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Submission + - Database backup solution for a company that has a lot of customers?

Nillerz writes: I work for a company in a field that is still dominated by electricians, but is moving toward an IT future.

This means that they're starting to deal with problems that their industry hasn't had before, namely how are we going to securely store hundreds of customer database backups that are coming from off-site servers?

The ideal solution would be something that automatically backs up the database locally on their machines, encrypts it, gets a secure session over at our servers, uploads it, and exits. I don't know how likely it is that a solution already exists that does exactly this.

Submission + - Ask Slashdot: Which is better... Xbox or PlayStation 4? 4

An anonymous reader writes: I'm looking at getting a new gaming console for the kids Christmas this year. I'm stuck between getting an Xbox or a PlayStation 4. I'm really wary on the PlayStation because of the 5 PS2s with broken optical drives sitting in my garage, none lasted more than 2 years. On the other hand I'm also wary of buying a Microsoft product, I'm a Linux user for life after getting tired of their crappy operating system. I've also considered getting a gaming PC, whether Linux or Windows, but it's more expensive and game reviews show most are not as good as a dedicated game console. The kids want Fallout 4, I want Star Wars Battlefront and any version of Gran Turismo. We currently have a Nintendo WII and a crappy gaming PC with some Steam games. So, which gaming console should I get that will last a long time?
Desktops (Apple)

Submission + - Google wants variable-rate Ethernet (lightreading.com)

optikos writes: "When it comes to the fill-rate fraction/ratio of digital-domain Ethernet frames in the underlying analog-domain physical medium, a senior network architect at Google wants to have more flexibility regarding the denominator to push a link's typical fill-rate closer to 100%. The current scheme of inter-Ethernet-frame idle capacity as represented by a numerator that is notably smaller than the (currently-standardized fixed-size) denominator in the fill-rate is claimed to be unsuitable when interconnecting data-centers.

The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Inc. (IEEE) isn't working on a variable-speed Ethernet standard yet, but Google is pushing for one. It was a point of focus for Bikash Koley, Google's principal architect and manager of network architecture, during a panel session on the last day of OFC/NFOEC last week. What he wants is variable-speed Ethernet. So, instead of running a connection at 100 Gbit/s or 400 Gbit/s, which are the two standard choices, he'd like to pick arbitrary speeds. The technology on the optical side is actually ready for what he's asking. Variable-speed transceivers and flexible-grid ROADMs exist. What's missing is on the packet side: a media access control (MAC) layer that's capable of dealing with a variable-bit-rate physical (PHY) layer.

"

Sun Microsystems

Submission + - Of the Love of Oldtimers - Dusting off a Sun Fire V1280 Server

vikingpower writes: "Today, I decided to acquire a refurbished Sun Fire V1280 server, with 8 CPUs. The machine will soon or may already belong to a certain history of computing. This project is not about high-performance computing, much more about lovingly dusting off and maintaining a piece of hardware considered quirky by 2013 standards. And . Now the question creeps to mind: what software would Slashdotters run on such a beast, once it is upgrade to 12 procs and, say, 24 Gb of RAM ?"
Security

Submission + - Everything you know about password-stealing is wrong (microsoft.com) 1

isoloisti writes: An article by some Microsofties in the latest issue of Computing Now magazine claims we have got passwords all wrong.

When money is stolen consumers are reimbursed for stolen funds and it is money mules, not banks or retail customers, who end up with the loss. Stealing passwords is easy, but getting money out is very hard. Passwords are not the bottleneck in cyber-crime and replacing them with something stronger won’t reduce losses. The article concludes that banks have no interest in shifting liability to consumers, and that the switch to financially-motivated cyber-crime is good news, not bad.

Article is online at computer.org site (hard-to-read multipage format)
http://www.computer.org/portal/web/computingnow/content?g=53319&type=article&urlTitle=is-everything-we-know-about-password-stealing-wrong-
or pdf at author’s site.
http://research.microsoft.com/pubs/161829/EverythingWeKnow.pdf

Databases

Submission + - Choosing which OSS database project to help 1

DoofusOfDeath writes: I've done a good bit of SQL development / tuning in the past. After being away from the database world for a while to finish grad school, I'm about ready to get back in the game. I want to start contributing to some OSS database project, both for fun and perhaps to help my employment prospects in western Europe.

My problem is choosing which OSS DB to help with. MySQL is the most popular, so getting involved with it would be most helpful to my employment prospects. But its list of fundamental design flaws seems so severe that I can't respect it as a database.

I'm attracted to the robust correctness requirements of PostgreSQL, but there don't seem to be many prospective employers using is. So while I'd enjoy working on it, I don't think it would be very helpful to my employment prospects.

Any suggestions?
Microsoft

Submission + - Windows 8 Sells 40 Million Licenses In Just One Month 2

mystikkman writes: After selling 4 million copies in just three days, Microsoft announced today that it sold 40 million copies of Windows in the first month of general availability. Also, the upgrade sales of Windows 8 are higher than with Windows 7 in the month since launch. Microsoft says there are already some developers who have made more than $25,000 on their Windows 8 apps. That number is significant because Microsoft gives developers an 80 percent cut on all app sales over that figure, as compared to the industry-standard 70 percent on competing app stores. Other notable milestones include reaching 25 million users of the new Outlook.com and beating the entire multi-hundred million strong Android devices' web usage in just 10 days after launch. What does this mean for the much vaunted post-PC era? Combined with the much awaited Surface Pro coming out in January, will 2013 be the year of Windows 8 desktop and tablet?

Submission + - Semantic v. SfY (blogspot.co.uk)

dgharmon writes: A brief recap: In March, I wrote about a lawsuit that posed a threat to my daughter’s voice. Maya, who is four years old and unable to speak, uses an app called Speak for Yourself (SfY) to communicate, and the creators of SfY were being sued for patent infringement by Prentke Romich Company (PRC) and Semantic Compaction Systems (Semantic), two much larger companies that make designated communication devices (not iPad apps)

"In connection with the settlement, Semantic has agreed to grant a non-exclusive license as to two of Semantic’s patents, i.e., U.S. Patent Nos. 5,748,177 and 5,920,303"

"A dynamic keyboard includes a plurality of keys, each with an associated symbol, which are dynamically redefinable to provide access to higher level keyboards", U.S. Patent No. 5,748,177

"An apparatus, comprising: integrated input and display device for displaying a plurality of keys of a displayed keyboard", U.S. Patent No 5,920,303

Apple

Submission + - Apple stole iPad clock design from Swiss Rail company (networkworld.com)

An anonymous reader writes: Apple received a lot of criticism during the Apple/Samsung litigation this past Summer as folks deemed it absurd that Apple was able to patent things such as icon design and the overall form factor of a smartphone.

Well as it turns out, it appears that Apple has engaged in some copying of its own in the form of the new clock icon design used in iOS 6 on the iPad- a rather ironic turn of events given that Apple railed against Samsung for copying its own iOS icons. Specifically, the clock icon in iOS 6 on the iPad is a blatant copy of a Hans Hilfiker design to which both the trademark and copyright is owned by the Swiss Federal Railways service.

Submission + - Heroes and Exiles (gay-art-history.org)

dinoalexit writes: "Society has come a long way since the days of Oscar Wilde’s imprisonment, Harvey Milk’s campaign and even Section 28. This year alone we have seen the 20th anniversary of Stonewall, Gordon Brown put forward plans to allow civil partnership ceremonies to be held at the Houses of Parliament and Barack Obama affirm his campaign pledge to end the ban on homosexuals and lesbians serving openly in the US military. However, while it feels like we are entering a new world of equality, the battle is far from won. Recent figures from Scotland Yard revealed that the number of reported homophobic crimes in London has increased by nearly a fifth over the past year, homosexuality is still barbarically punished in many extremist Muslim nations and as Barack Obama said, there are ‘still many laws to change’ and ‘many hearts to open’."
IT

Submission + - IT-department KPIs?

Abacus-keeper writes: So I run the IT department for a medium sized manufacturing corp spanning over four sites and countries. I've run this place place for the last five years, built it from the ground up.

It's a family operated company that has grown into a fairly complex operation over the years. Thus all my 'reporting' has been pretty simple. Ie wanna spend money (hire, procure, upgrade) I just submit a solid cost-benefit analysis to the CEO and done.

Today I got called in for a meeting and they wanted me to set up KPIs for my department. So my question to you is this: what are the KPIs you use? Like to use? Hate to use? Forced to use?

The layout
My staff provides, amongst other, these key tools for the company:
- Active domain server
- Exchange server
- Document servers (Both external and internal)
- ERP server
- CRM server
- WAN, LAN, VPN, VOIP, WLAN mesh infrastructure
- 24/7/365 on call hardware and software in-house support and
- Most of the end-user education

Sorry if might be a bit of today — crazy hangover for the apparent reason; since I have never been asked to provide this kind of information the corp is being sold/merged/taken over soon'ish.
Yes this is a throw away account.

Thx in advance!
Science

Submission + - New Spin on Graphene Makes It Magnetic (sciencedaily.com)

intellitech writes: A team led by Professor Andre Geim, a recipient of the 2010 Nobel Prize for graphene, has shown that electric current can magnetize graphene. The researchers found a new way to interconnect spin and charge by applying a relatively weak magnetic field to graphene and found that this causes a flow of spins in the direction perpendicular to electric current, making a graphene sheet magnetised.
AI

Submission + - AI gender detector (i-programmer.info) 2

mikejuk writes: A Spanish research team have patented a video camera and algorithm that can tell the difference between males and females based on just a 25x25 pixel image. This means that there is enough information in such low resolution images to do the job!
The also demonstrates that an old AI method, linear discriminant analysis, and demonstrates that it is as good and sometimes better than more trendy mehods such as Support Vector Machines...

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