Our MacBook Air 2018 wishlist: everything we want from Apple’s laptop revival

Our MacBook Air 2018 wishlist: everything we want from Apple’s laptop revival

Apple is potentially gearing up to reveal an overhaul to its MacBook Air laptop during its keynote event expected to unveil the iPhone XS on September 12. This long-rumored MacBook Air 2018 has been hyped for a long time as a woefully overdue update.Many outlets through which these rumors are leaking through fully expect this update to fully bring the MacBook Air brand into the modern era. However, some of these websites claim to have heard that the laptop will be affordable as well.How will Apple achieve that critical balance, especially at a time when its ability to do so has been … clearly challenged when it comes to laptops – yet stronger than ever where tablets are concerned? Who knows, but what we do know is what we’d be most excited to see from the MacBook Air 2018, and we’ve broken it down to three wishes.

Amber Lake Intel Core processors
Although these processors were just-announced, they’re already reportedly experiencing a shortage, which could affect whether we even see a MacBook Air 2018 announcement on September 12. However, they could well be the key to Apple’s super-thin laptop revival.Intel’s latest 8th-generation Amber Lake processors are the follow-up to last year’s Intel Core Y series chips designed for ultra-thin laptops and tablets that do not use fans in their designs to cool themselves. This year, Intel claims that its chips will allow for laptop designs as thin as 7mm and as light as under 0.45kg (1 pound). The latest MacBook, Apple’s thinnest laptop ever, is currently 13.21mm at its thickest point and weighs 0.92kg (2.03 pounds). Being able to use Intel’s latest processor then could have allowed Apple to develop a laptop worthy of the ‘Air’ name once again.

A sharper screen (but not too sharp)
This revision is most recently rumored to come housing one of Apple’s Retina displays, which would be a fantastic upgrade for the laptop. The 1,440 x 900 display was one of the chief most complaints about the MacBook Air – even when it first launched.We would gladly take a Retina display, which an Amber Lake processor could certainly handle, but perhaps Apple should pump the brakes and stop at a simple 1080p display. This alone would already be a massive improvement upon the previous model, and help preserve that precious battery life. More importantly, going for no more than a Full HD display would help Apple maintain an affordable price point.Given what we’ve heard is the goal of this laptop, a 1,920 x 1,080 (1080p) display is our most-wanted option from this would-be new MacBook Air. Besides, Apple already has a laptop with a super-sharp screen.

That ‘affordable’ price point
It’s been said in some reports that Apple is targeting a more approachable price point for this laptop, likely in keeping the spirit of the original product. The MacBook Air has traditionally been Apple’s most affordable laptop, so why buck this trend now?However, we’ve been hearing conflicting reports regarding how this laptop will be priced as well as configured. We’ve heard that this laptop will simply revive the MacBook Air, but in a more premium presentation worthy of a four-figure price tag. But, we’ve also heard that Apple looks to keep the laptop at three figures with families and students in mind.Regardless, we simply wish that Apple respects the MacBook Air legacy, making this laptop an approachable one for Apple fans.
Here’s how to watch the Apple September event

Microsoft teases October 2 press event – new Surface hardware incoming?

Microsoft teases October 2 press event – new Surface hardware incoming?

Microsoft has issued invitations to the press for a special announcement event scheduled for October 2 at 4pm ET (1pm PT/9pm BST). Of course, Microsoft is being coy as to what it plans to reveal at this event, with the invitation below simply reading “A moment of your time.” But, we have some strong guesses.Around this time last year, Microsoft invited the press to an event during which it pulled the curtain back on the Surface Book 2 product. So, it’s a safe bet that we’re going to see some new Microsoft hardware, as the firm has released new devices around this time for the past several years.So, what could we have on the docket? There have been rumors and leaks aplenty pointing toward a possible Surface Phone product, but considering all we’ve seen so far are published patents, that’s unlikely.We find the announcement of a Surface Book 3 also unlikely, unless Nvidia will have launched its mobile RTX GPUs by then. Otherwise, this would be a simple processor hardware refresh and not worth the effort of such an event.
While we can’t say with confidence what we’re more likely to see, the Surface Studio is certainly out of date by this point, so perhaps a Surface Studio 2 is in order?We’re also more than a year out now from the Surface Laptop release, so it would behoove Microsoft to produce a Surface Laptop 2. While we’re on the topic, everyone is patiently awaiting the Surface Pro 5, since the current Surface Pro is also more than a year old now. Microsoft’s devices team lead Panos Panay has publicly said previously that we will not see another numbered Surface Pro until the product deserves such a name. Maybe Microsoft has at last brought changes substantial enough to be worthy of the ‘5’?Unless Microsoft has something completely different up its sleeve, these are our safest and strongest bets as to what we’ll see on October 2. Be sure to tune in then for the latest on Microsoft’s next line of products.

These are the best laptops we’ve tested to date

Windows 10’s next major update confirmed for October 2018

Windows 10’s next major update confirmed for October 2018

Over the weekend, Microsoft took to the stage at IFA 2018 in Berlin to announce the name of the next major update to Windows 10. What was earlier codenamed Redstone 5 is now officially the Windows 10 October 2018 Update and will arrive some time in – you guessed it – October.This will technically be Windows 10 version 1809, with the more friendly ‘October 2018 Update’ nomenclature keeping to Microsoft’s usual naming convention – the previous refresh was called the Windows 10 April 2018 Update.
Read more: The nine biggest computing reveals of IFA 2018Some of the features arriving with the new update includes a dark mode for File Explorer, a cloud-powered clipboard which can be synced across different devices, upgrades to Microsoft Edge and improved Xbox Game Mode and Game Bar.Development on the October 2018 Update is expected to wind up by the end of September and should be available for testing via the Windows Insiders program by early October. It will then roll out to regular users following that.Microsoft is already working on the next major refresh – codenamed 19H1 – which is expected to arrive in April 2019.
Windows 10 April 2018 Update problems: how to fix them

The 5 coolest laptops of IFA 2018

The 5 coolest laptops of IFA 2018

The massive, annual technology show in Berlin, Germany known as IFA 2018 is drawing to a close for the press, which means it’s time to reflect on what we’ve seen. In particular, we’re looking back at the coolest laptops we’ve seen at the show.Starting in descending order, we’re very excited to try out Asus’s new line of ZenBook laptops. This new flagships are being dubbed ‘the world’s most compact laptops’ by Asus and are aimed at general use.All three of these laptops use the clever ErgoLift Hinge first found in the Asus ZenBook S launched earlier this year, tout a massive, 95% screen-to-body ratio and feature IR webcams for biometric login via Windows Hello. The 13- and- 14-inch versions of this laptop even feature a touchpad that can double as a numeric keypad. Asus hasn’t yet revealed pricing for these laptops, but stay tuned for when they land later this October.
IFA 2018 is Europe’s biggest tech show. The TechRadar team is in Berlin to bring you all the breaking news and hands-on first impressions of new phones, watches and other tech as they’re announced.First teased during its annual launch event in New York City, Acer finally showed off a working model of the Acer Swift 5 to the press during IFA 2018. Just like the Acer Swift 7 reigns as the ‘world’s thinnest laptop,’ the Swift 5 takes the title of ‘world’s lightest 15-inch laptop.’The laptop uses a new magnesium-lithium shell to achieve its trademark lightness, otherwise cramming inside all of the latest technology you’d expect from a 2018 laptop.Now, we finally know when to expect this beauty on our office’s doorstep, and how much it’ll cost you. Acer Swift 5 will start going on sale in January 2019 starting at $1,099 (around £900, AU$1,500).
The latest take on the mainstream 2-in-1 laptop from Dell doesn’t do a ton of things that are entirely new, but rather introduces features that we can only hope will come to the more premium Dell XPS laptops.Specifically, Dell has managed to produce a laptop with both its trademark, InfnityEdge thin bezels as well as a webcam that sits above the display. This might not sound like a big deal to you, but when you’ve been following Dell’s love affair with the ‘chin cam’ on XPS laptops for the past few years, you might be as excited as we are.The Dell Inspiron 13 7000 2-in-1 will go for starting at $879 (about £682, AU$1,196) when it launches along with the rest of the lineup on October 2.
It’s almost become an annual event for Acer to pull the curtain off of a wild and wacky PC that will release later on in the coming year. This time, Acer showed off the Predator Triton 900, a 2-in-1 gaming laptop.The laptop’s screen sits within a frame of sorts with a swivel hinge that allows it to orient itself in truly 360-degrees of movement. To make room for the swiveling screen, the touch pad is pushed to the right of the keyboard – just like the Acer Predator 21X.Unfortunately, there’s not much more we know about the Predator Triton 900, as it was merely behind glass during the show. Regardless, we’re rather hyped for such a device, so stay tuned for a full review as soon as we can muster it.Image Credit: Tom’s Hardware
Lenovo has reinvented its concept for the truly 2-in-1 laptop with the Yoga Book C930. Simply put, this version is better in every way, from bigger, sharper screens to more powerful processors. However, those improvements have driven the asking price way up to $999 (about £750, AU$1,300) at the start. So, no longer is this product about democratizing exciting technology so much as it is about delivering that tech in a more powerful, reliable and versatile package.Price hike or not, we’d be lying if we said we weren’t intrigued by Lenovo’s sequel to one of the most exciting laptop developments of the past five years. The Lenovo Yoga Book C930 hits stores this October.

This huge Dell XPS 13 discount is one of the best laptop deals we’ve seen this year

This huge Dell XPS 13 discount is one of the best laptop deals we’ve seen this year

The Dell XPS 13 has been leading our lists of best Ultrabooks and even best laptops for quite a few years now, and it’s getting hard to imagine anything else can surpass this slim beauty, especially since Dell’s constantly tweaked the design over the years.The most significant of those is the new Dell XPS 13 (2018), which is a tad slimmer and comes with the newest top-of-the-line innards that provide plenty of grunt under the hood. But that redesign isn’t completely uncontroversial, because it also dropped the full-size USB-A ports that its predecessors had (aka the common ones we’ve been using for everything for the last couple of decades) and swapped them for USB-C ones instead. You’d be forgiven, then, for perhaps considering the earlier 2017 model while it’s still available.The 2017 XPS 13 line-up was a relatively minor upgrade from its 2016 forebear, with Dell focusing on boosting performance rather than changing the look of the Ultrabook – but that still made it our favourite ultraportable laptop three years in a row when we tested it.That 2017 model is the one that Dell’s currently offering a discount of $750 on, too – and it’s a premium configuration, with additional storage and memory, that’s almost dropped down to the price of an entry-level 2018 model.
Looking for more great deals on the top laptops? Take a look at the selection we’ve got on our best Australian laptop deals page. There’s plenty of savings to be found there.
Now discover the best laptops available in Australia in 2018

10 ways college students can find a MacBook deal

10 ways college students can find a MacBook deal

There’s no question that the best Macs are among the best laptops for college students – they’re fast, easy to use, and even look cool. However, they can be some of the most expensive laptops if you don’t know where to look. Luckily, we here at TechRadar are tech deal pros, and we decided that it was about time that we imparted some of our bargain-savvy wisdom onto you, the reader. 
And, while you likely won’t be able to find the 2018 15-inch MacBook Pro out there on sale, there is still a wide selection of Macs out there that you can save a ton of cash on that are still just as good for most student workloads – and some may even have better keyboards. Whether it’s buying a MacBook Air on sale, or finding an older used MacBook Pro second-hand, if you look hard enough, you can always find the best MacBook deals for college students. 

1. Check for refurbished models 
Now, it might not be as exciting as peeling off that plastic wrapping and digging into Apple’s amazing packaging, but you can get a great deal by just picking up a refurbished MacBook. You could save hundreds of dollars by heading to Apple’s refurbished store to pick one of these up – and they’ll even be backed by a warranty. No risk and everything to gain. 
Keep in mind, though, that while refurbished MacBooks bought from Apple’s own website are eligible for AppleCare, third-party refurbished products do not. So, if you’re going to go this route, make sure you do your due diligence and make sure what you’re buying is backed by a solid warranty. 

2. Check Craigslist 
In the last decade or so, the second-hand tech market has taken off on sites like Craigslist and even Facebook Marketplace. You can easily log into one of these sites and find a ton of people looking to offload their older MacBooks.Maybe they want to upgrade to the latest and greatest tech. Maybe they just need the extra cash to make ends meet. Either way, it translates to you getting a MacBook on the cheap. However, a word of caution – it’s easy to be scammed on these websites, so make sure you never go to pick up the device alone, and be sure to test it once you get there. Don’t throw your money away on a faulty laptop.

3. Go to eBay 
Ebay is a fantastic choice for anyone looking for an awesome deal on any kind of used tech. Much like with Craigslist, you can usually find extremely cheap MacBooks, but you’re also protected from scams thanks to eBay’s money back guarantee.  
Do keep in mind, though, that if you buy a pre-owned MacBook from eBay, it will only be protected by eBay’s guarantee for 30 days – it’s unlikely you’ll be able to get a warranty. However, if you shop cautiously, you can save hundreds of dollars on a MacBook. 

4. Buy locally 
If you’re in college, you’ve probably noticed all the bulletin boards hanging around campus where people are trying to sell used tech, tutoring lessons and whatever else. If you pay attention, you might be able to snag a deal from someone who’s trying to sell their old MacBook. Just, again, make sure you don’t meet up with the seller alone, and be ready to test the device. Maybe try opening photoshop, do some typing to make sure none of the keys are sticking, and check to make sure the Mac you’re buying is the Mac that was advertised – you can check the Mac’s information by clicking the Apple logo in the top left corner and selecting ‘About this Mac’.

5. Google Shopping 
One of the quickest ways to find a deal on a MacBook is to use Google’s shopping feature. You likely won’t always find the best deal out there, but you should be able to find something – especially on older models.  
To do this, just go to Google and just search for the item you’re looking to buy, and click on the ‘Shopping’ tab. You should be able to find some deals here, just make sure you’re buying from reputable stores with names you can recognize – it’s best to proceed with caution. 

6. Keep an eye out for seasonal sales 
If you’re anything like us, you get a ton of promotional emails all the time from retailers like Newegg, Best Buy and Amazon. If you’re patient, you can monitor those until you find a MacBook that falls within your price range. For example, right now several online retailers are holding Back to School sales, which will of course include MacBooks. You could save hundreds of dollars on brand new MacBooks, depending on where you buy them – some might be older models, though.

7. Find alternatives 
It used to be that Windows laptops were thick, heavy, slow and, frankly, kind of lame. Luckily, those days are over. Not only will the best Ultrabooks usually be cheaper than their macOS contemporaries, but they’ll often be faster and lighter, as well.  
Take the Dell XPS 13, for example. It features speedy 8th-generation Intel Core processors, plenty of memory and fast SSD storage – plus it’s thinner and lighter than the latest MacBook Pro. You might not think it’s quite as trendy, but the second you lay your eyes on this Ultrabook, you’ll change your mind – if the price tag doesn’t do it first. 

8. Head out to a computer repair shop 
Many times, computer repair shops will have spare computers to sell. Many computer repair shops will take broken MacBooks and refurbish them, selling them back to the public at a steep discount. And, if you buy locally, you can easily talk to people around town to see if the repair shop you have scoped out is trustworthy or not. Buying refurbished products from third parties can be risky, but if you do your research – both into the product and the refurbisher – you can get some awesome deals. 

9. Ask friends or family 
Sometimes it actually helps to just talk to people you know. Maybe someone you know has scoped out a deal for themselves, and is willing to share the love. And, maybe your cousin is trying to sell off their gently used MacBook. This is probably the most affordable and trustworthy way to pick up a second hand Mac, because you know where it’s coming from. Just do yourself a favor and don’t try to lowball your friends and family when it comes to pricing – it’s just not worth it. 

10. Check TechRadar 
Here at TechRadar, we pride ourselves in our ability to find the cheapest Mac deals on the internet. And, with our exclusive price comparison tool, you can check in with us and make sure you’re getting the best deal, every time. You can always use our tools as a point of reference, too. See a deal on eBay that looks too good to be true? Measure it against what our widgets show and you can better exercise good judgement. With TechRadar, you can be confident you’re getting the best deals every time. 

10 tips for buying a Back to School laptop

10 tips for buying a Back to School laptop

While you’re getting ready to go Back to School, you might find yourself shopping for a Back to chool laptop. Buying a laptop for school comes with its own particular questions you’ll need to think about before you buy. Whatever type of laptop you’re thinking of getting about for school, you’ll want to check out these tips to make sure you don’t pick something too quickly. It’s easy to forget an important consideration when you’re faced with something that seems like it’s the perfect choice.
1. Plan for multiple years
There’s a lot you need to balance to get the right Back to School laptop, and among them is getting hardware that’s high-end enough to make it through the rest of your education. While you might have to eat some greater up-front costs, you’ll be better off in the long run. If you get a low-budget computer, you might struggle with performance the whole time. Worse still, you may need to get multiple new computers every few semesters. It’s better to get something with decent hardware by maxing out the internal upgrade options like more RAM and increased storage.

Ranked: Best laptops 20182. Battery and power draw
You don’t want to worry about your battery running out in the middle of studying, class, a lecture, or a presentation. Many laptops these days are coming with all-day batteries, so when you check reviews, make sure your pick can last throughout the day.Another factor to this is to be sure you’re getting a laptop with efficient internals. Some gaming laptops offer decent battery life, but the crazy powerful ones can burn through their batteries incredibly fast. You’ll need to find a machine that balances power and performance so you can get productive for as long as possible. If you see the computer uses a large, high-wattage power supply, odds are the battery drains quickly.
3. Weight
This is simple: if you’re going to carry a laptop around with you everyday, you should do yourself a favor and make it light. It’ll make it easier to bring around, so you won’t decide not to bring it with you when you really should. The tricky thing, is if you want to get a powerful laptop with a big battery, it may end up getting heavy fast. You can avoid some weight by going with a laptop that doesn’t have a spinning hard drive. So look for laptops with SSDs, and if you need more storage, opt for an external drive. That way, you only have to carry the extra weight when you need the extra data.

4. Operating system
Before you get too far into your computer shopping, make sure you’ve look at the details offered by your classes. Certain course might have specific requirements for the operating system use because they may use software only supported on one operating system.Yes, cheap Chromebooks can be effective for a lot of school work, but they may not support any class-specific software. Art programs might require Mac OS-specific programs or only explain how to complete tasks in the Mac version of the software. It can vary by school, so make sure you know what your classes require, and don’t spend too much on a computer that won’t do the job.
5. Cooling vents for lap-use
If you do get a powerful laptop, make sure you’re aware of the way it cools itself. Lots of laptops will have air intake vents on the bottom of the chassis, and the more powerful the laptops are, the more important it will be to ensure good airflow.Since you may be using your laptop at school with it actually on your lap, you may have a hard time not covering those vents up with your legs. That can be bad for your laptop and uncomfortable for you, as the heat goes up. If you pick a laptop with air intakes, plan to keep them uncovered or get a cooling pad. 

6. Pen input can be useful
One feature you may want to give serious consideration is proper active stylus input. If your schoolwork is going to involve a lot of PDF reading, you’ll be able to save a lot of time and space if you don’t have to print them out or try scribbling notes with your laptops touchpad.A stylus can make it super simple to markup PDFs and other documents with notes. When you’re taking notes in lectures, you may have an easier time copying down figures or mathematical notation as well. While the benefits may not be for everyone, having the option is certainly nice. To make the most of a stylus input, a laptop that can fold open on itself will also be handy.
7. Don’t go all in on gaming
While it can seem logical to buy one machine that fits all your curricular and extra-curricular needs, it may not be the best idea. If you’re really into gaming and want to get a machine that’s going to give you incredible performance for high-quality settings and fast frame rates at high resolutions, you’re going to be picking a computer that’s overkill for class and extra expensive.In that case, you may find that you’re actually better off buying yourself a gaming desktop and a more affordable laptop for class. Rather than going with a $2,000 gaming laptop, you’ll probably get a lot more mileage out of a $1,300 desktop and a $700 laptop. You’ll save even more money when you want to upgrade your gaming specs after a couple years and don’t need to buy a whole new machine to do it.

8. Don’t neglect durability
On paper, you might find a computer that sounds perfect. It could have a great balance of price, performance, and efficiency, but that won’t mean much if it’s built poorly. A Back to School laptop is probably going to be traveling with you a lot in your backpack, and may be subjected to the occasional accident. So, if it’s not built strong, you may find yourself replacing it way too soon.Laptop reviews will often give the screen hinge a bit of stress, put some torque on the screen, and put pressure around the chassis of the laptop. If you’re buying online, make sure you look for reviews like this that have tested for weakness in the build. If you’re buying in a store, check for yourself whether any parts feel flimsy or easily breakable. 
9. Get a laptop sleeve with it
While you’re thinking about the durability of your Back to School laptop, think about what else you can do so that the solid construction doesn’t have to get tested too often after you purchase it. A laptop sleeve is a smart way to make sure your new laptop stays in good shape.On top of protecting your laptop with a little bit of extra cushion, a sleeve can also help keep liquids and other debris inside your bag from getting into the computer. Considering the cost of most laptop sleeves, there’s little reason not to get one, especially when it effectively acts as a secondary insurance policy.

10. Bright and matte screens can help your eyes
If you think you’ll be using your laptop much outdoors, considering that not all screens are created equally. You’ll probably see “matte” or “anti-glare” and “glossy” listed in relation to laptop screens when you’re shopping. While glossy may look better for imagery, you’ll be doing your eyes a major favor by having a matte or anti-glare screen when you’re in sunny settings.Then, you need to think about brightness. For laptop screens, this will likely be listed in hundreds of nits, though not every laptop will advertise this. 300 nits isn’t bad, but if you think you’ll want to be working outdoor, even under an umbrella or awning, you should to see if you can find a laptop with 400 nits or even better. For a few examples, this year’s Samsung Notebook 9, Huawei MateBook X Pro, Dell XPS 15, and last year’s Razer Blade Stealth all screens offering at least 400 nits.

Mac Mini ‘Pro’ reportedly launching with new MacBook Air 2018

Mac Mini ‘Pro’ reportedly launching with new MacBook Air 2018

Apple is prepping the long-awaited return of the Mac Mini and MacBook Air, giving both computers their first major refresh in several years, according to a new report today.The ‘Mac Mini Pro’ could easily be the new name of the Mac Mini 2018 described by Bloomberg citing anonymous sources. Expectations are for new storage and processor options, a first for the Mac Mini since October 2014.This may not be a routine update. Apple is said to be focusing on pro users, with the report specifically mentioning how the Mac Mini has been popular among app developers, those running home media centers, and server farm managers.The company still sells the four-year-old Mac Mini for $499 (£479, AU$749) without a keyboard, mouse, or screen. That has made the small desktop computer affordable, even with powerful internal specs (at the time of the computer’s launch).Of course, to the surprise of absolutely no one, the cutting-edge Mac Mini Pro is said to be more expensive than the version that’s on sale right now.
MacBook Air time
Apple’s MacBook Air 2018, on the other hand, is targeting computer shoppers who are looking for an entry-level Mac deal. The rumors on this laptop has been consistent for months – Apple just needs to launch it.

It’s said to have a 13-inch screen with thinner bezels and a much-needed high resolution display, according to Bloomberg. The current MacBook Air (which has merely been getting year-to-year specs bumps) is the last Apple laptop without a ‘Retina’ display and with limited (very distracting) viewing angles.The real selling point here is almost certainly going to the price. The MacBook Air 2017 currently costs $999 (£949, AU$1,499) but the design is rather dates. The superior 12-inch MacBook starts at $1,299 (£1,249, AU$1,899). The latter is a hard sell to schools and users looking for laptops on a budget.
Cheap MacBook deals curated by TechRadarWhen will they launch?
Today’s report notes that the MacBook Mini Pro and MacBook Air 2018 could launch in October, which is typically when Apple reveals its new iPad or computer lineup.

Apple is also expected to hold a press conference to launch the iPhone 9 and iPhone 11 in early September, theorized to be September 12. We could see the new Mac computers then, or discover maybe hints of them.
iOS 12 is expected at the early September launch event, while MacOS 10.4 Mojave could be the big software highlight for an October event.
When will the new iPhone launch? We’ve got a pretty good idea

One of the world’s largest storage companies is investing into processing, here’s why

One of the world’s largest storage companies is investing into processing, here’s why

Western Digital sent shockwaves around the hardware world last year when it announced support for the open-source RISC-V platform.Although still an upstart in the market, RISC-V has been quickly gaining momentum as an alternative to hardware from the likes of AMD or Intel, leading many firms to sign up.So why is WD throwing its weight behind RISC-V? We spoke to company CTO Martin Fink to find out more.
The 10 best NAS devicesWhy did WD, a storage company, decide to actively back the RISC-V architecture?
The primary reason Western Digital is migrating to RISC-V is to expedite the ability to innovate.  As data workloads are evolving, new requirements surrounding data are generated.  We not only need to store data, we need to extract value from the data as quickly as possible. The “general-purpose” architectures that have been in use for decades are just that, general purpose. These legacy general-purpose built architectures are not conducive for supporting the needs of these dynamic workloads. Due to the proprietary nature of these general-purpose architectures, we cannot easily make the changes needed to optimize for these new workloads.  Today’s new Big Data and Fast Data workloads require a more specialized purpose-built architecture so that we are able to add value as close to the data source as possible. RISC-V gives us the flexibility and power to freely innovate and develop products that optimally support the new workloads of today and in the future. 
By bringing compute closer to data, what is WD trying to achieve?
The number of deployed devices capturing data in the world is growing at a staggering rate. The sheer volume of this data is requiring efficient and meaningful processing. As we bring compute power closer to data, customers will be able to minimize data movement at the edge and within their data centers, optimizing processing that is based on location, workload or a time-value need. 
WD has announced that it will be doubling the number of cores sold (up to 2bn), how do you plan to achieve that?
We currently consume over one billion processor cores on an annual basis across our product portfolio. The number of cores consumed is expected to grow over time. This will be a result of growth in the amount of specialized compute being done closer to the edge where the data lives. As we develop new products going forward, we will be using RISC-V based cores. 

Compared to ARM and x86, do you see RISC-V as the Linux equivalent of ISAs?
Yes, RISC-V is much like Linux as they both create an open source solution to proprietary legacy solutions. Both have evolved in an effort to provide the freedom to innovate and lower costs.  
What needs to be done, in your opinion, to grow RISC-V as a viable alternative to the two other ISAs?
The key to growing RISC-V lies in the development of the ecosystem. We are seeing a significant growth in the ecosystem in the last year, but we need to accelerate the pace of this growth. We are happy to see other companies, like SiFive, jumping in to also drive expansion and awareness. 
Who do you see as being the most important audiences addressed by RISC-V as a platform?
This is difficult, there are so many areas that will benefit from the use of RISC-V.  One of the main areas that we are seeing get significant traction is in the area of edge computing. Other areas include, but are not limited to autonomous cars, surveillance, and artificial intelligence/machine learning. There are more and more specialized applications popping up every day that are requiring purpose-built architectures. These new applications would be constrained by the legacy proprietary general-purpose architectures. The processing needs of these applications need to be fine-tuned. RISC-V eliminates the proprietary constraints and enables the freedom to innovate to maximize efficiencies as close to the source of the data as possible. Big data applications such as analytics and machine learning require petabytes of storage and operates in a more batch style processing environment.  Conversely, fast data applications like security, event correlation, and block chain tend to require large memory and specialized compute. Again, the RISC-V ISA provides the flexibility to enable the development of solutions to optimize for these applications. Martin Fink is CTO of Western Digital
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Hack-happy Aussie teen cracks Apple’s vault, steals 90GB of confidential files

Hack-happy Aussie teen cracks Apple’s vault, steals 90GB of confidential files

An Australian private schoolboy from Melbourne has pleaded guilty to charges of repeatedly hacking into Apple’s main computer network, The Age has reported. Over the span of a year, the then 16-year-old was able to download 90GB of sensitive files before he was caught.The young hacker, who can’t be named for legal reasons, managed to crack into Apple’s secure mainframe from his home in a Melbourne suburb because, his lawyer said, he was a big fan of the tech giant and dreamed of working there some day.When Apple became aware of the unauthorized logins, the company called in the FBI who, in turn, referred the matter to the Australian Federal Police (AFP).
Finding “Hacky hack hack”
Although there is no official word on the matter from either Apple or the AFP, a report claims that the AFP raided the teenager’s family home and retrieved two laptops, a smartphone and a hard drive. The serial numbers on the laptop matched those of the devices used to access Apple’s systems.The AFP also found the software the young hacker had used to gain access to the Cupertino firm’s secure network and a little more digging proved that he then boasted about his hacking exploits to others via WhatsApp.The stolen documents were found in a folder very imaginatively named “Hacky hack hack”.
Guilty as charged
The teenager pleaded guilty to a Children’s Court, but the magistrate has put off sentencing till next month.According to the defense lawyer, the teen is well known in the global hacking community and exposing details of the case could put the young man in harm’s way. The Crown prosecutor was willing to keep matters under wraps as well, citing that Apple is “very sensitive about publicity”.
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