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$42,000 Prosthetic Hand Outperformed By $50 3D Printed Hand

itzdandy Re:Sunk Costs (116 comments)

This is really the point. The $40K+ prosthetic is simply over engineered. It's a poor argument saying that we should support engineers, their families, their companies, etc so that they can charge a disabled person $40K when we could have a single developer make a much simpler product that can be produced at a local 3D fab shop or in the garage of an enterprising neighbor.

Clearly this is an early version, though fully functional. Improving aesthetics can certainly be an optional component. Today, a black or clear acrylic prosthetic would be of very little concern to many people and I only see that as becoming more of a non-issue.

The other interesting part of this is that someone in need of such a device could invest in the tech to customize and produce a device specific to their needs. maybe they have a palm, or less to work with. Customizing the device to suit them at their own pace with rapid prototyping changes their disability. The thriving makers movement can facilitate the sharing of schematics so you might find a near-ready model that you can alter to fit. maybe even spawn a boutique prosthetic shop in your town.


4 hours ago

How Do You Backup 20TB of Data?

itzdandy options... (983 comments)

really, there are 3 options
1) a second array
2) tape (biggest are 5TB right now...)
3) online

1* RAID6 (or raid5+hot spare) would be 7x 4TB drives and could be built for about $1200 using a cheap workstation and external drives w/ freenas
2* tapes would be expensive and cumbersome IMHO. Also expensive!
3* I say this is an option but it's not realistic. if you have a typical 4Mbps upload from Cox/Charter/etc then the initial seed would something like 2 year!

about a month ago

Ask Slashdot: Anti-Camera Device For Use In a Small Bus?

itzdandy terrible request/idea (478 comments)

Don't be a jerk! This is an absurd request. You get to record but your 'clients' cannot? I'm guessing the owners don't actually want to be in business. Even a no-camera policy is completely ridiculous for a fore-hire limo service.

How did this post get pass the sniff test?

Any self respecting geek will reject this and refuse to post anything helpful. troll away friends, troll away.

about 2 months ago

Time Warner Deal Is How Comcast Will Fight Cord Cutters

itzdandy common carrier (424 comments)

This is where I'd like too see the defacto monopoly of cable companies broken by making them common carriers. Basically, do what the gov' did to telecos creating the iLEC and cLEC system. This way other carriers can buy fiber and get on the wire.

for many cities, the cable lines are actually owned by the municipality and managed by the cable company, so this would be a somewhat simple transition. DOCSIS already has the ability to allow this explicitly in the standard.

about 2 months ago

Ask Slashdot: Distributed Online Storage For Families?

itzdandy Re:Bittorrent Sync + NAS-of-some-kind (168 comments)

I'm using btsync as well. I have about 20 sites with various synced folders. I have two primary nodes at my office and at my home that have all folders synced, they are essentially where I create all folders. People each get their own folders (actually zfs volumes). I run ubuntu w/ zfs and dedup the storage pool.

When I create a small NAS, I use a refurb computer with ubuntu, zfs even for a single disk (for compression, dedup, snapshots), and samba to share the files at the site.

I use apache w/ webdav and a link for the .zfs/snaphosts directory to a history directory and to once daily snapshots. Can access the files through webdav AND access historical copies..

about 2 months ago

HP's NonStop Servers Go x86, Countdown To Itanium Extinction Begins

itzdandy Re:given its failure out of the gate. (243 comments)

Nope. itanic eliminated PA-RISC and Alpha, because both those architectures were owned by HP, and HP wanted to work with intel to make the itanic and replace those older architectures, and that's exactly what happened. Alpha was canned immediately after HP bought out the remnants of DEC in Compaq, and moved all the Alpha engineers to HP and Intel to work on itanic. (Remember, itanic was a joint venture between HP and Intel.) PA-RISC was eliminated sometime later after itanic got good enough to do so. Price/performance was not that much of a factor here; HP management wanted to move to itanic for various pie-in-the-sky reasons, and they couldn't simply backtrack and dump the itanic after pouring so much money into its development, since that would make HP management look stupid.

MIPS was indeed wiped out by x86-64.

That may have been HP's motivation, but the market did not care and Itanium did not displace non-x86* servers, rather the availability of commodity hardware with ECC RAM and other 'server' type options. It's really a give and take of hardware getting a bit better, vendors offering server solutions on that improving hardware, and hardware vendors upping the ante again etc etc.

In other words, had Itanium never been drempt up, the server market would look basically like it does today but with HP dropping support for HPPA right now instead of Itanium. Actually, the environment might look much different in that Oracle may have never purchased sun because sparc may have survived(as in maintained market share) having that little itanium slice of the market and butterfly effect that out to MariaDB not existing and java being less controversial.

MIPS really killed itself IMHO. x86 certainly kavorkianed it along, but nothing came out of the MIPS architecture to compete in a timely manner. MIPS is actually quite good, but like Alpha it had the wrong gameplan. Alpha was a trendsetter and Alpha boxes were amazing (formerly admin of a cluster of ES45 machines, Digital Unix) but digital/compaq got bought by HP and lost the war.

Not to say that x86 actually won though, the only thing x86 about and x86 CPU is that it happens to have some x86 decoders on effectively RISC core(s), so in the end RISC wins and gets no credit. MIPS (a RISC) owns the embedded router market today, ARM owns mobile, and x86 is very RISCy. Heck, the 'R' in arm used to mean RISC (still applies but the name is now just 'ARM')

about 5 months ago

HP's NonStop Servers Go x86, Countdown To Itanium Extinction Begins

itzdandy Re:given its failure out of the gate. (243 comments)

It kind of did the latter

That's not even a stretch, it's completely false. Commodity x86/x86-64 clearly did the overwhelming bulk of eliminating other architectures by offering drastically better price/performance or maybe even more importantly, bringing the minimum server configuration down sub-$1000. Before the 'Xeon' and X86-64, servers were very much over powered and over engineered for many businesses.

Placing a $20,000 HP-UX/HPPA server in a small business and getting a baseline of 3% usage put these systems out of reach for obvious reasons. A $1000 Xeon box that performed similarly was the obvious choice. Itanium was never in the discussion and had effectively nothing to do with the decline of the MIPS and RISC server market.


about 5 months ago

Ask Slashdot: IT Staff Handovers -- How To Take Over From an Outgoing Sys Admin?

itzdandy Re: There is only one way... (195 comments)

As a poorly paid IT admin that manages thousands of devices across every province in Canada

purhaps your willingness to do so is causation for your poor pay....

about 9 months ago

Narrowing Down When Humans Began Hurling Spears

itzdandy Re:Damascus steel was lost for centuries (208 comments)

skill is an extreme advantage. go to a local SCA event. Though they use blunt stick weapons, they can demonstrate that the first effective* strike drastically reduces the opponents ability to strike back.

The sharp edge matters for sure, but skill outweighs it by an order of magnitude.

about a year ago

Narrowing Down When Humans Began Hurling Spears

itzdandy Re:Damascus steel was lost for centuries (208 comments)

"Adding a serrated edge would probably be even more effective against soft targets because it tears out chunks and causes more trauma"
not really the case, the serration causes a lot of surface damage but doesn't drive deep because it gets bound on fleshy parts, a smooth, moderate bevel with good weight will go deeper and cause a quicker death (typically). Keep in mind that an opponent might only have enough blood pressure to handle a single half-strength swing after a major arterial cut where a serrated tear could leave the other arm able to strike quite effectively even if they would die within minutes.

about a year ago

Narrowing Down When Humans Began Hurling Spears

itzdandy Re:Brains are a funny thing (208 comments)

earthquake resistant then. They way they formed the top of each stone and the bottom formed a type of 'copy' so the rocks would stay in place instead of slide around on the stone below. Obviously this would wear on the stones to some degree and a really powerful earthquake would overcome the cope, but as time has shown, they put enough cope on the stones to handle the earthquakes in the region for a good long time.

about a year ago

Can Any Smartphone Platform Overcome the Android/iOS Duopoly?

itzdandy Re:firefox or ubuntu (404 comments)

hmmm, can the debian chroot let you update your system to current? nope. stuck on ICS? JB not support your hardware? how can JB not support your hardware?!? oh, because it's not using drivers written for linux, it's stuff written for dalvik.

In contrast, ubuntu is just linux. you can update the system to current anytime. You can disable eyecandy if your phone is a bit too slow and keep it modern. It puts the user back in control.

I can appreciate canonical's efforts here. ubuntu can be used as-is for users that wont mess with things, or can be tinkered with by those who want too. You can launch an X session to run X apps, or an X session on an external display. QML is pretty straight forward and well documented.

I don't know how well it will be received, but I for one am willing to try it out. I'm a long time iOS user and haven't been completely satisfied with android (orig droid owner) and lack of ability to update the system without a TON of effort by cyanogen etc etc.

about a year ago

Photo Reveals UK Plan: "Assange To Be Arrested Under All Circumstances"

itzdandy Re:How does he fit in a diplomatic bag? (847 comments)

any tampering or inspection is effectively the same as opening so this doesn't solve it.

about a year and a half ago

Photo Reveals UK Plan: "Assange To Be Arrested Under All Circumstances"

itzdandy Re:US Obama $$$$ for Assange Killing (847 comments)

yes, either site some sort of evidence, or can someone delete. I'm not about censorship, but if this is an outright lie it doesn't belong here. shame on you.

about a year and a half ago

Photo Reveals UK Plan: "Assange To Be Arrested Under All Circumstances"

itzdandy Re:how many? (847 comments)

all of them

about a year and a half ago

Photo Reveals UK Plan: "Assange To Be Arrested Under All Circumstances"

itzdandy Re:Why bother? (847 comments)

The amount of effort being exercised to get a guy accused of rape by women that later changed their story to 'he lied about wrapping it up' and then further to the prosecution dropping the suit because their clients recanted.

I don't know if he committed a crime in Sweden, but he is on the hook for some political persecution from what I can see and their is zero possibility of a fair trial. Ecuador sees it my way and grants him asylum. Good for them I think, and shame on the UK for being part of this political crap, they don't care about some extradition.

about a year and a half ago

Ask Slashdot: Best *nix Distro For a Dynamic File Server?

itzdandy waaaay over head (234 comments)

What is the point of 30 second boot on a file server? If this is on the list of 'requirements', then the 'plan' is 1/4 baked. 1/2 baked for buying hardware without a plan, then 1/2 again for not having a clue.

unioning filesystem? what is the use scenario? how about automounting the drives on hot-plug and sharing the /mnt directory?

Now, 500GB/day in 12 drive sleds....so 6TB a day? do the workers get a fresh drive each day or is the data only available for a few hours before it gets sent back out or are they rotated? I suspect that mounting these drives for sharing really isnt what is necessary, more like pull contents to 'local' storage. Then, why talk about unioning at all, just put the contents of each drive in a separate folder.

Is the data 100% new each day? Are you really storing 6TB a day from a sensor network? 120TB+ a month?

Are you really transporting 500GB of data by hand to local storage and expecting the disks to last? reading or writing 500GB isn't a problem, but constant power cycling and then physically moving/shaking the drives around each day to transport is going to put the MTBF of these drives in months not years.


about a year and a half ago

Report Says Schools Need 100Mbps Per 1,000 Users

itzdandy Re:Caching? (292 comments)

I don't argue that the fundamentals of +|-|/|x are essential, and that multiplication and division tables up to 12 are critical to core math skills.

As someone who has actually taught high school math, including trying to teach algebra II students who could not do basic arithmetic (I'm talking things like 12 minus 5), I dare you to try to think of ways to get students to actually understand how algebra works, what its applications are, etc. when they can't manipulate even the most basic equation without a calculator to tell them that 12 - 5 is 7.

If it wasn't clear by my statement that fundamentals are essential, that is what I meant. I think that 12 -5 = 7 certainly falls below the high water mark of multiplication and division tables. In other words, you are beginning to argue a point that needs not be argued

Is it possible? Yeah, I managed to do it with some kids. But these kids mostly had a fundamental barrier preventing them from doing just about anything in higher level math, because they simply couldn't manipulate even small numbers on a basic level.

And these kids should probably have extra effort put towards then understanding the critical math that is required in day-to-day life and not be pressed into more advanced mathematics studies. Subjects that are hard for students to learn (hard in the sense that they fall behind the other students) is likely to be nearly impossible to retain or recall. These kids skill set may be in another subject. Don't waste any time on the more advanced stuff that they will not learn or retain.

Knowing basic arithmetic is not just memorization -- with it should come some more intuitive understanding about how numbers relate to each other, and elementary schools should try to convey that information along with any memorization task. The issue isn't so much that a particular student doesn't happen to know the exact fact of 12 - 7 as much as that the student has no intuitive grasp of what the relationships between "12," "-," and "7" are, which should at least give him an intuitive sense of what the answer to that relationship might be.

I agree. My point was that memorizing formulas and functions rarely benefits the average student/adult. Understanding the methods is what should be taught. The basics still apply though and swiftly solving any addition or subtraction well into the hundreds is very manageable with very little memorization. Beyond that, the average person will not have the memory when they reach 21 years old to do in their head anyway (some say as little as 7 digits are easily remembered and available for doing mental math). Techniques to overcome these limits would be a good part of the curriculum.

Massive amounts of memorization interferes with cognitive learning.

Not true, unless it becomes too dominant in the curriculum that it doesn't allow time for anything else. I'm not a huge fan of lots of memorization in schools, but actually having some knowledge in your brain is not only incredibly useful for solving problems that require that information, but it also makes it much, much, much more likely that you'll ever meditate upon that information and make higher-level connections within it.

I believe it has been stated, with various degrees of truth and accuracy, that most people do not memorize well in school settings. I believe that interest in a subject matter is the only way students or adults pursue higher level mathematics (or any subject). Those students with aptitude and interest should definitely be moved into classes that challenge them, while disinterested students should probably be guided to subjects they are more apt too (again, not ignoring the basics)

Memorization does not contribute to higher skill sets beyond the basics, cognitive learning allows people to do advanced work with minimal research.

I have no clue how one can do "cognitive learning" without knowing any facts about anything. I've heard hundreds of hours of educational theory BS yammered at me in numerous pedagogy classes and conferences, but the reality is that critical thinking requires something to think about. If your brain is empty, you can never make connections beyond whatever is on the page or the website in front of you, which improverishes your ability to think with any breadth.

Maybe you misunderstand. facts and equations are not the same thing. I consider myself to be exceptionally able to learn and apply that learning to problems. My skills and capabilities were earned through my being interested in the subject matter, being challenged with problems that others were not able to solve, and through a lot of my own learning outside of school. The school system provided my with very little beyond the basics, and rationed that knowledge out over a excruciatingly long time frame. I easily outpaced the average in school, so I sat in the classroom with people that I considered intelligent and capable, that were not able to do the same work as I was. I know that this statement has more than a slight stench of arrogance, but I don't mean it too.

My point is that I excelled in subjects and the schools that I went to, in 5 states, all failed to challenge me in those subjects. Kids that excelled in other subjects sat bored in those classes or caused trouble.

I would add that many hours spend memorizing things in school went unused. I can still remember the periodic table, no use in real life. I can still remember how a frog is put together and comes apart, no use in the real world. The labs were good, learning about elements, electrons, etc etc was all good. But memorizing the data was of such minimal value that it could have been skipped altogether.

I'm sorry, but you assertions are a load of crap.

In your opinion, which you can enjoy without my criticism.

My point of view is based on my experience and America's schools poor testing vs other 1st world nations. If all is well, then everyone else must be doing the same thing and their people are just smarter. I don't believe that for a second.

about 2 years ago


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