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Comment DIY (Score 1) 517

I researched Drobo, and found it to waste too much space, not to mention that the network add-on is expensive...and then reduced to usb transfer rates... I have a Buffalo on my desk, and it is ok, but if you need speed, that isn't a way to go. I found that I could buy a real RAID card and roll my own RAID NAS with little trouble and get great speeds out of it. Later I purchased a micro board, it has 6 sata ports, and I have a Software Raid running on Ubuntu server, with all the necessary bits for SAMBA, XFS, CIFS, etc. I have 6 disks all in raid and a Gigabit ethernet...faster than anything I have purchased previously...does a good job too...
XBox (Games)

Submission + - What Game Console? 1

Efialtis writes: "Christmas is coming, and I still have need to purchase one gift for the family. I have decided that it would be a good idea to get a Game Console, not that I or my kids need to sit on our butts more, but because of some of the games that are available for "family" play and other things like the Wii Fit... The problems is, there are 3 real game consoles, and I am a Born and Bread PC Gamer — if I needed better hardware, I simply built it myself. So, what do I do? Playstation 3, XBox 360, or Wii? What do I look for? Type of game, game availability, and game experience? Graphics, internet play, dvd playback (blue ray, etc)? Upgradeability, or when the next version is about to come out? Support and warranty? I know there are as many opinions out there as there are people, but I am hoping to get an idea of the types of questions to ask when trying to decide what Game Console to buy, and which Consoles answer those questions..."
The Almighty Buck

Submission + - Lead and China

Efialtis writes: "There have been a lot of recent news stories about Lead Contamination (paint) in the toys we have been importing from China. It wasn't one toy recall, it wasn't two toy recalls, but a whole lot more (see Toy Hazard Recalls and Toy Recalls). Unfortunately, it doesn't stop there. Bill Gephardt, an Investigative Reporter for Channel 2 News in Utah (Channel 2) recently did a story about lead in dinner ware, plates from (you guessed it) China that contain lead (Lead Dishes In Your Cabinets?, Toddler Possibly Poisoned By Lead Paint From Plates, Lead Plates Followup: Utah Wants To Know!, Lead Plate Story Getting National Attention and Lead Plate Results).
When we heard these stories, we were greatly interested as all of our dinner ware came from China (I bought it at Shopko some 14 years ago), and my daughter has shown signs of lead poisoning. Needless to say, we are now having her tested.
The part that I am complaining about was best summed up by my wife, "We should simply stop buying items from China." What I am interested in: Is it corporate or government greed that prevents us from putting sanctions on China and boycotting the import of their lead contaminated products?"

Submission + - VoIP

Efialtis writes: "After reading the dismal outlook for Vonage (whom I use for phone service), I decided it might be a good idea to seek out an alternative, just in case Vonage pulls a SunRocket.
So I searched and found 3 real solutions:
1) Stay with Vonage, ride it out, see if Vonage survives this and the later attacks for Patent Infringement of "prior art"...
2) Jump Ship and leave Vonage but stay with a traditional VoIP service provider — but this brought in its own questions; which one is better, cheaper, has more features? Vonage has 22 advertised services, and is $24.99 for one line. Comcast has 13 services for $39.95. ViaTalk has 29 services and 2 lines for (roughly) $8.30 (2 year @ $199), QWest has 11 services for $29.99, and AT&T has 9 services for $24.99.
3) Go with the "techie" solution and ditch them all for the basic, no service POTS line, set up an Asterisk box, give myself every available service, and pay $11 a month.
So, what would SlashDot do?"

Submission + - Vonage and Patent Infringement

Efialtis writes: "With all that is going on with Vonage and the patent disputes, I thought I would look back and see what has been said on SlashDot before. What I found was sea of information and poinion, but there is some missing information, some gaps in the timeline...
March 8th, 2007 — Vonage Loses VoIP Case With Verizon
March 23rd, 2007 — Vonage Barred From Using Verizon VoIP Patents
April 3rd, 2007 — Vonage Signs Deal to Escape Patent Infringement
April 6th, 2007 — The End for Vonage?
April 7th, 2007 — Vonage Allowed to Sign New Customers
April 17th, 2007 — Vonage Admits They Have No Workaround
April 17th, 2007 — Prior Art On Verizon Patents
April 24th, 2007 — Vonage Wins Permanent Stay in Verizon Case
May 2nd, 2007 — Vonage and Verizon — Prepare for Round 2
May 10th, 2007 — Vonage May Have Way Around Patent Disputes
June 9th, 2007 — The Dangers of a Patent War Chest
September 25th, 2007 — Vonage Hit With $69.5M Judgement

There does seem to be a bit of missing information...looks like from June through September...
What about the Prior Art?
When did the whole Sprint-Nextel thing come in to play?
What about the Verizon deal — go or no go?
What about the work-arounds?
Is there any Sprint-Nextel / Verizon infringement going on (since they both have patents covering essentially the same thing)?

Is there anyone out there with an informed opinion or more information to fill in the gaps?
Do I need to start looking for another VoIP provider? Or will this spread to the other providers after Vonage is DoA?"

Submission + - Bush and National Security (

Efialtis writes: "With all the controversy caused by earlier national security attempts by the Bush Administration, these next ones make me wonder just what will happen next? Loose more freedoms? Become something of a WWII era Germany?
Bush Tells Congress To Approve New Spy Law
"President Wants A Bill That Modernizes Ability To Eavesdrop On Foreigners", but if we are eavesdropping on foreigners, and those foreigners are communicating with citizens, then aren't we eavesdropping on citizens? Isn't this just a way around the problems with his previous plan; redirection away from the real issue?
Bush Signs Homeland Security Bill
To put it simply...this bill:
  • "Authorizes more than $4 billion for four years for rail, transit and bus security.
  • Requires the screening of all container ships in foreign ports within five years, but give the Homeland Security secretary authority to delay implementation.
  • Establishes a new electronic travel authorization system to improve security for visitors from countries participating in the visa waiver program.
  • Strengthens a board that oversees privacy and civil liberties issues.
  • Establishes a voluntary certification program to assess whether private entities comply with voluntary preparedness standards.
  • Requires the president and Congress to disclose total spending requested and approved for the intelligence community.
  • Provides civil immunity to those who, in good faith, report suspicious activities that threaten the safety and security of passengers on a transportation system or that could be an act of terrorism.
  • Requires the president to confirm that Pakistan is making progress combatting al Qaeda and Taliban elements within its boarders before the United States provides aid to the country."


Submission + - Microchips in Troops Brains (

Efialtis writes: "The military wants to plant a small microchip that will track vital information and biological status into the brains of troops. This will help them if they are wounded or killed in the field. But what about privacy? This is one question asked in the article...can anyone pick up a scanner and get all the information out of someone's chip?"

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