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Ask Slashdot: Where Can You Get a Good 3-Button Mouse Today?

Mostly a lurker Not mouses or mice (369 comments)

According to the authority Mr Jinks, the correct plural is "meeces"

11 hours ago
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AI Experts Sign Open Letter Pledging To Protect Mankind From Machines

Mostly a lurker A pessimistic view (258 comments)

AI is going to be used by those in power (mainly government, security agencies and military) to extend their power further.Unfortunately, humans are genetically programmed to select leaders who aggressively seek to expand the influence of their own group and of themselves. This was an important survival instinct for ancient tribes. It now contains the seeds of our total destruction, and the scientists will be powerless to prevent it.

about two weeks ago
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UK Government Department Still Runs VME Operating System Installed In 1974

Mostly a lurker Why migrate? (189 comments)

I assume these applications are not running on the original hardware. They should still be working fine on current Fujitsu mainframes. There may be a valid reason to rewrite part or all of the applications because additional functionality is needed but, too often, money is wasted replacing systems (especially mainframe systems) that still meet most of the enterprise's needs, Often, "more flexible reporting" is used as an excuse for hugely expensive rewrites, when a periodic data extract into a separate data warehouse can meet the need much better, much more cheaply, and without disruption to existing production systems.

about two weeks ago
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The Search For Starivores, Intelligent Life That Could Eat the Sun

Mostly a lurker Rolaids? (300 comments)

Some people find Mexican food hard to tolerate. This thing would need some *really* powerful indigestion medicine after that meal.

about three weeks ago
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Indiana Court Rules Melted Down Hard Drive Not Destruction of Evidence

Mostly a lurker Re:Presumption of innocence (181 comments)

In a US civil ,action there is no bias towards either side. The case is decided on a preponderance of the evidence. I am sympathetic towards file sharers. I believe they provide a valuable service that is usually legal. That said, I do not think the defendant in this case should just be allowed to get rid of potential evidence without court permission, regardless of whether he thinks it will be useful. My sense is that either the judge did not understand the technology, or he thought the infraction was limited and should not saddle the defendant with a huge default judgment. [I hope that this does not eventually get overturned on appeal.]

about three weeks ago
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US CTO Tries To Wean the White House Off Floppy Disks

Mostly a lurker She is an advisor (252 comments)

The impact she can have depends on the attitude of the President and those around him.

about three weeks ago
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Gmail Reportedly Has Been Blocked In China

Mostly a lurker Re:So what exactly is it blocking? (145 comments)

Wouldn't it be easier to filter outbound packets destined for Gmail's SMTP servers and prevent Chinese email users from sending email to Gmail users? (This is an honest question.)

I think you mean Google's MX servers (the remote end when sending email through SMTP). If so, in a word, "yes", much easier, assuming users are using SMTP servers based in China. Indeed, you could simply prevent the connections from ever taking place, simulating authentication errors.

about a month ago
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Gmail Reportedly Has Been Blocked In China

Mostly a lurker Re:So what exactly is it blocking? (145 comments)

Since SMTP allows forwarding by other servers this would require deep packet inspection.

If you mean the SMTP protocol supports chained delivery routes, then I do not think this is true (at least not used in practice). However, business customers of Gmail (at least) can request that a different SMTP server than Google's be used for outgoing mail, and (of course) anyone using an external mail client can send using any SMTP server they like.

about a month ago
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Gmail Reportedly Has Been Blocked In China

Mostly a lurker Re:So what exactly is it blocking? (145 comments)

I reckon it is more likely to motivate Chinese private businesses to host their mail outside China. Whatever else you might say about Chinese businessmen, they are very good at keeping their eye on the bottom line. The state sector might not be able to do that, but they are less export oriented anyway.

about a month ago
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Amazon "Suppresses" Book With Too Many Hyphens

Mostly a lurker Re:from the what-until-they-get-a-load-of-this dep (292 comments)

Actually, your title is an (admittedly exaggerated) example of how hyphens can assist readability. The hyphens make clear that you are using a compound adjective. In fact, a common error in writing is omitting hyphens when they are necessary. For example, someone writing I saw a man eating alligator probably meant I saw a man-eating alligator .

about a month ago
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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 month and a half 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 month and a half 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 a month and a half 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 a month and a half 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 2 months 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 2 months 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 2 months 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 2 months 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 2 months 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 3 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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