969 posts • joined Wednesday 23rd September 2009 16:33 GMT
The Author of this article obviously doesn't have a full understanding of what is going on with the whole Google debacale. I totally agree with job514 and several other commenters.
"that Google's Univerisal Search setup is unfairly promoting the company's own services – including Google Maps, YouTube, and Google Product Search – over those of its competitors."
If I ran a store (say Acme Computers) and was selling MS-based PCs. Would I be required, by law or otherwise, to recommend or refer my customers to Cheap Computers down the street, merely because they came to me (the largest and most well-known retailer in the area) first? Even if their prices were lower, better quality, etc? The first result on Google shouldn't be Bing's results for what I'm looking for. The first page of Google results shouldn't be a list of scraping websites' results for what I'm looking for. It would be like having your first page of results be links to Scroogles' results for what I'm looking for... (think about that recursion algorithm for a bit!).
"de-indexed because about 87 per cent was "copied" from elsewhere."
This is blately evident (the remaining 13% is likely ads), and can be summed up with another sentence from the article: "other copied content can be very useful indeed. Foundem does copy a majority of its content, but it's a search engine," which takes us back to argument #1: don't index the result page of other search engines.
A bit of a note toward Bing's theft of index results: They aren't necessarily stealing the result and indexing it in their engine. The site was already indexed. They're merely using Google's engine ranking as an additional (albeit heavy) weight to determine it's ranking on Bing. This is an underhanded way to hide the fact that one's search ranking algorithms are crap compared to the targeted competitor. So no, their not stealing results nor indexes, their stealing the index RANKING, at which point, they might as well just be another Scroogle.
"I think that CMOS resets are still time consuming enough and awkward-looking enough..."
Worse yet, the network admin will know the CMOS was reset (and yes, all boards support it, just pop the battery). If the CMOS was reset, then just review the security tapes (yes, anyone paranoid about booting from a USB device is likely to have tapes) to see who did it. They likely have monitoring on their firewall and can see which IP the VPN tunnel (if used) went to, which can help determine the benefactor. Of course, at that point you can press criminal charges for tampering and perhaps corporate espionage. Enough for a warrant for the connected-to network machines.
Anyway, a truly paranoid environment will have their PCs under lock and key (non-user-accessible), or at the very least be running a VDI setup of some sort.
Of course, WPA2 is still "safe" for now. The article points out that WEP and WPA(1) is easily crackable.
Now, extreme potentials out of the way, this article points out how easy it is for most networks to be penetrated and siphoned by an insider. Short of making your user's job impossible to do (blocking access to data), or extreme measures (VM farm with thin clients under lock and key, no periphrials), you'll likely always have some vulnerability to be exploited by the truly industrious.
Bah, purchase. TrueCrypt. Just be sure to leave a donation for them on the way out.
At the very least: BitLocker (yes, it sickens me to even mention it, but better than nothing [arguably]).
You failed to actually read and comprehend the article, because the author was positing the idea of incorporating a timestamp or counter in the barcode, because the app DOES NOT DO IT ALREADY.
Please, read the article effectively next time.
Why grab the phone?
Why grab the phone when you can simply take a picture of their screen showing the barcode? A bit of photoshoping/croping later, you can have a decent picture of the screen to pull up in your picture viewer.
Makes it even worse, since the picture can come from any source, likely a covert cam being palmed by someone near the checkout stand.
Fail, for two reasons
"...that's the end of Dell's Android tablets then. MS will simply not allow Dell to ship non-Windows units (not without swingeing penalties at any rate)."
1) MS isn't going to be so blatently obvious with their anti-competitive practices now.
2) Windows doesn't (yet) run on the ARM chips that the Android tablets are living on, so not much for MS to complain about besides competeting hardware (which MS doesn't make [yet] in the first place).
App For That?
Perhaps someone should write an app that monitors the rear camera and alerts you to any hazards while you're fondling the slab? Oh wait...that would require allowing downloadable apps to actually multitask....
""Death by iPod" epidemic." - Evidence that technology is helping cull the gene pool.
/mines the (only?) one without the iKiller in the pocket
Because iOS won't let user Apps multitask. Therefore, you can't download an app that can monitor your camera while you are texting. Only Apple Apps can multitask, so you'll have to wait until Steve stops saying "you're using it wrong." (of course, he'd be right in this instance, for once).
If it's that bad...
"But should we expect some horrific traversty for the in-between film"
If it is horrific, then it will become like the Matrix:
"The Matrix was a great film."
"Yeah, what about the sequels?"
"There were no sequels."
There is one glaringly obvious problem with SaaS however, especially full document and software solutions: connectivity and bandwidth. The medium/large companies with the resources to put into a large connectivity pipe will likely have WAN failover and the like. However, the small-to-mid-sized businesses, who would benefit most from SaaS due to limited resources, won't have the means to have WAN failover (or aggregating), high bandwidth, or even reliable connectivity from a local ISP. Moving 400KB (Google) docs is simple enough, but as data grows, the internet connection will be compoundingly taxed. Some regions only offer (crap) DSL or (highly expensive) T1-class connections, which present bandwidth issues. All this considering most small biz won't have an on-site IT tech, and will likely have an outsourced IT firm for their support anyway. These companies usually only support OS patching and physical network, charging extra (prohibitively expensive) for custom consultation or additional support.
SaaS for zero-downtime, mission critical email? Great. Local outages or clogged internet connectively won't bounce emails. SaaS Documents? Perhaps. Databases, POS, or other has-to-be-working network resources? Likely best to keep in-house. Why? SLAs for uptime during business hours, point-of-restore for backups and time-to-restore for those backups, shear bandwidth (and lag!) considerations, among others.
As a side note that no one really mentions: LAG. It can make the difference between productivity and turnover. A year or so ago, we moved from a SaaS solution to a local setup of our billing and accounts software. It ran fine as a hosted solution, but it wasn't until we deployed it locally that the users really felt the improvement. What used to take a couple seconds (yes, not very long, but forever when it's EVERY screen) was now nearly instantaneous. The users themselves were talking about how much more they could get done in a day. However, this is a database-attached complex piece of software. Something more web-friendly, such as email, isn't as big of a deal.
"Or perhaps a flat, rectangular-shape with a screen on one face is pretty much the only form factor a tablet computer can take."
It isn't so much that it's the only form one can take, and thus it Must Look Like This. It's the fact that Apple patented it claiming it was a unique "invention" having no (known) prior art. Now we have proven prior art (again), their design patent should be void.
Surely, if HP is already pushing product demos, they've been working on this long before the Jobisan 2009 patent application. If it gets granted, HP should definately challenge it (assuming they didn't just read Apple's patent and decide to beat them to it).
Since it hasn't been said yet:
"I'll stick to calling people who are accountable (to me as a voter) and abide by the law as the "good guys"."
Actually, the general population votes don't really matter. There's plenty of sheeple that will cause your vote to get drowned out. Therefore, you don't matter, unless you can convince a majority of voters to vote like you.
"And if you don't like some law (or what your government is doing) get off your arse and change it. You know you are living in a democracy?"
The USA is actually a democratic republic. Representatives are voted in democratically (democratic is basically "everyone gets to vote"). These representatives then vote on actual meaningful stuff, such as laws. Therefore, not only does your vote not really count (see above), but you're even one step removed from the true voting process for laws. And if you think you voted for Obama, you should Google "Electorial College."
"surprising that Catalonia is allowing hunting with bow and arrow at the same time that it's establishing itself as a society at the forefront of animal rights"
Animal Rights activists....can't please them. If the regulation had be "hunters can go in with guns and shoot the boars," they would have complained that guns give an unfair advantage to the hunters and disturbs the natural habitat. Tossers the lot of them!
The title is required, and must contain letters and/or digits.
"The only thing keeping Flash off Apple devices is Adobe"
Flash has ActionScript. It interprets a scripted language, and thus is banned from the App Store due to that reason. Jobs is just diminishing the importance by saying how buggy and bloated Adobe Flash products are (which is true). It's a PR smear campaign trying to convince people they are better off not viewing YouTube or other Flash media.
"you can send it to the Kindle app without Apple taking a cut — and Apple can't do a thing about it unless they want to selectively block downloads, and I don't think that's likely."
No, but they could just block the App as a whole until the developer puts code in that pays Apple 30% when a book is "allowed" to be viewed from iOS. If that "feature" isn't there, they can block it. Just look at Sony. Amazon is bigger, so likely not one to piss off just yet.
First, demanding 30% revenue on sales through an Apple-hosted App Store is not like Microsoft charging 30% for the priviledge to sell programs for Windows.
Blocking Apps from the iP*d is like the PS3 blocking games from its PSNetwork. Perhaps akin to the Kindle blocking your ability to read B&N books on it? No one claims foul that I can't read my Kindle books on my Nook (from B&N). Sure, the iP*d is a device that's supposed to support general applications as opposed to a specialized device, which would put it in a similar arena as an Operating System on a computer, but not quite. The XBox or Playstation can be argued to be the most similar device to an iP*d. Both are heavy protected platforms. Both are designed to run Apps (games, in the case of the consoles) within limits set by the manufacturer. Because Playstation won't allow me to put my free game (one that charges you $1 for every zombie I shoot, for instance) for download on their Playstation Network, doesn't mean they're using their monopoly to oppress me.
Apple has been marketing their iP*d devices as a "whole" computing platform and consumption device when it isn't. I blame Apple marketing. They'll block newpaper apps because they have The Daily now. They'll block eReaders because they have a iBookstore now. Since they don't really have equivalent (and lucrative) Apps for the other stuff, they don't block them so more people buy their devices because of the variety (or perhaps just simply the quantity) of Apps. If they're purposely THEN building an in-house app and killing off all competing apps, I would consider monopolistic abuse in a manufacturer-controlled market, but it's hard to prove that Apple is purposely allowing apps to build market share and then killing them once Apple has an in-house alternative.
/Devil Jobs, because it may be hard to prove, but doesn't mean it isn't happening.
"'Oh crap, we didn't think of that, let us work through it'"
Desired quote from Apple on issues: "Oh crap, we didn't think of that, let us work through it'
Actual response from Apple on issues:
"Your business model is wrong.
-Sent from my iPad"
Lazy would be posting a link to say "type it into Google," but not doing it yourself and realizing there's a flood of stuff on the guy, but very few actual pictures. Not to mention verifying they're of the correct guy, especially when he goes by "Niki":
"In one generation we have gone from extraterrestrial planets being a mainstay of science fiction"
I'm quite frankly surprised at the short-sightedness of some to think that planetary formation is soley unique to our solar system. That extrasolar planets were ever considered science fiction is saddening. (Yes, a bit of correction for using "extraterrestrial planets" since we've known of "extraterrestrial" planets such as Mars for a long while now...."extrasolar" please)
As for Opera, at least FF4 displays the pages correctly, even if a handful of crap-code sites (yes, MS Hotmail) don't work 100%.
I think FF has a great model of heavily testing their releases and isn't willing to throw a beta/buggy build out in the wild posing as a release build. Too many software people do this just to make deadlines or even simply to make it to market before a competitor.
/mine's the one with a UML diagram in the pocket
Frankly, I wouldn't be surprised if this prototype spotted was 9 months old. Once Apple decided they wanted to incorporate FaceTime into the iPad, they'd have to build a prototype with a front-facing camera to test it. Perhaps since it may be an early prototype, it would explain the lack of other more-recent features....
First, the analogy is wrong in the fact that gun ownership is a one-off purchase vs medical insurance which is an ongoing commitment.
Secondly, the problem isn't so much people don't want healthcare. They do. It's the fact that some people (like my wife) who are young, in excellect health, visit the doctor only once or twice a year for a wellness exam, still have to pay $250/mo. for "insurance." And that wonderful insurance requires the usual $50/visit copay, and only covers 75% (sometimes 90% depending, but sometimes 50% or less depending too) of whatever services rendered. If you get into decent plans that don't cost you 50% of a visit out-of-pocket, you're looking at $400+/mo. And to mandate everyone fork over such fees, especially when some young (no longer on parent's plan) blokes only earn $6-10/hr, would utterly destroy their ability to be self-sufficient. So no, the problem isn't the healthcare, it's the incumbant cost of the insurance, in addition to the out-of-pocket costs of actually having to use it.
"...we are always going to say what we think is right for this country. We believe in free ideas, we believe in free people"
Should continue with:
"...and we're always going to dictate what you can put on your iPad. You'll read the news we want you to read. You'll listen to the music we think you should listen to. We'll prevent you from doing things we don't want you to do. We'll also cut out the competition from being able to provide you with the same things, since we already have a "built-in" function for it. Oh, and they'll have to pay us 30% anyway if we do allow them in."
Free ideas? Sure. Free people? Not a chance.
Missed the important part of the quote...
"let customers have access to purchases they have made outside the App Store." - NYT
Which is obviously stating that if you purchased content outside of the App Store (think of your eBooks with Kindle) you won't be able to access them on your iDevice. Likely, there will be some way to tag in-app content that was purchased through the App Store, but since I don't develope for iOS, I can't fathom what that would be.
Letter from Amazon
We regret to inform you that we, Amazon, as well as many other publishers, will no longer be supplying or supporting apps for the Apple iOS platform. We have removed our apps due to a 30% commission required by Apple which we would have no choice but to pass on to you, the Customer, for continuing use on their platform. However, we fully support apps on other popular platforms such as Windows and AndroidOS. Below are links to our website for information regarding our Kindle reader as well as the Archos 101 tablet.
Thank you for your understanding.
Yeah, fake letter, but honestly, would have a serious impact. Why? Likely people have an iPad because there was no alternative at the time. Perhaps they already had an iDevice and wanted consistancy? I think the obvious solution to this 30% tax levy is to pass a margin of that on to the consumer using the iDevice. Perhaps tag which books have or haven't had the AppleTax paid on them, and give end-users the option to pay the extra $$ to view the material on their iDevice reader. Of course, there'd be a little question-mark people can touch to read why they're being charged (again/more) to view the item on the iDevice, at which point this tax levy can be explained. Such negative publicity, as well as being spoon-fed an alternative, is content-provider's best hope, excepting charging EVERYONE just a little bit more to help even the playing field.
Not just DVDs
Just wait until they start charging you for viewing photos not taken with the crappy built-in camera. Perhaps not allowing you to import MP3s into iTunes because they may not be DRMed. May even start blocking video players because you didn't buy a digital license with the DVD through Apple.
If you've read any previous comments from me on the matter, I've stated it was just a matter of time before they started charging royalties for presenting content on their devices.
"In all honesty, if you were looking after a 3rd party application that had a database, you would probably do the same as the schemas arent often published."
100% agree with you there. There are many applications that use some obscure DB system, or worse yet, use a common DB but don't tell you the password(s) to manage it. All in the name of database integrity and proprietary systems of course. This will prevent BackupExec and the like from sinking its hooks in.
"lots of perfectly acceptable ways of getting a consistent backup, from using an applications backup API to using a snapshot system that is application aware (such as VSS on Windows)."
I doubt VSS is Sybase-aware. Sorry. And as for backup APIs in the software, you neglected to read the author's next sentence. He mentions using the software's internal backup functions as an option.
"AIMstor will give CDP combined with snapshot instances so you've got the frequent crash consistent images (ie every minutes) combined with less frequent recovery point which are fully consistent"
Such CDP systems would only benefit DBs if they grab the transaction log. Then you can have the DB roll back the log to a consistant state. The CDP system isn't, in itself, magical enough to do this on its own.
""that is why an RTO of zero is science fiction."
Really? Isnt this what mirroring is for? Or there are some products that do real time replication."
Such a fail comment. In the event of a database foobar, that corruption is automagically replicated to your mirror. Same goes for corrupting (modifying/deleting) files. The only time mirroring to a hotsite is useful is for system failure. Server bursts into flames? No problem, we have a hotsite. Directory tree got deleted? You lose your zero RTO due to having to restore files.
"Once Steve Jobs goes away, which is probably not far away..."
Steve has been with Apple for a long time. Bill has already moved on from Microsoft. Surely Steve is wanting to retire soon as well. It's obvious that's what he's referring to, not some impending death of Steve. Granted, his timing made it rather easy to mistake it as referring to health issues, but it's honestly and obviously a "you can't be in the game forever" comment.
MS Keyboards et al
I agree about skimping on the keyboards. I think it's utter BS that there's NOT ONE ergo keyboard in the lot. Check the Microsoft Natural Ergonomic Desktop 7000 (can be had for roughly the cost of the Apple keyboard) and it even comes with a mouse! I think the keyboards without a numbers keypad should have been docked points too. Especially if you're going for a "business"-type look'n'feel (yes, I'm looking at the Apple keyboard, among others in this faux review). Now, if you really want to quibble over not having a numpad, you can check out the MS Wireless Entertainment Desktop: the receiver is a USB hub, keyboard and mouse RECHARGE with the dock, backlit keys, power indicator, comes with a mouse, slightly ergo keys...only thing not to love is the MS sticker on the top (and the price), but should have been considered. Utter trash of a review IMHO.
I think this guy spent a bender last weekend watching Star Trek: NG and Final Cut (for those of you not in the know, Final Cut is a SciFi about a tech that embeds a recorder in the brain, at birth, that records everything the person sees and hears from their visual perspective [eyeballs] and is used to make a memorial video about their life after they die).
The problem with entirely vocal access to computers is privacy. If you've got a nifty in-eyewear screen, ear piece, cam, etc. and you're on a subway wanting to check your bank records... "Computer, open my bank account and display last week's transactions." Yeah, smart move. Perhaps "Computer, pull up that Scottish sheep porn from yesterday." Or, "Computer, open my LibDem activist website." What would be better than a vocal interaction would be to control the computer with a thought. Currently, we have the archaic move-the-mouse hat-tricks, but hopefully they'll work on a more memory-print level or the like. Probably not to the extent of The Matrix, but at least the computer may understand you're thinking about your money and will pull up a HUD with your current funds. Perhaps a bit of look-at-icon-and-think-"click" magic too for the things the computer hasn't been taught to recognize yet (brain imprinting is like speech recognition; it needs to be trained).
"Spending $10 billion2 to buy 4 per cent of notebook storage market share, or $2 billion in revenue, is not viable"
This statement is the one I take issue with. Why? It doesn't seem to factor in retail value. With 2.5" spindles going for $0.10/GB, and SSDs going for $1.90/GB, That's a 1900% increase! [(0.1*(1900*0.01)) if you want to do the math] Their $2bn is the capitalization of spindles by storage capacity sold. If laptops were stuffed with similarly-cheap spindle drives, then yes, $2bn would be an accurate guess. However, SSD-equiped laptops wouldn't be bottom-barrel laptops, but performance-oriented laptops (dual drive perhaps?) and netbooks with next-to-no capacity (16GB perhaps?). The performance or midrange laptops would likely be (optionally) stuffed with 64-120GB drives in lieu of 500GB counterparts. Each one of these supplantings would, at the least, cost 2x the drive they're replacing (if you do the math, that's a 64GB(ish) in place of those 500GB drives, and a 16GB in the netbook sub-200GB single-platter replacements), which would net them a minimum of $4bn by supplanting $2bn of normal platter data. If these numbers are profit margins vs cost, rather than actual sales, then the numbers swing even more favorably toward NAND. So, 2.5yrs for a $10bn fab, then ice cream and cake afterwards? Sounds like a good investment....oh wait? Isn't that why so many manufacturers are jumping the bandwagon and DOUBLING (nearly) the NAND output in 1 year? Yeah, thought so.
Better not let them catch you in possession of this DVD up in Scotland....
Re: Depends on your system
Win7 with 6GB or RAM at home loads faster than XP with 2GB of RAM at work...not surprising one bit. Besides the Win7 prefetch and caching enhancements, I wouldn't be surprised if your work PC runs a lower-performance "cheap" HDD as opposed to a decent performer in your home PC. With your specs listed, I'd be surprised if you weren't at least using a WD Black at home.
Either way, if your home PC was WinXP as well, I'd consider it a fair assessment, but it's not. Which means FF probably tweaked their loadtimes to target Win7 boxes over XP (likely GUI enhancements/calls).
"And a couple of years after that, the same features will appear in the latest iPhone and the world's media will be amazed."
Best quote from the whole article. :)
"To reach the same capacity as a 3TB, 3.5-inch... 7K3000 drive, customers would have to purchase three 1TB 2.5-inch 7,200 RPM drives, which will consume up to 170 per cent higher watts to power the drives and will occupy three times the storage array slots“. It says there is a 32 per cent reduction in watts/GB versus Hitachi’s prior generation 2TB A7K2000 drives."
So....get 1x3.5" with 3TB, 3x2.5" 1TBs (which should have no comparison btw, since they use different bays), or simply get 2x3.5"s of the "prior generation" to get 4TB instead of just 3.... Sure, you lose a bit on the power savings and the 6gbps SATA/SAS, but I'm sure those drives just became cheaper....
Misinterpretation of statement
"...may allow offenders to adapt or restrict their behaviour to conduct which falls short of our prosecution threshold"
I think El Reg has simply misunderstood the statement, and simply not asked more precisely. The authorities seem to be stating that they have a "grey" area where those on the border of violating my not be prosecuted, but there's a certain threshold that one can pass (perhaps actual cutting in BDSM depicted, as opposed to simple restraints?) at which point they'll aggressively persue charges, but for simple restraints they wouldn't.... This line is likely what they are saying they won't disclose, rather than details of what constitutes violation of the (proposed) law.
Re: Re: Re: etc. "Ah, printing"
I'm in agreement too. There's just some things a few quick hand-scrawlings and drawings are perfect for. To do this on a computer, you need to load the doc in some editor that can support such things, save it, pass it on to whomever needs it, and hope your scrawlings are still legible and intact. Not to mention the pen interface, touchscreen, or crappy mouse-drawing one would need in addition to that software support....
Speeds and Feeds
"but my netbook, using hte same OS, is noticeably slower when "basckground processing""
Atom CPUs are rather nerfed, low-power chips as compared to even moderately low-end desktop CPUs. Hz for Hz the Atom will lose. Why? Power conservation.
These dual-core CPUs promise better performance and lower battery life, not only because they're dual-core, but because they're newer. Better architecture and smaller die size has been what makes "Sandy Bridge" processors better than last-year's Nehalem chips. Hz for Hz, they perform better. The die size contributes to lower power requirements. The extra core in the A9s is power-gated anyway, so when it isn't in use, it draws NO power. New power management features like this promise to deliver better battery life, hand in hand with more capability. As more work is done on phones these days, better CPU capability will always be welcomed. If you don't believe me, use Android on a 500-750Mhz instead of the 1GHz chips.
Flames and Retard(ant)s
"As if they don't already confuse them with countless add-ons, up-sales, superfluous insurance, crapware unbundling services."
Windows come bundled since it makes the computer reseller's (Dell, HP, et al) life easier. Bulk licensing from MS, and they don't have to have *nix techies on staff to do the minor troubleshooting prior to returning the device for repair (which they do under warranty).
In addition to that, the resellers get quite the pretty penny from "McAfee" (Intel now...), Symantec, CrapWareUSA/UK, and its ilk for pre-loading their crapware on your shiney new computer. They won't sell you Linux since they can't load the crapware on it. They have to make money on their miniscule margins somehow.
As for those buying a computer, but wanting to put "another OS" on it, it's likely that these people already know enough to build the kit themselves. Demanding a refund would only be useful in Corporate environments where the IT staff simply reimage the machines with their Volume License prebuild or other similar situations. This is more likely than the occasional user who has purchased a copy of Windows off-the-shelf and plans to bin their old machine and move the license. This said, you're only likely to get ~$10 back anyway, as bulk licensing is fairly cheap for OEMs.
Very good point! The Cloud people are great in that they provide backups (hopefully) for you. Now, just what point in time you want them to restore from? Good luck. User X deleted a NEEDED file middle of last month... you use it to generate month-end stuff perhaps. Will CloudX be able to restore it? Do they keep month-ends? Do they keep your required 7-year backups? Perhaps. Back it up locally you say? Why? You have the cloud, remember?!
Now serious stuff: I've used several backup softwares, such as ArcServe (ick) or BackupExec (tape libraries, with severe issues with overwrite...very disheartening to check on a backup only to realize it was aborted due to trying to write over a previous backup or write to a tape not in its library (clean tape even). Anyway, compound that with the crap speed of the LTO drive we had and ick.
Solution? Moved to disk-based backups. External 1TB drives cost about as much as our tapes did, perhaps slightly more. Benefit? Faster backup times. Perhaps even better resiliance. Definately better random-file recovery. As for backup software? Ever try restoring a file from an version of ArcServe? Does it even run on WinSrv08? What if you misplaced the license key or the software? Install disk damaged? Granted these are worst-case ideas, but you can't expect your install disk of BackupExec9 to be available when an earthquake causes a box to land on your stack of disks.... Ever try restoring a backup from a different/newer version of the software? Doesn't always work unfortunately. I tend to agree with the copy *.* P:/ solution mentioned earlier, however it is still a crap idea. Robocopy or SyncToy would have been a better suggestion. Not to mention the potential need to encrypt any data that goes off-site. This is where backup software starts to look better.
Really, it all comes down to need. Do you need to have your data back online in under 5 minutes? Are your backup windows starting to converge? I ran into a problem a while back of having our week-end full backups approach 72hrs runtime (yes, it was across a T1, not on-site, but the data needs to go to where the IT people are most of the time), which starts to conflict with monday morning, as you can imagine. A switch to disk, and changing the backup software/method cut that time considerably (would you believe down to 15min?). As for Continuous Data Protection, it's a great idea. Recovering a file from 5 minutes ago is quite useful, as is having a historical archive for the past few days/weeks. The backup system I have in place now uses file-level deduplication between backup sets, which isn't as good a block/bit level, but still allows for hourly/dailies for the past couple of weeks, and weeklies and monthlies spanning back a good year; all accessible at a moments notice, rather than having to phone the cloud or run to the safety-deposit box for tapes.
AMD AM#(+) sockets
"AMD, you have to find out which generation of chipset and such you need to make it work"
While it is true that different chipset generations offer varying capabilities for the motherboard (number of SATA ports, USB3 support, PCIe lanes, etc) the socket is really a lot like Intel's. You have a AM3 CPU? Buy a mobo with an AM3 socket. Already got an AMD mobo? AM2?, AM2+? Your AM3 CPU will work in it. The new CPUs are socket downgradable. Of course, don't expect you'll get full AM3+ capability out of an AM2 motherboard, but in 6 months when all the SATA ports are SATA3, and most of the USB is USB3, or perhaps when PCIe v3.0 comes out, you can worry about upgrading to that new AM3 socket to match your processor's capability.
On the flipside of the coin, the new Sandy Bridge dropped one pin down to 1155, making the new chip incompatible with the previous 1156 boards (even though ASRock has a board that sidesteps this minor setback). In Q4 when the X67 chipset comes out, that will have LGA-2011, so another socket again.... Likely they'll make another new socket with their next "Tick" as well.
That said, AMD has a good example of how backwards socket compatibility is achieveable, however, as new features become available (such as DDR3) it becomes harder NOT to change sockets. I applaud AMD in this regard in at least maintaining that backward compability. However, Intel chips do outperform AMD offerings in the top 25% performance market, even though the 1090T is a mighty tempting offering, except that the i7-2600K smokes it once OCed to the 4.4+GHz range. AMD needs to strike back with tangible performance increases, not core count. They have 16-core chips. Good stop there for now and work on the microarchitecture.
"The cloud means consumers are using remote storage from service providers more and more, so that they need fewer gigabytes or terabytes of external storage."
I don't know about you, but it takes FOREVER to upload/download a few gigabytes worth of pictures from a cloud service. Perhaps when 100mbps fiber runs to everyone's home will cloud storage be viable for the common use. However, I tend not to use it for anything larger than documents and spreadsheets.
That said, The standard hard drives computers come with now (500GB) practically eliminate a home user's desire to buy an external drive. Before, they only had 120GB if that, so they needed to buy externals to store more of the family pictures/movies/porn. Home users tend not to consider backups, and are unlikely to buy an external soley for backups, which is why cloud services are a benefit to the casual word-doc writer.
As SSDs gain prominence, PCs likely will start shipping with SSDs instead of HDDs in netbooks, laptops, perhaps desktops. However, "home user" won't know the difference and will simply go for the big numbers. I think, quite literally, joe-uzer sees "500GB" and thinks that's RAM, and instantly believes that's better than the 120GB SSD-equiped computer. Even though they likely won't even use a quarter of the SSD, they still buy the 500GB machine. This is why SSDs will have a hard time penetrating the retail market. My hope is that Win8 comes out with their own brand of ZFS storage tiering so manufacturers can pop a 60GB SSD and a 1TB HDD into a computer and just let Windows decide where to stick the OS, Programs, and word docs. Home users wouldn't know the difference between C: and D:, and so the OS should just make it a transparent thing for "Simple Mode" (think of Simple Network Sharing vs "advanced").
Wind Farms have been under fire by many since their inception due to the unrealistic predicted gains. For instance (under the old model even!) it was predicted one would have to blanket the state of Texas in wind turbines to power the USA. Of course, that's assuming the wind is actually blowing....In northern Scotland, this might be likely, but in many places it will take a wide variety of methods to provide a base load and peak load. I, for one, would dump wave generators in ocean currents, wind farms in usually-windy spots, lease windfarm land for livestock grazing, and provide base load with nuclear power. Build a plant by my city, I don't care. I'd suggest more hydro-electric, but we have a dam in almost every conceivable spot as it is....at least without the environmentalists going militia on us...
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