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Comment Re:Fourth Amendment (Score 1) 186

Unfortunately, what you avoid in union management you gain in contracting company executives and shareholders...

Even if you derive so much pleasure from stepping on workers that it's illegal in 14 southern states, that's an expensive way to get rid of some unions...(and that's the best-case scenario, the cost-benefit looks worse if you don't.)

Comment Re:If you want to hoard bits... (Score 1) 983

There's also the matter of your expected retrieval case: tapes almost certainly beat HDDs in the archival timeframe, so suck it up and pay up; and they (if reasonably modern) can be alarmingly fast at the linear reads and writes associated with doing full restores or fast backups of data that have been suitably lined up to be shoved onto tape.

On the other hand, they are almost perversely non-random-access(doubly so if you are talking about a multi-tape set with library swapping, more than doubly so if you are talking about a multi-tape set larger than your library can handle with junior-admin swapping), so the 'somebody fucked up, they need File X to be like it was three months ago' scenario sucks.

Nearline or consumer SATA on undistinguished controllers aren't quite as zippy; but they might as well be a RAMdisk compared to tape if you are doing small-scale restores, though probably not as fast if de-icing a much larger dataset for wholesale restoration of multiple systems.

Comment Re:Workaround? (Score 1) 126

On phones that use Samsung's RIL; but either custom firmware or substantially-modifiable rooted firmware, the SELinux capabilities that they (fairly recently, was it 4.2?) could presumably be used to nuke most of the risk. Assuming it uses the filesystem commands at all, the legitimate day-to-day uses are presumably a few specific 'we were too cheap for NVRAM' locations that (if not documented, should at least be empirically determinable) you could then restrict it to.

Now, if you just need a few megs of cheap storage and don't want to bump the BoM, building an arbitrary filesystem access mechanism seems so sloppy and unconcerned with actual security as to make me wonder what else they fucked up; but SELinux is pretty powerful, if a pain, at granular lockdown of lousy or dangerous software.

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.

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