2016-04-15 (Friday)

Today, I learned that:

One has to be totally certain about what a certain computer command will really do before typing it. If not, it is possible to end up with deleting deleting multiple web site, as you can see in reference #1 below.

On my business/tourism trip exactly 11 years ago, on 2005-04-15 I took a plane from Shanghai’s domestic airport to Beijing’s international airport. The compulsory guide picked me up and brought me downtown to the hotel. In sequence, I took the subway to the Tiananmen Square (aka the Square of the Heavenly Peace). After contemplating the size of the square for some minutes, I entered the Imperial Palace, aka the Forbidden City.

Below you can see some photos from my visit there. Some parts were being refurbished for the Olympic Games three years later, but that did not hinder me very much.

15AD

15EG

15HK

… That’s what I learned in school !

Refs.:

1: Man erases thousands of websites with a bad command

+: What did you learn in school today ?

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2016-03-31 (Thursday)

Today, I learned that:

Today is the last day of the first quarter of 2016, and since tomorrow is April Fool’s Day, let us try to not appear as one of them. I am thinking about that today is named International Backup Day.

As everyone knows, never before has it been so easy and cheap to consume  and store digital bytes. But at the same time, it also means that we have to be ever so careful when we invest our time and money in digital content, so we do not lose our precious data.

So I suggest that you already think about that today, before it is too late. Basically, there are two different means of backing up your data, either through a local backup solution or a remote one, aka cloud based storage. I understand that many people are afraid of cloud storage, feeling that it easier for thieves to access, highjack and even destroy our data. But if chosen wisely, then you will surely find a remote location that can take care of your data securely.

You have probably heard what happened to the famous American film director Francis Ford Coppola. He always carried an external hard drive on his travels around the world. In it he stored all the data from his films, so that he could recover them if there was any problem with his laptop computer. But once in Argentina, someone stole both the computer and the external drive. He did not have any remote backup!

The website of reference #1 below explains everything in an easy language. Read, learn and act, but do it today!

WBD

… That’s what I learned in school !

Refs.:

1: World Backup Day

+: What did you learn in school today ?

2016-02-20 (Saturday)

Today, I learned that:

Scientists at the Optoelectronics Research Centre of the University of Southampton, on England’s Southern coast, have made a major step forward in the development of digital data storage that is capable of surviving for billions of years. Using nanostructured glass, they have developed the recording and retrieval processes of five dimensional (5D) digital data by femtosecond laser writing.
The storage allows unprecedented properties including 360 TB/disc data capacity, thermal stability up to 1000 °C and virtually unlimited lifetime at room temperature (13,8 billion years at 190 °C ) opening a new era of eternal data archiving. This very stable and safe form of portable memory, could be highly used to store massive quantities of information, such as those found in national archives, museums and libraries.

5D

Two examples of eternal 5D storage, King James Bible and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Copyright and photos by the University of Southampton 2016

In 2013, they demonstrated a 300 kbyte digital copy of a text file recorded in 5D, and now other documents such as the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR), Newton’s Opticks, Magna Carta and Kings James Bible, have also been saved.
Further information about this amazing storage technology can be found in reference # 1, below.

That’s what I learned in school !

Refs.:

1: Eternal 5D data storage could record the history of humankind

+: What did you learn in school today ?

2016-01-12 (Tuesday)

Today, I learned that:

The common expression “gigabyte” so often used today when talking about a quantity of data is not always a gigabyte, here is the story:

Some time ago, I discovered that there was a new type of USB flash drive (‘pen drive’) in the market, the handy little memory device that lets one move chunks of data from one computer to another. This particular device would be specially suited for transferring data from desktop/laptop computer to a smartphone, and vice-versa. The reason for this is that the drive has two different ports, one with a regular USB-A male connector and the other with a micro-USB AB receptacle. I decided to buy the smallest one, specified at 16 Gbytes of memory.

When it arrived, before even saving any file onto the drive, I investigated if it really could hold 16 Gbytes as specified. Well, it could not! My Mac computer showed that the maximum capacity when using a file format called Extended File Allocation Table (exFAT), which would permit compatibility between OS X, Windows and Android, was 15 549 300 736 bytes, also informed as 15,55 GB by the Mac. In Windows, it was even less, 14,4 GB. So how come this difference, more than 1 GB?

The reason is that Apple uses the decimal definition of gigabyte, where 1 gigabyte (GB) = 1000 x 1000 x 1000 bytes = 1 000 000 000 bytes, and Microsoft uses the binary definition, that states that 1 gigabyte (or more correctly 1 gibibyte – GiB) = 1024 x 1024 x 1024 = 1 073 741 824 bytes.

The recommended international standard, in unison with the International System of Units (SI), is to use only the prefixes kilo, mega, giga, etc. as multiples of 1000, and kibi, mebi, gibi, etc. as multiples of 1024.

The word gibi is also used in Brazil to denote a comics magazine, in Swedish called ‘serietidning’.

… That’s what I learned in school!

Refs.:

1: USB flash drive

2: USB

3: ExFAT

4: Gigabyte

5: Gibi

+: What did you learn in school today ?