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Comment Re:How could you fall for this? (Score 1) 32

I have a hard time mustering sympathy for those who fall for rather obvious scams, unless they have mental health issues, in which case why aren't they taken care of and protected? Falling for a scam like this might be a good indication that a person needs a guardian.

That's not an excuse for the scammers, though - round them up, and put them in a cell with Sanford Wallace and Oleg Nikolaenko.

Comment Re:English losing its elegance (Score 0) 75

"I fondly remember [direct object]", not "I remember fondly [direct object]".

English is really starting to lose its elegance,

ITYM "English is starting to really lose its elegance," :p

Anyhow, to lose something, you have to have it in the first place. I would argue that English has a lot going for it, like a huge vocabulary and not being prescriptive, but elegant is not how I would describe it. A language where "I love you" and "I love sausages" only differ in the object can never be elegant.

Comment Re: Hmm (Score 1) 996

More to the point, Spain was a neutral in WWII, not an ally.

No, that's not more to the point - rather the opposite.
Not only were Marshall Plan aid given to countries that had been enemies (like Germany and Italy), but also to countries that had been neutral (like Switzerland and Sweden).

But the aid was very disproportionately handed out, with countries like Ireland, Portugal and Scandinavia receiving little, while countries with more industry getting the majority of the aid. To make matters worse, the countries that received the least generally also received most of the aid as loans, and not grants;
The UK received around $3.3 billion, of which around 90% were grants. Ireland received around $130-140 million, of which around 90% were loans, not grants.

More than anything, it was a device for tying European industry to American exports. The biggest profiteers were American (and later Canadian) companies who were paid for their exports through Marshall Plan funds, as part of the condition for receiving aid.

Comment Re:Problem solved (Score 2) 263

Most businesses in the US already offer paid sick leave.

A small and set number of days, which is generally treated as short-notice day for doing anything that requires one to be out of office, like waiting for a plumber, having an eye exam, taking the car to service, or otherwise.

Once flu season starts, and employees have already used up their allotted sick days (whether due to actually being sick or not), they have to come in when sick or either be docked pay or risk getting fired.
So late fall and early winter, American companies tend to have a great many sick and contagious people.
And in some cases, these individuals even get bonuses for coming in to work despite being ill.

Comment Re:Yawn (Score 1) 68

Man, I hate the chip market. I want to have an affordable 6 to 12 core chip with 5 to 6 GHz default clock rate, not this low-powered Internet of things crap.

I don't want overkill. I want something stable, that won't need to be encased in a cubic meter of gold/lead alloy to be protected from cosmic rays because the fab die has decreased to barely usable. Something that will last for 15+ years, while delivering enough umph, but not orders of magnitude more than I need.

My main server is a PIIIs, and as it still runs the latest software, why would I need new hardware that's less reliable? It is more than enough to handle DNS, DHCP, internal web, incoming e-mail for multiple domains, and various other services, at an average load of 0.04 (and 0.03 of that is due to incessant incoming spam, mostly from IoT botnets).
Give me reliability, not bells, whistles and turbocharging I don't need.

Comment Re:iot toilet seats (Score 1) 68

You joke, but there is a market.
Japanese washlets are quite sophisticated, and can allow uploading of audio files for the sound masking. When you "produce", it's not uncommon to have a button you can push that generates a flushing sound, or otherwise camouflages the sound by playing another sound.

In some areas where water is a premium resource, it can also be useful to monitor the number of washes and flushes. A high number of flushes compared to washes might mean installing a dry urinal could save water. Or that a better sound for "flushing" could be useful, so users use that instead of actual flushes.

Comment Re:Boot timing and attacks? (Score 2) 68

I wonder how useful having the time it takes to boot be a measurement if a ROM is compromised or not.

You mean system, not ROM. ROM cannot be compromised unless physically replaced, as it by definition is read-only.

And all this will do is make any startup commands for malware run detached with a delay. That's child's play.

But, as you allude to, it will likely lead to lots of false positives, as startup can depend on not only things like file system checks, but external factors like SSID broadcast frequency, DHCP response time, and various other factors.

Comment Re: Hmm (Score 4, Informative) 996

So the Marshall Plan fucked up Europe then?

In some ways, yes, both because of the highly uneven distribution (Spain got nothing), and because how it was distributed, with agreements requiring recipients to also buy from the US, creating long term dependencies, and only being given to recipients who could afford to pay the subsidized prices to their local governments. I.e. the poorest did not benefit, and it caused a greater distance between rich and poor.

The Lend-Lease agreement during the war was worse, where it ended up being European countries lending equipment and personnel to the US, but the US would lease personnel and equipment to European countries. Some countries were still paying the US for that up into the early 2000s.

Comment Re:What could possibly go wrong (Score 1) 520

Now you might be implying that abruptly powering off Windows would corrupt the file system, but that kind of wrong thinking belongs in another decade. Windows has used self-repairing journaled file systems for 15 years. Journaled file systems for Linux entered common use in the same year, and you don't think twice about what happens to the file system on your Linux box or Android phone when it loses power.

Well, yes, I do. Every day. For a living.

File system journals (and fsck) help maintain file system integrity, not file integrity nor medium integrity. It's only the middle layer.

If a program has only written half the data to the OS drivers by the time power goes, and those writes are replayed from the journal upon boot, you have a working file system but a corrupt file. I much prefer to be able to signal the apps to complete their output and shut down gracefully.

Likewise, cutting the power during a physical write can cause all sorts of problems, especially on media where the controller lies about whether a write is finished in order to improve write speeds. That includes most consumer hard drives and removable media. The OS removes the write from the journal as committed, while in reality it's still being handled by the hardware. Unless you have a hardware disk controller with battery backup, and turn write caching off on the physical media, this is a very real cause of corruption for power outages, and one a journal can do nothing about.

You mention Android phones. With microSD cards, where there generally is no way to disable caching, the problem is so bad that most phones make it incredibly hard to not do a controlled shutdown. But find that hidden reset switch in your phone, and hit it a few times during operation, and you will likely have corruptions, despite journaled file systems.

Incidentally, the use of non-enterprise journaled file systems is an exploit vector for intruders. If they can find a way to reset the system, and the journal replay helpfully makes valid files out of half-written temporary files, there can be a wealth of information there that shouldn't have been accessible. Good enterprise file systems like JFS and XFS will err on the side of caution and zero files that were read locked and partially written (causing a lot of complaints from those who don't understand why), while more commonly used file systems err on the side of retaining data over security.

Comment Re:Not a minicomputer (Score 1) 40

More the size of a large fridge. A small modern fridge is about the size of a PC. Towards the very end of the mini-computer era, DEC did produce some that kind of size, but your typical mini-computer occupied one to four cabinets, each about 4' or 6' tall.

The first popular minicomputer, the PDP/8, was not that big - about 6U size, I'd guess?
Of course, to be useful, you would normally combine it with a couple of side-by-side upright expansion chassies stacked on top, like for tape drive and IO, which would triple or quadruple the height.

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