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Is LTO Tape On Its Way Out?

Webmoth Offsite storage farms (284 comments)

Tape media's greatest benefit is its long storage life. Providing you have the equipment to do it, you could read a tape created 25 years ago.

Tape media's greatest liability is its long storage life. Will you be able to find equipment to read it 25 years from now? If not, you have what we call write-only media.

I think that tape is going to disappear as a viable storage medium, at least in the small business sector. The equipment and media is expensive, and most small businesses don't have the resources to employ someone trained in proper media management.

The replacement is going to be offsite storage farms, whether from a third-party cloud provider, or farms owned by the company that needs the backups. As the per-byte cost of disk storage continually and rapidly falls and wide-area network (Internet) bandwidth increases, offsite/online backups are becoming more and more feasible. Data deduplication and image management software technologies mean that a company can have daily backups completely automated and available as far back as they want. Restoring a file or two from these backups is quick and easy. My company already supports several small businesses using this backup technology; as existing tape drives fail they are seldom being replaced with more tape hardware.

The downside of offsite/online backups is that bare-metal recovery of a failed system from those backups is still extremely time-consuming. Eventually the bandwidth will become available to make it viable; until then tape still seems to be the best option for bare-metal recovery.

about three weeks ago

Major Brain Pathway Rediscovered After Century-old Confusion, Controversy

Webmoth Re:Link to PNAS article (114 comments)

No. You are being sold AS a product in the name of 'profits' and 'growth'. You are not the customer. The article is not the product, it is the medium by which the product (your eyes) is delivered to the customer (the advertiser).

about 1 month ago

The Plane Crash That Gave Us GPS

Webmoth Re:Thank you, Presidents Reagan and Clinton. (236 comments)

You have to listen/read carefully what Clinton said. The popular press reported it as "I did not have sex with that woman -- Monica Lewinsky." I believe what he really said was "I did not have sex with that woman, Monica Lewinsky."

Notice the subtle difference. In the second analysis, he is not referring to Ms. Lewinsky, but in fact addressing her. Which opens the question: then what woman did he not have sex with? Hillary? (I couldn't blame him for not.) Then from whence Chelsea?

about a month and a half ago

Flaw in New Visa Cards Would Let Hackers Steal $1M Per Card

Webmoth That's 1M-0.01 in ANY currency (126 comments)

At least the way I read the article, the flaw allows a charge of 999,999.99 in ANY unit of currency, not specifically US dollars, or UK pounds, or Euros, or Dinars, or Rubles, or whatever.

about a month and a half ago

The Airplane of the Future May Not Have Windows

Webmoth Re:The windows are so the passengers don't panic.. (286 comments)

I imagine the pilots find the windows useful, too. Sure, they can take off and land totally on instruments, but the instruments won't tell you everything you need to know about what you're about to fly into.

about 1 month ago

The Airplane of the Future May Not Have Windows

Webmoth Re:They won't have seats either (286 comments)

For a nominal fee of $30, you'll be able to open a fresh air vent over your head.

about 1 month ago

Creationism Conference at Michigan State University Stirs Unease

Webmoth Re:So they got their reservation using deception? (1007 comments)

Would you silence a dissenting view? That is not healthy for scientific discourse, no matter how wrong you believe the dissenting view to be.

If you wish to silence them, silence them using facts, logic, and argument. Do not silence them through a political process. You would ask them to do the same for your.

about 2 months ago

Researchers Build Covert Acoustical Mesh Networks In Air

Webmoth Been there, done that (107 comments)

"Covert acoustical mesh networks"?!? Housewives invented this thousands of years ago, only back then they called it "gossip."

1 year,22 days

USPS Logs All Snail Mail For Law Enforcement

Webmoth Holograms (324 comments)

I guess we need to send our letters in holographic envelopes that can only be read at an angle. Straight on, it just looks blank... or maybe a big finger. And that's probably what the camera will record.

about a year and a half ago

Google Consolidates Privacy Policies Across Services

Webmoth That's not a privacy policy! (239 comments)

That's not a privacy policy! That's a voyeurism policy.

more than 2 years ago

'Electric Earth' Could Explain Planet's Rotation

Webmoth Carbon Footprint (153 comments)

But what is the carbon footprint of all this electricity that Earth is using? Surely that can't be good. We need a treaty with the other planets that curtails Earth's inordinate use of the universe's electricity! Why, it just might throw the interstellar ecosystem out of balance unless we get it under control!

more than 2 years ago

Institutional Memory and Reverse Smuggling

Webmoth Re:Yup, Seen it! (312 comments)

Apparently that knowledge didn't include the fact that A LOT is two words.

about 3 years ago

Institutional Memory and Reverse Smuggling

Webmoth History majors (312 comments)

Maybe that B.A. in History isn't such a bad degree to have after all. Now all you need to do is convince corporations they need to have a history department to manage all of their documentation in such a way that it is discoverable and accessible.

One of my favorite lines is, "Your data is secure. We just can't access it." In other words, if you are going to use a particular medium as an archive, you need to ensure that the data can be read from that medium, in perpetuity. If the technology is in danger of becoming obsolete, the archived data must be moved forward to new media.

Of course, that isn't enough. The data must be indexed in such a way that the information you need can be found. Finding a needle in a haystack is easy with modern technology; finding a hand-drawn flow chart explaining how a particular "black box" in your manufacturing plant converts X to Y (and why it's painted blue) among hundreds of thousands of pages of poorly indexed documentation is exceedingly difficult.

about 3 years ago

Institutional Memory and Reverse Smuggling

Webmoth Re:Company rules against removing documents (312 comments)

You may want to consult a lawyer, but in negotiating with the former company, you could demand that you be exonerated from violating company policy during your employment in return for supplying any corporate documentation you may discover in your possession. How did your employment contract and employee policy read, and are you past any statute of limitations regarding possession of IP during your period of employment? Considering what a jumble their documentation is in, could they even find a copy of your employment contract and employee policy that was in effect during your employment? If not, then would they be able to present a valid breach of contract case without producing the contract?

Also, considering that nature of this project, you aren't an ordinary outside consultant supplying new information or engineering of a subset of the plant, but rather a former employee recreating holistic institutional intellectual property on a contract basis. Therefore you should be granted employee-level clearance to access and discuss all current intellectual property as it relates to the project.

As far as personally retaining documents related to corporate operations, much of the information contained therein may be of your own design. This intellectual property, while legally the property of the corporation, is also your personal idea. The non-compete clause in many employment contracts implies that you cannot use the ideas you had while employed at another employer for a certain length of time, but once that time is passed you should be able to reuse those ideas. Therefore you should be able to retain at least that portion of intellectual property that is your creation; it may be best legally to recreate the rest from memory.

As an employee of a contract IT consulting firm, I retain copies of network documentation for many of my clients on my personal laptop. (My company does not supply computers to its employees, rather it is a Bring Your Own Device type of workplace.) I am not aware that I am in violation of any NDA by this, but it would be terribly inefficient if I could only keep such information in repositories under the control of each client. If a client requests documentation of their network that I have in my possession, I will provide it to them, charging only for any necessary modification to reflect current configurations. After all, it is THEIR intellectual property, which I have previously sold to them by charging for the time previously spent creating the documents.

Will I destroy this information when the client ceases to become a client, or when my employment is terminated? Probably not. Chances are, I'll archive it and give a copy of the archive media to my employer. I may keep an archive copy myself, since I don't trust my employer to be able to find the archive somewhere down the road. Shoot, I don't even trust MYSELF to find the archive, but the more copies there are floating around, the better the chances of finding it when needed. Of course, that means the chances of it falling into the wrong hands and becoming a tool of corporate espionage is greater as well.

about 3 years ago

W3C.org Briefly Censored In Finland

Webmoth Samba (115 comments)

Every so often, some filters will block samba.org as being in the "Arts & Entertainment" category.

Of course, if you listen to the folks in Redmond, Samba is just for entertainment anyway, not any serious work.

more than 6 years ago


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