15 February 2015

Tech News: Bit Rot, Vint Cerf, Digital Memory

What is 'bit rot' and is Vint Cerf right to be worried? | Technology | The Guardian: "...What is ‘bit rot’? What Cerf coined as “bit rot” is a process by which the mechanisms for accessing a digital file are lost, rending that file useless junk. A big part of the problem is the use of closed file formats that require specific software to read those files. If, for instance, you have memoirs written over the last decade stored in a Microsoft Office .doc file from Word or a similar program, that file is easily readable today with a multitude of programs - not all of them made by Microsoft. But the .doc file is a proprietary file format made and licensed by Microsoft. Facebook Twitter Pinterest In 1985, not even Bill Gates knew that computers would not feature 5.25 inch floppy disk drives forever. Photograph: Deborah Feingold/Deborah Feingold/Corbis Should Microsoft choose to stop supporting it and prevented other software from using the format, all those documents would be unreadable once the last version of the old software that could read them no longer runs on newer computers...." (read more at link above)

What Obama said in his cybersecurity executive order: "At the Cyber Security Summit at Stanford Friday, President Obama signed an executive order intended to protect computer networks and data. Among the provisions: Information hubs: The order promotes the create of so-called "information sharing and analysis organizations" or ISAOs. These would serve as central points to share information on particular threats and in specific regions. The order also envisions the development of voluntary standards to which these organizations, which could be private companies or community organizations, would comply. Information sharing: The order gives the Department of Homeland Security and the new National Cybersecurity and Communications Integration Center the authority to share threat data..."

Xiaomi will enter U.S., sort of - MarketWatch: ".... At a San Francisco event Thursday, Xiaomi said it will bring its mi.com e-commerce website to the U.S. to sell accessories like earphones, power banks and fitness bands. But Xiaomi co-founder Bin Lin said the company has no plans to offer its popular handsets in the U.S., citing the difficulty of having such devices certified. The event was Xiaomi’s first in the United States and was intended as a broad overview of the company’s products, its software and the culture it has sought to build around its brand in China. Hugo Barra, the company’s vice president of international, showed off dozens of features Xiaomi has created for its phones...."

Sleuthing Search Engine: Even Better Than Google? - WSJ: "The program, a tool called Memex developed by the U.S. military’s research and development arm, is a search engine on steroids. Rather than endless pages of Web links, it returns sophisticated infographics that represent the relationships between Web pages, including many that a Google search would miss."

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