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+ - New Seagate Shingled hard drive teardown

Submitted by Peter Desnoyers
Peter Desnoyers writes: Shingled Magnetic Recording (SMR) drives are starting to hit the market, promising larger drives without heroic (and expensive) measures such as helium fill, but at a cost — data can no longer be over-written in place, requiring SSD-like algorithms to handle random writes.

At the USENIX File and Storage Technologies conference in February, researchers from Northeastern University (disclaimer — I'm one of them)
dissected shingled drive performance both figuratively and literally, using both micro-benchmarks and a window cut in the drive to uncover the secrets of Seagate's first line of publicly-available
SMR drives.

TLDR: It's a pretty good desktop drive — with write cache enabled (the default for non-server setups) and an intermittent workload it performs quite well, handling bursts of random writes (up to a few tens of GB total) far faster than a conventional drive — but only if it has long powered-on idle periods for garbage collection. Reads and large writes run at about the same speed as on a conventional drive, and at $280 it costs less than a pair of decent 4TB drives. For heavily-loaded server applications, though, you might want to wait for the next generation.

Videos (in 16x slow motion) showing the drive in action — sequential read after deliberately fragmenting the drive, and a few thousand random writes.

Comment: So... (Score 2) 329

by crusher-1 (#35116796) Attached to: Sarah Palin Seeks To Trademark Her Name

If my family's name is "Palin" this means she owns the rights to my daughter if she's was named Sarah? What about the "prior" art argument? According to howmanyofme dot com there are 790,847 named Sarah, 1,178 people with the sir name of Palin, and 3 people named Sarah Palin. Do the other 3 people have to pay a licensing fee if the former governor get her patent (very likely give the behavior of the U.S. PTO of late)?


Facebook's 'Like This' Button Is Tracking You 273

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the of-course-they-are dept.
Stoobalou submitted a story about some of the most obvious research I've seen in a while ... "A researcher from a Dutch university is warning that Facebook's 'Like This' button is watching your every move. Arnold Roosendaal, who is a doctoral candidate at the Tilburg University for Law, Technology and Society, warns that Facebook is tracking and tracing everyone, whether they use the social networking site or not. Roosendaal says that Facebook's tentacles reach way beyond the confines of its own web sites and subscriber base because more and more third party sites are using the 'Like This' button and Facebook Connect."

Comment: Ya Right!!! (Score 1) 488

by crusher-1 (#33646376) Attached to: Airbus Planning Transparent Planes

I can imagine all those borderline acrophobics freaking out about 10 secs after the plane leaves the ground. Unless, like one previous poster, the floor and the ceiling are covered with boxes and cables, etc.. Airbus' head of research and technology, Axel Krein must not have taken into account that many people may not be too keen on being constantly reminded that they sitting in a "glass" airplane 30,000 feet in the air - especially when they're flying over the ocean with no land in site. Talk about feeling like a canary in a coal mine!

The Courts

+ - FSF Argues RIAA's Damages Theory Unconstitutional->

Submitted by
NewYorkCountryLawyer writes: "For the second time in as many months, the Free Software Foundation has filed an amicus curiae brief on the unconstitutionality of the RIAA's theory of statutory damages, by which the record companies seek to recover from $750 to $150,000 for infringement of a single MP3 file. The new brief (PDF), filed in a Philadelphia case, SONY BMG Music Entertainment v. Cloud, argues that the Department of Justice and RIAA have sought to blur the distinction between damages flowing from a download, which the record companies might be able to prove, and damages flowing from the defendant's having acted as a 'distributor', which they have never been able to prove. The brief expands upon the shorter brief filed by FSF last month in a Boston case, SONY BMG Music Entertainment v. Tenenbaum, discusses the Supreme Court legal precedents, and explains why the Department of Justice's argument — that the US Supreme Court's 2003 decision on 'punitive awards' should be ignored — is legally incorrect. The brief also questions, in a footnote, the RIAA's assumption that every unauthorized download equates with a lost sale, an assumption which was rejected last year by a federal court in Virginia. A commentator predicts that 'this new filing will be of enormous significance in stopping the RIAA litigation juggernaut dead in its tracks. Without being able to threaten ridiculously out-sized 'statutory damages' having no relationship to economic reality, the RIAA's whole extortion scheme will go down the drain.'"
Link to Original Source

Comment: Wonderful! (Score 1) 126

by crusher-1 (#26633767) Attached to: SUSE Studio — Linux Customization For the Masses

According to the website, Konqueror (3.5.10) isn't supported. One gets bumped to a page informing one of this advent and you are further instructed to use Safari or Firefox (2 or 3). Way to go Novell/SUSE! Gotta love a website promoting a product that doesn't support the primary webbrowser provide by said product maker! Sheesh!

Comment: Re:I dislike reading anything from (Score 1) 333

by crusher-1 (#26587533) Attached to: RIAA Threatens Harvard Law Prof With Sanctions

Perhaps you might garner the services of a willing post-grad or similar colleague to assist you! I can't believe some individual, at least from time to time, would not be willing to summerize your entries for lay persons so that they may be able to wrap their heads around the legal proceedings and their meanings therein more readily. I personally have had to do this in my profession. Unlike your situation, however, I did this in the context of my profession in the performance of my duties (critical care cardiac RN). So, I trust the most people fully understand the constraint you've mentioned between pursuing your case load while posting entries in your blog. Is there no viable remedy to this situation? Can anyone of those possibly qualified "/,'ers" perhaps contribute to this end?


Comment: Typical (Score 1) 158

by crusher-1 (#26339415) Attached to: WSJ Confirms RIAA Fired MediaSentry

So the heat is on and the RIAA find themselves in a less than desirable position - e.g. their "respondant superior" entity, aka SafeNet was breaking the law by "invading peoples privacy" (by their own admission) . So the RIAA and their members throw SafeNet under the bus and exclaim their amazement as to the unsavory tactics that their "employee" has been conducting. Like they had no clue that this was going on??? Ya Right, that's the ticket.
Tell it to the judge!


MPAA Botched Study On College Downloading 215

Posted by kdawson
from the math-is-hard dept.
An anonymous reader writes "The Associated Press reports that in a 2005 study the MPAA conducted through an outfit called LEK, the movie trade association vastly overestimated how much college students engage in illegal movie downloading. Instead of '44 percent of the industry's domestic losses' owing to their piracy, it's 15 percent — and one expert is quoted as saying even that number is way too high. Dan 'Sammy' Glickman's gang admitted to the mishap, blaming 'human error,' and promised 'immediate action to both investigate the root cause of this problem as well as substantiate the accuracy of the latest report.'"

IBM Patents Pricing Motorists Off Highways 805

Posted by kdawson
from the prior-art-stuck-at-the-tollbooth dept.
theodp writes "Self-professed patent reformer IBM snagged a patent Tuesday for the Variable Rate Toll System, which covers the rather anti-egalitarian scheme of pricing motorists off of the roads by raising tolls as congestion increases. 'Congestion pricing of traffic is emerging as a completely new services market for IBM,' boasted Jamie Houghton, IBM's Global Leader for Road Charging."

Collapsed UK Bank Attempts to Censor Wikileaks 230

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the this'll-only-happen-more dept.
James Hardine writes "Wikileaks has released a couple of hilarious legal demands over a confidential briefing memo entitled Project Wing — Northern Rock Executive Summary. Northern Rock Bank (UK) collapsed spectacularly late last year on the back of the sub-prime lending crisis and was re-floated by the Bank of England at a cost of over £24bn. The memo was used by the Financial Times, the Telegraph and others. It attracted a number of censorship injunctions, as reported by the Guardian, which only Wikileaks continues to withstand. In their legal demand to Wikileaks, Northern Rock's well-known media lawyers, Schillings, invoke the DMCA & WIPO, claim it'll be 10 years in prison for Wikileaks operators for not following the UK injunction, but then, incredibly, refuse to hand over a copy of the order unless Wikileaks' London lawyers promise not to give it to Wikileaks. Finally they claim copyright and more — on their demands! The letters raise a serious issue about the climate of censorship in the UK, where one can apparently easily obtain a censorship order — a judge made law — that everyone is meant to obey, but no one is meant to know."
The Almighty Buck

Copyright Lobbies Threaten Federal College Funding 277

Posted by Zonk
from the i-went-to-school-in-a-very-different-time dept.
plasmacutter writes "The EFF is raising the alarm regarding provisions injected into a bill to renew federal funding for universities. These new provisions call for institutions of higher learning to filter their internet connections and twist student's arms over 'approved' digital media distribution services. 'Under said provision: Each eligible institution participating in any program under this title shall to the extent practicable — (2) develop a plan for offering alternatives to illegal downloading or peer-to-peer distribution of intellectual property as well as a plan to explore technology-based deterrents to prevent such illegal activity. Similar provisions in last year's bill did not survive committee, it appears however that this bill is headed toward the full house for vote.' Responding to recriminations over this threat to university funding, an MPAA representative claims federal funds should be at risk when copyright infringement happens on campus networks." We've previously discussed this topic, as well as similar issues.

EPA Asserts Executive Privilege In CA Emissions Case 390

Posted by Zonk
from the interesting-use-of-term-executive dept.
Brad Eleven writes "The AP reports that the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has invoked executive privilege to justify withholding information in its response to a lawsuit. The state of California is challenging the agency's decision to block their attempt to curb the emissions from new cars and trucks. In response, the EPA has delivered documents requested by the Freedom of Information Act for the discovery phase of the lawsuit — but the documents are heavily redacted. That is, the agency has revealed that it did spend many hours meeting to discuss the issue, but refuses to divulge the details or the outcomes of the meetings. Among the examples cited, 16 pages of a 43-page Powerpoint presentation are completely blank except for the page titles. An EPA spokesperson used language similar to other recent claims of executive privilege, citing 'the chilling effect that would occur if agency employees believed their frank and honest opinions and analysis expressed as part of assessing California's waiver request were to be disclosed in a broad setting.'"

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