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Comments

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FCC Officially Approves Change In the Definition of Broadband

dgatwood Re:What are the practical results of this? (424 comments)

have you ever worked in a union? while this is true, most of them make it hard as heck to jump through the hoops needed to jump through to ensure none of your dues are used towards political campaigns.

Yes, I worked in a union shop. I didn't join, but I seem to recall that being one of the checkboxes on the paperwork you had to fill out whether you joined or not, along with the option to opt out of the union and pay "fair share" fees.

yesterday
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Proposed Disk Array With 99.999% Availablity For 4 Years, Sans Maintenance

dgatwood Re:Power Costs (253 comments)

Yeah, but park ramps have been around for a couple of decades (the earliest patent filing I could find was filed in 1992), and they only started having insane levels of trouble fairly recently (by comparison). So it's probably the combination of excessive amounts of parking (as you mentioned) and having less structural support for the heads that makes them so problematic.

yesterday
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FCC Officially Approves Change In the Definition of Broadband

dgatwood Re:U-verse (424 comments)

Not all devices show LTE bars identically, so your mileage may vary. To compare apples to apples, we'd both need to be using dBm. Truthfully, even that wouldn't necessarily be a valid comparison, depending on multipath interference and a whole host of other factors. My point was that there are a lot of places that have service, but where the minute-long connection latency caused by high packet loss results in such a horrid real-world speed that it might as well be truly slow.

yesterday
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Wi-Fi Issues Continue For OS X Users Despite Updates

dgatwood Re:Anecdotal Example (109 comments)

Would be nice. I also wish they'd go back to the pre-retina enclosure, and instead of wasting space on an optical drive, I'd like to see them use most of that extra space for additional battery capacity. If I run Photoshop or Finale or Xcode or any of the other software that I use to actually get stuff done with my retina MBP (about one year old), I'm lucky to get 2.5 to 3.5 hours out of it. If I were designing a computer to meet my needs, the "four cores running at full tilt" duration would be eight or ten hours, and the "just wasting time doing light-duty web browsing" number would be measured in days.

Or just bring back removable batteries. Either way.

yesterday
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FCC Officially Approves Change In the Definition of Broadband

dgatwood Re:What are the practical results of this? (424 comments)

Union contributions are, more or less, under the control of the people who are in the unions, and if you don't agree with a union's political agenda, you have a legal right to withhold that portion of your dues, so your portion of that contribution is 100% under your control.

Corporate contributions, by contrast, are entirely under the control of its board of directors. As a shareholder or normal employee of that corporation, you have no control over your portion of the contribution. Corporate contributions represent a concentration of power in the hands of a few individuals, which makes them fundamentally different.

2 days ago
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FCC Officially Approves Change In the Definition of Broadband

dgatwood Re:U-verse (424 comments)

Real-world LTE speeds only qualify as broadband if you're very close to the tower. By the time you get into two-bar territory (where their LTE network is "available"), you'll be lucky to get EDGE speeds, and at one bar, you'll be lucky to get any data at all. Yet technically, LTE is available in all those places. That's the problem with wireless; the speed falls off a cliff as distance increases.

2 days ago
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Proposed Disk Array With 99.999% Availablity For 4 Years, Sans Maintenance

dgatwood Re:Power Costs (253 comments)

In a curiously ironic twist, the hardware designed to protect consumer-grade disks from damage ends up destroying them. As I understand it, a number of fairly recent consumer drives exhibit a higher than normal failure rate because the heads break off of the arms when they collide with the park ramp. This is, at least in part, a consequence of making the arms smaller and lighter to improve seek times.

2 days ago
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The iPad Is 5 Years Old This Week, But You Still Don't Need One

dgatwood Re:Kindle != Kindle (298 comments)

Obligatory Henry Ford reference: The Nook Simple Touch can display any color you want, so long as it is black... or grey.

2 days ago
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Ask Slashdot: Best Medium For Personal Archive?

dgatwood Re:Print it out (250 comments)

We have a pretty good idea; trees are still trees, and most paper today is acid-free (unlike the paper made from the late 1800s up until about 1980), so it doesn't degrade too badly. But if you're really concerned, buy certified 100% cotton, acid-free paper.

3 days ago
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Ask Slashdot: Best Medium For Personal Archive?

dgatwood Re:Lot's of bad ideas here... (250 comments)

At more than 8 cents per gigabyte, archival DVDs are horribly expensive. You could cycle your backups across three hard drives for about the same amount of money, and then you have three backups instead of one.

Not to mention... have you ever tried backing up your 4 TB hard drive onto a spindle of 1,000 DVDs? Have you ever seen a spindle of 1,000 DVDs? It's slightly taller than an average person. Yes, if you don't have much data, you can do what you're proposing, but....

Hard drives are really the only viable backup medium unless you have a big enough collection of data for tape drives to make sense—maybe Blu-Ray, but only if you don't have more than about a 100-disc spindle worth of data (2.5 or 5 TB) to back up (and really, most people lose interest at more like ten or fifteen discs).

3 days ago
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Ask Slashdot: Best Medium For Personal Archive?

dgatwood Re:Pair of external HD's (250 comments)

I think the point was that after you clone your backup drive to a new one, you can reuse the drive to replace or expand your main system drive, whereas once you burn an optical disc, "reburning" means throwing away the old plastic (or keeping an extra copy around). This effectively makes optical media a lot more expensive than magnetic media.

3 days ago
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Best 1990s Sci-fi show?

dgatwood Roswell (476 comments)

Admittedly, Roswell barely qualifies as 1990s, because it began in 1999, but it was one of the better sci-fi shows I've seen. Among other things, it turned the genre on its head by being told from the perspective of aliens, in the present day, on Earth. It had a lot of things going against it, of course, with network politics being the big one, and season two strayed awfully far into X-Files territory, but it had good writing, good acting, and much like Stargate, it didn't take itself too seriously, somehow managing just the right blend of humor, romance, dramatic tension, etc. And in spite of the main characters being teenagers, it managed to almost entirely avoid the usual teen drama that you'd expect to clog up such a series.

My favorite funny moment had to be when Jonathan Frakes (playing himself) told one of the alien teenagers that he just didn't make a believable alien. And my favorite episode was the Christmas special; it was almost pure character development, did nothing to drive the plot, but it was a breathtaking tear-jerker that gave a lot of insight into the main characters' personalities.

If you haven't seen Roswell, it's worth a look.

4 days ago
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Inside Ford's New Silicon Valley Lab

dgatwood Re:Happy Monday from The Golden Girls! (39 comments)

Your heart is true, you're a pal and a cosmonaut.

For once, this troll is on topic. It demonstrates why voice recognition needs to improve. After all, it's hard to wreck a nice beach.

5 days ago
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Google Explains Why WebView Vulnerability Will Go Unpatched On Android 4.3

dgatwood Re:The solution is obvious (579 comments)

Correction: Even the China Mobile iPhone 6 and 6 Plus aren't truly carrier-neutral, because they don't support CDMA. So you can either have LTE support in China or you can have CDMA support in the U.S., but not both.

5 days ago
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Google Explains Why WebView Vulnerability Will Go Unpatched On Android 4.3

dgatwood Re:The solution is obvious (579 comments)

The iPhone 5 had LTE. And it was not carrier-neutral. Each came in multiple models, none of which supported all the LTE bands. AFAIK, even the current iPhone 6 and 6 Plus are not fully carrier-neutral unless you buy the model designed for China Mobile.

5 days ago
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Google Explains Why WebView Vulnerability Will Go Unpatched On Android 4.3

dgatwood Re:The solution is obvious (579 comments)

But do realize, that was an outlier and is atypical of what Apple does.

No, it isn't atypical, at least for early-generation Apple products. The average support period for Apple is about three years, and there are a fair number of products that got less than that (mostly early models). For example, here's the time between the release date and last supported update of some other first-generation and second-generation Apple iOS devices:

  • Original Apple TV: 3 years, 1 month, and 1 day
  • Original iPhone: 2 years, 7 months, and 4 days
  • iPhone 3G: two years, four months, 11 days

The support period tends to vary based in part on how many of the devices are out there in active use, and in part on how badly underpowered the hardware was to begin with. So later products in a given line are likely to have longer support periods than earlier products.

5 days ago
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Verizon, Cable Lobby Oppose Spec-Bump For Broadband Definition

dgatwood Re:life in the U.S. (255 comments)

Actually, the telcos in Europa are preparing to roll out G.fast, which makes telcos again competive with Cable.

Not really. We hit the bandwidth limits of a single twisted pair a long time ago. For G.fast to be usable, the phone company has to replace your phone line with fiber to within just a few hundred feet of your home. For it to reach maximum speeds, you need fiber within just 230 feet. In effect, this means that if the phone company replaces all of their copper with fiber, G.fast lets them skip the cost of running the fiber from the pole outside your house into your house, for now. That's about it.

If your community has no fiber, G.fast won't even connect unless you're within BB gun range of your central office or DSL-capable remote terminal.

5 days ago
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Americans Support Mandatory Labeling of Food That Contains DNA

dgatwood Re:It's because no one gives a shit about these su (351 comments)

It wasn't until i read more that i realised this was about DNA alone. I have no doubt that othes did the same but didn't bother going deeper into it.

Including the people taking the survey, I suspect.

5 days ago
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China Cuts Off Some VPNs

dgatwood Re:Defective by design. (216 comments)

They're well defined now. AFAIK, they were nonstandard when initially proposed. Every time someone wants to deviate from accepted standards, there should be a darn good reason why, and I'm just not seeing any reasonable justification for creating a whole separate transport-layer protocol for something that basically behaves like a normal, connected stream.

And it isn't just explicit blocking that's a problem. Firewalls and NAT often make life miserable for users even when those firewalls aren't trying to block the VPNs. That's why as far as I'm concerned, if you're passing traffic, you should use TCP if you need the data to be robust and reliable, UDP if delayed delivery would make the data worthless, and ICMP for the usual network management purposes. IMO, everything else is anathema. :-)

about a week ago
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China Cuts Off Some VPNs

dgatwood Re:Defective by design. (216 comments)

My point was that there was no valid reason for each of these VPNs to each use its own transport-layer protocol. A normal, connected TCP socket would have done the job just as easily. Every time someone strays from the expectation that all packets are either TCP, UDP, or ICMP, it means every hardware-based firewall maker (and every software-based firewall IT person) has to do extra work to deal with it, and hardware that worked before suddenly doesn't work or (if you're lucky) requires firmware updates. The fact that using a different protocol makes it easier to block is just another in a long list of reasons why the proliferation of transport-layer protocols is a bad idea.

about a week ago

Submissions

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Richard Stallman to Start Fashion Line

dgatwood dgatwood writes  |  about 2 years ago

dgatwood (11270) writes ""Walking down the halls of MIT, I’d often see my colleagues dressed rather shabbily, and it was then that I decided to do something about it," said Richard Stallman, 60, of Cambridge, MA. So Stallman, a leader in the Free Software community with decades of software design experience, is ready to turn that experience towards a new target: clothing. He is expected to showcase his new line at FOSSCON 2012."
Link to Original Source
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Feds announce bailout of Kit Kat Club

dgatwood dgatwood writes  |  more than 5 years ago

dgatwood (11270) writes "Federal regulators announced today that they have decided to provide a $69 billion bailout to the financially strapped Kit Kat Club. On further questioning, regulators said that dancer Jugs Aplenty was "an American icon who is simply too big to fail" and described the chain of night clubs as "the last bastion of freedom in a sea of scandals and coverups".

The manager of one club spoke with a Slashdot indy reporter under the condition that he remain anonymous. "Things have been kind of tight for us lately. My customers keep telling me that it is hard for them to find the cash to visit nude bars with the economy in the doldrums. This bailout will ensure that Kit Kat Clubs across the nation can continue to provide quality entertainment and live dance shows that help weary investors beat the economic downturn." He went on to say that he could not think of any business more deserving, saying, "I've got a bone to pick with politicians who wasted all those billions of dollars on banks. What good have banks done for our country lately?"

As always, we will keep you abreast of the latest developments as more information becomes available."

Link to Original Source
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NIST Announces Reverse Leap Day

dgatwood dgatwood writes  |  more than 6 years ago

dgatwood (11270) writes "The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) today announced a correction as a result of small errors in leap second calculations arising out of the gradual slowing of the expansion of the universe. At precisely 1:00 A.M. Eastern Daylight Saving Time, the date will skip forward by 24 hours to Wednesday, April 2nd, 2008. Director James Turner described this as the first "reverse leap day" in recorded history. He added that he expected a similar correction each year for at least the next seven years.

Americans are advised to immediately adjust their clocks and calendars forward to April 2nd. Director Turner warned, however, that not all countries in the world have agreed to this change yet. "Americans who regularly interact with people in other countries should expect some minor confusion until this all sorts itself out," Turner said, adding that "We considered simply dropping February 29th, but decided that would be too confusing."

For more information, see the NIST Coordinated Universal Time page at http://www.nist.gov/public_affairs/faqs/time.htm."

Journals

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Chronicles of GoDaddy: How not to run an ISP

dgatwood dgatwood writes  |  more than 5 years ago

This is a review of the GoDaddy.com ISP. For a brief period of time, I used them for both my SSL certificate provider and my hosting provider. That lasted about a week. This review chronicles my experience with GoDaddy so that others can avoid the same fate.

It's hard to know where to begin when criticizing my experience with GoDaddy. It all started with a GoDaddy SSL certificate that was expiring in mid-August. Things started going wrong when GoDaddy sent me the expiration notice in mid-June. I immediately went to their website to renew. When I got there, I got a message that said I couldn't renew it for three days. I wrote them to complain and their reply basically said, "Yes, you can't renew before a certain date." Three days later, on the day it said I should be able to renew it, it still said I couldn't renew it.

A couple of weeks later, I went back to renew. I submitted a renewal for 9 years and paid for it (almost $270). I thought it was odd that they still hadn't sent out the cert, but I figured it would happen on the billing date for the account.

In the meantime, I decided to try to speed up my website by moving large graphics to shared hosting. Since I had a GoDaddy account already, I added hosting to it. Thankfully, I only paid for two months. While uploading content to the server, I started having weird problems almost immediately, finding that the server would just suddenly block my IP (including pings) for several minutes at a time. I theorized that they were limiting the number of reconnects per minute, so I spread the load out across several IPs and finished my uploading. I did all this over the holiday weekend to minimize impact.

Well, once I had the content on the server, I switched my home server to point to the images on that server. The next night, I tried to view a page full of thumbnail images and it stalled for a very long time. The problem went away after a couple of minutes, so I ignored it. When it happened again the next night, I started becoming concerned. When it happened on the fourth night, I started running a script that requested a tiny 15K image once a minute so that I could characterize the problem.

I contacted GoDaddy at this point, and they blamed my connection. I then reproduced the problem from work (where they have multiple OC-3 connections). I contacted them again. They continued to just say "We can't reproduce this" and actually had the nerve to suggest that I call them when I have the problem. How do you call somebody about a problem that only lasts 2-3 minutes from the start of the hang to the end? That's like telling somebody, "When you see a shooting star, text me so I can look up." Yikes!

Then, it got better. GoDaddy contacted me and said that they couldn't issue my SSL certificate because they now issue them for a maximum of 5 years---this in spite of the fact that their website was perfectly willing to sell me a 9-year certificate. So they started the process of issuing a refund.

A few hours later, they denied the refund. At this point, I wrote them back, chewed them out massively, listing in detail the litany of problems I had experienced with their service, carbon copied the president of GoDaddy, and basically threatened legal action if they didn't fix this mess. They restarted processing of the refund, but continued to refuse to honor the terms of our contract.

Their servers are still performing inadequately, so I plan to drop their service entirely as soon as I figure out where to migrate the files. And my SSL cert no longer comes from GoDaddy. I didn't even wait for my existing cert to expire; I don't want GoDaddy to get the free advertising. It also helps that my new SSL cert provider is free as in beer. I figure it's worth the hassle of renewing the cert annually to save $30 a year.

The bottom line is that I was going to spend about $114/year in hosting and SSL with GoDaddy, but because of their completely inept customer support, I'm now going to spend exactly $0 with them, and I will be spending a fair amount of time over the next few weeks posting detailed, harsh, negative reviews of their hosting service on every site I can find, from FaceBook to Web Hosting Geeks....

If I did my job as well as their customer service reps did their jobs, I would have lost my job after the first day. How, precisely, do these clowns stay in business? And how have they not had their credit card merchant account revoked?

David

P.S. Does anyone know of a web hosting provider that allows SSH, is reasonably reliable, and doesn't claim the rights to produce derivative works based on anything you upload?

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