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Comments

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Are the World's Religions Ready For ET?

hawguy Re:Is ET (291 comments)

If ETs have enough energy at their disposal to get here, certainly they have enough energy to deal with anything that this world's religions can throw at them.

Depends. If they got here on a solar sail, they may not have much in terms of "space blasters" and such. Then again, just what CAN religion throw at them? Pamphlets? Tracts? Bibles?

Of course, if they came here on a Solar Sail, after thousands of years traveling here, they are probably anxious to get off their ship and onto solid ground. After taking care to squash any ants or other undesirable creatures that may be crawling around on the planet.

7 hours ago
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The Great Lightbulb Conspiracy

hawguy Re:electricity is expensive (595 comments)

Did you factor in time value of money?

I thought I was pretty clear in describing my assumptions, if you want to factor in the time value of money, feel free.

But over a year or two timespan, I wouldn't expect it to significantly change the economics.

4 days ago
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The Great Lightbulb Conspiracy

hawguy Re:electricity is expensive (595 comments)

LEDs are only expensive if your electricity is free.

Clearly not. If my electricity is $0.01/kWh, then it will take 8.5 years just to pay for a $10 LED. Is anyone paying only a penny per kWh? No, but I just refuted your claim. FWIW, I'm paying about $0.10 a kWH-- including the delivery charges, which people forget about-- so it would take me about a year to pay for a $10 LED. A lot of people aren't getting even a year out of theirs, so you can see why they are upset.

You refuted my claim with a made-up rate that you admit that no one is actually paying? Why didn't you just make up a negative number and claim that the power company pays *you* for energy you consume so LED's actually make you lose money?

4 days ago
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The Great Lightbulb Conspiracy

hawguy Re:My Compact Flurorscents die (595 comments)

I repeat the part of my comment that you did not understand "Yeah, most of them will last a lot longer than the printed date, because chances are you won't buy them and install them on the day they make them."

I am talking about bulbs that should have lasted 2 years of constant use, 12 years of actual, use, but I had to replace 8 months after I bought them.

If they had a 2 year past manufacture date guarantee, it would solve my problem.

But to be honest, I did not even try to return the curly bulb 8 months after I bought it. But I seriously doubt a normal retailer would have accepted it's return.

So that is why I want a guarantee printed on the bulb, based on constant use from date of manufacture. To get the manufacturer to stand behind their product, not screw everyone over ridiculously.

What good is a 2 year "sell by" date on a product that the manufacturer says will last 15 years? Does that really provide the consumer with useful information? The buld doesn't age appreciably when it's sitting on a store shelf, so what good is a fake "expiration" date that has no correlation at all to expected lifetime? All it will do is drive up the cost of bulbs when merchants and manufacturers have to carefully control inventory to make sure they don't have bulbs sitting in a warehouse long enough to appreciably affect the expiration date - and merchants may be left holding unsellable inventory as consumers dig through the boxes to buy "expires March 2015" bulbs before the "Expires January 2015" bulbs even though there's no real difference in expected lifetime.

If you're going to ask for a change that makes a different to consumers, why not require merchants to exchange bulbs for X years after purchase, and require manufacturers to do a mail-in exchange for the full advertised lifetime? Purchase date (well, in-use date) is much more relevant than manufacture date.

That said, I exchanged two 6 month old CFL's (expensive high wattage lamps) at Home Depot when they burnt out within weeks of each other, but others from the same purchase were still running fine (and 3 years later, they are still fine)

4 days ago
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The Great Lightbulb Conspiracy

hawguy Re:My Compact Flurorscents die (595 comments)

way too early.

I want a required "Good till" date printed on them, that guarantees they last at least X days, just like soda.

Yeah, most of them will last a lot longer than the printed date, because chances are you won't buy them and install them on the day they make them.

But still, if a curly bulb is supposed to last 5 years, and it dies one year after you install it, there should be an easy way to get a refund.

While lifetime is complicated and involves on/off cycles in addition to runtime, a bulb rated to last 16,000/hours will be past its lifetime after 2 years of 24x7 use (but would last 12 years at 4 hours/day). So a simple expiration date is not realistic.

If you gave trouble returning bulbs that died after a day, you need a better retailer.

4 days ago
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The Great Lightbulb Conspiracy

hawguy electricity is expensive (595 comments)

LEDs are only expensive if your electricity is free. If you replace a 100w bulb with a 20w replacement and burn it 4 hours/day, you'll save 117 kWh/year. Or $14/year at $.12/kWh. If you get just 6000 hours of life from it, it will last about 4 years and will have saved you about $60 over that time.

4 days ago
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Amazon Forced To Reboot EC2 To Patch Bug In Xen

hawguy Re:migratable vms? (94 comments)

Not trying to be contentious here, but if you wanted optimal resource usage, you'd be looking more at blade-style compute nodes with no local drives.

Who would you be contentious with? I'm just telling you what Amazon says in their published docs. If you don't believe what they say, or if you think they could do it better you can bring it up with them, or start your own cloud service that does things "right".

But I can tell you that some use cases are perfect for Amazon's model of providing locally attached instance storage since I/O rates are much better than we can get with EBS volumes.

5 days ago
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Amazon Forced To Reboot EC2 To Patch Bug In Xen

hawguy Re:migratable vms? (94 comments)

Xen is software, not AWS, AWS is an entire infrastructure, and they can not (or will not) live migrate customer VM's.

They are very clear in their documentation that customers should be able to tolerate VM restarts and to use multiple AZ's and regions to help mitigate downtime. I have several hundred instances scheduled for reboot, but they are doing one AZ at a time.

Since Xen is rumored to be the VM host for AWS (or at least large parts of it), I'd have to think it's "will not".

I can believe it's "can not", since amazon provides gigabytes (or terabytes) of local instance storage for most of their instance types - that's a lot of data to live migrate. Even if the underlying Xen software technically *can* live migrate VM's, that doesn't mean their infrastructure can support migrating thousands of customer instances.

Except that in a cloud, storage is part of the cloud, not part of the server. The only thing that has to physically move is the RAM image of the running VM from one host to another. And it's almost certainly going to be faster to replicate that than to destroy and rebuild it (reboot).

No, Amazon says that instance storage is directly attached to the host machine, so if they live-migrate a VM, they'd have to carry along the instance storage.

http://docs.aws.amazon.com/AWS...

Many Amazon EC2 instance types can access disk storage from disks that are physically attached to the host computer. This disk storage is referred to as instance store.

And there's no evidence that they use any type of shared SAN for instance storage -- instance storage only stays around for as long as the machine is running (or rebooted). If you stop the machine (as opposed to rebooting), or if Amazon has to migrate to a new physical host, you lose the instance store.

5 days ago
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Ask Slashdot: Is Reporting Still Relevant?

hawguy Re:static versus dynamic, access & post proces (179 comments)

A screenshot of a report is a poor substitute for an Excel or PDF report where you can copy and paste the data.

This is where picatext or other OCR software comes in handy.

Also... in principle, you could make or use screenshot software which also captures the text from the window shown.

I can't think of a worse use for OCR software than for reporting. "Hey, why are all of the category zero items showing up under category O? And why were all of the accent marks turned into apostrophes?"

5 days ago
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Ask Slashdot: Is Reporting Still Relevant?

hawguy Reports are static (179 comments)

When the manager looks at an old PDF report a year from now, he knows that the numbers will be exactly the same as the last time he looked at it.

When he runs a new report for that time period, he has no such assurance that the numbers will be the same or even there at all. "Oh, we reclassified some of the expense categories last month, so the numbers are a little different" or "Oh yeah, when we migrated from the old database 6 months ago, and it was too hard to import some of the older data, so we left it out" or "Oh yeah, we decided that we only need to keep 9 months of historical data" or "Oh really? The numbers are different now? Maybe that's a bug, file a bug report and we'll bring it up with the vendor".

5 days ago
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Ask Slashdot: Is Reporting Still Relevant?

hawguy Re:static versus dynamic, access & post proces (179 comments)

Dashboards & online reports are great when you have access to them. But what if the dashboard isn't available, or you need to provide the data to someone who doesn't have access to the dashboard?

Open the dashboard in a web browser, take a screenshot, export it to JPEG, and send it as an e-mail attachment.

A screenshot of a report is a poor substitute for an Excel or PDF report where you can copy and paste the data.

5 days ago
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Amazon Forced To Reboot EC2 To Patch Bug In Xen

hawguy Re:migratable vms? (94 comments)

Xen is software, not AWS, AWS is an entire infrastructure, and they can not (or will not) live migrate customer VM's.

They are very clear in their documentation that customers should be able to tolerate VM restarts and to use multiple AZ's and regions to help mitigate downtime. I have several hundred instances scheduled for reboot, but they are doing one AZ at a time.

Since Xen is rumored to be the VM host for AWS (or at least large parts of it), I'd have to think it's "will not".

I can believe it's "can not", since amazon provides gigabytes (or terabytes) of local instance storage for most of their instance types - that's a lot of data to live migrate. Even if the underlying Xen software technically *can* live migrate VM's, that doesn't mean their infrastructure can support migrating thousands of customer instances.

5 days ago
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Amazon Forced To Reboot EC2 To Patch Bug In Xen

hawguy Re:migratable vms? (94 comments)

Amazon doesn't have the capacity to failover all the vm's to other hardware (maybe some but not all or big ones). Or they don't want to bother and force the work on to their customers.

I think you meant "and charge customers for the much larger infrastructure required". Amazon is cheap, and they are clear that what you're buying from them is just a bunch of machines. If you want reliability, use multiple AZ's and regions. Some of their VM's come with a TB or more of instance storage, that's a lot of data to live-migrate when they want to reboot a physical host machine.

If you want live migration, check out Google Compute Engine, but if availability is important to you, you're better off architecting multiple machine redundancy than relying on a single long-lived machine since there are a lot more things than host maintenance that can trigger a crash and/or reboot of a VM.

5 days ago
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Amazon Forced To Reboot EC2 To Patch Bug In Xen

hawguy Re:migratable vms? (94 comments)

A lot of people want the convenience of a virtual server, but not the price tag or hassle of several servers and a load balancer. They don't "get" why they would pay for lots of small machines when one big one would do. Once you do convince them to go with several small servers and a load balancer, they don't understand why their FTP changes take a moment to show up online. Then they don't don't want to invest in someone to setup the system with puppet or ansible or the like... The list goes on, but it usually comes down to people not having the money or desire(usually both) to do things "the cloud way."

Most of these small players would be happier with a single 2-drive RAID-1 server in their closet, except they are too cheap to shell out for a decent machine in the first place as well as business tier internet (they usually don't have the traffic to warrant it, but is required for ISPs to be OK with it). $5/month for a VPS is much more palatable, even if what they get is a lot less powerful then they could have in their office.

There's no business tier small office internet that's going to give users the same uptime as a cheap VPS somewhere. No business that wants to maintain a 24x7 internet presence should be running their server on a small server in their closet.

5 days ago
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Amazon Forced To Reboot EC2 To Patch Bug In Xen

hawguy Re:migratable vms? (94 comments)

How much longer would it take to migrate the existing vms to patched version. (even if you only have 10% unutilized resources it'd only take at most nine swaps) I agree it's a bad solution to move every machine over night but it's better than forcing an outage.

AWS can't live migrate VM's.

Xen can.

Well, actually, for about 100ms, the system isn't technically running, but the point is that you can bounce a VM from one host to another without rebooting it.

Xen is software, not AWS, AWS is an entire infrastructure, and they can not (or will not) live migrate customer VM's.

They are very clear in their documentation that customers should be able to tolerate VM restarts and to use multiple AZ's and regions to help mitigate downtime. I have several hundred instances scheduled for reboot, but they are doing one AZ at a time.

5 days ago
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Amazon Forced To Reboot EC2 To Patch Bug In Xen

hawguy Re:migratable vms? (94 comments)

How much longer would it take to migrate the existing vms to patched version. (even if you only have 10% unutilized resources it'd only take at most nine swaps) I agree it's a bad solution to move every machine over night but it's better than forcing an outage.

AWS can't live migrate VM's.

5 days ago
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Amazon Forced To Reboot EC2 To Patch Bug In Xen

hawguy Re:Sort of off topic (94 comments)

I saw in the Mpls Star Tribune the other day that Amazon are going to start charging (MN residents) sales tax as from 1st October.

I don't know if this will apply to digital content as well but if it does then I will have to cut back on buying books, magazines, and music from them as well.

The only stuff we will be able to buy is clothes...

If Amazon is collecting sales tax, it means that you were supposed to have already been paying the sales tax, and you're practicing tax evasion if you haven't paying sales or use tax on your purchases.

http://www.revenue.state.mn.us...

5 days ago
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Users Report Warping of Apple's iPhone 6 Plus

hawguy Re:Third option (421 comments)

Yeah I'm sure they'll be able to patch in more structural integrity. I guess in the quest for thinness they forgot about strength.

They can't, don't be stupid. If they apply a patch to increase the structural integrity field, that will negatively affect the battery life or they would have turned it up in the first place. Those force fields really eat into the battery life. The Apple Reality Distortion field is bad enough.

about a week ago
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Slashdot Asks: What's In Your Home Datacenter?

hawguy Re:Small setup (286 comments)

Just because you use wifi doesn't mean ethernet is somehow depricated. Some choose to not use wifi for security concerns (lots of nonsense with home gear lately),

Even if I had ethernet to every room, I'd still want Wifi since the devices I use every day don't have ethernet ports, so there goes the security (though with careful network segmentation, I could keep the Wifi network separate from the wired network, but that sounds like a lot of work for a home network)

or even future proofing.

Wifi speeds keep moving forward, but are already fast enough that most home users wouldn't notice any difference between wireless and wired speeds. Though as frequencies increase, putting a Wifi node in each room might be neccessary.

There is a simplicity with ethernet that can be appreciated, installing it to every room may not make sense for you, but it may for others.

Hence my question "What do you use it for", which you didn't really answer.

about two weeks ago
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Slashdot Asks: What's In Your Home Datacenter?

hawguy Re:Old school (286 comments)

A PDP-8m with 16KW of core memory and a pair of 8" floppy drives, and a VT-320 video terminal.

To be fair, with 12 bit words, that 16KW memory is bigger than it sounds. Probably more memory than any home computer needs anyway.

about two weeks ago

Submissions

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Network Solutions hit with DDOS attack

hawguy hawguy writes  |  about a year ago

hawguy (1600213) writes "As reported by TechZone 360 as well as a number of blogs and tweets, Network solutions experienced a DDOS attack today, knocking out DNS resolution for thousands of hosts.

Things are improving on the DNS side, but their website is still having problems. They've apparently posted a message about the outage on their website, but I've been unable to load the page.

They posted a brief message on their Facebook page:

Network Solutions is experiencing a Distributed Denial of Service (DDOS) attack that is impacting our customers as well as the Network Solutions site. Our technology team is working to mitigate the situation. Please check back for updates.

"
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Facebook takes on Google with graph search

hawguy hawguy writes  |  about a year and a half ago

hawguy (1600213) writes "As reported by CNET:

Facebook chief executive Mark Zuckerberg announced Graph Search at a press event today at the company's Menlo Park headquarters, billing it as a new way find people, photos, places and interests that are most relevant to Facebook users.

Graph Search is the social network's response to its massive base of 1 billion users, 240 billion photos, and 1 trillion connections. The tool is meant to provide people the answers to their to their questions about people, photos, places, and interests.

Does anyone have any opinions on FB's latest product?"

Link to Original Source
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Who is WirelessForAmerica?

hawguy hawguy writes  |  more than 2 years ago

hawguy (1600213) writes "I came across a video for WirelessForAmerica today:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HyyDIk8W6Kw

It warns of an impending wireless spectrum shortage (only 24 months until the disaster hits!), and how they have just the answer, but of course it's being derailed by special interests.

It came off a pure political video — warning of an impending disaster if nothing is done, their solution uses American Ingenuity, will create jobs, etc.

So what's the real story behind WirelessForAmerica? Are we running out of mobile bandwidth? Is their solution really the best alternative? From what I've gleaned from their WirelessForAmerica.org website, they want to use frequencies that are so close to existing GPS frequencies that nearly all existing GPS receivers would need to be replaced and future receivers would need to be designed to better reject neighboring frequencies."

Link to Original Source
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Power grid change may disrupt clocks

hawguy hawguy writes  |  more than 3 years ago

hawguy (1600213) writes "A yearlong experiment with the nation's electric grid could mess up traffic lights, security systems and some computers — and make plug-in clocks and appliances like programmable coffeemakers run up to 20 minutes fast."
Link to Original Source

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