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* Posts by Trevor_Pott

4539 posts • joined 31 May 2010

Quantum teleportation gets reliable at Delft

Trevor_Pott
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Re: *Ahem*

Malaria. MSRA. HIV. Hepatitis. Pandemic-class flus.

Lots of diseases can't be stopped by antibiotics. And antibiotics can stop none of them forever.

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Trevor_Pott
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*Ahem*

There are five horsemen.

War, Pestilence, Famine, Death and Apathy. There may have originally been four horsemen, but Apathy has totally earned his stripes.

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@Salts

You sir, have no joy in your soul.

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Now listen here sonny...

...on this planet we obey the laws of physics!

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Brunner does a runner: Beats designer must hand the brand to Apple

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Re: "Cool things are the things that don't even know they are cool."

No true scotsman is all about someone trying to exclude others from their group by progressively narrowing the definition of the group until it includes people just like them.

I, on the other hand, and very specifically defining a single classification of attitudes and behaviors which I believe are deserving of being loaded into a cannon and fired into the sun.

I am not attempting to draw a narrow circle around people "like me" and excluding everyone else. I am drawing a circle around a small population and saying "the rest of humanity is good, but these fuckers can go to hell."

The no true Sctosman bit is about creating a clique. I'm on about discrimination against and identifiable group, where the group I've identified as needing to be discriminated is "entitled douche canoes."

Now, we could argue that I've chosen the wrong word for the group in question. In my experience, those who self-identify as "Hipster", or are most often identified by others as "Hipster" meet the qualifications for deserving to be trapped in a bubble at the bottom of the ocean with Barney playing on infinite repeat. But perhaps there is a fellow out there who self-identifies as Hipster that isn't part of that group. Okay. I've no problem with that. I think he's probably using the wrong term to describe himself, but that's no skin off my nose.

Unlike "No True Scotsman", I am stating my definition of the group which needs to be trapped in a glacier for all time, and don't actually care at all about the term used to describe them, whereas in "No True Scotsman" the focus is on keeping the term but progressively excluding those who don't fit exactly.

You can replace "Hipsters" in the above comments with "calamari-worshiping jelly fanatics" for all I care. So long as we're clear about who needs to be compressed into a singularity, then the term used to describe them is not relevant.

Cheers.

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Trevor_Pott
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Re: "Cool things are the things that don't even know they are cool."

Is the lady a hipster? Because she can go the special hell too. The one reserved for people who pollute their coffee with cream and the blackguards who talk at the theater.

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Re: "Cool things are the things that don't even know they are cool."

No, a hipster is not "anyone" who is not awesome. There are plenty of non-awesome people who aren't hipsters. Hipsters are people obsessed with coolness and appearance while desperately putting obscene amounts of time and effort into appearing not to be obsessed with coolness and appearance.

Hipsters don't do. They whinge. Hipsters can only make themselves feel better by putting others down. Hipsters are perpetually at the bottom of the hierarchy, looking angrily and covetously upwards without the willingness or desire to actually do anything to better their station. Hipsters believe the world owes them a lot more than it does while simultaneously believing they owe the world - and everyone else in it - nothing.

Put simply, hipsters are scum. And all the whining in the world won't change the fact that to get ahead in the world you need to not only actually work for a living, but develop some fucking charisma and perhaps - just perhaps - enough empathy to relate to other human beings.

May their reign last hours, and their deaths years.

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"Cool things are the things that don't even know they are cool."

I think I speak for most people when I say "I hope hipsters all get cholera and shit themselves to death." Cool just is, bub. There are plenty of people/things that try damned hard to be cool and, as a result, are.

Hipsters, on the other hand, are a plague upon the Earth. There is more to the world than being into things before they become mainstream or putting measurable effort into shunning anything and anyone that has a hint of being popular, or wanting to be.

Now, get the hell out of here because the entire cast of "The Expendables" trips out of here with a goddamned armoury and turns you into a pile of dust reminiscent of crusted saltines.

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Seedy hacker steals 1300 Monsanto client and staff records

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Re: Obvious

Monsanto has created a bunch of genetically modified plants that are resistant to the herbicides and pesticides it sells. This allows for great yields and productivity of industrial-scale agriculture. You buy seed from Monsanto, plant it, spray your fields with chemicals bought from Monsanto and you in turn get lots of crop to sell.

The problem is that plants can reproduce. So if you take seeds from those crops you just grew and replant them you are violating Monsanto's intellectual property. They own the patents to that DNA and allowing your field to "go to seed" is considered piracy, thanks to laws hand-crafted by Monsanto.

For additional fun, Monsanto crops are so prevalent that it is functionally impossible to grow a crop without Monsanto plants in your crop; they'll blow in from the neighbor's field. You can't just go to a granary after harvest and buy up a bunch of random seed for spreading on your field (as was common "back in the day") because that will contain seeds that contain Monstanto's patented DNA.

So for all intents and purposes every single farmer growing crops from see in the USA has to pay Monstanto protection money, or they have to spend twice as much money proving that there is no possible way that any Monsanto-patented DNA could be growing anywhere on their fields.

In addition, they also lobby to basically eliminate any form of environmental protection, testing for GMOs, food safety and other people-not-dying-of-unknown-chemistry type regulations. Oh, they also basically wiped out bees. I think that about covers it.

I should point out that I have no problem with GMOs. My digestive system doesn't give a rat's ass if the DNA in that plan is "naturally" selected (when was the last time mankind grew a "naturally selected" crop, people?), artificially selected by growing generations in a lab, or even DNA spliced. Proteins and carbs and so forth are all the same as far as my innards are concerned.

I think we should test all foodstuffs for toxins, but if GMO corn provides the right nutrients in the right amounts - or better nutrients in better amounts - when compared to regular corn, and/or there are advantages to how it's grown...hey, that's science. I like science.

I don't think crystals have woo-woo powers and I don't fear low-level ionizing radiation either, though I understand that like that "I fear GMOs but don't know why" crowd, they too exist.

Still, when you get past the crazies who fear GMOs on principal (and thus see Monsanto as the ultimate devil of devils), Monsanto are on the whole really big dicks. The biggest, loudest problems that people have with them - GMOs - actually have nothing to do with how big a bucket of douchy fail they are. It's just paranoia-related noise.

Where Monsanto relay earns their hate is in the business practices, but it's the sort of stuff that, unless you live in a rural area, you just won't hear about.

Isn't the world we live in grand?

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The Pirate Bay's stor ost Peter Sunde collared at farm in Sweden

Trevor_Pott
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Re: I'm lost...

What if I were to set up a website tomorrow and allow my users to share files through it.

What if I allow people to use the site for free, anonymously, without requiring user accounts, and let them choose to share content privately or publicly.

I could call it "TheOpenPatchRepository.Com"

Say I make a little money from advertising on the website.

If my users post information related to information security threats, where do I stand? I respect the privacy of my users therefore I wouldn't dream of rooting through their files.

Would I be an evil nasty cyber-terrorist that deserves to be locked up?

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What if I were to set up a website tomorrow and allow my users to share files through it.

What if I allow people to use the site for free, anonymously, without requiring user accounts, and let them choose to share content privately or publicly.

I could call it "Facebook.Com"

Say I make a little money from advertising on the website.

If my users post pictures of themselves and others, where do I stand? I respect the privacy of my users therefore I wouldn't dream of rooting through their files.

Would I be an evil nasty privacy invading meta-stalker that deserves to be locked up?

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What if I were to set up a website tomorrow and allow my users to share files through it.

What if I allow people to use the site for free, anonymously, without requiring user accounts, and let them choose to share content privately or publicly.

I could call it "WeTheGoverned.org"

Say I make a little money from advertising on the website.

If my users post proof of government corruption and malfeasance, where do I stand? I respect the privacy of my users therefore I wouldn't dream of rooting through their files.

Would I be an evil nasty traitor that deserves to be locked up?

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What if I were to set up a website tomorrow and allow my users to share files through it.

What if I allow people to use the site for free, anonymously, without requiring user accounts, and let them choose to share content privately or publicly.

I could call it "TheRegister.co.uk"

Say I make a little money from advertising on the website.

If my users post their opinions on the technology that makes the world's economies function, where do I stand? I respect the privacy of my users therefore I wouldn't dream of rooting through their files.

Would I be an evil nasty economic dissident that deserves to be locked up?

Where's the line? And why do you draw it where you do?

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LIVE BLOG: El Reg at the Computex 2014 opener

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Gotta say, I like these liveblog things. Aaron at TechEd and now Simon at Computex; both have done great jobs. :)

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SCIENCE explains why you LOVE the smell of BACON

Trevor_Pott
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Oh, Canada

The Americans have not won the World Series every year. The Toronto Blue Jays won in both 1992 and 1993. Depending on who you talk to, Toronto is either it's own nation (as well as being the center of the universe) or sort of Canadian. Either way, Torontonians will agree: the aren't American. Well, except for the huge chunk of them that immigrated there from the US, but that's different...

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Snowden shoots back: 'So you DO have my emails, after all'

Trevor_Pott
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Re: Edward Snowden isn't very good at logic (and neither is the NSA)

It's "he said" versus "they said", and I have way more reason to believe in "he", especially if he's a spy for another nation. Either "he" is a man of conscience, or he's the best goddamned group psychology operative that has ever existed. In either case, he would have worked the system internally before leaking, if for no other reason than doing so makes his case more powerful.

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What's that you say? HP's going to do WHAT to 3PAR StoreServs?

Trevor_Pott
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3Par finally gets dedupe? Suddenly, 3par becomes interesting to me.

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Snowden never blew a whistle, US spy boss claims

Trevor_Pott
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Re: WTF?

What the flaming monkey arsehole are you on about, Anonymous Coward?

A) The UK certainly is better than the US. Not by bloody much, but when they get too far out of hand htey have the EU to restrain their excesses.

B) Better a thousand guilty men walk free than one innocent man be jailed.

C) What the hell does "documented criminal" actually mean anyways? The American justice system is so corrupt that one can be a "documented criminal" in that society and never have actually done a damned thing wrong. I mean, shit, Americans lock up people fleeing overwhelming gang violence in their home country as "criminals" then send them back to be tortured and killed. What the fuck kind of society is that?

D) I'm Canadian, you gibbering idiot.

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Re: WTF?

"Also note the difference between treatment of citizens and non-citizens."

Believe me, we do, you fucking barbarians. Human rights supersede national exceptionalism, excepting where the nation is people and ruled by dangerous troglodytes.

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Linux Foundation flings two full-time developers at OpenSSL

Trevor_Pott
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Re: It is puzzling!

Herd immunity.

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Google TOO WHITE and MALE, says HR boss, looking in mirror

Trevor_Pott
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I can't hire you, Dave

Your skin is the wrong colour, and your genitals are external. This doesn't meet our diversity quotient.

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High court finds Newzbin's 'ops' man liable for copyright infringement

Trevor_Pott
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Re: A slap on the wrist

Personally, I think we should take every copyright maximalist in the world to a deserted tropical island, strip them naked, drop them into an unclimbable pit and cover them in a few metric tonnes of various ravenous and carnivorous insects. As insurance, we should give it about three days then nuke the island. Twice.

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Readers' choice: What every small-business sysadmin needs

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"Your clients are paying you, presumably monthly, to look after their shit so what happens there when times are hard? Do they stop paying you for a while and risk their systems going to shit from lack of maintenance?"

Yes, and no. If the client can get a lower rate for helpdesk work from one of the others, those others can get the info out of the data escrow and we'll transfer a copy of the client records over. I'm not the cheapest in the city; maybe they can get what they need elsewhere.

If my client is in a spot of bother and I'm the current low bidder for the services they need - or they simply don't want another nerd touching their systems - I will agree to switch them from a regular monthly fee to a break/fix arrangement until things look up.

Maybe things never will look up and maybe I put in some work and don't get paid for it. Oh well. My job is the good of the client, it isn't to pull Redmondian tricks to keep a client "locked-in." I get clients in the first place because I provide service that says "when you need me, I'm there for you, even if that means getting out of bed to help." I don't burn bridges; if a client wants to take their business elsewhere - or just can't afford things for now - then I'll help them transition. I think you'll find that's a very Canadian approach to things, just ask the folks at EasyDNS or CloudA.ca.

As for "If it gets that bad that you can't afford £20 bucks a month, then you're going to have real trouble paying for IT consultancy/support"...that's a hugely prattish comment.

Let's take a 50-man company I work with as the basis, as I recently did the numbers for them. When you start adding up all the fees you'd need to cover cloud computing for all of their workloads the amount is closer to $1300/user/month. Running VMs in azure is fucking expensive. Then you'd have to ad din O365, EMS and a dozen other things and holy crap that starts adding up.

To contrast, I charge a company like that around $5000 a month, and that includes a reasonable amount of content creation for their marketing efforts from our video group. I also get from them a commitment to a hardware, software and services (for things like Sync.com) budget of about $2500 a month.

If this company went all Microsoft cloud they would be on the hook for $65,000 a month. Or about $780,000 per year. I ask of them about $7500 a month to ensure smooth operations, or about $90,000 a year.

If things go to shit for that company - and they have twice, to my knowledge - they can drop us to break/fix and defer hardware/software/services payment.The result is cutting the monthly costs to zero, but also removing any R&D and having to take over a number of maintenance jobs in-house.

This situation can't last overly long for them - they generally need to constantly keep evolving elements of their IT because adapting to new scenarios is part of the value proposition they offer their customers - but when they lose a major client it's an acceptable trade off for a few months until things normalize.

And that's just one client. I've done the numbers for about 5 in the past month alone where migration of their workloads to an all-cloud environment simply wouldn't be possible, given their income...let alone cost-effective.

Out of a stable of 43 current clients, I have only one that is "all cloud", and they're using CloudA.

Most of those clients aren't huge income clients. A lot of them are either break/fix with a small monthly retainer or they are folks who have in-house sysadmins and bring me in only for the architecture work every time there's a major change to be done. (My render farm clients are a great example.) Big money, but in a lump sum, no ongoing stuff.

Cloud computing isn't £20/user/month. One workload of cloud computing might be that low, but companies run dozens, even hundreds of applications. Even small businesses. (My own business is a 5 man company and we have 32 "critical" applications and 14 secondaries!)

If you are trying to say "use Office 365 because it's cheaper", then say that. Specifically that workload. Not cloud computing in general. My client base largely agrees with the idea of putting e-mail in the cloud; that's why so many of them use Google Apps. (Only 2 Office 365 clients left.) A lot more of them use hosted exchange or hosted Zimbra. Some choose to host it themselves.

But "the cloud is the cheapest solution to the needs of small business" as a statement that includes general workloads? No. Just fucking no.

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Trevor_Pott
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Honest truth? Because you're using Microsoft's utterly bollocksed costing. Here's a few considerationgs you haven't made:

1) First and most important: the ability to sweat assets when times are tough. Cloud doesn't give you that. When shit gets real and you can't pay even one month's subscription fee, there goes your whole business. Zero chance to recover.

2) Real boys don't replace everything on a two or three year cycle. Real businesses quite happily get 5 or even 10 years out of their IT investments. Do the sums, it ain't cheaper.

3) Dealing with multiple vendors isn't a problem. There's no advantage to "I buy all my shit from Microsoft" if the vendors you buy from are good, honest folks selling a decent service at a price people want to pay. Dealing with Microsoft is like playing whack-a-mole with an acid-coverred asshole-seeking spiked-dong. I'll gleefully use multiple vendors if the end result is "less having to deal with Microsoft licensing."

4) There are eleventeen squillion reasons that my clients want to keep a copy of their own data on-site. By "their own data" I don't mean a tiny amount of personal work that you might put into Sync.com. I mean "terabytes upon terbaytes of business data" that A) can't be stored in the US (or with a company that has an American legal attack surface) and B) is absolutely *vital* to the running of the business. Storing it all in the cloud is great...until you have to do a restore. Tried sucking 100TB through a Canadian ADSL connection? I have.

5) a $20K stack of computers and software gives me the ability to store ~35 usable TB of moderate IOPS data along with enough compute power to run about 200 VMs. $20K wouldn't let me run 200 VMs for a quarter on Microsoft's cloud.

6) There are services cheaper than Intune for management.

7) Nobody gives a rat fuck about "the latest OS." Nobody. It's not a thing. Do you understand what Microsoft DOES with every second OS? OR how about Ribbon Baring the nice little old lady? We do not want the latest and greatest. We want what works and we are familiar with. There is zero trust for Microsoft. Less than zero. The square root of spiky, ass-seeking acid dong!

Microsoft will screw us with a completely unwarranted and productivity-killing random change to software without warning. We want the option of buying that software, using it until it can't be used any more and then picking from amongst the best options. That may or may not include Microsoft, but I see zero benefit behind yet another layer of lockin (subscription) or subjecting my clients to a "rapid release" cycle they emphatically want no part of.

8) There is a thing called "an internet". You may have heard of it. It allows you to connect up multiple individuals to a central location. That location doesn't even have to be one you own. You can use these magical things called "co-location facilities" where you don't have an office of your own or "storage closets" where you do. Here you can place servers and connect them to that "internet" thing. VPNs and HTTPS do the rest; suddenly, your remote workers can connect just fine!

Holy pants, what an idea! It's almost like we've been doing it for the past 25 years!.

9) Service providers are a thing. I am one. Clients send their data to me, or run their data in my cloud. If it goes "squiggly lines squiggly lines" on them, then I can put the data on a hard drive, get in a car and drive it down to them. Oh, and I'm cheaper than Azure. By a lot. So's my Canada-local openstack provider, CloudA.ca. I use them lots too.

10) Microsoft allows only 5 devices per user. That's insulting. A lot of my clients do dev and testing. Put bluntly: they own more than 5 devices, or they change between them often. That leads to a lot of open source and a lot of "we're going to buy a per device hard license for this" and passing around between devs. Nobody enjoys installing and uninstalling trila versions every 30 days, and Microsoft's "we killed Technet because we love you" can eat a sack of spiky acid dongs.

I could go on for some time - I really could - but suffice it to say Microsoft's cloudy future is not cheaper. It's still way cheaper to run your own stuff. It will be for some time. And even when it's not on a dollars-per-lifecycle, it will still be cheaper to run your own stuff because you get the freedom to control your own destiny...

...and insurance against rent-seeking, especially when you need that insurance most.

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Trevor_Pott
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Re: A magnet on a stick ?

Sarcastic? Hell no. Magnet on a stick + light to see WTF you're doing? I'm sold!

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Trevor_Pott
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Re: A magnet on a stick ?

That's amazing.

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Tech that we want (but they never seem to give us)

Trevor_Pott
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Things I wish I had

1) Healthy fast food. That doesn't taste like shit. How about a drive through that serves Shiratake noodles in a low-cal tomato+veggie+lean meat sauce. Maybe with a side fruit and spinach chaser. You can get a truly stomach-filling meal out of that for like 200 calories. Enough to leave you feeling full for 6-8 hours.

2) A button/pill/hypnotic MP3 file/etc that I could purchase over-the-counter that would put me to sleep like flipping a switch. No more lying awake at night with a racing mind.

3) An actual properly working monitoring system for all IT needs. Something that integrated with every piece of hardware and software, provided sane defaults for alerts and came with it's own 3G connection to alert you of problems (as well as possible causes and probably solutions). Near zero or zero setup of the system, and it should be adaptive so that every new bit of software/hardware installed is detected automatically and added to the alerts pool.

The reporting system should be able to produce a nice report to send to the boss that says "these things are failing on a regular basis, replace them; these things are at end of life, replace them," etc. I also want it to not cost a substantial fraction of the hardware it is supposed to monitor!

4) Windows with programmable tinting. Preferably a film I could apply to my existing ones. Screw blinds and shades, why can I just put an LCD film on my windows and tell it "be black" or "be transparent?"

5) A big button that you press whenever the phone call for you is a scam/telemarketer/intrusive "survey"/political party begging for donations/newspaper begging for subscribers/etc that automatically logs that call as a scam and send the info to an orbiting satellite. If enough people press the button that identifies the blackguard as the kind of twat that likes to ruin evenings then an ion cannon blast will erase them from existence.

6) Roadside .50cal automated sniper rifles that immediately and violently murder any asshole with an audiobomb car. No exceptions. No mercy.

7) Backup LTE data plans that are charged at a reasonable per use rate /GB ($0.5/GB absolute fucking TOPS). These would not be used as primary connections; they would be emergency backup connections for those "idiot with a backhoe" movements and/or for getting into server room after some putz pushed reset on the edge router.

8) A Lenovo X230 made out of aluminium. The Lenovo X230 is pretty much my ideal netbook, but the cheap plastic construction lets me down.

9) An autoloader for my dishwasher. (Put dishes into the sink, let the robot arms load the dishwasher, then when things are done, pile them up nicely on the counter.) Mostly because by the time we remember that dishes are a thing to do it's stupid o'clock at night and all we want to do is sleep.

10) A self-cleaning cat litter box that is actually of a decent (read: 2' x 3') size. My cats want a litter box bigger than they are, or they won't use it.

11) A storage robot. You have an iPad app with everything in your house inventory. You select the item, and the robot fetches it from storage. When you are done with an item, the robot places the item back in storage. The robot knows exactly what bin the item was placed in and logs it with the system. The robot ideally would be able to climb and descend stairs, but I'm willing to wait for version 5 or 6 to get there, so long as I can tromp down the stairs and have the robot hand the appropriate item to me, or I can give it something to put away. Bounce points if I can hand it a box of things and it will identify them, and put away everything in the box. Yes, I'm willing to tag everything.

12) A device that makes the people manning US customers and border protection less douchey.

13) A telepresence device certified for use with government institutions. Need to get something from the DMV but don't want to wait in lines? Send the robot. It will go through all the motions, then beep at you when it's your turn to interface with an actual human. It should be able to display all relevant documents for the people in question, switch to your live face for comparison, and allow you to sign documents via a pair of arms. Too many hours of our lives are spent in government lines for something or other. A crime, given that it's the future.

14) Every piece of content every created available a-la-carte for a reasonable price when I want, how I want, on any device I want and I only pay for the content once, no matter how many times I personally choose to view/listen/read it. (If I really like it, I should be able to keep a copy on my own file storage, maybe for a modest additional fee over streaming.)

15) Going to have to also go "self driving car." I have too many things to do to enjoy driving around. Time spend driving is time I could be doing something useful, preferably something profitable. Why the hell are we still driving ourselves around in this day and age?

16) "No frills" bulk naval transport for those who don't like to fly. I hate flying. Loathe it so much I cannot describe. I just want to be able to take a boat from Vancouver to San Francisco that has a 100x100 space for my part and our junk, hallways that are twice as wide as those on trains and with better toilets than found on passenger trains (my biggest complaint.)

I would alternately settle for revamped passenger trains or the option of "luxury" bus travel that costs about the same as a plane ticket, but has seats that are fat people friendly. (For inter-city travel here in Alberta we have "luxury" motorcoaches by a company called Red Arrow. Greyhound, by contrast, is absolutely not an option for me.)

The ideal would be a self-driving car that could take me all the way to SF and back. My own little personal bubble. No people. No driving. I could just sit and work, preferably at an upright table and not curled into a ball like a savage.

17) Something that kills mosquitoes. Preferably without a great deal of noise. A vicious hunter-killer drone, or a roost of daylight-friendly potty-trained bats are just fine.

18) Upstream bandwidth that is higher than 5Mbit that costs less than $100/month

19) Proper, working, appetite suppression pills. For the love of $deity, why do these not exist?

20) And finally, a device that creates a bubble of time that occurs only for you. This would allow you to get way more done in a day, by fitting weeks of work (and sleep!) into a single day, allowing you to actually meet the level of expectation of present-day employers and be competitive with those annoying cheerful people who seem able to work 26 hours a day without ever sleeping.

Mostly, really, I just want the ability to earn a comfortable living by only working 8 hours a day and know that my friends and family have the same ability. I want us all to be able to sleep, not have to worry about jobs, or food, housing and clothing. I want us all to be able to do what we love for a living, to enjoy time to ourselves and to get a healthy 8 hours of sleep every day.

I don't care what changes need to occur to society, or what devices need to be invented, but at the end of the day, the goal is a sense of personal and financial security combined with a desire to not be anxious about things ever again.

The rest is just entertainment…and I can entertain myself making paper airplanes, if need be.

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Google: 'EVERYTHING at Google runs in a container'

Trevor_Pott
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Re: More details

Oddly enough, for once the core of my issues with Microsoft isn't with licensing. It's usually cheaper than VMware to deploy SCVMM, the licensing is straightforward by Microsoft standards, (which means you still want to kill yourself, but less with fire and more with poison.)

No, my issues with SCVMM are around "usage of the software in a fully heterogenous environment." I.E. an environment wherein some or all of the systems (including the ISO library!!!!!!) are stored on systems that are not part of Active Directory. It's usage items like "there is no button to simply mount an ISO stored on your local computer in the VM console you have open so that you can just install a goddamned operating system without adding things to the bloody library."

SCVMM is administrator hostile. If your goal is to "just get it done" then you'll end up very frustrated. SCVMM is designed solely for heavily change-managed environments. Situations where no VM is created, patched, migrated, etc without someone filling out forms in triplicate and planning the entire thing out ahead of time.

With VMware you need two things to make all the critical stuff go: one or more hosts, and a vSphere server. That's it. And the vSphere server comes as a bloody virtual appliance! (VUM is going away in vSphere 6, so the bit where you need to install the update manager on a Windows VM is about to be gone.)

SCVMM requires one or more hosts, an AD cluster (because a single AD server is asking for trouble at the worst possible time,) an SCVMM server, a Library server, a separate server to run your autodeployment software, and a client station. SCVMM is heavily reliant on DNS working properly (VMware can live and breathe nothing but IP addresses and be perfectly happy), and a full SCVMM setup (including directory and all the associated bits) takes hours to set up properly (VMware + vSphere + VUM takes less than 30 mins.)

With VMware, I can go from "nothing at all" to "fully managed cluster with everything needed for a five nines private cloud setup" in well under an hour. With SCVMM it will take me over a week to get all the bugs knocked out, because even after you get the basics set up, there are an infinite number of stupid little nerd knobs and settings that need to be twiddled to make the goddamned thing actually usable.

With VMware, as long as the system/user context I am using to access the client software can get access to an ISO/OVF/OVA/what-have-you then I can use that to spin up VMs. With Microsoft, templates/ISOs/etc have to be part of the "managed infrastructure" under control of the servers.

With VMware, I can add monitoring but simply deploying a vCOps virtual appliance, logging into the vCOps appliances' admin website and telling it where the vSphere server it. With System Center, setting up monitoring is a laborious process that takes days.

With VMware, the VMs come with their own mail servers so that if I don't happen to have a mail server on site - or don't want to rely on the on-site server - the things can still send me mail. With System Center, it's all designed for integration into Exchange.

Microsoft is all about Microsoft. It's all about having the full Microsoft stack. Everything controlled, managed, integrated with and joined up to more and more and more Microsoft. You don't just "stand up a small cluster" and get the kind of easy-to-use, full capacity experience that you get with VMware. With Microsoft you need to keep buying more and more Microsoft software to accomplish the simplest goals and then tying it all back together with the other Microsoft software. One big inter-related, interdependent mess that if you breathe on it hard (or, heaven forbid, DNS goes down,) you're fucked.

VMware doesn't really care what the rest of your network is. Is your file storage an isolated NetApp filer or Synology NAS that isn't joined to any domain? Okey dokey. That's groovy. Is your block storage Bob's Rink Shack Super Special iSCSI Target? Cheers! We'll work with that just fine! NFS isn't integrated into an NIS or AD environment? That's cool too, we'll work with it out of the box.

VMware allows for total isolation of the hypervisor infrastructure from the rest of your infrastructure. If everything else breaks, your hypervisor and it's management tools don't. Which is important, because all the rest of that crap is running on top of the hypervisor!!!!!

VMware also allows for deploying into environments that have no intention of buying the other eleventy billion Microsoft servers to run everything. If you just need to stand up VMs, and you don't want those VMs to be integrated into the same command and control infrastructure as the hypervisor control plane (like say, every cloud deployment, ever,) then you don't need to fight the design.

If you are building an enterprise private cloud in which every last thing is part of the same managed infrastructure, all under corporate control, all change-managed and so forth, then Hyper-V is the best private cloud you could possibly run. Until you undergo a merger with another company...

If you are building a virtualisation setup where you want the infrastructure to be run by different people than the VMs that run on that infrastructure, or you want an infrastructure that can take care of itself even if the rest of the network's management systems have failed (for whatever reason) then stay the hell away from Microsoft.

SCVMM can be amazing, but only within the narrow range of circumstances it was designed for. VMware is amazing all the time. And that's why Microsoft makes me salty. I cut my teeth on the better product, so every time that I try to make SCVMM do something and it refuses, I get very, very salty.

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Re: about to deploy a few containers

"You don't *have* to use SCVMM to manage Hyper-V"

Yes, you do, if you're running more than a handful of hosts in a testlab of an SMB so poor they count the fucking pencils to make you don't steal one.

"y guess about your SCVMM obsession is that you haven't bothered or for some reason is incapable of upgrading to SCVMM2012R2"

I've spent the past three weeks of my life fighting with it as part of a very in depth review of the offeri as part of a POC regarding the management of a 15,000 node datacenter's infrastructure. Additionally, I've been fighting the damned thing on 5 SMB sites and my own testlab trying to get stuff done for commercial content clients.

I've had to use every version since Server 2008 R2 and, oh ye, even the "marvelous" PowerShell, in all it's glorious I-hope-you-have-a-truly-amazing-memory shining fail.

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Re: "Anonymously because i do work for Oracle."

...I'm...I'm so sorry...

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Re: about to deploy a few containers

"Hyper-V Server is completely free for the fully featured version."

But the management tools are not.

"Hyper-V Server simplifies things over VMWare in my experience."

Bullshit, bullshit and thrice bullshit. SCVMM us a horrific monster sent from hell to make Sysadmins miserable. vSphere is a comparative delight to use. It's the little things, you see. Like the ability to use ISOs that aren't in a library that is on a file server that is part of the active directory and "controlled" by SCVMM. Or hey, the ability to mount an ISO through the fucking console so I can install a template image in SCVMM Might be a breakthrough that would catch it up to VMware from the before time when we vMotioned shit be scratching the RAM changes onto stone tablets and passed them around using token ring!

SCVMM is ass. It's an ass' dirty ass hair's ass. It's a shitpocalpyse of awfulness when compared to vSphere and when you start trying to get to cloudy scale and orchestrate things System Centers agglomeration of soul-destroying mind-snuf porn acutally manages to get worse!

"KVM does make things more complex though - and doesn't scale as well as VMWare or Hyper-V."

You just won the bullshit award. Ding ding ding! Openstack works like a hot damn at scale, and today is about as complex as trying to do anything with Hyper-V/SCVMM at scale. That is to say both are complete ass, covered in more asses and strewn with the dessicated souls of murdered children...but KVM/Openstack at least is actually free.

Both platforms basically require PhDs to run at scale, but with KVM/Openstack you only need your cloud of PhDs. You don't also need a legal team with a population larger than Monaco and a SWAT team of kick-ass licensing specialists combined with the GDP of Brunei to stand up a single datacenter.

VMware requires the GDP of Germany to get to a decent-sized datacenter, but at least you don't need all the wetware to understand how to license it or how to make the thing run.

Horses for courses, but I question strongly any horse that chooses to endorse the use of force used by Microsoft in setting it's course.

Also: fuck SCVMM extra hard. Because goddamn it is pissing me off today.

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HP: You know what's hot right now? Cloud* storage

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Re: Well, I for one believe HP completely.

You owe me a new sarcasm meter.

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Still a far cry from Facebook's desire for ultra-cheap WORM flash. Gotta say, the idea of WORM flash cold storage isn't awful...

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European Grid Infrastructure project condenses shared cloud

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Re: Say OpenStack

OpenStack. :)

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Microsoft: Pssst, small resellers, want to sling our cloud?

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Re: It's what you might call a limited offer....

I've read the MS definition, but I think it's far to 2006. This is the era of the internet of things. I have 100,000 pipeline sensors all with local cache that core dump their readings whenever they can get a clear signal. As I read it, they wouldn't be a "server" by the MS standards, yet from a practical standpoint I have to treat (and defend) them as such.

For that matter, I have dozens of client OS instances serving as "servers" because there's nothing in the license that says I need CALs to use Windows 7 as a "server" if the server software in question is third party. (Filezilla, etc.) These would be considered "servers" by Microsoft, though they aren't licensed as such.

There are no good industry definitions that match the reality of IT today. Maybe there can never be, given how fast IT evolves. Maybe that's even a good thing, as it prevents us from engaging in the irrelevant penis-comparison with any seriousness unless we're actually outright mad.

Worse, global statistics are functionally impossible to find that could be anywhere close to valid. The netcraft statistics are known to be bullshit. I suspect all the others are too. Stepping away from "what is a server" let's just ask the question "how do you track deployments and installs?" Let me expand that by asking "how do you track deployment and installs in a world where not only are an exploding number of IoT sensors "servers" but many/most servers are ephemeral, spun up and down on a whim according to the dictates of a monitoring app or sensor somewhere?"

Hence my rubbishing and hatred of any attempt to talk about "most servers" or other global deployment generalizations. It's like trying to say "most grains of sand in the world are composed of X". Sand is bloody diverse, with deposits near oceans having far more calcium carbonate, deposits inland frequently being silicon dioxide rich and deposits all over the place containing various bits of ground of lava. (My fish really like the ground lava sand.)

Also, for the record, you do very much come across as a huge redmondian fanboy. I'm down with that - Microsoft is still a huge part of my income - but I get quite a bit testy when I see Yet Another Tired Thread where a staunch defender of the Empire trots out the tired netcraft fallacy and waves it around like it means something.

Personally, I don't care who wins. With the sole exception of Ninite (may a thousand excellent vaginas find their way to the developers' groins) I hate and distrust everyone pretty much equally. I have some personal preferences regarding the systems I personally administer, but "fitness for purpose" and "affordable" trump "curses per timeframe" unless the costs and fitness are very, very close.

It does however bear some thought that you have embedded yourself in my memory as the Microsoft equivalent of "that guy who always says you should just try Linux." You're nowhere near Vogon-the-Anonymous-Coward" levels of "I want to stab them in the face with a rotting penguin", but enough that over time you've moved quite far out of the range of "impartial nerds" on my list of Reg commenttards.

Anyways, I'm grumpy and have a conference call. Webex hold music the ENTER YOUR MEETING ID AND PRESS POUND ::madness::

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Re: It's what you might call a limited offer....

Actually, I deal with "the mainstream market", being "the 80% of businesses" represented by SMB and SME. That, however, is neither here nor there. I made no claims in this thread whatsoever as to who has the most servers.

What I do notice, however, is that a historically rabidly pro-Microsoft commenter has cherry picked one set of statistics to claim dominance of Microsoft across "servers", then backs it up by saying "even if the stats aren't right, my personal experience verifies them."

What that tells me is that you are allowing your personal experience and personal preference to prejudice you. To the extent that you will cherry pick for stats you like and then hold them up as gospel. That makes absolutely anything you say unreliable, whether it coincides with my personal experience or not.

Personally, I have no idea what the ratio of Linux to Windows is, unless I have an exact definition for server. And you can change the definition of "server" in a lot of ways to get a lot of different results. I notice that you picked one that favoured your personal preference that Microsoft be viewed as dominant.

Me, I'd look at embedded devices serving a "server" function as well. Each node in a storage cluster would be counted. I'd count hypervisor hosts as well as guests. I'd even count routers. Anything that is a computing device but isn't actively used by an end user for input and response.

In my personal experience, that would put Linux/Unix/BSD as the foundation for around 120x as many systems as Windows. That drops significantly to about 35x if you count client OS VDI instances as "servers" (and frankly, I do.)

Now, how does my "personal experience" rank against the world population of servers by my definition? I am as yet unsure, in large part because a lot of embedded stuff simply isn't listed. Another part being that a lot of embedded stuff is VXWorks or QNX, which I wouldn't count as Linux/Unix/BSD, but make up a huge percentage of deployed systems.

Moreover, I come from an Oil and Gas province with a startling number of high-end post-secondary institutions and which is a leader in nanotech; there are lots of reasons why Linux/Unix/BSD is more popular here than it might be elsewhere.

So I simply don't have enough info to make grandiose claims about how many "servers" are Windows and how many are Linux, ever if we could ever agree on a definition. The stats I have seen, however - and I mean both locally and globally - do seem to indicate to me that by my definition there is a fuck of a lot more Linux/Unix/BSD out there than there is Windows.

As a general rule, my experience says "systems where humans have to interact with the thing on a regular basis" are Windows and "systems that need to run for years at a time without intervention" are Linux. Windows is easier, thus it gets used for line-of-business servers that see frequent upgrades, changes, etc. Linux is harder (but way less fragile) thus gets used for things that absolutely need to work, or where the cost of rolling someone out to fix it/replace it is far higher than just doing it right in the first place.

But again, that's my experience. And the experience of the overwhelming majority of systems administrators, CIOs and developers I've talked to. I don't believe that is the final word because, to my knowledge, nobody is actually counting every system deployed. How could they?

What I do know is this: people I deeply respects choose both Windows and Linux/Unix/BSD for different use cases and they deploy both of these OSes where they feel the OS is best suited. In most places, my assessment of the when/when/how/why aligns with theirs.

"Total server deployment" statistics can tell me a lot about where global money is going, but they don't tell me which OS is "better" or inform me that I should use a given OS for a given use case. In fact, "total server deployment" statistics are really only useful for penis comparison and validation of one's own preconceptions.

What does matter to me are statistics regarding specific use cases. Here I fully expect that my local experiences will vary from the rest of the world: Alberta is not a province of inventors and innovators. We're a province that applies the knowledge and ideas of others to hauling minerals out of the ground or growing cows. We extend the work of others; we very rarely do anything radical.

Thus if there is a big misalignment of personal experience with statistics it could indicate that others have found a good reason to change which OS they use for a given use case, and it behooves me to check it out. To be ahead of the curve locally, not behind it.

So I return to the beginning of this post and say:

What I do notice, however, is that a historically rabidly pro-Microsoft commenter has cherry picked one set of statistics to claim dominance of Microsoft across "servers", then backs it up by saying "even if the stats aren't right, my personal experience verifies them."

You completed my commenttard Bingo for the day. I dobbed all the tropes on my card. More importantly, you have confirmed an opinion I've had for some time, which is that your personal prejudice is something you gleefully allow to influence your decisions, even when it comes to something as simple as selection of relevant and useful data sources upon which to base decisions!

My primary experience is certainly niche - though that is growing in diversity rather rapidly - but I don't generally say "my experience should be the basis of all decision making for all use cases." If I have a grouse with a company then I state what the grouse is and why I have it; if the grouse is "just my experience" I usually say "run your own tests to make sure."

If the grouse is something more endemic, like "how a company treats is customers/partners/etc" then I will give direct examples of what I believe bad behavior to be. Some times I'll relate an experience; this is usually followed by an invitation for others to share like experiences, that we me broaden and deepen the data available beyond just my own woes.

With the exception of an expectation that companies treat customers fairly and as reasonably, it has been a heck of a long time since I've said "one X to rule them all." IT is huge. It's bigger than the number of people on this planet! IT has become so diverse that it represents not only every facet of how every person and company chooses to do something, it now adapts to the needs of machine learning and evolution!

Anyone, anywhere who thinks that a statistics like "OS deployed on the majority of servers" means a goddamend thing is a fucking idiot. Anyone who claims they even have a means of tracking that today is a close second. You cannot even say "this is the best OS for storage/networking/cloud/virtualization/embedded/etc" because the major categories are so breathtakingly huge that diversity of requirements and use cases renders any attempts at broad generalization moot.

Your experience means fuck all, and so to you. My experience means fuck all, and so do I. The universe is so vast, and we are so small. The best we can do is deal with the individual use cases in front of us one at a time, and make the best decisions possible with the data we have to hand.

...and to guard against our own prejudices and preconceptions, lest they blind us to better options when attempting to navigate the most rapidly changing field of human endeavor ever undertaken.

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Re: It's what you might call a limited offer....

"Even ignoring the stats, my own experience"

Bingo.

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Re: It's what you might call a limited offer....

Also: what's a "server"? Do virtual hosts count? Do you count a VMware host as a Server, or it's VMs, or both? If it's Microsoft, are you counting the host instance as a "server" when you're not counting an instance of ESXi?

What about storage? Do you count an EMC array or a Netapp filer as a "server"? What about a Windows-based filer? What about each node in a Hadoop cluster? Or do you try to count the the whole cluster as a single "server" while counting each Windows filer as a "server"? (Windows filers can't scale anywhere near as large.)

Before you go spouting off who has more "servers", I'd really like us to get a good definition of what "server" is these days.

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Being a Microsoft Partner.

As a Microsoft Partner who has seen diminishing returns of late, I would normally write an enormous rant here about this. Instead, I will link you to http://www.crn.com/news/channel-programs/240165273/microsoft-partners-in-uproar-over-cloud-sales-commission-cuts.htm. This sums up the situation quite nicely for partners; the good, the bad and the margins.

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PC makers! You, between Microsoft and the tablet market! Get DOWN!

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Re: Not so fast

Why don't you stop and read for a moment? If the fellow - like most people - doesn't give any fucks about the stylus then it simply won't factor into his decision-making one way or another. All things being equal, a stylus-equipped unit would be more expensive, but you'd have to be a deficient to believe that this actually held true in the real world for all cases.

The fellow was talking quite explicitly about getting a previous generation device at a substantial discount. Generally getting a device a discount requires that devices be made available at discount pricing, not be sold out, and other such things. Thus the requirement here is "cheap" and "available." It has fuck all to do with the stylus, or the theoretical relative pricing of stylus versus non-stylus.

I do, however, not that you seem to bring up the stylus in every single bloody thread where a Surface is mentioned. This leads me to believe that you're the one with the stylus fetish (I suspect viewing your browser history would elicit a mind-bleach requirement) and the rest of the world will just go with "cheap" and "available", eschewing any considerations whatsoever about the enstylused nature of their fondlefappery.

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Re: Not so fast

Stop and think for one moment: maybe other people don't give a flying donkey fuck about the stylus.

In fact, given the fact that the first tablets to really take off (iPad) weren't the stylus type, and a decade of Microsoft Stylus tablets failed to make a splash before that, I'm going to with "most people don't give a flying donkey fuck about the stylus".

--Handwritten on my Samsung Galaxy Note 2, using my stylus.

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Cloudy plague will KILL storage vendors, say Gartner mages

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Re: The solid core of the big storage business

"When considering technology, the determination of fitness will be partly based on information like "how many install-years does this platform have"."

Yes and no. "How many install years does this platform have while serving use cases like or almost like mine" might be more accurate. 10,000 install-years serving bulk block storage for virutalisation means nothing if I am going to use the same device to store 100M small jpegs! (As one example I run across all the time...)

"Quantification and empirical testing are absolutely the tools used to determine which platform wins the RFP, but not inviting unproven platforms to participate doesn't count as prejudice, in my book. "

Your book is wrong. Establishing a policy regarding "how many install-years a given vendor/product needs before we consider it" should never be up to one individual. It should be based on a statistical analysis of empirical data. There's also no reason whatsoever to believe that new products from an established vendor will do any better than products from a startup, so they should not get a pass, but be subject to the same constraints as any other vendor.

I entirely understand the mentality "let someone else walk through the minefield," but I am also entirely aware that if everyone does this, then technology never advances. If you start adding exceptions such as "well, new products are okay as long as they're from an established vendor" you're only getting right back to gut feelings and comfort zones and kyboshing the entire idea of empirical study.

The pedigree of the startup matters. Who is making the tech? Do they have a history of knowing what they are talking about? Do they have any reference customers that have similar implementations to yours? Have they run it in enough places to know what the limitations are, and are they willing to be honest about those limitations?

My list of questions and qualifications is longer than my arm...but I will apply that as much to a Microsoft or a Cisco as I will to any startup. The age of the company doesn't matter; the people running it do. I'm just as likely to get screwed by a behemoth of an IT vendor as I am by some young pup; the difference is that the young pup needs me to survive, the behemoth doesn't.

So hey, if you can dig up enough empirical evidence to do a proper statistical analysis and say "storage vendors serving this market tend to have higher failure rates in their products until they have this many install-hours" then that is a great basis for a rational decision regarding whom to include and whom to exclude. Not only have numbers to back your cutoffs, but tracable logic as to why you chose that cutoff and not some other.

"My feels say they should have been around for this long before I care" is not rational, no matter how you dress it up. It's gut feeling masquerading as reasoning. It's also very human, and very common.

It also means that when you try to shift tech you cannot assume rational actors. IT nerds love to believe they're rational; a large part of their self image is wrapped up in this concept of mental superiority over the hoi polloi...but ultimately, their decisions are emotionally based...just like those of other people.

Reference customers are important, but once past the point where enough folks have banged on your use case to beat the bugs out, you're just as likely to have the big boys' toys blow up as the small 'uns. Finding the stats on exactly where, that depends on your individual use case.

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Re: The solid core of the big storage business

Additionally, the fact that you would say "Just don't try to do it at the precise same time as calling them members of a "panicky herd" and chiding them for "covering their butt"" indicates that you are on some level perfectly aware that most people are not rational actors. Their emotions play a role, from feelings of being talked down to right through to prejudices.

It is by recognizing the reality of this - in ourselves and in others - that we can best ensure our desires are met. Even that pinnacle of rationality, the enterprise storage admin must have their irrational and emotive self addressed equally if not more critically than their rational self.

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Re: The solid core of the big storage business

And I'm telling you what I've seen working alongside enterprise storage admins, listening to them talk about their jobs, especially working with and talking to virtualisation admins in large enterprises and extensive discussions with a number of large enterprise CIOs.

Maybe you, personally make rational decisions. Maybe you are even lucky enough to work in a group where other storage admins make rational decisions. It isn't the norm.

Rational choice theory has been largely disproven. Bounded rationality is a better model, but still incomplete. The actions of individuals in a large corporate or government environment are no more rational than an electorate, or any other element of largeish social dynamics.

Additionally, I'm not "chiding" anyone for "covering their butt." I'm observing. I don't actually care who buys what...only why they do. It is the why that captures my interest.

I do, however, flatly disagree with your statement "the rational decision for whale shops is not a startup or the cloud, and if you disagree, you're welcome to try to convince someone to hire you to make decisions for them." That's a sweeping judgment and as such is patently idiotic.

It is rational for large enterprises - or anyone else - to consider all technologies and technology providers on a case-by-case basis to determine fitness for purpose and value for dollar. What "category" they happen to fit in is utterly irrelevant. Some cloud services and startups (I personally argue most) cloud services are utterly worthless. Many are not. The rational choice is take the time to figure out which is which and see who/what can provide you an advantage.

And with that you prove my point: prejudice and gut reaction ruling responses over quantification and empirical testing. Bounded rationality in play, and the rational actor theory lies dead.

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Re: The solid core of the big storage business

"Enterprise customers don't go with the start-ups mainly because they don't know if and for how long that start-up will be around."

That depends on the startup. The Tintris and Nutanixes of this world aren't going anywhere, but they still struggle mightily. They will either IPO or be acquired, but they're here to stay.

"SMBs will take the same attitude more often than not. Unless the start-up can seriously undercut the big boys on price, performance or features, they will go with the big guy with the guaranteed support."

Wrong. They'll generally pick a relatively established mid-tier player that can undercut the giants on price, aren't likely to turn into a pumpkin and provide "good enough" to "outright excellent" support.

"Being on-line and keeping the business running is the value per dollar. Everything else is insignificant in comparison."

Wrong again; if the cost to be "online and business running" is several times your gross annual revenue then you're pretty much fucked, unless you're willing to consider vendors other than the established top-end large enterprise happy fun club. Shockingly, for every Cisco, there's an Arista. For every EMC, a Tintri, for every HP tape backup division, an Exablox.

Being online and running also means nothing if you don't have enough profit to grow and adapt. In the SMB/SME space, your competitors will be doing it constantly; you need to be able to cut costs enough to have the money for those endeavors without compromising viability. Enterprises have a heck of a lot more leeway here.

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Re: The solid core of the big storage business

"Enterprise IT cares deeply about value per dollar, but have a very different cost for downtime and data loss than SMBs".

Bullshit. Nobody can afford data loss these days. This isn't the 90s. As for downtime; Enterprises can afford to Adobe the world for a day and they're fine. It's a little embarrassing, but banks to don't under because the debit machines stopped working again for the umpteenth time due to bank IT screwup. Target still sells shit, even after screwing up and selling you. Enterprises can afford downtime, data loss and screwups because they are too big for the consequences to truly affect them.

If SMBs or SMEs have downtime they are done. They'll lose clients instantly because the world they live is is ultracompetitive and their customers are fickle. Perhaps more to the point, the large enterprises they compete against will instantly jump all over any outage or data loss and turn a marketing machine worth more than the gross annual revenue of the little guy towards smearing their name and driving them out of business.

Large enterprises can survive government interventions that border on inquisitions. SMBs can be murdered by nothing more than FUD.

"I am subjecting myself to a risk"

And there is my point crystallized: cover-your-ass-a-service. It's what really matters to the large enterprise (and large enterprise admins), not value for dollar.

"They just don't like it when people consider personnel turnover, serviceability, and risk as part of that cost of ownership."

What are smoking, and can you please share? This is exactly what (good, successful) startups want you to consider. The (good, successful) startup scene is about making products that are easy to use and reliable.

They aren't always (I would argue rarely are) cheap...but they generally do quite directly address things like "what happens if people get hit by a bus". Not by making a certification program to ensure that you have a $20k certification path to know how to properly swap a hard drive when RAID fails, but by making sure that you don't need that level of training to make the damned thing go in the first place.

There are plenty of bad startups out there that are little more than con jobs. I have a list as long as my arm...but there are plenty of startups that are capitalizing on the fact that some aspect of IT has become so viciously overcomplicated that it needs a good pruning. That small sector has developed into a "specialization" which now exists only to perpetuate the need for that particular specialization to continue to exist. They then set about automating/software-defining/completely-reinventing-the-basics away the need for that level of complexity in the first place.

Perhaps one of the better examples of this is Tintri. Tintri "just goes fast", and for cheap. There are zero nerd knobs to tweak. There is no "optimizing" to be done. It is faster and cheaper than the alternatives, period.

When and where Tintri gets a win and convinces a customer to buy a box, the second, third and so forth follow in short order. They are doing quite well - and even slowly eeking into the large enterprise - because they made a product that is just flat out better than big-brand arrays it is competing against. And it's better because there are no nerd-knobs to tweak, not in spite of it.

Despite this, Tintri earns hyperbolic vitriol from a great many enterprise admins who've never touched it. It's new and "untested" (bullshit!) they say. They can't get into the guts and tweak it (that's the fucking point!). FUD, FUD, FUD. Cut through it - usually 10 beers later - and they just don't want it around because they either A) haven't used it before so they don't understand it or B) their job wouldn't need to exist if they bought it.

"If any large enterprise could become more competitive and reduce costs by going with storage startups or the cloud, they would have done it and reaped any benefits, which would prompt their competition to do the same or be left holding a higher operating cost ratio."

Bullshit, bullshit, and double bullshit. That's the same sort of "people are rational actors" tripe as American conservatives spew. People aren't rational actors, and corporations/governments sure as hell aren't.

Corporations and governments are made up of individuals. Those individuals - by and large - have little-to-no loyalty to the company or government they serve. Individually and collectively they care about one thing: preserving the money that is their salary.

You don't get a bonus for picking the most efficient product that can do the job within the safety margins. You get a bonus for picking the "known good choice" and never taking any risk, no matter how small. As stated above: companies at the size of a large enterprise are big enough to cope with being massively inefficient, even to the point of experiencing huge outages, data loss and so forth.

Large enterprises don't need to be as efficient as the next guy. They just need to be able to scapegoat someone if something goes wrong. That means that the sole focus of people that work there is never being ion a position to be scapegoated, even if that means it costs the business more. It isn't their money, they just don't care.

"The reality is that we all have little projects we use to test out new stuff,"

Completely untrue. First off, a huge chunk of large enterprises absolutely do not have internal skunkworks for IT. They let their competition do that and they then follow the herd by adhering to "best practices" and the whitepaper farm. Nobody at that level is going to be out of business because their IT plant is a little less efficient than the next guy, and they can skimp on the R&D that way.

"and if anything were so significantly better than the established low-risk vendors we tend to use, they would quickly become "enterprise vendors"."

Nope, sorry. I've seen lots of situations in which the startups pass muster on the technical side, meet all the business requirements and otherwise are well suited to operating in a large enterprise (indeed, already are in some other large enterprises), but are shot down as a vendor for purely political reasons. Massive FUD from an admin or team worried about their own relevance is one frequent item, but by far and away the most common is some pointy-haired boss who just doesn't want to lose junkets or clout with his existing junket provider.

Besides, you act as though SMBs and SMEs just roll up to a startup, swallow whatever tripe they spew and toss complete unknowns into production. That's bullshit of the nth order. 80% of the companies I work devote around 1/3rd of their IT budget to R&D and PoCs. Dev and Test are frequently a substantial size of production, right down to companies with as little as $3M in gross annual revenue.

Now, I'll admit, when you get below $1M GAR, everything changes and IT starts to become largely disharmonious consumer-based pap, but - quite frankly - so is everything at that level. There's a reason a huge % of companies never make it to $1M.

Above that, however, and right up to the point where politics dominates over sheer corporate survival, R&D/prototyping/PoCs are absolutely critical. IN the SMB/SME space you only get one chance, and you're usually toast if you botch it.

Remember also that in the SMB/SME space, IT isn't an empire. We don't get to dictate terms to the business. The business demands we provide a given service - and level of service - and you get what you get for budget; there isn't any more to be had.

In the SMB/SME space, we only keep our jobs if we're more efficient than the next guy, without incurring any additional risk.

In the large enterprise space you only keep your jobs if, when something goes wrong, you can both point to a "best practices" document and claim "everyone, everywhere does it this way" and you can redirect the blame cannon onto another scapegoat.

More than anything, this is what holds back the evolution of enterprise vendors. The "new guy" company is the easy target when something goes wrong, even if it isn't actually responsible. Noone wants to be the one responsible for introducing new technology or vendors to the mix because they don't want to be the scapegoat.

There's nothing there about "fitness for purpose" or "value for dollar". It's just fear and politics. Even if the thing is entirely fit for purpose and provides superior value for dollar uptake will be painfully slow in large enterprise.

There are always exceptions to everything above, but even those - such as Netapp - are very slow growing. Even when offering better for value for dollar and when equally fit for purpose, Netapp will still struggle inside a large enterprise for specific deployments due to individual ass covering and fear...and here's a company that has "made it" and has a "presence"!

People are not rational actors, and collections of people are even less so. Large collections of people are panicky herds, and I find your belief that individuals within the belly of a "whale" will do what's best for the whale (instead of for themselves) quaint and alarming at the same time.

It certainly doesn't align with any of my experience, or my research. Maybe you, personally, are a good admin; loyal and true and working for the good of your employer. If so, that makes you rare...and I hope they buy you a bloody island, because if that's the kind of admin you are, they'd better not lose you.

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Trevor_Pott
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Re: The solid core of the big storage business

"Enterprise IT" giants make the bulk of their money from...enterprises. Shocker. You're absolutely correct that a large enterprise brings in more revenue per client than an SMB or SME...but there are a sweet holy hooligan more SMBs and SMEs than large enterprises.

Why isn't EMC making their living off of SMB and SME clients? Because there's better value for dollar with the startups, or even with Dell, HP and so forth.

Enterprises don't give a rat's ass about value for dollar. Enterprises are all about massively conservative approaches to everything. Resistance to change borders on an elemental force. Everything at every level with every single person has absolutely nothing to do with advancing the interests of the company itself and everything to do with "covering one's own ass."

Enterprise administrators are the epitome of fear. If they don't know it inside out and backwards then it is evil. No ifs ands or buts. If there isn't training, a certification and so forth then there's no way to ensure that asses are covered. Manuals must exist that qualify as tomes. Certifications must exist so you can say "if I get hit by a bus, you don't have to actually exert brainpower thinking about who to hire, you just hire this shiny certificate." Everything is codified, procedure and the buck stops nowhere because nobody can ever possibly be to blame for anything.

SMBs and SMEs just don't live in that world. They need to be faster and more nimble than large enterprises if they want to survive. They need to be able to do as good (or better) a job while charging less, and that means that "value for dollar" is the driving force behind IT.

Enterprises will uptake technologies that are today considered "startup" territory, but only once 5-10 years have passed since initial introduction. The startups have to either be eaten by an existing enterprise IT vendor, or they have to have ballooned out to some huge size where the majority of the company is no longer engineers, they're content creators and sales people. Documenting every possible configuration and inviting CIOs out to lunch to convince them to spend 100x the money on their solution as they would on a similar solution by a rival startup.

Obviously, large enterprises are doing something right, or they wouldn't be so large. By the same token, it increasingly seems like large enterprises exist to serve the needs of other large enterprises, with large quantities of money flowing 'round in circles at the top and ultimately never really leaving that world.

Large enterprise in increasingly incestuous and simply choosing not to cater to the other 80% of humanity. The top 20% caters to the top 20%...but is also populated by execs and shareholders intent on pulling as much money out of hte system as humanly possible. How long that is sustainable is an open question.

In the meantime and betweentime, all those more agile SMB and SMEs are getting more and more comfortable living in a world where they don't really need to interface with large enterprises at all. They're moving too fast, they're changing too fast, and they don't really want to wait for suppliers or customers to catch up.

The next few years will be interesting. Which will win out? The breakneck pace towards efficiency, automation and innovation seen at the bottom, or the overwhelming inertia of the top?

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Trevor_Pott
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Re: Vendors

Into object storage on commodity hardware. See: Caringo.

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Net neutrality foes outspent backers by over three to one – and that's just so far

Trevor_Pott
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Lobbying by commercial entities should be made illegal considered treason.

T,FTFY.

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Uncivil engineering: US society skewers self-published science

Trevor_Pott
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Re: ASCE's journals

Funny, ARXIV hasn't destroyed the discipline of Physics yet...

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Venus Express to get final acid bath before crashing to surface

Trevor_Pott
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Re: Great terminology!

Uh, "lithobraking" has been around since the earliest Soyuz landings. At least. That's a fairly old term.

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Trevor_Pott
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Re: The nutcase brigade would never allow a NASA mission to Venus

If we aren't causing the rise in Earth's CO2 levels, what is? Also, where does all the CO2 from our combusted fossil fuels go? Faerie farts? The extant biosphere cannot absorb anything close to what we're pumping out. There are no plants that can grow fast enough to use up that CO2.

Worse; plants have this nasty habit of being on the surface. They don't tend to "sequester" the CO2 again, with the exception of some of the CO2 leaving the system via oceanic sequestration (algea and higher life forms dying, falling to the bottom of the ocean and being buried/subducted.)

So there are some problems with the hypothesis "humans are so insignificant as to not be able to affect the global climate."

1) We are releasing several hundred million years' worth of sequestered carbon into the atmosphere.

2) The extant plants can't absorb it at anything like the rate we emit it.

3) We keep doing this "deforestation" thing on massive enough levels to make me very sad when I look at Google Earth images of British Columbia or Brazil.

4) The more CO2 in the atmosphere, the more the heat gets trapped here.

5) The more CO2 in the atmosphere, the more acidic the oceans become.

6) The more acidic the oceans become, the less CO2 gets sequestered via ocean organisms doing their growth/consumption/burial thing.

7) Humans like to breathe air that isn't filled with particulates, so (most) of our societies have been moving towards pollution controls which reduce the amount of particulates we crank up into the atmosphere, thus reducing the amount of radiation reflecting material in the atmosphere, giving us all the climatic CO2 effect of a lovely series of volcanic eruptions with an ever decreasing amount of soot to block out the sun.

Anyone who does the sums and thinks we aren't affecting the climate is a goddamned idiot. We are; and fairly rapidly (on geologic timescales) at that. The flip side of this is that if we hadn't gone and done this, we'd be facing the start of another ice age in about, oh, 6000 years or so. So we've unintentionally geoengineered our planet to be more suitable for us than it was heading towards...but we may well have gone too far in the other direction on this.

So there are questions that we need to get answers to:

1) Is there a "new balance" oceanic ecosystem that can cope with the increased acidification on a short enough timescale to cope with the mass extinction we've initiated?

2) Will this "new balance" ecosystem be able to ramp up it's CO2 sequestration enough to start reversing the CO2 levels? By how much, on what timescale and will we be right back to facing the Ice Age problem again if it adapts quickly?

3) How much of the commercially important biodiversity are we going to lose when the extant oceanic ecosystem is no longer sustainable? How will we adapt to this?

4) Tundra/Taiga thawing is releasing massive amounts of Methane, accelerating climate change and in turn accelerating thawing. Should we/can we ignite the Methane in order to turn this very powerful greenhouse gas into less potent CO2?

5) What kind of technology needs be invented to convert Tundra/Taiga into farmland? (Muskeg is impassable to our current technology.) How much do we need to convert to meet the requirements of our species in light of the changing climate?

6) How will rainfall patterns change, and how will these changes affect our ability to grow necessary crops?

7) Can we alter the rainfall patterns we expect to be seeing through forestation/reforestation (forests alter rainfall patterns by altering both local albedo and the local hydrological cycle.) Should we? And Where?

8) Can we green the desert/prevent the expansion of deserts due to change in rainfall patterns via fission-backed desalination and irrigation? Should we? And where?

9) What areas are at risk from flooding due to sea rise or increased storm activity? What should we abandon, what should we reinforce?

10) Much of our current agricultural technology relies on petroleum-based fertilizers. As the climate changes our energy demands will increase while at the same time we are reaching the limit (if we haven't already) of BBL/day relevant hydrocarbon extraction. (You can't make fertilizer from natural gas.) What technologies need to be invented or adapted to cope with a future in which these fertilizers are less plentiful? Can we green the desert/farm the tundra without them? Should we be caching reserves of these critical substances in order to deal with the upcoming "fringe farming" requirements while transitioning our more easily arable land towards farming techniques that don't require petroleum-based fertilizer?

11) We are already using water from our aquifers far faster than the aquifer recharge rate. How will changing rainfall patterns affect aquifer recharge? How will we have to adjust our water usage and agricultural practices? Can we use fission-backed desalination to refill the aquifers faster than nature itself would allow, and should we?

12) If we do change any of our current practices (for example, our very water-intensive farming techniques) how will that alter the climate? Will local variances in water evaporation or albedo (due to forestation/reforestation/greening of the desert/farming the tundra) have larger effects that we should consider? What effects are those, and how do get all the relevant political bodies together to make plans that deal with the "ripple effect" of large-scale changes undertaken by one organization?

We aren't going to stop climate change. We aren't ever going to get people use less power or otherwise sacrifice for a "greater good" that is generations in the realization. We need to accept that, and start looking at technologies and techniques that will enable adaptation to the changing world.

We live in a world where one man can choose to cut down an entire forest, altering the weather across the entire region and ultimately subtly changing the global climate. One person's signature can set into motion a chain of events large enough that we really should be figuring out what the repercussions are, and how best to adapt to those repercussions.

We still have a group of people so obsessed with their own false sense of insignificance that they actually prevent us from moving beyond "can we affect the planet on a global scale". We can, and we do. What we need to be doing is qualifying how so that we can quantify the externalities current business, governance and commercial practices are not paying for and ensure those costs are properly costed as part of the cost of goods and services. We then can ensure that mitigation and adaptation efforts are funded and properly coordinated.

That isn't religion, or radical belief, or hocus pocus. It's pragmatism. Life is change; those who adapt, survive.

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Who's going to look after the computers that look after our parents?

Trevor_Pott
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Re: Why not work?

"The thing about having local employment is that it pushes up property prices. If there are jobs, people will move to the area to take them. If there are no jobs, house prices drop - or become affordable, if you prefer that description."

I have an ADSL connection and can reroute through the LTE in my phone whenever I want. Hence there are innumerable "jobs" available from wherever I choose to be. Telecommuting, it's a thing. And unless there are 8 figures involved, I'm never working an office job again.

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