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Data Storage

Submission + - Ask Slashdot: Best non-offsite backup/protection of data? 3

An anonymous reader writes: I know that most people out there use backup services into the cloud now, offsite, but does anyone out there have good ideas on how to best protect data without it leaving the site? I'm a photographer and shoot 32GB to 64GB in a couple of hours. I've got about 8TB of images over the past decade and just can't imagine paying to host them somewhere offsite. I don't make enough money as it is. Currently I just redundantly back them up to hard drives in different rooms of my house, but that's a total crapshoot — if there's a fire, I'd be out of luck. Does anyone keep a hard disk or NAS inside a fireproof safe? In a bunker in the cellar? In the detatched garage? It's so much data that even doing routine backups bogs the system down for days. I'd love suggestions, especially from gamers or videographers who have TBs they need to back up, on what options there are on a limited budget to maximize protection. Thank you!

Submission + - While Early Carnivorous Ancestors Thrived, Vegetarians Went Extinct (

An anonymous reader writes: It is perhaps intrinsically human, to wonder about your origins. Now, new research has emerged that has found that our ancestors' dietary habits had a hand in keeping some alive and driving others extinct. Specifically, research has found that ancestors who were vegetarians died out while their meat-eating counterparts – our ancestors – thrived.
Vincent Balter, of the École Normale Supérieure in Lyon, and his colleagues in Toulouse, France and Johannesburg, South Africa studied the enamel in fossilized teeth. According to the study published in the most recent issue of Nature, "Laser ablation profiles of strontium/calcium, barium/calcium and strontium isotope ratios in tooth enamel are a means to decipher intra-individual diet and habitat changes." In other words, the researchers used lasers to quantify the amount of barium, calcium, and strontium, which allowed them to determine their diets and where they lived.

Submission + - Archival for Audiophiles

An anonymous reader writes: I have a confession to make: I'm an audiophile. This doesn't mean that I paint arrows on my hi-fi cables to tell the electrons which way to travel but it does mean that I own several terabytes of well recorded (and expensive) lossless audio.

I'd still like to be listening to this stuff in 50 years time. What is the best way to store my digital music collection while ensuring integrity in the long term?

RAID? Tape? Checksums? Error Correcting codes?

Submission + - New Species Discovered, Thanks to Flickr (

sciencehabit writes: Researchers browsing Flikr have spotted a previously unknown species of lacewing. The images were taken in a forested park north of Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, by an amateur photographer and then posted online. The new species—dubbed Semachrysa jade, not for its green color but for the lead researcher’s daughter—may represent the vanguard of many such finds made possible by collaborations between nature photographers and office-bound scientists.
The Military

Submission + - Meet DARPA's New Militarized Earthworm

derekmead writes: Meshworm is an indestructible, robotic earthworm that can crawl virtually silently at a speed of about 5 millimeters per second. DARPA wants to send it into battle.

Believe it or not, the Pentagon’s been working on building a robotic earthworm for a while. They tried putting one together with gears. They tried with air-powered and pneumatic pumps, but the results were bulky and untenable. Then, researchers at Harvard, MIT and Seoul National University in Korea put their heads together and designed an “artificial muscle.” It’s essentially a polymer mesh that’s wrapped with nickel and titanium wire designed to stretch and contract with heat. When an electric current is applied, the mesh mimics the circular muscle system of an earthworm to scoot forward.

Comment Re:Whew! (Score 1) 299

My post wasn't intended as a flamebait and, to be honest, I don't necessarily think that it needs to be interpreted as such. I just wish that the article had been less of an ad for Linux (which is really all it is) and had instead discussed some of the (genuinely interesting) computational problems that the scientists encountered. The really interesting things here are the underlying mathematics, the design and operation of the accelerator and the algorithms and hardware on which the analysis was performed. I don't really believe that the fact that everything ran on Linux is all that interesting. According to my wife (who does this kind of thing for a living, albeit in Japan and on a smaller scale) most of the libraries that she needs to run her algorithms can be found on Solaris or Linux and she (and her group) are quite happy to use either: to some extend OS just isn't all that important.

Comment Fanboys... (Score -1, Flamebait) 299

No, Linux didn't play a vital role; computing, brains, mathematics and a big-ass particle accelerator did. On the computational side, BSD, Windows, Aix, Irix, Solaris could have all done exactly the same thing. I thought Mac Fanboys were bad, but Linux uncovering the fundamental nature of the universe? Wow.

Comment Fanboys (Score 1) 1

Yes, but Windows, Irix, AIX, BSD, Mac OS X, Solaris, etc could also have done this (with the right hardware and a bit of tweaking). Linux didn't discover Higgs: brains, mathematics, computing and a big-ass particle accelerator did.

Comment Re:That's just what it is. (Score 1) 2

I wouldn't call it a stupid question as such. At the moment, the system functions as a beacon when a crash occurs but in normal operation there's no tracking going on: it really isn't a tracker in the conventional sense of the word. The real question is would it ever be possible to activate the beacon remotely without a crash occurring (which really would turn it into a giant tracking device). It would be desirable to have safeguards at a hardware level to prevent this. Maybe OP should have titled it "Members of the European Parliament back remote safety beacons in cars" to eliminate any confusion.

Submission + - Members of the European Parliament back remote safety trackers in cars ( 2

An anonymous reader writes: The Register reports that Members of the European Parliament are backing plans for mandatory GPS tracking devices to be fitted in all cars sold in Europe. The system is designed to automatically contact the emergency services in the event of a collision and inform them of the location of the incident.

The Register estimates that the system will cost €5m for every life saved.

As well as questioning whether the money could be better spend elsewhere, one could also ask how long it will take before the system is turned into a giant remote tracking system. Perhaps it's worth remembering the UK's nationwide 'Automatic number plate recognition system'.


Submission + - China tries to get the UN to censor the net ( 1

Omnifarious writes: "China (along with other member nations) is trying to push a proposal through a little known UN agency called the International Telecommunications Union (aka ITU). This proposal contains a wide variety of problematic provisions that represent a huge power grab on the part of the UN, and a severe threat to a continued global and open Internet."

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