Western Digital has announced a new line of My Passport portable hard drives that offer Mac and PC users storage capacities up to 3TB and include software for easy back-ups and personalisation.
WD, a Western Digital company providing storage solutions, has introduced the new, redesigned My Passport Ultra portable hard drives and My Passport for Mac drives. With the My Passport line now in its 7th generation, the My Passport Ultra and My Passport for Mac portable hard drives are now available in capacities up to 3 TB and in four stylish colors – Classic Black, Brilliant White, Wild Berry and Noble Blue. WD is also introducing a new optional accessory – WD Grip Pack – a soft band, available in a variety of colors, which encircles the drive, offering consumers an easy way to personalise their My Passport drives.
“With more photos being taken than ever before, it’s critical to have a high capacity, reliable external storage solution that you can carry everywhere,” says Tony Tate, general manager and vice president of Content Storage Solutions at WD. “The latest generation My Passport drives deliver an easier automatic back-up experience, hardware-based encryption for security and higher capacities than ever before. Consumers can keep all their content in their pockets, while expressing their personal styles with the colours and WD Grip Pack.”
My Passport Ultra portable drives come in 3 TB, 2 TB, 1 TB and 500 GB capacities and feature 256-bit AES hardware encryption – delivering a high level of security with no impact to write-speed or CPU activity. If your My Passport Ultra falls into the wrong hands, the 256-bit AES hardware encryption protects users’ files, folders, photos, videos and music with a password known only to them. USB 3.0 compatibility provides fast data transfer rates of up to 5 gigabits per second, while being backwardly compatible with USB 2.0. My Passport for Mac portable drives are available in capacities of 3 TB, 2 TB, 1 TB and also feature 256-bit AES hardware encryption with USB 3.0 connectivity.
Says Anamika Budree, WD Branded Sales Manager – South Africa, “These redesigned My Passport Ultra portable hard drives and My Passport for Mac drives further confirms that WD understands the needs for consumer storage and the complexities facing the DAS market and users. As South African users consume more and more digital content, these portable drives are the perfect choice with options of higher capacities, increased features and functionality, while ensuring data is safely stored and protected.”
Sold separately, the WD Grip Pack accessory for My Passport Ultra is available in five colours (smoke, slate, grape, sky and fuchsia) and, when wrapped around one of the four colours of My Passport Ultra drives, enables consumers to create a total of twenty possible colour combinations. The WD Grip Pack comes with a colour-matched 18-inch flat USB 3.0 cable, creating a stylish complete solution.
My Passport Ultra’s built-in WD Backup software is a simple-to-use application with focus on reducing frustration when setting up a backup plan to preserve data. Since 31% of devices have had malware at some point, having your data safely backed up onto a secondary device like a My Passport drive is critical to preserving precious data.
Pricing and Availability
My Passport Ultra and My Passport for Mac portable drives will be available in South Africa in June 2015 from select retailers and distributors. My Passport Ultra and My Passport for Mac have a Manufacturer’s Suggest Retail Price (MSRP) ranging from R799.00 up to R2 399.00 inclusive of V.A.T. depending on capacity (3 TB capacity available next month). Both the My Passport Ultra and My Passport for Mac will offer a 3-year limited warranty. Terms and conditions of WD’s limited warranty may be found at support.wdc.com/warranty. WD Grip Pack accessories will be available in June and will have an MSRP of R150.00 inclusive of V.A.T. All pricing is subject to Rate of Exchange (RoE).
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Cisco gives pre-owned tech a Refresh
In a market of constant upgrades, Cisco Refresh aims to keep quality product away from landfills, writes BRYAN TURNER.
When one gets a new smartphone upgrade, the old device may be used as a backup or can be used by someone else. In business environments, equipment upgrades may not be conducive to keeping old equipment around, which may send older, working equipment to landfills.
This is where Cisco’s Refresh initiative comes in. At Cisco Connect in Sun City this week, Ehrika Gladden, VP and general manager of Cisco Refresh, lifted the lid on a little-known aspect of the company’s strategy.
“Refresh is Cisco’s global pre-owned equipment business unit,” said Gladden. “It is certified to meet the quality and engineering standards of Cisco. It is licensed for software and it’s also inclusive of a services warranty.
“Our responsibility in 80 countries around the world is tied to both the recovery of assets and the ability to leverage those assets at a lower price point. This ensures our sustainability and proper usage of the Earth’s resources while providing access to small and medium businesses. The products are typically in the range of 20-40% cheaper. The products represent the entire portfolio for Cisco in some part, the majority of that product set is 2+ years in terms of generation.”
Cisco’s Circular Economy initiative ensures a sustainable loop through businesses willing to pay a premium for the latest, cutting-edge solutions, while Cisco markets older, working equipment for resale to those who don’t require the latest solutions. This ensures far less new components need to be used in a product range.
“We are leveraging the model of remanufacturing, refurbishing, recycling, and reusing,” said Gladden. “Depending on the product set, there is a certain set of product yield that we expect. They vary from product to product, but we do have a percentage that doesn’t make it through.
“Those are always reused, meaning we will look at those products and decide to use them completely differently, leveraging the components, remanufacturing back into the overall build process. If that can’t be done, we will go into a recycle process where we melt those products down to reuse them.”
Repairing and refurbishing older products isn’t just that. Cisco is creating repair centres that are owned by third-parties to uplift local ownership.
“The repair centres, as a global manufacturer, is Cisco’s entree into local ownership,” said Gladden. “I want to be precise about what I mean by local ownership. It’s critical for us to have a localised presence, but doing that through ownership. When you look at inclusive economies, those that are participative, to be sustainable – not in the product set, but generationally.
“The ability as a global manufacturer through a local ownership model isto create a repair centre where a product can be returned, screened, tested, and repaired, leveraging the talent that the Networking Academy is creating.”
Cisco is working closely with local governments to understand where it operates and how to leverage the skills in the market.
Gladden said: “We are also super excited about the National Development Plan and African Union statements which with we align: eradication of poverty, job creation, ownership, healthcare, education, it all fits in the model. So we were very excited to have the opportunity to come to Africa first to announce this. Over the next twelve months, we want to establish our first repair centres, and in the next 3 to 5 years, build that vision into a reality.”
Why Data Privacy has become a Pipe Dream
If you’re active on WhatsApp, Facebook or any other social platform, you’re not as safe as you thought, writes
AARON THORNTON, MD of Dial a Nerd
As you begin to read this, let’s perform a quick experiment! How many active conversations are you engaged in – right now – on WhatsApp? When was the last time you shared a picture or video on Instagram? Is Facebook currently open and active on one of your devices? And how many internet- connected devices are you using at this moment? Chances are, you have multiple devices running multiple applications most of the time. So what’s the problem, you ask? Since when did checking in with a high school buddy in Australia via Facebook become a dangerous act?
In reply, we say, read on if you can stomach it!
Nation-State Hacking & You
It might seem like a laughably long shot to say that you are a key player in the increasingly sinister and sophisticated world of nation-state hacking. Well, you are. Given that individuals, businesses and governments are now constantly connected, round the clock, consumers and businesses have become fair game in cyber espionage. And as we create and share more and more data, both the value and accessibility of that data increases. According to a report by McAfee, IP theft now accounts for more than 25% of the estimated $600 billion cost of cybercrime to the world economy.
With data having become the ‘new gold’, nation states are naturally pouring investment and key resources into building advanced cyber warfare tools. Indeed, entire divisions of armed forces as well as the upper echelons of corporate leadership are devising ways to harness data to gain economic, political and social power. At the highest level, tools and platforms are being developed with the specific aim of perpetrating cyber espionage and data theft. No surprise then, that the consumer and business environments are rife with increasingly advanced malware, ransomware and many other malicious hacking tools and methods.
Still not convinced? Yes, we can smell the scepticism from here! So let’s take a moment to see how this has already played out, beneath our noses.
Remember the Facebook–Cambridge Analytica data scandal of early 2018? For many, this was a watershed moment in the emerging war for consumer data – and the ensuing tensions between privacy, power and profit. Need a refresh? Well, in 2018, Facebook exposed data on up to 87 million Facebook users to a researcher who worked at Cambridge Analytica, which worked for the Trump campaign. In essence, the data was harvested without user consent and used for political purposes.
Another chilling but less direct example can be found in Russia’s meddling in the 2016 U.S. elections. According to Politico, Russia launched a massive social media campaign to ‘sow discord’ leading up to the elections. The website reported that as early as 2014, an infamous Russian “troll farm” known as the Internet Research Agency – a company linked to Russian president Putin – developed a strategy using fraudulent bank accounts and other fake identity documents to “spread distrust towards the candidates and the political system in general.”
When referring to the Russian hacks and their impact on election results, one U.S. Representative sagely noted: “They didn’t just steal data; they weaponized it.”
Ignorance is not bliss
Okay, so data is being ‘weaponized’, and ordinary people and businesses are being caught in the crosshairs of cyber warfare. A little bit frightening, but the good news is that savvy individuals like you can take steps to protect personal data and actively combat the creeping influence of juggernauts such as Facebook and Google.
Now that we’ve left you sufficiently spooked, you can get back to those demanding WhatsApp/Facebook/Instagram notifications (same company, by the way)…albeit, we hope, with a slightly altered [cyber] worldview!