GeekSpeak for 2009-08-15

Drobo, Drobo, Drobo

Mark Fuccio joins us from [Data Robotics, Inc.|http://www.drobo.com/] to talk about data backups, and the [Drobo|http://www.drobo.com/] . Mark and the geeks also talk about some of the more complex ways to manage data, including RAID levels, and various Network-Attached Storage solutions.

First Free Digital Textbooks Debut

Open source crosses over into the classroom.

DVD Copying Software is Illegal

You can make backups of your DVDs under fair use, but you can’t legally get the tools to do so.

Umm, Are We Really Safe From Asteroids?

What NASA has accomplished so far will largely enable us to at least attempt to prevent any impacts that would ultimately cause the majority of humans that survive the initial blow to die of starvation. However, asteroids smaller than 1km in diameter are not sufficiently less disastrous than their larger counterparts that we can happily ignore them.

For example, the NRC report states that the body that caused the 1908 Tunguska explosion and destroyed 2,000 square kilometers of Siberian forest was only 30-40 meters in diameter. This realization is what led Congress to change its mind and decide that NASA should track even smaller asteroids. The new goal: track 90 percent of NEOs 140 meters or larger in diameter by 2020.

Spitzer Sees a Planetary Collision!

NASA’s Spitzer Space Telescope found evidence that a high-speed collision of this sort occurred a few thousand years ago around a young star, called HD 172555, still in the early stages of planet formation. The star is about 100 light-years from Earth.

Poor Password are a Security Threat

In a Channel Insider/CompTIA survey, solution providers say there’s one problem bigger than the out-of-date antivirus. That’s poor password management. In 43 percent of security assessments, solution providers say they find poor password policies, enforcement and practices.

Firefighting robot team

An entire team of fire-fighting robots was recently unveiled by defense contractor QinetiQ at a demonstration in London, where a quartet of robots were more than battle-ready to tackle the particular risk of fires involving cylinders of the industrial gas acetylene. These robots are not the same, as each of them have various functions but work as a unit in order to be successful, pretty much like how us humans function. The robots will comprise of a nimble, stair-climbing reconnaissance unit all the way to a diesel-powered robot with a large claw. It would be interesting to see how these robots perform in actual situations, but anything that helps prevent the death of brave firefighters without compromising on the safety of people trapped in dangerous situations would definitely win points in our books.

Glowing USB Aroma Radio and Speaker

Soft light, Music and Scent are excellent for soothing your mood. USB Aroma Radio + Speaker is a multi-function USB gadget. It functions as an Aroma oil burner as well as a bedside light circulating seven different soft colors. You can also plug your iPod, MP3 player or PC to listen to music. Ideals for bedtime – when you need a peaceful and a relax environment.


! Our Guest

Mark Fuccio holds a Bachlars of Science in Electrical Engineering from MIT. Mark has 29 years of experiance in the tech industry and for the last Four years at [Data Robotics|http://www.drobo.com/] and is currently senior director of products and markets.