Latest Article

The US Needs to Recognize Intimate Privacy as a Civil Right October 5, 2022

Digital privacy invasion isn’t just a consumer protection issue. It’s inextricably linked to equality, with urgent implications for women and minorities.

Stealing your digital milk: Girt by CNET podcast 89 – CNET

After paying a visit to the truly surreal Woolworths headquarters to check out the new Samsung smart fridge, the Girt Team talks smart home on this week’s show.
Source: CNet

Teddy Ruxpin is coming back and he's got emoji-like eyes – CNET

The talking bear from your 1980s dreams (or nightmares) is all spiffed up and will be back for 2017.
Source: CNet

Yahoo whodunnit: Mystery surrounds hackers behind massive breach – CNET

A cybersecurity company claims it wasn’t state-sponsored hackers who breached Yahoo user data. Yah-who knows?
Source: CNet

Google said to be encouraging Google Home clones – CNET

The Web giant is marshaling the aid of home audio heavy-hitters to challenge the Amazon Echo virtual assistant, Variety reports.
Source: CNet

50 percent of parents knowingly text their teens while the teens are driving – CNET

Technically Incorrect: A new study reveals some stunning statistics about texting behind the wheel and a parent’s role in making it worse.
Source: CNet

Get ready for TV ads and billboards pushing Facebook Live – CNET

It’s all a part of the social network’s effort to get regular people to start live streaming more, according to a report by The Wall Street Journal.
Source: CNet

A Ryder Cup heckler becomes a hero on Twitter – CNET

Technically Incorrect: A man mocks Europe’s professionals about a 12-foot putt they keep missing. So they invite him to try it. Guess what happens next.
Source: CNet

Star Wars Death Star's famed feature was a complete accident – CNET

Film artist Colin Cantwell tells Reddit how the iconic trench came to be. And it turns out the X-Wing owes its life to a night of drinking.
Source: CNet

Spotify joins Japan streaming music fray with karaoke lyrics – CNET

The world’s second-largest music market is worth over $2.5 billion. But Spotify will still have to fight for a big piece of the pie.
Source: CNet

Google's Project Shield defends free speech from botnet scourge – CNET

The effort is designed to save journalists, activists and others from “botnets” of hacked DVRs and security cameras used to swamp websites with data.
Source: CNet

​California tightens background checks on Uber, Lyft drivers – CNET

Governor Jerry Brown signs a new law that will fine ride-hailing companies up to $5,000 per driver if those drivers are found to have criminal histories.
Source: CNet

Microsoft and Salesforce: How the former suitors are once again, disputers

Two years ago, Salesforce was Microsoft’s big buddy, and possibly even a Redmond takeover target. Now it’s trying to derail Microsoft’s LinkedIn deal with anti-competition claims. What happened?
Source: Microsoft

Hiker's dramatic video of two snakes fighting reveals rare sight – CNET

A hiker captures footage of a copperhead grappling with a cottonmouth, perplexing herpetologists in the process.
Source: CNet

Battlefield 1's campaign has five 'war stories' — here's what to expect – CNET

Developer DICE reveals more details on the World War I shooter’s campaign.
Source: CNet

Amber Alerts on mobile now can have link to missing child's pic – CNET

The FCC also increased the length of Wireless Emergency Alerts to 360 characters from 90 for 4G LTE and future cell networks.
Source: CNet

Watch a fool throw an iPhone 7 off the tallest building in the world – CNET

YouTube user TechRax’s latest torture test takes him to the top of the Burj Khalifa in Dubai.
Source: CNet

You've got too much mail! Can AOL save us from email burnout? (Well…) – CNET

AOL’s Alto app tries to cure our email troubles. Meanwhile, Samsung is dealing with bigger problems: exploding washing machines.
Source: CNet

Hands-on review: Western Digital My Passport Wireless Pro

Hands-on review: Western Digital My Passport Wireless Pro

The last time we reviewed a wireless external hard disk drive from Western Digital – the My Passport Wireless – we came out rather unimpressed by the device.

This time around, the My Passport Wireless Pro, a souped-up version of the aforementioned wireless drive, landed on our desk for evaluation – note that it complements rather than replaces the existing model.

It has a radically different design and, arguably, an improved set of features with a lot of lessons learnt from the first-generation wireless hard drive.

The 3TB version we were sent is on sale at Amazon for £200 (around $260, AU$340) while the 2TB model costs £180 (around $235, AU$305). In comparison, the 2TB model of the My Passport Wireless sells for £146 (around $190, AU$250) while a standard 3TB hard disk drive like the Maxtor M3 costs £90 (around $115, AU$150) and a 2TB HDD (Seagate Expansion) retails for £63 (around $80, AU$105).

Clearly you are paying a premium for a premium product, but there’s a niche market that won’t mind doing so.

The Pro moniker in the name and the wording of the product description on Western Digital’s website make it clear that this drive is aimed at a prosumer audience, one that wouldn’t mind paying extra if that means "streamlining your workflow" as WD puts it.

Western Digital My Passport Wireless Pro SD card

The My Passport Wireless Pro reminded us of an external DVD player or the Voyo V3 mini PC. Think about it – it’s about the same size as a DVD disk with dimensions of 125 x 125 x 22mm, and it weighs 450g.

The drive is made of anthracite-coloured ABS plastic with plenty of rounded corners, and it feels solid.

On top there’s the WD logo and six status lights: four to indicate the battery capacity, one for the Wi-Fi status and one to indicate whether the drive is spinning. There’s also a removable sticker with the SSID and default password of the device.

Flip it over and on the underside you’ll find four rubber feet as well as another sticker with more details about the My Passport Wireless Pro – including the serial number and the MAC address.

An SD card slot is located on one side and two square buttons – one for power and the other one for accessing the SD card – are located on the other, alongside a flat USB 3.0 connector and a standard USB 2.0 host port.

Long press the SD card button and the contents of your SD card will be automatically copied or moved – depending on how the button is configured – to the hard disk drive. In that mode, the lights on top will indicate how far the copy/move process has got to go.

The drive came with a 12.24W (5.1V/2.4A) power supply unit and interchangeable plugs for UK, EU and US markets.

Western Digital My Passport Wireless Pro ports

The My Passport Wireless Pro uses a 15mm tall, 2.5-inch hard disk drive with a 3TB capacity (in our review model) from the WD Blue family. The WD30NPRZ runs at 5,400RPM and is equipped with 64MB cache. It consumes an average of 2W in read/write mode and 0.7W when idle. It’s worth noting that the average drive read time stands at 8.5ms.

The drive performed quite well on CrystalDiskMark, hitting 121.9MBps and 120.9MBps in read and write respectively.

That’s better than the drives we tested last year and likely to be due to the higher platter density which allows more bytes to be crammed in per unit volume/area.

Sadly, we couldn’t get our Windows 10 test machine to connect with the drive wirelessly, either on the 2.4GHz or 5GHz channels. That was likely an issue with Windows rather than the device.

The drive offers 802.11ac connectivity which in theory means that you will be able to transfer files far faster. You will obviously need to have compatible devices to make the most of it.

The Wireless Pro also comes with a massive 6,400mAh battery which can be used as a power bank. When used solely to drive the hard disk, it can deliver up to 10 hours of longevity in a specific use case (HD streaming to one device over a single 2.4GHz band).

Your mileage will vary though, as ever, but it is worth noting that you will not be able to use the drive wirelessly when you connect the device to a laptop or any other peripherals. However, Wi-Fi does still work when the My Passport Wireless Pro is connected to an emergency power bank.

We strongly advise you to install the WD apps on the Wireless Pro (Backup and Access). Once you manage to connect to it over Wi-Fi, head over to http://mypassport to configure your drive.

One thing we noted when testing the device is that it vibrates a fair bit. We also observed a sharp, difficult to describe, sound that occurred frequently when switching Wi-Fi on and off; outside of that, the My Passport Wireless Pro was quiet. This didn’t have any impact on performance and is likely to be an issue that can be ignored.

Western Digital My Passport Wireless Pro top

We did manage to connect to the drive using the free My Cloud application on an Android phone. From there you can change a number of parameters including what happens when you insert a USB stick (or a DSLR camera or another external hard drive) or an SD card.

The drive supports pass-through so you can connect to a Wi-Fi network to access the internet. Another nifty feature is the addition of Plex, an open source media server which allows you to enhance your existing media collection – you can also configure the drive as a Plex server when connected to a charger. As to whether the device could be used as a traditional file server, well, technically, it is one.

The My Passport Wireless Pro is also compatible with Adobe’s Creative Cloud solution and supports up to eight devices, so it’s ideal for small networks as an internet hotspot.

Early verdict

It’s probably far cheaper to get a couple of devices to replace the Wireless Pro (a hard drive coupled with a hotspot/battery/card reader), but if you go that route you don’t have the elegance of an integrated solution.

So for the target audience (photographers and videographers), the My Passport Wireless Pro is a great, if not perfect, match. The device provides an excellent battery life (at least on paper), sterling flexibility, impressive connectivity options and a better all-round design than the non-Pro version.

The addition of Plex is an interesting feature and we’d like to see more of this sort of thing in the future.

Source: Tech Radar

Cumberbatch reveals Doctor Strange will join 'Avengers: Infinity War' – CNET

The Marvel superhero movie, set for release in 2018, just got a bit more magical now that Doctor Strange is set to be in it.
Source: CNet

HBO, Cinemax land on PlayStation Vue as new channel package – CNET

The channels will be part of the new Ultra plan that costs $65 to $75 a month.
Source: CNet

Google's tweaks to Android Wear watches won't arrive till 2017 – CNET

Google’s Play Store will run directly on Android Wear watches, possibly opening up more functions for iPhone users.
Source: CNet

Despite flagging sales, Nissan CEO Ghosn says sports cars still matter 'for the storytelling' – Roadshow

In the face of mushrooming SUV sales and the coming autonomous car, CEO says Nissan remains committed to sports cars.
Source: CNet

Survey suggests AirPods are Apple's winning wearable, not Watch – CNET

If you’d rather have something from Apple in your ears than on your wrist, you’re not alone.
Source: CNet

Microsoft opens up its 'million dollar' bug-finder

Microsoft is previewing a cloud-based bug detector, dubbed Project Springfield, that it calls one of its most sophisticated tools for finding potential security vulnerabilities.

Project Springfield uses “whitebox fuzzing,” which uncovered one-third of the “million dollar” security bugs during the development of Windows 7. Microsoft has been using a component of the project called SAGE since the mid-2000s to test products prior to release, including fuzzing both Windows and Office applications. 

For this project, SAGE is bundled with other tools for fuzz testing, featuring a dashboard and other interfaces that enable use by people without an extensive security background. The tests are run using Microsoft’s Azure cloud.

To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

Source: Security

Microsoft Applications and Services chief Qi Lu leaves the company

Microsoft’s head of Office and Bing is leaving the company. Here’s CEO Satya Nadella’s email to the troops on what’s happening and what’s next.
Source: Microsoft