If Marvell has its way, plug computers will soon become commonplace. The company today announced its Plug Computing initiative, which seeks to make always-on computing not only more flexible and easy-to-use than it is today, but also more environmentally friendly compared to a typical desktop or laptop PC.
A plug computer is essentially a small embedded computer that plugs into a wall socket and hooks into your home network via an Ethernet cable. It can then run network-based services that would typically be handled by a desktop or laptop. Marvell's SheevaPlug platform, for example, comes equipped with a Kirkwood embedded processor based on an embedded 1.2GHz Sheeva CPU, 512MB of flash memory, and 512MB of DDR2 memory.
QNAP is a company that hasn’t had a release in some time, but it’s clear they weren’t up to nothing. Their latest release, the TS-639 Pro Turbo NAS has had plenty of time spent on it, evident by just how much has been packed under the hood.
What is the TS-639 Pro Turbo NAS, you ask? Well, in short, it’s network storage that packs six bays, a 1.6GHZ Intel CPU, 1GB of DDR RAM, gigabit Ethernet and support for just about every type of RAID under the sun (0/1/5/6/5+spare). Match all that up with built-in iSCSI target service with Thin Provisioning, and you’ve got one heck of a NAS.
Still, there’s no mention yet on pricing or availability.
Terry Childs, who locked down San Francisco's FiberWan system last summer, will get his day in court on January 13, exactly six months since he went into the slammer for allegedly hijacking the network he designed and maintained. $5 million bail stands between Childs and a 'get out of jail' card until trial.
After an eight-day preliminary hearing, Superior Court Judge Paul Alvarado ruled Wednesday that prosecutors had produced enough evidence of Terry Childs' probable guilt to hold him for trial on four felony charges of tampering with a computer network, denying other authorized users access to the network and causing more than $200,000 in losses.
How much more than $200,000? According to prosecutors, the city claims it spent almost $1.5 million in "attempts to regain control of the network and assess its vulnerability to intrusions."
Childs' attorney claims her client was trying to protect the network from other employees:
Mr. Childs had good reason to be protective of the password. His co-workers and supervisors had in the past maliciously damaged the system themselves, hindered his ability to maintain it...and shown complete indifference to maintaining it themselves...He was the only person in that department capable of running that system.
The case made our 250 Most Important Tech Products, Events, and People of 2008list at number 232. Stay tuned to MaximumPC.com for further updates.
Wikipedia clearly is among the most innocuous websites and one can not imagine it being blocked by a child pornography filtering mechanism. However, the improbable has just occurred in the UK. The whole problem began when an image of a Scorpions album prompted Internet Watch Foundation’s Cleanfeed child pornography filtering system - used by many of the leading UK ISPs - to block the particular page.
Consequently, all traffic to Wikipedia from ISPs that deploy Cleanfeed beagn to be routed through transparent proxies – one proxy per ISP. Even if a single user is barred from editing by Wikipedia’s anti-vandalism system, all other users using the same proxy suffer exactly in the same fashion as most UK-based Wikipedia users are sharing a handful of IP addresses.
You can track the problem as it unfolds on this Wikipedia page dedicated to it. The IWF has stated on its website that the particular page was reported through its online reporting mechanism. After it was found unsuitable for minors, the page was “added to the list provided to ISPs and other companies in the online sector to protect their customers from inadvertent exposure to a potentially illegal indecent image of a child.”
EMC earlier this year acquired storage and network security solutions company Iomega Corporation, who is perhaps best known for its line of Zip and Jaz drives. Today Iomega announces the first co-produced storage drive between the two companies, resulting in the StorCenter ix2. For $300, consumers get a network storage solution the company describes as being "smaller than a large dictionary." The price point works out to $0.30 per gigabyte.
"These are market-based prices," Iomega division president Jonathan Huberman said. "It's ridiculous how cheap these things are, but it is what it is. A great value for the consumer."
Upping the bang for buck factor, a 2TB version is also being made available for $479, or about $0.24 per gigabyte. Of course, the StorCenter ix2 offers more than raw hard drive space. The unit comes with EMC's Retrospect backup software, virus encryption technology, and RAID 1. A bult in media server and Bluetooth, UPnP (Universal Plug and Play), and DLNA (Digital Living Netwrok Alliance) media device capabilities also come part of the package.
LaCie has always been good about their design, and that trend looks like it’s going to continue with designer Neil Poulton’s HAL 9000 inspired 5big Network Drive.
The 5big is aimed at small and medium sized workgroups with nerves of steel, and a need for a ton of storage. It will feature five hot-swappable Serial ATA drive bays that can hold up to 7.5 terabytes of storage total (more than HAL 9000 had, I bet). Should 7.5 terabytes not be enough, you can always add additional drives through the included USB ports.
The drives that you decide to put in the 5big can be put in several different raid arrays, including RAID 5, RAID 5+Spare, RAID 6, RAID 10 and RAID 0. And thanks to an included Gigabit Ethernet port, anyone connected to your local network can access it.
And don’t worry, should you decide to get a new network drive somewhere along the line you won’t be having the same issues that a certain Dave Bowman did.
The chips will not only prevent WiFi signals from loosing their strength while traversing walls but also reign in on any interference from other devices operating in the 2.4 or 5GHz bands. The chipsets are expected to cost between $20 and $40 each. These chips are expected to make their maiden commercial appearance sometime in 2009.
Wi-Fi is fast emerging as the most popular technology for wireless communication between disparate gadgets, but security remains a major concern. However, researchers at Boston University’s College of Engineering are working on an alternative way of connecting devices that will be innately more secure than Wi-Fi.
Moreover, an LED-based communication technology will enjoy a distinct security advantage. It will be more secure compared to Wi-Fi due to the inability of light to penetrate through opaque surfaces like walls.
“Imagine if your computer, iPhone, TV, radio and thermostat could all communicate with you when you walked in a room just by flipping the wall light switch and without the usual cluster of wires,” said an ebullient Thomas Little, a BU engineering professor, about the idea. Soon, our networks will quite literally “light up”.
This multi-function Wi-Fi device is super handy in some applications; utterly useless in others. It’s great if you have an extensive hardwired network and want to deploy a wireless access point and a three-port switch in a room your Wi-Fi router can’t otherwise reach. But it sucks as a wireless bridge because of its extremely poor range.
The Netbook movement, if it may be labeled as such, has received a shot in the arm in the U.S with the launch of Sprint’s XOHM WiMax network in Baltimore. The launch effectively ushers in the WiMax epoch in the U.S.
Subscribers will have unabated mobile broadband access throughout Baltimore as the XOHM network envelopes the entire city. Sprint is claiming downlinks speeds of 2-4 Mbps, effectively faster than 3G.
Netbooks are expected to become more practical and even indispensable to a fair degree as more cities appear on the WiMax map in coming months. Moreover, netbook are beginning to make much more sense due to the financial meltdown.