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Seagate Bulks Up With New 8 Terabyte 'Archive' Hard Drive

Mostly a lurker Re:Helium and the density of the disc (219 comments)

From the summary:

HGST decided to go the helium route, allowing it to pack more platters into a drive .

(emphasis mine)

about a week ago
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"Fat-Burning Pill" Inches Closer To Reality

Mostly a lurker Re:Magic Pill - Self Discipline (153 comments)

Your suggestion is difficult to disagree with, as long as there is no pleasanter solution. However, if a safe and effective "thin pill" can be developed, I (for one) would use it in preference to starving myself and depriving myself of favorite foods.

about a week ago
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With Eyes on China, Intel Invests Billions In Mobile Ambitions

Mostly a lurker Re:Big Mistake (33 comments)

If you believe advances in lithography are no longer occurring, you are clearly unfamiliar with the huge investments attempting to bring EUVL (extreme ultra violet lithography) to production fabs. However, in another sense, you are correct that other technologies (such as plasmonics) are going to be more important in developing the future 3D chips. You have not convinced me that Intel's move is going to make it much easier for China to become leaders in these areas than Micron's R&D centers in Shanghai and Xiamen and its fab in Xian.

about two weeks ago
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With Eyes on China, Intel Invests Billions In Mobile Ambitions

Mostly a lurker Re:Big Mistake (33 comments)

Perhaps. That is certainly a valid concern. However, the state of the art in this area is continually advancing very quickly. Just having an advanced fab in China does not mean that Chinese engineers are able to create the next generation chips and fabs. I think Intel's move is quite logical, and the danger of intellectual property theft not too serious in their case.

about two weeks ago
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Samsung's Open Source Group Is Growing, Hiring Developers

Mostly a lurker Samsung's own firmware/software ready to improve? (51 comments)

I have long respected both Samsung's commitment to R&D and the general quality of their hardware. Unfortunately, they have never quite managed to couple this with well thought out firmware and software. I hope they are intending to package best in class open source components with an intelligent framework. If so, I am sure the quality of their offerings will improve markedly.

about two weeks ago
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Pizza Hut Tests New "Subconscious Menu" That Reads Your Mind

Mostly a lurker Rather good idea, I think (186 comments)

I rather like the concept, if applied well. What usually happens now is an impatient server wanting you to order asap. This could be a boon to those who like to take their time ordering. No need for any human to be involved until the menu says your order is finalized.

about two weeks ago
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Stars Traveling Close To Light Speed Could Spread Life Through the Universe

Mostly a lurker Cubic gigaparsec ... (184 comments)

Ummm, how many Olympic sized swimming pools is that?

about three weeks ago
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New Snowden Docs Show GCHQ Paid Telcos For Cable Taps

Mostly a lurker The ultimate big data challenge (90 comments)

It would be fascinating to know the infrastructure and methods used for storage and to process this volume of data. Presumably, they initially store everything, and then somehow process it to decide what is worth keeping as future potential blackmail material, or occasionally intelligence purposes. The scale of the task is mind boggling.

about three weeks ago
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US DOE Sets Sights On 300 Petaflop Supercomputer

Mostly a lurker Re:Nice and all, but where's the beef? (127 comments)

The singularity, where supercomputers can advance scientific knowledge unaided by humans, is still some way off. However, you are mistaken if you believe there have not been huge advances in scientific knowledge in the last 20 years, or if you believe the rapid pace of advancement would have been possible without the computing power that has become available to support that effort. In earth sciences, medicine, high energy physics, astronomy, meteorology and many other scientific areas, the simulation and information organization capabilities facilitated by state of the art supercomputers have been absolutely crucial.

about a month ago
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Ask Slashdot: Can You Say Something Nice About Systemd?

Mostly a lurker Mixed feelings (928 comments)

Sometimes, availability really is critical. In that case I want to take the risk of an automatic restart before the cause is investigated. However, it is important to appreciate that the approach is risky . The restart can cause cascading errors that change a reasonably simple issue into a multi day recovery operation.

about a month and a half ago
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Machine Learning Expert Michael Jordan On the Delusions of Big Data

Mostly a lurker Re:zomg singularity! (145 comments)

I was disappointed at how in claiming a never-ending increase in the pace of technological advancement, Kurzweil never dealt with the regulatory and consumer factors, and the whole notion of how humans perceive time in general. The wheels of government can only move so fast, and so mankind's access to radical new technology outside the lab (e.g. self-driving cars, new medical tech) must slow down to match the speed of regulatory agencies.

You make some good points. However, I believe the march towards the singularity will march inexorably forward for one (highly undesirable) reason: the insatiable appetite of the leaders of nations for power. The populations of those countries will not even be allowed to know much of what is being developed with hundreds of billions of their tax dollars, but technologies that leaders perceive could enhance their ability to dominate the world will be financed. There will be no regulation. If you want to know the state of the art in visual recognition, you should look at military applications: robot soldiers and autonomous drones. For applications of big data (especially its usefulness in widespread blackmailing activities) then, in spite of some initial missteps, look at the pervasive collection of data by the world's "intelligence agencies".

about 2 months ago
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Manga Images Depicting Children Lead to Conviction in UK

Mostly a lurker Distasteful stuff, but should not be illegal (475 comments)

The laws against child pornography should be aimed at protecting children from exploitation, not in making morality statements. Cartoon drawings of children engaging in sex acts certainly indicate people with pretty sick imaginations, but no children are hurt in their creation or consumption. I have seen worse on walls in public washrooms.

about a month ago
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Designing Tomorrow's Air Traffic Control Systems

Mostly a lurker What is new? (72 comments)

I cannot find much detail on this, but it sounds suspiciously like well known techniques for avoiding congestion in complex systems that I learned in queuing theory over 40 years ago.

about 2 months ago
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Can ISO 29119 Software Testing "Standard" Really Be a Standard?

Mostly a lurker Re:Where is the standard????????? (152 comments)

I guess the website's testing process failed to catch the edge case where someone wanted to navigate past the home page.

about 4 months ago
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Scientists Baffled By Unknown Source of Ozone-Depleting Chemical

Mostly a lurker No data, so choose your favorite villain (303 comments)

Since the source is completely unclear, most posters will blindly assume it is the fault of whichever group is their bête noire. Some favorites will likely be China, North Korea and Russia, but use your imagination folks. There is just as much evidence that it is caused by evil bankers, genetically modified foods, pedophiles or US militarism.

about 3 months ago
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Scientists Find Traces of Sea Plankton On ISS Surface

Mostly a lurker Hitchhiker's explanation (117 comments)

Presumably, someone has been using the infinite improbability drive.

about 4 months ago
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EFF: US Gov't Bid To Alter Court Record in Jewel v. NSA

Mostly a lurker Re:Duh! (78 comments)

Considering the request to rewrite the record also required the falsification to be secret, how would we know how many times this has been done in the past. We only know that this is the first time such a request has been rejected. I personally suspect it might only have been rejected because of the large number of witnesses of the original hearing.

about 4 months ago
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Put Your Code in the SWAMP: DHS Sponsors Online Open Source Code Testing

Mostly a lurker Looks good to me (67 comments)

The knee jerk reaction, of course, is to look for a catch in anything Homeland Security is doing. However, this seems like a really good idea. Finally, they are contributing in a positive way to public safety.

about 5 months ago
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Meet Carla Shroder's New Favorite GUI-Textmode Hybrid Shell, Xiki

Mostly a lurker Re:Welcome to Macintosh Programmers Workshop, 1985 (176 comments)

Believe it or not, using 2260 terminals connected to an IBM 360 mainframe running MVT/ASP, I was able to rerun commands anywhere on the screen back in 1973!

about 6 months ago

Submissions

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Mostly a lurker Mostly a lurker writes  |  more than 8 years ago

Mostly a lurker (634878) writes "I am preparing to reorganise my primary desktop (again). I need to be mobile, so I actually use a Shuttle XPC with a couple of sizeable harddrives rather than using a separate server for file storage. Mostly, I run completely within VMware virtual machines as this allows quick and easy switching between different test and stable environments. My preferred host is Linux but, every now and again, I need access to some piece of hardware that mandates that I boot up Windows. Thus, I need a dual boot MS Windows, Linux setup with:
  • very little installed in these host systems I boot into;
  • virtual machines on filesystems that are portable between Linux and Windows;
  • shared filesystems that are accessed (read/write) by many different Linux, Windows and occasionally other virtual machines.
I am most interested in having a solution that is robust. Performance is also important, but not at the expense of reliability. Selective compression would be nice (for instance, I keep commonly used CD/DVD images on disk and some compress nicely).

I do not regard these as exotic requirements in 2006, but (unless I am missing something) all available solutions fall short in one way or another:
  1. FAT32 — This seems the only fully supported solution. Irrecoverable filesystem corruption is always a risk and performance is pretty poor.
  2. Ext2 Installable File System for Windows — This looks like a possible solution as I use Linux most of the time. Essentially, it seems to allow full Ext3 filesystem support for Linux and limited Ext3 filesystem support for Windows. Most of the restrictions under Windows I could live with, but I am uncomfortable with the lack of journaling support. It is also unclear to me how robust a solution this would be generally.
  3. Mount Everything 3.0 , a commercial product from Paragon that has full Ext2/Ext3 support: unclear whether this has any major advantages over the free version;
  4. ReiserDriver — At one time, this was a promising project to provide ReiserFS support under Windows. Unfortunately, development seems to have stopped and I doubt it would be robust enough for my purposes.
  5. NTFS — An NTFS solution of some kind is the way I am leaning right now. There are all kinds of attempts at NTFS support under Linux. To summarise the main ones I am aware of
    • standard Linux 2.6 NTFS driver: full read support, limited write support; robust, but inadequate for my purposes;
    • ntfsmount, a FUSE based driver by Yura Pakhuchiy: less limited write support, stability questionable; unless someone can convince me otherwise, the limitations will still be too severe and the reliability too uncertain for my purposes;
    • ntfs-3g, an extension of ntfsmount by Szabolcs Szakacsits: very exciting new option, but very new; has full read/write support and, seemingly, excellent performance; this may be the solution in six months, but I am not brave enough to risk my primary work box to it right now;
    • Paragon NTFS for Linux 5.0, a commercial driver provising full read/write support; I have heard criticisms that this is not robust, and performance is said to be mediocre; interested in further opinions;
    • Captive NTFS, another FUSE based solution by Jan Kratochvil; this provides a wrapper around the standard NTFS filesystem driver; the project seemed to lose steam for a while, but has had a recent new lease of life; I am very interested in opinions on the general state of this project;
I am wondering if I am missing an obvious alternative approach here. Are there others with similar problems? What have you come up with?"

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