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Sony To End Sales of Betamax Tapes Next Year 103

AmiMoJo writes: In March 2016 Sony will finally end sales of its Betamax video tapes. The firm revealed on its website that it will also stop shipping the Micro MV cassette, used in video cameras. Sony launched the format in 1975, a year before JVC's rival the VHS cassette — which eventually became the market leader after a long battle between the two brands and their fans. Although many felt Betamax was the superior format, most cite the longer recording length of VHS tapes — three hours versus one — and the cheaper manufacturing costs for VHS machines as the main factors as to why VHS eventually won out. When my dad stops buying VHS tapes in bulk, maybe that market will finally wither away, too.

Ask Slashdot: Secure, Yet Accessible E-mail Archive Storage? 74

New submitter mlts writes: As of now, I just leave E-mail in a 'received-2015' subfolder on my provider's server, adding a new folder yearly. With the rise of E-mail account intrusions (where even though I'm likely not a primary target, but it is a concern), what is a secure, but yet accessible way to archive E-mail? I'm far less worried about the FBI/NSA/Illuminati, as I am about having stuff divulged to all and sundry if a mass breach happens. A few alternative I've considered: 1) Running my own physical IMAP server. The server would run on a hypervisor (likely ESXi), have Dovecot limited to the VPN I use, and use other sane techniques to limit access. 2) Archive the E-mail files through a cloud provider, with a client encryption utility (EncFS, BoxCryptor, etc.) In this case, E-mail would be stored in a different file a week. 3) Move it to local storage on a virtual machine, and if access is needed, use LogMeIn or another remote access item to fire up Thunderbird to access it. What would be a recommended way to secure E-mail that sits around, for the long haul, but still have it accessible? Even if you're not specifically worried about it, keeping older email around on a provider's server opens you up to warrantless access by U.S. law enforcement officials.
Data Storage

Samsung 950 Pro Brings NVMe To M.2, Over 2.5GB/s 36

Vigile writes: Samsung just released its first non-OEM, consumer level NVMe enabled SSD, the 950 Pro series. This drive will ship in an M.2 form factor rather than a 2.5-in drive size that is the standard for users today, allowing installation into notebooks, small form factor PCs and desktop PCs that have at least one M.2 slot on-board. It peaks at 512GB capacity today but Samsung promises a 1TB version using 48-layer VNAND in 2016. The NVMe protocol allows much better performance directly over the PCIe bus without the overhead of the AHCI protocol used in hard drives and previous SSDs. PC Perspective's review has performance breaking the 2.5GB/s read speed level while also introducing an entirely new type of performance evaluation for SSDs centered around latency distribution of IOs. By measuring how long each IO takes, rather than reporting only an average, the performance of an SSD can be determined on a per-workflow basis and drives can be compared in an entirely new light. There is a lot of detail on to be read over and digested but again the new NVMe Samsung 950 Pro impresses. Hot Hardware takes a similarly data-dump-heavy look at the same drive.
Data Storage

Not Just Paris: Community Activists Target Data Centers ( 151

1sockchuck writes: This week's case in which a Paris data center lost its license isn't an isolated incident, but the latest in a series of disputes in which community groups have fought data center projects, citing objections to generators or power lines. Data center site selection is often a secretive process, with cloud builders using codenames to cloak their identity. Community groups are using social media, blogs, research and media outreach to bring public attention to the process and voice their concerns. Protests from a Delaware group led to the cancellation of a data center project that planned to build a cogeneration plant. In Virginia, a coalition has organized to oppose a power line for an Amazon Web Services data center. Everyone wants their Internet, just not in their backyard.
Data Storage

Samsung Demos PCIe NVMe SSD At 5.6 GB Per Second, 1 Million IOPS ( 88

MojoKid writes: Samsung decided to show off their latest SSD wares at Dell World 2015 with two storage products that are sure to impress data center folks. Up and running on display, Samsung showcased their PM1725 drive, which is a half-height, half-length (HHHL) NVMe SSD that will be one of the fastest on the market when it ships later this year. It sports transfer speeds of 5500MB/sec for sequential reads and 1800MB/s for writes. Samsung had the drive running in a server with Iometer fired up and pushing in excess of 5.6GB/sec. The PM1725 also is rated for random reads up to 1,000,000 IOPS and random writes of 120,000 IOPS. The top of the line 6.4TB SSD is rated to handle 32TB of writes per day with a 5-year warranty.
Data Storage

Noise Protests Close Paris Data Center ( 157

judgecorp writes: Data center firm Interxion has been ordered to close a data center in Paris over protests from residents. The local group complained about noise and large quantities of stored diesel fuel at the site, saying that the consultation which allowed it to open in 2012 was flawed. Now Interxion's license has been revoked and it has two months to appeal
Data Storage

How a Frozen Neutrino Observatory Grapples With Staggering Amounts of Data ( 49

citadrianne writes: Deep beneath the Antarctic ice sheet, sensors buried in a billion tons of ice—a cubic kilometer of frozen H2O—are searching for neutrinos. "We neutrino from the atmosphere every ~10 minutes that we sort of care about, and one neutrino per month that comes from an astrophysical sources that we care about a very great deal," researcher Nathan Whitehorn said. "Each particle interaction takes about 4 microseconds, so we have to sift through data to find the 50 microseconds a year of data we actually care about." Computing facilities manager Gonzalo Merino added, "If the filtered data from the Pole amounts to ~36TB/year, the processed data amounts to near 100TB/year." Because IceCube can't see satellites in geosynchronous orbit from the pole, internet coverage only lasts for six hours a day, Whitehorn explained. The raw data is stored on tape at the pole, and a 400-core cluster makes a first pass at the data to cut it down to around 100GB/day. A 4000-CPU dedicated local cluster crunches the numbers. Their storage system has to handle typical loads of "1-5GB/sec of sustained transfer levels, with thousands of connections in parallel," Merino explained.
Data Storage

China's Flash Consumption Grows To 30%; 8TB SSDs Are Coming ( 67

Lucas123 writes: Seven of the world's top 10 smartphone vendors hail from China as does PC giant Lenovo, which is driving up the amount of NAND flash and DRAM the country consumes. This year alone, China is expected to purchase nearly 30% of the world's NAND flash and 21% of its DRAM, according to a report from TrendForce. Additionally, state-backed companies are trying to break into Western markets with SSDs. For example, Sage Microelectronics (SageMicro), a four-year-old company based in Hangzhou, China, plans to release an 8TB SSD next month that will be based on eMMC flash, and it said it will release a 10TB drive next year. Update: 10/16 15:11 GMT by T : Note this interesting highlight from the second story linked above: SageMicron is selling not just drives that emphasize capacity over speed, but also a feature that will do doubt appeal to government agencies or private citizens intent on replicating Mission Impossible-style data wiping. The company's "Smart Destruction" function "can be set to erase encryption keys, perform a drive erase or physically fry the memory chips with a pulse of high voltage ... [and] can be triggered using a digital timer, a mobile phone instruction, or by simply pressing a button. 'Yes, it actually smokes sometimes when you push the button,' [Sage U.S. sales director Troy Rutt] said. 'People like that.'"

USB Killer 2.0: a Harmless-Looking USB Stick That Destroys Computers 229

An anonymous reader writes: Plugging in random USB sticks in your computer has never been more dangerous, as a researcher who goes by the name Dark Purple has demonstrated his new device: USB Killer 2.0. When plugged into a computer, the deadly USB draws power from the device itself. With the help of a voltage converter the device's capacitors are charged to 220V, and it releases a negative electric surge into the USB port. This surge "fries" the USB port and, in the researcher's demonstration, the motherboard — perhaps not always after the first surge, but the malicious USB device repeats the process until no more power can be drawn.
Data Storage

Amazon To Offer Sneakernet Services: Data Upload By Mail 94

blueshift_1 writes: If you have 50TB of data that you'd like to put on the S3 cloud, Amazon is releasing Snowball. It's basically a large grey box full of hard drives that Amazon will mail to you. Simply upload your files and mail it back — they will upload it for you. For $200 + shipping, it's at a pretty reasonable price point if you're tired of hosting your data and want to try and push that to AWS. ("Never underestimate the bandwidth of a station wagon full of tapes hurtling down the highway." -Tanenbaum, Andrew S.)

Dell, EMC Said To Be In Merger Talks ( 97

itwbennett writes: According to a Wall Street Journal report (paywalled), Dell might buy some or all of storage giant EMC. (The grain of salt here is that the Journal's report cited unnamed sources, and cautioned that the companies might not finalize any agreement.) If the report has it right, though, "a total merger would be one of the biggest deals ever in the technology industry," writes Stephen Lawson for IDG, "with EMC holding a market value of about US$50 billion. It would also bring together two of the most important vendors to enterprise IT departments."

Ask Slashdot: Best Country For Secure Online Hosting? 113

An anonymous reader writes: I've recently discovered that my hosting company is sending all login credentials unencrypted, prompting me to change providers. Additionally, I'm finally being forced to put some of my personal media library (songs, photos, etc.) on-line for ready access (though for my personal consumption only) from multiple devices and locations... But I simply can't bring myself to trust any cloud-service provider. So while it's been partially asked before, it hasn't yet been answered: Which country has the best on-line personal privacy laws that would made it patently illegal for any actor, state, or otherwise, to access my information? And does anyone have a recommendation on which provider(s) are the best hosts for (legal) on-line storage there?

$50 Fire Tablet With High-capacity SDXC Slot Doesn't See E-books On the SD Card 145

Robotech_Master writes: For all that the $50 Fire tablet has a 128 GB capable SDXC card slot that outclasses every other tablet in its price range, and it evolved out of Amazon's flagship e-book reader, it strangely lacks the ability to index e-books on that card. This seems like a strange oversight, given that every other media app on the tablet uses that card for downloading and storage, and its 5 GB usable internal memory isn't a lot for people who have a large library of picture-heavy e-books—especially if they want to install other apps, too.
Data Storage

Object Storage and POSIX Should Merge 66

storagedude writes: Object storage's low cost and ease of use have made it all the rage, but a few additional features would make it a worthier competitor to POSIX-based file systems, writes Jeff Layton at Enterprise Storage Forum. Byte-level access, easier application portability and a few commands like open, close, read, write and lseek could make object storage a force to be reckoned with.

'Having an object storage system that allows byte-range access is very appealing,' writes Layton. 'It means that rewriting applications to access object storage is now an infinitely easier task. It can also mean that the amount of data touched when reading just a few bytes of a file is greatly reduced (by several orders of magnitude). Conceptually, the idea has great appeal. Because I'm not a file system developer I can't work out the details, but the end result could be something amazing.'
Data Storage

Toshiba, SanDisk Piloting 3D NAND That Doubles Previous Capacity 61

Lucas123 writes: Under a joint development agreement, Toshiba and SanDisk have begun pilot production of a new 48-layer 256Gb NAND flash chip in a brand new fab in Mie prefecture, Japan. The new X3 chips, which double capacity from 16GB to 32GB over the previous product, are made with triple-level cell (TLC) flash compared with Toshiba's last multi-level cell (MLC) chip, which stored two-bits per transistor. The chips are expected to begin shipping in products next year. The companies plan to use the new memory in a wide number of products, including consumer SSDs, smartphones, tablets, memory cards, and enterprise SSDs for data centers, the companies said.

"Love your country but never trust its government." -- from a hand-painted road sign in central Pennsylvania