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Which desktop environment do you like the best?

john_uy Other (611 comments)

Aero (Windows 7)

It's one of the most intuitive interfaces Microsoft has done.

about 4 months ago

Agree or Disagree: We are in another tech bubble.

john_uy I want to watch what happens in 5 years! (154 comments)

I think the reason for bubble is not the unexpected sky high stock price but because the companies that go public are reporting losses and not generating growth in revenue. I think a lot of tech companies that have gone through IPOs are reporting growing revenues and increasing their net profit every quarter.

The bubble might be for some such as companies that are not able to make a profit or make consistent profit such as Twitter and Zynga after they have made their IPOs.

However, if the definition of bubble is buying companies at inflated prices, then I believe there is. The buyers' big earnings and revenues are able to mask whatever potential losses from the acquired division. The bubble will burst once companies start writing down their expensive acquisitions. Companies will definitely fudge their accounting and not do that until another major collapse of the economy or a string of bad news hit a particular company.

about 4 months ago

What qualifications should the 'driver' of a fully autonomous car need?

john_uy EE (301 comments)

May be some EE and mechanical license to go with it for troubleshooting in case of problems. :P

But if it will be autonomous, the operator will be the one responsible.

about 4 months ago

What percentage of your online communications are encrypted?

john_uy Communications but not data (186 comments)

Probably most communications are already encrypted. But I believe my data is stored unencrypted.

about 5 months ago

Report: 99 Percent of New Mobile Threats Target Android

john_uy Zero malware (269 comments)

I use Windows Phone and get 0% malware. The 1% goes to IOS.

Windows is indeed getting better. ;)

about 5 months ago

LHCb Confirms Existence of Exotic Hadrons

john_uy Changes in current knowledge (99 comments)

Since I could no longer comprehend the technical nature of the discovery, what is the consequence of this discovery? Will existing theories be changed (or validated)? Any complications to other theories?

I hope someone with more knowledge in the subject matter will be able to share.

about 5 months ago

Start-Up Founders On Dealing With Depression

john_uy Been there.. (257 comments)

I think the most important medicine is to surround yourself with people who care and are able to support. Me and my colleagues started a business. Things are going well now but I had those bout of depression before (including thoughts of suicide.) Before, I felt alone in an island. The image of me being perfect was so high that I didn't open up to other people.

Now, it is different, I've learned to share and ask for support from my family and close friends. I have learned that I am not superman and I do make mistakes. I have learned to take care of myself and love myself more. :) Life is so much better now. :)

P.S. May be one bonus for me is that I am generally a happy person living a simple life. Though one disadvantage is that if bad things happen, it does probably hit me harder than other people. I also didn't take any prescription medicine.

about 5 months ago

Apple Refuses To Unlock Bequeathed iPad

john_uy Privacy... not (465 comments)

Yet when governments demand that data be provided, all the fuss goes away and gives it easily.

about 6 months ago

Popularity On Facebook Makes People Think You're Attractive

john_uy Re:So sad and pathetic (116 comments)

I have learned just recently that all you need is one true friend to be there. :)

about 6 months ago

Popularity On Facebook Makes People Think You're Attractive

john_uy So sad and pathetic (116 comments)

It's so sad and pathetic that the metric being used by people is amount of Facebook "friends".

about 6 months ago

Best Valentine's Day gift (as recipient):

john_uy None of the Above (197 comments)

I think the best gift would be to spend great quality time with your loved one. :)

about 7 months ago

PC Shipments In 2013 See the Worst Yearly Decline In History

john_uy PCs are good enough (564 comments)

PCs have grown to be powerful and surprisingly durable enough that it will work well for five years. In our office, we do cascade our workstations where the powerful are for the graphics and video teams and go to cascade it slowly to the rest of the company. We have some computers running on Core 2 duo/quad that are still ok for use in administrative computers.

The only time we purchase computer is when the old system conks out and parts are no longer available (such as lga 775 motherboards) or we have a new employee to use it. But generally, the cpu, memory, monitor, keyboard, mouse are ok. So we do just replace parts (harddrive, power supply) instead of replacing the entire computer. One factor is to retire high wattage workstations in favor of the modern low power system that will hopefully reduce our energy consumption (we have one of the highest electricity rates in the world.)

I think this will happen to other computing devices such as mobile phones and tablets where Apple and Samsung recently reported a drop in income (started.) Afterwards, it will just reach some steady state replacement cycle much like what we have in PCs.

Moving forward, this 2014, we have a couple of high end workstations lined up and desktop PCs for purchase. This will hopefully slow down the demise of the PC industry that is seeing 82.6 MILLION of sales as of the recent quarter.

about 8 months ago

US Federal Judge Rules Suspicionless Border Searches of Laptops Constitutional

john_uy Re:Thank fucking Christ... (462 comments)

That's the problem. All people entering the USA have no protection as accorded to American citizens. You are treated as hostile unless proven otherwise. In the meantime, all rights are suspended with no expectation of being treated as a human being.

Being a foreigner, I have read numerous times of horror stories happening at the immigration. It's really discouraging to go to the USA even if you have all the best intentions to go there. Good thing I don't have any necessity to go there at this point in time.

At the end, I'm not sure it is helping thwart bad people from entering the USA.

about 9 months ago

PC Plus Packs Windows and Android Into Same Machine

john_uy Helping Microsoft too (319 comments)

I think this might help Microsoft too. If they can pull it off with a great user experience, people will be getting Windows to run both Windows software that they use (such as MS Office, and other corporate software) and run parallel Android apps for their personal stuff. This will be great in sandboxing the work and personal stuff in a computer. People will appreciative of the Windows environment because it can run whatever apps they like. It might also increase the adaptation of Windows (especially ver 8 and above.)

about 9 months ago

What Would It Cost To Build a Windows Version of the Pricey New Mac Pro?

john_uy Supermicro Workstation (804 comments)

Recently, we built a Supermicro Workstation 7047GR-TRF configuration. I am revising the system configuration to update the parts to get a comparable overview:
Supermicro Workstation 5037A-i - $580
Xeon E5-2643 v2 (fastest available) - $1552
Memory (4GB/ECC/DDR3-1866 x 4) - $240
Firepro W8000 (x2) - $2560
Intel SSD 910 400GB - $2000
Windows 8.1 Pro - $140
Others Accessories - $100
Total - $7,172
The base system will be pretty much high vs the $3,999 cost

In another comparison
Supermicro Workstation 5037A-i - $580
Xeon E5-2697 v2 - $2750
Memory (16GB/ECC/DDR3-1866 x 4) - $840
Firepro W9000 (x2) - $6800
Intel SSD 910 800GB - $4000
Windows 8.1 Pro - $140
Others Accessories - $100
Total - $15210
The configured system is still pretty high compared to $9599 from Apple pricing

Although specifications cannot be matched one is to one, I believe that the Windows workstation can be reduced in pricing by changing the Intel PCIe SSD and GPU to avoid using the top of the line products.

For example, using the following
Supermicro Workstation 5037A-i - $580
Xeon E5-2697 v2 - $2750
Memory (16GB/ECC/DDR3-1866 x 4) - $840
Quadro K5000 (x2) - $3200
Intel SSD DC S3700 200GB - $500
Windows 8.1 Pro - $140
Others Accessories - $100
Total - $8110
The configured Mac Pro is $8119 for the 256GB Storage and Dual D500.

So I guess the configuration will depend on the system.

For us though, we have found a more cost efficient alternative by buying a Supermicro 7047GR-TRF dual Intel Xeon socket and not using the top of the line for everything. But we are able to achieve 12 cores 2GHz, 64GB RAM, Nvidia K4000 for Display, Dual GTX680 GPU for compute, 8Gb FC Celerity HBA for around $5,000.00.

It will really depend on the applications to be used at the end. For us though, most of the applications are available in Windows and Linux configurations will limited Mac exclusivity so the PC solution is economical for us.

about 9 months ago

How the LHC Is Reviving Magnetic Tape

john_uy Speed Issues (267 comments)

That's the problem we are experiencing at the office right now. We have been archiving to tape for quite sometime when we were starting with LTO3. Now we are at LTO5 (always one generation behind so the cost will be cheaper.)

The problem is backup speed. Our data are incompressible data (video, pictures) so we do not gain from the very high published backup rates. Our arrays are high speed hundreds of megabytes for streaming uncompressed video (even this is not compressible by the tape, which is very odd.) With terabytes of data generated, it is hard to keep up with backup. Our data is regularly restored because of access to archival storage. This creates data management challenges as well. Our main problem is the very long time to backup and restore TBs worth of data on a daily basis. Though it would be easier to scale by adding more tape libraries, but it is not cost effective to keep on adding (as well as adding more arrays to handle streaming read and write operations at the same time.) We are also using LTFS which automated backup software are not friendly too. Our requirement is different from the enterprise backup of multiplexing data from different servers at the same time to get speed. We backup projects one at a time on a tape (self contained.)

LTO6 does not go faster much from LTO5 speeds (160MB vs 120MB for uncompressed.) It is likely that the tape is reaching its limit (much like harddrive speeds have not grown with capacity increases over the years.) SSDs are faster but not effective in capacity wise though. So time to look for new technologies in storing and accessing data. In all, storage has not kept up with the performance improvements in CPU, memory, and other bandwidth links (Ethernet, fibre channel, etc.) We should be transferring at the 10GB/s range already at this time.

about 9 months ago

The Dismantling of POTS: Bold Move Or Grave Error?

john_uy Re:Cell phones are better in a disaster (582 comments)

This is what happened with typhoon Yolanda/Haiyan. The local telcos were able to provide cellphone coverage through a mobile cell site. I'm sure all the electric poles are down and pretty much the last mile will be disconnected even though the exchange might still be working. Though electricity will be restored months from now, cellphone will be much convenient at the moment compared to restoring pots service which could take a very long time.

I guess pots will work when there are major blackouts and not in disasters where last mile will get cut.

about 10 months ago

Monthly net electricity use in my household:

john_uy 173 kWh (327 comments)

I feel that eating up 5.73kWh a day is still high given that we are only at home probably a few hours a day. Though there is no air conditioning. Just fan. Old style CRT TV. No refrigerator but a water cooler is there. Lights. Laptop and other mobile devices. Water heater though is present.

I guess all those small usage add up a lot.

about 10 months ago

Google Testing Banner Ads On Select Search Results

john_uy Creatures of habit (185 comments)

People will still continue to search even though Google places banner ads all around. Look at Youtube, the ads placed there are a nuisance (for me) but it didn't stop people from watching videos. If you don't like it, suck it up. Since you'll still search from them anyway.

So pretty much unless another competitor challenges Google, they can pretty much do whatever the want.

about a year ago

BT To Test Huawei 1Gbps Broadband Over Copper

john_uy Upload Speeds (77 comments)

What are you going to do with all that 1Gbps download speeds when your upload is capped to 512kbps?

We have been looking at a reliable provider for high upload speeds (uploading big content such as videos.) It seems LTE has got it right now (but signal reliability is not good especially when it rains.) Fiber is not yet available at our area (hopefully it does soon enough.)

about a year ago


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