Nerval's Lobster writes "MariaDB is a fork of the MySQL source code, split off in the wake of concerns over what Oracle would do with MySQL licensing. In addition to its role as a 'drop-in replacement' for MySQL, MariaDB also includes some new features that (some claim) make it better than MySQL. Jeff Cogswell compares MySQL and MariaDB and suggests (in his opinion) that there's 'more than enough reason to ditch MySQL and switch over to MariaDB and stay there.' Why? While he breaks down MariaDB's new features and thinks many of them aren't that fantastic, and while MariaDB's performance isn't that much better than that of MySQL ('MariaDB's performance appears a bit better on multi-core machines, but I strongly suspect that one could tweak MySQL to match'), the questions over Oracle and MySQL licensing give him pause. 'MariaDB shows every indication that it will be around for quite awhile, while you can't really say the same of Oracle's MySQL,' he writes. 'Free-and-open MySQL competes with Oracle's proprietary and extremely competitive tools. That alone is grounds for concern — will Oracle do something to impede MySQL's development?'"
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An anonymous reader writes "When in early 2010 Google shared with the public that they had been breached in what became known as the Aurora attacks, they said that the attackers got their hands on some source code and were looking to access Gmail accounts of Tibetan activists. What they didn't make public is that the hackers have also accessed a database containing information about court-issued surveillance orders that enabled law enforcement agencies to monitor email accounts belonging to diplomats, suspected spies and terrorists. Whether this was the primary goal of the attacks as well as how much information was exfiltrated is unknown. current and former U.S. government officials interviewed by the Washington Post say that the database in question was possibly accessed in order to discover which Chinese intelligence operatives located in the U.S. were under surveillance."
Nerval's Lobster writes "But at this year's Google I/O conference in San Francisco, Google announced that it has a plan to make Google Plus users more engaged, courtesy of new features backed by a handful of data-analytics tricks. Google Plus postings now feature Google-generated hashtags that, when clicked, direct the user to related content from across their network. From a backend-infrastructure perspective, that sort of thing leans heavily on Google's semantic analysis and the ability to make the right connections between various pieces of data. Google Plus will also automatically highlight certain photos out of dozens or even hundreds of shots. Say you went on vacation to India and took some photos of your significant other in front of the Taj Mahal; Google Plus will leverage its database of information to recognize that as a prominent landmark and pluck those photos out of the pile as 'special.' In the words of that posting on the Google+ Blog: 'Your darkroom is now a Google data center.' Are all these nifty, analytics-intensive features enough to change the larger fortunes of Google Plus? That's the big question. Google has a handsome-looking platform, one that performs certain activities with a high degree of polish and zip—but is that enough to counter Facebook?"
alphadogg writes "Incidents of cellphone theft have been rising for several years and are fast becoming an epidemic. IDG News Service collected data on serious crimes in San Francisco from November to April and recorded 579 thefts of cellphones or tablets, accounting for 41 percent of all serious crime. In just over half the incidents, victims were punched, kicked or otherwise physically intimidated for their phones, and in a quarter of robberies, users were threatened with guns or knives. This isn't just happening in tech-loving San Francisco, either. The picture is similar across the United States. A big reason for such thefts, until recently, is that there had been little to stop someone using a stolen cellphone. Reacting to pressure from law enforcement and regulators, the U.S.'s largest cellphone carriers agreed early last year to establish a database of stolen cellphones."
wo1verin3 writes "Previously reported on Slashdot was a story about a malware attempt masquerading itself as a Demonoid resurrection. It turns out this really was Demonoid making a comeback. With the site now back online with a new host, TorrentFreak caught up with its admins who tell us they have no malicious intent and simply want to bring a community back to together. While there is still uncertainty, one thing is absolutely clear – they do have the old Demonoid database."
Doug Otto writes "Buried deep in the bowels of a bi-partisan immigration reform bill is a 'photo tool.' The goal is to create a photo database consisting of every citizen. Wired calls it 'a massive federal database administered by the Department of Homeland Security and containing names, ages, Social Security numbers and photographs of everyone in the country with a driver’s license or other state-issued photo ID.' Of course the database would be used only for good, and never evil. 'This piece of the Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act is aimed at curbing employment of undocumented immigrants. But privacy advocates fear the inevitable mission creep, ending with the proof of self being required at polling places, to rent a house, buy a gun, open a bank account, acquire credit, board a plane or even attend a sporting event or log on the internet.'"
An anonymous reader sends this news from the Associated Press: "A worldwide gang of criminals stole a total of $45 million in a matter of hours by hacking their way into a database of prepaid debit cards and then draining cash machines around the globe, federal prosecutors said Thursday. ... Here’s how it worked: Hackers got into bank databases, eliminated withdrawal limits on prepaid-debit cards and created access codes. Others loaded that data onto any plastic card with a magnetic stripe — an old hotel key card or an expired credit card worked fine as long as it carried the account data and correct access codes."
mask.of.sanity writes "A researcher has found that Apple user locations can be potentially determined by tapping into Apple Maps and he has created a Python tool to make the process easier. iSniff GPS accesses Apple's database of wireless access points, which is collected by iPhones and iPads that have GPS and Wi-Fi location services enabled. Apple uses this crowd-sourced data to run its location services; however, the location database is not meant to be public. You can download the tool via Giuthub."
New submitter giveen1 writes "I recieved this email as a former Demonoid.me user. I tried to go to the website and link is dead. ... 'Dear Demonoid Community Member, We have all read the same news stories: The Demonoid servers shut down and seized in the Ukraine. The Demonoid admin team detained in Mexico. The demonoid.me domain snatched and put up for sale. The Demonoid trackers back online in Hong Kong, but then disappearing. ... Now for some good news: The heart and soul of Demonoid lives on! Through an amazing sequence of unlikely events, the data on those Ukrainian servers has made its way into the safe hands of members of our community and has now been re-launched as d2.vu.'" But it turns out that the site was distributing malware, hosted on an American VPS, and quickly shut down after the provider discovered this. No word yet on how the Demonoid user database was acquired, but if you did make the mistake of trying to log in Torrent Freak warns: "New information just in suggests that if you logged into the fake Demonoid and used the same user/password combo on any other site (torrent, email, Steam, PayPal) you should change them immediately."
sfcrazy writes "In this exclusive interview MySQL founder Michael Widenius talks about the reasons of decline of MySQL, what Oracle is doing wrong and how MariaDB is fast replacing it. There are quite some interesting information in this interview. The take out of this interview is — '...there is no reason at all to use MySQL 5.5 instead of MariaDB 5.5. The same will be true for the next generation.'" Of course, he has an economic interest in getting people to use MariaDB. Hard to argue that Oracle isn't evil though.
coolnumbr12 writes "Chinese hackers have infiltrated a sensitive U.S. Army database that contains information about the vulnerabilities of thousands of dams located throughout the United States. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' National Inventory of Dams (NID) has raised concerns that information gathered in the hack could help China carry out a cyber-attack on the national electrical power grid."
wiredmikey writes "Daily deals site and Groupon competitor LivingSocial said on Friday it had fallen victim to a cyber attack that put its roughly 50 million users at risk. 'LivingSocial recently experienced a cyber-attack on our computer systems that resulted in unauthorized access to some customer data from our servers,' the company said in a brief note on its site while prompting users to reset their passwords. Attackers reportedly obtained information including names, email addresses, date of birth for some users, and passwords, which fortunately were hashed and salted. Additionally, the database holding credit card information was not accessed by the attacker, the company said. 'While it is good that the passwords stolen from LivingSocial are hashed and salted as this likely slow down the cracking process, it won't stop it,' Rapid7's Ross Barrett said. 'Once they had cracked the first round with the tools at their disposal, they posted the hashes in a Russian hacker forum where other motivated individuals with the necessary skills and more advanced cracking tools were able to help decode the remaining passwords,' Barrett continued. 'While salting the passwords will slow this process down further, eventually the attackers or their network will get the information they're after.' LivingSocial said they are actively working with law enforcement to investigate the incident but have not provided any additional details."
mikejuk writes "The founders of the original MySQL, the open-source database, are getting back together in a merger between Monty Program and SkySQL. SkySQL was created by around two dozen former MySQL executives and investors after Oracle bought MySQL from Sun. Widenius started Monty Program AB and created the MariaDB database from some of MySQL's open source code. The merger will provide a stronger rival to MySQL, so reassuring users who are worried about Oracle's future plans for the database."
Peetke writes "As we all know Oracle is not the biggest friend to the Open Source Community. Long standing OSS supporter Wikipedia has now moved from an optimized fork of MySQL 5.1 to MariaDB 5.5, for both its English and German sites. Wikipedia expects all other languages to follow within a month. Performance-wise, this move has no big implications, but it will ensure our biggest community database will live long and prosper."
First time accepted submitter IamIanB writes "Harvard Middle Eastern Studies student Todd Mostak's first tangle with big data didn't go well; trying to process and map 40 million geolocated tweets from the Arab Spring uprising took days. So while taking a database course across town at MIT, he developed a massively parallel database that uses GeForce Titan GPUs to do the data processing. The system sees 70x performance increases over CPU-based systems, and can out crunch a 1000 node MapReduce cluster, in some cases. All for around $5,000 worth of hardware. Mostak plans to release the system under an open source license; you can play with a data set of 125 million tweets hosted at Harvard's WorldMap and see the millisecond response time." I seem to recall a dedicated database query processor that worked by having a few hundred really small processors that was integrated with INGRES in the '80s.
colinneagle writes "During a recent trip to an eye doctor, I noticed that she was still using Windows XP. After I suggested that she might need to upgrade soon, she said she couldn't because she couldn't afford the $10,000 fee involved with the specialty medical software that has been upgraded for Windows 7. Software written for medical professionals is not like mass market software. They have a limited market and can't make back their money in volume because there isn't the volume for an eye doctor's database product like there is for Office or Quicken. With many expecting Microsoft's upcoming end-of-support for XP to cause a security nightmare of unsupported Windows devices in the wild, it seems a good time to ask how many users may fall into the category of wanting an upgrade, but being priced out by expensive but necessary third-party software. More importantly, can anything be done about it?"
Kozar_The_Malignant writes "Students at the University of Iceland have written an Android app that helps you avoid dating your cousins. The app accesses the Icelandic national genealogical database that contains information on all living citizens and their ancestors going back 1,100 years. Tapping two phones together will bring up an alert if you share a common grandparent." Just one of the consequences of having a population small enough (and well documented enough) to have a well-known genetic makeup.
dcblogs writes "The U.S. Senate comprehensive immigration bill, due Tuesday, will allow the H-1B cap to rise from 65,000 to as high as 180,000. The bill, overall, contains some interesting provisions. It will require the U.S. Labor Dept. to create a website of H-1B job openings that employers must post to. The jobs must be posted least 30 calendar days before hiring an H-1B applicant to fill that position. The bill also raises wages for H-1B workers to make them more competitive, although the amount wasn't specified. One provision that will affect India, in particular, limits H-1B visa use to 50% of a firm's U.S. workforce. The provision may prompt India firms to buy U.S. companies to expand their U.S. presence."
An anonymous reader writes "Gottfrid Svartholm Warg, a.k.a. 'anakata,' co-founder of The Pirate Bay, has been indicted by a Swedish court on charges of computer hacking and fraud. The prosecuting attorney said, 'A large amount of data from companies and agencies was taken during the hack, including a large amount of personal data, such as personal identity numbers of people with protected identities.' According to Ars, 'The first count of hacking involves allegedly unlawfully using another person's username and password to search Infotorg, a well-known massive privately held commercial database of "private individuals, companies, properties and vehicles." The second count, as previously reported, involves an alleged hack dating back to 2010 of Logica, a Swedish IT firm that contracts with the Swedish tax authority. In March 2012, Logica was hit by an online attack that resulted in around 9,000 Swedes (Google Translate) having their personal identity numbers and names released to the public. ... The third count of hacking, allegedly taking place between July and August 2012, accuses Svartholm Warg of unauthorized access of major Nordic region bank Nordea's computers. The fraud charges accuse Svartholm Warg of allegedly transferring and attempting to transfer money from Nordea to other unauthorized bank accounts.'"
Nerval's Lobster writes "Ready to 'Analyze terabytes of data with just a click of a button?' That's the claim Google makes with its BigQuery platform. But is BigQuery really an analytics superstar? It was unveiled in Beta back in 2010, but recently gained some improvements such as the ability to do large joins. In the following piece, Jeff Cogswell compares BigQuery to some other analytics and OLAP tools, and hopefully that'll give some additional context to anyone who's thinking of using BigQuery or a similar platform for data. His conclusion? In the end, BigQuery is just another database. It can handle massive amounts of data, but so can Hadoop. It's not free, but neither is Hadoop once you factor in the cost of the hardware, support, and the paychecks of the people running it. The public version of BigQuery probably isn't even used by Google, which likely has something bigger and better that we'll see in five years or so."