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An anonymous reader writes with a link to a story at Forbes about what's said to the first Bitcoin hedge fund; the article goes into some of the details of how the (literally) valuable data is kept. A selection: "The private key itself is AES-256 encrypted. After exporting Bitcoin private keys from wallet.dat file, data is stored in a TrueCrypt container on three separate flash drives. Using Shamir's Secret Sharing algorithm, the container password is then split into three parts utilizing a 2-of-3 secret sharing model. Incorporating physical security with electronic security, each flash drive from various manufacturers is duplicated several times and, together with a CD-ROM, those items are vaulted in a bank safety deposit box in three different legal jurisdictions. To leverage geographic distribution as well, each bank stores only part of a key, so if a single deposit box is compromised, no funds are lost."

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Tim Lord met Jay Kim at the RSA Conference in an Francisco. Kim's background is in manufacturing, but he's got an interest in security that has manifested itself in hardware with an emphasis on ease of use. His company, DataLocker, has come up with a fully cross-platform, driver independent portable system that mates a touch-pad input device with an AES-encrypted drive. It doesn't look much different from typical external USB drives, except for being a little beefier and bulkier than the current average, to account for both a touchpad and the additional electronics for performing encryption and decryption in hardware. Because authentication is done on the face of the drive itself, it can be used with any USB-equipped computer available to the user, and works fine as a bootable device, so you can -- for instance -- run a complete Linux system from it. (For that, though, you might want one of the smaller-capacity, solid-state versions of this drive, for speed.) Kim talked about the drive, and painted a rosy picture of what it's like to be a high-tech entrepreneur in Kansas.

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New submitter jyujin writes "Ever wonder how long your SSD will last? It's funny how bad people are at estimating just how long '100,000 writes' are going to take when spread over a device that spans several thousand of those blocks over several gigabytes of memory. It obviously gets far worse with newer flash memory that is able to withstand a whopping million writes per cell. So yeah, let's crunch some numbers and fix that misconception. Spoiler: even at the maximum SATA 3.0 link speeds, you'd still find yourself waiting several months or even years for that SSD to start dying on you."

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The boot options menu on a UEFI-based PC

Combine Windows 8 with a fast SSD and a UEFI motherboard and you have a system that could POST in two seconds and boot in seven. That's fantastic until you want to go into Windows' boot menu to fix a problem, or tell the firmware to boot off the USB key you just plugged in. The fast booting means that you have just a few hundred milliseconds to press space or F8 for the Windows boot menu—or F1, F2, F12, delete, or whatever your motherboard vendor picked this week to get into its boot device menu.

Fast-booting UEFI systems are still a rarity today (though slow-booting UEFI systems have become commonplace), but they're expected to be abundant once Windows 8 ships. Also abundant will be systems that make it impossible to hit the keyboard keys fast enough, because they won't have any keyboard keys at all; they'll be tablets. To address both of these problems, Microsoft has changed the way the boot menu works in Windows 8, as detailed in the company's latest Windows 8 blog post.

Windows 8 will do two things to help out. If you know that you want to use the menu before you even shut down (for example, to tell the system to boot off a USB key or optical media), you'll be able to elect to do so before you reboot. There will be three different ways to do this: the Settings applet has a button to reboot into the menu, you can hold down shift when rebooting from the regular shutdown menu, and there's a new option for the shutdown.exe command-line program.

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The AllWinner A10 Android 4.0 mini PC

CNX Software

Chinese retailers have started selling a miniature Linux computer that is housed in a 3.5-inch plastic case slightly larger than a USB thumb drive. Individual units are available online for $74.

The small computer has an AllWinner A10 single-core 1.5GHz ARM CPU, a Mali 400 GPU, and 512MB of RAM. An HDMI port on the exterior allows users to plug the computer into a television. It outputs at 1080p and is said to be capable of playing high-definition video.

The device also has a full-sized USB port with host support for input devices, a conventional micro-USB port, a microSD slot, and an internal 802.11 b/g WiFi antenna. The computer can boot from a microSD card and is capable of running Android 4.0 and other ARM-compatible Linux platforms.

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MrSeb writes "Today is World Backup Day! The premise is that you back up your computers on March 31, so that you're not an April Fool if your hard drive crashes tomorrow. How do Slashdot users back up? RAID? Multiple RAIDs? If you're in LA, on a fault line, do you keep a redundant copy of your data in another geographic region?"


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New submitter multimediavt writes "Ok, here's my problem. I have a lot of personal data! (And, no, it's not pr0n, warez, or anything the MPAA or RIAA would be concerned about.) I am realizing that I need to keep at least one spare drive the same size as my largest drive around in case of failure, or the need to reformat a drive due to corrupt file system issues. In my particular case I have a few external drives ranging in size from 200 GB to 2 TB (none with any more than 15 available), and the 2 TB drive is giving me fits at the moment so I need to move the data off and reformat the drive to see if it's just a file system issue or a component issue. I don't have 1.6 TB of free space anywhere and came to the above realization that an empty spare drive the size of my largest drive was needed. If I had a RAID I would have the same needs should a drive fail for some reason and the file system needed rebuilding. I am hitting a wall, and I am guessing that I am not the only one reaching this conclusion. This is my personal data and it is starting to become unbelievably unruly to deal with as far as data integrity and security are concerned. This problem is only going to get worse, and I'm sorry 'The Cloud' is not an acceptable nor practical solution. Tape for an individual as a backup mechanism is economically not feasible. Blu-ray Disc only holds 50 GB at best case and takes forever to backup any large amount of data, along with a great deal of human intervention in the process. So, as an individual with a large data collection and not a large budget, what do you see as options for now (other than keeping a spare blank drive around), and what do you see down the road that might help us deal with issues like this?"


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[In his original three part series, John Andersen polled a variety of companies across the globe to find out about exactly how the history of the game industry and its efforts is being preserved. In this latest installment, he queries indies to find out exactly what they're doing to preserve their history. Where Games go to Sleep: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3. Selecting Save on the Games we Make: Part 1.] Part one of ...

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Whether they're plotting attacks on the global Domain Name Service, proving Ruby on Rails and Chrome vulnerabilities, or getting busted by the Feds in Chicago, hackers appeared all over the news this week. But the past few days weren't all just breaking and entering. We brought you a glimpse at home tech of the future, and taught you how to create a bootable Windows 8 thumb drive, too.

The five technologies that will transform homes of the future: Novel technologies available today will evolve into necessities tomorrow. Here are five key pieces of the "home of the future."

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