TDK Looking to Double Hard Drive Capacity

Storage, both HDD and SSD, is growing in capacity and shrinking in price all of the time.  With hard drives currently as large as 2 TB available, and promises of even bigger ones coming it seems there is almost more storage already than anyone of needs.  Plus, for those willing to pay a premium, there are SSD’s, which are smaller in capacity, but much faster in read time.  Plus, we have even heard vague rumors of holographic storage coming in the future.

Now, from the future technologies department comes some news that TDK, the once famous cassette tape maker, has a technology that could double the storage capacity of a hard drive by using laser heaters to write the data.  TDK calls the technology HAMR – heat-assisted magnetic recording.  The laser needs to be combined with a new way of making the drive platters.  Supposedly TDK has used the technology with platters that would normally have held 1 TB of data and successfully stored 2 TB on them.

It sounds very futuristic, and honestly it is.  There is no release date for the technology, no idea of how such drives would be priced in comparison to a standard drive, and no real idea if this technology will ever even hit the market.  Frankly, beyond this one report from the Register, there is really no concrete evidence of this technology existing.  But the science of storage is always moving ahead at a fast pace, so it’s likely that such things as this are at least being tested.

GNC-2011-03-28 #658 RIAA Infiltrates Federal Judges!

If you cannot beat them Join them. A federal judge who worked as a lobbyist for the RIAA has already ruled pro RIAA as compared to other judges reviewing similar cases. This is a major win by the RIAA and will obviously go badly for any that draw her as a judge. I talk about this and a lot more. I also announce some upcoming format changes as we look forward to the next 5 years in where this show is going to go. Obviously the Ohana are going to weigh in as I make these changes and we will see how they go.. I have decided it is really time to focus on the format as the shows has not changed much in the past 6.5 years.

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RMS Titanic Manual by Haynes?

Show Notes:
Time Warner to get sued over iPad App.
Where did 40 Million go?
ICANN wants a exit from US Control.
IP Tracking.
8yr old Genius.
Mac’s for Web Dev?
Industrial Espionage.
New Nokia Fonts.
Blood Pressure Reduction with no Medicine.
WOW throttled by Canadian ISP Rogers.
Japan Nuke Plant Update.
Iranian Hacker.
Playstation XPERIA.
Social Media Detox.
Curiosity Mars Rover.
Romulan Ale.
Opportunity Update.
1 Trillion Stars!
How Cool is This!
Pictures from Mercury Tomorrow.
Latest Scam coming down.
10 Web Design Elements.
Truck Drivers to pay to Listen to Music.
Nintendo 3Ds
Federal Judge RIAA Insider.
Intel Revamps SSD Line.
Griffin PowerJolt for iPad.
Firefox 4 Tips.
.iso Files in Windows 7.
.DocX Converters.
IE9 Tips.
Free Xbox 360 Games.
Video Editing Tutorials.
TRIM tool for Snow Leopard.
Trash Nothing.
Banana TV.
GNC Studio.
Android Gotta haves!
Only in Japan.
AMEX Serve Digital Platform.
iPhone 5 Summer or Fall?
Smart ForTwo not for Sale?
Chumby 800×600!
Firefox 4 Smoke Checks IE9.
3-31 World Backup Day!
James Gosling to Google.

GNC-2011-02-17 #648 Special Apple Product Announcement!

For those of you that actually read the show notes and I know 10’s of thousands do not the clue on the Apple Product announcement is in the show notes.. You want to talk about a product that the koolaid drinkers will get excited about. Action packed show, of course I had to have a mini soap box time over recent App Store announcements. Hope you enjoy the show. Action hotline is available 24/7 at +1-619-342-7365 leave your comments there or drop me an e-mail.

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Listener Links:
For the Weirdo in your Life.
84k websites hijacked by Uncle Sam!
Small Nuclear Reactor.

Show Notes:
Comet Particles Sounded like Bombs!
To Jupiter and Beyond.
ISS to get Japanese Anime Robot. ;)
Solar Activity on Rise.
WISE is shutdown.
Fetus Brain Activity.
Darpa want’s you!
Dumb Criminal Department.
Righthaven tries again.
TSA Thieves!
Microsoft makes dumb Policy.
SSd’s are not Secure.
Send a Robot to Moon and Win!
Android Malware.
Smart Red Light.
Clearwire Gains but still looses Money.
10 Core Chip on Way.
Facebook recognizes Civil Unions.
Coupon Cutters like Spending.
NSA wants to Protect Private Infrastructure?
Thought Controlled Devices.
Hack PS3 get Banned.
Apple + Devices + Kids = Ohhh Man
Apple 15 Minute Purchase Window under Review.
National Broadband Map.
Comcast 24/7 3d Content.
No Small iPhone.
Chevrolet MyLink.
Google OnePass.
Sony not leaving iTunes.
What Happens when you Meet a Semi?
Dual Screen Tablet.
Gov’t Mistakes Kills 84k Websites but it gets much Worse!
P2P lawsuits dropped by Thousands.
P2P Users giving up cash for no reason.
RIAA says Canada and Spain Worse?
Facebook News Feed Stream Change.
Facebook Pop up Pictures Hack.
Borders Bankrupt.
Web Savvy Cars Finally.
AT&T – Fast / Verizon -Slow on iPhone Speed Test.
Firefox 4 coming!
Portable Speaker Mini
Anti Sleep Pilot for iPhone.
Cord Cutting for only 25 and Below.
Roku Tips.
Wild Pirate Stats.
Plex comes to Android.
Video Piracy goes Underground.
Next New Networks and Google.
RipTune.
iPhone Menu hack for Jailbreakers.
Netflix and Vudu on Boxee.
Apple about to commit grand larceny.
Movies on your iOS Device.
Rewdbox to Stream.
2012 Chevy Volt Rebates.
Sprint and LTE.
Rovi and Delivery Agent.
Apple Water.
Google Navigation.
Bing Bar Changed!
Tetris Game powered by HTML5
See the Google Android Booth.
Stardust Flyby.
Cosmo 101 Heavy Stuff.
EU Launches Massive load to ISS.
Steve Jobs Destroyed Home.

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Other World Computing SSDs

Solid-State Drives (SSDs) haven’t ousted spinning hard drives from the average PC, but they have made significant inroads in the netbook market where the performance of the SSD compensates for the weaker performance of the CPU. Andy McCaskey talks to Larry O’Connor, founder and CEO of Other World Computing (OWC) on how OWC got started, what makes OWC special and why OWC SSDs are the best in class.

If you’re not familiar with SSDs and their features, such as wear-levelling, this video covers much of the technology behind the devices and gives some insight into what to look for when choosing an SSD.

Interview by Andy McCaskey of SDR News.

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Toshiba SSD and Standard HDD head to head!

There has been vast improvement of SSD drives over the past year, write and read speeds are up considerably. The folks at Toshiba had a demo running that really breaks it down on speed and life time reliability of drives that are being used in a variety of applications that are often not healthy for standard hard drives.

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OWC — Other World Computing — High Performance Aftermarket SSD Drives

Grant Dahlke from Other World Computing aka MacSales.com introduces Sandforce processor-based high capacity, high-performance SSD (solid state drive) hard drives for computers such as Apple’s Macbook Air that are up to three times larger and up to 22% faster than the drive than Apple’s OEM drive. They also have a line of drives for older IDE and ATA machines, which enables much better performance from older computing hardware due to the much faster read/write times of solid state drives as opposed to the performance of conventional spinning hard drives.

Interview by Todd Cochrane of Geek News Central.

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Buffalo MicroStation SSD Review

Buffalo LogoIf you’re the kind of person who has to have the fastest processor, the quickest memory and the nippiest hard drive, then you might as well stop reading this review and simply go out and buy a Buffalo MicroStation SSD. Because it’s fast. Probably not the fastest SSD out there, but in comparison to a spinning hard disk drive, it’s like a Formula 1 car racing a family runabout – no contest.

So what are we actually talking about here? The Buffalo MicroStation SSD is a 2.5″ form factor internal SATA solid state drive aimed squarely at the laptop upgrade market.  With an additional mini-USB port on the SSD and Acronis True Image software, it makes swapping the hard drive for the SSD as easy as possible.

Box contentsIn the box, you get the MicroStation SSD, a quick setup manual, the True Image DVD and a USB cable.  In your hand though, the SSD is a pretty boring lump of plastic.  An HDD is much more solid and satisfying but that’s progress for you. The model reviewed here is the SHD-NSUH256G-EU.

Let’s say you want to convert your laptop from an HDD to an SSD.  You’ve two choices.  Option 1 – rip out the HDD, stuff in the SSD and re-install Windows and all your software, then somehow copy your personal files off your old disk.  Not a great option.  Option 2.  Connect the SSD via USB, boot from the Acronis True Image DVD, clone the HDD to the SSD, swap the disks over and boot the laptop.  Job done.  It really is that simple.

You do need to set aside an hour or two to clone a 256 GB HDD and if you want more control, e.g. changing partition sizes, then you have to install the full version from the DVD.  However, it’s all straightforward.

USB PortOnce you’ve fired up the laptop, you’ll be totally amazed at how much faster it’s become.  It’s like buying a new computer!  In my thoroughly unscientific testing, with the HDD installed my laptop took about 50 seconds to get to the Windows 7 login screen from power on, of which about 10 seconds was the BIOS checks.  On logging in, it took 20 seconds to show the desktop background and a further 40-odd seconds to show the Windows Sidebar.  Basically from pressing the power button to having a working laptop takes 2 minutes.

After installing the SSD, it took just 28 seconds to get to the Windows 7 login screen, 8 seconds to show the background and only another 20 seconds to show the Sidebar.  Total time about a minute.

Launching applications was amazingly fast.  Word took about 2 seconds from clicking in the Start menu to a blank document appearing.  Sun’s VirtualBox started in a similar time. Even iTunes started in about 6 seconds. That normally takes about 18 seconds from the hard drive. It’s just stonkingly quick.

In slightly more scientific testing, hdparm -t consistently gave disk reads of 234 MB/s. By comparison, the fastest disk drive I tested performed at 98 MB/s.  On disk writes, the peak was about 140 MB/s with the average not far below that. The full technical specs for the SSD are available from Buffalo.

It may seem blindingly obvious but the other surprise was the SSD’s silence. I could only tell that the laptop was doing anything by the flickering of the disk activity light.

But easy as it is to change the hard drive for the SSD, it can be hard on the pocket. The MicroStations come in a range of sizes from 32 GB to 256 GB, with former costing £110. However, the 256 GB MicroStation SSD costs a whopping £500, so if you want speed and silence, you pay for it.

Overall, this is a great upgrade for any laptop and Buffalo make it as easy as possible to transfer your data.  But you’ll need big pockets for the big capacities.

Thanks to Buffalo Technology for the loan of the MicroStation SSD.

Kingston To Release USB 3.0 SSD Drives

Kingston has announced the first portable USB 3.0 SSD (solid state drive).  The news actually came from Engadget Spain, but it appears to be official.  I have not seen the press release, but have contacted Kingston for more information.  I have not yet received a response, but will update this if/when I do.

In the meantime, here is what is, at the least, rumored.  The drives will come in three sizes – 64GB, 128GB, and 256GB.  They will be a  laptop 2.5″ size and be able to read at 195MB per second and write at 160MB per second.  That translates to copying a 10GB file is 72 seconds, which is almost 5 times faster than on USB 2.0.

There’s no price or shipping date as of yet.

GNC-2010-10-12 #618 Headed to Vegas for BlogWorld

The Tricaster Studio is headed for a new home at SDRNews.com and I expect the Tricaster TCXD 850 to be delivered in the near future. With my upcoming road trip, I will be remote most of the time anyway so small impact. I head out to Vegas tonight on the Red Eye and will be their through Monday morning. Make sure you come to my session on Saturday at 12:15pm

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Listener / Viewer Links:
Safe Social Networks for Kids.

Show Links:
Kids and Screen Time.
Google TV ships in 12 days.
Space Ship Makes first Flight.
Windows Phone 7 handset comparisons.
Windows Phone 7 Apps
Windows App Hub.
Windows Phone 7 Live.
New PogoPlug
Coffee or WiFi.
Re-Transmission Wars.
Apple TV Faults.
Vacations and how we don’t take them.
Three Strikes not so fast.
Comcast 2000 HotSpots.
President signs his Space Vision Budget.
Duck Asteroid Passing.
New ISS Supply Bus almost Ready.
NASA Lays of 800!
Google Car on the Roll.
Yahoo App allows 3g Video Chat.
GM Volt not so Green After All.
Crucial SSD gets Small.
Is that a computer in your Pocket?
Amazing Light Show.
Weight Loss Software App.
FCC Chairman we need more Spectrum!
Japanese Social Loners?
It’s all about who you know!
Apple Trademark “gag”
Apps more Popular than TV?
You Have 10 Seconds!
Journalist Shift to New Media.
Apple smacks the Chinese.
Super Microphone don’t smack your lips.

Send in your stories to geeknews@gmail.com and be sure to provide a link to your websites!

Crucial Launches 1.8″ SSD

Lexar Media has added a 1.8″ range of SSDs to its Crucial RealSSD C300 product line.  These solid state drives (SSDs) are ideal for netbooks, ultrathin laptops and tablets or anywhere that 2.5″ drives are too big.

Amazingly, these 1.8″ versions perform just as well as their 2.5″ siblings,  with read speeds of up to 355MB/s and write speeds up to 215MB/s, natively supporting SATA 6Gb/s, while maintaining backwards compatible with the SATA 3Gb/s interface.

Behind the scenes, it’s the Micron RealSSD technology, using multi-level call (MLC) NAND and advanced controller technology to avoid the solid-state wearing.   The average access time is less than 0.1 ms with 60,000 IOPS for a random 4k read.

Available shortly in 64GB, 128GB and 256 GB, prices start at a penny shy of $150. The Crucial website doesn’t seem to have the 1.8″ versions on sale just yet.

SSDs aren’t an area that I’ve been able to explore so I’d be interested if anyone else has any comments on their experience.  Leave comments below.