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posted by cmn32480 on Friday May 06, @06:29AM   Printer-friendly
from the never-underestimate-the-bandwidth... dept.

There is a story at ACM (Association for Computing Machinery) Queue concerning what is the best practice on getting data from here to there: Should You Upload or Ship Big Data to the Cloud? -- The accepted wisdom does not always hold true.

There is an old adage to never underestimate the bandwidth of a station wagon full of magnetic tapes going down the highway. The challenge is knowing when it is better (cheaper/faster) to ship it vs send it. This analysis will help you to decide.

This article investigates the tradeoffs between speed of communications between your systems and the cloud provider, how fast you can store your data to removable media/drives, and shipping delays so as to help you decide the fastest way to get your data from your systems to a cloud storage provider.

I found the article to be generally in-depth and well done but I do have a couple of caveats.

First, I saw no analysis of the impact on having faster shipping/turnaround on the tradeoffs. The assumption is that it would take 48 hours for shipping and handling for physical media. I would have liked to see what impact it would have on the analysis if that were, say, 24 hours instead.

Also, an assumption is made that the cloud provider would need to copy from your media to put it on their systems. A variation I did not see explored was to have media that could be directly mounted at the cloud provider — whether the media was supplied in advance by the provider or met certain provider-required specs. In either case, that would avoid the need for another copying pass of the data. That, in turn might greatly change the analysis of whether it would be faster to ship media or just upload it over the internet.

Those quibbles aside, it is one of they better articles I've seen that investigates that actual tradeoffs.

Ed Note: Obligatory xkcd and another

Original Submission

posted by cmn32480 on Friday May 06, @04:07AM   Printer-friendly
from the that's-a-lotta-passwords dept.

Reuters is reporting: Exclusive: Big data breaches found at major email services - expert:

Hundreds of millions of hacked user names and passwords for email accounts and other websites are being traded in Russia's criminal underworld, a security expert told Reuters. The discovery of 272.3 million stolen accounts included a majority of users of (MAILRq.L), Russia's most popular email service, and smaller fractions of Google (GOOGL.O), Yahoo (YHOO.O) and Microsoft (MSFT.O) email users, said Alex Holden, founder and chief information security officer of Hold Security.

[...] Holden was previously instrumental in uncovering some of the world's biggest known data breaches, affecting tens of millions of users at Adobe Systems (ADBE.O), JPMorgan (JPM.N) and Target (TGT.N) and exposing them to subsequent cyber crimes.

The latest discovery came after Hold Security researchers found a young Russian hacker bragging in an online forum that he had collected and was ready to give away a far larger number of stolen credentials that ended up totalling 1.17 billion records.

After eliminating duplicates, Holden said, the cache contained nearly 57 million accounts - a big chunk of the 64 million monthly active email users said it had at the end of last year. It also included tens of millions of credentials for the world's three big email providers, Gmail, Microsoft and Yahoo, plus hundreds of thousands of accounts at German and Chinese email providers.

"This information is potent. It is floating around in the underground and this person has shown he's willing to give the data away to people who are nice to him," said Holden, the former chief security officer at U.S. brokerage R.W. Baird. "These credentials can be abused multiple times," he said.

[...] Yahoo Mail credentials numbered 40 million, or 15 percent of the 272 million unique IDs discovered. Meanwhile, 33 million, or 12 percent, were Microsoft Hotmail accounts and 9 percent, or nearly 24 million, were Gmail, according to Holden.

Not only have I changed my passwords, but am encouraging family/friends to do the same -- it's a lot easier to help them BEFORE their e-mail account gets pwned.

Original Submission

posted by martyb on Friday May 06, @01:51AM   Printer-friendly
from the approaching-fifteen-years-without-a-trial dept.

The Defense Department has farmed out to a private company much of the criminal investigation and trials of the men accused of plotting the 9/11 attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, according to federal records and sources affiliated with the trials who spoke to BuzzFeed News.

What’s more, the government has hired the same firm, SRA International, to serve both the prosecution and defense teams, sparking concerns of a conflict of interest that could undermine the integrity of one of the most significant terrorism cases in modern history.

“Where did these people come from; how did they get selected?” asked David Nevin, a lawyer for alleged 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed. “I have no idea. And that’s a problem, to say the least.”

The role of contractors in the Gitmo investigations raises questions about accountability at the notoriously secretive war court.

“It does surprise me,” Laura Dickinson, a professor of national security law at George Washington University, said of contracting out a major terrorism investigation. “It raises questions about who is running the investigation. The fact that there is so little transparency raises a red flag because we can’t evaluate if there are adequate accountability measures in place.”

The central role that SRA, a Virginia-based security logistics contracting firm, plays in staffing the prosecution and defense at GITMO has not been previously reported. BuzzFeed News obtained a contracting document dated November 2015, in which the Pentagon justifies using SRA and explains how much the government relies on the company.

Source: BuzzFeed

Original Submission

posted by martyb on Thursday May 05, @11:42PM   Printer-friendly
from the backups:-early,-often,-offline,-AND-off-site dept.

“The software is functioning as intended,” said Amber.
“Wait,” I asked, “so it’s supposed to delete my personal files from my internal hard drive without asking my permission?”
“Yes,” she replied.

Apple Stole My Music. No, Seriously.

[...] For about ten years, I’ve been warning people, “hang onto your media. One day, you won’t buy a movie. You’ll buy the right to watch a movie, and that movie will be served to you. If the companies serving the movie don’t want you to see it, or they want to change something, they will have the power to do so. They can alter history, and they can make you keep paying for things that you formerly could have bought. Information will be a utility rather than a possession. Even information that you yourself have created will require unending, recurring payments just to access.”

This has apparently been making the rounds on IRC.

Original Submission

posted by martyb on Thursday May 05, @09:33PM   Printer-friendly
from the moore-power dept.

New information has emerged about China's exascale plans, which are a part of China's 13th five-year plan for 2016-2020. Despite U.S.-imposed export restrictions on processors, two 100 petaflops systems will be launched sometime during 2016, possibly as soon as the 2016 International Supercomputing Conference in June. One of these systems will be an upgrade to Tianhe-2, and both may utilize homegrown accelerators.

At least one exascale prototype system will be built prior to a 1 exaflops system:

The exascale prototype will be about 512 nodes, offering 5-10 teraflops-per-node, 10-20 Gflops/watt, point to point bandwidth greater than 200 Gbps. MPI latency should be less than 1.5 µs, said [Beihang University Professor Depei] Qian. Development will also include system software and three typical applications that will be used to verify effectiveness. From there, work will begin on an efficient computing node and a scheme for high-performance processor/accelerator design.

"Based on those key technology developments, we will finally build the exascale system," said Qian. "Our goal is not so ambitious – it is to have exaflops in peak. We are looking for a LINPACK efficiency of greater than 60 percent. Memory is rather limited, about 10 petabytes, with exabyte levels of storage. We don't think we can reach the 20 megawatts system goal in less than five years so our goal is about 35 megawatts for the system; that means 30 Gflops/watt energy efficiency. The expected interconnect performance is greater than 500 Gbps."

Original Submission

posted by martyb on Thursday May 05, @07:23PM   Printer-friendly
from the would-you-buy-one? dept.

AMD has begun selling a new line of solid-state drives (SSDs) bearing its name. The Radeon R3 devices are manufactured and serviced by Taiwan-based Galt Inc. They are 7 mm high and 2.5 inches wide. Read speeds are claimed to be ​510 MB/s to 520 MB/s and write speeds 360 MB/s to ​470 MB/s. The drives range in capacity from 120 GB to 960 GB; only the smallest is available so far. They are based on TLC flash.


Further information: AMD product page

[Ed. addition.]

There is an Amazon link on the AMD product page, which gives some details on pricing and availability, including:

Description Price Availabile
120GB SSD, 2.5" SSDR3L120G $40.99 Now
240GB SSD, 2.5" SSDR3SL240G $69.99 9-11 weeks
480GB SSD, 2.5" SSDR3SL480G $136.99 9-11 weeks

Original Submission

posted by n1 on Thursday May 05, @05:45PM   Printer-friendly
from the magical-numbers dept.

Late Wednesday, Brown signed the bill raising the age for tobacco use, including vaping, to 21, the Associated Press reports. He also vetoed a bill that would have asked voters to divert tobacco taxes to pay for the health expenses of those with tobacco-related ailments, according to the Los Angeles Times.

Source: NPR

Original Submission

posted by n1 on Thursday May 05, @04:04PM   Printer-friendly
from the robotic-keith-flint-is-high dept.

Roboticists at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln have fitted a pilotless helicopter with a system that injects an unspecified glycol (probably ethylene glycol) into hollow balls containing potassium permanganate, causing a hypergolic reaction. The flaming balls are dropped in a preprogrammed pattern, in order to start fires.

The drone, called the Unmanned Aerial System for Fire Fighting, is being trialled for bringing about "prescribed burns" for fire management and for limiting the spread of invasive organisms. Such work can pose a risk to people who perform it, and must sometimes be done in rugged terrain.


Original Submission

posted by n1 on Thursday May 05, @02:36PM   Printer-friendly
from the not-yet dept.

APNIC reminds us that "there are now a large number of ISPs, data centres, cloud services, and software that now support IPv6" and "enabling IPv6 can be as simple as clicking a button on your WiFi router."

I turned it on, with Comcast I received an IPv6 route but no DNS server. Fortunately, Google Public DNS has unmemorable addresses, which I was able to configure manually.


It works. "There's only one thing left for you to do: Turn it on!"

[ ed: What are the alternatives to Google's Public DNS? ]

Original Submission

posted by CoolHand on Thursday May 05, @12:52PM   Printer-friendly
from the well-thought-out-OS dept.

A five-year-old privilege escalation vulnerability in Android disclosed today affects hundreds of different device models going back to Jelly Bean 4.3.

-- submitted from IRC

A five-year-old Android vulnerability disclosed today affects hundreds of different device models going back to Jelly Bean 4.3. Older devices are at the greatest risk; newer devices running Android with SE Android, the OS' implementation of Security Enhanced Linux, are at a lesser risk.

The vulnerability allows attackers to escalate privileges on a device, leading to further attacks such as stealing SMS or call logs. Researchers at FireEye's Mandiant Red Team found the flaw, CVE-2016-2060, in Qualcomm software available from the Code Aurora Forum. Related Posts Apple Updates Xcode's Git Implementation May 4, 2016 , 3:02 pm Google Patches More Trouble in Mediaserver May 2, 2016 , 2:00 pm Phony Google Update Spreads Data-Stealing Android Malware April 29, 2016 , 12:52 pm

Qualcomm patched the affected software and moved a fix to OEMs in March. As with other Android patches, OEMs must push updates to devices. Mandiant cautions, however, that it's likely many devices will not be patched. The vulnerable APIs, for example, were found in a 2011 git repository, meaning that the code has been in circulation for five years and could be in an untold number of devices.

Original Submission

posted by CoolHand on Thursday May 05, @11:06AM   Printer-friendly
from the hashtag-cowspiracy dept.

Food Politics reports that Rick Friday, a long time cartoonist for Farm News, was dismissed for offending "a large company affiliated with one of the corporations mentioned in a cartoon." The political cartoon is critical of Big Ag CEOs, which earned more than 2,000 Iowa farmers combined.

In a Facebook post the cartoonist, Rick Friday, explained:

I am no longer the Editorial Cartoonist for Farm News due to the attached cartoon which was published yesterday. Apparently a large company affiliated with one of the corporations mentioned in the cartoon was insulted and cancelled their advertisement with the paper, thus, resulting in the reprimand of my editor and cancellation of It's Friday cartoons after 21 years of service and over 1090 published cartoons to over 24,000 households per week in 33 counties of Iowa.

I did my research and only submitted the facts in my cartoon.

That's okay, hopefully my children and my grandchildren will see that this last cartoon published by Farm News out of Fort Dodge, Iowa, will shine light on how fragile our rights to free speech and free press really are in the country.

The Des Moines Register explains further:

The CEOs at the ag giants earned about $52.9 million last year, based on Morningstar data. Monsanto and DuPont, the parent of Johnston-based Pioneer, are large seed and chemical companies, and Deere is a large farm equipment manufacturer.

Profits for the three companies, all with large operations across Iowa, also have declined as farm income has been squeezed. After peaking in 2013, U.S. farm income this year is projected to fall to $183 billion, its lowest level since 2002.

It seems like in the U.S. you free to say what you like, but if you offend the wrong people you're free to lose your job despite the protections you are provided and encouraged to use.

Original Submission

posted by takyon on Thursday May 05, @09:31AM   Printer-friendly
from the fire dept.

In the Canadian province of Alberta, 80,000 people have been ordered to evacuate the Fort McMurray area, where a wildfire has burned 1,600 buildings and more than 10,000 hectares (about 24,700 acres). The cause of the fire is unknown, but "very high temperatures, low relative humidities and some strong winds" are said to favor its spread.


Original Submission

posted by martyb on Thursday May 05, @07:53AM   Printer-friendly
from the suspend/resume dept.

At a press conference at the Franklin Park Conservatory & Botanical Gardens in Columbus, Ohio, John Kasich, the state's Republican governor, announced that he has "suspended" his campaign for the U.S. presidency, reports. In a message on his Web site, Mr. Kasich called upon his supporters to "continue strengthening our families and our communities." Pressure from the Republican National Committee may have been a factor in Kasich's decision, another report suggests.

Original Submission

posted by martyb on Thursday May 05, @06:11AM   Printer-friendly
from the built-by-quantum-mechanics-using-really-tiny-tools dept.

Two Soylentils have submitted stories about IBM's progress in building a quantum computer:

IBM has a quantum computer you can play with for free.

PC World is running a story today about IBM's new advancements in quantum computing.

This is good news for science, but really bad news for crypto including most crypto currencies. With just a few more iterations on this technology, Shors algorithm becomes tractable.

But there is a good side as well.
From the article... IBM has built a quantum processor with five qubits, or quantum bits. Even better, IBM isn't hiding the quantum processor in its labs—it will be accessible through the cloud for the public to run experiments and test applications.

The goal is to unwrap decades-old mysteries around quantum computers and let people play with the hardware, said Jay Gambetta, manager of quantum computing theory and information at IBM.

Lots more good stuff in the article.

IBM to Allow Public Access to 5-Qubit Quantum Computer

IBM says it will allow just about anybody to access and program a 5-qubit quantum computer:

IBM has made a functioning quantum processor available to the public over the internet. [...] IBM's quantum processor is located in its TJ Watson Research Centre in New York. Quantum processors are notoriously sensitive, so it is being kept at supercooled temperatures in a cryogenic refrigerator. It has just five qubits that can be manipulated, but the company expects processors of 50-100 qubits to emerge within the next decade. General-purpose machines, which IBM calls "universal" quantum computers, will eventually use more than 100,000 qubits. IBM's cloud solution allows users to drag and drop logic gates - a core principle of processors - on to the individual qubits to form algorithms or experiments. Those can then be sent to a simulator, or added to a queue for the real quantum processor to work on.

The Register's Chris Williams has criticized the "Cloud" spin surrounding the announcement, the need for an invitation, the utility of a five qubit system, and the usual media hype.

Original Submission #1Original Submission #2

posted by martyb on Thursday May 05, @04:21AM   Printer-friendly

Fiat Chrysler will build around 100 driverless hybrid minivans for Google, more than doubling the size of the Google Self-Driving Car Project's fleet. The two companies will co-locate engineers at a facility in Michigan to design the vehicles. The partnership comes despite dismissive comments in the past from Fiat's CEO about the tech industry's intrusion into the automotive industry:

Fiat Chrysler has announced a deal with Google to double the size of the tech giant's fleet of self-driving cars. Fiat will supply 100 Chrysler Pacifica vans and provide engineers to help integrate the technology. The companies described the deal as the most advanced partnership to date between Silicon Valley and a traditional carmaker. Google wants to add more cars to its fleet to increase the amount of road testing it does.

Fiat's chief executive has in the past raised also concerns about the tech industry's impact on the carmakers. Sergio Marchionne called tech companies moving into the sector "disruptive interlopers" and questioned the calibre of the vehicles they could produce.

Original Submission

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