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Data Storage

ZFS Hits an Important Milestone, Version 0.6.1 Released 99

sfcrazy writes "ZFS on Linux has reached what Brian Behlendorf calls an important milestone with the official 0.6.1 release. Version 0.6.1 not only brings the usual bug fixes but also introduces a new property called 'snapdev.' Brian explains, 'The snapdev property was introduced to control the visibility of zvol snapshot devices and may be set to either visible or hidden. When set to hidden, which is the default, zvol snapshot devices will not be created under /dev/. To gain access to these devices the property must be set to visible. This behavior is analogous to the existing snapdir property.'"

Submission + - The Joys of Running a Bug Bounty Program (

Trailrunner7 writes: When Barracuda Networks started its bug bounty program about three months ago, company officials weren't exactly sure what to expect. They didn't know whether there'd be an onslaught of submissions or the sound of crickets chirping. The reality turned out to be somewhere in the middle.
Overall, the company has been getting about 10 bug reports a month, none of which has been very serious. But that doesn't mean the program hasn't been a success. Peck said that Barracuda also had run into the same problem that Google and others have: hackers don't pay much attention to directions. The company set out specific parameters for what kind of vulnerabilities in which products were in scope for the rewards, but some researchers still submitted flaws that were out of bounds, including bugs in partners' products or in the Barracuda corporate Web site.

Submission + - Smart Phones Outsell Computers ( 1

Archangel Michael writes: Smart phones have, for the first time, out sold computers.

For me, this is a milestone really worth mentioning, as it clearly indicates that smart communication devices are replacing computers. I know my phone can do some 65-80% of what I used to do on my computer.

In related news, Apple is slated to become the most valuable company in the world, partially based on its iPhone sales.

Disclaimer: I own a Droid X.


Submission + - Unregulated Mobile App Markets Great for Malware (

Orome1 writes: It's basic economics — as the number of sold smartphones continues to rise worldwide, so will the number of threats targeting the users of these devices. One of the biggest threats is (predictably) expected to be malware disguised as or bungled with legitimate applications. The fact that regulated and an even greater number of unregulated app markets are currently springing up left and right, we'll probably not have to wait long for the fulfillment of that particular prediction.

Submission + - Robot Internet/Hive Mind Under Development ( 1

mantis2009 writes: The BBC describes a project underway at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology that envisions an online, Wiki-like database to "let robots share and store what they discover about the world." Ideally, the project, named "RoboEarth," would give robots the ability to learn from one another in robust ways, significantly decreasing the time it takes for robots to learn how to perform tasks. The article quotes from researcher Dr. Markus Waibel, who says that a main goal of RoboEarth is to promote standardization for roboticists. "The key is allowing robots to share knowledge," said Dr. Waibel. "That's really new."
The Internet

Submission + - Charity Raising Money to Buy Used Satellite (

Zothecula writes: For those of us who live in the developed world, internet access has become pretty much a given. It’s become so ubiquitous that we almost expect to have it at all times and in all places, but even in this “Information Age,” the majority of the world’s population lacks access to the internet – either because service isn’t available where they are, or they can’t afford it. Kosta Grammatis has a plan, however. Through his charity group, Grammatis aims to set up a network of satellites that will provide free internet access to everyone in the world. He’s starting by attempting to buy a single used satellite that’s already in orbit and moving it to a location above a developing country.

Submission + - Toyota problems may force electronics changes (

coondoggie writes: While NASA and National Highway Traffic Safety Administration engineers did not find anything wrong with Toyota's auto engineering, the investigation may prompt changes and perhaps new design standards for auto electronics. The NHTSA is now considering a number of new tests for electronic car systems including: Propose rules, by the end of 2011, to require brake override systems, to standardize operation of keyless ignition systems, and to require the installation of event data recorders in all passenger vehicles;

Submission + - JAXA to Use Fishing Nets to Scoop Up Space Junk (

An anonymous reader writes: We've seen high-fallutin proposals to tackling the space junk problem before — and now the Japanese space agency JAXA has teamed up with Japanese fishing net maker Nitto Seimo to haul in some of the 100,000-plus objects of space junk orbiting the planet. AJAXA satellite will deploy and release a kilometers-wide net made by Nitto Seimo of ultra-thin triple layered metal threads. The net will gradually be drawn into Earth’s magnetic field and burned up along with the abandoned satellites, engine parts and other litter it’s collected.

Submission + - Did vikings use the same compass as birds and bees (

An anonymous reader writes: If you've been wondering how Vikings found their way from Scandinavia to America, polarizing light birds and bees use as a season-and-latitude-independent compass calibration reference may be the answer.

In the case of the Vikings, they possibly used one of two crystals, cordierite, also called lolite, of Norway, or calcite of Iceland.

By holding a polarizing crystal up to the sky and rotating it, you can determine the direction of the Sun. Summer, when sailors far north ventured upon the seas, they were confronted with nearly perpetual daylight, preventing them from using the stars to navigate. Light consists of electromagnetic waves that oscillate perpendicular to the direction of the light's travel. When the oscillations all point in the same direction, the light is polarized.

The Internet

Submission + - IP addresses ‘not enough’ for legal ac (

An anonymous reader writes: A judgment issued today by Judge Birss in the Patents County Court has derailed the threatening letter-writing activities by legal firms such as ACS:Law in pursuit of illegal file-sharers.

In his judgment, Judge Birss questioned whether IP addresses could be used as sound evidence in identifying someone and accuse them of illegal file-sharing. He reasoned that IP addresses were not enough, citing unsecured home wireless networks and the fact that an IP address doesn’t identify the individual that is alleged to have illegally file-shared.

The Internet

Submission + - How a small tweak can cripple your web sales ( 1

Barence writes: PC Pro has a blog revealing how a minor tweak to a website's design can have a crippling affect on sales conversion rates. BigCommerce, a hosted ecommerce service, recently pushed out a minor update to all its shops. Gone was the simple, tree-type list of categories and subcategories to be replaced by a swanky new “fly-out” menu. That small tweak led to a 75% drop in conversation rates on one site, as the many sub-categories of products on offer were hidden and the small tweak made the website navigation much more complicated for the average user.

Submission + - Scientology proven false... by their counsel (

drinkypoo writes: "In one very interesting moment, Davis said, 'Of course, if it's true that Mr. Hubbard was never injured during the war, then he never did heal himself using Dianetics principles, then Dianetics is based on a lie, and then Scientology is based on a lie. The truth is that Mr. Hubbard was a war hero.' And the way he phrased that, that everything depended on whether Hubbard had sustained these injuries and healed himself was like a wager on the table." And to drive the point home, "And [a researcher] had inquired about Howard D. Thompson, this lieutenant commander that supposedly signed this notice of separation. And the archivist at the time said they had thoroughly researched the roles of Navy officers at the time, and there was no such person."

To restore a sense of reality, I think Walt Disney should have a Hardluckland. -- Jack Paar