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Submission Summary: 0 pending, 14 declined, 6 accepted (20 total, 30.00% accepted)

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Submission + - NASA Goddard Open Sources Core Flight Executive (cFE) (

Dishwasha writes: NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC) has released their Core Flight Executive (cFS) application development and runtime environment.

The cFE is one of the components of the Core Flight System (CFS), a platform and project independent reusable software framework and set of reusable software applications. There are three key aspects to the CFS architecture: a dynamic run-time environment, layered software, and a component based design. The combination of these key aspects along with an implementation targeted to the embedded software domain makes it suitable for reuse on any number of NASA flight projects and/or embedded software systems.

Submission + - Is non-USB flash direct from China safe?

Dishwasha writes: I recently purchased a couple 128GB MicroSDXC card from a Chinese supplier via Alibaba at 1/5th the price of what is available in the US. I will be putting one in my phone and another in my laptop. A few days after purchased, it occurred to me there may be a potential risk with non-USB flash devices similar to USB firmware issues.

Does anybody know if there are any known firmware issues with SD or other non-USB flash cards that could effectively allow a foreign seller/distributor to place malicious software on my Android phone or laptop simply on insertion of the device with autoplay turned off?

Submission + - Should I buy or should I wait?

Dishwasha writes: I am once again in the market for a laptop. The last laptop I purchased was a little over 3 years ago and it has served me well. One mistake I made when I purchased my last laptop is I didn't pay attention that the new up-coming USB 3.0 was almost released, a choice I have since regretted that could not be solved by installing a USB 3.0 ExpressCard (due to the underlying chipset not supporting USB 3.0).

I am aware that the new Skylake architecture will support DDR4 but I find memory improvements to be fairly negligible and Skylake is at least 1.5 years away. Graphics chips will continue to improve, but I am not really looking to do any intensive gaming on this laptop. Are there any other new up-and-coming technologies that I should be on the lookout for that should stay my purchasing hand?

Submission + - What would you use as an alternative to walking/jogging/running for commute? 3

Dishwasha writes: I am about to move to a house that is just close enough to a local metro rail station that walking to the metro station and back becomes a compelling option for commuting to work. Based on the city I am in and the location I am moving to, it is not going to be practical to drive in to work, plus it will be possible and advantageous for me to reduce our household to just a single car. On the downside, the amount of walking I will have to do will encompass about 25 minutes of my total daily commute time. I am considering getting a Razor electric scooter which should save me at least 15 minutes daily and will easily fold down to where I can stick it under my seat while riding the metro. This will of course make me stick out like a sore thumb, but isn't the least attractive option either. I'm sure many of you will recommend I get the extra exercise but please rest assured that I am in good health and stay fit, so I am simply looking for a way to improve my commute time. Also riding the bus is a less attractive option from a time standpoint and would increase my total cost of commute.

Are there any other electric solutions that you recommend that would decrease the time to get from my new residence to the nearby local transit system? Something like a Segway will not be practical since it will not reasonably fit on a metro rail. I'm open to anything from a discrete solution to something zany and uber geeky. I would also be interested in hearing what other contraptions or solutions commuters in similar situations are doing instead.

Submission + - Experience with Free To Air

Dishwasha writes: Just a few days ago I incidentally discovered a little known secret called free-to-air. Amazingly enough even in the depths of /., there appears to have been no postings or discussions about it. Just like over-the-air programming, there is free programming available via various satellite systems that only requires a one-time cost of getting a dish and receiver. Both Amazon and Ebay appear to have a plethora of hardware out there. I personally settled on the Geosatpro MicroHD system with a 90cm 26lbs light-weight dish (queue lots of comments about my describing 26 lbs as being light-weight) and I should be receiving that in just a few days.

I'm curious, who else is using satellite FTA on /.? What are your setups? Has anyone hacked on any of the DVR/PVR devices available? Besides greater access to international programming, what are your channel experiences?

Submission + - What do you do to stay fit? 1

Dishwasha writes: What do you do to stay fit? Probably like many of you, this code monkey has lead a fairly sedentary life consisting most on fritos, tab, and mountain dew. Every time I attempt to incorporate exercise in even the most modest amount it never really seems to work out. "Just do it" or joining and going to a gym just doesn't seem to work and with time being my most precious resource at this point, I would like to incorporate exercise in to my daily work process. Our office recently switched to standing desks, which is great, and I would like to possibly bring in a flat treadmill that fits under the standing desk, but my bosses have balked unless the equipment is whisper silent. We are a small business in a traditional office park with no exercise facility. Do any other geeks out there have a similar set up and would like to share what they use to stay heart healthy and improve circulation during their work day? What other ways do you incorporate exercise in to your geeky or nerdy lifestyle?

Submission + - Best wireless keyboard for gaming

Dishwasha writes: Over the years I have tried out various wireless keyboards and mice and although I have found decent wireless mice, but have failed to find a decent wireless keyboard that doesn't have a lag between when the key is pressed and movement is registered in FPS style video games.

Does anybody have any recommendations for a gamer quality wireless keyboard? Can anybody also recommend a gamer quality wireless keyboard with good range (I would like it to work 8-10 feet away from the transceiver? Feel free to throw in mice recommendations as well since some day I will have to upgrade from my good old Logitech G7.

Submission + - How would you build a micro satellite?

Dishwasha writes: "After reading about the possibility of an earth-link planet "only" 12 light years away, I instantly thought about the possibility of sending an amateur micro satellite. Although such a thing would not reach 12 light years in my lifetime, perhaps the satellite would be a legacy that I could hand over to my children and they to their children, etc. From my perspective, the sooner we start sending out probes in to the universe and the more we send out, the earlier the start we get in exploring the universe beyond just our singular earth perspective.

A fellow co-worker of mine turned me on to the CubeSat standard and apparently there are commercial space companies that will launch CubeSat systems from their payload for a modest fee.

Is anybody in the /. community involved in amateur micro satellite systems? How would I go about getting involved at an amateur level? Are there any amateur user groups and meetups I can join? I have limited background in all the prerequisites but am eager to learn even if it takes a lifetime. Any links to design and engineering of satellites would be appreciated."

Submission + - GlusterFS 3.3 Released (

Dishwasha writes: A bit belated, but the long awaited GlusterFS 3.3 has been released. GlusterFS is an open source, fully distributed storage solution for the world’s ever-increasing volume of unstructured data. It is a software-only, highly available, scale-out, centrally managed storage pool that can work with POSIX filesystems that support extended attributes, such as Ext3/4, XFS, BTRFS and many more.

Major features also quoted from the website:
* Unified File and Object storage – Blending OpenStack’s Object Storage API with GlusterFS provides simultaneous read and write access to data as files or as objects.
* HDFS compatibility – Gives Hadoop administrators the ability to run MapReduce jobs on unstructured data on GlusterFS and access the data with well-known tools and shell scripts.
* Proactive self-healing – GlusterFS volumes will now automatically restore file integrity after a replica recovers from failure.
* Granular locking – Allows large files to be accessed even during self-healing, a feature that is particularly important for VM images.
* Replication improvements – With quorum enforcement you can be confident that your data has been written in at least the configured number of places before the file operation returns, allowing a user-configurable adjustment to fault tolerance vs performance.

Submission + - Exercising lemon law on laptop 1

Dishwasha writes: Have any slashdotters had any luck exercising their right to declare their computer a lemon and get the manufacturer to refund or pay for third-party cost of repair?

I recently purchased a brand new laptop for my wife and it has had the same intermittent problem from the beginning. We just received it back from its second repair and in both cases the RMA department performed up to a 24-hour "burn-in" test, declared there was no problem and sent it back even though I specified that the intermittent problem can take up to a week to reproduce. I explicitly asked for the problem part to be replaced for the second RMA and they completely ignored my demand. They have also refused to send me the part so I can repair it myself. I have asked to have this escalated to a manager but have been told they MIGHT call me back and refuse to follow my instructions in favor of their own inadequate troubleshooting steps. At this point I am tired of having my time taken up with this and believe it is unfair to my wife to have her relatively brand new laptop sent off for 2+ weeks at a time.

I am in Texas and understand that each state may have specific laws and procedures for declaring a lemon. I've goggled for Texas Lemon Law and came up with this informative article. It mentions "Texas Lemon Laws ... provide for compensation to Texas consumers of defective automobiles ... and products including ... computers and other consumer appliances and products" yet the rest of the information seems primarily tailored to motor vehicles. If the rules are the same I would qualify for the 30-day test depending on the interpretation of "a substantial problem". If not, I guess I will have to give them two more chances for repair which puts my wife out another month at a minimum without her laptop.

I will attempt to research the legislation myself, but would welcome any constructive tips on making sure all the correct bureaucratic things are done to minimize delays. I would also be interested in hearing of any success stories regarding declaring a computer a lemon and getting the manufacturer to reconcile fiscally.
Open Source

Submission + - Which OSS Clustered Filesystem should I use?

Dishwasha writes: "For over a decade I have had arrays of 10-20 disks providing larger than normal storage at home. I have suffered twice through complete loss of data once due to accidentally not re-enabling the notification on my hardware RAID and having an array power supply fail and the RAID controller was unable to recover half of the entire array. Now, I run RAID-10 manually verifying that each mirrored pair is properly distributed across each enclosure. I would like to upgrade the hardware but am currently severely tied to the current RAID hardware and would like to take a more hardware agnostic approach by utilizing a cluster filesystem. I currently have 8TB of data (16TB raw storage) and am very paranoid about data loss.

My research has yielded 3 possible solutions. Luster, GlusterFS, and Ceph.

Lustre is well accepted and used in 7 of the top 10 supercomputers in the world, but it has been sullied by the buy-off of Sun to Oracle. Fortunately the creator seems to have Lustre back under control via his company Whamcloud, but I am still reticent to pick something once affiliated with Oracle and it also appears that the solution may be a bit more complex than I need. Right now I would like to reduce my hardware requirements to 2 servers total with an equal number of disks to serve as both filesystem cluster servers and KVM hosts.

GlusterFS seems to be gaining a lot of momentum now having backing from Red Hat. It is much less complex and supports distributed replication and directly exporting volumes through CIFS, but doesn't quite have the same endorsement as Lustre.

Ceph seems the smallest of the three projects, but has an interesting striping and replication block-level driver called Rados.

I really would like a clustered filesystem with distributed, replicated, and striped capabilities. If possible, I would like to control the number of replications at a file level. The cluster filesystem should work well with hosting virtual machines in a high-available fashion thereby supporting guest migrations. And lastly it should require as minimal hardware as possible with the possibility of upgrading and scaling without taking down data.

Has anybody here on Slashdot had any experience with one or more of these clustered file systems? Are there any bandwidth and/or latency comparisons between them? Has anyone experienced a failure and can share their experience with the ease of recovery? Does anyone have any recommendations and why?"

Submission + - Improve cell phone reception indoors

Dishwasha writes: I just bought a snazzy new 4G CDMA cell phone that works great, but inside my house the reception is spotty. As soon as I walk outside I've got plenty of bars. What is the best and what is the cheapest way to extend the signal in to my house?
It's funny.  Laugh.

Submission + - Best April Fool's joke

Dishwasha writes: If you really want to pull off a good April Fool's joke, post an article on the front page apologizing that due to major glitch in the system, all the UIDs for all /. users had to be reset and were done so randomly. If ya'll could do some tricks to spoof people's UIDs, that would make it totally awesome.
Data Storage

Submission + - NAS/SAN Redundancy

Dishwasha writes: "There seems to be a lot of chatter about NAS and SAN storage and there is a lot of consensus on using FreeNAS or OpenFiler, a multi-drive controller, and a redundant RAID level, but what insight does the /. community have on providing greater live redundancy than just the disks and power supplies? Using RAID-10, you can effectively stripe across controllers for controller redundancy, but is there any redundant controller solutions for RAID-5/6 without doing RAID-51/61 (RAID-5 hardware, RAID-1 software) and duplicating a lot of disks? More enterprise-level equipment has two data paths to the physical drives themselves as well as redundant storage processors, is there anything like this available on the open market? How about platform? The AMD Opteron platform allows for dedicated RAM per-processor, but is there any hardware or software that will safely migrate process-0 to a second processor and keep the system operational? The Linux Hotplug CPU project seems to be accomplishing this; has anyone safely used this on an x86/x64 platform? What hardware did you use and were you able to achieve full redundancy during a processor failure?"

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