The Future of the Cloud Depends On Magnetic Tape

An anonymous reader quotes a report from Bloomberg: Although the century-old technology has disappeared from most people's daily view, magnetic tape lives on as the preferred medium for safely archiving critical cloud data in case, say, a software bug deletes thousands of Gmail messages, or a natural disaster wipes out some hard drives. The world's electronic financial, health, and scientific records, collected on state-of-the-art cloud servers belonging to, Microsoft, Google, and others, are also typically recorded on tape around the same time they are created. Usually the companies keep one copy of each tape on-site, in a massive vault, and send a second copy to somebody like Iron Mountain. Unfortunately for the big tech companies, the number of tape manufacturers has shrunk over the past three years from six to just two -- Sony and Fujifilm -- and each seems to think that's still one too many. The Japanese companies have said the tape business is a mere rounding error as far as they're concerned, but each has spent millions of dollars arguing before the U.S. International Trade Commission to try to ban the other from importing tapes to America. [...] The tech industry worries that if Sony or Fujifilm knocks the other out of the U.S., the winner will hike prices, meaning higher costs for the big cloud providers; for old-line storage makers, including IBM, HPE, and Quantum; and, ultimately, for all those companies' customers. [...] Although Sony and Fujifilm have each assured the trade commission that they could fill the gap if their rival's products were shut out of the U.S., the need for storage continues to grow well beyond old conceptions. Construction is slated to begin as soon as next year on the Square Kilometer Array, a radio telescope with thousands of antennas in South Africa and Australia meant to detect signals emitted more than 13 billion years ago. It's been estimated the project could generate an exabyte (1 billion gigabytes) of raw data every day, the equivalent of 300 times the material in the U.S. Library of Congress and a huge storage headache all by itself. Read more of this story at Slashdot.
2018-10-17 23:45:02 preview's
Essential Products, Startup From Android Creator Andy Rubin, Lays Off 30 Percent of Staff

Essential Products, a startup founded in 2015 by Android creator Andy Rubin, was started to create a smartphone with high-end design features that wasn't associated with a particular operating-system maker. Unfortunately, reaching that goal has been harder than anticipated as the company has laid off about 30 percent of its staff. Fortune reports: Cuts were particularly deep in hardware and marketing. The company's website indicates it has about 120 employees. A company spokesperson didn't confirm the extent of layoffs, but said that the decision was difficult for the firm to make and, "We are confident that our sharpened product focus will help us deliver a truly game changing consumer product." The firm was Rubin's first startup after leaving Google in 2014, which had acquired his co-founded firm, Android, in 2005. Essential's first phone came out in August 2017, a few weeks later than initially promised. It received mixed reviews, with most critics citing its lower quality and missing features relative to competing smartphones, such as a lack of waterproofing and poor resiliency to damage. The company dropped the price from an initial $699 within weeks to $499, and offered it on Black Monday in November 2017 for $399. Read more of this story at Slashdot.
2018-10-17 21:45:01 preview's
Researchers 3D Print Custom-Sized Lithium-Ion Batteries

An anonymous reader quotes a report from Engadget: [N]ew research published in ACS Applied Energy Materials shows that it's possible to 3D-print lithium-ion batteries into whatever shape you need. The problem that has stood in the way of 3D-printed lithium-ion batteries (at least, until now) is that the polymers traditionally used in this kind of printing aren't ionic conductors. The goal was to find a way to print custom-sized lithium-ion batteries in a cost-effective way using a regular, widely available 3D printer. In order to make the batteries conductive, the team led by Christopher Reyes and Benjamin Wiley infused the polylactic acid (PLA) usually used in 3D printing with an electrolyte solution. The researchers also incorporated graphene and carbon nanotubes into the design of the case to help increase conductivity. After these design modifications, the team was able to 3D print an LED bracelet, complete with a custom-sized lithium-ion battery. The battery was only able to power the bracelet for about 60 seconds, but the researchers have ideas for how to improve the capacity. For those interested, Engadget has a short video on the subject. Read more of this story at Slashdot.
2018-10-17 20:15:02,37944.html#xtor=RSS-5 preview's
7nm Chips Coming: Samsung Starts Production of EUV-Based 7LPP Process

Samsung announces that it has begun the production of the industry's 7nm process that uses extreme ultraviolet lithography.
2018-10-17 18:15:01,37942.html#xtor=RSS-5 preview's
Cadence, Micron to Begin DDR5 RAM Production by 2019's End

Cadence and Micron plan to start producing 16 Gbit DDR5 RAM modules by the end of 2019.
2018-10-17 16:45:01,37943.html#xtor=RSS-5 preview's
Macs With Apple-Made CPUs Could Debut in 2020

An Apple analyst with a great track record thinks Apple could be off Intel chips by 2020.
2018-10-17 16:15:02,37940.html#xtor=RSS-5 preview's
Amid 10nm Delays, Intel to Break Manufacturing Group Into Three

Amid delays with its 10nm chips, Intel will break-up its manufacturing group into three separate segments, presumably so its executives can run them more effectively.
2018-10-17 14:30:01 preview's
Spotify comes to Wear OS with stand-alone app, Spotify Connect support

Browse, play, and add songs to your library from Spotify's new on-wrist app.
2018-10-17 14:30:01,37941.html#xtor=RSS-5 preview's
Apple Now Openly Tells US Users What Info It Has on Them

Apple introduced a new privacy portal in the EU back in May, and now it's made it available to its U.S. customers as well.
2018-10-17 14:00:02 preview's
GPU-Z Can Now Detect Fake NVIDIA Graphics Cards

An anonymous reader shares a report: Sellers have been modifying lower end NVIDIA graphics cards and selling them more powerful cards online. In a recent version of the GPU-Z graphics card information utility, TechPowerUp has added the ability to now detect these fake NVIDIA cards. This new feature allows buyers of cards to detect if the card is actually a relabled NVIDIA G84, G86, G92, G94, G96, GT215, GT216, GT218, GF108, GF106, GF114, GF116, GF119, or GK106 GPU by displaying an exclamation point where the NVIDIA logo would normally appear and also prepends the string "[FAKE]" before the card's name. Read more of this story at Slashdot.
2018-10-17 13:30:01