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  1. The most-wanted feature from a July beta gets a public release soon. Players will be able to add specific M.2 SSDs to the PS5 with a new system update rolling out tomorrow, two months after a beta that featured the option was made available to users who signed up. As detailed in a post on the PlayStation Blog, the update gives users the option to increase the PS5's overall storage capacity by installing a PCIe 4.0 M.2 SSD (ranging from 250GB to 4TB) that fits certain technical and dimensional requirements. Once the M.2 drive is installed, the new storage space can be used to copy, download, update, and play PS4 and PS5 games as well as media applications. The result will essentially add a second, fully functional internal drive to the console. This is a big step up over the "cold-storage" solution that was added to the system in April, which allowed last-gen games to run straight from a standard platter-based external hard drive or SSD via USB—and notably kept players from doing the same for PS5 games. As a result, the feature did little more than let players free up space for PS5 games by storing PS4 games on an external drive... or just letting PS5 downloads collect dust in storage, which Sony said still allowed for faster transfers back to internal storage than redownloading from scratch. For PS5 players, this did little to alleviate problems with the console's internal 667GB of available space. Some assembly required As a public release of the beta version of the update that was offered starting in July, the specifications for usable M.2 SSDs appear to be unchanged. Single and double-sided M.2 devices can be used, and Sony recommends a minimum sequential read speed of at least 5,500MB/s. Compatible devices also require a heat-dissipation component with a cooling structure. In physical terms, to fit into the PS5's SSD slot, a drive's width can't exceed 25 mm (which includes space for a heatsink). Meanwhile, length can run from 30-110 mm depending on the model. Users have the option to use either a drive with a heatsink built in or install their own, though Sony specifies the PS5's housing only allows for a total depth of both SSD and heat dissipation of up to 11.25 mm. Though the company doesn't currently have a list of specific recommended compatible M.2 models, it states the "majority" of M key numbers 2230, 2242, 2260, 2280, and 22110 will fit into PS5's storage expansion bay. A couple of standard disclaimers apply, just like during the beta. Players running games from an SSD may not have an identical experience as they would playing from the PS5's standard internal storage, regardless of a device's sequential read speed. Sony also doesn't guarantee that every M.2 SSD with these specifications will work. It's probably best to stick to well-known names like Seagate and WD Black, which both offer built-in, low-profile models in a range of storage capacities. (Samsung is also a reliable choice, though it should be noted that, as of this writing, the manufacturer doesn't offer any compatible devices with built-in heatsinks.) Compared to Xbox Series S and X, which require a 1TB-only $220 proprietary memory card (unless you want to try this hack), the cheaper, wider selection of SSDs PS5 that work with this update is a sizable improvement. Fans of storage-gluttonous games like Call of Duty Black Ops: Cold War, which can take up more than 200GB on a full install, should find it a welcome change. Alongside with SSD expansion options, the new update also includes 3D audio capabilities for built-in TV speakers and new features across the PS5's dashboard and UX, among other additions. Storage galore: New PS5 update finally lets users add more space for games
  2. Once upon a time, the best way for you to back up the entirety of your computer’s data was to use the medium that was once the best way to listen to music: magnetic tape. Writable optical media, cheap hard drives, and cloud storage eventually became the consumer norm, but tape drives still hung around as one of the best options for mass data backup. Sony has developed a new technology that pushes tape drives far beyond where they once were, leading to individual tapes with 185 terabytes of storage capacity. Back in 2010, the standing record for how much data magnetic tape could store was 29.5GB per square inch. To compare, a standard dual-layer Blu-ray disc can hold 25GB per layer — this is why big budget, current-gen video games can clock in at around 40 or 50GB. That, however, is an entire disc, whereas magnetic tape could store more than half of that capacity in one little square inch. Sony has announced that it has developed a new magnetic tape material that demolishes the previous 29.5GB record, and can hold a whopping 148GB per square inch, making it the new record holder of storage density for the medium. If spooled into a cartridge, each tape could have a mind-boggling 185TB of storage. Again, to compare, that’s 3,700 dual-layer 50GB Blu-rays (a stack that would be 4.4 meters or 14.3 feet high, incidentally). In fact, one of these tapes would hold five more terabytes than a $9,305 hard drive storage array. Remember these? In order to create the new tape, Sony employed the use of sputter deposition, which creates layers of magnetic crystals by firing argon ions at a polymer film substrate. Combined with a soft magnetic under-layer, the magnetic particles measured in at just 7.7 nanometers on average, able to be closely packed together. Perhaps surprisingly, storage tape shipments grew 13% two years ago, and were headed for a 26% growth just last year. Sony also stated that it would like to commercialize the new material — as well as continue developing its sputter deposition methods — but did not say if or when it will ever happen. While 185TB of storage sitting on a single cartridge is extremely appealing for people with large digital collections — music, games, or really any kind of media — it’s best to remember that the storage medium of tape has never been easy access. Read and write times feel like (and often are) an oblivion, and tape is used mainly for safe-keeping backup, rather than because you have too much music on your SSD and want to free up space for a new game. Still, when it comes to massive, non-time-sensitive storage, tape storage libraries are still one of the most common methods used by big corporations. On May 4, Sony will present the new material to an audience at the international magnetics conference, Intermag Europe 2014. Source
  3. After he was demoted and fired, idiot logged into office PC from home and wiped storage systems An IT guy, who was tasked with locking out ex-employees from the company network, has been jailed after he logged in after being fired and wiped an office's computer storage drives. Shannon Stafford, 50, was sent down for 12 months and a day by US federal district Judge Catherine Blake on Thursday. He will also have to pay his former bosses restitution totaling $193,258.10. Following a four-day trial in Maryland, a jury in November found Stafford, of Crofton, Maryland, guilty [verdict, charges PDF] of intentional damage to a computer and attempted intentional damage to a computer. The case stems from the 2015 dismissal of Stafford at an unnamed business described by the Feds only as "a global company with thousands of employees and offices around the world." After a decade of working in tech support at the organization's Washington DC office, he was promoted in 2014 to an IT management role: specifically, technical site lead. By March 2015, though, he was demoted back to the helpdesk for poor performance, and eventually fired that August. " As part of his duties, Stafford had access to the system login credentials of other employees and was authorized to use them in the course of performing his technical support duties," prosecutors noted. "Stafford was also responsible for disabling company users’ network access credentials at the end of their employment." On the day he was terminated, Stafford didn't return his work-issued MacBook Pro, went home, and that evening used the laptop and his home internet connection to repeatedly attempt to log into the company's network using his credentials and those of a former colleague. A couple of days later, in the early hours, he managed to get into his office PC remotely using the coworker's details. From there he was able to "delete all of the file storage drives used by the Washington office, then changed the password to access the storage management system," the Dept of Justice said. The prosecutors went on: The deletion of the files caused a severe disruption to the company’s operations and the loss of some customer and user data. Changing the password hindered the company’s efforts to determine what happened and restore access to its remaining files. As a result of the deletion of the network file storage drives, Washington users were unable to access their stored files for approximately three days, until the data could be restored from backups. Customer and user data that was not included in the most recent backup prior to Stafford’s deletion of the files was permanently lost. Three days later, he tried again to log in using others' credentials and failed. A couple of days passed and the company warned Stafford to knock it off and leave the biz alone. He continued to try to log in, and at one point tried to get into the Baltimore office's network to also nuke its files. He was later nabbed by the Feds. The one-year-and-a-day prison term marks a halfway point between the two years prosecutors had sought. Once his sentence is complete, Stafford will be subject to a further three years of supervised release, and is unlikely to be hired again as an IT worker. Source
  4. How to free up storage space in your Google account Google announced some major changes coming to its storage policy next year. The modifications are going to have a major impact as it would affect a large majority of existing Google/Gmail account holders. As a part of the change, Google is doing away with the free unlimited High quality photo backup option in Google Photos from June 2021. All new files and documents created in Google Sheets, Docs, Forms, and other Google services will also start counting against your 15GB storage quota from June next year. These are some major changes from Google and if you heavily rely on various Google services and have been using Gmail and/or Google Photos for a long time, you are bound to hit that 15GB storage quota sooner than later. If you are worried about the upcoming storage policy from Google, you can prepare for it better by freeing up storage space in your Google or Gmail account by deleting junk files and emails. Read our guide below to know how you can easily free up storage space in your Google or Gmail account. Get an overview of storage used Before you get around to freeing up storage space in your Google account, it helps to first get an overview of how storage is being used in your account. It is possible that a large chunk of space in your Google account is being taken up by photos or by a few large files that you had uploaded to Google Drive a few years ago and completely forgotten about. You can head over to this Google One page to get an overview of the storage used across various Google services including Drive, Photos, and family sharing. Use Google Storage manager Google itself offers a storage manager that one can use to free up storage space in their Google account. The storage manager provides users with an overview of the amount of space they can free up by deleting emails from Gmail, emptying Spam emails, and removing all the large files occupying space in Google Drive, and more. Delete old emails manually If you have been using Gmail for a long time, it is likely that you have accumulated a lot of junk and irrelevant emails with large attachments. Individually, these emails might not matter but add up years of emails and they can easily occupy a couple of gigabytes or more. It is best to delete such emails. You can search for "has:attachment" in the Gmail search box to filter emails with attachments and then delete all old emails that you don't need. You can also filter large and heavy emails by using "larger:10mb" as a search term. You can change the '10' in the search term as per your requirements. This way you can quickly find heavy emails and delete them to free up space. You can also export old and important emails from your Gmail account using MailStore, a free email archiving software. Once exported, you can then delete all the old emails to free up storage space in your Google account. Compress existing photos in Google Photos If you have been backing up photos to Google Photos in original quality, it is recommended that you switch to 'High' quality mode. This will compress all your existing photos and ensure that they do not count against your 15GB storage quota. However, this trick will only work until June 2021 though as after that, photos uploaded in High quality will also count against your Google account storage. Regardless, compressing images can free up storage for more pictures, letting the 15GB storage last longer. To convert your existing photos to High quality, go to the Google Photos website on your PC, click on the cog/Settings icon on the top-right corner, and select the High quality option. You will automatically get a prompt asking if you would like to convert your existing original quality photos to high quality and the amount of storage space you would free up in the process. This will also ensure that all photos and videos you back up to Google Photos going forward are also compressed and stored in High quality. Alternatively, you can use the Recover storage option to compress your existing photos and videos to high quality as well. Empty Google Drive bin If you use Google Drive to share and send files to your friends or family or to back up important files, you should go ahead and check its trash. I managed to free up over 20GB of space by simply emptying my Google Drive bin. Google itself has begun deleting items in the trash that are older than 30 days. Stop using Backup & Sync If you use Google's Backup & Sync to backup files on your PC to Google Drive, you should stop using it. Instead, you can use Dropbox for the same purpose. Alternatively, you can also create a separate Google account just to backup files on your PC. If you have a lot of large files on your PC, then this is the ideal solution as it ensures they don't take up space in your primary Google account. Buy Google One storage Ultimately, if all the above steps do not help in freeing up enough storage space in your Google account, your only option is to go ahead and buy additional storage for your account using Google One. The good thing is that the pricing is pretty reasonable, with Google charging $1.99/month for 100GB of additional storage. This should be enough for most users. And if you are a power user, Google recently slashed the pricing on its 10TB and higher Google One storage plans by over 50%. Subscribing to a Google One storage plan entitles you to other benefits as well including priority access to Google support, discounts on hotels and flight bookings, free VPN service, and more. The additional storage you buy can also be used by your family members making it a very cost-effective solution. How to free up storage space in your Google account
  5. Chrome will soon warn you if too much storage is being used Google plans to introduce a new feature in the company's Chrome web browser soon that will inform users if too much storage is being used. New web technologies give sites and applications lots of options, and that includes storing data in manifold ways on user devices. One of the issues associated with this is that it is difficult to keep track of how much data is stored by apps or websites. While it is possible to check using third-party tools to find out how much storage space a browser and all its components require, e.g. File Explorer on Windows 10 or the excellent WizTree, browsers don't provide detailed information about storage requirements. Chrome users may use internal tools to clear data, e.g. to clear web storage or browsing data, but the browser does not warn if free disk space reaches a critical level on the device. The upcoming change, which will be enabled by default in desktop versions of Google Chrome, changes that. A new experimental flag is added to Chromium and Chrome that is called "Enable storage pressure UI". Flags are used by Chromium developers to introduce features in the browser that are not yet ready for wider distribution. Once enabled, Chrome will trigger a notification when a site's attempt to store data would reduce free disk space below the 15% threshold. Google plans to set a "once every 24 hours" threshold for the feature to avoid notification overload. The notification is triggered by attempts to use quota managed storage APIs such as IndexedDB or AppCache. Note that the feature does not address Chrome's own storage use on a device. Changes to clear site data A mockup published on the Chromium bugs tracker suggests that Google plans to improve the clearing of site data dialog as well in the near future. The prompt will display additional details on what is being cleared when the function is executed in the browser. Chrome users can clear site data by clicking on the icon in front of the address of the active site and selecting Site Settings from the menu that opens; this opens a new page and the option to delete the data is displayed at the top of that page. Only data associated with the active site will be deleted when the operation is executed. Users need to use the general option to clear browsing data in Chrome if they want to clear data for all sites in the browser. Chrome will soon warn you if too much storage is being used
  6. pCloud.com The popular service pCloud.com is a promising Swiss project that was successfully launched in 2013 and currently (by 2019) has more than 8 million active users. The service was conceived as a safe and reliable storage for both individuals and enterprises. For most people who are looking for cloud storage, the choice comes down to Dropbox, Google Drive or OneDrive. Although these services have their strengths, when it comes to privacy, none of them are trustworthy. On the contrary, pCloud has Swiss roots, does not analyze the data you upload and does not sell information about you to third parties. In addition, this service has an additional tool, pCloud Crypto, which allows you to set up private end-to-end encrypted folders and receive protection that none of the three kings of cloud storage provides. Save the folder in the cryptographic folder, and no one except you will have access to the decryption keys. Another important advantage of pCloud.com is that it works as a virtual hard disk and does not store files locally! Even at a free rate it is very convenient, especially for those who have a computer or little internal memory. And at a paid price you can get a virtual disk of 2 terabytes at an attractive price! This is incredible! In addition, there is the possibility of a monthly payment (in small quantities) and the purchase of a perpetual license. Would you like to get 2 terabytes for life? Under the terms of the service he is at least 99 years old, so, most likely, this will be enough for you Here you can win licenses. Prizes to win: 1st prize: a Premium Plus 2TB account for life (value of 350 EUR) 2nd prize: a Premium Plus account of 500 GB for life (value of 175 EUR) 3rd prize: a Premium Plus 2TB subscription account for one year (value of 95.88 EUR) You can participate with the email address of your free pCloud account or with a social network account. Watch the rules of the game! DURATION OF THE GAME: Start of the contest: 06.06.2019 - 10AM CET End of the contest: 16.06.2019 - 0AM CET Announcement of the winners: 17.06.2019 Enter here
  7. AWS: S3 storage now holds over 100 trillion objects AWS' S3 online storage service turns 15 years old and now stores over 100 trillion objects. Amazon Web Services' (AWS) cloud storage platform S3 or Simple Storage Service today stores over 100 trillion objects. AWS's Jeff Barr revealed the figure to mark S3's fifteen year anniversary. AWS launched S3 publicly on March 14, 2006, four years after Amazon launched Amazon.com Web Services, although that was far from the cloud infrastructure service AWS is today. S3 was AWS' first generally available service that promised developers cheap storage based on storage per month used. Five months later AWS launched Elastic Cloud Compute (EC2), offering developers compute resources as well. S3 has grown tremendously by object count over the past decade. AWS S3 hit one trillion objects in 2012 while Microsoft, which launched Azure in October 2008, had four trillion objects in that year. Barr recalls that AWS started S3's API started with a simple design. "Create a bucket, list all buckets, put an object, get an object, and put an access control list," notes Barr. Barr also says S3 is designed to provide "eleven 9's of durability" meaning that an object stored in S3 has a durability of 99.999999999%. In the 15 years since S3's launch, AWS has introduced a host of new services such as the S3 Glacier Deep Archive, a store for large volumes of data that isn't accessed often, various data replication services, security features, and its Snowmobile shipping container for migrating petabytes of data from on-premise data centers to AWS. Barr notes that AWS recently "dramatically" reduced latency for 0.01% of the Put requests to S3. "While this might seem like a tiny win, it was actually a much bigger one," Barr explains, as it helped avoid customer requests that time out and retry. Another benefit was that gave developers insights need to reduce latency. AWS today remains the largest cloud infrastructure provider with quarterly revenues exceeding $12 billion with a $46 billion annual run rate. It's also become a star performer within Amazon, with former AWS CEO Andy Jassy recently taking over as chief of Amazon from Amazon founder Jeff Bezos. Source: AWS: S3 storage now holds over 100 trillion objects
  8. How to free up space on Gmail quickly Customers who use Google's email service Gmail do get 15 Gigabytes of storage; that is a lot of space, but it is shared between multiple Google services including Gmail, Google Photos, and Google Drive. Google started to push its subscription-based service Google One in recent time. Customers who subscribe to it get increased storage and some additional benefits. Google customers who don't want to pay the company for extra storage may run into space issues eventually, especially if the account is used actively. One option to explore when it comes to freeing up storage space is to get rid of emails that are no longer required. Note: you can use a program such as MailStore or Thunderbird to back up all emails prior to deleting the emails on the Google server. You cannot use Gmail's mobile clients for effective delete sessions, as the options to do so are missing. Mobile users may be able to access Gmail in a mobile browser on the other hand, but the best option is to access Gmail using a desktop or laptop system. Gmail displays the used storage space at the bottom of its web version. Note that the information is not updated in realtime. Option 1: delete entire categories Gmail divides emails into different categories. Some of these categories may be prime targets for bulk delete jobs. Take the "social" or "promotions" categories for example. The first lists messages from social network sites such as Facebook or Twitter, e.g. that someone shared a link or wants you to become friends. The second category lists emails by companies for the most part, e.g. newsletters, offers, and related content. All you have to do is the following: Access Gmail in a web browser and not in the Gmail app. Select one of the categories, or another folder from the sidebar listing. Select the square icon at the top of the email listing to select all emails that are displayed. Activate the "select all conversations" link at the top to select all emails of the folder and not just the visible ones. Activate the "Delete" icon afterwards. All selected emails are moved to the Trash. Gmail keeps them in the Trash for 30 days before they are deleted for good. You can speed up the process by opening the Trash from the sidebar menu and selecting "empty trash now" at the top to remove the emails right away. Tip: you can speed up accessing the content by searching for categories or default folders to jump to them directly. Social category:social Updates category:updates Forums category:forums Promotions category:promotions Spam in:spam Trash in:trash Using advanced search parameters Starting with a single category or folder provides users with a quick option to delete large numbers of emails, but it may not be the best option depending on use cases and personal preferences. The second option that Gmail users have is to use search parameters. All you have to do is click on the arrow symbol next to the Gmail search field at the top to display advanced search parameters that you can combine for efficient filtering of emails. The following options are the most useful ones: Size to display emails that exceed the specified size, e.g. 5 Megabytes. Date within to restrict the output to a certain date range. Has attachment to include emails with attachments only. From to include only emails from specific email addresses. Subject to include only emails that match the selected text. Has the words to include emails that match the text. Doesn't have for the opposite. Select search to use the selected search parameters for that particular search. You may also use the "create filter" option to create a permanent filter that you can access over and over again. You may use the "select all" option described in the previous chapter on the search results page. Gmail users may type the advanced search parameters into the search field manually to speed things up. We highlighted the options back in 2021 in Gmail advanced search parameters. Here is a short list of important ones: size: search for messages larger than a specified size has:attachment - display only messages with attachments from: - find emails from a specific sender to: - find emails sent to a specific recipient subject: - search for words in subject lines Best of all, you may combine these with the category and folder filters, e.g. larger: 5M category:promotions returns all emails in the Promotions category that have a size of 5 MB or larger. Source: How to free up space on Gmail quickly
  9. Pfizer vaccine doesn’t need ultra-cold storage after all, company says The pharma giant and partner BioNTech have asked FDA to revise the vaccine's label. Enlarge / A picture taken on January 15, 2021 shows a pharmacist holding with gloved hands a vial of the undiluted Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine for COVID-19. Getty | JEAN-FRANCOIS MONIER In a bit of good news, Pfizer and BioNTech announced today that their highly effective COVID-19 vaccine does not require ultra-cold storage conditions after all and can be kept stable at standard freezer temperatures for two weeks. The companies have submitted data to the US Food and Drug Administration demonstrating the warmer stability in a bid for regulatory approval to relax storage requirements and labeling for the vaccine. If the FDA greenlights the change, the warmer storage conditions could dramatically ease vaccine distribution, allowing doses to be sent to non-specialized vaccine administration sites. The change would also make it much easier to distribute the vaccine to low-income countries. “We have been continuously performing stability studies to support the production of the vaccine at commercial scale, with the goal of making the vaccine as accessible as possible for healthcare providers and people across the US and around the world,” Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla said in a statement. “If approved, this new storage option would offer pharmacies and vaccination centers greater flexibility in how they manage their vaccine supply.” Balmy future Currently, the vaccine is labeled as requiring storage between -80°C and -60°C (-112°F to ‑76°F) for up to six months. But it can also be refrigerated for up to five days at standard refrigerator temperature (2⁰C and 8⁰C (36⁰F and 46⁰F)). The ultra-cold requirement cooled enthusiasm for the vaccine when the FDA first granted it emergency authorization for use. Only specialized facilities, such as hospitals and research labs, tend to have freezers equipped to maintain such cold temperatures, raising concerns about how easily it would be to get the vaccine into people’s arms. Prior to the vaccine’s rollout, Pfizer and BioNTech tried to ease those anxieties, emphasizing their expertise and existing cold-chain infrastructure. The two companies developed specially designed, temperature-controlled thermal shippers filled with dry ice to maintain a temperature of -70°C ± 10°C. The containers included GPS-enabled thermal sensor to track the location and temperature of each vaccine shipment as they made their way to distribution sites. Vaccine doses could be kept in the thermal containers for up to 30 days if the dry ice was refilled every five days. If approved, the new storage conditions would allow the vaccine to be kept at a mere -25°C to -15°C (-13°F to 5°F)—a temperature range any standard freezer can handle—for up to two weeks. And the vaccine doses can then be kept at standard refrigerator temperatures of 2⁰C to 8⁰C for five days on top of that. The companies report that as they continue testing the limits of the vaccine, they expect the expiration dates could be extended as well. Pfizer vaccine doesn’t need ultra-cold storage after all, company says
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