Dealing with a server room cooling crisis

The biggest nightmare for anyone operating a data center is a failure of the server room air conditioner. All server room environments will have some form of redundancy, but even if you test the infrastructure for failure, there is a high chance that both the primary and the secondary systems will fail.

A computer room air conditioner is a piece of mechanical equipment and anything mechanical, however well-built, is in danger of failure. The best course of action is to prepare all the information you need emergency cooling.

The most basic information you will need are the dimensions of the room. No need for exact measurements, most server rooms have floor tiles that you can use to approximate the size. Note the potential locations for portable a/c units. MovinCool.com haas units that fit in even the smallest of spaces.

Next, you will need a list of all the equipment in the room, including servers, switches, routers, and UPS units. Make a separate list of equipment that you can shut down during an emergency, which will save on the amount of emergency cooling.

Note the amount of power you can supply to an emergency cooling unit. Industrial cooling requires a lot more power than domestic devices. If the power levels are not adequate to run proper portable a/c units, then upgrade the circuits as quickly as possible.

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Basic computer security mistakes you should avoid

Most Hackers are successful not because they have unknown methods of breaking into other computers, but because most end-users of computers and organizations make common and basic mistakes. Here are the most common mistakes everyone should avoid:

Updates

Updates to Microsoft and Apple products are free. All you need is internet access and a bit of time to download and install the updates. Most users ignore the update popup and continue to use the computer. Always update all your devices, apps, applications, operating systems, and computers.

Older versions

Another issue that is similar to the above is keeping older versions of the software. Most developers only maintain the latest version of the particular application. Most users keep older versions to avoid buying a newer version. Just remember that the older application could be a vector for an intrusion into your systems.

Downloads

Downloading random applications online is another threat. There are so many download sites that you need to ensure that any program you download is from a known developer. Also, when you download known applications, always do so from the official site. Third-party download sites often add Malware and Adware to downloads before making them available.

Piracy

In a recent study, security researchers found that almost 90% of pirated software came with Malware. The offending Malware was written into the applications, making it impossible to remove. Saving a few bucks by downloading a pirated applications might open your computer up to Malware and even Ransomware.

 

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How Security Personnel Can Improve Productivity in a Command Center

Summary: By addressing specific needs, a command center can be more productive and efficient.

With the increased use of video surveillance for any organization, along with computer-based systems, it’s crucial officers that are working in these centers be trained correctly.

Training the Officers

Security officers that work in a command center must be trained in using the security cameras as well as identifying suspicious activity. This includes what is happening in both the foreground and the background of a video image. They also must be taught how to interact with the dispatch and patrol team, as well as understand all the policies associated with it. Providing them with this training will increase their productivity levels as well as provide them with a well-rounded repertoire that they can pull out in emergency situations.

Balancing Technology With Other Duties

The increased volumes of information generated by command centers demand that security officers be trained to balance technology and paper-based tasks appropriately. They must learn how to monitor control systems, answer phones, report incidents, and more. It’s crucial that the officers that are working within the command center have a basic knowledge of their technical surroundings which allow them to be more versatile in the case of an incident.

Limiting Video Monitor Time

The quality of attention by officers monitoring live video feeds tends to drop significantly after a an extended amount of time. To counter this, officers that are scheduled for the same shift will switch duties every couple of hours. Monitoring in the command station and patrolling are two entirely different, but equally important, tasks for an officer. Balancing this can provide improved efficiency and productivity for the organization.

Blog submitted by Constant Technologies, Inc.: For a quality showpiece video wall or LCD video display design for a command center, trust the experts at Constant Technologies, Inc.

 

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Three drawbacks of the new Pixel 2

Google took the wraps off its new Pixel 2 phone lineup last week. The phones have what the best Android camera and maybe the best smartphone camera on the market today. The problem lies in choosing between the Pixels and the competition. Here are some of the drawbacks of the new Pixel phones.

Camera

The first drawback is that the Pixel 2 and the Pixel 2 XL have the same camera. It is good to provide the same technology and capabilities across the two models. However, there should have been more differentiation between the Pixel 2 and the XL. As it stands, all you get for $200 extra is a bigger screen and battery.

Headphone Jack

Like Apple, LeEco, and Lenovo, Google removed the headphone jack from the Pixel 2. Google does provide an alternative to the AirPod but does not address what happens when you want to charge your phone and listen to music at the same time. It is a pain point for iPhone users and Google should have addressed that as part of the presentation.

Bezels

The screen on the Pixel 2 XL is not as impressive as some of its peers. The screen is not edge-to-edge as some of the others. Also, to make room for the dual speakers, there is a larger forehead and chin. The screen itself is amazing with vibrant colors and proper blacks. However, if you want an edge-to-edge screen or a bigger screen for the form factor, then you will want either the iPhone X or the Note 8.

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Amazon’s future drone network

It has been several years since we first saw the Amazon drone video. Thanks to regulatory issues and safety testing, it might still be a few years before drone package delivery is an option for most people. However, there are also some hurdles that Amazon and others will need to deal with before it is practical to use drones for deliveries. We now see a clearer picture of how Amazon expects to deal with those issues with some recent patent filings.

The biggest hurdle when using drones is a limit to the maximum distance between the point where the drone launches and the destination. Regulators will require line of sight from the launch and destination points. Such short distances will require a very expensive network of launch sites, especially in urban areas.

According to recent patents filings by Amazon, they have several possible solutions to these problems.

The first is a “beehive” like structure that will act a multi-level fulfillment center in populated areas. Drones will come and go from this structure. Amazon’s fulfillment warehouses are huge and require large amounts of land. With the “beehive” Amazon can build them vertically, and they will require a very small footprint.

Another option is a series of mobile delivery systems which will launch, service, and even repair drones. The patent filing includes an image that looks like a shipping container with an opening on the top. The second container contains replacement batteries for the drones. Amazon proposed a similar idea, with the exception that the entire operation was on an airship.

Amazon looks set for future where most deliveries will be by drones.

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2017: The best upcoming gadgets

Every year we see an influx of new gadgets, but gadget geeks have an especially good year to look forward to in 2017.

iPhone 8

This year we will see the launch of the 10th anniversary iPhone. According to rumors and leaks, we know that Apple is overhauling the design of the phone. It also appears that the cutting edge phone will be a new third model. Observers expect the lineup to look like this: iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus, and the all new iPhone 8 Pro. The iPhone Pro will get a sticker price of about $1200 to match its premium feature-set, which includes an OLED screen.

Surface Phone

In a recent interview, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella said that Microsoft is working on the “ultimate mobile device.” Since the surface line already includes a laptop, desktop, and tablet form-factor devices, the logical conclusion is that Microsoft is working on a smartphone. Microsoft has hinted at a launch of a new product in 2017, and although there are no leaks or other rumors, it is possible that we might get a Surface phone with Windows 10 this year.

HTC Vive 2

When HTC launched the HTC Vive in 2016 and talked about a focus on VR products and services, a lot of journalists and fans were skeptical. However, the Vive VR system found a following and sales have been brisk. For its follow-up, HTC will go wireless, removing one of the biggest complaints of the original device.

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