47 posts • joined Saturday 7th April 2007 21:14 GMT
Nice little reminder.
I'd forgotten to reset my new DNS server to consult a root server directly instead of just talking to Comcast's. I'd have found out later anyway, when Comcast's DNS inevitably goes down. Again.
Unless they've decided to actually make sure it stays up because they make money off of it - heh.
I don't take nearly as much issue with the grammar as I do with his accusations. That movie? Under-promoted? WHAT?
I can't watch TV without seeing a commercial for it (or even more irritatingly, a commercial for ANOTHER company or product that ties into it) - I can't travel in public without seeing billboards and cross-branding on stores with it.
I can't go to a movie without seeing the fecking preview. The reason nobody downloaded the trailer is because we've already seen the entire god damned thing (if not the entire movie) in other places.
Twitter is useful... Sometimes.
I have a twitter account. I don't post to it. I have updates from one other account forwarded to my cell phone.
That account belongs to a security convention. Pre-convention, I get maybe 1 text a month about the organizational status of things. Nice to know. During the convention, it's a lot noisier. Schedule changes, event notifications, word on where to get booze, etc. are all VERY IMPORTANT THINGS that I absolutely must have.
And since I'm a Verizon customer with an unlimited text plan (why the fuck wouldn't you? It's only $10 extra)
This kind of stuff is where this retarded service actually makes sense... Not fucking "microblogging". It's a god damned message broadcast service.
Such a shame
I guess I can stop trying to fight Time Warner about my service being so utterly shit at one of my offsite backups (a girlfriend's house on the other side of the country - they let me hide a server there, I pay their internet bill). I thought the Comcast 250gb cap was restrictive, and that sent me to a Comcast Business account here at home (Don't worry, they failed at upselling - they lost my TV, and the net effect is they lost a couple dozen dollars a month net and now have a QoS agreement to uphold)
The Time Warner cap, though... That gets blown through in like two days.
The one with the airline ticket in the pocket. I have a server to go unhome.
So PAY THE RANSOM
Aren't these people supposed to be smart? Just pay the ransom and they'll have to hand you the key to decrypt said files. I'm sure the security industry could put together a pool - the price can't be THAT high or the conversion rate would be nil (because the only entities that could afford it would be the ones that make backups)
5% use 50%
I usually hear this statistic as 1% uses 50% - so let us 1% users have a god damned unlimited plan that YOU WILL NOT NAG US ABOUT USING that costs twice as much as your silly metered plans.
Oh, wait - Comcast already has this service tier - it's called their "Business class" service and it's CHEAPER (and comes with some SaaS Exchange action, too)
That's nothing - I saw one earlier where amanfromMars was not only gramatically correct, but the post MADE SENSE and was on topic!
I really, really, REALLY do wish that it'd lose "NEUKlearer" though. Even George Bush figured out how to pronounce it right faster than this.
The Nobel PEACE Prize!?
Gee, I'd have thought he'd be in the running for that prize when he was moderating middle east peace negotiations.
But instead of continuing that career, he switched over to grinding science up into little teeny digestible bits - making it accessible to morons. What the hell does that have to do with peace?
I don't know about you, but the vast majority of my electronic bits are stamped "MADE IN TAIWAN" and are indeed ODM'd by companies in Taiwan. The notable exception being my laptop, which was ODM'd by Compal, in China, using components manufactured in Taiwan and Korea, and assembled in China.
Happened Stateside, too
Us 'merrickans didn't get away, either. My CapitalOne MasterCard was declined continuously throughout the week as well.
Unless that was CapitalOne's cockup, not MC's. Either way, it's not outside the realm of possibilities. After all, CapitalOne's website has *HOURS OF OPERATION*
Or I can RFID clone some other sap's car. Or start burning street lamps. Or do what the Americans do and shear them off their poles and sell them for scrap.
Why the hell is he suing the store owners?
:claiming that his music publisher never had the right to "authorize distribution or duplication of six songs he wrote between 1983 and 1987":
So sue the publisher! DUH! They made the bad call - the storefronts aren't responsible for checking up on the contractual papertrail behind the publisher's offerings.
Certainly Firefox is only Thunderbird's older sibling by a few days or something, because I certainly recall a time when I had Thunderbird v0.1 installed alongside Firebird (Or was it Phoenix at that point? I can't remember) v0.6.
And then all the way along to Thunderbird v0.1 alongside Firefox v2.0. Because, you know, Thunderbird just worked. A count of how many people are downloading the new version isn't always the best way to look at the popularity of software.
Pentium 4 wafers?
Those are worth something. Those are Celeron 1300 wafers.
No, NASA is not part of the USAF. They are a private agency that gets to play with USAF toys.
And Moffett is prettymuch open for business to anyone that can give NASA a bit of publicity and teach somebody something about something. Hence why the farking Mythbusters spend so much time there.
NASA is commoditizing a scarce resource (a no-questions-asked controlled airfield that isn't busy as hell) for their own benefit. Google gets to park their planes near "home base", under very secure conditions, in a place that's easily usable (no takeoff and landing queues). Good for the Googlians. NASA gets to strap some sensor packs to the wings of some toys that they can't afford and they can't borrow from the military (because the military doesn't own many unmodified 767's - they're all tankers or AWACs birds, and they only own a handful of Gulfstreams to move around politicians and generals).
And to top it off, they get cash. It's not like they're using the capacity. It's not like they're selling a parking space for the space shuttle or something.
Lessons learned before London "trial"?
We've had these systems in the US for quite some time. Granted, nobody uses most of them, the only place I've ever seen them used with any frequency is on public transport.
But that doesn't mean the systems aren't everywhere.
Emissions control tampering
It's only illegal if the car is registered and street-driven. Track cars are, by nature of the government not knowing they even exist, exempt.
And everyone who adjusts anything knows damn well they put it back come inspection time. I've seen cars with two exhaust systems switched by a valve. One straight pipe racing exhaust and one bone stock exhaust. Drive the car to the track, plug in the laptop, reset the ECU, crawl underneath, flip the valve, get in, turn the key and GO.
Every safety feature on my Ford Focus can be defeated with a pair of wirecutters - or at worst, two fingers and a 1-inch strip of wire in the relay box. This will likely be the same... Unless it's an optional feature, in which case this is only going to sell to mum and dad buying little johnny his first car.
Good, now I don't have to wait for hardware manufacturers.
Am I the only person who finds it extremely irritating that certain major hardware manufacturers (Promise, Creative being the most notable) have this tendency to release unsigned drivers for Vista? Particularly Vista x64?
The early days post-installation were a huge pain in the ass because a number of companies simply never seemed to have heard of Vista, and had DEFINITELY never heard of x64, much less Vista x64. And when drivers were available, they were beta. And when they made a legitimate attempt at working, they were unsigned. And in the rare case that they were signed, they were buggy as hell.
The situation has since improved, but it left a VERY bad taste in my mouth for certain hardware vendors.
Vista itself has been a dream, though. I'm not convinced I've gained anything except some pretties, but I haven't lost anything (except the "net send" command. wtf?)
Well, if they do that....
They'd damn well better be giving us the software for free. And free software never comes with support that's worth a damn. So what's stopping us from making a hard-cut to non-advertising opensource software?
Google started us down the slippery slope.... Microsoft, in their quest to emulate Google's supposed "success", just may destroy themselves.
The original scientists need to die off for a science to mature. You always need new ideas and opinions for progress.
But I find it rather frightening that amanfromMars actually made two semi-intelligible posts on this particular topic.
Re: Activation fee, Cancel Contract fee
In the US, the activation fee is assessed for the LINE, not the phone. It's what it purportedly costs to provision the phone number and insert some lines into a database, plus the "per line" commission for the sales twerp comes out of it. It's utter crap, but it's a one-time thing that you only have to pay on a "new" contract with a provider. And it's small, so nobody really cares.
The $175 early termination fee is standard boilerplate in the US, and means "$175 now, and you stop getting billed at the end of the month". This purportedly covers the costs of getting a new contractee to replace you and is actually pretty reasonable. Also, keep in mind that in the US with most carriers, you simply CANNOT activate a new line without a contract. They won't do it. The only way anyone in the US is using a postpaid cell without a contract is if their contract EXPIRED and they didn't take up the offers of shiney things if they sign to another contract (this happens most after the acquisition of a provider, or the changing of plans to be less lucrative. For instance, AT&T Wireless once had a plan which had 450 minutes and unlimited texts. Cingular then bought AT&T and ceased operation of that plan because, at the same price point, Cingular was offering 200 minutes and 200 texts or something similar. Therefore, former AT&T customers often refused to sign new Cingular contracts since their preexisting plan was already FAR superior.
Why does this cost money? Every hospital I've ever encountered in the US has a landline chillin' next to every bed except the ones in the emergency room (Even the ICU has phones!!!), all plugged into the PBX and ready to go. Move a patient into the bed, part of the paper-shuffling activates the line and adds it to the receptionist's database to allow them to patch through call-in relatives and give them the direct phone number. And it's all free-of-charge - part of the boarding charges. Which isn't a big deal, because they're still only buying so many active circuits from the telco, but a nice big block of phone numbers. The same as a whole crapton of companies, really.
I don't see how this is any different...
Than the local news crew sending their 11ty reporters "ON LOCATION" to some absurd parking lot to look at the traffic, or to document the comings and goings at a quickie mart on the morning show. Or do they only do that in Baltimore?
What about the 10000+ times my car has been captured on camera while I pass a news van, or an overly-enthusiastic landscape photographer, or a store with security cameras, or a construction truck? If you're outside your own walls, you have no protection against being SEEN by any particular member of the public, and this has always applied to cameras as well. If you do something embarrassing, or expose yourself, it's your fault for doing it in public. If you want privacy from being seen, you need to be obscured from public view by opaque objects. This is why we wear clothes, so our privacy is protected by opaque objects.
What about C&C3?
That game allowed me to NUKE Ayer's Rock and turn its eastern flank into an endless killing field.
Granted, it looked NOTHING like Ayer's Rock, but it still let me fling nuclear weapons at it and I turned its easternmost tip into an endless meatgrinder at which hundreds of my men perished and THOUSANDS of my opponent's units.
Gates is a nut, but not too far off.
Most of the things he's "into" have really neat niche uses. Take, for instance, tablet PCs. Mostly, they're useless. Especially for the things he says they're useful for.
But they're a hell of a tool for logistics or inventory or any time when you do a bunch of really complex things with a really complex UI that you just can't get to fit on a teensy little screen without sacrificing functionality or making every form 2000 pages long.
How the heck...
How can you POSSIBLY buy clothes online? Yeah, the whole "sizes" thing works great in concept, but for anything more complicated than a t-shirt or underwear, you quite simply can't tell what you're getting into. Hell, depending on the manufacturer, line, and probably person stitching the f'ing thing together, the "right size" could be anything from 36 to 46.
And then there's the whole issue of being able to gauge such things as "comfort," or have our governments finally been able to convince us that being comfortable is not best for us?
It's about time you Brits joined the civilized world with your equivalent of No Child Left Behind. I mean, really, you guys can't possibly believe you're up here in the top echelons of the world unless 100% of your students will be passing every class by 2008.
The one true path to national prosperity is to strategically position the achievement bar such that EVERY child, from a rich genius to a drooling impoverished downs syndrome child achieves at the 100% level and receives every academic accolade available.
That'll show their Japanese with their absurdly high graduation rates.
In all reality, I suspect that a pre-university education is about to become significantly more devalued than it already is, but of course their jobs will continue to rise in pay because we have to make everyone equal.
I've worked numerous technical jobs. I've made from between $6.75 and $24/hr over the course of this career, and experience isn't an issue - I've worked alongside $220/partial hour consultants and made them look dumb. But they don't work for our company - so we can pay them more. But it's not a matter of consultants vs. regular staff, in reality. Consultants are just lucky - I'll join their ranks eventually.
What I really have a problem with are the people who work at pet stores and retail chains and warehouses who make $15-40/hr starting. So, there isn't much money in the short term if you do well and succeed. But there's craptons of short-term money for doing crap work. And after all, the only thing that REALLY matters to society is how much money you have NOW.
Paint has weight. The paint to slather an advertisement big enough to be worthwhile while it's sitting on the launch pad would have to weigh at least 5lbs - and even then, the only people that would see it legibly are prettymuch watching the launch on TV, and are only going to see the 45 seconds before the launch, whereupon it becomes VERY difficult to see any sort of symbology on the shuttle. Look at the going rate for putting science materials on a space flight - it costs a HELL OF A LOT MORE to put 1lb of experiment into space than any advertiser is going to be willing to pay for 45 seconds of TV time to an audience consisting primarily of geeks, who are notoriously unmoved by advertising anyway.
Re: Perhaps it's me but...
Encyclopedias are useful references for undergrads. Most universities require students to take all sorts of bollocks courses in crap that is utterly unrelated to their real coursework. They say it gives their students a more well-rounded knowledge base, and they call it "General Education." In my experience, the best people coming out of the universities are the ones that learn how to get by these "General" courses with minimal effort and focus on their specialty and chosen path. So they end up taking things like Astronomy 001 - dead-end introductory classes meant to flesh out the facts of a subject and provide a limited understanding to those who may wish to go further.
Professors being professors, though, they want papers and presentations and crap. But the level of the course means that the primary focus of grading will be on the information conveyed rather than on analysis, understanding, or any meaning. So you go look the crap up in the textbook, encyclopedias, and other general references. 15 minutes of reading, and a half hour of typing nets you a really slick powerpoint, or an A-paper.
Outside those crap 000 and 100 level classes, though, you're still expected to provide meaningful analysis (though you can't ever make any original analysis - undergrads aren't allowed to have any original thought that isn't attributed to a professor or else it's plagiarism).
Just a reminder
You don't have to melt steel to weaken it. Especially if you damage the rest of the structure by crashing something into it. WTC 1 and 2 had an architecture consisting of two concentric boxes - an inner box consisting of stairwells and elevator shafts stuff, and an outer box consisting of offices. The floors are suspended between these boxes. The only load-bearing structure is the walls of these concentric boxes. The outer walls were decidedly damaged (you know. Airplanes.) leaving a section of floor with improper support. Heat - and in turn, make more malleable, the steel supports beneath the floor with a heavy load on it (airplane parts + an office complex), and it's not outside the realm of physics that it's going to fall. When it falls, it's going to hit the floor beneath it, and the shock of airplane + office + floor material + support structure striking the floor below, combined with possible weakening of THAT support steel by heat, will cause that floor to drop in a similar manner. After a floor or two, the impact forces is WELL beyond the structural considerations given to a floor designed to have an office sitting on it, and no heating is necessary.
Naturally, these floors that are falling are still tied in places to both the inner and outer shells, and these get pulled apart as well.
Not saying this is 100% right, but in order to look at any sort of structural collapse due to fire, you have to look at many factors - not just the melting/combustion point of the building materials.
I2 is for research
Internet2 is not at all looking to supersede the Internet. In fact, you'll find that it's actually based on prettymuch the same gear. It's just a very large internet (little i, not big I - meaning a generalized external network) linking universities and research facilities to facilitate the sharing of RIDICULOUSLY large datasets that otherwise would have to be loaded onto hard drives and shipped out on a truck or something. Sure, occasionally there's other traffic being switched in from other networks (and occasionally the Internet) but I2 still isn't an extension or replacement for the current Internet.
It's a totally distinct network. And the amusing thing is that most bandwidth-increasing research being done on I2 is to facilitate larger data transfers for OTHER research. The results could be deployed to the Internet, but first somebody has to pay to install it.
SL is not original
I see SL being touted as a new idea all over the place.
A tinyass little US product (they went through several company names) called ActiveWorlds, which, in fact, still exists, has been around since at least a decade.
There were a bunch of us at one point (I recall 1000-ish continuous), but a change in per-user pricing structure from $20 a year (a pittance, really) to $20 a month, plus PR and technical difficulties (didn't get 3d acceleration until '01 or so, and it wasn't exactly "good" and this engine hasn't changed since) caused a lot of influential, or at least well-known figures in the community to leave.
There were public "building" areas, open to paying customers, and if you needed more control than these afforded you, you could pay extra and you'd be sold a server license for a certain amount of real estate and you could do with that what you wished. A very significant amount of that income left with the alienated users.
In their prime, they also had no difficulty getting companies to do in-world events, including at least 3 (that I'm aware of) movie launches.
I'm not certain how things are going lately - it's been over a year since I've logged in (there are limited-capability free accounts as well) but the last time I did, the framerates on my ridiculous 8800GT box were the same framerates I had on a GeForce 256 when they first added 3d acceleration, which, coincidentally, were identical to the framerates I had on an SiS integrated chip with no 3d acceleration capability whatsoever - about 5FPS, but no more than 20. The number of concurrent users at about 6PM eastern US was a small fraction of what I remembered. The list of servers had shrunk from an expansive list you could scroll down for several minutes, 90% of which were user-owned, to one screen, most of which I recognized as various servers owned by the company and the empty husks of their corporate relationships.
Sex and smut were a very big part of the community, of course. After all, it's the friggin' internet. But many of us built lasting bonds with other individuals and built a network of friends and associates that transcended our ultimate departures. The commercial undertakings were ridiculous and never amounted to anything worthwhile - probably not even a single sale or efficiency point. There was a thriving economy as people developed tools, utilities, 3d models, and other things and made sales amongst themselves. It deteriorated as the most prolific artists and developers departed, but it was one of the last things to go.
Hearing what I do about the technical situation at SL and knowing what I do about previous history of similar products, I can see them starting to venture down the very same road.
I certainly appreciate the network of friends and contacts that I built in the virtual world, and indeed I wouldn't be where I am now without them, but the amount of time it takes to build these relationships in the virtual environment is detrimental to real world activity - if things hadn't collapsed I wouldn't be here, either.
There's a reason
In the end, everything is data on modern telco networks. It costs a HELL OF A LOT less to move a 200byte txt message (160 characters x 1byte + markup) than it does to stream an audio signal.
I just signed a new contract with Verizon Wireless (stateside) and was pleasantly surprised to find out that they'd added a plan option to add unlimited txts for a $10 markup over the equivalent "normal" plan - this from the same carrier where 100 text messages costs $10 if you add them to the normal plan.
If I were to use all my 450 minutes at 96kbps (just a guess, I'm not entirely sure what the 1xRTT CDMA network's actual voice data rate is) I'd be sending a total of 44,236,800 bytes across the network. But if I were to move all those conversations to text messages, lets say I had to use 1000 of them - they only have to move 200,000bytes of data. At my $80 contract rate, they're charging me $1 for 6912 bytes for voice - or $1 for 2500 bytes in text messages. They make a hell of a lot more from texts.
In practice, text messages are most appropriate for long, drawn out conversations between busy people. I can actually sit down at work and work out vacation plans with one hand and the occasional glance and talking with coworkers and getting actual work done with the other. At the same time, when I need to schedule a meeting or find out why person A isn't at site X, or whatever, it's trivial to pick up the one and call them. Calls are for things that need to become priority #1 *NOW* like "Why aren't you at the warehouse yet?" and "Is 9AM alright for that board meeting?". Texts are for low-priority back burner things like "I can fly out of any airport from NYC to Baltimore without making much difference" or "Your sunglasses are still in my car"
The reasons for his departure should be fairly obvious. "Time with the family" and stuff like that.
If we removed the Wii from the equation, the PS3 and xbox360 would be doing INFINITELY better than they are now. The fact is that Sony and Microsoft got caught up in all the hype from the PC gaming vendors about bigger, faster, better, more expensive. They got caught up in things like processors, and chipsets, and resolution, and framerates, and were so busy counting pixel shaders and pipelines that they lost touch with what a game console is really about. It's not about numbers, it's about being a departure from reality. And with the advent of popularized multiplayer, it has become about friends and interpersonal relationships. Other vendor's thoughts on how to innovate in multiplayer involve such things as voice chat and allowing more people into the same game to shoot at each other.
Nintendo, on the other hand, took two Gamecubes, stapled them together, put them in a shiny new chassis that they lifted off a slot-loading CDROM drive, decided to get all the players into the same room, add a tinge of addictiveness, and expand upon that central idea. Instead of selling 4 consoles to make the 4 players, they'd sell 1 console, get all their friends addicted to it, and sell 9 more.
Re: High School Network Manager
HP/Compaq is the way to go these days all around. The majority of Dell's edu sales were made in a time where everyone else was still selling at full retail to EVERYBODY, and Dell offered $20 off and an all expenses paid vacation to whoever signed the contract. I take it you don't like vacations? :)
Dell tends to treat higher ed a LOT better than primary and secondary, though. $300 a pop for a $1200 piece of kit ain't bad at all - even with 3 years of parts-warranty (we used to get the on-site, but they started outright refusing to diagnose our machines which were having obvious hardware issues and blaming our network)
Nukes are a nice temporary solution
I'm sitting within spitting distance of Three Mile Island, and I can tell you this - the people here are STRANGE, but it's not the accident that made them like this, because the entire state of Pennsylvania is like this.
Nuclear accidents are so far off the radar these days that it's not even funny. This is no reason to shy away from them (and this is the ONLY reason the United States is keeping away).
I have strong ties within an environmental activism organization, and their official stance on nuclear power is that it's a very useful patch between our current carbon-fueled society to whatever lies in the future. It isn't the ideal solution, because it still poses a fair amount of environmental problems, but the environmental cost of an all-nuke conversion is GREATLY outweighed by the environmental benefit of dropping fossil fuels from power plants alone. It's sustainable on currently-known fuel sources and current reactor designs for a few hundred years, which is plenty of time to hone next-generation energy technologies.
Naturally, you can't go stuffing nuclear reactors into cars, and batteries are a VERY poor decision in the present state of the art. The best we've been able to come up with is a significantly increased emphasis on public transit (powered by whatever is most convenient), biodiesel in long-haul diesel trucking applications, ethanol or biodiesel in long-haul car applications, and, unfortunately, plug-in or battery exchange programs for short range car applications. Batteries can be disposed of in an environmentally conscious manner, but they're still pretty harmful stuff.
At least, that's how we see it. We can't even get a word in with a congressman, since we aren't associated with Al Gore.
Because scheduled tasks are a pain to administrate. We use psshutdown (in conjunction with psexec if I remember correctly from the last time I looked at the script) from the pstools package executed by one of the DC's in its spare time at night followed by a magic packet in the morning to bring everything back around - and I'll bet that if you look under the hood of the package, you find a fancy psshutdown frontend. All in all, it took one admin an 8 hour day to write all the code (VBscript and some C# to do fancy automation tasks in a much quicker fashion than VBscript alone does) and we did a limited test the very night it was proposed.
Thing is, these things are always sold by vendors directly to executive management - who proceeds to tell IT "We're buying it" and nobody in IT gives enough of a shit about the business to propose the obvious, free solution.