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Comment Re:Money (Score 1) 107

Where I work, electricity is 0,25ct/kWh and a specialist in IT or law costs 1.000,- EUR/d or more.

Assuming a server we're planning to shut down is rather old, they usually are, so it will probably fail on its own within 3 years, if not much sooner. It is not doing much anymore, so it's sitting at idle, drawing only idle loads. Assuming the idle load of an old server is 100W, how much specialist's time can we allocate to shutting it down?

100W * 8760 h/y * 5y = 2.628 kWh. This will cost us about 657,- EUR or much less if the server fails earlier. So electricity savings alone buy us 5,5 person hours for the specialists. What do we need: 2x1h for two IT guys to check what server are possibly unused, 2h for inquiries and talking to probable (ex-)users and the team that was once responsible for that particular project, 1h for the IT management and 1h for the legal team to give the go-ahead. Costs 750,- = 100,- EUR more than it will ever save.

We still save on cooling, right? Removing 1kWh of input (= heat) requires less than 1kWh for the cooling system. I am have no idea how efficient these things are, but a cheap electric heat pump for heating a small house has an efficiency factor of at least 3, so it moves 3kWh of heat for every 1kWh electricity consumed. Larger and more professional installations will probably be more efficient. So to remove 100W of heat, the cooling system consumes 30W more. So with less cooling, we save another ~200,- EUR over the course of 3 years, which isn't even enough to cover the costs to actually remove the server from the rack, reroute cabling, disassemble the case, destroy the hard drive and dispose of the rest. Costing 250,- EUR, that is 50,- EUR more than it will ever save.

The real savings are in the rack space, depending on the contract and the actual savings of HUs. Assume the price is 40,- EUR/HU/month and we have a 2 HU server. Over 3 years, this saves us 960,- EUR per year or 2.880,- EUR under the most ideal conditions imaginable. (If you rent data center space by the rack, it's ZERO savings, since you're saving nothing unless you get permission to clear out an entire rack, which is not going to happen until the servers burn out by themselves)

So you're Head of IT management for a minute: do you give the order to decommission the server, expending 1.000,- EUR and 1 day of your team today, risking angry users and maybe in one way or another violating a data retention obligation by an obscure law or contract that we just forgot about to save maybe 1.300,- EUR per year or less for the next 3 years or shorter? I wouldn't. I would rather allocate my team and resources on a) making absolutely sure our accounting system keeps running perfectly, since every day of outage there would cost us more than 20.000 EUR in interest and b) that big project X has all the resources it needs to finish on time so the 10 expensive consultants working on it cannot bill more hours and upper management does not need to find a person responsible for that.

Comment Re: You sunk my battleship (Score 1) 439

Never ever underestimate the speed and efficiency of China's construction abilities. They complete a handful of skyscrapers before most other nations have finished designing just one; remodel entire cities, build insanely large dams and dozens of nuclear power plants without any noticeable drop in GDP at all.

Not to mention that they own most of the world's high tech manufacturing plants.

As a side note, I would not recommend placing any long-term investments in Taiwan.

Comment Re: Big Data (Score 0) 439

Aircraft carriers were key to defeating German and Japanese navies, which were more than peer-level opponents of the US in 1942. Their battleships were unable to do anything and by the end of the war, their subs were just easy targets for US aircraft.

Pummeling minor powers would be done best by decapitation strikes and if that doesn't work, saturation bombardment. The B52 fleet can do both extremely well now and had their service life and fighting role extended far beyond the wildest expectation of any of its designers because of that. And B52's can't easily operate from carriers.

Drones can start from carriers however and we will see how the drone war works out in the next few years.

Comment Re:Big Data (Score 1) 439

A few LiveLeak videos of collateral damage later and accurate missiles are back in fashion for double the price or more.

The general public has all but dissolved the notion of "the enemy" and sees just the few of them that have actual weapons in their hands and ready to fire to even be remotely acceptable to fire at. The public only wants these few actual combatants and militants surgically removed from the other side, while the rest of their population is seen as sweet little innocent angels that would never harm anyone and were just praying for a miracle liberation thanks to Raytheon and General Dynamics.

People are truly believing that fighting will cease the moment that all currently-armed militants drop dead. That the general population of the enemy provides an indefinite supply of militants and will never change unless forced to, will boggle their minds.

That's why no Western power has won any wars in the last decades. They are winning battles left and right, toppled dictators, killed bad guys, built schools and bridges, thwarted endless terrorist plots, sacrificed scores of people and the best young men, but accomplished nothing in the long run.

Maybe we should bring the battleships back. Maybe area bombing works. At least people of Tokio or Dresden believe in democracy and freedom now.

Comment Re:Big Data (Score 1) 439

Artillery is going to produce collateral damage. People with mobile phones will film all the gory details and upload it everywhere. The general public and the American public do not like collateral damage and gory details of that school that was hit instead of the ammo depot and training camp of the enemy. Public opinion wins wars today, with ammunition in a far distant second place.

Firebombing, city-leveling area bombardment will never be acceptable again to a public that currently imagines soldiers to always be well-equipped, omniscient and omnipotent superheroes that only kill the bad guys, with minimal damage and in the cleanest possible way.

The cost of munitions (and training of individual soldiers) has become irrelevant, because a single error can lose a war. The accuracy required from warfare by the general public is now at ridiculous levels, with associated costs per shot and can only be described as utterly insane.

So, unless all shells are GPS-guided with the same or better precision than current missiles, battleships aren't making a comeback. And when they are as accurate, they are as expensive and still only have a fraction of the range.

Comment Re:w***e ? (Score 2) 262

One could always try to work for a plumber to learn the trade. Many tasks done by a plumber are unpleasant, but don't require years of training. Maybe they'd accept someone to help them doing the easy or dirty tasks (that they can still bill the customer for) so they can only work on the clean or hard parts, like welding pipes, making threads and waterproofing fittings.

Anyone who can watch YouTube for a few hours a week can learn to change valves, connect a faucet or sink. Declogging sinks and toilets is even easier, and there's still customers who will pay someone else to do it.

YouTube is today's community college. Declogging toilets, installing SAT tv, repairing fans in a computer or changing oil on the car. Everyone has at least some aptitude in something and with some time can learn at least enough to be a slight help for an established small business or craftsman. But yeah, you can keep using it to watch cat videos all day and claim The Man is keeping you down.

Comment Re:w***e ? (Score 1) 262

The horrors of the free market, where call center employees are accepting a wage of $9.25 out of their own free choice instead of learning how to be a plumber where they could earn 22 or 40 per hour.

Apparently, dealing with customer's shit on the phone for $9.25 has about the same appeal to the general population than dealing with actual customer's shit on their toilets for $22-40.

I suggest a law for lowering income of the plumber, that greedy capitalist pig.

Comment Re:Bad Analogy (Score 1) 64

If you have a small enough town with a small enough cell size, it should be blindingly obvious which handset IMSI numbers where usually in the area when a crime was committed.

With enough data, you can simply map out the handset IMSI of the most probable perpetrators. There were 5 instances of a street robbery, at night, and the only common denominator is IMSI xyz that has been in the vicinity and moving around the time of all 5 robberies. It either is a totally unlucky individual or the most likely suspect.

Follow that IMSI with a drone for a few nights, record evidence and then lock these people away.

Note that I don't mind any and all police activity directed against common street thugs, as long as they have reliable evidence against them. (not dealers, not pimps, not smugglers, maybe not even thieves - but violent criminals that assault and rob innocent people or even invade their homes deserve absolutely no mercy.)

Comment Algorithms are not hindered by wishful thinking (Score 1) 64

We know that people that commit crimes are much more often from certain social and cultural backgrounds. There are untold numbers of "anecdotal evidence" around, but we don't want that to be true. So we tell ourselves white lies, blame victims, discount hundreds of incidents as "anecdotal evidence", pinpoint the few cases outside the norm and fabricate elaborate excuses about why such and such were practically forced to commit crime. We are constantly telling ourselves how we are to blame for not paying enough welfare, not enough education, not giving enough leeway while conveniently ignoring millions of people of other social and cultural backgrounds that simply don't commit any more crime than everyone else, being good people despite being poor and uneducated.

Choices of cellphone contracts and handset make and models are similar along cultural and social bonds. An algorithm will never know about that but detect the significance.

But anyway, even among the groups with the highest part in crime, only a few select individuals are responsible for a large percentage of crime.

Algorithms will find that when IMSI xyz is in the general area, people will get robbed. It will also find that when expensive handsets with IMSI abc where in the area when a phone robbery happened, they will probably be around the next crime area as well, since the thief will either have it now or sold it to a pawn shop in the high crime area.

Comment Re:Greenie perspective (Score 1) 543

Invariably, during the course of this thread, someone will notice that Toyota/Lexus already have several of gasoline-electric hybrids, including a hybrid SUV (Lexus RX-400h). They will then ruminate how big or small (depending on viewpoint) the savings of this hybrid SUV are, compared to vanilla SUVs, with the occasional poster chiming in to tell the world that none of these hybrids have any kind of towing capacity, claiming it is the only reason people are buying an SUV in the first place.

Later, another poster will point out the newly-launched diesel-electric hybrids from Peugeot, which are mass-produced, rather cheap and available right now at every Peugeot car dealer in Europe, rightfully disputing the commercial viability of designing a diesel-electric hybrid drivetrain from the ground up and advocate either using the Peugeot itself or at transplant its engine. Other posters will then either bash 'murricans for not having developed diesel-electric first or bashing Europeans, especially the Cheese Eating French from not exporting most of their French cars to the States, which will quickly descent into an all-out flamewar between patriots claiming no French car lasts more than 50.000 miles, patriots claiming to never ever accepting any foreign, especially not a French car and Leftists that cite dozens of instances where American-made cars are either shoddy as well or not American-made in the first place. At this point, someone will then present Japanese cars to be of superior reliability, where the discussion will yet again split, with half joining the discussion for/against the Lexus RX-400h and the other side touting anecdotal evidence where American cars stood unscratched from minor accidents where Japanese cars were utterly destroyed from.

I, for one, would support the proposal of cars with micro-turbines and giant capacitors, if only for the sound they'll make.

Comment Re:They don't enforce snooping on everything (Score 1) 782

Email, facebook, banking and personal calling can be done on a private smartphone.

Reasonably good smartphones are 100 bucks now plus a few bucks for data. Most people already have a regular cellphone, so the upgrade is not that expensive.

If your employer has a work phone for you, you will carry two phones with you while you're on the clock. Big deal.

The 100 bucks are not worth painting yourself a troublemaker. Sidestep the issue, save yourself from headaches and enjoy having a smartphone. You should get your own and never look back.

Comment Re:They don't enforce snooping on everything (Score 1) 782

Then block the traffic or leave it alone.

Someone who opens mail envelopes at work that were marked "private" will get fired or even imprisoned. SSL traffic is also marked "private". Why should that be different?

No one can complain if Youtube or Facebook are blocked at the workplace. People get paid to be there for a different reason than reading their wall posts. If it is allowed to browse privately at work, don't ever touch the data stream. If it is forbidden, then just block the traffic. There is no middle ground here.

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