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Slashdot Asks: What's In Your Home Datacenter?

Atticka I've gone a little overboard... (287 comments)

Starting from the firewall, infrastructure hardware:
Old PC with added NIC's running Astaro (now Sophos) UTM
HP Procurve 1800-8G switch (in the server closet)
Dlink 8 port gig switch in the basement (media access)
HP Procurve 802.11G AP in the basement
Qnap TS-419PII NAS (with 4x2TB drives)
Meraki 802.11N AP (Demo unit, upstairs)

Clients
7x Android\iOS devices (phones and tablets)
3x PC\Laptops
4x TV\Media players (Smart TV with Netflix, XBMC, BoxOffice, AV Unit)
2x Audio streaming devices (Squeezebox)
1x Hot Tub (remote controlled over IP)
1x Brultech home energy monitor
1x Lexmark laser printer

The phones and tablets are capable of remote controlling the media centres, audio streaming and the hot tub, good wifi coverage on both side of the house (up and down).

about a month ago
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Hewlett-Packard Pleads Guilty To Bribing Officials in Russia, Poland, and Mexico

Atticka Typical (110 comments)

Sounds like your typical corporate junket.... except these aren't corporation!

about a month ago
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Don't Be a Server Hugger! (Video)

Atticka Re:Adobe Creative Cloud (409 comments)

Beat me to it!

Now we have to deal with peer pressure in the datacenter! Dirty cloud huggers!

about 5 months ago
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Canada & Korea Show Trade Treaties Can Skip Copyright Rule Changes

Atticka Re:Sorry, you lost the hockey game (35 comments)

Two cases of beer have been delivered to Harper already!

The U.S. just needs to lock up Bieber and we're good.

about 7 months ago
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If I Had a Hammer

Atticka Re:or maybe (732 comments)

Have you seen the new tractors and combines that are available now? GPS guided, fully automated harvesting, feeding, fertilizing, etc... Automation is making its way to all areas of employment, including farm hands.

about 9 months ago
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A Protocol For Home Automation

Atticka Re:I Fully Support This (116 comments)

I think there are lot of useful cases, but I don't think voice control would be useful however (nobody wants to have a conversation with their microwave).

Lighting automation would be useful in a number of ways; on\off\vacation schedule, see a list of all active lights with power consumption (and then turn them off remotely), auto on\off depending on your location, etc...

Appliance automation; coffee pots have timers but why not control the settings from your remote device? Preheat the oven remotely, schedule your slow cooker based on your schedule, notifications when timers are done (microwave, oven, washer, dryer, etc...)

Power Monitoring; get a detailed report on power consumption per appliance, room, season and setup automation depending on peak hour usage rates.

Audio\Video: Crestron has some great automation, Logitech has excellent remotes, imagine if you could control the lights when settling in to watch a movie.

Security; get live feeds from your house, pickup audio, two way communication, remotely control locks (real security concern here however), random light control when on vacation.

All of these things can be done but are not integrated. If all these devices worked together we could think of some really creative ways to automate, making a phone or tablet the central control device for the home would be genius!

about a year ago
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A Protocol For Home Automation

Atticka I Fully Support This (116 comments)

I've been attempting to connect, network and control as much of my house as possible with little success. Too many companies are trying (and failing) to offer up an integrated solution, none have the ability to truly integrated across the board.

Key systems that need this:
HVAC - Nest is doing great things for automation and remote control, limited reach however
Lighting - a bunch of half baked solutions out there, each with their own app and control interface
Security - sound, video, motion detection, garage door control, etc...
Appliances - remote control certain appliances, pre-heat your stove, notification when the dryer is done, etc...
Power Monitoring - Semi decent solution out there, however needs better apps and integration
Audio\Video - Remote control

If all of these systems used a common protocol we can focus on developing great apps and home automation, as long as manufacturer dick around with their own setup we'll never move forward.

about a year ago
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Obama Admin Says It Won't Fight Looser Marijuana Laws, With Conditions

Atticka Netherlands (526 comments)

Let us not forget that in the Netherlands (Amsterdam) pot is still technically a controlled substance in their law books. They have a policy of "non-enforcement" similar to what Obama is introducing.

about a year ago
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A Critique of the Boston Bombing News Coverage (Video)

Atticka Fact Checking and Bias (175 comments)

Where to begin...

The competition to get to the story first is too great and often over shadows the duty of the new to check facts and report an unbiased account of events.

What is missing is any sort of repercussions for reporting false facts, who do we hold accountable? Unfortunately good news simply does not pull in the desired ratings and ad revenues.

about a year and a half ago
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Disney Switching To Netflix For Exclusive Film Distribution

Atticka Great News, Concerning Live Sports.... (124 comments)

Its great to see content creators embracing the new paradigm!

Concerning live sports, I recently discovered that this weekends UFC fight is available online as a live stream for $9.99. I've ditched cable\ satellite years ago and its nice to see some live sports becoming available online. As we see some of the bigger creators like Disney shift to services like Netflix its just a matter of time before we see networks follow suit.

What I would love to see is networks offer online subscriptions that plugin to your device of choice, pay for a stream and receive content on your Roku or XBMX for example. There is no reason we need to be tied to a cable, satellite or phone connection specifically, its all data and I should be able to access it any way I choose.

about 2 years ago
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Is It Time For the US To Ditch the Dollar Bill?

Atticka Not a big deal... (943 comments)

Up north we have 1$ and 2$ coins and its really NOT an issue. Time to get over the "no way, not ever, coins are icky" attitude and do the responsible thing to save money.

Honestly, something has to be done to reduce government expenditure and this is a simple, no brainer way to go about it.

about 2 years ago
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PressureNET 2.1 Released: the Distributed Barometer Network For Android

Atticka Re:Why do the phones have barometric sensors? (82 comments)

They were originally added to assist with navigation (they double as an altimeter, sensing pressure changes due to elevation) allowing the phone to acquire GPS lock quicker by using the data in conjunction with latitude and longitude calculations.

about 2 years ago
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Vegetative State Man 'Talks' By Brain Scan

Atticka Re:Not moving is very painful (202 comments)

Once the lines of communication were opened (simple yes\no answers) the patient was asked if he was in pain and he indicated he was not.

about 2 years ago
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Vegetative State Man 'Talks' By Brain Scan

Atticka Re:False positive? (202 comments)

I listened to an interview with the doctor that was performing the tests, this is how it works....

The patient was asked to think about playing tennis since these types of thoughts are known to create noticeable and distinct brain activity that can be observed. The patient was then asked to think about walking around his house creating a distinctly different brain pattern.

The patient was then asked a series of questions and advised to think of "playing tennis" for a yes and "walking around the house" for a no. A series of test questions (like a polygraph) were asked, is the sky blue, is your name Scott, etc... lines of communication were opened.

The test went further to ask if the patient was in pain, and he indicated that he was not.

about 2 years ago
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Ask Slashdot: What Would You Include In a New Building?

Atticka Infrastructure Suggestions (422 comments)

Power - Run all that you can on 208V to help reduce power overhead (no need for step down) with a good UPS with graceful shutdown on non-critical systems. Look in to isolating your equipment from the machine shop if you expect a lot of power fluctuations (I'm not familiar the power draw on CNC machines, inductive loads can wreak havoc on IT equipment).
Interference - Consider running fiber between closets if you expect the cable run to cross an area with high levels of interference.
Cabling - Wiring panels and conduit with room to grow, already mentioned a number of times in other posts.
Wireless and Security - POE is your friend, you can control power from your data center and no need to spend money installing power in the ceiling just for an access point or security camera.
Wireless Site Survey - If wireless plays a role in your organization get a complete wireless survey done before and after the machine shop is up and running. The environment can change after systems are up and running.
Virtual Environment - VDI from VMWare is great, keep the desktop virtualized in a controlled environment with cheap replaceable terminals on the machine shop floor (some new terminals and phones are no powered by POE as well, complete control from your server room!).

Sounds like fun, enjoy!

about 2 years ago
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Rapid Arctic Melt Called 'Planetary Emergency'

Atticka Re:Press coverage (757 comments)

This was also broadcast last night on CBC News, its getting a lot of coverage here in Canada!

more than 2 years ago
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Netflix Expects To Be Unprofitable In 2012

Atticka Re:Good, but not for the reasons I had hoped for. (323 comments)

Actually, its healthy for your kids to be exposed to cold, germs, etc...

Get them outside, go skating at the rink, go tobogganing, cross country skiing, downhill skiing, snowshoeing, sign up for a winter survival course just for fun, build a snowman....

Lots of stuff to do!

more than 2 years ago
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Toronto School Bans Hard Balls

Atticka Contact info for the school (319 comments)

Looks like the school has removed the contacts on their web site. If anyone would like to email the school regarding this, here are the email details

Superintendent
Roula.Anastasakos@tdsb.on.ca

General inbox for the school
EarlBeatty@tdsb.on.ca

Enjoy!

more than 2 years ago
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NRC Relicensing Old "Zombie" Nuclear Plants

Atticka Lesson to be learned... (260 comments)

Have none of these people played Sim City? Running your power plants over capacity never ends well!

more than 4 years ago
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Suitable Naming Conventions For Workstations?

Atticka Try this... (688 comments)

Two initials of the employee and their extension.

SL8846

If the user has more than one machine

SL8846
SL8846_2
SL8846_3

If you have multiple location, give each location a letter code as well (T for the Texas office for example)

TSL8846

Or something similare. Save these in a spreadsheet for quick reference of course, but with a naming convention like this each workstation user is easily located.

more than 5 years ago

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