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Hard drives fail from time to time… and while it’s sometimes possible to recover some or all of your data, there are times when everything effectively disappears. That’s why it’s a good idea to back up all of your data on a regular basis. You can do that with a spare hard drive connected to your PC, a shared network drive or network-attached storage device, or a cloud-based backup service like Backblaze, Crashplan or Carbonite.
But you also might want to consider buying hard drives that are less likely to crash in the first place. Those cloud backup companies I just mentioned have an awful lot of hard drives, so they’re in a better position than most of us to know which ones fail regularly… and that makes Backblaze’s recent report on hard drive reliability an interesting read.
It turns out some drives are way more prone to failure than others.
- Not all hard drives are created equal (in terms of reliability)
IT World has a nice overview of the finding from BackBlaze, as well as an interesting suggestion for why some drives are so failure-prone: Chinese manufacturers may have quickly (and sloppily) ramped up production after flooding in Thailand affected hard drive production. [IT World]
- Google introduces a health tracking wearable designed for medical research
Google has developed its own fitness tracker that you wear on your wrist. But it’s not a consumer device. Instead it offers more accurate details about pulse rate, skin temperature, and light exposure and noise levels to help patients and participants in clinical trials gather data passively. [Bloomberg]
- Lenovo’s upcoming Android devices to have a Motorola-like close-to-stock UI
Motorola’s last few smartphones have had Android software that looks pretty close to what you’d see on a Google Nexus device. Lenovo, on the other hand, has had a habit of heavily skinning its Android phones and tablets. So after Lenovo acquired Motorola, you might have thought that the Lenovo UI would expand to Motorola phones. Instead it looks like the company is taking the opposite approach. [ComputerWorld]
- Showtime + Hulu internet video subscription bundle to cost $17 (or $2 cheaper than paying for both alone)
Showtime’s new internet streaming service launches next month for $11 per month. But you can save a little money if you’re already a Hulu subscriber by paying for Showtime as an add-on. And unlike most Hulu content, Showtime will be ad-free. [Hulu]
- Gmail’s “undo send” feature (for web) drops the beta label
If you’ve already been using the Labs version of Undo Send, it’ll be enabled by default. If not, you’ll have the option of turning it on in your Gmail settings. This will tell Google to basically hold onto messages for a few seconds before sending them when you hit the send button, giving you time to unsend if you change your mind or think of something you want to change. [Google]
- Pretty comprehensive FAQ regarding Windows 10 upgrades from Win7/8.1/Win10 preview
There’ve been a lot of questions about if/how Windows 10 preview users will be able to upgrade to Windows 10 final when it’s released (thanks to a series of confusing statements from Microsoft). This is a nice overview of various scenarios, written by one of the smarter sites covering Microsoft and Windows news. [SuperSite for Windows]
- Verizon completes acquisition of AOL
This means Engadget, TechCrunch, and Huffington Post, among other websites, are now owned by Verizon. If I’d stayed at Download Squad (and AOL hadn’t shut that blog down), I’d also be a Verizon employee now… or at least an independnet contractor. [Verizon]
- CST-01 crowfunding project for a sunlight readable E Ink watch may never see the light of day
It’s been a few years since the folks behind this E Ink watch started showing off prototypes. But costs have skyrocketed and they’ve pretty much run out of cash. It seems unlikely they’ll ever be able to ship a product. [Kickstarter and The Verge]