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Proposed Disk Array With 99.999% Availablity For 4 Years, Sans Maintenance

sirwired A solution in search of a problem. (205 comments)

If service call costs for one or two disks are prohibited, simply put in enough spares so you only have to roll a tech for, say, 10 drives.

Alternatively, make them user-swappable. If all the customer has to do is ask their tech to yank drives with a Blinky Amber Light of Doom, even the most untrained monkey could figure that out.

1 hour ago
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For New Yorkers, Cablevision Introduces a Wi-Fi-Centric VoiP Network

sirwired I missed what? (43 comments)

Unlimited WiFi data within their local service area is not really that big of a deal, given the wide availability of free WiFi already. And you can already get worldwide free "phone service" (through WiFi) through any number of providers.

3 days ago
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For New Yorkers, Cablevision Introduces a Wi-Fi-Centric VoiP Network

sirwired Uh... unlimited WiFi data isn't much of a feature. (43 comments)

Most ISP's (and some cell carriers) offer unlimited data on their own WiFi network already. That's not really a very big feature.

There's no sign they are including a single byte of cellular data here.

3 days ago
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For New Yorkers, Cablevision Introduces a Wi-Fi-Centric VoiP Network

sirwired Tech support reasonons probably (43 comments)

I'm pretty sure they are doing it this way because they don't want to talk Joe Public through the process of replacing whatever dialer they have with the one they'll need for the app.

3 days ago
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For New Yorkers, Cablevision Introduces a Wi-Fi-Centric VoiP Network

sirwired $30/mo is a terrible price (43 comments)

$30/mo is a terrible price. If all you want is talk/text, you can get that, on an ACTUAL cellular network (Cricket/AT&T, and I'm sure other providers) for $25/mo. And, to top it off, they'll only charge you $25 for that Moto G, instead of $100.

As a $5 add-on to your cable plan, it's pretty nice... but not at the "rack" rate.

3 days ago
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Ask Slashdot: Where Can You Get a Good 3-Button Mouse Today?

sirwired Fix the mouse you have. (425 comments)

The most common mouse failure is the microswitches. Most mice use the exact same switch... Ten minutes, a cheap pencil iron, desolder wick, and some solder, and you are good to go for another few years.

I've been nursing along an original Trackman Marble for twenty years this way.

4 days ago
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Local Motors Looks To Disrupt the Auto Industry With 3D-Printed Car Bodies

sirwired Customized yes, cheap, no. (128 comments)

The only part of the automaking process that they changed was body/chassis assembly. That part is already highly automated, with robots doing most of the work. Yay, so you get all the automation, with the addition of greater customization. However, the vast majority of the labor is in assembly of the rest of the car. And if every car off the line is different, a lot of the efficiencies you get with the moving assembly line go completely out the window.

5 days ago
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Local Motors Looks To Disrupt the Auto Industry With 3D-Printed Car Bodies

sirwired Seriously? (128 comments)

The only thing 3D printed on this vehicle was the body. None of the running gear (you know, the parts that usually break) were printed.

5 days ago
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Disney Turned Down George Lucas's Star Wars Scripts

sirwired Good for Disney (420 comments)

After seeing a truly execrable trailer for "Strange Magic" (an upcoming animated movie, with the story provided by Lucas), I don't think there's anything JJ Abrams could possibly do worse than George Lucas.

about a week ago
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Could Tizen Be the Next Android?

sirwired Can they attract developers? (241 comments)

The big question is: Can they attract developers? If not, they'll need to be able to run Android apps natively. Once you are doing that, why not just run Android, an OS where somebody else bears most of the development cost?

I can see Samsung being more successful at this than Amazon was, but Samsung also doesn't have the motivations Amazon had/has for doing so.

about two weeks ago
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Silk Road Trial Defense: Mt. Gox CEO Was the Real Dread Pirate Roberts

sirwired Hans Reiser tried this defense (119 comments)

Hans Reiser tried the "somebody else did it" defense. He suggested it was somebody else, but presented no more than vague hints in that general direction suggesting that somebody else had motive. (And, of course, it was all silly hand-waving, since he later confessed and led police to the body.) For Ulbrict's sake, let's hope he has something more substantive.

The police have no obligation to investigate alternate suspects once they've decided on one to charge. If you, defendant, want to blame the crime on somebody else, you need to perform your own investigation rather than merely pointing out the police didn't chase after whomever the defendant thinks would be a more worthy suspect.

I don't know if Ulbrict has some real evidence; if he did, you'd think he would have released it by now.

about two weeks ago
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Silk Road Trial Defense: Mt. Gox CEO Was the Real Dread Pirate Roberts

sirwired Karpeles: "I'm not the real Dread Pirate Roberts" (119 comments)

Karpeles: "I'm not the real Dread Pirate Roberts either. His name was Cummerbund, and he's been living like a king in Patagonia for 20 years."

about two weeks ago
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There's a Problem In the Silk Road Trial: the Jury Doesn't Get the Internet

sirwired Per usual, the headline is bogus (303 comments)

How do we have any freaking clue whether or not the jury understands the internet? If they are doing their jobs, they aren't saying a damn thing about what they do or don't understand.

The judge on the other hand, certainly is requesting things be simplified on her (and the juror's) behalf.

Really, this isn't any different from ANY other trial. Any trial involves the jury deciding on things that they do not have a great deal (or any) experience with. The whole job of the Forensic evidence, insider trading, patents, whatever.

about two weeks ago
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Bitcoin Volatility Puts Miners Under Pressure

sirwired Still too volatile. (290 comments)

Even if you buy bitcoins, unload them ASAP to buy something, and then the receiver unloads them ASAP to get them back into something a tad more stable, it's STILL too volatile to rely on. A retailer could lose a significant chunk of his/her margin in the lag time before the coins can be transferred again.

about two weeks ago
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Bitcoin Volatility Puts Miners Under Pressure

sirwired And this is why Bitcoins are still a joke (290 comments)

A national currency that routinely swung by this amount would be a national crisis. (For example, something similar happened to the Swiss yesterday (they abandoned a policy to keep the Franc weak), and it's making headlines all over the world. And it's just a one-time event.) The economy would be in shambles as all trade came to a screeching halt, due to the complete and total inability to properly price contracts. Even used solely as a money-transfer system (instead of a real currency) it still swings too wildly. By the time you can unload the bitcoins somebody's transferred to you, you could lose your entire profit margin.

about two weeks ago
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The Legacy of CPU Features Since 1980s

sirwired Yeah, I remember when VMWare first came out... (180 comments)

I remember when VMWare first came out, and there was all this amazement about all the cool things you could do with Virtual Machines. Very little mention anywhere that these were things you could do for decades already on mainframes.

Same thing with I/O offloading (compared to mainframes, x86 and UNIX I/O offload is still quite primitive and rudimentary), DB-based filesystems (MS has been trying to ship one of those for over 20 years now; IBM has been successfully selling one (the AS/400 / iSeries) for 25, built-in encryption features, and a host of other features.

about two weeks ago
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Google Throws Microsoft Under Bus, Then Won't Patch Android Flaw

sirwired Pre-paid providers sell 2.3 (629 comments)

While none of the post-paid providers sell 2.3 any more, plenty of pre-paid providers still do. Boost, Straight Talk, TracFone, Page Plus, etc. If you are a pre-paid operator, many of your customers don't have good enough credit for payment plan on a nice phone, don't have enough money to buy a nice phone out-right, and said customers aren't forced to stay with your company long enough for you to risk much of a subsidy in the monthly fees. That leaves you being forced to sell the cheapest phones you can for the customers that want them.

We are talking $30-40, out the door, here... If you are spending that little on a phone, you have to trim cost anywhere you can, which means the thing won't even run stuff much more recent, even if the carrier wanted to put forth the effort to do so. (Which, given their generally low margins, they won't even think of doing.)

Yes, for not much more money, you can get a MUCH nicer phone ($65 will get you a Moto G on Boost, for instance), but at the very bottom end, every dollar counts when specing out phones.

(Personally, I use a Boost Moto G flashed to PagePlus/VzW... an excellent example as to why the phones can't be subsidized much. Sprint/Boost totally has taken it in the shorts here, as outside of the phone itself (which is still subsidized somewhat), they've haven't gotten a dime from me, as they inexplicably didn't request Moto lock the bootloader, making it fairly trivial to convert it over to working with Verizon.)

about two weeks ago
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How Bitcoin Could Be Key To Online Voting

sirwired A Solution in Search of a Problem (480 comments)

Frankly, if someone can't be arsed to vote in person, via mail in ballot, or via early voting, I'm not sure they really care enough about the process to put any real thought into their vote at all.

about two weeks ago
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Google Throws Microsoft Under Bus, Then Won't Patch Android Flaw

sirwired You can still buy new phones with 2.3 (629 comments)

You can still buy fresh-from-the-factory phones that run nothing better than Gingerbread. (2.3) Halting updates on anything but KitKat and above is incredibly blinkered.

That said, Google really needs a better way of deploying updates other than patching the main tree and depending on their device vendors/carriers to eventually issue an update.

about two weeks ago
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HTTP/2 - the IETF Is Phoning It In

sirwired Some specifics might be nice... (161 comments)

What, precisely, is wrong with it?

"Because Google." Is not an answer.

about three weeks ago

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