Friday, January 30, 2015

Money for trainining construction workers (Beacon Council)

Mayor Gimenez's Employ Miami-Dade initiative to receive $30,000 donation 
(Miami, FL - Jan. 29, 2015) - Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos A. Gimenez's construction industry training and hiring program Employ Miami-Dade will receive a $30,000 training donation during the program's working group roundtable discussion on January 30 at The Beacon Council.

The Associated Builders and Contractors Florida East Coast Chapter secured the donation which is earmarked to train participants enrolled in the Employ Miami-Dade initiative. The check will be presented to Deputy Mayor Russell Benford, who oversees Employ Miami-Dade.

"The first phase of Employ Miami-Dade has been training our residents for jobs in the construction industry. The goal is to provide them with the necessary skills to be employable, and have employers hire our residents," Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos A. Gimenez said.

"This donation shows ABC understands there's a need for skilled and trained construction workers," The Beacon Council President & CEO Larry K. Williams said. 

Mayor Gimenez kicked off the program in December to build a local construction workforce by placing interested people in training programs and helping them secure employment in the construction industry. The program targets participants in economically disadvantaged neighborhoods and includes GED preparation and assistance at the CareerSource center. For more information visit , 

As the official economic development agency for Miami-Dade, The Beacon Council organized the working group meeting in order to help facilitate the program and offer assistance.

About The Beacon Council

The Beacon Council, Miami-Dade County's official economic development partnership, is a not-for-profit, public-private organization that focuses on job creation and economic growth by coordinating community-wide programs; promoting minority business and urban economic revitalization; providing assistance to local businesses in their expansion efforts; and marketing Greater Miami throughout the world.

Thursday, January 29, 2015

FTC Wants More Secure 'Internet of Things' (PCMagazine)

The FTC offered a series of recommendations for how businesses can keep Internet-connected devices secure.

How to Secure the Internet of Things Inside Your Home

How secure is the Internet of Things, and how do we make sure our Web-connected fridges aren't the next Lizard Squad target?
In a detailed report, the FTC today offered a series of recommendations for businesses to keep Internet-connected devices safe.
And as more fitness trackers are slapped onto wrists and smart household appliances set up on countertops, the IoT provides improved health-monitoring, safer highways, and more efficient home energy use. But, as the Commission pointed out, it also raises privacy and security concerns among the public.
"The only way for the Internet of Things to reach its full potential for innovation is with the trust of American consumers," FTC Chairwoman Edith Ramirez said in a statement.
The agency suggested companies take a more proactive role in security, from implementing extra measures to keep unauthorized users away from personal data, to limiting the collection of consumer information.
Data minimization, the FTC said, makes organizations less enticing to hackers, and provides people with peace of mind.
"We believe that by adopting the best practices we've laid out, businesses will be better able to provide consumers with protections they want and allow the benefits of the Internet of Things to be fully realized."
According to the Commission, more than 25 billion connected devices are currently in use worldwide. And that number is on the rise, as consumer goods companies, auto manufacturers, healthcare providers, and other businesses invest in connected devices.
Today's Commission report is based partly on input from the agency's Internet of Things workshop held in November 2013, as well as public comments.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Report: NSA Hacked North Korea Before Sony Breach (PCMagazine)

According to reports, the U.S. knew that North Korea hacked Sony Pictures because the U.S. had hacked North Korea.

Sony's The Interview

When the FBI said definitively last month that North Korea was "responsible" for the hack of Sony Pictures, there were those who doubted the veracity of the report.

How could North Korea, a country not exactly known for being a high-tech hub, pull off such a complex hack? And how did the U.S. conclude so quickly that the secretive nation was behind the attack?
As it turns out, the U.S. had some inside information. According to reports fromDer Spiegel and The New York Times, the U.S. knew that North Korea hacked Sony because the U.S. had hacked North Korea.
The National Security Agency (NSA), in fact, has had access to North Korean networks and computers since 2010, the Times said. Officials wanted to keep tabs on the country's nuclear program, its high-ranking officials, and any plans to attack South Korea, according to a document published by Der Spiegel.
North Korea did attack South Korea in 2013, crippling several of the nation's leading financial and media organizations. At one point, however, the hackers revealed their IP addresses - the same I.P. addresses that popped up again in the Sony hack.
Of course, it's relatively easy for a skilled hacker to spoof IP addresses. Some reports suggested that a disgruntled (and tech-savvy) former Sony employee was behind the breach, and was simply leading officials on a wild goose chase.
But U.S. officials seemed sure; the FBI put out a press release and even President Obama said he was confident that North Korea was behind the attack, leading him to later approve sanctions against the country.
As the Times pointed out, the move "was highly unusual: The United States had never explicitly charged another government with mounting a cyber attack on American targets."
If the U.S. had insider information, why did it not warn Sony? According to theTimes, the spear-phishing attacks that North Korea used to infiltrate Sony Pictures were nothing new and did not immediately ring any alarms until it was too late. "Only in retrospect did investigators determine that the North had stolen the 'credentials' of a Sony systems administrator, which allowed the hackers to roam freely inside Sony's systems," the paper said.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

CES 2015: Three trends to watch from the Google and Android ecosystems (TechRepublic)

CES is the proving ground for many new innovations in technology. Here are the Google and Android trends you need to know from CES 2015. 

The journey to Las Vegas every year for CES is something of a pilgrimage for technophiles. It is among the show tunes and slot machines that you will see the latest and greatest in tech, and identify the trends for the year ahead.
Google, however, typically isn't much of a center stage player at CES. The search company tends to release new products and information through its own, proprietary events, such as the I/O developer conference, where it doesn't have to share the spotlight with other companies.
While Google didn't divulge any earth-shattering news, or unveil its next big product at CES 2015, the company had a presence there and several of its partners shared new developments. Here are the top three trends to watch in the Google and Android ecosystems from CES 2015.

1. It starts in the home

Google hasn't been shy about its interest in the Internet of Things space. Early last year, the company acquired smart thermostat maker Nest Labs for $3.2 billion, catalyzing its headlong dive into the connected home. Much of what we saw at CES this year pointed to an even bigger play at this market.
Nest, which is still operated as a separate company, kicked off the CES festivities by announcing a host of new partnerships for home automation. The initiative is called "Works with Nest," and companies such as smart lock maker August, LG, Philips Hue, and UniKey joined Dropcam, Whirlpool, and Mercedes Benz as part of the collaboration effort.
Google's efforts in the home won't stop at automation, though.
When it comes to consumer electronics at CES, there were plenty of conversations around televisions, especially regarding 4K. Sony was one of the top exhibitors of 4K TVs, displaying its KDL-W850C series which has Android TV integration.
Google also recently released its Nexus Player and an updated version of the Chromecast, showing its eagerness to capitalize on the streaming video market. Another announcement it made at CES was the impending launch of Google Cast for audio. Soon, users will be able to stream audio from approved apps directly to compatible speakers. Additionally, there were third party products like the Razer Forge TV that use the Android OS to stream other media.

2. All about the automobile

Some of the biggest hype around Android at CES had to do with its Android Auto initiative, which is the Android OS powering specific vehicle infotainment displays. The initiative was announced earlier this year at the company's I/O conference for developers.
Audio company Pioneer was one of the first companies to roll out Apple's Carplay technology, and they showcased their aftermarket Android Auto integration at CES this year. Android Auto will be available on the second-generation NEX receivers by Pioneer in March 2015.
One of the fullest integrations came from Korean car manufacturer Hyundai. Called Blue Link, the Android Auto service built out by Hyundai is integrated with other tools such as car alarms and car starters. Hyundai took it one step further by building out an accompanying Android Wear app that allows users to remotely start or stop the engine, lock or unlock the doors, flash the lights, honk the horn, or geo locate the car.

3. Mobile reigns

Android, at its core, is still a mobile OS, and that was apparent at CES. Android news at the show centered around smartphones, specifically the LG Flex 2.
The Flex 2's keystone feature is its curved display. The phone's screen is 5.5 inches, setting it on the edge of the phablet category. The phones is powered by a Snapdragon 810 quad-core processor and will ship with Android 5.0.
Android Wear, Google's wearable initiative, has been a big undertaking for the company in 2014 and will continue to be a big part of its strategy in 2015. One of the most unique Android Wear smartwatches on display was the GoldKey Secure Communicator. The phone has its own secure storage and payments tools, setting it apart as a potential enterprise contender.

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Seven of the Most Unintentionally Creepy Ads of All Time (BusinessWeek)

A British homebuilder was forced to pull an advertisement for a luxury apartment building in London last week, after the ad was roundly mocked on social media for being appalling, terrifying, or both. “A glimpse into the psychotic mental state of housing in London,” said one viewer on Twitter. “A new low in the genre of dystopian / beyond-satire property ads from Redrow Homes,” tweeted a second, referring to the company that produced the ad. The ad's star, an actor whose appearance and vibe falls somewhere between Christian Bale in American Psycho and Christian Bale in Exodus, narrates the effects of his soul-sucking career and personal life over the type of score directors normally use to signal an impending murder.
The man argues with a woman who, chooses to be around him for some reason. He exhales forcefully. A '90s-model Nokia phone rings and rings, unanswered because our friend is busy having a terrible life.  A couple of good things happen to him over the course of the one-and-a-half-minute epic—he makes out with a woman in an elevator and shakes hands with a person in a suit—but most of the time it feels like you’re watching a really innovative ad for Zoloft. Then, with a disturbing smirk, the protagonist strolls into a shiny black apartment building that is the point of this story and had better have a lot of cool amenities because it’s the only positive thing in this person’s miserable existence. “If it was easy, then it wouldn’t feel as good,” he says, incorrectly. 
Maybe we didn’t get it quite right with this one," a Redrow London spokespersontold the Telegraph. Not getting it quite right is a specialty of advertisers, who evince a long tradition of accidentally creating alarming, sometimes vaguely offensive, scenarios in their attempts to get products noticed. Here are six more examples of unintentionally horrifying marketing.  
 Kay Jewelers, Part 1: “I’m right here,” says a man to a woman, who is alone with him in the middle of a thunderstorm in the woods. “And I always will be,” he adds in a menacing voice as he abruptly pulls out ... a necklace.  “Now you can surround her with the strength of your love,” adds the narrator, as silver that was once a necklace turns into a large vice, coiling tighter around the woman’s body until her head becomes a diamond. “Don’t let go,” she says. Doesn’t seem likely.
Kay Jewelers, Part 2: Here, a step-dad shows off his totally normal relationship with his future stepdaughter by giving her the same necklace he gave her mother. Congratulations to this adult man on finding an expensive, if tacky, way of making up for the fact that he isn’t her father. “I’m really happy you’re in my life, too,” dad says, innocently. “Behind every open heart is a story,” says Jane Seymour, apparently the designer of the Open Hearts collection at Kay Jewelers—and the human equivalent of a denim ruffle skirt. Let’s hope that story isn’t an illegal one!
Folgers Coffee. Incest vibes seem to be a real Achilles heel for corporations trying to sell you things by exploiting your genuine human connections to others. In this Folgers commercial, for example, everything was going right until the brother—recently returned from abroad (“It’s a long way from West Africa,” he says, arbitrarily)—hands his sister a gift. She responds by eyeing him with suspicious affection and sticking the bow on his chest. “You’re my present this year,” she says, eyes smoldering. Folgers can really bring a family together.
Baby Laugh-a-Lot. A doll that makes sounds when you push a button is panic-inducing, but the assist from an unhinged narrator in this ad really gets the product to full capacity on the terror scale. The rocking toy cackles manically as the voice of a man who has clearly had formal training as a clown lists the benefits of purchasing this tiny horror. “She’s the funniest doll you’ve ever seen!” I'll pass. 
Playstation. In the competition for most stressful commercial, anything with a doll gains an automatic edge. Here is a contender that would almost certainly lead the pack, courtesy of Playstation. It features a naked doll looking at a Playstation 3, first laughing in a normal doll voice that suddenly becomes a murderous laugh, then crying, and then absorbing its own tears into its eyes. The message appears to be that video games are more fun to play with than dolls are, which seems a pretty basic point to make via a scene that could have been a clip from a Saw movie for dolls. 
Little Baby's Ice Cream. This ad is different from the preceding entries, which were creepy by accident. We're including it because even if it was meant to shock viewers, the likely extent of its fallout (widespread trauma) was probably unintentional. Here, a cannibal who apparently has ice cream instead of skin eats his or her own brain matter, which is also apparently composed of ice-cream. [My colleague Patrick Clark has pointed out that the model is actually covered in marshmallow fluff. Even better.] Music from a dystopian ice cream truck plays in the background. “I eat Little Baby's Ice Cream,” narrator says, as the protagonist eats itself—and drips. “It keeps me young, it keeps me light on my feet,” the narrator adds, “I love my job.” Easy for you to say, cannibal made of ice cream.
Kitroeff is a reporter for Bloomberg Businessweek in New York, covering business education.

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

A Dark Side to the Drop in the Jobless Rate (BusinessWeek)

An employee loads a box with merchandise at Amazon's fulfillment center in Tracy, Calif.
An employee loads a box with merchandise at Amazon's fulfillment center in Tracy, Calif.
The drop in the U.S. jobless rate to 5.6 percent, the lowest since June 2008, is good news and bad news. It’s good, of course, in that fewer people who are in the labor market can’t find jobs. It’s bad because it’s a sign that the economy is getting closer to its speed limit—the fastest it can go without overheating like a car with a boiling-over radiator.
This chart shows the surge in the jobless rate and subsequent fall over the past decade.

When the unemployment rate gets into this range, it’s harder for employers to find qualified workers so they start bidding up wages. Some of that is good, a much-needed catch-up from years of declines in labor’s share of the national income. But the inflation fighters at the Federal Reserve worry that tight labor markets could set off an inflationary spiral.
We’re a long way from that right now. Average hourly earnings actually fell 0.2 percent in December, the first monthly drop since 2012. But members of the rate-setting Federal Open Market Committee are keeping a close eye on the jobless rate in deciding when to raise the key short-term lending rate they control, the federal funds rate, which has been stuck on the floor of zero to 0.25 percent since the end of 2008. A rise in rates would tend to slow down economic growth.
Members of the FOMC have different estimates of the long-run stable level for the unemployment rate, ranging from 5.0 percent to 5.8 percent. In other words, the current jobless rate is well within the range of what FOMC members believe to be the sustainable rate—the one that is as low as it can go without setting off rising inflation.
One reason that the jobless rate is this low is that during the long slump, many people simply dropped out of the labor force. Here’s a chart of the employment-to-population ratio—i.e., the number of employed people as a share of the adult population.
If more people went back to work, it would ease the pressure in the labor market, allowing the expansion to continue longer. But it’s not happening much. Part of the drop is the aging of the baby boom; another part is an increase in disability. Many people who dropped out may never come back. That’s the dark side of the drop in the unemployment rate.

Monday, January 12, 2015

CES 2015: The weird and the wacky (TechRepublic)

3D printed spider dress
Need we say more? Designer Anouk Wipprecht updated her slightly freaky spider dress and integrated it with several technologies leveraging Intel's Edison chip. The spider leg epaulettes are now roboticized and if someone gets too close, they react.


Put this one under the useless gadget category. If you're ready to quit smoking, this lighter is intended to help you. But it doesn't really do anything other than track how many times you light up each day. You can set it to not allow you to light a cigarette if you exceed your preset number. But then, that's what matches are for.

                                                      DreamScience alarm clock

Consider this a fancy alarm clock. Oregon Scientific has developed a gadget, also known as an alarm clock, that claims to monitor your sleepwaves and raise and lower the volume of its "brainwave embedded sounds" to help you sleep better and wake up easier.

Smart dog collars

No gallery of CES 2015 weirdness would be complete without the Belty. Because, guess what? This motorized belt is intended to make you more active by vibrating if you've been sedentary too long. And if you indulge in a big meal, Belty will automatically loosen to make you more comfortable as your waistline expands. Think of it as an ugly virtual fitness coach that doesn't judge too harshly.

Muse brainwave sensing headband

Want to have your brainwaves monitored? (Who doesn't, right?) Buddha blended with Big Brother is the first thing that comes to mind with Muse, a brainwave sensing headband spotted at CES. While we have no idea whether this works or not, the concept is a bit far fetched. Muse advertises that it can train your brain to to give you a calmer, more composed mind

        iDerma                  Smart dog collars        iGrow hair growth helmet   

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Best trend of CES 2015: Products tackling real world problems (ZDNet)

Summary:The Consumer Electronics Show has made its name on flashy demos and gadget lust, but at CES 2015 there's something even better on display: a lot of useful tech solving real world problems.

The Consumer Electronics Show is the shiniest, gaudiest, most over-the-top show in technology. It's known for its zillion-inch televisions, booths larger than rural villages, and bodacious marketing campaigns for products that don't justify 150-foot banners across the front of the Las Vegas Convention Center.
The last several years at CES have been particularly big on glitz and thin on substance. But, I'm happy to report that everywhere you turn at CES 2015, there are companies with real products solving problems worth tackling.
We'll be reporting on them in greater detail throughout the week on ZDNet and TechRepublic, but I'll sum up the most encouraging stuff I've seen in four main takeaways.

1. Practical healthcare solutions

It's no secret that wearables are one of the main events of CES 2015 and most wearables involve health trackers. But the health care story at the show goes way beyond fitness bands and smartwatches. A few of the best things I've seen so far include smart hearing aids that use Bluetooth to connect to a smartphone and tablet (ReSound LiNX), hands-free temperature monitors for babies (Temp Traq), a game that helps you move to a healthier back (Valedo), and a UV sensor that floats in a pool to tell how much sunscreen you should put on your kids (Vigilant LilyPad).

2. Practical clean energy and green tech solutions

Cleantech made a big comeback in 2014 and CES 2015 is full of solutions that want to help you get more energy efficient with your gadgets, in your office, and in your home. For example, I saw a pocket-sized solar charger that can grab a full day's charge for your phone after just 90 minutes in the sun (Solpro), an iPhone case with its own solar charger built-in (Surfr), and a product that turns any air conditioner into a smart air conditioner (Sensibo).
And, there are also more bigger, ambitious solutions tackling our challenges in sustainability and transportation. For the first time, I laid my eyes on the Tesla Model X, the all-electric SUV with the doors that open like a Delorean. I also saw some electric-assisted bike technology that Panasonic is helping bring to regular bikes and the Gogoro electric scooter system with swappable batteries, NFC keys, and dashboard analytics.

3. Tech to help kids learn tech and science

Another one of the best developments of CES 2015 is the creative use of technology and apps to help teach children science, math, and tech. Wonder Workshop (formerly known as Play-i) showed off its fun little robots that teach kids computer programming concepts with the help of an app that visually organizes coding blocks. Ozobot uses drawing, design, and color patterns to help kids learn about robotics and computer programming.

4. Crowdfunded projects are now CES vendors

Wonder Workshop is also an example of a project that was recently crowdfunded and is now a vendor at the world's biggest technology show. In fact, that's a growing -- and encouraging -- trend at CES. A bunch of crowdfunded 3D printers (including the popular 3Doodler) were at CES 2015 en force as part of the new 3D printing pavilion at the show. Another example is the Scio scanner that lets you scan foods and medicines to determine their nutritional value and chemical components.
While not all crowdfunded products are useful, the fact that the community has voted on them with their money makes the process more democratic and proves that the products have real demand. TheEureka Park pavilion at CES 2015 is dedicated to startups and crowdfunded companies and it features 375 of them this year, compared to 200 last year.

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Samsung's Smart-Home Master Plan: Leave the Door Open for Others (BusinessWeek)

Yoon Boo-Keun, president and co-chief executive officer of Samsung Electronics, speaks at a news conference during the 2015 Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas on Monday, Jan. 5, 2015.
Yoon Boo-Keun, president and co-chief executive officer of Samsung Electronics, speaks at a news conference during the 2015 Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas on Monday, Jan. 5, 2015.
The most important product at the 2015 Consumer Electronics Show may not actually be a product at all. It’s a policy. Samsung Electronics has pledgedthat 90 percent of all devices it creates, including televisions and mobile devices, will be Internet-enabled by 2017—just two short years away. The remaining 10 percent will come on board by 2020. Considering that in 2014 Samsung delivered more than 665 million products to consumers around the world, it’s hard to understate how important this is to the overall move to turn the Internet of Things—the everything-is-connected tech Valhalla—from a plaything for early adopters into the mainstream of moms and microwaves.
There's more: In addition to building this functionality into its own products, Samsung's platform will be entirely open, rolling out the red carpet for developers and other software and hardware manufacturers to, basically, have at it. Samsung's smart-home push has been anticipated for a long time, particularly since it acquired smart-home sensation SmartThings in August 2014, but few expected this level of openness. Samsung could have just as easily created a walled garden, forcing users to choose from Samsung or a specific partner devices to assemble a networked life of automatic temperature adjustments and TV-based alerts.
“The Internet of Things is not about things, it is about people,” said Samsung Chief Executive Yoon Boo Keun early in a keynote address on Monday, hitting on a sentiment he would repeat over and over again. Creating an Internet of Things that did not place improving people’s lives at the core of its mission would be “like a bedtime story for robots.”

Not everyone allows so many types of interactions. On Monday, Google's Nest announced its own smart-home ecosystem, but its Works with Nest protocol places restrictions on the types of data that can be shared, how long those data can be stored, and how they can be used. For Samsung, Yoon said, an opposite approach has its benefits: It hopes an “open ecosystem” will lead consumer needs and desires to optimize Samsung products in ways that might not have been thought of in Seoul. Samsung has also committed $100 million dollars to invest in development of a connected ecosystem, meaning everything from creating infrastructure, to funding startups, to facilitating conversations between existing players.
The move comes as Samsung's hugely successful smartphone business is under significant pressure, particularly from lower-cost competitors in China. "When the mobile business ceases to be profitable, Samsung will have to force its way into some other industry that requires a lot of upfront capital and expertise in mass-manufacturing," my colleague Sam Grobart wrote inBloomberg Businessweek almost two years ago. At the time, Samsung had announced its intentions in medical devices, solar panels, LED lighting, and batteries for electric cars. The Internet of Things fits right in. Samsung, with its unique combination of technological breadth and depth, can create the Things at scale: They already make sophisticated electronic components and circuitry and a full suite of household appliances. Its ability to design, produce, and market what it makes is already global in scale. This is a level of integration the company would appear to be quite comfortable with. 
SmartThings is still at the core of Samsung’s push forward. Though Yoon didn't emphasize it in his keynote, SmartThings unveiled the second version of its core Hub product—its version of a central command center for your house—earlier in the day, along with updates to its other hardware offerings. But in an interview after Yoon's keynote, SmartThings CEO Alex Hawkinson reiterated that “SmartThings is, at its heart, a software company.” Specifically, it's the software that allows everything to work together, from Samsung’s connected wine cellar, to its latest smartphone, to an August lock, to a Jawbone UP. SmartThings’ Hub essentially takes all the data coming in from all of these different sources and allows them to speak with one another. Your sleep tracker can tell you what not to watch on TV before bed; your lock tells the lights when you’re gone for the day.
Open systems can have their drawbacks. Users might not notice, but in the beginning, a jumble of protocols and languages will most likely compete on the back end. Hawkinson is confident that, over time, Samsung's and SmartThings’ approach will allow certain protocols to rise to the top and that market dynamics will consolidate standards. If that process is relatively smooth and speedy, it will result in lower-cost, lower-friction development. If not, it's a long messy haul, which could discourage the very kind of participation that Samsung needs to lift the whole effort off the ground. 
Services also stand to be a big part of the Internet of Things marketplace as Samsung envisions it. SmartThings will offer the first, a premium subscription service (price to be announced) that will allow users to configure message and phone call alerts that can be escalated to friends and family. If you leave the oven on, you might get an alert; if the security alarm goes off, your down-the-street neighbors might get one, too. Without rigid boundaries between different manufacturers' devices, it wouldn't be surprising to see third parties figure out how to squeeze more functionality out of them for a fee. This is the Google Play store for your kitchen instead of your Galaxy.
There's still a long way to go before this is all a reality. Samsung gave itself a two-year runway, and it'll take a good bit of time after that for homeowners to embrace the devices. Buying a new smartphone is a lot easier than swapping out all your home appliances. For now, Samsung’s pledge of a well-developed, truly open Internet of Things starts with the SmartThings Hub, some well-credentialed corporate partners, and a lot of people who really want to see this succeed.

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Seagate offers low-cost 8TB hard drives (ZDNet)

Summary:Got a lot of data? Finding your PC a little cramped when it comes to free space? Would a Seagate 8TB hard drive help?
Seagate 8TB HDD

Finally, an affordable 8TB drive has surfaced.
Sold by Seagate under the "Archive Label" brand and aimed at those looking for a cost-effective storage solution, the drive retails for around $270, which is far more palatable than the $1,000 or so that 8TB drive from HGST are currently going for.
That works out at around $0.033 per gigabyte.
The drive 3.5-inch 5,900RPM SATA-3 drives feature 128MB of cache and come in two flavors; the ST8000AS0002 which doesn't have hardware encryption, and the ST8000AS0012 "Seagate Secure" model which does.
The drive contains six platters and uses Shingled Magnetic Recording technology that allows an extra 25 percent more data per platter. Average read speeds are rated at 150MB/s with a maximum sustained rate of 190MB/s.
The drives consume 7.5W when active and only 5W when idle.
Full spec can be found on the Seagate website.

Friday, January 2, 2015

Want to Help the FBI Hunt Hackers? (PCMagazine)

The agency this week released a job posting for a "Special Agent (Cyber)" who will investigate high-tech crimes.


Are you a whiz on the old PC? Care to share that talent with the feds? The FBI might have a job for you.
The agency this week released a job posting for a "Special Agent (Cyber)" who will be investigating high-tech crimes, including "cyber-based terrorism, computer intrusions, online exploitation, and major cyber fraud schemes."
These agents will also track down people or groups involved in criminal activity abroad, locate and extract evidence on PCs or computer networks, work to stop attacks on critical infrastructure like banks, water, and food supply, help "dismantle national and transnational criminal organizations engaged in online fraud and other cyber crimes," and more.
The FBI will accept applications until Jan. 20, but in order to be considered, you must be a U.S. citizen between the ages of 23 and 37, and you'll need to pass at least one of the FBI's physical fitness tests.
"What we want are people who are going to come and be part of a team that is working different very complex types of investigations and to utilize their skillsets in that team environment," Robert Anderson, Jr., executive assistant director for the Bureau's Criminal, Cyber, Response, and Services Branch, said in a statement.
Ideally, agents will have expertise in computer programming and security, database administration, malware analysis, digital forensics, or ethical hacking, according to the FBI, which also posted an exhaustive list of preferred degrees and work experience.
The post comes after the FBI was called in to investigate the hack of Sony Pictures. The agency ultimately concluded that North Korea was responsible for the intrusion, though some have their doubts.