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Comment Re:Fire suppression (Score 1) 88

It varies over time. When I started working in data centers, almost 18 years ago, it was all halon gas, which is lethal to humans,so we all learnt the evacuation procedures pretty well! Then they moved to isolated sprinklers.... the sprinklers would only activate in the vicinity of the detected fire, thereby only destroying 2 or 3 racks rather than the whole room. Now, I think they've gone back to gas.

Comment Re:Here's a suggestion: (Score 1) 283

I don't have or want an iPhone, but I do have an iPod Touch. When I have internet connectivity on it, multitouch is awesome. Or even when I'm just showing off photos, being able to zoom in and out of web pages and photos so easily continues to amaze me after over a year of using the thing.

I am not a "fanboy", and haven't really seen any of the Android stuff, or other alternatives, but... I really think multitouch is a great innovation - not a gimmick.

But simple things like typing text, and looking up contacts continue to suck on the iPod Touch/iPhone. Hence, I'll stick with my bog standard Nokia phone for .... the phone stuff.

Comment Re:Not good enough. (Score 1) 370

But nobody stores stuff on 1,000 DVDs; they use tape storage, which maxes out at 1TB per tape.
Who wouldn't trade 2 random access 500GB discs that can be switched out in seconds for a 1TB tape that takes 62 seconds to mount? Everybody would and will.

I do agree with your point, except the everybody bit. It depends on the market and what type of data you're talking about. On the corporate backup system I look after, we fit over 2 TB on a tape, which costs about $100. It takes about 15 seconds to load and another 10-15 to locate to any position on the tape. When you're talking about backing up multi-terabyte databases, 30 second access time is not a big issue. I see up to 160 MB/sec throughput, with hardware compression. That's 160 MegaBYTES per second. The drives are rated to about 250 MB/sec, so I think the bottleneck is our crummy old 2Gb/sec FC switch. And tape is rewritable. There are several thousand tapes in our libraries.

Admittedly, the drives cost in the tens of $thousands, and the robotic library in the hundreds of $thousands. But my point is, I can't see everybody abandoning tape for holographic storage in the near future.

Comment Re:Here's praying... (Score 1) 207

>>there is more Solaris in the market place then Linux.

>That depends on what segment of the marketplace you are talking about.

Agreed. I work for large enterprises too, and most places I see are involved in some kind of "RISC to Intel" migration.

And by "RISC to Intel", I don't mean "Solaris on RISC to Solaris on X86". It's Solaris and HPUX to Linux.

I don't necessarily like it, but that's the way it's going, from what I see.

Open Source Chat Bridge Between Virtual Worlds 43

wjamesau writes "The Parallel Selves Message Bridge, a new addition to the code forge of OpenSimulator, the 'Apache for virtual worlds,' makes it possible for users within one OpenSim world to send IMs to users currently logged into another Second Life-compatible world. In the future, technology like this could make it possible to keep in contact with friends in other virtual worlds and MMOs without having to log out. Imagine orcs and space commandos existing in alternate realities but still in contact!"

Involving Kids In Free Software Through Games 33

SynrG writes "Platinum Arts Sandbox puts into childrens' hands the ability to role play in a 3D world and edit that world using simplified controls. The expressions on the faces of our kids as they played were priceless; both the ups and the downs. I wanted to capture this on video and share it. After having established a rapport with upstream, we took a 20 minute clip of one of our play sessions and gave a copy to them to use to help further their work. Here is the edited result. They were very pleased to have that kind of feedback and found the video valuable for determining where the software still needed improvement and to notice which aspects particularly pleased the children."

Comment Re:Timing is everything (Score 1) 465

The number one, top tier, highest revenue producing application at the company I work for is single threaded. It was originally written about 15 years ago, and I guess they didn't think multi-threading was worth worrying about at the time.

It used to be OK - CPUs kept getting faster. As the work this application needed to do increased, so did CPU operations per second, so they'd just upgrade the RISC based servers.

But now the few CPU developers left are concentrating on more cores, rather than faster processing per core (Moore's law? I guess). Multiple cores doesn't really help a single threaded application.

The company has outsourced all of their development to India. They know they need to rewrite the whole application to be multi-threaded, but they've got a snowball's chance in hell of this happening with their current developers.

Comment Re:Frist? (Score 1) 465

I'm not a programmer. I'm an architect / sysadmin type person.

First monitor - Putty, Word, Visio, or the admin GUI for whatever system I'm looking after at the moment.

Second monitor - either Outlook, or tail -f /var/log/messages. It depends what I'm working on.

Comment Re:stiffy (Score 1) 131

I have seen one of those massive floppies in real life.
Until just recently, I saw one of these massive floppies almost every day. I had it pinned on the partition behind my monitor. It was right next to my 3380 disk platter, and my (much later) quote for 300GB of SCSI disk for about $USD500,000.

It was my own mini-museum of data storage.

Yeah, I'm nostalgic. *shrug*

Sidenote for anyone who knows what a 3380 was (or is interested) : I once new a guy who used a 3380 HDA as a base for a glass coffee table.
Real Time Strategy (Games)

Rights To Virtual Property In Games? 167

With the rise of MMOs and other persistent environments over the last decade, the trafficking of virtual game property has become a multi-billion dollar industry. Regardless of whether the buying and trading goes on with the blessing of the content provider (or, in many cases, the owner of the account in question), the question of players' rights to virtual goods is coming to the forefront. The Escapist Magazine takes a look at how some companies are structuring their EULA in this regard, and what some countries, such as China, are doing to handle the issue. "... the differences between China and the West in this case have more to do with scale than cultural norms. So many people play online games in Asia — and play them so intensely — that social problems in meatspace society inevitably emerge in virtual worlds as well. ... The general consensus, therefore, is that paradigm shifts like the ones that have already occurred in Asia will inevitably come to the West, and with them, the need for legislative scaffolding that keeps us all from killing each other."

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