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Why Elon Musk's Batteries Frighten Electric Companies

McKing Re: Are they really that scared? (461 comments)

The electric monopoly in my area does (or at least did) see solar as a threat to the status quo. They rolled out a pilot project to subsidize solar installations under some federal government program, but did so in a way that made it pretty obvious that they intended that the pilot project would fail. When it did, they were able to tell the media "well, interest in solar is extremely low, and based on how this project failed we are not going to roll out subsidized solar at this time (we *will* keep the unused federal dollars in a shady tactic but that's a different story)". It took another 5 years but they are now coming around but in the interim they were very anti-solar.

about 2 months ago

Overbilled Customer Sues Time Warner Cable For False Advertising

McKing Re:Good for him! (223 comments)

Perfect example of a Confusopoly. Make it just annoying enough so that the bulk of the people will just say "screw it" and the company makes a lot more money (or loses way less money than they would have).

Reminds me of the hoops that you used to have to go through to get rebates on electronics back in the 90's. It should have been simple: "fill out this form, cut the UPC code off of the box (making it impossible to return), wait 4-6 weeks, deposit the check". Unfortunately, a large percentage of the time there would be no check after 6 weeks, and the procedure to actually make the claim was annoying enough that most people said "screw it" and never pursued the issue, even if they remembered that they ever sent the rebate form in 2 months ago at all.

about 3 months ago

Google Fiber To Launch In Austin, Texas In December

McKing Re:Commas matter. (88 comments)

No. The Oxford Comma specifically refers to a comma between the last two items in a series. "I went to the store for grapes, milk, and bread" versus "I went to the store for grapes, milk and bread".

The comma between the city name and the state is required; the additional comma after the state is usually needed for clarity when the city and state are used in a sentence.

about 3 months ago

Remote Exploit Vulnerability Found In Bash

McKing Re:Test string here: (399 comments)

Even if you are running homebrew's bash as your current shell, your command is just calling "bash" and not "/usr/local/bin/bash". I suspect that your PATH has /bin before /usr/local/bin. Try this instead:

env x='() { :;}; echo vulnerable' /usr/local/bin/bash -c "echo this is a test"

about 4 months ago

The State of ZFS On Linux

McKing Re:Proformance (370 comments)

The checksums don't really take up more physical overhead than a more traditional RAID + LVM setup, and performance is equivalent in my experience (albeit on Solaris 10 and not Linux). There is also the ability to turn on compression, which trades a little bit of CPU overhead for increased disk I/O performance. On a lot of workloads the difference can be dramatic.

If you are already comfortable with RAID + LVM, then I would wholeheartedly recommend ZFS for your main workstation. I would also recommend taking a look at FreeNAS if you are looking at building a network storage device. Snapshots, replication, ease of management are all ZFS strongpoints and ZFS is one of the things that I miss most about Solaris before Oracle bought them and priced themselves out of our datacenter.

about 5 months ago

Bringing New Security Features To Docker

McKing Re:jails and zones (29 comments)

When I was a sysadmin in our Unix team, I loved zones and championed them throughout our organization. In the span of a year, we migrated from scores of older, slower Sun systems into a blade chassis with 10 blades, each running Solaris 10 with up to two dozen zones each. Our big Oracle database used to run on a Sun E10000 system that was literally the size of full rack, and we moved it onto a zone on a T2 blade and gained a ton of performance. We even finally had a real DR solution, since the old solution was to manually mount the storage from the E10000 server onto a 280R that was 1/10th as powerful until we could get Sun out to fix the E10000. The new way was to setup SAN to SAN sync to our DR site, bring up the latest ZFS snapshot, and roll forward the transaction log.

Fast forward almost 10 years and Oracle has pretty much destroyed Solaris and priced themselves out of our data center. Even our most business-critical Oracle database is now running on RHEL now, and as soon as we finish migrating some production apps to RHEL VMs on Hyper-V, the Oracle hardware goes bye-bye. I have to manage some apps on RHEL and while I love working in Linux userspace again, I miss Solaris 10 for a lot of things. Stupid Oracle.

about 5 months ago

Amazon's eBook Math

McKing Re:Corporate lies! (306 comments)

Amazon works very well for self-published authors. A lot of them went the traditional route and went self-published and made a crap-ton more money as self-published as they ever did, plus they retain the ownership of their own works. http://www.hughhowey.com/

about 6 months ago

Amazon's eBook Math

McKing Re:Amazon is right (306 comments)

That's Amazon's whole point. They have the data that shows that $9.99 is pretty much the sweet spot for "major label" authors, and 5.99-7.99 for all other authors. Publishers would make a lot more money if they priced the ebook at $9.99, but they have to protect their print sales so they generally price the ebook at $14.99 so that the $12.99 paperback looks attractive.

The other forgotten point in this discussion is that traditional publishing houses "cannabalize" their back catalogs and stop printing older paperbacks when they go out of print in order to promote their newer authors and/or new "bestsellers". Ebooks never need to go out of print so it doesn't make sense to do that, but they do it anyway. They drop a book for a while, and then reprint it right when the royalty deals with the author expires, extending the deal and their "ownership" of the copyright. It's pretty shady stuff.

Read it from the indie author's view: http://www.hughhowey.com/

about 6 months ago

Nuclear Missile Command Drops Grades From Tests To Discourage Cheating

McKing Re:"unrealistic expectations of the Air Force" ? (122 comments)

That's the whole point. Every last one of these officers got above 90%, but the ones who (for example) got a 95% were promoted faster than the ones who got 93%. Answering one question wrong became at least a roadblock if not a career-killer, so they cheated to get 100%.

It like those "customer satisfaction surveys" that a lot of industries rely on. If you answer them correctly and accurately ("well they did the job adequately, no complaints so I give them 4 stars"), you are actually hurting the business or the customer service rep or the salesman. Anything less than "5-stars" becomes failure.

about 6 months ago

Massachusetts SWAT Teams Claim They're Private Corporations, Immune To Oversight

McKing Re:Libertarian nirvana (534 comments)

But the logical extreme of modern-day Libertarianism is Anarchism. We've pretty much tried every "-ism" on the books, both political and economic "-isms", and it's pretty clear from history that any "-ism", taken to its logical extreme, is a pretty bad thing that eventually collapses under its own weight and inevitable human greed and corruption. The best systems in place so far, are combinations that balance individual liberties with societies needs.

about 7 months ago

Ask Slashdot: Practical Alternatives To Systemd?

McKing Re:launchd (533 comments)

And both systemd and launchd are inferior versions of SMF from Solaris.

about 9 months ago

Facebook To Begin Deploying Btrfs

McKing Unfortunately, the GPL-compatible ZFS ship has sai (115 comments)

...and the ship's owner is named Larry Ellison. How do you expect him to be able to afford enough Ole Doc Washington's Patented Yacht Oil to win the America's Cup if he gives nice things away for free??

about 10 months ago

Google Fiber Pondering 9 New Metro Areas

McKing I just learned about San Antonio's existing dark f (172 comments)

...and now it makes a lot of sense for Google to come here. http://therivardreport.com/san... Please, please, please come to our town and take advantage of this existing dark fiber! In the press release they even have a blurb from our Mayor about making sure all elementary schools have gigabit connections within the next 6 years.

about a year ago

Google Co-Opts Whale-Watching Boat To Ferry Employees

McKing Re:Move to Austin? (373 comments)

Have you been to Austin lately? It's a lot different now that it was just 10 years ago. The only housing available is farther and farther away from the city center, and North, Central, and South Austin are like 3 different cities now. IH 35 is a parking lot most days, and it takes just as long to get over to the alternate routes like Mopac as it does to just gut it out and wait through the I35 traffic. Building a major city along a single stretch of highway with no real plans for expansion other than north and south was not a great idea.

1 year,21 days

Ask Slashdot: Can Digital Music Replace Most Instrumental Musicians?

McKing Re:Music and muzack... (328 comments)

Alternative suggestion: Go to a concert. Most music is best experienced live.


about a year ago

Target Has Major Credit Card Breach

McKing Re:Glad I paid cash a few days ago (191 comments)

This is why I have 2 checking accounts: one for paying bills and one for daily spending. I direct deposit my paycheck in the billpay account, pay all of my months bills at the beginning of the month, and then as I need to spend money I transfer the amount from billpay to spending and use my debit card. This way there is only like $20 in the spending account (for emergencies like gas or something) and if someone gets my card then they can't spend up my entire paycheck at once.

about a year ago

Google To Block Local Chrome Extensions On Windows Starting In January

McKing Re:Yet another company holding customers hostage (260 comments)

I get good products and great service from Google (search, Gmail, Chrome, and my Nexus 4). No one is "holding me hostage" to force my loyalty. That loyalty is freely given, even with the knowledge that all of my interactions with Google are tracked and stored somewhere. Every other provider of these services would track, analyze, and use this data anyway, and even if Google has shown itself to be a corporate entity with corporate goals sometimes, that doesn't mean that they have broken their "don't be evil" mission. You can be "not so good" sometimes without being "evil".

about a year ago

Movie Review: Ender's Game

McKing Re:It's a shame homophobephobes won't see it (732 comments)

To paraphrase what Mark Sisson said about marathons: "Everyone should read Moby Dick twice in their lives. Once to prove that they can finish and again to beat their time from the first one." Actually screw that. Just slog through it once and leave it alone after that. Moby Dick is only great literature because it is one of the first true adventure novels and because it is written, as the GP point out "in some old modern English that makes you feel all educated and smart when you read it". I wholeheartedly agree with this statement.

about a year ago


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