Colloquium Archive

Fast, Secure, Reliable, Recoverable? Data Recovery From Ssd, Nand Flash, Smart Phones And Tablets

Chris Bross, DriveSavers Data Recovery, Inc., Novato, CA


All storage devices eventually fail. Critical data files are lost every day. Users who do not maintain a verified backup risk devastating repercussions. Digital memories, financial data, personal information, business-critical information, your blind trust in the technology you use every day...gone! Is solid-state data storage the answer? SSD and NAND Flash production is on the rise, as is product reliability. This is in part due to the explosive growth of smart phones and Apple's iOS devices. Solid-state drives and storage based on NAND Flash technology eliminate the traditional mechanical malfunctions of traditional hard drives. However, they present a whole new set of failure issues and recovery challenges that must be resolved to satisfy customers who have lost critical data. New methods for data recovery have already been developed, but many new challenges lie ahead. Vendor-specific SSD designs and encryption technologies, whether in the controller or in the NAND itself, are likely to be the norm and are creating new challenges from the data recovery perspective. As the amount of valuable data stored increases, so does the impact of device failure and data loss -- driving the need for a certified, secure data recovery solution as part of the package. The objective of this presentation is to raise awareness about the vulnerabilities of these solid-state storage devices, and to educate users on the diligence and awareness needed to protect your valuable data. And in the unfortunate event of data loss, guidelines and best practices will be discussed on how to proceed if data recovery is required.

Looking Back, Looking Forward

Michael E. Duffy, CIO, American Healthcare Finance


I will be talking a bit about the dramatic changes in technology over the past 25 years, try to extract some patterns, and engage the audience in thinking about what is more and less likely to happen in the next 25. I will offer some opinions on where new CS graduates might find interesting jobs during the next few years, based on my 35 years of experience as a developer and manager. I also hope to hear what students find interesting in current technology. I invite attendees to drop me suggestions in advance of the talk at (my full bio is available at

Shaving With Einstein’s Razor

Marc LeBrun, Fixpoint, Inc., Novato, CA


Einstein’s Razor is the principle that “Everything should be made as simple as possible, but no simpler!” We will first explore how closely we can shave something as simple as arithmetic, without crossing over the bleeding edge. We will also briefly visit a proposal for open-source computer game development, touch on what Leibniz might think of today’s personal computing, and return to Einstein by demonstrating that object-oriented programming violates quantum mechanics.

Party Like It's 1979

Bill Kendrick, SSU Alumnus, Davis, CA


Frustrated by his friends' and family's relative lack of interest in the toys of his past -- the Atari video game and computer systems that drew him into programming and Computer Science -- Bill Kendrick decided to throw a retro party and invite the public to come re-live the past. The "Atari Party" in Davis, first held in 2009 due to the lack of Vintage Computer Festival in the San Francisco Bay Area, is similar to other annual 'classic computing' events of various sizes held around the globe. It is a small, daylong event where the public is invited to come and experience multiple generations of classic Atari hardware and software, hands-on. Aside from the usual suspects (Pac-Man, Space Invaders and Pong), early speech synthesis software, art software (with drawing tablets and light pens!), and other software is exhibited. Together with 20-30 year old hardware and software, modern homebrew software and hardware are on display -- from SD memory-card alternatives to the traditional 5.25" or 3.5" floppy disk drives of the past, to real-time 3D retracing demos running on 1.79MHz CPUs and amazing video games written and released in the past few years. Bill will talk about and display some of his favorites of the new tricks that these old dog computers and game systems have been taught, and describe the logistics required to run his particular show.

Chip Security And The Mobile Challenge

Hans Van Tilburg, CTO Office, VISA, Foster City, CA


On August 9, Visa announced plans to accelerate the migration to EMV contact and contactless chip technology in the United States. After a brief overview of chip card payment basics, this presentation focuses on chip product implementations (e.g., chip card, SIM) that have a security impact. Even when the payment protocol is cryptographically secure, information leakage due to incorrect implementation might reveal security assets such as cryptographic keys. This presentation will conclude with the security challenges of malicious applications that might be loaded post issuance.