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OCAU News
Friday Midday (3 Comments) (link)
 Friday, 13-March-2015  12:17:21 (GMT +10) - by Agg

Sir Terry Pratchett has died, aged 66. I don't know too many geeks of my age (or most ages) who haven't enjoyed at least one of his many novels. The author died at home, surrounded by his family, "with his cat sleeping on his bed", he added. Sir Terry wrote more than 70 books during his career and completed his final book last summer. He "enriched the planet like few before him" and through Discworld satirised the world "with great skill, enormous humour and constant invention," said Mr Finlay. Discussion here.

TPG is buying iiNet for $1.4B. The deal would make the pair one of the largest combined ISPs in the country, with TPG CEO David Teoh saying this morning that the total customer base would be around 1.7 million subscribers. “The combined businesses will provide broadband services to over 1.7 million subscribers and will be well positioned to deliver scale benefits in an NBN environment,” he added in a statement to the ASX. Discussion here.

Google have a new Chromebook. Of course, the Pixel is also great on the inside. It’s got a powerful Intel® Core™ i5 with 8GB RAM and a 32GB SSD. If that’s not enough for you, we’re making an LS (yup, that stands for "Ludicrous Speed") version that's even faster. And even with the new charger, you probably won’t be carrying it around much, since the new Pixel has 12 hours of battery life.* When you do need to top up, it’s fast—you’ll get up to two hours of battery life with just 15 minutes of charging.*

Tech Report have reached the end of their long-running SSD Endurance experiment, with all drives having failed now. The first lesson came quickly. All of the drives surpassed their official endurance specifications by writing hundreds of terabytes without issue. Delivering on the manufacturer-guaranteed write tolerance wouldn't normally be cause for celebration, but the scale makes this achievement important. Most PC users, myself included, write no more than a few terabytes per year. Even 100TB is far more endurance than the typical consumer needs.

As if cryptolocker wasn't enough reason to avoid unknown USB drives, there's also a Killer USB concept, thanks mpot. The basic idea of the USB drive is quite simple. When we connect it up to the USB port, an inverting DC/DC converter runs and charges capacitors to -110V. When the voltage is reached, the DC/DC is switched off. At the same time, the filed transistor opens. It is used to apply the -110V to signal lines of the USB interface. When the voltage on capacitors increases to -7V, the transistor closes and the DC/DC starts. The loop runs till everything possible is broken down.

We may have seen this before, but here's a nostalgic video from 2013 about old computers. The computer industry has changed drastically over the last 3 decades, but there are some things we've lost along the way.



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All original content copyright James Rolfe. All rights reserved. No reproduction allowed without written permission.