Archive for July 20th, 2016

Hardware – Seagate 10TB Barracuda Pro

Seagate is introducing the world’s largest hard drive designed for consumers for around $540 as described below

http://www.pcworld.com/article/3096292/storage/seagates-10tb-barracuda-pro-is-the-worlds-largest-consumer-hard-drive.html

Got a thirst for more storage on your PC? Seagate has heard you and Tuesday morning introduced the world’s largest capacity consumer hard drive for desktop users. The 10TB Barracuda Pro doesn’t play just the capacity card though. Seagate also aimed to make it a high-performance hard drive, fitting it with a massive 256MB of cache. The drive also spins along at 7,200rpm rather than the typical, lower-cost 5,400rpm large drives.

Of course, “performance hard drive” may sound like an oxymoron in this age of SSDs that can easily hit 1.5GBps read speeds, but all things considered, the 3.5-inch Barracuda Pro is still fairly peppy, with rated a 220MBps sustained transfer rate. Well, for a hard drive anyway.

The Barracuda Pro uses Conventional Magnetic Recording and doesn’t resort to sealing the drive and filling it with helium or exotic magnetic technology to achieve its high capacity. The operative word in all of this is “consumer,” as 10TB hard drives for enterprise have been around for some time. Western Digital’s HGST began shipping a 10TB helium-filled model in late 2015. Seagate followed suit with its own 10TB helium-filled drive this January. The new 10TB Barracuda Pro has a list price of $534.99, which means street pricing should  be considerably lower than an enterprise 10TB drive.

Leadership – Tough decision-making creates personal growth

John Maxwell shares an excellent leadership article related to value of sacrifice in making tough decisions

http://www.johnmaxwell.com/blog/the-power-of-sacrifice

Everything worthwhile is uphill. I’ve been saying this for a while now, but the more I think about it, the more I know it’s true. Whether you’re talking about personal growth, personal health, business or some other aspect of life, nothing of value is easy. The precious things in life require something in exchange.  Leaders are well aware of the need to sacrifice. The decisions leaders face almost always include some measure of giving up something in order to gain something; for leaders, life is always a set of scales that need balancing. One of the easiest places to see this principle at work is parenting.

As leaders in businesses and organizations, we are called to make tough choices on behalf of our people. Sometimes the sacrifices are obvious and simple. You let go of a little money to gain a better product. You promote a fantastic worker because they’ll make an even better leader. You release a great employee to go and chase their dream.  Sometimes the sacrifices are harder and more draining. You have to cut the budget in order to keep the company afloat. You have to admit your organization made a mistake in production. Or, even harder, you have to admit that you made a bad choice as a leader and cost the company millions.

Windows 10 – Final WIN7 and WIN8 free WGX upgrade notification

For WIN7 and WIN8 users, the final version for the FREE Windows 10 upgrade notification invitation has been released to remind users of the July 29th deadline. 

http://www.infoworld.com/article/3097521/microsoft-windows/last-gasp-microsoft-updates-get-windows-10-nagster-kb-3035583-yet-again.html

With nine days to go, Microsoft really, really wants you to claim your free upgrade to Windows 10. Come to think of it, Microsoft has really, really wanted you to upgrade your Windows 7 or 8.1 PC to Windows 10 for more than a year, and backed it with the GWX subsystem — first installed by KB 3035583 in March 2015, 15 months ago.

Now the flirtation includes a yellow exclamation for an icon in the system tray, a popup with a hamburger icon, and a countdown clock that tells you that there’s just 9 days 7 hours 16 minutes and 77 seconds left. You’re given the options of “Decline free offer” and “Upgrade now.” If you decide to upgrade now, you’ll get the old Windows 10.1, version 1511, released last November, build 10586. You will have 31 days to roll back to your original operating system.

Facebook – Messenger reaches One Billion users milestone

Over one billion users registered to any software facility is a rare accomplishment

http://www.usatoday.com/story/tech/news/2016/07/20/facebook-messenger-has-1-billion-users/87319582/

SAN FRANCISCO — Messenger, Facebook’s homegrown messaging app, has joined the 1 billion users club, achieving what is still a rare feat in the technology world.  But they are increasingly in favor of Facebook, which now has three apps with more than 1 billion monthly active users; and Google, which has seven, most recently Gmail.  Facebook and Google, as today’s dominant digital companies with reach around the world, have the best shot at crossing the 1-billion-users threshold. Still, they must create the kinds of experiences that consumers crave.   “Facebook and Google are running the show when it comes to making mobile apps that people want to download,” says eMarketer analyst Debra Aho Williamson. “What they offer are apps that you want to use again and again and, quite frankly, that you need to use again and again. Very few apps can offer that.”

Malware – History of Ransomware 2005-2016

This 22 slide presentation shares a historical recap of developments through the years.  This threat took off significantly during 2013 with the advent of Cryptolocker

http://www.networkworld.com/article/3097534/malware-cybercrime/the-history-of-ransomware.html

Ransomware has been the most pervasive cyber threat since 2005. According to publicly available information, ransomware infections have outnumbered data breaches 7,694 to 6,013 over the past 11 years.  Over the years there have been two distinct varieties of ransomware which remain consistent: crypto and locker based.  Crypto-ransomware is ransomware variants that actually encrypt files and folders, hard drives, etc. Whereas Locker-ransomware only locks users out of their devices, most often seen with Android based ransomware.

New-age ransomware involves a combination of advanced distribution efforts such as pre-built infrastructures used to easily and widely distribute new strains as well as advanced development techniques such as using crypters to ensure reverse-engineering is extremely difficult. Additionally, the use of offline encryption methods are becoming popular in which ransomware takes advantage of legitimate system features such as Microsoft’s CryptoAPI, eliminating the need for Command and Control (C2) communications.