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Comment Re:How is the delivery made? (Score 1) 213

More than direct-to-customer deliveries, I see Amazon using this for a next-to-the-last-mile distribution network. Basically, extending their distribution network out one level to the retail storefront scale. In this model, drones would take packages from regional distribution centers to customer-facing pickup locations (i.e. the retail storefront). In such a network, the drone could drop the package in a chute on the roof of the pickup facility, to be manually or automatically sorted for pickup. In a fully automated system, you could use robotics to move the package from the receiving area to a passcode-protected pickup box (like a post office box).

The customer experience would be:
1. buy on
2. receive order confirmation with access code
3. wait some time (4 hours?)
4. travel to pickup location
5. locate box & enter access code
6. retrieve package

Technically much simpler than figuring out doorstep delivery (which has endless complexity... single family detached homes, multi-unit dwellings, awnings/hanging pots/other obstacles, etc.) and it keeps the drones out of "people space".

Comment Re:Funny thing: testing is not that important... (Score 1) 118

I can't believe this was modded so high. The point that testing is the wrong place to detect architectural flaws is spot on. The idea that the "only thing that helps is very capable and experienced ... get it right by intuition" is flawed. While I'm not going to knock expertise, modeling and simulation should be the preferred way to analytically determine whether something will work in complex systems. "Serious" engineering realizes the limitations of humans to reason about problems. Would you drive across a bridge that was designed without formal analyses based on empirically determined testing data?

Comment m0n0wall Shaping (Score 1) 520

  1. Buy one of these: PC Engines WRAP (1e203)
  2. Install this on it: m0n0wall
  3. ...
  4. Profit

Seriously, though, all you have to do is hook up your wireless access point to the DMZ port and enable traffic shaping on that network interface. There are apparently fancier things you can do, but I just configure inbound/outbound bandwidth limits). Quite simple, and it's all through a friendly web GUI!

Here's the documentation (sorry, no screenshots) that describes how to configure the shaping:

The Internet

Submission + - The Wrong Cloud ( 1

Red Leader. writes: "MAYA Design just released an excerpt from one of their forthcoming books as a white paper. The paper offers a different perspective on cloud computing. Their view is that cloud computing, as currently described, is not that far off from the sort of thinking that drove the economic downturn. In effect, both situations allowed radical experiments to be performed by gigantic, non-redundant entities. This is dangerous and the paper argues that we should insist on decentralized, massively-parallel venues until we understand a domain very, very well. In the information economy, this means net equality, information liquidity, and radically distributed services (and that's pretty much the opposite of "cloud computing" as described today). While there is still hope for computing in the clouds, its hard not to wonder if short-term profits, a lack of architectural thinking about security and resilience, and long-term myopia aren't leading us to the wrong ones."

Creating a Low-Power Cloud With Netbook Chips 93

Al writes "Researchers from Carnegie Mellon University have created a remarkably low-power server architecture using netbook processors and flash memory cards. The server design, dubbed a 'fast array of wimpy nodes,' or FAWN, is only designed to perform simple tasks, but the CMU team say it could be perfect for large Web companies that have to retrieve large amounts of data from RAM. A set-up including 21 individual nodes draws a maximum of just 85 watts under real-world conditions. The researchers say that a FAWN cluster could offer a low-power replacement for sites that currently rely on Memcached to access data from RAM."

Chimpanzees Exchange Meat For Sex 313

the_therapist writes "A team from the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Germany, studied chimps in the Tai Forest reserve in Ivory Coast and discovered that chimpanzees enter into 'deals' whereby they exchange meat for sex. Among the findings are that 'male chimps that are willing to share the proceeds of their hunting expeditions mate twice as often as their more selfish counterparts.' They also found this to be 'a long-term exchange, so males continue to share their catch with females when they are not fertile, copulating with them when they are.'"

Comment CoMotion (Score 1) 180

General Dynamics offers a product called CoMotion that allows you to visually explore your data and find interesting patterns and trends.

CoMotion is a commercial fork of Visage, a collaborative visualization platform designed at Carnegie Mellon University and MAYA Design:

Comment I thought it sucked. (Score 2, Insightful) 370

I gave Solaris 10 more than a fair shake a few months ago (with an eye on its ZFS support) when I had a hard drive fail. I worked pretty hard at getting it to run and really didn't get very far. Note: I've been using Debian for almost 10 years now -- so I'm pretty biased.

From what I remember there was an astroturfed Sun-staff-only developer community, little information available online, slow as hell boot time, ZFS boot partition complications, and a broken KDE (the X server didn't work correctly; I have absolutely ZERO problems, even with 3D here in Linux).

And when I looked ahead to maintaining the system (the VAST BULK of where overhead is spent) I didn't see anything that looked as sane or easy as Debian. No incremental updates, just some arcane BSD-esque 'port' or .tar.gz package system (excusable for the rare unpackaged Perl module, but unacceptable for the whole damn system). I'm quite admittedly not very knowledgeable about BSD and Unix, but damn those systems seem like a bitch to maintain. And Nexenta simply wasn't there yet.

Solaris 10: pass.

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