Archive for January, 2014

News: Apple celebrates 30 years of Macintosh

The Mac computer turned 30 last week. Apple’s version of a home computer hit the market on January 24, 1984. Since then Apple has grown into a giant, invented incredible new technology (iPod, iPhone, iPod) and changed the way people purchase music.  But, the Mac is where it all started for Apple.

In an article over at Personal Tech, Beth Pinsker interviewed a slurry of Mac enthusiasts about their first purchases and how much they’ve spent on Apple products to date. The numbers are pretty intense.

Laurie Duncan, owner of MacSamurai Consulting and founder of a fan site for owners of the short-lived Power Mac G4 Cube

First Mac: A used Mac Classic in 1991, from the classified section of a free paper, for US$1,200, plus US$1,100 to max out the memory. “It had considerably less memory than a phone has today,” Duncan says.

The big list: Duncan switched to a Mac Portable next. She then bought a series of PowerBooks, probably about a dozen over time.

Now Duncan upgrades constantly and says she has averaged about US$6,000 a year for the past decade. And yes, she knows that adds up to more than US$60,000. “I had 12 iPods at one point.”

Her obsession with the G4 Cube, which Apple quickly discontinued, turned into a business that offers consulting services, custom cases, components and repairs. “It’s a great machine,” she says. “Was it Apple’s best mistake? Worst mistake? I don’t know.”

Total: At least US$75,000

Over to the fine folks of iPhone Canada who found a collection of advertisements and key note speeches given by Steve Jobs at the time of the initial Mac launch.  The group responsible for the collection is EverySteveJobsVideo, a YouTube channel that aims to be a digital archive for the former Apple co-founder. On Friday they released a special YouTube list that is strongly related to this groundbreaking event that took place on January 24, 1984.

If you’re looking for even more Mac. Well, let me point you to Steven Levy at Wired, who sums the anniversary and Jobs success up nicely. In 1984, Levy interviewed Jobs for Rolling Stone. In the following excerpt, he talks about meeting with jobs just prior to the launch of the ad campaign.

I have to admit my first moments with Jobs were not auspicious. He complained again that the story would not be on the cover. Then he proceeded to use scatological terms to describe a recent Rolling Stone story about MTV. I interrupted the rant by informing him that I had written that story. Jobs simply changed the subject.

At dinner, though, he was loquacious, candid, and of course wildly enthusiastic about the launch. He portrayed Apple as a pirate aggregation that was civilization’s last hope against an evil dominant force — just like in the commercial. (He spoke about the 1984 ad with some wistfulness, since at that time the Apple board had decided not to run it on television. Of course, it reversed that decision).

He was also wildly dramatic about what he might do if the world didn’t understand the excellence of his creation — perhaps go to Italy and ride motorcycles, he said. He also talked about the future of Apple, sharing its dream that it would grow to be worth $10 billion. But, he said, he hoped it would be a $10 billion company that did not lose its soul.

That brings us to the end. 30 years of Mac computers also means 30 years of junked hardware. Over at MacWorld, they have a rundown of how to recycle your computer, which i’ll sum up for you here. 1. Don’t Throw it Out 2. Erase your Hard Drive 3. Donate It.

For help with the first two of those options, PCS of Massachusetts is there for you. That’s exactly what we do. We recycle and provide Data Destruction for your computers and hard drives.

If you’re looking for a reliable asset disposal service, PCS of Massachusetts is ready and willing to help you recycle your electronics and destroy your data.  PC Survivors of Massachusetts, L.L.C.  (R2) Certified,  86 Finnell Drive Unit 6,Weymouth, MA 02188 /Cell: 781-635-6281 /Office: 781-335-1220 / Fax: 781-335-1499 / www.pcsmass.com

28

01 2014

News: Target, Neiman Marcus Face Data Breaches

The news keeps getting worse for Target while the scope of holiday data breaches expands. Last week it was revealed that the Target data breach has expanded from 40 million to 70 million accounts that were compromised. Retailer giant Nieman Marcus also confirmed that they had also been the victims of hackers.

There’s a great story about that and the possibility of more retailers may have been hacked over at the Christian Science Monitor. Reuters reported Sunday that at least three other well-known US retailers faced data breaches during the holidays, citing information from unnamed sources.

“The sources said that they involved retailers with outlets in malls, but declined to elaborate. They also said that while they suspect the perpetrators may be the same as those who launched the Target attack, they cannot be sure because they are still trying to find the culprits behind all of the security breaches,” the Reuters report reads. “Law enforcement sources have said they suspect the ring leaders are from Eastern Europe, which is where most big cybercrime cases have been hatched over the past decade.”

The report didn’t say whether the Neiman Marcus breach was related to the others.

The Target cyber break-in affected customers who shopped in-store and online between Nov. 27 and Dec. 15, in the thick of the holiday season. Though Target initially said about 40 million shoppers were affected, the retailer revealed last week that the hackers stole between 70 million and 110 million shoppers’ credit card numbers, PIN numbers, e-mail and mailing addresses, and phone numbers. Target also came under fire for waiting four days to disclose the breach publicly.

As a result of the hacks Target stands to take a big hit: as much as $50 million, according to CNN Money. The retailer also announced last week it would offer free credit monitoring and identity-theft protection for worried customers.

The biggest risk, experts say, is that potential scammers could have customers’ contact information and the knowledge that they shop at Target. But that on its own isn’t enough for identity theft. “It’s bad they got a customer list, but the worst case scenario is a very targeted email phishing campaign,” said Adrian Sanabria, a security analyst, told CNN Money. “I don’t see any risk of identity theft from having that exposed.”

If you’re looking for a reliable asset disposal service, PCS of Massachusetts is ready and willing to help you recycle your electronics and destroy your data.  PC Survivors of Massachusetts, L.L.C.  (R2) Certified,  86 Finnell Drive Unit 6,Weymouth, MA 02188 /Cell: 781-635-6281 /Office: 781-335-1220 / Fax: 781-335-1499 / www.pcsmass.com

 

14

01 2014

News: By 2020, there will be 5,200 GB of data for every person on Earth

In a recent post looking into the future of data storage, International Data Corporation (IDC) predicted in the next eight years, the amount of digital data produced will exceed 40 zettabytes, which is the equivalent of 5,200 GB of data for every man, woman and child on Earth.

In a post over at ComputerWorld, author  breaks the numbers down a little further. To hit that enormous figure, all data is expected to double every two years through 2020.

The majority of data between now and 2020 will not be produced by humans but by machines as they talk to each other over data networks. That would include, for example, machine sensors and smart devices communicating with other devices.

So far, however, only a tiny fraction of the data being produced has been explored for its value through the use of data analytics. IDC estimates that by 2020, as much as 33% of all data will contain information that might be valuable if analyzed.

The Digital Universe study, which is sponsored by EMC, was first launched in 2005. For the first three years, it was refreshed on an annual basis. This latest update, however, marks an 18-month lag between study results — and a huge change in its predictions. For example, the last version, released in June 2011, predicted the amount of data to be produced by 2020 would be 35 zettabytes, not 40 zettabytes.

Mearian explains the boom in data will also have an effect on cloud computing.

According to IDC estimates by 2020, nearly 40% of the information in the digital universe will be “touched” by cloud computing, meaning that a byte will be stored or processed in a cloud somewhere in its journey from originator to disposal. Yet, only as much as about 15% of data will be maintained in a cloud, IDC said.

Additionally, emerging market nations will go from creating a minority of data to creating the majority, IDC said. In 2005, for example, 48% of the digital universe came from the United States and Western Europe. Emerging markets accounted for less than 20%. However, the share of data attributable to emerging markets is now 36% and will be 62% by 2020. By then, China alone will generate 21% of the bit streams entering the digital universe.

If you’re looking for a reliable asset disposal service, PCS of Massachusetts is ready and willing to help you recycle your electronics and destroy your data.  PC Survivors of Massachusetts, L.L.C.  (R2) Certified,  86 Finnell Drive Unit 6,Weymouth, MA 02188 /Cell: 781-635-6281 /Office: 781-335-1220 / Fax: 781-335-1499 / www.pcsmass.com

14

01 2014

News: Million-Year Data Storage Disk Unveiled

Recently, MIT Technology Review reported that eroen de Vries at the University of Twente in the Netherlands and a few pals have designed and built a disk capable of storing data over an enormous timescale. According to their tests, the new technology should be able to store data for 1 million years and possibly longer.

From the MIT article: “despite this huge increase in storage density and a similarly impressive improvement in power efficiency, one thing hasn’t changed. The lifetime over which data can be stored on magnetic discs is still about a decade.”

Here’s some technical jargon from the post, describing how the team created the new disk.

The disk is simple in conception. The data is stored in the pattern of lines etched into a thin metal disc and then covered with a protective layer.

The metal in question is tungsten, which they chose because of its high melting temperature (3,422 degrees C) and low thermal expansion coefficient. The protective layer is silicon nitride (Si3N4) chosen because of its high resistance to fracture and its low thermal expansion coefficient.

These guys made their disc using standard patterning techniques and stored data in the form of QR codes with lines 100nm wide. They then heated the disks at various temperatures to see how the data fared.

The results are impressive. According to Arrhenius law, a disk capable of surviving a million years would have to survive 1 hour at 445 Kelvin, a test that the new disks passed with ease. Indeed, they survived temperatures up to 848 Kelvin, albeit with significant amounts of information loss.

You can check out the entire article via the link at the top of the page.

If you’re looking for a reliable asset disposal service, PCS of Massachusetts is ready and willing to help you recycle your electronics and destroy your data.  PC Survivors of Massachusetts, L.L.C.  (R2) Certified,  86 Finnell Drive Unit 6,Weymouth, MA 02188 /Cell: 781-635-6281 /Office: 781-335-1220 / Fax: 781-335-1499 / www.pcsmass.com

14

01 2014