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After Dallas Ebola Diagnosis, CDC Raises Estimate of Patient's Possible Contacts

elistan Re:Blindfolded, but can't see anything wrong... (258 comments)

This is what I came to ask. It seems to defy all logic, but it is an official statement - so what did I really expect?

Actually, it's not an official statement. It's something a reporter, Abby Phillip, wrote about something that was allegedly said. What the actual statement by Dallas County Health and Human Services Director Zachary Thompson to the reporter was, is unknown.

about two weeks ago

Hundreds of Cities Wired With Fiber, But Telecom Lobbying Keeps It Unusable

elistan Not all cities... (347 comments)

Not all cities.

As part of the November 5 election, Longmont's voters approved funding for the full development of the City's fiber optic broadband network. We would like to thank the community for supporting this move toward a future filled with progress and opportunity. As a true gigabit city, we are and will be positioned to be a leader in digital communications and a global information hub. We are lighting tomorrow, today.

about 4 months ago

Ford's Bringing Adaptive Steering To the Masses

elistan Old tech is new news? (128 comments)

This isn't exactly new. While I don't know how exactly the system works, Honda offered variable gear steering on the S2000 Type V 14 years ago. A while I don't know if any "for the masses" cars has variable gear steering, there are a number of manufacturers who currently offer it. (BMW, for example.)

about 5 months ago

Sony Tape Storage Breakthrough Could Bring Us 185 TB Cartridges

elistan Re:But is it even usable? (208 comments)

I don't think you can make valid estimations about the write speed of this new potential format by assuming it'll work at LTO 6 speeds. As density goes up, so does write speed.

Consider LTO 1 through 6:

  • LTO1 - 4880 bits/mm, 20 MB/sec
  • LTO2 - 7398 bits/mm, 40 MB/sec
  • LTO3 - 9638 bits/mm, 80 MB/sec
  • LTO4 - 13250 bits/mm, 120 MB/sec
  • LTO5 - 15142 bits/mm, 140 MB/sec
  • LTO6 - 15143 bits/mm, 160 MB/sec

It seems that doubling storage density yields slightly more than double the speed. (And obviously, like going from LTO5 to LTO6, speed can be increased without any sort of density improvement.) So if we extrapolate that to this new format, at 74 times the density, it perhaps can perform at 74 times the speed, and therefore fill up a tape within a reasonable timeframe. (Which, admittedly, is pure speculation - until actual speed specifications are released for this format, we just don't know.)

But if I was an IT manager, I wouldn't be looking at 185 TB tapes in order to do a full 185 TB local backup every weekend to be sent to an offsite vault. Instead, I'd be looking at 185 TB tapes if I had a remote site, at least 20 miles away, I'm connected to via a fast fiber link, that holds an active replication of my entire 50TB SAN, and I want to store a year's worth of weekly backups, plus a few month's worth of daily backups, in a 40-slot tape library instead of multiple 200-slot tape libraries. Then I could quickly restore almost any file without having to recall tapes, plus have a hot and ready copy of my data in case a flood, fire, earthquake, etc., strikes the primary site. (The logistics of setting up the network, the servers, the SAS connections, etc., not withstanding. :-)

Such a tape isn't for home use or small business use - it's for IBM, Google, Amazon and the like I suspect.

about 6 months ago

iPad Fever Is Officially Cooling

elistan Re:"Officially," eh? (386 comments)

Interpreting your own numbers: Q1 2013 22.9 Q2 2013 19.5 That is a drop of 14.8% Q1 2014 26 Q2 2014 16.35 That is a drop of 37.1% The rate has down more than double from Q1 to Q2 between 2013 and 2014.

Comparing two different quarters doesn't tell you much - items like this sell at very different rates in different times of the year. You get much better insight comparing Q1s to other Q1s, etc. Which in the iPad's case is down, yes, but it's directly after the iPad's best quarter ever, and is a year after Apple had a particularly good quarter for iPads due to fulfilling a backlog (according to another post in this thread.)

So in my estimation - too early to claim "cooling," and definitely nowhere near "freezing."

about 6 months ago

iPad Fever Is Officially Cooling

elistan "Officially," eh? (386 comments)

Hmm. iPad sales:

Q2 2014 - 16.35 million.
Q2 2013 - 19.5 million.
Yes, that's a drop in sales.
But, it's after the following:
Q1 2014 (includes holiday shopping) - 26.0 million.
That's the all-time high sales volume for iPads in a quarter. 2nd best is Q1 2013 at 22.9, significantly less.

In my mind, the way to interpret these recent iPad sales numbers is that there was a huge buying spree for the holidays that somewhat satiated demand. (Only somewhat - Q2 2014 is still the 4th best quarter for sales.) These numbers don't suggest to me that the "fever is officially cooling." Maybe it is, but more than just one quarter of numbers is needed to show that.

about 6 months ago

Michaels Stores Investigating Possible Data Breach

elistan Re:Chip & Pin (106 comments)

Seriously... Why have the US banks not rolled Chip & Pin out yet? This wouldn't be an issue if they had, and it's almost certainly costing them a lot more in refunded transactions than a roll out would have.

It's not costing the banks anything - the costs of the refunded transactions are the responsibility of the merchants. I don't see any financial incentive for banks to do anything different. It'll have to be either a legal regulation or a consumer backlash, and I don't see either happening right away.

about 9 months ago

Anonymous Member Sentenced For Joining DDoS Attack For One Minute

elistan Re:And they wonder why... (562 comments)

If I'm reading their 2012 year-end report correctly, JP Morgan getting fined $14 billion when they had $97 billion in revenue, $28 billion in pre-tax profit, and paid $7.6 billion in taxes, is like an individual getting fined $183k when they have an income of $1.268 million, expenses of $836k, an adjusted gross income of $375k, and $99k in taxes. Meaning after the fine, they'd still have $92k of disposable play money.

That's the sort of fine I wouldn't mind much.

Yeah, I'd say that JP Morgan's wrist stung for a few seconds. That'll teach 'em, right?

about 10 months ago

CMU AI Learning Common Sense By Watching the Internet

elistan Never Ending Language Learner (NELL) (152 comments)

By the way, CMU has another project, NELL, that's been running since Jan 2012 doing the same thing, but with text. Its accumulated knowledge base is downloadable.

An example of knowledge it has gleaned: God died at age 14.

about a year ago

The Feathered Threat To US Air Superiority

elistan Re:Maybe replace with (195 comments)

How much fuel did the Shuttle use to begin its return to Earth? I can't imagine it was very much. I imagine it would take even less to start a 20 kg weight on a reentry path. And I'm not assuming the target would be within range of "the" satellite, I'm assuming it would be in range of any one of multiple satellites. :-) But your point does bring to mind a problem - time delay. Reentry would be at an oblique angle. Just like it's not good for air superiority, it's not so good for mobile ground targets, yes? But devastating against stationary ones?

Of course, another reply brings up a good point - there's probably enough time spent in the atmosphere for a 10cm sphere of lead weighing 47 kg to reach it's terminal velocity of... uh... 491 m/s (?) at sea level. So 5.7 MJ of energy - about 1.4 kg of TNT equivalent. Or a 3000 lbs car at 145 mph. Unfortunate, but not devastating.

So yeah, on further thought, GGGP's suggestion of satellites as a replacement for aircraft probably isn't going to work, either with energy beam weapons, kinetic weapons, or explosives of some sort.

Oh, and bump that sphere of lead up to 1 meter diameter, which is 11,342 kg, and it's terminal velocity is 1555 m/s, yielding 13.7 kilotons of TNT equivalent, a bit more than Little Boy.

Assuming it doesn't burn up during reentry, of course.

about a year ago

The Feathered Threat To US Air Superiority

elistan Re:Maybe replace with (195 comments)

But then... Why go flying?

Sigh ... beam and other pure energy weapons are currently many years off. The energy requirements for these devices are ridiculous compared to our power supplies currently. Perhaps that will change and they'll become more efficient, or some new (fusion?) extremely high density/light weight power storage system will be found. These weapons won't matter until someone overcomes the power density of the high energy explosives currently used. Realistically, I don't think they'll ever really make it, the physics of it just don't work out without our learning something completely unexpected, which is also likely given how little we know about the universe at the moment

Don't discount satellite based kinetic energy weapons. (Although those probably won't do much for air superiority.) One kg of TNT contains (arbitrarily defined for purposes of explosive yields) 4.184 MJ of energy - one kg of dumb mass will have the 4.184 MJ of kinetic energy when traveling at 2892 m/s - about Mach 8.5. LEO satellites orbit at about 8,000 m/s, so it's doable. Consider the 20,000 kg Albert Einstein resupply craft launched in June - given the proper reentry configuration, at, say, 5000 m/s it was the equivalent of a 60 tons TNT bomb. The most powerful conventional bomb known to exist, the "FOAB," is estimated at 44 tons.

Launch a satellite with a telescope and a thousand 10kg reentry capable masses, and you have a weapon nobody can defend against unless they too have space capabilities. (And are unlikely to happen due to political reasons.)
Of course, none of that is as powerful as the GP's payload suggestion - ninjas.

about a year ago

Feinstein and Rogers: No Clemency For Snowden

elistan Re:At which point (504 comments)

You know, I've been thinking recently

flyneye, you are hereby ordered to immediately report to the nearest Adjustment Center, reference 45323835.

With love,
Your all-seeing overlords

about a year ago

The Linux Backdoor Attempt of 2003

elistan uid = 0 (360 comments)

So if one were to grep the source code for "uid = 0" today, I assume that any instances found are legit?

1 year,10 days

'Dangerously Naive' Aaron Swartz 'Destroyed Himself'

elistan And the prosecutors...? (362 comments)

I wonder what Professor Abelson's views are on the reality of exercising the powers of criminal prosecution, and the responsibilities of prosecutors to exhibit seykhel.

1 year,14 days

The Chip That Changed the World: AMD's 64-bit FX-51, Ten Years Later

elistan Re:The old days (259 comments)

A courteous, polite response on Slashdot. Was not expecting that. :)

Haha, thanks. I find that courteous, polite responses are good at getting more courteous, polite responses - which I often find much more informative and insightful than a harsh, condescending or sarcastic response. I read and comment on Slashdot to learn, is all. Unfortunately, there are often initially some harsh, condescending or sarcastic responses that one has to deal with...

I guess the take-away from all this is that now, just like in "the old days" Thanshin talks about, an experienced builder can spec a reasonable gaming machine in a couple of hours - and that now, also just like in the old days, somebody new to DIY would still have to take a few days to learn what's what.

1 year,24 days

The Chip That Changed the World: AMD's 64-bit FX-51, Ten Years Later

elistan Re:The old days (259 comments)

Yeah, sorry for the iMac comment. When I totaled up the component costs and hit $2000 I was taken aback enough to neglect to recall that the comment of yours I was responding to was in turn a response to a comment specifically about building a gaming rig.

1 year,24 days

The Chip That Changed the World: AMD's 64-bit FX-51, Ten Years Later

elistan Re:The old days (259 comments)

You can likely shave off some of the cost by dealhunting as well assuming you aren't heavily time constrained.

Emphasis is mine. That was mostly the point of my spec-listing exercise. GP suggested a machine could be spec'ed out in an hour or two, but based on the feedback I'm getting, their methodology results in a pretty pricey setup. Seems like GGP was more accurate about the time it takes to put together an affordable but well performing computer. (However I'm not sure GGP was correct about it being easier to do back then than now. Seems like either way, a well thought out build will take a solid day or two of research?)

1 year,24 days

The Chip That Changed the World: AMD's 64-bit FX-51, Ten Years Later

elistan Re:The old days (259 comments)

I built a new games machine last year. That had the second-fastest i7 at the time, 32GB of RAM, the GTX660 GPU you mentioned, a 200GB-ish SSD, 3TB hard drive and a few other bells and whistles. Even including $100 for Windows, it only cost $1500.

That sounds like a much more reasonable price. Where'd I go wrong? GP suggested taking just a step or two back from the top-of-the-line, so instead of picking a $1000 CPU, I picked a $570 one. GPU was under $300 instead of $1000. Etc. How'd you manage to put together a machine that sounds like every bit as fast or faster as the one I spec'ed out, but for $443 less?

Perhaps the GP's suggestion on how to spec a PC in an hour or two will result in a nice, but overpriced, machine? Perhaps GGP Thanshin's comment about being an informed builder of a PC taking more than a day is correct?

1 year,24 days

The Chip That Changed the World: AMD's 64-bit FX-51, Ten Years Later

elistan Re:The old days (259 comments)

The specs you listed above are for a gaming computer. Your Mac is a nice machine and it can certainly play some games, but it wouldn't be ideal for that purpose.

Yes, you're right. I really wasn't even planning on mentioning the Mac at the end, I was trying out GP's suggestion that one could spec out a DIY computer in just a couple hours. So I followed their suggestions on how to pick parts as best I could, and I was rather surprised at the end price. Made me think of the stereotypically overpriced computer, the iMac. So that was a spontaneous addition at the end. My apologies. Anyway, yes, if I go back and redo the component list with cheaper parts, it will probably take me just another 25 minutes like before. Something with a sub-$200 CPU, sub-$100 motherboard, 4GB RAM, 256GB HDD, etc.? Probably under $800 for a headless system?

1 year,24 days

The Chip That Changed the World: AMD's 64-bit FX-51, Ten Years Later

elistan Re:The old days (259 comments)

I just tried your method. Basically went to Newegg and sorted items by cost and picked the ones that were approximately in the ranges you specified.

CPU: $569.99 Intel Core i7-3930K. 327 reviews, 5/5 average. 3.2 GHz
Motherboard: $232.99 Asus Sabertooth Z77. 770 reviews, 4/5 average.
Oops, wrong socket.
Motherboard: $224.99 Asus P9X79 LE. 47 reviews, 4/5 average.
Video card: Hmm, lots there in the $700 - $1000 range. What about best rated in $200 to $300 range? $259.99 ASUS GTX660. 2GB. 128 reviews, 5/5 average. No idea how fast it is compared to other cards, though.
Power supply: No wattage spec listed for video card. Hmm. Highest rated in $100 - $200 range is: $109.99 Rosewill Capstone-750. 160 reviews, 5/5 average. Surely 750W is enough. RAM: $79.99 G.Skill Ripjaws 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3. 1725 reviews, 5/5. Times two, for 16 GB RAM.
SSD storage: $454.00 (!) Samsung 840 Pro Series 512 GB.
Cooling: Uh oh. Newegg lists four different categories for LGA 2011 socket compatible CPU coolers. Motherboard description has no more detail than "LGA 2011 socket." Time to research...
Case: Featured item is $59.99 Rosewill Challenger-US ATX mid-tower. Sure, why not. 321 reviews, 4/5.

Time spent: About 25 minutes, not counting whatever research on heatsinks I'd have to do.

Total cost: $2071.92. Holy cow!
Okay, make that a $225.99 Samsung 256 GB.
New total cost: $1843.91.
And I still don't have a monitor or CPU cooler. No idea whether the above items are compatible either.
IIRC, Dell's really nice 27" monitor is $999.

So $2842?
Still need keyboard and mouse...

Nah, forget it. As a computer software nerd, but not a PC building nerd, I'll just go with a 27" iMac for $1999. Granted only an i5 CPU and 8 GB, but comes with a great OS and a gorgeous 27" monitor. (BTO with i7, 16GB and 256GB SSD bumps the price to $2599.) It has a GTX 775M instead of GTX 660 - no idea which is faster. At least I know all the components will work together, and they're properly supported by the OS.

Not that I meant that as a criticism of the DIY route. It's just a hobby that's not for me.

1 year,24 days



Leave the country, get a $1000+ iPhone bill?

elistan elistan writes  |  more than 7 years ago

elistan (578864) writes "US owners of the iPhone are subject to the standard ATT international rates. For example, in Canada they pay $0.59 per minute and $0.0195 per KB. The problem is that the iPhone is chatty. VERY chatty. Not only is there the normal data downloaded while browsing the "real Internet," it likes to do things like make multi-MB transmissions in the middle of the night while its owner is asleep. (Examine one of those multipage iPhone bills if you get a chance, look for large data sessions at odd hours.) 5000 KB would end up costing $97.50 USD, for example. Traveling to another country could get very expensive very quickly, with the iPhone owner not realizing what's happening. Posts at MacRumors have started of people realizing just that issue. How does $3000 sound? Can these users only blame themselves for not checking the iPhone usage more closely? Was it reasonable for them to assume that limiting their usage would involve only a reasonable fee? In either case, as it stands the iPhone is unsuitable as an internationally roaming phone. Are ATT's usage rates being outdated by Apple's new technology? Or is it Apple's responsibility to make the phone workable within ATT's fee structure?"


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