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Microsoft Shutting Down MSN Messenger After 15 Years of Service

belrick Re: I guess I'll just (127 comments)

No, that would be something like finger+talk. Or something older. I remember using Bitnet talk before getting a U account with Internet access

about 5 months ago

Denial-of-Service Attack Found In Btrfs File-System

belrick Re:Can we get a real Linux filesystem, please? (210 comments)

Btrfs, like ZFS and Netapp's WAFL, use a far more efficient copy-on-write strategy that avoids the write penalty.

WAFL doesn't do copy-on-write. Copy-on-write means a write to a block in a file requires the original block to be read, written elsewhere for the snapshot, then the new block written in the original location. That's exactly what WAFL doesn't do. WAFL writes all changed blocks for multiple files in big RAID stripes, updating pointers to current copies and leaving snapshot pointers pointing to old copies of the updated files. Very efficient for writes, but changes almost all reads, random or sequential (within a file) into random reads (within the filesystem) because file blocks get scattered according to write order, not location of the block within the file. That's why they want lots of spindles in an aggregate and they love RAM cache and flash cache.

But since you say that copy-on-write avoids the write penalty I think you know what is does but simply don't know that it isn't copy-on-write.

more than 2 years ago

Can Maintenance Make Data Centers Less Reliable?

belrick Re:Maintenance and prevention are not always the s (185 comments)

After that blunder, I was asked to check on all the cameras servers once a week and make sure I could actually open up and view recordings from days past. This is a preventative action, but not really a maintenance one.

No, it's not preventative. It does nothing to prevent the problem. It detects the problem earlier (before, say, a business user does). That's monitoring. It's proactive, not reactive - perhaps that's what you mean?

more than 3 years ago

'Invisible Glass' Solves Screen Reflection Problems

belrick Re:No one will buy this (216 comments)

The glossy screen is the perfect Apple screen because I can simultaneously see the two most important things in the world: the blog I'm writing, and myself. Always myself.

There, fixed that for you.

more than 3 years ago

Tron: Legacy

belrick Re:Real Unix! (412 comments)

Do you notice how you either can't recall or can't care to recall the father and son's names? That says something about the emotional attachment you didn't develop for the characters.

more than 4 years ago

Scientists Fight Back In Canada

belrick Re:Only in Canada eh? Pity! (277 comments)

I guess people are worried that our state of the art igloo geometric designs, dogsled aerodymanics and maple syrup chemistry are in danger if poltical decisions are made without the benefit of science. Luckily there are only 78 of us in the whole country. We can probably sort it out in about a fortnight over a few Molson's beers while watching ice hockey.

"Who won the damn gold medals at the last Olympics anyways?"

Ha! You can tell you aren't Canadian because you put the word ice in front of hockey - that's redundant.

more than 4 years ago

Desktop Linux Is Dead

belrick Jolicloud (1348 comments)

I've installed dozens of Linux distributions side-by-side on my various laptops over the years and invariably I would be booting into the Windows OS of the day (XP, skipped Vista, happy with 7). Partly because of need to access some Windows-only software but also a comfort level. Even though 90% of my laptop use is for web/Internet. This coming from someone who spent his PhD doing everything in CDE (and having an Amiga at home).

But then I tried Jolicloud 1.0. It is based on Ubuntu but feels a lot more like the iPhone in presentation. Applications arrayed on a home screen. Application windows maximized with very little OS clutter. Web applications promoted to feel like full apps.

It boots so fast on my SSD Thinkpad X200 Tablet and it feels comfortable. Perhaps this is the Linux Desktop everyone is waiting for?

Of course, I'm waiting for them to rev the Ubuntu base they are working on so the two-point multi-touch and Wacom pen of the X200 Tablet actually work (they work in Ubuntu 10.04 and 10.10, if I recall correctly). That and supporting tethering to my iPhone (both of which work in Windows).

more than 4 years ago

Hawking Picks Physics Over God For Big Bang

belrick Re:The true believer (1328 comments)

Yes, rationality and irrationality clearly don't mix.

more than 4 years ago

Internal Costs Per Gigabyte — What Do You Pay?

belrick Re:Eh? (420 comments)

A $50 HDD does not store data by itself. How does the data get from the application to the drive? Cases, CPU, RAM. What about fault tolerance (RAID)? What about backup? What about labour? The figures cited include all that. What about speed? 450 GB 15k RPM verses a 1 TB 7200 RPM. What about advanced features (NetApp FlexClone, that allows copies as differentials, or SnapVault and SnapMirror (i.e. remote copy and syncronization)). What about backup (tape library, tape drives, tapes). What about floor space, racking, AC, Power, UPS, PDU?

Do you even realize all the costs that go into a burdened per GB cost? The physical hard drive may be a trivial part of the cost.

more than 4 years ago

Best Browser For Using Complex Web Applications?

belrick PDF for printable pages (347 comments)

Why not generate PDF for printing purposes?

more than 4 years ago

Google Voice Now Gives Priority to Students

belrick Re:World is not US of A (66 comments)

The reason that they're restricting it to .edu is because Google Voice is only available in the US for everyone.

There are Canadian Universities that have .edu domains - the University of Toronto has both utoronto.ca and toronto.edu.

more than 4 years ago

Google Asks US For WTO Block On China Censorship

belrick How is it an unfair trade barrier? (115 comments)

Don't local Chinese companies that compete with Google, such as Baidu, have to comply with the same censorship restrictions? For it to be an unfair trade barrier, don't local companies have to be treated differently?

For example, in Canada food products must be labelled in both English and French. A US company with US-produced food goods must use different packaging that complies with this law to import those goods into Canada, or, as is often the case, slap a sticker that meets the minimum requirements of the law. Since the law treats local and imported goods the same, it is not considered an unfair trade barrier. It doesn't matter that it is inconvenient for a US company to have to modify its manufacturing process to accommodate that law.

Note I'm not making any statement about the censorship laws being fair or moral in and of themselves.

more than 4 years ago

IBM Sets Areal Density Record for Magnetic Tape

belrick Re:What about write speed? (135 comments)

If the areal density increases uniformly in both directions, then you can expect that the read/write speed goes up by the square root of the areal density increase. That is, for 43.75 you'd expect a speed increase of at least between 6 and 7 times. Note that sometimes the density increase is achieved in only one direction or the other, depending on what technology was used to achieve it, in which case all or none of the density increase results in speed increase.

You can achieve speed increases by using multiple heads. LTO and the 3590/3592 proprietary tape technology on which it is based use 8 or 16 tracks read/written simultaneously, with tracks interleaved. There might be 256 tracks with tracks 1, 17, 33, ..., 241 being accessed, then 2, 18, ..., 242. etc. Doubling the number of tracks (density increase of 2 widthwise) wouldn't increase read/write speed. Doubling the number of tracks while simultaneously doubling the number of heads would.

Note that with 8 or 16 heads spread across the tape width, error correction is achieved by writing a matrix of bits (across the tape as well as down the length) with ECC bits added.

about 5 years ago

Microsoft Fined In India For Using "Money Power" Against Pirates

belrick Re:Very Poor Taste (204 comments)

Did you just tell a story about a person mixing up "rapping" for "raping" and in the process use the word "allowed" instead of "aloud"?

more than 5 years ago

xkcd To Be Released In Book Form

belrick Re:Limitations of Dead Tree (198 comments)

So if I look at the pictures in the book long enough will the alt text pop up?


more than 5 years ago

Why Natal Is a Big Deal

belrick Sign language (303 comments)

Can you imagine when they develop the ability for the computer to read sign language? I bet an adept person can sign faster than most people can type.

more than 5 years ago

Safari 4's Messy Trail

belrick Re:Safari does clean up after itself. (200 comments)

Yes but that last 32k is the EVIL 32k

You mean each of the evil bits left over from the 129 MB of data?

more than 5 years ago

IBM Building 20 Petaflop Computer For the US Gov't

belrick Re:don't smell right (248 comments)

1.6 million processors in 96 racks is 16000 processors per rack, or about 400 processors per U. To me that sounds like an evolution of the cell processor and 1 MB per cell sounds reasonable.

more than 5 years ago

Psystar Claims Apple Forgot To Copyright Mac OS

belrick Re:This might save Psystar, but it won't help othe (648 comments)

However, registration *is* required before filing a lawsuit.

I thought it was only required in order to have a certain type of damages awarded (which may make it economically infeasible to sue without have filed, but strictly speaking not necessary).

more than 6 years ago


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