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Comment Re:Moronic Subject for an Article (Score 1) 110

Java is the new COBOL

So your CFO and auditor can read it?

I don't think you understand the point of COBOL, which is "while it is very long-winded and a struggle to write, it is possible for lay people to read, and (at least the evidence suggests) maintain 50 year old code after the original author has died".

If you write COBOL, you probably spend two days reading the background info and requirements docs for every ten minutes you spend writing code anyway.

Good luck getting an accountant to understand 50 year old Java.

Comment Re:Cloud Based Backup (Score 1) 350

Say this with me folks: CLOUD STORAGE IS NOT RELIABLE NOR IS IT SECURE IN ANY WAY!!!!!

Bullshit.

Good providers are at least as reliable as your local drives. They could fail, but so could your local backups... and when your house burns down, the odds that your backup service provider dies at the same time is miniscule (barring some planet-scale catastrophe, in which case you probably won't care anyway).

As for security, encrypt if you're worried about it. Personally, there's nothing in my backup data that's particularly sensitive, so I don't bother. Most of the backup services automatically encrypt everything anyway.

Comment Re:RAID is not backup (Score 1) 350

The problem with cloud-based solutions is that the cost for backing up several terabytes of data is typically several orders of magnitude higher than building your own RAID array

Nonsense. One order of magnitude more, at most. On-line storage costs are on the order of $100 per TB per year. There's no way you can build and maintain your own solution for $1 per TB per year, which would be two orders of magnitude less. "Several" orders of magnitude would be at least four, putting you in the range of a $0.01 per TB per year. Even $10 per TB per year would be tough to reach, if you want any redundancy, and if you value your time at all -- and while you're amortizing the cost of your up-front hardware investment over several years in order to get close to that level, on-line storage costs will continue dropping, so at the end of those years the savings would be even smaller than they appear now.

Plus, backup storage which is located on-premises is inherently inferior to off-site storage, because a whole range of disasters that take out your primary storage whack your backup, too. Fireproof safes are a partial solution, but not a complete one... and not a cheap one.

No,the best approach is to use a cheap, unreliable, local backup, not bothering with bunkers or safes or even much redundancy, plus use an online service. The local copy is your normal recovery source, the online service is your final fallback.

Personally, I just replicate my data to a couple of local machines (the machines are there anyway, so throwing a little more storage in them doesn't cost much) and keep another copy on Google Drive, which is $120 per TB per year, but I managed to get 1 TB free (in perpetuity) as part of some promotion, and I currently have just under 2 TB of data that I care about (mostly photos), so my net cost is about $60 per TB per year for the online component, plus another $25 per year for an extra 4 TB drive that cost $100 and I expect to get four years out of (will probably go longer, but could die sooner).

Upload time sucks, but only for the initial upload, which I did two years ago. After that, incremental additions are pretty negligible. A full restore from the remote copy would take a long time, but I can easily get individual files on an as-needed basis. Actually, I find I use the remote copy quite frequently to grab particular photos or files on various devices, so it provides some functional value as well as disaster protection.

Comment Re:see what the Union free work place get's you! (Score 5, Interesting) 272

Where independent unions are banned.

Basically when China and Russia gave up on socialism, they created a version of capitalism in the image of what they imagined capitalism to be; not the kind of liberal society you find in advanced Western democracies with their regulated market economies and worker's rights guarantees.

Comment Re:indigenous? (Score 2) 49

Indigenous means "originating where it is found", or "naturally occurring in a particular place". It can be used referring to individuals, groups of people, flora, fauna, minerals -- pretty much anything. It shares many of the same dictionary definitions as "native".

The word usage problem is using "indigenous" for an artificial, mobile invention, which is a bit unusual. You wouldn't say "indigenous airplane" because it's not something naturally found in a place or confined to a place. That would be an unusual usage, but people would understand what you meant -- you'd mean "domestically produced".

Comment Re:Patent indemnity (Score 1) 236

How can a license grant a patent indemnity on a patent you do not own?

You obviously can't grant licenses on patents you don't own. As a downstream recipient, you get protection from patents owned by the upstream contributors. It can't do anything to protect you from third party patents.

Also, GPL3 is somewhat nebulous on the question of whether if you write any GPLed software, everybody downstream gets indemnity for all your patents, regardless of whether you interacted w/ them or not.

I think it's quite clear. Everybody downstream gets a license for all of the patents which you use in the licensed work, regardless of whether you interacted with those parties or not. It doesn't affect any other patents you happen to own.

The only real subtlety, I think is, for downstream re-distributors, who have to grant patent licenses for code they didn't write, and those grants effectively flow upstream as well as down. Of course, the license doesn't *force* them to grant those licenses, any more than linking proprietary code to GPL'd code forces you to GPL your proprietary code. It's just that choosing not to license the patents (or GPL the relevant code) means that you have no right to distribute, so any distribution you did constituted copyright infringement. Well... in the case of patents it may also mean that you implied a license which probably means that you can ask users to either pay or stop using, but can't go after them for any past infringement. And, of course, it also means that you lose the right to use and open yourself to infringement suits for your past, present and future use.

Of course, all of that only comes into play if you intend to enforce patents against others. The clear goal of GPLv3 is to discourage software patents, which I wholeheartedly support (even though my name is on a few).

Comment Re:Eh, was this necessary? (Score 1) 171

Well, it depends on what your research objectives are. ISS is in some ways a better model, in some ways a worse one. It's better in that it's in space with microgravity, but ISS crew members rotate in and out. Even if individuals spend the equivalent time of a Mars mission on the ISS there will be new faces, a constantly changing research workload, and the ever-changing panorama of the Earth below.

So it's not a very accurate model of the social dynamics of a Mars mission where people are cooped up in a can with the same faces, same scenery, and nothing but busy-work to keep them occupied. Let's say we lick the radiation and microgravity problems; the question then becomes what kind of people can successfully negotiate the trip to Mars, arriving ready to work successfully there?

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