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Comment Re:ZFS filesystem (Score 5, Informative) 321

Agreed, ZFS does exactly this, though without the remote file retrieval portion.

To elaborate:


End-to-end file system checksumming is built in, but by itself this will only tell you the files are corrupt. To get the automatic correction, you also need to use one of the RAID-Z modes (multiple drives in a software raid). OP said they wanted to avoid that, but for this kind of data I think it should be done. Having both RAID and an offsite copy is the best course.

You could combine it with some scripts inside a storage appliance (or old PC) using something like Nas4Free (http://www.nas4free.org/), but I'm not sure what it has "out of the box" for doing something like the remote file retrieval. What it would give is the drive health checks that OP was talking about; this can be done with both S.M.A.R.T. info and emailing error reports every time the system does a scrub of the data (which can be scheduled).

Building something like this may cost a bit more than for just an external drive, but for this kind of irreplaceable data it is worth it. A small atom server board with 3-4 drives attached would be plenty, would take minimal power, and would allow access to the data from anywhere (for automated offsite backup pushes, viewing files from other devices in the house, etc).

I run a nas4free box at home with RAID-Z3 and have been very happy with the capabilities. In this configuration you can lose 3 drives completely and not lose any data.

Comment Re:Agreed (Score 1) 120

Same poster - wasn't logged in above.

The resolution on the Photon Q is higher than the Epic 4G, so there is that, but overall I like either. The AMOLED has a certain "pop" to the colors that LCD doesn't, but it seems to me like the colors are more accurate on the LCD. AMOLED probably uses less power, but the Photon Q also has a bigger battery.

The nonremovable battery and hardwired sim are indeed poor choices - this would be a great international phone. There is a guy on one of the android forums who will wire in a sim slot - the contacts are there for it. It does require surgery though.

I never replaced the battery on my Epic, but if I had kept it any longer than the two years, I would have wanted to (it was holding less and less charge).

My contract was up and I wanted ICS and newer hardware, so I went for the Photon Q. I absolutely recommend it. Motorola makes a very good hardware keyboard (the various droid phones) and the Photon is no exception. The GPS is miles ahead of the Epic (SGS GPS was crap). It is also much snappier and of course has the newer android.

I typed this post on the Photon :-)

Comment Correct information - mod parent up (Score 2, Insightful) 141

The original DotA for WC3:RoC was very polished and MUCH less complicated.

The thing I liked about it was that it didn't have the "avalanche" effect that all-stars did. The characters could only level to 10, and the items were not ludicrously powerful - so there was no point at which certain heroes became absurdly powerful. I always felt allstars devolved into item farming.

Comment Actually... it makes the movie look pretty bad (Score 1) 103

Good job indeed. Good job at writing the prequel to the new "Repo Man" movie.

Having just seen it, I made the same connection - but I came to a different conclusion. It just makes the movie look more stupid. I mean it already looked pretty poor. The story might have worked if it was made 30-40 years ago, but with medical science where it is - the thing looks pretty anachronistic.

While I was watching it, a number of things jumped out at me as silly. One of them was the cybernetic nature of all the implants - and therefore their ability to be "repo'd" at all. "Replacement organs aren't going to be mechanical" I thought to myself, and mentioned to my friend, "they are going to be biological and derived from your own cells".

This achievement pretty much bears that out. There would be no use in taking back what is essentially a "custom" organ - like this kid's trachea. It is of no use to anyone else because it uses his cells. The best you could hope for in that sort of vein (no pun intended..) would be to take it out, restrip it, and reseed it with someone else's cells. Or transplant it the traditional way (say, if it was a kidney).

But I am betting artificial scaffolds will be developed in short order (they are already working on them), and they'll be able to just fabricate organs from scratch. This will be cheaper and easier than donors anyway. People waiting for transplants are very expensive to the system - cooking one up and getting them out of the hospital fast will appeal to even the most evil CEO.

I think the future will be a bit brighter than the movie portrayed - at least in terms of artificial human organs.

Comment Pretty different (Score 5, Insightful) 43

I didn't play Battlefield Heroes for more than 30 minutes, so someone can come in here and correct me, but aside from the "first impression" looks the games are completely different.

BH plays in third-person, on large battlefield-style maps (capture points, tickets, etc) with a few slightly different classes that branch out more with additional unlocks - the unlock system being a very large component of the game in general. There are also vehicles on some maps.

TF2 plays in first-person on maps with various objectives (some staged objective, some escort, some CTF, etc) with many classes that are very different and have some very specific interplay between them. There is an unlock system but it is fairly minimal.

One could go into a lot more specifics, but that is the short version.

Comment Already done (Score 1) 613

Example situation: a college student torrents a Stardock game and finds that he's playing it a lot. He decides to buy a license/serial so he can play on the official servers. He pays via CC and gets his serial. That serial is tied to his CC info in a secure database (to allow for recovery in case of theft, much like what Steam permits), and the serials are generated in the "allowed serials" database for servers at the same time they are sold (so keygens wouldn't work).

This is already how Stardock's digital distribution works (at least for their other games). The only thing they don't do is outright let you download it for free - but with no DRM you get a fully "official" game client just by going the torrent route.

You can install and play the game without entering a key.

You can buy it for digital download, which gives you a key that you can enter into the game and it will be activated and "legit" as far as Impulse (Stardock's version of Steam) is concerned. You can go directly from the "pirate" version to fully licensed legitimate version without even reinstalling.

You can also then use your stardock account to re-download the game at any time and update it at any time.

The unactivated versions have a much harder time updating (if they can update at all) and patches for games are frequent and include additional content as well (the "service")

The "selling a service" line has actually been used explicitly by Stardock.

The future is now :-)

Comment Re:Not Network Neutrality (Score 1) 395

I think this post from elsewhere in the discussion explains the net neutrality angle well:


Basically, by putting caps on bandwidth as a CABLE TV OPERATOR, you are driving people to YOUR service because it will not use the cap.

As I said to a friend just now on IRC:

because, hey, if that itunes version of your TV show counts against your cap, maybe you will use the cable guys "video on demand" instead.

Comment Stardock shouldn't muddy it's waters... (Score 1) 232

The fact that you initially have to activate the game online at all is restrictive.

The thing is, with Stardock games, you don't. You can install and play without it - heck you can install and play without even entering a key in some cases. It only needs the internet for updates.

I don't know why Stardock is muddying it's reputation by mentioning anything like this. One of the main reasons people like them is that they don't have DRM on their current games. You can copy the disc, install it anywhere, etc.

Impulse is just a steam-like deal that they give you in addition - so you can download the game if you lose the disc (provided you registered) and update it.

Comment Lisa is part of the continuum (Score 1) 252

I agree with all the beginning part - glad those points are articulated - right on. My comment is on this part::

just as they are in real life, and also making none of the people on the show paragons of human virtue and morality. It doesn't seem to me like any character acts as a Lisa Simpson that serves as a mouthpiece for the writers to evangelize for their position.

This is a big problem I have with the show, and have seen complained about elsewhere. Not having a mouthpiece is of course a good policy, but the shear lack of goodness in the characters on the whole is jarring. There are actually good people in the real world, but strikingly little of it on BSG. The characters are a little TOO flawed in my opinion.

In other words, the real world has a few Lisa Simpsons :)

Comment To answer the question of how to bet against it (Score 1) 561

The way at least one guy was able to bet against the housing investment stupidity was buying insurance on the investments. He paid a fee to keep the policies going, and then got the huge payout when the investments got destroyed.

The most hilarious thing was that before he did it, he went to the companies making the mortgage-backed securities and TOLD THEM what they were doing was ridiculous and he was going to bet against it. He gave them a nice presentation that explained it all - then when it all happened he made 500% on his money or something like that.

This was all in a recent CNBC documentary "House of Cards". You can watch it on Hulu (no link because I am at work).

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