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Comment Re:Geeks and Gays (Score 1) 229

If that were true, I'd expect Sydney, Australia to be a much larger tech hub that it currently is. We're basically the gay capital of the southern hemisphere, but all you're find here are some crappy branch offices of foreign corporations and boring local systems integrators.

So I think you're wrong about that, but one thing you said was spot on - what attracts both gays or geeks is *other* gays or geeks.

The fact that they both congregate in San Fran is pretty much a coincidence, I think.

Comment Re:Poetic justice? (Score 5, Insightful) 689

And that will undo everything, will it? All those kids will be A-OK again?

Capital punishment solves nothing, and just feeds the basest desire of humans for revenge.

This is a terrible crime against society, I agree, and the punishment should be banishment. The system we have for that is called prison, and they should be going there for a very long time.

While they're there, society should find a way to make sure that such a thing never happens again.

This is the proper way to do things. Merely calling for the guilty parties' deaths is a simplistic, brutal way to conduct proceedings that should be nothing but a memory of the dark ages.

Comment Suddenly I understand how Star Wars fans felt (Score 5, Insightful) 439

You know, I like Star Wars, but I don't DEEPLY DEEPLY LOVE IT like many here. Yeah I know, turn in my geek card, etc, except I DEEPLY DEEPLY LOVE a lot of anime, so I think I should get to keep it.

Anyway, bearing that in mind, I didn't really mind the "new" Star Wars. Actually, I liked it (except Jar Jar, obviously), and thought all those people complaining about how Lucas was basically ass-raping their childhood innocence, etc, were kind of overreacting.

But holy shit, now I know what they meant. I fucking love Cowboy Bebop, I fucking LOVE it, and now Hollywood is going to fuck it up the ass.

There is NO WAY this movie is going to be a worthy continuation or even a semi-accurate movie version of one of my favourite anime series of all time. NO FUCKING WAY. They just cannot do it, Hollywood just cannot make that kind of movie. Cowboy Bebop is deeply nihilistic in a way Hollywood just does not understand. I have nothing against Keanu Reeves but there is no way he can possibly even comprehend the character of Spike. No-one like him can. I am sorry but happy dumb Americans living in sun-drenched California just cannot understand this kind of emotion. They don't even know what to shoot for.

Faye Valentine? Dear god it'll probably be Lucy Liu. Why not eh? It's an "asian" series so we should get someone from "asia"! Argh!

God, I'm sorry Star Wars fans. I should have fought for you. "Next they came for the Star Wars fans, but I did not speak up, for I was not a Star Wars fan" ... well now they've come for me ...

Comment Just start replacing stuff (Score 2, Informative) 171

My company started writing a big app in Rails. We hit limitations (for us) fairly quickly so just started replacing the bits we wanted to work differently. The great thing about Ruby is you can just switch stuff in and out. The great thing about Rails is that it's well-designed enough that you can do that fairly easily.

Sessions, for example. We wanted to share sessions between sites, so just stopped using the Rails one and started using ours. We just put a new session class system in a gem, require it, and talk to that instead of the built-in. Works brilliantly and with a little finesse you can make it totally transparent.

I think the key is to think of Rails as a framework - as in, a literal scaffolding that you place things in. The basic structure is sound enough and very useful. It's filled with some useful default code, but if that doesn't meet your needs, feel free to start replacing it wih things that do.

Comment 14,000 uniques a month? (Score 1) 711

That's less than 500 a day! Christ, my personal blog gets more than that. Double that, in fact. And it's not like I put any effort into it whatsoever. It's roughly half talking about bands I like and half ranting about Ruby. No professional ambitions or concessions whatsoever. Not even updated regularly.

So isn't that pathetically low by any modern standard? Who could possibly make any money at all on 14k uniques a month?

I was under the impression that numbers like this were really low and basically meant nothing. "Enough traffic to call yourself popular" starts at about a quarter million uniques a month in my mind, and that would be the absolute minimum.

Don't mean to add insult to injury here, but if you've been soldiering on for more than 6 years and have less traffic than some random guy's zero-effort personal blog, then maybe you should just give up.

Comment Re:Spammer's haven, too (Score 1) 86

I don't oppose the Chinese doing registrations in their TLD in their own language. Rather, I want to point out that their ability to do so is an opportunity that spammers can and will exploit to conceal their own identities.

Huh? That's how their names are written. And you wouldn't be able to communicate anyway. Go find a Chinese speaker, it's not exactly hard.

And in case you haven't noticed, spammers just use fake names - when they register domains at all, that is. So what's the difference?

You better get used to seeing Chinese characters around, by the way, with no effort being made to transcribe to english-equivalent. There's a lot more of them than there are us. Why should they bother?

Comment Sensitive much? (Score 1) 391

Maybe the best way for me to let you know how much you are projecting your own ideas onto that paragraph you excerpted from the story is by telling you I have no idea, without further information, who or what this "cheap shot" you complain about is supposed to be at.

Is the "cheap shot" at people who write pro/anti-Bush rants? Is it at the people who rank the content according only to their preexisting biases? Is it the popularly held opinions themselves? Is it Mr Bush?

All of them? None of them? I have no idea. There is no clue to be found either in the excerpt or your comment.

You are seeing things which are not there.

Comment Re:DL180/185 (Score 1) 249

Local redundancy = some protection built into a single system to protect against failing drives. Like RAID 5 or 6, or GFS storing copies of data on various servers in the cluster.

Seperate system redundancy = having a full failover redundant machine/cluster in case the first one falls over.

Not exactly standard terms I know but I suspected our difference was hinging on the definition of "redundancy" so wanted to be more specific.

The Google File System paper says "By default, we store three replicas". Each replica is on a different server, although they are probably all in the same datacenter.

Yeah, that's pretty much what I thought? I thought you were claiming they had three DCs mirroring each other or something crazy.

This is a higher level of redundancy than RAID 10.

I see the problem. We are talking about different things.

RAID10 is only locally redundant, ie, inside the server/cluster. If the RAID controller screws up or the server blows up, you lose. That is not what I mean by redundancy. I would call that "fault tolerant", not redundant.

What I mean by redundancy is having a hot replica next to the first server to failover to. Or, even better, in a different location, on different power.

Google's system is not directly comparable because although it's local redundancy they mean when they say "three replicas", it's still divided up between different hardware, and it's hardware failures of varying kinds that we are trying to guard against here. So they do have hardware redundancy, which is excellent and way better than RAID10. However, if the cluster fails - not that I can imagine that happening, knowing Google - there is no higher level redundancy to switch to. Not that they need it; works well for them.

Anyway hope I straightened that out and am making sense ...

Comment Re:DL180/185 (Score 1) 249

That's a pretty extraordinary claim. I think a citation is needed.

I find it very difficult to believe that Google immediately and permanently makes a triple-redundant (not just local redundancy, separate-system redundancy) copy of every single byte ever uploaded to Youtube.

Their filesystem is highly locally redundant in itself, superficially comparable to RAID-6 or better. But you're asking me to believe that they then have another, and then another, full copy of that entire installation?

I don't think so, but I'd be interested to be proven wrong.

Comment Re:DL180/185 (Score 1) 249

Ah, yes, I was mainly thinking about non-mission-critical data, for example vast amounts of user-uploaded data for web sites.

You would have to be utterly crazy not to guarantee full redundancy on, say, a user database or business documents. However, it's quite a different matter to guarantee full 100% redundancy for, say, a few hundred TBs of user photos and videos. When you are offering a free service, it's difficult to make a business case for an incredibly expensive full-redundancy setup just to rule out an unlikely event which would maybe annoy a tiny subset of your non-paying users.

For example, I am not privy to Google's internal workings, but I very much doubt they have guaranteed full redundancy for every single video that has ever been uploaded to YouTube. Admittedly, they don't use RAID, they use a custom FS, but the principle is the same. The cost of absolutely guaranteeing so much (mostly low-value) data would be incredible, and I can't believe they would do it.

I've studied the systems of high-load social networks like Mixi and LiveJournal, and unless something has changed, they do not do it. I can't imagine Wikipedia has full redundancy on its images, or RapidShare on its user files, or Flickr, etc etc. Hell, there was an "incident" earlier this year when darling-of-the-blogosphere VC-funded Joyent, ironically using ZFS, were forced to admit they did not have redundant storage for data uploaded into not one but two of their *paid* online storage products. Something went wrong, the service was down for a week while they sorted it out, and they then decided to pull the product from the market rather than move to full redundancy since it would be too expensive. And that's when the customers were paying them!

So, it's not uncommon at all. I would actually be pretty surprised if any large percentage of the huge amount of bulk data uploaded to free services around the web was stored with the "enterprise grade" 100% redundancy you're talking about.

Databases and business documents, though, hell yes : )


Japan To Get 1Gbps Home Fiber Connections 275

ashitaka writes "KDDI has announced that they will be launching a 1Gbps Internet service to single-family home and condo users in October. The service is supposedly synchronous, with 1Gbps in both directions, although the article implies that speeds will vary with location. Cost will be 5,985 yen/month (about US$56.50) for the basic Internet and IP phone service. This is intended to compete with NTT, who currently control over 70% of the Japanese FTTH market."

Submission + - Norway mandates open formats for government (

Random BedHead Ed writes: "According to a few articles, the Kingdom of Norway has mandated the use of open formats for all government documents. The original press release is in Norwegian, but roughly translated (via The Inquirer via Groklaw):

"The government has decided that all information on governmental websites should be available in the open formats HTML, PDF or ODF. With this decision, the times when public documents were only available in Microsoft's Word format comes to an end."
The mandate also specifies that HTML should be use for general posting of information on the Web, PDF should be used when page layout must be preserved, and ODF should be used when providing forms for citizens to fill out."


Submission + - Norway mandates government use of ODF and PDF

siDDis writes: Earlier this year Slashdot mentioned that Norway moves towards mandatory use of ODF and PDF. Now it's confirmed that the Norwegian government has mandated the use of open document formats from January 1st, 2009.

There are three formats that have been mandated for all documentation between authorities, users and partners. HTML for all public information on the Web, PDF for all documents where layout needs to be preserved and ODF for all documents that the recipient is supposed to be able to edit. Documents may also be published in other formats, but they must always be available in either ODF or PDF.

Submission + - New Government, New Network?

renegadesx writes: "Australia has a new government lead by Kevin Rudd and the center-left Labor party in a landslide victory Saturday night. For months Mr Rudd has promised if elected he intends on bringing Australia up-to-date broadband capacity in establishing a Fiber to the Node (FTTN) infastructure nation wide.

What challenges await the new PM in establishing this? Telstra, who of course want to retain their monopoly over Australia's infastructure. Can Rudd and Telstra play nice in the interests of bringing Australia out of the stone age of DSL capabilities?

Time will tell, the Howard Government and Telstra did not get along at all."

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