Categories
Apple Open Source

ZFS On Mac OS X

Anyone with an interest in file systems, data management, large scale storage, and security has been keeping an eye on Sun’s ZFS for a while now. Apple looks like it will ship the first consumer-targeted OS to feature workable ZFS support. It’s in Leopard, but read only. Apple has now released binaries and source. It’s still not ready for prime time (not even bootable, and has some serious bugs), but it’s progressing.

While not in Apple’s implementation yet (it is however planned), ZFS supports things like compression and encryption. ZFS is also a 128bit filesystem, so for the foreseeable future, it’s enough storage for anyone. Dynamic striping and Snapshots are also extremely interesting. I’m curious to know how snapshots in ZFS will integrate into Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard with Time Machine. I wonder if complete ZFS support will make a 10.5 revision or if it will be read-only until 10.6.

I am however curious if they have given any thought to solid state storage. It’s pretty clear that’s where the future is headed. While ZFS targets size rather than performance (meaning the two won’t collide for some time as solid state storage won’t be practical for large storage arrays for a few more years), I wonder if ZFS would be able to do things like wear-leveling. So far I haven’t seen any documentation to hint that the feature exists (I’d presume it doesn’t). No idea if it would be something that could be added or if it’s nearly impossible.

Categories
Apple

There’s Something In The Air

Apple’s hoisting up those really vague yet meaningful signs in preparation for the big announcements this week. According to AppleInsider they are putting signs up that read:

There’s something in the air

Sounds like a wireless announcement is the headliner. But that can mean many things:

  • Updated iPhone (3G expected this year)
  • New iPhone services (video rentals perhaps?)
  • Apple TV upgrade (with wireless video rentals)
  • Yet another new device?

It’s going to be a great week. I love this stuff.

Categories
Around The Web Google Mozilla

Secrets In Websites II

This post is a follow up to the first Secrets In Websites. For those who don’t remember the first time, I point out odd, interesting, funny things in other websites’ code. Yes it takes some time to put a post like this together, that’s why it’s just about a year since the last time. Enough with the intro, read on for the code.

Categories
Mozilla Open Source

Mitch Kapor Leaves Chandler

Chandler is the attempt by OSAF to create a PIM. Several years later, it’s still not ready for prime time. Now Mitch Kapor is leaving, and his funding will follow.

He also sits on the board of directors for the Mozilla Foundation. Parent of the Mozilla Corporation and the yet-to-be-named mail corporation which will continue Thunderbird’s development.

I think this quote from the article is really something to pay attention to:

The best communal open-source projects are run like Mozilla (strong core development team with easy pluggability from the outside), Eclipse (cohesive corporate involvement to create a common core while competing at the edges–come to think of it, Linux is like this too), or Apache (strong technology brand that allows for a wide range of experimentation).

Some more interesting reflections on the news can be found on Why does everything suck. Chandler always sounded very interesting, but it never really found it’s way.

Things to keep in mind as Thunderbird develops wings of it’s own.

Categories
Apple Hardware

Apple’s Early Announcement

So yesterday Apple announced the new 8-core Mac Pro and Xserve. Both beautiful machines anyone would love to own. What’s peculiar is the timing of the announcement. Only a week before MacWorld 2008. Right in the middle of CES. Why would Apple make a product announcement before it’s yearly big expo? During a period where tech news is in excess?

I predict some big announcements next week. Apple make these releases early for three reasons:

  1. So that there are 2 less things stealing the thunder from next weeks announcements.
  2. To show the industry that it can steal attention from something as big as CES at by merely sending out a press release for an upgraded product.
  3. Appetizer.
Categories
Mozilla

Congrats to John Lilly

Congratulations to John Lilly on becoming CEO. That post is a good read on what’s to come. I’m glad to see Thunderbird still has priority (#2 on that list). Christopher Blizzard has more on the news.

Categories
Networking Security Tech (General)

Hacking A Boeing 787?

According to Wired the Boeing 787 Dreamliner connected the networks for passenger services to critical flight systems:

The computer network in the Dreamliner’s passenger compartment, designed to give passengers in-flight internet access, is connected to the plane’s control, navigation and communication systems, an FAA report reveals.

Here’s what a Boeing spokesperson had to say:

…it is employing a combination of solutions that involves some physical separation of the networks, known as “air gaps,” and software firewalls. Gunter also mentioned other technical solutions, which she said are proprietary and didn’t want to discuss in public.

Would it really be that much more costly to create 2 networks. One for the important stuff like navigation and control systems, and another completely independent network for passengers to download porn? Networking gear isn’t that expensive. Internet access at 35,000 feet is high latency anyway.

I’m really not so sure I’d feel comfortable knowing that the same network that’s carrying a Rob Schneider movie to the guy in 11F is also carrying packets intended for the horizontal stabilizer.

Maybe I’m just paranoid. After all, I’m not to comfortable with the Airbus A380 apparently running windows in the cockpit.

Hopefully they get it all figured out quickly.

Categories
Mozilla

Barclays Blocks Firefox

Tech site The INQUIRER mentions that Barclays says no to Firefox. Reporter confirms this is a problem. Relatively speaking, it’s a small percentage compared to American Express, who was a long time problem for many Firefox users. It seems financial institutions have long been a problem in terms of Firefox compatibility and web standards in general.

Personally I think most of the larger financial institutions have resolved their issues. It’s mainly just the handful of banks who don’t don’t invest much in their online infrastructure. Compared to how the landscape looked 2 years ago, I think there has been a lot of progress.

It’s also a major win for Linux and Mac users who are finding it easier to do finances without being hassled.

Were do people feel things stand these days? Has the landscape been improving? Do you still encounter issues? With whom?

Categories
Mozilla

Silverlight Update System?

Silverlight update dialog

So when I pointed Firefox to MSN tonight, this is what I saw. Is this really the best way of notifying users of an update? Could they have at least used a confirm() to allow the user to decide if they want to visit that URL or not. Or perhaps use a <div/> to overlay the content of the page when it loads. Is a user supposed to type that URL in by hand? Does the average user even know what to do when they see this dialog (other than hit “OK”)? Perhaps just say “visit silverlight.net and download the latest version”?

Just goes to show how awesome the Firefox automatic update system is.

Considering Microsoft has an update system on all Windows systems, you’d think at least for the Windows platform, they could rely on Windows Update.

Am I missing something? Is there really no better way than an alert()?

Remember everyone, that’s 0x4009e, those are ‘0’, not ‘O’.

No wonder people hate technology so much.

Categories
Mozilla

Netscape’s Dead

Netscape’s Dead

Joy Of Tech has a good comic today on the death of Netscape. As usual very well done. Several elements in there particularly good. AOL’s Running Man doctor pulling the plug, IE 5 Mac in heaven, Netscape throbber reference. Well done.