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Comments

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Horizontal Scaling of SQL Databases?

atomic777 Re:Relational stuff scales (222 comments)

Right. "We are hitting limitations in what we can do with X" means they cannot solve an underlying difficult problem Z, and are hoping that by swapping X with magic fairy dust Y, that somehow Z will go away. Sales people owe their BMWs to this simple fallacy.

more than 3 years ago
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The New Data Center Capital of America

atomic777 Re:Not as cool as it used to be (162 comments)

While there is an international border there, it should be pointed out that Buffalo is also about 100mi from Toronto and Waterloo which are reasonably large tech centers in themselves. Sure, data centers alone these days do not require a lot of high-skill labour , but it creates the conditions under which Western New York can better integrate with and leverage its proximity to the richer and more populous region across the border.

For eg. we in Canada are often forced to contend with inferior services simply due to the small size of our market relative to the US. As a tech company based in Toronto, assuming no legal obstacles to server location, I can see big advantages in setting up data centers 100mi away in Buffalo if the price is competitive -- you can still physically get to them with a car if you need to .

Similarly, starting up a technology-oriented company in Buffalo is not as crazy as it sounds when you consider the fact that there are great tech universities in close proximity, including RIT and Waterloo, and a large pool of highly-educated immigrants in Toronto that are relegated to driving taxis and delivering pizza.

more than 3 years ago
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Inside the Mechanical Turk Sweatshop

atomic777 Re:as price(labour) goes to zero... (267 comments)

Real wages have been stagnant for the past 20-30 years and increased home square footage, more cars, etc. are mostly a product of increased debt.

more than 3 years ago
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Inside the Mechanical Turk Sweatshop

atomic777 Re:as price(labour) goes to zero... (267 comments)

I have no problem the global south achieving an increase in their living standards. But what is happening is that a relatively small absolute improvement in their living standards is met with a significant absolute decrease in the living standards of middle class westerners. The difference accrues to a tiny minority of "talented" and "innovative" people.

If wages for MBA-toting advertising executives and investment bankers were being driven to zero as well, then at least it would be fair.

more than 3 years ago
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Inside the Mechanical Turk Sweatshop

atomic777 as price(labour) goes to zero... (267 comments)

This is just part of a larger, decades-long trend of driving the price of labour to zero all across the economy. A working wage in western countries no longer even assures you a place in the middle classes. I shudder to think where we'll be after ten more years of such "innovation".

more than 3 years ago
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High-Frequency Programmers Revolt Over Pay

atomic777 Re:Bosses earn too much (1018 comments)

I had a big laugh as I read this, and then I saw "Score:5, Insightful" where I was expecting "Score:5, Funny". Then I stopped laughing.

about 4 years ago
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Pentaho 3.2 Data Integration

atomic777 Re:Our last Pentaho experience.... (103 comments)

As with any complex tool, if you don't know why it's useful, or when it should be used, you're probably going to make a mess.

The visual nature of kettle masks its complexity due to the "pictures == easy, code == 3ll3t" bias. To simplify a bit, Kettle gives you the ability to create a multi-db, multi-data format "query plan", much as a DB optimiser would do when given a multi-table SQL statement with joins, filters, etc. The problem is that in kettle, you have to understand how to optimise that "query" yourself to write an efficient transform. Developers that truly understand how a database executes a query, let alone understand what query plan is good, become a rarer breed with each day.

In short, never give kettle to a developer that thinks of a database purely in terms of "put" and "get"

more than 4 years ago
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$1 Trillion In Minerals Found In Afghanistan

atomic777 Re:And if you (688 comments)

They have also been developing mines in Afghanistan since 2007 without sending a single soldier (just in case anyone thought this was 'news').

more than 4 years ago
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North Korean Flash Games For Export

atomic777 Re:here comes the idjits (211 comments)

I don't see how that answers my question.

The government is there to establish laws, and, ideally enforce them. That's partly the responsibility of the regulators.

But what happens when said regulators are captured by the industry they are supposed to regulate, enacting laws that serve their interests (and not of the public good), ignoring violations, etc. You can't sue any companies in that industry because the laws will have been written to protect them! Look at the last 20 years of 'regulation' and legislation that has taken place in the financial industry for a great example.

more than 4 years ago
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North Korean Flash Games For Export

atomic777 Re:here comes the idjits (211 comments)

Everything you say in response makes sense on some level. But what happens when the regulators in that ideal government you speak of are clearly captured?. The problem is pervasive today, and I have trouble seeing how it would be any better once, by necessity, government shrinks to the point that tax revenues are significantly less than the revenues of larger corporations

more than 4 years ago
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What Is New In PostgreSQL 9.0

atomic777 Re:Built-in replication (213 comments)

You've touched on the fact that data replication is a hard problem and all user scenarios can't be (sensibly) solved with a single solution. MySQL replication works well enough for the web crowd that has no idea what ACID stands for and its adoption has spread as a result. There being only one choice of replication solution also makes that an easy choice to make.

Even being able to choose which replication solution to use with postgresql requires a substantial level of expertise. What postgresql has lacked, until now, is an "out of the box" solution that will be used by default, by the uninitiated, to get postgresql in the door. Then if they ever learn what ACID stands for, if they understand what asynchronous or synchronous replication is, they will be happy as hell that they didn't choose mysql way back when their whole site/business ran on only 2 servers.

more than 4 years ago
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Timberwolf (a.k.a. Firefox) Alpha 1 For AmigaOS

atomic777 Re:...really? (152 comments)

You must be new here...

more than 4 years ago
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What Is New In PostgreSQL 9.0

atomic777 Re:Built-in replication (213 comments)

I see the replication feature as being more about perception than anything else.

Postgresql has long had a variety of replication options outside of the core that serve various needs, but it seems that the perception out in the community remained that postgresql was a stable, stand-alone database, and getting replication to work on top involved "hacks", while mysql, despite its faults, had "solid" replication that lent itself better to large installations.

Of course this perception is far from reality, but it has been deemed a serious enough problem for the postgres team to finally include replication in the core.

more than 4 years ago
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What Is New In PostgreSQL 9.0

atomic777 Built-in replication (213 comments)

A better summary of the changes is here.

After years of resisting, one of the more significant changes is the inclusion of WAL shipping-based replication into postgresql core, and the ability to do read-only queries on the standby systems. This will hopefully go a long way towards appeasing mysql users used to the "easy" replication that mysql provides.

more than 4 years ago
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Traffic-Flow Algorithm Can Reduce Fuel Consumption

atomic777 Re:It astounds me (328 comments)

It all comes down to whether a particular city can justify, and is enlightened enough, to invest in a more sensible traffic system. They do exist and it is not some far-off fantasy.

Regardless of the reputation Los Angeles has, I was surprised at how well the traffic moved for the most part when I lived there for a few years. Sure, there are traffic jams, but the lights were surprisingly effective; I never once sat at an empty intersection, and there did appear to be some logic in the timing of lights.

Now contrast that with Toronto, a city half the size but with far fewer and smaller roads/freeways, where the traffic is horrendous, and worse yet, the lights will happily make you idle for 1 minute staring at an empty intersection. Costs the local economy money in productivity, increased shipping costs, pollution, and so forth, but to my knowledge nothing has been done, either because no one complains or the cost is prohibitive.

more than 4 years ago
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Most Useful OS For High-School Science Education?

atomic777 Re:Teach the kids to learn... (434 comments)

There is no platform that will satisfy all objectives; arguments can be made for Win, OSX and Linux.

Of course, my vote would be for Linux. Let's remember that this is for a high school. Octave is more than capable of serving as a matlab replacement.

R has now supplanted S-Plus as an industry-standard (at least academia-wise) statistical programming language, one I also use frequently.

Between octave and R, and the other general purpose programming languages that are a breeze to develop with in a Linux environment, there is a great deal of important scientific work you can do with free software.

Linux is also the only platform that makes sense when you start needing to crunch lots of data on many servers, especially with a small budget. Linux is standard on all academic clusters I have seen. Give these students the skills to manage data crunching on a small cluster of linux machines and you will do them a tremendous favour.

If you have some tools which are proprietary and specialised, you can easily set up a couple of windows/osx machines for their use specifically. But it's hard to beat the value of Linux as a general purpose scientific platform.

more than 4 years ago
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Scroogle Has Been Blocked

atomic777 Re:Scroogle (281 comments)

Yes, even though there is the "Safe Harbour" program for US-based companies to comply with the EU directive, it is unclear what laws are given priority.

On a side note, this might be why Canada decided to fully comply with the directive, presumably to encourage transatlantic businesses to locate data centers there. With strong privacy protection, a cold climate and plenty of renewable electricity, it is a wonder to me why there isn't a much stronger push for data centers...

more than 4 years ago
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Scroogle Has Been Blocked

atomic777 Re:Scroogle (281 comments)

Perhaps I'm oversimplifying, but the approach to privacy in the EU and US is fundamentally different. EU privacy laws involve explicit regulation of what can/cannot be done in many specific scenarios, while the US approach is much more 'laissez-faire'.

An important example of this is the EU Data Protection Directive requirement that personal data not be transferred to here-be-dragons, privacy-unsafe countries -- including the US. Some countries like Canada and Argentina brought their privacy legislation into compliance with the directive, while the US compromised and offered a voluntary "Safe Harbour" program that allows a US company to assert their compliance if they wish to do so.

The simple fact that US companies must work to achieve compliance with EU privacy laws, while i'm not aware of any similar problem for European companies in the US, would seem to me a good indication of their relative strength.

more than 4 years ago
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Stock Market Sell-Off Might Stem From Trader's Fat Finger

atomic777 Re:Institutional Traders Don't Enter Trades Like T (643 comments)

Well, "us", maybe in Switzerland or another direct democracy. In most of the rest of the world, it should be our elected representatives doing this. Vote for who you believe will enact change.

more than 4 years ago
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Stock Market Sell-Off Might Stem From Trader's Fat Finger

atomic777 Re:Institutional Traders Don't Enter Trades Like T (643 comments)

As a start, we need to reverse exactly this race-to-the-bottom thinking throughout the world. Slavery was long considered a necessary evil, since to eliminate it would be to reduce a region's 'competitiveness'. We see the same trend today of wages being squeezed while money floats effortlessly to a small tier at the top.

A small example: If banks want to move abroad to escape regulation? Fine. Revoke their license to conduct business in your country. Perhaps simplistic, but in principle, it should be as easy as that.

more than 4 years ago

Submissions

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US Increases Penalty For Renouncing Citizenship

atomic777 atomic777 writes  |  more than 6 years ago

atomic777 writes "The Economist is carrying a story about a change in the taxation penalties that US citizens must pay in order to renounce their citizenship to avoid double-taxation. The move is eerily reminiscent of the policies of some Eastern Bloc countries during the cold war. For example, the Hong Kong Consulate-General is not accepting renunciation applications.

How does the slashdot community feel about this? For those of us foreign nationals resident in the US, does this change your desire to eventually apply for US citizenship?"

Link to Original Source

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