* Posts by Nate Amsden

1890 posts • joined 19 Jun 2007

Elon Musk's latest Tesla Model 3 delivery promise: 6,000... a week

Nate Amsden
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how does tesla manufacturing compare to others?

Keep seeing headlines how they are doing bad about keeping up with their targets. But am curious how they compare to production lines of the bigger manufacturers (preferably taking into account size of factory etc). e.g. not fair to compare 10 toyota factories to 1 tesla factory (no idea how many factories toyota may have or how big they are), is there any stats on this kind of thing? I guess my point is more is Tesla doing a good job at making cars given the resources available? (seems that they may only have the one factory for cars in the bay area, excluding the battery factory(ies))

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Signal app guru Moxie: Facebook is like Exxon. Everyone needs it, everyone despises it

Nate Amsden
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everyone dispises?

Really? I think that is overstating things by quite a bit. There is a newish growing vocal minority who despise facebook, just like I am in a minority who despise Amazon(~8 years running now, if only their recruiters would stop contacting me).

But I'd wager the vast vast majority of people who use it do not despise it. I bet the majority of those people who have also embraced Instagram don't realize and/or don't care that Facebook owns that as well.

At least 3 others in my family use facebook quite a bit and I haven't heard any of them say a peep about this whole thing, they just don't care, I don't think it has changed their usage of the system at all.

I bet the majority of those same people don't blink an eye when they install apps on their mobile devices that want to harvest your data. It's pretty sad, but even more sad, not surprising.

The only social media account I have is linkedin, though I am very careful to give as little behavioral information to them as possible(as in I do not comment on posts, I do not "like" anything), and pretty much all info they have on me is publicly available anyway. Add to that I do massive amounts of cookie blocking (over 10,000 sites in the past ~14 years), not perfect but it does a good enough job for me.

Also am obviously careful about what gets installed on my main phone. I have two other phones with pretty much no personal information on which I use to install apps that are of more dubious quality (though my standards even there are very high), so they really get no data, and no mobile devices are not allowed on my internal home network either(wifi is "DMZ" only hanging off the 3rd port of my yes -- OpenBSD firewall).

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Supreme Court punts on Microsoft email seizure decision after Cloud Act passes US Congress

Nate Amsden
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MS already seems to have a model for operations overseas though. At least I recall in Germany the MS cloud is operated by a german telco and MS has no access to it at all.

Another option is to use client side encryption. So you can give all of the data but the client has the key to unlock it (MS does not).

I don't really care either way myself, I would not expect MS to be happy for the same reasons though.

If anything it should hopefully boost the business going to smaller local service providers in europe and slow the progress of amazon/google/MS clouds. (I say this as an American, though I do really not like any of those clouds anyway).

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It's US Tax Day, so of course the IRS's servers have taken a swan dive

Nate Amsden
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I'm sure they got encryption

State of the art export grade 1990s era anyway.

I'm filing my taxes via USPS priority mail, same way I pretty much always do(one year I used Turbo tax because that year was more complicated than I was comfortable with doing by hand,though still almost got screwed last minute as one of the tax forms from my then company had numbers transposed on it and Turbotax claimed I owned $9,999,999 in taxes, fortunately their support was quick to identify the error in the transposed fields and my tax owed went down to about $2k).

Though CA state taxes I've done online.

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Europe turns nose up at new smartphones: Beancounters predict 7% sales drop

Nate Amsden
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Re: really? 5G as the big draw?

Doesn't help that many phones and/or carriers blur the 4G line. On AT&T for example 4G is (as far as I know) 3G HSPA+, so when my phone says 4G, it is actually 3G. Only when it says 4G with a tiny little "LTE" next to it, is it actually running on 4G. Which again speed wise 95% of the time is no different from HSPA+ for me.

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Windows Admin Center: Vulture gets claws on browser-based server admin

Nate Amsden
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Re: Slowly...

Maybe you didn't read the article but it doesn't sound anything like managing a unix system over a SSH connection. A web UI and a CLI seem to be pretty miles apart.

Webmin may be a really vague comparison but I'm sure that is quite far apart as well. Though I recall back in earlier days of webmin (last time I used it I think late 90s), in several cases which it didn't support some feature you could edit the raw config from the webmin UI to do things(so in that respect may be kind of similar to CLI for those use cases).

My favorite command shell on windows historically(other than a cygwin bash which I have used for basic things over the past ~18 years - little more than vi/tail/less/ssh/<file management commands>) was 4NT (and 4DOS for win9x).

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Apple leak: If you leak from Apple, we'll have you arrested, says Apple

Nate Amsden
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reminds me of a friend who tried to recruit me into apple

He was an outside vendor with lots of close connections internally at Apple. I was over at his house one time and he started to tempt me with an opportunity at Apple, but he couldn't tell me more than that. Until he had a half dozen drinks then he surrendered and told me it was with the maps group who had yet to launch (maybe even announce, I don't recall the specific timeline) their product. I still wasn't interested but thought it was funny. He was tight lipped until he had a few drinks then said aw fuckit and spilled the beans. He left that company a few years ago now.

Still no interest in working for apple or any other big company, at the time he tried it to me as apple was like a lot of little independent startups so it didn't have a big company feel. Still not something I am interested in pursuing.

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Cloudflare promises to tend not two, but 65,535 ports in a storm

Nate Amsden
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Re: Trust

keep it layer 4 and use encryption ?

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Boffins find new ways to slurp private info from Facebook addicts using precision-targeted ads

Nate Amsden
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missing the point?

The platform was designed to invade privacy(paraphrasing Zuckerberg's early quote "dumb fucks"), as were pretty much if not all other social media platforms.

I'm sure google goes even further they just haven't been exposed to the extent facebook has been yet.

It is unfortunate that so many people are happy to give up all of this info in exchange for using these services. I saw one headline on a news site I think it was from a U.S. senator saying "facebook should be paying US(the users) for this data!", obviously went over their head that they are giving you value back in "free" usage of the platform, paying for all those developers and servers and data centers etc.

I would pay money to see what data facebook and google have gotten on me but even if they did offer that service(I think google does to some small extent), I have too much fear that they would then validate "that is me" in their data by me doing such a thing. (I have never had a facebook account, I do have a google accounts for android(I don't use gmail, and use firefox as my browser, and am careful about what apps get installed), and I do have a google account for work for google docs(rarely use))

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Using Outlook? You should probably do some patching

Nate Amsden
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Re: People STILL use 'Virus Outbreak' aka Microsoft Outlook?

I use Outlook 2010 (in a Win7 VM on vmware workstation on top of my linux laptop) still and it seems just about every email I get that has external content the content is blocked unless I right click and tell it to download.

Also use Outlook Web access on office 365 that is where most of my work email is done, though sometimes regular outlook is better.

Extended support for office 2010 seems to expire in 2020 so no need to upgrade and take on whatever UI changes MS has thrown at the system before I have to.

The last time any of my personal computers/personal servers had an "infection" of malware of any kind that I was aware of was probably mid 1990s (due to pirating cracked games at the time).

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Skype for Business has nasty habit of closing down… for business

Nate Amsden
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Re: WTF

I could be wrong but I think this product is skype by brand only. Not skype technology. I think it may come from groove networks acquired in 2005 from what I see.

That said I mostly dumped skype when they burned their userbase on backwards compatibility a few years ago.

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Nate Amsden
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Re: Why are people still on 32-bit windows

So run a 64bit host and keep that vm running all the time. I run 64bit win7 in a vm for work stuff (host OS is linux). With few exceptions it runs 24/7. 16G of ram in host but ran fine with 8G too on my previous laptop. Really has zero noticable impact to the performance of my laptop.

Having a video chat thing need 2GB of ram regardless of how much is available to the OS is just crap.

If anything running business critical software in a VM should improve reliability due to ease of taking snapshots and ability to isolate the workload more. Less chance of software conflicts. Also allows for greater portability between systems, copy vm to new computer and off you go.

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Microsoft's Pelican brief, MAID in Azure* and femtosecond laser glass storage

Nate Amsden
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so is glass better than DNA?

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2016/07/07/microsoft_dna_storage/

"Previous research by UW and Microsoft has estimated that the "raw" storage limit of DNA is an exabyte per cubic millimeter. That said, it takes a long time to actually read the data – hours at a time – so this isn't going to replace Flash any time soon."

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Nate Amsden
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wasn't dedupe the main thing that killed MAID ?

Looks like data domain IPO'd in 2007, and SGI acquired the assets of copan in 2010. Tape works well for archive, and dedupe appliances seem to fill the bulk of the rest of that backup space.

Copan did have heavy racks though I think around 3000 pounds? Though 3PAR wasn't too far behind at 2,000 pounds (though you were not required to fully load the racks, my 3PAR racks at the time were less than half populated due to weight, being in a high rise I want to say the weight limit was 900 pounds per rack, eventually put steel beams and plates in to distribute the weight better, was an interesting and kind of scary project to completely dismantle the array in the middle of the day and prop it up on the steel plates and power it all back up again).

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'Disappearing' data under ZFS on Linux sparks small swift tweak

Nate Amsden
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Back in 2004 or 2005 the company i was at had a few hpux systems on itanium running oracle. At one point we had a network loop for a few minutes. Fixed it but the out of band management controllers on the itaniums all hung. I believe they had redundant management controllers. Unable to reset them HP support advised to just pull them out and re insert. They were hot swappable. Those itaniums were not my responsibility. Fortunately the people tested it on a non critical system and the box crashed immediately.

That said several years later after I left the company's largest customer said they would pay to upgrade the infrastructure. But they had to get rid of the (then) red hat linux boxes running oracle and go to hpux or Solaris or something more solid. Not sure what the issues were but I recall my co workers who managed those systems were quite excited to be able to use linux with oracle (maybe RAC too I don't recall) before I left.

Same company after i left built active active datacenters. But their app stack sucked. At one random time I emailed an ops guy there and he said something along the lines of they were 4 or 5 hours into an outage on their 4 or 5 nines configuration. I had a good laugh

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Nate Amsden
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Re: @disgustedoftunbridgewells

I tried to deploy Nexenta(Opensolaris) in a high availability role back in 2011/2012, it uses ZFS of course. It wasn't pretty. While I don't blame ZFS directly for the data corruption it was Nexenta's HA that was going split brain causing both systems to write to the disks at the same time.

Where I do blame ZFS though is debugging and recovering from corruption. The general advice is re format and restore from backups. Fortunately the data involved that was lost wasn't critical but I was quite shocked how poor the recovery system was for ZFS at the time. I want to say the tool I was messing with was zdb. All I wanted was a basic force FSCK of the file system, if something is corrupted then wipe out those files/blocks and continue (on most other file systems such blocks may be dumped into /lost+found). But no, when zfs hit that corruption instant kernel panic and boot loop.

I managed to temporarily recover the affected volume once or twice, so many years ago I forgot the exact zdb commands I was using at the time, but eventually it failed again.

Final solution was well to get rid of Nexenta but shorter term was to turn off high availability and just go single node at which point the corruption and crashes stopped.

All that said I do like ZFS, I use it in a few cases, I really hate the 80% file system full and your performance goes to shit though. I also don't like not being able to reclaim space in a ZFS file system by writing zeros because the zeros are compressed to nothing. A co-worker tells me ZFS is getting reclaim support soon perhaps in the form of SCSI UNMAP I am not sure.

Also ZFS on BSD and perhaps linux last I checked does not support online volume expansion (i.e. LUN from a SAN), they want you to add more disks to the system and expand it that way. Wasn't an issue with ZFS on Nexenta/OpenSolaris. I did expand FreeNAS storage on several occasions but had to take the file system offline in order to get it to recognize the additional storage. There was a bug open on this issue on FreeNAS for several years, but the link I have is expired (https://redmine.ixsystems.com/issues/342), last I checked it was not resolved yet.

Ironically enough I tried to replace Nexenta with a Windows 2012 Storage server as a NFS appliance, high availability and all(canned solution from HP). Too many bugs though, hell it took me an 8 hour call with support just to get the initial setup done because the software didn't work right(quick start guide indicated a new 2 node cluster could be installed in a matter of minutes, but the nodes were not able to see each other until I did a bunch of manual work on each one to force their network configs. I had the honor of getting my first custom Microsoft patch for one of the issues, but I was too scared to deploy it. So many issues HP acknowledged and most of them said MS was not going to fix.

After all of that I never actually ended up fully deploying the Windows 2012 storage cluster, it never gained my confidence, and the final nail in the coffin was a file system bug where a deduped volume claimed it was full(it was not, had dozens of gigs free) and went offline. That volume in question was not a critical volume(and the only volume with dedupe enabled), so I don't care TOO much that the one volume went offline.

But that's when Microsoft cluster services shit itself, it shut ALL of the volumes down (half dozen) including the critical ones and refused to bring ANY of the volumes back until that one problematic volume was fixed. Solution to that? was to disable Microsoft high availability as well there too! So at least that one bad volume could fail and not affect any of the other volumes on the system.

Now running Isilon and life is much better, though I do wish it had file system compression, their dedupe is totally worthless operating at 32k level, but other than that the system has been trouble free for almost the past year since it was installed (had 2 support cases that took a few weeks to resolve but neither was critical, though level 2 support on one of the cases was not very good, fortunately I had a friend who worked at Isilon for 12 years and was a very senior tech, he was able to suggest a resolution which fixed the problem(turn on source based routing), the official isilon support rep kept telling me everything is fine and there are problems on my network(there was not), enabling SBR resolved the issue). Oh and Isilon is horribly inefficient with storing/accessing small files, I first tried their SD edge product maybe 2 years ago and it imploded due to their architecture around small files.

The other interim solution we had deployed for a while was FreeNAS, it ran fine, no unscheduled outages(several scheduled outages for filesystem expansion) from that, but also no high availability as well, and the update process scared the crap out of me, so we basically stuck with the same version of FreeNAS no patches nothing for a year or two. High availability is available last I checked when you use their hardware etc, but I did not want to use their hardware.

Still dumbfounds me given the workload we give to NFS it is basically bulk storage (and not even much data on ZFS it was under 1TB (Isilon requires probably 5X the space of ZFS for our datasets) - and really nobody sells NFS appliances for 1TB of data). Nothing transactional(that all goes to block SAN storage). Snapshots, online software upgrades, high availability. But apparently that's still difficult to accomplish in many cases. Our use cases for Isilon have expanded over the past year though as we take advantage of the larger amount of storage it has, probably 10X the size of our previous NFS setup (current cluster is about as small of an Isilon cluster as I could get).

I miss my Exanet cluster from ~8 years ago. Or even BlueArc NFS before I had Exanet. Isilon is doing pretty good for me now though.

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Hey, so Europe's GDPR privacy deadline for Whois? We're going to miss it ... by a year or so

Nate Amsden
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private registation

Seems there has been a solution available for a long time already called private registration (maybe that is the wrong term), where the registrar obscures the actual registrant of the domain and often times offers an email forwarding service in order to contact them. But of course registrars like to charge a premium for that service.

So the technology exists, perhaps they just don't want to use it in a broader scale.

I've never felt the value of knowing who a domain is registered to has much use to it myself, a domain can point to anything. IPv4 addresses on the other hand in general are far less portable. I actually did a WHOIS on one of the IPs I had at a colo maybe 6 years ago and it still had my name on it.

That reminds me of a strange phone call I got maybe back in 2013. Woke me up from sleep in a hotel room. Turns out it was the FBI. I was nervous of course never having talked to them before. They were trying to get in touch with my former employer but there was no contact info on the website and they could not find a phone number anywhere. My name was on their company domain(I had left the company 1+ years prior) so they tried to call me. The FBI had interest in getting access to the company's logs I assume for questionable user generated content on their site. I got them in touch with people at the company(the company has long since gone out of business now).

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HPE swallows cloud consultancy RedPixie

Nate Amsden
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deja vu?

Didn't HP spin out their services/consulting arm ? Now they are wanting to build a new unit that does something similar?

As for pension, curious what kind of work did you do for HP mister AC ? My father worked for HP for I want to say 20-25 years(perhaps more), he even personally knew the founders, he retired from HP in the mid 90s though have never heard him mention the word pension.

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VMs: Imperfect answers to imperfect problems, but they're all we have

Nate Amsden
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Re: Not all containers are created equal

too late to edit post but wanted to say WRT app stability our java stacks have been similarly stable over the years, java doesn't change often(though Oracle seems to want to change that, ugh).

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Nate Amsden
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Not all containers are created equal

Though I assume it's sort of safe to assume the article author means "docker" style containers(app containers) when referencing containers, am not certain though.

I deployed my first vmware in production on what was then called VMware GSX server I believe(later renamed I think to VMware Server??) back in 2004. It was a last minute idea I had. The situation was the company had to roll back a major production software upgrade which included support for a new customer that was going to launch in production in a few days(they were already advertising their service on TV at the time I saw). Company was really upset.. but there was no way to go forward the code base and data set were shared with other bigger customers that had critical bugs and could not go forward.

So after an all nighter I was in the CEO's office along with some other senior folks. I suggested at the time we could take one of the QA VMware hosts, reconfigure it, put it in production and use that. The expected traffic to the customer was expected to be tiny. Production ops had no spare hardware available to use vmware (mainly memory requirements our standards at the time was about 4GB/system). Even though we were used to ordering HP Proliant servers UPS Red (overnight), this was Friday morning and there was no way we could get new hardware by Monday morning deployed and in production.

So I lead the effort to build the new customer a new application environment which consisted of a single apache front end VM, a tomcat web server VM behind it, a weblogic app server VM behind that, and an Oracle server VM behind that. All running on a 2U Dell something with 2 CPU cores and 16GB of ram with 6x3.5" disks, I think 10 or 15k RPM I don't remember. It had 3 network connections to the 3 levels of networking we had at the time. Took about 30 hours of configuration work but we got it working and the customer launched on time. The first day they took 10x the traffic we were expecting and we had to augment the setup with a 2nd web server. That vmware box ran in production for probably 1 year before they had migrated everything to bare metal.

The biggest use case for hypervisors to me at this point is hardware is just so powerful now it is difficult to leverage the power of a single system that can have dozens of cores and tons of memory. Most of the 1,000 VMs I have sit at very low utilization levels most of the time. Trying to horseshoe dozens of applications in different environments onto a single OS image is well too difficult. Add to that network complexity, my VM hosts have a dozen or more VLANs assigned to each host making it easy to select where to put a VM network wise.

With containers I have only used LXC OS-level containers where they run all of the same services as a VM with exception of the kernel/drivers. You can login to them (Ubuntu in our case) and do whatever like a normal system. The biggest benefits here that still hold true today for our app stacks is massive CPU scheduler improvements for our stateless applications. There is some "risk" of a container/app overrunning the others WRT to CPU but in reality that has never come close to happening in the past 3 years(a good chunk of that time the servers never could go above maybe ~30% cpu usage due to app code bottlenecks that were resolved later). So the data says otherwise at least for our workloads (it would make less sense if you were doing this with workloads you do not have control over(e.g. service provider), we control/monitor everything end to end). Result is we haven't had to adjust the CPU levels of our main app servers in 3 years. Most of the time they sit around 5% usage, ultra high usage have seen as high as 70-80% but that is very rare. Response times improved a lot taking the hypervisor out, and giving the systems more cpus to spread their threads across. I don't have to worry about CPU contention on these systems since it is all 1 kernel. It's worked better than anyone expected. The original LXC server hardware paid for itself almost immediately simply in licensing savings. Operational savings not having to worry about scalability for the following years despite ever increasing traffic was just piled on top.

Application containers is something I am disgusted with myself. Not the containers themselves but more how sloppy development has gotten over the past decade to bring up a need for such a technology in the first place. I thought Ruby on rails was bad back in 2007 when I was first exposed to it. To my horror not only have they not fixed that problem but it's gotten exponentially worse with things like node.js. By comparison current org ran the same PHP stack for about 4 years other than security updates. The past 2 years have had 1 upgrade (pretty minor from x.x to x.y), and a few security updates. Node seems to get that on at least a monthly if not more frequent basis (with the modules and stuff)

VMs came about in my opinion more to provide an abstraction layer to the hardware, mobility of VMs between servers, or between storage systems. Also as servers got more powerful it became ever more difficult if not impossible to leverage that power with a single application running (My dual socket/384GB vmware servers run anywhere from 30 to 80 VMs/each and are far from fully loaded memory wise, I am very conscious of vCPU allocations). And before you say oh everything is highly available, that is a load of shit. Tons of things are single points of failure, especially in dev/test environments, I probably have 300 VMs that each by themselves are single points of failure (none are critical to production). We haven't "lost" a VM in the 5 years this infrastructure has been running (we were lucky to lose only 1 VM/month when in public cloud). If a host fails the VM is restarted on another host within a couple of minutes, so there is no need to build redundancy at that level it's just a waste of resources. There are a few production single VM single points of failure due to application design, though I protect them with VMware Fault tolerance (they are single CPU VMs), to-date haven't had to have fault tolerance kick in though.

App containers are a totally different use case, they certainly have their advantages but to me anyway they solve a problem that should not exist in the first place. That said there are people at the org I am at that really like containers and want to use them and we probably will use app containers for some things in the future. My boss's boss fought me hard deploying LXC for our newer application stack saying he wanted everything in vmware. I warned him over and over again given the nature of the application they needed to do serious ongoing performance testing to make sure the system could scale correctly. Well after 1 year that never happened and they were constantly worried about scalability. Well that boss is gone now, and one benefit from app containers may be the new app stack gets deployed to bare metal to leverage improved cpu scheduling and scalability.

While I run containers on bare metal, my use case wouldn't really apply if I was running LXC within a VM on a hypervisor, so I don't do that. The only LXC containers we have run on bare metal.

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Co-op says IT upgrade project going swell since axing IBM

Nate Amsden
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Re: The important thing... this shows how IBM is failing...

easy fix for this is retention bonuses for some set period of time, enough $ that the staff will not leave until their part is done. Though I think IBM and some others may be more used to threatening staff with losing benefits if they leave before training replacement staff. Maybe that retention time is 2 months, maybe it is 3 years. Seems to happen quite regularly when companies are acquired at least in tech.

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HPE shines in IDC Converged Systems tracker, Cisco does not

Nate Amsden
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Re: HP shining but

Can't edit on mobile. Will toss out there debian linux for 20 yrs, and ubuntu for 10 years -- though after my first exposure to systemd in the past couple of months that has been quite infuriating..

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Nate Amsden
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Re: HP shining but

If I find something that works I tend to stick to it until it gives me a need to look elsewhere. Whether its 3PAR for 12 years, Extreme Networks for 19 years, VMware for 19 years(before 1.0 on linux), Proliant off and on for 15 years (off years included an experiment with supermicro and one company I was at was a Dell server shop, and another company was exclusive public cloud).

One area HP fell far short for me was NFS. So I use isilon for that now( of the 4 NFS solutions I have deployed over the past 5 years isilon has been the only trouble free system, been in use almost 1 year now).

I do many things and don't have time to mess around.

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Nate Amsden
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HP shining but

Proliants are my favorite servers(DL38x), and 3PAR is my favorite storage though the headlines of the article make it sound like HP's numbers are really awesome when in reality they did grow a bunch but from a small base, and I'd wager most of that growth was due to the Simplivity(sp?) acquisition. It's not as if they pulled in another $150M in revenue or something.

I'd say VMware is the real shiner in this report.

I'm still old school I guess no converged anything at this point. I have always been curious to know what the numbers is for converged vs non converged(but still running a hypervisor and shared storage of some kind). Though have never seen such numbers reported.

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Britain's 4G is slower than Armenia's

Nate Amsden
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coverage sucks

Seems telcos are hyping up 5G when it would be nice if they did the more boring thing of improving existing coverage. I live in the U.S. but I can count on two fingers the number of times I have gotten awesome 4G speeds(over 20Mbit) over the past 5 years.

One time was in a Las Vegas convention center where they obviously had cell repeaters in the room, and the 2nd time was staying at a hotel in San Jose CA a couple of months ago where I got an astonishing 50Mbit down and 20Mbit up(that was faster than the cable modem connection I had when I lived in the bay area for 5 years ending in 2016 though I did not live in San Jose, I lived 1 mile from the Youtube HQ as a point of reference as that has been in the news recently).

The mobile speed test app I use has a history going back to 2015, and has tons a single digit numbers, or in many cases numbers that start with 0.x Mbits.

I remember when I went to Barcelona a couple of years ago, pretty much any building I went into coverage went to either 2G or no signal(I believe because of the stone buildings).

In the city in California where my current home is there are several spots in busy areas (population ~220,000) where signal is bad enough I can't even get a DNS query to complete.

On my phone I have an app that is supposed to measure signal strength, the weakest one always seems to be "LTE RSRP Signal", which at home now currently measures at 14% (-114 db), however overall LTE signal strength it says is 52% (16 db), phone reports 2 bars of signal (I would consider this level of signal to be good). With this rating the speed test app reports 10.68Mbps(quite a bit more than I expected) of download and 0.63Mbps of upload.

It's not my phone because I bought my wife a brand new Sony XZ1 last November running Android 8, it's signal reception abilities are almost identical to my late 2013 Galaxy Note 3. Re-affirmed when I was able to lock in those 50Mbit speeds at the hotel a couple of months ago.

My carrier is AT&T, the 2nd largest carrier in the country.

With 3G life would probably be better on some occasions, unfortunately in order to force my phone to 3G requires shutting the phone down, removing the SIM card, booting it up again, typing in a code, and shutting it down again, re-inserting SIM card and booting it up again. I worry that is too much wear and tear on the device(mainly SIM removal and re-insert) that I don't do it unless I am traveling internationally. I already get the occasional "UNABLE TO READ SIM - REBOOT" message on bootup.

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2001 set the standard for the next 50 years of hard (and some soft) sci-fi

Nate Amsden
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blade runner

Blade Runner 2049 released in 2017 did not do well in theaters according to wikipedia at least. It needed $400M to break even, and has done about $260M both according to the wikipedia article.

I like sci fi, though more specifically like space stuff, so am a fan of 2001 (though never really tried to understand the deeper bits, I was in it for the special effects which still hold up today as far as I'm concerned), and 2010(which I liked more, and understood better). Major fan of Star Trek (not the JJ abrams stuff), Stargate (the 3 TV series, SG1 probably favorite TV show all time -- wasn't into the original movie), and Star wars (more into the universe of star wars rather than the stories that have been told in the movies, loved Rogue One though - the latest Star wars didn't look interesting to me so I have skipped it).

Blade runner even though it was touted as having awesome special effects the previews and background didn't interest me so I haven't seen it. For some reason I kept tabs on wikipedia for Blade runner just to see how well it was doing to try to convince myself whether or not to see it.

2001 is a bit depressing in that it shows all this neat space stuff, and here we are 50 years later and doesn't seem we are anywhere close to any of it. At this rate it doesn't seem like we'll even be at 2001's level of space travel 50 years from now.

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Intel admits a load of its CPUs have Spectre v2 flaw that can't be fixed

Nate Amsden
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seems reasonable to me

Intel is really only on the hook for stuff that is supported, the warranties are usually just a few years (I see in the case of embedded they may support up to 7 years on extended support).

So chips outside of this window should not expect fixes. While it'd be nice if they got fixed it's not reasonable to expect to get support past the support window unless you have a special agreement with Intel for extended support.

I just stopped a support case for a firewall product yesterday for example. I had had the issue reproduce about once every 2 weeks for almost a year now(unable to reproduce on demand). Workaround is to reboot the unit(happens on both units in HA pair). Product ran fine for a good 4+ years without this condition until a particular software version was installed early last year(took 4-8 weeks for problem to be discovered at which point rollback was not practical, older software was end of life anyway). Vendor unable to find the cause yet alone find a resolution. Support for the product officially ends in about two weeks. Fortunately the decision was made to shut down the site that the affected product is operating in within the next month so I won't have to deal with it anymore.

But the point is I know when support for the product was ending, and while I certainly am frustrated they could not make any meaningful progress on the issue for just over a year at this point, I'm not expecting them to support past the support window.

You'd have every right to be upset if you reported the Meltdown issue to Intel within the warranty/support period of their product and they did not produce a fix. But that is not the case with all of the chips they are not going to fix(I haven't tried to check to see if any of their extended support embedded chips with 7 years won't be fixed if they were released in 2011).

If you REALLY feel you are that much of a target or have that lax of habits with regards to pretty safe computing then you should upgrade the hardware.

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'Every little helps'... unless you want email: Tesco to kill free service

Nate Amsden
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Re: Damn

start with getting your own domain

My first domain for my email addresses was registered in 1998, then registered 3 after my name in 2002. I have hosted my own email since about 1996 but obviously these days there are quite a few places where you can find a SaaS email offering that supports using your custom domain (I have no personal suggestions to make)

but for sure get your own domain.

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Cloudflare touts privacy-friendly 1.1.1.1 public DNS service. Hmm, let's take a closer look at that

Nate Amsden
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if they really cared about being good with privacy

I'd think they'd offer their service on another IP as well that doesn't have the data sharing, for those folks who are a bit more paranoid (not me though I have run my own DNS since 1996 along with email etc). But maybe that would confuse too many people or something.

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Watchdog growls at Tesla for spilling death crash details: 'Autopilot on, hands off wheel'

Nate Amsden
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Re: Wonder why it swerved

forgot to mention on that Montreal trip it was around 10:30-11pm at night, so light snow, late at night, and road covered in white.

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Nate Amsden
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Wonder why it swerved

I read many posts in another forum that were harping on how the autopilot is little more than technologies available from other companies but named differently like lane assist, auto braking etc. Someone posted a link to a google maps satellite view where the accident occurred, and the claim is the car somehow got confused thinking there was another lane and moved into that "lane" even though it wasn't a lane which then ran into a barrier.

What doesn't make sense to me is why the car would do that, at least I haven't read mentions of Telsa's (or other company's tech) behaving in that they pass cars by themselves (but maybe they do I don't closely track this stuff). Anyway if the car's basic function is to stay within the lane how could it possibly get confused of lines to the left of the car, it should see easily the line on the left side of the car is a solid white strip marking the boundary, and on the right side is a dashed line marking the boundary. Sure there is ANOTHER solid white line past the one closest to the car, and somehow the car thinks it should cross one solid white line to align itself with the next white line it sees. For me it all comes down to the logic involved in deciding to cross a solid white line on a highway, which at least the last 20 years or so of my driving on the west coast I don't recall ever there being a situation where you can "legally" do that (breakdowns excepted of course).

I've driven that stretch of road many times myself having lived in the bay area from 2011-2016(and travel back several times a year I don't live far away just far enough for lower cost housing).

I could probably understand if the weather was really bad, or debris on the road or something to mask the lines, but have seen no claims of anything like that.

The lane in question was quite straight as well, in the grand scheme of things(all the situations the car would face) it should be a simple situation for the car to stay within the lane on a mostly straight highway road with good road conditions and good clear weather.

I recall one time I think back in 2005 I was driving from Boston to Montreal on a Friday night it was in Feb or March, light snow.. I have very little experience driving in the snow. Anyway was in a rental car with my friend and we were in Vermont at the time, they salted the roads or something a lot, the roads were not slick(at all) but they were almost completely white. As in I cannot see the lines in the road. Not many cars on the road. My friend said stop driving like I'm drunk, and I wasn't drunk had no drinks that day. I was driving and trying to follow whatever lines I saw in the road, sometimes I saw the line on the right side of the car, other times I only saw the one on the left(so naturally went to both sides of the lane many many times as I tracked the lines). No accidents or near misses or anything but something that stuck in my head as to a time where I really could not see the lines on the road. I think after we got into Canada it was fine then, just a couple stretches of road in Vermont that were particularly scary (slowed down of course for those bits). One of those bits was directly before the border crossing. Fortunately the cops there had no issue with how I was driving.

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Intel outside: Apple 'prepping' non-Chipzilla Macs by 2020 (stop us if you're having deja vu)

Nate Amsden
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I'd think that Xeons are a tiny fraction of the Intel CPUs Apple ships as they are probably only in the Mac Pro.

And you say by simply making everything a lot more complicated producing cross platform code is really easy. In the world of less complex tools in linux I have noticed over the years how many issues there have been making/maintaining portable code across CPUs even on the same OS.

Certainly helps to have a transition layer like Android did with java-like experience, and Apple did when they moved to x86 from PPC.

Will be interesting to see if at some point they start shipping their ARM chips in their laptops(I think they already do for the touch bar stuff), and be able to run ARM and x86 stuff side by side at native hardware speeds in some way.

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Facebook exec extracts foot from mouth: We didn't really mean growth matters more than human life

Nate Amsden
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all those billions in profits

Buys a lot of stress relief for those executives.

Not sure if it's a new thing that came out of the silicon valley area or if it was thought of long before, but the saying goes, it's easier to ask for forgiveness afterwards than ask for permission ahead of time.

While I have no doubt facebook has a shadow profile of me stored I have never registered an account with the service, and have been blocking their cookies for a decade or more(along with 13,800 other hosts and domains that don't have the word facebook in them).

Same goes for all other social media except LinkedIn where I have maintained an account though I take care not to feed them any behavioral information beyond what would be in my resume.

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Looking to nab Nvidia's GeForce chips? You need cash and patience

Nate Amsden
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order direct

I read on a forum that you can buy the cards directly from nvidia's site at msrp. Though got the impression they don't support backorders so you have to get lucky to see them in stock.

https://www.nvidia.com/en-us/geforce/products/10series/geforce-store/

May be the spot.

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Brit cloud slinger iomart goes TITSUP, knackers Virgin Trains, Parentpay

Nate Amsden
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sort of reminds me

Was at a ATT conference maybe 9 years ago. They had one bit where they talked about multiple provider network redundancy. Then they showed a slide of a (real)huge fiber cut that had probably a dozen or more carriers in the same pipe, I want to say the pipe or conduit was 1 to 2 feet wide buried in the ground.

Certainly was interesting to think about wrt datacenters and normal requirements that there be at least 2 fiber connection points on different sides of the building. How far might those fibers go before they converge? (If they converge) have never gotten a confident answer for that.

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Tesla crash investigation causes dip in 'leccycar firm's share price

Nate Amsden
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Re: Another Uber!

I think a lot of it is legacy stuff from what appeared to be serious claims by Tesla that they were self driving, at least in statements that I thought I read from Musk etc at the time. This was before the accident with the semi(and I believe before Tesla and that company in Israel parted ways), and Telsa has since walked back a lot(all?) of those statements and said said they were always clear to the buyers that it wasn't self driving.

But as someone on the sidelines I do distinctly remember a very big change in Tesla/Musk's description as to what their technology is capable of.

Not surprising at all that not everyone got the message yet. Tesla doesn't do itself any favors by seemingly constantly touting that their technology on shipping cars is level 5 or whatever capable (when the software is ready), just adds to the confusion.

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What a Docker shocker: Founder, CTO Solomon Hykes takes a hike

Nate Amsden
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Docker's future is bright

The quote doesn't seem to distinguish between the technology (which appears to be mostly "free") vs the organization trying to sustain itself off that free technology.

Becomes even more cloudy I think if your betting your success at companies moving their stuff to public clouds, when those clouds are likely just to offer the same technology as Docker can and cut them out of the process entirely.

For me I think the whole concept of Docker is just sad, to be at a point where application quality has degraded so much and inter dependencies have exploded to the point where the only way to "manage" them is with something like Docker.

Containers in general have their use cases I have been using LXC containers in production for about 3 years now (on bare metal hardware in colocation facilities, mission critical e-commerce websites), works really well. Though my containers enclose almost a full OS with IP address(over bridged network interface), running services etc. The systems are managed similarly to VMs in that patches are installed, code is deployed within them etc. The biggest benefit for me is the vastly superior CPU scheduling opportunities running on bare metal, having 48-96+ physical CPU cores to pool from. I only put stateless services on them though.

Docker though, no interest in that stuff. Other folks at the organization I am at are interested and have been working with it, not me.

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Up the stack with you: Microsoft's Denali project flashes skinny SSD controllers

Nate Amsden
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maybe those hyperscalers will make their own SSDs too

Buy the flash direct from the manufacturer and make(or at least design) whatever ssd config you want if the bulk of the logic is higher up in the stack.

It seems Pure and IBM and HDS have been doing this at least(making their own SSDs), so not too uncommon.

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If you've got $1m+ to blow on AI, meet Pure, Nvidia's AIRI fairy: A hyperconverged beast

Nate Amsden
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similar to HP?

Each DX-1 system appears to be a single Xeon server with 8 V100 GPUs in a 3U enclosure consuming 3500W of power

HPE's offering is a single xeon server with 8 V100 GPUs in a 4U enclosure, a bit bigger but the HP offering supports a lot more memory and local storage, power capacity is 8800W or 4400W if you were operating on one pair of active/standby power circuits(4 power supplies). So power usage is likely to be about the same as well (not surprising).

Comparing 4 servers each with 8 GPUs to a single server with 8 doesn't compute well.

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Microsoft loves Linux so much it wants someone else to build distros for its Windows Store

Nate Amsden
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Does it have a good terminal emulator ?

The one(s) that come with cmd and powershell seem pretty terrible..

My favorite terminal emulator under windows is the native rxvt from cygwin, much to my dismay is no longer available in cygwin (you have to use X now), I asked the developers one or two years ago on that since there was no mention on the site and they said it wasn't maintained anymore and they couldn't update it or something. So I just keep the old cygwin around for as long as it keeps workin.

My usage of cygwin is pretty limited to basic command line stuff and ssh. Without rxvt though it would be quite a bit more painful, and running full X doesn't sound appealing just for a few terminal windows. Cygwin user for a good 16-18 years now.

I struggle to think of use cases for this subsystem but come up mostly empty. I browsed Scott's blog posting on the developer aspect and it sounds like it could be useful there, though not for me since I am not a developer.

I'm sure a Linux subsystem is quite a bit less overhead than a VM though systems are so powerful these days, so much ram and so many cpu cores, even laptops that for most folks I think they are better off with a VM where you can back it up easier, experiment more(if needed), take snapshots of the VM and things like that.

I was running the earliest versions of vmware (pre 1.0) back in 1999 with windows on top of Linux at the time. Those were days of constrained resources for virtualization on the desktop. I remember trying Bochs too with Win9x, which worked as long as you were comfortable with 30 minute boot times(or so it seemed like from memory).

Windows 10 has so many downsides to it I can't imagine anything they could put into the system that would make me want to upgrade from 7.

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Huawei joins Android elite with pricey, nocturnal 40MP flagship

Nate Amsden
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strange to drop SD card with 2 SIM slots

If it has two sim slots, seems fairly common for phones in Asia to offer two SIM slots with the 2nd slot doubling as SD card slot if you don't want to use a 2nd SIM.

I could understand more dropping SD card if they lacked the 2nd SIM slot entirely. 128GB of storage may be passable for not having SD card.

My ~4 year old Note 3s which are my daily drivers have 128GB and 256GB SD cards. Storing thousands of pictures on those SD cards is slow but for tons of HD video it works well in combination with MHL for HDMI TVs when traveling(I have a Note 4 that I bring along on travel as well with another 256GB SD card). To think the phone I had before the Note 3 with (at the time) 96GB total flash(32GB base + 64GB SD), was a HP Pre3 with 8GB total flash(no SD card).

My SD cards, like my removable batteries aren't things that are swapped often, I change batteries probably once per year(to new battery), and SD card at this rate every 2 years(to larger size).

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Exploit kit development has gone to sh$t... ever since Adobe Flash was kicked to the curb

Nate Amsden
Silver badge

I think flash is great. It's easy to block, unlike multimedia in html5.

I think I'm down to 1 site that requires flash that I use regularly which is Bank of America Shop Safe (generates virtual credit card numbers). Fedex online printing used to but they are now non flash as well it seems(at least they have a non flash option).

Flash has been 'click to run' for a long time now for me anyway, not sure exactly when browsers made it common across the board.

Prior to that I would often depend on "Prefbar" for firefox which I have been using for what seems like 12+ years, which gives me a bunch of check boxes in my browser below the title bar including things like Flash, Java, Cookies, Referer, Proxies, easy to toggle on/off.

I suppose since I am a Vmware ESXi customer I would have to use flash if I opted to use their web UI, but I prefer the .NET UI and happily run it in a windows VM even though I run Linux on my desktop.

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How a QR code can fool iOS 11's Camera app into opening evil.com rather than nice.co.uk

Nate Amsden
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Maybe more common on Europe, at least for me in the U.S. they are really rare. I remember now that I used one as an e ticket for entrance to a show in Las vegas recently, but other than that I can't remember the last time I interacted with one(in that case the QR code was being scanned by the venue, displayed on the phone screen). Possible they are printed on more paper tickets(99% of the time for something that needs a pass I go paper), and I just don't notice them.

I have a bunch of HP servers but don't recall them having QR codes on them. Not that I can easily scan them anyway(after installation) as my server room is a colo that is 3,000 miles away. Org I work for maintains common Wifi account info across offices, certainly no QR codes on meeting rooms.

I have spent 4 months in SE asia in the past two years or so as well, QR codes seemed a bit more common there but the locals I never saw the locals I was with ever using them. One exception would be adding a "friend" on the LINE chat program, the app can display a QR code that the other person's phone can scan to add.

This is of course excluding 3D bar codes like those used by UPS, Fedex etc, which I think the technology is similar don't believe they are QR codes(they certainly don't look the same).

Maybe I've scanned a half dozen QR codes in the past 7-8 years. Have been reading about security issues WRT to QR codes for probably the same amount of time or more.

QR sounds like a really neat idea though if deployed more widely+securely. Or maybe they are and I just don't notice them.

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Linus Torvalds says new Linux lands next week and he’s sticking to that … for now

Nate Amsden
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memories

It was a long time ago.. I remember I used to get excited about reading "kernel traffic" each week (looks like the last issue was 2005, website online still). Then they got overwhelmed or bored or something and stopped. Used to read Linux Weekly News(looks like that is still going), but maybe been a decade since I looked there too. Until the 2.4 series kernels at least I would frequently build custom kernel config and custom patches on occasion too.

I have used Linux daily for about 22 years now, though for the past maybe decade or more for me it has been "good enough", and I suppose as such I haven't found anything to get excited about since.

Linux news that would excite me however is introduction of a stable ABI that crosses minor and at least 1 major version number(realistic version numbers over the span of years). I gave up on that happening probably 15 years ago, but that's one thing that would get me excited.

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NAND chips are going to stay too pricey for flash to slit disk's throat...

Nate Amsden
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Re: hardware cost per GB isn't all

I'm no storage expert but have been following and doing storage things for about 12 years now.. what is Wh/TB ?

Samsung as a TB-WH thin client but I'd wager that is not it. Web searches on bing and google do not turn up any references to this string of characters that I can find.

Do you mean Watts/TB ?

With the cost of flash so high, I'd imagine it's going to be a rare situation where the savings of power of flash is going to be more than the savings of the storage medium itself in bulk storage situations.

Now watts per IOP..certainly ssds rip hard disks apart there. No more needing to have racks and racks of short stroked 10 or 15k rpm disks obviously..

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Nate Amsden
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Re: Golf cart versus BMW

Remember there is a lot of data out there that is already compressed. Seems a lot of the world's new data by volume is in the form of video, pictures etc. I think a couple of years ago I read youtube was adding 1 or more petabytes of storage per day. Pretty safe to bet that is not on SSD.

Deduping such stuff is not easy too, I mean sure you can dedupe identical blocks but there will be tons of versions of the same song or video or whatever that will be different enough that they won't dedupe (not without much more sophisticated content aware dedupe, I think the likes of the music upload matching services try to do this and from what I've read it's far from perfect?).

I also think internally to my own Splunk instances, data there is already compressed as well, and obviously won't dedupe for crap either.

Don't forget tape too - capacity wise year over year I keep seeing it is shipping more and more. Myself I have been trying to get budget for a tape library +LTFS+NFS gateway (no fancy backup software just shell scripts, similar to what I use today with HP StoreOnce NFS) for offline backups for a couple of years now, maybe this year will be the year.

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HPE burns offering to Apollo 6500, unleashes cranked deep learning server on world+dog

Nate Amsden
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Re: guesses

to clarify a bit the usage of cables on the power supplies as the picture indicates is likely just a cost saving measure, vs designing custom power supplies to do things another way.

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Nate Amsden
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guesses

the PSUs are front mounted but they want the air intake on the front, so they pipe the cables to the rear of the chassis for connection to actual power.

The older gen system was 2 servers in 1 chassis, this one appears to be a single server in 1 chassis:

- single XL270d Gen10 Server supports 8 GPUs, same as the 6500 Gen10

- single server also supports 16 drive bays, which is what the picture appears to show

I suppose it's possible HP will offer other servers that can go into the 6500 Gen10 chassis, but for now it seems both 6500 Gen10 and XL270d Gen10 are basically the same, unless the XL270d Gen10 can be used in another chassis, which from the looks of their product line up doesn't appear to be possible.

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IBM claims its machine learning library is 46x faster than TensorFlow

Nate Amsden
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I just poked around a bit myself, and I see on another site an article saying IBM announced Power9 for their cloud yesterday(at least article is dated yesterday), same article mentions google is using Power9 as well(not sure if their usage is internal only or if they will make them part of their cloud). Found another result apparently when IBM announced Power9 in Dec 2017 google was mentioned there as well.

machine learning, AI and all of that are of no interest to me personally, mostly a perpetual hype bandwagon(before that it seemed to be all about "big data").

1
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CTS who? AMD brushes off chipset security bugs with firmware patches

Nate Amsden
Silver badge

Re: As previously noted there are no real AMD CPU vulnerabilities

I don't understand why people think this is a conspiracy by Intel to discredit AMD. Intel has no need to do such a thing. I like AMD(was a pretty hard core fan of Opteron 6xxx at the time, have several still in use), and I really don't care about these security issues with their chips I agree there are bigger fish to fry.

Intel isn't going to go down much at all by these security issues in their chips, nor is AMD. Why anyone would think otherwise I just don't understand.

Now that the "horse is out of the barn" on cpu security stuff I'm sure we will be seeing quite a bit more security issues in the future. I think Intel put out a big bug bounty for other such bugs but I swore I thought I read that it ends at the end of this year or something, which if so makes no sense to me.

And absolutely this AMD security thing was a poor attempt to manipulate the stock - so what ? They were up front about it saying they may have a financial interest in it. The attempt failed horribly, AMD's stock is about the same as it was at the beginning of the year, and Intel's stock is higher since November, started going up early last month (looking at yahoo finance I don't track stocks myself), long before this AMD stuff happened. I think I even read on the day of the big "announcement" against AMD their stock actually closed higher than the previous day.

Both the announcement of the security issues and the backlash from many folks is just so overblown.

Also anyone in a position to be talking to Intel directly about their processors is going to be a very big knowledgeable organization simply on scale alone. Such an organization would see right through any feeble attempt by Intel to point a finger at AMD on these issues to try to claim anything meaningful against them.

Also from a stock "manipulation" standpoint from what I read CTS did nothing illegal. There is no insider information. As someone wrote that I read recently if the law were to go after CTS it would be very bad in that it would send a sign - don't look too close at a company to find issues or you may go to jail. The law seems pretty clear, and the disclaimers are right there saying they had financial interests in the stock. Seems everything is above board assuming there wasn't insider activity (AMD employees giving CTS the flaws), which from what I have read is not the case.

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