Pulkit Chandna

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Posts by Pulkit Chandna

Western Digital My Book Duo 2-Bay DAS Now Available in 12TB Flavor


Western Digital My Book Duo 12TB

An external RAID storage solution with two WD Red 6TB NAS drives

A few days back, Western Digital quietly began offering a 12TB variant of the My Book Duo two-drive RAID external storage solution it launched back in June. In terms of capacity, this latest SKU is fifty percent bigger than the previous highest-capacity My Book Duo configuration.

Needless to say, it’s also the costliest of the lot. The 12TB variant, which ships with two 6TB WD Red NAS drives pre-configured in RAID 0 (RAID 1 and JBOD also supported), will set you back by as much as $649.99. Here’s a neat summary of the user-serviceable My Book Duo’s key features and specs:

  • Interface: USB 3.0 (x3)
  • Drives on board: WD Red hard drives
  • Available capacities: 4 TB, 6 TB and 8 TB
  • Data management: RAID 0, RAID 1, JBOD; independent CPU for RAID volume management
  • Security: Hardware RAID, Hardware Encryption, Password Protection
  • Compatibility:  NTFS (default) + Reformat to HFS + J for Mac
  • Software: WD SmartWare Pro, Dropbox™ cloud integration, Acronis True Image Software WD Edition, WD Security, WD Drive Utilities
  • Limited Warranty: 2-Year regional warranty

The My Book Duo is also available in 8TB, 6TB and 4TB flavors, which are priced $449.99, $349.99 and $279.99, respectively.

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Google Chrome: Draining Laptop Batteries Since At Least 2010


Low Battery WarningFirst discovered in 2010, battery-draining bug yet to be fixed

It seems Microsoft has quietly slipped into the habit of commissioning at least one study every year that compares the power-consumption habits of major web browsers and declares the latest version of the company’s very own Internet Explorer to be the most power-efficient browser of them all. Although one can’t take such comparisons seriously, there may be some truth to them after all, especially where the lackluster performance of Chrome is concerned.

There is a serious bug in Chrome that causes the browser to wake up the CPU as many as 1,000 times per second even when idle, thanks to the system clock tick rate being set to 1.00ms by Chrome. This is many times more than the 64 times per second usually observed with the Windows default clock tick rate of 15.625ms. Believe it or not, this bug has been known to Google for many years now but has yet to be addressed. According to a Chromium bug report, dated September 29, 2012 (the bug first surfaced in 2010), the issue boils down to there being “no system clock tick interval management.”

The bug report also quotes Microsoft on this whole issue of the clock tick being decreased to 1ms: "If the system timer interval is decreased to less than the default, including when an application calls timeBeginPeriod with a resolution of 1 ms, the low-power idle states are ineffective at reducing system power consumption and system battery life suffers.System battery life can be reduced as much as 25 percent, depending on the hardware platform. This is because transitions to and from low-power states incur an energy cost. Therefore, entering and exiting low-power states without spending a minimum amount of time in the low-power states can be more costly than if the system simply remained in the high-power state."

Thankfully, Google is now trying to fix this issue and the bug has been assigned internally.

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Still Committed to Small-screen Windows Tablets, Lenovo Insists


Lenovo Miix 8

Company recently diverted ThinkPad 8 inventory meant for the States to other markets

On Thursday, a report quoting a Lenovo spokesman claimed that the Chinese PC vendor had decided to stop selling sub-10-inch tablets in the States “due to lack of interest” and was going to divert any remaining inventory of the ThinkPad 8, which debuted in January with a starting price of $449, to countries like Brazil, China, and Japan where demand for such 8-inch tablets continues to remain strong. The company has now issued a statement clarifying that the withdrawal of the ThinkPad 8 should not be construed as an exit from the market for sub-10-inch Windows tablets in the States.

“We will continue to bring new Windows devices to market across different screen sizes, including a new 8-inch tablet and 10-inch tablet coming this holiday,” the company said in a press release Friday. “Our model mix changes as per customer demand, and although we are no longer selling ThinkPad 8 in the U.S., and we have sold out of Miix 8-inch, we are not getting out of the small-screen Windows tablet business as was reported by the media. In short, we will continue to sell both 8 and 10 inch Windows tablets in both the U.S. and non-U.S markets.”

This means those contemplating buying a small-screen Windows tablet will have one less vendor to choose from for the foreseeable future — not an ideal situation considering there’s not a lot to choose from anyway.

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Frustrated FiOS Subscriber’s Video Exposes Severity of Verizon’s Netflix Throttling


Netflix Throttling by Verizon

New York-based Verizon user finds Netflix to be nearly 10x faster with a VPN than without it

Netflix and Verizon are now locked in a blame game over the sluggish performance of the former’s video streaming service on the latter’s network. This despite Netflix (grudgingly) agreeing to pay Verizon to ensure the smooth delivery of its streaming video content to the ISP’s subscribers. Regardless of who’s to blame, it’s paying customers of both companies who are being made to suffer for no fault of theirs. One such end user caught in the crossfire, New York-based entrepreneur Colin Nederkoorn, posted a video exposing the severity of the issue. The video has since gone viral, having amassed over 400,000 views on YouTube.

The video shows a couple of Netflix streaming speed tests performed by Nederkoorn, first using nothing but his 75 Mbps Verizon FiOS connection and then using a VPN (VyprVPN to be precise). In the first instance, the results are truly awful, with Nederkoorn only managing 375 Kbps with “severe” buffering. Once he switches to a VPN, however, there is an almost 10x increase in streaming speed.

“It seems absurd to me that adding another hop via a VPN actually improves streaming speed,” Nederkoorn wrote in a post on his blog. “Clearly it’s not Netflix that doesn’t have the capacity. It seems that Verizon are deliberately dragging their feet and failing to provide service that people have paid for [as is alleged to be the case by Netflix and Level 3, one of the Internet backbone providers contracted by the former to deliver its video content]. Verizon, tonight you made an enemy, and doing my own tests have proven (at least to me) that you’re in the wrong here.”

Please note, the results reflect the experience of one user and haven’t been verified by us.

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Seagate Quietly Begins Shipping 8TB HDD Samples


Seagate Enterprise Capacity Hard Drives

Pleased with initial feedback on ‘customer development units’

Seagate on Thursday reported its financial results for the fiscal fourth quarter and year ended June 27, 2014. The company exited the quarter with some decent numbers, reporting gross margin of 28 percent and net income of $320 million on quarterly revenue of $3.3 billion. But if we ever feel the urge to cast our mind back to the fourth quarter of company’s fiscal 2014, it’s more likely to be on account of the insanely large capacity enterprise hard drives it began shipping during the period than those numbers.

The quarter not only saw the introduction of a 6TB enterprise HDD from the storage maker but, as the Cupertino-based company revealed during its latest quarterly earnings call, it also began shipping out sample units of an 8TB drive it had alluded to during its previous quarterly earnings call.

“We have also delivered 8 terabyte customer development units to major customers and cloud service providers and the initial customer feedback has been very positive,” said Seagate’s CEO and chairman Steve Luczo on the call. “While it’s still early in the development of our Kinetic object-based storage platform, we are in deep technical discussions with a very broad-base of enterprise customers. We believe our focus on developing key values for object-based storage will make the Kinetic platform a differentiated offering in the cloud storage marketplace.”

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