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Nick Bell, a master of reinvention and one of Australia’s well known entrepreneurs, explains why he will never have his own office again.

As a teenager, Nick Bell was desperate to escape life on the family farm in Victoria. He wanted to move to the bright lights of London the second he finished his last high school exam. The problem was that he needed to save for an airfare and initial living expenses, but his part-time job prospects were limited in the remote area. The nearest McDonalds was a 20-kilometre bicycle ride away.

Bell thought laterally about how to make money and hit upon an idea that was reminiscent of billionaire Warren Buffett, who began his own exalted career by selling sticks of chewing gum as a kid.

“My mum made amazing school lunches,” says Bell. “She put in the best of everything. I realised that what I had was in demand, so I started selling it.”

Bell ate nothing whatsoever between breakfast and dinner and became extremely skinny. His mum was in the dark as to why, so she kept putting more food in his lunchbox in the hope of fattening him up. But the teenager stuck to his sales plan: his hunger to exit the farm was stronger than his physical hunger.

“I was doing intermittent fasting before it became fashionable,” he laughs.

Bell hustled like mad at school; he rented out his golf clubs and x-rated VHS movies to his teenage school friends. By the time he finished his studies – which bored him no end – he was ready to jump on a plane with more than $20,000 in savings.

Bell had a ball working at bars in London, then returned to Melbourne to get a degree in marketing at Victoria University. He found university dull, so he quit after six weeks and returned to hospitality. He spent the next three years waiting tables and making lousy money.

The office

“I was enjoying the grind and the hustle. I loved working in an office. I was like a duck to water with it,” he says.

Although Bell didn’t enjoy his upbringing on the farm, he credits it with instilling a strong work ethic in him.

“There was always something to do. My parents never let me sleep in on weekends – I had to get up early and feed the animals. Even now, if I’m not doing anything, I feel like I’m moving backwards. It’s probably why I can never relax.”

When Bell realised that all his hard work at the recruitment company was making someone else wealthy, he started his own business. He had suffered acne as a teen, so in 2005 he developed a skincare supplement and began selling it. However, the company didn’t take off and after four years he was forced to admit defeat.

“I didn’t make a cent. In fact, I lost all the money I had accumulated from my previous role,” he says.

300 cold-calls a day

Bell was broke and almost 30. He was living in a share house and accumulating massive credit card debt just to cover his food and rent. He confided in his father that he was in deep financial strife.

“Dad told me that I needed to start earning. We sat down together and came up with a plan of attack about what I needed to do.”

Bell could have returned to the safety of a salaried role, but he decided to back himself once more. In 2008 he started a digital marketing agency called WME Group, despite knowing next to nothing about the industry he had entered.

“I barely knew digital marketing at that stage,” he says. “I had a website built in Vietnam for about a hundred dollars and six weeks’ worth of a degree.”

“I don’t buy things. I’m not posting pictures of fast cars on Instagram. I just enjoy the process of building a business.”

– Nick Bell, serial entrepreneur

What he did possess was tenacity. Bell made up to 300 cold-calls per day, beginning with New Zealand and then the east coast of Australia, and then finishing up with Adelaide and Perth. He contacted businesses that appeared on the second page of a Google search and promised to get them onto the first page. He had a strike rate of about five out of 300 (another 10 were maybes). This did not bother him – he was used to cold calling at the recruitment agency.

Services proved to be a better bet than products. Within three days, Bell received a cheque for $10,000, and from there the growth was stratospheric. By the end of his first year in business, he had netted around $2 million.

Never again

Bell knows this to be true: he came dangerously close to losing his company in 2011. He had seen other agency bosses with their own office and figured that he should do the same, so he moved his desk away from his team. But his finger was no longer on the pulse and he became oblivious to declining service standards.

He was also hiring people that he had interviewed for as little as five minutes. Clients were lost and revenue plummeted to the point that Bell was forced to pay staff salaries using his credit cards. When he realised the extent of the mess, he jumped back on the phones to service clients and moved his desk back to the middle of the office floor.

“It was a massive wakeup call that I needed. I’m glad it happened,” he says.

Bell became very particular about recruitment and has made it a firm rule to require a presentation and technical test from every candidate. He sets exceptionally high standards for service delivery and pays above market rate salaries to attract and retain top talent. He describes his team members as “rockstars”.

“If a customer isn’t over the moon, I need to find out why,” he explains. “I’m very particular with delivering and the reason for that is because if you don’t deliver, you’re not going to grow. It’s absolutely key to winning in business. If clients are happy, they’re going to stay onboard and become your biggest fan.”

“My wife is an absolute terminator in business. I go with gut instinct and I’m very empathetic, whereas she is analytical and strategic.”

– Nick Bell, serial entrepreneur

WME Group grew to become one of Australia’s largest digital agencies and appeared for three years running on Deloitte’s Technology Fast 50, which recognises Australia’s 50-fastest-growing technology companies. In 2023, Bell sold WME Group for $39 million, just nine years after he started it from his bedroom with a couple of hundred dollars to his name.

He also got married in 2023. He had met his wife Fei Chen three years previously in Hong Kong, where Bell had set up a company. She was an investment banker and Harvard Business School graduate who had grown up in Holland.

“She thought I was a farm boy from Australia because I gave her a crappy business card,” says Bell, laughing.

They began a long-distance relationship and Bell then persuaded Chen to move across the world to Melbourne, as he couldn’t abandon his companies for Europe. Chen and Bell run their digital agency empire together, which comprises 13 agencies under the parent company, Superist, which was founded last year. Chen is the operations manager for the Asia-based businesses, including being group COO of First Page in Hong Kong.

“My wife is an absolute terminator in business. I go with gut instinct and I’m very empathetic, whereas she is analytical and strategic,” says Bell.

Chen mostly works from their home in Brighton, Melbourne, whereas Bell remains in close physical proximity to his teams (pandemic-permitting). The couple have three daughters, aged six, four and one.

The Bell ecosystem

Superist has a global headcount of 1600 and an enviable client list that includes Mercedes Benz, Uber, Colgate, L’Oreal, McDonald’s and McLaren, as well as Netflix co-founder, Marc Randolph. The global network of digital agencies comprises the likes of First Page, Appscore and Removify in Australia, which are branded differently across the Middle East, Asia Pacific, South and North America and Asia.

“I’ve built an ecosystem,” says Bell. “All these agencies I have started are very similar and complement each other. I believe an agency should specialise and not generalise in too many things. It’s better to be known as the go-to guys in something rather than saying, ‘Oh these guys do everything.’ My agencies know their area inside out and are not diluted by providing 10 different services.”

In August, Bell completed a minority investment in branding agency Willow & Blake, bringing his involvement to a stable of 13 agencies. Bell wanted to expand his services to branding and the agency founder Jess Hatzis (who also co-founded beauty product business Frank Body) impressed him.

“When making a decision to invest, the most important thing is that I connect with the founder,” he says. “Are they looking to exit quickly or are they willing to stay on for a year or two? If they want to exit straightaway, it could be a red flag – or maybe not, but I need to understand why. I also look at the growth of the business and whether they’ve been touching expenses and cutting quality to maximise profits before the sale.”

Now that Bell has the secret sauce recipe, he aims to set up between six and 10 agencies every year henceforth (it set up six in 2023 and is shooting for 10 in 2023). Bell stays across his many agencies via the general managers, who report weekly.

A prime-time judge

This year, Bell appeared beside Lord Sugar and Janine Allis of Boost Juice on Celebrity Apprentice.

“Working with Lord Sugar and Janine was brilliant. We were together for three months, for five to six days a week and for up to 10 hours a day. We were either going to love each other or hate each other. Luckily, we got on really well.”

Bell is open to the idea of doing more television, but he will not actively seek out opportunities. He loves nothing more than running his companies. He derives satisfaction from seeing his businesses grow – it is not the accumulation of wealth that drives him.

“I don’t buy things. I’m not posting pictures of fast cars on Instagram. I just enjoy the process of building a business.”

“My wife often tells me to get a hobby,” he adds. “I tell her that I don’t need one; this is my hobby. I used to be into football, cricket and golf but I’m not these days. I just really enjoy building businesses.”

Greener pastures

Bell himself has come full circle on farming. He loves spending time on his own farm, while his parents have downsized and live in Melbourne. He also has a philanthropic goal linked to farming, whose origins can be traced to his childhood. He is currently buying hundreds of acres of Victorian farmland so that he can open an animal sanctuary within the next couple of years.

When Bell was a kid, the family had a pet cow called Bonox who was quietly shipped off to the abattoir by his pragmatic parents (there might have been a clue in her name). Bell was told she had “gone to heaven” and was traumatised when he learned of her fate years later, when he was about 18.

“I know my parents regret that decision now because we’ve talked about it. I want to give people the choice: if you don’t want to pay for keeping livestock that are not producing an income, give them to me and I’ll look after them for you at no cost,” he says. “I am basically trying to right a wrong.”

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What To Expect From Intel’s Developer Forum

Intel is expected to highlight new chips for laptops and tablets at the Intel Developer Forum, Sept. 13 to 15 in San Francisco. Intel will also share further details about Ultrabooks, a new class of thin and light laptops, for which Microsoft will show its upcoming Windows 8 OS.

But as the decades-long Wintel monopoly in the PC market crumbles under tablet pressure, Intel will try to stake a position in the mobile market by drumming up support for Linux-based OSes such as MeeGo and Google’s Android, analysts said.

The strength of the once-prosperous Wintel alliance could be tested as the chip maker and Microsoft adapt to a market shift from PCs to mobile devices such as tablets, analysts said this week.

PC shipments have slowed down over the last few quarters amid growing interest in tablets. With that writing on the wall, Intel and Microsoft are cutting cords on their PC-era relationship to move with the market, analysts said. Microsoft has added support for ARM architecture with Windows 8, while Intel has expanded its commitment to Linux by developing its own MeeGo OS and porting Android to work with its tablet chips.

Ironically, IDF’s dates also clash with Microsoft’s BUILD conference, from Sept. 13-16 in Anaheim, California. Some analysts said that Intel and Microsoft would not usually compete for developer attention, but the collision of major conferences is a sign of the changing times.

Stress on the Relationship?

The Wintel alliance made the PC great, but Microsoft and Intel seem to be headed in different directions to catch up with rivals in new markets such as tablets, said Nathan Brookwood, principal analyst at Insight 64.

“There’s still a lot of common interest in terms of the PC. However, Microsoft’s move to support ARM-based systems clearly puts some stress on that relationship,” Brookwood said. ARM processors are found on most smartphones and tablets today, and are considered more power-efficient than Intel’s Atom chips.

Intel may use IDF to prove that its Atom chips can outperform ARM when running Android on tablets, said Jack Gold, principal analyst at J. Gold Associates. Intel may show new Android tablets based on upcoming Atom chips to prove its point, Gold said.

Intel is also trying to build a developer base as it takes steps to fit into the emerging mobile markets, Gold said. Intel has virtually no presence in the tablet and smartphone markets, and needs to develop a software ecosystem to supplement its hardware, Gold said. Intel will be holding technical sessions for Android and Windows developers at IDF.

“What we’re seeing is the Wintel monopoly falling apart as the market is moving another direction,” Gold said. “The market is pushing [Intel and Microsoft] in different directions, but that doesn’t mean they won’t work together.”

But the PC market isn’t dead yet and will grow over the coming years, said Dean McCarron, principal analyst at Mercury Research. The Wintel alliance will manifest in the form of ultrabooks, which over years could develop into a market that blurs the lines between tablets and laptops.

“You are seeing Intel take steps to fit into the newer as well as older markets,” McCarron said.

What Intel Will Be Showing

Intel will demonstrate Ultrabooks running Windows 8, which will include a revamped touch-based user interface, said Insight 64’s Brookwood. Tablets currently are ideal for content consumption, but Windows 8 Ultrabooks could ultimately be interchangeably used as PCs or tablets to consume or create content, Brookwood said.

An Intel spokesman said a three-phase rollout for Ultrabooks will be detailed at the show, but did not provide further information. Some Ultrabooks that have already been announced, such as Lenovo’s IdeaPad U300S, form the first wave, and are based on Sandy Bridge microprocessors. Intel has said that the second wave of ultrabooks will reach consumers early next year and be based on upcoming Ivy Bridge chips, which are faster and more power-efficient than Sandy Bridge processors. The Ivy Bridge Ultrabooks will get touchscreens that can swivel or slide out.

Intel at IDF may also share details on Haswell, the successor to Ivy Bridge, which will form the third wave of Ultrabooks, reaching consumers in 2013. Intel has said the graphics engine integrated in Haswell will deliver greater performance than any current mobile discrete card while consuming just 15 watts of power.

Intel is also expected to make announcements around integrated security offerings with McAfee, which is operating as a separate unit within Intel. Intel completed the $7.68 billion acquisition of McAfee earlier this year.

What Is 5G, And What Can We Expect From It?

What is 5G?

mmWave – very high-frequency spectrum between 17 and 100GHz and high bandwidth for fast data. Most carriers are targeting the 18-24GHz range. It’s a reasonably short-range technology that will be used in densely populated areas.

Sub-6GHz – spectrum operating in WiFi-like frequencies between 3 and 6GHz. Can be deployed in small cell hubs for indoor use or more powerful outdoor base stations to cover medium-range much like existing 4G LTE coverage. Most 5G spectrum will be found here.

Low-band – very low frequencies below 800MHz. Covers very long distances and is omnidirectional to provide blanket backbone coverage.

Beamforming – used in mmWave and sub-6GHz base stations to direct waveforms towards consumer devices, including by bouncing waves off buildings. A key technology in overcoming the range and direction limitations of high-frequency waveforms.

Massive MIMO – multiple antennas on base stations serve multiple end-user devices at once. Designed to make high-frequency networks much more efficient and can be combined with beamforming.

High-frequency mmWave base stations, sub-6GHz WiFi-esque small and medium cells, beamforming, and massive multiple-input and multiple-output (MIMO) are all used to build faster 5G networks. But there are also major changes to data encoding and infrastructure network slicing that are seldom talked about. These are all new technological introductions compared to today’s 4G LTE networks.

In addition, the 5G standard is split into several key parts – Non-Standalone (NSA), New Radio (NR), and Standalone (SA). Today’s first public 5G networks will be based on NSA, and are planned to eventually transition over to SA. But more on that later.

Related: Why sub-6GHz 5G is more important than mmWave

What’s the difference between 5G and 4G? How fast is 5G?

The big difference between 5G and 4G is the new technologies used by the former. These include radio frequencies, spectrum sharing carriers, and bandwidth block sizes. These lead to practical improvements, such as faster data speeds and lower latency for 5G versus 4G customers.

For example, 5G users should experience minimum data speeds above 50Mbps, while 4G LTE-A customers may average around 30Mbps. Likewise, 5G boasts sub-10ms latency while 4G customers regularly experience 50ms or much more. However, the exact real-world speeds and latency on any given network have a lot of variables, including the type of 5G or 4G network deployed by your carrier. The table below details some of the more technical differences between early 5G and historic 4G.

Read more: 5G vs Gigabit LTE differences explained

Take a closer look: How does 5G actually work?

The first 5G networks are based on the non-standalone specification, but will eventually transition to the full standalone specification.

The changes to subcarriers are a little harder to explain. Technologies encompassed by this include scalable OFDM and sub-carrier spacing, windowed OFDM, flexible numerology, and scalable Transmission Time Intervals. Put simply, frames that carry data can be bigger and faster when higher throughput at high efficiency is required. Alternatively, these frames can be made smaller in order to achieve much lower latency for real-time applications, such as IoT applications for those smart cities.

Our take on 5G: is it worth it?

Faster data is obviously great for downloading huge files, but 5G isn’t a huge game-changer for day-to-day mobile use. Most 4G LTE networks are speedy these days, and you don’t need 100Mbps speeds to browse Twitter. Not forgetting that 5G rollouts are still in their relatively early stages, meaning there’s a good chance coverage may be spotty or even non-existent in your area for the time being. Especially in smaller towns and rural areas.

For that reason, we wouldn’t recommend customers go out and buy a new smartphone just for 5G alone. 4G smartphones from the past couple of years are still perfectly serviceable and still represent good bargain purchases. That being said, all flagship and virtually all mid-range phones support 5G networking in some form. If you are in the market for a new handset anyway, a little 5G futureproofing is certainly a good idea. That way you’ll be set for when 5G becomes much more widespread over the coming years.

5G is perfectly safe. Ignore the conspiracy theories, they’re based on a complete lack of understanding of physics and how wireless frequencies work.

How fast is 5G?

There’s always a difference between theoretical maximum speeds and those that consumers end up receiving. With 5G, network bandwidth can hit up to 10Gbps but for consumers this likely means speeds in the 50Mbps to 100Mbps region as a minimum. Although that could certainly hit closer to 1Gbps in low congestion areas with a nearby mmWave access point. We’ve clocked speeds as high as 500Mbps in our testing, but that’s the exception, not the rule. We’ve also experienced highly variable 5G speeds on some US networks that are no better than 4G, due to patchy coverage even over just short distances.

So how much faster is 5G than 4G? That depends on your specific network, signal strength, and even the modem and technology inside your handset. That’s right, different phones have different maximum speeds. There are already some very fast 4G LTE networks out there too and 5G mmWave can be very temperamental with line-of-sight. So exact speed comparisons are difficult.

In theory, 5G is anywhere from 5x to 10x faster than current 4G networks. In the future, 5G could end up 20x faster or even higher. However, independent research in 2023 highlighted the spotty nature and 5G coverage and speeds in there here and now.

According to the data, typical US data speeds fell in the region of 30Mbps in 2023. That’s only around 10Mbps faster than pre-5G speeds in 2023, hardly the revolution we were promised. However other countries are much faster, approaching 75Mbps near the top of the carrier leaderboard. The top 10 networks are made up entirely of carriers from South Korea, Canada, The Netherlands, and Singapore.

There’s a notable gap experience gap between carriers and countries. If you’re already on a very fast 4G network, the jump to 5G might not feel as big as those moving from slower 4G networks.

Further reading: Best 5G plans

See our list: The best 5G phones you can buy right now

No, 5G isn’t dangerous since it does not rely on harmful ionizing electromagnetic radiation. You can read more about this matter in our article discussing the supposed dangers of 5G.

In theory, it’s capable of 500Mbps or even greater. In reality, it’s often not much faster than the latest-gen LTE networks. You’ll typically see speeds around or in excess of 50Mbps.

Most major cities in the US now have 5G coverage. Having said that, you can find a list that covers this topic, here.

Essentially, it is a faster network than 4G LTE, though it’s still far from fully established. In the future, this faster network will allow things like smart cities, traffic lights that can detect cars and change based on traffic patterns, the ability for cars and other Internet of Things devices to communicate, and much more.

While 5G is not strictly necessary today, you should definitely consider it if you intend on keeping your smartphone for longer than a couple of years. Even then, though, 4G will stick around for much longer than that.

Countdown To The Sims 3: A Chat With Executive Producer Ben Bell

The Sims 3 executive producer Ben Bell phoned me earlier to chat about the franchise, his favorite features in the new game, and how it’s pioneered online self-expression and creative content exchange.

Game On: The Sims, as most know, is a massive franchise, the most popular PC game series ever, with over 100 million units sold since February 2000. Why do you think it’s done so well?

Ben Bell: The Sims is a game that lets you create people. You can customize what they look like, and control their lives and decide what they do. The reason I think that’s so interesting for people is because the game immediately reflects who you are as a person when you’re playing it.

The game has very open-ended goals. As a controller of people, as a controller of life, you get to decide what you’re trying to do with the game. You can help your characters get ahead in life, you can play dirty tricks on them, you can recreate situations from your own life with the game. So immediately as you start to play with it, it becomes a reflection of you, and I think that’s really appealing to people. It inspires creativity as you’re playing, so it’s a piece of entertainment, but it also becomes like a diary.

GO: Let’s walk through a few of The Sims 3’s new elements. What’s Ben Bell’s favorite feature?

For instance, if you want your character to be artistic, they’ll decide that they want to paint and they’ll be really good at it, or they’ll be interested in writing books, and so on. Whereas if you decide you want your character to be evil, they’ll be really happy when bad things happen to the people around them.

BB: One of our guiding principles when we were designing the game was that we wanted the game to feel like exactly whatever you were interested in, that is was about your story, the things you were trying to do with your characters. To fulfill that promise, we made it so that the Sims are more intelligent now than they’ve been in the past. So they’re more capable of taking care of themselves.

Let’s say you just wanted to be an observer of the game, that you wanted to see how the personality traits manifest. You could take your hands off the controls and just watch, and the Sims will take care of themselves. They’ll act according to their personality traits and develop relationships and so on. But the moment you pick up and play one of the Sims, if you sort of think of the Sims as toys, the moment you start to play with one of them, you’ll get to look at what they want.

They all have individual wishes, so you can see what some person is thinking about and what they want based on the things that are happening around them, who they are, and where they’re at in life. You can really start to dive deep on those wishes, and help them fulfill every single one. It should feel like you get to shine the light wherever you want, and you don’t have to stop looking at something if you’re not interested in anything else.

BB: It’s such a big game, and people have so many different ideas about what they want to do, so we felt like it was really important to enable everybody to do what they wanted. It’s a simulation of life, so some people are interested in seeing what it’s like to evolve many generations of a family, whereas some people just want to focus on a single character and develop that character’s story extensively. We wanted to give people all of the widgets and dials that we could, for them to create their scenarios.

You don’t have to mess with any of that stuff. If you just want to play the game as we designed it, it’s there for you to jump right in, and there are certainly lots of short term goals that you can achieve. But if you really feel like you want to retell the history of your family, or of some character that you’re working on in your novel, or all of the people that you work with in real life, you can set up the game to do that.

GO: Including ghosts.

GO: The Sims 3 is actually a prequel of sorts, right? Is it also an alternate timeline? Will Romulans and Vulcans come shooting out of a black hole at startup?

BB: We took some of the characters who appeared in past games and we created earlier versions of them. That was more of a nod to our fans who’ve followed the series. But The Sims isn’t really about those characters. They’re background for your character, and while you can play as these unique characters we’ve created and dropped into the town, you can also choose to replace any of them with people that you know, your favorite TV character, your favorite sports heroes, whatever it is.

Will Solid State Drives Go Beyond Enterprise?

Solid state disk (SSD) drives currently cost as much as 30 times more than Fibre Channel drives, but the return is impressive. The high cost has kept SSDs primarily tied to high-end enterprises that can afford such pricey performance.

But given that prices for SSDs are dropping rapidly, the drives may become more ubiquitous than in enterprise. Research firm IDC reports that cost is decreasing by as much as 40 to 50 percent annually, and industry insiders and vendors predict SSDs will be saturating storage systems as early as next year.

“The popularity really hinges on cost,” Charles King, an analyst at research firm Pund-IT, told chúng tôi “Prices are dropping significantly to the point where they will become options in midrange storage systems,” King said, noting EMC’s Clariion CX4 systems announced a few weeks back were the first midrange storage solutions to support SSD.

The data read time is 10 times greater, which can be a huge differentiator when it comes to transaction-processing applications. Processing credit card or trade transactions faster means more money coming in.

EMC (NYSE: EMC) is the biggest SSD champion at this point. Its Clariion news marked its second big SSD foray. The first was the news earlier this year when it integrated SSDs into its high-end Symmetrix DMX-4 storage systems.

followed quickly behind, brashly predicting every device it will ship will have the flash technology by the end of 2010. Such big name support illustrates why SSD, which uses memory chips instead of rotating platters for data storage, could drive one of the biggest storage changes in decades.

In a recent report, IDC stated that “SSD adoption will be measured and deliberate, focusing first on market segments that can tolerate the additional premium associated with SSDs,” referring to today’s cost factor.

For example SSD can reduce data access time from 20 milliseconds on hard disks to about 0.5 milliseconds, an accomplishment Janukowicz termed “significant.”

“It also offers high reliability due to its physical nature and is more energy efficient as it requires less power,” Janukowicz said.

Those attributes have most SSD OEMs busy right now integrating and testing the technology. “Companies have been using hard disks for decades, and SSD is relatively new so enterprises will have to learn about where they best fit in,” Janukowicz said.

The best fit is where high performance, high capacity and fast disk read times are needed. SSD isn’t a technology that every enterprise needs or one that can fulfill all storage requirements, experts point out.

“At this point, SSD products are largely aimed at enterprises looking to maximize performance of large databases and other IT assets that benefit from enhanced response times,” King explained. “It is a specialized solution to specific kinds of problems.”

Yet that specialty aspect won’t preclude good adoption rates thanks to emerging storage environments such as Web 2.0 platforms, which need the same high-end storage systems built in legacy customers bases such as the financial and government sectors.

“The technology is already going beyond the commerce and trade transaction worlds,” Patrick Wilkison, vice president of business development at SSD manufacturer STEC, told chúng tôi STEC supplies the drives used by EMC in its high-end Symmetrix and midrange Clariion arrays.

“It’s a certain technology that can do certain things and is proliferating behind where it’s been the past few years,” he said. As price drops, more companies will understand its value as a cost-effective storage option, Wilkison added.

Iomega External Drives To Get Usb 3.0 At No Extra Cost

Iomega external drives to get USB 3.0 at no extra cost

Iomega has announced plans to shift all of their external hard-drives from USB 2.0 to USB 3.0, with no change in pricing and extra ruggedness thrown in.  Starting with the eGo range – which will all get USB 3.0 connectivity by the end of October – and then looking to the Prestige and other lines in Q1 2011, Iomega will also be adding in 256-bit AES hardware encryption; the eGo drives will be capable of withstanding up to 7ft drops, which the company reckons is twice what rivals can manage.

They’ll also be bundled with Iomega’s QuikProtect and v.Clone apps, together with a 12-month license for Trend Micro’s Internet Security suite.  Since USB 3.0 is backward compatible with USB 2.0, owners with an eye on future upgrades will still be able to use the drives with their existing machines.

We asked Iomega’s Jonathan Huberman why the company had seemingly bypassed eSATA and gone straight to USB 3.0, and he blamed industry-wide low sales of drives using the eSATA interface for the decision.  Iomega does offer dual-interface USB 2.0/eSATA models, but with the faster port generally not supplying enough power for portable external drives, consumer take-up has been poor.

Our other question regarded Apple, and the company’s apparent reluctance to step up to USB 3.0 even in their most recent desktop model refresh.  All Huberman would say was that the Cupertino company’s delay was “interesting”, and that he wouldn’t be surprised if they moved to USB 3.0 in Q1 2011; however, he also pointed out that Apple tend to keep their roadmap cards close to their chest.  Right now, Iomega offer various Mac-centric USB 2.0/FireWire combo drives, but they plan to update these to USB 3.0/FireWire so that, when Apple starts selling machines with the faster port, owners will be ready.

Currently the Iomega eGo drives have MRSPs of $114 for the 500GB model and $189 for the 1TB model (though street prices are less).

Press Release:

Iomega Sets the Market Standard for Portable Hard Drives – First to Offer New SuperSpeed USB 3.0 Models at USB 2.0 Prices!

Award-Winning Premium eGo Portable Hard Drive Line First to Feature All USB 3.0 Models with Hardware Encryption And Industry-Leading Ruggedness, Too

SAN DIEGO, August 24, 2010 – Iomega, an EMC company (NYSE: EMC) and a leading innovator in digital protection solutions for consumers and small and medium businesses, is excited to announce that it is moving to the new SuperSpeed USB 3.0 interface for all Iomega USB 2.0 portable hard drives, beginning with the award-winning line of Iomega® eGo™ Portable Hard Drives. The new all-USB 3.0 eGo Portable Hard Drives will feature hardware encryption and super toughness, too, thanks to a drop spec twice the industry average – all at USB 2.0 product prices. This market-leading move continues Iomega’s tradition of technology leadership.

USB 3.0 Transition Timeline for Iomega Portable Hard Drives

Iomega plans to move all eGo Portable Hard Drives in 500GB* and 1TB** capacities to the new USB 3.0 interface by early October. Totally compatible will all USB 2.0 computers, the new USB 3.0 eGo Portable Hard Drives will include Iomega’s industry-leading Drop Guard™ Xtreme, which provides added protection from drops of nearly seven feet or twice the industry average***.

In the first quarter of 2011, Iomega plans to move the Iomega® Prestige Compact Portable Hard Drive line to USB 3.0 on all models. Shortly thereafter, Iomega will move the rest of its portable external hard drive models to the USB 3.0 interface.

Perfect for slipping into a laptop bag or pocket, all of Iomega’s 2.5-inch portable hard drives are host powered, requiring no external power supply beyond the power provided through the USB bus on a personal computer, laptop or netbook. Iomega’s new USB 3.0 portable hard drives are completely backward compatible with personal computers and other devices that only have USB 2.0 ports. Iomega offers USB 3.0 adapter cards (sold separately) to insert into USB 2.0 laptop and desktop computers so users can experience native USB 3.0 transfer speeds of up to 5 gigabits per second.

More Than Just a Portable Hard Drive – A Total Solution

Iomega prides itself on providing total solutions, which is why all of the new Iomega USB 3.0 eGo Portable Hard Drives come complete out of the box with 256-bit hardware encryption built-in (PC only), as well as the cables required to enjoy your drive right away, whether your desktop or laptop has USB 2.0 or USB 3.0 ports. The Prestige family of portable hard drives will also feature 256-bit hardware encryption built-in (PC only) with the transition to USB 3.0 models in the first quarter of 2011.

Best Software Package Bundled With Portable Hard Drives Today

Included free of charge with all of Iomega’s eGo and Prestige Portable Hard Drives is the Iomega Protection Suite, a one-stop portfolio of backup and anti-virus software giving users added protection for their photos, videos, music and other files.

The Iomega Protection Suite includes:

v.Clone™ software, an Iomega exclusive, captures a complete virtual image of your PC — including the operating system, all applications, your settings, and all your files to your Iomega hard drive. Access the cloned copy and use it seamlessly on another computer, just as if you’re working from your own PC. When you reconnect, automatically sync your data to your primary PC, so that files are always up to date****.

A complementary 12 month subscription to Trend Micro™ Internet Security for the PC, or Trend Micro™ Smart Surfing software for Mac.

Iomega QuikProtect: backup software for simple scheduled file-level backup of data to hard drives and network-attached storage devices (for Windows and Mac desktops and notebooks).

Roxio® Retrospect® Express software: backup all of your data plus applications and settings (for Windows and Mac desktops and notebooks).

MozyHome™ Online Backup service: Convenient online backup service with 2GB of online capacity for free (unlimited online storage for $4.95/month). MozyHome Online service allows Windows and Mac users to restore their most important data from any computer with internet access, at any location in the world.

All of the software elements in the Iomega Protection Suite are accessible via easy download to owners of Iomega eGo and Prestige Drives.

Iomega eGo Portable Hard Drives – Beauty and the Beast

Not only are Iomega’s award-winning eGo Portable Hard Drives super fast and super rugged, they’re head-turners, too. Sporting a sleek, smaller enclosure than the previous generation of eGo portable hard drives, eGo Portable Hard Drives are among the smallest 2.5-inch HDD portable hard drives in the market today. Iomega eGo Portable Hard Drives are available in a variety of colors that include Ruby Red, Midnight Blue and Silver.

To appreciate how much data can be stored on a high capacity 2.5-inch drive, an Iomega eGo Portable Hard Drive with 1TB of capacity can hold up to 400,000 photos, over 250,000 songs or 385 hours of video*****.

Pricing, Availability and Warranty

For more information on Iomega’s complete line of portable hard drives, including current pricing, please go to chúng tôi Also be sure to see Iomega’s new USB 3.0 product video at YouTube.

The Iomega USB 3.0 Adapter for USB 2.0 laptops is available for $39.99, and the Iomega USB 3.0 PCI Express Adaptor for PC desktops is $39.99. (Pricing is U.S. suggested retail.)

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