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+ - No, Your SSD Won't Quickly Lose Data While Powered Down->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes: A few weeks ago, we discussed reports that SSDs would lose data in a surprisingly short amount of time if left powered off. The reports were based on a presentation from Alvin Cox, a Seagate engineer, about enterprise storage practices. PCWorld spoke to him and another engineer for Seagate, and they say the whole thing was blown out of proportion. Alan Cox said, "I wouldn’t worry about (losing data). This all pertains to end of life. As a consumer, an SSD product or even a flash product is never going to get to the point where it’s temperature-dependent on retaining the data." The intent of the original presentation was to set expectations for a worst case scenario — a data center writing huge amounts of data to old SSDs and then storing them long-term at unusual temperatures. It's not a very realistic situation for businesses with responsible IT departments, and almost impossible for personal drives.
Link to Original Source

+ - Greece Is Running Out of Money, Cannot Make June IMF Repayment->

Submitted by jones_supa
jones_supa writes: Greece, the country which has been in extreme financial trouble and high debt for years, cannot make debt repayments to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) next month, unless it achieves a deal with creditors. "The four installments for the IMF in June are €1.6 billion ($1.8 billion). This money will not be given and is not there to be given," Interior Minister Nikos Voutsis told Greek Mega TV's weekend show. Shut out of bond markets and with bailout aid locked, cash-strapped Athens has been scraping state coffers to meet debt obligations and to pay wages and pensions. With its future as a member of the 19-nation eurozone potentially at stake, a second government minister accused its international lenders of subjecting it to slow and calculated torture.
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+ - Ask Slashdot best way to solve a unique networking issue

Submitted by petro-tech
petro-tech writes: I work as a service technician, maintaining and repairing gas pumps and POS equipment.

In my day to day activities, one that consumes a ton of time and is relatively regular is the process of upgrading the software on pumps.
This is done by connecting to the pump via direct ethernet from my laptop, then running a manufacturer provided program that connects to the device and pushes the new software.

Some sites have 8+ pumps with 2 devices in each, and at 20-30 minutes apiece this can be quite time consuming.

Unfortunately the devices are not actually on a network, and as such cannot be updated remotely, also since they are not on a network, they are all configured with the same IP address. Additionally the software doesn't allow you to specify the adapter to use.

I would like to be able to get to a site, connect a cable to each pump, and load them all at the same time.

The only way I can figure to accomplish this with the software we've been provided is to do this:

Get a 16 port powered usb hub, with a usb-ethernet adaptor in each port. Set up 16 VM's with extremely stripped down XP running on each, with only one usb-ethernet adaptor assigned to each VM. Set xp to boot the application for loading software as its shell. and load each device that way at the same time.

Is there a better way to accomplish this?

+ - Cox HSI ends unlimited internet, introduces cap system->

Submitted by Junior J. Junior III
Junior J. Junior III writes: Today, Cox High Speed Internet customers received the following communication:

Dear [Cox HSI Customer],

We spend more time online today than ever before, streaming movies and TV shows, downloading music, sharing photographs and staying connected to friends and family. As Internet and data consumption grows, Cox continues to improve our network to ensure a quality experience for all our customers.

To better support our customers' expanding online activity, we recently increased the amount of data included in all of our Cox High Speed Internet packages. About 95% of customers are now on a data plan that is well-suited for their household. In the event you use more data than is included in your plan, beginning with bill cycles that start on June 15th, we will automatically provide additional data for $10 per 50 Gigabyte (GB) block for that usage period. Based on your last 3 months of data usage and our increased data plans, it is unlikely you will need additional data blocks unless your usage increases.

What this means for you

To help our customers get accustomed to this change, we are providing a grace period for 3 consecutive billing cycles. During this period, customers will not pay for additional data blocks for data used above their data plan. Customers who exceed their data plan will see charges and a matching credit on their bill statement. Beginning with bills dated October 15th and later, grace period credits will no longer be applied, and customers will be charged for usage above their data plan.

Understanding and managing your data usage

You are currently subscribed to the Preferred package which includes a data plan of 350 GB (Gigabytes) per month. To help you stay informed about data usage, Cox will begin to notify you via email and browser alert if you use 85% of your monthly data plan and again if you use 100% of your monthly data plan. Additional blocks of data will only be provided if you exceed your data plan. This will not change your Internet package and there will be NO change to the speed or quality of your service for data usage above your plan. To better understand your household's historical and current data usage, you will find your household's data usage meter and other helpful tools and information here.

Thank you for choosing Cox.

Sincerely,

Cox High Speed Internet Team

In the wake of FCC's ruling reaffirming Network Neutrality, is this what ISPs will be doing to squeeze more money out of its customers?
Link to Original Source

+ - Microsoft To Teachers: Using Pens And Paper Not Fair To Students

Submitted by Freshly Exhumed
Freshly Exhumed writes: Pens and paper have no place in the modern classroom. And chalkboards? They should be banished from our schools too. That’s what Lia De Cicco Remu, director of Partners in Learning at Microsoft Canada, told the Georgia Straight ahead of the Microsoft Summit 2015 in Vancouver, which is set to be attended by around 200 teachers. “When was the last time you used a piece of chalk to express yourself?” De Cicco Remu, a former teacher, asked by phone from Toronto. “Kids don’t express themselves with chalk or in cursive. Kids text.” Given the Microsoft Study Finds Technology Hurting Attention Spans story posted to Slashdot in the last 2 days it would seem that Redmond's Marketing and R&D people are at cross-purposes.

+ - Schools That Ban Mobile Phones See Better Academic Results

Submitted by HughPickens.com
HughPickens.com writes: Jamie Doward reports at The Guardian that according to a recent study in the UK, the effect of banning mobile phones from school premises adds up to the equivalent of an extra week’s schooling over a pupil’s academic year with the test scores of students aged 16 improved by 6.4% after schools banned mobile phones, “We found that not only did student achievement improve, but also that low-achieving and low-income students gained the most. We found the impact of banning phones for these students was equivalent to an additional hour a week in school, or to increasing the school year by five days." In the UK, more than 90% of teenagers own a mobile phone; in the US, just under three quarters have one. In a survey conducted in 2001, no school banned mobiles. By 2007, this had risen to 50%, and by 2012 some 98% of schools either did not allow phones on school premises or required them to be handed in at the beginning of the day. But some schools are starting to allow limited use of the devices. New York mayor Bill de Blasio has lifted a 10-year ban on phones on school premises, with the city’s chancellor of schools stating that it would reduce inequality.

The research was carried out at Birmingham, London, Leicester and Manchester schools before and after bans were introduced (PDF). It factored in characteristics such as gender, eligibility for free school meals, special educational needs status and prior educational attainment. “Technological advancements are commonly viewed as increasing productivity,” write Louis-Philippe Beland and Richard Murphy. “Modern technology is used in the classroom to engage students and improve performance. There are, however, potential drawbacks as well, as they could lead to distractions.”

+ - Californians Gets Past the Yuck Factor With 'Toilet to Tap' Water Recycling 1

Submitted by HughPickens.com
HughPickens.com writes: From a marketing point of view, using treated sewage to create drinking water is a proposition that has proved difficult to sell to customers. Now John Schwartz writes in the NYT that as California scrambles for ways to cope with its crippling drought and the mandatory water restrictions imposed last month by Gov. Jerry Brown, enticing people to drink recycled water is requiring California residents to get past what experts call the “yuck” factor. Efforts in the 1990s to develop water reuse in San Diego and Los Angeles were beaten back by activists who denounced what they called, devastatingly, “toilet to tap.” Orange County swung people to the idea of drinking recycled water with a special purification plant which has been operating since 2008 avoiding a backlash with a massive public relations campaign that involved more than 2,000 community presentations. The county does not run its purified water directly into drinking water treatment plants; instead, it sends the water underground to replenish the area’s aquifers and to be diluted by the natural water supply. This environmental buffer seems to provide an emotional buffer for consumers as well.

In 2000, Los Angeles actually completed a sewage reclamation plant capable of providing water to 120,000 homes — the Donald C. Tillman Water Reclamation Plant in Van Nuys.The plan was abandoned after public outrage. Angelenos, it seemed, were too good to drink perfectly safe recycled water — dismissed as “toilet to tap.” But Los Angeles is ready to try again, with plans to provide a quarter of the city’s needs by 2024 with recycled water and captured storm water routed through aquifers. ”The difference between this and 2000 is everyone wants this to happen,” says Marty Adams. The inevitable squeamishness over drinking water that was once waste ignores a fundamental fact, says George Tchobanoglous: “When it comes down to it, water is water. Everyone who lives downstream on a river is drinking recycled water.”

+ - Congressional liberals, conservatives unite against NSA spying->

Submitted by SonicSpike
SonicSpike writes: In an ornate room on the first floor of the Capitol, some of the most liberal members of Congress met for lunch on Thursday with nearly a dozen stalwart conservatives who’ve repeatedly taken on their own leadership for being too soft.

The agenda consisted of a single topic, perhaps the only one that would bring together such ideologically divergent politicians in Washington at this moment: their shared disdain for the PATRIOT Act.

With key provisions of the controversial post-9/11 law set to expire at the end of the month, including authority for the National Security Agency’s bulk collection of Americans’ phone records, critics in both parties are preparing to strike. Among those on hand for the meeting were Democratic Rep. Mark Pocan, a card-carrying ACLU member from the liberal mecca of Madison, Wisconsin, and GOP Rep. Thomas Massie, a tea party adherent from Kentucky.

Along with Pocan and Massie, the Thursday gathering drew Reps. Justin Amash (R-Mich.), Zoe Lofgren (D-Calif.) and Jared Polis (D-Colo.). The lawmakers, many of them privacy zealots with libertarian leanings, discussed the USA Freedom Act, bipartisan legislation that would rein in the bulk collection of telephone records and reauthorize expiring anti-terror surveillance provisions in the PATRIOT Act.

“We are definitely making it a bipartisan effort because we believe there are people on both sides of the aisle who are interested in protecting the rights of Americans,” Amash said.

Democrats and libertarian-minded Republicans want changes that go beyond what’s currently on the table, but it’s unclear whether they have the numbers. Massie and Amash are key players in a growing conservative bloc of the Republican caucus that in the past has forced Boehner and Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) to alter legislation that didn’t pass conservative muster.

“People are going to have to make a decision if there are enough real reforms in there to make it worth reauthorizing the PATRIOT Act,” Massie said. “I don’t think the reforms are significant enough.”

“The onus is really on [Republican and Democratic leaders] to have something in place if this is going to run out and they need to reauthorize something,” the Republican added. “We’re trying to figure out how to get a better, stronger [bill] that protects privacy rights.”

Link to Original Source

+ - Fewer than 1 in 10 Elect Free Credit Monitoring Services After Breach->

Submitted by chicksdaddy
chicksdaddy writes: The Hard Rock Hotel & Casino was the latest high profile US company to wind up on the wrong side of data thieves, according to a statement on the company's web site. (https://www.hardrockhotel.com/statement) And, as has become de rigeur, the Hard Rock was quick to offer free credit monitoring services for any customer affected by the incident. Generous, right?

Probably not. According to data from credit monitoring firm Experian, fewer than 1 in 10 customers affected by a data breach will sign up for the free credit- and identity theft monitoring services. In the case of very large breaches, that number is even smaller — in the "low single digit" percentages, Michael Bruemmer, the Vice President of Consumer Protection at Experian Consumer Services told The Security Ledger. (https://securityledger.com/2015/05/amid-rampant-data-theft-consumers-left-breached-and-burned-out/)

The statistic is just one piece of evidence supporting the idea of what Breummer calls “breach fatigue” among businesses and consumers alike, after years of serial data thefts that have laid bare the personal information of a huge swath of the U.S. public.

Experian, which provides credit-monitoring services directly to consumers and on behalf of businesses, has seen a large increase in the number of U.S. adults affected by data breaches. In 2013, just 25% of the adult population in the U.S. received a notice about a data breach that affected them. In 2014, the average U.S. adult received not one but three notices of a data breach that affected them, according to Experian data.

But when it comes to making their customers whole, companies typically get off easy: many companies choose to pay per enrollment, rather than pay for monitoring services in bulk. That means the actual financial impact of offering the service is much smaller than the size of the breach might suggest.

Anthem Healthcare, the US Health Insurer which recently acknowledged that data on some 80 million customers was accessed by hackers (http://yro.slashdot.org/story/15/02/05/1329211/us-health-insurer-anthem-suffers-massive-data-breach), said adoption rates among its customers were in line with Experian's data on large breaches. Target, which had credit card data on 40 million customers stolen said 3.5 million requested activation codes for free credit card monitoring services it offered to all of its current and former customers.

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+ - Student Arrested in US for Posting on Anonymous Site

Submitted by ememisya
ememisya writes: I wonder if I posted, "There will be another 12/7 tomorrow, just a warning." around December, would people associate it to Pearl Harbor and I would find myself arrested, or has enough time passed for people to not look at the numbers 12 and 7 and take a knee jerk reaction? A student was arrested for Harassment by Computer (A class 1 misdemeanor in the state of Virginia) due to his post on an "anonymous" website. Although the post in and of itself doesn't mean anything to most people in the nation, it managed to scare enough people locally for law enforcement agencies to warrant for his arrest.

Moon, a 21-year-old senior majoring in business information technology, is being charged with Harassment by Computer, which is a class one misdemeanor. Tuesday night, April 28, a threat to the Virginia Tech community was posted on the anonymous social media app Yik Yak. Around 11:15 p.m., an unknown user posted “Another 4.16 moment is going to happen tomorrow. Just a warning (sic).” The Virginia Tech Police Department released a crime alert statement Wednesday morning via email informing students that VTPD was conducting an investigation throughout the night in conjunction with the Blacksburg Police Department. “Both departments are pursuing several active leads this morning,” the statement read. “At this time, the VTPD has not obtained any additional information that would suggest this is a credible threat.”

Comment: Re:With the best will in the world... (Score 1) 486

> I read China is experimenting with ultracap vehicles. They can run for minutes between charges. The vehicles are buses, with a pantograph wire at each stop: They recharge in an even shorter time, while passengers are boarding.

--At first glance, that sounds outrageously fragile - especially for a public transportation system. Vagaries of rush-hour traffic delays (and accidents, rubberneckers, etc) aside, all you need is 1 recharge point to break down and you'd have a bunch of people stranded and pissed off - and the next bus would be in the same quandary. Busses are large enough to have a *gigantic* freakin' battery in the base.

An Ada exception is when a routine gets in trouble and says 'Beam me up, Scotty'.

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