Buffalo adds MiniStation Cobalt to the USB 3.0 party

Buffalo adds MiniStation Cobalt to the USB 3.0 party

Buffalo is back with the MiniStation Cobalt, a new, smaller USB 3.0 drive capable of speeds up to 5 Gbps, said to be ten times faster than USB 2.0. Back in October, we showcased the first external hard drive with USB 3.0, available in 1T and 1.5TB flavors from Buffalo. The MiniStation Cobalt has a 2.5-inch drive and is powered through the USB bus.

The Cobalt is backwards-compatible with USB 2.0 and is compatible with Mac and PC. It comes with TurboPC to boost transfer speeds from a PC by about 26% compared to other USB 3.0 drives. The new MiniStation drive will have 500 GB and 640 GB versions, but pricing hasn't been released yet.

Buffalo via Crunchgear

Nothing says 'I'm classy' like a wooden computer

If you're just too damned sophisticated to be seen using a computer made out of metal and plastic, why not slap a wooden case around it? It'll snap right on and you'll feel like a time traveller from the 19th century in no time.

Cases for iMacs start at $265, and you can get a custom typewriter-like keyboard to match it for $345, if you're really committed to the idea.

Old Time Computer via Gadget Lab

HomePipe makes fetching and sharing files a no-brainer

Want to share files or access data from your PC from the road? Sure, there a lot of ways to do it, but now there's a free one called HomePipe. It's a service for PCs, Macs, iPhones, and Android phones (coming soon) that lets you designate directories on your computer, and then send a link to whomever you want to access them.

Install the HomePipe app on your PC or phone, and when you log in to your HomePipe account, all the files and folders you've designated are sitting right there, ready for downloading. Or, you can send a link to those whose email addresses you've approved, and they can download files from whichever directories you specify. And the good part is, to receive your files, they don't have to download an application.

HomePipe is still in beta, but its development is pretty far along — in our limited testing, we noticed everything working quite well and quickly. We especially like the fact that while a cache of your files resides in the cloud, the bulk of your files stay on your home computer until requested.

Company CEO Chris Hopen tells us there will always be a free version of HomePipe available, and if you want to transfer huge files, the more-capable premium version will still be cheap — as he put it, "it'll cost less than an ATM fee per month." So far, HopePipe looks good enough to take the place of more-expensive services like GoToMyPC, and more versatile than file transfer services such as YouSendIt. Great idea.

Via HomePipe

Google stops censoring itself in China, uses 'entirely legal' work-around

Google stops censoring itself in China, uses 'entirely legal' work-around

Google and the Chinese government have been going back and forth for a while now, with China wanting Google to continue censoring its search results (with a number of Google's sites, such as Blogger and YouTube, blocked entirely), while Google has been resistant to keep doing so. The search giant's hesitation, pinpointed in a post on Google's official blog, came after "Gmail accounts of dozens of human rights activists connected with China were being routinely accessed by third parties" for nefarious purposes. Today, Google has come to a decision and announced that it will stop censoring its search in the country and offer an Internet experience without borders, against the wishes of the Chinese government.

From Google:

So earlier today we stopped censoring our search services--Google Search, Google News, and Google Images--on Google.cn. Users visiting Google.cn are now being redirected to Google.com.hk, where we are offering uncensored search in simplified Chinese, specifically designed for users in mainland China and delivered via our servers in Hong Kong. Users in Hong Kong will continue to receive their existing uncensored, traditional Chinese service, also from Google.com.hk. Due to the increased load on our Hong Kong servers and the complicated nature of these changes, users may see some slowdown in service or find some products temporarily inaccessible as we switch everything over.

Figuring out how to make good on our promise to stop censoring search on Google.cn has been hard. We want as many people in the world as possible to have access to our services, including users in mainland China, yet the Chinese government has been crystal clear throughout our discussions that self-censorship is a non-negotiable legal requirement. We believe this new approach of providing uncensored search in simplified Chinese from Google.com.hk is a sensible solution to the challenges we've faced--it's entirely legal and will meaningfully increase access to information for people in China. We very much hope that the Chinese government respects our decision, though we are well aware that it could at any time block access to our services. We will therefore be carefully monitoring access issues, and have created this new web page, which we will update regularly each day, so that everyone can see which Google services are available in China.

The Hong Kong work-around Google speaks of may be legal, but it certainly won't stop the Chinese government from putting the kibosh on the service altogether when it comes to the mainland. If — or most likely when — that does happen, it'll be interesting to see how Google responds.

Google goes on to add, somewhat ominously, that "we would like to make clear that all these decisions have been driven and implemented by our executives in the United States, and that none of our employees in China can, or should, be held responsible for them."

Read Google's full statement by following the link below.

Google, via Boing Boing

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