SSDs can lose data in as little as 7 days without power
By Joel Hruska on May 11
SSDs have a number of advantages over conventional hard drives. They draw less power, they’re an order of magnitude faster, and while they remain more expensive in absolute terms, the size of that gap has shrunk markedly over the past few years. There is one downside to SSDs, however — long-term data retention remains a significant issue.
A recent presentation by Alvin Cox of JEDEC demonstrates just how large the gulf is between enterprise and client drives. Temperatures while active and in storage are both listed. If a drive is stored at 25C or operated 40C, expected data retention for a client drive is 105 weeks, or nearly two years. Let the storage temperature creep up to 30C, or 86F, and the drive should still hold data for an entire year.
Enterprise SSDs, however, have entirely different characteristics. An enterprise drive stored at 25C and operated at 40C has a retention rate of just 20 weeks. In worst-case scenarios or high storage temps, the data on an enterprise drive can start to fail within seven days. 3D NAND, which uses an older manufacturing process, might rate better in such metrics, but JEDEC doesn’t include that information.
These timelines aren’t likely to make much difference to consumers, who keep devices in daily use, but they do matter in the long-term and outside client usage scenarios. If you’re a serious computer enthusiast, you likely have a collection of drives that you removed from old systems when you built a new machine. Some people will carefully step through and ensure that each and every bit of data from the old installation was archived to local backup or cloud storage, but it’s much more common for people to copy the critical data and leave the rest of their information on the original disk. With a mechanical drive, that’s not a problem — you can take a drive out of rotation and typically assume it will spin back up two years later, provided you store it properly.
With SSDs, you can’t necessarily depend on more than 12-24 months of longevity — and if you bought into the SSD craze from 2008 – 2011, chances are you’ve now got at least one drive you’ll be retiring in the not-too-distant future. High-end consumers who might be tempted by enterprise-level NAND drives need to pay attention to the brief unpowered data retention times — in this case, buying an enterprise drive really might not be the best choice for a system that remains unpowered for any length of time.
Note that the temperature range for proper storage of SSDs is far smaller than for hard drives. A hard drive can typically be stored from -40 – 70C (-40 – 158F. Yes, -40C = -40F). In order to maintain proper data longevity, SSDs, in contrast, may need to be stored in climate-controlled environments. Granted, most people likely don’t stick a drive in a normal storage unit, but this data suggests that even a few days in a car in summer could meaningfully damage long-term data retention.
Businesses and corporations need to be particularly aware of this limitation of enterprise flash. As a blog post at Kore Logic points out, there are serious legal ramifications for a company that fails to preserve business records that were stored on NAND flash. The IRS typically recommends that individuals and small businesses save tax data for at least seven years; large publicly traded companies have additional regulations to follow to satisfy laws like Dodd-Frank and Sarbanes-Oxley.
Beyond SEC regulatory requirements, there’s always the chance that a major company could find itself needing to refer back to years-old documents in order to settle a legal case. Again, proper data preservation is vital to such efforts — and for now, spinning disks (or in some cases, tape backup) offer a longevity that SSDs simply can’t match.
SSDs are amazing — and properly deployed, absolutely worth the investment — but the data retention challenges are real. We recommend everyone engage in proper backup procedures and be aware of the limitations of your chosen medium. No single storage type is perfect — so don’t depend on just one way of backing up critical information.
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Apple, Google, and 140 others ask Obama to reject ‘backdoor’ access to encrypted data
Image Credit: Shutterstock
May 19, 2015
Apple and Google are adding their names to an open letter to President Barack Obama asking him to quash any moves to create “backdoor” access to encrypted data on smartphones and other communication devices.
More than 140 tech firms, civil society organizations, and cryptologists have signed a letter to be sent on Tuesday, though the Washington Post says it has obtained a copy of it in advance. “Strong encryption is the cornerstone of the modern information economy’s security,” the co-penned letter says.
The issue of online security and encryption has never been far from mainstream headlines since whistleblower Edward Snowden made a series of revelations about how the National Security Agency (NSA) mines data from private communications. Some of the major tech companies have also been accused of complicitly allowing the government access to backdoor portals to their data.
Last year, both Apple and Google revealed they were now encrypting their phones’ data by default, which led to some public comments from the FBI, saying it was “concerned,” explaining why it might need access to people’s private communications.
“I am a huge believer in the rule of law, but I also believe that no one in this country is beyond the law,” said FBI Director James Comey. “What concerns me about this is companies marketing something expressly to allow people to place themselves beyond the law.”
U.S. authorities have increasingly voiced their concern that by not being able to access private communications due to encryption, it loses intelligence that prevents it from intercepting criminal activity. So while both the FBI and Justice Department have openly said that they support the use of encryption, they ultimately want a way to circumvent it when required.
This duality ultimately leads to a tricky situation. Any so-called “backdoor” that’s built-in to a technology for one body to use could also be accessible by hackers or other foreign threats.
The Washington Post says that the letter being sent today includes the signatures of three of the five members of a review group appointed by President Obama in 2013 in the wake of the Snowden leaks.
Ultimately, the letter is seeking to add weight to the pro-privacy movement, and urges the government to “fully support and not undermine efforts to create encryption standards.” It also calls for the government to not “weaken” commercial software.
Over time we have heard a number of ‘tips’ about how to charge our phone and what is effective while what damages phone’s batteries. Although a few of those rules and tricks might hold some water and are true, most of them are just rumors based upon something that someone once heard somewhere. Smartphone batteries have evolved quite a lot over the years actually and therefore, we just had to compile this list about charging myths that are not true at all.
5. Don’t charge your phone until it’s completely dead.
Deep charges will result in phone battery becoming unstable actually. Charge your phone every day and don’t let it go beyond 20% as a rule of thumb. The battery has finite number of charge cycles, always remember that.
4. You don’t need to turn your phone off — ever.
The opposite is true actually. You should ideally switch off your phone once in a week to preserve battery life and restore it.
3. Charging your phone overnight kills the battery.
Your smartphone is a smartphone for a reason; it knows when to stop charging. Once the battery is fully charged, the charger will cut off charging and battery isn’t in use anymore. However, it is a good practice to keep the phone charged between 40% and 80%.
2. You shouldn’t use your phone while it charges.
Oh come on, use it all you want and need given that you are not using a third-party charger. Those who will tell you about this rule shall also cite an incident where a phone exploded when it was being used while charging. The reports later on confirmed that the user was making use of a third-party charger.
1. Using off-brand chargers destroys batteries.
As long as it’s not the knockoffs that you’re using, it is good. Cheap knockoffs are what will damage your battery and smartphone. Off-brand chargers such as those by Belkin and KMS are perfectly okay.
One of the biggest security firms in the world admits it was hacked
Russia-based Kaspersky Lab, one of the biggest and most well-known cybersecurity research firms in the world, has admitted to being hacked.
In a blog post published earlier today, Kaspersky Lab CEO and founder Eugene Kaspersky wrote, "We discovered an advanced attack on our own internal networks. It was complex, stealthy, it exploded several zero-day vulnerabilities, and we’re quite confident that there’s a nation state behind it."
The firm dubbed this attack Duqu 2.0. It’s named after a specific series of malware called Duqu, which was considered to be related to the Stuxnet attack that targeted states like Iran, India, France, and the Ukraine in 2011.
The attackers behind Duqu 2.0 were hoping to infiltrate Kaspersky’s networks to learn more about its services, the blog post revealed. It added that the group behind Duqu 2.0 "also spied on several prominent targets."
Kaspersky explained this situation as a mix of both good and bad news. The bad, obviously, is that the security firm was hacked. The good news, however, is that it claims none of its services have been compromised.
The post went on to say that it was not wise to use an advanced never-before-used technology to spy on a firm. For one, Kaspersky sells access to a great deal of its technologies, so this group could have just paid for it. Also, in its attempt to infiltrate Kaspersky, it clued the company in to the next generation spying technologies hackers are developing.
"They’ve now lost a very expensive technologically-advanced framework they’d been developing for years," the post explained.
Kaspersky says the Duqu 2.0 investigation is pending and it’s still working to figure things out. It is not pointing any fingers about who executed the attack, but it has urged federal agencies to commence criminal investigations.
‘Don’t spy on me!’ How to opt out of Windows 10’s intrusive defaults
Windows 10’s pre-installed settings are privacy-intrusive by default, so changing those setting is just a matter of self-respect - and also a message to Microsoft.
Following the release of Microsoft’s new Windows 10 operating system, experts pointed out that it has little care for privacy, collecting on factory presets all available information about you, be it your location history, text messages and any information your share via them, personal contacts and calendar notes about your plans for exact dates, among other things.
What is this all about? The first thing coming to mind is targeted ads bombardment as well as selling undesired services.
“We will access, disclose and preserve personal data, including your content (such as the content of your emails, other private communications or files in private folders), when we have a good faith belief that doing so is necessary to,” the document says.
However, all is not lost. There are a number of steps you take to protect your privacy.
Immediately after installing the new system on your computer, you can deactivate most of the shameless default settings you would never turn on yourself if anybody bothered to ask your opinion.
Here is exactly what you could do first if you don’t want to feed your personal data to Microsoft corporate databases “voluntarily”:
- Read Terms and Conditions. For real.
- Turn off some of the default presets in the newly installed system (Settings - Privacy), as tech news outlet BGR suggests.
- Disable sharing your internet connection over Wi-Fi, it’s a bit too generous an invitation for everybody out there (Path: Start Menu / Change Wi-Fi settings / Manage Wi-Fi settings / turn off all the boxes you want to keep for yourself).
- Windows 10 syncs your machine with Microsoft servers by default, so things like web browser history, Wi-Fi network names with passwords, mobile hotspot, apps you install and favorites you choose are potentially being stored on their servers forever. This data “sharing” should be deactivated - in Settings.
Other Windows 10 features to be aware of:
- Windows 10 also generates a unique Microsoft ID for each and every user on a particular device. This ID can be used for targeted advertising – and it could end up with third parties, be it apps or ads developers, and they will all come to your laptop to sell what they think you need.
- By default, Windows encrypts the drive it is installed on automatically, generating a BitLocker recovery key that is backed up in the Microsoft OneDrive online account. This is also done automatically, so beware of this feature when your device encryption is on.
- All updates from Microsoft require collection of basic information about apps installed and networks you’re connected to.
- If you choose to use the Cortana Search Assistant, you should know that this feature will use any personal information it can get to tailor your online experience.
Windows 10 does contain a great deal of extremely handy and helpful features that can really make your web surfing and data management easier than it is now. However, this comes at a price of certain loss of privacy, which could be involuntary.
But if you have the slightest suspicion that you’d better keep your life a private undertaking – you should go to the Windows 10 Start Menu and disable anything that looks inappropriate for public sharing.
The problem is that even if you ask Windows 10 to stop collecting your data, will it really listen to your plea?
Use the correct cable and the phone will charge faster. Don't buy a charger with a fixed lead, get one with with the USB slot so you can use an original cable or even just a non-data cable. Non-Data cables can charge your phone faster as it tricks the phone into thinking that it is plugged into the wall.
The thing is even the original cable that came with it from Samsung is a bit dodgy now, I've found iPhone accessories are easier to find on the high street etc in comparison to android, which is a shame really.
The iPhone stuff you find on the high street can be dangerous. They are fakes and they will sell well due to the demand and costs.
I found that using a micro-usb cable from a blackberry worked better than original branded ones :/ again it will depend on how it is used and how well one maintains their stuff. So for in-car charging or charging via pc, I would prefer the blackberry cable. This may or may not work for you, but at least you know that there are other options available to you.
Alternatively, you can go to IKEA and get a wireless charging table and get the wireless charging back for your note 4 and you wouldn't need to worry about charging the phone in the car :) and who knows, there may even be a decent in-car wireless charger too, but the speeds of charging and cost may not be what you are looking for :(
No iPhone is safe: Newly found malware can harm any iOS device By Chris Smith on Oct 5, 2015 at 12:05 PM
Gone are the days when iOS malware reports were a rare thing. Following a wave of malware attacks on the iPhone and iPad – including a massive App Store hack and an Apple ID theft operation – a new security report reveals there’s dangerous malware in the wild that can harm any iPhone, iPad or iPod touch regardless of whether they’re jailbroken or not.
Called YiSpecter, the malware app was discovered by security company Palo Alto Networks, the same entity that first detailed the XcodeGhost hack.
YiSpecter can infiltrate any iOS device via a variety of means, posing as a genuine Apple-signed app once installed. Once on your iOS device, the app can then make itself invisible to the user by disguising itself as an actual iOS app, or hiding itself from the home screen – which means the user has no means of deleting it.
“On infected iOS devices, YiSpecter can download, install and launch arbitrary iOS apps, replace existing apps with those it downloads, hijack other apps’ execution to display advertisements, change Safari’s default search engine, bookmarks and opened pages, and upload device information to the C2 [command and control] server,” the researchers revealed.
Even if manually deleted, the malware will automatically re-appear.
There are many ways of installing YiSpecter on the phone, including hijacking traffic from nationwide ISPs, a worm on Windows, offline app installations, and community promotions. The app takes advantage of Apple’s enterprise certificates that are used to sign four app components to fool the operating system into believing it’s a genuine app.
Palo Alto Networks has devised a way of removing the malware app and additional apps that it may have installed, but you might require third-party programs that give you access to the phone’s file system – check it out below:
In iOS, go to Settings -> General -> Profiles to remove all unknown or untrusted profiles;
If there’s any installed apps named “情涩播放器”, “快播私密版” or “快播0”, delete them;
Use any third-party iOS management tool (e.g., iFunBox, though note that Apple’s iTunes doesn’t work in this step) on Windows or Mac OS X, to connect with your iPhone or iPad;
In the management tool, check all installed iOS apps; if there are some apps have names like Phone, Weather, Game Center, Passbook, Notes, or Cydia, delete them. (Note that this step won’t affect original system apps but just delete faked malware.)
UPDATE: Apple checks in to say that this issue has been fixed starting with iOS 8.4. Here is the company’s full statement:
This issue only impacts users on older versions of iOS who have also downloaded malware from untrusted sources. We addressed this specific issue in iOS 8.4 and we have also blocked the identified apps that distribute this malware. We encourage customers to stay current with the latest version of iOS for the latest security updates. We also encourage them to only download from trusted sources like the App Store and pay attention to any warnings as they download apps.
HTC exec responds to iPhone copycat claims: No, Apple copied us
Ever since a series of leaks revealed the company’s new HTC One A9 smartphone, just about everyone who’s seen the new handset has said the same thing: it’s an iPhone 6 clone. A picture is worth a thousand words and just look at the photo above — both of those sleek smartphones were designed by Apple, but only one of them was actually made by Apple.
There are some big-time HTC fans who have come to the company’s defense, but now HTC has decided to speak for itself as one brave executive swallowed his pride to defend his company’s new smartphone.
Speaking at a press briefing attended by WantChinaTimes.com, HTC North Asia president Jack Tong denied allegations that his company cloned the iPhone with its new HTC One A9 handset. “We’re not copying. We made a unibody metal-clad phone in 2013. It’s Apple that copies us in terms of the antenna design on the back,” Tong said.
There is no disputing part of Tong’s claim. HTC did indeed begin making unibody metal phones long before Apple did. Here’s what they looked like:
Those are all fantastic phones with gorgeous designs, and it doesn’t take an expert to see the common design elements that appear on each model, from the 2013 HTC One M7 straight through to this year’s HTC One M9. The shape of the phone, the way the back contours to the hand, the sloping back that leads to flat edges… these are all themes that run through HTC’s One phones from start to finish.
And let’s take a look at the front of each phone:
Again, look at the design elements these phones have in common: The shape, the dual speaker grills and so on.
Now, let’s take a look at Apple’s iPhone 6s:
And the HTC One A9:
So who copied who? :) Okay, so HTC have taken out the dual speakers from the A9, but then again, the A9 is a mid range handset, not the premium unlike all of Apple's handsets.
There is a screen protector available for the iPhone 6 where it allows you to actually use the lower part of the bezel as a button. Something iPhone users couldn't even dream of and a simple thing that is on almost every other smart phone.
Plenty more videos on YouTube for proof - this one is silent and no eyes!
I've seen others using this to utter shock. Now they are feeling a tiny bit of all the great stuff Android does :)
Plenty on the Market - Here's an Amazon description
Smarteer iPhone 6S Plus QPAU Tempered Glass Screen Protector with Invisible Smart Return and Confirm Key for iPhone 6S Plus 5.5 Inch
✔ A built-in special circuit connects the lower left corner and lower right corner with the top left corner and top right corner of the screen, where are the positions of most IOS APPs for Back Button and Confirm Button;
•✔ Without installing any software application, a dedicated physical [Return Key] is designed to be the easy way of going back to the previous screen; and a [Confirm Key] is desgined to use the function on the top right corner in most APPs;
•✔ A smart screen protector makes the device easier to use with a single hand, and decreases the chances of breaking your screen when your cell phone drops by 99%;
•✔ Made of premium 9H ballistic nano ultra clear tempered glass: anti-scratch and ultra-clear with high sensitivity touch; the back button itself is invisible, and nothing change in the outlook;
•✔ Lifetime replacement warranty; Easy installation.
I found out that the word Samsung means 'three stars' referring to three star deities that were worshipped known as 'sanxing'. They were worshipped by the Chinese. Obviously this has shirk implications. I have Samsung products, do I have to remove the logo from my phone? I have no problem in doing so because if I owned something that had for example buddha or krishna etc, I would think that we would have to remove those names too. Please advise me asap.
In the Name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful.
As-salāmu 'alaykum wa-rahmatullāhi wa-barakātuh.
In Korean, the word Samsung means "three stars." The name was chosen by Samsung founder Lee Byung-chull whose vision was for his company to become powerful and everlasting like stars in the sky.(1)
The Korean concept derives from the Chinese deities Sanxing which are the personified ideas of Prosperity (Fu), Status (Lu), and Longevity (Shou) in the Chinese traditional religion.(2)
However, since it no longer carries any religious signification in the eyes of people but it is seen simply as the name of a global electronics brand, it would be permissible to use their products and there is no need to remove the logo.
This cannot be undone and I am sure it will be greatly appreciated.
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