The Eternal Mainframe
Posted by News Fetcher on April 21 '13 at 04:45 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's next-week-client-server-revisited department
theodp writes "In his latest essay, Rudolf Winestock argues that the movement to replace the mainframe has re-invented the mainframe, as well as the reason why people wanted to get rid of mainframes in the first place. 'The modern server farm looks like those first computer rooms,' Winestock writes. 'Row after row of metal frames (excuse me—racks) bearing computer modules in a room that's packed with cables and extra ventilation ducts. Just like mainframes. Server farms have multiple redundant CPUs, memory, disks, and network connections. Just like mainframes. The rooms that house these server farms are typically not open even to many people in the same organization, but only to dedicated operations teams. Just like mainframes.' And with terabytes of data sitting in servers begging to be monetized by business and scrutinized by government, Winestock warns that the New Boss is worse than the Old Boss. So, what does this mean for the future of fully functional, general purpose, standalone computers? 'Offline computer use frustrates the march of progress,' says Winestock. 'If offline use becomes uncommon, then the great and the good will ask: "What are [you] hiding? Are you making kiddie porn? Laundering money? Spreading hate? Do you want the terrorists to win?"'"Read Replies (0)
By timothy from Slashdot's so-there's-this-talking-yak-and-his-wacky-coworkers department
First time accepted submitter bakerharis writes with an article about Amazon's attempt to break into creating conventional television style episodic shows
, but with a different model from the manistream media companies. "Amazon's foray into TV production is unique in the way it saves money. Every spring, traditional TV networks like ABC, NBC, CBS and Fox order dozens of pilots and show them to focus groups. Executives pick just a handful to make into series. Then, they commission 13 episodes of each promising show, with each one potentially costing a few million dollars. Many episodes won't ever air if the first few don't attract big audiences."
Amazon, instead, has created 14 pilot shows, and is letting a cross section of customers in the U.S., UK, and Germany react to them to see which shows might be worth making more of.Read Replies (0)
By timothy from Slashdot's truth-as-defense department
An anonymous reader writes with this excerpt from the BBC: "A woman who complained about an unpaid £146 invoice is facing a libel battle that could cost her more than £100,000. Lesley Kemp, 55, took to Twitter claiming that a company based in the Middle East had failed to pay her promptly for transcription work. Now the firm is suing Mrs Kemp, of Milton Keynes, for defamation, claiming up to £50,000 in damages and a further £70,000 in costs. The company, Resolution Productions, based in Qatar, has yet to comment."Read Replies (0)
By timothy from Slashdot's for-your-own-protection-forever-and-ever-amen department
Should Boston have been put in a state of lockdown on Friday as police chased down Dzhokhar Tsarnaev
? Pragmatic Bruce Schneier writes on his blog: "I generally give the police a lot of tactical leeway in times like this. The very armed and very dangerous suspects warranted extraordinary treatment. They were perfectly capable of killing again, taking hostages, planting more bombs -- and we didn't know the extent of the plot or the group. That's why I didn't object to the massive police dragnet, the city-wide lock down, and so on."
Schneier links to some passionate counterarguments, though. It doesn't escape the originator of a recurring movie plot terrorism contest
that the Boston events of yesterday were just "the sort of thing that pretty much only happens in the movies."Read Replies (0)
By timothy from Slashdot's you-kids-get-off-my-lawn department
Florida today reports that cosmonaut Pavel Vinogradov on Friday became the oldest person to have completed a spacewalk
. From the article: "Working outside the Russian side of the international outpost, Vinogradov and cosmonaut Roman Romanenko put in six hours and 38 minutes of high-flying maintenance work. They set up a plasma physics experiment and retrieved a package that exposed advanced spacecraft materials to the deleterious space environment. They also replaced a reflector that is part of an autonomous rendezvous and docking system that will guide a robotic European space freighter to the station in early June."
NASASpaceFlight.com has more details on the spacewalk
, as well as the note that Vinogradov edges out "Story Musgrave, who was 58 when he flew the Hubble SM-1 mission in 1993."Read Replies (0)