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Microsoft Azure Outage Across the Globe

Trailer Trash Re:Yawn ... (164 comments)

Linode is a standard VPS provider. I don't need "hosting" where the sites are on a machine with 1000 other web sites. I do high-end business-to-business sites that need to be available and very responsive. Because of using a variety of software pieces and having to run cron jobs and all that I also need access to the machine.

As for disk space there's no comparison between a service like Amazon S3 (or similar offerings from Google, Rack Space, et al) and a bunch of disk space. Disk space is actually pretty cheap, but Amazon's service level for S3 is something like 8 9s (literally). It's simply crazy. But it's what my customers expect. If someone hits a "play" link and the music doesn't play they'll move on to the next provider. I had a guy explain to me one day "if I have to wait 10 seconds I'm already on the next web site". He wasn't kidding. These folks work hard when they work and dead links are not acceptable.

Nothing's perfect, but with the right tools I can run a business offering a service level that would have been unimaginable 10 years ago, particularly for one or two guys.

yesterday
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Microsoft Azure Outage Across the Globe

Trailer Trash Re:Yawn ... (164 comments)

Let me explain it from my point of view. I own and operate a one or two man software company that also hosts web sites. I work in the flim & tv music industry, meaning I have a shit load of music (literally terabytes) that has to be available for download.

8 years ago I owned a rack of servers downtown here that I managed myself. Honestly, it wasn't that bad. I bought reliable used 1U servers (mainly IBM and Dell) off ebay and stocked them with disks. I ran FreeBSD and Linux, used RAID, etc. But I always had two issues to deal with. The main one was "I have to always be available to handle hardware issues".

My company isn't big enough to hire someone to do it, but I managed for nearly 10 years with no disasters. In that time I had a motherboard crap (when I was starting out with one server - ouch) and a few disks fail. In all of those times I had to go in - sometimes in the middle of the night - and fix/replace whatever was wrong.

Then I found Amazon AWS. Here's the kicker - it was actually cheaper for me to simply "rent" storage from them than to rent rack space for my own servers. I moved my servers to linode.com - again it was cheaper although they're nowhere near as fast as my former dedicated servers were, but they're fast enough for my applications and I can always move to larger instances where needed. And that eliminated my maintenance issues for hardware while costing less per month and maintaining the same 3-4 nines level of availability that I've always had. Oh, one other thing - S3 makes it just as easy to secure my audio files but the delivery speed can easily saturate any pipe that the files are being delivered to.

So the cloud might not be "magical" and solve all the world's problems, but for small IT shops it's great. Everything I do is on the internet so the whole "what if your connection goes down?" issue doesn't exist for me. I do not recommend such a solution for everybody. I have clients in the industrial wholesale space and their inventory & sales system definitely should be on-site with off-site backups. But their web site can be hosted elsewhere.

Anyway, yes, the "cloud" is very useful for many businesses.

4 days ago
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Major Brain Pathway Rediscovered After Century-old Confusion, Controversy

Trailer Trash Re:Link to PNAS article (112 comments)

Direct link to PNAS abstract.

Why, why, why is it that Slashdot always reports on new scientific discoveries with a link to a lay press summary or a press release, and never gives us the useful link to the actual papers with the real words by actual scientists? Aaaargh.

Hey, at least it wasn't Bennet Haselton telling us about it.

5 days ago
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Big Talk About Small Samples

Trailer Trash Re:Why doesn't Bennett get his OWN blog? (243 comments)

It would be dirt simple to write the software for his blog - all you need is a single page where he posts entries. No need for any kind of "display" functionality since it won't be read, anyway.

about a week ago
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Big Talk About Small Samples

Trailer Trash Re:I am not reading that. (243 comments)

Agreed. This is the last Bennet Haselton (I don't care how you spell his name) that will be "viewed" by me. I came in here to say that I'm done reading his tripe, hopefully others will follow and it'll no longer be valuable to [what's left of] Slashdot to keep posting his ramblings.

about a week ago
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Debunking a Viral Internet Post About Breastfeeding Racism

Trailer Trash I hate to feed this, but (350 comments)

Anther issue that you bring up is that people who perform mechanical turk tasks see the world differently. Energy shortages are a problem in places like India where a lot of the "turks" live. Having not grown up in America their view of race is completely different than ours and they're not going to bring the usual prejudices with them.

Simply stated, there's no good way to get useful results in this manner.

about two weeks ago
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Amazon Goes After Oracle (Again) With New Aurora Database

Trailer Trash Re:What's the Difference? (102 comments)

...Apparently Larry needs some new toys or something...

s/toys/entire fucking islands/

about two weeks ago
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After Silk Road 2.0 Shutdown, Rival Dark Net Markets Grow Quickly

Trailer Trash Re:Hey, no worries! (86 comments)

The only way to truly win the war on drugs is to quit fighting. There's no way to "win" and no reason to continue. Rates of drug usage are as high or higher than they were before the war. You can see in Colorado that marijuana usage didn't increase when it became legal.

But us not fighting would actually be a win. The free market would make many drugs really cheap (like marijuana) and drive the criminal drug gangs out of business. Remember, Al Capone was a liquor distributor who lived 80 years ago and you know his name. Think about that, and then try to name the head of any current liquor distribution company.

about two weeks ago
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After Silk Road 2.0 Shutdown, Rival Dark Net Markets Grow Quickly

Trailer Trash Hey, no worries! (86 comments)

At some point - probably soon - they'll shut down the last one of these and then there won't be any more. That's how the war on drugs was won!

about two weeks ago
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Apple's Luxembourg Tax Deals

Trailer Trash Re:Simple fix (158 comments)

It's worse than that. When you talk about making big evil corporations pay more - well, it ends up being little corporations like mine paying out the nose. 4 or 5 years ago I paid off a debt one year, which of course meant that I had a huge profit since I couldn't expense out the debt payment as I could employee payroll or something. I ended up writing the IRS a check for $12,000 or so. That's a lot of dough for a one man company. I joked at the time that I paid more taxes than Apple.

The next year I had a loss. Knowing that the tax laws allow large corporations to get a refund of prior year taxes when they have a loss I asked my accountant about it. His response was that it would cost far more to file the paperwork than what the refund would be. The loss wasn't huge (and is normal) but would have resulted in a couple grand coming back.

People (especially on the left) need to realize that raising corporate tax rates will not screw Apple, Google, etc. They have enough money to write the tax laws and they *will* be exempted. It's not only or even mostly Republicans doing that, by the way. It's at best a bipartisan effort and at worst a Democrat effort. If you raise corporate tax rates companies like mine will pay. And it would help the country better if I could spend that money myself or use it to hire someone.

about two weeks ago
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Gridlock In Action: Retailers Demand New Regulations To Protect Consumers

Trailer Trash Re:Er...lobbiest fails to do job, so panic? (127 comments)

One thing to note is that the chip card shouldn't need to be replaced after one of these breaches since they're doing end-to-end encryption, so hopefully it's a one-time cost that they were going to incur anyway.

about two weeks ago
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Earth's Oxygen History Could Explain "Darwin's Dilemma" In Evolution

Trailer Trash Re:A matter of perspective (78 comments)

... evolution didn't go into high gear until the "Cambrian Explosion", ...

I'm not sure I believe that - one could reasonably argue that the growth in complexity from a soup of ribozymes to the first cell, was comparable to the leap from single-celled organisms to multicelled; or possibly far more involved than that. Another major leap was from prokaryotes to eukaryotes, a necessary precondition for (most) multicelled life, it would appear. What happened at the Cambrian explosion was probably just that now the organisms got big and touch enough to leave fossils.

Bingo. I always assumed we had a billion years of creating a massive set of genes and proteins that would be used later on, and at some point (the Cambrian Explosion) that complexity had reached a tipping point. Your normal bacterium is awesomely complex, but doesn't leave a lot of fossils laying around.

about two weeks ago
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Gridlock In Action: Retailers Demand New Regulations To Protect Consumers

Trailer Trash Re:Er...lobbiest fails to do job, so panic? (127 comments)

There's more to it. Note the last line - banks want to make retailers pay for their expenses when these breaches occur. My bank just had to send me (and presumably thousands of other people) new debit cards due to the Home Depot breach, for instance. That cost them plenty in aggregate - sending me a letter and then a new card. It's not much, maybe $2 or $3 for me, but multiply that by 10,000 or 100,000 and suddenly some money's in play.

So if the retailers can hijack the "regulation" they can write it such that they don't have to reimburse banks.

I know this is hard for some people to understand, but big business *wants badly* to be "regulated". They have the money to buy legislation, so they won't personally be regulated or they will be regulated to the extent that the regulation simply defines their current business processes and won't harm them. The point of such legislation is to create barriers of entry into their markets and harm smaller competitors. And, in this case, other businesses that wish to extract money from them.

about two weeks ago
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The Students Who Feel They Have the Right To Cheat

Trailer Trash Re:Ok... just turned two score, but... (438 comments)

There's a name for the effect, which I can't recall, but we tend to project our current self into our past self's shoes. When someone in their 40s thinks about when they were a teenager, they remember it as if they had the experience and wisdom that they have in their 40s, not as they actually were in their teens. This is one of the main reasons older generations talk about how kids these days are dumber, etc... because they don't accurately remember how kids were in their day, just how they would have been if they had decades more life experience.

TL;DR: You were just as dumb as a kid as the "kids these day" are that you're complaining about... you're just too dumb to account for the decades in between.

Actually, I well remember how stupid I was as well as all my friends. I'd crap if I caught my kids doing 1/10th the stuff my friends and I used to do.

That said - I knew plenty of people who would cheat on tests given the chance, but I don't remember a single one who tried to justify it when caught. They knew they were wrong, they just didn't care.

Claiming that cheating is okay is worse than simply cheating.

about two weeks ago
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Net Neutrality Alone Won't Solve ISP Throttling Abuse, Here's Why

Trailer Trash Re:net neutrality isn't protocol agnosticism (200 comments)

Net Neutrality means you don't favor one host over another for the same protocol, not that you treat all protocols exactly the same.

That's what it means to you and me. I just posted an example of an email that I got from CREDO about it. Here's the exact line:

Tom Wheeler, the president's newly appointed FCC chair, recently proposed rules that would allow Internet service providers (ISPs) to divide the Internet into fast lanes for wealthy corporations and slow lanes for the rest of us.

That's what "net neutrality" means to them. It's meaningless anti-corporate drivel but it's what a lot of people believe. It also hooks into preconceived notions and prejudices to make it an easy sell to their customer base, but it doesn't help the bigger discussion of the issue.

If we can't define what we (and by "we" I mean technically literate people) by net neutrality then the other side will win simply by redefining the term.

about three weeks ago
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Net Neutrality Alone Won't Solve ISP Throttling Abuse, Here's Why

Trailer Trash Re:latency doesn't matter for video, bw, jitter do (200 comments)

> Video streams and gaming are two examples of activities that require low-latency packet delivery to function smoothly

Very wrong. Horrible latency, 500 ms, will require that the video buffer for half a second. Latency does not matter at all for prerecorded video. Jitter matters some, and sufficient bandwidth matters a lot. When someone doesn't have a basic understanding of the facts, the opinions they come to based on their misunderstanding of the facts are not persuasive.

VoIP is a good example of an application with specific needs, low jitter and low to medium latency, contrasted with Netflix style video, where bandwidth is #1. A low latency application is ssh/telnet or any other text based interactive protocol.

And this underscores two issues with the net neutrality debate as it currently stands. First, we actually do want prioritization of packets with services like VoIP having higher priority. The issue is that what we don't want is for Comcast to prioritize their own VoIP service above competing services such as Voice Pulse. That's a somewhat fine distinction in today's soundbite world.

Issue number two is that for services like video streaming bandwidth is king - and it's easy for companies to simply refuse to upgrade overutilized interconnects in order to force companies like Netflix to pay over and above what they're already paying for content delivery. Verizon and companies like them are double-dipping - charging consumers for a connection and charging some larger content providers for a connection. That shouldn't be the case.

As currently debated "net neutrality" fails to solve the latter issue and I'm not sure how well we'll be able to solve the first issue. But - we have to do something. We also have to be mindful that giving federal government agencies more power turns out bad about 90% of the time. But - we have to do something.

It's difficult for most people to truly understand it and I see the debate being muddied badly, particularly from the extremes. Here's a sample from CREDO:

Tom Wheeler, the president's newly appointed FCC chair, recently proposed rules that would allow Internet service providers (ISPs) to divide the Internet into fast lanes for wealthy corporations and slow lanes for the rest of us.

If adopted, these rules would amount to nothing less than the corporate takeover of the Internet and the death of Net Neutrality.

I mean, what? "fast lanes for wealthy corporations and slow lanes for the rest of us"? Whoever wrote that doesn't even know what they're talking about.

It's no better on the right, by the way, just a different set of bogeymen.

I sometimes wonder if our country is beyond the ability to have nuanced discussions.

about three weeks ago
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Marijuana Legalized In Oregon, Alaska, and Washington DC

Trailer Trash Re:But DC is different,no? (588 comments)

It's still Federally illegal. Even in any state that it is "legal" it can still be prosecuted. It won't be under the current president, but that can change in 2 years.

I cannot imagine how, after 6 years, you Obama supporters are still so starry eyed and ignorant. Under the "current president", prosecutions of legal marijuana use are *up* over the levels seen during the Bush administration. This isn't exactly a well-guarded secret.

Obama Explains Increasing Medical Marijuana Crackdowns
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/...

Obama’s War On Medical Marijuana Steps Up
http://www.fitsnews.com/2013/1...

Judging From Prosecutions, Obama Is 80 Percent Worse Than Bush on Medical Marijuana
http://reason.com/blog/2013/06...

Republican Rand Paul has stated that DC should be able to legalize marijuana if they want:
http://www.washingtonexaminer....

about three weeks ago
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The Great IT Hiring He-Said / She-Said

Trailer Trash Re:The perennial disconnect... (574 comments)

There are two fundamental dichotomies that hide under this argument, and they've been going on for years, if not decades.

First, there's the disconnect between large business and small business. Second, there's the disconnect between what people have previously been paid (or their peers have), and what they are actually worth. This is coming from a guy who has hired 5 software developers so far this year, and has 2 slots still available...

A lot of developers are looking at what happens at Google and Microsoft (aside from the layoffs...), and try to use that as a standard when they apply for a position at a 50-person shop in the midwest. This creates an expectation disconnect where someone gets an offer for $65k, but won't take it because they've been convinced by the Internet, their Career Planning & Placement department, or the job postings on career boards, that their skills are worth $90k.

This is an "expectation shortage", and results when there are not enough candidates willing to take the positions that ACTUALLY EXIST. It's all well and good to say that employers are under-paying developers, and looking for cheap labor. But the market does set rates, and the fact is that most software projects away from the coasts just don't support paying developers $120k/year - at least not sustainably.

Please go back to Econ 101. If there are not enough candidates willing to take positions that actually exist it means you're not offering enough money. Period. Again, econ 101. You're correct that the market does set rates - apparently higher than what your company is willing to pay.

The irony of this is that I see this stuff all the time. I'm an independent software developer and I can't tell you how many companies like yours I've worked for at a rate dramatically higher than the numbers you're quoting.

My favorite story in this line was in the 90s, when I first started. In the early 90s when I had a few years of experience I sent a resume and cover letter to a Fortune 100 company in a town near mine and promptly received a rejection letter. At the time, I would have been happy with $30K/year - more than I was making at the university at that time.

Fast forward 5 years. I'm doing contract work at the same Fortune 100 company in the same location. This time HR was skipped (I was a contractor) and I was making 4 times what I would have settled for 5 years earlier.

All I can tell you is that markets work and they work well. Small company owners hate it when the IT guy makes more than they do, but the right IT guy will pay for himself and then some. I always pay for myself when I put a program together. I mean that. There has to be a cost/benefit analysis. Do that with your positions, too.

about three weeks ago
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Virginia Court: LEOs Can Force You To Provide Fingerprint To Unlock Your Phone

Trailer Trash Re:don't use biometrics (328 comments)

Yet another reason not to use biometrics to unlock devices.

Also yet another reason to stay the hell away from Virginia. I hope that the next time someone tries to create a free country they look at our example and build in safeguards against stupid judges, law enforcement officers, DAs, etc. And when I say "safeguards" I mean literal criminal penalties for this sort of stuff.

about three weeks ago

Submissions

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rubyonrails.org - Poached!

Trailer Trash Trailer Trash writes  |  more than 5 years ago

Trailer Trash (60756) writes "The domain name "rubyonrails.org" has been snapped up by a domain farmer. Navigating to the site — any of the sites on the domain — brings up a smiling young lady and a list of "links" related to Ruby on Rails. I'm not adding an actual link; the new owner is probably getting plenty of traffic as it is."

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