Day: July 28, 2022

Construction Industry

Company collapses continue in Australia’s “construction

The crisis engulfing Australia’s construction sector has deepened over the past six weeks. A plethora of building companies have been placed into administration and liquidation, owing millions of dollars to owners of unfinished homes, subcontractors, suppliers and workers in entitlements.

This month, Victorian-based building firm Snowdon Developments was ordered by the Supreme Court to go into liquidation on the grounds of insolvency, owing just under $18 million to 250 creditors.

The Snowdon collapse follows similar failures throughout June, including prominent home builders such as Victorian-based Waterford Homes, which went into liquidation with debts so far amounting to $600,000.

House under construction in Manly, Queensland [Photo by Orderinchaos via Wikimedia Commons / CC BY-SA 4.0]

Specialist small home builder Affordable Modular Homes collapsed under a mountain of debt, owing $121,000 to creditors, while Statement Builders failed, owing $200,000 in taxes. Other home builders that went to the wall last month included Langford Jones Homes, Pivotal Homes, Solido Builders, Wulfrun Construction and Westernport Constructions.

These failures are part of what media commentary terms “a construction sector bloodbath.” More than 16 building companies had already collapsed since the closing months of 2021. They include well-known names in home building, such as Hotondo Homes, Dyldam Developments, BA Murphy, Home Innovation, ABG Group, New Sensation Homes, Pindan and ABD Group.

This year also saw the collapse of major companies, such as Probuild and Condev, that had projects underway or on the books worth billions of dollars. The fate of Australia’s largest home builder Metricon, which had around 4,000 homes under construction last month, remains uncertain despite a $30 million cash injection into the company by its shareholders and promises of government support.

It is widely acknowledged across the industry that these failures are only the tip of the iceberg. Industry market researcher IBISWorld recently projected

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Software

Dell gives hardware, networking and software boost to

Dell EMC is updating its mid-range unified file and block PowerStore array with new and faster hardware and software.

PowerStore was launched in 2020 and Dell says that 12,000 systems have been deployed with multiple exabytes of effective capacity. It competes primarily with NetApp’s ONTAP arrays in the unified file+block market and also with HPE, Hitachi Vantara, IBM (FlashSystem), and Pure Storage (FlashArray) in the block market.

As at April last year the PowerStore hardware consists of the 500 entry-level system, mid-range 1000, 3000, 5000, 7000 models and 9000 high-end array. Now the five models, appliances in Dell EMC-speak, above the 500 are succeeded by the 1200, 3200, 5200, and 9200 products; the 7000 has effectively been replaced.

A PowerStore 3.0 video has Midrange Storage Consultant Marketing Manager Phil Treide presenting the hardware updates in some detail:

The new models have Cascade Lake era Xeon processors and the hardware plus software refresh delivers up to 50 percent more IOPS for mixed workloads, up to 70 percent faster writes, and an up to a 10x improvement in copy operations.

Treide says: “Each PowerStore model offers more cores, larger memory or both relative to the model it replaces.” Here is a table listing the controller changes:

In the video Triede says there is more on the hardware front as “new 100GbitE IO modules expand the scope and performance of PowerStore’s Ethernet-based storage capabilities.” This 100GbitE capability improves NVMe/TCP performance by up to 73 percent at 50 percent lower cost per port.  

PowerStore also takes advantage of silicon root-of-trust features in Intel’s Cascade Lake systems. With this, Treide says: “PowerStore OS is able to verify the identity of system hardware components to prevent malicious activity.”

A third hardware advance is a 24-bay by 2-rack unit NVMe expansion chassis. With this and 15.26TB SSDs

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Computer Forensics

FIU helps local high school teachers build cybersecurity

FIU experts are training local high school teachers to develop cybersecurity lesson plans for their students.

The Cybernet Miami Academy is an FIU-led virtual, interactive program about digital forensics, which is the process of interpreting and uncovering electronic data. 

In the first phase of the academy this summer, high school teachers met with FIU electrical and computer engineering faculty and cybersecurity professionals to learn skills, gather resources and build lesson plans. They learned how to extract hidden information from hard drives, accumulated free cybersecurity tools and planned activities for their information technology and career-learning classrooms. 

The teachers are now preparing for the second phase of the program: implementing their lessons. 

“Teachers are leaving with at least one lesson plan that they have customized to best fit their students,” says Alexander Pons, principal investigator of Cybernet Miami Academy and a professor in the electrical and computer engineering department at FIU’s College of Engineering and Computing. 

The teachers earned $1,000 to complete FIU’s 80-hour training course. They will receive another $1,000 after conducting their lesson plans. The program is funded by a U.S. Department of Education grant and delegated to FIU via Luminary Labs. 

FIU customized the program to be effective for high school classrooms. In the first phase, one speaker was a cybersecurity education expert who discussed how teachers might best tailor their lessons for teenagers. Another speaker from the National Initiative for Cyber Education explained the career opportunities in cybersecurity. According to Cyber Seek, there were 714,548 cybersecurity-related job listings in the U.S. from May 2021 through April 2022. 

The academy also provided insights into digital forensics techniques. FIU personnel covered computer programming, security issues and information storage. An expert from the Global Forensic and Justice Center at FIU gave teachers an inside look at the industry.

“Since we spent

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Branding

OnePlus 10T will ditch the alert slider and Hasselblad

New reports confirm that the OnePlus 10T will come without an alert slider and Hasselblad branding. Here is why that will be the case with the upcoming smartphone scheduled to launch on August 3.

The OnePlus 10T could feature a design language similar to the OnePlus 10 Pro, but with two key omissions. (Image credit: OnePlus)

Ahead of the OnePlus 10T’s launch on August 3, the company has revealed details about the design and camera of the upcoming phone. The design language makes the phone look very similar to the flagship OnePlus 10 Pro launched earlier this year but with two key omissions: there is no alert slider and the cameras aren’t Hasselblad co-branded. Here is why OnePlus has made these changes.

The alert slider has been a constant feature on OnePlus phones for years and offers users the convenience of easily putting their phone on silent or vibrate mode without having to fiddle with on-screen menus. OnePlus chief designer Hope Liu told The Verge that the company is omitting the slider from the OnePlus 10T to have enough internal space for other components that are essential for “high wattage charging, a large battery capacity, and better antenna signal.”

Liu told The Verge

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