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Skeptics Would Like Media To Stop Calling Science Deniers 'Skeptics'

greg1104 Re:Oh boy, rewind to the Spanish Inquisition! (665 comments)

First, pointing a finger and screeching 'DENIER' seems a lot like pointing the finger and screeching 'HERETIC', lending credence to the whole environmentalism-as-a-substitute-religion theory.

We should also teach children to bully the kids who aren't vaccinated, by pointing at them and yelling UNCLEAN!

2 days ago
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Skeptics Would Like Media To Stop Calling Science Deniers 'Skeptics'

greg1104 Re:Scandalgate! (665 comments)

Actually, skeptigate has a nice ring to it. "Some idiot was complaining about some conspiracy theories and I had to skeptigate him until he shut up".

2 days ago
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Skeptics Would Like Media To Stop Calling Science Deniers 'Skeptics'

greg1104 Re:Crackers and milk [Re:News at 11..] (665 comments)

Cracker as a term predates slavery in the US; it actually predates the whole country. See the crackers on wikipedia or The Secret History Of The Word 'Cracker' for an outline of the theories and history here. There was a large enough intersection between white slave owners and the white people called crackers that it probably helped popularize the term, but they were not the same group.

2 days ago
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Skeptics Would Like Media To Stop Calling Science Deniers 'Skeptics'

greg1104 Re:News at 11.. (665 comments)

No, those are dictionary definitions. I didn't write webster's.

When you copied the definitions into your post, was that copyright infringement, theft, or sharing? Consider that some potential ad revenue moved from the dictionary site to Slashdot with that paste.

2 days ago
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Backblaze's 6 TB Hard Drive Face-Off

greg1104 Re:Meaningless (173 comments)

The number of discs does not relate to the vibration or heat or any other factors.

They are correlated. More discs guarantees more vibration and heat, all other things being equal. Yes, there are other sources too, and all the other things are not equal. So what?

That you are calling ""NAS with 1-5 disks" a subjective specification means you're not actually using words in a way I can respond to there. Whether Backblaze's custom modifications net better or worse levels of vibration is a complicated discussion that could use some direct measurements; agreed. But what's extremely clear is that they are not using the consumer drives in anything like a consumer environment. That means using their results as a commentary on what people will see in the broader consumer system market is extrapolation, with the obvious risks that come along with it.

For example, "Backblaze sees no reliability differences between their consumer and enterprise grade drives" is a fact. Saying "there is no reliability differences between consumer and enterprise grade drives" is an invalid extrapolation of that data.

Using your example, what if one of the consumer drive models has a serious vibration issue, and Backblaze's anti-vibration sleeve makes it wildly more reliable than it would otherwise be? That would make their statistics pretty worthless for consumers who don't have one of those sleeves. Home users might actually see better reliability with one of the enterprise drives that include anti-vibration technology in that case. That's all I was saying here--that you can't just assume their numbers will translate into other environments.

4 days ago
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Backblaze's 6 TB Hard Drive Face-Off

greg1104 Re:Meaningless (173 comments)

The intended environment for WD's drives includes a description of how many drives should be in the array. They are numbers like "NAS with 1 to 5 disks". They state that the lower tier models will not work well inside of massive arrays, where things like vibration need to be better controlled. Their more expensive models have specific technology (at an extra cost) aimed at keeping vibration related issues under better control.

BackBlaze ignores those guidelines, putting drives that were not designed for the vibration of a dense drive array into one. When Backblaze drives fail, it's completely appropriate to ask "would they have failed there if they were used only as specified"?, which means putting them into smaller arrays. There's a very real possibility that the failure rate heavy reflects that unusual setup, and that it is not representative of reliability for the disks in other environments.

4 days ago
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Backblaze's 6 TB Hard Drive Face-Off

greg1104 Re:Meaningless (173 comments)

Hopefully "the truth" is a valid defense?

Libel and slander against an individual is generally invalidated if you're making a truthful and factual statement. There are exceptions, like when there is intention of malice. And the minute you layer any opinion onto what are straight facts, you're in fuzzy territory.

And statements published by a company about another company are not necessarily protected by the sort of free speech guidelines that guide individual interaction. I don't claim to know those rules. No larger company would publish this sort of information without passing it through legal counsel first to figure it out. And that overhead influences why those companies just don't bother.

The most common reasonable criticism of Backblaze's reports I've seen is that the drives are not being used in their intended environment. I would not want to be part of a legal defense where I had to legally prove the data originating from that use case is strictly factual commentary about the product.

4 days ago
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Backblaze's 6 TB Hard Drive Face-Off

greg1104 Re:Backups are not secure (173 comments)

Exactly. If the data is decrypted within Backblaze before being transmitted out...fail. Whether or not they store that private key only impacts how they can act when the person requesting the data isn't accessing it. Someone who sniffs the whole operation at the right place in the network while you're accessing your data will still get it. The only hope of real security you have is if the data is encrypted all the way to your computer, and then only decrypted there. Anything less is kidding yourself.

4 days ago
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Backblaze's 6 TB Hard Drive Face-Off

greg1104 Re:Marketing (173 comments)

The author bio says "Andy has 20+ years experience in technology marketing". They're not exactly being evasive about the marketing angle of the blog.

4 days ago
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Backblaze's 6 TB Hard Drive Face-Off

greg1104 Re:Long story short (ad-less) (173 comments)

I really don't want to buy a huge SSD - so I should probably consider installing everything to a large HD and then just moving data to SSD when it is in use. I just don't know how well-supported that is in Windows.

What you're asking for there sounds a lot like what the hybrid drives do, and they don't need any software support. I'm happily using one of the Seagate SSHD hybrids in one laptop. It's a nice middle step between the speed of full SSD and the capacity of a regular drive. I got 1TB and faster boots than a regular drive for something like $60.

4 days ago
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Backblaze's 6 TB Hard Drive Face-Off

greg1104 Re:Meaningless (173 comments)

In Google's big paper on drive reliability, they claimed "we do not show a breakdown of drives per manufacturer, model, or vintage due to the proprietary nature of these data". I'm not sure exactly what that means. Might be part of their purchasing contract, to reduce liability for naming bad vendors, or it might be considering that information a competitive advantage.

I'm surprised Backblaze has published so much without getting into lawsuit trouble already. If you wonder why you haven't been offered a better deal on drives...have you considered that it's because you're not playing the big commercial buyer secrecy game? The best deal isn't necessarily the one you get if people are worried you're going to rat them out as a bad vendor. It's often the buddy who watches out for them that companies want to do large amounts of business with.

4 days ago
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Backblaze's 6 TB Hard Drive Face-Off

greg1104 Re:Meaningless? (173 comments)

Seagate isn't using SMR on the 6TB drives, at least not yet as far as I know. That's rolling out with the 8TB models.

4 days ago
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The GPLv2 Goes To Court

greg1104 Re:What GPL based companies ? (173 comments)

RedHat's signature RHEL product (among others) contains a massive amount of GPL code. There are major ramifications to their business should that license be weakened in a way that hurts their legal right to distribute all that code. Same thing is true of every other company making money selling Linux based solutions. There is no community behind Linux anymore if the license all the contributors were working together via falls.

That the GPL will be invalidated completely by any of this is admittedly an unlikely straw-man position. That's not mine though--I was responding to commentary presuming that was a feasible goal, if money were applied to the problem.

about a week ago
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The GPLv2 Goes To Court

greg1104 Re:Why not ask the authors of the GPL Ver.2? (173 comments)

I was responding to the parent post's mocking of someone's credentials by pointing out that criticism was invalid. Go back and read what I wrote again, pay attention this time, and you'll see I wasn't doing an appeal to authority at all.

about a week ago
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The GPLv2 Goes To Court

greg1104 Re:Why not ask the authors of the GPL Ver.2? (173 comments)

If it comes down to pocket depth, companies like RedHat have a lot more money at stake then either of these bozos. If this goes on long enough, I expect some of the big GPL-based software companies like them to get involved in the appropriate side of this, either directly or via FSF funding.

GPL software doesn't become "unlocked" into the public domain if the license is ruled invalid. Instead the copyright of the source code itself becomes a giant mess of individual author rights, which is useful to almost no one. The commercial competitors to software like Linux would be the main benefactors of that. There may be some shift toward BSD-ish software licenses until this clears up too. I saw a few companies adopt FreeBSD over Linux for that reason, back when the SCO UNIX case was going on, due to perceived legal risk. But most just said "it's OK, IBM and The Nazgul have got this".

about a week ago
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The GPLv2 Goes To Court

greg1104 Re:If only PJ was still running groklaw! (173 comments)

Groklaw folded mainly due to e-mail privacy concerns. PJ wanting more of her personal time back was a factor, as she'd tried to back away from the site a few times already. But it wasn't the main stated reason for the shutdown. I could understand that some people feel e-mail privacy was a silly reason to fold the site, even if I don't agree myself.

about a week ago
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The GPLv2 Goes To Court

greg1104 Re:Why not ask the authors of the GPL Ver.2? (173 comments)

The details of the Python license jousting was lead by Eben; there's a good summary of the backstory in his 2.1 FSF e-mail. As Mr. Moglen listed himself then as "Professor of Law & Legal History" at Columbia's law school, you're not going to get very far with cheap personal attacks on his credibility. Not that how you tried to do that with Stallman was very productive either, given he's regularly advised by legal counsel when writing.

about a week ago

Submissions

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PostgreSQL 9.0 released

greg1104 greg1104 writes  |  more than 4 years ago

greg1104 writes "PostgreSQL 9.0 has been released today, including a pile of new features (with example usage for many). The biggest pair of features now included with the database allow near real-time asynchronous binary replication to slave nodes, along with the ability to run queries against them. Packages such as pgpool-II 3.0 have already been updated to build clusters using that feature, allowing transparent application load-balancing across multiple nodes for scaling read-heavy loads."
Link to Original Source
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Solaris support? Only on matching hardware.

greg1104 greg1104 writes  |  more than 4 years ago

greg1104 writes "After already tightening down on free Solaris Licenses with a 90 day limit for some situations, an Oracle/Sun account manager has been quoted saying that all future Solaris support will now be available only on Oracle/Sun hardware. Having a smooth transition available between generic systems running OpenSolaris and commercial Solaris looks flat out dead now, and this likely puts OpenSolaris driver support for non-Sun hardware completely in the hands of open-source developers moving forward."
Link to Original Source
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PostgreSQL publishes first real benchmark

greg1104 greg1104 writes  |  more than 7 years ago

greg1104 writes "The current version of PostgreSQL now has its first real benchmark, a SPECjAppServer2004 submission from Sun Microsystems. The results required substantial tuning of many performance-related PostgreSQL parameters, some of which are set to extremely low values in the default configuration — a known issue that contributes to why many untuned PostgreSQL installations appear sluggish compared to its rivals. The speed result is close but slightly faster than an earlier Sun submission using MySQL 5 (with enough hardware differences to make a direct comparison of those results unfair), and comes close to keeping up with Oracle on similarly priced hardware — but with a large software savings. Having a published result on the level playing field of an industry-standard benchmark like SPECjAppServer2004, with documentation on all the tuning required to reach that performance level, should make PostgreSQL an easier sell to corporate customers who are wary of adopting open-source applications for their critical databases."
Link to Original Source

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