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Ask Slashdot: What's a Good Tool To Detect Corrupted Files?

ballyhoo backups, backups, backups (247 comments)

If you're talking about recovery tools, you're already on the wrong track. A Time Capsule costs $300. How much is your data worth? How much are the tools going to cost to recover it? How much is your time worth? I'll bet that the sum of those last three things is a whole pile more than 300 bucks.

If I were you, the thing I'd buy right now is a good backup solution. Re: your existing data, take a full image of your hard disk and take your time recovering it.

Once you've new backup system, you can then sit there with a big smile on your face and comment smugly on all future /. posts about data loss.

Have I lost data? Hell yeah. And it will never happen again.


more than 2 years ago

Ask Slashdot: It's World Backup Day; How Do You Back Up?

ballyhoo backups and backups of backups (304 comments)

zfs or hardware raid on all servers. bacula for all MS windows systems and all servers which are switched on most of the time. Apple Time Capsules for all the macs. regular backups of all phones. auto-sync of all address-book and calendar info over icloud.

as you ask, why yes, i have lost data in the past due to lack of backups. ain't gonna happen again.


more than 2 years ago

Wait For Windows 7 SP1, Support Firm Warns Users

ballyhoo upgrade? (433 comments)

So, given that upgrades from windows 2.0 to windows 3.0 were never supported, windows 3.1 to windows 95 didn't work at all, windows 95 to windows 98 mostly didn't work; windows 98 to XP was a fail city and XP to vista was disasterous, why on earth does anyone expect windows vista to windows 7 to have any chance of working?

Seriously, what person in their right mind would even _attempt_ an upgrade?

more than 5 years ago

Porn Surfing Rampant at US Science Foundation

ballyhoo $58k? (504 comments)

Sounds like they need a better quality cacheing system, or get some of the pr0n served on a locally hosted CDN. Or stick it on their LAN fileservers. Let's get practical here!

more than 5 years ago

Irish ISP To Block Access To Pirate Bay

ballyhoo Not ireland's oldest ISP (169 comments)

Eircom are not ireland's oldest ISP. They started operations as an ISP in 1996 (or in 1995 as Indigo, which they later bought out) and at the time, there were several other operators in the market: eunet ireland (the oldest commercial), ireland online, heanet (nren), connect ireland and internet eireann.

more than 5 years ago

Guaranteed Transmission Protocols For Windows?

ballyhoo You're kidding, aren't you?? (536 comments)

You are kidding about this, aren't you?

Let me get the facts straight:

- you have "mission critical files", and the network you're transferring them over is so incredibly badly managed that it doesn't support reliable data transfer
- you want a technical workaround for this brokenness.

If this is the case, you don't have a technical problem on your hands; you have a political one.

"Mission critical" has a meaning: it means critical to the success of the operation. I.e. without these files, your operation or someone else's operation will fail.

If your management believes that your files are "mission critical", and you're facing a problem of this sort, you need to document the difficulties you're having, along with measurements to support your claims and then make a clear statement that as long as your network path is completely broken, you are absolving yourself of responsiblility for the correct transmission of these files.

If your management doesn't do anything about this, then the files are not "mission critical".

more than 5 years ago


ballyhoo Be careful about your hardware and software (210 comments)

If you're going to to this, you really need to be very careful about your choice of hardware and software. You need to avoid anything which isn't AHCI 1.3 compliant, as previous versions of the AHCI specification defined only a single FIS register per port, which effectively means that the controller card has to serialise all commands to the port multiplier. So even if you've got a port multiplier with a pile of separate disks, your throughput is going to be trash because the host operating system can only talk to a single disk at any one time. AHCI 1.3 fixes this and allows the host operating system to talk to multiple drives simultaneously.

You also need to be careful in your choice of software driver and operating system. Most of the free unix clones have some form of support for port multipliers these days, but this support is not really optimised towards high performance from sensible hardware yet. NCQ (native command queueing) is really important for performance here. I'll guess that with Windows drivers, you just won't know in advance, because the drivers aren't open source and you just can't tell what's going on inside them.

As previous people mentioned, it's important to configure multiple disks like this in some form of redundant mode. If you have a single volume spread across 5 disks, your risk of failure is going to be 5 times more likely than for a single disk, and the consequences of losing that data is 5 times worse than that of a single disk.

more than 5 years ago

Tax Accounting Evil at Google?

ballyhoo Re:Google no differnt than the rest (261 comments)

This issue has been ongoing for some while, and Google has recently reached agreement with the IRS on the matter. The article quoted in the leader text for this posting is really ancient (Nov 2005) and is completely out of date. For ireland.com subscribers, here's a more up-to-date article:

http://www.ireland.com/newspaper/finance/2007/0205 /1170363595082.html

For those who don't like paying money to read quality web content, I've included the text below.

There's a lot of misunderstanding about the operation of off-shore offices of large multinational companies like Google, Microsoft, Yahoo, Dell, and a pile of others who have bases in Ireland. Lots of people view this sort of activity as purely a tax dodge, where there is little substantial activity going on in the offshore offices to justify this sort of write-off. This is simply not the case.

In the case of Google, their EU hosting services are operated out of Dublin. They do piles of development and EU related sales in the city. It's not like there's 1300 people who are paid to sit on their asses all day to do nothing but justify tax write-offs.

In the case of Microsoft, their entire EMEA internet hosting facility will be moved to Dublin within a relatively short period of time. This will include a whole pile of content which has previously only been hosted in the US (i.e. MSN, MSDN, etc). They do cartloads of localization in Dublin (which city - incidentally - hosts the largest software localisation industry in the world). They do development and sales, and media fabrication, and they are a completely legitimate EMEA headquarters. The situation is similar for all of the other companies which operate in IE.

As a large multinational company, you simply cannot afford to attempt to cheat the IRS by passing profits to tax-havens in a random manner. For each tax dollar or euro which is passed to the irish operations of these companies for the purposes of tax write-off, there _must_ be justification. If there isn't, the IRS will take these companies to the cleaners in terms of back-tax, penalties and interest. It simply isn't worth their while engaging in illigitimate accounting practices.


The Irish Times
Monday, February 5, 2007

US limits Google's tax savings

Colm Keena Public Affairs Correspondent

The US Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has negotiated a deal with Google that limits the tax savings the internet search engine giant will make by way of its Irish subsidiaries.

The agreement, reached in December 2006, will slow or halt a decline in Google's global effective tax rate which was saving it tens of millions of euro annually by having greater proportions of its profits go through Dublin.

The deal, which concerns Google's intercompany transfer pricing arrangements, is backdated to 2003.

In financial results released last week, Google said the deal with the IRS would mean its effective tax rate this year will be higher than it would have been otherwise.

The deal, called an Advance Pricing Agreement, is a structure the US tax authorities negotiate with multinationals to cover how they account for inter company pricing.

Because Ireland's corporation tax rate is half that of the United States, US multinationals can reduce what they call their effective tax rate by locating more profits here than in the US.

The US revenue seeks to ensure that the advantages US multinationals gain from subsidiaries in lower tax jurisdictions, do not exceed what is appropriate.

Last week Google announced revenues of $3.21 billion (2.48 billion) for the quarter ended December 31st, 2006, an increase of 67 per cent on the same period in 2005. Net income was $1 billion.

The company said that depending on the accountancy rules used, its effective tax rate in 2006 was 23 per cent or 26 per cent.

Google's effective tax rate has been falling in recent years as a result of its Dublin operation.

Filings in 2005 in the US indicated that Google had dropped its effective tax rate from 39 per cent to 31 per cent, saving it approximately 100 million that year.

"This is primarily because more of our earnings in 2005 compared to 2004 are expected to be recognised by our Irish subsidiary," the company filing said at the time.

In its quarterly SEC filing in September of last year, Google said: "We currently anticipate that our effective tax rate will be at or below 30 per cent in 2006 compared to 31.6 per cent in 2005, primarily because we expect that our Irish subsidiary will recognise proportionately more of our earnings in 2006 compared to 2005, and such earnings are taxed at a lower statutory tax rate than in the US."

The effective tax rate announced last week for 2006 was significantly below 30 per cent.

The company statement said: "Our effective tax rate will be greater in 2007 under the APA [ Advance Pricing Agreement] than it would have been without it. However, we expect our effective tax rate for 2007 will be at or below 30 per cent."

The deal with the IRS is backdated: "In December 2006, Google entered into an APA with the IRS in connection with certain intercompany transfer pricing arrangements. The APA applies to the taxation years beginning in 2003."

A US tax source said such agreements were used to introduce "greater certainty" for companies and the Inland Revenue Service into the area of pricing within multinational corporations.

Pricing arrangements within multinationals "can distort prices and artificially affect what is reported for accounting and tax purposes," the source said.

Google's operation in Dublin is its largest outside the US. It has an R&D company that receives massive royalty payments from other companies in the group, and a company that services customers from Ireland to the Urals, and Iceland to South Africa. Some 1,300 people are employed.

© 2007 The Irish Times

more than 7 years ago


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