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How Do You Backup 20TB of Data?

PingPongBoy Re:How to store a YB (983 comments)

Currently, SD cards or memory stick can be obtained slightly less than $1 per GB. Suitable for storing the most precious data... A few years later, this technology hopefully will be more economical than tape.

about three weeks ago

NASA-Funded Study Investigates Collapse of Industrial Civilization

PingPongBoy Re:The difference is scale. (401 comments)

Depends on what you call 'local'. Try reading about the Greek Dark Ages.

Seeing as how it's NASA (not NSA though why should it be them? but they just want to do the unexpected anyways), the focus should be extraterrestrial rather than local. Local or human shouldn't even be considered.

about a month ago

Bitcoin Exchange Flexcoin Wiped Out By Theft

PingPongBoy Re:When are the bank runs going to happen? (704 comments)

And that's the basic problem. Fools keep giving their bitcoins to anonymous internet people to hold then act all shocked when those anonymous people disappear.

It's like giving a bundle of bank notes to a random stranger to hold for you. Anyone can see that's not going to end well.

In the world of money identity and ownership come down to record keeping and trust. From the very beginning if someone with money or transferable wealth wanted to keep it safe, they hid it when they didn't need to spend it, and it was always vulnerable.

How well does anyone know their banker or financial advisor?

A crypto currency makes a lot of sense in theory. It has mathematical structure that allows it to be usable for financial transactions and savings. The vulnerability of the implementations is that someone wanted the power to control it. A fully open system that reveals the mathematical strengths and weaknesses could lead to a more trusted institution.

about a month and a half ago

Mt. Gox Gone? Apparent Theft Shakes Bitcoin World

PingPongBoy Re: Vive le Galt! (695 comments)

Madoff is an excellent example of why handing your money to an individual or small group (just like the ameteurs at Mt. Gox) to keep in your trust is an awful idea. Real banks, the ones with experience not losing all of your money or that are regulated and insured by the U.S. gov't, by comparison, are stable, secure, and at least reliable enough for an economy to run on.

I am suggest, merely hinting, that if someone has earned a reputation for significantly earning vastly better returns compared to the average, and if you have millions to invest, pay him to tell you how he is doing what he is doing.

about 2 months ago

Mt. Gox Gone? Apparent Theft Shakes Bitcoin World

PingPongBoy Re:Vive le Galt! (695 comments)

I'd argue Bitcoin could be as legitimate a currency as anything else, but the problem is that it's pegged to nothing. It's value is entirely defined by being a get-rich-quick scheme. Sure, there are plenty of people playing similar games with legitimate currencies, but they're not the ones defining its value because those currencies are still tied to more tangible things.

Even real currency seems to be as ephemereal as digital currency. If bank software tragically moved the decimal place or truncated my savings account balance I could lose practically everything. If someone nefarious creates a substantiating transaction or stole/destroyed the computer, it would be even harder to counter.

Wealth has become a measure of the amount of trust and confidence that people have in each other, beyond the measure of economic accumulation. Wealth indicates how much potential there is. It is losing more and more exactness or precision as more and more people are focused on the pace that they can aggregate their own riches.

Theoretically if this trend is to continue, there would be more instances of disputes and less certainty of what the truth is. There have already been a phenomenal amount of scams. It's a little like Russian roulette with a really large number of empty chambers.

To counterbalance this fuzziness, people will have to build their ability to convince other people to transact goods and services despite the degraded certainty of the value of a dollar. This goes beyond a credit rating. Perhaps people will have to build greater defensive positions, of course, at significant personal cost.

Bitcoin is/was to some degree a "test" of how well the world would operate with a novel monetary system disconnected from authority. The idea seems practical enough, though the implementation was flawed. Even though many computers around the world validated transactions, the need for a central server as well as higher performance computing makes Bitcoin useless to the masses and ultimately limits the potential for owners of Bitcoins.

about 2 months ago

Are Bankers Paid Too Much? Are Technology CEOs?

PingPongBoy Re:Employed (712 comments)

No. His salary was only $1 – which by the way has one of the highest tax rates. His compensation was in the 100s of millions, mostly via stock options which has one of the lowest tax rates. What I want to know is why I can’t be paid in low tax stock options?

You don't want to be paid in stock options anyways. The stock isn't something you can liquidate until it appreciates. If you get paid in stock, the company will see all this stock being sold at high volumes in the market so you can pay for your living expenses. The high volumes of stock will probably make people nervous about paying you high amounts per share, and your bosses wouldn't like the share price to be stuck at a low.

So if you actually believe in your employer, buy the stock with your pay. That's not always a good idea either. People should diversify their acquisitions instead of keeping all their wealth in one area. If you are just one minion in a huge company, and you're already leery because you think your CEO is overpaid, why would you trust him enough to boost his stock value by buying more of the company? Most people would invest their hard earned money in a different sector.

about 2 months ago

Are Bankers Paid Too Much? Are Technology CEOs?

PingPongBoy Re:tl;dr (712 comments)

And I'm sure you could find countless folks willing to do the dirty work for such "unsexy" companies for just 1% of what modern (US) CEOs are taking home.

So true. The janitorial and maintenance positions are fully staffed and it was 1% for the whole lot rather than individually.

about 2 months ago

Are Bankers Paid Too Much? Are Technology CEOs?

PingPongBoy Re:tl;dr (712 comments)

How about offering him 50 mil instead and keeping on 700 workers,

OTOH, if those 700 workers are making no profit for the company at all, they should be transferred to profitable positions or laid off regardless of CEO pay.

OTOH you need a real sumbitch in order to chop hundreds or thousands of employees and perhaps still keep the company alive, and these guys don't come cheap.

about 2 months ago

Are Bankers Paid Too Much? Are Technology CEOs?

PingPongBoy Re:tl;dr (712 comments)

Not really. If you took every dime the CEO of McDonalds made last year, and divide it among the burger flippers employed by McDonalds, it comes out to exactly $8.14 per *year* for each of them.

McDonalds employs a *lot* of burger flippers.

You forgot to mention that is based on the burger flippers staying with the job until the age of 65.

about 2 months ago

Schneier: Break Up the NSA

PingPongBoy Re:Oh, Hell NO! (324 comments)

DO NOT break up the NSA. Do away with it and replace it with nothing. The CIA too.

Even if the NSA and CIA were eliminated, government needs information. They'll just turn to the private sector. Better the devil you know?

about 2 months ago

Sochi Drones Are Shooting the Olympics, Not Terrorists

PingPongBoy Re:Lame (108 comments)

Similar, unauthorized dromes could be reloaded with light and bring it near the crowds or athletes from well outside of any reasonable security perimeter.

That's how competitive it is at the top. Winning is about using any advantage you can get away with, whether it's doping, corrupt judges, or a load of light.

You know, there's a different angle to think of here. Drunken boxing would probably be a fun Olympic sport to watch.

about 2 months ago

Why P-values Cannot Tell You If a Hypothesis Is Correct

PingPongBoy Re:And this is why (124 comments)

No, all researchers should have be able to pass graduate level statistics courses.

Yes, I realize that most of us would be back at flipping hamburgers or worse, end up going to law school. But to understand what you're doing, you really need to understand statistics.

Einstein was basically a very good statistician.

The null hypothesis is that the world would not be a better place if researchers had such advanced training in statistics.

For example, there was no physical evidence favoring relativity for years after the theory was created. Qualification for research work should be intelligence not ability to do statistics.

about 2 months ago

California Regulator Seeks To Shut Down 'Learn To Code' Bootcamps

PingPongBoy Re:California (374 comments)

OK, so a civil suit. Sure, you get a trial two to three years from the date of filing the case, because several times your scheduled trial date got bumped to make room for rapists' prosecutions and those take precedence. If you try to do it yourself, you'll almost certainly lose. There are outlier pro se litigants, but mostly, they lose.

The corollary is that if no value was obtained after paying $15,000 the most expeditious allegation is rape.

about 3 months ago

California Regulator Seeks To Shut Down 'Learn To Code' Bootcamps

PingPongBoy Re:California (374 comments)

If you're charging someone $15000 for a 10 week course, and promising jobs at companies "like Facebook and Google," you probably need to fall under some sort of regulation and compliance.

If you're charging $15k a head, and you're whining about the undue burden of a "hefty" $50k fine, then you have what, 10 clients?

An unregulated school could well be a startup that has cash flow issues due to debt, low exposure, uncertainty, etc. Any extra expense even a fee notoriously regarded as a fine could be a real setback.

about 3 months ago

California Regulator Seeks To Shut Down 'Learn To Code' Bootcamps

PingPongBoy Re:California (374 comments)

So it may be deduced from your lawyerly insight that there is no economic basis of regulating a hitherto unregulated school. It is safe to assume that anyone smart enough to believe themselves able to benefit from education would be able to protect themselves from schemers. I suspect that the government was not keen to be involved even in this case. The difficulty of litigation was probably the reason for a reluctant regulator to step in.

I've been to some courses offered by private educators. The bang for the buck was not great, and I wouldn't have gone to one of these except my employer wanted us to go. A couple of weeks at this place was enough to pay for a year of university tuition, all for something I could have found out from a manual. I actually would have preferred to be at work.

So if anyone is paying with their own money, there would have to be compelling evidence that the rewards justify the means. People being people, some people may tried these schools and felt hard done by and complained after failing to be refunded.

The way to have an unregulated educational system might be fairly simple though. Let the school provide loans, and if the education is not up to standard the loans will not be paid. Typical students quail at the thought of debt but if these schools live up to their advertising, the business model ought to be successful.

about 3 months ago

Atlanta Gambled With Winter Storm and Lost

PingPongBoy Re:Pffft (723 comments)

> Let me know if something bad might happen so I can prepare for it

I'll let you know what's coming down the pike:
- asteroids
- solar flares
- gamma ray bursts
- supervolcanoes
- megaquakes

Interspersed with locusts.

about 3 months ago

Doomsday Clock Remains at Five Minutes to Midnight

PingPongBoy Re:North Korea (222 comments)

Looking at the Doomsday Clock graph over the years there is a cyclic pattern. A gradual decline to doom is suddenly followed by a sharp rise, as though collectively the world recoils. But the forces for and against war and destruction are not instant, but rather take years of lead time. The process is much like the forces underlying earthquakes. Plates are moved by deep forces and sometimes they stick and unstick, but sometimes they get stuck long enough to build up enough energy to release violently. The cyclic ripple of the clock as well as the earthquake analogy suggests that a more detailed interface should also be compiled to show decisions and actions that work for and against war.

about 3 months ago

How the LHC Is Reviving Magnetic Tape

PingPongBoy Re:Never underestimate the bandwidth (267 comments)

I used to work on data taking for the CMS detector at the LHC. We were using Storagetek tape silos [http://computing.fnal.gov/cdtracks/2009/january/images/robot.jpg] for long-term storage of data at Tier1.

Tape allows for cheaper storage and large capacities, but you're then fighting contention issues (there are only so many robotic arms and tape drives for your tape library) as well as having data on tapes go bad without knowing it. When data is on disk, I can at least verify it immediately. Bit rot is definitely alive and well on tape.

That makes the case for a tape cartridge the size of a station wagon (or a 747).

about 5 months ago

The Boy Genius of Ulan Bator

PingPongBoy Re:Must we call him a genius? (163 comments)

The candle that burns twice as bright burns twice as fast, truth is truth.

Ironically by doing everything in moderation I'd say I'm doing better now creatively than i was 20 years ago, at least as far as my music is concerned. Part of that has to be finding a damned good guitarist/singer/songwriter to work with and a nice tight drummer and sticking with the 3 piece format which makes me have to really bust my ass to make the band sound full with so few instruments, but I'd also say knowing when to step away and clear my head REALLY helps.

But look at it from this perspective. In a few years there will be cars that drive themselves everywhere. A complex action that seemed so out of reach of automation will be reduced to the execution of an algorithm working well in day to day situations. So it isn't farfetched to imagine that learning itself may be reduced to the execution of an algorithm and people everywhere, let alone machines, can become practically overnight experts if they just follow the steps of the algorithm.

So the hand wringing over too much pressure on kids may need to stop because there will be a lot of pressure on everyone. People will have to fluidly move from domain to domain taking on whatever comes along. There may be many advanced tools to help smooth the transition from one problem solving event to the next but those who try to stay in a niche may find it more like a rut.

about 7 months ago

He Fixed 300,000+ Machines - America's Oldest Typewriter Repairman Dies At 96

PingPongBoy Re:Technophobia (201 comments)

> It's not an age thing.

Definitely not. The fact that someone actually needs their typewriter fixed in 2013 means there are many younger than Whitlock still decades behind. But their printer will work when the power is out, and their system will never download a trojan.

about 7 months ago


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