Tag Archives: computers

Western Digital unveils 6TB, helium-filled hard drive

Western Digital unveils 6TB, helium-filled hard drive

Published November 04, 2013

  • Western Digital USC7K1000.jpg

    A stack of platters and the read / write arms that pull data off of them in an ordinary hard drive. New helium-filled models from Western Digital pack in more platters yet draw less power. (WESTERN DIGITAL)

  • Air HDD vs HeliumHDD.jpeg
  • Air HDD vs Helium HDD.jpeg

    New helium-filled hard disk drives from Western Digital pack in more platters yet draw less power. (WESTERN DIGITAL)

Western Digital had a problem: ordinary air.

Modern hard drives store data on five metal platters that spin at up to 15,000 revolutions per minute, so fast in fact that drag from the tiny amount of air they whistle through is a problem. But at one-seventh the density of air, helium provides far less resistance for those spinning disks, letting the company pack in more disks that require less power and therefore cost less to operate.

The company on Monday unveiled a 6 terabyte hard disk called the Ultrastar He6 that packs seven platters of data filled goodness into the space usually filled by five. The company says these helium-filled hard disks are the future.

“Our mainstream helium platform will serve as the future building block for new products and technologies moving forward. This is a huge feat, and we are gratified by the support of our customers in the development of this platform,” said Brendan Collins, vice president of product marketing, for the company.

Netflix appears to agree.

“We serve billions of hours of streaming video per quarter to over 40 million subscribers,” said David Fullagar, director of content delivery architecture at Netflix. “The high storage density and lower power usage of the Ultrastar He6 hard drives allow us to continue with that goal, and create a great customer experience.”

The new drive consumes 23 percent less power when idle, and it runs quieter. (It weighs less too, of course — fully 50 grams less, the company said.) The drives are hermetically sealed to keep the helium in, something the company said was an engineering challenge.


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Use Your Laptop With Gestures Instead of Keyboard and Mouse?

Leap Motion, Gesture-Control Gadget For Your Laptop, Will Be Released This May For $80

The Huffington Post  |  By Posted: 02/27/2013 11:59 am EST

Leap Release
Turns out that 2013 is, indeed, a Leap Year.

Leap Motion, the company that makes the hotly anticipated gesture-control device of the same nameannounced Wednesday morning that the first Leap Motion units would ship to pre-orderers around the world on May 13, and that everyone could get their hands (and fingers) on one on May 19.

If you want one, you can order on Leap Motion’s website here or, somewhat curiously, on BestBuy.com right here. The Leap Motion Controller costs $80 at either outlet.

For a refresher, the Leap Motion controller plugs into almost any newer laptop and allows you to manipulate the screen via a series of hand and finger movements in the air. It’s sort of like having a touchscreen computer, but without actually touching the screen. Watch this video below, made by Leap Motion, to get an idea of how the small device can wholly transform your computer:

Previously, Leap Motion announced that it was sending 10,000 of its controllers to developers, so that there would be apps specifically built for gesture control; earlier this year, the company announced its app store, Airspace, and we’ve already seen one of those apps, by the developers behind the to-do list Clear, shown off.

In general, though, Leap Motion works with your existing operating system (Windows 7 or 8, or OS X 10.7 and 10.8), via zoom, scroll and zoom functions baked into the hardware, which you plug into your USB port. Wired’s Roberto Baldwin wrote that the Leap probably works best as a secondary controller, after your trackpad or mouse, and for specific apps or games written for it; but, like most reviewers, he came away very impressed by the little gizmo’s accuracy and speed.

For more on the Leap Motion Controller, and to pre-order, you can visit the official website right here.

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