File Transfer & Backup Services
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virtual drive backup software

#1 Virtual Drive, Inc.

Virtual Drive is currently the top rated contender for Free FTP Server & Online Storage services that we have evaluated. They also are leading in online backup solutions to ensure your files security online. 

#2 YouSendIt, Inc.

YouSendIt has been a leader in File Transfer for quite some time, but fell to the #2 position after our extensive review and public reaction to their file transfer services.  

Mozilla-Yahoo DealYahoo recently replaced Google as the default search provider for Firefox in the U.S.

In November, Yahoo and Mozilla reached an understanding to make Yahoo Search the default search provider for the latter’s Firefox browser in the United States and the results are already out there for all to see. According to the latest U.S. search data from web analytics provider Statcounter, December saw Bing-powered Yahoo Search finish with 10.4 percent share of the U.S. search market, a significant increase from the 8.4 percent share it held at the start of the month. This is also Yahoo’s highest U.S. search share since 2009.

If Statcounter’s data is accurate then it is clear that Yahoo’s gains in December came at the expense of Google, which the former replaced as the default search provider for Firefox 34 users in the States. In December, Google’s market share fell from a shade over two percentage points to reach 75.2 percent, its lowest US share since Statcounter first began keeping track of global search statistics in July 2008.

But with Mozilla itself having considerable trouble retaining its existing share in the browser market, this sudden spurt in Yahoo’s search share is unlikely to become a long-term trend.

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Mionix NAOS QG Mouse

The team at Mionix reaches their Kickstarter goal for the first biometric gaming mouse.

One of the few interesting things that we managed to get our hands on during CES this year was an unlikely candidate: a mouse. But unlike other more traditional gaming peripherals, Mionix’s new NAOS Quantified Gaming device is both a body sensor and pointing device rolled into one.

Mionix says that its new NAOS QG mouse helps its user identify gaming habits at the biometric level to further improve gaming performance as well as help keep the user aware of the performance of their actions in relation to their team. The NAOS QG is equipped with a heart rate sensor as well as multiple galvanic skin response sensors working in unison with specially designed software. Users will be able to monitor real time stress levels, reaction times, actions-per-minute, and other data.

What I think is interesting with the NAOS QG mouse though, goes beyond even gaming. The concept behind the mouse can be applied in different applications such as military training. But within the scope of gaming, there’s quite a few interesting possibilities.

I spoke with Peter Nygren, founder and VP of Product Developement, about the possibilities. According to Nygren, a team-based game could potentially be enhanced by allowing say, the leader of a squad to monitor what’s going on within the team. Someone at the front-lines getting ambushed would likely show an increased heart rate and increased APM, versus someone playing the role of sniper, calmly stalking the enemy.

Over the past several weeks, Mionix’s Kickstarter page, which it launched to back the production of the NAOS QG, steadily climbed its way towards the goal, and managed to pass its $100,000 USD mark today. Judging from the Kickstarter target, Mionix would be using the $100,000 to fund the prototyping, tooling and other costs associated in producing the NAOS QG.

It remains to be seen if the NAOS QG will be a critical hit, but we’re happy to see that innovation in the PC space is alive and well. Congrats to the team at Mionix.

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OneDrive Sync

Company trying to get rid of multiple sync engines

Microsoft drew the ire of many Windows 10 Technical Preview testers when Build 9879, which was released in November, was found to be missing a key OneDrive functionality: “smart files”, which are offline placeholders containing thumbnails and metadata of OneDrive files. At the time, the company said the feature had been withdrawn in response to consumer feedback and some key parts of placeholders could return once it was done making “fundamental improvements to how Sync works.” A few days back, the company outlined its OneDrive improvement plans much more clearly.

“Prior to Windows 8.1, we had two sync experiences. One used on Windows 7/8/Mac to connect to the consumer service, and a second sync engine to connect to the commercial service (OneDrive for Business). In Windows 8.1 we introduced a third sync engine that supported placeholder files, an innovative capability that lets you access all the files you have stored in OneDrive whilst only using a fraction of the local storage space,” wrote, corporate vp for OneDrive and Sharepoint, Chris Jones in a recent blog post.

According to Jones, the company felt it necessary to “step back and rethink our approach” once it realized that there are many people out there —  particularly those that use both the commercial and consumer versions of OneDrive — who find placeholders confusing. To make matters worse, the company also found “certain file operations (including copy, move, and delete) had a higher degree of failure when placeholders were utilized.”

“It was clear that the right approach was to converge to a single sync engine and experience that would be able to provide all of the benefits of the consumer and business service to all customers faster,” Jones wrote, adding that the said convergence is already taking place and Windows 10 Technical Preview, which no longer has a separate engine for placeholders, is at the forefront of this effort.

“There are important capabilities that we need to bring to Windows 10 – some will make it into the first release – including shared folders and support for the consumer and business service. However, others will come in updates that follow later in the calendar year – most notably the core capabilities of placeholders that are both reliable and comprehensible.

“For those of you in the Windows Insider Program and running the Windows 10 Technical Preview, thanks for bearing with us as we make these changes and be assured that we have a clear roadmap to bring the best experience we can to you between now and the end of the year.”

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Crucial MX200 SSD

New SSDs start at $69.99

There was no dearth of solid-state drive (SSD) announcements at the recently concluded Consumer Electronics Show. Of these, two were from Micron-owned memory and storage maker Crucial: the all-new BX100, aimed at the entry-level segment with the promise of “substantial yet affordable performance gains” over a hard drive, and the MX200, the successor to the generally well-received MX100.

The MX200, for all intents and purposes, is the Crucial-branded consumer version of the M600 SSD that Micron announced in September for OEMs and system integrators. Like the M600, the MX200 has the company’s Dynamic Write Acceleration (DWA) technology, which enables SSD’s NAND array to switch from MLC mode to SLC mode, and back, on the fly. And it is this adaptive SLC cache technology that really sets the MX200 apart from its predecessor, the MX100. Otherwise, the two are pretty similar. The Crucial MX200, which will be available in 250GB ($140), 500GB ($250), and 1TB ($470) capacities, is capable of sequential reads and write up to 555MB/s and 500MB/s, respectively.

Unlike the MX200, which pairs the Marvell 88SS9189 with Micron’s 16nm 128Gbit NAND, the entry-level Crucial BX100 comes with the same NAND and a SM2246EN controller from Silicon Motion. In fact, the BX100, which delivers sequential reads of up to 535MB/s and and sequential writes of up to 450MB/s,  is the first Crucial drive to use a Silicon Motion controller. It will be available in  120GB, 250GB, 500GB, and 1TB flavors that will cost $69.99,
$109.99, $199.99 and $399.99, respectively.

According to the company, both the BX100 and the MX100 will be available sometime during the quarter from Crucial’s website and select retailers across the globe.

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Rumored features include digital inking support and tab grouping

Microsoft has a special press event scheduled for January 21, when it will finally turn the spotlight on Windows 10’s consumer-specific features. Chances are Microsoft could end up formally announcing the new “Spartan” browser, which we first heard about late last month, at the upcoming event, though it’s hard to say anything with certainty at this stage. Well, it may or may not figure on the upcoming company’s agenda for the event, but Spartan has already gotten the tech media buzzing.

Over the last couple of days, some fresh details have emerged, along with a couple of purportedly leaked screenshots, courtesy of Chinese site Cnbeta, that show a Chrome-like minimalist browser interface.

The new browser, according to a recent The Verge report citing people close to the company’s plans, will have a number of new features not currently found in competing browsers, including digital inking support that lets users add annotations to web pages using a stylus. What’s more, multiple users will reportedly be able to share these annotations with each other using a OneDrive-powered note sharing service. Cortana integration and the ability to group browser tabs are some of the other key features that the browser is rumored to have.

Spartan Windows 10 Browser

You may have noticed that in the above screenshot the browser’s tabs bar and the Windows taskbar are both dark. That is, per The Verge, part of a Microsoft plan to “build light and dark themes with color accents for Windows 10”, à la Windows Phone.

Image Credit: Cnbeta

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