Catch up on stories from the past week (and beyond) at the Slashdot story archive


Forgot your password?
Compare cell phone plans using Wirefly's innovative plan comparison tool ×

Comment This is not a new issue (Score 1) 277

R/W or even write-once CDs and DVDs have been known to have finite shelf lives for decades now. Yes.

One solution is to rewrite them every few years, but that's time consuming, and unless you have a really compelling reason to do so, the investment needed to make this practical, with autoloaders, labelers, and such is prohibitive. At work, the old mainframe reel tape libraries were converted to robotics 30 years ago, then converted to cartridges, and and finally about 12 years ago to a virtualized tape environment - all the requests still refer to carts and such, as if the arms are still running around grabbing plastic, but it's in a SAN and that's properly backed up and virtualized, at least so far as we can tell. Hopefully it's secured better than the storage on the Z series that went tits up this spring. I only lost around 20 VMs, but one had around 100 million customer reports that were lost, and the application software, and the server OS and all other software. About 7000 or so VMs were lost, some irretrievably since the owners didn't have offline copies. If Infoworld still published on paper, this would have worthy of the back page.

The best practice is probably to replicate that and copy optical media to something more durable, replicate it, and keep the originals if you must in a cooler environment, as heat seems to be a factor. Some brands have had worse longevity than others, but that's a crap shoot.

Now ask me about my cassette tape archives, or the 10" reel tapes I would have to buy a machine to use... Sentimental value now, I'm sure they would need go go back to 3M to be recovered.

Data archiving is a pain. I've given in to archiving everything, rather than wring my hands over what 10% of it I really don't need.

Comment Yard Sales (Score 3, Interesting) 277

I buy a lot of older CDs at yard sales to fill in my collections, though others are figuring this out.


- No DRM, subscriptions, licensing. These are MINE, all MINE! Bahahahahah!

- Rip them to my music services.

- Save them to both my archives.

- Long-term storage of the discs.

- And it's a cheap way to buy old music. Oh, I mentioned that.

Submission + - FBI Files Say China Firm Pushed U.S. Experts for Nuclear Secrets (

mdsolar writes: A state-owned Chinese power company under indictment in the U.S. pressed American nuclear consultants for years to hand over secret technologies and documents they weren’t supposed to disclose — and in some cases it got them, several of the consultants have told the FBI.
Summaries of the consultants’ interviews with agents from the Federal Bureau of Investigation were filed this month in a federal court where the company, China General Nuclear Power Corp., has been charged with conspiring to steal nuclear technology.
The FBI documents surfaced shortly after the same company became a focus of concerns across the Atlantic: The U.K. last month delayed approval of the country’s biggest nuclear power station in a generation as questions swirled about whether China General Nuclear’s investment in the plant poses a security risk.

The filings provide a window into the tactics of CGN, China’s biggest nuclear power operator. One of the consultants said CGN employees asked for off-limits operational manuals to nuclear equipment and software, according to the interview summaries. Another said he was asked to provide proprietary temperature settings for material used to contain nuclear fuel. After he refused, he wasn’t offered more consulting jobs, he told the FBI.
Employees of CGN “frequently asked for documents which were proprietary or limited to restricted access,” according to a summary of one interview. In several instances, the company got what it wanted, according to the FBI documents.

Submission + - Google Fiber reportedly told to cut half its staff to offset subscriber shortfal (

walterbyrd writes: Alphabet CEO Larry Page is not happy with the speed of Google Fiber's rollout and last month told the unit's chief Craig Barratt to halve the unit's headcount to 500 and cut costs, sources told The Information.
Yet for all the costs sunk into Google Fiber, the service only had around 200,000 subscribers by the end of 2014, according to The Information, a figure that is well short of the five million hoped for within five years.

Submission + - Microsoft Bing uses Wikipedia (globally editable) data

RockDoctor writes: Though they're trying to minimise it, the recent relocation of Melbourne Australia to the ocean east of Japan in Microsoft's flagship mapping application is blamed on someone having flipped a sign in the latitude given for the city's Wikipedia page. Which may or may not be true. But the simple stupidity of using a globally-editable data source for feeding a mapping and navigation system is ... "awesome" is (for once) an appropriate word.

Well, it''s Bing, so at least no-one was actually using it.

Comment Re:My Instagram feed is nonexistent (Score 1) 80

It means that to diagnose you they would need a different set of inputs to feed the algorithms. You could apply the same methodology to Slashdot posts, Usenet posts, hand written letters or any other output generated by you.

"Those people that used the word nihlist were 40% more likely to be depressed while those people that made less negative comments tended to be less of a dick."

Or is it indicative of me not basing my worth on what random people think about my every waking moment?

Yeah, because Slashdot provides no feedback mechanisms. It's only since Facebook and Instagram have people ever known what others on the internet think of them and what they post.

Comment Worked for Amazon. (Score 4, Insightful) 153

"It's hardly rare for companies to lose large sums of money as they try to build significant markets and battle for market share,"

How long did Amazon lose money? Uber's just collecting data until they can get rid of the drivers and their cars and move to their own self driven vehicles using the infrastructure they're building now.

Comment Re:My Instagram feed is nonexistent (Score 1) 80

Or you're intelligent to have accounts but not give away everything.

I take pictures of college club sporting events for fun and upload to all of the above. If they (the sites) want my birth day it's the same birthday I've had since I was 16, sometime in the 1920s. If they want a picture of "Me" it's my company's logo.

Facebook, Instagram, et al are not that different from Usenet and IRC. They only have the information you give them. It's not Usenet's fault if I decide to upload my home address to the service.

Slashdot Top Deals

Natural laws have no pity.