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Comment Re:*BSDs are rendering Linux irrelevant. (Score 2) 114

Hopefully, one day soon Oracle will realise that if they want to sell Sparc hardware, they need to provide docs and support to the BSDs. Right now, OpenBSD supports the T series as well as it can, but some Oracle engineers on the case would make a world of difference.

Some people like their hardware, but don't like Solaris very much. (I know I am not the only one).

Oracle need to realise (as IBM eventually came to, after a near-death experience) that you have to be nice to the nerds, cos they are the ones people ask for advice. A few $$$ spent on BSD support would be worth millions in PR. More nerds playing with Sparc means more skilled staff available to support (and recommend) it in the workplace. Raising the second hand value of hardware (by widening the range of software that will run on it) is unlikely to take sales from the new kit - it reduces the TCO of new kit by reducing depreciation, and big companies will not put their mission critical software on second-hand systems.

Comment Re:No (Score 3) 111

However, most of the world can buy a used desktop for around $50 if they want - sure its not the same as a new upmarket model, but I would prefer a P4 based desktop with a screen and keyboard (not running Windows, obviously) over a $50 tablet, new or used, if the object was to create stuff.

Hell is something close to debugging PHP with embedded SQL on a low resolution tablet.

And yes, I have been to Africa recently, and yes I could get a P4 with a CRT and PS2 keyboard and mouse for under $50 (it did look past its prime though). I could also buy a Nigerian Guinness for about $0.30 and a nutritiously sound meal for about $1.50. An experienced local would obviously pay less than me for the meal or the computer, unless he had drunk too much Nigerian Guinness.

A lot of people there already had $50 tablets two years ago. Some even had PCs with Linux.

The problem in Africa is not access to hardware, it is, to some degree, understanding the benefits of the hardware (particularly as compared to the merits of dressing up and partying). However, you could access mainframes in 1963 here in the UK. How many people had a use for a mainframe in 1963? Hell, how many people would have known what one did, even if they were in the computer room? (it was enough to make Ross Perot filthy rich). However, the clothes and parties here in the UK in 1963 were pretty crap unless you were a cabinet minister (see Profumo).

The solution to this problem is time not hardware.

Comment FCC asked questions. Few comments had answers (Score 1) 108

When I first saw the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, I read through it cover to cover. When I prepared my response, I made an effort to answer all of the questions I was competent to respond to. I also made a proposal (in a separate comment) of an alternative to the black-and-white stance, by providing a nice grey option. I've not seen any response to either. And, given the bias of the current Commission, I don't expect to see any discussion of my contributions. Feh.

Comment Re:Reminds me of a friend.. (Score 1) 90

Yes, but if you don't have one at home, then the implication is you have one outside, and quite possibly there is someone you would prefer does not know - some black hats like this kind of opportunity. Some data stores are not particularly secure.

OTOH, you might be doing a favour for a neighbour, and get wrongly accused by the blackmailer - this could lead to a major opportunity for a crime drama - anyone have the number for Bellisarios?

Comment Re:ECC (Score 1) 199

Nearly every modern serious data storage (even some high-range SD flash cards: see Transcend) uses some form of error correction.

You say it like its a good thing!

Error correction works fine for one, or possibly a small number of errors, such as you might get in DRAM, but if you get a lot of errors like on a bad disk or tape, it is capable of munging the data and declaring it fixed. And there is no way to know how many errors you have got. If you have errors, you get another tape out of the cupboard. (You do have more than one backup, don't you?) SD cards? how would you know what's going on inside?

You do not get an algorithm to "fix" the data if its your life on the line (or your $$$). Of course, if its only prÃn, then maybe the fixing might even improve it.

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