Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!



Utah Attorney General Tweets Execution Order

Percy_Blakeney Re:For the record (556 comments)

They aim for the heart, not the head.

more than 4 years ago

Utah Attorney General Tweets Execution Order

Percy_Blakeney Re:For the record (556 comments)

Ronnie Lee Gardner didn't die "before he hit the ground", and the shots were very accurate. From the linked eyewirness account:

Some 30 seconds later, and without warning, a loud "ba-BOOM" repeats through the chamber. The target is hit in what appears to be four places: two shots hitting very near the bulls-eye in the middle; another bullet within the first circle but lower and to the right. The fourth hits the target in the lower left corner, outside both the circle and the bulls-eye.

Gardner still moves. From the witness area to the left of his body, his left thumb is still tracing a circular pattern. His left arm then clenches, slowly raises up a couple of inches, straining against the straps binding him, then back down. Then up. Then down....

He still moves. It seems to last a long time, but we later learn it was only about a minute and a half.

I'm not arguing it wasn't comparatively humane, but he didn't die within seconds.

more than 4 years ago

Microsoft Sues Over Patents

Percy_Blakeney Re:Patent titles in the summary are meaningless (243 comments)

The problem with ideas is that they seem obvious in hindsight. Prior to that, clearly nobody had implemented it.. so the idea couldn't have been that obvious.

This is true in perhaps many cases, but not so with the '768 patent. Displaying menus using applets? That wasn't an innovative idea, it was taking a very, very old idea (menus) and implementing it using the technology-of-the-month (applets). If you consider this patent to be non-obvious, then you'll be really impressed with my next innovation: menus using the HTML5 canvas tag! Or my other one: menus using SVG!

more than 4 years ago

Cory Doctorow Draws the Line On Net Neutrality

Percy_Blakeney Re:A couple points to consider (381 comments)

"Finally, there's the question of metered billing for ISP customers." This has nothing to do with net neutrality.

Actually, it can. Cable companies offer both a video service and an internet service. They have a very strong financial incentive to limit the usage of Internet-based video services (e.g. Hulu), since they cut into the need to use the cable company's own video service. The solution is simple: impose bandwidth caps, regardless of the actual marginal cost of providing more bandwidth.

I'm not saying that they can't impose caps, but they need to be reasonable. Time Warner's recent attempt at caps was pretty bad -- it was clear to me that they were trying to protect their video business -- while Comcast's 250GB seems better.

more than 5 years ago

97 of Top 100 Classified Sites Are Craigslist

Percy_Blakeney Not exactly true (193 comments)

I think this report is misleading. It should be titled "97 of top 100 pure-play classifieds sites are craigslist".

Hitwise assigns every web site to a single category, like "classifieds" or "news". If your site spans multiple categories, then you have to choose the one that defines you best. Since many traditional classifieds providers are also large news sites, you'll find that there are a lot of major sites that are missing from this list of "classifieds" sites.

I'm not saying that craigslist isn't the powerhouse of online classifieds, but to simply ignore a wide range of classifieds providers because they also provide news is kind of silly.

more than 5 years ago

KY Appeals Court Nixes Seizure of Gambling-Linked Domains

Percy_Blakeney Re:Great... (102 comments)

This isn't interstate commerce. Telling a company, "You can't create a website at" is no different than telling a company they can't build a gambling house in Louisville.

Bad example, since they are seizing .com domains, not .ky (though you probably meant Perhaps if the gambling sites had some physical presence in the state (e.g. servers or employees) then Kentucky could try to shut them down, but most of those gambling sites aren't physically anywhere close to Kentucky.

Go visit Utah sometime. If you want gambling or porn, you have to drive to Nevada.

You're only half right -- Utah doesn't allow gambling, but you can buy Playboy in a store. My wife used to work at a major bookstore chain which carried them.

more than 5 years ago

Obama Recommends Delay In Digital TV Switch

Percy_Blakeney Re:Really that big deal? (589 comments)

That's what your cable bill is for -- to pay for the wiring and access to the programming.

Not true:

According to research firm SNL Kagan, Viacom's MTV receives about 32 cents per subscriber per month from cable operators, while Nickelodeon receives an average of 45 cents a month. Operators pay 86 cents a month per subscriber for the Disney Channel, which commands a higher fee because it runs commercial-free.

more than 5 years ago

Google Router Rumors

Percy_Blakeney Re:Not in "hardware business," won't sell routers (267 comments)

It's not marketing-speak.

You bet it's marketing speak -- you didn't quote any numbers, instead preferring to use the term "enterprise-level".

Hint: small frames/packets can often kill commodity PC routers.

Perhaps you should drop that hint to Cisco -- most of their small to mid-sized routers have the same exact issue. It isn't an issue that's limited to commodity PCs.

And to be clear, Vyatta might very well be able to do 2-3 Gbps with 64 byte packets.

Of course it's with 64-byte packets: that's the common lingo of network hardware manufacturers. You can find similar throughput measurements on every piece of Cisco or Juniper equipment. Anyone that quotes bandwidth throughput in passing will use the 64-byte figure, since it's always the highest one.

more than 5 years ago

Google Router Rumors

Percy_Blakeney Re:Not in "hardware business," won't sell routers (267 comments)

No, not possible. GigE is hardly relevant anymore.

Huh? Gigabit ethernet is "hardly relevant"? What world are you living on?

Even so, you can't get enterprise-level packets per second performance on commodity PC hardware.

Well, it's hard to refute a statement that uses marketing-speak like "enterprise-level pps performance". A commodity PC can achieve gigabit throughput, though: Vyatta claims their x86-based 2502 appliance can achieve 2-3 Gbps.

GigE kit is cheap enough to not do it yourself.

I guess it depends on how you define "cheap".

more than 5 years ago

Google Router Rumors

Percy_Blakeney Re:Not in "hardware business," won't sell routers (267 comments)

This you miss the part where I pointed out that they have half a million servers?

There is not a direct correlation between number of servers and bandwidth usage. In addition, Google wouldn't necessarily build a router that satisfies every routing need that they have -- they would build a router that would effectively and cheaply satisfy some of their needs. I have little doubt that, even with their own commodity routing platform, they would continue to buy high-end routing platforms for certain things.

Plus, you shouldn't discount the performance of a server-based router. The NANOG mailing list recently discussed the topic, and at least one person claimed to have sustained 970 Mbps throughput on a low-end Dell server. Given the deep technical expertise at Google, I imagine they could get it well above that, too.

The point I was rebutting was the assertion that Google might sell an external version of the router, because they were already selling an external version of the search engine.

The point is that Google already has experience selling a server-based appliance. That experience would probably be very applicable to selling a server-based routing platform, at least in terms of the inventory management, order fulfillment, shipping, etc...

more than 5 years ago

Google Router Rumors

Percy_Blakeney Re:Not in "hardware business," won't sell routers (267 comments)

I'm not an expert on this, but it's my understanding that a cost-efficient router is very different from a commodity system.

Not necessarily. A Linux computer with the correct commodity hardware and configuration (PCI Express interfaces, MSI interrupts, etc...) can easily route hundreds of megabits per second of IP packets. Of course, the PC only works well for certain applications, such as forwarding between a few low-cost interfaces with mainstream BGP/RIP/OSPF routing protocol support. This essentially challenges the low- to mid-end of Cisco (i.e. the 7200 series router and lower).

Once you begin to get into higher port densities, esoteric protocol support, very specialized configuration options, or very high throughput with consistently low latencies, you'll need to look at the specialized hardware from Cisco or Juniper.

Their search appliance bears no resemblance to the systems they use in-house.

Of course it doesn't, but that's not the point.

more than 5 years ago

Google Router Rumors

Percy_Blakeney Re:Not in "hardware business," won't sell routers (267 comments)

I think you're mostly right: Google will never sell specialized router hardware.

However, I doubt that Google uses special router hardware even for themselves. I'd bet that a Google router platform would be based on a commodity PC with a few PCI Express gigabit ethernet adapters, installed with open-source routing software. Google likely has no interest in supporting the billion weird or legacy options that are present in the Juniper and Cisco products, so it's able to make a commodity unit that is a tenth the cost.

They also may consider selling it, just like they sell their Google search boxes. If it's all based on commodity parts, they could just team up with a server manufacturer and provide an installation disk with their software. The manufacturer would already have everything in-place to manage inventory and shipping, and Google could just focus on the software end of things.

Personally, I would love to buy a PC-based Google router. I don't need to get a Cisco device that costs $10k-$20k just to do forwarding, BGP, and IPv6, and having the Google name behind a cheaper box would be easier to sell to management.

more than 5 years ago

IPv4 Address Use In 2008

Percy_Blakeney Re:No need for IPv6, ever (258 comments)

NAT is harmless to any application that is not broken in the first place. There is never justification for putting an IP address inside the application layer.

That's a rather silly thing to say. I would agree that applications should avoid handling IP addresses directly in their application-layer data, but to say that it's never justified is just stupid.

In fact, it was a mistake to have applications resolve DNS; that should be a function of TCP/IP itself.

You apparently don't understand the concept of layering.

more than 5 years ago

Linux In 2009 — Recession vs. GNU

Percy_Blakeney Re:FOSS Will Gain Market Share (355 comments)

Added to the fact that Office's volume licensing makes it much cheaper than what you'll see if you poke, and in time of recession, its the LAST suite of apps that will be switched over...

You're mostly right, but OpenOffice can be used in two different ways: as an office suite and as a weapon in negotiations. Most large companies will do exactly what you say they will -- they'll stick with Office no matter what -- but there will be some that tell Microsoft to lower their price or else, even if they have no real intention of switching.

It's that gradual erosion of Office prices that truly threatens Microsoft over the next 5-7 years, not sudden large defections to OpenOffice. The huge margin that Microsoft has on Office is one of the two financial pillars of the company, and anything that jeopardizes that is a major threat to the company.

more than 5 years ago

IE Market Share Drops Below 70%

Percy_Blakeney Re:Layoffs (640 comments)

The sad truth is that MS is doing better than ever - they've more or less successfully diversified and have multiple profit centres.

That's somewhat true. Here are some operating income figures from their 2008 annual report -- it's 6 months out of date, but represents the most recent full year of data:

  • $13 billion from Client (Desktop Windows)
  • $12 billion from Business (Office)
  • $4.5 billion from Server
  • $0.4 billion from Entertainment (Xbox/Zune/PC games)
  • -$1.2 billion from Online Services

My take on it is that they aren't diversified enough -- everything hinges on desktop Windows and Office right now. There's some strength in the Server division, but that's also where they have some very powerful competitors. If I were an investor, I would pay close attention to corporate spending in 2009, since some companies may start exploring cheaper alternatives.

The Entertainment division is definitely a weak point, especially when you consider that the Xbox is approaching its peak profitability. Even if they were making ten times as much, I would still be wary of depending on the Xbox's revenues, since the market leader can flip-flop between console generations.

more than 5 years ago

Facebook Nudity Policy Draws Nursing Moms' Ire

Percy_Blakeney Re:Why is this news? (904 comments)

In the US companies that deliver goods or services for the public are generally perceived to be protected from litigation since they are considered to be a "common carrier," but this is only the case if they do not discriminate with what things they traffic.

Wrong answer. Facebook has every right in the world to delete content from their site. Research the CDA and Zeran v. AOL.

more than 5 years ago

Facebook Nudity Policy Draws Nursing Moms' Ire

Percy_Blakeney Re:whois (904 comments)

Would laws like this regarding breastfeeding translate into the online world?

I certainly hope not. The restaurant essentially deprived the child of food, while Facebook simply wouldn't let a woman exhibit her photos on their site.

Also keep in mind that Facebook does allow photos of breastfeeding, so long as the nipple and areola are not visible. It seems to me that Facebook is trying to appeal to the broadest set of users possible, and if they feel that female nipples hinder that, then more power to them. Those people that don't like it can set up their own site and stick the photos there.

more than 5 years ago

Hardware Is Cheap, Programmers Are Expensive

Percy_Blakeney Re:Nothing new (465 comments)

Once, a long time ago, people wrote code in assembly... Of course cheap powerful hardware has made that all a thing of the past.

Actually, I would argue that advances in compilers and interpreters have been just as important to that trend as advances in hardware.

more than 5 years ago

The Other Side of the Sprint Vs. Cogent Depeering

Percy_Blakeney Re:Some Regulation (174 comments)

Why bother? If you're seriously concerned about depeerings affecting you or your business, then get two internet connections from different providers. Or, if you insist on buying from a single carrier, try to buy from a network that isn't one of the big boys (i.e. not AT&T, Verizon, Sprint, Level3, etc...) and isn't desperately aspiring to be one of the big boys (i.e. not Cogent).

more than 5 years ago

The Other Side of the Sprint Vs. Cogent Depeering

Percy_Blakeney Re:Network neutrality (174 comments)

I find it hard to believe that another route could not be found. It might take some doing, but both Verizon and Cogent peer with quite a few networks.

Of course another route COULD be found; every "tier 1" network on the planet would be willing to help Cogent reach the Sprint network again. But there are three reasons why that didn't happen.

First, settlement-free peering is generally non-transit. That means that you can only reach things on the peer's network. Hence, Cogent's peers weren't willing to just pass Cogent's traffic through to Sprint under their existing peering agreements.

Second, those peers would be willing to change their peering agreements to allow Cogent to reach Sprint through them, but they wouldn't do it settlement-free: they would want to charge for it. As explained by the article, one of Cogent's main motivations was to avoid paying to reach Sprint's network, so paying someone else to reach Sprint would be admitting defeat.

Finally, and perhaps most importantly, Cogent simply doesn't want to have ANY transit. Why? One of the popular definitions of a "tier 1" network is that it has free peering connections with all the other major networks and thus doesn't have to rely on other networks to mediate their traffic. It's a little silly, but it's a very important status symbol in the network world, since some customers will only buy connections from "tier 1" networks.

In the end, it comes down to this: Cogent and Sprint are intentionally playing a game of chicken. There are many ways of avoiding that game, but they believe that they must play it.

more than 5 years ago


Percy_Blakeney hasn't submitted any stories.


Percy_Blakeney has no journal entries.

Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?
or Connect with...

Don't worry, we never post anything without your permission.

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>