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Data Storage

+ - Hard disk drives suitable for long term storage? 17

Submitted by MrHatken
MrHatken (213187) writes "As many people move to using hard disk drives for online and offline backup one needs to consider possible failure modes. I've heard that if hard disk drives aren't spun up regularly the bearings can lose their lubrication and fail, or the head can stick to the disk when parked. Are these myths or reality? Is there any confirmed data on how often one needs to spin them up and for how long? Further though, how difficult would it be for manufacturers to make hard disk drives that would be suitable for long term storage? Particularly, drives that wouldn't be required to be spun up regularly to ensure they'll still function when needed. It would seem to me that it shouldn't be that hard to do ..."

Comment: iChat has AUTO ANSWER! (Score 2, Interesting) 240

by MrHatken (#24724671) Attached to: A Full-Time 2-Way Video Link To Grandparents?

Just to second the suggestion for iChat and point out that iChat has a (command-line enabled) AUTO ANSWER facility. So when you ring your GrandParents they don't even need to click to answer.

I don't find the iChat "Chat Request" panel to be that intuitive (for GrandParents). It just displays a pane with the request annoucement but no buttons. You need to click on the panel to make it expand to show the accept/reject buttons.

Auto-Answer can also help if GrandParents aren't computer literate or have trouble seeing the small on-screen pointer.

Of course, most people don't like the invasion of privacy that this allows but then if you are thinking of video-chatting 24x7 this should not really be a problem.

Google for how to do it ...

Cheers,
Ashley.

Microsoft

+ - Microsoft Patents Uncrackable DRM

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "Microsoft has just received a little-known patent for a "Stealthy audio watermarking," which is seemingly uncrackable, since it uses spread-spectrum technology to hide its traces within music files. As the patent's abstract explains it: "The watermark identifies the content producer, providing a signature that is embedded in the audio signal and cannot be removed. The watermark is designed to survive all typical kinds of processing and malicious attacks." True, watermarking is not the same as file encrpyption. However, an end-to-end music system could use watermarking to verify ownership. Does this mean it might be time to revise the DRM scorecard?"
Patents

+ - Software startup strategy wrt patents?

Submitted by
An anonymous reader writes "Is there a strategy for software startups wanting to make it big with a product in this world of software patents? Particularly, how can a software startup wishing to take its product to the international market hope to compete with the large software companies and their armada of patents? No matter whether or not the startup has an innovative product, a patent or two, a little or a lot of funds, it seems that if the large software companies decide that they wish to crush them with law-suits regarding patent infringement, valid or invalid, they can tie them up long enough in court to drive them out of business (bankruptcy or cause them to lose any market lead they may have had). Can anyone suggest a strategy, or pointers to discussion(s) of a strategy (or strategies), for a new software company to grow (around a product) and itself become one of the large software companies (hopefully not then playing the same game)? Or are those days over — and the current crop of software companies are so well entrenched (thanks to the patent system) that there is no hope for a startup?"

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