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Slashdot Talks WIth IBM Power Systems GM Doug Balog (Video)

psergiu Workstations ? (36 comments)

As the video won't play (even alt link), i want to ask:

Any plans for [somewhat] affordable Power8 workstations that can run AIX and some limited PowerVM (something like IntelliStation POWER 285 where you can have 2 LPARs)

about a month ago

IBM Gearing Up Mega Power 8 Servers For October Launch

psergiu Re:Workstations ? (113 comments)

Yes, almost surely IBM won't alow AIX to run on those boards.
Linux can run on any old x86 cheapie - there's nothing useful to do with a Power 8 CPU running Linux:

- Are you able to learn something that can be applied to big-iron Enterprise IBM hardare ? No.
- Are you able to run any 3rd party commercial software on that Power8 Linux box ? No - most 3rd party Linux commercial software only provides x86 binaries. Sometimes ARM.
- Are you able to do the exactly same Linuxy things with a cheaper x86 machine ? Yes.

Yes, it's a new and exciting CPU, some hobyists will buy this - but for most of them, after a couple of months, the Tyan power 8 machine will remain unused or will be downgraded to a "seldom used server in the corner" as it's less usefull than a Raspberry Pi.

about a month ago

IBM Gearing Up Mega Power 8 Servers For October Launch

psergiu Workstations ? (113 comments)

Latest Power workstation had Power 5 CPUs. The should make a new workstation.

No workstations => No small computer labs => Weak interest for the OS/Hardware from sudents & hobyists => Future decline of sales in servers.

Look at HP & all the other commercial Unix vendors - decline in server sales is almost directly related with workstation unavailability in the past ~5 years.

about a month ago

Systems That Can Secretly Track Where Cellphone Users Go Around the Globe

psergiu Re:Storm in a teacup (76 comments)

Well ...
As long as you can push a SIM-App to that Phone's SIM card, that program can periodically send updates with the current location (Network ID, Cell ID, power) to another network-connected device without the owner ever knowing. It's invisible even to the phone OS, as everything happens inside the SIM and radio module)

And all newer SIM cards (all that have a SIM Application menu, 2001 or newer) can do this, and your network operator (or anyone having the proper network access) can push something OTA to your SIM. You will just see your phone losing it's mobile network for a couple of seconds and reconnecting - that was the SIM's CPU rebooting with the updated firmware.

about a month ago

Choose Your Side On the Linux Divide

psergiu Re:My opinion on the matter. (826 comments)

Systemd's strenghts are:
- Fast startup & shutdown (compared to sysVinit);
- Better on-demand loading and stopping services and processes and changing network settings.

Compared with all the problem it brings:

- That is useful on a tablet or phone - where you never have to modify the factory configuration;
- A bit useful on a laptop - if you only use GUI tools that can do a limited ammount of config editing for you;
- Not very usefullon a desktop - unless you are prepared to get your hands dirty with systemD's smelly and poorly-documented guts;
- Useless on a server - where you only reboot 4 times a year or so and never have to hot-plug anything or change wireless networks.

For a server situation, the BSDrc style startup is even better than sysVinit.

about a month ago

Choose Your Side On the Linux Divide

psergiu Re:Display server (826 comments)

As long as xterm & the web browser are running on Wayland, nobody will complain. has became such a mess itself (compared to the old XFree86) so anything smaller, simpler, faster and 100% compatible is welcome.

OTOH systemD is not smaller, simpler and 100% compatible with the systemV init and BSD rc - so it requires everybody relearning a lot of concepts for scratch just to gain 4-5 seconds at boot time - unsually on a server that you reboot only a couple of times a year.

about a month ago

Systems That Can Secretly Track Where Cellphone Users Go Around the Globe

psergiu Re:Storm in a teacup (76 comments)

Actually, that's part of the GSM protocol.

You can "ping" a device in th GSM network and that device will return a reply containing the current Cell ID and distance from the tower. And with some devices you can "ask" them to seek a different cell - and it will return that as the reply. The owner of the phone only sees the cell signal bar fluctuating.

Also over the course of a phone conversation, both devices will tell the other one the Cell ID at the beginning of the call and at every hand-over between cells.

about a month ago

Systems That Can Secretly Track Where Cellphone Users Go Around the Globe

psergiu Re:Storm in a teacup (76 comments)

If you remember a little device from 2007 called iPhone - it introduced a "novel" idea: Let's find out where we are based on the nearby cell towers - we get a list of nearby cell towers and distance from them (can be computed: power & ping delay) and we ask a central data base where the tower location is and we triangulate based on that.

The Cell ID location databases are still active and public (and used for AGPS in the newer iPhones and other devices). And even if you cannot access it, by just driving around with a GPS-enabled device and some logging software you can build your own map.

And the cell locations are NOT changing frequently. It costs A LOT to have a tower in place: the only things that are changing once a tower is in place is the antennas (orientation and type/spread) and back-end network hardware (upgrades from 2G cards to 3G to 4G ...)

about a month ago

The Problems With Drug Testing

psergiu ... or outsourced to Eastern Europe (166 comments)

My dad almost lost both of his legs because his doctor insisted that his condition is so severe that he needs experimental medication. The 1st round of medication did nothing to make him better. After he started the 2nd round of medications i got hold of the paperwork that he fscking doctor had my dad to sign. She was doing experiments on him on behalf of a US company and had my dad fooled that it's the only way. So after years of my dad lining in excruciating pain i dragged him to another doctor, at another hospital, who applied a standard medical procedure and he was fixed in 2 months.

The murderous doctor (while my dad was in the hospital, there were at least 2 other patients on experimental medication who died) was sporting a nice new BMW high-end car when i got my dad out of there. Way more expensive that she could have afforded from her salary + standard bribes extorted from the patients.

about 2 months ago

Exhibit On Real Johnny Appleseed To Hit the Road

psergiu John Appleseed ? (71 comments)

Any connection to that John Appleseed guy that appears in all the Apple keynotes ?

about 2 months ago

Ask Slashdot: Unattended Maintenance Windows?

psergiu Simmilar experiences ... (265 comments)

A friend of mine lost his job over a simmilar "automation" task on windows.

Upgrade script was tested on lab environement who was supposed to be exactly like production (but it turns out it wasn't - someone tested something before without telling anyone and did not reverted). Upgrade script was scheduled to be run on production during the night.

Result - \windows\system32 dir deleted from all the "upgraded" machines. Hundreds of them.

On the Linux side i personally had RedHat doing some "small" changes on the storage side and PowerPath getting disabled at next boot after patching. Unfortunate event, since all Volume Groups were using /dev/emcpower devices. Or RedHat doing some "small" changes in the clustering software from one month to the other. No budget for test clusters. Production clusters refusing to mount shared filesystems after patching. Thankfuly on both cases the admins were up & online at 1AM when the patching started and we were able to fix everything in time.

Then you can have glitchy hardware/software deciding not to come back up after reboot. RHEL GFS clusters are known to randomly hang/crash at reboot. HP Blades have sometimes to be physically removed & reinserted to boot.

Get the business side to tell you how much is going to cost the company for the downtime until:
- Monitoring software detects that something is wrong;
- Alert reaches sleeping admin;
- Admin wakes up and is able to reach the servers.
Then see if you can risk it.

about 2 months ago

Comcast Converting 50,000 Houston Home Routers Into Public WiFi Hotspots

psergiu Credential phising (474 comments)

How long before someone releases a tool that would have a Linux-running computer or device with a WiFi card masquerading as an official Comcast WiFi hotspot an collecting the usernames & passwords of the users trying to connect ?

about 3 months ago

Tiniest Linux COM Yet?

psergiu Re:Internet of Things isn't (76 comments)

> It occurs to me that this is just the sort of device that the Raspberry Pi people could very well have come up with in the 2 or 3 years since since the Model A and B were developed. It's a shame they never took the concept further.

They did, in April:

about 4 months ago

OpenSSL To Undergo Security Audit, Gets Cash For 2 Developers

psergiu Re:"Audit"? Try massive rewrite. (132 comments)

> ... One big mistake is not a reason to scorch and salt the earth.

Listen, lad. I've built this kingdom up from nothing. When I started here, all there was was swamp. All the kings said I was daft to build a castle in a swamp, but I built it all the same, just to show 'em. It sank into the swamp. So, I built a second one. That sank into the swamp. So I built a third one. That burned down, fell over, then sank into the swamp. But the fourth one stayed up.
An' that's what your gonna get, lad -- the strongest castle in these islands.

about 4 months ago

AT&T Hacker 'weev' Demands One Bitcoin For Each Hour He Spent In Jail

psergiu Bitcoin ? (449 comments)

Why Bitcoin and not Dogecoin (or any other e-currency) ?

about 4 months ago

Game of Thrones Author George R R Martin Writes with WordStar on DOS

psergiu Re:joe (522 comments)

Mod parent up as informative ! /usr/bin/jstar

about 4 months ago



CherryPal's $99 netbook scam

psergiu psergiu writes  |  more than 4 years ago

psergiu (67614) writes "Hailed everywhere as revolutionary, Africa, the $99 netbook from CherryPal has failed to deliver. At all. Thousands of orders were made and nobody has received yet a unit or even their money back. Max Seybold, the CEO of CherryPal has even started to send threatening e-mails to the owners of blogs with unfavorable comments posted by the users. The only Africa netbook that was supposed to be delivered turned out to be a hoax too.
So, no $99 netbook for us yet."


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