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Comment Re:The same old bullshit. (Score 1) 161

...Their support largely consists of other users in support forums, with the majority of the cost absorbed by the client organisation.

In most cases I'd agree with you: vendor support is a dumbed down user forum much inferior to Stackoverflow.

However, it has been a couple of years since I last managed larger teams using this software, but the support from SAS was simply outstanding. Nothing like it anywhere else. You call, they answer and you speak immediately to someone really knowledgeable in the tool, in stats (the main use case for SAS), and, more often than not, in your industry. Never had to do more than one transfer to get anything resolved.

You pay for support but this is the only vendor where I ever felt you got your money's worth.

These days even the client realises that it is more data science and knowledge discovery, and less about stats which more or less zeros the value of the SAS support. I wish them well; by all accounts they were a great company to work for back in the day when they still mattered.

Comment Re:ssh + bad password (Score 1) 437

was most surprised when I found that Redhat ... appears to allow [root to ssh into your machine] as the default.

Useful when you are setting up a brand new (remote) server. You are supposed to use the access only once to (a) create a new account and (b) disable root ssh access (by setting 'PermitRootLogin no' in /etc/sshd/sshd_config).


The Shape of the Future 179

Last week, Sci-Fi writer Charlie Stross was invited to speak at a technology open day at engineering consultancy TNG Technology Consulting in Munich. He's posted a transcript of his discussion on his website, which features a fascinating analysis of where technology is going in the next 10-25 years. Instead of envisioning outlandish future developments, he looks at what the impact might be on society from very reasonable iterations of today's SOTA. "10Tb is an interesting number. That's a megabit for every second in a year -- there are roughly 10 million seconds per year. That's enough to store a live DivX video stream -- compressed a lot relative to a DVD, but the same overall resolution -- of everything I look at for a year, including time I spend sleeping, or in the bathroom. Realistically, with multiplexing, it puts three or four video channels and a sound channel and other telemetry -- a heart monitor, say, a running GPS/Galileo location signal, everything I type and every mouse event I send -- onto that chip, while I'm awake ... Add optical character recognition on the fly for any text you look at, speech-to-text for anything you say, and it's all indexed and searchable. 'What was the title of the book I looked at and wanted to remember last Thursday at 3pm?' Think of it as google for real life. "

US Military Launches YouTube Channel 348

Jenga717 writes "The US military has launched its own channel on YouTube, in efforts to shift the media's focus of Iraq from a negative to a more positive light, and to 'counter the messages of anti-American sites.' From the article: 'The footage is not picked specifically to show the military in a good light ... and is only edited for reasons of time or content too graphic to be shown on YouTube ... And while all the clips currently posted have been shot by the military's combat cameramen, soldiers and marines have been invited to submit their own clips.' The question is, where are they supposed to submit them? Starting 'on or about 14 May 2007', the Department of Defense will block troop access to Myspace, Youtube, MTV, and more sites, due to a 'growing concern for our unclassified DoD Internet, known as the NIPRNET'." More commentary below.

Submission + - Google Slowly Taking Over The World

newandyke writes: "Outside the Beltway's James Joyner starts from news this weekend that Google has filed a patent to compile psychological profiles of online gamers and looks at the privacy implications of Google's creeping acquisition of information on every bit of our lives. Links include a Guardian newspaper piece, the EPIC 2014 and EPIC 2015 videos, and the "Who's Not Afraid of Google" piece from Slashdot this morning."
The Internet

Monday is Wiretap the Internet Day 264

Alien54 wrote with a link to a Wired blog entry noting that May 14th is the official deadline for internet service providers to modify their networks, and meet the FBI and FCC's new regulations. The Communications Assistance for Law Enforcement Act requires that everyone from cable services to Universities give them access, within certain parameters, to the usage habits of customers. "So, if you're a broadband provider (separately, some VOIP companies are covered too) ... Hurry! The deadline has already passed to file an FCC form 445, certifying that you're on schedule, or explaining why you're not. You can also find the 68-page official industry spec for internet surveillance here. It'll cost you $164.00 to download, but then you'll know exactly what format to use when delivering customer packets to federal or local law enforcement, including 'e-mail, instant messaging records, web-browsing information and other information sent or received through a user's broadband connection, including on-line banking activity.'"
User Journal

Journal Journal: Syndic8 editing

Editing on Syndic8 is for everybody. I recommend that you open an account and start helping out.

Today's find (before the Syndic8 servers froze up - sigh!) was You Know, They Say: cool log, cool pictures. Go look.

User Journal

Journal Journal: Web log

OK, so I wrote a small web log for experimenting, and now I'm experimenting here as well. Is the /. journal system cool?

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Thus mathematics may be defined as the subject in which we never know what we are talking about, nor whether what we are saying is true. -- Bertrand Russell