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December 9, 2014
Comments (0) | Posted at 05:09PM PST by CheeseMan42

Gigabyte is planning to close out 2014 with one last overclocking competition, the Goodbye 2014 OC Challenge. The contest runs until January 4, 2015 at midnight and will have three stages. Each stage targets a different benchmark with prizes for the best scores in XTU, Highest CPUz, and Super Pi 32m. Users can enter with any Gigabyte Z97 series motherboard with the contest being hosted by HWBOT. Prizes for the challenge include $2,000 in cash, three X99M-Gaming 5 motherboards, and three Z97X-SOC FORCE LN2 motherboards. Full contest rules, scoring, and details can be found on the contest page.

Source: Press Release



Comments (0) | Posted at 03:35PM PST by Guest_Jim_*

Even though many people only associate solar power with dark, silicon cells, the technology will likely have altogether different appearances in the future. For example, some solar power technologies come in a liquid form that can be sprayed onto arbitrary surfaces. Colloidal quantum dots (CQDs) could be applied this way, but the actual spraying process is complicated, but researchers at the University of Toronto are changing that.

Traditionally batch processing is used to apply CQDs to a surface, but this is a somewhat slow and inefficient process, as it requires multiple stages. What the Toronto researchers built with airbrushes and a spray nozzle used in steel mills is able to do the same job, but very rapidly and efficiently, in a roll-to-roll method. This would also make adding these solar cells to other manufacturing processes much simpler.

The researchers ultimately want to see backups capable of spraying solar cells onto roofs, but that is still a ways off. As that is developed though, CQDs will also see their own performance improved, making for a more powerful combination.

 

 

Source: University of Toronto



Comments (0) | Posted at 09:58AM PST by bp9801

A new day is upon us, along with a ton of items for your viewing pleasure. We have a couple different looks at the Samsung 850 EVO SSD, with one looking at the 120GB model and the other the 500GB. There's a look at NVIDIA's G-SYNC technology on the ASUS SWIFT PG278Q to show what it is capable of. We also have a look at AMD's new Catalyst Omega driver and how it seems to be the best driver released by the company of late. If you need a tiny PC, perhaps the ZOTAC ZBOX Pico PI320 is the one for you. Cougar's 700M gaming mouse gets put to the test to see how it can help you out in the latest games. We finish up with a couple looks at cooling, with the Fractal Kelvin T12 AIO Watercooling Kit being put to the test, as well as an article examining how temperature and cooling affect CPU performance.

Video Cards
AMD Catalyst Omega Driver Release - Performance, Features, Stability @ PC Perspective

Storage/Hard Drive
Samsung 850 EVO @ Benchmark Reviews
Samsung 850 EVO 120GB @ Bjorn3D

Monitors
NVIDIA G-SYNC: A New Gaming Experience Seen on the ASUS SWIFT PG278Q Display @ Bjorn3D

CPU Cooling
Fractal Kelvin T12 AIO Watercooling Kit @ Madshrimps
Quantified: How high temperatures, cooling affect CPU performance @ TechSpot

Mice/Keyboards
Cougar 700M Gaming Mouse @ LanOC Reviews

Prebuilts
ZOTAC ZBOX Pico PI320 @ Bjorn3D



Comments (0) | Posted at 07:41AM PST by gebraset

Amazon has just launched a new program on its website that allows consumers to haggle prices with third-party sellers over select products, which currently includes items such as sports jerseys, autographed posters, collectible coins, and fine art. The program, known as 'Make an Offer,' allows consumers to suggest a reduced price for items that are sold by third-party sellers who participate in the program. The haggling itself occurs through email after an Amazon user submits their offer for an item to the seller. Once a final price is agreed upon, Amazon provides notification for the consumer to add the item to their cart so that they can complete the purchase. Throughout next year, Amazon plans to expand the new negotiation program to hundreds of thousands of items, though it is not currently known if technology products will be included in the expansion.

It is worth noting that the 'Make an Offer' program is not meant to act as an auction, as users interact one-on-one with the seller and will never pay more than the listed price for a product.

Source: CNET



Comments (0) | Posted at 07:40AM PST by Guest_Jim_*

The ability of geckos to adhere to just about any surface has inspired a number of technologies, such as special gloves. There has been a question though, about whether geckos must apply some force for the adhesion to work. Researchers at the University of California, Riverside put this question to the test by measuring the adhesion strength of living and dead geckos.

The reason geckos are able to stick to almost any surfaces has to do with what are call van der Waals forces. These are the very small forces between molecules that can actually pull them together. To take advantage of them, gecko toes are covered with hair-like structures called setae that can actually require an electron microscope to see in detail. While these setae provide the clinging forces, some have believed that some active component is also required, such as using muscles to push the toes against the surface. By using a device to measure shear forces, the Riverside researchers found no difference in strength between living and recently-dead geckos. However, living geckos will hyperextend their toes to reduce adhesion, to prevent injury.

What this research translates to is that geckos use no energy when clinging to a surface, such as when they are sleeping. That adhesion can be entirely passive could influence many technologies.

Source: University of California, Riverside



Comments (0) | Posted at 07:20AM PST by gebraset

Razer, a world leader in connected devices and software for gamers, has officially launched Stream Viewer for Razer Comms, the company’s gaming VoIP messenger. Stream Viewer provides users of Razer Comms with seamless integration with popular streaming providers such as Twitch, which enhances the social experience of gaming. According to Min-Liang Tan, Razer co-founder and CEO, "Maximizing this new and exciting form of media content and consumption, Razer Comms with its Stream Viewer feature aims to push the social experience in gaming and provide Razer’s millions of users with access to a refined streaming content experience." Stream Viewer allows those who utilize Razer Comms to watch streams with friends, discover streams based on interests and games, host private chats while watching streams with friends, create playlists to group favorite streams together, receive notifications when streams go live, and share playlists.

Gamers can read more about Razer’s gaming VoIP messenger at the official Razer Comms website.

Source: Press Release



Comments (0) | Posted at 06:03AM PST by gebraset

Version 5.00 of AIDA64, a popular PC diagnostic utility that provides detailed information about hardware and software of individual or networked computers, has just been released by software development company FinalWire. The latest edition of AIDA64 includes various improvements and new features, such as RemoteSensor smartphone and tablet LCD integration, Logitech Arx Control smartphone and tablet LCD integration, Aquaero and Aquaduct sensor devices support, system certificates information, and support for Gravitech, LCD Smartie Hardware, and Leo Bodnar LCD devices. Version 5.00 of AIDA64 also includes support for Microsoft Windows 10 Technical Preview Build 9888, improved support for the Intel “Skylake” CPU, preliminary support for the Intel "Braswell" SoC, and improved support for Crucial SSDs.

Source: Press Release



December 8, 2014
Comments (0) | Posted at 06:11PM PST by CheeseMan42

Street Fighter V was confirmed by Capcom over the weekend and in doing so revealed that the game will be exclusive to the PlayStation 4 and PC platforms. Microsoft Head of Xbox Phil Spencer addressed the exclusivity deal over the weekend tweeting "Business deals happen. We won't do all of them." He further added "When we have a 1st party franchise in a genre I'd rather invest in ours," referring to Killer Instinct, which is owned by Microsoft. Spencer rounded out his thoughts on exclusivity saying, "I'd love it if Xbox fans could play all the games, but business just makes some deals happen. It's all part of competition... I appreciate the competition, they do good work. I just focus on us and like you say I think that makes us better." Only time will tell if SF:V will make its way to the Xbox One, but until then gamers will have to make due with what choices are available to them or purchase multiple consoles.

Source: Ars Technica



Comments (1) | Posted at 06:02PM PST by CheeseMan42

Sony was the victim of another hacking attack last night, targeted at the PlayStation Network, an occurrence that appears to be happening more frequently. Sony said it was "investigating the root cause for the issue," while the group known as Lizard Squad claimed responsibility posting to their Twitter account "PSN Login #offline #LizardSquad." Sony Pictures was the victim of a massive attack last week where hackers stole about 100TB of data including employee Social Security numbers, internal files, and multiple upcoming Sony movies. Hacktivist group Guardians of Peace claimed responsibility for the attack today in response to the upcoming movie The Interview and demanded that Sony stop "immediately showing the movie of terrorism which can break the regional peace and cause the War!"

Source: CNET



Comments (0) | Posted at 01:29PM PST by gebraset

LG Display has revealed that it has gathered all of its OLED related departments and placed them under a new division that is entirely dedicated to commercializing OLED technology. The new division, which will handle all OLED related projects for LG to include the management of OLED buying clients, will be headed by Yeo Sang-deog, the CTO for LG.  According to LG, the company plans to quadruple its OLED panel production during this month in order to help bring down the cost of OLED televisions, a task that will certainly make full use of the new division. LG is also working on technologies to minimize burn-in effects that seem to plague OLED panels used outside of commercialized products.

Source: CNET



Comments (0) | Posted at 01:02PM PST by gebraset

It was recently revealed that Sony was selling a limited edition of the PlayStation 4 video game console to commemorate the 20 year anniversary of the original PlayStation. The limited edition of the console, dubbed the PlayStation 4 20th Anniversary Edition, managed to fetch an amazing $20,100 on eBay over the weekend following 34 bids. Another seller was able to sell their limited edition version of the PlayStation 4 for $15,100 after 106 bids were placed for the console. Although Sony released the PlayStation 4 20th Anniversary Edition for $499, consumers are purchasing the console for amazingly high amounts because the 12,300 units originally produced sold out quickly during preorders.

Source: CNET



Comments (0) | Posted at 11:35AM PST by bp9801

A new week is upon us, with some new items for you to check out and start the week off with. We have a review on the Crucial Ballistix Sport DDR4-2400 16GB memory kit, which could be right at home in your new Haswell-E build. There is also a look at the Samsung 850 EVO 120GB and 500GB SSDs, with tests covering both RAID and RAPID setups. For cooling needs, there's the Cooler Master Nepton 240M all-in-one liquid CPU cooler, which packs a 240mm radiator that should handle nearly any load. Wrapping things up today is a review on the Nokia Lumia 735, a mid-range Windows Phone that packs in some neat features.

Memory
Crucial Ballistix Sport DDR4-2400 16GB @ ThinkComputers

Storage/Hard Drives
Samsung 850 EVO 120GB and 500GB RAID and RAPID @ PC Perspective

CPU Cooling
Cooler Master Nepton 240M @ LanOC Reviews

Mobile
Nokia Lumia 735 @ TechSpot



Comments (0) | Posted at 10:29AM PST by Guest_Jim_*

At the recent Game Awards 2014 show, The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt was named as the Most Anticipated Game. It looks like that anticipation is going to have to hold out a bit longer as the Board of CD PROJEKT SA has released an open letter announcing a 12 week delay.

The letter explains that there are still details to be corrected and even with everyone "working at full speed," they must shift the release date to May 19, 2015. The letter also states that this will be the studio's most important release in its history and that they want it to be "one of the best RPGs you will ever play." It goes on to say "we apologize and ask for your trust." This is actually the second time the game has been delayed.

While it is disappointing that we have to wait even longer, at least this will give us more time to finish playing The Witcher and The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings, and any of the games we picked up in the recent Steam sale. You can read the full letter at the source link.

Source: TheWitcher.com



Comments (0) | Posted at 09:06AM PST by gebraset
EK Releases Hybrid Water Cooling Solution for Gigabyte X99 Series Motherboards

EK Water Blocks, a premium liquid cooling gear manufacturer, has officially released a hybrid water cooling kit for Gigabyte X99 series motherboards, the EK-FB KIT GA X99 LE. This latest cooling solution from EK, which is marketed as value oriented, consists of a high flow water block that efficiently cools the power regulation modules as well as a passive heatsink that cools the Intel X99 southbridge. The base of the waterblock itself is made of nickel-plated electrolytic copper while acrylic glass material makes up the top of the block. Original motherboard backplates can be used and the EK-FB KIT GA X99 LE features screw-in standoffs already pre-installed.

The EK-FB KIT GA X99 LE is available immediately for purchase through the EKWaterBlocks Shop as well as the company’s Partner Reseller Network.

Source: TechPowerUp



Comments (0) | Posted at 08:10AM PST by Guest_Jim_*

Even in this digital age, filled with displays, paper is still used with potentially 90% of all business information still being recorded on it. Typically this paper is discarded after one use, which makes some sense as you can only print on a page once, right? Researchers at the University of California, Riverside have created a rewriteable paper that could obviously reduce waste quite efficiently.

This new paper is made out of glass or plastic and contains a redox dye, a catalyst, and a thickening agent. Redox dyes are chemicals that are colored when oxidized, but when reduced, meaning they gain electrons, become transparent. Combined with the catalyst and thickening agent, it is possible to use ultraviolet light to cause this reduction, so the colored, opaque sheet will become transparent where the light reaches. By heating the paper to 115 ºC, the dyes are oxidized and return to their original coloring, removing what was printed on them. Considering laser printers can already heat paper up to 200 ºC, this erasing processing is quite feasible.

Currently the paper is only able to be rewritten 20 times before there is a significant loss in contrast or resolution and the printing will fade after three days. The researchers are working towards the paper surviving 100 cycles and extending the legibility beyond three days. They are also confident that it will be possible to print on the paper in multiple colors, though currently they have only worked with single colors.

 

 

Source: University of California, Riverside



December 7, 2014
Comments (0) | Posted at 07:02PM PST by ClayMeow
The Final Episode of the Batman: Arkham Knight ACE Chemicals Infiltration Series Now Live

If you watched the first two videos in the ACE Chemicals Infiltration series of gameplay trailers for Batman: Arkham Knight, you've probably been eagerly awaiting the exciting conclusion. Prepare yourself for more brawling, more Batmobile action, and a sneak peak at the PS4-exclusive Scarecrow Nightmare Mission.

Batman: Arkham Knight will be arriving June 2, 2015, on PC, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One.

Source: Press Release



Comments (0) | Posted at 06:48PM PST by ClayMeow
Dead or Alive 5 Last Round Coming to PC via Steam on February 17

Announced back in August for PS4, XBO, PS3, and 360, Dead or Alive 5 Last Round is now also coming to Windows PC via Steam. This will mark the first time the hit 3D fighting series makes its way to PC, unless you count Dead or Alive Online, which was canceled in 2011 while still in beta testing. Dead or Alive 5 Last Round adds two new playable characters to DoA5's original roster, for a total of 34 fighters.

Dead or Alive 5 Last Round launches February 17 in North America and February 20 in Europe for Windows PC, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PlayStation 3, and Xbox 360. The game is currently available for pre-purchase on Steam at 10% off, bringing the price down to $35.99 from $39.99, as well as additional costume rewards unlocking as more people pre-purchase. However, before you go ahead and jump at the chance to play DoA on PC for the first time, do keep in mind that "Online modes for Dead or Alive 5 Last Round will be added in a patch within three months of release."

Source: Twitter and Steam



December 6, 2014
Comments (0) | Posted at 04:03PM PST by ClayMeow

The Game Awards 2014 took place yesterday, December 5, and if you happened to miss the live broadcast, you can watch a replay or simply check out the list of all the winners below. The nominees and winners were selected by a jury of 28 international media and must have been commercially released by November 25 to be eligible, except for Most Anticipated Game, which was voted by fans. If you're a PC gamer, many of the nominated titles are discounted on Steam up to 67% until December 8 at 10AM PST.

  • Game of the Year: Dragon Age: Inquisition from BioWare/EA
  • Developer of the Year: Nintendo
  • Best Independent Game: Shovel Knight from Yacht Club Games
  • Best Mobile/Handheld Game: Hearthstone from Blizzard
  • Best Narrative: Valiant Hearts: The Great War by Ubisoft Montpellier/Ubisoft
  • Best Score/Soundtrack: Destiny from Marty O'Donnell, Michael Salvatori, C Paul Johnson, & Paul McCartney
  • Best Performance: Trey Parker as Various Voices, South Park: The Stick of Truth from Obsidian/Ubisoft
  • Games For Change: Valiant Hearts: The Great War by Ubisoft Montpellier/Ubisoft
  • Best Remaster: Grand Theft Auto V from Rockstar Games
  • Best Shooter: Far Cry 4 from Ubisoft Montreal/Ubisoft
  • Best Action/Adventure: Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor from Monolith/WBIE
  • Best Role Playing Game: Dragon Age: Inquisition from BioWare/EA
  • Best Fighting Game: Super Smash Bros. Wii-U from Sora Ltd/Bandai-Namco Games/Nintendo
  • Best Family Game: Mario Kart 8 from Nintendo EAD/Nintendo
  • Best Sports/Racing Game: Mario Kart 8 from Nintendo EAD/Nintendo
  • Best Online Experience: Destiny from Bungie/Activision
  • Most Anticipated Game: The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt from CD Projekt

Source: Official Site and Steam



Comments (0) | Posted at 03:09PM PST by ClayMeow
Resident Evil Revelations 2 Gets Second Trailer as Vita Added to Platform List

Announced back in September for PC, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and Xbox 360, Resident Evil Revelations 2 is now also coming to PlayStation Vita. Along with that announcement, Capcom has released a brand new trailer for the game:

Resident Eveil Revelations 2 is planned for digital episodic release beginning February 17, 2015, for PC (via Steam), PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PlayStation 3, and Xbox 360, with a physical release scheduled for March 10 in North America and March 13 in Europe. The PlayStation Vita version is currently listed for Spring 2015, with no exact date.

Source: Capcom Blog



Comments (0) | Posted at 02:38PM PST by ClayMeow

You may have seen the leaked Announcement Trailer ahead of time, but Capcom made it official today – the next iteration of the venerable Street Fighter series is exclusive to PC and PlayStation 4. Not only that, but thanks to a strategic partnership between Sony and Capcom, Street Fighter V will feature cross-platform play for the first time ever. Yes, that means PC gamers and PS4 gamers can face off each other!

Street Fighter V has no release date just yet, but its first gameplay demonstration will take place at the Capcom Cup grand finals tournament on December 13. You can watch it live at twitch.tv/capcomfighters.

Source: Press Release and Capcom Blog



Comments (1) | Posted at 01:23PM PST by CheeseMan42

When it was announced that a Grim Fandango remaster was coming to PC and PS4 in July, Double Fine had yet to settle on a release date. The game has now been given a release date of January 27 on PC, Mac, Linux, PS4, and Vita consoles. In addition to the release date announcement, Double Fine revealed that a remaster of Day of the Tentacle is also on the way for PC and PS4. As someone that never got a chance to play these highly touted games when they were first released, I am very eager to get my hands on the remastered versions.

Source: PC Gamer



Comments (0) | Posted at 01:09PM PST by CheeseMan42

British company Imagination has announced a barebones computer to compete with the Raspberry Pi. The Creator CI20 beats the Pi in processor speed, memory, and onboard storage, and also has Wi-Fi and Bluetooth for connectivity while many competitors only have wired Ethernet. The CI20 is available for purchase now, with shipment expected to begin in January, at an MSRP of $65. Imagination has previous experience designing graphics chips for Apple devices and will use a graphics chip found in iPads for the CI20. Chris Green, principal technology analyst at the Davies Murphy Group, described its' potential impact saying, "There will be a modicum of pick-up, especially for people trying to develop for Android it could be a very useful low-cost device to have. But do I think it will make much wider impact? The answer is no."

Source: BBC



December 5, 2014
Comments (0) | Posted at 10:11PM PST by ClayMeow
New The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt 'Elder Blood' Trailer Features the Return of Ciri

Thanks to the Game Awards 2014, that means we get a plethora of new trailers and thankfully that includes one of the biggest games of 2015, The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt. The new trailer is entitled "Elder Blood" and shows the return of Ciri, who is being hunted by the Wild Hunt due to the Elder Blood that flows through her veins. Oh, and the game took home the award for "Most Anticipated Game."

The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt is coming to PC, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One on February 24, 2015. Sixteen DLCs are planned, all for free!

Source: Facebook [1] & [2]



Comments (0) | Posted at 09:54PM PST by ClayMeow
Dying Light Story Trailer Begs You to Live by Your Own Rules

On the heels of the PC system requirements and Season Pass details, coming a brand new Story Trailer for Techland's Dying Light. Enjoy!

Dying Light will launch January 27 in the Americas, January 28 in Australia and New Zealand, and January 30 in Europe and Asia; priced $49.99 for PC and $59.99 for PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. Pre-ordering allows you to "Be The Zombie".

Source: YouTube



Comments (0) | Posted at 09:42PM PST by ClayMeow

Paradox Interactive has announced that development of its upcoming RPG Runemaster has been suspended until further notice, with the development team being moved to other projects within Paradox Development Studio. Runemaster was a highly ambitious tactical RPG set within six worlds of Norse mythology and featuring procedurally generated content. Unfortunately that ambition could not be realized, and "Runemaster in its current form was unable to live up to the standards" Paradox sets for itself.

Runemaster was announced back in January for PC and PlayStation 4. Check out the Story Trailer from August:

Source: Paradox Interactive



Comments (0) | Posted at 09:08PM PST by ClayMeow
Dead Island: Epidemic Enters Open Beta with New PvE Mode, Crossroads

Free-to-play MOBA Dead Island: Epidemic has been in Steam Early Access for awhile, but now it's finally available to the public, as it has officially entered Open Beta. In doing so, the game also received a major content update, adding an all-new PvE mode called Crossroads, switching to a global progression system, overhauling the crafting system, adding a unique passive ability to each character, and making a smarter loot drop system.

Dead Island: Epidemic can be downloaded via Steam.

Source: Press Release



Comments (0) | Posted at 08:46PM PST by ClayMeow
Dying Light PC System Specs Revealed Alongside Season Pass Details

If you're planning on picking up the PC version of Techland's upcoming first-person, open-world survival horror game Dying Light, you better have a fairly modern and beefy rig, especially if you want to reach those coveted recommended specs.

MINIMUM:

  • OS: Windows® 7 64-bit / Windows® 8 64-bit / Windows® 8.1 64-bit
  • Processor: Intel® Core™ i5-2500 @3.3 GHz / AMD FX-8320 @3.5 GHz
  • Memory: 4 GB RAM DDR3
  • Hard Drive: 40 GB free space
  • Graphics: NVIDIA® GeForce® GTX 560 / AMD Radeon™ HD 6870 (1GB VRAM)
  • DirectX®: Version 11
  • Sound: DirectX® compatible
  • Additional Notes: Laptop versions of graphics cards may work but are NOT officially supported.
  • Windows-compatible keyboard, mouse, optional controller (Xbox 360 Controller for Windows recommended)

RECOMMENDED:

  • OS: Windows® 7 64-bit / Windows® 8 64-bit / Windows® 8.1 64-bit
  • Processor: Intel® Core™ i5-4670K @3.4 GHz / AMD FX-8350 @4.0 GHz
  • Memory: 8 GB RAM DDR3
  • Hard Drive: 40 GB free space
  • Graphics: NVIDIA® GeForce® GTX 780 / AMD Radeon™ R9 290 (2GB VRAM)
  • DirectX®: Version 11
  • Sound: DirectX® compatible
  • Additional Notes: Laptop versions of graphics cards may work but are NOT officially supported.
  • Windows-compatible keyboard, mouse, optional controller (Xbox 360 Controller for Windows recommended)

In addition, Techland revealed the Dying Light Season Pass, containing three content packs for $19.99 / £15.99 / €19.99:

  • Cuisine & Cargo – Available first for Season Pass holders, these two hardcore missions let players put their skills to the ultimate test. Investigate buildings sealed off in the very first days of the outbreak – with the infected inside. Explore ominous corridors of once the most famous restaurant in Harran, and employ both stealth and combat to ransack a zombie-filled loading bay at an abandoned railroad yard.
  • Ultimate Survivor Bundle – Players will receive seven unique in-game items that will bring fighting zombies to a whole new level. Grab three special outfits and four blueprints for over-the-top weapons to make your survival in the quarantine zone a good bit easier.
  • The Bozak Horde – The final Season Pass drop will deliver a new map and gameplay, playable in either single-player or co-op. Go inside the Harran Stadium, the most famous landmark in the city, and test your combat know-how against relentless hordes of the Infected. Fight increasingly stronger and larger enemy waves as you oppose a mysterious psychopath called Bozak.

Dying Light will launch January 27 in the Americas, January 28 in Australia and New Zealand, and January 30 in Europe and Asia; priced $49.99 for PC and $59.99 for PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. Pre-ordering allows you to "Be The Zombie".

Source: Press Release and Steam



Comments (0) | Posted at 11:02AM PST by Guest_Jim_*

Everybody is likely familiar with lithium batteries because they are such a ubiquitous energy storage system. What fewer people may know though is that they are very hard to improve and that one method to do so presents serious issues. Researchers at the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory however, have recently found out why a specific coating can improve that method's effectiveness.

Normally lithium batteries rely on graphite electrodes to absorb and release the lithium ions, thereby storing and releasing electricity. Silicon electrodes can potentially hold ten times as many lithium ions though, and could allow for batteries with many times the life we have today. The problem is that silicon is so fragile that the swelling it undergoes when taking in the lithium ions breaks the electrodes. Silicon nanoparticles can help, and also offer even better performance, but still suffer the fracturing problem. Researchers at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory and University of Colorado, Boulder have found that a rubber-like coating of aluminum glycerol protects can let the nanoparticle electrodes survive five times longer. Now, thanks to PNNL, we know why.

Uncoated silicon nanoparticles will have an oxide layer on their surface, which restricts their ability to swell, but the aluminum glycerol, or alucone, actually removes that oxide layer is allows for the swelling. The researchers also observed the alucone preventing the nanoparticles from merging, which was another issue that would damage the electrodes.

Source: Pacific Northwest National Laboratory



Comments (0) | Posted at 11:00AM PST by bp9801

The first week of December is nearly in the books, but not before we have some reviews for you to check out. There is a look at the NZXT H440 Razer Edition case, which is designed in part with Razer to deliver a unique experience. We also have a look at the new Ubisoft game The Crew and how it performs on various video cards. For something a little different, there's the ROCCAT Apuri Active USB hub, which adds four USB 2.0 ports and even a mouse bungee to your desk. We have a rather unique case mod called the ASUS ROG Table and Rig, and you really have to see it to believe it. Wrapping things up is a podcast covering the latest news and reviews from the past week.

Cases
NZXT H440 Designed by Razer @ PC Perspective

Gaming
The Crew Benchmarked: Graphics & CPU Performance @ TechSpot

Gadgets
ROCCAT Apuri Active USB Hub @ Benchmark Reviews

Miscellany
Case Mod Friday: ASUS ROG Table & Rig @ ThinkComputers
Podcast #328 @ PC Perspective



Comments (0) | Posted at 07:22AM PST by Guest_Jim_*

In the future we may have advanced quantum computers capable of running algorithms that modern electronic computers could never hope to. There is still a lot of work to be done before these devices can become reality though, including finding ways to store and read quantum information. Now researchers at the Technische Universitaet Muenchen have found a way to access the information stored in nitrogen vacancies electronically, which has never been accomplished before.

Nitrogen vacancies are a defect found in diamonds where carbon atoms have been replaced by nitrogen atoms. When the nitrogen atoms are hit by a laser, an electron is popped up to a higher energy state, creating an electron-hole pair that can store quantum information. To access this information, the researchers used nanodiamonds and a layer of graphene. When the electron-hole pair, which acts as a dipole, formed in the diamond, another dipole formed in the graphene, which is highly conductive. Gold electrodes are then able to record the induced charge, thereby measuring the information electronically.

As the electron-hole pairs will disappear in a matter of nanoseconds, the researchers had to use a laser that reaches into picoseconds and use very sensitive equipment. Such a combination should allow it to future quantum computers to achieve clock speeds in the terahertz domain, if this system is used.

Source: Technische Universitaet Muenchen







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