Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Seagate Launches 10TB Helium-Filled Hard Drive

According to an article in eWeek, Seagate recently unveiled its highest capacity ever enterprise hard drive, a 10TB helium-filled design, that competes directly with similar drives manufactured by HGST and Samsung. Because it is filled with helium instead of air, the 3.5-inch Seagate Enterprise Capacity HDD has less drag on its internal components, enabling them to run cooler and with less power than standard HDDs.

Samsung currently owns the capacity record with a 16TB hard disk it introduced last fall, but it lists for $7,000 and probably isn't going to be high on many wish lists until the price comes down by at least 50 percent. HGST may be the furthest ahead of the group, since its 10TB helium drive came out in September 2014. Seagate is aiming the new drive at cloud-based data storage needs.
The 10TB HDD uses the standard 3.5-inch disk design and incorporates seven platters and 14 heads. Seagate said the drive features the industry's lowest power/TB ratio and weight specifications for a 10TB HDD. This breaks down to 25 percent more density to help businesses increase the number of petabytes per rack, the company said.

If anyone remembers the PC’s of the 1980’s it was common to have 10-40MB of hard drive storage available. My dad had an IBM PC/AT with a 20 MB hard drive which was "handed down" to me when I was in grade school. The drive currently sits disassembled in a box in my office. I checked the date on it and it was manufactured in June 1985! For comparison, this new drive represents a 1,000,000 times increase in storage capacity over the earliest hard drives.

Monday, December 28, 2015

Managing Technical Debt

Everyone knows they must manage their financial debt to be successful in business. Managing “Technical Debt” is another matter. Far from an imaginary concept, “tech debt” is real. Almost every project incurs technical debt over time. Typically during the development and production phases. Unrealistic expectations, "scope creep," stakeholder demands, or poor project management can encourage software development teams to sacrifice quality or take shortcuts. While some “tech debt” can speed the development process, unless it is “paid back” with a revision, the longer the debt is allowed to accrue the more difficult and expensive it becomes to fix. Just like financial debt, companies either must address it or ignore it at their own peril. Eventually the “loan comes due.” Steven Rabin writing in the December issue of SD Times presents an excellent case for managing your technical debt. Highly recommended reading.

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Will Nuclear Fusion Change Our World?

What if our world was powered by a cheap, safe, clean, virtually limitless, sustainable fuel source such as water? If energy is cheap and available to all nations, that could reduce global political tensions. And if it comes from a clean-burning fuel source, that reduces air pollution. Billionaires such as Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, PayPal co-founder Peter Thiel and Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen have been big supporters or research into fusion as an energy source.

"What we're really doing here is trying to build a star on Earth," said Laban Coblentz at the International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor (ITER), a massive fusion reactor being built by 35 countries in southern France. Fusion is what keeps stars, including our own sun, burning bright. Nuclear Fusion is also the principle behind how a hydrogen bomb works.

As a source of energy, fusion works like this:

You take two gases called deuterium and tritium and you heat them under pressure to at least 100 million degrees Celsius. That's 180 million degrees Fahrenheit. These substances will get so hot that they change from gas to plasma. Then they fuse together releasing a burst of additional heat. That burst is called a fusion reaction. The heat boils water into steam, which drives a turbine and generates electricity that powers your neighborhood. To be commercially viable, you have to create more energy than the original energy you used to heat the fuel but so far we haven't been able to figure that part out. Yet.

You can read more about nuclear fusion in this article by Thom Patterson of CNN.

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Big Data Drives Revenue

According to a survey of more than 1,000 decision-makers worldwide sponsored by Capgemini and EMC, the majority of respondents said Big Data is a driver of revenue and is becoming as valuable to their businesses as existing products and services.

Below is a summary of their findings:


36 percent said that, due to the strategic importance of big data, they have had to circumvent IT teams to carry out the necessary data analytics required to gain business insights.

64 percent indicated that big data is changing traditional business boundaries and enabling new providers to move into their industry.

54 percent reported that their big data investments over the next three years will outstrip past investments.

43 percent already have or are currently reorganizing in order to exploit new big data opportunities.

61 percent acknowledge that big data is now a driver of revenues in its own right and is becoming as valuable to their businesses as their existing products and services.

24 percent of companies reported disruption from new competitors moving into their industry.

Read more about it at CIO|Insight.

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Black Hat 2015

The premier cybersecurity conference took place last week in Las Vegas. In case you weren't able to attend, PC Magazine has an awesome summary of the most significant and ominous developments at Black Hat 2015.

In the words of Max Eddy writing for PCMag: "Black Hat bills itself as the premiere show for offensive security, and it lived up to its promise. This year, we knew we'd hear about hacking Linux-powered rifles, remotely taking control of cars, and attacking Android phones with malicious text messages. But that was only the beginning.Though the Stagefright Android vulnerability was on everyone's mind, another Android security flaw was just as terrifying. This one allowed a clever attacker to use dormant plug-ins on most Android devices to take control of the phone as if the attacker were holding it. Other research focused on a clever attack that could steal all of your files from a cloud storage service without you ever being the wiser."

Monday, August 10, 2015

The Best Tablets of 2015

Looking for a back to school tablet? Or just want to upgrade? PC Magazine has a review of the “10 Best for 2015.” Read about them here.

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

The 10 Fastest Supercomputers in the World

For those of us who are old enough to remember the 80’s and 90’s there was an ongoing “competition” to determine which computer was the “world’s fastest.” During the 2000’s as technology became more “personal” most of the public tended to focus on the latest consumer technologies such as phones, tablets, gaming systems, HD displays, and smartwatches. However cutting edge research still occurs at the “high end.” The performance of some of these systems is nothing short of mind blowing. Here are the 10 Fastest Supercomputers in the world according to eWeek. Awesome!