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Comment Some anecdotes (Score 2) 510

We've got a fair number of SSDs here. Failures have been really rare. The few that have:

#1 just went dead. Not recognized by the computer at all.
#2 Got stuck in a weird read-only mode. The OS was thinking it was writing to it, but the writes weren't really happening. You'd reboot and all your changes were undone. The OS was surprisingly okay with this, but would eventually start having problems where pieces of the filesystem metadata it cached didn't sync up with new reads. Reads were still okay, and we were able to make a full backup by mounting in read only mode.
#3 Just got progressively slower and slower on writes. but reads were fine.

Overall far lower SSD failure rates than spinning disk failure rates, but we don't have many elderly SSDs yet. We do have a ton of servers running ancient hard drives, so it'll be interesting to see over time.

Comment Re:Canada will keep the USPS alive (Score 4, Informative) 131

DHL is probably another good one - their fees are pretty reasonable (similar to Canada Post's), but very few American companies support DHL as a shipping option (probably because it sucked inside the US - despite being close or is the #1 worldwide carrier).

DHL ended US-to-US delivery in 2009. They have a service where they'll use the USPS for local delivery, but it's expensive and slow. They also don't do pickup service (for any destination country) in many parts of the US now, so they've made it really hard for US companies to use them. Not all of it is their fault, but it's hard to use DHL if you're in the US now.

Comment I worked with Steve (Score 5, Informative) 89

I worked at Williams/Bally/Midway/Atari/etc in the late 90's. I worked in the coin-op video game division, where Steve was across the street in the pinball division. Occasionally he'd swing by our building, and had a fondness for the game system I was working on, so he'd sit at the test machine outside my office and play for quite a while. He always had this knack for making what sounded like the simplest suggestion, yet it actually being a profound change that took it to the next generation.

He'd walk into my office and say "You know, I like (game X) a lot. Have you thought about adding (feature Y)? It's probably a lot of work, but maybe worth it?" and an hour later we were smacking our foreheads as to why we hadn't thought of that ourselves. There's no doubt in my mind how he could look at something like a flipperless pinball machine and figure out how to take it to the next level. It's something I really wish I could do more often myself.

He was a great guy, and one of the most patient people I've known. He'll be greatly missed.

Submission + - McAfee [Enterprise] Pwns XP systems everywhere (

Heretic2 writes: About 9:50AM all the XP machines in my office started rebooting, and coming up with an error "DCOM: something" followed by "Windows is going to shutdown." and no ability to login. Our IT personnel figured out this was caused by a bad .dat from McAfee pushed in an update (forums posts deleted no links). IT personnel then figured out how to reboot into safe mode, remove the bad McAfee .dat file, and disable MCAfee but it's a manual process across hundreds of computers for us. Luckily I wasn't using WindowsXP.

Submission + - MPAA Kills Anti-Pretexting Bill

Lawst writes: Wired is reporting how a "tough California bill that would have prohibited companies and individuals from using deceptive "pretexting" ruses to steal private information about consumers was killed after determined lobbying by the motion picture industry."

The bill won, which approval in three committees and sailed through the state Senate with a 30-0 vote encountered unexpected, last-minute resistance from the Motion Picture Association of America.

From the article: "The MPAA has a tremendous amount of clout and they told legislators, 'We need to pose as someone other than who we are to stop illegal downloading'"

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