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Comment Re:Cloud Based Backup (Score 1) 350

Say this with me folks: CLOUD STORAGE IS NOT RELIABLE NOR IS IT SECURE IN ANY WAY!!!!!

Bullshit.

Good providers are at least as reliable as your local drives. They could fail, but so could your local backups... and when your house burns down, the odds that your backup service provider dies at the same time is miniscule (barring some planet-scale catastrophe, in which case you probably won't care anyway).

As for security, encrypt if you're worried about it. Personally, there's nothing in my backup data that's particularly sensitive, so I don't bother. Most of the backup services automatically encrypt everything anyway.

Comment Re:RAID is not backup (Score 1) 350

The problem with cloud-based solutions is that the cost for backing up several terabytes of data is typically several orders of magnitude higher than building your own RAID array

Nonsense. One order of magnitude more, at most. On-line storage costs are on the order of $100 per TB per year. There's no way you can build and maintain your own solution for $1 per TB per year, which would be two orders of magnitude less. "Several" orders of magnitude would be at least four, putting you in the range of a $0.01 per TB per year. Even $10 per TB per year would be tough to reach, if you want any redundancy, and if you value your time at all -- and while you're amortizing the cost of your up-front hardware investment over several years in order to get close to that level, on-line storage costs will continue dropping, so at the end of those years the savings would be even smaller than they appear now.

Plus, backup storage which is located on-premises is inherently inferior to off-site storage, because a whole range of disasters that take out your primary storage whack your backup, too. Fireproof safes are a partial solution, but not a complete one... and not a cheap one.

No,the best approach is to use a cheap, unreliable, local backup, not bothering with bunkers or safes or even much redundancy, plus use an online service. The local copy is your normal recovery source, the online service is your final fallback.

Personally, I just replicate my data to a couple of local machines (the machines are there anyway, so throwing a little more storage in them doesn't cost much) and keep another copy on Google Drive, which is $120 per TB per year, but I managed to get 1 TB free (in perpetuity) as part of some promotion, and I currently have just under 2 TB of data that I care about (mostly photos), so my net cost is about $60 per TB per year for the online component, plus another $25 per year for an extra 4 TB drive that cost $100 and I expect to get four years out of (will probably go longer, but could die sooner).

Upload time sucks, but only for the initial upload, which I did two years ago. After that, incremental additions are pretty negligible. A full restore from the remote copy would take a long time, but I can easily get individual files on an as-needed basis. Actually, I find I use the remote copy quite frequently to grab particular photos or files on various devices, so it provides some functional value as well as disaster protection.

Comment Re:see what the Union free work place get's you! (Score 5, Interesting) 274

Where independent unions are banned.

Basically when China and Russia gave up on socialism, they created a version of capitalism in the image of what they imagined capitalism to be; not the kind of liberal society you find in advanced Western democracies with their regulated market economies and worker's rights guarantees.

Comment Re:indigenous? (Score 2) 49

Indigenous means "originating where it is found", or "naturally occurring in a particular place". It can be used referring to individuals, groups of people, flora, fauna, minerals -- pretty much anything. It shares many of the same dictionary definitions as "native".

The word usage problem is using "indigenous" for an artificial, mobile invention, which is a bit unusual. You wouldn't say "indigenous airplane" because it's not something naturally found in a place or confined to a place. That would be an unusual usage, but people would understand what you meant -- you'd mean "domestically produced".

Comment Re:Patent indemnity (Score 1) 236

How can a license grant a patent indemnity on a patent you do not own?

You obviously can't grant licenses on patents you don't own. As a downstream recipient, you get protection from patents owned by the upstream contributors. It can't do anything to protect you from third party patents.

Also, GPL3 is somewhat nebulous on the question of whether if you write any GPLed software, everybody downstream gets indemnity for all your patents, regardless of whether you interacted w/ them or not.

I think it's quite clear. Everybody downstream gets a license for all of the patents which you use in the licensed work, regardless of whether you interacted with those parties or not. It doesn't affect any other patents you happen to own.

The only real subtlety, I think is, for downstream re-distributors, who have to grant patent licenses for code they didn't write, and those grants effectively flow upstream as well as down. Of course, the license doesn't *force* them to grant those licenses, any more than linking proprietary code to GPL'd code forces you to GPL your proprietary code. It's just that choosing not to license the patents (or GPL the relevant code) means that you have no right to distribute, so any distribution you did constituted copyright infringement. Well... in the case of patents it may also mean that you implied a license which probably means that you can ask users to either pay or stop using, but can't go after them for any past infringement. And, of course, it also means that you lose the right to use and open yourself to infringement suits for your past, present and future use.

Of course, all of that only comes into play if you intend to enforce patents against others. The clear goal of GPLv3 is to discourage software patents, which I wholeheartedly support (even though my name is on a few).

Comment Re:Eh, was this necessary? (Score 1) 172

Well, it depends on what your research objectives are. ISS is in some ways a better model, in some ways a worse one. It's better in that it's in space with microgravity, but ISS crew members rotate in and out. Even if individuals spend the equivalent time of a Mars mission on the ISS there will be new faces, a constantly changing research workload, and the ever-changing panorama of the Earth below.

So it's not a very accurate model of the social dynamics of a Mars mission where people are cooped up in a can with the same faces, same scenery, and nothing but busy-work to keep them occupied. Let's say we lick the radiation and microgravity problems; the question then becomes what kind of people can successfully negotiate the trip to Mars, arriving ready to work successfully there?

Comment DLT or LTO (i.e. tape). (Score 1) 350

Some people swear by optical media for archival and backup, but I've had trouble restoring data with different optical devices and media just 3-5 years after write, so I don't trust them.

Tape, on the other hand, is venerable and proven—so long as you stick to what the big boys use.

At the top end, DLT and LTO are both still very expensive, but as they age out, they end up on eBay relatively inexpensively. The mechanisms are very robust, repairs and replacements are readily available, media is in channels, compatibility is very good.

You can pick up a used-but-verified LTO-4 drive for $200 on eBay. SAS controller, $20-$40. Media ~$20/ea for 800GB/1600GB per cartridge. So you can get rolling at less than $300 for a complete backup and go from there.

If you want to run cheapskate, DLT-VS1 ("DLT-V4") drives often come up on eBay tested and working for $80-$100 for SATA, eliminating the need for a host adapter of any kind. The VS-160 tapes (160GB/320GB on a DLT-V4 drive) can pop up in boxes of 10 for $100-$120. So if you're patient, you can get rolling there for under $200 if you get lucky, though you'll wait around a long time and switch a lot of tapes to get your full backup done.

Just avoid helical scan tapes at all costs (AIT, DDS/DAT). The reliability is crap and the media quality is crap. Wine linear tape (DLT, LTO) is what you want if you're going to run data onto tape for backups. This opinion comes from two decades of experience.

Comment Re:We love you, mr. Torvalds (Score 1) 236

Um yeah a competitor won't use it? bahaha. They rip off Linux code all the time which is why the point of lawyers are brought up.

Actually, given the vast usage of Linux worldwide, it's astonishing how rare such abuses are.

Shoot some companies like banks have ANTI GNU policies to protect themselves.

Some companies are still clueless enough to do that, yes.

Linux can not be used as a simple link to GPL infects the whole program making it viral.

Poppycock. Programs running on Linux do not link to Linux. It's well-accepted that the GPL does not affect programs that merely make syscalls.

I am not a troll here.

Interesting that you feel the need to make that statement.

GNU geeks do not know the difference between GPL and LGPL and assume anyone can use their API. It is not true and it pisses me off.

Also nonsense. Most F/LOSS software developers understand perfectly the distinction between GPL and LGPL, and choose appropriately based on whether they want to allow their code to be linked to non-GPL code. Personally, I've used both licenses for libraries I wrote. Though for programs I tend to choose GPL and for libraries I tend to choose Apache2 or BSD. I think the use case for LGPL is pretty narrow.

Investors agree and so the lawyers that [BSD] is the best option

Only if your lawyers haven't bothered to think about patents. The BSD license has a severe flaw in that it doesn't include a patent grant. If you're incorporating someone else's code into your product and you aren't absolutely certain they don't hold any patents on it, you may be setting yourself up for a patent lawsuit. Apache2 is often a better choice for that reason.

Comment Re:BSDL vs GPL (Score 1) 236

I don't see how the GPL forces you to push your contributions upstream.

"Forces" is too strong, but there's a powerful incentive to upstream changes. Not upstreaming them means that you end up maintaining a library of patches that you have to port to each new version that's released. Over time this gets to be really difficult and expensive.

Note that this is also true for BSD code... except that in the BSD world there are some legal counter-incentives that discourage you from upstreaming. Too many people will argue that because the license allows you to keep your code to yourself, you should, which leads you into a patch-maintenance hell that the business and legal types don't appreciate or understand. So, the GPL helps the technical staff by eliminating the secrecy argument and encouraging upstreaming, which eliminates patch-maintenance hell.

Also, the upstream argument is something that's been compellingly disproven in the case of BSD.

No, it hasn't. You're right that smart BSD projects do upstream changes to avoid patch maintenance hell, but it takes a particularly enlightened organization to do it. The GPL helps be eliminating the option of keeping your changes secret. In a very few cases, this is a problem because the code in question has crucial competitive value *and* can't be run effectively in userspace. But those cases are rare, and the tendency is for organizations to vastly overestimate the value of their proprietary code.

Comment Re:Extraordinary claims require ... (Score 1) 291

Indeed. But Occam's Razor only applies to a conclusion's relation to the information you have at hand. It is conceivable that if you collect enough information the same heuristic can lead you in a different direction.

It should be able to confirm his genetic relationship to his putative great-great-great grandchildren, and thus let a lower limit on his age. That and other documentary evidence of him and his descendants could make his age seem plausible. In a world with seven billion people, outliers can be very unusual indeed.

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