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News Archives for July 2013

Hardware Roundup: Monday Edition

Posted: July 1, 2013 @ time: 08:41AM
Author: bp9801

July is upon us at last, and we have some new reviews and articles to welcome it. We have a review on the Gigabyte GTX 760 OC Windforce, which manages to fit three fans on the cooler to help keep the factory overclock (and any further you push it) from going up in flames. There's a review on the COBY Kyros 8" tablet with its 1.2GHz dual-core processor and improved battery life that could make it your newest gadget. Google Reader is no more as of today, and luckily we have a list of some alternatives for all your RSS feeds. There's also a look at a pretty sweet case mod on a Mini-ITX case that may look stock, but is anything but.

Video Cards
Gigabyte GTX 760 OC Windforce @ LanOC Reviews

Laptops/Tablets
COBY Kyros Dual Core 8" MID8065 Internet Tablet @ Madshrimps

Internet
Last Call: Google Reader Dies Monday, Here Are The Best Alternatives @ TechSpot

Miscellany
Case Mod Friday: monsterITX @ ThinkComputers


Complete Story


'Streamloading' to Ease Buffering

Posted: July 1, 2013 @ time: 08:48AM
Author: Guest_Jim_*

A fairly common experience for people using mobile devices is waiting for a video to buffer before they can watch it. As the speed a video buffers depends on the wireless connection, the time you wait can vary greatly. Researchers at the Polytechnic Institute of New York University though have developed a new streaming method that could potentially reduce the time you wait, and the load on mobile networks.

Called 'streamloading,' this new method splits the video into two layers; a base and an enhancement layer. The base layer represents a coarse version of the video while the enhancement layer adds most of the detail and quality. (Imagine the base layer being a standard definition video and the enhancement layer being the details to achieve high definition.) By separating the two layers it is possible to download them separately, so the larger enhancement layer can be downloaded when the wireless signal is strong, while the base layer is streamed at the time of viewing on a weaker signal.

The researchers predict that using streamloading could reduce the amount of streamed content by 75% on a cellular network, which would greatly ease congestion, because the enhancement layer may have been downloaded on a Wi-Fi network instead. As the enhancement layer is useless without the base layer, the researchers are confident streamloading will not circumvent the DRM of services like Netflix.

Source: Polytechnic Institute of New York University


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Apple Rumored to be Working on Smartwatch

Posted: July 1, 2013 @ time: 02:57PM
Author: CheeseMan42

It is possible that Apple will be going forward with plans to create a rumored smartwatch as it is being reported that the company has applied for a trademark on the name iWatch. Analyst at Creative Strategies Tim Bajarin said, "Apple doesn't like to take a leadership position, but when they see a product that's caught the consumer's attention, they really take notice," citing examples like the Pebble watch that got its start on Kickstarter. Samsung is another major player that is about to release its own product and there appears to be a "positive response from consumers to tech devices you can wear." An additional report from Bloomberg cites "two people familiar with the company's plans" who have said that Apple has assigned a team of 100 designers to work on the watch.

Source: Mercury News


Complete Story


Potentially Bringing Light-Field Cameras to Everyone

Posted: July 1, 2013 @ time: 05:53PM
Author: Guest_Jim_*

Throughout our technology inundated lives we are bombarded by two dimensional images and videos. Almost all of our monitors display 2D pictures exclusively, and even more of our cameras are similarly limited, but researchers are working on technologies to bring the third dimension to our electronics. One of these technologies is the light-field camera and researchers at MIT have recently found a way to potentially bring this technology to everyone.

The typical, modern camera operates by recording the intensity of light at a specific point, either on film or on a semiconductor. A light-field camera however records the intensity of the light and the viewing angle of the field. Modern light-field cameras accomplish this with special sensors, that sacrifice resolution for the extra data, but the MIT researchers have designed a simple plastic film that does not suffer that particular trade-off and can be combined with standard 2D cameras. The film is made of multiple patches, which are made of blocks and pixels, which have been carefully designed to allow only certain light fields through. By combining the information from the patches, it is possible to reconstruct the original light-field of the image.

While the simple plastic film could bring light-field cameras to everyone, there is still a lot of work to do. The computations required to produce a single image are exceedingly complex and the film's current design and optimization may need additional development to image everything in the real world.

Source: MIT


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Hardware Roundup: Tuesday Edition

Posted: July 2, 2013 @ time: 08:31AM
Author: bp9801

We have a little bit of everything today, starting with a review on a new socket 1150 motherboard. Gigabyte's Z87X-UD5H motherboard gets put under the scope to check out the new features and if it could be the centerpiece of your new computer. There's also a look at XSPC Razor GTX690 full cover waterblock for NVIDIA's GTX 690 video card, which should help keep that dual GPU monster running cool. For a new game to run on that GTX 690, there's a review on Remember Me (also seen at OCC), a new IP from DONTNOD and Capcom. If you're on the road a lot and want to be sure to have some video evidence just in case you get in an accident, then the Genius DVR-FHD590 dash camera should do the trick.

Motherboards
Gigabyte Z87X-UD5H LGA 1150 @ [H]ardOCP

Gaming
Remember Me @ LanOC Reviews

VGA Cooling
XSPC Razor GTX690 GeForce GTX 690 Waterblock @ ThinkComputers

Gadgets
Genius DVR-FHD590 Dash Camera Vehicle Recorder @ Benchmark Reviews


Complete Story


Nanometer Thick Solar Cell Designed

Posted: July 2, 2013 @ time: 09:58AM
Author: Guest_Jim_*

Solar power is considered one of the more attractive sources of clean energy thanks to how much energy pours onto the Earth from the Sun every second. Collecting that energy can be done in many ways using many different materials, such as silicon, quantum dots, and some organic semiconductors. Now researchers at MIT have created a new class of solar-power devices; two dimensional solar cells.

Since the discovery of graphene, an atom-thick plane of carbon, researchers have been searching out other 2D materials, as many have special properties. Among those materials are molybdenum disulfide and molybdenum diselenide, which are molecule-thick, semiconducting sheets. The MIT researchers combined these two materials, placing one on the other, to create a theoretical solar cell just one nanometer thick; the thinnest solar panel ever. Such an achievement could be very useful in situations that have weight restrictions such as spacecraft and avionics.

While being the smallest is definitely an achievement, there are two issues to be addressed before this technology can be used. One is that the cell is only predicted to have an efficiency between 1 and 2%, and the other is that both molybdenum disulfide and molybdenum diselenide are hard to produce. With time though, both issues may be overcome.

Source: MIT


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Cooler Master Launches the CM Storm QuickFire XT Mechanical Keyboard

Posted: July 2, 2013 @ time: 12:13PM
Author: bp9801

Cooler Master is one of the leaders in pretty much every category related to computer hardware, and today it's launching its newest keyboard. The CM Storm QuickFire XT is the 104-key version of the QuickFire Rapid, so now you can get all the benefits of the Rapid just in a full keyboard. This mechanical keyboard features a slim body to help with ergonomics, while the laser-marked keycaps and anti-glossy finish ensure your XT will look new no matter how much you use it. Multimedia keys allow you to easily control your music, while the Windows key can be disabled so you don't accidently hit it during a game. Cherry MX Red, Blue, Brown, and Green switches are available for the XT, based on region, with a black backplate being included on the Blues, Browns, and Greens, and a red backplate for the Reds.

The Cooler Master QuickFire XT is available starting today, although no prices were mentioned.

Source: Cooler Master


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Klei Turns to Turn-Based Tactical Espionage in its Next Game, Incognita

Posted: July 2, 2013 @ time: 12:26PM
Author: ClayMeow

While indie developer Klei Entertainment has been releasing regular free updates for its most recent game, Don't Starve (including one coming out today), the studio has also been hard at work on its next game, which was officially announced earlier today. Incognita is a "turn-based tactical espionage" game, highly influenced by the XCOM franchise. Incognita is a huge departure from the studio's previous two games, Mark of the Ninja and Don't Starve, a 2D stealth platformer and an open-world, top-down survival game, respectively. That being said, Klei co-founder Jamie Cheng told RPS that they're "taking all the learnings from Don't Starve and Mark of the Ninja, and making something new with it." One of those Don't Starve influences is procedural generation, which will of course mean loads of replayability.

Details are very sparse at the moment, with only a single screenshot, but according to Cheng, information is power in Incognita – thus the espionage aspect of the game. This is the main differentiating factor between Incognita and XCOM, with him explaining that XCOM is "ten percent information gathering and 90 percent positioning." Whether we'll be commanding a squad like in XCOM, has not been divulged, though the screenshot does imply a three-person team – or maybe I'm just reading too much into it. Best of all, "PC is the primary platform," with a Windows version being the first, followed by a Mac version. Cheng also said that they hope to have a Linux version as well. Don't Starve is available for all three operating systems, so there is a history there. Klei is shooting for a late summer alpha launch. You can sign up at the official site to stay informed. Clicking on "Hello? Are you there?" at the bottom of the page brings you to a cipher to decode.

Source: Rock Paper Shotgun


Complete Story


Pier of Pain Event Coming to Killing Floor

Posted: July 2, 2013 @ time: 01:41PM
Author: CheeseMan42

Killing Floor is an extremely fun co-op multiplayer shooter where players team up to fight off waves of zombie hoards. The team at Tripwire Interactive has been releasing free DLC in the form of new weapons, maps, and characters for the past few summers, in addition to a separate Christmas event, and this year is no exception. The Summer Sideshow Pier of Pain event arrives tomorrow and brings a new game mode with it in addition to a new map and other new items. The new Objective Mode adds tasks for players to complete in addition to the standard zombie wave elimination. The game will be free to play for a week starting on July 4.

Source: PC Gamer


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Ubisoft Servers Hacked, User Data Compromised

Posted: July 2, 2013 @ time: 01:55PM
Author: CheeseMan42

Ubisoft has announced that a security breach of its Uplay servers has resulted in unauthorized access of user data. Hackers were able to gain access to user names, e-mail addresses, and encrypted passwords. Fortunately, payment data is stored on a different server that Ubisoft says wasn't compromised. An official statement from the company said, "We instantly took steps to close off this access, to begin a thorough investigation with relevant authorities, internal and external security experts, and to start restoring the integrity of any compromised systems." Users that have an account with the Uplay service should change their passwords, as well as any site that shares login information with it.

Source: Venture Beat


Complete Story


Solvent Made into Superconductor

Posted: July 2, 2013 @ time: 03:13PM
Author: Guest_Jim_*

Before it can power our devices, an electrical current has a long distance to travel, and the cables that carry it do a decent job, but are not perfect as they have some resistance. Superconductors however have no resistance and can conduct a current without any loss, so researchers around the world are trying to understand how this is possible, to then apply them to power grids. A team of researchers, led by those at Washington State University, have recently discovered a new superconductor that may shed some light on how they operate.

Something common to all superconductors is the need for low temperatures; sometimes temperatures barely above absolute zero. At this energy level, the material will transition into a superconducting state, but exactly what happens can vary from material to material. In the case of carbon disulfide, a solvent the researchers were working with, at 6.5 K and a pressure of 500,000 atmospheres, the molecular structure rearranges itself to vibrate, allowing electrons to travel without resistance.

While such a low temperature and high pressure would make carbon disulfide useless for technology, its potential is in what we can learn from it. Further study of this unconventional superconductor could lead to the discovery of others, which may operate at room temperature and pressure.

Sources: Washington State University and Carnegie Institution


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Hardware Roundup: Wednesday Edition

Posted: July 3, 2013 @ time: 08:29AM
Author: bp9801

There's a ton of items to get to today, so let's dive in and see what we can find! We have a couple of video cards that are on opposite ends of the price range, with the MSI GTX 780 Gaming and the MSI N760 TF 2GD5/OC. The GTX 760 review actually pushes the card as high as possible on the overclock to see what it's capable of and how it performs against others. There's a look at the SanDisk Extreme II 240GB SSD, the ASUS Maximus VI Extreme motherboard for Intel Haswell, and the CM Storm QuickFire Stealth mechanical keyboard. We also have reviews on plenty of other items, so be sure to hit them all up below to see what's what.

Video Cards
MSI GTX 780 Gaming @ LanOC Reviews
MSI N760 TF 2GD5/OC Overclocking @ [H]ardOCP

Motherboards
ASUS Maximus VI Extreme Z87 @ Bjorn3D

Gaming
Company of Heroes 2 Tested, Benchmarked @ TechSpot

Keyboards/Mice
CM Storm QuickFire Stealth Mechanical Keyboard @ Neoseeker
Mad Catz R.A.T. M Gaming Mouse @ Madshrimps

Storage/Hard Drive
SanDisk Extreme II SSD 240GB @ TechSpot

Power Supplies
Fractal Design Integra R2 750W @ ThinkComputers

Audio/Video
Ebode VLHD30 Full HDMI Wireless Audio/Video Sender System @ Madshrimps


Complete Story


Apps Accessing Private Data on iOS Devices Discovered

Posted: July 3, 2013 @ time: 09:08AM
Author: Guest_Jim_*

Something many people are used to and take advantage of on PCs is the ability to customize and control almost everything, such as installing software to protect your privacy. Mobile devices however are more closed environments, so your privacy can be in greater danger. Researchers at the University of California, San Diego have recently discovered just how great a danger your personal information is on iOS devices.

Regardless of if you use iOS or Android devices, smartphones and tables can hold a great deal of information about you, including location information and contacts. Ideally this information is always going to be protected from prying eyes, but reality is rarely ideal. In March 2012, the researchers released ProtectMyPrivacy (PMP) an app for jailbroken iOS devices that monitors what data other apps access, and can block the transmission of that information. Since then some 130,000 users have downloaded PMP and roughly 99% have been supplying anonymous information on the behavior of 225,000 other apps. Processing the reports reveals that 48.1% of those apps access the device's unique identifier, which can be used to track your behavior, with 13.2 % access location information and 6.2% looking at your address book. While all of the phones in the study were jailbroken, the researchers point out that most of the apps were acquired from the Apple App Store.

While the anonymous reports say that almost half of the tested apps access the identifier, the researchers have found that sometimes it is not the download app doing it, but an associated app, such as an ad library. The researchers did submit a lite version of ProtectMyPrivacy to the Apple App Store, for those with locked iOS devices to download, but it was rejected.

Source: University of California, San Diego


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Hardware Roundup: Thursday Edition

Posted: July 4, 2013 @ time: 08:34AM
Author: bp9801

There's just a couple items for you to check out today, but each one is definitely something to consider. We have a review on a 256GB SSD from Toshiba, however it's one that's more common in Ultrabooks, Macs, and more than on store shelves. It gets put to the test versus some enthusiast SSDs to see how the OEM model fares. For something a little different, there's an article providing some security tips for iOS devices. Security is a major issue today, so these tips could be the perfect thing to keep your iOS device safe.

Storage/Hard Drives
Toshiba THNSNH 256GB SSD @ [H]ardOCP

Mobile
Security Tips for iOS Devices @ ThinkComputers


Complete Story


Boxee Bought by Samsung for $30 Million

Posted: July 4, 2013 @ time: 12:55PM
Author: bp9801

Boxee may not be as big a name in the world of streaming media as Roku, but nevertheless things are looking up. Samsung has announced its acquired the company for a cool $30 million, with "key talent and assets" joining the technology giant. It's believed the acquisition will help Samsung's smart TV expansion, which effectively eliminates the need for a separate set-top box to stream content, like the Boxee Box. When Boxee first introduced its set-top box, it faced some opposition to the streaming TV idea, which led to Hulu support being pulled at one point. Since then it hasn't quite taken hold in the market like the aforementioned Roku or even Apple TV. Boxee had recently been looking for a buyer or more funding, and luckily Samsung decided to step into the picture. Hopefully it means good things are in store for both companies.

Source: AllThingsD


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Douglas Engelbart, Inventor of the Computer Mouse, Passes Away

Posted: July 4, 2013 @ time: 01:38PM
Author: bp9801

Computer users of all ages have Douglas Engelbart to thank for helping them navigate their desktop, as he's the man who invented the computer mouse. Sadly, Mr. Engelbart passed away late on July 2 at his home in Atherton, California, at the age of 88. He not only gave the world the computer mouse but also helped develop hypertext, networking, and even the beginnings of graphical user interfaces. Back in 1992 he received the Electronic Frontier Foundation's Pioneer Award, and a representative from the EFF, speaking of Mr. Engelbart's passing, said, "it's impossible to express his impact as a computing pioneer."

On December 8, 1968, Mr. Engelbart gave a presentation now known as "The Mother of All Demos," where he showed off not only the computer mouse, but video conferencing, teleconferencing, hypertext, word processing, hypermedia, object addressing, dynamic file linking, and a collaborative real-time editor. You can watch a video of it below, just be warned it's about an hour and 40 minutes long. It's fascinating stuff however, and does show how forward thinking his ideas truly were. The world of computers lost a pioneer, but he leaves it as a far better place than anyone could have imagined.

Source: Ars Technica


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Head-Transplants May Now be Possible

Posted: July 4, 2013 @ time: 01:46PM
Author: Guest_Jim_*

For a long time doctors have been transplanting tissues and organs from one body to another, in order to save lives. Liver, kidneys, lungs, heart, hand and face transplant have all been performed successfully already in humans. Now some researchers are suggesting we may be technically able to transplant a person's head from one body to another.

As fantastic an idea as that may sound head transplants have been conducted on animals before, but never attempted on humans. The procedure involves having both bodies in the same operating room, chilling them, and removing both heads at the same time. The surgeons then have one hour to attach the head to the new body, connect it to the circulatory system and restart the heart. What the researchers are suggesting is that we may now be able to connect the head to the body's spinal cord, which has previously been impossible. After being severed by an ultra-sharp knife, the two pieces of spinal cord can be mechanically connected, and the body's naturally healing process may be able to do the rest to give the brain control.

This idea though is just a suggestion or statement of the capabilities of modern medicine, and does not represent any intention to perform such transplants in the near future. Such a procedure could cost over $13 million dollars and the bioethical concerns are quite abundant.

Source: Quartz


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Hardware Roundup: Friday Edition

Posted: July 5, 2013 @ time: 08:34AM
Author: bp9801

The first week of July is at an end, and we still have some reviews for you to check out. First up is a look at a 16GB DDR3 kit from ADATA that runs at 1600MHz and features a pretty snazzy blue heatspreader. It could be the perfect kit to help speed up your computer, so read on to see how it performs. We also have a review on the Mad Catz R.A.T. M mobile gaming mouse that has many of the same features as the larger R.A.T. mice but in a more portable package for gamers on the go. It also packs in Bluetooth technology, so it could be your new go-to when gaming on the laptop.

Memory
ADATA XPG 1.0 2x8GB DDR3-1600 C11 Memory Kit @ Madshrimps

Keyboards/Mice
Mad Catz R.A.T. M Mobile Gaming Mouse @ ThinkComputers


Complete Story


Map Update Coming to Team Fortress 2

Posted: July 5, 2013 @ time: 09:30AM
Author: CheeseMan42

Valve has begun teasing a large update that is coming to Team Fortress 2, the popular Free-to-Play game, as it claims "this update is going to have a list of patch notes longer than a stalemate on Hydro." First up is an update to some of the current maps in the game, such as Badwater, that have developed some unintended exploits due to some of the items that the team has released over the years. Valve hopes that fixing these bugs will provide a better gaming experience. A pair of new Capture Point maps, Process and Standin, developed by community member Ian Cuslidge will also be added to the game and "were selected by the TF2 team in part for their straightforward and intuitive layouts, and in part because they were a hell of a lot of fun to play."

Source: Valve


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Advanced Interferometer Developed to Reduce Quantum Noise

Posted: July 5, 2013 @ time: 09:34AM
Author: Guest_Jim_*

One of the implications of quantum mechanics is that everything can be thought of in terms of probability, instead of certainty. While this allows for some interesting phenomena, it also can make measurements noisy. Researchers at Vienna University of Technology however have developed a new measurement technique that could significantly reduce quantum noise.

Interferometers are very useful devices that operate by splitting a wave in half, causing the two halves to take different paths and be affected by different forces, and then recombine the wave-halves. As the phase of the wave-halves will have shifted, the final wave will have an interference pattern indicative of the forces the half-waves experienced. Typically interferometers use light waves, but some use matter waves instead, and the interferometer these researchers built uses a Bose-Einstein condensate instead. A condensate is a cloud of atoms all in the same quantum state, which greatly reduces the effects of quantum noise on them.

Producing the interferometer was quite difficult as matters waves are harder to work with than light waves, but this new design could have a great impact on the future. By preparing the condensate correctly, theoretically the interferometer could reduce its uncertainty to math Heisenberg's uncertainty principle; the minimum amount of uncertainty in a system.

Source: Vienna University of Technology


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All of the Latest ECS Motherboards are Overclocker Friendly

Posted: July 7, 2013 @ time: 06:24AM
Author: CheeseMan42

ECS has built the ability to overclock your CPU into all of its latest Intel motherboards. The three chipsets that are compatible with the Intel 8 Series, including H87, B85, and H81 will allow users to push the limits of their components by "simply adjusting the CPU Ratio in BIOS settings." This method should provide a very simple way for users to squeeze every last bit of performance out of their systems.

Source: Press Release


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Hardware Roundup: Monday Edition

Posted: July 8, 2013 @ time: 08:45AM
Author: bp9801

We're on to a new week already, and that means some reviews and articles for you to check out. There's a look at the Inno3D iChill GTX 760 that features an impressive factory overclock and a custom cooler with three fans. It should be ideal at keeping everything from getting too hot while you're aiming for an even higher overclock. We also have a review on the Corsair Obsidian 350D case, which brings the series down to the MicroATX format. It could be just what you need for a stylish case for that new computer. To round things out, there's a look at an interesting case mod that has an interior dedicated to watercooling. It's one you'll just have to see to fully grasp its beauty.

Video Cards
Inno3D iChill GTX 760 @ Madshrimps

Cases
Corsair Obsidian 350D MicroATX @ Benchmark Reviews

Miscellany
Case Mod Friday: Pipe Fusion @ ThinkComputers


Complete Story


Understanding Why Electrons Move the Way They Do

Posted: July 8, 2013 @ time: 08:49AM
Author: Guest_Jim_*

If you pour a bucket of water down an incline, you would expect any material engulfed by the water to flow down the incline with it. When dealing with an electric current and electrons though, the reverse can happen, and researchers have been unable to explain why for years. Now those at MIT have found an answer that is not what some would expect.

To study the phenomenon the researchers placed a thin film of a ferromagnetic material between a platinum base and a layer of an oxide material. When a current was put through the composite material, the magnetic domains of the electron in the ferromagnetic material were found to move against the current. The researchers then repeated the test exactly, except that the metal tantalum replaced platinum and now the domains moved with the current. This suggests the asymmetric flow of the domains is not dependent on the ferromagnetic material they are in, but on the metal next to it. Such behavior is called a chiral effect, meaning it is dependent on direction, and this is the first time it has ever been demonstrated with magnetic domains.

The researchers have also found that the force on the magnetic domains to flip, which is necessary for the writing of data, can be multiplied by a factor of 10,000. Such an effect could be used to enhance magnetic data storage devices to the point of out-competing other, modern memory systems.

Source: MIT


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More DLC to be Created For Borderlands 2

Posted: July 8, 2013 @ time: 02:38PM
Author: CheeseMan42

In a recent interview with the Nerdist podcast, Gearbox CEO Randy Pitchford said that the company is working on more DLC for the popular FPS Borderlands 2. The final DLC for the first season pass was recently released, which may indicate that there will be a full season two of DLC. Pitchford added, "So everyone has this expectation that those would be the four DLCs and then that’s it. We’re going to do more. We’re going to do some other things. We don’t have details yet about it exactly." He finished the interview by revealing that the company is working on a new IP for the next generation Xbox One and PS4.

Source: IGN


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Barnes & Noble CEO Leaves Company; Rest of Executives Shuffle Positions

Posted: July 8, 2013 @ time: 07:28PM
Author: bp9801

Book retailer Barnes & Noble is doing some shuffling of its upper management, with CEO William Lynch resigning today. He also resigned as director of the company, which shouldn't come as too much of a surprise to see Lynch step away from both. Barnes & Noble then announced more executive moves, with Michael P. Huseby being appointed CEO of the Nook Media division and president of B&N proper. Vice president Allen Lindstrom is promoted to CFO, while Kanuji Malhotra, VP of corporate development, is now the VP of Nook Media. It's a bit of a shuffle, but most are stepping into a bigger role with B&N. Chairman Leonard Riggio thanked Lynch for his past three years as CEO, which saw the company emerge as a rival to Amazon's e-reader/tablet business. As for Lynch, he appreciated the opportunity to be Barnes & Noble's CEO over the last three years, and that he's looking forward to all future innovations from the company.

Source: Barnes and Noble


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Hardware Roundup: Tuesday Edition

Posted: July 9, 2013 @ time: 08:33AM
Author: bp9801

We have a fine selection of items for your viewing pleasure today, including an SLI review of NVIDIA's new GTX 760. The two 760s are put to the test versus SLI GTX 770s and a single GTX 780, so this is definitely something you won't want to miss. There's a review on the Corsair Carbide Series AIR 540 case, which features a rather unique dual chamber internal structure. We have a look at the QNAP TS-469L NAS for all your storage needs that can also work just fine as your multimedia server. There's also a review on the ASUS Cube that features Google TV to help you get away from your cable company.

Video Cards
GTX 760 SLI Results @ LanOC Reviews

Cases
Corsair Carbide Series AIR 540 @ [H]ardOCP

Storage/Hard Drives
QNAP TS-469L Network Attached Storage Device @ ThinkComputers

Gadgets
ASUS Cube Google TV @ Bjorn3D


Complete Story


New Means to Observe Terahertz Radiation

Posted: July 9, 2013 @ time: 09:34AM
Author: Guest_Jim_*

Humans are only able to perceive a small portion of the electromagnetic spectrum that surrounds us and permeates us all the time. One of the invisible areas of the spectrum is the terahertz range, between microwaves and infrared radiation, which have potential for sensors and medical devices. Actually making measurements with terahertz radiation is difficult though, but researchers at Boston College have developed a new, more efficient means of doing so.

The terahertz part of the spectrum is in just the wrong spot to interact with most modern technology. Some devices can capture part of the radiation, but tuning the waves properly is difficult, so new technologies are being studied. Among those technologies is a mask with the ability to quickly tune the radiation like a camera's aperture. The Boston researchers have designed such a mask using a semiconductor and a laser. With a micro-mirror device, the laser is used to encode instructions onto the semiconductor about how to react to the terahertz radiation. This makes the device a terahertz spatial light modulator with the ability to create a high resolution image in just seconds.

While this new mask could certainly have a great impact on the future of terahertz technology, the researchers are already working on new ideas to surpass it. With their better knowledge of the radiation, they are exploring metamaterials that could potentially do the same thing faster and more efficiently.

Source: Boston College


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ASUS Launches the GeForce GTX 780 DirectCU II Video Card

Posted: July 9, 2013 @ time: 10:38AM
Author: bp9801

ASUS is giving the full treatment to NVIDIA's GTX 780, as it's announced the GeForce GTX 780 DirectCU II video card. This high-end card features an ASUS-designed PCB, DirectCU II cooler, DIGI+ VRM digital power delivery, and Super Alloy Power VRM components to ensure this card is running stable no matter what you put it through. The DirectCU II cooler features a direct contact design with 10mm copper heat pipes to improve heat transfer efficiency by 40%, and a custom designed heat sink for a much larger heat dissipation area. ASUS says the new cooler features temperatures 30% lower than the reference model, along with "up to three times quieter performance," thanks in part to the new CoolTech fans. Those fans feature a hybrid blade and bearing design for 360° cooling, with an "inner radial blower and outter flower-type blades."

The DIGI+ VRM digital power delivery means up to 30% lower power noise than the reference model, while the Super Alloy Power VRM components translate to better efficiency and stability, and even lower temperatures. It all works out to improving the lifespan of the components to two and a half times what you'd usually find, so the GTX 780 DirectCU II will keep going long after other cards have stopped.

Specification-wise, the GTX 780 DirectCU II features 2304 CUDA cores, 3GB of GDDR5 memory on a 384-bit interface, and a core that runs at 889MHz base and 941MHz boost. One dual-link DVI-I, one dual-link DVI-D, one HDMI port, and one DisplayPort provide all your video connections, while an SLI bridge allows for some dual video power. Power requirements include 6-pin and 8-pin PCIe connectors, just like the reference model, so there aren't any surprises there. ASUS includes its GPU Tweak software to help you get the most out of your new video card.

ASUS' GeForce GTX 780 DirectCU II should be available later this week, although no price was mentioned.

Source: Press Release


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Grand Theft Auto V's Newest Trailer Arrives to Show Gameplay and Character Switching

Posted: July 9, 2013 @ time: 12:25PM
Author: bp9801

Rockstar Games launched the newest trailer for Grand Theft Auto V today, and it's one you won't want to miss. It's the first official gameplay trailer for GTA V, with all in-game footage from the PlayStation 3 version. In it, we learn how Rockstar is reinventing the open world as it showcases its version of southern California. I have to say, the game looks pretty impressive, with cars, jets, bikes, and the world of San Andreas presented in stunning detail. The trailer also shows us how switching between the characters of Michael, Franklin, and Trevor works, with basically the ability to go from one to another with ease. You can control Michael as he goes to take a hostage, switch to Franklin for some long-range fire support, back to Michael to secure the hostage, and then to Trevor for the getaway.

There's plenty more to see in the trailer, from hitting up a golf course or tennis court to play a game, customizing and cars, and even planning how you want to handle a bank heist. Like I said, this is one trailer you won't want to miss. The only bad thing is we have to wait until September 17 to get our hands on Grand Theft Auto V, but it'll be oh so worth it. Rockstar still isn't discussing a PC version, but hopefully we'll have some idea soon.

NSFW

Source: Rockstar


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Xbox One Kinect Incompatible With Computers

Posted: July 9, 2013 @ time: 01:12PM
Author: Prunes

It has been revealed that the Kinect that comes with the Xbox One cannot be plugged into PCs.

The one that shipped with the Xbox 360 was compatible with PCs, which allowed for many interesting uses due to all the information the Kinect is able to gather. This time around Microsoft opted for a proprietary connector that will not fit into a PC, and the company does not intend to release an adaptor either. The Kinect for PCs use a standard USB 3.0 port.

The new Kinect for the Xbox One and the new Kinect for PCs will be "built on a share of set technologies". The new Kinect for both platforms will have features such as 1080p video recording, an active IR mode, and a wider field of view than the previous Kinect, but despite the similarities Microsoft insist that they are not entirely the same, thus making cross-platform use impossible.

Despite these incompatibilities, it would not surprise anyone if someone manages to make an adapter that would allow for cross-platform use. Only time will tell.

Source: Fudzilla


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Next Generation ARM SoCs Expected to Hit 3 GHz

Posted: July 9, 2013 @ time: 01:16PM
Author: Prunes

Currently ARM processors are limited to 2.3 GHz due to the size of the manufacturing node, which is currently at 28 nm. This can be seen in both the Snapdragon 800 and the Tegra 4i, both of which are scheduled to arrive in late 2013 or early 2014.

The good news for ARM, and the consumers, is that TSMC and GlobalFoundries plan to move to a manufacturing node of only 20 nm, which, according to TSMC, will allow for a 30 percent higher speed, while requiring 25 percent less power. This improvement will bring the ARM SoCs to about 3 GHz, while the amount of transistors will be greatly increased as well. The increased amount of transistors is supposed to be primarily used for graphics. 25 percent reduction in power consumption will also be a welcome improvement, since it will help reduce one of the biggest problems amongst mobile units, namely the battery life.

These improvements will help ARM defend the company's market share in the smartphone and tablet market, both of which Intel and AMD are trying to penetrate. Intel hopes to move to 14 nm by the end of 2014 and AMD might do the same, if GlobalFoundries manages to keep its promise about moving to 14 nm by the end of 2014.

Source: Fudzilla


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All-Optical Transistor with Single-Photon Switch Created

Posted: July 9, 2013 @ time: 03:19PM
Author: Guest_Jim_*

The computing world changed forever when the first electronic transistor was built, as it set us on the path to ever smaller and faster computers. At the time the potential of the technology may have seemed unlimited, but now we are approaching a hard limit in what traditional transistor can do, so researchers are working on new designs. Those at MIT, Harvard University, and the Vienna University of Technology have recently built an all-optical transistor which could lead to a new wave of innovation.

Optical computers have been a goal of researchers for some time, but achieving them is difficult as light does not normally interact with itself and otherwise mechanisms are needed. In this case the mechanism was an optical resonator and cloud of supercold cesium atoms. An optical resonator is simply two mirrors facing each other, so photons will bounce back and forth between them. However, thanks to quantum mechanics, precisely tuned light waves can be made to pass through the mirrors, as though they were transparent. The cloud of atoms between the mirrors will normally not interfere with this process, but if even one electron in the cloud is bumped into a higher energy state, the cloud will become opaque and block much of the light. As the researchers have demonstrated, a single photon is all that is needed to switch the cloud's transition from transparent to opaque, making the device an all-optical transistor.

While the supercold cesium atoms will prevent this transistor design from entering computers anytime soon, it does represent a proof-of-concept for future devices that may. Some of those devices may even be quantum computers, as photons can be used as quantum bits.

Source: MIT


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Dota 2 Now Out of Beta

Posted: July 10, 2013 @ time: 03:52AM
Author: CheeseMan42

One look at my Steam profile will reveal that Dota 2 is my go to game, even though it has been in Beta for the last few years. Valve recently promised that the game would be fully released before the upcoming International 3 tournament at the start of August, and that day has finally come. The game will be completely free to play, though items can be purchased for heroes that have purely cosmetic effects with no impact on gameplay. For players that weren't already in the Beta, the game can be obtained from the Steam Store. Valve has been hard at work preparing for this moment, adding a large amount of server space in areas like Luxembourg, Stockholm, and the US West region in preparation for an increased player base. Valve has also created a series of tutorials for the New User Experience to help new players get up to speed. I would additionally recommend the guide from Purge Gamers as the game has a very high learning curve and it covers some areas that the Valve tutorials might not.

Source: Valve


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Hardware Roundup: Wednesday Edition

Posted: July 10, 2013 @ time: 08:35AM
Author: bp9801

There's just a couple of items for today, but both are quite appealing. Up first is the Gigabyte GTX 760 OC Version, which features a custom cooler and a factory overclock to give users a nice boost right away. That custom cooler could also make for a higher overclock if you need as much speed as possible for your games. Our other review is of the Corsair H100i water cooling system that has a 240mm radiator for the ultimate in CPU cooling. If you have the space for it in your case, this may be your solution to jumping into the world of water cooling.

Video Cards
Gigabyte GTX 760 OC Version @ [H]ardOCP

CPU Cooling
Corsair H100i Water Cooling System @ ThinkComputers


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3D Printing Liquid Metal

Posted: July 10, 2013 @ time: 09:02AM
Author: Guest_Jim_*

For many technologies there seems to come a renaissance as people develop new and interesting ways to utilize the technology. The ever-popular technology of 3D printing seems to be in that renaissance currently as researchers are finding new ways to apply it. For example, those at North Carolina State University have discovered how to print 3D structures made of liquid metal.

Most of the time when pushing a liquid out of a nozzle onto a substrate, you would expect the liquid to gather together into a larger and larger drop. Not so with an alloy of gallium and indium, which is liquid at room temperature, as it oxides when in contact with air. The oxidation layer is firm enough to maintain the original drop's shape, but does not prevent multiple drops from connecting to form a more complex structure. The researchers were able to build tall structures of liquid metal beads, as well as extrude liquid metal wires, capable of conducting electricity.

While it is definitely impressive to see a 3D structure printed in free-space, the researchers found they also could inject the liquid metal into a polymer template, which is then dissolved away to leave the metal exposed. Potentially these techniques could be combined with already established 3D printing methods for some interesting electronics applications.

 

 

Source: North Carolina State University


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Sapphire Adds Two Cards to HD 7700 Series

Posted: July 10, 2013 @ time: 02:34PM
Author: CheeseMan42

Sapphire is adding a pair of new graphics cards to its line of the HD 7700 series based on the Graphics Core Next architecture from AMD. Both cards are built using a 28nm manufacturing process with 384 stream processors and clock speed of 800MHz. The main difference between the two models of HD 7730 GPU is in the memory, with one card featuring 1GB of DDR5 running at 4500MHz and the other with 2GB of DDR3 at 1800MHz. Both cards give the option to output to HDMI, DVI, and VGA with support for dual monitors and CrossFireX.

Source: Press Release


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NVIDIA Partners with Ubisoft to Promote new Splinter Cell Game

Posted: July 10, 2013 @ time: 02:46PM
Author: CheeseMan42

The next game in the Splinter Cell series from Ubisoft, Splinter Cell Blacklist, sees the return of covert operative Sam Fisher. In this new game, Sam is "armed with a new mandate to hunt down the masterminds behind The Blacklist, a series of deadly escalating attacks on U.S. interests." Blacklist will feature a single player story line, co-op missions, and the Spies Vs. Mercs multiplayer mode, all of which are "supported by a universal economy and customization system that allows players to completely customize their game experience." NVIDIA will be partnering with the team at Ubisoft in two ways. First, by offering consumers that purchase a participating NVIDIA GPU a free copy of the game. A list of compatible cards can be found at the below link. Second, NVIDIA is working with the game designers at Ubisoft Toronto to incorporate several technologies to enhance gameplay including Direct X tessellation, NVIDIA HBAO+, and TXAA anti-aliasing. The offer is good until December 31, 2013.

Source: NVIDIA


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New Carbon Fiber Stays Strong when Knotted

Posted: July 10, 2013 @ time: 02:53PM
Author: Guest_Jim_*

Knots are everywhere, so unless you find one particularly annoying, it is possible you will not pay them much mind. Other people do though, as knots in fibers can weaken them considerably, even carbon fiber which is renowned for its strength. Now researchers at Rice University have found a new way to produce carbon fibers that suffer no ill-effects from knots, which could have a great impact on multiple industries.

When a knot is tied in a fiber, its twists put uneven stresses on the material, making it more likely to break at the knot than anywhere else. Exactly how much the material is weakened depends on the fiber's bending modulus; a measure of its flexibility. What the Rice researchers have discovered is a way to make a graphene oxide carbon fiber with such a low modulus that it behaves as though the knot was not there. This means the fiber itself is not weakened by the knot, and that could prove very useful for multiple industries.

As impressive as this strength is, the researchers suggest it could increase when the fibers are annealed at high temperatures. The fibers themselves were produced at room temperature, instead of the 2100 ºC industry standard for carbon fibers.

Source: Rice University


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Apple Found Guilty of Price Fixing eBooks; Punishment Coming in Later Trial

Posted: July 10, 2013 @ time: 04:32PM
Author: bp9801

Recently, five publishers and Apple were accused of fixing the price on eBooks to try and battle Amazon's dominance on the market, with three of the publishers settling last October, with a fourth following in December. This past February saw the final publisher settle, which just left Apple all alone for a court date in June. Today the ruling came down from District Judge Denise Cote, who found Apple guilty of conspiring "to restrain trade" as it led a conspiracy to fix eBook pricing above what Amazon was charging. The five publishers and Apple were accused of pricing eBooks at $12.99 and $14.99, when Amazon was typically charging $9.99. Judge Cote said the following in her decision:

The Plaintiffs have shown that the Publisher Defendants conspired with each other to eliminate retail price competition in order to raise e-book prices, and that Apple played a central role in facilitating and executing that conspiracy. Without Apple’s orchestration of this conspiracy, it would not have succeeded as it did in the Spring of 2010.

Exactly how much Apple will have to owe wasn't decided today, but will be at a later trial. The five publishers have paid out $164 million in reimbursements, and odds are that number is going to go up. Once a decision has been made, you can be sure to hear about it here. Apple is unhappy with the judge's decision and a spokesman said the company didn't engage in any eBook price fixing conspiracy, and that it plans to appeal the ruling.

Source: Ars Technica


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Cooler Master to Release New PSU Series

Posted: July 11, 2013 @ time: 04:51AM
Author: Prunes

Cooler Master has announced a new series of PSUs, called the G-series. The series will consist of a 500 W, a 600 W, and a 700 W PSU that will all have active PFC (Power Factor Correction) and 80 Plus Bronze certification.

The G-series will be aimed primarily at the mainstream market; however, that did not stop Cooler Master from loading the PSUs with various protections, such as Voltage-Protection, Short Circuit Protection, Current-Protection, and Temperature-Protection. The G-series will also be able to power Intel's new Haswell Processors, since the G700 model's 12 V rail design will be able to deliver up to 55 A.

The PSUs will be cooled by a single 120 mm fan with intelligent speed control, which will be placed in the bottom. The fan will operate in silent mode until the PSU hits 70 percent load, where the fan will then speed up to keep the temperature in check. The G700 model will feature nine SATA connectors, 3 standard molex connectors along with multi GPU support. The G600 and the G500 will have six SATA connectors, 3 standard molex connectors, and no support for multi GPU.

All of the PSUs will be packaged in "go green" packaging that is made from recycled paper to help reduce CO2 emission. The PSUs are expected to go on sale next month with prices set around €59,95 for the G500, €69,95 for the G600, and €79,95 for the G700.

Source: Fudzilla


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Ivy Bridge-E CPUs Revealed Along With Haswell Refresh

Posted: July 11, 2013 @ time: 05:32AM
Author: Prunes

If you are starting to feel that your Sandy Bridge-E processor just does not cut it anymore, then fret not for Intel will have you covered soon. New details have been revealed about the upcoming Ivy Bridge-E that is set to be launched in Q3 2013.

Model Cores Threads Base Clock Turbo Clock L3 Cache Memory TDP
Core i7-4960X 6 12 3.6 GHz 4.0 GHz 15 MB DDR3-1866 130 W
Core i7-4930K 6 12 3.4 GHz 3.9 GHz 12 MB DDR3-1866 130 W
Core i7-4820K 4 8 3.7 Ghz 3.9 GHz 10 MB DDR3-1866 130 W

Other than more cores and higher speeds, the Ivy Bridge-E will also feature 30 PCI-Express lanes (third generation); along with various internal changes and better graphics, which can be found in regular Ivy Bridge CPUs as well.

According to a leaked roadmap, we can also expect a Haswell refresh in Q2 2014. This refresh appears to include two new chipsets, Z97 and H97, that support SATA Express, which is said to provide device interface speeds from 8 Gb/s to 16 Gb/s by utilizing PCI-Express lanes. The chipsets will also include Intel device protection, which will protect PCs against malware, and new Intel Smart response and Rapid start technologies with Dynamic Cache Sharing.

Source: WCCF


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Hardware Roundup: Thursday Edition

Posted: July 11, 2013 @ time: 08:32AM
Author: bp9801

We have a lot on today's menu, starting with a review on the MSI GTX 770 N770 TF 2GD5/OC video card. There's also a look at MSI's Z87-GD65 Gaming motherboard for Intel Haswell processors, so the motherboard could be the perfect home for your 4th Gen Core processor. We have a review on the OCZ Vector 256GB SSD to provide a ton of storage and plenty of speed for your computer. A couple of different security cameras get reviewed, with one being indoor and the other outdoor. There's a look at the ThinkPad Tablet 2 that runs Windows 8 Pro, and plenty of other reviews for you to sink your teeth in to on this day. Check out all the links below to see it all!

Video Cards
MSI GTX 770 N770 TF 2GD5/OC @ Neoseeker

Motherboards
MSI Z87-GD65 GAMING @ [H]ardOCP

CPU Cooling
NZXT Kraken X60 All-in-One Water Cooler @ Madshrimps

Storage/Hard Drives
OCZ Vector 256GB SSD @ LanOC Reviews

Cases
In Win GT1 Mid Tower @ ThinkComputers

Home Security
Rosewill RSCM-12003 Outdoor Security Camera @ Benchmark Reviews
Home Monitor Indoor Security Camera @ XSReviews

Laptops/Tablets
ThinkPad Tablet 2 @ TechSpot


Complete Story


Overcoming Crosstalk in Silicon Oxide Memory

Posted: July 11, 2013 @ time: 10:04AM
Author: Guest_Jim_*

High speed, nonvolatile, low power memory is the goal of a great many researchers as everybody wants greater speeds and less power consumption in computing devices these days. One type of memory that may achieve this goal uses silicon oxide to store data, but has some problems. Researchers at Rice University though have found a way around one of the more important issues; crosstalk.

Crosstalk is when rewriting one bit of data causes neighboring bits to be rewritten as well, and can cripple the capabilities of any memory system. This has plagued silicon oxide memory devices, which have a crossbar design. In some instances, an array of 1024 cells would only have 63 capable of working without crosstalk. The Rice researchers have solved the problem though by adding a diode to the current one-resistor design. This addition prevents the electronic states of one memory cell from leaking to another.

The prototype memory the researchers built is purely proof-of-concept as a single kilobit of nonvolatile data storage is not going to compete with modern day flash memory. However the researchers note that they intentionally did not attempt to miniaturize the technology, as the means to do so has already been demonstrated, so there was no need to show it again.

Source: Rice University


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CyberPower Announces New HTPC

Posted: July 11, 2013 @ time: 02:00PM
Author: CheeseMan42

CyberPower is a company that has been primarily associated with gaming PCs, and the company is looking to diversify with the Zeus HTPC. The company envisions the Zeus as a PC that can act as "your DVR, enthusiast home theatre PC, gaming console and DVD/Blu-Ray Player." In addition to functioning as an HTPC, the Zeus also offers the potential to be a fully functioning desktop. CyberPower will offer six models of the Zeus that start at $699. Users will be able to choose from Intel fourth generation Core processors and AMD APUs as well as upgrade storage, memory, and GPUs.

Source: Press Release


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Cooler Master Adds N400 and N600 to Case Lineup

Posted: July 11, 2013 @ time: 02:10PM
Author: CheeseMan42

Cooler Master has announced the addition of the N400 and N600 to its N Series of computer cases that already features the N200. With these two new cases, the N Series now offers choices in the mini, mid, and full tower size ranges. Both cases have mesh front panels as well as full support for liquid cooling, offering a great deal of cooling possibilities for any system contained within. The differing size of the cases means that there is a choice for all users to make based on their needs when it comes to number of hard drives, GPU length, and internal space.

Source: Cooler Master


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Data Storage for Over One Million Years

Posted: July 11, 2013 @ time: 02:58PM
Author: Guest_Jim_*

Every day parts of human history are lost as materials degrade, including paper, film, and more. While digital memory can help prevent this by allowing perfect copies to be produced, even it has a relatively short lifespan. Researchers at the University of Southampton though have created an optical memory device with the potential to store data for over one million years.

Using an ultrafast laser, the researchers encode five dimensional data into quartz crystals. The laser's energy causes the molecules to assemble into a highly stable structure, with the structure's three dimensional position, size, and orientation (for five total dimensions) representing the data's values. These quartz structures are highly stable and can survive for over a million years and up to 1000 ºC temperatures. Also, the discs could potentially store 360 terabytes of data, each.

Large companies and groups that have large archives of data could benefit from this technology, as hard drives may only last for five to ten years. Of course the human race could also benefit from this technology, by leaving memory devices about our cultures for whatever civilization may come after us.

Source: University of Southampton


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Hardware Roundup: Friday Edition

Posted: July 12, 2013 @ time: 08:28AM
Author: bp9801

Another week has come to an end, but not before some reviews and articles cross your path. We have a review on the ASUS GeForce GTX 770 DirectCU II video card, which features a custom cooler and PCB, along with a factory overclock. For a bit more power there's the Palit GTX 780 Super JetStream that could go toe-to-toe with the GTX Titan thanks to its massive cooler. There's a look at the Corsair Carbide AIR 540 case with its unique dual chamber design to get more airflow to the hotter running components. We also have a review on the Leawo iTransfer software to help you easily move files off a portable device and onto a computer. To round things out we have an article on five things you need to know about Sony's upcoming PlayStation 4 console, so if you're planning to get one, be sure to not miss this read.

Video Cards
Palit GTX 780 Super JetStream @ TechSpot
ASUS GeForce GTX 770 DirectCU II OC @ Bjorn3D

Cases
Corsair Carbide AIR 540 @ Madshrimps

Gaming
Five Things You Need To Know About The PS4 @ ThinkComputers

Software
Leawo iTransfer @ Benchmark Reviews


Complete Story


Researchers Find Copper Still Plentiful

Posted: July 12, 2013 @ time: 08:48AM
Author: Guest_Jim_*

For many of the resource we rely on every day, it is the case that there is a limited amount available to us, so some people become concerned about the date we run out. Copper is one of these limited resources and is very widely used through the electronics industry. Fortunately researchers at Monash University have completed a worldwide analysis of copper resources, concluding that there should be plenty of the precious metal for at least a century.

To perform their analysis, the researchers got resource estimates from mining companies, including information on ore grade, which impacts energy-use and carbon modeling. This modeling information is important as the researchers were interested in more than just how much copper is in the ground, but what portion of it can be recovered. Indeed advances in mining technology can increase the amount of copper accessible, and estimates can be lower than reality. The researchers already know of some mining projects that have doubled their estimates since the researchers' database was completed.

With the accessible supply still so great, the researchers have found that what will be ever more impactful on mining are environmental and cultural concerns. Policies and people can shut down a mine just as much as a lode running dry. The researchers are now working on similar databases for other metals.

Source: Monash University


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Chromebooks in High Demand

Posted: July 12, 2013 @ time: 02:44PM
Author: Prunes

This may come as a surprise for most, but it appears that Chromebooks are actually in high demand these days. And that is despite the huge decline in PC sales at the moment.

Chromebooks currently account for 20-25 percent of all budget laptops sold in the US, and that is expected to increase by 10 percent this year, according to analyst firm NPD Group. "While we were skeptical initially, I think Chromebooks definitely have found a niche in the marketplace" said Stephen Baker, an analyst at NPD Group.

Although Chromebooks sell well, the market share is still quite small. In the first quarter of this year, the market share for Chromebooks was at 4-5 percent, but that is still an improvement over the 2 percent the chromebooks had in the first quarter of 2012. So maybe there is some truth to Google's claim that last year 10 percent of all laptops sold at PC World (US only) were Chromebooks.

Samsung and Acer have sold Chromebooks since 2011, while HP was a little later to the party with its Pavilion 14 that started shipping earlier this year. And then of course there is Google's flagship, the Pixel Chromebook.

Source: PC Pro


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Hardware Roundup: Monday Edition

Posted: July 15, 2013 @ time: 08:31AM
Author: bp9801

July is moving right along, and we have some more reviews and articles for your viewing pleasure. There's a look at two different Z87 motherboards for your new Intel Haswell processor, with the ASUS GRYPHON Z87 mATX bringing the TUF series to a smaller format, and the BIOSTAR Hi-Fi Z87X 3D that offers exceptional audio chops. We also have a review on the iconBIT NETTAB Space Quad HD tablet, which packs a 9.7" IPS display with a 2048x1536 resolution. There's a look at a unique case mod that packs in two computers inside one case, while also making room for some water cooling.

Motherboards
ASUS GRYPHON Z87 mATX @ Benchmark Reviews
BIOSTAR Hi-Fi Z87X 3D @ Madshrimps

Laptops/Tablets
iconBIT NETTAB Space Quad HD NT-0901S Tablet @ Madshrimps

Miscellany
Case Mod Friday: The Dual @ ThinkComputers


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