Cloud storage made personal
When it comes to backing up files, many users are now looking to myriad cloud storage solutions. There is no doubt that over the past few years, cloud storage has taken off, yet as ISPs begin to add tighter data usage restrictions, we, as users, are being forced to more closely monitor our uploads and downloads. Seagate, however, thinks it may have a solution to this problem with its Personal Cloud NAS. Does it? Read our full review and find out.
Base model can balloon to $1,749 with storage, processor upgrades
Apple's forthcoming $1,299 entry-level MacBook -- already a $100 premium over a comparably-equipped, more-powerful but Retina-less 11-inch MacBook Air -- will have build-to-order configurations available that can bump up the base model's 1.1GHz Intel Core M processor, along with larger storage options, that can raise the cost of the new notebook (scheduled to debut on Friday, April 10) to as high as $1,749, resellers report.
Comprehensive backup and booting solution for Macs
Apple did a great thing in bringing Time Machine to the rest of us: it made backups a more familiar idea, and it made them far easier to understand as well. Something that is easy and familiar is something that you're going to do, and Apple was right that we really, really needed to back up our work. Now Apple is more focused on cloud storage than it is hard drives -- and there are several cloud backup services -- but the humble hard disk has a lot of advantages. It also has SuperDuper 2.7.5, which is a capable, albeit slightly technical, application for copying your data, and for creating a hard drive that you can run your Mac from in emergencies.
Company shows off data center technology in a gaming application at PAX
Intel could be considering a move into a different class of data storage, one which is based on its existing solid state storage in data centers and other commercial areas. While there would still be a considerable time to get a product to the market, Intel is looking into the idea of moving its data center-class storage into the consumer retail space with PCIe solid state drives (SSD), similar to what Apple has done with the Mac Pro and MacBook Pro.
Rice University close to licensing deal with memory manufacturer over RRAM production method
Future smartphones could ship with storage measured in terabytes, according to researchers at Rice University. The team has spent five years working on a method to produce resistive RAM (RRAM) at room temperature and with a low voltage, rather than at the high temperatures or voltages it typically requires, with the technique likely to help current RRAM manufacturing efforts, allowing it to be included in devices in the future.
QNAP launches new fabless, silent HS-251 NAS device
QNap Systems has announced the release of its Silent Network-Attached Storage (NAS) series addition, the HS-251, designed for living-room use. Featuring a wide range of multimedia applications, the HS-251 offers real-time and offline Full HD video transcoding, and HDMI connectivity for local playback. Simultaneous viewing of different videos is possible with the device, and video content can be converted in formats that can be easily played on PCs, mobile devices and smart TVs.
SmartShell, FlexFit, and SlimShell cases now available for iPad Air, mini and iPhone 5
Patriot has announced the launch of three new cases for iPad Air, iPad mini and iPhone 5 family, featuring various polycarbonate designs. The SmartShell has an integrated polycarbonate casing with a microfiber material screen cover, providing 360-degree coverage with elevated bezels for screen protection. The FlexFit is thinner, and offers more basic scratch protection. Featuring a "Smart Sleep" function, the iPad enters sleep mode when the cover is closed over, and reactivates upon opening. Both iPad cases' covers fold into a multi-position stands for various viewing and typing angles.
HighPoint's NA762TB Thunderbolt hardware RAID storage offers flexibility
HighPoint Technologies has released its latest RAID storage device, the NA762TB Thunderbolt. The hardware is configurable to the user's needs, featuring eight removable disk modules that accept any industry-standard 3.5-inch SAS or SATA hard disk, from 5400, 7200 and up to 15000 RPM spindle speeds. Its management suite offers a web-based interface and user-friendly controls that make creating, maintaining and recovering RAID configurations accessible for novice users and versatile for those who are experienced. Compatible with any Thunderbolt-capable computing platform, the NA762TB delivers multi-terabytes of high-performance, hardware RAID storage from a single cable connection. The NA762TB is available from HighPoint and various resellers.
LaCie Culbuto USB key designed as wobbly decorative object
Storage product manufacturer LaCie announced today its latest USB key, the Culbuto. Its aesthetics suggest a decorative inspiration -- for when it is not connected to a computer, the LaCie Culbuto stands upright on its round end, and wobbles from side to side. The name 'Culbuto' comes from the French, a toy with a weighted base that keeps the object vertical, even after it is knocked over. Equipped with a USB 3.0 connector on the "top" end, the Culbuto has a soft-touch rubber exterior, and features a slit to hold a photo or business card.
Atom USB 3.0 flash drive size of a quarter, available in 8GB, 16GB and 32GB
Mushkin has announced its new Atom USB 3.0 Flash Drive, which focuses on providing a small form-factor the size of a quarter. Backwards compatible with USB 2.0 and 1.1, the Atom USB 3.0 flash drive enables users to leave the flash drive into the USB port while working on the go without obstruction. Offering versatility for tablet and slim notebook users, the flash drive can be plugged in and left as secondary device storage with a low power usage.
WD remakes NAS concept
Western Digital is attempting to reinvent the network-attached storage (NAS) concept with its new My Cloud device. The external storage aims to eliminate all of the network complications while expanding the available features. In our full review, we try to determine if the company has succeeded in simplification without too much sacrifice.
One in six data buckets found to be publicly viewable
An investigation into Amazon's Simple Storage Service (S3) discovered a sixth of data stores, known as buckets, on the service are left open to public viewing. Further examination showed that a number of items on open display were of a sensitive nature, including source code for mobile games, user log-in details, and various other items of personal information.
Around 55 percent of those surveyed said they don't use cloud services
Marketing and analysis firm Strategy Analytics has released the results of a new study into the use of cloud media storage services, noting that Apple's iCloud and iTunes Match have captured the majority share at 27 percent (combined) US marketshare and revealing a tighter-than-expected horse race between Dropbox and Amazon Cloud Drive for second most-popular cloud media service.
Pinnacle Studio 16 launches
A guide for installing Owncloud on a Mac mini server has been posted on the Macminicolo Blog. Owncloud is similar in function to Dropbox, but lets users store all of their data on a personal server. The guide goes over both basic and advanced Owncloud setups and also features information on PHP Tuning, opening up the possibility to transfer larger amounts of data. Each step is throughly described in text and includes accompanying images to guide readers through the process.
Research may lead to faster, longer lived media
A thirty-year-old concept in computer memory may be making a resurgence. Material engineers at Johns Hopkins University have turned to diamonds to change the properties of elements used in phase change memory such as used in CD-RW and DVD-RW discs. This development could lead to higher data density storage systems that both last longer and react quicker than current optical, flash, or magnetic media.
Enclosed optical media aimed at archiving media
Sony has revealed a next-generation optical disc archive storage system aimed toward companies that require long-term protected data storage, particularly video. The corporation will also organize an Optical Disc Archive Advisory Group to promote the new format. Initial versions should range from 300GB to 1.5TB and use USB 3.0 to keep the storage running at full speed.
Additional file types supported also
CloudOn, a free iPad productivity tool that offers a cloud-hosted version of Microsoft Office has updated to version 2.0.3, adding support for cloud storage service Box as well as Dropbox. The company has also expanded the number of supported file types by integrating a PDF reader and file viewer that opens almost any file type, and have also built in e-mailing files to colleagues. The program relies on services like Dropbox and Box to handle file management.
Latest company to team with cloud storage provider
HP has announced a program that will provide free Box cloud storage for customers who purchase select Compaq pro-level desktop machines. The computer maker appears to be expanding its collaboration with the cloud service provider, following a similar promotion that brought 50GB in free storage for the TouchPad tablet.
Flash memory also said to be contributing factor
Seagate has reported a significant drop in profits, which slid by 72 percent in the recent quarter. The lackluster performance was blamed on weaker-than-expected demand in the consumer computer segment. The rising popularity of flash-based storage is also said to be a minor factor contributing to the slump in HDD sales.
storage and memory deals
A selection of storage and memory deals are currently being featured at DealNN. The Transcend JetFlash 4GB USB flash drive has been reduced from $19.99 to $6.99, an instant savings of $13 at TigerDirect.com. Buy.com is offering the Western Digital 1TB My Book Essential external hard drive for $139.99, that's $110 off the list price of $249.99. Until 11/30/08 Neweegg.com is offering the OCZ Core Series V2 30GB SSD (model no. OCZSSD2-2C30G) for $69.99. That's $25 off the original price of $94.99 and use this mail in rebate offer to drop the price down to $49.99. BestBuy.com is offering the PNY 2GB flash drive for $18.49. On November 28th only the price is dropped by $10.50 for a final price of $7.99.
Micron releases 32GB e-MMC
Micron Technologies announced the latest additions to their line of "e-MMC" high-density embedded memory devices. Storage capacities from 1GB to 32GB are offered and feature an extended range of operating temperatures (-40C to +85C) for automotive or industrial use. Micron claims the devices can read data at speeds up to 52 megabytes per second. e-MMC memory is found in cell phones, PDAs, hand-held electronics, digital video cameras, gaming devices and more.
Apple's .Mac service, once a promising method for sharing media, performing online backups and more, has paled in the presence of free alternatives and represents an untapped opportunity for Apple according to a recent report from CNET. The articles posits "$99 a year is hard to justify for the .Mac service. 10GBs of storage? I can get that for $20 from Google, and I can get much more if I want it. Photo sharing? I can do that for free on Flickr, and upload as many photos and videos as I want for $24.95 a year. Build my own Web site? Lots of services offer that capability for free."
Hi-Def media center
Mvix on Thursday launched an ultra-compact HDD-based, portable media player: the new high-definition Mvix MV-2500U media decoder supports the small 2.5-inch hard drive, while including key features of its predecessors like MX-780HD or MX-760. The black device, which can support HDDs as large as 250GB, measures under 5x3x0.5 inches; it uses a 2.5-inch PATA / IDE HDD and when connected to the PC, it works like a standard external USB 2.0 hard drive; however, it ships with an IR remote control to allow playback of standard or high definition digital video (480p, 720p, 1080i) in over a dozen file formats, including MPEG-1, MPEG-2, and MPEG-4, DVD (VOB, IFO), DivX (3/4/5/6), Xvid, BivX, VCD (DAT) for both PAL and NTSC systems.
Small Tree EaseAoE backup
Small Tree Communications recently unveiled the EasyAoE, a new software product that allows users to efficiently use a Serial ATA drive over an Ethernet network for backup and storage purposes. The application reportedly simplifies the backup process, allowing less experienced to effectively ensure their data is safe. Small Tree Communications is selling EasyAoE for $150, with a five user license available for $500.
CalDigit has announced HDElement, a new compact 4 bay storage device that works in conjunction with the CalDigit RAID card offering full hardware RAID capabilities. Users can connect up to 3 HDElements to the CalDigit RAID card. The HDElement is also bootable. CalDigit's RAID Shield GUI allows users to manage drives, run performance checks and monitor system settings are a snap. In the event of any errors, alerts or changes to the RAID array can send an email notification. The CalDigit RAID card offers dedicated Intel processor, and 256MB of built-in cache memory. This gives true hardware RAID capabilities via PCI-e expansion slot.
Eye-Fi 188.8.131.52 update
Eye-Fi recently unveiled Eye-Fi Manager 184.108.40.206, an update to its device management software for the Eye-Fi wireless storage card. The update brings with it iPhoto integration, and increased stability for both Mac and PC users. Users also receive a firmware update, which improves the card's performance when it is in less-than-optimal broadcasting conditions, and enhanced compatibility with Kodak's Easy Share cameras. Existing users are able to upgrade for no additional charge.
FirmTek eSATA enclosure
FirmTek has unveiled the SeriTek/5PM SATA enclosure with Port Multiplier technology. The storage device houses up to five hot-swappable drives, each with transfer rates as high as 3Gbps for total aggregate performance beyond 220MB/sec with one cable. When configured with three additional SeriTek/5PM enclosures -- for a total of 20 drives -- RAID 0 performance can exceed 700MB/sec. FirmTek's new SeriTek/5PM SATA enclosure is already shipping for $550, with optional host adapter bundles available from $610-$700.
FileMaker ships Bento
FileMaker on Tuesday announced the immediate availability of Bento, its easy-to-use personal database application. Designed exclusively for Mac OS X Leopard, Bento leverages a single-window interface and FileMaker database technology to help users organize contacts, calendars, projects, events, and more. Users can easily create databases to manage information with dynamic 'smart' collections as well as expand around Apple's own Address Book and iCal storage engines. Bento is priced at $50, or $100 for a family pack of five licenses. The personal database requires Mac OS X 10.5 or later.
Xias products for CES
Xias today unveiled several new products that it will display at CES 2008, including two digital photo frames, two cameras, USB memory sticks, and an MP3 player with an accompanying digital download service. The PF-821WF and PF-1021WF are an eight- and 10-inch digital frame, respectively; both models feature a display resolution of 800 by 600. Up to 12 images can be displayed simultaneously, and images sit in a floating, swiveling base. Seven digital media formats are supported, which can be uploaded to the frames from either of the two bult-in memory card slots. Four different play modes are supported – full-screen browse, slideshow, thumbnail browse, and zoom in/out – while viewing time can be adjusted in both browse and slideshow modes. While pricing was not announced, Xias will ship the frames during the second quarter of 2008.
One-touch video transfers
Pinnacle Systems today debuted Pinnacle Video Transfer (site not updated), a device that record analog video onto any USB 2.0 storage device without the need for a computer. With the touch of a button the company says users with little or no technical expertise can record from a TV, DVD player, iPod, or other device to a USB flash drive or USB hard drive. Users can select three different recording levels for each device, opting for varying video qualities and sizes. Pinnacle Video Transfer will ship January 15th for $130, and includes three RCA audio/video cables as well as a power supply and a quick start guide.
Ethernet Disk mini Review
Network-attached storage has often been the reserve of businesses, and is only now catching on with home users wanting to share a common pool of files between their computers or with others online. But what about as the hub for a media center? With some help from Axentra's HipServ software, LaCie is hoping that its Ethernet Disk mini Home Edition is simple enough that it can stand as storage for iTunes or even a game console. We put the 500GB drive through its paces in our review to see whether it can stand in both for work and play.
Enhance 4/8-drive storage
Enhance Technology has unveiled the new EnhanceBOX E4 MS and E8 MS series external host card (HBA) dependent desktop SAS/SATA storage arrays. The new storage devices offer support for high capacity SAS and SATA I/II 3Gbps hard drives using the latest Mini-SAS SFF-8088 connectivity, and depending on the host cards are configurable as JBOD (Just a Bunch of Disks) or RAID to sustain data transfer rates of up to 500MB/sec. The EnhanceBOX E4 MS is priced at $375, while the EnhanceBOX E8 MS is available for $650.
16-drive iSCSI storage
Enhance Technology has unveiled its next generation UltraStor RS16 IP-4, a rack-mount 3U 16-drive Quad Gigabit iSCSI independent RAID storage system. The new RS16 IP-4 is the latest addition to Enhance's UltraStor RS series family with a built-in 64-bit RAID controller for mission critical applications. Key UltraStor RS16 IP-4 features include Snapshot, N-way Mirror, RAID-6 data protection, automatic background data regeneration, dynamic online volume expansion, and Multi-Path I/O support for Windows workstations & servers (pricing was unavailable).
4x Blu-Ray drive upgrade
FastMac today unveiled a 4x Dual Layer Blu-Ray optical drive upgrade (site not updated) for Apple's Mac Pro and Power Mac G5 workstations. The 5.25-inch tray loading drive uses one of the fastest Mac-compatible Blu-ray mechanisms, according to the company, providing up to 50GB of storage on one dual or dual or double layer disc without sacrificing compatibility with standard DVD or CD media. Utilizing SATA connectivity, the drive's BD-R DL feature allows Mac users to burn a complete 50GB disc in under 50 minutes. The drive is already available for an introductory price of $600, and comes with a 1-year warranty.
Newer drops backup pricing
NewerTech today announced new lower pricing on its Guardian MAXimus FireWire and USB2 external RAID 1 storage device. The Guardian MAXimus received a Five Star Rating in the December 2007 issue of Photoshop User magazine, according to the company, and serves as a plug-and-play "live activity" backup solution. Writing the same information in real-time to two separate drives produces a mirrored copy of all data, protecting up to 1TB of data on dual SATA drives with transfer rates of up to 100MB/sec. The Guardian MAXimus comes in seven different configurations ranging in price from $320 to $900.
LaCie's new external drive
LaCie today unveiled a new external hard drive designed by Neil Poulton. The latest storage device is sleek and compact, accommodating a 3.5-inch hard drive with a bright blue line underneath that creates an ambient glow. Ranging in capacities from 320GB to 1TB, the drive features natural heat dissipation via a sturdy casing with bottom plate holes for natural airflow that allows fanless operation. LaCie's new hard drive is priced from $120, and comes preloaded with LaCie's 1-Click Backup Software for both Mac and PC systems.
Toshiba 80GB Car Drive
Looking to grow the market for in-car computers, Toshiba today introduced the largest-ever hard drive built specifically for vehicles. The MK8050 series stores just 80GB but includes the shock tolerance to handle engine vibration or the jolts from the road underneath. These new 2.5-inch drives are 50 percent more resilient than past models despite the size increase, Toshiba boasts. The company also creates a cushion of air around the read head that prevents it from scratching the platters during a car trip, even at altitudes as high as 3.4 miles above sea level where the pressure would otherwise not be enough to prevent an accident.