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Comment HP can't sell enough servers... (Score 5, Interesting) 385

We are a small shop and we are running 3 VMs on a single HP Proliant G7 Server. It has enough memory and resources that it could probably run an additional 7 VMs if we wanted to. HP is having to face the reality that the people are buying less hardware because realistically the ratio of VMs to servers is high as 10:1. HP is trying to gouge customers on the warranty because they can't make it up in server sales. Our Proliant DL380 G7 hit the 3 year mark a few months ago and is now out of warranty. The additional cost of the most basic warranty (4 hours/day phone, no onsite) for a single Proliant server is approximately $3000 for three years. That is easily half the cost of the server. And that's the cheapest warranty option. Don't even ask about the 24/7 onsite warranty. This change effectively kills the secondary market for HP hardware. Denying access to firmware means that it will be next to impossible to install or update your OS. I've had to run the HP SPP firmware upate several times to address issues that would otherwise have rendered our Proliant server useless. In fact I have an unresolved issue with our server where it refuses to reboot to the OS, unless I boot from the HP SPP tool first. If I need a critical firmware update in the future, the only option may be the Piratebay. Ugh If HP doesn't reverse this decision, our next server will most likely be a Dell. Unless Dell decides to follow HP into the dark side as well.

Comment Re:Build your own... (Score 2) 248

A Vista 20p panel is a good recommendation. If you don't want to go the wireless route for the keypands and sensors, then stick to the wired 6160 Honeywell keypad. The 6160 has a larger display then the other keypads, which makes gives you more characters for reading the sensor names, and makes programming easier. As far as wired sensors go, the two most important in my opinion are the door contacts and motion sensors. With these two types of sensors you can create an effective coverage that would detect most thieves. You can sign up for cheap monitoring with the Vista20p. Some monitoring companies have their own smartphone apps, that will let you arm/disarm your system with your phone, run reports for which sensor was tripped, etc.

Comment This is a known issue (Score 5, Informative) 424

Tesla Model S uses a proximity sensor to detect the key fob in your pocket and extend the door handle with a motor:

To quote from an article:

"From the instant you walk up to the Tesla S and the door handles motor out of the door, you know this isn't going to be like any other car you've ever driven. You open the door and the air conditioner has fired up, and your music is already playing. You put your foot on the brake, shift into gear, and you are off and running. There is no âoestartâ button. When you arrive, you just get out of the car; it turns itself off and locks up as you leave."

Tesla originally had a sleep mode for the inboard computer that was supposed to consume around 1%/day. But they found that the sleep mode often resulted in the car not detecting the key fob. So they disabled it until they could patch it. Not surprisingly, it sucks a lot of power while its sitting in non-sleep mode waiting for someone to walk by with the right key fob. If they had stuck with a manual door handle and a push start button for the engine, then the idle power issue would never have come up. In any case, Tesla is working on it and will resolved it eventually.

Submission + - Tesla Model S has Bizarre, 'Vampire-Like' Thirst For Electricity At Night (

cartechboy writes: The Tesla Model S, for all its technical and design wizardry, has a dirty little secret: Its a vampire. The car has an odd and substantial appetite for kilowatt-hours even when turned off and parked. This phenomenon has been dubbed the "vampire" draw, and Tesla promised long ago to fix this issue with a software update. Well, a few software updates have come and gone since then, and the Model S is still a vampire sucking down energy when it's shut down. While this is a concern for many Model S owners and would be owners, the larger question becomes: After nine months, and multiple software updates,why can't Tesla fix this known issue? Tesla has recognized the issue and said a fix would come, yet the latest fix is only a tiny improvement--and the problem remains unsolved. Is Tesla stumped? Can the issue be fixed?

Comment Re:Friends don't let friends use Magento. (Score 1) 60

I was drawn to Magento because compared to most other open source shopping cart it appeared to be the most polished one out there. But after installing it, and trying to figure out the backend, I ended up in the forums. Most of the discussion turned out to be people asking for help for things which should have been trivial. I was amazed at the totally obtuse and confusing steps to do most things. The community developers were few and far between, probably because coding any plugins was so much harder than it needed to me. I've tested many carts and Magento ranks really high among all of them for complexity, and not in a good way. Its too bad cause Magento offered some features that is usually only available in very expensive carts, such as multi-store support and powerful attribute modifiers. I experienced the performance issues that have been mentioned earlier, and it appeared the only way to get it to an acceptable level was to use a dedicated server.
PC Games (Games)

Blizzard vs. Glider Battle Resumes Next Week 384

trawg writes "You paid for it, you have the DVD in your drive and the box on the floor next to your desk, but do you own the game? That's the question the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals will rule on next week in the case between Blizzard, publisher of World of Warcraft, and MDY, publisher of the Glider bot. The Glider bot plays World of Warcraft for you, but Blizzard frowns on this, saying it voids the license agreement — you don't own the game, you only have a license to use it, and bots like Glider invalidate the license. The EFF has a good summary of the case as well. The case is due to be resumed on Monday."

Comment Don't forget security... (Score 1) 456

I was in the same shoes after my web host (for several years) got their server hacked by some script kiddies. When I ran a security scan (using Acutenix) I found that pretty much all the server software was out of date: Apache, MySQL, Php, etc. I sent a report outlining the results of the scan to the web host, and they told me that they would "investigate". Needless to say I started looking for another host immediately, and settled for HostGator. They passed several of my requirements:

1) Security: A scan showed that the server was up to date, patches had applied, no serious vulnerabilities, etc.
2) Customer Service: Friendly, helpful and available after hours.
3) Price: Very cheap for shared hosting. The higher tier, such as VPS, were also very reasonably priced
4) Bandwidth & Storage: They advertise unlimited, which I've always been wary of, but their CEO posted an explanation for marketing unlimited which I found reasonable. After several months with around 100GB of traffic, I've run into no problems. The only real limitation they claim is limiting you to the number of files to around 250K.
5) Reliability: They advertise a SLA of 99.9% which is still a couple of hours every year, but I haven't run into any downtime yet in the few months I've used them.


World's Tallest Building To Open Monday 360

dtmos writes "The Burj Dubai ('Dubai Tower' in Arabic) is scheduled to open to the public on Monday. Its height, claimed to be 824.55m (2,705.2 feet), but believed to be 818m (2,684 feet) — either way, more than half a mile — makes it far taller than Taiwan's Taipei 101, which had been the world's tallest skyscraper at 509m (1,670 feet)."
PlayStation (Games)

Fallout 3 DLC Coming To the PS3, New Content Announced 71

Bethesda has announced that their packs of downloadable content for Fallout 3, previously only available to Xbox 360 and PC owners, will soon be coming to the PS3. "Operation: Anchorage will be released for PS3 in late June, followed by the release of The Pitt and Broken Steel 4-6 weeks apart." They also confirmed the existence of new DLC packs that will arrive on a similar time frame. Point Lockout will allow players to "explore a massive new swampland area filled with new quests and content," while Mothership Zeta lets you "experience an alien abduction first hand and find out if you're tough enough to survive."

Comment Re:Part of the problem is Ego. (Score 3, Informative) 685

I agree, it has more to do with the nature of the job making IT people arrogant asses. If you are working in IT for a mid-sized company, you are probably coming in contact with a lot more people than in most other professions. Most of these people are faceless, being either behind a phone or an email, so they appear less like actual people and more like "users". These users exhibit all multitudes of behavior, from embarrassed & apologetic to rude & impatient. They are solely calling you to do something for them, while expecting to give nothing back, other than maybe a quick 'thanks, you are teh bomb, blah blah'. Sometimes they ask you to do something trivial, or something impossible (with your limited resources and time).

Frankly these users are technically less competent than you. They are usually clueless to the effort involved in carrying out the requested task, and completely oblivious of time constraints that you may have due to other job responsibilities/tasks. You may perform a minor miracle and no one will understand why it was a miracle. For every stupid question you answer, you are asked a dozen more stupid questions. No amount of hand holding will ever make the "users" any smarter. Even the most affable-natured IT person is worn thin by the constant barrage of requests, especially ones coming from irate users. In the end, you learn that no amount of effort is ever going to make the users happy, so you learn to adapt. You get of your ass and only make an effort when the requests comes from the big bosses or those that you report to. For all other users you adopt a policy of minimal support. If it is not an emergency, you find a way so you do the least amount of work. The longer you are at the job, the better you become at this. And so you become an arrogant ass (in the eyes of the users).

So how to get IT people to work for you? You can get the big bosses to light a fire under their ass, and they will work for you, admittedly grudgingly. Or you can find a way to differentiate yourself from the other faceless users. Be extra nice, let them know that you are a real person by showing your face. Always thank them, and let them know that you value their time, even if you think its their job to be helping you. Of course you may do all this and get nowhere. In that case go back to tip #1.

And yes, I've done my bit in IT.


The Best Games of 2008 109

As the year comes to an end, most game sites are putting up lists highlighting their favorite games of 2008. Gamasutra is no exception, but they've nicely consolidated a variety of lists, and included some of their reasons and commentary to go with them. The topics range from the best overlooked games (Soul Bubbles and Pure) to the best new gameplay mechanics (first-person parkour in Mirror's Edge and Spore's procedural content generation) to the best overall games of the year (Fallout 3, World of Goo, and LittleBigPlanet). What were your top games of 2008?
Role Playing (Games)

Fallout 3 Launches Amidst Controversy 397

Earlier this week, Bethesda released Fallout 3 after a long campaign of defending and protecting the game's reputation from claims that it contained inappropriate content. Ads for the game in Washington DC's subway system were pulled after they upset some touchy travelers over the depiction of post-apocalyptic Washington landmarks. Shortly before the game's release, early trailers were removed as well. Earlier this year, the game was banned in Australia for its in-game use of morphine, causing the drug's name to be changed to Med-X. On the issue of sensitive content, Bethesda's Emil Pagliarulo wrote in Edge Magazine about the design decision to disallow the killing of children in the game. Gamasutra ran an opinion piece on the same subject, and the Washington Post discusses the role of Washington DC in Fallout 3. On the DRM front, the game does come with SecuROM, but Bethesda says it's only used for a disc check. Reviews for the game have been overwhelmingly positive so far, despite reports of bugs with the save system and occasional lock-ups.

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