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Comment Seriously though... (Score 3, Insightful) 295

I worked in a legal firm which specialized in e-discovery and forensics, they weren't data-recovery specialists, but they were able to pull data from slack space and previously rewritten areas. But that is besides the point. For client-privacy reasons, legal reasons, and corporate policy, they ended up with hundreds of hard drives per month that needed to be destroyed with no possible way to recover the data. A $24 sledgehammer is certainly a cheap and fun sounding answer. But after smashing five hard drives, this stops being fun, you're making a lot of noise, and someone would need to clean up the mess. I'm sure OSHA wouldn't approve of that either. We were in a corporate office in the middle of New York City, so smart-ass solutions like thermite; sodium hydroxide; shooting them with a .45, a shotgun, or a bazooka aren't going to fly. Because of chain of custody, you couldn't even take the hard disks into an empty field to do this. The guy responsible for destruction started unscrewing everything, taking out the platters, then punching a hole in the platters with a screw-press. But like the sledgehammer solution, this was slow labor-intensive. I believe they ended up using a qualified HD destruction service, who would come to your office once a month, and give you metal confetti back. This of course isn't cheap. Eventually, purchasing one of these Garner devices would make economic sense. My point is, sure, given our own devices, we can think of quick and fun ways to destroy a hard disk. But when you are limited by government and corporate rules, companies like Garner aren't just greedy, but filling a real need.

Comment I don't feel bad for Brittanica (Score 2) 288

Even though my family owned a full set of Encyclopedia Brittanica and Comptons, I don't feel too bad for them. EB later turned out to be a Patent Troll. I used to work for one of the Defendants in their bizzare lawsuits on GPS manufacturers. Apparently, if you search a CD you are stealing their IP or something.

Amazon EC2 Failure Post-Mortem 117

CPE1704TKS tips news that Amazon has provided a post-mortem on why EC2 failed. Quoting: "At 12:47 AM PDT on April 21st, a network change was performed as part of our normal AWS scaling activities in a single Availability Zone in the US East Region. The configuration change was to upgrade the capacity of the primary network. During the change, one of the standard steps is to shift traffic off of one of the redundant routers in the primary EBS network to allow the upgrade to happen. The traffic shift was executed incorrectly and rather than routing the traffic to the other router on the primary network, the traffic was routed onto the lower capacity redundant EBS network. For a portion of the EBS cluster in the affected Availability Zone, this meant that they did not have a functioning primary or secondary network because traffic was purposely shifted away from the primary network and the secondary network couldn't handle the traffic level it was receiving."

Comment Personally, I welcome the no cellphone rule (Score 1) 532

I am glad that there are no cellphone rules on airplanes. Someone sitting next to me gabbing all the way through the flight is just as irritating to me as a crying baby, a toddler kicking the back of my seat, or people who insist on bringing their yipping toy poodle on board in a pet carrier. The last three things are allowed on board planes, and it's something I must tolerate. Air travel experience is already getting crappier and crappier everyday with the no more free in-flight meals, the enhanced pat downs, and even making a bomb jokes in an airport is a federal crime! But, please, let's not allow more irritations! I don't want to hear some self-absorbed executive discuss his business deals or some twenty-something hipster updating their FP profile with "taking off now!". Ug. Just put everything away for a couple of hours and let me go to sleep, will ya?

FBI and NYPD Officers Sent On Museum Field Trip 70

In an attempt to "refresh their sense of inquiry" FBI agents, and NYPD officers are being sent to a course at New York's Metropolitan Museum of Art. The Art of Perception hopes to improve an officers' ability to accurately describe what they see during an investigation by studying art. From the article: "Amy Herman, the course leader, said: 'We're getting them off the streets and out of the precincts, and it refreshes their sense of inquiry. They're thinking, "Oh, how am I doing my job," and it forces them to think about how they communicate, and how they see the world around them.' Ms Herman, an art historian, originally developed the course for medical students, but successfully pitched it as a training course to the New York Police Academy."

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