×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

Comments

top

Switching From Sitting To Standing At Your Desk

swillden Re:I switched from sitting to standing. (267 comments)

I'd recommend a standing desk to anyone with the willpower to make it through the transition.

And I'd recommend a sit-stand desk to anyone at all. Even if you don't stand all the time (I don't), being able to spend part of your day standing will make you feel better without discomfort, in fact being able to switch back and forth is more comfortable than sitting.

yesterday
top

Google Looked Into Space Elevator, Hoverboards, and Teleportation

swillden Re:Information = Wealth = Power (98 comments)

Then it's not the same as mine. I've also followed the company from the beginning... and I have the benefit of the insider view.

Unless your insider view involved board meetings making top-level executive decisions, I'm not impressed.

Obviously not, but you may not realize how open the company is internally. Larry Page stands up in front of the entire company every week, for example, and takes -- and answers -- live questions. There are no negative consequences for asking hard questions, and hard questions do get asked. Sometimes the executives duck or dance around them, but not very often, and questions that aren't really answered continue getting asked until they do get answered.

In addition to that, other than things like acquisitions there are very few "top-level executive decisions" at Google. Most decisionmaking is driven from the bottom up.

You're probably still not impressed. Whatever. I'm just giving you my perspective and opinion. I would think that an intelligent insider's viewpoint would be of use to you; you're certainly free to dismiss it, whether or not that makes any sense. Time will tell, and I'm quite confident that the future will bear out my statements.

YouTube was a very obvious acquisition. What YouTube needed to survive and grow was low-cost scalability and a way to monetize the views it was getting. What Google had was massive data centers and network connectivity, plus a proven revenue model.

YouTube managed to grow to epic proportions before Google had to "save" them, as you imply. They also good have slapped ads onto their service at any time without Google buying them out.

Not according to YouTube employees who made the transition.

yesterday
top

Switching From Sitting To Standing At Your Desk

swillden Re:Not sure how standing up would solve anything.. (267 comments)

...when the main problem isn't really sitting down, but being STILL in the same position hour after hour.

This is why it's not a "standing desk" but a "sit-stand desk". The idea is that you alternate between sitting and standing, changing position every hour or two.

yesterday
top

Google Looked Into Space Elevator, Hoverboards, and Teleportation

swillden Re:Information = Wealth = Power (98 comments)

My basis is the same as yours, except not from the inside, and not from just three years.

Then it's not the same as mine. I've also followed the company from the beginning... and I have the benefit of the insider view.

The tipping point came when they bought YouTube for an obscene amount of money (at the time). You don't spread your tendrils in such fashion throughout the industry just because you like technology.

YouTube was a very obvious acquisition. What YouTube needed to survive and grow was low-cost scalability and a way to monetize the views it was getting. What Google had was massive data centers and network connectivity, plus a proven revenue model. YouTube also needed a better search engine, and Google was interested in finding ways to index and search non-textual content. It was an ideal match, technologically.

yesterday
top

Google Looked Into Space Elevator, Hoverboards, and Teleportation

swillden Re:Information = Wealth = Power (98 comments)

Google's primary goal is the technology, the profits and competitive advantage are a means to that end, not the other way around.

They are empire building. The technology is a means to that end.

The basis for your claim is?

The basis for my claim is three years of seeing how the company operates and what decisions it makes, and how, from the inside.

yesterday
top

Survey: 56 Percent of US Developers Expect To Become Millionaires

swillden Won't everyone be a millionaire? (446 comments)

At least, won't everyone who's paid a middle to upper middle class wage, buys a house and saves for retirement eventually be a millionaire?

If you want to retire at 65 and have enough money to live a decent life for 30 years after that, you need pretty close to a million dollars plus a paid-off house. And, frankly, it's not that hard to accumulate a million dollars of net worth over a ~40-year career, assuming reasonable returns on your retirement account and modest appreciation on your home. I'm actually targeting net assets of two million for retirement, given that it's still 20 years away and I expect that inflation will roughly halve the value of the dollar between now and then.

yesterday
top

San Francisco's Housing Crisis Explained

swillden Re:Simple problem, simple solution (352 comments)

Regardless of the number of exclamation points you use, Mountain View and SF housing do affect one another. I know several people who have lived in both areas and who have opted for one over the other based on questions of price and convenience. Said (insane, IMO) prefer to live in SF, but some choose MTV because SF is too expensive. Lowering the cost of housing in MTV further -- and making it more convenient to the Google campus -- would induce some more to leave SF.

yesterday
top

Retired SCOTUS Justice Wants To 'Fix' the Second Amendment

swillden Re:It's crap (1463 comments)

Except that's bullshit, because if people really cared about using their guns to defend our freedoms, there would already be a gallows set up on Capitol Hill with half of congress swinging from it.

Utter nonsense.

There are problems -- lots of them -- but peaceful civilian control of our government has not yet failed. Things aren't bad enough to justify civil war, but that doesn't mean it will never get to that point.

yesterday
top

Retired SCOTUS Justice Wants To 'Fix' the Second Amendment

swillden Re:Militia, then vs now (1463 comments)

And to pretend that the Founders never intended the Constitution to be amended is silly since we have an amendment process.

Of course they intended it to be amended. Which means that if people would like to ban civilian firearm possession, they should amend the constitution. Not that any such amendment would have a prayer of getting ratified.

yesterday
top

San Francisco's Housing Crisis Explained

swillden Re:Simple problem, simple solution (352 comments)

Well, if you want reasonable housing prices in the face of climbing demand, then it's your problem. Without new housing in quantity in Mountain View, existing housing in Mountain View will cost more, and the same effect will ripple out to surrounding communities, including SF. The increased number of commuters will also increase traffic on the roads (though not as much as it could, thanks to the Google buses).

If you don't care about housing costs and traffic in the region, then it's not your problem. I don't live in the area, so it's certainly not my problem.

yesterday
top

Google Looked Into Space Elevator, Hoverboards, and Teleportation

swillden Re:Effectiveness of a space elevator. (98 comments)

Very good point. I stand corrected.

Putting something into LEO with an elevator would probably require lifting it well beyond LEO to get something close to the right orbital velocity, then applying thrust to fix up the resulting eccentric orbit. It'd still be cheaper than lifting it from the ground into LEO... though it occurs to me that the reason it would be cheaper is that it would get its orbital velocity by taking energy from the elevator. That could be restored by lowering a mass from geostationary orbit.

I hadn't consider it before but it seems like a space elevator would need station-keeping thrusters to maintain its orbital velocity since it would be sapped a bit by every kilogram lifted from the ground. Without thrusters you'd need so send a like amount of mass down, which means for every kilogram you lift up and want to keep in orbit you'd need to find a similar mass to send down. Maybe ore from asteroid mining operations? Of course, then the source of the orbital velocity you're using to restore the elevator's velocity is the thrusters that put the ore into the right orbit to go down the elevator.

yesterday
top

Google Looked Into Space Elevator, Hoverboards, and Teleportation

swillden Re:Information = Wealth = Power (98 comments)

I don't have any concerns as long as Page and Brin are running the show. You're right that a future CEO could make other decisions... though he'd have to change the company culture first, or face mass rebellion.

yesterday
top

Student Records Kids Who Bully Him, Then Gets Threatened With Wiretapping Charge

swillden Re:Rewarding the bullies... (776 comments)

Appropriately, the page with TFA has an ad encouraging me to "Win an AR-15 from Sebastian Ammo". Google is getting scary...

Must not have been a Google ad, Google doesn't allow gun ads. Personally, I think that's stupid, but in the interest of accuracy, your ad couldn't have been from Google.

2 days ago
top

Google Looked Into Space Elevator, Hoverboards, and Teleportation

swillden Re:Effectiveness of a space elevator. (98 comments)

LEO isn't about height though. We can get there pretty easily. X-15s managed to get half way there in the 1960's. You need to get to about 15,000mph to actually do anything useful at that altitude.

Since the space elevator's center of mass is orbiting, climbing the elevator would also get you to orbital speeds. Indeed, one limiting factor on the rate at which you can climb the cable would be the lateral acceleration experienced by the climber and cargo.

2 days ago
top

Google Looked Into Space Elevator, Hoverboards, and Teleportation

swillden Re:Information = Wealth = Power (98 comments)

Actually, I think you've got the process right, but the motives wrong. Google's primary goal is the technology, the profits and competitive advantage are a means to that end, not the other way around.

2 days ago
top

Google Looked Into Space Elevator, Hoverboards, and Teleportation

swillden Re:Information = Wealth = Power (98 comments)

you missed Using their massive data collection and sifting abilities spot interesting ideas and trends and be first to patent them and than bill / sue anyone who uses the patents

At present, at least, Google's policy is not to sue over patents, except defensively. This could always change, but I seriously doubt it will while Larry Page is in charge.

2 days ago
top

San Francisco's Housing Crisis Explained

swillden Re:Simple problem, simple solution (352 comments)

no, #google# was blocked from building a housing development. They wanted to build 1000 dorm rooms on the edge of campus. Anybody can still build in mountain view or wherever.

Not in quantity.

2 days ago
top

San Francisco's Housing Crisis Explained

swillden Re:BS (352 comments)

But so were San-Francisco _advantages_. Yes, I read TFA. And simply turning everything over to an invisible middle finger of market will only make it all worse.

Actually, studies comparing areas with rent control to areas without, controlling for other factors, indicate that rent controls cause lower housing supplies and higher rents. The market actually does a pretty good job -- certainly far better than planning commissions achieve.

2 days ago
top

How Does Heartbleed Alter the 'Open Source Is Safer' Discussion?

swillden Re:Pedantic Man to the rescue! (569 comments)

You missed his point completely. The point was that many production systems weren't running the new version. Of the 2/3 of web servers that use OpenSSL, it's likely that only half were running a newer OpenSSL. So it's not "every SSL session was (potentially) compromised", it's "about a third of SSL sessions were (potentially) compromised".

That's bad. Really, really bad. But it's not as bad as if OpenSSL really were a monoculture.

2 days ago

Submissions

top

Google Wallet now works with any card

swillden swillden writes  |  about a year and a half ago

swillden writes "Google posted on Wednesday: 'we’re releasing a new, cloud-based version of the Google Wallet app that supports all credit and debit cards from Visa, MasterCard, American Express, and Discover. Now, you can use any card when you shop in-store or online with Google Wallet. With the new version, you can also remotely disable your mobile wallet app from your Google Wallet account on the web.'"
Link to Original Source
top

Google+ for Google Apps Released

swillden swillden writes  |  more than 2 years ago

swillden (191260) writes "Finally addressing a problem with the new Google+ social network that has generated a great number of complaints from long-time Google users, Google has announced the availability of Google+ for users with Google Apps accounts. The feature isn't enabled automatically for all Google Apps domains, though, it's necessary for the domain administrator to turn it on."
Link to Original Source
top

Real-world RAID0 performance

swillden swillden writes  |  more than 5 years ago

swillden writes "I recently got the opportunity to play with some fairly high-end hardware and I was very surprised at the poor I/O performance. The machine was a 4-way Xeon with a high-end RAID controller and five 300GB SCSI Ultra-320 15,000 RPM drives, to be configured as a very high-performance database server. I didn't care so much about the real database workload, though, I just wanted to see what kind of data rate I could get, for fun.

Given that each of these drives individually can sustain over 100 MB/s, and given that I'd expect RAID0 to scale roughly linearly with the number of drives, I was expecting in the neighborhood of 500 MB/s. What I got (according to bonnie++) was about 200 MB/s, less than half the expected data rate. Disappointed, I decided to give Linux MD RAID a try, which got me up to about 240 MB/s, 20% faster than the hardware RAID, but still disappointing.

My question for the slashdot geeks that play with this kind of stuff all the time is: What kind of performance should I expect out of a system like this? Does RAID0 always scale so poorly? And, just for good nerdish fun, what's the fasted storage I/O you've ever seen?"
top

What examples of Security Theater have you seen?

swillden swillden writes  |  more than 5 years ago

swillden writes "Everyone who pays any attention at all to security, both computer security and "meatspace" security, has heard the phrase Security Theater. For years I've paid close attention to security setups that I come in contact with, and tried to evaluate their real effectiveness vs their theatrical aspects. In the process I've found many examples of pure theater, but even more cases where the security was really a cover for another motive.

Recently, a neighbor uncovered a good example. He and his wife attended a local semi-pro baseball game where security guards were checking all bags for weapons. Since his wife carries a small pistol in her purse, they were concerned that there would be a problem. They decided to try anyway, and see if her concealed weapon permit satisfied the policy. The guard looked at her gun, said nothing and passed them in, then stopped the man behind them because he had beer and snacks in his bag. Park rules prohibit outside food. It's clear what the "security" check was really about: improving park food vending revenues.

So, what examples of pure security theater have slashdotters noticed? Even more interesting, what examples of security-as-excuse have you seen?."
top

swillden swillden writes  |  more than 7 years ago

swillden writes "I've come across an increasing number of GPL programs lately that display an EULA-style click-wrap agreement during installation. While not exactly wrong, this seems like a bad idea to me, since it perpetuates the idea that you must agree to some arbitrary set of conditions in order to install and use a piece of software. In this case the conditions are very liberal (there are none, really), but still it reinforces the notion that you can't install a package unless you agree.

The FSF says that such click-wrapping is neither required nor forbidden but it seems like a bad idea to promote the click-wrap meme, even if the license is user-friendly. What do slashdotters think?"

Journals

top

10 seconds that can help boot Orrin Hatch out of office

swillden swillden writes  |  more than 7 years ago

I'm sure all of you have seen the many articles about various wacko things Senator Orrin Hatch has done to support the RIAA and MPAA. Among other things, he'd like to empower the media industry to remotely destroy the computers of people they suspect of illegally sharing files.

Wouldn't be great to give him the boot? You can help, by doing nothing more than voting on a web site.

See, for the first time in quite a few years Hatch has a serious contender for his seat. Pete Ashdown is a smart, tech-savvy businessman who's taken a year off to run his campaign. Ashdown is the sort of moderate Democrat who has a chance to win in Utah, and Utahns have expressed their opinion in polls that Hatch has been in office long enough and they'd like a change.

However good Ashdown's chances in theory, though, campaigning is about money, and he needs it.

That's where this vote comes in. Barbara Boxer has some campaign cash she's going to give to one of the Democrats running against a long-term incumbent senator. If Ashdown can win that vote, he'll have a great warchest to start the campaign with. It won't be enough, but it will give him a good start and will hopefully prime the pump for other large democratic contributions.

So go vote, and get all of your friends and neighbors to do the same! Even if they're Republicans, they still have to appreciate that an utterly one-sided race like Hatch has had in the past is not good for democracy. Get them to vote!

Slashdot Account

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?

Don't worry, we never post anything without your permission.

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>
Sign up for Slashdot Newsletters
Create a Slashdot Account

Loading...