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Comment Bezos was a computer science wiz before books (Score 1) 231

I guess you're unfamiliar with Bezos and unfamiliar with how and why Amazon began. Books are not what makes Amazon special. The idea of books came after Bezos designed the system that makes Amazon special.

Bezos studied engineering and computer science at Princeton, graduating magna cum laude.
He then went to work doing IT for Wall Street . From beginning to end, he's been about expanding computer technology. He didn't build infrastructure in order to sell books, he used books and other easily shippable products to monetize a computer based distribution system. You may notice they sell a heck of a lot more than books - because books are an readily replaceable accessory to their actual business. That's why they don't write books, they buy them because books are not what makes Amazon special.

The idea for Amazon came to him while he was traveling a across the country and he heard that the supreme court ruled internet sellers don't have to collect sales tax. He decided to combine that with his skill at building large scale infrastructure and put together a mass market system selling stuff on the internet at a discount. What to sell using the system he designed? It should be valuable enough to ship. You don't sell concrete or soda online, shipping would be a problem. Electronics have high value per pound, but quickly lose value in the warehouse. The post office has a special extra low shipping rate for books, so books were good product to start with. The product was chosen to fit the distribution infrastructure. The infrastructure wasn't built to put his (nonexistent) bookstore online.

Comment sounds like a winner. haven't used (Score 1) 285

--checksum sounds like a winner. I may need to review man rsync, then see if we should be using that anywhere.

>OK, I haven't actually used btrfs (or any other fs with similar snapshot/CoW capabilities

Neither have I, but I don't think we're supposed to admit that on /. I think we're supposed to act as though we're experts on things we've never seen before, since this is Slashdot.

I have read the code for copy-on-write snapshots used by lvm and my understanding is that it's essentially similar.

Comment Duh, I replied to "6 years ago". U prove sequester (Score 1) 160

I replied to the person who said today's deficit is half of six years ago. So I compared today to six years ago.

You wouldn't have a reading comprehension problem would you? No, not you.

Reagan won his election in a landslide because interest rates were around 21%, unemployment was 7.5%, and inflation was high. Reagan made some investments to cut interest rates in half, decrease taxes by $15,000 per family, slash inflation, reduce unemployment, and win the cold war.

Obama spent the same amount of money to - let his donors retire from their bogus solar companies. There's a difference between borrowing a mortgage of $100,000 to buy a house vs. throwing $100,000 in the camp fire. I have to believe you're smart enough to understand that.

Comment increased by $200 billion = down by half? 40% incr (Score 1) 160

2008 deficit: $458 billion
2013 deficit: $680 billion
2014 deficit: $744 billion

> Maybe you should make it a personal mission to learn about this stuff instead of just repeat dumbass headlines?

Perhaps you should. Rather than venturing to comedycentral.com on that mission, may I suggest you start with http://www.treasury.gov/ and http://www.cbo.gov/

Comment Doesn't matter. Become enterprise SW company? (Score 1) 231

I don't think it matters that their leadership _can_ do it. Do they _want_ to become an enterprise software company?
If not, it's a distraction from the goal. If they want to be an electric car company, they should focus their energy on electric cars, not email, SAP, staplers sandwiches or anything else they _could_ build.

Disclaimer - Some have posted that SAP is CRAP and there is no reasonable alternative. I find it hard to believe that there is no off-the-shelf software to fit the need, but if so, that would justify building it, just because they have no reasonable alternative.

Comment But starting over eliminates unjustifiable expense (Score 1) 160

You have a point, but there's an important counter-point. The way the federal budget works for most projects, each year it's assumed that each project will get 104% of the spending it got last year. So in 1960 they approve $DUMB_IDEA. Fifty years later, $DUMB_IDEA is still eating away at your paycheck, with a budget ten times as high as the initial experiment. If you start with an across-the-board cut* and then look at which programs should have funding restored*, that means someone has to look at $DUMB_IDEA and either let it die or be responsible for continuing it.

Sure, some dumb ideas will stick around. Others were proposed by and for the Senate's most powerful member, Robert KKK Byrd, and kept going for decades because it was money for his state (or often, his ego). Now that Byrd is dead, some of his pork can finally be ended by the review process that will be required to expand the budget past the general cuts.

* "cut" in government parlance means an increase of 1% rather than 4% - still an increase.
      "restored" meaning "set to grow quickly, rather than slowly"

Comment Custom for core, not custom trashcan, word procssr (Score 2) 231

"exactly meets the needs of the business" is important for some things, a huge waste of time and money for others. Those "some things" where it matters are generally the core competency of the business - what sets them apart from competitors. Google search needs a database that exactly meets their needs for searching a huge database. MySQL won't meet their need. For 99% of businesses, building a custom database engine would be stupid - MySQL, MS SQL, or Oracle would meet not only their current needs, but also their future needs.

Future needs can be a huge hidden expense for custom work; you've saddled the company with a requirement to build 2.0, 3,0, etc. on down the road if your business is built on something custom. So you should ask yourself "does the next company down the block have a similar need as we do?" If so, you and the company down the block should probably be sharing the development cost by both buying the same off-the-shelf software. You don't custom design your own trash cans, and most software is the same - yours should be about the same as the other guy uses.

If off-the-shelf software provides 95% of what you need but you need 5% custom, that's where FOSS is a perfect fit.
You get 95% of it done, tested and ready to go, for free, and you just develop the 5% that you need special.

Comment Nor for Tesla next year. Build, Buy, FOSS (Score 2) 231

Given that they only spent a few months on it and don't have experience building broadly applicable SAP systems, we can be pretty certain you are correct in this statement:

> Their system is probably custom-tailored to their business processes. Not only would it not be appropriate for many other businesses ...

It's probably still true if we change a few words:

> Their system is probably custom-tailored to their current business processes. Not only would it not be appropriate for many other businesses, including Tesla a year or two from now, ...

Generally, you should build within your core competency, and buy generic systems for generic tasks.
Tesla should design their own cars, especially electrical subsystems of the cars, but buy trashcans, spreadsheets, and SAP.
Their SAP needs aren't that different from the next company down the road.

In a gray area, where you need something customized to your needs, but it's mostly the same as what other companies use, FOSS fits the bill. You get the 95% of common functionality free, then build the 5% that's unique to your needs.

Comment nanoseconds. It's jitter that counts (Score 1) 176

With interrupts disabled latency in measured in nanoseconds. Of course for most applications, jitter matters more than latency. that is to say, if you know the latency is 100ns, you execute the instruction 100ns sooner. With USB, latency could be 100ns or 10,000ns, it's not consistent, so you can't control the timing.

Comment Dell doesn't run robots, calculators aren't arithm (Score 1) 176

Two reasons. One, on the desktop it's hard to get into the programming that gets kids excited. A "robot" that handles your pet feeding chore for you is way cooler than printing words on the screen.

When I was a kid, we still cooked pudding, which had to be stirred non-stop while it cooked . I built a machine that did the stirring.

Also, while Python is very useful, there are things you won't learn with Python. Like learning basic arithmetic before you use a calculator, anyone working with technology benefits from understanding what's going on at a lower level and the Pi encourages learning about bits and bytes and how they relate to real things happening in the real world - motors spinning, lasers flashing, etc.

Some people who have only worked at a high level don't think they'd gain much, but most who learn are glad they did. You CAN drive without knowing what brake pads are, but a professional driver who knows what happens when he presses the pedal will have a distinct advantage in the mountains, where brake pads can overheat and fail. If you know how your car works, you'll know if a noise means "pull over immediately" or "change the pads this month". Programming is the same. Understanding low level as well as high makes someone a much better Python / .Net / Perl programmer.

Comment If you insist on those terms, a relay (Score 1) 285

> Backups are rotated on two drives at least, and they shouldn't be both online at any time, in case of power surge or lightning, or even hacking of the backup server.
> The only way I see to achieve this, with one backup site, is to have backup drive B physically disconnected while backup drive A is plugged.

> How could it be fully automated ?

If your backup facility isn't protected from lightning and you can only have one facility, that does make it harder.
Given those requirements, I suppose one could use a relay on the power line. For the data line, I guess you'd need something
that includes chips like http://www.mouser.com/Semiconductors/Switch-ICs/Analog-Switch-ICs/_/N-7590c/ and I good alternate path to ground.

Comment SOME incremental, including rsync/btrfs (Score 1) 285

You make some good points. I think this statement deserves some clarification because after you said it, you mentioned why it's not wholly true:

> This is not a problem with using btrfs snapshots to perform incremental backups -- it's a problem with incremental backups.

It's a problem with SOME approaches to incremental backups. As you also said:

> then do an rsync into that incremental backup with --ignore-times

That's one way to do incremental without the "corrupt forever" problem, it works as one type of validation.
So incremental can be done without that problem.

> fakery ... to make each incremental backup *look* like a full backup.

Indeed, btrfs snapshots and some similar approaches *look* more comprehensive than they are. It's a trap for the unwary.

Comment Checksums with a custom scrub job can detect some (Score 1) 285

Indeed btrfs checksums with a custom scrub job could detect some types of corruption, corruption that occurs after the backup.
By default, the btrfs scrub will try to recover the bad block when it's read. For this use case, you need it to delete or at least touch() the file.
That would be the "not without a solid validation regime anyway" part of my post.

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