Slashdot Asks: What’s Your View On Benchmark Apps?

There’s no doubt that benchmark apps help you evaluate different aspects of a product, but do they paint a complete picture? Should we utterly rely on benchmark apps to assess the performance and quality of a product or service? Vlad Savov of The Verge…

There’s no doubt that benchmark apps help you evaluate different aspects of a product, but do they paint a complete picture? Should we utterly rely on benchmark apps to assess the performance and quality of a product or service? Vlad Savov of The Verge makes an interesting point. He notes that DxOMark (a hugely popular benchmark app for testing a camera) rating of HTC 10’s camera sensor is equal to that of Samsung’s Galaxy S7, however, in real life shooting, the Galaxy S7’s shooter offers a far superior result. “I’ve used both extensively and I can tell you that’s simply not the case — the S7 is outstanding whereas the 10 is merely good.” He offers another example: If a laptop or a phone does well in a web-browsing battery benchmark, that only gives an indication that it would probably fare decently when handling bigger workloads too. But not always. My good friend Anand Shimpi, formerly of AnandTech, once articulated this very well by pointing out how the MacBook Pro had better battery life than the MacBook Air — which was hailed as the endurance champ — when the use changed to consistently heavy workloads. The Pro was more efficient in that scenario, but most battery tests aren’t sophisticated or dynamic enough to account for that nuance. It takes a person running multiple tests, analyzing the data, and adding context and understanding to achieve the highest degree of certainty. The problem is — more often than not — gadget reviewers treat these values as the most important signal when judging a product, which in turn, also influences several readers’ opinion. What’s your take on this?

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Tesla Will Install More Energy Storage With SolarCity In 2016 Than The US Installed In 2015

An anonymous reader writes: Tesla is scheduled to install more energy storage capacity in 2016 with SolarCity alone than all of the US installed in 2015. It was revealed in a recent filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) that Tes…

An anonymous reader writes: Tesla is scheduled to install more energy storage capacity in 2016 with SolarCity alone than all of the US installed in 2015. It was revealed in a recent filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) that Tesla foresees an almost 10x increase in sales to SolarCity for behind the meter storage. [From the SEC filing: “We recognized approximately $4.9 million in revenue from SolarCity during fiscal year 2015 for sales of energy storage governed by this master supply agreement, and anticipate recognizing approximately $44.0 million in such revenues during fiscal year 2016.”] This revenue projection means Tesla expects to install approximately 116 MWh of behind the meter storage. The U.S. for example installed about 76 MWh of behind the meter storage. SolarCity and Tesla Energy doubled their battery installation volume last year. What’s particularly noteworthy is that the 116 MWh expectation does not include SolarCity’s biggest project — Kauai Island’s coming 52 MWh system. Hawaii is aiming for 100% renewable energy by 2045 and has contracted with SolarCity to balance the two 12MW Solar Power plants with the Kauai Island Utility Cooperative (KIUC). By 2020, there will be 70 GWh of Tesla battery storage on the road, and Straubel expects there to be 10 GWh of controllable load in those cars.

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Study Finds That Humidity Has More Effect On Drive Failures Than Temperature

AmiMoJo writes: A study by Rutgers University and Microsoft has found that hard drives are more prone to failure due to high levels of humidity [PDF] than high temperature. With a view to ‘free cooling’ data centres (using low external air temperature …

AmiMoJo writes: A study by Rutgers University and Microsoft has found that hard drives are more prone to failure due to high levels of humidity [PDF] than high temperature. With a view to ‘free cooling’ data centres (using low external air temperature for cooling to save power), the paper notes that humidity related malfunctions of the driver controller / adapter are the dominant cause of drive failure. The good news is that while the researchers found that high relative humidity was a significant factor in drive failures, “[S]oftware
availability techniques can mask them and enable freecooled operation, resulting in significantly lower infrastructure and energy costs that far outweigh the cost of the extra component failures.”

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Facebook Preps Its Infrastructure For a Virtual Reality Future

1sockchuck writes: Facebook is building a new generation of open hardware, part of its vision for powerful data centers that will use artificial intelligence and virtual reality to deliver experiences over the Internet. At the Open Compute Summit, Face…

1sockchuck writes: Facebook is building a new generation of open hardware, part of its vision for powerful data centers that will use artificial intelligence and virtual reality to deliver experiences over the Internet. At the Open Compute Summit, Facebook shared details of its work to integrate more SSDs, GPUs, NVM and a “Just a Bunch of Flash” storage sled to accelerate its infrastructure. The company’s infrastructure ambitions are also powered by CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s embrace of virtual reality, reflected in the $2 billion acquisition of VR pioneer Oculus. “Over the next decade, we’re going to build experiences that rely more on technology like artificial intelligence and virtual reality,” said Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg. “These will require a lot more computing power.”

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Raspberry Pi Gets Affordable, Power Efficient 314GB Hard Drive On Pi Day

Mickeycaskill writes: Western Digital has released a had drive optimized for the Raspberry Pi. The 314GB drive, released on Pi Day (3/14), costs $31.42 for a limited time and promises to be more reliable, power efficient and easier to use with the comp…

Mickeycaskill writes: Western Digital has released a had drive optimized for the Raspberry Pi. The 314GB drive, released on Pi Day (3/14), costs $31.42 for a limited time and promises to be more reliable, power efficient and easier to use with the computer than other storage. The company, which also has a 1TB drive, says the unit has been designed to coordinate with the Pi’s own power systems in order to minimize energy use without affecting the maximum data transfer rate on a USB connection. The Raspberry Pi Foundation says the new drive will stimulate the development of storage-hungry projects.

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Intel’s Optane SSD Compatible With NVMe; Could Boost MacBook Storage Speeds By 1000x

More details have emerged about Intel’s Optane, a new kind of memory and SSD that utilizes 3D Xpoint. The upcoming 3D Xpoint technology, which is supposedly 10 times denser than DRAM and 1,000 times faster than flash storage, will be compatible with NV…

More details have emerged about Intel’s Optane, a new kind of memory and SSD that utilizes 3D Xpoint. The upcoming 3D Xpoint technology, which is supposedly 10 times denser than DRAM and 1,000 times faster than flash storage, will be compatible with NVMe, a storage protocol that allows an SSD to make effective use of a high-speed PCIe. Several MacBook Pro models already support NVMe technology.

Apple is often among the first companies to adopt emerging standards and technologies, which has led many to believe that the Cupertino-based company might leverage Intel’s Optane solid state drives for super fast performance speeds in its next batch of laptops. Apple is expected to announce the refreshed MacBook lineup sporting Intel Skylake processor later this year.

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Intel’s Optane SSD Compatible With NVMe; Could Boost MacBook Storage Speeds By 1000 Times

More details have emerged about Intel’s Optane, a new kind of memory and SSD that utilizes 3D Xpoint. The upcoming 3D Xpoint technology, which is supposedly 10 times denser than DRAM and 1,000 times faster than flash storage, will be compatible with NV…

More details have emerged about Intel’s Optane, a new kind of memory and SSD that utilizes 3D Xpoint. The upcoming 3D Xpoint technology, which is supposedly 10 times denser than DRAM and 1,000 times faster than flash storage, will be compatible with NVMe, a storage protocol that allows an SSD to make effective use of a high-speed PCIe. Several MacBook Pro models already support NVMe technology.

Apple is often among the first companies to adopt emerging standards and technologies, which has led many to believe that the Cupertino-based company might leverage Intel’s Optane solid state drives for super fast performance speeds in its next batch of laptops. Apple is expected to announce the refreshed MacBook lineup sporting Intel Skylake processor later this year.

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Thanks For the Memories: Touring the Awesome Random Access of Old

szczys writes: The RAM we use today is truly amazing in all respects: performance, reliability, price; all have been optimized to the point you can consider memory a solved problem. Equally fascinating is the meandering path that we’ve taken over the l…

szczys writes: The RAM we use today is truly amazing in all respects: performance, reliability, price; all have been optimized to the point you can consider memory a solved problem. Equally fascinating is the meandering path that we’ve taken over the last half century to get here. Drums, tubes, mercury delay lines, dekatrons, and core memory. They’re still as interesting as the day electrons first ran through their circuits. Perhaps most amazing is the cost and complexity, both of which make you wonder how they ever manage to be used in production machines. But here’s the clincher: despite being difficult and costly to manufacture, they were all very reliable.

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There’s No End In Sight For Data Storage Capacity

Lucas123 writes: Several key technologies are coming to market in the next three years that will ensure data storage will not only keep up with but exceed demand. Heat-assisted magnetic recording and bit-patterned media promise to increase hard drive c…

Lucas123 writes: Several key technologies are coming to market in the next three years that will ensure data storage will not only keep up with but exceed demand. Heat-assisted magnetic recording and bit-patterned media promise to increase hard drive capacity initially by 40% and later by 10-fold, or as Seagate’s marketing proclaims: 20TB hard drives by 2020. At the same time, resistive RAM technologies, such as Intel/Micron’s 3D XPoint, promise storage-class memory that’s 1,000 times faster and more resilient than today’s NAND flash, but it will be expensive — at first. Meanwhile, NAND flash makers have created roadmaps for 3D NAND technology that will grow to more than 100 layers in the next two to three generations, increasing performance and capacity while ultimately lowering costs to that of hard drives.”Very soon flash will be cheaper than rotating media,” said Siva Sivaram, executive vice president of memory at SanDisk.

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OwnCloud Server 9.0 Officially Released

prisoninmate writes: OwnCloud Server 9.0 is without any doubt the biggest release of the world’s leading file sharing and sync solution, which is used by over 8 million users around the globe. It promises to bring the collaboration and federation featu…

prisoninmate writes: OwnCloud Server 9.0 is without any doubt the biggest release of the world’s leading file sharing and sync solution, which is used by over 8 million users around the globe. It promises to bring the collaboration and federation features to new levels thanks to the addition of new, innovative tools, as well as to improve the software’s scalability. One of ownCloud 9.0’s new features is code signing, which promises to offer users with a safer home for all their data by verifying the integrity of their ownCloud installations during upgrades or when installing apps, which also need to follow the new code signing specifications. The community edition of ownCloud Server 9.0 is available for download right now via Softpedia as a source package that you can deploy on your Linux kernal-based server, or straight from the project’s website as binary packages for various GNU/Linux operating systems. OwnCloud Server 9.0 Enterprise Edition will be released in April 2016.

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