#427 August 24th, 2015 – New Intel Hard Drives Poised to Ramp Up Computing!

This week’s headline story: New Intel Hard Drives Poised to Ramp Up Computing!

optainWe’re used to hearing about processors becoming exponentially faster every couple of years. But with processing speeds so fast already, our personal computing experience is often not impacted. The new Optane drive from Intel coming next year is expected to move your data as much as 1,000 times faster than the best solid state drives today. That’s an upgrade that will provide a noticeable improvement in your computing experience. The sluggish speed of data storage compared to the pace at which processors can work on data has become a significant bottleneck on the capabilities of computers.

Today’s flash memory chips store data using a grid of clumps of electrons trapped on silicon to represent the 0s and 1s of digital data. The 3D Xpoint technology used in Intel’s Optane drive, uses a grid formed from metal wires layered over one another to store data using electricity to change the arrangement of atoms inside material trapped at each junction of the grid. Just like flash, 3D Xpoint chips hold onto data even when powered down. While the initial Optane drives are expected to be only 7 times as fast as current solid state drives (which in itself is significant), the technology provides a platform to ramp up speed over future iterations of development.

Other Headline News…

  • FCC Fines Smart City $750K for Blocking Wi-Fi Hotspots [NewsFactor]
    The FCC has fined a company called Smart City Holdings $750,000 for blocking access to personal Wi-Fi services at convention centers. “It is unacceptable for any company to charge consumers exorbitant fees to access the Internet while at the same time blocking them from using their own personal Wi-Fi hotspots to access the Internet,” said Travis LeBlanc, chief of the FCC’s Enforcement Bureau. “All companies who seek to use technologies that block FCC-approved Wi-Fi connections are on notice that such practices are patently unlawful.”
  • AT&T Reportedly Showed ‘Extreme Willingness To Help’ NSA Spying [NewsFactor]
    The most recent NSA documents leaked by Edward Snowden reveal that AT&T participated in a long-standing and “highly collaborative” partnership giving the agency access to billions of e-mails and other online communications on its networks. Although previous documents from Snowden showed that AT&T wasn’t the only telecom company that collaborated with the NSA, its participation has been “unique” and “especially productive,” according to the latest report.
  • Startup Aims to Beat Google to Market with Self-Driving Golf Cart [Technology Review]
    Self-driving cars are nearly ready for the market, and it’s likely that the first place you’ll see them are theme parks, vacation resorts and retirement communities. Rather than deploying cars to city streets, the startup Auro is focused on the more modest goal of providing slower, less showy autonomous vehicles to ferry people around the private grounds of universities, retirement communities, and resorts. The company may be the first to deploy driverless-vehicals commercially in the U.S.

in Information Security News…

  • Hackers Publish Names, Data of Ashley Madison Users [NewsFactor]
    The hackers responsible for breaking into the systems of cheating Web site Ashley Madison have apparently made good on their threat to publicly dump data about the site’s millions of users. First revealed in July, the hack attack by a group calling itself the “Impact Team” was launched with a warning for the site — as well as another site called Established Men — to shut down. Last week the hackers published 9.7 gigabytes of member data on the dark Web. According to a text message titled “Time’s Up!” accompanying the files, the hackers wrote: “Avid Life Media has failed to take down Ashley Madison and Established Men. We have explained the fraud, deceit, and stupidity of ALM and their members. Now everyone gets to see their data.”
  • Lightning Hits Google Data Center, Causes Cloud Outages [NewsFactor]
    A lot of people are storing data in the cloud convinced that it is safer than local storage. Well, in most cases they are correct, but not in 100 percent of cases. A series of four lightning strikes on the local power grid knocked out power to the Google Compute Engine (GCE) data center in Belgium, leading to a permanent loss of a small amount of recently stored data. Google said the lost data amounted to “less than 0.000001 percent” of the space on allocated persistent disks in the region, but depending on how much data it stores, that could be your entire file system.
  • Google Patches Another High-Severity Android Bug [NewsFactor ]
    Microsoft Issues Emergency Patch for Critical Internet Explorer Bug [NewsFactor]
    Google has patched another high-severity bug in Android, as Microsoft issued an emergency patch for a critical Internet Explorer bug. Make sure to keep your software up-to-date!

and in Tech Industry news…

and finally…

  • Polyera Breaks Mold with Flexible Display Product [NewsFactor]
    A company named Polyera just rolled out a smart watch – or perhaps it would be more accurately described as a smart watchband, that utilizes a flexible display to wrap the latest news, weather, email, and just about any other digital information around your wrist.

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