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Submission + - Erich Bloch, Who Helped Develop IBM Mainframe Dies At 91

shadowknot writes: The New York Times is reporting that Erich Bloch who helped to develop the IBM Mainframe has died at the age of 91 as a result of complications from Alzheimer's disease. From the article:

In the 1950s, he developed the first ferrite-core memory storage units to be used in computers commercially and worked on the IBM 7030, known as Stretch, the first transistorized supercomputer. “Asked what job each of us had, my answer was very simple and very direct,” Mr. Bloch said in 2002. “Getting that sucker working.” Mr. Bloch’s role was to oversee the development of Solid Logic Technology — half-inch ceramic modules for the microelectronic circuitry that provided the System/360 with superior power, speed and memory, all of which would become fundamental to computing.

Submission + - SPAM: Amazon's Trucker Net

xtsigs writes: Back in the day, we had what we called the "Sneaker Net" in which we would transport data from one machine to another on disks, tapes, or drives. Now, Amazon is using big rig trucks with 14 foot containers (which they dub snowmobiles) to move up to 100 petabytes per trip from Amazon's customers to Amazon's cloud. "Ten Snowmobiles would reduce the time it takes to move an exabyte from on-premises storage to Amazon’s cloud to a little less than six months, from about 26 years using a high-speed internet connection, by the company’s calculations." (Wall Street Journal)

Submission + - researchers develop artificial leaf that turns CO2 into fuel (

managerialslime writes: University of Illinois at Chicago researchers have developed a way to mimic plants’ ability to convert carbon dioxide into fuel, a way to decrease the amounts of harmful gas in the atmosphere and produce clean energy. The artificial leaf essentially recycles carbon dioxide. And it’s powered entirely by the sun, mimicking the real photosynthesis process.

Comment Wrong issue...take off the blinders. (Score 1, Informative) 403

It's never been the ability to run Linux programs on Windows that's kept me from moving to Windows 10, I can build just about any program designed for Linux to make use of Windows...perhaps with a bit of code fiddling depending on how ingrained Linux support was made. What keeps me from swapping to Windows 10 is the fucking back doors that MS wants to run by default....and the fact that Windows 7 still runs quite well inside the sandbox.

Comment Re:Didn't we already try some of this with Wii Fit (Score 1) 182

When a game starts feeling like work, I stop playing the game. One reason I hate achievement whoring. "Great, I've beat the story of the game and know all there is...let's go back and run this level over and over 300 times to get that achievement that requires just the right button pushes at just that immediate right time..." Had a roommate play Destiny that way... Just seeing the same areas over and over in passing was enough to turn me completely off even trying the game.

Comment Re:No beeping please (Score 3, Funny) 361

Yo Dawg! I heard you like Teslas, so we filled an MP3 player with Tesla's greatest hits, have its amp powered by a small Tesla coil, and connected that to a generator powered by the wheels of a Tesla Model S. So now you can drive your Tesla to drive the Tesla that drives the player that plays the Tesla with the driving beat!

Comment Re: Where have I heard that before (Score 1) 609

Actually, while you're right about the state and local changes with final bindings... Electing the president isn't quite so straight forward. The short of the procedure for Presidential voting is that when we hit the polls, we're telling the Electoral College for our State/District what our personal vote is for who we want to have as our National Leader. Most of the time the College will place their voice in line with what the popular vote tells them... but they don't have to. There have been 4 times in American History when the Electoral Votes went against the Popular Vote; including the 2000 Election year when Bush held 271 Electoral College Votes to Gore's 266... but Gore had 540,000 more of the popular votes.

And on a more individual level, the college is directed to only treat the popular votes they receive as a strong suggestion of which way to vote for. It's entirely possible for an individual Electoral College member to be given the popular vote for one candidate, but decide to go against that suggestion and place its counter in for the opposite candidate.

Comment Re:What about Emergencies? (Score 2) 76

The way my company does it for my team is we have a rotation where we each cycle on-call for 2 weeks where we're expected to remain within signal range of a cell tower and within 30 minutes of either being able to login to the VPN or travel to the office itself. As compensation, we get paid $25 / day (in addition to our regular salary) just for holding onto the phone... and then if there's ever an issue off-hours we get paid for the time taken to solve the issue. If it's one of those things where we just need to kick off a normally automated task and review the output of that task to see if it ran, we are allowed to log the entire time it took for the task to run in 1 hr intervals. As an example, we get alerted that a task didn't run for whatever reason. We can login, log our start time, kick off the task and set up whatever alert needs to be created to let us know it's completed, and logoff (note: we do not log the end time yet). If we get the alert 10 minutes later that the task completed, we login again; check the results; log our end time if the results look good, and logoff knowing we're getting paid for a full hour extra. If the task runs for 3hrs and 1 minute...we get paid for 4 hours.

This method has helped to keep the team morale high, and while we dread having the phone, we take comfort in knowing that the rotation will take about a quarter to quarter and a half to get back around to us again after we complete our round, and we'll get bonus pay that makes it more than worth it.

Though I like this package very much (for obvious reasons) it does go way above my expectations. Whenever I interview for a company I always ask if on-call will be a requirement and what their compensation is. If they don't at least pay extra for the periods when you're expected to carry the oc phone it's an automatic walk... the level of compensation given for when an event actually occurs is negotiable but I will usually require some kind of time-based comp. If they want to say they'll pay me an extra hour a day just for being on call and that serves as a credit towards any events that may occur that day..fine, I'll go with that. I suppose it could kinda screw me if something happens at 23:01 and it takes me until 00:57 to get it sorted, but events should be happening so infrequently that such a thing shouldn't be a heavy inconvenience.

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