Plus, see how Naoki Hiroshima was extorted out of his $50,000 Twitter handle.
By Jason Imms 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.