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Comment Re:XFS for huge mailqueues, otherwise EXT3 or EXT4 (Score 1) 210

it doesn't take a huge hit listing e.g. 4k files in a directory anymore.

Umm, maildirs store each message in its own file. I clean up (archive) emails from each past year in a separate folder and still easily have 8k files in each... and that is not my busiest mailbox.

After a few thousand items of anything, the proper tool for the job is a database, not a file system. Though file system can be described as a kind of database, any in case there are problems common to both, such as fragmentation, a specialized data storage always beats generic ones. Personally, I like what Dovecot does - maintains a mbox-like structure ("old-fashined", all messages from a single mail folder in a single file) which is also padded appropriately so fields can be updated without rewriting the file) and builds an index file on top of it to enable efficient random message access. In this way you get efficient, big, append-only data files, and small, easily cacheable index files: win-win.

Comment Re:Floods (Score 4, Insightful) 224

HDD prices are now higher providing an incentive for another player to enter the market with manufacturing outside that geographic area (or one of the existing players to bring up some manufacturing there).

Higher prices make is economically feasible especially considering the payoff bonus of that region gets flooded again.

...except if you have external factors such as patents which effectively prohibit anyone truly new entering the industry ever again...

Comment Like "Bibles for Haiti" (Score 3, Interesting) 274

The OLPC project was always one step near the infamous "Bibles for Haiti" project - a condescending view that an "easy answer", one which is easily mass-manufactured will miraculously solve a hard social problem. That the OLPC-ers are technocratic instead of theocratic makes little difference with regards to the efficiency of the approach. What *should* have been sent are *teachers*, but it's much, much harder to send teachers into the wilderness when they are already so lowly regarded in the western world.

Comment Re:Agree (Score 3, Interesting) 653

...The biggest problem I have run into is cultural, you'd have better luck getting someone to work in Green Bay during a Packer game in the US, than you would during a hockey game in Canada. Also their sense of urgency is much more "American rural north" rather than "Manhattan" so there are occasional mismatches in expectations.

Hmmm, you do realize that outside the western US, Germany, Japan and some other uptight countries, this is actually the "normal" way of life for the largest part of the world? Some call it "quality of life".

Most of them seem to be drunk most of their "off" time so good luck with oncall.

This may or may not be true. In France, people drink wine almost like water. Germany and Belgium are known for their beer. Scandinavian countries' weekeend passtimes is drinking any alcohol they can get their hands on, so would you call all of them "drunks"? Again, this labeling thing mostly seems the problem with the uptight and stressed out USians - the rest of the world works just fine as it is.

Comment Re:Points to a larger cultural problem at MS (Score 1) 181

I concur - they have some amazing things done in their research division but they seem to follow the footsteps of the famed Xerox Palo Alto center - they can't seem to build products on top of that research.

I'm very open source biased but MSR is one of the places I wouldn't have any problems working in.

Comment Re:The Black Death isn't coming back (Score 1) 265

The Black Death could have been stopped in its tracks if those 14th-century peasants had even an inkling of the basic medical/sanitation knowledge that even the biggest idiots among us know today. Basic stuff like "Wash your hands regularly," "Cover your mouth when you cough," and "Don't let your goddamned flea-infested farm animals wander around through your living area, moron" are surprisingly recent bits of common sense that the developed world today takes for granted. Of course, there are still some third-world shitholes where people think that a witch-doctor rubbing feces on an open wound will ward off the evil spirits. But even those places usually have a FEW among them with some basic sense (and soap).

Unfortunately for the peasants and the third-worlders, there are some huge technological prereqisites:

  • You need clean water to wash hands and wounds with - the majority of surface water in "black africa" is contaminated - not by Evil Western Chenicals but by feces and germs
  • Covering your mouth when caughing is well and good but to have any resemblance of general care and isolation (i.e. hospitals) you need something to cover your mouth *with*, ranging from clean cloth (see previous issue) to gauzes, bandages and sterile equipment
  • Animals in Europe were in houses often for very simple reasons: a) they are warm (remember, the "warm Europe" trend basically started with the 20th century) and b) that was the only option to keep them away from thieves

Basically, I agree with you, but want to emphasize that the ideas need infrastructure.

Comment Re:Who cares? (Score 3, Informative) 615

Technically, MS *did* use a valid and acceptedly secure hash functions, DES and MD4. The problem is that, because of backwards compatibility across their 20-year product spans, they were not as vigilant in updating the protocols. Even when they *did* upgrade them, they went to MD5 (with NTLMv2) - which was again proced weak - but they continued to use the older protocol which allowed trivial attacks.

Which is why anyone "worth his salt" will laugh if you propose a crypto system which is supposed to last 20 years and is not flexible in its choice of component algorithms.

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