Weekend tech reading: Q1 HDD reliability stats, why you suck at claw machines, is voicemail dead?

By Matthew
Jun 14, 2015
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  1. Hard drive reliability stats for Q1 2015 Over the past year we've been releasing hard drive reliability statistics based on the drives we use to store customer data for our online backup business. As of the end of Q1 2015 we had 44,252 hard drives spinning in our datacenter. If we subtract boot drives and drive models with less than 45 drives from that total, we get 42,749 hard drives remaining spread across 21 drive models. Below are the hard drive reliability statistics for these drives for Q1 2015. Backblaze

    AMD to usher in "a new era in PC gaming" in live webcast at E3 A real-time video webcast of the event will be accessible on the Investor Relations home page: A replay of the webcast can be accessed a few hours after the conclusion of the live event and will be available for one year after the event. Additionally, viewers will also be able to access the live broadcast on the AMD Twitch channel at A replay of the webcast will be accessible on the AMD YouTube channel. AMD

    Cyber-espionage nightmare On a wall facing dozens of cubicles at the FBI office in Pittsburgh, five guys from Shanghai stare from "Wanted" posters. Wang Dong, Sun Kailiang, Wen Xinyu, Huang Zhenyu, and Gu Chunhui are, according to a federalindictment unsealed last year, agents of China's People's Liberation Army Unit 61398, who hacked into networks at American companies -- U.S. Steel, Alcoa, Allegheny Technologies (ATI), Westinghouse -- plus the biggest industrial labor union in North America... MIT Technology Review

    LIFX White 800 smart bulb review The Internet of Things (IoT) revolution has sparked an increased interest in home automation. Lighting is one of the major home automation aspects. LIFX is one of the popular crowdfunded companies in this space to have come out with a successful product. The success of their multi-colored LED bulbs brought venture capital funding, allowing them to introduce a new product in their lineup -- the White 800. The launch of the White 800 also coincided with firmware v2.00 for the LIFX bulbs. AnandTech

    Former CIA director: We're not doing nearly enough to protect against the emp threat On Monday we covered the release of an open letter written to President Obama, issued by a committee of notable political, security and defense experts -- which includes past and present members of Congress, ambassadors, CIA directors, and others -- on the country's concerning level of vulnerability to a natural or man-made Electro-Magnetic Pulse (EMP). PeakProsperity (also, Why our brains don't process the gravest threats to humanity)

    Voicemail is on its way out First there was the answering machine, with its steady, blinking red light -- or not blinking red light, depending on your level of popularity. Then, over time we progressed to voicemail with its tapeless infallibility. Today we rely on text messages -- even our voice messages are now textual. Bizarre transcriptions accompany them these days: "For some of the would don't have decided in stock," means, as I’m sure everyone knows: "Unfortunately we don’t have this item in stock." ITworld

    The RPG scrollbars: The declining magic of MMOs There's a basic rule of the universe -- everything is better when it's a dream. A new car. A new toy. A revolutionary new way of playing games. As a dream, they're magical. They're promise. They're an opportunity yet to be bled dry or squandered. When we get them… they're a thing. It's hard to see the impossible in something right in front of you, which is why we shrug off such marvels as access to the whole of human knowledge and electronic telepathy on a yearly basis... RPS

    All of E3 2015 right flipping now...

    SteamVR: The room-scale VR world that feels like an "IMAX in your house" When I first arrived at Valve Software's headquarters, all I wanted to do was take photos of things I could see in front of me, at which point I learned what I was not allowed to photograph. Take the video game studio's giant fitness facility, for starters. The full-service gym appears to take up approximately a third of a floor, and its main, outward-facing wall is covered in photos of the company's 13 dedicated personal trainers. Ars Technica

    Kaspersky: Not our job to hunt down our hackers There are several reasons why we no do not attribute attacks to specific individuals or groups. In general, the attribution of cyber attacks is difficult to do conclusively; in order to know for a fact who is behind attacks, one must either catch the perpetrator in the act, the actors must admit to the attack, or law enforcement must uncover definitive forensic evidence that ties specific individuals to the acts in question. Channelnomics

    Internet by satellite is a space race with no winners On one side: Elon Musk, founder of SpaceX (and Tesla Motors), backed by Google. On the other: Musk’s friend Greg Wyler, founder of OneWeb, backed by Virgin Galactic parent company The Virgin Group and its eccentric billionaire founder Richard Branson. The prize: the chance to sell high-speed satellite internet connections to the billions of people throughout the world who don’t yet have access... Wired

    'Your PC may be infected!' (The shady world of antivirus telemarketing) Scotty Zifka was looking for a sales job. He started one in late May at a company called EZ Tech Support, a small inbound call center in an older building in northeast Portland, Oregon.The first day of Zifka's unpaid training involved listening in on sales calls. But within three hours, Zifka felt something wasn't quite right. "Everything about it was so weird," he recalled. Computerworld

    Detection changes: Search protection code ​In late 2014 we announced changes to our evaluation criteria regarding the way we detect programs that have search protection functionality. Microsoft security products will detect programs with browser search protection functionality from June 1, 2015. Non-compliant programs that exhibit such functionality will be detected by our software signatures that look for browser search protection code. Microsoft

    Here's why you suck at claw machines As it turns out, it isn't just fine motor skills issues or downright bad luck that makes those fuzzy stuffed animals imprisoned in claw machines remain tantalizingly out of reach. According to a video put together by Vox, the machine's manuals have instructions on how to "manag[e] profit" by tweaking settings such as profit level and coin value that in turn will automatically affect the claw’s dexterity and strength. A.V. Club

    Spent: The story of a poker tournament The croupier has smeared them across the felt toward me and I'm hurriedly scooping up these coloured disks as if they were spilled bonbons. I’m trying to arrange them in piles of five so that I have some idea how much I have, how many I have, except I’ve forgotten to return my cards and now the croupier is reminding me that he needs them before he can deal out the next hand. Shut Up & Sit Down

    What Source 2 means for Valve's eSports In the run up to E3 the series of tubes that make up the internet are practically clogged with rumours of what will appear to change the face of gaming in the coming year. Spurred on by a few cryptic lines of code in some Steam database updates, the impending arrival of Valve’sSource engine 2 has joined these rumours to create a maelstrom of speculation and wishful thinking. Redbull

    How a video game is released in 2015 In 2009, publisher Electronic Soft released BloodDeath, a blockbuster video game that won 306 "Best In Show" awards at E3 and went on to sell 3.2 million copies worldwide. In 2015, Electronic Soft released BloodDeath's sequel, BloodDeath: DeathBlood. This is the story of DeathBlood's path from announcement to release, as told through the eyes of the internet. Kotaku

    Permalink to story.

  2. Uncle Al

    Uncle Al TS Evangelist Posts: 1,508   +673

    Voicemail dead? Seriously, who is the ***** that writes this stuff? Since the dawn of time "leaving a message" has been mans quest. No matter the written note, dictograph recording, mag tape, to the present day ... there will always be the desire to leave a message. Guess he's too busy texting to give it any thought ..... LOL
  3. davislane1

    davislane1 TS Evangelist Posts: 3,372   +2,164

    Please. I've never encountered a claw machine I couldn't thread a needle or lift a brick with... in my fantasies.
    Tibeardius likes this.
  4. cliffordcooley

    cliffordcooley TS Guardian Fighter Posts: 8,430   +2,822

    Someone tell BackBlaze "Seagate Barracuda LP (ST31500542AS)" is not a 2TB drive.
  5. Tibeardius

    Tibeardius TS Booster Posts: 47   +10

    I can't remember the last time I left a voicemail message. It's an inferior way to pass a message along. It's subject to bad connections resulting in only half the message being coherent. Also the message can be missed meaning the recipient never actually gets the message or doesn't get it in time. It's the same reason many young people aren't getting landlines in their house. It's seen as redundant to mobile phones which they get at a younger age than their first home/apartment. Voicemail is redundant when you have text messaging.
  6. davislane1

    davislane1 TS Evangelist Posts: 3,372   +2,164

    BS. First of all, not everyone making a call makes one from a text-enabled device, such as business entities. Second, text is not appropriate for anything remotely private (such as business communications) or for someone sending a message while driving a car.

    As a tertiary point, what kind of obtuse individual calls someone, is addressed by the recipient's voicemail, proceeds to hang up, returns to the appropriate entry in the contact list, taps "message", and composes a text... instead of simply saying "call me" after the tone?
    Uncle Al likes this.
  7. Tibeardius

    Tibeardius TS Booster Posts: 47   +10

    So we set new standards of communication by standard business practices? I think not. They're always catching up and will do so again over the next 5 or 10 years.
    I agree it isn't professional enough of a medium for business communications but neither is texting someone a get well message, you send a letter which is also a dated way of communication. It will have uses but it's the old standard. You don't see people investing money or tech into making voicemail better, you see people finding ways to replace it. It is dead. It just doesn't know it yet and apparently neither do you.
  8. davislane1

    davislane1 TS Evangelist Posts: 3,372   +2,164

    A technology is widely employed but not actively developed (though alternatives are). Or, as the linked article cites, a technology is dumped for certain segments of a company's workforce to save costs. Neither one of those conditions demonstrates the death of a technology. They demonstrate competition.

    Smoke signals are dead. The telegraph is dead. Recognizing that the notification bubble on my iPhone's voicemail tab isn't a ghost is an observed reality.
  9. Tibeardius

    Tibeardius TS Booster Posts: 47   +10

    You know computers are being built without optical drives anymore? They just aren't needed. You may have a computer with one still in it, but that doesn't mean it's alive and well. Next time you buy one, it may come without it. Same with your car. They've stopped including CD players. Your car probably has one, but your next one might not. Your phone probably has voicemail... See where I'm going with this? I may be throwing in the towel a little early, but the match will end the same regardless.
  10. yRaz

    yRaz TS Evangelist Posts: 1,826   +879

    perhaps if there was a cost associated with voilmail, but with everything going digital there really isn't any cost for keeping it. And until everyone has a cell phone instead of a plan old house phone, text wont be a reliable form of communication. I understand where you're coming from, but if it doesn't cost anything to keep, why get rid of it?
  11. Tibeardius

    Tibeardius TS Booster Posts: 47   +10

    There is some cost involved. Not to the end user and nothing substantial overall but I think wireless carriers will see the trend and just stop offering. It does sound years maybe even decades off. Maybe it won't ever fully go extinct. Maybe it'll just become like snail mail. I guess from a cost perspective it really doesn't seem hard to just keep around.
  12. Evernessince

    Evernessince TS Evangelist Posts: 1,101   +528

    Wow, Good Job HGST, very low failure rates with a large sample size. Shame on Seagate, horrid annual failure rate. It still seems that multi-platter hard drives have a higher failure rate.
  13. RustyTech

    RustyTech TS Guru Posts: 818   +383

    Davislane1, stop feeding the troll; obviously Tibeardius will argue that white is blue and gold is black. :p
  14. Tibeardius

    Tibeardius TS Booster Posts: 47   +10

    Discussing different opinions isn't the same as harassing people. You'll learn that sophomore year.

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