Berkeley CSUA MOTD:2009:December:02 Wednesday <Tuesday, Thursday>
Berkeley CSUA MOTD
2009/12/2-8 [Uncategorized] UID:53555 Activity:nil
12/2    As of yesterday, Kaiser Hayward and Fremont now has H1N1 vaccines for
        all members from 6 months to 18 years old.  Hurry while supply lasts!
2009/12/2-9 [Computer/SW/WWW/Browsers] UID:53556 Activity:nil
12/2    IE usage down but still kicking the majority ass. Chrome is also
        rising up high, almost at the Safari level. Firefox isn't
        doing badly either. Sorry Opera, you had your chance.
        \_ As long  as Opera is the only browser you can use on your Wii,
           I see a fine long life ahead of it.
           \_ I use Opera on my Blackberry.
2009/12/2-9 [Science/Physics] UID:53557 Activity:nil
12/2    Looking for a "LHC and Higgs bosom for Dummies" equivalent site.
        I'd like to learn more but most sites out there are just way
        beyond me. Is there a dummy's version for it?
        \_ W = weak force, EM = electromagnetic force, S = strong force,
           G = gravity. They're the four forces, and the holy grail of
           physics is to unify them all in a single theory -- the Grand
           Unification Theory. W, EM, and S have been combined
           successfully, but G works so differently that all attempts
           to unify it with the others have failed so far. The basic
           problem is that general relativity and quantum mechanics
           have highly incompatible frameworks, so it's hard to bridge
           that gap. String theorists swear they're onto something,
           but the jury's still out on that.
           \_ Aside from whether or not there is an existing unification
              theory for 3 or 4 of the forces, what does it mean by "unifying
              the forces into a single theory" in the first place?  Does it
              mean simply coming up with an equation that involves 3 or 4
              variables that represent the forces?  Does something silly like
              "W + EM + S + G = ma" (ie. total force = mass * accel) count?
              -- dummy #2
              \_ No, it's more like looking for, "this is why the universe
                 works the way it does."  Right now we have ways to describe
                 why particles behave the way they do, and why gravity
                 behaves the way it does, but not both at the same time.
        \_ Is "Quantum Physics For Dummies" (ISBN-10: 0470381884) any good?
           \- Some of this is pretty hard to understand and watered-down
              explanations almost mean nothing. But you can at least get a
              sense of what some of the fundamental questions are:
              --what are unification and symmetry about?
              --where does mass come from
              --how many fundamental physical constants are there
              --what is the "hierarchy problem" etc.
              --what is consistant/inconsistant with the std model
              i think "Dreams of a Final Theory" is pretty good, but not
              that current. You can also look at Lisa Randall's "Warped
              Passages" book (if you were in berkeley cs a while ago, her
              Passages" book (if you were in berkeley CS a while ago, her
              sister Dana was a grad student here). if you have ome specific
              question, i can try to address that. Qs like "what do they
              mean by 'the higgs gives rise to mass'" or "what does 'quark
              confinement' mean?" have sort of a hand wavey explantions,
              while "what is gauge renormalization?" doesnt.
2009/12/2-9 [Recreation/Dating] UID:53558 Activity:nil
12/2    Porn is OK! An average man spends 20-40min a week on porn:
        \_ I spend more than that much time in one day.
           \_ Thus balancing out those Mormons in their Holy Underwear.
2009/12/2-26 [Science/Disaster] UID:53559 Activity:low
12/2    So I am trying to convince my company to take disaster planning
        more seriously. Does anyone have any hard numbers on how often
        data centers fail? I mean blow up, burn down, flood, etc, with
        total loss of all services for an extended period of time.
        \_ hard numbers tend to be SEKRET.  But check out Yahoo's recent
           outage and UltraDNS' outage.  Those were both pretty bad.
        \_ I don't know, but I am in the same predicament. Instead of
           focusing on _TOTAL FAILURE_ (which is rare and evokes a
           response of "In a 10.2 earthquake I am not coming in to work
           anyway, because I am going to go check on my kids and
           get my gun, buddy.") focus on real problems which are much more
           likely to occur: power outages, localized floods, localized fires,
           etc. The entire data center does not have to blow up for there
           to be a major, major problem.
           \_ What are the likelihood of those events then? This is pretty
              important engineering data, someone must study this.
              \_ Any company that has a lot of data would know.
                 Insurance companies, government data on disaster, etc.
              \_ 1. This is going to vary based on a lot of factors like
                    your geography, industry, utilities, building construction
                    etc. I would argue it is so specialized to your site
                    that averages do not matter. Plus, we all have
                    different needs as far as availability and uptime.
                    \_ I don't care what your needs are, I can determine that
                       for my own company (okay I actually make a menu list
                       and senior executives make the decision based on my
                       risk analysis vs. cost). What I need is hard data to
                       make an informed risk analysis. What is the MTBF for
                       an entire data center? It is in Dallas if you really
                       think that matters.
                       \_ Listen, guy. I am trying to help you. I don't
                          need attitude from you. The MTBF between a data
                          center made of concrete and buried a mile under
                          the Rockies is quite different from the MTBF for
                          a data center built out of paper next to the banks
                          of the Mississippi. So MTBF for "the average data
                          center" has very little bearing on _your_ MTBF.
                          Hell yes it matters that you are in Dallas versus,
                          say, Somalia, dipshit.
                          \_ I'm not the op, but my reading comprehension
                             is a lot better than yours so let me help you
                             out. The disaster planning guy simply wants
                             a real life story of a disaster that was
                             averted due to planning. A story, albeit
                             irrelevant to actual circumstances, is
                             sometimes more powerful than listing boring
                             numbers that a lot of the upper management
                             MBA business dudes don't understand and
                             don't want to hear.
                             \_ Good point, but it's not what the guy asked
                                for. He asked for "hard data" for a
                                "risk analysis". Your reading comprehension
                                \_ why don't we let the op decide  -pp
                           \_ I suspect that in the public sector, the best
                              way to empire build is to create a horrific
                              scenario that only you can solve, by the
                              application of a multi-million dollar budget
                              and a bevy of new hires. This explains crazy
                              shit like having thousands of Federal officers
                              force everyone to take off their shoes before
                              forcing everyone to take off their shoes before
                              flying and data centers a mile underground.
                              In the private sector, you have to do a Cost-
                              Benefit analysis to prove that what you want
                              to accomplish makes financial sense. So anecdotes
                              won't do, though they might help. Your reminder
                              that historical data is the best way to go is
                              useful though, our DC provider is AT&T who
                              surely must have already done this analysis. I
                              will ask them. Thank you for your advice.
                              \_ You're an idiot.
                 2. This is not easy data to find. I am guessing companies
                    do not like to make this info public. Sungard keeps
                    some statistics like:
                    a. Hardware failure remains the leading cause of business
                       disruption (almost 50%)
                    b. Problems resulting from disruptions to power
                       supplies account for more than one-quarter (26%) of
                       customer disaster invocations
                    c. Flooding and infrastructure-related problems such
                       as air conditioning faults and failure of uninterrupted
                       power supply systems were the third biggest cause of
                       business disruption.
                    d. The average customer affected by Katrina used the
                       backup facility for 22 days.
                     \_ Can you point me to the Sungard info? Thanks.
                  3. What we did was analyze our own site and infrastructure
                     over the last 30 years. Sure, we might be missing the
                     100 year flood and 100 million year meteor impact, but it
                     gives us a good idea of events likely to occur and
                     protecting against those does a pretty good job
                     against the rare events, too, in most cases.
                     \_ This company does not have that kind of data available
                        internally, for one thing we are only 15 years old.
                        Plus we only are in a few datacenters, so we just
                        don't have enough data points.
                        \_ Certainly you can examine the last 15 years
                           and for certain catastrophes like hurricanes
                           you can go back even before the company existed.
                           For example, we have a good idea of how often
                           earthquakes strike California. You should have
                           a good idea of how often disastrous tornadoes
                           (or whatever) strike your area even if the
                           the last one happened in 1950. In our case we
                           expect a wildfire every 50 years, an earthquake
                           every 20 years, a windstorm every decade, etc.
                           Figure this out for your own site and then add
                           in other variables like construction of your
                           buildings, physical security (terrorism),
                           how good your utilities have been over the
                           15 years you have data (blackouts), etc.
2009/12/2-26 [Transportation/Car/RoadHogs, Science/GlobalWarming] UID:53560 Activity:nil
12/2    Freeway of the future, a 1958 Disney-ish film. "Speed, safety, and
        comfort are the future". Yeah. Wow, people back then were stupid.
        \_ "640KB ought to be enough for anybody."
           \_ totally taken out of context. It's just an informal
              way of saying "it's enough for most casual PC users
              for at least a few years." As for the highway shit,
              that is just totally ridiculous considering the
              enormous energy requirements that is required for
              their vision. On the other hand, perhaps they thought
              black oil was unlimited, fueling such fooling optimism
              about the future.
        \_ Reminds me a bit of WALL-E.
Berkeley CSUA MOTD:2009:December:02 Wednesday <Tuesday, Thursday>