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WD My Passport Pro is a bus powered Thunderbolt RAID external drive

By: Shane McGlaun | More News: Storage | Posted: Mar 28, 2014 5:12 pm

When it comes to external storage, there are a number of interfaces that a drive can use. They range from USB 2.0 and 3.0 ports to eSATA and Thunderbolt among others. WD has been making external storage solutions for a long time.

 

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WD has made drives in the past that use Thunderbolt for connectivity. The company has unveiled the new my Passport Pro that is the first drive to be bus powered and offer dual drives in one enclosure. On Mac computers, the drive has user selectable RAID functions.

 

The My Passport Pro is offered in 2TB and 4TB capacities. WD says that the new drive is the only bus powered dual drive offering on the market. It offers speeds of up to 233MB/s and can be set in RAID 0 or RAID 1 configurations.

Continue reading 'WD My Passport Pro is a bus powered Thunderbolt RAID external drive' (full post)

Smartphone theft prevention act debate rages on in California

By: Michael Hatamoto | More News: Hacking & Security | Posted: Mar 28, 2014 4:50 pm

The debate regarding a mandatory smartphone kill switch, proposed by Sen. Mark Leno (D-San Francisco), with support from San Francisco District Attorney George Gascon, has ignited a debate among consumers and security researchers.

 

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SB 962 is designed to help clamp down on the market for stolen devices in California, though smartphone manufacturers have been against similar efforts. If passed in California, the legislation could have major ramifications for other states trying to battle against the growing black market for stolen smartphones and tablets.

 

Although some are fighting the effort, some security experts and consumers approve of such legislation. Here is what Brent Hutfless, IT director for Austal USA, said in a recent blog post published via Tripwire:

 

"The premise of the bill is sound, the desire to reduce violence is both commendable and desirable, and despite carrier reluctance this technology already exists to some degree through current mobile device management solutions. Beyond the obvious benefit of reducing consumer costs associated with replacement devices, there is a potentially huge security implication, as this better positions the cell phone as a form of personal identity."

Toshiba unveils new USB 3.0 storage solution and hybrid internal drive

By: Shane McGlaun | More News: Storage | Posted: Mar 28, 2014 4:38 pm

Toshiba has rolled out some new storage products that are aimed at different user groups. One of the products is an external hard drive that connects via USB 3.0 and offers two capacities called the Canvio Desk Desktop External Hard Drive. The other product is a hybrid internal storage drive aimed at notebook users.

 

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The desktop USB 3.0 hard drive is offered in 4TB or 5TB capacities. The USB 3.0 interface will make moving data to and from the drive faster. Toshiba designed the drive so that it can be placed in vertical or horizontal orientations for more placement flexibility.

 

Backup software called NTI Backup Now EZ ships with the external storage solutions to keep your data safe and secure. The internal drive is a 2.5-inch Internal Solid State Hybrid Drive. That product is aimed at notebook users wanting to upgrade. It combines traditional HDD tech with NAND flash for better performance without giving up capacity.

Continue reading 'Toshiba unveils new USB 3.0 storage solution and hybrid internal drive' (full post)

NEC 17-inch LED E171M display has old school 5:4 aspect ratio

By: Shane McGlaun | More News: Displays & Projectors | Posted: Mar 28, 2014 4:05 pm

The vast majority of computer monitors on the market today are wide screen units that are wider than they are tall. A few years back most of the monitors out there were square. There are some folks that prefer that square aspect ratio for certain tasks.

 

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If you like screen with that square design, NEC has a new unit that you might be interested in that is a budget offering. The 17-inch E171M has ergonomic adjustability and a 5:4 aspect ratio. The native resolution for the screen is 1280 x 1024.

 

The brightness rating is 250 cd/m2 and the display has a 1000:1 contrast ratio. NEC fits the cheap monitor with a 2-way ergonomic stand with 50mm of height adjustment and swivel capability. Connectivity options include VGA and DVI-D.

Continue reading 'NEC 17-inch LED E171M display has old school 5:4 aspect ratio' (full post)

True Player Gear's new VR headset looks a lot like Oculus Rift

By: Charles Gantt | More News: Virtual & Augmented Reality | Posted: Mar 28, 2014 4:05 pm

Virtual Reality gaming is one of the hottest topics in the tech world right now, and with both Sony and Oculus VR making massive announcements recently, it seems that the buzz is only getting louder. Today I ran across what could be the next VR company to to hit the big times and could give Oculus VR and Sony a run for their money.

 

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True Player Gear is a six-year old company that is based out of Montreal, Canada, and has made some very stout claims about its VR Headset. The five-employee company has posted an image of its device on Reddit, and I have to admit that it looks very similar to an Oculus Rift DK1, but its hardware and features are said to be much greater. The True Player Gear Totem is said to feature a full 1080p OLED screen, two high-resolution cameras for position tracking and Augmented Reality, and a 3 axis 1kHz gyro, 3 axis 4kHz accel, 3 axis magnetometer to also aid in position tracking.

 

There is not much information on the company's website, but the device is said to be compatible with PlayStation, Xbox and PC, and can handle all 3D video formats. The list of supported engines is also quite nice, but Oculus also supports most of them. The company did mention on Reddit, that it will feature expansion ports for Makers to hack into, surround sound, and individual eye focusing. The company also said that it would be launching a Kickstarter later this year, so hopefully we will get clued in a little more on the project and product before then.

Facebook to use drones and satellites to provide internet connection

By: Roshan Ashraf Shaikh | More News: Drones | Posted: Mar 28, 2014 3:42 pm

Facebook has devised ways to deliver internet to many parts of the world- using drones, satellites and even lasers. After announcing internet.org last year, Mark Zuckerberg hired a team of scientists for the purpose to improve internet access across the world.

 

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The social networking company hired scientists who worked in organizations such as NASA, the National Optical Astronomy Observatory and Ascenta which developed solar powered drones.

 

Facebook isn't the only one to provide internet access in remote areas. Google started 'Project Link' in November 2013 which aims to provide fiber network for developing nations. It also announced its project codenamed 'Project Loon' which will use hot air balloons to provide internet access.

Continue reading 'Facebook to use drones and satellites to provide internet connection' (full post)

Lenovo issues recall on over 35,000 laptop batteries

By: Shane McGlaun | More News: Computer Systems | Posted: Mar 28, 2014 3:35 pm

The last time we talked about Lenovo and a battery recall was back in 2009 when the notebook industry was in the midst of one of the biggest battery recalls ever. Lenovo has recently announced another battery recall that covers battery packs used in its notebook computers.

 

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Lenovo says that the battery packs can overheat and pose a fire risk. Lenovo reports that it has received two notifications of battery packs overheating and resulting in damage to the battery pack, notebook, and nearby property. No injuries have been reported so far.

Continue reading 'Lenovo issues recall on over 35,000 laptop batteries' (full post)

Classic horror shooter Dead Space is free on EA Origin

By: Shane McGlaun | More News: Gaming | Posted: Mar 28, 2014 3:04 pm

If you are a PC gamer looking for something to play over the weekend, EA has a deal for you. EA is offering an older horror shooter game as a free download for a limited time. The game is called Dead Space.

 

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There are three game in that franchise, and they have all been reasonably popular. I have played that original title in the franchise and it is defiantly creepy. You might want to play with the lights on, those skeleton spider things jump out at you and it's unmanly to scream like a little girl.

 

EA has the game as the On the House promotion on Origin right now. The game is free forever. That means you can download it now and keep it unlocked as long as you want. The game launched in 2008 and while it didn't set any sales records, it was popular enough.

Continue reading 'Classic horror shooter Dead Space is free on EA Origin' (full post)

Magellan SmartGPS 5390 offers connected services with no subscription

By: Shane McGlaun | More News: GPS & Location | Posted: Mar 28, 2014 2:36 pm

Several GPS devices on the market today offer connected services like fuel prices and traffic. Typically, those connected services require you to keep a monthly or yearly service subscription. Magellan has a new connected navigation device called the smartGPS 5390 that gives you all those services with no subscription needed.

 

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It does this buy linking with an app that runs on Android or iPhone smartphones. The GPS device will navigate for you like any GPS device. The connectivity from the smartphone does things like give you traffic information and prices on fuel nearby.

 

You can also get the location of places to eat as you drive. The app also offers connectivity via the GPS screen to Yelp reviews and foursquare. That means you can find out if that local eatery is good before you drive there.

Continue reading 'Magellan SmartGPS 5390 offers connected services with no subscription' (full post)

Plextor announces new M6M mSATA SSD for notebooks

By: Kalen Kimm | More News: Storage | Posted: Mar 28, 2014 2:14 pm

Plextor, a developer of digital storage technology, announced the launch of the M6M mSATA SSD, a compact SSD for notebooks. For users looking to increase the performance of their laptops, Plextor claims the new M6M is capable of maximum random read/write speeds of 94K IOPS/80K IOPS and sequential read and write speeds of up to 520 MB/s and 440 MB/s.

 

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According to Yaping Zheng, product manager at Plextor, "The M6M is all about real-world performance. We've optimized this compact SSD to deliver the best possible computing experience. We used the latest generation of components, then included a new version of True Speed for even smoother long-term operation, and focused on increasing the random speeds to give the fastest everyday operating performance".

 

Beyond performance improvements, the M6M includes several key features including better energy efficiency. When the notebook goes in sleep mode, the SSD reduces its power consumption to 2 mW to extend battery life, and can resume in 100 ms. Also, the M6M includes Plextor's exclusive True Protect technology which supports advanced data integrity checks and 256-bit AES full disk encryption.

 

The Plextor M6M SSD will be available in the second quarter of 2014 in 128 GB, 256 GB, and 512 GB capacities.

 

Check back on April 10th, 2014 for the TweakTown review of the M6M!

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