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Comment Re:ALIENS. (Score 1) 220

I was interested in the maximum possible speed, distance between the two points divided by 1.1 ms. Of course speed can be much less; if gravity wave propagation is orthogonal to the line between the two points then the wave should have been detected at the same instant. You might take into account the speed of the Earth and its rotation, but that should be insignificant and it gets complicated. That is why I asked if someone had a more exact (read: better) value :)

Comment Re: What's wrong with using COBOL? (Score 5, Insightful) 217

Who cares about webscale, we're talking big-data-scale. COBOL is not the problem. COBOL, DB2 for transactions, CICS to connect from web-land, nightly dump changes to Hadoop to run queries faster and cheaper. Been there, done that, saved millions (in USD). But nobody is even thinking of converting the 40000-and-some COBOL programs off the mainframe, not cost-effective at all.

Comment Re:I'd say (Score 1) 214

Of course they don't want another Tay, but the fun thing is that apparently is *does* recognize Hitler and then refuses to say anything at all about the picture. Otherwise the bot would just say "a portrait photo of a man", or "a man with a toothbrush mustache". Compare with the last example in TFA when the bot takes a very cluttered image and somewhat correctly identifies it as not exceedingly happy people sitting at tables.

Comment Re:Scary ... (Score 1) 228

It's not continuous, but on all the models I've seen, when the engine is running the key is checked quite often. If you have the engine running and then walk out with the key, the dashboard display immediately displays a warning that the key is no longer in the vehicle. Usually if this condition persists for about 5 minutes, the engine will shut off.

TFA says that "usually" thieves drive away, even refueling while leaving the engine running, to get out of the country and be able to circumvent protections at leisure.

Comment Re:Footprints of old systems (Score 2) 147

In my office we have kept a box of punch cards. The program code names are written on the deck edge (which as a bonus served to check that the cards were in order -- I'll spare you the story about the off-site backup having a traffic accident). The people retiring nowadays tell us that they used punch cards when starting out, but it didn't last long, so in a few years no one in the office will have worked with punch cards . . . but programs with the very same code names still run on our mainframe. I haven't checked if they are identical to the punch card versions, but the code to work out things like the amount to pay every month on a thirty-year mortgage probably hasn't changed!

Comment Re:Causality (Score 1) 99

Came here to say this. I like the FMD diet, it's all about reestablishing correct metabolical function in order to lose weight. I can only like a "diet" that tells you to eat five times a day or more, and that to lose more weight, you need to increase portion size.

Comment Pair sysadminning (Score 1) 186

Pair sysadminning is something I have actually done, and that has its uses. The guy who knows most has the keyboard, and the other guy has one finger tracing the manual's instructions, as well as a notebook where he writes down what happens and why, especially including things that won't be in the terminal session script like "I'll correct that later" or "This value should work, let's check".

But nowadays with Infrastructure as Code and Network as Code and what have you, you check your sysadminning code into git and you do reviews on it!

Comment Re:Email (Score 1) 146

Yes over 2 dollars per megabyte. I shit you not.

Using Sosh (a sub-brand of French Orange, whose client I have been since 1997, even though the monthly price is substantially higher than that of competitor Free), I got two different SMSs when arriving in the US. The voice price was substantially different between the two, but the data price was over USD 13 per megabyte. My fellow travelers use Free, the newest big French mobile phone company. They got an SMS saying that all their voice and data were counted like at home: unlimited with no surcharge, restricted bandwidth after 50 MB in 4G and 3GB in 3G, max 35 days/year/destination/person. For less that 2 MB using the Sosh price, I could have bought a month with Free just to visit the US. I'm wondering why my carrier still has clients.

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