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Comment: Re:The inherent problem with electronic voting (Score 1) 106 106

I call bullshit. I can see less in a ballot counting room than I can in a quantum computer. All I know is papers go in, results come out. It still relies on trusting a black box, it just has different constituent parts.

Comment: This one time... (Score 1) 340 340

In 1998 i was working for an ISP in their NOC. One of our main AIX servers was filling. It housed home directories (and hence mail stores) for most of our customers. The engineers added a new array. I was supposed to write a script to move the directories to the new drive and change the home path in the passwd file.

I flubbed the script and while there was no data loss, i, by myself on the night shift broke about 25k email accounts. I had a long night fixing it.

I still remember the frantic calls from the help desk as I was in panic mode trying to find out how bad it was.

Comment: Re:Welcome to the USSA Comrade (Score 1) 144 144

One could argue that the fall started during the cold war, with the Red Scare and many other things. However that hearkens back to the "Good Old Days" which never really that good.

Yes the US has fallen, as do all societies. Someday we will rebel, and the Upper and Middle classes will trade places on the backs of the lower classes. Some small forward steps will be made, and the decline will begin again.

Or we will all die of of our own hubris and shortsightedness.

Comment: Re:2.5" Japanese HDDs (Score 1) 297 297

Hitachi is no more (they are now HGST owned by Western Digital), but I do like them.

While I do not keep count, and my shop's numbers are too small to be statistically significant, Toshiba drives make up a smaller portion of market share, but a larger portion of the failed drives I see, so my anecdotal experience leads me to distrust Toshiba drives, although I to like certain models of toshiba laptops, as the price/performance ratio is just right for many of my customers.

Comment: Here is my .02*10^-27 (Score 2) 297 297

I work for a small repair/IT firm and our experience largely matches backblazes when looking at brands. We rarely deal with NAS drives or larger capacities so I cannot speak to those. There is a 2007 study by google into predicting HDD failure. Per their data, about 50% of drives fail with a discernible warning in SMART. However, that warning requires manual watching as what they saw is that any type of pending or reallocated sector is indicative of failure. However, a few pending sectors may not be past the manufacturers threshold for failure. Therefore, 50% will fail with no warning, that is a given. The number probably approaches 95% or more if you are relying on tools that compare SMART stats with the manufacturer thresholds. You need tools that allow you to set your own thresholds or look at the numbers manually on a regular basis. My personal (and uneducated) assumption about this is that most of the pending/reallcoated sectors are caused by the magnetic domains on the surface of the platters weakening over time. Given the areal density of modern disks, slight defects in the coating or other chemical degradation could be to blame. Basically this would be a form of bit rot, and makes a sort of sense given the failure rate seems to spike for all manufactures at about the same time frame. Lastly, all drives will fail. Also other events happen, be it fire, theft, crypto viruses that encrypt your files and local backups, accidental or malicious deletion, etc. An on-site backup protects against none of those in any reliable way. Add in the fact that SSDs (which also will fail for other reasons), and are more difficult (expensive) to recover from are gaining traction, an off-site backup is the most logical solution, be it cloud, safe deposit box, etc. I am not here to advertise so I won't name names, but the solution my firm sells is cloud-based with both file and system image backups, including versioning and archiving. It also allows for a local copy of the backup set to be stored on a suitable drive. This allows for super fast recovery of large backup sets, with the online version as a backup. The backup set is fully encrypted with a choice of encryption standards and the ability to have only the customer have the encryption key (normally we keep the key as well, but we do not have to). If you are serious about your data, you should look into features like that for yourself. Relying on manual on-site backups can only be a recipe for eventual disaster.

Comment: An idea... (Score 3, Insightful) 172 172

How about a blockchain based e-book system? Each copy of a book is like a coin in a cryptocurrency. I would love to see this direct to authors, but other 'rightsholders' will get in the way. Regardless, when a sale is made it is tracked through the blockchain. The market sets the prices. So, if you bye hot new thriller for $20, the seller gets a cut as does the storefront. Then, if you transfer that book, a small percentage of your sale goes to the original author. If you give it to your uncle ernie for free, well you transferred ownership but not money, so nothing trickles upwards.

This system would allow everyday people to sell used ebooks at whatever the market would bear. The downside is in a system like this, reading habits are traceable by all. However, if you wanted to buy "IEDs for terrorist Dummies" you probably wouldn't want to use this system.

Comment: Re:How many times? (Score 1) 389 389

The difference here is that he cannot charge over and over for the same stupid food. Not unless he gets it back from his patrons when they are finished with it. that alone makes this comparison void. A label or copyright holder does not have to work to reproduce or distribute the music every time it is played.

Comment: Re:Nuclear Solutions... (Score 1) 419 419

Okay, I'll bite and reply to AC. Notice I said energy needs, not electrical needs. Germany is a much smaller country, transport energy requirements for both electrical transmission (minimal) and goods transportation are much less.

Can the USA do better, of course we can, and should. However, sticking your head in the mud and screaming no nukes is shortsighted at best and idiotic at worst.

Comment: Re:Nuclear Solutions... (Score 1) 419 419

The odds of any person being harmed by a nuclear accident are probably less than getting struck by lightning while suffering a shark attack.

As it currently stands, neither solar or other renewables can come close to providing the energy needs of a 1st world country, and as more of the world develops, this need will only increase. That leaves fossil and some form of nuclear. Or, reducing energy usage. Get rid of everyones appliances, vehicles, heat pumps, exotic out of season foods trucked from halfway across the globe, etc, and you may come close. Do you want to be the one to force that on people?

We have a equal opportunity Calculus class -- it's fully integrated.

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