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GUI-Based Asset-Tracking Tools For a Datacenter? 113

toruonu writes "How do you keep track of what's in your datacenter, where it is, what it's connected to and what is it doing right now? I mean I have built a datacenter from scratch over the years and I have machines from Sun, IBM, HP, Supermicro. I have machines that are simple workernodes and machines that are heavy grade storage consolidation machines. Then there are tens of switches, some for interconnect, some for management and don't get me started on the UPSs etc. So how does one keep any kind of decent track of such a system as the current form of twiki pages with various tables just doesn't cut it anymore and I'm looking for a freeware solution that could actually show me a visual representation of the various nodes in the racks, their connections and dependencies. Just to give a simple example, if I'm going to disconnect UPS #3 right now and swap switch #5, which machines should I even consider taking offline?" (The best-looking such system I've seen was being used at OSCON at a display booth for the Open Source Lab, and I think it was home-grown. Anyone who can shed light on that system?)

Space Exploration Needs Extraterrestrial Ethics 162

An anonymous reader writes "Professor Andy Miah notes there's already international government policies taking hold on outer space — and a need for new ethical guidelines. 'For instance, what obligations do we owe to the various life forms we send there, or those we might discover? Can we develop a more considerate approach to colonizing outer space than we were able to achieve for various sectors of Earth?' And what rights do astronauts have? 'Could our inevitable public surveillance of their behavior become too much of an infringement on their personal privacy?' But more importantly, professor Miah notes that 'the goods of space exploration far exceed the symbolic value,' pointing out that 'A vast amount of research and development derives from space exploration ... For example, the United Kingdom's 2007 Space Policy inquiry indicated that the creation of space products contributes two to three times their value in GDP.'"

Comment Re:Bad news all around (Score 1) 427

"I mean, if I build a chair and sell it, my family gets the money I made from selling the chair. Similarly, my family gets any money I made off of a copyright. However, when I die, they get nothing more from the chair but they get to ride my copyright until it expires or, more realistically, they die?"

Look, I believe in copyright on the scale suggested in the Constitution. Nevertheless...

If you build a chair and die before you sell it, the chair passes to your family, which they may then sell. Allowing copyrights to pass to heirs serves exactly the same purpose as allowing material items to pass to heirs; it allows the full value of the thing inherited to be realized by the family, whether the creator is dead or alive. The crucial difference between the chair and the copyright is that the full value of a copyright is not realized in a single transaction.

Comment Re:a network not a jurisdiction (Score 1) 102

If Kentucky wants to ban gambling within its border, its certainly within its right to do so, just the same as Spain can ban gambling insides its border.

Well, actually it's not gambling per se that the current administration wants to ban here; after all, Kentucky is one of the (if not just THE) world's premier Thoroughbred breeding centers, and we have always had racetracks that have always made the bulk of their revenue off the wagering of their patrons. We also have a state lottery. Indeed, the current administration wants to actually have casino-style gambling (which is banned here) *made legal*, both for government revenue and to prop up the racetracks.

What the government of Kentucky does want banned is Kentuckians gambling at out-of-state internet sites, because we can't make a buck off that. So they told those sites to take steps to prevent Kentuckians from using them, or they'd take action; the seizing of the domain names constituted that action. Presumably what will happen eventually is that the administration will realize what they can and cannot do, and another category will show up on our state income tax forms requiring us to pay tax on money wagered out of state, in addition to that we already have to pay on untaxed out-of-state purchases.

As for whether Kentucky has a Constitutional right to prevent out-of-state entities without a Kentucky presence from selling services to Kentuckians, that is a matter for the courts to decide. As to whether it's unthinkable, it's not that different from France's case against eBay over the sale of Nazi memorabilia a few years back.

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