QNAP Releases Budget-Friendly Dual-Core TS-x28 NAS’

We often both report on and test high-end NAS devices here at eTeknix, but that isn’t what everybody needs nor wants. Sometimes you want a budget-oriented and basic solution, and QNAP just released a new series of devices in this category. The two new NAS are called the TS-128 and TS-228 and are respectively 1-bay and 2-bay NAS’.

The new TS-x28 series is built around basically the same base as we saw in the TAS-268 NAS that we recently reviewed, just without the HDMI connector and dual Android system. The TS-x28 series is still a feature-rich NAS series for users that want to easily handle file backup and synchronisation tasks, both locally and through the internet.

Create your own personal cloud system without monthly subscription fees and storage limitations while you increase the security as all files are stored in the safety of your own home and on your own server. With the myQNAPcloud service, you get multiple remote access services to convenient access, manage, and share multimedia files located on your TS-x28 NAS from anywhere with a web browser. The mobile QNAP apps such as Qfile, Qphoto, Qmusic, Qvideo and Qmanager all work flawlessly with the new devices too. The Qsync utility is particularly useful as it supports file synchronisation across multiple devices and users can acquire the latest files from any device connected to the NAS whenever they need it.

Multimedia services are no problem with the TS-x28 series either, even though it doesn’t have the direct connection options. You can still stream through DLNA and other services to get all your media content directly on your TV and other smart devices. The Surveillance station also comes with 2 free IP camera channels for that home security setup that you might have considered for a while.

Overall, a tiny NAS that has all the basics and none of all the extras you possible don’t need nor want. Hardware wise it is powered by an ARM v7 dual-core CPU with 1.1GHz clock speed and has 1GB DDR3 memory. You get one USB 3.0 and one USB 2.0 port besides the Gigabit Ethernet port for connectivity. The TS-228 is available now for around £200, but I could only find placeholders for the price of the TS-128 at the time of writing. My guess would be around £160.

Key Specifications

  • TS-128: 1-bay mini-tower NAS
  • TS-228: 2-bay mini-tower NAS
  • ARM v7 dual-core 1.1GHz processor
  • 1GB DDR3 RAM
  • 3.5” SATA HDD
  • 1 x USB 3.0 port; 1 x USB 2.0 port
  • 1 x Gigabit LAN port

The Volocopter Completes Its First Manned Flight

Who doesn’t love a drone? From being used as video recorders and photography tools to their use in creating a whole new form of racing, they’ve come a long way from fantasy tools for soldiers and spies. E-Volo is just one of many one of many groups that want to change what drones can do, in this case, they want to let YOU ride within a many-rotor electric helicopter; as a super drone.

The Volocopter VC200 received its flight permit in Germany, meaning that managing director of E-Volo, Alexander Zosel could take to the sky in the 18 rotor helicopter. In what seems to be a smooth and seamless take off the flight goes just as well with the Volocopter gliding around the field and was even described as responding instantly to the actions put into it.

During interviews after the flight, the companies reactions were positive, with them showing that the Volocopter could be considered as an alternative to cars with everyone being able to own their own which, with the use of a touch pad, would be able to self-drive itself to your favourite location. Why have a flying car when you can have a personal helicopter?

Anonymous Leak Trumps “Private” Data

Donald Trump is listed as one of the favourites for winning the run for president this year and while some are behind him others are strongly against his actions. With violence erupting at his rally’s and his claims about “closing up the internet“, some are worried about the steps he may take if he gets into the seat of power. Some of those people are leaders of companies like Apple, Alphabet and even Tesla, it would even seem that Anonymous aren’t too keen on the guy as they leak Trumps “private” data online in an act dox the presidential candidate.

Doxxing is the act of releasing someone’s private data online, often reserved for celebrities and those who then go on and SWAT streamers. As part of their ongoing operation against Donald Trumps presidential campaign, OpWhiteRose, Anonymous have leaked personal information about the presidential candidate, including phone numbers, addresses and even his social security number. Included in the release are details of Trumps personal agents and legal representatives, a move that is sure to attract attention (either positive or negative).

This seems to be the start of something bigger with Anonymous declaring “total war” on the presidential candidate while promising future attacks in April. In early March, the group released voicemail messages from back in 2012 which showed several media groups supporting the billionaire.

With a large group like Anonymous asking for support from everyone who is willing in front of a computer, the group seems to be pushing hard against the candidate who has not only had his details revealed but also had Trump Towers website taken down, alongside a petition within the UK to ban Trump’s entry after his continuous use of “hate speech”.

With the operation seeming to only gain momentum and big actions promised in April, the next stage from Anonymous could see even more damaging information revealed and handicaps placed on Trump’s digital platform for the presidency.

FBI Employees Details Published by Hacker

The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) are known for being involved in all kinds of work, from exposing corrupt judges to fighting malware. They have also been known to take part in some hacking, from using ethically questionable equipment to zero-day exploits. Imagine the irony then when hackers threatened to release information about twenty thousand FBI employees, only to then carry out that threat and expose the FBI employees details online.

The hackers, who posted from the twitter account @DotGovs, claimed that by hacking the Department of Justice’s (DOJ) database, they were able to obtain the information. This information was released only a day after posting similar information on 10,000 Department of Homeland Security employees.

Listing their names, phone numbers and emails addresses the information, if revealed to be true, could be dangerous to both the government and the employees listed in the data breaches. Peter Carr, speaking on behalf of the Department, told CNN the following.

“The department is looking into the unauthorized access of a system operated by one of its components containing employee contact information. “This unauthorized access is still under investigation; however, there is no indication at this time that there is any breach of sensitive personally identifiable information. The department takes this very seriously and is continuing to deploy protection and defensive measures to safeguard information. Any activity that is determined to be criminal in nature will be referred to law enforcement for investigation.”

Stating that there was no “sensitive personally identifiable information” is one thing but if it reveals names, numbers and emails, that’s personal enough for me. The hackers tweeted saying “When will the US government realize we won’t stop until they cut relations with Israel”. This following on from their initial boast of “FBI and DHS info is dropped and that’s all we came to do, so now its time to go, bye folks! #FreePalestine.”.

If this information is found to be genuine it represents a clear breach of the DOJ’s systems and the employees of several major governmental organisations.

ASUSTOR NAS Adds Comprehensive Search App QuikFynd

ASUSTOR’s latest NAS feature could be one of the most useful features yet to be added, but it does come with a few things that you should pay attention to before you get too excited. The new feature is called QuikFynd and while it sounds like a frying pan from IKEA, it is an awesome search feature for your NAS.

The first thing that might come between you and the usage of QuikFynd is that it is limited to the x86 based models. This is however a logic limitation as it is a feature that requires some proper performance in order to deliver a workable experience. Also, most ASUSTOR NAS are X86 based, so users of ASUSTOR 2, 3, 6, 31, 50, 51,61, 62, 70 series devices combined with the latest ADM 2.5.2 version and onwards can now find the comprehensive search app QuikFynd in their App Central.

“With data become digitized in exponential amounts, businesses and individual users alike, all face the problematic task of accurately searching for items from amongst thousands of files and terabytes of data. QuikFynd provides a convenient search solution, allowing users to quickly search for target files stored on their NAS according to content, file name or tags.”

After installation, users can open the dedicated interface from the ADM desktop and begin searching or use one of the mobile apps that also should be available now. You have the full privacy of your files as everything is stored on your own server at home.

There is one more thing with ASUSTOR’s QuikFynd that you should pay attention to. There are two different versions of this feature, a Lite version that is free or a Pro version that you’ll need to pay for. Both versions offer search by names and meta-data tags, streaming over local networks, search history, recent items, access from a browser, and access from mobile apps. The Pro version also allows for full-text search, location details from GPS tags, search text within images, stream to remote devices, and result-highlighting.

ASUSTOR is letting you try the Pro version for 3-months without costs, but after that, you’ll have to pay either $20 for a year’s subscription or $60 for a lifetime subscription to the QuikFynd Pro features. As previously mentioned, the apps can be found through your App Central within the ADM and you can find all the details and subscribe on the official website.

Teen Hacker is Back and Hit the Director of National Intelligence

This is pretty much what I’d normally call a burn, and it is a big one. Back in October last year, a group of teenage hackers broke into the CIA director’s email account and now one of them is back. His latest victim is the Director of National Intelligence, James Clapper, a man that should know a thing or two about keeping your privacy private. Okay, I’ll be honest right here as we always got the comment haters due to the terminology ‘hacking’. This wasn’t technically a hack, but more social engineering skills. But then again, almost every large-scale hack that happens, started with social engineering. So technically it isn’t wrong either.

Back to the story at hand, where the teenage hacker who calls himself Cracka, and who claims he’s a member of the group Crackas with Attitude, targeted none less than the Director of National Intelligence James Clapper. This should theoretically be one of the toughest targets with that position, but that wasn’t the case at all. Crackas didn’t just gain access to an email inbox this time, he went a little further and also had some fun with it.

With access to Clapper’s email, he could easily break into a series of accounts connected to Clapper, including his home telephone and internet connection, his personal email, and his wife’s email. Just dumping or stealing information is boring, so while Cracka was in control, he went into Clapper’s Verizon FiOS account and changed the settings to make every call to his house get forwarded to the Free Palestine Movement instead.

Cracka originally contacted Motherboard with the story, probably to brag a bit. After all, it is a pretty nice accomplishment. “I’m pretty sure they don’t even know they’ve been hacked,” he told. Later a spokesperson for the Director confirmed the hack.

Michael Adams, a former information security expert in the US Special Operations Command, said that it was insane that Clapper didn’t do more to hide his personal details, making it as easy as it was. “If I’m the Director of National Intelligence of the United States of America nobody is going to know where the fuck I live, nobody is going to have my goddamn phone number or address,” Adams told Motherboard.

Image Credit: Business Insider

Companion: Walk Your Friend Home Through Their Phone

It’s late, it’s already dark and you’ve still got a little while to walk home from the bus stop. Your mind’s imaging everything from the safe walk home to a full night Halloween special. With a flick of your finger suddenly your best friend’s next to you, walking you home and keeping you company every step of the way to your bedroom door. That’s the concept behind the popular App coming out from University of Michigan students titled Companion.

The concept is to solve a problem as old as parents have had children when your alone and scared you want to know that someone’s watching out for you. Companion aims to solve that by allowing you to send web links to several contacts, all or any of whom, can then view the web page with a map detailing the user’s current location and their destination and path they wish to take. Now say you have a fall from your path, or even have your headphones yanked out because they got caught on someone’s bag as they passed by, the app will detect these and ask the user if they are okay. If the user’s okay they press the button within 15 seconds, however if they can’t press it because they’ve fallen and is injured or had their phone stolen the phone will turn into a personal alarm. The alarm mode sets off a loud noise that aims to alert nearby people that something has/is happening and has a link to instantly call the emergency services, enabling you to quickly report when your injured or something has happened.

Originally designed to work with American Universities the app creators are hoping to bring in universities and countries around the world to the personal safety app. Available for both iOS and Android for free, Companion could soon see you and your friends enjoying those late night walks with a little more peace of mind.

Thank you International Buisness Times for the information and image.

Hackers Took Up Residence Inside Government PC for a Year!

I recently wrote an article which looked at the Cyber attack and subsequent theft of 4.2 million American Federal data of employees which was transferred from the Office of Personnel Management to an external source. At the time it seemed to be a well orchestrated planned attack which granted criminals access to a government network for a brief period of time, the word brief in this case is very much redundant now, as  new information has come to light.

This attack on the Personnel Management’s security-clearance computer system which is slightly different to the personal database was first breached in June, 2014 according to new information. This effectively means that hackers had access to a sensitive system for at least a year. Hackers had access to the personal database for 4 months before this intrusion was detected. The confirmation came from Stewart Baker who is a former National Security Agency general counsel. There is also strong speculation that these Hacks had originated from China, which means if true, this is one of the most sensitive pieces of information to be reached by state-sponsored hackers.  If these virtual intruders stayed any longer, officials would be asking them to pay rent.

There lays the murky layers of state organized crimes, if true, China will deny responsibility, but as we all know, China has farmed hacking and infiltration out to factory designed hackers who are still on the payroll, but the Chinese government can deny this as it was not directly them.

Perhaps it’s time for the US government to invest in protecting its citizens rather than placing them under virtual surveillance, if this information leakage continues; private citizens will find themselves virtually held in a different country.

Thank You The Washington Post for providing us with this information

Image courtesy of huffingtonpost

White House Orders New Measures to Combat Breaches In Digital Security

Earlier we mentioned how OPM (Office of Personal Mangement) in the US found they had been hacked with thousands of records accessed, including those relating to background checks for security clearances, something which if true leaves their employees open to blackmail and a whole host of actions that are unpleasant and unwanted by the government.

The White House has now taken action, directing all agencies to take a series of steps in order to prevent and detect any unwanted access into their networks. Tony Scott, U.S. Chief Information Officer, has launched what is being called a 30-day cyber security sprint.

The emergency measures listed include:

  • patching “critical-level” software holes “without delay”
  • Tightening security and access restrictions for “privileged users”, this includes cutting the number of users with this level of access and to monitor their access to the systems for suspicious behavior
  • Increase level of two-factor authentication, where a user is asked to confirm their login attempt, normally by receiving a text or phone call with a code in it

According to the released information, agencies have to report on their progress and problems implementing these steps within the next 30 days. With a “Cybersecurity Sprint Team” task force being deployed to lead the month long view and analysis of the US’s digital defenses, many organizations could find their technology changing.

While the actions are greatly appreciated, if the documents have been copied or accessed, a lot of personal information has been released to people who may use it for harm. Here’s hoping they don’t and that the government has stepped up their security because of this revelation.

Thank you NextGov for the information.

Image courtesy of NMINews.

Credentials May Become Compromised via Old Windows Vulnerability from the ’90s

Nobody wants their private information shared on the internet, but we live in an era where everything that’s connected to the internet may eventually become public. This is the case of an old Windows vulnerability from the ’90s, which still poses a security threat according to security specialists.

Brian Wallace, a security researcher from Cylance, has been reported to have found a new way to exploit a vulnerability that was previously found in 1997. He stated that the flaw can be used on any Windows OS-powered device, may it be a tablet, PC, server or laptop, and can be used to potentially exploit and compromise around 31 programs.

The vulnerability that goes by the name of Redirect to SMB is said to be exploited by intercepting communication with a Web server using the man-in-the-middle approach. This in turn redirects all traffic to the malicious SMB server, which supposedly collects sensitive information such as usernames, passwords, credit card information or other things users type in.

There are some limitations to the technique though, as Wallace pointed out. The attacker needs to be on the same network as his victims and the attack can easily be prevented by blocking outbound traffic to the 139 and 445 TCP ports. But let’s be honest, who is going to do that? I mean most people don’t even change their default router credentials, let alone go into its settings and block traffic to specific ports.

Microsoft is said to have not made an official statement regarding the matter, but Wallace’s findings have been revealed at the Computer Emergency Readiness Team at Carnegie Melon University. With all this snooping around that’s been going on lately, how secure do you feel? Or is that even a matter of concern at this point?

Thank you PCWorld for providing us with this information

Image courtesy of High Performance Laptops

Google Now API Will Soon Be Available to Developers to Put in Their Apps

Director of Product Management for Google Now, Aparna Chennapragada, has announced at SXSW that an open API will soon be available to all developers to include in their apps. This means that Google Now will have the ability to search for information in more apps that just the ones allowed by Google.

The idea came when Chennapragada went to Disneyland and show how queues can eat up most of your day. This is why she now has the Google Now team working on displaying cards that would show how long the average waiting time is at various theme parks. But the feature will not stop here, having Google Now focusing on personalized user experience. This means that, for example, an individual wants to arrive at the airport early to catch a flight, the knowledge can be built in Google Now cards.

There is still the matter of what Google Now would display if it finds the same information from different sources. This is where “individual user app usage patterns” comes in, comparing the app’s personal usage and determining from which app to display the information based on the individual’s preferences.

Thank you Phonearena for providing us with this information

Almost 10,000 UK Driving License Details Leaked Online

It looks like the NSA or other government agencies might not be the only ones that have access to your personal details. Everyone with Internet access could have seen your address, name, email and photo just by navigating to a website. This is the case of a private parking ticket company by the name of PaymyPCN.net, who allegedly published one of their clients’ database online. It is said that a security flaw on the private parking firm’s website allowed public access to around 10,000 motorists.

“[The] breach at PaymyPCN.net demonstrates that even with basic IT security measures in place, perimeters are still permeable.” said Sol Cates, CSO at security vendor Vormetic. “In this case, it appears that, while motorists’ data and fine payments were encrypted once inputted into the PaymyPCN.net website, a backdoor link left the computer database wide open – providing access to private information provided to PaymyPCN.net by the DVLA. Although the information was encrypted, just as important is the control of access to the encrypted information – and this is where PaymyPCN.net appears to have failed,” he added.

Michael Green, a consumer activist, is said to be the one who uncovered the flaw after it had been “sent to a motorist in error”. The site is said to have been taken offline by PaymyPCN.net immediately after the breach, but it has since returned. PaymyPCN.net activities involve the collection of parking charge notices, acting as an agent of both private and public sector parking operators.

Thank you The Register for providing us with this information

Hovertrax is Like a Segway Without the Handlebars

We’ve seen a host of personal transportation products. From tiny electric bikes to powered skateboards, none of them have ever received the same level of notoriety as the Segway. Well a new device called Hovertrax might just become the Segway 2.0.

The best way to think of the Hovertrax is to look at it as a Segway without the handlebars. It essentially operates in a similar way as the Segway; using gyroscopes and other sensors so you don’t fall flat on your face.

It will travel at a speed of 5 mph for 8 miles on a full charge. It’s largely targeted at indoor use (warehouses, airports), but could be used outdoors if you’re brave enough.

Having been under development for a while (the preview video bellow is from 2013), it went on sale last week at CES for $995.

Source: TechCrunch

“Uncarrier” by T-Mobile set for announcement on September 10th

T-mobile have sent invitations out for their latest “Uncarrier” event, which once again is set to shake up the norm and nab themselves potential customers. This marks the 7th installment of such an event, with it set to launch on the 10th of September at 1PM pacific time.

The tagline for this event reads “This time it’s personal” – nothing crazy or new as far as marketing hype or wording is concerned, but its something that can easily get people excited.

The event itself is being hosted in a T-Mobile store, taking themselves away from the normal theater or stage type concept event. One can only assume this matches with the tag line in the way that customers will get direct contact and face to face consultation with T-Mobile staff and superiors.

Thanks to Tech Crunch, we learned about the previous 6 “Uncarrier” events:

“Uncarrier 1: T-Mobile launches its 4G LTE network, ditches annual service contracts
Uncarrier 2: T-Mobile expands their upgrade program to allow customers to upgrade their phones twice a year
Uncarrier 3: T-Mobile makes international data/texting free
Uncarrier 4: T-Mobile announces they’ll cover early termination fees for anyone willing to switch to their network
Uncarrier 5: T-Mobile starts a “Test Drive” program to loan potential customers an iPhone 5S for 7 days
Uncarrier 6: T-Mobile stops counting data used in select music apps against your monthly limits”

Image courtesy of The Droid Guy

Jaguar Working on Self-Learning Smart Car Personal Assistant

There have been a lot of talks about smart cars and their ability to make driving a lot safer suing self-driving technologies in order to eliminate human distractions and error from roads. There will even be a time where drivers can even send text messages, video call and browse the internet, but that time is still far away. Until then, Jaguar seems to have designed a piece of tech of its own for the Land Rover to make driving a lot safer, namely the Smart Assistant.

It is said that the Smart Assistant is able to identify the driver of the car based on a smartphone and learns his or her driving style and in-vehicle habits. The information is then ran through an algorithm which keeps track of background information, such as your calendar, traffic conditions and current weather, in order to predict and handle a variety of non-essential tasks. The Smart Assistant even starts before the driver enters the car, adjusting the seat, mirrors and steering wheel based on the individual’s likings.

Once the Smart Assistant learns the driver’s behavior behind the wheel, it can then handle tasks and perform small vehicle adjustments. For example, if a person calls his or her boss each morning, the Smart Assistant is said to ask you if it can initiate a call with your boss. The same goes when running late for work, having the Personal Assistant prompting if you would like to send a text message and notify about you being late.

There are a variety of activities which Jaguar’s Personal Assistant could help you behind the wheel, though the company states that the technology is currently in the works with no known release date planned. An interesting and unique feature present in the Personal Assistant’s design plans is the fact that Jaguar intends to make the tech cloud-based, meaning that if you want to rent a Jaguar when abroad on a business trip, it will still have your personal preferences available and in effect as soon as the car is available to drive.

Thank you Gizmag for providing us with this information
Image courtesy of Gizmag

UK’s National Crime Agency Gives Two-Weeks Notice Regarding GoZeuS and CryptoLocker

The UK National Crime Agency warns the public to take advantage of a two-week notice in order to protect themselves from two major malware roaming the internet, the GoZeuS and CryptoLocker, which are responsible for transferring cash from online accounts and holding personal data for ransom.

The NCA stated that the alert is the most largest industry and law enforcement collaborations to this date and that the FBI’s involvement in several countries has weakened the global network of infected computers, meaning that the notice and prevention ahead of the malware activity can help diminish the infection chance.

GoZeuS, also known as P2PZeuS or Gameover ZeuS, and CryptoLocker are said to target all versions of Windows operating systems, including the ones running in virtual environment, servers or embedded versions. The agency also states that the malware is responsible for transferring hundreds of millions of pounds around the world.

In the case where GoZeuS cannot transfer significant amounts of money from a personal computer, it is said that CryptoLocker is called as a back-up plan, locking the user’s personal data and holding it for ransom, currently price at 1 Bitcoin. The recent estimate of infected systems is said to be at 15,500 PCs in the UK alone.

The infection is said to occur by clicking fake links or attachments in e-mail sent by people in the contact book who have already been infected by the malware. The NCA recommends users to always keep their software up to date and check their computers for infection using antivirus software.

Thank you TheNextWeb for providing us with this information
Image courtesy of TheNextWeb

Western Digital EX4 8TB 4-bay My Cloud NAS Review

Introduction


Many people today are demanding more and more from their storage systems and for a select group of users (such as myself), having the ability to get access to files whilst on the go is – in some cases – a necessity. As we know, there are many free and paid services to choose from, which include the likes of Dropbox and Google Drive, however, these services are not without their downsides. Whilst a number of them are free to use, there is the uncertainty as to where your data is actually being stored and there is also no guarantee that your data is not going to be scanned by third-party applications that the host run on their servers. With some of your data potentially being quite sensitive, the last thing you want is for someone else to be snooping through it all. To top this all off, the ‘free’ services are also quite limited in the amount of storage space that is on offer and this is the biggest stumbling block for the most of us.

Quite recently we took a look at Western Digital’s 2TB My Cloud NAS that gives all of the functionality of a local NAS, but it also allows for users to simply and easily get access to their data wherever they are in the world – just as long as they have an internet connection to use. Whilst the My Cloud offers up a good amount of storage for the entry-level user, there is a lack of data redundancy out-of-the box (although there is the option to create safe points when an additional external storage drive is connected to the My Cloud’s USB port). Data redundancy and integrity is where Western Digital have focussed their attention with the new addition to the Cloud NAS lineup with the EX4.

As the name suggests, the EX4 is a four bay system and when marked against the My Cloud 2TB that I previously had a play with, this bigger brother has the ability to provide all of the same functionality plus a whole lot more. Alongside its greater storage capacity – up to 16TB of raw storage in a RAID0, the EX4 more importantly gives users the piece of mind that their data is safe with full access to a number of RAID configurations including RAID1, 10 and 5. The latter of these, RAID5 is what any preconfigured systems will be shipped with as this offers the best combination of space vs redundancy.

Whilst we have seen what WD’s Cloud systems have to offer, I will highlight over these again in this review, however I will be looking more closely at the additional features that the EX4 has to offer and how this system might just be one of the best choices for SOHO and SMB users. So without any more delay, let’s get unboxing this system and see what’s included.

To get things up and running, Western Digital include a CAT5e patch lead, AC power adaptor, quick setup guide and a warranty leaflet for reference

[youtube]http://youtu.be/MaMWsXvbZVE[/youtube]

Tablets, Laptops and Touch-Screen Laptops: What do you prefer?

The gadget market can be overwhelming for anyone who is trying to decide how to choose the best technology for his or her needs. The popularity of both laptop and tablet varies depending on which demographic we look at, as various groups of people want specific and specialized uses from their computer.

A laptop is basically a personalized and mobile PC. In recent years, as more people want to be able to use their technology while on the move, laptops have been designed to become as functional, powerful and to perform as well as a PC.

Tablets are still a new addition to mobile computing as they are smaller than a laptop and have easy to use touch-screen technology. They also weigh less, most have excellent cameras and they can connect to both WI-FI and 3G. The downside is that as a fully functional computer device, their abilities are limited.

Some niche professions have utilised applications built for Tablets to enhance and help with their work. Some design programmes are able to transfer software from the Tablet to a PC, while many people in the music business use apps while on the move for mixing and accessing virtual equipment that they would only otherwise find in a studio.

It is down to the individual to recognise what they need from their device before they opt for a Tablet, Laptop or Touch-screen Laptop.

We now have touch-screen laptops. Windows 8 was designed to provide an efficient touch-screen user interface. There is still a big question mark as to what the point is of a touch-screen laptop. The major plus point, is that once you get the hang of it, there are many shortcuts to be had, making work-life more efficient and the ability to choose and locate files much faster.

But arm-ache, filthy fingerprinted screens and complaints about flimsy screens that move around as soon as they are touched, makes the extra expense of a touch-screen laptop hard to justify.

For those of us who use our devices to play games and enjoy apps, technology has come a long way in the last two years and many games that were only available for PC’s and Laptops, have been updated so they are compatible with Tablets and touch-screens. Games such as Bingo, Casino games like Royal Vegas Top Online Casino, puzzle games such as Candy Crush and The Room, have all gained notoriety for being as user-friendly and reliable to play on Smartphones, Tablets, PC’s and Laptops.

Many will argue that the Tablet is for apps and fun games, a laptop is for more serious and hard-core gaming, while touch-screen laptops are for the wealthy and hi-tech folk.

It’s down to the individual to work out what they need from their device and then go for it!

Western Digital Announce New Product Line – My Cloud

Cloud storage for a number of people is a precarious storage solution as the worries about other people potentially having access to their data is something that lingers over the public cloud storage market. Many people are familiar with current online cloud storage options such as Dropbox (of which I’m a user myself), iCloud which all iOS devices have access to, and Google Drive amongst others.

The problem with all these options however is the fact that you can’t yourself pinpoint exactly where your data is stored and all of these providers will tend to scan your content for viruses etc, meaning that its not going to be up there without it being viewed in some way or another.

Being able to have you data stored at home and then shared out to the internet in your own personal cloud is a solution that for many users has not been possible for a long while. True if you had the knowledge, you could share a drive on to the internet, presuming you had a router that supported that feature such as Netgear’s R6300 and you know what your IP  address was at all times, but this is not the most secure nor the easiest of options either.

This is now where Western Digital have stepped up to the mark to create a drive that simply plugs into the existing home network and with the use of a mobile app or desktop management program, is able to share file, securely through 128-bit AES encryption, to anywhere in the world. Bring forward the ‘My Cloud’.

Built around a dual core ARM A9 CPU and paired with 256MB or DDR3 memory, the small system that is no bigger than their current products such as the MyBook Elite, comes in a range of capacities ranging from 2TB up to 4TB. On top of this the My Cloud also features a USB3.0 port for expansion by connecting another storage drive that will show up as a separate shared folder on the system, or which can be used to create a backup of the entire system in the form of ‘Safepoints’.

The My Cloud can be accessed either on the local network via a desktop management app or can be remotely connected to from anywhere in the world via the mobile app or web based user interface. Sharing files to friends and family is also very simple, files are given a unique URL, and this can be sent to a third party so that they can get access to that file only. Access to sync the drive with other cloud solutions such as Dropbox is also made simple with seamless integration through the mobile app. The mobile app will also be fully backwards compatible with the current line of My Book Live devices and users will notice that the WD-to-Go app will be updated to the new My Cloud app through their relevant app store

The My Cloud, priced at £129 for the 2TB model and £159 for the 3TB model (4TB model due later in the year in November is awaiting UK pricing) will be available from today through a number of online e-tailors such as Dixons online. This makes the price for storage far cheaper than online cloud options which charge a yearly fee in some cases only provide a fraction of the storage capacity for a higher cost.

Source – WD Press event