When the power fails, no individual component gets a clean shutdown command; power is just removed. When this happens, some parts of the machine may last longer than other parts. One of the first things that will happen, is that the memory DIMMs will no longer be refreshed properly (DRAM needs to be refreshed constantly otherwise it will lose its data) and very rapidly, the memory will contain only garbage. The hard drives and DMA controller however, will run a bit longer; so if data is being written to disk, the DMA controller will keep reading data from memory, but it has no idea that this data is corrupted. Some file systems are more sensitive to this kind of failure, because of the different kinds of journaling they do.
There are certain machines which are protected against this type of data corruption, by having the power supply send an interrupt to the operating system when power fails, but ordinary class PC hardware does not. (link)
Published July 7, 2008
2.0 , news , technology
Tags: car, electric, gasoline, hybrid, motor, panels, power, prius, solar, toyota
Toyota Motor Corp. plans to install solar panels on its next-generation Prius hybrid cars, becoming the first major automaker to use solar power for a vehicle, the Nikkei business daily reported on Monday.
The paper said Toyota would equip solar panels on the roof of the high-end version of the Prius when it redesigns the gasoline-electric hybrid car early next year, and the power generated by the system would be used for the air conditioning. (link)
Published July 7, 2008
funny , gadgets , news , technology
Tags: battery, drive, eee, fight, hard, hardware, laptop, mag, pc, power, sata, ssd, toms
A few days ago, we published a story about how much better our Eee PC 1000H performed when we swapped the system’s 5,400rpm Seagate Momentus hard drive out for a Samsung SATA II SSD drive. Not only did the system boot faster and all apps load faster, but we got 20 more minutes of battery life with the SSD.
However, when we posted our story, we heard from users that Tom’s Hardware, a site we admire a great deal, recently published an article which claims that SSDs use more power than traditional hard drives. The Tom’s Hardware story got some major attention from sites like Engadget and even got a responses from SSD-makers Super Talent and Micron, who both claim that the drives used in the Tom’s test are “early generation” and therefore more power hungry than newer models.
Is Tom’s Hardware right? We don’t think so. (link)
Published June 3, 2008
gaming , news , technology
Tags: 360, energy, power, ps3, wii, xbox
Compared to basically every other appliance you have plugged in at home, the Playstation 3 sucks up more juice. That’s according to a new study by Australian consumer agency Choice, which found that when a PS3 is running, it sucks up five times more energy than a refrigerator. If you leave it on all the time for something like Folding@Home, you’re looking at an energy cost of nearly $250 a year.
The Xbox 360 isn’t all that much better, using 23.57kWh per week when idling compared to the PS3’s 31.74kWh. The Wii, on the other hand, is downright dainty in comparison, using only 2.97kWh per week when idling, less than 10% of the energy used by the PS3. (Gizmodo)
Cut down on energy costs and reduce your electric bill. Simply plug the easy-to-use Power Cost Controller with surge protection into the wall and connect your electronics to the power strip to see how efficient it really is. Large LCD display will count consumption and cost by the kilowatt-hour, same as your local utility. Monitor your electric consumption by hour, day, week, month, even an entire year. Also check the quality of your power by monitoring voltage, line frequency, and power factor. Measures 8-1800W appliances. Now you’ll know how much your computer network or home media center really costs! Replaceable 1.5V battery included. (link)
Published April 10, 2008
news , technology
Tags: company, consultant, grid, hack, ira, power, rsa, security, winkler
Cracking a power company network and gaining access that could shut down the grid is simple, a security expert told an RSA audience, and he has done so in less than a day.
Ira Winkler, a penetration-testing consultant, says he and a team of other experts took a day to set up attack tools they needed then launched their attack, which paired social engineering with corrupting browsers on a power company’s desktops. By the end of a full day of the attack, they had taken over several machines, giving the team the ability to hack into the control network overseeing power production and distribution.
Winkler says he and his team were hired by the power company, which he would not name, to test the security of its network and the power grid it oversees. He would not say when the test was done, but referred to the timeframe as “now.” The company called off the test after the team took over the machines. (link)
Published January 22, 2008
crime , news , technology
Tags: agency, central, cia, computer, criminals, cybercrime, hackers, intelligence, internet, power
Criminals have been able to hack into computer systems via the Internet and cut power to several cities, a U.S. Central Intelligence Agency analyst said this week.
Speaking at a conference of security professionals on Wednesday, CIA analyst Tom Donahue disclosed the recently declassified attacks while offering few specifics on what actually went wrong.
Criminals have launched online attacks that disrupted power equipment in several regions outside of the U.S., he said, without identifying the countries affected. The goal of the attacks was extortion, he said.
“We have information, from multiple regions outside the United States, of cyber intrusions into utilities, followed by extortion demands,” he said in a statement posted to the Web on Friday by the conference’s organizers, the SANS Institute. “In at least one case, the disruption caused a power outage affecting multiple cities. We do not know who executed these attacks or why, but all involved intrusions through the Internet.” (link)