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Posted by Delete Delete on Fri 31st Oct 2014

Types of fibre











Available in 62.5um or 50um – this refers to the diameter of the fibre core in micrometres (one millionth of a metre). Narrower = longer distance.
SFP-SX-D / Koya / TP-Link SM311LM:
62.5um = 220m maximum distance
50um = 550m maximum distance











9um - SFP-LX-10 / TP-Link TL-SM311LS = 10km maximum distance!

Fibre connector types












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Posted by Delete Delete on Thu 28th Aug 2014

For many, solid-state drives are the way to go because of the speed advantages they offer over traditional platter-based hard drives. However, HDDs still hold the advantage when it comes to cost per GB. It's with that in mind that Seagate has started shipping the world's first 3.5-in HDD with a whopping capacity of 8 TB.

Seagate is, at least for the time being, targeting its new drive at enterprise users, such as cloud-based data centers, and back-up disaster recovery storage. This makes sense, as for such users it's all about making the most of space and cramming 8 TB into a single drive increases the storage density such facilities can accommodate.

Seagate also claims the the new drive boasts the best Watts/GB for enterprise bulk data storage in the industry, resulting in lower power costs for users. It also incorporates a SATA 6Gb/s interface, making it easy to integrate into existing data centers.

Seagate is shipping the drives to "select customers" right now, and it's planning to offer the drives to the masses sometime next quarter (October – December 2014). Pricing details are yet to be announced.

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Posted by Delete Delete on Fri 6th Jun 2014

Phishing as a concept – scammy electronic communications trying to steal personal data and passwords – has been around for nearly 20 years, but people still regularly fall victim to it.

In June 2013, security firm Kaspersky Lab estimated that 37.3m people had encountered phishing attacks in the last year, including more than 1m people in the UK alone. Symantec, meanwhile, estimates that phishing accounted for one in 392 emails per day in 2013.

Phishing is all about convincing you to divulge information that could help criminals steal your money and/or install malware on your computer, potentially also selling your passwords on to others.

It works by impersonating communications from companies that you trust: banks, online payment firms like PayPal, social networks, online retailers and other technology companies, as well as government bodies (tax authorities, for example). According to Symantec, 71% of phishing attacks in 2013 were related to financial organisations.

A lot of phishing attacks are fended off without you ever seeing them, thanks to the spam filters used by companies and webmail providers. But for those that make it through to your inbox, there are some common-sense tips to ensure you don't fall victim.

If it looks wrong, it probably is wrong

Phishing often looks, well, fishy. Typos can be a sign that an email is dodgy – yes, The Guardian may be on thin ice with this point, but typos in an email from your bank really are a red flag – as are all-capitals in the email's subject and a few too many exclamation marks.

Check the email address carefully

If you often get emails from a particular company, they'll usually come from the same address – for example, the vast majority of my PayPal emails come from service@paypal.co.uk. Another address, especially one that looks strange, should raise suspicions.

Watch for impersonal introductions

Your bank, PayPal, Amazon etc know your name. A phisher sending out masses of emails doesn't. That's why real emails from these companies often address you by name. "Dear Customer" or variations on it may sound polite, but it's a definite warning sign, especially if the email is trying to get personal details from you.

Beware of threats and urgent deadlines

Sometimes a reputable company does need you to do something urgently – eBay was recently forced to ask its customers to change their passwords quickly after a cyberattack, for example. But usually, threats and urgency are a sign of phishing: if you're being asked to do something to prevent your account being shut down, or within a tight deadline, its cause for caution.

Don't fill in embedded forms

If an email comes with an embedded form for you to fill in personal details, financial data and/or login details, don't do it. Trustworthy companies will never ask you to do this in an email.

Be cautious about phone numbers and web links

If an email asks you to call a number to give your personal details over the phone, dig out some official correspondence from the company and use the number given there instead. And if you're asked to click on a link that looks legitimate, hover your mouse over it to see if you're actually being sent to a different site – don't click on it if so.

Beware of spear phishing

The advice above is for traditional email-based phishing attacks, which target a large number of people and hope that a few will fall victim. But in recent years, a new variant has emerged called spear phishing, which is much more personal.

Spear phishing targets individuals: instead of "Dear Customer" an email might address you by name, refer to a recent transaction you've made and/or draw on other information that you've shared online – often on social networks.

Spear phishers may even impersonate one of your friends, asking for a password which – if you share it – can then be tested on a range of other sites to see if the criminal can gain access to your accounts.

Most advice on avoiding spear phishing involves urging you to be more careful on social networks: the kind of "could this information be useful to a cyber criminal" caution that may not come naturally when tapping out a tweet or Facebook status update.

Even so, it's important – for plenty of reasons beyond spear phishing – to be familiar with privacy controls on sites like Facebook, so you know when something is being published to your friends only rather than the wider world.

It's also important – even though it may seem onerous – to use different passwords for the various retailers, financial services and social networks that you use regularly. Spear phishers thrive on the kind of password laziness that comes naturally to many internet users.

As for spear phishing that seems to come from a friend or known work contact, the same rules apply as for phone numbers in regular phishing emails. If someone you trust seems to be asking for a password, ring them up and ask if it's really them.

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Posted by Delete Delete on Wed 14th May 2014

Transferring files between an iPhone and iPad is easy. If you’re running iOS 7 on both devices you can use the AirDrop feature. Transferring files from an Apple device to a PC (and vice versa) is trickier though, and often involves emailing them, or using a cloud drive.

iStick is a clever solution that functions as a USB flash drive, but comes with a Lightning connector on the opposite end, allowing it to be used with iPhones, iPads and iPod touches. As well as transferring files between devices, you can play music or watch movies directly from the iStick.

The flash drive measures 51.6 x 28.6 x 9.1mm, and is offered in various colors and storage capacities -- 8GB/16GB/32GB/64GB/128GB. You can choose from ABS plastic and aluminum, or all aluminum. It’s USB 2.0 only at the moment unfortunately (the creators say implementing USB 3.0 would involve redesigning the drive).

iStick is currently available on Kickstarter where a $79 pledge will net you an 8GB plastic model (Facebook or Tweet about it and you’ll get a free upgrade to the all-aluminum version). That might seem a little expensive, but the full retail price will be $129, so it’s actually a $50 saving. Free shipping to the US is included -- international purchasers will need to add $10. Obviously higher pledges will get you a larger capacity drive -- $299 for a 128GB model, for example ($100 off the retail price).

There’s clearly a huge demand for a USB flash drive with Lightning integration because the creators were seeking $100,000 in funding and have already received pledges of $309,000, with 34 days still to go. Most Early Bird Specials (offering iSticks for a discounted rate) have already been snapped up.

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Posted by Damien Biddulph on Thu 10th Apr 2014

None of Discus's Systems are affected by the recent Open SSL security flaw.

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Posted by Damien Biddulph on Wed 9th Apr 2014

It's over. The end. Finito. Windows XP support is no more. From today, Tuesday 8 April, Microsoft has no plans to offer support for the ageing platform – unless you shelled out millions for custom support before the deadline.

For more than a year now V3 has been counting down to this date and covering all the various issues it presents, as well as some of the benefits, to help keep IT workers informed of the latest developments in this area of pressing concern.

To mark the arrival of the deadline, we've rounded up some of these articles to present a guide to all the key information you need to know to understand the context of the Windows XP cut-off, its importance, and what may happen next.

Why does it matter that XP support is ending? Because millions of devices still use the platform. Despite being released in 2001 the platform is immensely popular, for numerous reasons.

Recent data showed that around 27 percent of all machines on the web are still running XP. This is an impressive figure, but not one that Microsoft would have expected to see by 2014, especially with the end of XP so well documented.

For some, such as the UK and Dutch governments, use of XP is so embedded within their organistaions that they have had to splash out for custom support deals worth millions of pounds. Hardly an ideal state of affairs, especially for taxpayers.

The reason millions has to be spent on custom support is because of the security risks posed by the end of XP, as there is no doubt problems will occur, according to leading security experts.

Microsoft has also been pushing this message hard, warning of impending threats and urging firms to embrace newer systems such as Windows 8 to avoid these problems.

It is not just computers that may be hit, though, with the banking sector frantically working to upgrade numerous ATMs around the world that are running on XP.

Moving from Windows XP poses a key question: where next? For most, the obvious answer is a newer version of Windows. Easyjet and Poundland both told V3 that they had moved to Windows 7 as part of their efforts to ease away from XP, and no doubt many others firms are undergoing similar transitions.

For others, though, entirely new platforms have been embraced, with Google scoring a key customer win when the London borough of Barking and Dagenham said it would be using Chromebooks to end its reliance on Windows XP.

Our Top 10 from last week suggested some more alternatives, such as opting for Apple Mac machines, embracing the open source world of Linux or even implementing a bring-your-own-device (BYOD) policy.

Of course it's not all doom and gloom, and moving away from XP has plenty of benefits too. While the platform was great at the time, Microsoft has been keen to point out that it is ill-suited to the needs of most modern businesses on issues of productivity, mobility, security and connectivity, unlike its new platforms.

Furthermore, with new hardware with vastly improved specifications being released by numerous partners of Microsoft such as HP, Lenovo and Acer, a workforce may well enjoy getting their mitts on a high-powered, sleek and lightweight machine.

What next?
Wait and see. While there is the chance the situation could be another Millennium Bug fiasco where nothing much happens, this is unlikely. The use of XP across the world in numerous sectors will make it too tempting a target for attackers to ignore and the world is far more computer-dependent than it was in 1999.

With Microsoft effectively washing its hands of the platform there is no doubt one company or public sector body will be the first to suffer, and it could be this that finally makes others realise they have to do something to end their use of XP.

You have been warned.

source Click Here

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Posted by Damien Biddulph on Tue 8th Apr 2014

What a time to be alive – the wonder cable that will end daily frustration

First pic Intel has been showing off the next generation of USB connectors which will be the first to fit into ports whichever way up they are – thus avoid the Schrödinger's USB stick problem.

The chip giant says the final specification will be locked down by July by the USB Implementers Forum, of which Intel is a member.

In a presentation [PDF archive] at the Intel Developer Forum in China on Thursday, the new USB Type-C plug was shown off and its specifications detailed. The 8.3mm-by-2.5mm connector, similar in size to today's micro-USB plug, will be capable of transferring data at 10Gbps, and delivering power up to 100W – from 5V at 2A for handhelds, to 20V at 5A for workstations and hubs.

According to Intel, the current Type A and Type B USB connectors are too bulky for use in the next generation of computer and tablets, and the small size of the Type C connector, as well as its enhanced data and power capabilities, mean it will be ideal to replace not only existing USB cables, but also AV and charging cables as well.

 The new plug will support both USB 2.0 and 3.1 standards, and can be used with current wider cables via an adapter. Once the specification is locked down in July, manufacturers can start building them into products.

There's going to be an annoying lag between the lock-down and actually getting your paws on the new cables. Generally it takes at least a year before the new cabling will hit the streets, but the appeal of the new cable may convince manufacturers to get moving faster on this one.

Apple users already have the kind of reversible plugs that many USB users crave: its Lightning plug has had the feature for over a year. It seems the rest of us will have to wait a while for that fumble-free connection. ®

Source - click here

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Posted by Damien Biddulph on Tue 8th Apr 2014

You don’t need to be a tech genius to know that smartphone batteries are rubbish.

A days use will soon have the flashing red icon of gloom flickering on your screen.

Now Swiss watchmakers Tag seem to have solved the 21st century nightmare, with their new smartphone called the Meridiist Infinite.

We won’t bore you with the science, but this little beauty has the ability to self-charge via a new form of solar power.

It’s a joint venture between Atelier Haute Communication and Sunpartner Technologies that could lead the way in the future.



Source - click here

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Posted by Damien Biddulph on Mon 31st Mar 2014

Studying ways to reduce paper and ink use for his school, a 14-year old teenager figured out that by switching from Times New Roman and other fonts to Garamond, organizations and businesses could save a ton of money on printer ink each year, CNN reports.

After collecting random handout samples from teachers and counting how often the most common characters were used in different typefaces, 14-year-old Suvir Mirchandani measured how much ink is used for each letter. “Next he enlarged the letters, printed them and cut them out on cardstock paper to weigh them to verify his findings. He did three trials for each letter, graphing the ink usage for each font,” the publication writes.

Following his research, he concluded that his school district could reduce ink consumption by 24% and save $21,000 each year.

Suvir published his findings in Journal for Emerging Investigators (JEI,) a publication founded by Harvard grad students in 2011 that offers means for middle school and high school students to showcase their work.

“We were so impressed. We really could really see the real-world application in Suvir’s paper,” Sarah Fankhauser, one of JEI’s founders said. JEI then challenged Suvir to apply his project to the federal government. After repeating his tests, the teenager found that switching to Garamond for all printing, the federal government could save almost 30%, or nearly $136 million each year. On top of that, an additional $234 million could be saved if state governments also switched fonts.

However, the government doesn’t seem that eager to change typefaces, even though it found Suvir’s work “remarkable.” Instead, the Government Printing Office will focus on printing fewer documents each year and using recycled paper.

Source - Click Here - By Chris Smith on Mar 28, 2014

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Posted by Delete Delete on Fri 28th Mar 2014
Every now and then, you might come across a file type you can't open. We've got a utility that can help you here – and we've also got plenty more when it comes to file viewing and converting tasks, none of which cost a penny. Dive in for our top picks including FreeCommander, and that golden image converting oldie, IrfanView...




Easy Image Modifier
Modify a batch of images with this utility. It'll resize photos, flip them, rotate them, change the format on the fly, or add watermark text.

FreeCommander is considered, by many, to be the perfect version of Windows Explorer. It features dual-panels, an optional tree for each panel, tabs, built-in FTP, built-in archive handling, file wipes, and a lot of very cool features in general.

Occasionally, everyone runs across a file they just can't open. That probably won't be the case if FreeOpener is on hand. It will let you view more than 80 kinds of file formats, from docs to videos to audio to images to archives.

Since 1996, multi-lingual IrfanView (pronounced "ear-fan-view") has been the leader among tiny programs providing instant viewing and conversion of graphics – and indeed video and audio, more recently.

It's all about access with Listary, which makes a search seem better than storing shortcuts or even using folders to launch programs. But it does more than just launching; it also has a smart menu of file commands, and that's just the start.

This image-only converter/viewer can read 400 types of graphics and export to about 50, including Animated GIF files. Get the sister program, Nconvert, to do batch conversions as needed.

Source: Click here

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