2973 posts • joined Monday 31st May 2010 16:59 GMT
Gartner, Forrester, IDC and other AAA analysts are often given deeply NDAed closed-door briefings on such things that the rest of us don't have access to. Every major company I know of does it.
Re: This "Apple" company you speak of...
Yep. The same. The largest corporation in the world by market capitalization. The one named after a popular cultivar of a dessert fruit; coincidentally the same cultivar many others have named companies after.
They're DOOMED I tell you. Doomed.
If telling the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth
without dissembling during calls with investors is to become a standard to which American executives are held, their economy is toast.
I did buy a Windows 8 tablet...but I put Cyanogenmod on it.
I agree. Those OSX migration trials are absolutely stellar!
If you can defend your own datasets you can attack those of other people. And that's why DARPA cares.
It's not just the exits, it's the fact that Californians don't understand the delicate art of signage. Such as placing your signs a decent ways before the turn. And perhaps indicating what side of the freeway it's on. Bloody 101 is a death trap...
Eh, I'd use it. Almost certainly safer than driving.
For once, Microsoft actually does the right thing.
Horsemen. I hear horsemen...
Re: Move to (network) security
The need for security people is great. The number of those willing to pay for security people is few.
I don't have an anti-MS bias. I have a "right tool for the job" bias. That includes everything from hardware to software to TCO to the attitude and long-term fitness of the company to be a vendor I bet my company on.
If Microsoft want to start putting out 13" convertibles that use Metro for touch and Windows 7's UI for productivity, I'll give it some serious consideration. Assuming it has the 18 hour battery life that I can get from my x230 with both the batteries in. Or at least the 12 hour battery life I get from my netbook. Battery life and proper inputs for productivity work matter to me, you see. My clients too, apparently.
My netbook recently died. I did a thorough review of every tablet, convertible, ultrabook, notebook and netbook I could get my hands on (which was most of what's on the market.) I ended up getting the Lenovo X230 with the extended battery and the external, attachable battery as the best compromise. With Windows 7.
I tried Windows 8 in many different variations, including a good sit down with both Surfaces. They simply didn't do the job.
Look, unlike the many and varied fanboys of the world I simply don't have time to be biased. I have a business to run, a significant chunk of which involves running other peoples' businesses too. I have my own personal affairs to attend to. A wife I actually want to spend time with. Hobbies and life goals that have absolutely nothing whatsoever to do with computers.
I care that the widget does the job. I care that it does it for a price I can afford. I care that the widget's vendor is someone I can trust. I don't have time to fuck around with the widget, play with settings tweak some obscure, nerdy little preference or sit on hold for 18 hours waiting for support. When there are so many vendors out there that provide stuff that just fucking works, why the hell should I mollycoddle Microsoft when they fail to produce devices or software that are fit for purpose?
They are a multi-billion dollar empire. I give them money, they give me what I want. If they don't, I go elsewhere. Why the hell should I expect anything less than brilliant execution from a company with their resources? Why should I keep giving them more chances?
When they happen to make a technology or device that I find fit for purpose, I say so. When it's shit, I say so too. If your personal sense of self-worth is so wrapped up in a company's brand that you view that as biased then get bent. There are far more important things in life than some childish attachment to a brand name.
Re: Great time for a morality(?) question, Mr Pott.
No, 404, you aren't crazy. I see the same things here. There are really only two paths forward on this: get engaged with some professional marketing wonks and start building a story around your company that says you are quality providers, not low-ballers. This doesn't mean you aren't SME friendly, but it does mean that the SMEs who have had bad experiences with their current guys and who are willing to spend a few quid more for decent service choose you.
The other path forward is to pull the eject handle. Leave the MSP racket behind, and with it, systems administration. I have to admit that this is what I'm in the process of doing. I maintain a few shops on my roster, but I"ll be honest when I say that's largely so that I have legitimacy when I write about this stuff. Writing and marketing are way better money than systems administration or development.
Ideally, I'll get another good marketing client and that will give me the buffer room to hire a sysadmin to handle the scut work. Then I think I can take on a few more sysadmin clients than I have. Honestly though, I think the days of "just being a sysadmin" - even as an MSP - are coming to an end in the SME space. It's hard to compete with the scum-sucking low-ballers on the local scene let alone the encroachment of over-the-net types from abroad.
If you have a sense of ethics and want to do well by your clients, but you play in the SME space then it may just be that in many cities you simply can't make a decent living any more. Each region will be different, so YMMV.
Three cheers for Ladar Levinson
Maybe if there were more like him - and those folks were the ones running the place instead of the current paranoid schizophrenics - we could treat the USA as adults.
I'm a contractor. Crazy stupid money, please.
Working on it. I'd love to have a great excuse for you, but the reality is that I'm just so busy getting myself, my staff and my clients ready for VMworld I am only sleeping 2-3 hours a week. Time for research has been next to nil. That's not a good excuse at all and I feel terrible about not getting around to writing as much as I'd like, but it is the truth.
If it makes you feel better I'm training new sysadmin bloggers so that you have more voices than just mine; each with their own ideas and hopefully collectively we'll have more time to do research.
@Anonymous FUD Coward
Hey look, it's the anonymous FUD coward! I was wondering where you'd been in many of the past Microsoft articles. I have a question for you, if you don't mind? I hear that MS is consolidating the different marketing groups into a single entity with the "One Microsoft" move. I know that's already caused some consternation and shakeup within Waggner Edstrom - as you can imagine they are having to bust out of old patterns and learn to do things a little differently) but I am wondering how it's affecting the "little guy" like you?
Do you see much in the way of management consolidation going on, or are they simply rearranging the coalface marketing types? I imagine the astroturfer brigade works hand in glove with the social media types; how has the move from multiple regions with independent astroturfers and social media bodies in to one group with one level of oversight and chain of command changed how you do your job?
More importantly, will you finally get together with the other Astroturfers and rationalize your FUD so that you are at least using true bullet points with credible hyperlinks to back them up and teaching eachother the tricks of the trade for making other believe them? Because you're just awful at it. (No offense, I blame management for not training you properly; I know from experience Microsoft has trained far better.)
But I'm very serious here; which arm are you with? Maybe next time I talk to one of the marketing wonks there I can recommend they send your entire office off to a junket to teach you how to actually not suck at FUD.
But they aren't up enough. Big Corp has nothing to do with "making a profit" or "growing revenue." It has everything to do with growing revenue beyond analyst expectations (which are largely numbers they pull out of their asses anyways.) Stock price isn't determined by market share, market capitalization, actual profits or reasonable growth. IT is determined only by meeting, beating or missing analyst expectations.
Windows 8 didn't meet analyst expectations. Neither did revenues. Need to bump that up, and the only way to do so is to squeeze the existing base like Oracle.
Customer? Fuck no, you're a hostage. From the looks of it, a well indoctrinated one. Denial isn't just a river in Egypt, fellow commentard. It seems that it exists deep in your heart as well. Please get on to Anger, Bargaining, Depression and finally Acceptance. You seem like a bright chap, and we're going to need all the brains we can get to start the very long journey away from Microsoft that our industry needs right now.
Just as moving off Oracle won't happen in it's entirety for some time - or IBM's mainframes, as a previous example - Microsoft will be around for a while yet. But the mass market portion of this exercise has concluded. Microsoft belongs up with Oracle and IBM's mainframe division: relics of the past and pushers of kit to those with extremely high-end - or very niche - needs.
I TOLD YOU SO
And yet, for the past 15 years those who've made the most money in IT are the hyper-specialists. That's changing, slowly.
Re: how "dirty" the tar sands are
OOoooh. A hiway that has a nickname with the word death in it! So scary!
Of course, you don't actually talk about why. You just fearmonger. Which seems to be your MO. Let's discuss, shall we? Why is hiway 63 so terrifying?
Well, the answer is actually a pretty simple confluence of three factors. The first is that it is very, very long. So long that people have a natural desire to speed on it. Not regular speeding, but blindingly fast even for Alberta. The QE2 has got nothing on the morons tear-assing on that hiway.
The second is that the hiway has not been twinned. So it's just a couple of lanes with no median that if you want to pass the car in front of you you have to poke out into oncoming traffic, which is typically speeding and all too often using cars that don't meet Alberta safety regulations for having "always on" headlights.
The third item is that there are enormous trucks going up that hiway all the time. They are slow. They are difficult to get around. They are impossible to see around.
When you put the three things together you get some dumb shit poking his car into the oncoming traffic lane to pass an entire row of enormous equipment (that's probably 300m long) who then gets rammed head-on by some jackass doing double the speed limit.
The solution to this is simple: twin the hiway. Something that the government is in the middle of doing right now. So ooga booga hiway boogyman is far less the terrifying pamphlet-monster that will kill all the poor souls working in the oilpatch and far more "a problem everyone is aware of and one that the entire province agrees must be dealt with before we allow production to increase at all." Indeed, at least six separate projects are on hold - construction cannot start - until the hiway is twinned.
As for housing, Fort Mac got dispensation to create two new neighborhoods of dense urban housing and construction has already started.
Regarding manpower, I believe Newfoundland has not yet been completely depopulated, so we're still good. If we need more, we can just get the federal government to raise Alberta's immigration limit and there are an unlimited number of individuals from around the world eager to come work there for the $250K-$400K/year they pay.
I agree with you that the economic hit of oil production tapering off is indeed coming, but A) there's 100 years of oil left there at convention technology levels. B) Alberta is slowly diversifying it's economy because of the cash from the oil sands; we will be better positioned to deal with it as these other economic elements grow and replace the requirement for petroleum as a key sector.
I'm no fan or friend of the tar sands at all. I think they are disgusting and wastefull and we need to be moving away from them sooner rather than later. The issue I have with your pointless blitherings is that they have no connection to reality whatsoever.
Your arguments are straight out of Mike Hudema's ridiculous pamphlets and at the core of it boil down to "I do not believe that any amount of regulation can possibly make any form of mining activity - but especially tar sands mining - ecologically friendly for the simple reason that I believe companies will renege on their duties to rehabilitate mine sites and that governments will let them get away with it."
Of course, Hudema gets very angry when you present a list of mining and forestry companies that have done superb jobs of rehabilitating their mine sites and of massive government fines levied against those who don't...where the fines are calculated to be the cost required to rehabilitate the site properly.
Alberta has made mistakes, sure. We've let companies get away with some really bad stuff, damn right. But we're not British Columbia. We don't make a law that says "reforest of be fined" and then fine the company $5000 for not reforesting 1000sq km that they cut down for timber.
You also completely gloss over the political and economic realities facing the province - another Mike Hudema trait - in that for all the ills of the current regime the alternative is far, far worse. Bitch all you want about how evil the tar sands are, but you only alternative to the Tories in this province is the Wild Rose, and they so batshit insane the Tea Party denounced them. If you think for a second that they will do a better job of holding Shell's feet to the fire you're loony.
A nuke plant at Athabasca is the only realistic hope to mitigate the damage of the tar sands. Your fairy-tale Hudema-esque "just stop doing it right now" is not going to happen.
So quit pissing away your efforts on unicorn-chasing and start agitating for real-world solutions that will show tangible benefits for the people alive today and the children of tomorrow. Or, hey, bitch more on the internet. You'll convince all the powers that be to change everything that way, I'm sure.
@zent1: we don't need you.
Re: how "dirty" the tar sands are
BC Hydro's Site C still isn't enough to power the oilsands, and most of it's capacity is spoken for meeting the needs of the northern BC and north western Alberta communities. (Freeing up the more southern Hydro plants to sell more power to California.)
As for you "but they dig up the earth" bullshit, plug it. Yes, they dig up all sorts of muskeg - and damned little boreal forest, thank you - all of which can be restored. You are absolutely 100% right about the toxic ponds which I why I said that the majority of the power requirements are not for turning bitumen into usable oil, they are for refining and extracting the toxic minerals that go into the tailings ponds so we can deal with them in a far more ecologically friendly manner. Read my fucking post before gnawing on yet more of your leg.
Regarding your rampant anti-corporatism, there are a couple of issues with your logic. The first being that Alberta is nowhere near exploiting the tar sands "as fast as corporately possible." In fact, it has been estimated that we are using less than 10% of the possible extraction capacity given the supplies of equipment, manpower and the traffic density of hiway 53. Alberta makes companies looking to exploit tarsands go through an incredible amount of paperwork to get permission; a huge amount of which is "how will you restore the environment."
In addition to this, Alberta - and Canada more generally - is completely dependent on those tar sands. They are such a large part of our economy that if we were to simply stop tomorrow Canada could take something like a 20% hit to our GDP and our nation would collapse into a depression that would take us decades to recover from. It is not merely the cost of the oil, (and the resource taxes it generates,) it is the massive number of people it employs and the very high wages they get paid.
So you are simply flat out wrong and deeply misinformed. I don't believe for a second that we should be plowing ahead with pulling yet more oil out of the ground and burning it, but that is because I understand the science of climate change. I also understand economics and geopolitics and I am perfectly aware that nothing on this earth will stop that oil from being dug up.
So there are two choices before us: rail helplessly against the tar sands in general, waste our time and effort being completely fucking ineffective and worthless...or make sure that the fuckers to as little damage as possible.
If you want to make sure that they do as little damage as possible then you will do everything in your power to make sure that the nuke plant goes forwards. Because with that kind of electrical power we can not only cut the CO2 cost of refining bitumen into oil - a major factor - we can also make sure that we don't need toxic tailings ponds, because we can extract and refine the toxic metals from the waste products and deal with them in a far more ecologically friendly manner.
(I.E. react them with something that locks them up in a stable chemical compound that is non-toxic and then bury them in massive underground vaults designed for purpose. Because hey, with cheap electricity you can make cheap vaults out of non-toxic metals like iron or aluminium.)
But nope, we're right back to ranting-by-eco-pamphlet. Lots of angsty NIMBY talking points designed to get the normals all riled up...no actual understanding of the situation.
Re: Next step??
Where PCs = "Desktops, Notebooks, Netbooks and Ultrabooks"
Where Midclient = "client with locally installed apps which pulls productivity apps from browser or App-v"
273 Mint PCs (and counting!)
83 Android midclients.
1526 OSX PCs.
12 Windows XP midclients (But not for long!)
480 Windows 7 PCs.
18 Chromebook midclients.
Can tell if serious...
...or ready for an asswhuppin'
Re: Nothing new
You can't police a *chan. That's as impossible as attempting to ruin a *chan. (Pissing into an ocean of piss right there, sir.) Also, by definition, *chan sites simply don't make any attempt to take ownership of responsibility for anything on those sites. Every now and again Moot tries something stupid...and how well does that work out for him?
You can not make the hivemind do what you want. You cannot impose morals on the hivemind. The hivemind is not your Personal Army. Attempting to tell the hivemind what it can and can not do will ultimately end up in a pile of internet so fierce you'd look at the idiocy visited upon the poor dear in this article as a polite bit of summer conversation.
Re: Nothing new
Rules 1 and 2! RULES 1 AND 2!!!
Your father was a hamster and your mother smelt of elderberries!
Re: Secrecy is the keystone to all tyranny
Any idiot with a few kg of uranium 235 can build a nuke. You place a sub critical lump on the left side, you place a sub critical lump on the right side and you ram them together at high velocity. Boom. A few kilotons of explosive force and "salt the earth" radiation that sticks around for a few hundred thousand years.
Also, stealth bomber technology was used during the cold war. The fighter tech wasn't brought in until the very end. Frankly, by the time they had the B2 prototypes out it didn't matter anyways. Everyone had enough nukes on land and at sea to reduce everyone else to a sheet of glass anyways. MAD was far more important than any other technology. Stealthy fighters and bombers serve no purpose except when fighting some proxy war in some godforsaken jungle or hellscape of a desert.
You also forget that both the Germans and the Japanese had their own nuclear programs. (Actually, the Japanese had two separate programs, one of which may well have suceeded in detonating a test device.) The soviets also had a program at the time and the Japanese were convinced they already had the bomb. (Which, frankly, they may well have. There's some evidence to indicate they may have detonated the first device, but wiped the design team out in the process.)
So I will grant you the requirements of tactical secrecy. A short term use of secrecy to obtain or preserve a military advantage. Strategic secrecy, however - especially against your own people! - is insane. Security through obscurity is a terrible, terrible plan.
I ask you, sir, exactly how many civilians have visited Area 51 without clearance? We all know where Nellus is. What about White Sands? Los Alamos? You don't need secrecy to be secure. Indeed, secrecy just makes people even more curious!
Secrecy is something to be used sparingly, if at all. Certainly not with the paint gun of "classified" that the yanks of today use. If you need to keep something hidden, hide it in plain sight. Don't make eveyrone interested by keeping it hush hush.
Perhaps at least some of the distrust in modern times stems from the fact that your government is actively, unashamedly, contemptuously, proudly evil.
Other than that, they're a pip.
Re: how "dirty" the tar sands are
The problem with the BC Hydro approach - and it's been considered - is the transmission line length. The most promising BC Hydro projects for this would involve building dams on a couple of rivers right before they dump into the pacific. You want to truck that much power all the way to Ft Mac? Your line loss will be staggering.
Nah, I think sticking a GW of generating capacity in Athabasca is the best idea. Close enough to Edmonton to get reasonably cheap meat to build and operate it, far enough from the muskeg that it won't sink into the ground and close enough to Ft Mac that transmission loss won't be a big deal.
Re: Low activity
The short answer to your question? Timeframe. You have to realise that Ice Ages are not generally mass extinction events. Ice ages unfold over millenia; species have thousands of years to adapt. They evolve, they speciate...and their lineage survives in the descendant species that carry on.
The problem with the holocene extinction event AKA "humans fucking up the planet") is that we are demanding changes of species in the span of 150-200 years that under almost any other circumstance they would have thousands of years to adapt to.
I should also point out that homo sapiens sapiens has never before lived during an era where the climate had shifted so dramatically. 4 degrees C warmer on a global scale and we're deep into uncharted territory. We have no idea if we can survive that, or if we do, how many of us can. Water availability - if nothing else - will change so drastically in the next 150 years that I believe strongly that full-blown water wars will start within our lifetime.
I don't think anyone except the most bizarre and esoteric of eco-nutter believes that the rare and endangered spotted horny stripy frog native only to southern Florida's Swamp #891247 is going to survive for the next 10,000 years. What most are hoping, however, is that it will evolve, give birth to descendant species and the diversity of their genome will be preserved.
We have only begun the era of genetics. The possibilities of life - from pharmaceuticals of plant life to genes for gene therapy from animal life - are endless. I think that it is remarkably shortsighted to attempt to make mass extinction into a moral item and then wash your hands of it by saying "well, those species might have gone extinct anyways (several thousand years from now), so who cares?"
We care. Your children care. Their grandchildren will certainly care. Ever species we wipe out is potentially dozens of diseases cured or new transhuman augmentations we will never have. Even if a person lacks the ability to appreciate the diversity of life as an end unto itself, even if they are the most sociopathic, self-centered, small minded individual in our history...they should be capable of understanding that to callously destroy the bounty of nature is to limit what that same diversity can do for us.
Re: Colbert wieghs in
Oooooh. Neat trick! I always just ended up using a VPN. Cheers!
Re: how "dirty" the tar sands are
The biggest issue with the tar sands is the CO2 load per barrel of oil. That far outweighs the other issues. We burn so much coal to get a barrel of heavy crude that it's abominable.
After that, the biggest issues are to do with reclamation of the land. We can do a great deal to reclaim old mine sites, but we choose not to because extracting and refining a lot of the dangerous metals that end up polluting the tailings ponds is unbelievably energy intensive. IF we had a cheap, clean source of electrical power - say, for example, from the proposed Bruce Power nuclear station - then we would be able to do a gigantic crapload more post-processing on the tailings than we do now.
There is nothing about tarsands extraction that is inherantly bad for the local ecosystem. The negative effects are entirely because we choose not to bring our technology to bear on reclaiming the land. That's abominable, but I don't think we're going to realistically be able to do anything about it until we get nuclear energy involved.
The chances that Alberta will voluntairily evaporate over half it's GDP are exactly zero. The chances that China and the USA are going to stop buying our oil are exactly zero. The ecological costs of doing proper reclamation on those sites using coal or natural-gas-fired power plants are honestly probably higher than a few poison tailings ponds amongst the muskeg wastes of the north.
Get cheap power up there, however, and suddenly the government has a viable option. They can put in place strict - even outright punitive - ecological regulation and the oil companies would reasonably be able to implement them whilst still raking in the kinds of profits required to keep them interested in the oilsands in the first place.
Now, I don't know about you, but I've been up there. I've toured Shell and Syncrude plants and flown over the entire region in helicopter. I've seen up close and personal the damage we do...and also what beauty a properly restored area can be.
It's easy to buy in to a bunch of propaganda focused on terrifying images of active work sites or abandoned sites from 30 years ago. It's much harder to take an intellectually honest and objective look at what's going on. There's good. There's bad. There's horribly ugly. What's most damning of all is that there are viable solutions...
...we simply (stupidly) choose not to employ them. For that, I blame NIMBYs and I hope each and every one of them learns the true cost of their actions. Their fear, paranoia and greed will have repercussions for generations.
Of course, it's far easier to simply demand a province - and frankly most of a nation - live in abject poverty simply because of some propaganda and an unwillingness to do some investigation.
"Canada as the good guy" is nothing but good PR. We have a bunch of asshole 1%ers (known as the Conservative party) trying to screw it for everyone. (Though the Liberal party did a good job of cronyism when in power, they didn't fundamentally screw us internally nor screw our foreign relations in the same way that the tories do.) We have some severe problems, however, that we are having a lot of trouble correcting and making good on.
The first and most damning is the continued misbehaviour of our troops abroad. Despite numerous very real efforts to reign in the excesses of our deployed forces, there have been some very unwelcome sexual assault scandals that I find unbecoming of a Canadian.
Second is a little something called "residential schools." Look it up; it is a truly shameful part of Canada's history and we will spend centuries trying to make it right. This is related to how the Native American populations are integrated (or aren't) within Canadian society. Native relations are among the most damning examples of how even Canadians don't get it all quite right.
We have several quite successful clans in Canada. various Squamish-descendant tribes to well on the west coast; a visit to the cities they own and run show they are more than capable of running their own affairs. Many of the Inuit tribes have done well; they've carved out the territory of Nunavut for themselves and another group have created an independent legislative assembly in Nunatsiavut; both examples of native peoples managing to do well economically, politically and intergovernmentally without losing their culture in the process.
Others aren't so lucky. Too many reserves are havens of drugs, alcohol and various forms of shocking abuse. Mental health issues can and do run rampant and unchecked as mental health professionals are not allowed to help victims of abuse or those with various chemical imbalances which lead to depression, bipolar disorders and so forth.
This is a massive quandry for Canada. I think you'll find an overwhleming percentage of Canadians believe it is important for Native clans to be able preserve their own way of life and to self-govern. We see it as their right. Yet some simply can't. We are caught in a national ethical dilemma about how to resolve this issue in the most fair way possible.
Should we intervene and impose our morals and/or governmental organisation upon communities? (This is where the residential schools thing went horribly wrong.) Do we let them sort it out themselves? How long do we wait before we decide that they lack the skills and tools to do so?
Is it right to keep throwing money at the problem? (Canada has various treaties that pay out a large sum to most reserve natives upon their 18th birthday.) Should we cut them off in the hopes that this forces them to get their act together?
There are no clean solutions here; no easy answers.
Then there's the hype about how "dirty" the tar sands are. And they are! the solution is actually simple: build a great big nuke plant to power the damned things and we won't have these sorts of problems, but my fellow Albertans (in their infinite wisdom) decided to scream and whinge and protest. (The majority of the protesting coming from several of the aformentionned native tribes who have treaty rights to veto such development and chose to do so because they weren't getting a large enough sack of cash to allow the nuke plant's development. At least they're honest about it)
Europeans don't like our seal hunt, mostly because seals are cute. They get all huffy when you explain to them that if we didn't cull the blighters they'd wipe out the arctic fishery practically overnight. That's not a part of the story people like to hear.
So Canada has our own problems. We are ashamed of them, we work our asses off to find solutions for them. We are aware of them and we even discuss them amongst ourselves and with our MPs. (I can remember at least 4 separate occasions where I sat around with several MPs, a few students and some native leaders to try to find innovative solutions to some of the issues facing the local tribes.)
Everyone is the bad guy to someone. We've done some bad things on the international stage...but our greatest shame is at home. It's one of the reasons we don't try shaping the world in our own image. What right do we have to do so when there's still so much we have yet to get right at home?
I don't see it as all that strange. I've always believed they'll try it within my lifetime. I still do believe it. I don't even hold illusions that we would "win". The only question regarding the eventual American invasion on most Canadians' minds is "are we prepared enough to make them pay dearly for it?"
Robots will help significantly with that, I should think. Fortunately for me, my local MP agrees voiceferously: Canada not only needs lots and lots of robots, we need the capability to build them here in Canada. They will come. When they do I hope to hell they pay tenfold in blood.
Re: U.S. NATIONAL DEBT What is bad for the USA is bad for us in Canada.
What is bad for the US isn't bad for Canada. The US is merely a source of finished goods. We can get those from Europe, or make them ourselves. (We do have an aerospace industry, in case you hadn't noticed, along with many other high-tech industries.)
We can cheerily sell our natural resources to the EU or China. The US is our largest trading partner, but it doesn't have to be. It's only really worthwhile because they have shorter supply lines than our other potential trading partners. If they go titsup.com, we'll take a small blow...but nothing too serious. A minor readjustment of the economy as we pivot towards other markets.
We saw this quite directly the last time their economy collapsed. 2008 might have been a fairly short-ish economic recession, however, Canada didn't suffer overmuch from it. We recovered way faster than they did (actually, has the US even replaced the lost jobs yet?), our banking industry didn't collapse, manufacturing jobs moved to Canada when the US collapsed and we took steps to diversify our economy, selling more into Europe, Asia and Latin America.
So not only did we not have to go through the half-decade of pain that the US has been miserably slogging through, we wised up and made our economy more resilient to such a single point of failure in the future. In short: fuck 'em. Canada doesn't need the US. They're a nice close place to sell stuff for now, but we've got lots of other friends. If the US wants to drink itself into oblivion then I say let 'em. You cant' force 'em into rehab; they have to choose to climb up onto that wagon on their own.
Colbert wieghs in
You know, it used to be that way, Mr ASDF. It really did. But a couple of things have changed in the past few years that mean that any US general or politician eyeing Canada covetously needs be significantly more wary than they would have had to have been in the past.
The first: the Canadian citizenry is rather well armed. There are significantly more guns per capita in Canada than in the US and they are spread out fairly evenly. The second is that "standing army" figures mean absolutely bupkus today. You can have tens of millions of people active in your military and - while that's impressive on paper - it doesn't mean much unless you are prepared to fight a nasty inch-by-iunch ground war. If you think you can win that kind of battle then fucking bring it, America. You can't win a ground war against a bunch of poorly equipped peasants in the desert, I'd love to see you succeed in inch-by-iunch combat with Canadians on in winter on their own soil.
No, what matters is how many robots you have. Everything from cruise missiles to drones. People are unbelievably expensive. You have to feed them, house them, train them, buy them jeeps to move them around, fly them in giant crates of supplies and keep them outfitted with armour, communications and all sorts of other stuff. The average soldier costs a hell of a lot more than the average cruise missile and does less damage.
Could America "take" Canada? Oh, probably. But even today that would be a long, miserable, bloody and costly battle. Will America be able to "take" Canada 10 years from now? I very much doubt it. We're buying (and building) lots and lots of robots. The arctic is melting, you see, and the oil up there is ours. We intend to be able to defend that claim.
Well America sure as hell needs Canada more than we need them. Canada can get by just fine selling our resources to Europe and Asia. America's only value is that we can ship them stuff by train instead of having to put in on a boat. Considering the crap we have to put up with from them, that's hardly a worthwhile reason to keep 'em around.
Cut 'em off, I say. The entire world should just cease trading with the US at all. Sure, we'd have some readjustment to be done, but I think that in the end we'd all be better for it. Well except the yanks...but oh well. If that's an egg that needs to be broken in order to make a nicer planetary omelette...
Re: Low activity
Actually, you have a point. We are currently nearing a solar minimum; not just as part of the 11-year cycle, but as part of a larger cycle (41Kr). There is significant evidence pointing to a gradually decreasing amount of solar radiation received by earth over the past 50 years. This lines up well with the overall pre-1900s climactic trends which have shown Earth on the path towards a new ice age. Had humans not dramatically altered the climate, Earth would likely have well and truly begun the next ice age approximately 1000 years from now.
That isn't to say the amount of CO2 we've dumped into the atmosphere is magically a "good thing." The change is so sudden that most ecosystems wills struggle to cope, we're already seeing an unprecedented extinction rate and the slowly altering climate is driving more extreme weather events which cost billions to cope with. In addition to this the climate is slowly changing rainfall patterns over entire continents; this will lead to further issues for many species, including ours.
Earth is by no means doomed, but a significant number of her species are; we've triggered the most rapid extinction event since the Yucatan impactor/Siberian Traps double-whammy wiped out the non-avian dinosaurs and almost half the marine ecosphere. That will take millions of years to climb back from. Even if we dropped everything and put our backs into mitigation, we'll still see some pretty outrageous effects manifest over the course of the next 500 years.
Small variations in axial tilt can cause events like the little ice age (indeed, it's one theory for the event) as can longer solar cycles than the standard 11-year cycle. Which we may be currently in the midst of, as part of that measured 50-year decrease insolation. Indeed, this has to be combined with the fact that high amounts of particulates in the air - first by the west in the early-mid 1900s and now by China and India - have kept the surface temperatures artificially low for something like 75 years.
Right now we're largely insulated from the effects of the amount of CO2 in our atmosphere. As we climb out of the current solar cycle to see increased insolation of the Earth (again, a separate item from the 11-year cycle discussed int eh article) we'll really begin to feel it. In a much shorter time frame China and India's switch away from coal (in an attempt to make their air breathable once more) will see the particulate levels of our atmosphere drop precipitously; this will lead to dramatic increases in global average temperature (likely on the order of 2 degrees C) within our lifetimes.
So while the 11-year solar cycle is not responsible for a notable decrease in insolation, we are indeed at the lower end of a larger cycle, though not quite at the bottom of certain even larger cycles (such as the Milankovitch cycles which dictate changes in our orbit over time.) Clear as mud? Good.
Your/you're. Learn them!
Also: if you think for a moment that the UK - or any other major power - isn't "in the spotlight" then you are deluding yourself. Ask the British how they feel about Iraq, or Greece about about EU monetary policy. The difference is that the douchebaggery of most other major powers is a pale shadow when compared do the overall dickishness of the good ol' US of A.
American exceptionalism: present in the populace as much as the politicians.
Assuming Voyager's RTG holds out enough to power the sensors several months (or years?) from now when the particle storm hits...
Good show to these guys. While the rest of the server market struggles, SuperMicro shows growth. Despite the prejudice shown by some against SuperMicro, they've provided some damn fine equipment for my clients and I so far and I fully expect them to keep outgrowing the market. They are shifting a lot of boxes into the HPC space, to cloud vendors and OEMing units for companies like Nutanix. It is, apparently, a good racket to be in.
The only legitimate complaint I've seen from anyone against SuperMicro is the lack of a 4-hour enterprise replacement program. I expect they'll look after this sometime over the next year or two, once their manufacturing capacity can meet the spike in demand that would bring.
At least SuperMicro isn't in the middle of some massive "restructuring" (involving axing how many staff every month) or in some asset-stripping Ichann-driven limbo. The real interesting competition begins when Lenovo buys IBM's server division. Then HP versus Dell becomes Lenovo versus SuperMicro...and that will be an interesting contest.
We have always been at war with Eastasia.
Perpetual war = perpetual carte blanche to funnel money back to your campaign donors.
While I know many Americans I like - and a good number of my friends are Americans, and right decent people, thank you - America as a country can go fuck itself. It has been a good long while that a nation ruled by something other than a single dictator-like figure has so desperately needed housecleaning.
Even monarchies eventually developed the aristocracy to reign in the power of their royalty. Commoners gained representation through parliaments. Yet America holds itself up as a beacon of all that's right and good whilst allowing "executive power" to reach levels that most of these restrained monarchs could only dream of.
Worse, through objectively terrible decisions like Citizens United America has further reduced that ability of not merely individuals, not merely communities or towns or entire states but the collective voice of the entire nation to a mere whisper when compared to the power of a large corporation.
Topics where your nation very nearly speaks with a single, unified voice (for example gun control) have become charlatanous mockeries of what democracy should be. The needs, wishes, desires and thunderous demands of "the overwhleming majority" matter nothing in the face of backroom politics and the massive machine of lobbying. State legislators are no different; an entire state can turn out to "stand with Wendy" only to see their efforts rent to ashes mere days later.
This is how you treat your own people. You lie to them professionally. You murder the innocent in the name of the law. You rain down suspicion and even death upon your own people and you dare expect us to look upon you as anything more than the haughty, pretentious, arrogant, murderous, xenophobic, savages you choose to elect to run your nation?
We haven't even gotten into the disdain, disrespect and outright lack of humanity, compassion or common decency which which your nation treats the other denizens of this world. The United States of America is a corrupt nation unfit to preach about morality or freedom to anyone. It is a nation in desperate need of a legal and overwhelming political change. New parties need to emerge and America as a nation needs to learn some fucking humility.
Wake me when the Unites States of America has ratified the International Criminal Court. At that point I will be wiling to consider that American might be ready to be given it's first responsibility and might one day be treated as an adult. Until then, suck up, America.
You bring the criticism on yourselves.
"fully featured x86 PC in a tablet form"
Yes, the fully featured x86 PC in a tablet form. Something that 13 years have taught us repeatedly demand exists for only in a tiny niche, especially if you overprice the widget in question.
You're correct that it will never be "sold that cheaply", however, that isn't due to some innate value or demand for the device. It's simply because Microsoft herp derp market comprehension.
"It's Lamborghini, pay Lambo prices, bitch" works somewhat less well when you're fielding a 20-year-old rebuilt Lada powertrain crammed imperfectly into a Pontiac Firefly's body that happens to peel and crack when exposed to, well, air. It's doubly amusing when you realize the competition is selling a fuel-efficient Scion XB that does what people actually want, and does it cheaply even if it looks like a toaster.
In short: fuck x86 tablets. In the face. Sideways. With a giraffe. (Bet you thought I was going to say gorilla, eh?) The only reason why anyone uses x86 on the non-workstation endpoint any more is legacy software. Legacy software that requires a precision pointing device and an actual fucking keyboard. (No, the Surface keyboard doesn't count. It's somewhere between "Blackberry keyboard" and "netbook keyboard" and all the way towards "WTF useless.")
No matter how much flavour-aid that Microsoft pours into the local dihydrogen monoxide supply it won't change the fact that once technology reaches "good enough" people start buying on price...and we reached "good enough" a decade ago.
It's you're going to buy a smear-attracting fondle slab why in the name of sweet merciful monkey fuck would you shell out $800+ for it to get a device where 95% of the apps are either craptastic^n or designed for a precision pointer? Hell, why would you shell out $800+ for a device whose only real purpose is content consumption in the first place? What laboratory would they have to grow your ass in to think that was a grand vision?
If you're going to slap down more than pocket change on a computer then it had damned well better pay for itself. Which means being a productivity tool. Which means a precision pointing device and a keyboard that works better than rolling your face around into 80s voice rec software whilst making mewling noises and gasping.
The tablet is not a replacement for a PC! It is a replacement for the television and/or the newspaper. It is a new way to consume content, it is fucking worthless at producing it. If you pay $800+ for a single-viewer television or a newspaper you are exactly the kind of chump that companies like Microsoft hope we all are.
Which leads me to: there's no reason that x86 tablets shouldn't innately be priced at the same as ARM tablets excepting a complete misreading of the market by both Microsoft and Intel. They don't understand the purpose of the devices and they don't understand how to position themselves. If Microsoft and Intel can't start putting their x86 tablets in the $100-$300 range then x86 will simply lose out on the "personal content consumption device" market altogether.
Considering that historically we've had a lot more content consumers than producers I'd say that's a completely ridiculous business decision on their part.
Re: RE: TP - Liver
As it happens, I don't eat liver either. I think that's a British thing. The point is that we can survive - and quite healthily - entirely off of meat. That's part of being an omnivore. Whatever it is we eat we eat because we like it, not because we need one group or another.
Re: Why are we throwing this away?
I'd cheerfully pay MS another $130 to keep Windows XP in support for another 5 years, as long as I get to keep my "you don't have to count remote endpoints and license them at $100 ea PER YEAR" remote access rules. Fuck anything past XP until that rule changes. I'll just get really good at reloading my XP VM until a viable remote protocol turns up for Linux.