Oakland Changes License Plate Reader Policy After Filling 80GB Hard Drive

An anonymous reader writes: License plate scanners are a contentious subject, generating lots of debate over what information the government should have, how long they should have it, and what they should do with it. However, it seems policy changes are driven more by practical matters than privacy concerns. Earlier this year, Ars Technica reported that the Oakland Police Department retained millions of records going back to 2010. Now, the department has implemented a six-month retention window, with older data being thrown out. Why the change? They filled up the 80GB hard drive on the Windows XP desktop that hosted the data, and it kept crashing. Why not just buy a cheap drive with an order of magnitude more storage space? Sgt. Dave Burke said, “We don’t just buy stuff from Amazon as you suggested. You have to go to a source, i.e., HP or any reputable source where the city has a contract. And there’s a purchase order that has to be submitted, and there has to be money in the budget. Whatever we put on the system, has to be certified. You don’t just put anything. I think in the beginning of the program, a desktop was appropriate, but now you start increasing the volume of the camera and vehicles, you have to change, otherwise you’re going to drown in the amount of data that’s being stored.”

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ClearSky Data Exits Stealth With Novel Approach To Cloud Storage

ClearSky Data Dashboard with information about storage. ClearSky Data emerged from stealth today, offering an unusual approach to storage and data lifecycle management. It wants to combine the speed of on-premises storage with the cost and elasticity of a cloud service. While it’s a fully managed service, it involves several layers of storage with an on-premises piece, a local cloud data facility, and longer term public cloud storage.… Read More

MIT’s New File System Won’t Lose Data During Crashes

jan_jes sends news that MIT researchers will soon present a file system they say is mathematically guaranteed not to lose data during a crash. While building it, they wrote and rewrote the file system over and over, finding that the majority of their development time was spent defining the system components and the relationships between them. “With all these logics and proofs, there are so many ways to write them down, and each one of them has subtle implications down the line that we didn’t really understand.” The file system is slow compared to other modern examples, but the researchers say their formal verification can also work with faster designs. Associate professor Nickolai Zeldovich said, “Making sure that the file system can recover from a crash at any point is tricky because there are so many different places that you could crash. You literally have to consider every instruction or every disk operation and think, ‘Well, what if I crash now? What now? What now?’ And so empirically, people have found lots of bugs in file systems that have to do with crash recovery, and they keep finding them, even in very well tested file systems, because it’s just so hard to do.”

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Dropbox’s Wall Street Challenge

Dropbox Dropbox boasts a valuation in the $10 billion range. Last February the company hired a new CFO, which for many startups is a signal that their IPO moment is coming sooner rather than later. Nobody knows for sure of course, and Dropbox isn’t talking, but if the company does decide to move forward with a flotation, it could face several challenges in spite of its strong market presence.… Read More

Object Storage and POSIX Should Merge

storagedude writes: Object storage’s low cost and ease of use have made it all the rage, but a few additional features would make it a worthier competitor to POSIX-based file systems, writes Jeff Layton at Enterprise Storage Forum. Byte-level access, easier application portability and a few commands like open, close, read, write and lseek could make object storage a force to be reckoned with. ‘Having an object storage system that allows byte-range access is very appealing,’ writes Layton. ‘It means that rewriting applications to access object storage is now an infinitely easier task. It can also mean that the amount of data touched when reading just a few bytes of a file is greatly reduced (by several orders of magnitude). Conceptually, the idea has great appeal. Because I’m not a file system developer I can’t work out the details, but the end result could be something amazing.’

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Meet Linux’s Newest File-System: Bcachefs

An anonymous reader writes: Bcachefs is a new open-source file-system derived from the bcache Linux kernel block layer cache. Bcachefs was announced by Kent Overstreet, the lead Bcache author. Bcachefs hopes to provide performance like XFS/EXT4 while having features similar to Btrfs and ZFS. The bachefs on-disk format hasn’t yet been finalized and the code isn’t yet ready for the Linux kernel. That said, initial performance results are okay and “It probably won’t eat your data — but no promises.” Features so far for Bcachefs are support for multiple devices, built-in caching/tiering, CRC32C checksumming, and Zlib transparent compression. Support for snapshots is to be worked on.

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Google Photos Introduces “Rediscover This Day” To Help You Reminisce

3383434497_33873e8be3_b Without a doubt, Google Photos wants to be home to all of your photos. Whether you have a thumb drive, CD, DVD or undeveloped film laying around, the team wants you to consider uploading them to the service. Why? Because that’s when they can make the “magic” happen. Right now, Google Photos will wade through all of your treasured visuals and turn them into animations and… Read More

Twitter Expands Its Program For Ads Outside Twitter

Twitter Audience Platform Twitter is unveiling several new features for advertisers who want their campaigns to go beyond Twitter itself. And it’s giving the program a new name, the Twitter Audience Platform.
Last year, the company launched something called the Twitter Publisher Network, giving advertisers one interface for buying campaigns that ran not just on Twitter’s websites and apps, but also… Read More

Intel Promises ‘Optane’ SSDs Based On Technology Faster Than Flash In 2016

holy_calamity writes: Intel today announced that it will introduce SSDs based on a new non-volatile memory that is significantly faster than flash in 2016. A prototype was shown operating at around seven times as fast as a high-end SSD available today. Intel’s new 3D Xpoint memory technology was developed in collaboration with Micron and is said to be capable of operating as much as 1000 times faster than flash. Scant details have been released, but the technology has similarities with the RRAM and memristor technologies being persued by other companies.

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Intel Promises ‘Optane’ SSDs Based On Technology Faster Than Flash In 2016

holy_calamity writes: Intel today announced that it will introduce SSDs based on a new non-volatile memory that is significantly faster than flash in 2016. A prototype was shown operating at around seven times as fast as a high-end SSD available today. Intel’s new 3D Xpoint memory technology was developed in collaboration with Micron and is said to be capable of operating as much as 1000 times faster than flash. Scant details have been released, but the technology has similarities with the RRAM and memristor technologies being persued by other companies.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.