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Archive for December, 2013

Computer Misuse in the UK

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Computer Misuse termsComputer misuse is an interesting phrase. Interpreted in a light hearted way it suggests using a computer for various activities that the computer wasn’t intended for – eg. the keyboard as a hammer or the heat from the monitor screen as a sort of clothes dryer etc.

Of course the interpretation the phrase is supposed to define is using the computer for illegal or dubious purposes. Whilst surfing standard internet porn is not illegal, many companies would take a dim view if their employees were doing this during working hours. It’s also an activity that can upset other members of staff and quickly lead to problems and arguments in the office. Therefore companies class surfing porn as computer misuse and will often sack employees who are found doing it. Playing online games during working hours is a far less contentious issue but also considered by companies to be computer misuse as the employee is being paid by the company to work, not to play games. This is also often a sackable offence.

The term computer misuse is also intended to apply to computer crime, such as internet blackmail, hacking and phishing. All 3 of these activities are quite common. Computer viruses are an early example of computer misuse and were being written long before anyone had even thought of a computer misuse law. Computer viruses have now morphed into what is often referred to as malware.

Malware is basically any type of malicious computer software that is design to cause harm or damage. Actually, the definition of malware is rather long winded and complicated, Wikipedia have a good stab at defining the term here. There are many types of malware and one of the most interesting types are the ones that turn computers into network zombies – these are vast numbers of machines that are infected (almost always with the knowledge of the owner of the machine) with a malware program that allows them to be subtly controlled by criminal gangs. The gangs then use these zombie networks for an array of large scale criminal activities such as credit card fraud, money laundering and denial of service (DOS) attacks.

So already you can see that computer misuse is sometimes intentional (as in the above example of surfing porn during office hours) and sometimes not (where the owner has no idea their malware hijacked computer is being used for illegal purposes).

It’s easy to identify computer misuse when it’s intentional but as with most laws, the interpretation of the law of computer misuse can be tricky and rather long winded. Computer misuse is also interpreted and legislated differently by many countries. For those of us under UK law there’s a good computer misuse FAQ page on the Computer Science web site. The page discusses & defines computer misuse in both civil and criminal instances and goes into further detail about the actual process of computer misuse and committing computer crime.

It’s a good idea for both companies and individuals to be aware of the definitions of computer misuse and also what constitutes an offence, both criminal and civil. Presently, many of us believe we know what computer misuse is and think we are able to spot it, but this is only an a superficial basis. Reading the computer misuse FAQ shows that the law is actually for more reaching and involved than you may currently believe.

Written by Betty

December 20th, 2013 at 12:58 pm

Broken Hard Drives Still Contain Recoverable Data !

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When you store important information on a hard disk drive, you take the chance of losing that information because hard disk drives can break for a variety of different reasons. If you’re not computer literate, losing data on a hard drive can be difficult because you don’t know what to do to recover your data. Fortunately, there are companies that can help you get that data back. These are known as data recovery companies and they can retrieve data from nearly any type of hard drive in any type of condition. So when you find yourself in a situation where you have lost valuable information you should not assume that this data can not be retrieved.

Hard drive with cover removed.There are some companies that specialise in repairing damaged hard drives. In the process of retrieving your data, theses data recovery companies can also repair your hard disk. Types of the problems data recovery companies can repair include broken boards, mechanical hard drive faults such as the ‘click of death’ and beeping hard drives. A recommended company in the UK are RAID and Server Data Recovery – you would use a hard drive recovery company when your local IT provider can no longer help you.

Sometimes when there is no damage to the hard disk, software programs can be used to help you retrieve your data by yourself. There are usually trial versions available on the internet that will tell you what they can and can’t recover first. If you decide you want to recover the data they find you’ll have to buy the program which usually costs several pounds. But at least it will get your data back for you. A word of caution though, what may at first appear to be a simple hard drive problem may be something far more serious and trying to recover the data yourself may cause many more problems. So if in doubt, you should always seek professional help as there could be problems inside your disk that prevent it from working properly.

Remember that just because your hard disk breaks or the information on it seems to have disappeared, this doesn’t mean that the data is lost forever. Skilled data retrieval companies that can find and rescue lost data on a damaged hard drive. In the process of restoring the data, the hard drive problems that caused the data to go missing in the first place will be fixed. This is helpful because it insures that it won’t happen again.

Developments in Data Centre Hard Drive TCO

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Total Cost of Ownership Graph

The main TCO factors for data centre design

Since social media, data warehousing, online retailing and banking businesses create the most demanding cloud support infrastructures with thousands and thousands of hosts managing petabytes of data, they all understand the significance of crafting an end-to-end storage strategy which appears beyond one time capital cost for the crux of the actual prices – the operating costs related to Total Cost of Ownership (TCO). Cloud architects are creating new guidelines that illustrate the bottom-line value of having a systems wide approach to storage. Usually based on components and software, they deploy drives optimized for special applications that demand efficient power utilization, density and dependability. The important thing: Cloud data centre choices are actually based on value instead of pricing and TCO is how value has been measured.

Embracing the best storage scheme for public, private, and on premise data center infrastructures could make a huge difference in your capacity to significantly lower TCO costs. The key to successfully affecting TCO goes well beyond the price of the drives themselves or measuring effectiveness when it comes to cost per gigabyte only.

Understand the dependability of the hard drives in the data centre. The more dependable the drive, the less time plus price spent keeping it. Drives rated at HGST’s business’s leading standard of 2 million hours Mean-time Between Failure (MTBF) will encounter 40% fewer failures during the five-year life of the drive over these rated at 1.2 million hours.

Raise the density of the present data center footprint with higher-capacity drives. In addition, new up-and-coming helium filled platforms are capable of supporting seven platters per normal 3.5inch HDD, 2 more platters or disks compared to present airfilled five-platter drives.

Power Utilization Efficiency or PUE denotes the proportion of the entire number of power used by a data centre to the power sent or consumed by its own gear. PUE makes it possible to quantify such variables such cooling, electricity distribution and light. The perfect PUE ratio is 1.

Best-in-group data centres like Google and eBay have reported ratios only 1.14 and 1.35, respectively, however an average data centre has a ratio of 2.5. This implies that a typical data centre uses 2-and-a-half times more electricity compared to the amount required to operate the equipment.

Written by Betty

December 3rd, 2013 at 12:33 pm