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News Archives for September 2013

G.Skill Teases New Products for IDF

Posted: September 2, 2013 @ time: 04:42AM
Author: CheeseMan42

G.Skill has announced that it plans to attend its first Intel Developer Forum in San Francisco, CA this year and will be on hand at booth 165. The company plans to show off high frequency DDR3 memory for the Intel Core i7 processors running on the LGA-2011 platform, and it will also reveal some upcoming plans for DDR4 memory. Technical Marketer Mark Yu said, "As this is our first time attending IDF, we are very excited to show our high performance quad channel DDR3 memory and also announce our plans for DDR4."

Source: Press Release


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Digital Storm Announces HydroLux Cooling System

Posted: September 2, 2013 @ time: 04:54AM
Author: CheeseMan42

The HydroLux cooling system from Digital Storm combines elements of air and liquid cooling with customizable control software to provide advanced cooling options for PC users. The software "monitors and automatically adjusts to temperature fluctuations in in real-time, marking a giant leap in the evolution of PC cooling." Users will have access to LED controls, temperature graphs, and automated airflow optimization. The LED lighting can even be configured to change as the system temperature changes, providing an easy method for determining the overall system temperature. Director of Product Development Rajeev Kuruppu said, "We work hard to differentiate the Digital Storm brand by engineering powerful systems that meet our customer’s high-performance demands. HydroLux delivers on that promise by providing an industry leading cooling solution that can be fully customized to meet each user’s unique needs." HydroLux is available now on all Digital Storm desktops.

Source: Press Release


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Microsoft to Buy Nokia Devices and Services Business for Nearly $5 Billion; Deal Expected to Close Early 2014

Posted: September 3, 2013 @ time: 12:29AM
Author: bp9801

In a rather surprising turn of events, Microsoft has purchased Nokia's devices and services business for nearly $5 billion, with another $2.18 billion for all of Nokia's patents. It was just a couple of years ago when Nokia announced a partnership with Microsoft to really get Windows Phone 7 off the ground, and eventually became the largest Windows Phone manufacturer. Now the two are forever joined, with the deal expected to be approved in the early part of next year. Microsoft hopes the deal will further solidify and strengthen its smartphone marketshare, with CEO Steve Ballmer saying:

It's a bold step into the future - a win-win for employees, shareholders and consumers of both companies. Bringing these great teams together will accelerate Microsoft's share and profits in phones, and strengthen the overall opportunities for both Microsoft and our partners across our entire family of devices and services.

A staggering 32,000 employees are going to transistion to Microsoft, with 4,700 in Finland and another 18,300 associated with product manufacturing. Microsoft is also taking control of Nokia's Asha line of feature phones, so this deal doesn't affect just the Windows Phone aspect. If you're wondering about all those patents, well Microsoft is receiving a ten-year non-exclusive license to all of Nokia's patents, along with "reciprocating rights" to use its own patents in Nokia's HERE mapping service. The Nokia logo is still going to appear on all future products, however the company is now going to be focused on the HERE maps as well as network infrastructure and technology.

Current Nokia CEO Stephen Elop is stepping down and will assume the role of Executive Vice President of Devices & Services to avoid any conflict of interest. Nokia's chairman of the board, Risto Siilasmaa, is taking on the role of interim CEO while the search is on for Elop's replacement. Executive VP of Design Marko Ahtisaari is planning to step down on November 1, with a departure date of November 30 so he can become an entrepreneur. Nokia executives Jo Harlow, Chris Weber, Juha Putkiranta, and Timo Toikkanen are expected to follow Elop to Microsoft.

Sources: Microsoft and Nokia


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Hardware Roundup: Tuesday Edition

Posted: September 3, 2013 @ time: 08:54AM
Author: bp9801

September has arrived, and with it some reviews for you to check out. We have a nice selection today, starting with the Western Digital Red 3.5" 4TB HDD and 2.5" 1TB HDD that are perfect for RAID configurations and NAS devices. There's a look at a SilverStone single monitor interactive mount for anyone with a Wacom touchscreen monitor or any other touchscreen monitor for Windows 8, as well as those just wanting to upgrade their monitor stand. We have the iconBIT NETTAB Mercury XL smartphone with a 4.5", 1280x720 touchscreen, quad-core ARM Cortex-A7 CPU, and PowerVR IMGSGX544 GPU. There's even a chance to win some ADATA XPG V2 Series DDR3-2400 RAM, with an 8GB kit to help speed up anyone's system. Facebook is required for the contest, so just keep that in mind.

Storage/Hard Drives
Western Digital Red 3.5" 4TB and 2.5" 1TB NAS HDD @ PC Perspective

Monitors
SilverStone SST-ARM11SC Single Monitor Interactive Arm @ Benchmark Reviews

Mobile
iconBIT NETTAB Mercury XL (NT-3504M) Mobile Phone @ Madshrimps

Miscellany
Win an ADATA XPG V2 Series DDR3-2400 8GB Memory Kit! @ ThinkComputers


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Hardware Roundup: Intel Core i7 4960X Edition

Posted: September 3, 2013 @ time: 09:03AM
Author: bp9801

Intel's new top of the line Core i7 4960X Ivy Bridge Extreme processor has arrived, which delivers six cores and twelve threads of unlocked potential to anyone who can afford it. Its $990 asking price is pretty steep, but for anyone who needs the 4960X, it's a small price to pay when all things are considered. The manufacturing process on the chip is the same 22nm one as Intel's other new additions, with numerous additions to help it acheive new levels of performance. Quad Channel 1866MHz RAM support, 15MB of Intel Smart Cache, and a 130W TDP just like previous Extreme Edition processors makes this CPU an impressive part.

Intel Core i7 4960X @ OCC
Intel Ivy Bridge-E Core-i7 4960X IPC and OCing @ [H]ardOCP
Intel Core i7-4960X Ivy Bridge-E @ TechSpot
Ivy Bridge-E: Intel Core i7-4960X @ PC Perspective
Intel Core i7-4960X Extreme Edition @ Bjorn3D
Intel i7-4960X Ivy Bridge-E @ LanOC Reviews


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Balance and Decision-Making Linked

Posted: September 3, 2013 @ time: 09:14AM
Author: Guest_Jim_*

Every now and then I get a piece of news that is just different enough that it deserves to be shared. Researchers at Brigham Young University have recently discovered that wearing high-heeled shoes can make you more likely weigh the options when making a purchase, and go with the middle option instead of the extreme high or low.

This research falls into the fairly new area of research concerned with how physical sensations can impact one's decision making. Previous studies have considered warmth, weight, and hunger as the physical sensations, while this latest one looks at balance. To determine if balance had an impact, the researchers devised three different experiments: leaning back on a chair while shopping online; playing a Wii Fit game while answering questions about product choices; and standing on one foot while deciding on a printer purchase. Potentially being on a cruise ship or walking on ice would have a similar effect on decision making, as would wearing high-heels.

If nothing else, this study suggests that we should consider what is influencing our decisions, as seemingly disconnected things like our shoes could have an impact. It also makes me wonder about what happens when women go shopping for high-heeled shoes, and shoes in general. I would believe it if some of them are suffering from an altered decision-making capacity.

Source: Brigham Young University


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NVIDIA Announces New Free-to-Play Bundle for Warframe, Neverwinter, and Marvel Heroes

Posted: September 3, 2013 @ time: 09:19AM
Author: bp9801

Earlier in the year NVIDIA offered in-game cash to spend in three different free-to-play games, and now it's doing it again with a whole new trio of F2P titles. This time Warframe, Neverwinter, and Marvel Heroes get partnered up, with a total of $75 ($25 each) giving gamers access to all sorts of in-game content. Warframe, a co-op third-person sci-fi action game, uses NVIDIA PhysX technology to help bring a new element to the battles of over three million players. The $25 of in-game cash can be used to buy a new Warframe with an inventory slot, an in-game pet that can help out in battle, various mod-packs to upgrade your gear, void key packs for rare missions, and a variety of other boosters and packs.

Neverwinter is a new MMO that brings players to one of the more well-known Dungeons & Dragons' regions, along with a host of NVIDIA technology like TXAA, HBAO, and 3D Vision. All the D&D lore, monsters, and role playing is present in Neverwinter, and $25 of in-game money can be used for mounts, companions, items, consumables, and plenty of other things to help give your story a little boost.

Marvel Heroes, meanwhile, is an MMO action RPG using some of the biggest and best characters in the Marvel universe, from Thor and Hulk to Iron Man and Scarlet Witch. The $25 of in-game cash allows for even more heroes to join your fight against the supervillains, and even outfit them in classic or modern costumes for a more unique battle.

The promotion runs through the end of the year, and applies to anyone who buys a GeForce GTX 650 or better desktop GPU or a laptop equipped with a GeForce 700M Series GPU.

Source: NVIDIA GeForce


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ASUS Announces USB Power Monitor

Posted: September 3, 2013 @ time: 01:35PM
Author: Prunes

If you find that you often need an extra monitor while on the go, then ASUS might have something for you. The company's new MB168 Series Portable USB-powered Monitor is a 15.6 inch screen that you can plug into any laptop or desktop PC to increase your screen real estate. The display is LED-backlight and it comes in two resolutions, 1920x1080 and 1366x786, while being powered by a USB 3.0 cable, which is enough for both power and video output. The MB168 Series uses ASUS EzLink technology that takes advantage of dedicated hardware in the monitor to offload the computer's GPU, which in turn allows up to five monitors to be connected to a computer without hindering the internal GPU, as long as there are sufficient USB ports. The device is also backwards compatible with USB 2.0, with the only difference being a slight drop in display brightness. If you plan on using it with your laptop, you will be suprised to hear that the device will only use 5 W when turned on and 0 W when on standby. So your battery life should not be in danger.

The monitor is 8 mm thick and weighs in at 800 g, so it is "the world’s slimmest and lightest companion display", according to ASUS. Furthermore, the monitor is covered by a protective case that also acts as an adjustable stand for tabletop use. The design is the same found on ASUS Zenbooks. There is no word on pricing and availability yet.

Source: ASUS


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NVIDIA Announces Batman: Arkham Origins Promotion

Posted: September 3, 2013 @ time: 02:06PM
Author: CheeseMan42

NVIDIA has teamed up with Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment to help promote the upcoming game Batman: Arkham Origins. Gamers will receive a free copy of the game when purchasing a qualifying NVIDIA GPU. The game will be released October 25 and is being developed by WB Games Montreal, a departure from the previous two games in the series. The game takes place prior to the other two Arkham games and focuses on a young Batman. Senior VP of Production and Development at Warner Bros. Samantha Ryan said, "The Batman: Arkham games are visually stunning and it’s great that we are able to continue building upon the amazing graphics with Batman: Arkham Origins. With NVIDIA’s continued support, we are able to deliver an incredibly immersive gameplay experience." Participating GPUs are the GeForce GTX 660, 660 Ti, 670, 680, 760, 770, and 780.

Source: Press Release


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Corsair Adds Three Flash Voyager Flash Drive Models

Posted: September 3, 2013 @ time: 02:25PM
Author: CheeseMan42

Corsair has announced three new flash drive models, the Flash Voyager GS, Mini, and LS. All drives feature high speed USB 3.0 connections and are targeted at different uses. The GS are large capacity drives in a scratch-resistant brushed aluminum housing. The drives are available in capacities of 64GB, 128GB, and 256GB and have transfer speeds up to 180MB/s. The Mini are just 1.25" in length and include a key ring for extreme portability. The Minis are available with capacities of 16GB, 32GB, and 64GB. The LS have a retracting connector that allow them to shrink in size for easier carrying and also include a key ring. The LS are available in capacities of 16GB, 32GB, 64GB, and 128GB. The GS line ranges in price from $89.99 to $249.99, the Mini will retail between $15.99 and $49.99, and the LS carry an MSRP between $16.99 and $89.99.

Source: Press Release


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Testing Lasers for Space-Mission Communication

Posted: September 3, 2013 @ time: 04:08PM
Author: Guest_Jim_*

Since the first space missions, NASA has been relying on radio frequencies for transmitting data. While this technology has served and continues to serve us well, like other wireless communication technologies, it is getting too slow for its users. That is why researchers at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center and MIT Lincoln Laboratory have built a laser-based communication system.

Receiving data from a space mission is a long process as the frequencies of radio waves are too low for a broadband connection. Lasers operating in the visible light portion of the spectrum though could be a great deal faster, while also being more efficient. Of course employing a laser communication system is easier said than done as the lasers involved have to be precisely targeted at the receivers. Researchers at the European Space Agency have already successfully tested this technology with low-orbiting satellites, but now NASA is going to test it with an upcoming Moon mission; the Lunar Laser Communication Demonstration on board Lunar Atmosphere and Dust Environment Explorer.

If successful, the mission will be sending hundreds of millions of bits to Earth from the Moon each second, and we will be able to send tens of millions back every second. Then in 2017 the Laser Communications Relay Demonstration will hopefully be sent up to test laser communication technology in the rigors of space.

Source: NASA


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Google's Latest Treat: Android KitKat

Posted: September 3, 2013 @ time: 07:03PM
Author: Wesstron

The nickname of the next Android OS version from Google is officially announced, and it's nothing less than Nestlé's own chocolate treat "KitKat". So much for all the rumors about "Key Lime Pie"! The name was announced today through a Google+ post by Google's Sundar Pichai, Senior Vice President, Chrome and Apps. From "Cupcake" to "Jelly Bean", Google has strictly used dessert and confectionary treat names for the different iterations of its Android OS. This time however, marks a first; since the media giant has now leveraged an actual popular food name brand. 

To further sweeten the deal, this announcement is found on the home page of the official Android website, "We’re naming the next version of Android after one of our favorite chocolate treats, KitKat. Look for specially branded KitKat bars in a store near you that give you a chance to win a Nexus 7 or Google Play credit."

Looks like an early Easter KitKat hunt is imminent, good luck everyone!

Source: Google+ and Android


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Oxide Film Surfaces More Robust Than Expected

Posted: September 4, 2013 @ time: 09:14AM
Author: Guest_Jim_*

They say, 'never judge a book by its cover,' but for many pieces of technology it is only the 'cover' we are interested in. The properties of a material's surface are often what determine how the material will behaves in the devices we use it in. Now researchers at Oak Ridge National Laboratory have found that the surface properties of complex oxide films may be more resilient to the environment they are fabricated in than the volume they cover.

Oxides are seeing ever increasing use in many pieces of technology as they are often cheaper to use than other materials, while still possessing the needed properties. The ORNL researchers decided to examine their properties with the material in a pristine state, meaning it has not been exposed to air and the many compounds it contains. As expected, the manganite material beneath the oxide surface became an insulator in the absence of oxygen, instead of being a conductor as usual. The surface however did not suffer changes to its electrical properties, despite having been grown in the vacuum surrounding the microscope that later analyzed it.

This discovery could one day have major implications on how complex oxide films are used in catalysis, batteries, and other technology. For now though the researchers point out that this discovery is so fundamental that it is next to impossible to predict exactly how it will be applied in the future.

Source: Oak Ridge National Laboratory


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Nymi: One Bracelet to Secure Them All

Posted: September 4, 2013 @ time: 10:15AM
Author: Wesstron

Bionym, a Toronto-based company specialized in biometrics and authentication technology for consumer electronics, just put its first product up for pre-order. The Nymi is a Bluetooth bracelet that will basically recognize your unique heartbeat, and then interacts with a wide range of devices to identify and authenticate you as long as you wear it. The device is based on a "Trinity" concept that offers a unique approach to personal information security. According to Bionym, "The Nymi functions on a 3-factor security system. To take control of your identity you must have your Nymi, your unique heartbeat and an Authorized Authentication Device (AAD), which would be a smartphone or device registered with our app." 

The possible applications are virtually endless. The demo video shows that the Nymi could interact with a car, cellphone, computer, tablet, smart-TV, point-of-sale, and even an automated home thermostat. The device is also equipped with a gyroscope and an accelerometer, which makes simple gesture recognition possible such as popping the trunk of your car open.

 

The first 25,000 units are up for grabs at an introductory price of $79; so far more than 1600 believers already pre-ordered the device. If your heart is in the right place, you might want to give it a try too!

Source: Getnymi


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NVIDIA World of Tanks Tournament Comes to a Conclusion

Posted: September 4, 2013 @ time: 02:51PM
Author: CheeseMan42

The finals for the first ever GeForce eSports World of Tanks Open Tournament sponsored by NVIDIA took place at PAX Prime 2013 in Seattle this past weekend. The $100,000 tournament featured teams from all around the world fighting it out in the team based massively multiplayer online game. The final match saw Ukrainian team Na'Vi beat Polish team Mousesports to claim the $20,000 first prize, with Mousesports receiving $12,500 for second place. Fulcrum was the highest placing North American team at third, with teams from China and South Korea rounding out the top five.

Source: Press Release


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Sony Introduces the World's First Curved-Screen LED TV

Posted: September 4, 2013 @ time: 04:50PM
Author: bp9801

Sony held its IFA 2013 press conference earlier today, but one rather large item was revealed a little later. The technology giant introduced the KDL-65S990A TV, which is the world's first curved-screen LED TV. Previous curved-screen TVs were of the OLED variety, so the fact that Sony managed this feat without resorting to that ultra slim technology is quite impressive. As for the KDL-65S990A, it's a 65", 1080p model with Triluminos color technology like Sony's other recent TVs, as well as eight built-in speakers. Those speakers are angled in different directions given the screen's curved design, which should better simulate surround sound than flat TVs. There's also plenty of other features, like Smart Connect media sharing, second screen content with SideView, and even one-touch NFC remote pairing so you can view content from your smartphone on your TV.

The Sony KDL-65S990A is expected to arrive worldwide in October for $3,999.99. It's certainly much more affordable than the curved-screen OLED TVs.

Source: Engadget


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New Approach to Graphene-Based Electronics

Posted: September 4, 2013 @ time: 05:01PM
Author: Guest_Jim_*

Behind every action performed by a computer are strings of zeroes and ones and circuitry that applies Boolean logic on them. While this form of logic has served us well, it is not the only kind of logic that could be used. Now researchers at the University of California, Riverside have found that it may be possible to employ a non-Boolean logic architecture to enable graphene-based electronics.

Graphene is an atom-thick sheet of carbon with extraordinary conductive properties, which would make it ideal for use in electronics. The problem is the material lacks a bandgap, which is a necessary characteristic of semiconductors for using Boolean logic. Instead of trying to force graphene to have a bandgap, the California researchers have instead suggested using non-Boolean logic and taking advantage of other properties of graphene, such as its negative differential resistance. This means that as you increase the current applied to the graphene, the voltage decreases.

This research represents a fundamental change in the approach to graphene research, as it examines how to utilize graphene, instead of changing it. It will be interesting to see how it develops alongside the research into manipulating graphene to have a bandgap.

Source: University of California, Riverside


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Intel's New Extreme Processors Announced

Posted: September 5, 2013 @ time: 02:25AM
Author: Prunes

Intel has now announced the fourth generation of Core i7 Extreme processors. These new processors are based on the Ivy Bridge-E architecture and uses the LGA 2011 socket found on X79 motherboards. The processors will feature an improved architecture, new extensions to the x86 instrution set, VTx and VT-d technologies, and support for AVX instructions. Furthermore, the processors officially support 3.0 PCI Express, which should remove any bottleneck imposed by any graphics card or other PCI Express card setup currently available on the market, along with a quad-channel memory controller that supports DDR3-1866 memory. The stock speeds on the processors have also been increased by either 100 MHz or 200 MHz depending on the SKU, and this is done while maintaining the same TDP of 130 W found on older Extreme processors. 

The prices will range between $310 and $990, and the processors should be launched next week during Intel Development Forum.

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

For a more in depth look at the flagship, the Core i7-4960X, take a look at Ccokeman's review

Source: CPU World


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New Kind of Electronic Diode Created

Posted: September 5, 2013 @ time: 09:02AM
Author: Guest_Jim_*

Silicon resides at the heart of most of our technology, thanks to its semiconducting nature. While it has served us well for multiple decades, we are approaching its limit, so alternatives are being developed. One such alternative are metal-insulator-metal diodes, which Oregon State University have recently made an important advance with.

Metal-insulator-metal, or MIM diodes have an insulating layer sandwiched between two conducting layers, causing electrons to tunnel through the insulator to complete a circuit. As electrons can potentially tunnel faster than they can travel through silicon, this design has a speed advantage over the semiconductor. The Oregon researchers have improved the design further by adding a second insulator layer, making an MIIM diode. This second layer allows step tunneling to occur, so electrons can tunnel through one or both layers. This is helpful as it allow for better control of diode asymmetry, to ensure the electrical current can only travel in one direction.

Potentially this design could be applied to many electronic technologies, including computers that could operate significantly faster than those currently available. Fortunately the materials used in the MIIM diode are inexpensive enough that the diodes could be mass produced at low cost.

Source: Oregon State University


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Hardware Roundup: Thursday Edition

Posted: September 5, 2013 @ time: 09:03AM
Author: bp9801

We have a nice selection of reviews and articles for you to check out today, including a couple different SilverStone models. One is the new Raven RV04 case that changes things so the motherboard mounts upside down, yet offers improved thermal performance. The other SilverStone product is the SST-AR03 CPU cooler, which is the top model in the company's Argon line of coolers. There's a look at the Razer Tiamat 2.2 gaming headset with an extra 40mm driver in each ear for even better bass response. We have another take on the ROCCAT Into Street-Proof messenger bag to see how the company's take on a laptop bag stacks up. Keeping your electronic devices ready to go without a jumble of cables is where the wireless charging pad from TYLT comes into play. To round things off, there's an article examining how the future really is Fusion for AMD and what that all entails.

Cases
SilverStone Raven RV04 @ [H]ardOCP

CPU Cooling
SilverStone SST-AR03 @ Benchmark Reviews

Speakers/Headphones
Razer Tiamat 2.2 Gaming Headset @ Madshrimps

Gadgets
TYLT VÜ wireless charging pad @ LanOC Reviews
ROCCAT Into Street-Proof Messenger Bag @ Neoseeker

Miscellany
AMD's Processor Shift: The Future Really is Fusion @ PC Perspective


Complete Story


Three New 128GB Flash Drives From Patriot

Posted: September 5, 2013 @ time: 01:41PM
Author: CheeseMan42

Patriot has announced a trio of 128GB flash drives that are being added to the Supersonic drive family. The NAND flash drives use USB 3.0 and offer different form factors and read speeds. The Supersonic RAGE XT can read up to 180 MB/s and has a sliding form factor to decrease the size of the drive. The Supersonic Boost XT can reach speeds up to 150 MB/s and features a water resistant rubberized housing. The Supersonic Pulse has transfer speeds up to 120 MB/s and is targeted at budget minded consumers. The drives come with a five year warranty and out of the box support for all major operating systems.

Source: Press Release


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Thermaltake Announces Software Controlled Power Supply

Posted: September 5, 2013 @ time: 01:54PM
Author: CheeseMan42

The Toughpower DPS is the latest power supply from Thermaltake and will be available with capacities of 750W and 850W. This new PSU has a unique digital control system, using the Thermaltake DPSApp software to monitor and control its operation. The software enables users to monitor their electricity usage and cost, monitor changes in wattage, efficiency, and voltage during different applications, and share the data in the cloud with other users. Users will also be able to change the speed of the included fan based on individual needs, and a fully modular cable design allows for only the required cables to be used.

Source: Press Release


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Unconventional Material for High-Temperature Supercapacitors

Posted: September 5, 2013 @ time: 02:11PM
Author: Guest_Jim_*

Energy storage technology is a big deal as without the ability to store electricity for later use many other technologies could not exist. Some of these technologies are also exposed to extreme temperatures that few energy storage systems can survive. Researchers at Rice University though have discovered a new material to use in supercapacitors that will allow them to operate at temperatures as high as 200 and 300 ºC.

Capacitors store energy in electric fields formed between two electrodes, with an insulator in the middle. Supercapacitors simply store a great deal of energy. The material placed between the electrodes is of great importance, as it is what keeps the energy from being discharged when it is not wanted. The Rice researchers have discovered a new composite material for this purpose that combines room-temperature ionic liquids (RTILs) and clay. The RTILs were original developed by European and Australian researchers and serve as an electrolyte, while the Bentonite clay acts as an insulator.

When combined in equal amounts, the electrolyte/insulator system was able to be heated to 300 ºC without undergoing much change, and was stable for 10,000 charge/discharge cycles. Such resilience and stability will make this supercapacitor design very useful for use in oil drilling as well as space and military applications.

Source: Rice University


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High-Speed NVIDIA SHIELD Teardown

Posted: September 5, 2013 @ time: 03:48PM
Author: Guest_Jim_*

Want to know what NVIDIA put into its SHIELD handheld device, but did not want to spend the time taking one apart? Neither did these guys:

 

 

Source: NVIDIA's YouTube Channel


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Quantum Computing Chip to be Connected to Internet

Posted: September 6, 2013 @ time: 07:02AM
Author: Guest_Jim_*

There is a new age coming to the world in the form of quantum computing. Quantum computers will have the ability to run algorithms modern electronic computers cannot, and right now there are very few people who can write these algorithms. As reported by New Scientist, researchers at the University of Bristol have decided to start preparing developers for the quantum age by setting up a quantum simulator for the public to test algorithms on, before running them on a real quantum chip.

At the heart of quantum computers are quantum bits, or qubits which can be made to exist in multiple states at the time, and to have their states strongly entangled with each other. This allows the computers to run algorithms electronic computers cannot approach. This also means many computer engineers cannot code for quantum computers, so if quantum computing were here tomorrow, the world would be unprepared. This is why the researchers have built a simulator for anyone to practice with online, so the user can learn the principles of developing for a quantum computer. Once they have become skilled enough, their project will be run on a real quantum chip the researchers built, and the results will be returned to the user via the Internet.

The quantum chip the researchers are putting online only has two qubits, so it is not particularly powerful, even compared to modern electronic computers. The researchers are currently working on six and eight-qubit computers, so they are happy to let the older design be freely used by an interested public.

The simulator is already online, but the chip will not be connected until September 20.

Source: New Scientist


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Hardware Roundup: Friday Edition

Posted: September 6, 2013 @ time: 08:49AM
Author: bp9801

The first full week of September is drawing to a close, and we have some articles for you to check out before it does. Cooler Master's CM Storm QuickFire line of mechanical keyboards is one of the more popular types around, and today there's a look at the QuickFire XT. It's a full 104-key variety of the tenkeyless QuickFire Rapid, but still has a variety of switches and that same great reliability as the smaller model. If you instead need some CPU cooling, then perhaps a roundup of the ten best CPU coolers from the likes of Noctua, Thermaltake, Xigmatek, and Thermalright, to name a few, is just what you need. There's also a new podcast covering the latest news and reviews from the PC Perspective gang.

CPU Cooling
The Best CPU Coolers: 10-Way Roundup @ TechSpot

Keyboards/Mice
CM Storm QuickFire XT Mechanical Keyboard @ Benchmark Reviews

Miscellany
Podcast #267 @ PC Perspective


Complete Story


Old Solar-Twin Found

Posted: September 6, 2013 @ time: 11:50AM
Author: Guest_Jim_*

Sometimes to learn about something close to us, we have to look far away. This is the case with the Sun as it is very hard to determine its history and predict its future with only 400 years of telescopic observations. To answer some of those outstanding questions, astronomers look for other stars that are nearly identical to our own, which are called solar twins.

Recently two solar twins were found; one younger and one older. The younger is just 2.9 billion years old, while the older is 8.6 billion years old, compared to the Sun's age of 4.6 billion years. That is still young enough that it has not exhausted its hydrogen fuel and expanded as it started fusing helium. However, its chemistry has changed in a way astrophysicists are keenly interested in.

Measurements of the Sun reveal that it has less lithium than some models suggest, but this older solar-twin has even less. The younger solar-twin though has considerably more lithium, so this suggests that, by some mechanism, lithium is burned away as stars age. Interestingly, the chemistry of the older star is also similar to the Sun's in such a way as to suggest it may have formed rocky planets, similar to Earth.

Source: European Southern Observatory


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X2 Launches the SolarBlast Gaming Headset

Posted: September 6, 2013 @ time: 03:14PM
Author: bp9801

X2 may be relatively new over here, but this Netherlands-based company is looking to change that. It recently introduced its new SolarBlast gaming headset that's designed for long-term comfort during all your gaming sessions. The SolarBlast headset connects via a USB port and supplies virtual 7.1 surround sound, so you never have to miss a moment of action. A volume control dial is on the left ear cup, as well as a bass boost button if the explosions need to really rock your senses. The attached microphone lets all your buddies hear your voice clearly, and can even fold into the ear cup so you can easily keep it out of the way when needed.

The X2 SolarBlast gaming headset should be available soon for $59.95 / €49.95. It's backed by a two-year manufacturer warranty and works with any USB 2.0/3.0 port on Windows XP and higher systems. An extra set of ear cushions are included with the SolarBlast, as is a carry on pouch.

Source: Press Release


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Gigabyte Updates BRIX Compact PC

Posted: September 8, 2013 @ time: 11:20AM
Author: CheeseMan42

The BRIX is a small form factor PC from Gigabyte and it is receiving an upgrade in the form of the latest Intel Core processors. A total of four new models will be built around the Haswell processors and will boast improved CPU and graphics performance along with native 4K resolution support. The small size of the BRIX doesn't limit its options as it features connections for USB 3.0, HDMI, Mini DisplayPort, and supports both Wi-Fi and wired networking. VP of the Motherboard Business Unit Henry Kao said, "We’re confident end users will enjoy the improved overall performance that the latest Intel Core processors offer, as well as additional upgrades we have made regarding audio and USB connectivity."

Source: Press Release


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Hardware Roundup: Monday Edition

Posted: September 9, 2013 @ time: 09:46AM
Author: bp9801

Intel's new Core i7 4960X Extreme Edition processor is the top dog in the market right now, and we have another review showing it off. This review also decides to do a little bit of extreme overclocking with an LN2 pot to see just how far the chip can go, so it's definitely something you won't want to miss. We have a look at the SilverStone SST-TD03 all-in-one liquid CPU cooler, which is the company's first foray into that particular cooling segment. Rounding things off is the Vampire case from Raidmax that's pretty massive and packed to the gills with all sorts of features to make your next build an easy one.

CPUs
Intel Ivy Bridge-E 4960X CPU (LN2 inside) @ Madshrimps

CPU Cooling
SilverStone SST-TD03 All-In-One Liquid CPU Cooler @ Benchmark Reviews

Cases
Raidmax Vampire Full Tower @ ThinkComputers


Complete Story


Key Protein for Alzheimer's Identified

Posted: September 9, 2013 @ time: 09:50AM
Author: Guest_Jim_*

The illnesses of old age are possibly something many of us have experience with, as family members have developed them. Alzheimer's is perhaps one of the better known and more destructive of these illnesses. Researchers at the Yale School of Medicine have recently discovered a protein that connects two steps that lead to Alzheimer's.

Through years of work, scientists have managed to create a partial molecular map for the path Alzheimer's takes to destroy brain cells. One of the missing parts was concerned with how a coupling of a peptide with a prion would lead to the activation of a messenger molecule called Fyn. The Yale researchers have found that a protein called metabotropic glutamate receptor 5, or mGluR5, is involved in that process. By blocking it in mice with brain damage similar to that caused by Alzheimer's, the researchers found that the mice recovered their deficits in memory, learning, and synapse density.

As it happens, the drug used to block mGluR5 is similar to one in development for Fragile X syndrome, though a new drug will likely have to be created specifically for treating Alzheimer's. Once found though, a great many individuals and families could find relief from this devastating disease.

Source: Yale University


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Seagate Offering Data Recovery Plans

Posted: September 10, 2013 @ time: 12:38AM
Author: Prunes

One of the worst things that can happen to a computer is a hard drive failure, since the hard drive contains all your precious data, such as photos, important documents, work related projects etc. Seagate is therefore offering two new services called Seagate Rescue and Seagate Rescue and Replace. These two services allow the customers to send their dead hard drives to Seagate, who will then try to recover the data found on the hard drives. With the Seagate Rescue and Replace plan, the customers will also get a replacement hard drive. The services cover almost any brand of hard disk drives and solid state drives, and they will cover physical damage, data corruption, and accidental deletion.

"Seagate is very much aware of the level of trust our customers are putting in us by placing their data on our drives. We [therefore] provide peace of mind for those unforeseen events that might damage a drive or its contents." said vice president of marketing at Seagate, Scott Horn. "These new data protection plans offer an easy and user-friendly method of helping consumers manage the challenging experience of the potential loss of their most important files, data and memories."

The Rescue plan will cost $30 for two years, $40 for three years, and $50 for four years. The Rescue and Replacement plan will cost $10 extra, no matter the number of years, but that is a low price for a new hard drive. The services are only available through www.seagate.com; however, it will be available at specific retail partners in the US and in Europe and Asia at a later date.

Source: Press Release


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Hardware Roundup: Tuesday Edition

Posted: September 10, 2013 @ time: 09:00AM
Author: bp9801

Today we have a couple items for your viewing pleasure, including one of interest for the watercooling crowd. XSPC is well known for its watercooling products, but its Photon 270 is a tube reservoir that also has an LED light in the middle of it. So not only do you get an increasingly popular tube reservoir, but also one that can light up on its own to really add some flair to your setup. Our other item for today is no less important, as it's 12 different tips to help you lower your wireless bill each month. Saving money is always good, and this guide could be just what you need to reduce that large wireless bill.

Cooling
XSPC Photon 270 Tube Reservoir @ ThinkComputers

Mobile
12 Tips to Reduce Your Monthly Wireless Bill @ TechSpot


Complete Story


Nano-Engineering Strong Materials with Specialized Properties

Posted: September 10, 2013 @ time: 09:04AM
Author: Guest_Jim_*

Though we are the smartest animals on the planet, we still have things to learn from Nature. For example, the skeletons of some organisms are stronger than similar manmade materials. Researchers at the California Institute of Technology though have found a way to mimic these materials' strength with structures that are over 85% air.

The key to the skeletons and Caltech's materials are how they are built up of micro and nanoscale cells. At this size, the materials' strength and density need no longer be linked, which allows them to be very light yet still strong. Using two-photon lithography the researchers created a polymer lattice that mimic's the lattice of diatoms, a type of algae. A thin layer of the ceramic, titanium nitride was then deposited on the lattice, before the polymer core was removed. This left a hollow, ceramic structure, with walls no thicker than 75 nm, which withstood greater stress than a solid block of the ceramic.

While the strength of this lattice structure is definitely valuable, the true potential from this research may come from other it being applied to other materials. In theory any material, including metals and semiconductors, that can be deposited onto the polymer lattice could be used to create these structures, and bring with them new, interesting properties.

Source: California Institute of Technology


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ADATA Launches DDR4 SDRAM Modules

Posted: September 10, 2013 @ time: 12:19PM
Author: Prunes

DDR3 SDRAM is the standard type of RAM used in today's computers, but its succesor is starting to appear. DDR4 SDRAM is the next generation of DDR SDRAM, and it brings with it some neat improvements. The DDR4 SDRAM is, at launch, expected to achieve data transfer rates up to 3.2 GigaTransfers per second (GT/s) at frequencies of up to 2133 MHz, while using just 1.2 volts. For comparison, DDR3 SDRAM uses between 1.5 to 1.65 volts and was expected to achieve 1.6 GT/s at 1333 MHz at launch. 

ADATA, a Taiwanese memory vendor, wants to be one of the first on the market, and it has therefore announced its first DDR4 SDRAM modules. They will be targeted at server and render farms that can take advantage of the improved data transfer rates, since servers often have to process huge amounts of data, and render farms often needs quick access to data stored in fast RAM. The reduction in power required will also make a noticeable difference, due to the scale of large servers and render farms. However, it might not be more than a year from now before first mover consumers will start to adopt DDR4 SDRAM. 

Source: Press Release


Complete Story


Current Created of Atoms for Potential Electronic Devices

Posted: September 10, 2013 @ time: 02:29PM
Author: Guest_Jim_*

A fairly simple and important lesson you learn in a chemistry class is the Pauli Exclusion Principle. This principle means it is impossible for two fermions to exist at the same place with the same energy level. Such a rule complicates the needed particle transport for producing a current, but researchers at the University of Heidel-berg, as reported by Springer, have successfully created a current of bosonic atoms.

There are two families of elementary particles; fermions and bosons. Fermions include electrons, protons, and neutrons, and are all characterized as having half-integer spin values. Bosons however have integer spin values, and include photons. The Pauli Exclusion Principle only applies to fermions, which means that within an atom two electrons cannot occupy the same place in the same energy orbit, but photons of identical energy can occupy the same space. What the researchers have done is chilled atoms to ultra-cold temperatures to make them behave like bosons. This means the atoms can form a current in a system with lower dimensionality than those needed for modern electronics.

This research may not greatly impact electronics, as it requires ultra-cold temperatures, but it could advance atomtronics. Potentially it could be applied to create analogues of diodes and field-effect transistors for atomtronics.

Source: Springer


Complete Story


CyberPower Announces ZeusBook Ultimate Laptops

Posted: September 10, 2013 @ time: 02:35PM
Author: CheeseMan42

The ZeusBook Ultimate series from CyberPower is the latest in a long line of gaming laptops, and is one that claims to be the lightest and thinnest 17" gaming laptop available. The ZeusBook tips the scale at just under six pounds and is less than an inch thick. Powered by an Intel Core i7-4700HQ processor and NVIDIA GeForce GTX765M GPU, the ZeusBook doesn't sacrifice any gaming power to achieve such a small profile. CyberPower uses dual fan cooling that can increase airflow when the heat gets to be too much. The 17" screen displays at full HD resolution, and this can be enhanced by connecting to up to three external monitors for resolution up to 3840x2160. The ZeusBook will be available in two models, the Ultimate 100 and Ultimate 200, and will have a base MSRP of $1429.

Source: Press Release


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Seagate Targets Enterprise Users with Rackmount NAS

Posted: September 10, 2013 @ time: 02:45PM
Author: CheeseMan42

Seagate has tossed its hat into the enterprise storage business with the Seagate Business Storage rackmount NAS, available in eight or four bay configurations that fit into 1U of space. The number of drives supported offers capacities ranging from four to 32 TB, and offers a cost effective solution for "small and medium-sized business organizations". These new offerings are controlled by the Seagate NAS OS and are compatible with backup software for Windows and Mac systems. VP of marketing Scott Horn said, "With the industry’s first hot-swappable 8-bay 1U rackmount NAS and our new 4-bay rackmount NAS, our new solutions will take the lead in this category with top performance and the highest capacity at an approachable price point for our SMB customers." The eight bay system will range in price from $2999.99 to $5999.99 and the four bay model will range from $1299.99 to $2499.99. Both models are expected to be available during this quarter, with the eight bay solution available in October.

Source: Press Release


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Kingston Announces Plans for IDF 2013

Posted: September 10, 2013 @ time: 02:55PM
Author: CheeseMan42

Kingston plans to show off four demo systems at the Intel Developer Forum 2013 currently being held in San Francisco, CA. The highlight should be a demo of some upcoming DDR4 memory running at 1.2V on an upcoming Intel reference platform. Recently XMP certified HyperX memory will be shown on an Ivybridge-E processor running on an X79 motherboard. A Haswell powered laptop will feature 2133MHz SO-DIMM memory modules. The final demo will pair low voltage Kingston ECC SO-DIMM memory with the Avoton System on a Chip in a microserver setup. The Avoton is targeted at the expanding microserver market that seeks to take advantage of powerful, yet low power, processors in small form factor systems in data centers and other intensive processing tasks.

Source: Press Release


Complete Story


Seagate is First to Ship More Than One Million Hard Drives with Shingled Magnetic Recording

Posted: September 10, 2013 @ time: 03:20PM
Author: bp9801

Seagate has announced a new record it's pretty proud of, as it has shipped more than one million hard drives that use shingled magnetic recording (SMR). SMR alters the way data is stored by overlapping the tracks (like shingles on a roof) in order to both improve aerial density and increase track density. The amount of a data on a single disk is increased, as is the overall storage capacity, thanks to the SMR technology. According to Seagate's chief technology officer Mark Re, the nearly seven billion people on Earth are creating 2.7 zettabytes of data a year, and even approaching the limits of what can be stored on a conventional HDD. SMR allows for up to 1.25TB improvents per disk, which means 5TB and larger HDDs are certainly within the realm of possibility. It'd also mean more reliable drives since fewer disks and heads are necessary to create large capacity drives.

Source: Press Release


Complete Story


Hardware Roundup: Wednesday Edition

Posted: September 11, 2013 @ time: 09:32AM
Author: bp9801

Everything on Intel may be focused on the Haswell and Ivy Bridge-E parts, but there are new Atom processors as well. We have a look at the Silvermont-based Atom Z3000 processors, code named Bay Trail, plus some tablets using the new chips to see how they stack up to the competition. If you're looking for video cards, we have a review on the ASUS GTX 780 DirectCU II OC, which features a fully custom design to help you get the most out of your games. Speaking of games, there's another look at Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell Blacklist to see what the newest entry in the series brings to the table. There's a review on the Silicon Power S55 Slim 240GB SSD that has a 7mm height to better fit in a larger range of Ultrabooks and laptops. We finish things off with a look at both the new iPhone 5S and 5C to see what sets apart each refreshed model.

CPUs
Intel Atom Z3000 Series - Bay Trail and Silvermont Arrives @ PC Perspective

Video Cards
ASUS GTX 780 DirectCU II OC @ Bjorn3D

Storage/Hard Drives
Silicon Power S55 Slim SATA III 240GB SSD @ Madshrimps

Gaming
Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell Blacklist @ Benchmark Reviews

Mobile
What You Need to Know About the iPhone 5S and iPhone 5C @ ThinkComputers


Complete Story


New Means to Collect Solar Energy

Posted: September 11, 2013 @ time: 09:39AM
Author: Guest_Jim_*

Every day more energy falls on the Earth in the form of sunlight than humanity uses, so it makes sense that we are trying to tap that power source. The means to best harvest the energy though is still being developed. Now researchers at the University of Pennsylvania have developed a new method to convert the energy of light to an electrical current that could be far more efficient than modern techniques.

Plasmons are quasiparticles created when photons and electrons couple on a metallic surface, which can allow the energy of the photon to be carried across the metal. That current though can be controlled by special patterns of gold nanoparticles and external electrical fields. When the Penn researchers have determined is that with the proper design, they can create a system to form a current of the hot electrons in plasmons, which can then be used to power a circuit. This discovery actually dates back to 2010, but it was only this recent experiment that confirmed it was the plasmonic nanostructure allowing the optical energy to be captured, and not something else.

According to the researchers' measurements, their process was achieving efficiencies three to ten times that of conventional photoexcitation methods. This is extremely promising for the new technique as they have not yet started to optimize it.

Source: University of Pennsylvania


Complete Story


G.Skill Adds 15 DDR3 Quad Channel Kits to the RipjawsZ Line

Posted: September 11, 2013 @ time: 10:36AM
Author: bp9801

G.Skill, one of the leaders in memory and storage, has unveiled a staggering 15 quad channel DDR3 RAM kits that are perfect for Intel X79 motherboards and the LGA 2011 socket. The RAM covers speeds from 1866MHz all the way up to 2933MHz, with capacities of 16, 32, and 64GB. You'll have to stick with 16GB kits if you want the 2933MHz speeds, however, as you're limited to 2133, 2666, and 2933MHz with that capacity. If you need 32 or 64GB of RAM, you can go for pretty much everything between 1866 and 2666MHz. Voltages are at 1.5 on the 1866MHz RAM, 1.6 on 2133MHz, and 1.65 for 2400MHz and above. If raw speed is what you want, then you'll be happy to hear G.Skill has tested a 16GB kit at 3000MHz when paired with the Intel Core i7 4960X and ASUS Rampage IV Extreme motherboard.

All of the new G.Skill RipjawsZ DDR3 quad channel kits should be available soon, although neither a price nor release date were mentioned. You can check out the full range of new parts in the graph below, as well as the 3000MHz overclocking result.

Source: Press Release


Complete Story


Valve Introduces Steam Family Sharing; Lend Your Entire Library to Ten Devices

Posted: September 11, 2013 @ time: 02:23PM
Author: bp9801

Valve's Steam platform is going to be getting a nice boost soon, as the company announced Steam Family Sharing. It's a new service that allows for Steam users to share their entire libraries with family and close friends on up to ten different devices. Each shared computer gets their own set of acheivements (so your buddy/brother/sister/dad/mom/other relative can have a fresh experience), with all saves and application data being stored in the cloud. However, the one caveat is there's no simultaneous use when Family Sharing is running. So that means if you, the lender, start playing a game the same time as a shared user is – even if it's a different game – the shared user gets a few minutes to either purchase the game they were playing or quit out.

A limited beta for Steam Family Sharing begins next week, and the best way to secure access is to join the appropriate Steam group. In order to share your Steam library, you have to either enable it in your account settings or grant access to requests sent by other users. Regional restrictions still apply, and lenders can even have sharing access revoked if a borrower cheats in a game. Pretty much every game can be accessed by the shared users, however if it requires "an additional third-party key, account, or subscription" then that game can't be shared. DLC can also be accessed, however only if the lender actually owns the DLC; a shared user can't buy DLC for something they personally do not own.

Source: Steam News and Steam Family Sharing


Complete Story


Using Twitter to Promote Science

Posted: September 11, 2013 @ time: 04:18PM
Author: Guest_Jim_*

It seems like almost everything and everyone has a Twitter account these days. One area that has not adopted the social media service though is science, where more traditional means of dissemination are used. Researchers from the University of Miami though, have recently studied the benefits of scientists using Twitter, and found it could have a great impact.

Before the Internet, research papers were primarily circulated through regularly published journals. These media still exist for that purpose today, but with the Internet it is much easier for any interested party to find and read the results of recent studies. Twitter however can work as a means of outreach, and spread word of a recently published study to more people than would normally seek it out.

To support the case for using Twitter, the Miami researchers put together some interesting statistics, including that tweets with links to peer-reviewed PDFs are retweeted 19% of the time, and that the median Twitter following is over seven times larger than the median university department size. Both stats show how much using Twitter can increase dissemination, but it can also encourage post-publication conversations, which could lead to new interest and new ideas.

Source: University of Miami


Complete Story


New All Black Republic of Gamers Motherboard Unveiled

Posted: September 12, 2013 @ time: 01:18AM
Author: Prunes

ASUS' Republic of Gamers line of products has proven its worth through years of being pushed to the limit. Another addition to the lineup has now been unveiled. Called the Rampage IV Black Edition, it is a thing of subtle beauty with a minimalistic and clean, all black design using only a tiny amount of red to highlight a Republic of Gamers logo, and to separate the SupremeFX Formula audio from the rest of the motherboard. Looking at the features, it appears that ASUS spared no expense. The motherboard will have 12 SATA ports, with eight of them being SATA 6 Gbps, eight USB 3.0 ports, built-in 802.11ac Wi-Fi, an optimized design for Ivy Bridge-E, Extreme Engine DIGI+ III (VRM design), and ASUS' own SupremeFX Formula audio. The SupremeFX Formula includes WIMA and ELNA capacitors, an OpAmp headphone amplifier, and 120 dB SNR, all of which is separated from the rest of the motherboard to avoid interference from other components.

To provide a sense of how good this board will be, ASUS stated that " the ROG team went through 5 full layout designs to find the best possible 8 DIMM memory layout topology, and where the ROG team was working on the five new Z87 boards in the first half on this year, that whole team has focused efforts on just the Black Edition this time around!"

This board is not to be confused with the Rampage IV Extreme Black that ASUS showed off in April. Of those there were only three produced and none were sold. 

There is currently no word on pricing or availability yet, but I will keep you updated.

Source: ASUS


Complete Story


Hardware Roundup: Thursday Edition

Posted: September 12, 2013 @ time: 08:50AM
Author: bp9801

Keeping your processor cool is vital if you want to see how high you can overclock, and that's where Noctua's NH-U12S comes in. It's a little bit smaller cooler than you may be use to, but it's designed to fit in any system, even if there are tall memory heatspreaders. We have a look at the LSI 9300-4i4e SAS PCIe 12Gb/s HBA card, which is a host bus adapter card to provide plenty of high-speed storage to servers and workstations. If all you need is a new gadget to play around with, then the Sony Xperia Z Ultra could be for you. It's a 6.4" device that's not quite a tablet and not quite a smartphone (a phablet, in other words), yet uses the Snapdragon 800 MSM8974 SoC to deliver a powerful experience.

CPU Cooling
Noctua NH-U12S @ ThinkComputers

Storage/Hard Drives
LSI 9300-4i4e SAS PCIe 12Gb/s HBA Card @ Benchmark Reviews

Mobile
Sony Xperia Z Ultra: A powerful 6.4-inch Android phablet @ TechSpot


Complete Story


New Compound Could Be Used for Spintronics

Posted: September 12, 2013 @ time: 09:53AM
Author: Guest_Jim_*

Silicon-based electronics have been serving us well for decades now, but we are quickly approaching their limit. For that reason, researchers are investigating new technologies and materials to replace the semiconductor, such as topological insulators. Researchers at North Carolina States University recently created a new compound, while searching for a topological insulator that can act as a magnetic semiconductor, for use in spintronics.

Spintronics, like electronics, uses electrons for carrying signals, but instead of carrying the signals as changes in voltage, spintronics utilize the spin state of electrons. Spin is a fundamental characteristic of many particles, and by using it, devices could be made to operate at very low power. The material the researchers found is strontium tin oxide (Sr3SnO) and they discovered its magnetic semiconducting nature after growing a single crystal, thin film of it on top of a silicon chip. This is very important as researchers have not been able to integrate other magnetic semiconductors onto a silicon substrate before. With such integration, it may be easier to produce actual spintronic components.

While this is definitely a discovery with great potential, there is still some work to do. After all, the researchers made the Sr3SnO thin film to test if it, with a silicon substrate, could work as a topological insulator, and more testing is required to confirm that.

Source: North Carolina State University


Complete Story


Seagate Gives Tablet Users More Space with the Ultra Mobile HDD

Posted: September 12, 2013 @ time: 01:56PM
Author: bp9801

The mobile device landscape is going to be getting a nice storage boost soon, as Seagate has recently announced its Ultra Mobile HDD designed just for tablets and similar devices. The Ultra Mobile HDDs have been integrated with the Seagate Mobile Enablement Kit, which also includes the company's Dynamic Data Driver software, to allow for up to seven times storage capacity increases over 64GB tablets while keeping the same speed, power, and reliability of a flash drive. Each hard drive is a 2.5" model that's a mere 5mm thin and weighs only 3.3 ounces. Capacities range all the way up to 500GB, which should make any tablet user quite happy with that amount of space. The Dynamic Data Driver software offers reduced power consumption (as low as 0.14W) and an "intelligent caching design" at the system level to boost performance.

Seagate's Ultra Mobile HDDs will be available separately and as part of the Mobile Enablement Kit with Dynamic Data Driver software. The kit is designed to support the Android OS, which is always nice to see.

Source: Press Release


Complete Story


Thermaltake Announces the Massive SP Laptop Cooler

Posted: September 12, 2013 @ time: 02:19PM
Author: bp9801

Thermaltake is back at it with a new laptop cooler, as it recently announced the Massive SP. It's the newest member of the family after the Massive 142, but the SP includes an integrated dual speaker system for a truly unique experience. The speakers are on either side of the cooler, with a cavitiy inside to deliver the best sound possible. There's also a massive 140mm LED fan on the Massive SP with an adjustable, and concealed, speed knob to get the precise amount of cooling you need. The power button is also concealed, so that should mean any accidental power downs are a thing of the past. A pair of USB 2.0 ports are on the cooler to get more devices connected, and a duct in the front and rear of the cooler provides cable routing duties. Thermaltake has designed the Massive SP to work with laptops up to 17" in size, and has taken ergonomics into account to deliver a comfortable typing experience regardless of laptop size.

The Thermaltake Massive SP laptop cooler should be available soon, although no price or release date were mentioned.

Source: Press Release


Complete Story


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