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* Posts by -tim

268 posts • joined 10 Jul 2009

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We don't want your crap databases, says Twitter: We've made OUR OWN

-tim
Coat

Re: SInce when are secondary indexes novel?

I wonder if what they are calling "secondary index" would be more like "create geolocation index of female teenagers who like music but hate the tending boy bands" or whatever odd things their advertisers are trying to find out.

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SQL giant Oracle plans NoSQL standards body – top Reg sources

-tim
IT Angle

A solution to a modern IT problem

The main IT problem is how do you maintain all the licenses needed.

Are modern programmers starting to understand they can open a cached file, move its entire contents into L1 cache, sequentially parse and scan it, find the last record in the time it takes to do the TCP connection to the localhost address? You can do either about about a billion times in the time it takes to pick up the phone and get Oracle support telling you are now on hold.

There are things that used to need a database with its associated indexes but I don't know how many times I've seen full on licensed databases used to store data that will fit in one modern 4k disk block.

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What took you so long Apple? 26 remote exec bugs die in OS X Safari

-tim
FAIL

Yet no updates for many working apples

Once these patches are studied, many older macs will have no security as they aren't supported by any major browser. There are plenty of PPC machines stuck on 10.4 can't run an updated version of Safari, Chrome or Firefox and even 10.5 doesn't have any real options. For some odd reason there are newer version of Safari for Windows XP than there are for some of Apple's own much newer hardware.

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Cisco ships six fixes for DoS bugs

-tim

Risky upgrades?

Just don't power cycle that kit when you do the update or it might not come back if it has the bad RAM.

Maybe the next software upgrade will pull the JTAG data from the ram on boot, compare it to the list of bad ram and provide a useful message in the logs.

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Turnbull Twitfight - we're backing Mal this time

-tim

Terms of sale?

Just like "subject to finance", the offer I made for the house was based on approval for an ADSL service. If you are going to spend a half million dollars or more, the $127 fee to buying the old owner for a month is well worth the risk if you need it.

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Qantas' biggest problems are … Apple, Samsung and Google?

-tim
IT Angle

Re: @Big-nosed Pengie, @Winkypop

Economy is more money per square meter and kg of seats. All those people in the back are paying more than their fair share and it is time to end the heavy first class discounts.

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Another climate change myth DEBUNKED by proper climate scientists

-tim
Holmes

Re: That's the problem with all this cool new NASA data

Reading data by proxy can be dangerous and it must be full of errors and scientist need to isolate those errors in the data. For example NASA will often use parts of the Australian desert to calibrate their systems but most of the time, the old sat and the new sat aren't in orbit at the same time so there is a slight gap between the data. Add in the fact that the new system will use different technology than the old one, they can't even measure the same things. Then you can throw in the calibration of the old records and modern modeling that loves to consider nearest points. The problem with that and using the Australian outback as a yard stick is that one of the 5 nearest calibrated thermometers are in Melbourne and Darwin which are very far away and have much different climates. I've seen a few of the early official weather instruments used to collect the early data points and I expect the non-linear, factory seconds state of some of them means their scale is not best to count on for high accuracy data. Science is a fractal, the closer you look, the more detail you can see. Data isn't much different.

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DARPA wants help to counter counterfeits

-tim

Nothing is unique

If you can make it, they can make it. If it is hardware, someone can take the keys out of it and duplicate it. I'm not sure how anyone could win this game.

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Q: Just why are AT&T, banks snubbing kit from Cisco & co? A: Control

-tim

The price of complexity

Modern switches and routers are a full of unneeded features and those all cost lots of cash. Now that the chipsets are doing more and more of the real work, the only thing the vendors can provide is a stable environment for those chips and that means a minimal OS with only core features and a way for 3rd parties to provide the heavy lifting software. Sun, Apple and Microsoft all forgot that they are run the core stuff and others do their part and the greed only leads to messes.

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Health boffins say wind turbines don't make you sick

-tim
WTF?

Looking for the "right" answer?

They can't find one properly documented case of a grumpy old guy who gets wind mills installed close to his lawn and ended up with an increase in blood pressure?

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Fridge vendor pegged as likely source of Target breach

-tim

Re: I've always hated the term 'DMZ' in relation to networks

The DMZ concept is the core fault here and the people who went after these cards knew it. They also know they can get inside other retail networks, and find at least one machine somewhere that isn't doing what it should and hop vlans into something else. Every vlan isolation system I have ever looked into at depth could be breached and often with simply things like mac-flooding which was the 1st attack on the isolation so long ago. I use Juniper SSG-140s loaded up with 8 port cards that look more like switches but nearly every host is in its very own zone and the DNZ zone should gone away two decades ago. The retailers are not going to be providing physically isolated networks simply because of the cost all that coper and its 100 meter limits which don't go far in a store so they are stuck with over priced fiber converters or wifi. If the PCI Security Standards Council isn't very careful, there will be far more wifi networks with far more data and far more doors. The amount of data flowing in a modern relater is increasing as the POS systems are used as time clocks, the cameras want to log POS transactions, the POS system needs to activate an prepay card, the POS system needs to record a mobile phone sale, the thermostats need to know how busy the store is, the fridges need to know how hot it is outside, the blue tooth sniffer needs to send the POS a coupon code, the alarm system needs to talk to the VOIP system, the electronics department needs internet for demos, the distributors need to phone home, the auto, pharmacy, eyeglasses and hearing aid centers all needs to send records. I don't think the network infrastructure will be getting any leaner anytime soon.

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ARM lays down law to end Wild West of chip design: New standard for server SoCs touted

-tim

Re: Lock in the insecurity?

You know there are other ways to change flags[1]. Hackers have been using them for decades. If the hardware can not do a function at all, you don't have to worry about what happens if controls for some security bit can be bypassed some other way.

See talks at blackhat, breakpoint, CCC etc.

Arm is young enough that it could take the option of "set this bit and the feature is off until the chip is reset" and it wouldn't have a problem. Otherwise you might find something like BCD registers can be moved to somewhere with a brand new meaning decades after anyone used that instruction in a popular application.

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-tim
Devil

Lock in the insecurity?

The ARM chips can switch modes which is great for hackers. The current compilers only use one mode so the others are nothing but a waste and a security risk. I loved that sparc had a hardware stack that would never run code and while that was a small thing, it protected my machines in the past so I'm happy for small features that make hacking harder.

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Tell us we're all doomed, MPs beg climate scientists

-tim
Flame

Re: Sir

There are not two opposing camps and that is part of the problem.

There are at least 3:

1) IPCC is right

2) IPCC is wrong

3) IPCC is full of BS but we know we can adjust local climate but in a much different way.

Group 3 has a great deal of stories that people can adjust the local climate.

Oklahoma was known as "The Great American Desert" before they found out about the areas now known as Arizona and New Mexico. Oklahoma, Kansas and Texas had their climate changed for the worst and then fixed. The Dust bowl was caused by bad farming techniques but increasing wind breaks and creating thousands of muddy man made lakes has changed the rainfall in the area a great deal.

The first major human created climate change theory was known as "the rain follows the plow" which correctly identified some aspects of a local water cycle but managed to get the rest very wrong leading to things like the dust bowl and massive fires in the US Midwest and most of the farm land in Australia.

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-tim
Mushroom

Plenty of doom left

I keep hearing about "consensus science" from the news rags. There are still issues.

1) The people doing the best weather models in the world by far have made comments that they don't buy into the IPCC related models. Climate is weather with a different focus on delta T.

2) 2 decades ago you could take a boat from Broome Australia and head west 3000 km and then south until you hit land and the magnetic field would be very constant and match what is expected. Now along that course you will find that there is far more "north" magnetic fields strength that expected with two "northerly" hot spots along the way. These appear to have formed when the rain stopped in Perth with no sane scientific theory published as far as I have seen.

3) A number of the worst green house gas equivalents love to align in electric fields in a way sort of like the goo in an LCD changes how photons interact. The sun's magnetic field has been playing games with that for a while. It is amazing that the sun can keep an incredibly steady energy output while varying some aspects in still unknown ways.

Monitoring 2 & 3 involve "space weather" and as far as I know there are only a handful of groups in the world that do that including NASA, US NOAA, US AF, The Russian ФКА, and the half time guy at the Aussie BOM.

Those are the science bits but we also have to deal with sensational reporting such as most of the "sea level" increases we see in the news aren't sea level rise but tectonic plate changes.

Science is about finding the truth. The funny thing about the truth is that just like a fractal, the closer you look, the more there is to look at.

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Oracle releases 'lite' virtual Big Data appliance

-tim
FAIL

Standing behind their products

Wouldn't you think they would use Solaris? Oh wait, even their own people don't want to touch that bloat.

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It's big, it's expensive and it's an audiophile's dream: The Sonos Sub

-tim
Mushroom

Impressive!

Sonos has impressed me. We have 3 of their demo units at my club and I have never seen a better example of "out of phase". These things can do that so well that even our most deaf members can tell.

As far as a 25Hz... those extra 5 make a huge difference which is why CDs replicate them.

I think I'll stick to my IRS

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Greens Senator Scott Ludlum says IT pros changing vote because of FTTN NBN

-tim
Black Helicopters

Works like a beta from $MAJOR_CORP

It seems that the current forum is under "work" and no new posts are allowed for new topics.

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Techies CAN sue Google, Apple, Intel et al accused of wage-strangling pact

-tim

This effects my pay on the other side of the world

So much for "Do no Evil". Their illegal activity put an artificial downward pressure on the pay of everyone in Silicon Valley and the entire industry. Maybe there should be a class action suit against them all by every IT professional in the world.

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Faster, more private, easier to read: My 2014 browser wishlist

-tim

Font sizes

As my eyes get tired, I want a larger font. The safari command + works great for that for most sites but you can tell the ones that are still stuck at point sizes for widths when they should be use em sizes.

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Ten classic electronic calculators from the 1970s and 1980s

-tim

HP28

It was great as you could do '1*2+3' 4 x <enter> and have it do the right thing.

It is also the only one on the list that could still be built today. The casing tooling is still in use and the CPU was recently still being made for a finance calculator.

I still have two that work fine but they take 3 "N" batteries and soon I may need to start pulling apart 9V cells to get them.

I think the date is wrong on the 28-C, My first was a birthday present at the start of the year in 1986 and I had been asking for one for a while.

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'Mixed tech' NBN needs a super-sized HFC net

-tim
Unhappy

Re: sucks

The old NBN plan was shared bandwidth too.

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DON'T PANIC: No FM Death Date next month, minister confirms

-tim

Re: Radio Silence in Cars ?

Are you sure your TV isn't a DAB radio? The stats on digital radio sales from Downunder include TVs, new cars and a trivially small number of portable digital radios so in other words most buyers of digital radios don't know they have one and most will never ever use the radio function.

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Why a plain packaging U-turn from UK.gov could cost £3bn a year

-tim
Flame

Advertising in the air

The tobacco companies have already made use of "standing around is advertising". They add compounds that keep the smoke lower to help remind other smokers they need to light up.

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KILL SWITCH 'BLOCKED by cell operators' to pad PROFITS, thunders D.A.

-tim
Holmes

Nothing new to see, just move along

A friend was showing anti-theft location technology in Australia over a decade ago and someone stole his phone. The telco and police just didn't care.

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Yet another business advisor told Labor NBN was a dud: reports

-tim
Facepalm

Re: A rational explanation

Some of the 16% vs 20% vs 30% wireless in cabled areas will be the result of the difficulty in getting them physically hooked up. There are a large number of properties such as my own that were not properly connected to utilities when they were subdivided. My current phone line is direct bury and goes through the yard of the house in the front. There is no way to get to the Telstra pit without going under the driveway which is shared property or through someone else's yard. There is no place to put a pole either so I'm sure I'll be on the wireless plan. My house is typical of most of the near by lots that were subdivided 15 or more years ago.

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Construction industry outlook is bad news for Turnbull's alt.NBN plan

-tim
Holmes

Just who will be doing the hands on?

In many parts of the world, it is easy to find and train new people to terminate fiber and put it in ditches. Australia has regulated the markets so much that you have about two years of apprenticeship to do the same thing and who wants to waste two years of their life obtaining a skill where there will be a glut when the project is finished? The skill also requires very good eyesight so the work becomes impossible for many people after their eyes start to change around age 40 so it isn't suitable for retraining older workers either.

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Samsung pops out app toolkits for TVs, mobes, tabs (But DON'T mention Android)

-tim
FAIL

Security? What Security?

Yet on the other side of the world there was a great demo of one of their so called Smart TVs streaming video from its camera while appearing to be off. I think they need to look at their security a bit better.

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Big Content says Pirates of the Caribbean do their worst in Australia

-tim
Pirate

This might be the last thing they push

They better be careful for what they wish for. Cultural discrimination in Australia can result in huge bankruptcy inducing fines. Region blocking is cultural discrimination unless the content is made available.

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AT&T takes on Google fiber, fixin' to give Texans GIGABIT GUNS

-tim

What about upload speeds?

I'm guessing there is no gigabit upload speed option with AT&T but Google is providing it today in Kansas City.

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Chaos Computer Club: iPhone 5S finger-sniffer COMPROMISED

-tim

Re: Front door keys deemed unsuitable for access control

15 years ago a friend hacked a fingerprint scanner into his door bell button. While it didn't work well enough to unlock the door, it did work well enough to let him know when UPS had dropped off a package most of the time or when the mother in law dropped by.

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BAN THIS SICK FILCH: Which? demands end to £1.50-per-min 'help' lines

-tim

Same story, different continent

The Aussie "1-300" numbers work like the UK 0845 but are advertised as "for the cost of a local call" yet cost most punters twice as much. My local council (Yarra Ranges) has one yet repeated calls to the councilors can't produce a copy of the phone bill which is hidden in one or more piles of money so large that one could hide half a million dollars in them. Here the 1-300 number terminates according to geographical rules so when someone calls the Victorian council from Perth, we could have the call answered in Sydney. 1-300 have the callee pay per minute for inbound calls except local calls under ten minutes but non-local calls tack on long distance charges as well. The odd thing is should a property owner from Sydney call the council, it would be cheaper for them to call a a standard number from a landline and the cost of calling the published number from a mobile phone can be staggering.

Oddly enough the local council and it's employees don't understand why I want to know how much this is costing because they see it as saving a few people a few cents.

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Pulsars: the GPS beacons of the cosmos

-tim
Pint

Why is my prime meridian wobbling?

A modern Navstar GPS receiver will have active filters to remove pulsar noise. A GPS engine runs a 12th degree polar coordinate polynomial solving engine using a Kalman filter and repeatedly solving for unknowns until everything is about right. By the time it decides everything is close enough, the clock inside the chip set tends to be match the ones on the transmitters to about 90 nanoseconds. The Sats send a message describing the wobble of the sat and has factors to account for the sun, moon and major planets. To do the same with pulsars, you need to adjust for the wobble of the earth around the sun and the suns local wobble as well as the effects near the pulsar where some of them have huge planets orbiting close enough to cause problems. The basics for a palsur based system have been well known for since before 2002 but the real problem is collecting enough data and distributing it to a computer in a reasonable way to be useful. The real world mapping issues will also need to set up local map datums for planets and currently that will require putting up a very large dish to collect the data and answering the difficult question of "exactly where is the meridian?" for each planet.

A Beer for Wilhelm Beer who defined the meridian on Mars.

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US feds: 'Let's make streaming copyrighted content a FELONY'

-tim
Black Helicopters

Those without sin can cast the first cluestick?

So is it time to offer a bounty on any video of senators sinning "happy birthday" in public? That is illegal too. Maybe the folks at EFF can set up a drop box for video evidence of these law breakers.

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Can't agree on a coding style? Maybe the NEW YORK TIMES can help

-tim
Alert

{ has an ignored meaning

The { in the early C compiler was a statement for "begin a new stack context" except after the "if".

That use can be demonstrated with main() { { int i; i=5; { int i; i=3; }; printf("%d",i); } } and which results in a 5. This detail was very important when using setjmp and longjmp.

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Internode's Simon Hackett offers re-engineered NBN plan

-tim
FAIL

Re: Lock in Desired

What is the difference of having just one service delivered via port 4 vs just one serviced delivered via port 1? Nothing other than 2.3 billion dollars over 10 million installs. Nearly every single one those users who can use both are still going to want everything on the same network and that can be done at a different layer or by having the NBN light up a second bit of glass.

The road map shows something faster than shared 5/2.3 gb but that requires re-splicing and fewer connector in the network.

Most of us that have been using IP over fibre for more than a decade consider Simon one of the top two people in the country to design the NBN and I think he has more practical knowledge of markets and real world issues than Geoff does.

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Hold on a mo: Brits blow £56m a year on the blower to gov minions

-tim

Same story Downunder

Here we have 1300 numbers which were originally billed as "the cost of a local call" but now are twice the rate or higher. With these numbers both the caller and callee gets to pay depending on length of call or where the call originated. My local council can't seem to explain how much their number is costing when a normal local number would save everyone (except the phone company) some money.

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El Reg casts a weather eye over Bureau of Met's new baby

-tim
Pint

A step in the right direction

Too bad the radar will still be delayed by at least 6 minutes.

They should look at some of the stuff KWTV is doing in Oklahoma City.

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Swinburne starts design of pulsar-hunting supercomputer

-tim
Pint

Tick Tock in the background noise

I hope they learn from some of the problems of the EFF's DES Cracker which was also a dedicated big of custom hardware do to one job that cost about the same when considering inflation. That machine had some defects that limited its performance and there were a few other issues that had to be solved in software after the fact.

The good thing about GPUs is you will be able to buy faster ones in 5 years that might just plug in and run the same code where the other solutions will require new hardware to see future power vs energy advantages.

One very cool feature of a Pulsar's timing is that if your atomic clock says it is drifting, you need a better clock.

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Has any employer ever delivered the training it promised?

-tim
FAIL

Education?

The training on my CV is along the lines of "ran a class on $FOO at $SHOW".

My first and only MSCE cert was when they needed you answer 10 questions at a trade show.

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NBN rollout to reach 1.3m new premises by late 2016

-tim
FAIL

Where are these numbers from?

How are they going to make the rate? To do this work, you have to be a licensed cabler and have the telco ticket. You also need about at least $50,000 worth of kit all for a job that you will not have (if any promises are kept) in a decade. The pass rate for the decade old HFC networks where much faster to complete and they never got close to this rate.

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US Ambassador plays Game of Thrones with pirates

-tim
FAIL

Who is the hypocrite?

Yet the ambassador is happy to have copyright material he didn't pay for on his department's web site.

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Animal Liberation drone surveillance plan draws fire

-tim
Black Helicopters

Re: It is commercial if it has a camera

I was just reporting what I heard and that was if it has a camera it is commercial and requires that license.

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-tim
Black Helicopters

It is commercial if it has a camera

The comments at a recent UAV talk suggested that CASA claims that you need a commercial license for any commercial use if it has a camera, the device is considered commercial. It is not allowed to fly above 400 AGL and real planes aren't to be under 500 ft AGL in rural areas unless they are landing or taking off.

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Is NBN Co about to pay for 80 years of power pole access?

-tim
Pint

That would explain the high cost of HFC

Those calculations show an interesting figure when you turn their "pass" rate into connected customer rates. The Telstra HFC network will pass nearly all the same customers as does the phone network. Since 90+% of the homes will have phone service, that leaves the cable only connecting about one in 4 in areas with 50% HFC connections (which is very generous). That would imply that at least $40/mo for cable TV or cable Internet access is a result of pole rental.

I wonder how this compares to Google's pole rental costs in Kansas City.

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Turnbull says NBN Co could offer FTTN with optional fibre-for-cash

-tim

Hype, facts or just political comments?

The Liberal policy at the last election involved two things that I expect will also be included in the next policy. First is that all ISPs that rent space in exchanges get their own dark fibre to nearby exchanges where they also rent. That will end the Telstra monopoly and drop most ADLS costs for about half the population. The second item was that if an ISP updated a node (aka RIMS), they owned it. That means if a remote node was updated to ADSL2+ by Internode, then Telstra would have to pay them the same way Internode now has to pay Telstra for DSLAM access for customers where they don't have backhaul or their own DSLAMs.

Most RIMs have 2 pair all the way to homes which could be used for much faster connections that most people who are close to exchanges get today.

The reality is the home wired internet connection is going the way of the landline and I don't think NBNCo's numbers properly account for that. Many of my friends feel if they are already paying for their mobile devices to have fast wireless anywhere, why pay extra for slightly faster connection at home.

I see our options are Tolerable (ADSL2+), Good (Let ISPs put DSLAMs in RIMS), Better (An optical cable TV network aka NBN) or Best (Google Fiber like with 1G+ bidirectional point to point to the box in the house). There is a reason Google isn't using GPON on their network so why is the NBN so insistent on that technology for the rest of time?

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Life after Cisco: I've got 99 problems but a switch ain't one

-tim

How to benchmark the impossible?

Try dropping in a new $500 switch and see how it performs compared to the other two. If you can't tell the difference with that load, you are not going to be abel to test the differences between these two more expensive switches. In my tests, it looks like the cheap generic switches are just as good as the ones that costs 20 times as much.

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A new Mac Pro coming this spring? 'Mais oui!'

-tim
Coat

What is new?

If their last few upgrades are any indication, this new one will have a band new upgraded RoHS sticker.

I wish they would put a real power chip back in these things. When Apple was doing OS X for the PPC, they were still building for x86 internally and they found many bugs doing the dual platform development. A Power 7/8 device would regain their title of having the fastest desktop computer again and would help reduce their bug count in their products while keeping a core customer demographic very happy. Too bad they won't even consider that anymore.

/mines the one with the g4 laptop in the very large pocket

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Orange boasts: We made Google PAY US for traffic

-tim
Black Helicopters

Delivery for which packets?

Would this be part of Google's "connect the world" program where they throw lots of cash at places with 3rd world infrastructure (like Egypt, a few SE Asian countries and Kansas City) in a hope for an improvement for everyone? I was wondering if Eric Schmidt would announce N Korea would be the next Google Fiber area.

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NBN contracts reveal the state of Telstra’s ducts

-tim
Meh

Re: What about direct buried cable?

How about all the subdivided lots where the phone line attaches to the front house with no options for buried or overhead lines? The last time I looked, they would be getting NBN via satellite since there won't be much 12 mb NBN wireless in urban areas.

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