3473 posts • joined 31 May 2010
Re: Fault Tolerance
Stratus bought Marathon
Re: too complicated for small to mid size businesses
I deploy VMware Essentials Plus kits to all my SMBs. A separate feature, looking at VMware for the SMB market is currently under construction.
You are 100% correct. I sincerely apologize for the screw-up. The hell of it is, I even knew that, and had it flagged for change, but missed it in the final version. 15 lashes with a wet noodle have been applied and the change made.
Re: Not worth the power they use?
Fairly simple; I may possess the hardware for these other servers outright, however, they are expensive to power. FLOPS/watt on them versus the Fat Twin units means that were I to go out and buy a Fat Twin to replace the three racks of older gear that I have I would pay for the faster and more capable Fat Twin in less than 6 months simply out of the power savings.
To me, that means the older systems aren't worth the power they use.
Haven't tried Eucalyptus. VMware ESXi 5.1 works like a hot damn. Openstack too. Server 2012 works as well.
Funny you should ask that. The reason this took so long to come together was that Dell was originally supposed to ship me a C6220 to test. We were going to to a head-to-head; showcase each unit it isn't own article and then really tear into each of them with an array of tests. Dell backed out at the last minute and so I was down to testing the Supermicro against the rest of my lab.
Kind of sucks; Dell's switch was quite a nice piece of gear. Supermicro and Dell went pretty head-to-head on that, hard to say one was a clear winner. I would have been interested to see Dell's C6220 in action, especially when it came to the resilience of the power plane and its thermal responsiveness. So I sadly cannot answer you regarding the C6220. It looks nice on paper; but we all know how misleading that can be.
What I can say is that Supermicro's stuff has come a long way in the past 10 years. More critically, they seem to be putting a lot more time and effort into making their units able to withstand high temperatures (so that you can run your datacenter hotter, thus saving rather a lot of money) and into completely over-engineered power systems. Not only are the power planes resilient, but Supermicro makes their own PSUs; and they are crazy efficient.
If and when I get equipment from other vendors, you know I'll run it through the wringer. From server stacks like the Fat Twin to the humble USB stick; I've got a test lab, let's break this stuff!
Re: It's not the hardware itself...
It has the same level of R&D as the big players. And they HCL. And they certify. And....pretty much everything. Supermicro isn't exacy "just a whitebox vendor" anymore. Yes, they do sell units on a whitebox basis...but they also have excellent support options, especially if you buy big enough to be doing whole datacenters through them. Might be time you talked with tbem about the options, rather than rather than rely on assumptions that - it seems - are years out of date.
Re: what luck
Pretty orthogonal, actually. I had to work for six months to get a unit to review. It was worth it. Great bit of gear. If you have some ideas as to tests you'd like me to run, please, let me know! I'll run any tests that I reasonably can. :)
Re: Terrible review
And you're wrong. Any network card for which you have good, low-level access can be reconfigured to send non-standard Ethernet frames. It takes a little bit of bit-bashing on the driver creator's part, but you can turn a regular old network card into something that will make FCoE frames.
What you cannot do is send those frames over a standard ethernet network unless you have similarly updated your switch. To be clear: you are not going to be getting firmware from D-link to this, but you can usually get your higher-end Cisco stuff upgraded to handle the non-standard frames. This means that you can do FCoE point-to-point only unless you invest in the right infrastructure (which should include CNAs, make no mistake) but that you can make a NIC speak FCoE frames if you tinker with it enough. (Nobody does it because what would be the point?)
The fact that you've never rewritten a firmware or driver (or done any real bit-banging) doesn't mean others haven't. Please bear that in mind the next time you wander around accusing people of things.
You'll also note that while I said that a regular network card could be made to speak either protocol, I only discussed iSCSI as being in in sort of practical use without a CNA. And now we've had this little conversation in the comments so there is even more information available. Internet!
Re: So it's better supported than vPro in desktops then?
Yeah; the networking team's drivers are a cut above most. I don't have anything good to say about the old IGPs (though I admit to not having given the Sandy Bridge or Ivy Bridge gens a whirl) and the vPro stuff has always been a little on the flaky side.
I was at one point going to do a full review of the Intel vPro stuff. Alas, I could only get hold of the vPro stuff in my Ivy Bridge Eris 3 nodes; I couldn't get my hands on any of the mobile vPro stuff, even for a month of testing. So I can't really test the fullness of the offering and abandoned the project. :(
Ah well; I have a SAN to build this year. That should be an interesting thing...
I wish. I have nothing but sadness regarding Intel IGPU drivers and Linux. Nothing but sadness.
The idea that Hadoop is "cheaper" is a myth. Hadoop solves the "expensive server" problem by spamming a whole bunch of shitty consumer-grade hardware at the problem. If you do the research into the subject and talk to the right people there is rather a lot of dissention as to whether or not this actually results in an over price drop.
You see, the expensive databases (Oracle, DB2, etc) are really tightly coded the hardware for performance. They aren't perfect, but they are a hell of a lot more efficient than Hadoop. Plus, you generally get away with doing what you need to do on a single (or smallish number) of exceptionally powerful boxes. This drives down your power, cool, space and networking bills by quite a bit.
You can overcome some of the inherent limitations with Hadoop if you have shit-hot programmers, but as you pointed out, SMBs don't. What's more, as the traditional DB folks are being kicked out of the higher end positions thanks to Hadoop actually being useful (and cheaper) when you get to petascale, the cost of the expertise required to do Neat Things with traditional databases is plummeting.
I have on hand a handful of system that could theoretically be Hadoop nodes. They would be exceptionally shitty Hadoop nodes and they wouldn't come anywhere close to providing the compute, IOPS or network bandwidth required to do the imagery analysis discussed above. Assuming, of course, I could find a dev to program it.
The ability to use consumer hardware doesn't mean it's cheaper. It means it scales out in a more linear fashion. When you have a small scale budget, limited space, limited cooling and big requirements, Hadoop just isn't the thing.
But most businesses do better if they have analytics. Chicken and egg. So:
Step 1) Collect all the data you can
Step 2) Start interrogating it
Step 3) Alter your busienss/marketing practices based on what you discover
I have a dozen companies Microsoft could use for case studies. (Were they willing to front some hardware! I don't have hadoop-class anything lying around.) That said...a lot of these companies already do analytics. Using PHP. And MySQL. Dear god, I am about the move the FIRST of these SMBs to an SSD for the MySQL database! Standard SQL databases will hold pretty much all the data these companies actually use.
You've got a long way to go to sell me on the necessity of that. Sure, the same company we're moving to the SSD for the MySQL database has potentially 100TB of data per year coming in. Most of it, however, is imagery. Can you even imagine what you'd need to do image-based analysis to extra things like "what are most people taking pictures of" etc?
Yeah, so we stick to sales data, geographics....if we get really ambitious we could pull metadata from the images and analyse that. But where's the ROI in pulling apart the images, scanning for "pictures of babies, pictures of landscapes, pictures of cars" etc. Will knowing what people are shooting produce more of a revenue bump than the cost of the nuclear substation and small shopping mall we'd need to crunch the data?
Hadoop for SMB? WHY?
Re: Difference between a Lada and Jaguar
The Lada makes it 10 years before requiring an overhaul and is a decent commuter, while the Jag falls apart every 300km (or aftrr the first foot of snow, whichever is sooner)? Because in my experience a reasonably well cared for Lada keeps ticking well beyond the Jags (which are the most unreliable, overpriced shit on the road.)
Then again, I'm judging by the standards of "a good commuter car for Edmonton, Alberta." Which - for me and mine - is all that matters. (Still take a Toyota any day. Get 25 years out of those things.) I don't actually care what standards you are judging by. They don't apply to me.
Re: Which model is it?
Well, Bollocks. I've had both of those things floating around the lab at one point or another. To be honest, I ran both of 'em through the wringer - I got the 3420 for a client a few weeks after the 3620 showed up for review. I obviously made a boo-boo and looked at the wrong switch when writing the model number down for the article.
I will ping the sub ed and ask him to change this. For the record, the article applies equally to both switches. I put them both to the wall and they performed identically.
Re: Making excuses
If I "make excuses tinged with embarrassment" it is because of 10+ years of relentless ad homenim attacks and professional degradation by the Cisco indoctrinated crowd. Let me be perfectly clear here: D-Link's business switches have been stalwart, reliable elements of every single network I've ever built except one. They have proven to be reliable, capable and simple. They are all you Really Need until you get big enough to start needing to futz around with layer 3 stuff.
That said, I have over the years developed a "trauma victim" complex discussing such things in public because of the vehemence of the backlash from people who make 8x my salary. It is no different than the vehemence I encounter when I defame Microsoft's licensing practices regarding VDI, or deride the manner in which the UI decisions were taken regarding Windows 8. People attack me personally.
They question my upbringing, my genetics, my intelligence, competence, professional capability…they even go so far as to contact my employers and clients and demand that I be fired immediately for quite obviously being unworthy to work in the IT industry at all. I have been cyber-stalked by people who are angry that I dare question Microsoft's innate "right" to tell us how to run our networks (and their "right" to punish us with breathtaking licensing regulations should we try to implement anything in an unapproved manner.)
Similarly, I have had some rally Bad Stuff thrown my way for daring to mention that OpenWRT on a Netgear WNDR2700 v2 can actually go toe-to-toe with a lot of the better high-end wifi gear, (or even a lot of Cisco's stuff, depending on the application.)
To put it simply: high-end enterprise-class IT nerds with big stonking budgets have among their number an unfortunate number of bullies. They also believe in their own divine ability to judge what is "right" for everyone else; doubly so if they know zero details of the network in question.
I am not saying I'm a saint. I really wish a rock from space would fall on the Microsoft licenceing department and wipe them all out. It's vindictive, it's mean…it may even make me "evil" to wish such a thing. But I do; that one collection of individuals has cause me – personally and professionally – more grief than any other group of people on the planet, including the creepy cyberstalkers. I am aware it is not okay (at all) to "hate" an identifiable group and I wish I knew of an off switch. I don't like that part of myself, it's ugly, horrible and unprofessional in the extreme. It is also functionally instinctual by now, given how many times per day I bump up against the problems they cause me.
There is, however, a difference between wishing a thing and acting upon said dark impulses. Trash talk on the internet (or in person, or what-have-you) is one thing. Actively going out of your way to sabotage an individual's career, company, personal relationships, etc is something else entirely.
No matter how much the decisions made my MS's licenceing goons have directly negatively influenced my own life - and those of people I care about - I sure as heck don't send angry little e-mails to Microsoft demanding that the licensing department all be fired, or actively stalking them and trying to ruin their lives.
I restrict myself to griping about how much I loathe the bastards on the internet. I work to show people that there are alternatives to Microsoft out there and I try hard to explain why getting locked into Microsoft's ecosystem could be bad for your business. I also praise Microsoft where and when it is due; for all my gripes about anti-customer behaviour and licenceing shenanigans, they do make some of the best technology on the planet.
So why do I "make excuses tinged with embarrassment?" Because I reflexively know that by not writing articles that are top-tier enterprise-class whitepaper friendly I am in for a rough ride. Most of the time it is just crap thrown at me in the comments or by e-mail. I'm down with that. Even if a whole bunch of you want a rock from space to land on me. I can accept that poking the sacred cow on a regular basis makes me the Least favourite Person amongst quite a few folks.
But I never know how far it will go. I never know how far some whackjob will take it. People don't just keep their griping to internet flame wars and a little light trolling any more.
It's one thing to wish ill on someone. It's another thing entirely to go out and start causing that ill…and I honestly fear that something as simple as "praising D-Link as a viable, capable solution" will result in people trying to do just that.
It's funny, you know. Someone like the Microsoft licensing folks can put in place licenceing restrictions that invalidate the business models of hundreds of businesses, cost tens of thousands of jobs at a whim. We defend their "right" to do so and vociferously shout down anyone who questions their activities. When someone small time (like me) speaks up to praise a product and real harm from an untraceable, anonymous assailant befalls them for it, we tell them to "suck it up, princess." We tell them that it's "just part of the job."
Back to work. I've more reviews to write. I found more things I like that my fellow sysadmins should probably know exist.
If any show up on my doorstep, I will. :)
Re: Brand new code?
CSC work and it works well. There is also a straightforward upgrade path to its use that is easier than any other IIS upgrade before it. I don't buy "untested" here; it is an evolution of certman and IIS. Not a bloody metal --> hypervisor transition.
That's what baffles me. Server 2012 is GOOD CODE. Not only that, it has the exact answer to this exact problem. You know me well enough by now to understand that I would never say this lightly, but...CSC doesn't behave like Microsoft "never use version 1.0 of anything" code.
The whole incident is bizzare.
"...it will be a one way trip."
No something that would discourage me. Why should it discourage him?
Re: You just gotta love marketeers!
Actually, the first rule of marketing is "have a decent product to sell." Sadly, this hasn't been taught professionally in a long time.
@SuccessCase Funny, I am able to find quite a few active production liens on scale motorised bicycles ("trick bikes") all over the internet. Seems to me there is no conspiracy to stop producing them.
I remember there being announcements to stop producing netbooks, some of which even mentioned explicitly (usually during earnings calls) how good this was for the bottom line. There was also Microsoft who explicitly forbade netbooks with decent specs in their licenceing, and Intel who explicitly forbade decently specced atom systems
None of that is a conspiracy either; it is a bunch of manufacturers independently choosing to screw is all by avoiding – and actively attempting to suppress – the cheaper, "good enough" option. Especially because it was so popular.
Just because you have a hard on for clock cycles you don't use doesn't meant most people do. Quit projecting your own inadequacy issues onto the rest of the world. Most of the rest of the world has nothing to compensate for.
For those of us just tying to get shit done, battery life means more than anything. A1 12 3 12 3 12 3 12 3 12 3 12 3 12 3 12 3 12 3 12 3 12 3 12 3 12 3 12 3 n atom is just fine for us.
Can't really say I agree. Windows 7 Starter is just fine for a netbook, and it runs perfectly okay in 2GB of RAM. The only real issue is the stock 4200rpm drive my little Samsung shipped with, but a cheap-o SSD solves the problem.
Presuming Microsoft wouldn't shit a brick, you could easily sell a 1280x800 netbook with 4GB of RAM on an Intel Atom with Windows 7 Starter and an SSD for $400 and the battery would last 12 hours. It would sell like fucking hotcakes. It would wreck the notebook market (whatever is left of it) and start clawing back some of the tablet market.
Manufacturers won't. Microsoft certainly has no interest in letting them, even were they so inclined. End users, however, would buy the shit out of that netbook. The demand is there and "Windows on the device" isn't the problem...though Microsoft very much so is.
Actually, you're full of shit. Netbooks have been a raging success amongst the people out there buying computers. They are not a success amongst the people who sell computers. People want to buy netbooks. Nobody wants to sell them.
It's a case of manufacturers protecting margins, not demand falling out from under the category. But hey, you have fun with your toys, I'll have fun with mine. I'll wave at you from the bar all the way over there by the overloaded power plug. Hey, did you just unplug that guy so you could charge? First come first serve; get over it.
Re: it does mention battery life...
A) That's me being derpy and failing to read properly. Bad me. 50 lashes with a Microsoft Bob manual.
B) 5 hours. That's appalling.
But will it have
both backspace and delete keys? Nope. Because it's a Google keyboard. I also notice there's no mention of battery life. Guess I'm sticking with my netbook for now. Sorry Google. You're not a Big Player in hardware. You're a wannabe that Doesn't Get It...just like everyone else.
Can we get some innovation to aisle 5? Innovation? Aisle 5. Right next to "just" and across from "works" please. Thank you...
Re: Don't like it, DON'T BUY IT!
I am aware of collateral damage. I am simply more interested in ensuring the job is done right the first time. >:)
Sometimes the only way to be sure...
...is to drop a large rock on it from space.
Where's my Space Core icon?
Don't like it, DON'T BUY IT!
Believe me, I won't.
Microsoft have the right to imposesome restrictions on the sale of their software (Canada still has a handful of consumer protection laws, unlike the savages to the south of us) and I have the right to tell Microsoft to eat a sack of wiggling, severed dicks. Fuck Microsoft's licensing department with a Russian meteor. Better yet, fuck them with a Yucatan meteor.
I will continue my practice of donating the cost of an MS licence to the Libre Office foundation for every install of that software I make. I'm not afraid of paying good money for good software. I do however have fundemental ethical objections to the bullshit terms and restrictions that Microsoft builds into bloody everything they make. More so to the hundreds of millions they spend on lobbying around the world to make sure that we have fewer consumer rights this year than last. Bastards.
Re: Will it still let me do this?
Little Bobby Tables, we call him...
Re: Reseller Markup
I think eGeek is (technically) a reseller for MS software. (I'm pretty sure I did the paperwork at some point...)
The markup isn't enough for me to give fucks about it. It doesn't drop the cost for my clients of retail by much, so I only bust it out if buying in enough quantity to be worth digging up the e-mail that reminds me what horrid ring of fuckosity is required to be followed to get hold of the damned licences in the first place.
Same with Office 365. Oh, I *can* sell Office 365 - I think I have a customer still on it - and get some bent pittance back my way in terms of kickback off the subscription price...but is that razor thin amount of money worth screwing over my customer? I'd rather make sure I get the best product for thier needs - which in the case of email is explicitly never Office 365 - than try to cling to an additional point or two of margin on Microsoft's coattails. My long term customer relationships are (quite frankly) worth more to me than the short-term relationship with Microsoft.
Besides, if I ever came up with a decent business model focused around Microsoft's software, Microsoft would take it away from me. Then they'd sue me for something to make doubly sure I couldn't compete. I've learned better than to see being a Microsoft Partner as anything other than a very narrow means to a very specific end.
It is not an ecosystem sane people become to deeply embedded within. At least not sane people in it for more than the next quarter...
What savings can they expect to see...
...by publicly announcing "we will not consider any alternative vendors." Hmm...
And we have programs in place already to spkt rocks of a size that matter. Your point?
Re: To further calms the nerves
Multi-TRILLION. My back-of-napkin maths says 13 Trillion. At least. We could start a dozen Mars colonies with that. Or turn both Vesta and Ceres into completely self sufficient worlds that not only didn't need support from Earth, they could support populations and industry diverty to be true peers.
I think everyone is seriously underestimating how damned hard these things are to spot, not to mention how many there are or how long you have to watch them to establish orbital trajectories. Or - for that matter - the computer you're going to need to do the calculations. Because it would be the size of Baffin Island (were it made from Fusion IO cards and Blue Gene Qs) and would require more power than North America.
Just saying, is all...
Re: To further calms the nerves
Because the pile of rubble that blew up over Russia is too small for us to care about. We don't even bother looking for anything that small; they can't do relevant amounts of damage when compared to the truly monumental expense of trying to track those things.
Do you know how many Russia-meteor-sized balls of snow and gravel slam into this planet every century? Rather a lot. Thing is, we're mostly ocean. They tend to blow up over the ocean where fucks are simply not given. If that thing had blown up over New York or London, it would be a Bad Thing. Yet fixing a city's worth of windows and coping with a few additional injuries is actually quite a bit less than the epic amount of money it would cost us to ring the planet with enough high-resolution telescopes with rapid-tracking systems (and enough fuel!) to start hunting Sol's detritus.
There's roughly zero political capital in funding science to begin with. Funding science at that scale in order to discover (and then prevent?) events that – on the scale of nations – are fairly irrelevant would be political suicide.
To put it more bluntly; you are significantly more likely to be hurt crossing the street to get a coffee than any of us are being killed by a Russia-meteor-sized pile of space debris. For the same money we'd have to spend fending off this unlikely boogyman, we could build continent-spanning automated personal vehicle networks that would save hundreds of thousands of lives every year.
In reality, we'll piss it all away on superbowl commercials and dodgy lawsuits against people running file locker sites. Because we're human. Are those quarterly reports ready yet? I've got a meeting with the senator from Nebraska at 2:00 to go over them...
Tell me how to stop them surfing for whatever they want on their (or their mate's) smartphone?
God damn it man, I'm writing features as fast as I can
Re: Not that careful with the dates
It is standard when discussing astrophysics to refer to phenomena not by when they occurred in their local timeframe, but when they can be observed by us here on earth. Maybe if we get off this mudball we can care about changing that particular point of conversational nitpickery, but it is a lot easier (for a number of reasons) to keep the temporal context fixed to the observer, not the observed.
Either way, your president shouldn't be making promised that your republican congress won't keep. He - as with any politician, regardless of stripe - should stick only to the truth. Promise only that which you, personally can ensure.
The rest, well...you didn't think the common man was goign to come out ahead in anything, did you?
"What keeps Cedar from having the same problems as Bamboo down the road?"
The fact that you learn from your mistakes. That you are wiser and more experienced than you were the last time you tried this. Hopefully, that you are humble enough to recognise the above and act on it.
A mea culpa is a great start; it shows recognition. The development of the second platform shows action. Bloody better reaction than most in this field.
"We didn't know everything there was to know, fucked up, learned from our mistakes and tried again, this time having learned things from before." Sounds...human. I'd trust those folks a lot more readily than I would $other_company that has "the next new thing."
Re: How to benchmark the impossible?
Find me a $500 switch with 24 10GbE ports and I will.
@Phil O'Sophical Well, I guess it's different here. Canada still HAS a few government-run telecoms companies, and they provide as-good-or-better service to their customers at lower prices. And they do so in the places that have far lower population density and more hurdles to overcome than private offerings.
Privatisation simply did not spur innovation here. All it did was drive up prices. It sure as shit didn't spur any new investment in infrastructure.
@John Smith 19
I consider the development of TCP/IP to have been essentially primary research. Beyond that, there was a legitimate military requirement. There were all sorts of reasons that it made sense for that to be developed on the public dime.
In this instance, I can't really come up with a good argument why this should be developed by a government. There are lots of good market reasons for people to develop this technology in the private sector and make it interoperable.
The Storage Networking Industry Association's plugfests server to me as an example of how the private sector can even work together when there is a business case to be made for interoperability. I guess I just can't find a way to classify this as anything close to "primary research." It seems like this is exactly the sort of thing that we should have coming out of Cisco's R&D, proposed to a central standards authority, then pay Cisco the FRAND tithe on their patent for 10 years.
My gripe here isn't about spending a few million. We piss away more than that on those pointless perv scanners. My gripe here is that we have a government undertaking to develop a technology that there is no requirement for a government to develop, seemingly for no reason other than to prevent private industry from being able to milk it for patents.
I am no big fan of large corporations…but this strikes me as a terrible plan. If governments are going to run around and stat picking off the low-hanging IP fruit, then it strikes me that corporations are going to start reconsidering even the pittance they spend on R&D now.
Thus it seems to me that the narrow benefit to the people – dodging one round of patent payments that will probably add a buck tops to any new device – has the potential to be dramatically overshadowed by the chilling effect such efforts could very well have on private sector R&D spend. R&D spend which is – quite frankly – piss poor as it is.
"Grow the fuck up" = "agree with my antiquated view of the world based not on provable facts and figures, but the fairy tales I was taught about economics as a child." Nice. Glad to see you are at least internally consistent with the stereotype.
The private sector is fucking pants at investing in primary research. That's something governments do well...or did. until the private sector became a "person" in some backwater stinkholes and started changing the direction of the large research institutions every two years via the application of ridiculous amounts of lobbying. Rapidly decaying clusterfucks that were once proud nations aside, there are plenty of examples where government funded primary research with long time horizons produces results that simply would never be funded by the private sector today.
That is where this money should be going. Not into items with definable markets and a describable, positive ROI. If you can build a near-term business case for it, then the government doesn't have any business poking it's head into it.
Which is exactly why nationalised – or at the very least regulated-to-be-shared telecommunications and power infrastructure is better. I'm sorry you had a shitty experience, but fuck your anecdotes with a lacquered bus. I've had a shitty experience: it is called "privatisation." The privatisation of our power and telecommunications industries have been horrible for the consumer…and worse for businesses!
Competition never emerged, and investment only occurred when backs were against the wall. Specifically, advancements only happen when enough citizens get together and threaten to create collectively-owned telecommunciations or power infrastructure and start banging on the regulator's door. At that point, the existing monopoly/duopoly providers will have an aneurism and send in a fleet of lawyers. Two years later an agreement will be reached to slowly advance the state of infrastructure (or drop rates) to the minimum possible level required to stop the citizenry from phoning the politicians.
It was a hell of a lot more efficient when this was more or less directly controlled by the politicians; when shit didn't move fast enough, we screamed like banshees and shit got done.
We could go toe to toe with anecdotes all day long, but since there seems to be a reasonable amount of evidence that backs up my personal anecdotes, I'll stick with my outlook on the world, thank you.
I'd much rather have the UK's telecommunications infrastructure than Canada's, or (heaven forbid) most of the US. That whole "being forced to sell bandwidth wholesale" thing sure worked out better there than privatisation did for us.
And don't get me started on North American cellular rates…
Okay, I'm a right good socialist. I believe in centralised health care, employment insurance, emergency services, education and so forth. I even believe that certain things should be nationalised (like telecommunications infrastructure) because they are "natural monopolies." In addition, I - sin of sins - believe that governments should fund primary research (a-la NASA) because there are no private entities that are capable of long term thinking or willing to invest in raw R&D anymore. (R.I.P. Xerox PARC from the era of not sucking.)
But government money to develop new networking protocols/algorithms to reduce latency? What the twentyfold detonated hells? This is exactly the sort of thing we have a private sector (and free - if preferably regulated - markets) for! This is something with a clearly defined return on investment and a very short horizon on return. If this could be done for such a paltry sum of money, why aren't we leaving this up to the private sector to solve?
"This isn’t something that companies like Microsoft and Apple will undertake lightly,..."
If Apple or Microsoft - especially Apple - thought for an instant they could solve this problem in a way that could be realistically implemented, they'd be all over that like white on rice. Microsoft would want the licenceing and Apple would find a way to sue someone with it.
To say nothing of how desperately Cisco would love to own something like that. (What with Software Defined Networking rendering the bulk of their business model irrelevant and all…) I am willing to bet you couldn't throw a rock in the valley without hitting some dude working on exactly this problem at some stealth-mode startup. Hell, I met a few of them last time I was there!
So what gives? What the heck am I missing here? How is this something any government at any level should be involved in? I am legitimately confused as to how this came about.
Re: Do the math...
You have coffee machines that last "several years?" Where do I buy such unicorns? Even the industrial ones get demolished in two or three (tops) around here...
Re: That's why people even drink coffeeeeeeeeeeeee!!
I once sat down to do the sums on how much of my disposable income I spend of coffee. Then I realised there was a business case for having the business pay for it and writing it off as a taxable employee benefit. You see, the taxes I pay on the coffee as a benefit are lower (versus the taxes I would pay on that same money presented as salary and then spent on coffee, factoring in GST) that I could, in fact, buy more coffee with the same amount of money.
Will work for coffee. And bandwidth. Will work for bandwidth and coffee. Do you have any coffee?
What do we want? COFFEE!
When do we want it? I'll fucking cut you!
Re: short sighted
Oh, I suspect the "millions using it" to be drastically inflated. 200 million profiles means sweet fuck all if that overwhelming majority of them simply make a profile then bugger off.
You talk about the "value" of the service to marketing and HR bodies. I never once denied that there was potential for value there. I said - and please, reread my comments without the LinkedIn-coloured glasses on, that there is little-to-no value for anyone else. I also said "that's a huge problem."
Why is that a problem? Because if the non-marketing/HR users of your server (known in non-bullshit-speak as "the product you are selling") can derive no value from the service, they will bugger off eventually. First, the high-value eyeballs, then the midrange ones. Right around here, your HR/marketing bodies won't be able to find anyone they give fucks about and will stop paying for the service too.
You have to keep the plebeians happy if you want to sell them as your product.
Unfortunately, the plebeians aren't happy. LinkedIn provides fuck-all for value as a recruitment service (and don't bullshit yourself, me, or the fine readers of The Register by even pretending that isn't the primary reason the plebeians sign up) and it provides next-to-no value as a "business networking service" (outside the marketing/HR circles.)
Again you come at this from a "if everyone played nice, it would work!" Nobody plays nice; they do what is convenient and the most likely to gain them something in the short term. When was the last time you encountered humans who en masses thought long term?
Twitter is an excellent platform for customer service, but that doesn't make Twitter any money. Twitter's value is that it has become the instant messaging platform that displaced the previous instant messaging platforms...but how does that help Twitter keep the lights on, eh?
Facebook is a B2C advertising platform if your target market are "households making less than 50K per annum." Great for peddling soft drinks but worth fuck all to companies that want to shift shit with margins. (You know, the companies that are willing to really bust out marketing budgets?)
So yeah, I'm right. And there are literally millions of people pissing away thier time on this shit. That's not surprising, they also tend to be the millions of people who have next to no disposable income, and the companies that chase after them.
The rest of the world - those with anything resembling income - went elsewhere looking for something that provided real value to the end user (the product being sold to the advertiser, remember!) long ago. Social networking must either provide demonstrable value to all parties or it will fail.
It will fail if it can't make enough money to keep the lights on. (Twitter.)
It will fail if it only appeals to those who have no money. (Facebook.)
Right now, LinkedIn is basically built on the lie - and it is a lie - that LinkedIn offers value to the common plebian. As soon as the majority wake up to the fact that they extract far less value from the site than the time they put in, they'll leave. (And many are doing so; not by closing accounts, but simply by giving no fucks and not logging in.) This will doom them when those who actually pay for the service - advertisers, marketing and HR types - start an exodus.
So what does LinkedIn do? It can increase the value of the service to the plebes, which would reduce the value to the HR/Marketing types (but increase value to advertisers.) They'd have to find the balance of "worth it for the common man" without pissing away their entire revenue base.
Alternately, they can follow Facebook. I'm betting on the latter. Why? Because LinkedIn lost it's "startup" feel a while back (so sayeth many in the valley, if you talk to them,) and has become bureaucratised. This always means a shift away from delivering a good product to the common user and a focus on quarterly revenues. That - quite frankly - is doom for any social network, and I believe that the general discontent amongst the hoi polloi with the service (and the mounting spam) is evidence enough that this shift is well underway.
Re: life beyond the US
Canadian dollar and USian dolar are mroe or less at par.
Re: short sighted
Mortgage man, gotta pay it.
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