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Ask Slashdot: How Do You File Paper Documents At Home?

parc Re:Honest Question: Why? (371 comments)

I recently dealt with the declining health of my grandmother and the repeated visits to specialists and general practitioners for her care. The #1 thing I did for her that extended and enhanced the quality of her life (and probably extended it for a year of fairly good quality time) was hustle medical records from one doctor to the next. If she saw a gastroenterologist I would immediately take all the notes taken and test results received over to her other doctors. This simple act (an extra hour of my time on top of any Dr's visit) identified and resolved 3 chronic health issues that she'd had to "live with" for nearly a decade. All because I had her paperwork and noticed that the 5 doctors she had kept running the same tests independently over and over but not equating all the results.

Without a paper trail, I'd never have figured it out. And before this experience, I just assumed all the doctors somehow used their secret handshake to share information.

more than 2 years ago

Google Has Android Remote App Install Power, Too

parc Really? (278 comments)

You mean they can remotely install apps over the air just like every other modern phone on every other carrier I've ever seen?

This is a non-story -- OTA install is pretty much required by every carrier out there so they can force you to upgrade your phone.

more than 3 years ago

Visa Launches PayPal Alternative

parc Re:Here they go again... (141 comments)

BOFA at least processes transactions in a FIFO manner as of some date earlier this year. Depending on your account, deposits from verifiable sources are credited and available for payment backing immediately on receipt. I haven't had a deposit held for verification of funds in a couple years. Online bill payments are deducted when they are actually paid, not when you schedule the transaction, and I've had EXCELLENT service from them when bill payments have gone afoul, even when it wasn't BOFA's fault. they've even paid MY late fees on bills that didn't get processed by the payee on time.

This isn't to say BOFA doesn't have issues -- I've spent more time in a "banking center" than I'd care to -- but they have addressed a LOT of my issues with them over the last couple years.

more than 3 years ago

PARC Builds iPod-Sized HIV Detector

parc Finally! (93 comments)

Wait, I did WHAT?

Sorry, I've been waiting something like 10 years for this moment...

about 4 years ago

Is Programming a Lucrative Profession?

parc Re:Not if you have a magic time machine... (844 comments)

If more than one sample has the median value, then less than half will be more and less than half less. By definition at most half of the values will be more and at most half of the values will be less.

I did not correctly denote that the first two sentences talk about the salary study as a whole where the third and fourth are talking about my specific example.

more than 4 years ago

Is Programming a Lucrative Profession?

parc Re:Not if you have a magic time machine... (844 comments)

No, if the median salary was 60K roughly half of them would be making less than that. Roughly half would be making more as well. 3 sample salaries that still result in 60k average are 30K, 75K, and 75K. 1/3 of the sample is less than 60K, but 2/3 is greater than 60K.

FWIW, my starting salary in 2000 was $65K, but my salary has risen considerably since then.

more than 4 years ago

Build Your Own $2.8M Petabyte Disk Array For $117k

parc Re:A Very Shortsighted Article (487 comments)

Yeah, I looked up the manufacturer's projected MTBF before I posted, and saw the normal "ridiculously big number". I then went searching for real-world studies of drive MTBF. You can't really get any better than a study by Google of their actual drive failure rate.

more than 4 years ago

Build Your Own $2.8M Petabyte Disk Array For $117k

parc Re:A Very Shortsighted Article (487 comments)

At first glance it didn't look like they were using rails in the picture, but now that I really stare at it, it does seem possible they're hiding some rails in there.

So I take it back: the drives DO seem hot-swappable. That doesn't mean I'd want to (or be confident in) doing it :)

more than 4 years ago

Build Your Own $2.8M Petabyte Disk Array For $117k

parc Re:A Very Shortsighted Article (487 comments)

At 67T per chassis and 45 drives documented per chassis, they're using 1.5T drives. 1 petabyte would then be 667 drives.

The worst part of this design that I see (and there's a LOT of bad to see) is the lack of an easy way to get to a failed drive. When a drive fails you're going to have to pull the entire chassis offline. Google did a study in 2007 of drive failure rates (http://labs.google.com/papers/disk_failures.pdf) and found the following failure rates over drive age (ignoring manufacturer):
3mo: 3% = 20 drives
6mo: 2% = 13 drives
1yr: 2% = 13 drives
2yr: 8% = 53 drives

Their logic is probably along the lines of "we're already paying someone to answer the pager in the middle of the night," but jeez, you're going to have to take a node offline ever 2-3 days for the first year and then almost 2 a day after that!

more than 4 years ago

Best Way To Build A DIY UAV?

parc Re:forums. (259 comments)

Um, ok. That's good for people in California. The law in Texas is different than in California.

more than 4 years ago

Best Way To Build A DIY UAV?

parc Re:forums. (259 comments)

Hold up there, Tex. The law specifies that driving over the posted speed limit is prima facie that you are driving in a manner that is not reasonable and prudent. This allows the cop to ticket you [Texas Transportation Code Sec 545.351-2]. If you went to trial for a speeding ticket it is possible that you could argue the common speed of vehicles under similar conditions was what you were driving, and you could MAYBE get out of the ticket that way (although speeding about 70 in most counties, 80 in some is likely an absolute that you couldn't get out of), but you'd be relying on the whim of a judge or jury in that case.

The Texas Administrative Code specifies the procedures for setting speed zones [Title 43, Part 1, Ch 25, SubCh B] specifies how speed zones are set. IANAL, but I found nothing that says, "if people speed, you have to change the speed limit." It does seem to imply that, at the discretion of certain regulatory bodies and after an engineering study, a speed limit can be raised.

I'm also a lazy Texan, but Google works for me.

more than 4 years ago

Slashdot Mentioned In Virginia Terrorism Report

parc Could A.C. be a wheat/chaff solution? (779 comments)

This raises an interesting question: could I actually create an alternate communication method using A.C. postings alone? Using a cipher symbol alphabet consisting entirely of sensible words or sentences, I could hide inside of the more popular systems that allow anonymous posting and probably not even be noticed (I mean hell, how many people do more than scan the A.C. posting to see if it makes sense?).

about 5 years ago

Sprint Cuts Cogent Off the Internet

parc Re:empty threats (413 comments)

It all depends on existing facilities. If you don't have transport available already or if the available transport needs to be qualified before install, it'll take longer.

As far back as 2001 I had circuits that would come up in hours and circuits that would come up in weeks, all from the same provider. The only difference was the availability of qualified circuits (or qualified people to turn the circuits up).

more than 5 years ago


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