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How Intel and Micron May Finally Kill the Hard Disk Drive

Kjella Re:Hybrids are where it's at (for me) (247 comments)

For a laptop I see it but for a desktop I clearly prefer small SSD+big HDD for predictable performance and flexibility. Most big data is videos, photo and audio which are played sequentially or in big enough chunks like one photo at the time that random access times and IOPS don't matter, a defragged hard drive is simply perfect for the task. You get really cheap, slow 4+ TB drives that can't be beat on GB/$. Once I excluded that data, I found a 128GB SSD was slightly cramped and 256GB plentiful, I just checked and I'm using 180GB now but could easily get it down to 110GB if I wanted. I really don't have more data where an SSD makes sense.

Then again with Netflix, Spotify etc. I see a lot of people going very lightweight, with Steam it's pretty easy to nuke a game you haven't used in a while to free up space so I guess the trend is towards SSD being enough with hybrids as a temporary intermediate. Even on torrents download, watch and delete seems to be a trend instead of trying to archive the Internet. Some do, of course because they're pack rats like me. But I did clear out 5TB of content that I figured I'd definitively not watch again and some I guess I never watched at all, just started and got bored thinking I might return some day. The only content I need to keep is the stuff I've made myself.

9 minutes ago

How Intel and Micron May Finally Kill the Hard Disk Drive

Kjella Re:LOL (247 comments)

My first computer stored data on audio tape! (...) I don't think we're beating that unless someone here is old enough to have used core memory or fluid delay lines.

Commodore 64 or similar right? Heck, I did that and I don't think that's anything special here on /. it's 80s tech. Now let me get my dad in here so he can tell you all about vacuum tube computers, you kids and your fancy schmanzy transistors. In other words, I think you're solidly beat.

about an hour ago

About 40% of World Population Online, 90% of Offliners In Developing Countries

Kjella Re:40% are subsistence farmers (31 comments)

Considering that 30%~ of the world are subsistence farmers, and 40~%+ are involved in farming I am not surprised. I highly doubt that Sub-Saharan Africa should be worrying about the myth of the digital divide for most of the people there. Or the people that don't use money in central America. I mean 50% of the world eats with their hands. 1st world People have weird priorities sometimes. I hope this group isn't getting any donated money.

So were my grandparents, education precedes change. If you formulate it like "What good is Internet going to do for a subsistence farmer?" the answer is not much. Heck, you can say the same about literacy. If you formulate it like "How can we teach you more valuable skills than being a subsistence farmer?" then Internet is a great tool. Industrialized agriculture can easily grow a few extra tons of rice and beans, put them on a container ship and ship to Africa but they can't afford it. Internationally they operate with two limits at $1.25/day and $2/day at purchasing power parity, which generally means even less nominally in poorer countries. So the question is, if they work all day can they do something worth $2 to me? If so can they can stop working as subsistence farmers, work for us and buy their food.

Of course you can't expect much, they'll probably make Indian workers seem skilled by comparison. The language they know is probably not English. But at least they got a chance of tapping into a huge market where there's a lot of people who from their perspective have a lot of money. And very often there's this one guy who speaks English who can translate and sublet to others, that's how outsourcing to India works. I know that's how many migrant workers do it too, one team/work leader that speaks English most of the rest need translators. It gets the job done, they key is just getting on the lowest level of the ladder where learning more means earning more. The rest will work itself out.

1 hour ago

Top Counter-Strike Players Embroiled In Hacking Scandal

Kjella Re:Various hacking tools? (175 comments)

I guess it's some kind of meta-game, the same way every forum attract trolls every game attract cheaters. Even playing free recreational chess, no prizes, no loot, nothing but a meaningless, unofficial ranking you run into people who set up a bot for shits and giggles. Then again it's better than the people who play games like a job, the goal is not to have fun it's to grind so you can reach the next level for more of almost the same. And with "Freemium" you can take the addicts' money too, not just their life.

6 hours ago

How the Pentagon's Robots Would Automate War

Kjella Re:Time to invent a robot-killer (108 comments)

Good luck sneaking up on a robot with 360 degree sensors and flipping a switch that's probably behind a locked panel when it's in combat mode. Or give commands to a robot that only takes digitally signed orders with a chain of trust all the way to a root key deep in a vault somewhere in the US, verified in hardware and tamper-proofed so you'll with 99.999% probability will break it before you can circumvent the signature validation. And even then they probably have unique single use kill codes to stop a malfunctioning robot. Assuming it won't just blow itself up rather than be captured, at least the essential bits. Sure you can take the physical parts like guns and fire manually, but I doubt you'll ever get much working software and without that you're still a man against a robot army that's totally indifferent to both your and their losses.

9 hours ago

LinkedIn Study: US Attracting Fewer Educated, Highly Skilled Migrants

Kjella Re:Perspective (308 comments)

I have a high six-figure income, and I've money in the bank. I'm not a "1%er" but I'm up there with the rest...

If I recall correctly, any six-figure salary makes you a 0,1%er globally. It doesn't really show until you travel but then it's just weird, like people making less in a year than you make in a week. It's no wonder they like tourists or our money anyway, to them it seems we have insane amounts and because it's relatively cheap we're inclined to spend it more loosely as well. But if they ever came to visit me, they'd think paying >$10000/m^2 for an apartment is absurdity itself.


Complex Life May Be Possible In Only 10% of All Galaxies

Kjella Re:Let's do the math (284 comments)

Not really, space may be infinite but as far as we know there's a finite amount of energy which by E=mc^2 means a finite amount of mass and since there's a lower bound on the mass of a star and stars to form a galaxy the number of galaxies must be finite.


Alva Noe: Don't Worry About the Singularity, We Can't Even Copy an Amoeba

Kjella Re:Armchair cognitive scientist (421 comments)

And still it boils down to us giving it task and the computer executing it, once it's done it shuts down. What do you do to build an AI that doesn't have any particular purpose, just a general curiosity for life? What do you do to create a sense of self-awareness and an AI that doesn't want to be terminated? Computers are incredible at executing tasks people give it, but it doesn't have a self. It doesn't do anything by itself for itself because it wants to do it. But since we have no clue what makes us tick, I don't suppose there's much chance we can teach an AI.

2 days ago

Highly Advanced Backdoor Trojan Cased High-Profile Targets For Years

Kjella Re:Microsoft Windows only (139 comments)

Unix (Linux) is about as far from a monoculture as you can get while still remaining reasonably compatible between distributions, and it was built with security in mind.

It was designed from scratch to be a multi-user system, which is neat and took Microsoft at least until UAC in 2006 to really implement. On the other hand Microsoft is the one who had a fleet of PCs that needed managing and created AD, which is the bread and butter of most corporate networks. That you can ssh in and run scripts isn't even close, I know there are third party tools to mimic some of it but there it's Microsoft that has the native advantage. And you can lock it way more down than the defaults.

In the end, even when you work with sensitive or critical information it's about getting the job done. And here's the real deal with how it works most place. Say 100 admins choose Windows, 99 do fine and one is hit by lightning. And 100 admins choose Linux, 99 get the evil eye and one is a hero for dodging lightning. Who wins? Usually the Windows admins where shit didn't hit the fan, because the happy Windows users outnumber the miserable Linux users. Those who got pwned aren't enough to swing the overall mood.

2 days ago

DreamWorks Reveals Glimpse of "Super Cinema" Format For VR Films

Kjella Re:And the butchering of language continues (39 comments)

Well, I'm not sure I agree. The wikipedia definition:

Virtual Reality (VR), sometimes referred to as immersive multimedia, is a computer-simulated environment that can simulate physical presence in places in the real world or imagined worlds.

I think some limited forms of "simulated physical presence" is possible here in situations where you're not free to move, but the world appears to move around you, for example you're on a roller coaster ride. Granted that is somewhat like what you could do with 3D IMAX, but the goggles means you get full 360 degree experience as if you were the only one there, you can't break the illusion by looking at the people next to you. Being on the back of a giant bird like they show in the demo as well. Here's the Navy in a parachute VR simulator, you could probably get the tandem jump experience. What you don't get is control, you can't ride the bird or direct the parachute because it's a movie. You're on a scripted experience that must be exactly the same each run, it could still be pretty cool though.

P.S. Actual 3D movies with screen changes would probably be quite disturbing, it's one thing to flip from angle to angle and location to location on a 2D/3D screen, either you have to do it very differently or it's like getting randomly teleported around constantly.

2 days ago

Corning Reveals Gorilla Glass 4, Promises No More Broken IPhones

Kjella Re:people drop their phones :( (198 comments)

Fuck, I drop mine at least one a month onto something solid.

I guess the problem is you... I've had my iPhone for almost 4 years now, cracked the screen once from hitting a stone floor but I don't blame it and a case adds annoyingly much bulk, I tried it and stopped. It's different from back when the screen was a small auxiliary to a phone, using the screen is now the main purpose of a smartphone. That means it needs to be way bigger and more exposed, Apple or not.

2 days ago

In a Self-Driving Future, We May Not Even Want To Own Cars

Kjella Re:wow (453 comments)

Well, mainly because it'd be a total pain to let anyone else use it so there's no real advantage to rent it except for professional maintenance/repair/fleet management. If my apartment building had a "house Roomba" that I could book to come in and clean a few hours a week while at work I'd easily rent that service. Even with a daily commute I'd wager that a car could manage three rounds (7 AM, 8 AM, 9 AM in the morning, 3 PM, 4 PM, 5 PM in the evening) instead of just one as well as off-hour trips and not everyone needs a car every weekend so I imagine there's significant cost savings. Taxis are very nice in everything except price.

2 days ago

How "Big Ideas" Are Actually Hurting International Development

Kjella Re:Why giving ? (91 comments)

It's called White Guilt. Google it.

Also, a corollary according to Jerry Pournelle: "Liberalism is a philosophy of consolation for Western Civilization as it commits suicide."

And he also describes his politics as "somewhere to the right of Genghis Khan". I guess if you see the non-Western Civilization as the enemy, then foreign aid is aiding and abetting them. Because total war justifies children dying of starvation, dirty water, lack of housing or basic healthcare. Except western civilization has been "helping the savages" for a long time, what's lacking is just the religious indoctrination of missionaries, I guess without the reward in followers it's not worth the compassion. Sounds like a great Christian. Here in Norway we've pretty much stopped pushing Christianity on people, there's still a lot of personal faith but I am somewhat concerned that other aggressive religions continues to expand and convert but I'm hoping they can be secularized too. It's not like the Church has been the shining example of democracy, equality, tolerance etc. anyway.

Part of that nationalism is significantly overrated, I don't care if Norwegians eat sushi (Japan). I don't care if they listen to blues (US) or reggae (Jamaica). I don't care if hundreds of millions read/watch Harry Potter to create some kind of "global" culture, though I suppose that's <10% actually. What I do care about are laws and social norms, we've spent the last 100+ years turning Christianity from a patriarchal, reactionary, homophobic organization who fought hard against all kinds of self-perceived "wickedness" to a mostly cuddly care bear so we could have peace, prosperity and progress. If you look at the worst ongoing conflicts the biggest and worst are always about religion. Even if ours is somewhat benign it's part of the problem, not the solution.

2 days ago

Ask Slashdot: Best Practices For Starting and Running a Software Shop?

Kjella Hiring people with a clue is harder than it looks (175 comments)

At a consulting company I used to work at we defined our "core processes" and in a bizarre act of simple self insight - probably because it wasn't billable - they found we had two:

1. Sell
2. Deliver

You're the system architect, are you the one doing the selling? Because I can't stress this enough, if you're not making sales you're going out of business fast. Even if you don't need a traditional salesman somebody has to promote the product in all sorts of media and get the word out to all your potential customers. The other part is having at least one guy who really groks code, since you're not it. You're going to produce a version 1.0 and it's going to have rough edges and it's going to have bugs. You won't have the to do all the things you'd like to do because you need to ship and make money, so stay on top of your early clients and make sure what bothers them is a top priority.

Is it a database-driven UI application? If so make sure you got database design experience as horrible table design and data inconsistencies will come back to haunt you, user interface designer who can also double as technical writer so your users actually understand to use it - this is also far harder than you think - in addition to the generic data processing skills. And really if that's three people, one salesman and if you haven't even started yet I wouldn't plan past that at the moment. If you're still alive and making money and looking to expand then you can start considering the rest. You'll quickly enough see where you need more people because you're out of resources, don't forget that the primary concern is running a business and secondary keeping your employees happy, if you fail at the first you fail.

3 days ago

Eizo Debuts Monitor With 1:1 Aspect Ratio

Kjella Re:yes (326 comments)

Not just that, we use a very limited part of our vision. The actual reading we do with the super-sharp fovea (3 degrees wide) while keeping track of line to line using the semi-sharp macula (18 degrees wide). The remaining 160 degrees of horizontal vision and 120 degrees of vertical vision aren't really effective to use. What you want for immersion like games or video is totally different from the optimal width for a newspaper column. In fact, an A4 page full of typically sized text is probably too wide and an artifact of punch cards and typewriters, research suggests ~60 characters per line rather than 80 as optimal. And we got 600 years of research on this.

3 days ago

Another Hint For Kryptos

Kjella Re:Why bother? (50 comments)

If you can do that, then you know how complex you can make your cypher for a competition page, and how simple you can afford it when building a TrueCrypt replacement.

Come on, there's an arbitrary number of formulas that could be used to encode the next bit. If you look at a sequence 1 3 5 7 and ask what's the next number most people would answer 9. Then the answer is "11, because it's the odd numbers excluding squares like 3*3 = 9" and people would go "How the f*ck should I know that?" and there's no analytic function that says how "weird" your formula is. You're just making a guess of how long it'd take before someone tries a formula like this, it could be in five minutes or fifty years.

Also, a cypher would be all but useless for building a TrueCrypt replacement because the secret is in the algorithm, not the key. Everyone with the software would have the cypher, it only works if that's a shared secret between you and the one you want to communicate with. Modern cryptographic software is built on the assumption that the algorithm is so strong that it doesn't matter unless the attacker has the key. Why create anything less, unless you plan to do it by hand?

3 days ago

Mozilla's 2013 Report: Revenue Up 1% To $314M; 90% From Google

Kjella Re:Wait, 314 million per year? (161 comments)

Translation: Our core business (browsers) is so ridiculously profitable and since our mission is open ended we can spend it on almost any pet project we like. Sounds like a good opportunity for a smaller and more focused group to create a better fork and run off with the market, but what do I know. It seems Firefox was initially a two-three man project (depending on which page I look at) that rebelled against the Mozilla suite, with ~17% market share (according to StatCounter) being worth $300 million then 0.17% should be worth $3 million. That sounds like solid money for a reachable goal, if you got enhancements that would make 1% of the user base switch.

3 days ago

Windows Kernel Version Bumped To 10.0

Kjella Re:Guffaw! So much overhaul it's FOUR better! (170 comments)

Some developers, on the other hand, would probably be quite annoyed if there's a version 7 kernel which doesn't match with Windows 7, a version 8 kernel which has nothing to do with Windows 8, and a version 9 kernel which seems awfully close to Windows 95/98.From that point of view, Microsoft should really have started this with Windows 7 - but Windows 10 is the next major opportunity to so after having to skip Windows 9 anyway.

Probably this, but who says they'll keep bumping it? Maybe they really wanted to do 7 now and 10 was the first non-confusing number. Maybe Windows 11 => 10.1, Windows 12 = 10.2, Windows 13 = 10.3, Windows 14 = 14. Like so many point out, it's not really a number anyway and you don't do arithmetic with it. 10 > 6 the same way 7 > 6, either way it's a major version bump. I doubt anyone in marketing even knows what kernel version they're running and if they did they wouldn't care.

4 days ago

It's Not Developers Slowing Things Down, It's the Process

Kjella Requirements, specifications and solutions (185 comments)

The article encourages managers to let devs contribute to the process and say "No" if the specs are too vague.

Well, I hate getting into a process too early and I hate getting into a process too late. Too early and they still haven't agreed on what it is they want, why they want it and you end up wasting time listening to a whole lot of arguing and proposals back and forth that have nothing to do with the technical feasibility of any solution. It's like having the chef waiting while the guests are debating fish vs steak vs chicken, they're all good dishes so pick the one you want. It's another thing if they're looking for help at finding a best practice, but in my experience they don't look to IT for that.

Come in too late and the requirements are woefully inadequate while the solution is half-designed with no regards to sanity. Like a proposal I recently reviewed, it had very little in terms of objetives and results but an almost complete IT solution that'd be a technical, administrative and logistical nightmare. Written by somebody knows the subject matter very well but has never managed more than his own laptop, my Dunning-Kruger meter went all the way to 11. And he wins most arguments by exhaustion, he makes these long deliberations in a slow, monotone voice that drives me nuts.

4 days ago

Google Launches Service To Replace Web Ads With Subscriptions

Kjella Re:CPM rates, etc (301 comments)

Well, more than half the trouble with micro-payments is getting you to sign up for an account and tie it to a credit card. Once they have that, they can up-sell you more. And I'm betting Google is giving them a sweet deal because once you need to be signed in to Google to avoid the ads when visiting your favorite sites you'll in practice be signed in 24x7. And if they didn't have a good profile on you before, they sure will now.

4 days ago



Microsoft bans Firefox on Windows ARM

Kjella Kjella writes  |  more than 2 years ago

Kjella (173770) writes "In another case of "if you can't beat them, exclude them" Microsoft has decided to not allow third party browsers on Windows ARM. The reasons cited by Microsoft's Deputy General Counsel David Heiner are: "
  • ARM processors, which power virtually all iOS, Android, and Windows Phone smartphones and tablets today, are different from the x86 chips that power PCs. The chips have new requirements for security and power management, and Microsoft is the only one who can meet those needs.
  • Windows RT — the version of Windows 8 geared for ARM devices — "isn't Windows anymore."

Link to Original Source

Chrome beats IE for first time ever

Kjella Kjella writes  |  more than 2 years ago

Kjella (173770) writes "Sunday 18th of March should go down in browser history. For the first in many years IE is no longer then #1 web browser, with Chrome narrowly beating IE with 32.71% to 32.50% while Firefox on third with 24.81%. As the figures are substantially higher for Chrome and lower for IE on weekends it's only for a day but it's another big milestone. While IE still is in a clear lead in North America and Oceania, it is tied with Firefox in Europe while Chrome now leads in Asia and South America and Firefox leads in Africa."
Link to Original Source

French "three strikes" back thanks to Sark

Kjella Kjella writes  |  more than 5 years ago

Kjella (173770) writes "A little over a week ago, slashdot reported that the EU would forbid disconnecting users from the Internet. But even after having passed with an 88% approval in the European Parliament and passing through the European Commission, it was all undone as the European Council, led by French President Sarkozy removed the amendment before passing the Telecom package. This means that there's now nothing stopping France's controversial "three strikes" law from going into effect. What hope is there for a "parliament" where there is near unison agreement, yet can be completely disregarded so easily?"

Oil fall nets lame duck with free crossover wine

Kjella Kjella writes  |  about 6 years ago

Kjella (173770) writes "The good people over at CodeWeavers set up a challenge for King George to really make the most of his last days in office. The Lame Duck Presidential Challenges are to reduce the price of gas, reduce the price of food, create more jobs, rejuvenate the housing market and bring Osama bin Laden to justice. Noone realized just how he was going to do that as most of the goals were rather ambitious, but along with the doom and gloom of recession fears one of the criteria has been met. The price of gas is now back to $2.79 per gallon in the Twin Cities so break out your SUVs and party like it's 2006. For those of you instead looking to save every buck, today Crossover is giving away all their products for free, or at least gratis for the FSF fans out there. Already they're down to a light web page due to Digg, surely we can do better than that."


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