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Data Storage

Submission + - An in-depth look at Seagate's 1.5TB Barracuda

theraindog writes: "More than a year and a half after the first terabyte hard drives became widely available, Seagate has reached the next storage capacity milestone. With 1.5 terabytes, the latest Barracuda 7200.11 serves up 50% more capacity than its peers, and at a surprisingly affordable $0.12 per gigabyte. But Seagate's decision to drop new platters into an old Barracuda shell may not have been a wise one. The Tech Report's in-depth review of the world's first 1.5TB hard drive shows that while the latest 'cuda is screaming fast in synthetic throughput drag races, poor real world write speeds ultimately tarnish its appeal."

Submission + - Disgruntled engineer hijacks city computer system (sfgate.com)

ceswiedler writes: "A disgruntled software engineer has hijacked San Francisco's new multimillion-dollar municipal computer system. When the Department of Technology tried to fire him, he disabled all administrative passwords other than his own. He was taken into custody but has so far refused to provide the password, and the department has yet to regain admin access on their own. They're worried that he or an associate might be able to destroy hundreds of thousands of sensitive documents, including emails, payroll information, and law enforcement documents."
Data Storage

Submission + - Notebook storage showdown: Time for solid-state?

The Raindog writes: "Some would argue that solid-state storage sits poised to supplant traditional mechanical hard drives, and with budget SSDs now available at much lower prices than previous flash drives, they might have a point. SSDs have the best shot of replacing mechanical drives in notebooks, where flash's low power consumption and high shock tolerance are significant advantages. To find out how the latest solid-state drives stack up against their mechanical counterparts, The Tech Report has compared seven 2.5" mobile hard drives across a wide range of application, file copy, power consumption, and noise level tests, with surprising results."

Feed Wired: 15th Anniversary: Cochlear Transplant Patient on Hearing in 121 Channels (wired.com)

Three years ago, Michael Chorost, who suffered sudden-onset deafness in 2001, wrote about his quest to hear again — not just words, but music. Surgeons had installed a cochlear implant in his left ear, and its software broke the acoustic world into 16 channels of blocky but recognizable sound. The story chronicled his brief beta test of 121-channel software. We asked him for an update:

"Last year, I got the commercial version. Just as I remembered, the software makes music sound fuller and brighter. In January, I got my other ear implanted, and I can now hear in stereo. That's been an even more profound change. I don't have the new software in that ear yet, because we're still balancing the ears, which is easier to do with 16 channels.

Still, I've been having fun with music. I played my favorites to a friend, and she said, 'You like men's voices in the upper tenor range and women's voices in the upper alto.' That helped me understand why I like songs like Neil Young's 'Long May You Run.' Then she guessed I'd like Yo La Tengo and Portishead, and I did. The beats are complex enough to keep me engaged without overwhelming me. My ears are very young yet, but I'm figuring them out, bit by bit. Literally."


Submission + - NASA Engineers work on alternative moon rocket (space.com)

Gibson writes: A team of 57 engineers at NASA's Marshall Spaceflight center feel that the Ares rocket is not the best solution for launching the new CEV. They are currently working on their own time developing an alternative launch system known as Jupiter. The 131 page proposal, along with other information, is available on the project website. Proponents of the project say that it is 'simpler, safer, and sooner' than the Ares project, predicting the ability for a return to the moon in 2017, two years before the current goal. Ares management has so far dismissed the proposal as a 'napkin drawing'.

Submission + - Intel's eight-core Skulltrail platform reviewed (techreport.com) 1

EconolineCrush writes: "With two CPU sockets primed for eight processor cores, dual front-side busses, and four graphics card slots that support CrossFire and SLI multi-GPU schemes, Intel's new Skulltrail platform is an absolute beast. Skulltrail is primed for enthusiasts, as well, with Intel equipping the platform's motherboard with tweaking options rarely found on dual-socket alternatives. All this sounds great, but as The Tech Report's in-depth review of the platform illustrates, only a precious few applications fully exploit Skulltrail's prodigious horsepower. It's no doubt an impressive platform, but perhaps one that's a little ahead of its time."

Diplomacy is the art of saying "nice doggy" until you can find a rock.