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How Do You Deal With Sensitive Data? 226

imus writes "Just wondering how most IT shops secure sensitive data (customer records). Most centrally managed databases seem to be monitored and maintained very well and IT workers know when they are tampered with or when unauthorized access occurs. But what about employees who do legitimate selects from these databases and then load CSV files and other text files onto their laptops and PDAs? How are companies dealing with situations where the database is relatively secure, but end-use devices contain bits and pieces of sensitive business data, and sometimes whole segments? Does anyone use sensitive data discovery software such as Find_SSNs or Senf or other tools? Once found, how do you deal with it? Do you force encryption, delete it or prevent extracts?"

"World's Cheapest Laptop" Available in Bulk Only 357

BobB writes to tell us that what one company is calling the "world's cheapest laptop" is now available at the price of $130. Unfortunately if you want to buy one you will also need to convince 99 of your closest friends to go in on an order with you since you cannot buy in less than units of 100. We have covered several "cheap laptops" in the past and many have turned out to be fraudulent, so especially with a large up-front cost, buyer beware. "The Impulse NPX-9000 laptop has a 7-inch screen and comes with the Linux OS. It has a 400MHz processor, 128M bytes of RAM, 1G byte of flash storage and an optional wireless networking dongle. It includes office productivity software, a Web browser and multimedia software."
Operating Systems

VMware ESXi Available For Free Starting Today 241

Mierdaan writes "VMware's bare-metal hypervisor is available for free starting today. ESXi, which can either be installed or run from an embedded device available in certain servers, has a 32MB footprint and gives small businesses an easy way to get into the virtualization world, with easy upgrade paths to enterprise-level features such as (H)igh (A)vailability and (D)istributed (R)esource (S)cheduler. ESXi runs on most any hardware with a server-class disk controller, and previously retailed for $495. VMware is obviously shooting to prevent Microsoft's Hyper-V technology from gaining a foothold in the marketplace."
Patents

Software Patent Sanity on the Way? 157

Ars Technica is reporting that the traditionally silent US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) may be starting to turn things around. It seems that in recent action the USPTO has started to make it much easier to invalidate software patents with some saying that the abolition of such patents may be in the distant future. "Duffy cites four recent cases that illustrate the Patent Office's growing hostility to the patenting of software and other abstract concepts. While the USPTO hasn't formally called for the abolition of software patents, the positions it took in these cases do suggest a growing skepticism. In the first two cases, decided last fall, the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit (which has jurisdiction over patent appeals) upheld patent rejections by the USPTO. They were not software patent cases, as such. In In Re Nuijten, the court considered a patent related to an algorithm for adding a watermark to a digital media file. The Federal Circuit did not invalidate the claims relating to the watermarking algorithm itself; everyone seemed to agree that the algorithm was patentable. Rather, the decision focused on whether a digital signal could be the subject of a patent claim. The court concluded that it could not. A victory for common sense, perhaps, but hardly a rejection of software patents."
Space

Virgin Galactic Shows the Finished WhiteKnight Two 212

Klaus Schmidt writes "Virgin Galactic today unveiled their WhiteKnight Two mothership, called 'EVE.' It is designed to carry the smaller SpaceShip Two into space. The rollout represents another major milestone in Virgin Galactic's quest to launch the world's first private, environmentally benign, space access system for people, payload and science. Christened 'EVE' in honor of Richard Branson's mother — Sir Richard performed the official naming ceremony — WK2 is both visually remarkable and represents ground-breaking aerospace technology. It is the world's largest all carbon composite aircraft and many of its component parts have been built using composite materials for the very first time. At 140 ft, the wing span is the longest single carbon composite aviation component ever manufactured."

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