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Comment Re:I Disagree (Score 1) 548

I've had one of the Roku Netflix streaming thingies since they came out. Some content (particularly recent TV shows and movies) is available in HD. The picture quality is IMO pretty good. I've seen way more compression artifacts on cable HD. Of course if the stream quality drops (due to bandwidth constraints) or you're watching the first season of Airwolf or something that wasn't shot in HD it looks crappier.

For a while they were only streaming stereo sound, but I believe they're doing 5.1 now.

Comment Re:ActiveDirectory - the last missing piece (Score 1) 237

One difference is that while there are some differences between versions, managing AD hasn't changed drastically since 2000 Server. Linux AD-like infrastructure constantly changes between versions so the knowledge you gained when you figured out how to set it up the last time is no longer useful.

For example, the IDMAP options in smb.conf seem to vary by the hour so the how-to you're following from some ad-laden blog probably won't leave you with a working config. If you're lucky, google spidered a newer how-to quickly enough and you discover that the "rid_map" option was changed to "map_rid" and that blowupeverything=1 which used to mean "don't blow up everything" now means "why yes, please do blow up everything".

Comment Re:100 TB for $1,000,000? No way! (Score 2, Insightful) 165

I'm not sure if you're trolling or not, but if you're serious did you happen to manage the storage for Microsoft's Sidekick servers?

A couple things wrong with your assumptions:
1) 1TB drives might be great for storing your goat porn collection, but on a server with actual load, how many of those drives do you need to get adequate IOPS? Also exactly 100 of them means no RAID, but that's OK because drives from Newegg never fail so your 100TB of data should be fine.
2) You seem to have left controllers out of your list. Anyone who's ever had a RAID controller start barfing garbage all over a LUN, or take out a second drive after a drive failure will tell you the controller is the really critical bit (and is usually a single point of failure in systems with DAS.)
3) Where's your backup hardware? Where's space for snapshots? Where's space for replication?
4) Ever time a RAID5 rebuild on say a 9 drive LUN with 1TB SATA disks?

Storage is expensive because the data on it has value and making sure that data is available and isn't lost or corrupted costs money. Cheap storage solutions don't end up that way when the drives have to go to OnTrack for recovery and the company's down for a week, or valuable data is lost.

Comment Re:Corporate "improvements" will kill the device.. (Score 1) 195

RIM has chosen to follow the path of Lotus Notes. You can still find Notes around in large companies but IBM's complete lack of attention to small/mid-size businesses killed off Notes in those environments. RIM is in the process of doing the same thing - they've released 3 or 4 server products targeted at the small/mid-size space and then killed them off leaving their customers in the lurch.

At this point they've completely ceded the small/medium business market to iOS and Android. While there are still plenty of mid-sized companies with BESs, I see more and more companies moving everyone over to iPhones, Droids, etc.

Comment Re:Heading the wrong direction? (Score 1) 462

Steam and Valve have figured this out. I've spent more on games in the past few months on Steam than total on games for the previous 20 years. I suspect that they've been gathering all kinds of information on how putting games on sale affects buying patterns which will prove extremely useful in the future. Hopefully they win out vs. publishers going the rootkit/unfinished games/online access required route.

Comment Re:Easy for hackers to fix? (Score 1) 757

Basically, they've added trusted computing to a phone.

It's too bad that they've opted for the "screw the customer" side of TPM.

I have an original Droid and wish it had some kind of secure key repository. having to type in a 20 character mixed case password on a mobile device is a huge pain in the ass - being able to use say a 4 char PIN which then grants access to a TPM repository with the longer password or certs, etc. would be enormously useful (and which locked out after a certain number of tries.) As it stands, there's stuff I don't copy to my phone because it can't be secured without being completely inconvenient.

Comment Re:There is a reason for leased lines... (Score 1) 256

One of my customers just had a T1 with a Tier 1 provider down for over a week. The SLA can promise whatever but when it takes a police detail, etc. to get under the street for repairs, you're on phone company time. Single points of failure are still single points of failure regardless of contractual support agreements. I deal with a fair number of MPLS circuits both domestically and internationally and for any site that's even remotely important they end up getting a secondary circuit of some sort (often a cheap Internet line to both offload Internet traffic from the WAN and to act as backup WAN connectivity via IPsec VPN.)

For systems, several redundant, lower performance, inexpensive components are often "better" (e.g. RAID, load balanced x86 webservers, etc.) Sometimes due to various requirements you have to go with a big expensive, high performance system (for example Oracle's licensing is such that for many mid-size companies RAC isn't an option so they end up with one big expensive Sun or Linux box) Likewise with Leased lines - if you're somewhere where a leased line is the only option, or are dealing with latency sensitive traffic you have to suck it up and pay for T1/MPLS/etc. For many traffic profiles however having two lower reliability/SLA connections will provide both better performance (business cable/DSL/MetroE Internet is generally much higher bandwidth than a T1 at half or a third the price) and higher uptime. It's also nice to have a secondary connection on different media since if you're somewhere where the local loop infrastructure sucks, having two T1s from different providers may not provide as much redundancy as you think.

For larger companies, this probably doesn't hold true (having to manage different providers gets to be a hassle with more than a handful of sites, and larger customers get better pricing and more responsive support regardless of SLA) but for small and mid-size companies I think that it's time to question the value of leased lines as dogma.

Comment Re:The Benefits of Moving Backward (Score 1) 138

I hate minimized windows (well, I hate overlapping windows in general but haven't found a tiling WM that's 100% what I want either.) If you're using Compiz, in CCSM you can disable minimizing windows. In Window Rules, put "Any" (without quotes) in the Non Minimizable Windows field. This makes the various ALT-Tab window switchers actually useful since they won't show minimized windows (or at least Scale won't.)

You can also set Always On Top rules here which is helpful for those apps that create child windows that don't appear on the taskbar (for example, the login dialog in Outlook through Wine. There is a special place in hell for whoever at Microsoft thought child windows and dialogs should be allowed to fall behind other windows without providing any way to get to them without minimizing all the other windows and hunting for them.)

Comment Re:Health care: break the MD cartel (Score 1) 2044

Actually, primary care docs get paid like crap which is why you see very few people willing to go into family medicine and categorical internal medicine. After 4 years of med school, 3-4 years of residency, for an extra year or two of fellowship you can easily double or triple your annual salary.

The AMA isn't a cartel so much as a part of the overall government regulation of health care that distorts attempts to use the market to provide better care. A truly market-based approach might work, and a fully government controlled approach might work, but what we have right now is the worst of both worlds.

Also, speaking as an IT guy, I grudgingly wish we had something like the AMA to set professional standards because the current free-for-all is awful. Not that there aren't stupid/bad doctors who manage to slip through the system (and are kept around because everyone is so overwhelmed that they're loathe to get rid of another set of hands.)

Comment Re:Ideas (Score 1) 533

Spamhaus has gotten into bed with big companies and they tell everyone to ignore all email from anyone using a cable modem.

Yes, a conspiracy against those oppressed cable modem users is obviously the most reasonable explanation. The Spamhaus PBL is a great list, the ham/spam ratio on end-user IPs is infinitesimally small. In addition to all the zombie PCs spewing out spam you have the "I'm going to setup my own sendmail server!" crowd who follow how-tos from 1995 which set the server up as an open relay.

The PBL (and home ISPs that block outbound TCP/25) are a great example of a passive failsafe - if you can't figure out how to relay through the ISPs SMTP server maybe you shouldn't be setting up mail servers.

Comment Re:Real shot is at Microsoft for small business... (Score 1, Interesting) 557

Unless your small business gets free IT support, I'm not sure how you can claim Microsoft's offerings are overpriced. SBS retails at $600 with 5 CALs, OEM is cheaper. Service ends up being the major cost regardless of platform and much as it pains me to give props to Microsoft, SBS runs pretty darn well.

I would never run a Mac server at this point because it can't be virtualized. For a small business virtualization is a godsend (your server is no longer tied to a particular piece of hardware.) The fact that Apple is still obsessed with their sexy hardware suggests to me that they're about to miss the biggest change in IT in quite a while.

Now a small server appliance that's simply a bridge to "Other People's Servers" (i.e. cloud computing hype) and you have something - that may be the direction they'll go.

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