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Comment More platters = higher failure rates (Score 1) 202

More platters yields more heads. More components to fail. This will increase failure rates for these drives at a given capacity over a similar capacity 3.5" drive with a lower platter count.

Spinning media is still hard to beat on price. Desktop 7200 RPM drives are at $.03/GB. "Enterprise" 7200 RPM SATA at volume is between $.03/GB and $0.05GB. Cheap SSD is around $0.60/GB to $1.20/GB.

A lot of data is still cold. At volume, this price difference matters a lot.

Comment Re:Test with unlocked phone? YES (Score 1) 127

I took an unlocked Nokia 1520 from AT&T, to T-Mobile, to Consumer Cellular.
Originally, on AT&T, I could not make it through a complete day on a single charge. Took it off the charger at 4:30AM. Battery was dead by 3pm.
Took phone to t-mobile. Off charger at 4:30AM, phone still had a quarter charge left at 10:30PM when I plugged it back in.
Now on Consumer Cellular. Same phone. AT&T is the service provider to Consumer Cellular. Battery is not making it through the day again.

Usage patterns are similar through all three carriers. I did not do any rigorous scientific tests on this. This is observational usage data.

Comment No, they have no passion for software! (Score 1) 249

I have never met a successful manager of a software development team who did not have a technical background. I have even met a few liberal arts majors who learned to develop software on their own. They had passion, they achieved a technical background on their own.
I have met plenty of unsuccessful software development managers that do not have a technical background.
I waste 6 hours of my day, on average, dealing with non technical managers of technical teams. Much time wasted explaining the technical aspects of their own teams to them so I can get them to do what they should have known to do in the first place.
I do not understand how someone can be passionate about a technology construction, and not be technical. These folks should chase their passions somewhere else.
The best managers that I have had, and that I deal with now, are former EE's, CE's, CS types with development experience that went on into higher management ranks.
You spend more time figuring out strategy, and less time bogged down on trivial matters that are obvious to the greenest of college hires.

Comment If Dell doesn't make $$$, they don't do it again.. (Score 1) 403

A more important reason to pay for this SKU is so that the bean counters at Dell see that there is money in selling computers with open source software.
Dell is a spreadsheet run organization. If the SKU doesn't do the volume, or make money, they don't do another version of the SKU.

Getting the Windows version and loading your own build is shooting the movement in the foot.

Comment Have you tried Windows 8? (Score 1, Informative) 488

I see a lot of criticism of Windows 8, but I don't see a lot of folks that have actually tried to use it with a touch screen device.
I have played with the all in ones and touch screen tablets at the Microsoft store. As much as a cringe when a co-worker touches my monitor, I think there is something to this adaption of the tablet interface. I actually like the live data features of the icons, I get information without going into the apps. I get that this is a new take on the old widget concept.

I would not count Microsoft out.

Comment Two components to this arguement (Score 5, Insightful) 1055

The climate science debate has two important components to it. This issue focuses on one component, and that is the anti-science attack on climate science. This has the same source of ignorance and zealotry that has challenged teaching evolution in the classroom. This is a stand of religious based ignorance against science. I have not met anyone who understands the scientific process who challenges the theory of evolution. I am using the scientific definition of theory, which is an operating model, and not the "theory is not a fact" arguement that my religious friends pick up.

The second component to climate science is that there are some great issues of modern science and society that can be taught here. To not teach this in the classroom is missing out on a real opportunity to teach critical thinking that children can get passionate about.

You can teach about data collection, and how this can be a source for controversy.
You can teach about computer modeling and statistical analysis. What these tools are great for, and where they fall short.
Plenty to teach about weather vs. climate, and what the climate means for other systems on the planet.
Lab experiements on basic components of the atmosphere, and why they don't always translate to the actual model of the world.
You can teach the ethics of how to prioritze science against society and economic concerns.

Lots more stuff that I am not getting in to.

My point being, this is another area where zealotry is screwing up a great opportunity to train the next generation of scientists.

Comment Legal Issue - can company erase YOUR machine? (Score 2) 232

There is an interesting legal issue here.. IANAL though..
When the company owns the machine, there is a much clearer line as to who owns the applications and data on that machine. When an employee leaves the company, the company can "brick" the system with minimal problems. They own the hardware, they own the software licenses, and the company probably has a policy about no personal applications or data on the machine.
When the employee owns the machine, the rights of the company to erase data get really murky, fast. Does the employee have to agree to allow the company to inspect their (the employee's owned system) to remove company assets from the system? I don't see how that is going to work. My employer does not have the right to search my car after I quit, even though I called into conference calls in it, and used it for work related trips quite a bit.

I know of several companies that completely prohibit employee owned devices in the workplace for exactly the reasons I mentioned above.

Comment Re:your calculation is flawed (Score 1) 42

They pay the per 1,000's price (or close to it), which is not list price. These numbers are published. This is the quantity in which they purchase the processors, so it makes sense. The number you can't see is the negotiated power deals.
The price for a quad processor capable system is still 4x to 10x what a single socket processor costs.

Comment Re:your calculation is flawed (Score 1) 42

Your points are exactly why these large data centers are locating in areas with access to cheap power. I used $0.10 as an example, however, that is extremely HIGH when factoring in the deals that large data centers strike with regional power providers that are giving cheap access to hydro power. This is the exact reason folks are not putting large data centers in Europe and the Bay Area. Power has to be cheap for the economics to work out.
Also, read the papers published by Google and Facebook. These guys are pushing PUE below 1.2, whereas a typical data center is 2.0 or higher!

Comment Re:any reason they don't buy larger servers? (Score 5, Informative) 42

Looking at a 3-5 years TCO, and power costs where these data centers are located, power costs are noise in the equation.
Taking advantage of commodity pricing in the lower tiers is where the savings is at. Example, single socket systems are a lot cheaper on the procs and mainboards than dual sockets. Quad socket processors are significantly more expensive per proc..
At $0.10 per KwH, a 400W server is $350/year to power. Quad socket processors (Intel I7) can be as high as $4500 each!

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