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Comment Re:Uh huh (Score 1) 570

Are they? Or are they just realizing that a cluster of redundant, possibly virtualized, machines is just as reliable even if each single machine is not? Two linux boxes with 99% uptime each running the same service redundantly is equivalent to one machine with 99.99% uptime but I bet the linux boxes are cheaper.

Exactly. Hardware and software architectures have changed a lot since 1973. Redundancy that used to be done in one piece of hardware -- "the server" or "the mainframe" -- is now handled by "the cluster". We still have expensive hardware when you look at the servers, network infrastructure, storage infrastructure, clustering and/or virtualization software and monitoring systems. But individually, we can take our pick of vendors for each of these components and that competition is what keeps the costs down.

Our vendors know that they cannot screw us (as, for example, Sun/Oracle does my previous employer) because they will very quickly find themselves with one less customer. There is healthy competition in the marketplace. And we work to avoid vendor lock-in.

We can also identify bottlenecks and selectively upgrade the pieces as needed. The cluster is organic in that regards. Our software runs on the same cluster it did years ago -- but all of the components have been upgraded numerous times, just like the cells in our bodies.

Comment Re:No RHEL/CentOS? (Score 1) 627

Preferred? No. Required? Unfortunately...

I use Fedora at home (preferred) and RHEL at work (required). And I get the same yummy package management system for both. Besides, with the shit I pull on my home desktop machine, the added stability of RHEL isn't as noticeable as the lack of modern packages.

Comment Re:At the end of the day (Score 1) 634

Good point. Really good point. The only counter that occurs to me is: This assumes that these people are smart enough to put such a system in place. My vote would be, No. In fact, the resulting debacle might be entertaining.

Unfortunately, if it can be done, they have enough money to outsource the development to really smart people who can.

Earth

What's Stopping Us From Eating Insects? 655

Lasrick writes "Scientific American has a really nice article explaining why insects should be considered a good food source, and how the encroachment of Western attitudes into societies that traditionally eat insects is affecting consumption of this important source of nutrients. Good stuff." Especially when they're so easy to grow.

Comment Re:How is computer-trading different from telegrap (Score 1) 222

When telegraph was first used to pass data (both trading orders and share price-affecting information) around, I'm sure, it was also seen by some as "dishonest", "unscrupulous", and "disadvantaging small players"...

The difference you are looking for is between "telegraph" and "network", and "human" and "computer", not between "computer" and "telegraph".

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