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Survey: 56 Percent of US Developers Expect To Become Millionaires

bored Re:I will be a millionaire. (456 comments)

I'm not sure the math works out the way you want it.For 10+ years I expected house values to correct to levels similar to early 2000's housing values (average income vs average house price).

Hasn't happened, during the "housing crisis" house values in some areas of the country fell but in "desirable" areas they went down maybe 10% (see Texas, Colorado, etc). Then starting early last year they came ripping back, with a 20% increase in one year.

If you expect the government to stand by while the banks and REITs loose money in the housing market your going to be as wrong as I was last time. The US government will do everything in its power to preserve the values of houses in the US. The second a 8% interest rate looks to be slowing the housing boom down you can be sure that QE will return.

2 days ago
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UN: Renewables, Nuclear Must Triple To Save Climate

bored Re:Nuclear is obvious, an energy surplus is desire (429 comments)

A lesser known situation is if you actually create an energy surplus, food costs, logistic costs, and transportation costs get cheaper.

I think a lot of people have been talking about this recently. The US economy in particular is heavily dependent on energy costs. So, a lot of what has been floating Midwestern states is the fact that energy companies are hiring like mad and putting in oil/gas wells pretty much as fast as they can. This drives unemployment down, while helping to lower energy costs, all while the energy companies are making money hand over fist.

If something similar happened with nukes, it could happen nationally, and as you point out people would be more incentivised to buy leaf's and teslas if the monthly power bill were less than a single tank of gas.

Of course the other big advantage would be that it would make gas/oil wells less economically advantageous too, similar to what has been happening with coal vs natural gas.

5 days ago
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Windows 8.1 Update Released, With Improvements For Non-Touch Hardware

bored MS still doesn't get it (294 comments)

I think its great they are fixing their OS...

The problem is that they are making user facing changes in a maintenance stream.

about two weeks ago
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Meet the Diehards Who Refuse To Move On From Windows XP

bored Re:Hardware requirements (641 comments)

I think this is actually a good argument as to why those people shouldn't be using Windows in the first place.

Which is a great argument if you are a "hacker" or the source of the hardware. But for the user of a agilent scope, the fact that its running XP instead of linux makes no difference. They can't get in and hack the kernel & sources for an unsupported 15 year old linux anymore than they can hack the XP.

In theory hacking the linux machine might be easier because you have source for some portion of the scope, but its probably just as easy to hire a hacker to patch the syscall or dll causing a problem on XP.

about two weeks ago
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Meet the Diehards Who Refuse To Move On From Windows XP

bored Re:Hardware requirements (641 comments)

My only fear is the motherboard dying and having to find a PC with ISA bus.

Start hording them now! I had a discussion with some friends a few years ago when I needed a 30 pin SIMM for an old 486, that it was easier to find unix workstations and apple II's from that time period than parts for a 486.

Because people don't value x86 clones as much as the $10,000 workstations, the clones have all been ground up and scraped somewhere.

about two weeks ago
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Meet the Diehards Who Refuse To Move On From Windows XP

bored Re:Software doesn't wear out. (641 comments)

Unofficially, I haven't tried it lately but I suspect it still runs on Windows 2000.

Nah, it refuses to install. I tried it a couple months ago on laptop I keep around because it has a real RS232 port that works with an OBDII/CAN scanner I have. The OBDII scanner won't work with USB->RS232 or low voltage RS232 ports...

On the plus side I discovered qupzilla which works great on win2k, and is about 10x faster than the old version of firefox that was running on the machine.

about two weeks ago
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Meet the Diehards Who Refuse To Move On From Windows XP

bored Re:Viva La XP! (641 comments)

Yes its cool, winXP boots faster and uses less ram than WindowsMobile, or Android.

I swear, that how smoothly ipad/iphones run is probably 1/2 the user experience difference vs android. I suspect that the reason its so smooth is partially the result of the fact that the system and most of the applications are written in a language compiled down natively to the hardware. Over and over i've seen functionally similar programs that just lag on far beefier android devices, that have butter smooth response on older idevices.

about two weeks ago
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Meet the Diehards Who Refuse To Move On From Windows XP

bored The largest security diffrence in newer windows (641 comments)

Is the fact that the users run in limited accounts by default.

If you setup a limited user in XP and use the "runas" context menu, or command line utility to escalate privileges you get the vast majority of the "security" improvement in vista and newer.

That is because now an application not only has to exploit your browser/whatever to gain control of the machine, it has to exploit the kernel to get outside of the limited user sandbox. Further using something like sandboxie further lessens the likelihood of that.

Once you have a few levels of protection like this (javascript blocks, flash blocks, browser sandbox, limited user, etc) then it becomes pretty unlikely that any given piece of malware actually gets through all the layers.

(posted from an XP machine!)

about two weeks ago
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Fifty Years Ago IBM 'Bet the Company' On the 360 Series Mainframe

bored Re:Virtual Machines (169 comments)

'capacity on demand', it is 'Licensed Internal Code Controlled Configuration.' The use of LIC CC also allows them to offer 'capacity on demand',

Ok, so I got my terminology incorrect for the part that actually controls the hardware license. Other than that I believe my point stands (that Hercules on an inexpensive midrange x86 is faster than the slowest licensed BC12 config). And so your point was?

Why would you pay (for hardware and software) for more performance than you need?

That is not the right question. The question is why I should pay IBM millions of dollars to unlock the hardware I am paying the power bills on, providing the floor space for, and have "purchased". Yes, I know IBM won that lawsuit, but that doesn't mean IBM doesn't come across as the slimiest of business dealings for coming up with such a model. At least when HP rapes you for ink you actually get a product for it, rather than having them just unlock extra ink in the cartridge in your printer.

Especially since I don't actually need the mainframe. All the RAS features i need are available on machines that run Linux faster, for less than $15k, and require me to interact with the CE on a less frequent basis because in our sample of 1 mainframe vs a bunch of HP DL 580's. the HP's are actually more reliable. The HP's haven't needed any service since they were installed, unlike the mainframe which seems to need constant babysitting. Plus, I can spin up new VM's in vmware with a couple clicks of a button vs, screwing around with zVM for days.

So, asking why I should give IBM exorbitant fee's for something I can acquire elsewhere for far less is not the right question. Maybe a better question is why I'm paying hundreds of thousands of dollars for performance that is equivalent to the 20 year old Pentium that is sitting in the junk room next door. Or why I'm maintaining a machine that requires me to manually configure device addresses, and IODF's with text editors, or writing system exits in assembly to do simple things like roll log files or get notification of tape insertions.

Furthermore, if you want to understand where I'm coming from, take a look at the specCPU results in OMVS for a 240 MIP EC12. So, next time I'm sitting there wondering if I should pay IBM a couple thousand dollars to run my job a little faster this weekend, I will remember you asking me why.

So, yah, there is a reason younger people don't want to work on those archaic machines. They don't want to work somewhere that compute time is so carefully guarded, especially since they could just spin up 1000x the compute (and even IO with the SSD instances) performance for a few dollars on EC2.

about two weeks ago
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Fifty Years Ago IBM 'Bet the Company' On the 360 Series Mainframe

bored Re:Virtual Machines (169 comments)

You have no idea what you are talking about. "Capacity on demand" has nothing to do with why a BC would run at 1/100 it's capacity (and there is no such thing as a 'base' model.)

Not really, sure what your trying to say? Are you trying to say that IBM doesn't license the capacity (performance) of the hardware? Or that the minimum capacity you can for a machine is only a tiny percentage of the the capability of the hardware that arrives. Or maybe your being pedantic about the exact usage of CoD in relation to how IBM licenses the hardware/zOs/linux? Cause in the case of IFL (processors for running linux) the license is most definitely tied to the _HARDWARE_ and not the OS.

Because, i'm not going to get into a pissing contest, but I don't think you have ever been involved in the purchasing, scaling etc of a zSeries machine from IBM, because I can assure you the hardware is absolutely licensed.

Here is link I have handy from a couple years ago, where approximate prices for a z114 are listed.

http://www.tech-news.com/publi...

Notice, the fact that the minimum configuration is a 2818-A01 at 26 MIPS, and it goes up from there. Realize that there are actually only a couple different hardware configurations and that nearly all those "models" are simply capacity changes (via license keys) on the PEs.

You can click the EC12 button for more recent hardware.

about two weeks ago
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Fifty Years Ago IBM 'Bet the Company' On the 360 Series Mainframe

bored Re:software (169 comments)

Its funny that you cite 2012, cause this is one of the first google hits I get.

http://www.reuters.com/article...

With such wonderful quotes as:

"Officials with IBM said the company has "thousands" of mainframe customers around the globe but declined to be more specific.

Gartner estimates that annual global sales of mainframes will fall this year and each year through 2016, declining a total of 14 percent over the five years to nearly $4.7 billion."

I wonder how many of those "thousands" are like us. We have a single business class mainframe at minimum capacity (26 MIPS z114).

about two weeks ago
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Fifty Years Ago IBM 'Bet the Company' On the 360 Series Mainframe

bored Re:software (169 comments)

What are you talking about? What the heck is 'native mainframe tech'? z/OS?

Yes, basically, technology that provides vendor/platform lock for IBM...

For example, many of the java workloads can be migrated to some other platform with relative ease (aka POWER). No so with the huge pile of languages/technologies that exist primary on the mainframe (JCL, RACF, on and on).

2012 IBM sold more mainframes, as measured in units, capacity, and dollars, than at any point in it's history

I would like to see the reference you have on "units" cause IBM likes to talk about capacity and other nebulous terms, but I haven't seen a unit number from them in probably a decade. Plus, they like to talk about "X% growth", but try to find an absolute number from them. The unit numbers you get for ibm are for "server" sales or similar nebulus numbers which include iSeries and pSeries machine which in raw unit sales are probably 100x the mainframes.

In really you have to consider the scale here too, your average colocation data center probably has more "capacity" than all the mainframes sold in the past 10 years. Next time your CE comes in, ask him approximately how many mainframes he is aware of in your city. I just did this very thin last week with mine... He didn't give me a number but an approximate one.... Lets say, I probably have more computers at my house.

about two weeks ago
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Fifty Years Ago IBM 'Bet the Company' On the 360 Series Mainframe

bored Re:Virtual Machines (169 comments)

There have apparently been a number of JIT'ed versions of hercules http://www.hercules-390.org/.

The only problem is that IBM won't license zos to run on it. So, its a major NO NO for the kinds of companies that are still running mainframe applications.

Worse yet, is that Hercules is actually faster (on a reasonable server) than the base BC series mainframes because of the "capacity on demand" features that result in mainframes running at 1/100th their capacity.

about two weeks ago
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Fifty Years Ago IBM 'Bet the Company' On the 360 Series Mainframe

bored Re:software (169 comments)

Basically, if you can't get the people it's because you're not prepared to pay (that includes money, benefits and training).

I'm going to second this. Because I had a z114 dropped on my lap as part of my current job. I hear about the talent shortage all the time. I even took the time to do some basic research on mainframe pay scales... And let me quote some other guy answering a similar question..

"why should I learn mainframe tech, when I can make 30% more doing PHP, and I don't have to worry about being sidetracked out of the job market in 5 years"

At this point companies are willing to pay IBM 7-8 figure numbers for hardware that performs similarly to high 5 figure x86 hardware, but choke over paying starting z/OS systems programmers (with other industry experience) 100k+ a year.

At this point companies running mainframes better start expecting to pay gold plated compensation packages (pushing 200k+) or they will continue to have a hard time finding people willing to spend a couple years learning technology that is pretty archaic in the grand scheme of things.

We install our product into mainframe shops, and I can't tell you how many I've seen that have their old retired mainframe guy on "retainer" for emergencies. He shows up once every couple weeks to fix something that has broken, but nothing else. Usually, he is just there to support the machine long enough for the team rewriting the application in java/whatever to get it working. Probably half of these shops, thought they would be off the mainframe a few years ago, but their replacement application still doesn't work... Frankly, after having interacted with some of the teams I can understand why the mainframe guys is probably going to die before they get it done...

about two weeks ago
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Fifty Years Ago IBM 'Bet the Company' On the 360 Series Mainframe

bored Re:software (169 comments)

What makes you think the technology in mainframes is 'dying'?

Fewer actual machines being installed. No new projects being started on native mainframe tech (new mainframe projects seem to be overwhelmingly Linux/java/other platform agnostic technologies). IBM advertises the fact that their "capacity" install numbers are going up every year, but the machines have been getting significantly faster the last few years as IBM started taking machine performance seriously again so they bury the bad news.

about two weeks ago
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UK Government Pays Microsoft £5.5M For Extended Support of Windows XP

bored Re:Re:well then! (341 comments)

While AMD broke native 16-bit compatibility while in 64-bit mode, it wouldn't have been that hard for MS to add a 16-bit emulator in windows to support install of 16-bit apps on 64-bit machines.

The fact that you have to run a full blown VM for it, sort of speaks to the level of backwards compatibility that MS puts into recent versions of windows. Sort of sad that even Apple put 68k and PPC emulators into some of its OS's.

about two weeks ago
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Will Cameras Replace Sideview Mirrors On Cars In 2018?

bored Backup cameras don't replace mirrors (496 comments)

They are for different use. The mirror is to see behind you while traveling forward, and the backup camera is to allow you to see into the blind spots while in reverse.

And this is why they are being mandated, in the hopes that they can reduce the ~200 deaths in the US each year because the driver couldn't see what was behind their huge SUV.

Your not suppose to be using a mirror to backup the vehicle anyway, your suppose to look over your shoulder. The problem I have with _EVERY SINGLE_ backup camera I have used, is that the screens are in the dash/mirror/etc, and the field of view is tuned for the ~6 feet directly behind the car. So, it adds another place you have to look. Ideally they would mount them in the back seat/back of the car/whatever so you can see behind you. Turning your whole body is a _LOT_ slower than turning your head or just your eyes, so often your forced to make a decision, do I look at what is immediately behind me, or do I go for the wider view to see if I'm going to be aligned correctly, or if there are approaching cars/whatever.

Furthermore they are nearly useless in bad weather because moisture on the lense fuzzes everything, and they suck at night because the night vision blows out anywhere the reverse lights hit, and darkens everything else to black.

Plus, a lot of them are on tiny screens if the car doesn't have a nav system, which makes it _REALLY_ hard to see anything.

I'm actually convinced that having the backup cameras has allowed some car manufactures to decide to design their cars without regard to the size of the rear view blind spot because they can say its now covered by the backup camera. For example the toyota tundra has a _MASSIVE_ tailgate which literally can hide an entire car.

about two weeks ago
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L.A. Police: All Cars In L.A. Are Under Investigation

bored ARGUS... (405 comments)

I fail to see how this is any worse than ARGUS, which _HAS_ been deployed over US cities as well as foreign conflict zones. The limiting factor is currently the storage space, but its not hard to imagine one of these things flying over every US city in the next decade storing a couple months of video.

Really, this has been going on for years with spy Satellites too, and no one really seems to care because the exact capabilities are still classified, but i'm betting ARGUS is just complementary to what we already have.

Random, link...

https://www.aclu.org/blog/tech...

about a month ago
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Back To the Moon — In Four Years

bored Re:Yeah, too bad there's no real reason to do so.. (292 comments)

The ISS is little more than a fragile tin can a couple hours away from the earth. Its only real value is research related to 0g environments. There aren't any raw materials there. So if your "exploration" of space looks a lot like the Apollo program, then its a logical step. AKA, send a man to mars for a couple weeks and then forget the whole thing happened for a few decades/centuries.

On the other hand if you want robust (heavy) long term environments in space, then there must be a source of raw materials to partially support them, and they must be built to withstand long term exposure without constant maintenance. Neither of those are possible when everything is built on earth and boosted up using extremely expensive chemical rockets, and there are political issues surrounding every launch with a RTG on-board.

Plus, a lot of things are easier in a weak gravity vs 0g. Imagine the difficulty in simply digging out a bucket of ore from the moon vs an asteroid. Its even worse if you consider crushing/separating/melting it.

In 0g you have to invent completely new processes, vs modifying existing ones. So its much harder.

about a month ago
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Back To the Moon — In Four Years

bored Re:I can barely make ends meet (292 comments)

Ask my how much I want to be taxed to send someone to the moon right now.

Its really more about priorities. The USA has effectively prioritized all forms of police state activities above basic infrastructure, science and other investments in the country. Rather our local governments are going broke maintaining police force/population ratios which have no bearing on crime rates, and our federal government hasn't seen a "homeland security" project they didn't have to buy into. Be that massive aircraft carriers used to "project force", into areas we shouldn't be, naked body scanners, or spying programs to track everyone's movements.

Plus, in the case of the police, since there are so many of them, and stopping crime is _HARD_ they tend to spend all their time giving citations, and enforcing non violent "offense" laws that should really be matters of personal freedom (see drug laws).

Heck, the city i live in just passed an ordinance banning more than 4 adults from living in the same house. Who "enforces" this? The police of course. So if your a poor student, its now illegal to rent a house with more than 3 other of your friends.

about a month ago

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