't even try to offer a trade-in of ipads for the surface, which would be a more reasonable comparison if the surface was successful as a tablet

if they tried to pull THAT, they would have a crapton of people with older ipads trading them in. They'd be buried alive. A lot of iPad2's are out of warranty, and that's about the time schools and others consider an upgrade.

They're MS... they're big, and could take the hit, but it definitely would sting.

The surface though is more of a laptop trying to also be a tablet, than a tablet trying to also be a laptop. (sort of the iPad's territory) So I don't agree that it'd be a trade within the same market. It makes more "sense" to go against the air, but not many are going to bite, because the air isn't trying to be a tablet, that's what the iPad is for. As someone else has said, Macintoshes have an amazing ability to retain their value for resale, and MS isn't offering as much as the machines could get you on craigslist. Trade-ins for the competition's gear are a "try to pull people off the fence onto your side" maneuver, but the problem is it's only going to attract people that have already decided they didn't like their new mac, so it won't really serve its intended purpose.

Looked at another way, they're trying to enter two different markets with one product, and neither is going to do a really good job as a result. The surface isnt' really a tablet, it's more of a laptop that has some of the features of one. They were wise to see they'd lost the straight-up tablet market before they'd started. Targeting the MBA is probably the smartest thing to do right now. (I just don't think this is a very smart approach they're taking)

They could have had a lot more fun with this, and generated an enormous amount of publicity by just taking it all the way. Don't "trade" it in. Bring in a WORKING air to their store, and you get to go into a box and smash it with a sledgehammer. And then collect your discount. That would be money well-spent on marketing, for less than the cost of a few commercial spots.

Microsoft

Microsoft Wants You To Trade Your MacBook Air In For a Surface Pro 3 365

Posted by samzenpus
from the try-ours-instead dept.
mpicpp writes with news about a new Microsoft trade-in program to encourage sales of the new Surface Pro 3. Microsoft is offering a limited time Surface Pro 3 promotion via which users can get up to $650 in store credit for trading in certain Apple MacBook Air models. The new promotion, running June 20 to July 31, 2014 -- "or while supplies last" -- requires users to bring MacBook Airs into select Microsoft retail stores in the U.S., Puerto Rico and Canada. (The trade-in isn't valid online.)...To get the maximum ($650) value, users have to apply the store credit toward the purchase of a Surface Pro 3, the most recent model of the company's Intel-based Surface tablets.

Comment: "for economic gain" (Score 1) 207

by v1 (#47251191) Attached to: Ikea Sends IkeaHackers Blog a C&D Order

And we think that people should have that right. When other companies use the Ikea name for economic gain, it creates confusion and rights are lost.'

If they hadn't said "for economic gain", I'd consider their sincerity. But when you add that, it changes the last part to "it creates concern and money is lost". This is more a case of "someone's making money off our name and we didn't get a cut". It has nothing to do with the consumer.

Programming

Ask Slashdot: Best Rapid Development Language To Learn Today? 466

Posted by timothy
from the pronto-now-yesterday-or-else dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Many years ago, I was a coder—but I went through my computer science major when they were being taught in Lisp and C. These days I work in other areas, but often need to code up quick data processing solutions or interstitial applications. Doing this in C now feels archaic and overly difficult and text-based. Most of the time I now end up doing things in either Unix shell scripting (bash and grep/sed/awk/bc/etc.) or PHP. But these are showing significant age as well. I'm no longer the young hotshot that I once was—I don't think that I could pick up an entire language in a couple of hours with just a cursory reference work—yet I see lots of languages out there now that are much more popular and claim to offer various and sundry benefits I'm not looking to start a new career as a programmer—I already have a career—but I'd like to update my applied coding skills to take advantage of the best that software development now has to offer. (More, below.)

Comment: OR (Score 4, Interesting) 250

there are no additional addresses available, Microsoft said in a blog post earlier this week. This requires the company to use the IPv4 address space available to it globally for new services,

OR they could migrate those services to IPv6??

Considering how much bashing MS gets for not being a leader, this would have made a really good opportunity for them.

(I hate it when people say they're doing something because they were "forced" or "had no choice", when in reality, they had aa choice, they made a choice, and now don't want to take ownership of the outcome)

Comment: Buyer's Remorse (Score 0) 140

by v1 (#47236253) Attached to: EU's Online Shoppers Get an Extended "Cooling Off Period"

Buyer's remorse is the sense of regret after having made a purchase. It is frequently associated with the purchase of an expensive item such as a car or house. It may stem from fear of making the wrong choice, guilt over extravagance, or a suspicion of having been overly influenced by the seller.
(wikipedia)

Sorry, I have no pity for that. I've had it before, but it's no fault but my own, and I certainly don't expect anyone to make a law to help save me from myself. (on this, or anything else really, I'm adult, why can't the world treat me like one and let me hold responsibility for my actions?)

A buyer should have no more rights to reverse a sale than a seller. What if I have "seller's remorse", I really should have charged more for that, I want it back! yea, great idea! Make a law to voilate others' rights just to save me from my foolishness!

EU

EU's Online Shoppers Get an Extended "Cooling Off Period" 140

Posted by timothy
from the heard-the-ending-sucked dept.
mrspoonsi (2955715) writes with word of a new extension to European consumer protection laws: Previously, anyone who bought a product online was allowed seven business days during which they were able to change their mind and return the product for a full refund. This 'cooling-off period,' during which a refund can be requested without being required to give a reason for the cancellation, has now been extended to fourteen calendar days from the date on which the goods are received. Online retailers and providers are now also banned from 'pre-ticking' optional extras on order forms, such as those adding insurance to the cost of a purchase. For the first time, laws have also been introduced to offer a cooling-off period for digital content, including music, films and books, as BBC News reports. Consumers may now cancel an order for digital content within fourteen days, but only if they have not downloaded it.

APL is a write-only language. I can write programs in APL, but I can't read any of them. -- Roy Keir

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