Friday Tech Roundup (31 January 2014): Facebook’s 10,000 blu-ray storage system

Blu-Ray Discs

By on January 31, 2014 at 9:34 am

Welcome to the Friday Tech Roundup! Contained herein is your weekly dose of some of the best tech news from across the Internet, rounded up for your edification and entertainment. Read on for all the details of Facebook’s 10,000 blu-ray storage solution, Xbox One’s rumoured GPU boost, and a swathe of Google news.

Facebook builds prototype “cold storage system” using 10,000 blu-ray discs

In a bid to produce an energy-efficient long-term storage system for archiving old, infrequently needed data, Facebook has developed a prototype that uses blu-ray discs instead of hard disk drives. During the Open Compute Project summit in San Jose, California, the social media giant unveiled the system, along with some impressive statistics. The “cold storage” solution stores files like duplicate photos and videos on an array of 10,000 blu-ray discs, enough to store a petabyte of data. The system improves on its hard disk-based predecessor’s energy usage by a stonking 80 percent reports the IDG News Service, and uses a robotic picker to move discs around for read and write access.

Xbox One may release up to 10 percent of reserved GPU power

The Xbox One holds back 10 percent of its available GPU power by design, in order to ensure that there is enough parallel processing power available for video, Kinect, and apps. According to rumour uncovered by Pete Dodd, the mind behind the ps4noDRM campaign, Microsoft plans to make the GPU restriction optional for developers that don’t make use of video and/or Kinect in their games. Once again this is nothing more than rumour, but if true, that boost to available GPU cycles may work toward closing the perceived performance gap between the Xbox One and PlayStation 4.

Google sells Motorola Mobility to Lenovo after five months, drops Nexus series

Google has been active in tech news this week, with the sale of its Motorolla Mobility division to Lenovo for USD$2.91 billion after just five months. Google CEO Larry Page has said that Google wants to focus on Android, and believes that Motorola will be “better served” by Lenovo in the “super competitive” smartphone market. While the sale could be seen as an admission of defeat, especially when comparing the sale value to the company’s recent acquisition of the smart thermostat maker Nest for USD$3.2 billion, it is worth noting that Google retains an estimated USD$5.5 billion in Motorola Mobility patents. This news lands alongside an oddly unofficial announcement regarding the end of the Nexus line of smartphones, via a tweet from Eldar Murtazin.

@N Twitter handled extorted from its owner thanks to dodgy PayPal and GoDaddy security

Lark Technologies’ head of mobile Naoki Hiroshima recently learned a harsh lesson regarding online security, after his Twitter username @N was extorted from him thanks to allegedly incompetent security practices at PayPal and GoDaddy. According to a series of emails from the perpetrator, PayPal and GoDaddy both actively facilitated the attack by going off-script with normal security requirements, with PayPal allegedly even giving the attacker—who was pretending to be an PayPal employee—the last four digits of Hiroshima’s credit card number. This number was then used as verification for access go his domains held by GoDaddy, which were subsequently held hostage in order to extort from him the @N Twitter handle, purportedly worth $50,000.

Google buys AI startup DeepMind, governed by an “ethics board”

In even more Google news, the company’s expansive portfolio has grown to include AI startup DeepMind for approximately USD$500 million. Specifics on the whys and wherefores of the purchase remain a mystery, though assumptions could be made based on the vast amounts of data that Google captures and consumes from its users, or for its recently acquired advanced robotics division. In a bold move, DeepMind included a condition on the sale that Google form an “ethics board” to oversee the future of the project.

8 comments (Leave your own)

The “cold storage system” sounds interesting, be curious to see if it pans out and ends up in common use.

And all hail our Robotic Google overlords


AI and robotics, Google announces a name change to cyberdyne then creates skynet. Yeah!

I wish we would just forget about artificial intelligence, sure it would have a tremendous impact on humanity but the dangers just don’t justify it.

You can’t create something then give it intelligence and then dictate what it can and can’t learn. (which movie was that from again?)


You can’t believe everything you see in movies you know. I think it’s more likely that the world would be wiped out by a zombie apocalypse before computers rebel against humanity and create a master race of killing machines. Or maybe an alien invasion, but that’s alright because viruses seem to kill those…


Xbone is lagging behind the PS4. Tomb Raider 30fps on Xbone, PS4 at 1080p 60fps. I know they say Xbone is not optimised yet and it will get better as developers learn its system, but you could also say that about the PS4. If, as the rumour states, you take out the 8% buffer for Kinect, what happens with games that use Kinect, Tomb Raider uses it.

BTW the link says MS are freeing up 8% (Kinect video). Still reserving 2% (Kinect audio).


You can’t believe everything you see in movies you know.I think it’s more likely that the world would be wiped out by a zombie apocalypse before computers rebel against humanity and create a master race of killing machines.Or maybe an alien invasion, but that’s alright because viruses seem to kill those…

Maybe John Connor went back in time from the future and created the idea for Terminator so we are aware of the threat and thus do all we can to prevent it happening again.

Also bluray storage array? Sounds flaky to me, optical discs can degrade so much easier and faster than hard disks.


AI and robotics, Google announces a name change to cyberdyne then creates skynet. Yeah!

Skynet is already a thing in the UK and if you look it up it already sounds like something that could go wrong ;)


instead of bluray storage how about turning off unused HDD arrays?


instead of bluray storage how about turning off unused HDD arrays?

Most damage occurs to HD’s during spin up and spin down routines. It would be counter-productive to longevity to have them spin up and down frequently, hence they keep them spinning, increasing cost in power. The optical solution with BD’s is not a bad idea, as they have to be spun up and down as needed, equalling a massive reduction in power costs, but at the same time sending computing tech back to the ’80′s :D

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