Warning: Creating default object from empty value in /home3/duffx/public_html/tweetsharp.com/wp-content/themes/statua/functions/admin-hooks.php on line 160
Archive | November, 2012

New Millennia Glass Storage from Hitachi

Hitachi has recently unveiled a new data storage system that utilizes quartz glass. The company claims that the system will be able to retain data for hundreds of millions of years.

The storage system developed by company researchers uses a sliver of glass measuring 2 cm squared with 2 mm thickness. It is said to hold 40 MB of data per square inch, which is about the same volume as a standard compact disc. This is achieved by writing the data in binary format through a process of dot lasering on the quartz glass in four distinct layers. More layers can be added to increase storage density of the system, thus increasing the volume of data that can be stored.

According to Hitachi Chief Researcher Kazuyoshi Torii, in an interview with Agence France- Presse, “The volume of data being created everyday is exploding, but in terms of keeping it for later generations, we haven’t necessarily improved since the days we inscribed things on stones. The possibility of losing information may actually have increased.”

Torii pointed out that compact discs and magnetic tape storage was predicted to remain viable for a few decades at most, but in reality can last only years. It was also shown that the glass is able to retain the information after being heated to 1,000 degrees Celsius for over two hours. The glass is also able to resist radiation exposure, water ingress and many other forms of chemicals. This, he added, could allow the data to become retrievable even after hundreds of millions of years, unless the hard glass is broken.

While the project extols the virtues of data storage, reading the data is another matter altogether. The research team at Hitachi opted to use the simple binary format to allow future generations to read and recover data embedded in these quartz glass devices even by just the use of a simple microscope.

This problem is not a novel one, as one of the first storage systems projecting millions of years of integrity and reliability was NASA’s golden record. This was a compact disc that contained images and sounds of the Earth that was included in the payloads of Voyager 1 and 2. Alongside the discs were a stylus and cartridge as well as images that provide instructions on how to play the disc and details on the current location of the Earth.

While the concept of alien life reading our data is still science fiction, the concept of glass storage being able to survive a hundred million years would create a conundrum, as the human race as we know it may not even exist at around that time. Current studies have theorized that the average lifespan of a species is about ten million years, which at the rate that humans are befouling Mother Earth, may be sooner rather than later. Whatever life forms survive after man, the data stored in the quartz glass would be preserved and waiting to be recovered.

Samsung Goes After iPhone5

The chief competitor of Apple in the smartphone market, the Korean technology giant Samsung has again taken legal action, this time on the iPhone 5. The new court papers filed alleged that the recently launched device had infringed on eight of the patents of Samsung.

The move came through an amendment to its original lawsuit filed in April against Apple, adding the iPhone 5 to the list of devices that had been alleged to infringe on the patents of Samsung. Other devices included in the suit are the iPhone 4, the iPhone 4S, iPad 2 and “the new iPad.”

The main issue in the patent infringement suit is the alleged use of Samsung’s LTE or “Long Term Evolution” connectivity for the next generation smartphone. The new iPhone 5, after scrutiny, confirmed that it had features similar and/or identical to Samsung’s speedy fourth generation wireless networking system. According to Samsung, there were eight specific patents at issue, amongst them are six utility patents and two standard essential patents which are separate and distinct from its LTE patent portfolio.

In a statement, Samsung said “We have little choice but to take the steps necessary to protect our innovations and intellectual property rights.” The Korean giant also included the iPhone 5 as a federal judge had issued an order that dissolved the three month ban on the sale of Samsung’s Galaxy Tab 10.1 in the United States. The order had a stipulation that the dissolution order may be reversed once Samsung has been found innocent on charges of patent infringement on the Apple tablet design, which the latter had patented and was upheld last month in another case between the two consumer electronics firms.

Fighting the Terror War Online

According to a report on Wired penned by Spencer Ackerman, a project codenamed Viral Peace would be using harassment and irrelevant comments as techniques to sow chaos in jihadi forums and other online communities. The goal is to hurt Islamist extremist’s recruitment activities online.

Ackerman terms this as “strategic trolling, in pursuit of geopolitical pawnage”. The creator, Shahed Amanullah told Wired that he hopes to use ‘logic, humor, satire, religious arguments, not just to confront extremists but to undermine and demoralize them. “The recent months have shown that Muslims in Indonesia, Malaysia, Pakistan, the Philippine and have started to train Trolling 101 on the premise that Muslims would understand how best to agitate these extremist communities to bring out the best in these individuals.

This begs the question as to the efficacy of this process to continue the War on Terror. The first rule in communities is ‘Don’t feed the trolls.’ This may be one reason as to the effect why a jihadi would understand to ignore a troll and avoid them. One expert on the subject, Professor Jonathan Bishop said through an email, “The US government is not going anywhere by flame trolling Jihads. Bishop is a co-founder of Crocels Trolling Academy, a non-profit initiative at Swansea University in Wales. The goal of the research is to study psychology and the effects of trolling and he believes this process may end up backfiring on the users. He says, “The US should expect Jihads to ‘fight flame with flame’ or even worse ‘fight flame with firearms’.”

The program still has to identify which online communities are hotbeds for jihadi activity as well as how best to undertake the trolling. Amanullah believes that these decisions are best left to the trollers, as being on the ground gives them an insight as to internet cultures and where they are located compared to some State Department pencil pusher. There is also scant funding for the project, making it all plans and potentially without any execution.