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Comment Re:Coal in Canada? (Score 1) 147

The coal phase-out is on course to happen a lot sooner in Alberta. Our provincial government has made climate change a major part of its platform, which also includes leading the charge towards a "carbon tax" designed to cap carbon-emitters by placing an economic penalty on going over the limit.

Mixed feelings about this. It's impossible to deny man made climate change exists, on the other hand we seem to be moving at a faster pace than our ability to replace our energy needs with cleaner/renewable sources. Ontario's facing a self-made energy crisis right now where power prices are driving people to pick between paying their hydro bills or buying food, and that says nothing about driving business out of the province.

Fortunately this is a technology problem. My hope is Elon Musk's battery tech improves in the next 3-5 years so that Alberta can benefit from harvesting and storing energy affordably in winter.

Comment Not senile, just falling for old philosophy (Score 5, Interesting) 951

This is just repackaging Anselm's Ontological argument for the existence of God: postulating "a being of which no greater can be conceived" would necessarily mean God exists. Just like living in a computer simulation: imagine "a computer simulation where no greater simulation can be conceived".

But it doesn't make things real. Just because you'd have to imagine a real God doesn't necessarily make it exist outside your head. Same with the simulation.

Neat thought experiment, not a proof.

Comment Get a switch that can block before your device? (Score 3) 265

Something with a nice-sized ruleset that works on ASICs and you're done. Most companies sell them, and if you're just selectively passing traffic by IP range (or in fancier devices by port) why not offload the hard rules before wasting cycles on traffic you just want to drop? Or just another software device if you're not wanting to buy hardware.

We do this for selective parts of the network where dropping attackers on one machine keeps them from running through an entire block of IPs. A lot of it's even scripted: more than 3 IPs getting brute forced? That's a 24 hour ban and email to the associated ARIN/APNIC/RIPE contact. Granted APNIC/RIPE tends to stay on that list a lot longer than 24 hours...

Comment Re:Apple can't modify Time Machine Firmware? (Score 5, Insightful) 242

I was just thinking that. This is so broad as to be unusable.

And mature products like DD-WRT are what make consumer-grade routers fly. It's pretty much the only reason I'll buy an ASUS, because the stock firmware doesn't have the feature set needed for latency sensitive hardware.

Comment That's WordPress in a nutshell (Score 5, Insightful) 302

WordPress is the store-bought bread solution. Does what most people need, is advanced enough that most work can be done through the admin GUI, and plugins are easy enough to build that a fellow by-hand person can figure them out without too much difficulty.

The only caveat I'd put on using WordPress is that you need to treat updates like you would on Windows: make sure your WordPress core and plugins are always up to date. Its huge user-base means there's a lot more hackers running automated exploits that'll bog-down a web hosting server if you get compromised, and that might get your account suspended. On our shared hosting we're now recommending clients install WordPress via Installatron (a cPanel addon) and have it automatically patch everything by default.

Simpler sites, but more OS-level issues from going mainstream.

Comment Re: Are people sick of the MPAA? (Score 1) 400

Cirque starts with something like this in Vegas at the beginning of Ka. Some "guy" is talking on the phone and the cast deals with him hilariously. Coincidentally it's also a great show if you haven't seen it.

It's still something I think about when someone can't find the off button on their tech during a movie.

Comment Best starter system I've used (Score 4, Informative) 68

I started down the fancy Christmas lights path last year after seeing a 12-string CCR tree based-on LOR (light-o-rama) that this guy made:

http://www.superstarlights.com/Sequences/Videos.php

LOR Technology is pretty simple and your IT knowledge will translate pretty well to get it setup. The gist is you're using a LOR network protocol over RS-485 (long-range serial) that itself is using CAT5/6 cable to work. This network needs a control node that's either a hardware device or (like most people) a computer running the LOR software package, both of which can work with an audio component.

The neat part about starting here is that there's translation hardware between LOR and the more widely used DMX protocol when you're ready to step-up to fancier shows. DMX gears tends to be cheaper because there's more of it (and more things you can control), but it'll also need a fair bit of comfort with stuff you can start-off learning by point-and-click in LOR. I've been playing with some DMX stuff this year that'll be in the show for December 2015, but didn't have the time to get it perfect on this go.

One thing to keep in mind: more fancy = more bandwidth. Single flashing strands don't use much traffic, but when you start looking at 150 LED strands where each pixel has RGB+intensity I'd recommend against going wireless.

Happy learning, and post a video!

Comment Don't give-up the rack (Score 1) 287

Only one proper server running ESXi, but the rest is all rack-mountable:

- Unraid server (bought their premade)
- Dell 2950 that's been decommissioned from the DC
- 24 port Gig switch
- 24 port Gig PoE switch for our phones
- TV streaming head-end. 3 Cable boxes on shelves
- Control4 main server and amp, which seemed like a good idea at the time. Would just get the amp and an open source streaming box in the future
- Modem and router

Only addition will be UPS at some point. It's only half a rack, but being able to lock it and run cables through the top means the kids have zero ability to go after what's inside. I do some software development from home so it's a nice setup for days when sweat pants trumps suits :)

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