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Comment Small fruit (Score 5, Insightful) 133

This is interesting.

When I first got my MacBook Pro, I read several articles about how well Windows ran on it once you installed the BootCamp drivers. Back then, the MacBook Pro was arguably the best hardware out there, with a retina display, multi-touch touchpad, and with current processors.

Contrast with today, where Apple has not refreshed the hardware for some time, and are letting OSX seem to rot in place. Now, the best hardware arguably comes from Microsoft, and people are hard at work making sure Linux runs well on it.

Strange times indeed... What's next?

Comment About time! (Score 1) 176

Buses are notorious for slurping fuel and stopping every few blocks. Every time I've seen the thick black cloud of smoke as they pull away from a stop, I'm reminded that they're a prime candidate for regenerative braking. I'm glad to see Tesla taking the effort to scale their technology to a platform that could greatly benefit from it. I hope they do well. Even if they're not plug-in hybrids with huge battery banks, just the ability to reuse the kinetic energy of braking would be huge.

Comment Re:Nothing New (Score 3, Insightful) 180

This only seems new because it at least appears they aren't doing it for financial reasons, but instead are doing it for a real public good.

It used to be that companies feared the government over all; that they would do whatever the government asked them to do, never mind how their customers felt about their actions. The old companies, like AT&T and Verizon (formed from other baby Bells) to name a few, still do, as is evident by their complicity in citizen surveillance.

Now, it seems, the customers are finally able to exert some control on a company's actions. They're still doing it for financial reasons, but they finally are recognizing that it's the customers, not the government, that ultimately choose their fate. Plus, without that customer revenue, they can't buy their legislator.. er, I mean promote a favorable business environment through campaign funding.

It's not that they're doing it for a real public good; they're doing it out of self-preservation. It's still for financial reasons..

A sad thought: do we have the millennials and their easily offended, scorched-earth culture to thank for that?

Comment Re:D state, waiting for kernel (often blocking io) (Score 1) 233

Funny you mentioned this. I was recently using Intel software raid (isw, aka fakeraid) to mirror my root flash drives. Big mistake! The dmraid package, on closer inspection, says, "DO NOT USE; Not production quality." The flash drives would hiccup (still don't know why) and "sort of" drop out of the RAID. I say sort of because, near as I could figure, they'd completely stop responding to IO, but the kernel would still queue IP calls to them. I'd end up with a slew of processes in state D, mostly cron, and if I didn't catch it in time, it would fill the process table with them.

It was weird in that, often I could still ssh to the machine and run some programs, but anything that pulled lots of blocks from root or try to flush to root would go into state D and never return. That includes, oh, shutdown, reboot, init, and the like... :( I was able to load an IPMI utility and tell the PMU to reset the system, though, and it would come up like nothing ever happened.

The solution was to delete the RAID metadata block and reboot, which switched the root mount to the underlying device instead of the devicemapper. No more RAID, but no more strange diskIO issues either. With a little resize2fs and fdisk magic, I could then repartition the non-used mirror drive as an mdadm mirror, reboot onto it and sync to the other to regain my redundancy.

Good times!

Comment Re:Decline public money (Score 1) 143

That's what I was thinking too. To say there's a left and a right side implies that there are two equal sides, not one group based on science and reality and another "side" with tone deaf zealots who eschew facts and reality for internal monologue and self-reinforcing religious beliefs. But that's just my opinion...

Comment Re:Windows backdoor confirmed. (Score 1) 389

So this is as good a place as any in this thread to remind some of the difference between espionage and surveillance. The simplest way I've heard it explained is that surveillance tracks who you call and when you call them. Espionage, on the other hand, listens in on your conversations.

Whenever people say things to the effect of, "it's just meta-data," please explain this comparison to them and point out that meta-data is surveillance. It doesn't have to be full-on espionage to qualify as an invasion of privacy.

It's sad to see Microsoft has tied themselves so closely to the income stream they must be generating from the meta-data (aka metrics) Windows 10 collects. Whether it's from advertisers or surveillance agencies, I can't say, but to stick to their guns so intransigently in the face of such withering public criticism is an indication how much that income must mean to them... They're figuratively hoisting themselves with their own petard.

Sir Gates' latest comment simply confirms to me what I already believed.

Comment Spot on (Score 1) 190

I think the article is spot on. I like the RPi, and have several, but by the time you buy all the supporting equipment, it's no longer the bargain it sounds like. The article shows clearly to all that the main CPU is no longer the expensive component of a total working system like it was for the PC era.

Many complaints about the article compare it to the effort computing took back in the TRS-80 dayz. While it may be comparable in difficulty to what we had back then, it misses the point that this is supposed to be an entry system for poor, casual users and unsophisticated beginners, not hard-core nerds like me and apparently many of the complainants.

If the designers were more savvy, they would have put a full-size male HDMI plug on the end and a female USB A on the other, with a minimal clamshell cover it all. Think Chromecast or Intel Compute Stick form factor.

If the device can work on back-fed power from a connected powered hub like the original RPi, that's even better as it eliminates another power supply and cable. Vendors could even advertise as RPi power compatible! Once you've found a suitable powered hub, all you'd need is that and a keyboard/mouse. And the display, of course.. and the MicroSD card.. and a USB WiFi or Ethernet device if you want to get online..

I really wish they would provide serial console access via the micro-B "power" port, too. I'd love to have a working system that I can power and talk to from my laptop. In fact, I'd love to have a whole server farm of them!

Yes, with all that, you'd overshoot the $5 price point, but the total cost would still be lower without the need for the HDMI and OTG paraphernalia... those cost more than the CPU itself now. If you could walk into a library with a small handful (RPi, microSD, and a powered hub) worth less than $20, power up the hub, plug it into their monitor/KB/mouse, and get your own login prompt, imagined the possibilities!

C'mon, kids! Sell your $150 sneakers, buy some $90 ones instead, get three RPi sets with your cash, and rope two of your nerdy friends into playing with you.

Comment Re:What's so hard about R-Pi mounting? (Score 1) 197

I would add that a setup like this can be a help drawing talented analysts to your operations center. People who like the Raspberry Pi are often the passionate type who live and breathe IT and security.

If I were working in (or running) such a place, I'd be enthused about setting up and maintaining a cluster of RPis, and would probably be staying late to just fiddle with it and test things out... Giving analysts a secondary project like that keeps them interested, gives them a sense of ownership, and helps to avoid analyst burnout.

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