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Comment Too many ways to skin the cat (Score 1) 135

With so many different research approaches to improving batteries, investment in bringing new technology to production scale is often viewed as a hazardous endeavor... there's a pretty good chance the tech you pick will end up getting surpassed by another before financials break even.

Obviously the free market helps foster a spirit of competition, but its brutal Darwinism also serves as a disincentive. Planned market solutions can spread out risk, but also have to be wary of funding completely unworthy endeavors... if everyone working on batteries, win or lose, got a small but guaranteed "compensation prize", lots of people would jump in and claim without merit to be working on batteries. Subdividing the technology so that different phases of a manufacturing process are developed by different entities seems a promising idea for those parts of the technology that may have wider applications or may apply to multiple competing designs -- but that would require a lot of advocacy which just does not seem to be there.

Have you seen any interesting proposals for business/market/public-funding models to address the "too many ways to skin a cat" problem?

Comment Re:How (Score 1) 284

More like, I don't need to know your gender, and cannot be arsed to figure it out to exchange information and ideas. Your gender is TLDR in most circumstances... and less safe to assume from names than most people seem to think.

Comment Re:How (Score 1) 284

This is because it is impolite to assume that they do not have split personality disorder :-)

(Using "they" never bothered me, personally, as group containers with one member are regularly
encountered in IT, and with so many online cohort identities these days, one should assume a singular
actor less often. I don't like mixing "they" with singular declention, though.)

Comment Re:The Dying Days of the Certificate industry (Score 1) 77

There are various attack vectors that allow spoofing of those creds without access to the private key.

What such an attacker can't likely do is answer an on-premises phone call from an extended validation CA to get a new cert for the domain in question.

Don't get me wrong -- letsencrypt is a good thing for encouraging at least the possibility of security among those who cannot afford a real CA. But no fully automated system will ever be able to offer better guarantees than a staffed-up CA (not that all staffed-up CAs actually add much value, but some do). Nor are they necessarily less likely to do what Symantec did... an internal actor could issue certs willy nilly. Breakdowns in internal checks and balances in any organization can occur. CAs will succeed or fail based on their ability to prevent them.

Comment Re:also in the news ... (Score 5, Insightful) 474

Yet supposedly if you read other articles, we are moving towards a crisis where humans find themselves in a highly automated society without enough to do, work-wise.

But then we increasingly have people so desperate for immediate financial gain they'll sacrifice their future, a technocratic wealthy elite more than happy to take the better end of that stick, and a populist movement of people so concerned about losing their jobs they'll sign on to just about any anti-immigrant platform no matter how odious.

And on the flip side, even those who welcome immigrants always add "if you are willing to work really, really hard", not just "work".

It's the overdeveloped puritanical work ethic colliding with technology colliding with economic and resource realities. What a schizophrenic nation we have become.

But rest assured, the basic human need to complain about shit will be fulfilled in abundance.

Comment Re:Contempt of the court... (Score 1) 520

I might still have a partition sitting somewhere where I played with drive encryption and then forgot the passphrase. Nothing on it but a stock Linux install, but these days you never know when some random baseless accusation is going to fly your way.

I guess we're all legally required to never forgot a drive password now. Feh.

Then again, now any disgruntled tech support guy can sabotage any PHB by just putting an encrypted partition on their desktop. They can tell the judge they didn't know it was there, and don't know the password, but I guess tough luck for them.

Comment Re:What? (Score 1) 76

I have no conspiracy theory, just a disdain for switch clustering suites. If you're talking about the vendor lock-in point, ask an SE where a standards-based inter-vendor clustering suite is on the company/industry roadmap. It's just a de-facto reality.

I haven't seen many switches lately that have a separate backplane cable for clustering. They all use their uplinks, since it only took vendors a decade or two to get cluster management packets adequately prioritized.

On ease of management I'll give you one more item: if the cluster supports hitless upgrading that's not doable through other means, and if your SLA doesn't leave you any windows that's an attractive feature. So three, three good reasons.

But unless you have only one cluster you're dealing with multiple CLI/SNMP/SDN endpoints anyway, so you might as well start automating, there will only be more over time.

"Stack resiliency" really is only applicable to HPC, and in that case you'll be using #1 from my original list anyway. The MTBF on these things is so low these days that for most purposes you are past the point of diminishing returns on any other level of reliability.

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