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Comment Why does this nonsense still come up? (Score 4, Insightful) 125

You can name whatever you like whatever you want. No muss, no fuss, no red tape, no nothing.

Achieving a name recognized by somebody other than you is a somewhat more complex problem, usually requiring a certain amount of give-and-take in terms of "I'll accept your stupid idea if you endure mine" type arrangements.

For all the histrionics about it, Nobody was somehow magically anointed the Super Name Czar by some magically authoritative process. Some organizations have their shit together, and any names in a given domain not endorsed by them are pretty much just private nicknames, some don't; but that's it.

Comment Re:If you want to hoard bits... (Score 2) 983

Tape actually works pretty well, it's just that if you are running a small enough system that "Well, obviously, just get another 20TB array and store it at one of your other sites, idiot... On second though, get two extras and put each one at a different offsite location" isn't the answer that springs to mind almost reflexively, you probably can't afford the cost of entry.

An actually contemporary tape drive(and a machine capable of keeping it fed when it is running full bore) is Not Cheap; but the fleabay shit that is cheap tends to offer painfully mediocre capacity and unknown reliability. Disks, by contrast, have a cost of entry that basically starts at zero and scales more or less linearly with the number of disks, unless you absolutely must have them all online at the same time(and even here, you hardly need screamin' hardware RAID for your backup volume, and bulk SATA ports of undistinguished performance are cheap).

Comment Re: Hmmm... (Score 1) 983

I haven't checked; but while Backblaze definitely doesn't back up UNC-pathed SMB shares or (ugh, mapped drive letters), is it smart enough to check whether a disk is 'real' or just an iSCSI initiator pointed at a suitable target? Even the cheap-ass versions of Windows come with a bundled initiator, though the target is server only...

Comment Re:"Tell the families"? Really? (Score 1) 461

A low-altitude controlled flight into terrain(especially the 'clip multiple bits of it' kind, rather than the 'squish. into the mountainside' kind) is a hell of a lot more survivable than just about anything at cruising altitude and almost definitely over water.

It's a pity that they apparently didn't have the tools to distinguish the wreckage of a white aircraft from snowcap at that time (or in that place); but their odds of having something worth finding were a lot better.

Comment Re:Just for a browser? (Score 1) 240

I'm not sure why GIMP originally wanted a Toolkit; but Gtk mostly emerged because Qt was proprietary at the time. Given that, for all its failings as a toolkit, Gtk, possibly along with other factors that coincided with it(I'm perfectly willing to listen; but don't know of any offhand) succeeded in getting GPLed Qt. I think Nokia even LGPLed Qt part of some aspect of their flailing-death-spiral strategy.

That, to the best of my understanding, is what confuses people: Qt is generally considered superior to Gtk, is now LGPL, and is generally well liked; so why would somebody say 'Well, Gtk has issues, so I'm going to make my own Gtk; but better!' when they could just use Qt?

Comment Re:Makers and takers (Score 2) 676

I apologize if I didn't express it clearly; but the punchline of my thinking is this: Unlike some countries that operate welfare states (the northwestern European ones, say), which have fairly broad political agreement on the fact that that's an OK idea, and so do a lot of their welfare spending 'in kind' (things like healthcare, education through college, sometimes various housing schemes) because it is not politically toxic to do so, the US has a welfare state; but is far more conflicted about that. This tends to cause such (highly visible and vulnerable) 'in kind' programs either to never make it to production or to get shot down; which means that most of the redistribution ends up happening just by cutting people checks directly (under a varied and ever-shifting collection of programs and excuses) which is easier to sustain, in the face of lacking political support and poor odds of long-term support, than would be programs that involve funding institutions rather than throwing checks at people.

Comment Re:"Tell the families"? Really? (Score 1) 461

At least for the ones where you don't have to send down the fanciest in research ROVs to scour multiple square miles of deep ocean floor, I suspect that the materials science and structural engineering people probably have a wish-list of Very Important Bits that they'd like to examine in detail; but it certainly wouldn't increase the motivation to go hunting.

Comment "Tell the families"? Really? (Score 5, Insightful) 461

As much as penny-pinching on safety systems is a bad habit, is the emotive "zOMG, Tell the Families!!!" really the best argument that there is for these systems?

It's been what, over three days now, with an aircraft that disappeared from radar at commercial cruising altitude without so much as a burst of garbled obscenities from the flight crew. Do you think that your family is clinging to those little flotation-device pillows, awaiting a rescue that would have come in time if only for upgraded real-time blackbox transmission?

If anybody derives some sort of comfort from whatever they do manage to find, all the better; but this is all trying to recover data for failure analysis, not survivors.

Now, if you want to justify real-time transmission, check out the amount of (incidentally not paid for by the airline) search gear that has been diverted from Malaysian, Chinese, and other sources to looking for the debris. Whole bunch of ships, airplane and helicopter overflights, diversion of what, 10 satellites? That starts to make the $100k look like savings.

Comment Re:Makers and takers (Score 4, Insightful) 676

Yet if you point this fact out, you lose a presidential election...

Actually, there may be a confounding factor (this is a hypothesis, anybody who has real numbers is welcome to step forward to argue for or against):

Assuming you aren't inimically opposed to the concept of the welfare state (whether because you think that it's actually a good idea, or whether you think that it's relatively cheap insurance to keep a fundamentally capitalist economy with slightly higher tax rates to buy off the proles, irrelevant), the state basically has two options for 'redistribution':

1. Actually comparatively high taxes on individuals and corporations, used to fund a variety of not-directly-cash public services(eg. national health system, cheap or free education, etc.).

2. Avoid the flack associated (in the US) with robust public-sector offerings, and sneak in your social welfare spending primarily in 'emergency' programs (WIC, etc. which pay in scrip; but have nontrivial USD value once you discount them for being able to purchase only certain classes of goods) and in 'hand up for the virtuous poor' type things ("earned income tax credit", assorted subsidies for small business loans, edging up to programs that are basically a sop for the middle class, like mortage related deductions).

Now, lest anybody misinterpret me on this point: I Think It Is A Bad, Bad, thing that nontrivial swaths of the US population are basically so damn poor that the only cash worth squeezing out of them is sales taxes and check-cashing joint fees. However, barring a solution to that problem, it would be my contention that (like our absurd 'We should really have universal health care; because our current system is an utter clusterfuck delivering bad results for crazy high prices, and tying workers to their jobs; but universal health care is commie socialism, so let's have a crazy arrangement where the government 'launders' universal health care(at a tidy markup) through the incumbent private insurance companies!') our 'let's see if we can get some of the benefits of a welfare state without courting the unpopularity of calling it that, and without the clout to do anything about the ever-widening wealth gap' approach has left us with a singularly dysfunctional creature, neither fish nor fowl.

Comment Re:Fourth Amendment (Score 5, Insightful) 186

Is it not more unreasonable that we have five million people (out of a total of just under 320 million, with labor force size ~155 million, unknown percentage of that with characteristics that make them getting a clearance rather unlikely) involved in Super Secret Uncle Sam Stuff?
br> I'm less interested in crying for the poor, poor, clearanceholders and more interested in why a touch over three percent of the US labor force spends its time pushing classified paper.

Comment Re:Ethernet syndrome (Score 1) 82

The one major difference between (contemporary) ethernet and wireless scenarios is that, now that switches have pretty much 100% replaced hubs, 'shared media' issues tend to occur only between a computer and its switch, so there really isn't as much pressure for research on elegant coexistence. Yeah, a bit of QoS algorithm tweaking; but 'How can we allow 1Gb, 100Mb, 10Mb, and 4800bps transmissions to coexist on a single hub and set of cables?' just isn't a relevant question. Everybody hates shared media, and switching got cheap, so we just skipped it.

With wireless, ye olde luminiferous aether is all you get, barring waveguides which are unlikely to be a big hit in the mobile device market. It isn't so much that Joe User's cellphone needs to be able to download super l33t fast, it's that there is a strong incentive to wring as much total bandwidth out of the spectrum available as we possibly can, not primarily to support silly stunts by single devices; but to get more devices with moderate performance running in the same area without falling in a screaming heap.

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