I am using Amazon S3 file storage and some software (S3 Backup (www.maluke.com)) to backup ~300GB of digital media. Amazon's off-site, always on, fully fault tolerant storage costs me about $23/mo. + my internet connection. The major downside is that you need to download or upload your content. It took almost 2 mos to do my first complete backup due to my slow uplink. As far as on-site storage, the only option is to stay current with technology, and rely on common or open standards where possible. For example, don't encode your video with an obscure manufacturer's codec. This often means you will need to pre-process backups, or dedicate time for conversion at some periodic interval. Every time you upgrade your OS, you should recover your files and test them. If there are any compatibility issues or technology upgrades, then you should convert to new media at that time. When you burn media, you need to burn 3 copies - keep at least one off site. This way, if one goes bad, you have a third copy to which you can compare 1 and 2, telling you which is out of synch.
shrewd writes: ""Imagine your surprise when you fire up one of your favourite games in Vista — say World of Warcraft or Prey — only to find your fancy EAX-endowed soundcard and 5.1 surround speakers are dribbling out flat, unenhanced stereo sound. Then, in a vain attempt to spruce up the audio by enabling EAX, you get a nice taut error message saying EAX is not detected on your hardware. What's going on? Welcome to the world of Vista audio. And a brave new world it is.""
Anonymous Coward writes: "ReadWriteWeb reports that Google's main property, Google Search got AJAXified. This was Google's most conservative property, so this is a very interesting development and is signaling that Google may start implementing SearchMash innovations into its core product very soon. One more step towards semantic web..."
Bert64 writes: "It seems that eBay allows you to say one thing about the location of an item in the auction description, but then if the item turns out to be defective to supply a completely different address, in another country, where the item can be returned at buyer's expense. No mention of this was in the original auction listing, in the hope of fooling those who would normally not buy from a foreign seller. Details on http://www.ev4.org/ of how i was stung by this, and how it can so easily be abused by anyone to profit by ripping off unsuspecting buyers while ebay sits back and does nothing about it. So anyone can ship defective items, and then make the returns process expensive enough that people won't bother."
DogDude writes: "I own a brick-and-mortar retail store. We do a good volume of business, and we plan to start opening more locations soon. We've outgrown out current Point-of-Sale system (POS), and I'm shopping for a new one. There are plenty of good, mature, proprietary systems out there already. I'm looking for information on OSS POS systems that are also mature, stable, and well supported. It seems that most OSS POS projects are either tiny, relatively unsupported, and lacking many critical features, or they're so large and complex that they can only be implemented by a Fortune 500 company with a dedicated IT staff. I'm looking for something robust that will work out of the box, yet still scale appropriately for a mid-sized company. Suggestions?"