What You Need To Know About A Disaster Recovery Plan

Disaster may strike when you are least prepared for it. It is true when it comes to natural disasters where people are hurt, displaced or killed because of unpreparedness. The same thing applies to your digital life. As more businesses rely on technology to maintain and grow their business, more and more processes are computerized to make things faster and easier.

However, it has a major flaw. Since technology relies on power/ electricity to function, any power interruption or outage can put a temporary halt to the business and render both machines and files useless for a while until the power returns. It can happen when your town was hit by a major storm and there has been flooding all over the area – even your office was not spared. You may end up with computers soaking in water and files you may never be able to retrieve anymore.

You close your small business for the day and go home. You come back the next morning, and a leak has caved in the roof and it has fallen on your office server. If you don’t have an IT disaster recovery plan, your day is going to get much worse.

According to the US Small Business Administration (SBA) and its Prepare My Business program, 90 percent of companies fail within a year unless they can resume operations within five days following a disaster.

It is the reason why a business recovery plan is a must for any business to flourish no matter what kind of disaster threatens its existence.

An IT disaster recovery plan is a process put in place for responding to unforeseen events effecting your data with a documented and structured approach and a clear set of instructions. These instructions include a step-by-step plan designed to greatly minimize the impact of any disaster and to allow your business to swiftly resume operations.

The broader terms business continuity or disaster recovery, generally  describe a similar concept. They are procedures allowing you to recover from a disaster quickly so you can continue your business with minimal disruption. However, the IT disaster recovery plan refers specifically to data and other IT operations.

The other two descriptions may also apply to procedures providing for things like replacement for damaged equipment or inventory and even additional part-time or full-time help where needed.

It begins by analyzing the business process and the continuity needs of the company. It requires a business impact analysis and risk analysis to establish the recovery time objective and recovery point objective — both important when setting up the plan.

(Via: https://smallbiztrends.com/2017/03/it-disaster-recovery-plan.html)

All companies should anticipate for disasters and establish their very own disaster recovery plan to protect important data and files of the company as well as expensive machines and gadgets that are just as difficult to replace with.

Asynchronous vs synchronous. Dark disaster recovery vs. active architecture. Active/active vs. active/passive. No setup is objectively better or worse than another. The best one for you primarily depends on your level of tolerance for what happens when the server goes down.

Security experts say how individual companies choose to save their data in anticipation of an outage depends on how long they can survive before the “lights” are turned back on. What level of availability does your company need? Is the face of your company an ecommerce site where even a few minutes offline can cost an astronomical sum? Will the cost of an active-active system outweigh the potential loss of business from an outage?

“It isn’t about one being more efficient than the other. More to the point of what needs are you trying to solve for. For example, buying a Ferrari to get groceries will get the job done, but is it really fit for purpose?” says Don Foster, senior director of solutions marketing and technical alliances at Commvault.

(Via: http://www.csoonline.com/article/3178392/disaster-recovery/disaster-recovery-how-is-your-business-set-up-to-survive-an-outage.html)

A company has to take into consideration everything that has to do with the operation of the business when preparing for a disaster recovery plan – whatever the disaster may be. But once you understand what needs to be done and the amount of preparation required, your business will not only survive any disaster but even thrive while others struggle to pick up the broken pieces of their operation.

The following blog post What You Need To Know About A Disaster Recovery Plan was originally seen on http://www.harddrivefailurerecovery.net

source https://www.harddrivefailurerecovery.net/what-you-need-to-know-about-a-disaster-recovery-plan/

A Hard Blow For Microsoft’s Windows 10

The computing world is only made up of two users – a Mac user and a Windows user. While the rich and the elite prefer their sleek, shiny and classy MacBook Pros, the majority of the world relies on Windows PC in their day-to-day.

Most Windows users are now using the Windows 10 operating system. It may mean a smooth transition for someone who bought a brand new computer or laptop but it can be a struggle for someone who owns an existing laptop and has decided to finally make the upgrade. And while many try to resolve any issues on their own or learn to live with the losses along the way, some will make a fuss and voice out their complaints.

Windows 10 has certainly not been short of controversy. Between forced upgrades, telemetry and privacy concerns, and the introduction of increasing numbers of ads, Microsoft has been on the receiving end of a good deal of criticism for the latest version of its operating system. And the trouble is not over.

With the launch of Windows 10 Creators Update just around the corner, Microsoft faces a lawsuit from three people from Illinois who claim that the upgrade not only resulted in data loss, but also damaged their computers. The lawsuit makes reference to the difficulty many users found in declining the offer of upgrading to Windows 10.

(Via: https://betanews.com/2017/03/27/windows-10-data-loss-lawsuit/)

While an upgrade promises better features, it has some major downsides too. For starters, forced upgrades leaves you with little choice but to give in and upgrade to the latest Windows offering even though you have been using Windows 7 for as long as you can remember. Hence, a sudden upgrade can result in a major inconvenience and even data loss or damage to property.

A class action lawsuit filed in Illinois last week alleges that Microsoft did not do enough to ensure that its Windows 10 operating system wouldn’t cause problems for users who downloaded it.

The suit, filed Thursday in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, names three plaintiffs and seeks more than $5 million in damages. It was filed on behalf of all Microsoft users in the U.S. who lost data or whose devices were damaged after installing Windows 10.

Released in July 2015, Windows 10 was offered as a free upgrade for one year to any Microsoft users running previous versions of the company’s operating system. While Microsoft touted the cloud-focused Windows 10, now installed on more than 400 million devices, as its most advanced and secure OS to date, many customers have complained about the company’s aggressive efforts to get people to upgrade.

(Via: http://www.cio-today.com/article/index.php?story_id=1300046Q0MOS)

So, just what does this lawsuit implies and how will it affect Microsoft in general?

The three say Microsoft did not provide adequate warnings before customers started the Windows 10 upgrade process, such as “the fact that consumers should back up their data before the download was commenced, the fact that the operating system might render their computers or particular programs on their computers unuseable, or the fact that the download might cause them to lose data.”

Plaintiffs also allege that Microsoft was aware “of the fact that its Windows 10 operating system upgrade could cause loss of data or damage to hardware.”

Plaintiffs are looking for damages, attorney’s fees, litigation expenses, and other reliefs the court would seem fit.

(Via: https://www.bleepingcomputer.com/news/microsoft/users-file-class-action-lawsuit-against-microsoft-over-botched-windows-10-upgrades/)

While many are forced to make upgrades because that is what the system tells them to do, anyone who suffered greatly because of these things is also free to speak up and file cases when they feel that their rights have been trampled on. And let this serve as an example to Microsoft that even though people who use their gadgets have no choice but to comply with most upgrades, some will not take it lightly and even file lawsuits if the inconvenience was more than they could bear.

The following article A Hard Blow For Microsoft’s Windows 10 is available on http://www.harddrivefailurerecovery.net

source https://www.harddrivefailurerecovery.net/a-hard-blow-for-microsofts-windows-10/

How SSDs Make Life Easier

Most computers and laptops use conventional hard drives for the saving and storage of data. But as more alternatives open up and businesses expand their operation, there is even a greater need for data space and storage. SSDs may just be the solution (and sometimes not) some people are looking for when they experience disk issues like these. Since its prices have significantly gone down in previous years, it is becoming a more feasible option for a wider market now.

And when it comes to recovery plans, you have to take everything into consideration and look at all possible options that can save your business and its operation in the unlikely event of an unforeseen disaster.

Today, 1 TB SSDs are very inexpensive, retailing from distributors at around $200. This is still considerably higher than backup/archiving workhorse hard drives, which deliver 4 TB or more for the same price.

SSDs get interesting when we look at the backup window, which for many sites is just too long, and getting longer as storage grows. We are moving data to the cloud, too, using gateway appliances, but the WAN performance is fixed and limited, which implies a good buffer is a necessary part of the design.

This is where those large SSDs become very useful for backup and recovery plans. Data can be journaled on the gateway using a pair of SSDs in a mirror configuration for data integrity. The large SSDs allow many parallel backup streams, limited only by the LAN connection’s capacity. This shortens the backup window significantly.

(Via: http://searchdatabackup.techtarget.com/answer/How-are-backup-and-recovery-plans-impacted-by-large-SSDs)

The use of SSD does not only come in handy in recovery plans that involve disasters, natural calamities, or tech disturbances, SSDs are more affordable now and more people can enjoy the seamless benefits it offers you don’t get when using a traditional hard drive.

Seagate senior director of product management Kent Smith said he expects the 60TB drive to be available within a year. He said the drive will enable active-active archives. “Take a social media site with a lot of photos that people need to access quickly,” he said. “People hate waiting. This is for when you need lots of capacity but you need it to respond quickly.”

SSDs are already making 15,000 RPM HDDs scarce and relegating 10,000 RPM drives to servers. With the larger drives, SSDs can also move into traditional capacity workloads.

“Flash for bulk data becomes attractive in places where data center space is limited,” said DeepStorage consultant Howard Marks.

(Via: http://searchstorage.techtarget.com/blog/Storage-Soup/Solid-state-drives-bulk-up-for-capacity)

SSDs are proving to make notable progress in a market that used to be dominated by hard drives.

As there is value in almost any data, it is rarely, if ever, deleted. This leads to increasing demands on storage capacity. The alternatives are hard disk drives (HDDs) and solid state drives (SSDs). HDD capacities have been increasing steadily over time, and have been the mainstream form of storage in the enterprise until now. But last year the capacity of HDDs was surpassed for the first time by SSDs – and because SSDs are scaling at a faster rate than HDDs, we will never look back.

SSDs use NAND memory, which has an amazing ability to scale. NAND memory is comprised of storage cells formed on semiconductor material. Improved density was achieved via process geometry shrinks at the die level. However, this method of gaining greater density was nearing its physical limitations based on how closely the memory cells were being squeezed together. Undeterred, the industry introduced a breakthrough in the past three years with the introduction of 3D or vertical NAND. Instead of attempting to squeeze memory cells ever closer together, 3D NAND stacks them vertically on top of each other. This allows SSDs to continue to aggressively scale in capacity for the foreseeable future. Another inflection point took place during the past year – enterprise SSDs became less expensive than 15K HDDs when taking data reduction technologies such as compression and deduplication into account. Compression reduces bits and hence the amount of storage needed for a set amount of data by identifying and eliminating statistical redundancy.

(Via: http://www.networkworld.com/article/3153244/data-center/solid-state-drives-are-now-larger-than-hard-disk-drives-the-impact-for-your-data-center.html)

We can expect to see more changes as the demand for data and its storage also increases. Those who feel restricted by the limited features of most hard drives can now explore the benefits they can get from a solid-state drive (SSD) that works just as good as a hard drive without having to worry about the threats of data loss. You also get the assurance of longer data protection at a more reasonable cost, something you can easily enforce in times of disasters. So, give it a try and find out yourself if using an SSD really made your life easier.

The blog article How SSDs Make Life Easier Find more on: Hard Drive Recovery Associates Blog

source https://www.harddrivefailurerecovery.net/how-ssds-make-life-easier/

Save The Environment And Make Money From e-Waste

Most of us only see the benefits we get from a robust and progressive digital world. We enjoy the perks of getting connected to the world on a global scale. From social media platforms, online shopping, convenient data transfer/ storage, and the sheer convenience and easy life afforded by technology to us, it is easy to turn a blind eye to the environmental destruction caused by too much technology in the planet.

Not only do we use countless chemicals and toxic materials in the production of technological gadgets like computers, laptops, smartphones, and tablets, the manufacturing process itself may be harmful to the environment. Think of toxic batteries, chargers, and old units piling up somewhere. Then, there are the hazards posed by home and electrical appliances – both unused and scraps. Millions use these gadgets by now and understanding the severity regarding its disposal is something we should all take part in.

E-waste is an emerging issue, driven by the rapidly increasing quantities of complex end-of-life electronic equipment. The global level of production, consumption and recycling induces large flows of both toxic and valuable substances.

Electronic waste or e-waste refers to broken and unwanted electrical or electronic devices peripherals such as computers, monitors, printers, batteries, mobile phones, televisions, lamps and others, which are destined for reuse, resale, salvage, recycling, or disposal. E-waste mismanagement and its toxicity can lead to adverse human health effects and environmental pollution if disposed of incorrectly as there are more than 1,000 different harmful materials in e-waste products.

(Via: http://www.bizcommunity.com/Article/196/356/159605.html)

What else consists of e-waste then? How big of a problem is it in America?

E-waste consists of unwanted or broken electronic or electrical devices, and peripherals such as smartphones, televisions, laptops, refrigerators, computers, printers and other electronic products. The ever-rising problem of e-waste is being solved with the use of electronic recycling. Most electronic products are made up of metals, which are recyclable. The dismantling and recycling of end-of-life electronic products promotes the conservation of undamaged natural resources. Moreover, electronic recycling helps in minimizing the air and water pollution that is common in the disposal and landfilling of e-waste. Electronic recycling consists of three main processes: collection, pre-processing, and end-processing. The overall electronic scrap market was valued at US$ 11.03 Bn in 2014.

And these growing piles of e-waste contaminate the planet in a scale that we can never comprehend – making the world less livable and more toxic for everyone living in it. The damage has been done and the future generations will suffer from the neglect and abuse we are guilty of doing right now.

When e-waste is disposed in landfills, these toxic substances contaminate the water and soil, resulting in health problems. Recycling e-waste minimizes its propensity to cause health and environmental hazards. The use of electronic products and household equipment is on the rise globally. Most of the resultant e-waste from discarded electronic and household equipment is disposed of in landfills or exported illegally across international borders. The hazardous effects of e-waste and stringent government regulations to prevent improper disposal make electronic scrap one of the fastest-growing recycling segments. Europe is the second largest producer of e-waste in the world. The European Union’s Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) Directive focuses on maximizing the recycling and re-use of e-waste and minimizes the amount of it disposed in landfills. According to this legislation, every year a minimum of four kilograms of e-waste per capita of the national population should be collected and recycled. This requirement might surge to approximately 13 to 16 kilograms of e-waste per person per year.

(Via: http://www.digitaljournal.com/pr/3281057)

Even the little things you do in preserving the environment by the simple acts of reducing waste, reusing trash and recycling can have a big impact on the world.

More and more electronic gadgets are making their way to the wastelands, especially in Asia. Phones, computers and other appliances have led to 12.3 million tons of e-waste in five years.

A study by the United Nations University shows e-trash is often dumped illegally, causing environmental problems.

Tech products often contain lead and mercury, which are toxic to the environment. The process of burning the electronics can also cause health issues. It’s usually how landfills get rid of the clutter.

Austin Startup, ‘Renew Logic’ is trying to take a greener approach with the discarded tech equipment.

CEO Gary Stephens said the company sells some discarded electronics into second-hand items and properly recycles the rest.

(Via: http://www.kvue.com/tech/eco-friendly-austin-startup-turns-discarded-electronics-into-cash/420257523)

While we can’t stop technology from taking over the world, there is still something we can do when it comes to proper e-waste management. Nature is not designed to get rid of these modern wastes on its own. These e-wastes will still remain piled one on top of the other for years to come. They not only ruin the view but leak deadly chemicals and wastes that may be harmful to human health.

If you are concerned about the environment and the future of the succeeding generations, you will take these matters seriously as it will be hard for us to correct our mistakes once the damage has been done.

Save The Environment And Make Money From e-Waste is available on http://www.harddrivefailurerecovery.net

source https://www.harddrivefailurerecovery.net/save-the-environment-and-make-money-from-e-waste/

Is Anyone Safe On The Web?

We are a generation of technology-obsessed people. We breathe technology and can’t live without it either. It is not just using computers at work or at school, or using the phone to reach out to people, or watching the television or listening to the radio to keep yourself entertained but is something more ingrained in our daily lives. Who would’ve thought we’d have the web as a platform to connect to the world at large with just a click of a button?

But too much of something (even a good thing) can be bad. Social media is a fine example of having too much technology in our lives. We constantly check and post updates on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, etc. or use various messaging apps to contact friends and send them cute emojis as well. Most of us can’t let a day go by without logging into any of these accounts and take a peek into our virtual world and that of our virtual friends. It’s really addicting. We also post photos of ourselves to show the world what we’ve been up to these days. But a crucial aspect we need to remember is the amount of data we share when creating these accounts or when making public posts that can be viewed by anyone on you friend’s list and can be stolen without you knowing.

Sir Tim Berners Lee, a passionate advocate of digital privacy and the winner of this year’s Turing prize—the Nobel of computing—will perhaps always be better known as the man who invented the worldwide web. So, when he terms the recent order US president Donald Trump recently signed, to overturn Federal Communications Commission rules on guaranteeing cyber privacy—introduced in the Obama presidency—“disgusting” and warns that this may leave us more “vulnerable” than before, Americans, and the world at large, better sit up and listen. The changes that Trump has enabled under the Congressional Review Act mean internet-service providers (ISPs) will no longer need to seek a user’s permission to use, share or sell a user’s data on web-loggings and browsing habits. To be sure, most websites, social media, apps and search engines that we use are anyway mining this data to, amongst other things, target ads better, in a user- or device-specific manner. But the key difference here is that these websites/apps mostly require our permission—some may restrict or forbid usage altogether if the required permissions are not granted, but that is a different story—and in some cases, offer the option to disable such targetting.

(Via: http://www.financialexpress.com/opinion/inventor-of-world-wide-web-tim-berners-lee-warns-against-us-repeal-of-data-protection-rules/618561/)

Even the man who invented the World Wide Web warns everyone about the threat on your data privacy and advises to stay vigilant when it comes to your Internet browsing habits. But there is still hope as a law is soon to be passed to help protect the privacy of Internet users.

President Trump is expected to sign into law a decision by Congress to overturn new privacy rules for Internet service providers.

Passed by the Federal Communications Commission in October, the rules never went into effect. If they had, it would have given consumers more control over how ISPs use the data they collect. Most notably, the rules would have required explicit consent from consumers if sensitive data — like financial or health information, or browsing history — were to be shared or sold.

These rules wouldn’t have applied to the likes of Google or Facebook — massive data collectors and digital advertisers — and that has been a major point of contention for ISPs. But consumer groups argue that’s no reason to roll back restrictions on Internet providers. Plus, they point out, you could abandon those companies in favor of other websites, if you disagree with their policies; switching Internet providers is not so easy.

ISPs have long attempted to break into the ad-targeting and online marketing world, where the competition is intense. For context on what that market looks like, I turned to Jules Polonetsky, privacy expert and CEO of the Future of Privacy Forum, a nonprofit organization promoting responsible data collection.

(Via: http://www.npr.org/sections/alltechconsidered/2017/03/28/521813464/as-congress-repeals-internet-privacy-rules-putting-your-options-in-perspective)

The web is such a wonderful place. You’d never run out of things to do and see. You have the entire world right at your fingertips without leaving the comforts of your home. The temptation to go online may linger throughout the day but never forget the dangers that are also lurking on the web. Cybercriminals have also evolved and are sneakier now. They will do everything to steal your data, including your identity and money.

While online transactions are easier done now and have definitely made our lives easier (imagine no longer falling in line in the bank), it also has its drawbacks. There is always the possibility of data theft or data loss on anything that is shared on the web. Be extra careful all the time. If you are using your computer at home, you can either install firewall or antivirus as a precaution or back up your data in case your hard drive gets damaged like this one: https://www.harddrivefailurerecovery.net/hard-drive-gets-water-damaged-what-to-do/. When it comes to data recovery pricing, this link comes in handy too: https://www.harddrivefailurerecovery.net/how-flat-rate-data-recovery-pricing-works/.

Is Anyone Safe On The Web? See more on: HDRA

source https://www.harddrivefailurerecovery.net/is-anyone-safe-on-the-web/

Why You Need An External Hard Drive

Technology is ever changing. Even if you strive to upgrade your smartphone or computer every time a new model or gadget is out, it is still hard to keep up because new updates are released now and then and the options are also endless. Whether you are an Apple or a Windows user, you’d be lost too on all these advances if you are not an expert in the field yourself.

Considering how much data we share on the web or the number of files we have now made digital, it is but imperative we have a plan B in case your computer gets broken, your hard drive fails, or files get accidentally deleted. One of the best options for computer users to make sure their data stays safe no matter what happens is to purchase an external hard drive. You can transfer, save and store a copy of all important documents on it and free your mind from worries of possible data loss when you least expect it the most.

Tax documents, creative projects, family photos, school work – think about all the important things you have saved on your desktop computer. Now think about all of those things vanishing in an instant because your computer crashed. What would you do?

Well, at that point there’s not much you can do (other than hope for the best). Hopefully, you took preventative measures, such as investing in an external hard drive or cloud backup service. You can also make sure that your next desktop computer has a quality hard drive.

Unfortunately, not all hard drives are created equal. Backblaze released a list of hard drive failure rates for 2016. They calculated this rate by dividing the amount of failures by how many drives were studied. Since each drive wasn’t used equally, they also factored in how many days collectively that each device was used.

(Via: http://www.komando.com/happening-now/388789/avoid-these-hard-drives-they-are-most-likely-to-fail)

While they can be your life saver, you don’t just buy the first hard drive you see in the store. With a globally competitive market, there are just too many options to choose from and you may end up wasting lots of money on a brand that won’t live up to your expectations. There is actually a thing now such as “World Backup Day” that is celebrated on the last day of March to raise awareness on backing up data.

To create a backup of your files, simply connect an external hard drive to the computer by plugging it into a USB port. At this point, drag and drop the files you wish to protect or utilize a backup software utility.

A backup is slightly different than simply using external disk storage. With storage, you are able, and expected, to access and modify data regularly. Users interested in freeing up space on their internal HDDs turn to external disk storage as a solution.

A backup, however, is not usually accessed regularly.

Sometimes, depending on the type of program utilized, such as cold storage, files are kept in a read-only state; making it impossible for users to edit them on the backup drive.

The primary purpose of a backup is to provide you with a copy of files in the event of a total system failure, sort of like a library archive. With an external storage drive, you can manually or automatically relocate data to it.

Though backups are performed manually, they’re often left on auto-pilot; with the transfer software running in the background.

The advantage of using software to backup data from a PC lies in scheduling; you can tell the software when to backup, down to the hour and minute. The software takes care of backing up only the files which have experienced recent change, a process called incremental backup.

After the transfer is complete, just disconnect the drive and store it in a safe location. We recommend that files be backed up daily so that copies are up to date.

Even the experts suggest the importance of having a PC backup storage like an external hard drive because it works and delivers its promise of data protection.

Should an external hard disk drive be used for backup? Absolutely yes, it’s an easy and cost-effective way to save all kinds of data.

It offers peace of mind in the event of a system breakdown; ensuring nothing is lost forever. Of course, external hard drives should be used in conjunction with other methods of backup, such as a cloud service.

Which will help ensure all your files are protected, in the event of a cataclysmic occurrence or external drive corruption.

(Via: https://www.cloudwards.net/should-i-use-an-external-hard-drive-for-backup/)

While computer use remains tricky as various gadgets and upgrades are being released constantly, knowing the basic helps a lot so you don’t end up being victims of your own devices. A computer can help in different ways, from having a gateway to the digital world and the Internet to a platform in doing your admin tasks and file keeping. While it works most of the times, there are instances wherein it may fail and take with it all the precious files you have saved on it if you don’t have a back-up plan in place.

In the unfortunate event that both of your hard drives fail, you can try to recover lost data with the help of this: https://www.harddrivefailurerecovery.net/hard-drive-recovery/. While you want to steer away from hard drive recovery, there is a chance you’d have to deal with it in your lifetime so better be prepared for when that day comes. You can visit this link to learn more: https://www.harddrivefailurerecovery.net/. Your data is precious and if hard drive recovery is the answer, then so be it.

The article Why You Need An External Hard Drive Find more on: Hard Drive Recovery Associates

source https://www.harddrivefailurerecovery.net/why-you-need-an-external-hard-drive/

The Aftermath Of War

When we think of war, we can’t help but shudder at all the lives that were lost, people injured, and families displaced because of all the conflict and destruction. Our history teaches us how people and nations suffered because of war. Even today, many countries in the East are at war and the body count keeps on increasing. Innocent people die but there seems to be no end to this dilemma. As of late, more and more people suffer in Syria as the U.S. joined in on the bombings.

However, when you think of it, not only people suffer from the effects of war but the environment too. Former homes, buildings, and other structures become nothing but a big pile of rubble in just one strike, and at times trapping helpless and injured people to their death. War-torn nations look the same, the picture of havoc and destruction that not even nature can stand.

When Donald Trump announced a missile strike against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s forces, the justification for such major military action came down to one issue: “the red line”. More than 400,000 people are estimated to have died since civil war broke out in Syria, so why is the use of chemical weapons the “red line” for world leaders? In 2012, Barack Obama issued a warning to Assad not to cross the “red line” in the civil war. The implication of his statement was clear: the use of chemical weapons would be met by military strikes in Syria, such as those launched by the US on Thursday night.

The use of chemicals is a big no-no in any war. It is a clear violation of the rule of war, a line that was crossed by the Syrian government quite recently and earned the ire of other nation’s government.

“You need to protect civilians. Weapons of indiscriminate nature are mostly banned,” she said. Weapons that would cause long-term damage to human health are also prohibited. “In the attack in Idlib, it was a nerve agent that was used to cause damage to the organs of the individual as well as the nerves, so the effects of the weapon itself goes beyond the war conditions by causing long-term damage to human health.” Chemical weapons are also in contravention of humanitarian law because they can cause long-term damage to the environment by contaminating it. “You need to protect the civilian property under International Humanitarian Law,” she said.

(Via: https://inews.co.uk/essentials/news/world/us-airstrikes-syria-chemical-weapons-red-line/)

While some wars must be fought, there are many pointless wars over the years that could have been avoided had everyone been more willing to listen to one another and compromise. And in the event that war can’t be avoided, precautions should be taken so that damage is limited and the body count not that high.

From the standpoint of customary law, environmental protection during wartime may be inferred from the general protection of the civilian population and property based on the fundamental rule expressed in the 1868 Declaration of St. Petersburg that military actions by States should be limited to the objective of weakening the military force of the enemy. In addition, Principle 24 of the UN Declaration on Environment and Development states: “Warfare is inherently destructive of sustainable development. States shall therefore respect international law providing protection for the environment in times of armed conflict and cooperate in its further development, as necessary.”

And then of course, there are the principles embedded in the law of war. The principle of necessity asks whether the potential target, weapon or tactic is necessary in order to achieve a legitimate military advantage. The principle of proportionality asks whether, even if an action is necessary, the expected military advantage outweighs the anticipated collateral damage to civilian objects and non-combatants. The principle of non-discrimination asks whether the chosen weapon or tactic sufficiently discriminates between military and civilian objects or between combatants and non-combatants and the principle of humanity requires that militaries use the minimal force necessary to achieve the enemy’s submission.

(Via: http://www.manilatimes.net/war-and-the-environment/321634/)

There are rules to be observed in war as outrageous as it may seem. The sad thing, though, is that there are those who defy the norm and do unthinkable acts of horror – terrorists. We have witnessed time and again what terrorists are capable of doing, even sacrificing their lives for their cause. And they don’t have any second thoughts doing horrible things even if they kill thousands or wipe out an entire city or town.

Through all these atrocities, the environment is a silent witness to the innate viciousness mankind is capable of doing. As if Mother Nature isn’t badly hurt enough from our abuse and neglect, we add insult to injury and bomb natural landscapes or contaminate natural resources needed by men and animals alike. If we don’t mend our ways, we may lose everything we have now and not just the ideals we are fighting for. Climate change is no longer just a threat but the grim reality of the present.

Although completely out of context, you can visit https://www.harddrivefailurerecovery.net/hard-drive-recovery/ to learn more about hard drive recovery as technology in itself may be a tool to help stop wars and inform the people of not only the dangers of war but the sorry state of our environment today. Moreover, this article: https://www.harddrivefailurerecovery.net/hard-drive-crash-a-sign-of-things-to-come/ is also helpful for those who know so little about hard drives but can’t live without their computers either. Technology may be partly responsible for the degradation of our environment but it can also be an instrument to help us rebuild and salvage whatever we have left now.

The Aftermath Of War Read more on: The Hard Drive Recovery Associates Blog

source https://www.harddrivefailurerecovery.net/the-aftermath-of-war/

What To Expect From Android Smartphones?

Android smartphones are a big market. Unlike that of Apple’s iPhones, different manufacturers come up with their own line of Android-powered smartphones and tablets with features that are at par with that of iPhones and iPads. But if there is something in common between the two, it does not have to do with a standout feature but a major flaw shared by all smartphones (virtually no exception) in general – a short battery life.

The latest operating system – Android O – upgrade will delight many Android smartphone users (if only we can get our hands on it). As of date, it is still off the market and exclusively for developers use only. Android O has a long list of positive selling points aside from the improved and longer-lasting battery life.

Google has rolled out a developer preview of the latest OS, the Android O for your smartphones. The global tech giant, through its blog, has pointed out some great new features for the successor of Android Nougat. There is no surety on what the ‘O’ in Google Android O stands for. While Google has suddenly dropped the Android O into the market, the catch here is that currently, it is available only for developers. There are many new features which Android O has introduced, including battery life, upgraded audio, colourful display and more. As of now, Google’s now smartphone OS can only be used in the most recent devices from the company. The developer’s preview of Android O can be used on smartphones like Nexus 5X, Nexus 6P, Pixel, and Pixel XL phones, the Pixel C tablet, and the Nexus Player Android TV set-top box. But be warned before you download the OS for your regular use smartphone.

(Via: http://www.financialexpress.com/about/google/)

Here are some of the few things to watch out for from the new operating system come May this year (with fingers crossed) when it will likely be released:

Several new features were shown off by Google as part of its Android O Developer Preview, with one of the most eye-catching being a new way to conserve and extend your device’s battery life.

The new “background limits” feature will limit exactly what operations your apps can do whilst running in the background.

This includes cutting down on background services such as location-based updates and what Google calls “implicit broadcasts”, all of which can use up processing power and drain your battery.

Android O will now allow you to monitor and cut down exactly what services are running at any given time, which could prove the difference between your phone dying when you need it most.

Among the other major changes to Android O is a major development in how notifications are displayed.

New “notification channels” will allow apps to bundle together multiple alerts into a package that users can browse easily. 

(Via: http://www.express.co.uk/life-style/science-technology/782094/android-o-google-preview-new-features-release-date)

It also helps to find out that Google does not just sit around while their users suffer from crappy features that they have to deal with day in and day out and the company does its part in improving their service and in protecting the security of their users and their data.

Google’s third annual Android Security report is out for 2016, and according to the company, they’ve managed to ensure that potentially harmful apps (PHA) are down on the Play Store. Over 735 million Android devices from 200+ smartphone manufacturers are running on a security patch from 2016, says Google.

Google’s report also highlights the best way to avoid trojans or malware on your smartphone is by sticking to the official Google Play Store for downloads. There are over 1.4 billion Android users and if you go by the company’s own number of 735 million, just over half of the users are on a device with a 2016 security patch, which is not the best news.

While Google admits they’ve been providing security updates for Android smartphones, there’s still a lot to be done. The company’s report notes, “half of devices in use at the end of 2016 had not received a platform security update in the previous year. We’re working to increase device security updates by streamlining our security update program to make it easier for manufacturers to deploy security patches and releasing A/B updates to make it easier for users to apply those patches.”

(Via: http://indianexpress.com/article/technology/social/google-android-security-report-shows-play-store-apps-got-safer-in-2016-4581724/)

Android users enjoy the diverse options offered by an Android smartphone and market. There is a lot of flexibility as to what apps you can download and its catchy and sweet-sounding OS versions attract the attention of many too. Hopefully, this coming update in the next month or so can iron out many of the issues bothering Android smartphone users today and finally address the battery issue for real.

What To Expect From Android Smartphones? was first published to http://www.harddrivefailurerecovery.net

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Trump Announces Serious Wiretapping Allegations

We all value our privacy. If the phone conversations of important people can be wiretapped and their privacy violated – what more for us ordinary citizens with no capability to secure our phone lines or equip our homes with extensive and sophisticated security measures.

President Trump just made allegations that his phone has been wiretapped the month before last year’s election by no other than the former president – Barack Obama. And he claims that it was only recently when he found out about it. Knowing his penchant for publicity and drama, many will likely doubt the credibility of his claims although it is common knowledge that the government has the capacity to wiretap or do other forms of privacy breach to get important information they are after.

President Trump’s claim on Twitter early Saturday that he had “just found out” that “President Obama was tapping my phones in October,” an accusation for which he offered no evidence, has set off another spasm surrounding his young administration. On Sunday, Mr. Trump’s spokesman said the administration was asking Congress to investigate the president’s allegation.

There is ample reason for caution because Mr. Trump has a history of making attention-grabbing and politically explosive claims that have no basis in fact. As things stand, a plausible explanation is that Mr. Trump was merely riffing off a March 3 article on the alt-right website Breitbart.com. It laid out a theory circulating in some conservative circles that President 

So, the question now is if the then U.S. president can indeed order such a thing (wiretapping) to be done on an American citizen?

Not legally. There are two lawful ways that allow government officials to target people in the United States for surveillance and to collect the contents of their phone calls and emails: criminal wiretaps, called “Title III” warrants, and national security wiretaps, called Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, or FISA, orders. Both types of wiretapping are ordered by federal judges, after applications from the Justice Department.

In this case, the server issue isn’t technical in nature but has to do more with the people it is serving. We’re quite unsure too how the Trump Tower server has been linked to that of a Russian bank.

What about the computer server registered to Trump Tower?

Several news media outlets have reported that investigators last year were puzzled by data transmissions between a computer server registered to Trump Tower and a computer server associated with a Russian bank. Although Mr. Trump on Twitter talked about his “phones,” in theory a judge might determine that the computer address of the server was a facility being used by a foreign power, Russia, to communicate, and authorize surveillance of it.

Isn’t there a report about an October surveillance court order involving that server?

Yes. The Breitbart story relied heavily on a Nov. 7 article by a British writer on the news and opinion website HeatStreet. It claimed that the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court had approved a “warrant” in October in connection with activity between Russian banks and the server, which it said — and Breitbart repeated — was in Trump Tower. It further stated that “it is thought in the intelligence community” that this purported warrant permitted the collection of emails and other communications of Americans connected to the server investigation, which “thus covers Donald Trump.”

(Via: https://www.nytimes.com/2017/03/05/us/politics/trump-phone-tapping-surveillance-issues.html?_r=0)

As expected, winning the presidency did not dampen Trump’s love for social media, especially his Twitter account that is once again back in the spotlight. It has all the elements of a juicy piece of news (gossip?): shady computer server + connivance with Russia = unauthorized surveillance (wiretapping).

None of this involves wiretapping Trump Tower. However, it is possible that Trump picked that up from a Breitbart article that in turn relied on a Heat Street piece that claimed the warrant was issued because of evidence of links between a “private server in Donald Trump’s Trump Tower” and a Russian bank. In fact, the server in question, set up by a marketing company hired by Trump, was physically located in Philadelphia.

Barack Obama’s spokesman responded to Trump’s tweets by saying that “neither President Obama nor any White House official ever ordered surveillance on any U.S. citizen.” Notably, this statement does not deny that someone in the Obama administration ordered surveillance of Trump Tower, simply that the White House did not – which isn’t meaningful, since in a properly functioning executive branch the Justice Department would make that decision on its own without White House interference.

(Via: https://theintercept.com/2017/03/04/if-trump-tower-was-wiretapped-trump-can-declassify-that-right-now/)

So, it is likely that President Trump’s wild imagination conjured up ideas of wiretapping in the infamous Trump Tower when his claims were mostly unfounded and based on hearsay from a pro-Republican website like Breitbart.

Although we do not discredit his claim because it is something the government frequently does when it involves issues of national security (remember the email controversy involving Hillary Clinton), but Twitter is not the likely platform for such announcements for a person of his stature.

The article Trump Announces Serious Wiretapping Allegations Read more on: http://www.harddrivefailurerecovery.net/

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What To Expect With Data Warehousing

Data usage has increased drastically over the past few years. It can be attributed to the fact that smartphones and other tech gadgets have become more affordable (thanks to competition) and almost everyone can afford to have one. And as such, data consumption increases leading to data storage and security issues. Furthermore, more people are hooked on social media whether for business or leisure, so most transactions are being done online leading to a surplus of data.

Millions to billions of data used daily require massive data warehouses that will analyze and store data among others. And as cloud computing continues to gain popularity, data warehouses also start to utilize it as they collate and analyze data in aid of the business decision-making process.

Another speaker also noted another set of challenges that arise from trying to store everything in one place. Asset managers should have a clear definition between the middle- and back-office data and the front-office analytical data, which he called “less mission-critical”.

He added that data warehouses should be built to support the business in the future, with capabilities to encompass new products or programmes, and this requires some internal overheads.

While the data in the warehouse should be a “golden source”, the speaker noted that, in the case of a discrepancy, data must be fixed at its source, and not in the warehouse, otherwise the business will end up with inherent quality issues.

He concluded that a data warehouse can provide operational efficiency and flexibility, offering the ability for asset managers to “report off of something that you would inherently want to”.

(Via: http://www.assetservicingtimes.com/assetservicesnews/article.php?article_id=7283)

While it is of little use to most small to medium enterprises, data warehousing is a helpful and necessary aspect of big businesses whose operation has gone global. And this market is seeing impressionable growth and is expected to keep its momentum in the next ten years.

With the increasing need of data management, more enterprises are investing in data warehousing solutions to gain better insights about their business. These solutions integrate and analyse business data using historical and real-time data, enabling executives to make better decisions based on accurate understanding. Data warehousing solutions coupled with business intelligence tools help enterprises implement efficient business analytics. This data can be accessed by users across the organization using ad hoc SQL queries, periodic reports and dashboards. Even though data warehousing is beneficial for the business, but it can be complex to set up and involves investments even after set up to prevent loss of data. Moreover, recent trends involving huge volumes of data are obstructing the performance of data warehouse systems.

(Via: http://www.military-technologies.net/2017/02/28/data-warehousing-solutions-market-to-reflect-impressive-growth-rate-during-2016-to-2026-persistence-market-research/)

But problems are inevitable, but can be recovered from (https://www.harddrivefailurerecovery.net/hard-drive-recovery/) as businesses continue to grow and the demand for data increases without compromising the quality of the data that is analyzed.

Large enterprise customers have made huge investments in data warehousing technology over the past decade. The cost of upgrading and adding new data warehouse licensing is cost prohibitive. Technologies like Hadoop and Spark offer organizations the option of accruing a greater ROI on existing data warehouse resources, by providing a data processing platform to offload Extract, Transform, Load (ETL) and Extract, Load, Transform (ELT) workloads from the data warehouse and to reduce the cost of storing and accessing less frequently used data.

(Via: http://insidebigdata.com/2017/03/01/changing-data-landscape/)

And more progress can be seen in the days to come as modern data warehousing continues to evolve and be refined.

Big data. Everyone has it. And no one has a way to organize, store, and access it in the most cost-effective manner.

Well, GV (the former Google Ventures) is leading a $10 million round into Incorta, an analytics platform that purports to make the modern data warehouse a thing of the past.

That new $10 million for San Mateo-based Incorta is cash to get its new product, a “direct data mapping engine” into the wide world.

The company claims that its technology “rethinks how data is stored and accessed”, by relationally mapping individual data points. The company says that relational mapping can reduce or remove the need for joint operations that integrate different data sets and create data warehouses.

For companies grappling with massive amounts of data, this means they can analyze datasets much more quickly (the company boasts that data analysis can be done in minutes instead of hours or days).

(Via: https://techcrunch.com/2017/03/01/pitching-tech-that-makes-the-data-warehouse-obsolete-incorta-raises-10-million/)

Progress can’t be stopped and technology is doing its part in making things happen. Analyzing data enables people to gain a deeper understanding of how a business works and its current state without the usual limitations of traditional or modern data warehouses.

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