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Comments

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Delays For SC Nuclear Plant Put Pressure On the Industry

laird Re:Just red tape? (139 comments)

I was replying to the comment that said "Let's not hamstring projects with a feel good but impractical 'Buy American' requirement. That's the main reason for military gear being so overpriced. If Korea, Japan or China can get components to us faster, more power to them.".

For civilian products, using whoever is most competitive can make sense (though our policy of paying companies to decimate their US manufacturing and engineering capability is stupid). But for military systems in particular, outsourcing to China or Korea is a fantastically bad idea. Even if it costs more, it's worth it to maintain control over the supply chain because the risk of not doing so is unacceptable.

yesterday
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Delays For SC Nuclear Plant Put Pressure On the Industry

laird Re:Just red tape? (139 comments)

Having your military supply chain depend on countries that you might be fighting against is a terrible plan. It's also in the national interest for the US to retain engineering and manufacturing capabilities. And, of course there's the possibility that they embed controls into the devices that they sell us, the way the NSA pre-hacked hardware being sold by US companies only in the other direction.

So really, it kinda does matter.

2 days ago
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Verizon Boosts FiOS Uploads To Match Downloads

laird Re:Symmetrical? (234 comments)

There's plenty of legal p2p traffic. Almost all large videogames, particularly MMORPGs, use p2p to deliver installers and updates. At Pando, what we found was that not only were the economics much better, but the successful download percentage for managed p2p downloads, measured by people completing the download and getting the game installed and running, was MUCH higher for p2p downloads than HTTP downloads. It's pretty easy to see why - p2p protocols detect and correct for errors, and are quite persistent at getting people correct data, and are engineered to move huge files, while HTTP was never really intended to move single files the size of a modern MMORPG.

about three weeks ago
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Verizon Boosts FiOS Uploads To Match Downloads

laird Re:Symmetrical? (234 comments)

Perhaps I should explain - the Pando P2P network delivered guaranteed throughput by using both traditional CDN and P2P networking. For example, if a video stream has a target of 1 mbps rate, and it's getting 700 kbps from peers, it'll pull the remaining 300 kbps from a CDN. This reduces the CDN deliver volume (and cost) by 70%. And it turns out that when peers can pull from thousands of other peers, the comulative delivery rate can often exceed the traditional CDN delivery rate, and it's generally more resilient to networking issues, because an issue that might throttle or stall a single stream, such as a congested router, often won't affect other streams in parallel because they're independent routes.

The 80% was actually measured in a test run in partnership with a number of major ISPs (Verizon, Comcast, Telefonica, AT&T, etc.). We captured all p2p data transfer volumes, then analyzed them to analyze the network data flows, and compared a number of different peer allocation algorithms. Peer assignment that is aware of network topology did, in fact, reduce inter-ISP traffic volumes by 80%. And by rather more on the ISPs that provide symmetric bandwidth, because peers within an ISPs network can exchange data faster than with peers outside the ISP network.

More details at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/P... .

about three weeks ago
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Verizon Boosts FiOS Uploads To Match Downloads

laird Re:No More Limited Upload Globally (234 comments)

IMO, it's Verizon (finally) getting smart and taking advantage of their superior fiber network, giving their customers symmetric bandwidth that cable providers can't provide. Cable companies built a cheaper infrastructure, that physically can't provide as much uplink as downlink. So if Verizon can get people to value symmetric bandwidth, instead of just downlink, suddenly they have the winning network!

about a month ago
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Verizon Boosts FiOS Uploads To Match Downloads

laird Re:Thank Google, not Verizon (234 comments)

Start watching movies in HD (Apple TV, Netflix, Amazon Instant Video) and it'll consume any connection. Then have each of your kids watch their own video streams in their rooms...

about a month ago
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Verizon Boosts FiOS Uploads To Match Downloads

laird Re:Symmetrical? (234 comments)

I built that network (Pando Networks) a few years ago. The content companies were generally pretty slow to adopt p2p technology, but game companies are all over it. One pleasant aspect was that the advantage of p2p wasn't just economics, though those were great, it was performance. Because downloading from dozens of sources is much more resilient, and on good networks more performant, than downloading from one source. And, with an intelligent network, it could connect you with peers that are close to you in the network, reducing network congestion at the interconnects by 80%. When we ran a large scale test across all the major ISPs, we in fact saw that p2p clients were able to reduce inter-ISP data exchanges (for the p2p network) by 80%, simply through intelligent peer selection, which ISPs loved, and download performance was better, which downloaders loved.

And symmetric fiber networks are awesome at p2p.

about a month ago
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The debate over climate change is..

laird Re:n/t (278 comments)

Newton's philosophical point was that thinking that there must be a model that is absolutely "right" and all others are "wrong" isn't useful for evaluating scientific theories, because that kind of absolutist thinking kept humanity in the dark ages with competing cults of faith in ancient texts, and he proposed a more enlightened approach as being required to make progress. So, the more constructive question is not "who is right", it is whether a theory makes accurate predictions or not. If a theory makes accurate predictions, verified by independent testing, then it's useful. If a theory fails that test, it's not useful. But models are only useful in a specific domain, and only until there's some cast where it doesn't work, and a new or more refined theory takes its place and extends it. And, for the domain where it applies (i.e. the conditions we all live in normally), Newton's laws of motion work well and are quite useful.

It's true that Einstein's Theory of Relativity refined Newton's Laws of Motion to cover additional domains (e.g. near the speed of light). And numerous others have come up with additional refinements to address other specific domains. But none of those make Newton's Laws of Motion "wrong" in any useful sense. They build on Newton's Laws of Motion and extend them, which is (IMO) the opposite of disproving them!

about 1 month ago
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The debate over climate change is..

laird Re:n/t (278 comments)

The "debate about climate change" is about whether it's going on and is affected by human behavior.

In scientific terms there's no debate on that topic - it's settled.

In political terms, there's lots of debate, disconnected from scientific facts.

It all reminds me of the decades where medical science knew that smoking killed people, but cigarette companies tried to present the illusion of a debate, through paid fake "research" and massive marketing campaigns, "donations" to politicians, etc., and it took a long time for the political situation to acknowledge reality. This was a clever business tactic, because it let the cigarette companies sell billions more cigarettes, while the people that they killed didn't cost them anything. Not ethical, or good for the country as a whole, of course, but highly profitable for a few companies.

about 1 month ago
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Apple and IBM Announce Partnership To Bring iOS + Cloud Services To Enterprises

laird Re:Et tu, Lenovo? (126 comments)

Lenovo is a manufacturing company that makes laptops and servers. They don't make software or do systems integration or mobile devices.

Why would IBM partner with them to integrate mobile devices into the enterprise?

about a month ago
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Apple and IBM Announce Partnership To Bring iOS + Cloud Services To Enterprises

laird Re:PowerPC (126 comments)

Yeah, Apple's products are too successful, so now they're not cool enough for you? And the people that buy Apple products are the "hipsters"? Weird.

How about - Apple's better at figuring out what people need and giving it to them in a high quality product than most tech companies, and they sell and support them better than most tech companies' distribution and support channels, so people really like using Apple products and their products sell extremely well, and people are willing to pay a premium for them over the competition.

about a month ago
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Apple and IBM Announce Partnership To Bring iOS + Cloud Services To Enterprises

laird Re:Sweet (126 comments)

Why do some companies spend so much time worrying about phones. People have all sorts of devices from the company that can't be locked out if people just use the device "out of the box". Laptop, desktop, USB stick, hard drive, tablet, car, etc. Companies get people to return company property when they leave the company, with all sorts of traditional mechanisms. Salespeople have company cars fairly often, and companies don't have a remote lock on the car to make sure that they get it back. Why get worked up about being able to lock people out of their phone? Sure, it's nice to have that ability, I suppose, but why do you care about the phone so much more than the other devices, which cost more and/or contain more data?

And really, who has company phones any more - hasn't everyone moved to "bring your own device" where people buy whatever (approved) device they like, and configure it to get company mail, etc. Then when they leave, the data is locked or deleted (that's been a solved problem for many years, on all major platforms) and they keep their phone.

about a month ago
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Ask Slashdot: Best Dedicated Low Power Embedded Dev System Choice?

laird Re: Weird question, but... (183 comments)

It depends on your application space. If you're making a monitor to alert you when plants need to be watered, you're going to want to use a controller that can run on AA batteries for months, and costs a few dollars. That's not anything that Intel sells - that's more like an Arduino Atemel chip. So yes, compared to a high end CPU, a low end Intel CPU is cheap and low power, but compared to a $3 controller that can run on an AA battery for months, it's expensive and power hungry.

about a month ago
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Qualcomm Takes Down 100+ GitHub Repositories With DMCA Notice

laird Re:On this 4th of July... (349 comments)

There's an important difference that you're missing, in that the DMCA was passed in to law, and it completely changed the situation.

Before the DMCA the parties met in court as equals, and a judge (or jury) had to rule as to whether the claim of infringement was valid. Because this required effort to prove, and because courts really hate having their time wasted, this tended to prevent baseless claims from being made. And until the claim was proved to be valid, the site was unaffected.

The DMCA completely shifted the balance in favor of any claim of infringement. All claims of infringement are presumed to be valid, and that the ISP/Site must immediately take down anything claimed to be infringing (the "safe harbor"). And then, after the site is down, the burden is on the site to prove that the content is not infringing.

So looking at the Qualcomm / Github situation, before DMCA Qualcomm would have filed claims in court and Github would make the case against the claims, and the claims would have to be proven, with the repository owners able to defend themselves from the claims, before any repositories were taken down. That is, the burden of proof is on the person claiming infringement, and nothing happens until they make a case in court. And if the claims are baseless, all that happens is that Qualcomm wastes a bunch of money, and pisses off the court, and likely has to pay Github's expenses.

Under DMCA, Qualcomm files claims, Github has to immediately take the repositories down, and then each repo owner has to prove that their repo is not infringing to bring it back up. So Qualcomm has, without any proof at all, forced tons of repositories down, and even if they've done nothing wrong it could be months until they're back up, damaging those projects and wasting huge amounts of their time and money.

Those aren't the same.

about a month and a half ago
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Federal Judge Rules US No-fly List Violates Constitution

laird Re:Awesome! (276 comments)

Article I, Section 6, of the Constitution provides that "Senators and Representatives . . . shall in all Cases, except Treason, Felony and Breach of the Peace, be privileged from Arrest during their Attendance at the Session of their respective Houses, and in going to and returning from the same; and for any Speech or Debate in either House, they shall not be questioned in any other Place."

You're right that Congressmen can be arrested for breaking the law, by the police, as a part of a court case. But that's not the case here, we're talking about preventing a Congressman from flying. If a Congressman is traveling to or from Congress, or is flying as a course of Congressional business, they can't be interfered with by anyone other than the Congressional Sergeant at Arms. Unless you want to argue that the Congressman is guilty of "Treason, Felony and Breach of the Peace" because they have the same name as someone anonymously placed on a list, with no accuser, no evidence, no trial and no means of challenging the list or even knowing that you're actually on it. That seems like a pretty weak legal argument.

about 2 months ago
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Federal Judge Rules US No-fly List Violates Constitution

laird Re:Here's the Solution (276 comments)

Add in the constitutional issue that the executive branch is not allowed to interfere with the Congress' travel, so whatever idiot stopped a Congressman from flying should have ended up in jail. The branches aren't allowed to interfere with each other's ability to function, for the fairly obvious reason that otherwise the executive branch could arrest Congressmen to throw votes, could arrest judges who rule against them, etc. The branches need to police themselves - that's why Congress has a Sergeant at Arms.

about 2 months ago
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Federal Judge Rules US No-fly List Violates Constitution

laird Re:Nice (276 comments)

Ironically related to "I understand that Bin-Laden should have probably been on some "no fly list"." keep in mind that the first thing that Bush did after 9/11 was covertly fly every member of the Bin Laden family out of the US to make sure that they couldn't be detained and questioned. Presumably because Saudis who control lots of oil are your golfing buddies, not "terrorists". Once you've ensured that the people who knew the mastermind behind the attacks best in the world couldn't be questioned, there's not much logic in stopping anyone else, much less stopping random people with the same names as people who were rumored to be terrorists. And since the people on the "no fly list" aren't accused of any crime, they can just leave the airport and then do whatever they like, only they're more pissed off. So I don't see how that would prevent any terrorism - I'd think that irritating suspected terrorists but not charging or arresting them would just encourage more terrorism..

about 2 months ago
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Federal Judge Rules US No-fly List Violates Constitution

laird Re:Awesome! (276 comments)

And, of course, there's the "separation of powers" thing. The TSA is under the executive branch, so they can't really do anything to judges - the judicial branch has to police itself. For pretty much the same reason that the executive branch can't do anything to Congress - the police are constitutionally not allowed to arrest a congressman, because if they could, then the executive branch could (legally) take over the government by physically arresting Congress to prevent votes, etc.

about 2 months ago
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3-D Printing with Molten Steel (Video)

laird Re:A major liberator from opressive laws... (104 comments)

You can make a better "gun" than the Liberator using a piece of wood and a drill, faster and cheaper than a 3D print. The US doesn't suffer from a shortage of guns or the ability to make guns.

The only reason to 3D print a gun is because you really like guns and want to use 3D printing to get some press.

about 2 months ago
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3-D Printing with Molten Steel (Video)

laird Re:Interesting but not new (104 comments)

Sure, there would be regular supply schedules. But that means that the part arrives weeks or months after it's ordered. Which means either maintaining a large inventory of spares before they're needed, or waiting weeks or months while equipment is out of commission.

With an SLS printer, they could have the part in a few hours. So if the value of time is high, it's worth the cost of the SLS part.

about 2 months ago

Submissions

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$1B of public domain research released to public!

laird laird writes  |  more than 5 years ago

laird writes "Wikileaks has released nearly a billion dollars worth of quasi-secret reports commissioned by the United States Congress. The 6,780 reports, current as of this month, comprise over 127,000 pages of material on some of the most contentious issues in the nation, from the U.S. relationship with Israel to abortion legislation. Nearly 2,300 of the reports were updated in the last 12 months, while the oldest report goes back to 1990. The release represents the total output of the Congressional Research Service (CRS) electronically available to Congressional offices. The CRS is Congress's analytical agency and has a budget in excess of $100M per year.

Although all CRS reports are legally in the public domain, they are quasi-secret because the CRS, as a matter of policy, makes the reports available only to members of Congress, Congressional committees and select sister agencies such as the GAO. Members of Congress are free to selectively release CRS reports to the public but are only motivated to do so when they feel the results would assist them politically. Universally embarrassing reports are kept quiet."

Link to Original Source
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Are Content Delivery Clouds the next step of CDNs?

laird laird writes  |  more than 5 years ago

laird writes "Is the Content Delivery Cloud model the next step after CDN's? "A Content Delivery Cloud is a system of computers networked together across the internet that are orchestrated transparently to deliver content to end users, most often for the purposes of improving performance, scalabaility and cost efficiency. Extending the model of a traditional Content Delivery Network, a Content Delivery Cloud may utilize the resources of multiple CDN networks as well as end-user computers ("the cloud") to assist in the delivery of content." With coverage, research and commercial services emerging, is the Content Delivery Cloud coming sooner rather than later?"
Link to Original Source
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http://www.wired.com/software/webservices/news/200

laird laird writes  |  more than 6 years ago

laird writes "Faced with a surge in network usage, internet service providers are grumbling about rising traffic levels. ISPs say the looming growth of true peer-to-peer applications threatens to overwhelm them. Some ISPs have even started sniffing out P2P traffic on their networks and curbing it, either slowing file sharing to a trickle or bringing it to a halt.

Responding to this adversarial relationship, some P2P companies are adopting a posture of engagement with ISPs, and have formed a new industry working group to help broker relationships that, they say, will enable ISPs to better manage and distribute traffic loads on their networks.

The P4P Working Group consists of content-distribution-technology providers like BitTorrent, Pando Networks, LimeWire and VeriSign's Kontiki, as well as broadband companies like Verizon and AT&T, and hardware makers like Cisco Systems. There are close to a dozen members so far. The P4P operates under the guidance of the Distributed Computing Industry Association, a group that wants to foster legal peer-to-peer content distribution.

P4P's plan: Get ISPs and P2P-technology providers working together, to ensure that P2P traffic continues to flow and that users of P2P technologies don't overload ISPs' networks with too much sharing."

Link to Original Source
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laird laird writes  |  more than 7 years ago

laird writes "The principle of voting in the United States is that votes are cast in secret but tallied in public.

This principle is incompatible with the current practice of using voting systems whose inner workings are trade secrets owned by the voting-machine vendors. Those same vendors pay for their systems to be tested, and the results of those tests are also trade secrets — you guessed it — owned by the vendors.

Full article at http://www.paloaltoonline.com/weekly/story.php?sto ry_id=3234 ."
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laird laird writes  |  more than 7 years ago

Laird Popkin writes "Pando Networks, known for integrating BitTorrent into email with a slick little, consumer-friendly client (and tons of very fast Linux servers), has extended its software to support web and RSS publishing of large files. TechCrunch has a nice writeup. There's more technical information about Pando at Pando's tech site."

Journals

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Just found journal

laird laird writes  |  more than 11 years ago

I just found the journal system here on Slashdot. Is it clever or over-reaching? Given that people build reputations on Slashdot, it kinda makes sense. Though if you host your life on Slashdot, well, I guess that says something too...

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