Numbers, percentages, bits of data; normally, we tend to look at these tidbits as information, useful for statistical analysis and not much more. Accounting isn’t sexy. Spreadsheet programmers don’t cultivate the same star power as lead programmers on video games. But numbers and raw data hold a unique and powerful allure their own – just ask John Carmack.
Before you skimp on the size of your next hard drive to shave a few bucks off your system build, you should consider the state of the digital universe. To help you do that, IDC put together its fifth annual study of the digital universe sponsored by EMC Corporation and found that it's, well, big and vast. We already knew that last year when planet Earth broke the zettabyte barrier, and by the end of 2011, the amount of information created and replicated will surpass 1.8 zettabytes (that's 1.8 trillion gigabytes), growing by a factor of 9 in just five years, IDC says.
The eggheads at the School of International Relations and Pacific Studies and the San Diego Supercomputer Center at the University of California, San Diego did a little number crunching lately and present their findings in a research report. What they found is that, as of three years ago, the world's 27 million business servers processed 9.57 zettabytes of information. As for the average worker, he or she receives an average of 3TB of information every year, enough to fill today's largest consumer hard drives.
Amidst the fallout from the PlayStation Network hack, Sony claimed yesterday that the Internet vigilante group Anonymous was responsible for the attack. But today the well-known hacktivist group denied any involvement with the theft of credit card numbers. The statement is carefully worded, though. Could there be more to this?
Sony has once again commented on the PSN outage and hacking incident. But this time we got a little more technical information than previous disclosures offered. Contrary to past reports, Sony claims that passwords were not stored in plain text, or in any easily accessible form. They were not encrypted, but were rather "transformed using a cryptographic hash function." Well, it's better than nothing.
T-Mobile recently rolled out its new 'Even More' plan, a single-line unlimited plan that opens the spigot on data, calling, and text messaging. It's an $80 plan with a two-year service contract required that applies to both new and existing customers, and since it's an all-you-can-consume buffet on all three fronts, there aren't any overage charges to worry about.
Data firms are proving gold mines for hackers looking to sneak in and steal hordes of customer data in one fell swoop. That's what happened to Epsilon, a firm that stores personal data for thousands of companies, including JPMorgan Chase, Kroger, TiVo, Best Buy, Walgreen, and Capital One. The security breach exposed email addresses and other private data for some 50 firms, including each of the above named outfits.
LightSquared is a start up that intends to build out a robust nation-wide 4G LTE network that it will lease out to network providers. They have announced today that a deal has been inked with retailer Best Buy, but details have not been made public as of yet. The Minnesota-based company will use the LightSquared network to expand its Best Buy Connect mobile broadband service.
Merriam-Webster defines "unlimited" as "boundless, infinite" and "not bounded by exceptions." Simple enough, right? It was, at least until wireless carriers got hold of the term and began using it haphazardly. Enter Sprint CEO Dan Hesse, who's apparently as fed up as we are with companies touting unlimited plans that aren't truly unlimited.
All is again well for Mirco Wilhelm, who earlier this week lost 4,000 images uploaded to Flickr over the course of five years when a Flickr employee inadvertently deleted his account, the LA Times reports. During an email exchange, Wilhelm was told that the staff member "mixed up the accounts and accidentally deleted" his. The staffer offered to restore his account, but said his photos were unrecoverable.
Three hours later, a followup email let Wilhelm know Flickr's IT team was working to bring his photos back from the digital grave, but Wilhelm's bigger concern was losing "5 years of community membership, contact, comments, internal and external links to my photos," all of which are hard to backup locally.
In the end, the Yahoo-owned photo sharing site managed to fully restore Wilhelm's account as it was before the accidental deletion and promised to "soon roll out functionality that will allow [Flickr] to restore deleted accounts more easily in the future."