Connect with us

Featured

Review: Synology DiskStation DS1618+

Published

on

Looking for an enterprise-grade NAS solution for your office or home, but have a pocket-friendly price point on mind? Look no further than the Synology DiskStation DS1618+. This beauty comes with chockfull of features, and in doing so, does not burn a hole in your pocket.

Synology is a brand that is known for its iron-clad NAS drives. But what sets the company apart from its competition is the top notch operating system and software ecosystem that accompanies each and every NAS drive that gets shipped from its factory.

The new DiskStation DS1618+ accompanies the same iron-clad promise with excellent software. This one is a 6-bay NAS that accompanies a quad-core processor and is designed for small- and medium-sized businesses. The overall device is powerful since it comes with advanced computing applications to meet businesses’ demand and supercharges your storage with the optional M.2 SSD adapter card for dual SSD cache drives.

The DS1618+ is designed to be used as a centralised file server for simplifying data management and protecting critical assets. What’s more, the Synology DS1618+ comes with Synology’s very own three-year warranty. Other specs include 4GB DDR4 memory, which is expandable to up to 32GB.

On paper, the DS1618+ is capable of offering a performance of 1,550 MB/s reading and 580 MB/s writing speeds. The device also comes with four built-in 1GbE (RJ-45) ports with failover and Link Aggregation support. You can even scale up to 16 drives with two DX517 expansion units.

Inside the box, the Synology DS1618+ comes with 2.5″ HDD/SSD screws, a power cable, two 2x RJ-45-based LAN cables, Quick Installation Guide and a trial for the Synology C2 service. The six drive bays on the DS1618+ will offer you up to 72TB of storage space.

The DS1618+ also comes with a Gen 3 x8 PCIe slot. This can be used to add either a 10 Gigabit Ethernet card if you need more network speed, or an SSD cache card for better overall performance. One thing that makes the Synology products awesome is the fact that these are very easy to install.

All you need to do is connect the drives to the sleds, slide each of them into a drive bay, plug in the included Ethernet cable, and plug in the power. Once you’re done, press the power button and the hardware installation is complete. The device will them start installing and configuring the Synology DiskStation Manager.

Once everything is setup, you are good to go. In order to test performance and bypass the PC for the test, we used an OSFMount to create a 4GB RAM disk and then used Robocopy to test throughput between our PC and the DS1618+. The volume on the Synology DS1618+ was created using the Btrfs filesystem, and tests using both RAID-5 and RAID-6 had roughly equal results.

We then proceeded to copy over a single 3GB file to and from the Synology DS1618+. At the end of the test, we clocked 115 MB/s from the PC to the NAS and 117 MB/s from the NAS to the PC. The points we ended up with were very impressive. Next, we proceeded to copy over a mix of files that included Word files, zipped files, images, MP3 files and so on, totaling 3GB in size, to and from the NAS. We clocked a speed of 71 MB/s from the PC to the NAS and 69 MB/s from the NAS to the PC.

In terms of applications, Synology offers a brilliant and thriving app ecosystem. If you are a photographer, you should definitely try out the Synology Moments app. If are setting up a centralised surveillance and security solution, you should really check out the Synology Surveillance Station. If you want hassle-free data backups, the Synology Hyper Backup tool is your app of choice. And there are many more useful apps such as Synology Virtual Machine Manager.

You can even install apps such as BitTorrent, Drupal, WordPress, git and so on, with a single click. Synology also offers apps for both iOS and Android, that allow you to view images, stream videos, listen to music and so on, directly onto you mobile devices. With so many features and endless possibilities, the Synology DS1618+ is truly a NAS drive to consider, if you are looking for a versatile and trust-worthy storage solution.

Price: AED 3900

Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Entertainment

‘Black Panther’ and its Science Role Models Inspire More Than Just Movie Awards

Published

on

Written by Clifford Johnson, University of Southern California – Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences

It has been said many times that the Marvel movie “Black Panther” is an important landmark. I’m not referring to its deserved critical and box office success worldwide, the many awards it has won, or the fact that it is the first film in the superhero genre to be nominated for best picture at the Academy Awards.

Instead, I’m focusing on a key aspect of its cultural impact that is less frequently discussed. Finally a feature film starring a black superhero character became part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe – a successful run of intertwined movies that began with “Iron Man” in 2008. While there have been other superhero movies with a black lead character – “Hancock” (2008), “Blade” (1998), “Spawn” (1997) or even “The Meteor Man” (1993) – this film is significant because of the recent remarkable rise of the superhero film from the nerdish fringe to part of mainstream culture.

Huge audiences saw a black lead character – not a sidekick or part of a team – in a superhero movie by a major studio, with a black director (Ryan Coogler), black writers and a majority black cast. This is a significant step toward diversifying our culture by improving the lackluster representation of minorities in our major media. It’s also a filmmaking landmark because black creators have been given access to the resources and platforms needed to bring different storytelling perspectives into our mainstream culture.

2017’s “Wonder Woman” forged a similar path. In that case, a major studio finally decided to commit resources to a superhero film headlined by a female character and directed by a woman, Patty Jenkins. Female directors are a minority in the movie industry. Jenkins brought a new perspective to this kind of action movie, and there was a huge positive response from audiences in theaters worldwide.

And beyond all this, “Black Panther” also broke additional ground in a way most people may not realize: In the comics, the character is actually a scientist and engineer. Moreover, in the inevitable (and somewhat ridiculous) ranking of scientific prowess that happens in the comic book world, he’s been portrayed as at least the equal of the two most famous “top scientists” in the Marvel universe: Tony Stark (Iron Man) and Reed Richards (Mr. Fantastic). A black headlining superhero character written and directed by black artists is rare enough from a major studio. But making him – and his sister Shuri – successful scientists and engineers as well is another level of rarity.

Scientists On Screen

I’m a scientist who cares about increased engagement with science by the general public. I’ve worked as a science adviser on many film and TV projects (though not “Black Panther”). When the opportunity arises, I’ve helped broaden the diversity of scientist characters portrayed onscreen.

Jason Wilkes is a black scientist on ‘Agent Carter,’ whose character emerged from the author’s talks with the show’s writers.
Panels from ‘The Dialogues,’ including a black female scientist. ‘The Dialogues,’ by Clifford V. Johnson (MIT Press 2017).

I’ve also recently published a nonfiction graphic book for general audiences called “The Dialogues: Conversations about the Nature of the Universe.” Its characters include male and female black scientists, discussing aspects of my own field of theoretical physics – where black scientists are unfortunately very rare. So the opportunity that the “Black Panther” movie presents to inform and inspire vast audiences is of great interest to me.

The history and evolution of the Black Panther character and his scientific back story is a fascinating example of turning a problematic past into a positive opportunity. Created in 1966 by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby, he’s the first black superhero character in mainstream comics, originally appearing as a guest in a “Fantastic Four” Marvel comic. As a black character created and initially written by nonblack authors, guest-starring in the pages of a book headlined by white characters, he had many of the classic attributes of what is now sometimes controversially known as the “magical negro” in American cultural criticism: He ranked extremely highly in every sphere that mattered, to the point of being almost too unreal even for the comics of the time.

Black Panther is T’Challa, king of the fictional African country Wakanda, which is fathomlessly wealthy and remarkably advanced, scientifically and technologically. Even Marvel’s legendary master scientist – Reed Richards of the superhero team Fantastic Four – is befuddled by and full of admiration for Wakanda’s scientific capabilities. T’Challa himself is portrayed as an extraordinary “genius” in physics and other scientific fields, a peerless tactician, a remarkable athlete and a master of numerous forms of martial arts. And he is noble to a fault. Of course, he grows to become a powerful ally of the Fantastic Four and other Marvel superheroes over many adventures.

While likening Black Panther to a ‘refugee from a Tarzan movie,’ the Fantastic Four marveled at his technological innovations in ‘Introducing the Sensational Black Panther.’

The key point here is that the superlative scientific ability of our hero, and that of his country, has its origins in the well-meaning, but problematic, practice of inventing near or beyond perfect black characters to support stories starring primarily white protagonists. But this is a lemons-to-lemonade story.

The Fantastic Four were amazed by the scientific ingenuity of Wakanda in ‘Whosoever Finds The Evil Eye.’

Black Panther eventually got to star in his own series of comics. He was turned into a nuanced and complex character, moving well away from the tropes of his beginnings. Writer Don McGregor’s work started this development as early as 1973, but Black Panther’s journey to the multilayered character you see on screen was greatly advanced by the efforts of several writers with diverse perspectives. Perhaps most notably, in the context of the film, these include Christopher Priest (late 1990s) and Ta-Nehisi Coates (starting in 2016), along with Roxane Gay and Yona Harvey, writing in “World of Wakanda” (2016). Coates and Gay, already best-selling literary writers before coming to the character, helped bring him to wider attention beyond normal comic book fandom, partly paving the way for the movie.

Through all of the improved writing of T’Challa and his world, his spectacular scientific ability has remained prominent. Wakanda continues to be a successful African nation with astonishing science and technology. Furthermore, and very importantly, T’Challa is not portrayed as an anomaly among his people in this regard. There are many great scientists and engineers in the Wakanda of the comics, including his sister Shuri. In some accounts, she (in the continued scientist-ranking business of comics) is an even greater intellect than he is. In the movie, T’Challa’s science and engineering abilities are referred to, but it is his sister Shuri who takes center stage in this role, having taken over to design the new tools and weapons he uses in the field. She also uses Wakandan science to heal wounds that would have been fatal elsewhere in the world.

Black Panther isn’t an isolated genius – his half-sister Shuri is a technological wiz herself.

If They Can Do It, Then Why Not Me?

As a scientist who cares about inspiring more people – including underrepresented minorities and women – to engage with science, I think that showing a little of this scientific landscape in “Black Panther” potentially amplifies the movie’s cultural impact.

Vast audiences see black heroes – both men and women – using their scientific ability to solve problems and make their way in the world, at an unrivaled level. Research has shown that such representation can have a positive effect on the interests, outlook and career trajectories of viewers.

Improving science education for all is a core endeavor in a nation’s competitiveness and overall health, but outcomes are limited if people aren’t inspired to take an interest in science in the first place. There simply are not enough images of black scientists – male or female – in our media and entertainment to help inspire. Many people from underrepresented groups end up genuinely believing that scientific investigation is not a career path open to them.

Moreover, many people still see the dedication and study needed to excel in science as “nerdy.” A cultural injection of Black Panther heroics helps continue to erode the crumbling tropes that science is only for white men or reserved for people with a special “science gene.”

The huge widespread success of the “Black Panther” movie, showcasing T’Challa, Shuri and other Wakandans as highly accomplished scientists, remains one of the most significant boosts for science engagement in recent times.

Continue Reading

Featured

TP-Link to Showcase Neffos X20 and X20 Pro at MWC 2019

Published

on

Neffos, TP-Link’s sub-brand for smartphones, will be exhibiting at the Mobile World Congress 2019 in Barcelona, Spain, on February 25. The theme for the year’s biggest technology convention for mobile products and innovations is intelligent connectivity, which is in line with TP-Link’s slogan of “Faster Wi-Fi, Better Signal Phone, Smarter Home.”

At the MWC 2019 tech show, Neffos will display Neffos P1 as well with a built-in projector feature for beaming HD content onto a large wall. Neffos P1, which adds a laser projector that can throw a picture as large as 200 inches wide onto a wall or any flat surface in high resolution.

For the first time, the company will also showcase its new Neffos X20 and X20 Pro flagship phones. The two models are expected to hit the market sometime in June, along with Neffos’ own NFUI 9.0 software based on the Android 9.0 Pie operating system. As NFUI 9.0 hasn’t launched yet, the X20 and X20 Pro will be the first devices to run the latest user interface out of the box.

Continue Reading

Featured

OPPO’s VOOC Charging System Gets TÜV Rheinland’s Certification

Published

on

OPPO has received a new safety certification for its proprietary flash charging technology known as VOOC, which can charge a flat smartphone batter up to 40% in just 10 minutes. “The company recognizes that fast charging is now one of the most important demands from smartphone users globally who want a device that can fully charge in minutes, not hours,” said the company in a statement.

OPPO’s VOOC flash charging uses a special adapter and cables to charge devices safely at 25W without overheating—far above the industry standard. The company also offers a Super VOOC system that boosts the charging power to a massive 50W, capable of charging a flat battery to a full charge in just 35 minutes. Most high-end smartphones today take around 2 hours to fully charge.

The latest certification from renowned international safety authority TÜV Rheinland acknowledges that OPPO’s VOOC charging system has undergone rigorous testing across multiple sessions and test cycles to ensure its safety for daily usage. The VOOC system also allows users to safely use their smartphone during charging without it overheating.

OPPO’s VOOC flash charge technology is already used in more than 100 million smartphones worldwide including several models available in the Middle East today. The system is featured in OPPO’s flagship premium handset, the OPPO Find X, as well as its mid to high-end OPPO R17 and R17 Pro devices.

“Such innovations will continue as OPPO plans to raise its global R&D investments to around $1.43 billion in 2019, a 150% year-on-year increase,” said the company.

Continue Reading
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement

Latest Reviews

Follow us on Facebook

%d bloggers like this: