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Disk Storage – Seagate creates 60TB SSD prototype

Seagate has created an experimental 60TB SSD drive, which is designed for advanced future corporate applications, as the boundary lines of massive high speed storage are being explored by OEM vendors

Seagate achieved the gargantuan storage capacity of its new SSD by making it twice as dense as the Samsung device. It can accommodate 400 million social media-sized photos, or 12,000 DVD movies. It’s currently just a prototype, but Seagate plans to put it into production next year.   Seagate also boasts that its drive features the lowest cost per gigabyte of any flash storage product currently available. It won’t say what that cost is, though it will likely vary depending on contracts Seagate has with its enterprise customers. The highest-capacity consumer SSD, a 4TB Samsung 850 EVO, costs a cool $1,500.

While packing 60TB into a single SSD might sound like overkill—plenty of cheaper servers run just fine on much cheaper conventional drives—Seagate is planning for a future when artificial intelligence and cloud storage will demand that data centers to be capable of quickly processing immense amounts of throughput.

Don’t count us out of the flash drive business. That’s Seagate’s message at the Flash Memory Summit as it shows off another two new SSD products: an 8TB NVMe drive, and a massive 60TB SSD demo in a 3.5-inch form factor. The 60TB shows what’s possible if you cram more than a 1,000 Micron 3D NAND dice into a full-size, 3.5-inch disk form factor package. We understand it has dual port 12Gbit/s SAS interface and 150,000 random read IOPS, undisclosed write IOPS (suspect a relatively low number). The sequential read/write numbers are 1.5 and 1.0GB/sec.

Windows 10 – End of Life support extended to 2026

Microsoft last week bolstered its claim that Windows 10 will be its last operating system by extending the OS’s support lifetime to 2026. After the release last week of Windows 10 Anniversary Update — officially known as 1607 using the year and month label the company has adopted — Microsoft refreshed the Windows support lifecycle database to signal a one-year extension to Windows 10 Enterprise.

Enterprise is the only SKU (stock-keeping unit) that comes in a static version that does not change during its lifespan. Dubbed “Long-term Servicing Branch,” or LTSB for short, the version is intended for systems for which stability and longevity trump the latest features and the newest shiny thing.

Microsoft Security Updates – AUGUST 2016

Below are key resources documenting this recent monthly Microsoft Patch Tuesday release:

Today is Patch Tuesday for August 2016, and Microsoft has released several security bulletins and associated patches to resolve security issues across their products. This month’s patch release includes 9 bulletins addressing 28 vulnerabilities. Five of the bulletins Microsoft has released are rated Critical and address vulnerabilities in Internet Explorer, Edge, Windows Graphics Component, Microsoft Office, and the Windows PDF library. The remaining four bulletins are rated Important and address vulnerabilities in Windows Kernel-Mode Drivers, Secure Boot, Windows Authentication Methods, and ActiveSyncProvider.  Microsoft has listed bulletins MS16-095, MS16-096, MS16-097, MS16-099, MS16-102 as critical in this month’s release.

Facebook – New controls added to reduce Fake News Alert malware attacks

Years ago, a major virus attack called the “Storm Worm” sent fake news alerts out for a once in a century superstorm experienced in Europe.  It was designed to bait users into clicking on the links to infect their systems.  These same attacks have continued in many other malware attacks. Facebook has recently improved algorigtms for their news feed facilities to reduce these attacks.

Facebook is making a significant change to its News Feed ranking algorithm to try to stomp out “clickbait” headlines. The company says it’s only targeting the most egregious examples, which intentionally leave out crucial information or mislead people, like “You’ll never believe who tripped and fell on the Red Carpet…” or “Apples are actually bad for you!?” or “When Facebook made THIS huge change… Publishers were SHOCKED!”

The company has  made smaller  tweaks over the last year to combat clickbait, but Facebook’s VP of product management Adam Mosseri tells Business Insider that this is the most dramatic change that it has launched since  its initial efforts in 2014. To figure out what was clickbait and what wasn’t, a Facebook team categorized tens of thousands of real headlines by looking at whether they purposely withheld information or distorted or exaggerated the truth. The resulting dataset was then used to train a classifier algorithm that gives any headline posted on Facebook a “clickbait” score based on patterns.

If that algorithm identifies that a high percentage of links that a Page posts or shares rank high on the “clickbait” scale, all links from that Page will appear lower in News Feed. In short, Facebook will decimate that Page’s reach and referral traffic. “We’re trying to change the incentives, to give publishers a reason to create headlines that are more straightforward,” he says. “We think that’s going to be a better experience for people, because that’s what we hear from people.”

Microsoft Excel — Advanced Techniques August 2016

This PC world article shares five advanced techniques to allow improved documentation and other techniques for processing spreadsheet data

There’s no such thing as too fast when you’re crunching numbers on deadline in Excel. Any of these power tips will speed up your tasks.:

1. FORMULATEXT() adds notes to formulas — It’s nice to have notes that explain what your formulas are doing (plus a copy of the formula). Some organizations even require it, especially if you’re a programmer or analyst. This little formula and the +N function are the quick answer to your spreadsheet documentation needs.

2. Adding Notes with N() function: Another way to add notes — For a long, complicated formula, you could add comments that explain what the formula is doing by just entering +N plus the comment, inside quotes inside parentheses

3. Text “Case” Functions — The UPPER() function converts all characters to uppercase. The LOWER() function converts all characters to lowercase. For names or sentences, the Proper case, or PROPER() can be written as a function.

4. Transpose feature to flip columnar data into rows — This feature allows rows/columns of data to be re-formatted into columns/rows. This doesn’t seem like a big deal on a small spreadsheet, but imagine reorganizing 40 columns and 200 rows and you’ll like this tip much better.

5. Autofill blank cells — Everyone who handles series data should use Autofill to save typing and retyping for things that are always the same—for example, a list of consecutive numbers or letters, months of the year, or days of the week.

Data Breach – Bitcoin impacted from theft by hackers

Bitcoin valuations plunge and later rebound after hackers steal $65 Million

Bitcoin stabilized on Wednesday after sinking as much as 15 percent. Prices dropped 7.8 percent on Tuesday after declining 6.2 percent Monday.  Bitfinex confirmed in a message to Bloomberg News on Wednesday that the hackers took 119,756 bitcoin, or about $65 million. While trading was halted in all digital currencies, including ethereum, the exchange said losses were limited only to bitcoin. It also said U.S. dollar deposits were not impacted.

Mozilla Firefox 48 – New multiprocessing support improves performance

Major performance improvements were made in Firefox version 48

After seven years of development, version 48 is at last enabling a multiprocess feature comparable to what Internet Explorer and Google Chrome have offered as stable features since 2009. By running their rendering engines in a separate process from the browser shell, IE and Chrome are more stable (a webpage crash does not take down the entire browser) and more secure (those separate processes can run with limited user privileges). In order to bring the same multiprocess capability to Firefox, Mozilla started the Electrolysis project in 2009. But the organization has taken substantially longer than Microsoft, Google, and Apple to ship this feature.

As much as Firefox lags in this area, it’s cutting edge in another. Mozilla’s Rust language is designed to give the same level of performance and control as C++ but without C++’s susceptibility to security flaws. The company has developed Rust code to replace the C++ code that currently handles complex media formats. This replacement code is now shipping in the stable version of Firefox 48.

Microsoft Xbox One – New S model is smaller and supports 4K video

Microsoft’s new Xbox One “S” model debuts today as detailed in the review below:

Now that I’ve tested the system for a few days ahead of its August 2 launch in the US, I can safely level-up that compliment and confirm that it’s Microsoft’s best-looking console yet. The One S is exactly the kind of sleek consumer box that gets second glances and compliments while tucked beneath your TV screen of choice.

Every Xbox One S buyer will benefit from the system’s aesthetic changes immediately. But they may need to make a pretty big investment to get anything out of the system’s other big upgrade: compatibility with 4K and HDR-10 screens.

On the very front of the One S is a USB slot that used to be on an awkward side panel. Now you can finally stick an Xbox One directly into your entertainment center, as opposed to leaving a wedge of space open in case you need to connect a USB stick or a cord. The front of the system has also been updated with clickable buttons for both ejecting discs and powering the system on; this change is particularly welcome when you need to long-press the power button for, say, fully shutting the system down.

Windows 10 – Troubleshooting resources to resolve system crashes quickly

This is one of the better articles found related to Windows 10 troubleshooting for system crashes (e.g., BSOD)
QUOTE:    Just to be clear, this article deals with system crashes, not application crashes or system hangs. In a full system crash, the operating system has concluded that something has gone so wrong (such as memory corruption) that continued operation could cause serious or catastrophic results. Therefore, the OS attempts to shut down as cleanly as possible – saving system state information in the process – then restarts (if set to do so) as a refreshed environment and with debug information ready to be analyzed.
Why Windows 10 crashes— Once known as the Ring Protection Scheme, Windows 10 operates in both User Mode (Ring 3) and Kernel Mode (Ring 0). The idea is simple; run core operating system code and device drivers in Kernel Mode and software applications and user mode drivers in User Mode. For applications to access the services of the OS and the hardware, they must call upon Windows services that act as proxies. Thus, by blocking User Mode code from having direct access to Kernel Mode, OS operations are generally well protected. In most cases, it is third-party drivers living in Kernel Mode that make erroneous calls, such as to non-existent memory or to overwrite OS code, that result in system failures. And, yes, it is true that Window itself is seldom at fault.
The time it takes you to read this article and to set up WinDbg will be well compensated when you find that you’ll be able to resolve most BSODs in less than a minute without help and for free. And remember that a careful study of Windows Internalswill extend your new-found skills dramatically.



Windows 10 Forums

Microsoft Autoruns

Microsoft DaRT




WINDOWS 10 – Anniversary Update rolls out on August 2nd

PC World provides a preview of the Anniversary Update which is scheduled to be shipped tomorrow on a phased rollout to all WIN10 users over the coming days.

Microsoft’s biggest update to Windows 10 is set to drop August 2. Here’s what you need to know to get ready for the big day.  Windows Insiders have seen sneak peeks of AU features in preview builds over the past few months, including big changes like  extensions for Microsoft Edge, the ability to  run a third-party antivirus suite alongside Windows Defender, full-screen Game Bar support,  multi-account switching for Skype’s  Universal Windows Platform (UWP) app, and smarter inking features via Windows Ink.