Posts Tagged 'systems'

Western Digital buys Silicon Systems

Well hello there! It looks like Western Digital thinks solid state drives are worth investing in. Silicon Systems just got snapped up by WD for $65 million. It seems for a little while SSD technology has been searching for something … a legitimate place amongst the big boys when it came to data storage. I think this purchase makes a good case for the technology hitting mainstream with a bigger push. But rather than just a re-branded Silicon Systems solid state drive, I’d prefer to see Western Digital integrate the technology into their existing research and development. I’d like to see some innovative approach seeing how WD has the resources to do it.

So does this acquisistion put pressure on Seagate to make a purchase as well? I think if you see a Western Digital SSD sitting next to a lesser known brand at the store, you’re going to stick with WD. It certainly sets the bar for other companies looking to sell. I wouldn’t be surprised to see Seagate make a similar purchase or announce that their brand of SSD’s to be shipping soon.

British hacker to face the music in the U.S.

You wanted to see if you could do it and then you did. Congrats! One thing. You got caught. Don’t expect the British government to bail you out. The British want to keep the U.S. relations all chummy, you see. I bet this will wipe that snide smile off your face. Have fun getting your butt waxed in prison.

“Gary McKinnon has lost his legal challenge against extradition to the United States to face charges of hacking into NASA and military systems.

Two weeks ago, McKinnon’s legal team submitted his application to the ECHR. Under the terms of the application, the U.K. government could not extradite McKinnon. This legal block has now been lifted.” (link)

U.S. cracks TJ Maxx data theft case

The US authorities have charged 11 people in connection with the theft of credit-card details in the country’s largest-ever identity theft case.

They are accused of stealing more than 40 million credit and debit card numbers before selling the information.

They allegedly hacked into the computer systems of several major US retailers and installed software to access account details and passwords.

Prosecutors said the alleged fraud was an “international conspiracy”.

‘Increasing vulnerability’

Three of those charged are US citizens. The others come from Estonia, Ukraine, Belarus and China.

The 11 suspects are alleged to have obtained card numbers, account information and password details by driving around neighbourhoods and hacking into wireless equipment. (link)

Military working on nanobots to swarm the enemy

BAE Systems will lead a team of scientists that will develop miniature robots to improve military situational awareness. The company signed a $38 million agreement with the U.S. Army Research Laboratory to lead an alliance of researchers and scientists from the Army, academia and industry.

The Micro Autonomous Systems and Technology (MAST) Collaborative Technology Alliance will research and develop advanced robotic equipment for use in urban environments and complex terrain, such as mountains and caves. The alliance will create an autonomous, multifunctional collection of miniature intelligence-gathering robots that can operate in places too inaccessible or dangerous for humans.

“Robotic platforms extend the warfighter’s senses and reach, providing operational capabilities that would otherwise be costly, impossible, or deadly to achieve,” said Dr. Joseph Mait, MAST cooperative agreement manager for the Army Research Laboratory. “The MAST alliance is a highly collaborative effort, with each partner from government, academia, and industry playing a significant role.” (link)

11 yr old becomes network manager, pwns you

When Victory Baptist School, a small private school in Millbrook, Ala., was struggling to keep its computer network together last year, an 11-year-old student named Jon Penn stepped in as network manager.

Penn did it to help his mother, Paula, the school librarian who had computer support added to her workload a week before the school year started when the existing IT systems overseer suddenly departed. For Jon — who says his favorite reading material is computer trade magazines — it’s been the experience of a lifetime, even getting to select and install a gateway security appliance largely by himself.

“This is kind of a small school, and I’m known as the computer whiz,” the sixth grader says (For more offbeat networking stories, read our Wider Net archives.)

“We spent $2,158,” says young Penn, describing how he picked out the McAfee Secure Internet Gateway Appliance after evaluating it in a 30-day trial. He also looked at the Barracuda box — a tad more costly — and tried the Untangle open source product, which he said didn’t meet the school’s needs as well.

His school needed a gateway to protect against attacks, filter viruses and spam, and block inappropriate sites. Keeping costs down is important since the school is operating on a shoestring budget to keep its 60 aging computers, a donation from years ago, working for the roughly 200 students permitted to use them, along with the teachers.

The first thing Jon found as he leapt into the role of network manager was that he had to map out the network to find out what was on it. He bought some tools for this at CompUSA and realized there was an ungodly amount of computer viruses and spam, so he pressed the school to invest in filtering and antivirus protection. (link)

Verizon comes up with P4P, double the fun of P2P?

The Distributed Computing Industry Association’s P4P workgroup is devising a new protocol for what researchers describe as carrier-grade peer-to-peer file transfer systems. Verizon reports that a recent test it conducted revealed that the new protocol provides a significant boost in download performance while simultaneously reducing network congestion.

P4P, which stands for Proactive network Provider Participation for P2P, ultimately aims to decrease backbone traffic and bring down network operation costs by enabling service providers to communicate information about network conditions to client applications for the purpose of facilitating improved P2P file transfer performance. Instead of selecting peers at random, the P4P protocol leverages network topology data so that peers can be selected in a manner that increases routing efficiency. (link)

U.S. government spying on cell phone calls

A U.S. government office in Quantico, Virginia, has direct, high-speed access to a major wireless carrier’s systems, exposing customers’ voice calls, data packets and physical movements to uncontrolled surveillance, according to a computer security consultant who says he worked for the carrier in late 2003.

“What I thought was alarming is how this carrier ended up essentially allowing a third party outside their organization to have unfettered access to their environment,” Babak Pasdar, now CEO of New York-based Bat Blue told Threat Level. “I wanted to put some access controls around it; they vehemently denied it. And when I wanted to put some logging around it, they denied that.”

Pasdar won’t name the wireless carrier in question, but his claims are nearly identical to unsourced allegations made in a federal lawsuit filed in 2006 against four phone companies and the U.S. government for alleged privacy violations. That suit names Verizon Wireless as the culprit. (link)


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