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Proposed Disk Array With 99.999% Availablity For 4 Years, Sans Maintenance

CBM Re:Academic la la bullshit. (236 comments)

This. Anybody who remembers the IBM DeskStar (a.k.a. DeathStar) debacle will remember that drives from certain batches would fail on a weekly basis. To get better independence, one would need drives in the same RAID from different manufacturers, and hopefully, from different batches.

9 hours ago

Apple Kills Aperture, Says New Photos App Will Replace It

CBM Re: My plan is to wait and see (214 comments)

So as long as I don't upgrade my computer or my operating system, I can continue to use Aperture? Sounds like a great gift from Apple.

about 7 months ago

NASA-Funded Study Investigates Collapse of Industrial Civilization

CBM Re:The difference is scale. (401 comments)

If resources become scarce, the fuel needed to power travel and to support infrastructure may not be there. Travel may become hard.

about 10 months ago

Massive Exoplanet Discovered, Challenges Established Planet Formation Theories

CBM Re:Can someone who knows about astronomy fill me i (129 comments)

A paper by Bailey et al. is here... http://arxiv.org/abs/1312.1265

The age is estimated from the primary star. Presumably the system formed all at the same time, star and planet together. (It's difficult to gain a planet in some other way, such as "capture," especially in such a short period of time since the star's birth.)

The planet's mass is estimated from the brightness and color of the planet. HD 106906 b is a rare case where the companion can be resolved from its primary so a spectrum can be measured. Known models of planet brightness can be used to work backwards from the brightness and color to get mass.

Distance is usually a hard one to solve, but in this case the star is bright and Hipparcos has a distance derived from parallax. A distance of 92 parsecs means that the annual parallax is 1/92 arcsec. For comparison the moon is 1800 parsecs in diameter.

about a year ago

Cupertino Approves New Apple Spaceship HQ

CBM Beautiful, but somewhat disappointing (172 comments)

The actual design of the building is beautiful and marvelous.

But I have to say that the entire design of the campus is a little disappointing. The buildings on campus are completely isolated from the rest of the city of Cupertino. The campus will be separated by a new security wall/fence surrounding the perimeter that will prevent all unauthorized entry, and most of the buildings will be hidden behind substantial landscaping. The plan also demolishes a city street that will disturb local automotive and bicycle routes.

Apple workers will get to appreciate the beauty of the architecture, and the calmness of the natural park-like setting, but the public will have to gaze from a distance.

I think Apple had a chance here to integrate the campus more closely with the city, and the city had an opportunity to ask for more of a community feeling than an ivory tower feeling. What if the park-like portions of the campus were an actual public park? The public could appreciate the architectural wonder and feel that the campus was at least a little bit a part of their city. What if the campus had more walking-friendly routes to and from the rest of the city, to encourage interaction between workers and local businesses? Facebook did this, by basically buying a little mini-city (http://mediagallery.usatoday.com/Inside+Facebook%27s+headquarters/G3949) which integrates work and life elements. You'd get a better city, quite frankly.

about a year ago

Could Snowden Have Been Stopped In 2009?

CBM The Real Way to Stop Snowden (247 comments)

The real way to have stopped Snowden would be for the government to not be a privacy-destroying, dossier-collecting, network-infiltrating, security-inhibiting organization that spies on its own people.

Then Snowden wouldn't have had a reason to leak.

about a year ago

A Peek At Apple's Planned $5B HQ

CBM Re:Shareholders silent as usual? (257 comments)

According to Businessweek (http://www.businessweek.com/articles/2013-04-04/apples-campus-2-shapes-up-as-an-investor-relations-nightmare) the cost is $1500 per square foot, or about 3 times the cost of luxury downtown skyscraper space.

about a year ago

Nest Protect: Trojan Horse For 'The Internet of Things'?

CBM Re:It's not "bells and whistles!!!" (177 comments)

You ordered just one Protect?

Most fire codes require a smoke detector in each bedroom, each hallway outside a bedroom, and on every level, and sometimes near kitchens and bathrooms. If you have an efficiency apartment, I guess you only need one alarm, but most homes are going to need at least 3, maybe a lot more depending on number of bedrooms and layout. At $129 per device, that starts to add up cost quickly.

about a year ago

CCC Says Apple iPhone 5S TouchID Broken

CBM Re:Easy! (481 comments)

You keep saying "it's a capacitive scanner" like that's some magical technology. Skin is partially conductive and has capacitance. The same for the derma layers under the epidermis. If you can take a picture of someone's fingerprint pattern (epidermis), that will most likely reflect the dermis pattern underneath (which is where the "blood vessels" are).

AuthentTec's own PR slides show how this works. (http://www.zvetcobiometrics.com/Documents/Trueprinttechnology.ppt)

I'm convinced the advantage of AuthenTec's technology is not that it senses the pattern of blood vessels in your finger (other than the blood vessels indicate where the dermis is), but rather that the signals can penetrate the sapphire protection layer more easily, as well as the outer layers of scarred or abraded epidermis.

about a year ago

CCC Says Apple iPhone 5S TouchID Broken

CBM Re:Easy! (481 comments)

Yep. A briefing by the designing company, AuthenTec, found here,
shows that even though the sensing technology is different than static capacitance, it still basically reads your fingerprint pattern (see slide 12).

It probably does measure the blood vessels - the blood vessels within the derma portion of the skin that makes up your fingerprints.

about a year ago

IBM Uses Internal Kickstarters To Pick Projects

CBM Re:How to make it work (40 comments)


Kickstarter is about putting your own money where your interests are. You wouldn't do otherwise because it's your money.

This IBM project is about putting fake money where your fake interests are, so the results will be fake.

about a year ago

What Does It Actually Cost To Publish a Scientific Paper?

CBM Re:Salaries for editorial staff. (166 comments)

In the scientific field I work in, the primary journals are owned and run by our (non-profit) professional societies. The journal expenses are transparently reported the society management and membership. There is no incentive for profit, but rather to have an excellent quality journal that will be preserved for posterity. Refereeing is done pro-bono by professional members. After a few years from publication, the journal issues become open access.

Even though it is a non-profit enterprise, it's still expensive: ~ US$ 100-200 per page for submitters and $500-$2000 for annual subscriptions. The quality pays for editorial services, copyediting and publishing.

about 2 years ago

Google Distances Android From Samsung Patent Verdict

CBM Re:First Post (404 comments)

You should be a little more careful. You're right that, in the “Samsung-Apple Licensing Discussion” document, Apple proposed $30 for handsets (and $40 for tablets).

The difference is that Apple offered a 20% "discount" if Samsung licensed back all of its patents. And another unspecified discount if Samsung stopped using certain foundational technology. So those additional Apple requests had some incentive for Samsung.

That being said, I think the royalty rate of $30-$40 is pretty outrageous. When the typical cost of *all* techonology licensing royalties for a mobile device is 5-10% of the device cost, (source "IP Finance"), Apple would propose to add on another 5-8% just for itself. People used to joke about the "Microsoft tax," and this is just the same: an "Apple tax." It's pretty clear that Apple had Samsung over a barrel. Either Samsung pays an exorbitant royalty, or it stops using the patented technology, or it loses a lawsuit. Any way they sliced it, Apple was set up to win.

more than 2 years ago

Apple Tells Retailers To Stop Selling Certain Samsung Devices

CBM Re:Pretty Soon... (308 comments)

So by your logic, any company can avoid an impending injuction by setting up shell companies, and selling them vast quantities of infringing product prior to an injunction going into effect?

If the shell companies are acting in concert with Samsung, then no.

more than 2 years ago

NASA Considers Privatizing GALEX Astrophysics Satellite

CBM Making it work (71 comments)

Hopefully Caltech has a nice endowment that can help them operate GALEX, because it will not be cheap. Maybe they can help train students to be future satellite operators, and save costs that way.

I was involved in a recent decommissioning of a NASA satellite. We tried to look for a privitization route, but the private funds and the timing just didn't come together in time. Kudos to Caltech for putting this together for GALEX.

more than 2 years ago

NASA Considers Privatizing GALEX Astrophysics Satellite

CBM Re:It's a Win-Win (71 comments)

You make it sound like NASA's investment was for naught, but that's not true. GALEX operated for many years and provided great benefit to the scientific community, and to the advancement of our nation's scientific endeavors.

Caltech is already operating GALEX, and they operate the GALEX data archive. I'm not privy to the details of the agreement, but I imagine one of the stipulations is that Caltech will archive the new data just like the old data. Even if they don't, the existing data will remain in the archive forever as a legacy. It's not gone.

more than 2 years ago

NASA Considers Privatizing GALEX Astrophysics Satellite

CBM Re:Win win (71 comments)

The satellite, which could be something everybody in America gets a chance to use, is going to become the private property of not several, not a network or a special organization devoted to the satellite, but just one single university. A very expensive university in California. Why should they get it? Why not MIT? "Why not" a hundred other universities and colleges? It shouldn't be given to Caltech.

Probably because nobody else stepped up to the plate to operate the thing.

They should wait, it's not like the thing is falling out of the sky, and somebody should set up a nonprofit organization for the purpose of utilizing the satellite.

There is no "waiting." NASA is going to de-fund this satellite, and the choices are either to decomission it or transfer it to someone else.

more than 2 years ago

Apple Clarifies iBooks Author Licensing

CBM Re:Worth noting (144 comments)

At least they didn't claim they were going to make it an open standard this time and then advertise heavily that it's only between Apple devices.

Um try again....

"We’re going to the standards bodies, starting tomorrow, and we’re going to make FaceTime an open industry standard.” (Steve Jobs, July 2010)

Guess what hasn't happened since July 2010?

more than 2 years ago

Hack Targets NASA's Earth Observation System

CBM Re:Houston, we have a serious security problem... (45 comments)

I would also like to add that over the past ten years, "security" has gotten much much tighter at NASA. NASA has many roles that involve interfacing with the industrial community, the scientific community, and the public community at large. It is often difficult to reconcile those roles with the additional goal of "more security!" In fact, in the interests of blanket security, I would say that NASA's ability to interact with communities, and lead through good example, have been partially stifled in the name of security.

Another thing to mention is that often-times, large institutions like NASA are dealing with legacy systems that do not have the latest security. The common knee-jerk reaction is to say, "just upgrade it!" But the reality is that there can be knock-on effects that prevent upgrading or make it cost-prohibitive. Critical systems that have been running for years often do not have the funds or staff expertise to execute a major upgrade. But as I said, this is a problem with most large institutions, it's just that "NASA" in the title of an article makes it higher profile.

This post has my personal opinions only.

more than 3 years ago


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