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Submission + - Cloud Storage Comparison

fasuin writes: Which is the most advanced cloud storage solution? Which is the impact of server locations? What are the benefits of advanced techniques to optimise data transfers? Researchers from Italy and The Netherlands have come out with a set of benchmarks that allowed them to compare Dropbox, CloudDrive, SkyDrive and GoogleDrive. Which is the best? You can check it by yourself by running the tests on your own if you like.

Submission + - How to kick Microsoft out of your organisation (techrepublic.com)

An anonymous reader writes: The story behind Munich City Council's decision to ditch Microsoft Windows and Office in favour of open source software. The project leader talks about why the shift was primarily about freedom, in this case freeing itself from being tied into Microsoft's infrastructure and having control over the software it uses. He talks about how the council managed to keep on track such a large project, affecting 15,000 people and spanning nine years. He also warns against organisations justifying the shift to open source software on the grounds that it will save money, arguing this approach is always likely to fail.

Submission + - InfiniSQL: Hackers and Guinea Pigs Sought! (infinisql.org) 1

mtravis writes: InfiniSQL is a free massively scalable relational database which just released an alpha version. Over 500,000 complex transactions per second on 12 small x86_64 nodes. Depending on how it's defined, this is arguably the most scalable SQL-capable database in existence, and it's in it infancy. Please help hack and test your workloads against it. We need to build a community to get this project further off the ground!

Submission + - 10 TB cloud storage for free

jandersen writes: Chinese Tencent are going to launch a free, 10TB cloud storage service:


10TB is some 5000 times more than Dropbox, and 666 times more than what you get with Google (Yes, I know, that number keeps cropping up, doesn't it?)

What will no doubt worry people is that it is a Chinese company, although they are planning to store the data outside of China. I guess, with the NSA scandal unfolding, it is just a question of choosing your poison.

Submission + - Google Completes SSL Upgrade to 2048 Bit RSA (threatpost.com)

msm1267 writes: Google announced today that it has completed the upgrade of all its SSL certificates to 2048-bit RSA or better, coming in more than a month ahead of schedule.
Google announced in May that it had begun work on changing all its key lengths and that it wanted to do so before the end of 2013. That was a little more than two weeks before the first Edward Snowden leaks and bombshell revelations about NSA surveillance on Americans in the name of national security.
By choosing the longer key lengths, Google makes cracking the SSL connections that encrypt and secure banking transactions, email communication and more online that much tougher. The NSA, however, has had success obtaining user data either via a warrant, National Security Letter, or allegedly by subverting NIST-sponsored crypto algorithms.

Submission + - Government Admits Area 51 Exists Sans Aliens

voul writes: Philip Bump in an article writes the government admits the existence of Area 51. 'Newly declassified documents, obtained by George Washington University's National Security Archive, appear to for the first time acknowledge the existence of Area 51,' Bump writes. 'Hundreds of pages describe the genesis of the Nevada site that was home to the government's spy plane program for decades. The documents do not, however, mention aliens. '

Submission + - Ask Slashdot: Printing options for low resource settings

bjhonermann writes: The Zambian government (along with partners) are currently rolling out an electronic medical records (EMR) system in public health facilities. The project has been going on for some time and is already in 600+ facilities with more than 700,000 patient records. One problem we're facing is that most information is still being double entered in the EMR as well as on primary paper documents at the facility, and sometimes additionally transcribed to paper registers. This double/triple entry takes time away from nurses who are already in short supply. There's an inability to fully move away from partially paper based systems both because clients often move between ‘paper clinics’ and ‘electronic clinics’ in the same communities and for follow-up care, and because the power systems in many sites are unreliable and require that there be sufficient paper backups of records for operations during periods where power is unavailable — perhaps for weeks at a time. We're providing solar panels and battery backups for sites, which work increasingly well with newer low power cpu’s, but even if the power issue were solved this would not address the need for portable paper documents. The key objective of eliminating redundant manual entry of forms and paper registers by nurses might be accomplished if we had low cost low power B/W printers available at sites so that critical information could be entered electronically and then printed out as needed, either for client carried purposes (transfers/visits to ‘paper facilities’) or to serve as local backup when power is an issue. However, we've yet to find printing solutions that seem appropriate to the context and are hopeful the Slashdot crowd may have some ideas.

Criteria we're looking at:
1. Reliability: The printers need to be very low maintenance and be able to cope with dusty environments.
2. Cost: Obviously, costs need to be kept as low as possible. No cap on the cost of printers precisely, but the net cost per page over time is critical. More expensive printers with cheaper and standard consumables are likely to be preferred to cheaper printers with expensive consumables.
3. Ink duration/lifespan: While all sites would be printing at least weekly, the amount actually printed may vary between no more than a few pages each week to several hundreds of pages. This means that whatever ink/toner cartridge/etc needs to have a long shelf life as well as lifespan. Zambia is not terribly hot, but has a humid rainy season and no climate control can be expected.
4. Low power consumption: As stated, ~15% of sites (and growing) are operating only with solar panels.
5. Quality: The quality of the printing can be quite low. Must be legible but can be ugly. No need for color. However, the pages/text need to have approximately a 5yr duration before the ink is unreadable.
6. Label Printing: There is also a need to print labels for specimens (freezer tolerant) and for drug dispensations. This may well be a different product, and early implementations will be in higher volume facilities that might not be as sensitive to power, but there will be a need for a low-power version eventually.

Our instinct is that dot-matrix printers would fit the bill nicely, but the options there seem to be limited and the long-term sourcing of supplies (ribbons, perforated paper) isn't entirely clear. What other options would the Slashdot community recommend?

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