Amazon Snowmobile – a truck with up to 100 Petabytes of storage

Back in my college days, I had a professor who frequently used Andrew Tanenbaum‘s quote in the networking class:

Never underestimate the bandwidth of a station wagon full of tapes hurtling down the highway.

I guess he wasn’t the only one, as during this year’s Amazon re:Invent 2016 conference, the company announced, among other things, a AWS Snowmobile:

Moving large amounts of on-premises data to the cloud as part of a migration effort is still more challenging than it should be! Even with high-end connections, moving petabytes or exabytes of film vaults, financial records, satellite imagery, or scientific data across the Internet can take years or decades. On the business side, adding new networking or better connectivity to data centers that are scheduled to be decommissioned after a migration is expensive and hard to justify.

[…]

In order to meet the needs of these customers, we are launching Snowmobile today. This secure data truck stores up to 100 PB of data and can help you to move exabytes to AWS in a matter of weeks (you can get more than one if necessary). Designed to meet the needs of our customers in the financial services, media & entertainment, scientific, and other industries, Snowmobile attaches to your network and appears as a local, NFS-mounted volume. You can use your existing backup and archiving tools to fill it up with data destined for Amazon Simple Storage Service (S3) or Amazon Glacier.

Thanks to this VentureBeat page, we even have a picture of the monster:

aws-snowmobile

100 Petabytes on wheels!

I know, I know, it looks like a regular truck with a shipping container on it.  But I’m pretty sure it’s VERY different from the inside.  With all that storage, networking, power, and cooling needed, it would be awesome to take a pick into this thing.

 

 

Self-driving cars’ unexpected side effect …

Slashdot links to a rather unexpected prediction for the time when we are all driven by the robot cars:

“At least one expert is anticipating that, as the so-called ‘smart’ cars get smarter, there will eventually be an increase in an unusual form of distracted driving: hanky-panky behind the wheel.”

Automakers to gearheads: Stop repairing cars

Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) has caused a lot of grief over the years.  AutoBlog reports that now car manufacturers are trying to use it to stop people from repairing and tuning their cars:

Allowing them to continue to fix their cars has become “legally problematic,” according to a written statement from the Auto Alliance, the main lobbying arm of automakers.

The dispute arises from a section of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act that no one thought could apply to vehicles when it was signed into law in 1998. But now, in an era where cars are rolling computing platforms, the U.S. Copyright Office is examining whether provisions of the law that protect intellectual property should prohibit people from modifying and tuning their cars.

Ridiculous, is the word that describes this best, I think.

New wheels : Suzuki Splash

With me now working in Nicosia and Maxim’s school year about to start, the need for a second car has emerged.  We’ve been planning it for a while any way, it’s just that the priority of it raised recently.  Our Mitsubishi Galant is more than 13 years old now, and while it works fine, it’s probably not the best idea to push it into daily 160+ kilometers journey mode.

So, with that in mind, we bought a second car.   Olga picked it up on Friday and I’ll be using that for my daily travels instead.  The new car is a Suzuki Splash, which is very similar to Suzuki Swift, but in a different body.  Here is how it looks:

Side
Side

… and a bit of the front and back:

I’ve been taking it for a spin during the weekend, and I have to say that I am rather surprised as to how comfortable this car is.  It’s a bit slower to accelerate (1.2L engine and automatic gearbox versus 1.8L and manual gearbox of the Mitsubishi Galant), but once it gets going, it’s very stable.  I also expect it to need much less petrol, which is a definite plus for my daily trips to and from Nicosia.

Hopefully, it will last us as much as the Galant did.

According to the proposal, the state officials who…

According to the proposal, the state officials who are entitled to a luxury car are: the president of the Republic and the House president, the attorney general and the assistant attorney general, the chief negotiator for the Cyprus problem, ministers, ministry undersecretaries (if they are appointed), the auditor general, the accountant general, ministry permanent secretaries, supreme court judges, the house permanent secretary and all former Republic and House presidents.

Cyprus Mail

Thorium-Fueled Automobile Engine Needs Refueling Once a Century

Thorium-Fueled Automobile Engine Needs Refueling Once a Century

Current models of the engine weigh 500 pounds, easily fitting into the engine area of a conventionally-designed vehicle. According to CEO Charles Stevens, just one gram of the substance yields more energy than 7,396 gallons (28,000 L) of gasoline and 8 grams would power the typical car for a century.

The idea of using thorium is not new. In 2009, Loren Kulesus designed the Cadillac World Thorium Fuel Concept Car. LPS is developing the technology so it can be mass-produced.