Links for August 4th

  • journoterrorist: How to Build a Newsroom Time Machine
    This group of college journalism students were assigned the task of producing a publication using only thirty-year-old technology. They learned a lot.
  • MSNBC: Firm gives $1 million to pro-Romney group, dissolves
    W Spann LLC was formed in March, gave a million dollars to a pro-Romney super PAC, and then shut down in July, right before their first FEC filing was due. Who gave the money? Nobody knows. Who started the company? Can't say. This is why the court decision to allow corporate contributions to campaigns is a disaster. We've got a presidential campaign getting an enormous amount of money, but nobody knows who it's from, and I'm not sure anybody's going to find out.
  • Computerworld: eBay attacks server virtualization with 100TB of SSD storage
    To deal with I/O demands of virtual machines, eBay saved a bunch of money by moving to solid-state drives. They replaced 100TB with SSDs, dropping their storage rack space needs by 50%, cutting their power consumption by 78%, and increasing I/O performance by 500%. SSDs are awfully expensive when compared to traditional hard drive, but surely they'll quickly pay for themselves in this instance.

Published by Waldo Jaquith

Waldo Jaquith (JAKE-with) is an open government technologist who lives near Char­lottes­­ville, VA, USA. more »

7 replies on “Links for August 4th”

  1. As a long time reader, tech enthusiast and fellow blogger I wanted to ask, what do you use? Laptop? Desktop? Server? What’s your flavor?

  2. I’m a Mac guy. For work, I have last year’s model of MacBook, with 8GB of RAM. At home I use an iMac, to my surprise. I haven’t been a fan of them (the lack of upgradability frustrates me), but I needed to replace an aging first-generation Intel Mac mini a couple of years ago, and pairing an iMac with my 22″ Dell flat screen seemed like a pretty good arrangement. That’s with the 3GHz Intel Core 2 Duo, 12GB of RAM, and an array of hard drives for storage and a perhaps too-redundant backup system. :) On servers, I’m a Linux guy. I have been since…oh, I guess the summer of 1994. I’ve found myself using CentOS mostly, for the past few years. I started as a Slackware guy, spent a while on RedHat, and now CentOS.

    Sadly, I have no SSDs. :) Every so often I convince myself that I should get one for my iMac, and then I realize that the the I/O bottleneck on an external SSD would negate any benefits that I’d get from it.

    So, I didn’t know you wrote for AnandTech, Jason! That’s really cool. Are there any perks that come with the job in the way of fun toys, SSDs or otherwise?

  3. I’ve had an idea (that will never happen) for finance reform. Simply set an upper limit for total contributions and make it adjust with inflation. Any contributions beyond the total could be refunded to donors or deposited to the federal or state general fund. This would level the playing field.

  4. @Waldo, You really should consider an SSD for INSIDE your iMac. The real joy of SSD’s is the way they speed up your OS and running your applications. Google “ SSD anthology” and it will give you a great overview of SSD tech and it’s benefits. But to put it simply, if you want to hold off on needing to upgrade your iMac for several years, an SSD will make it feel so much faster.

    AT is great, we’re ramping up our news section so that’s where I’ve been spending most of my time. As far as perks? My new MacBook Pro was blessed with a fantastic SSD on loan from the Anandtech collection, and I’m going to start helping out with cell phone reviews so I’m going to get to play with some really great toys. The biggest benefit though? It allows my wife and I to feel comforted that I’ll still have some regular income after I stop working as a paramedic for few years to take care of our new daughter, Emmaline. Turns out that in the Philly area childcare can eat 40% of the take home of a internal medicine resident and a paramedic, and all for the privilege of never seeing our daughter. So, full time daddy seems like a great alternative! :)

  5. Michele Bachmann campaign ad:
    “Mitt Romney took a million dollars from Islamic terrorists. Prove me wrong.”

  6. I’ve had an idea (that will never happen) for finance reform. Simply set an upper limit for total contributions and make it adjust with inflation. Any contributions beyond the total could be refunded to donors or deposited to the federal or state general fund. This would level the playing field.

    The Supreme Court has twice struck down such proposals. First, in Buckley v. Valeo, in response to the 1971 Federal Election Campaign Act. That actually limited campaign expenditures, not income. Referring to a paper that I wrote on the case in college, I see that the court wrote that “[n]o governmental interest that has been suggested is sufficient to justify the restriction on the quantity of political expression imposed by [this limitation]. […] [T]he mere growth in the cost of federal election campaigns in and itself provides no basis for government restrictions on the quantity of campaign spending.”

    The second time was in McConnell v. FEC, in response to 2002’s Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act. That decision expanded on a concept established in Buckley, which is that money is how speech is propagated, and to limit money is to limit speech, and that’s unconstitutional. Limiting donations that you or I can make to an individual candidate isn’t unconstitutional (or so says the court), because we’re free to give more of our money to other candidates. Our speech isn’t limited, it’s just parceled out. In the same way, to limit the cumulative donations that a candidate can receive is to limit their speech.

  7. Jason, I recently replaced the hard drive in an iMac, and I don’t care to repeat that any time soon. :) I mean, I’d sooner swap out the internal drive for an SSD than replace the system, but I’m not really looking forward to it. Congrats on getting set up with Anandtech—I’m sure it’s a great relief given your parenting plan. :)

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