jafo writes: I can't imagine that even the most steadfast haters of Lucas' meddling in the series won't warm their cold, cold hearts a little when the new release brings the awesomeness of light sabers to the Tokyo subway system. As a promotional tie-in, the handrails have been outfitted with stickers, LEDs, and buttons, turning them into fully-functional (well, almost) Jedi weapons. Be careful, Tokyo, of what part of the handrail you reach out for!
jafo writes: "Over the last couple of weeks there have been many reports that Intel Series 320 SSDs, including the mighty 600GB version, are downgrading to a capacity of 8MB. Speculation is that this is caused by the drive being disconnected from power. Intel has responded with few details other than that they are working on a firmware fix. My own personal experience has been a nearly identical failure over the weekend of a 32GB Intel X-25E Enterprise drive, forcing me to wonder if the problem is more widespread than just the Series 320."
jafo writes: 14 years ago when we moved into our house, I hacked a single-line LED display to show the date and time. I saw a clock that had the outside temperature on it, and I realized I could pull that from a neighbors Internet connected weather station. Over the years I've hooked up the phone to show Caller ID, a web form where you could post messages to it, and even had it count down to the billenium for a party. But recently I've had a spare HD panel and decided to revamp the "Big Board". It shows time, date, temp and wind speed, and today/tomorrows forecast. I have half the display empty though, I haven't had any good ideas on what to put there. What would you like to see always displayed in your home?
jafo writes: For about the last 6 months I've been trying to decide what advice I would have wanted when I was 18 (for me, that was 1988). A recent XKCD combined with a "homework assignment" from my about-to-graduate nephew's English teacher finally combined forces to get me to sit down and write a letter from the past. What advice would you want to have heard as you were about to take another step into the "real world"? I mean besides "Don't Do It (tm)!".
jafo writes: There's been a lot ofteethgnashing going on recently about broken wireless at conferences. We just wrapped up PyCon 2010, with around 600 (out of 1,000) attendees simultaneously accessing the volunteer-run network, and response has been fairly positive. 2.4GHz (802.11b/g) continues to be problematic, but most users were on 5.2GHz and associating at 130mbps (with a 100mbps link to the net). My PyCon 2010 wrap-up reveals all the secrets of how we did it, including pretty bandwidth and user graphs.
jafo writes: Florian has announced that DRBD has been pulled into Linus' tree and will be in the 2.6.33 mainline kernel release. DRBD is a Linux driver which does RAID-like mirroring of hard drives, but between different systems across the network. It's most commonly used for high availability, real-time multi-site data replication, and SAN-less clustered file-systems. As a longtime DRBD user, I'm happy to see this tip of the hat to such a useful project.
jafo writes: "Until recently I considered data storage to be a solved problem. I had a manufacturer and procedures that I had developed extensive faith in over the last decade. However, a replacement case of drives produced the same errors we were seeing in the original case, and support has had no answers. So I started wondering, is this a wide-spread problem that most people don't see because of lack of testing? Or is it just our bad luck across multiple cases? How is an end user to know the difference? What's been on my mind is: What testing do other people do before they trust their data to a new hard drive?"
"The computer, which held names, addresses, and birthdates for people applying to the program, was found in the same airport office but not in its previous location [...] a preliminary investigation showed that information was not compromised."
Pardon me if I have little confidence that an organization that loses a sensitive laptop for 9 days is able to tell if it was compromised."
jafo writes: Last Sunday was the day Netflix was supposed to be sending out the "you have one month to win a million dollars" e-mail. I haven't seen that, but the Netflix Prize Leaderboard is not looking good for someone getting a million dollars. However, there are lots of teams that have far surpassed the requirement for the "progress prize". BellKor is currently the leader with an 8.26% improvement over Netflix's own engine. One contender that I've been watching, Simon Funk has slipped down to 29th, but he's been interesting because he's already revealed the algorithms he's used. It'll be interesting to if there's a burst of activity in the last month, or if revelations made after October 2 help get things motivated to move forward again.