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Oculus Rift + Razer Hydra + Half-Life 2 = Gaming Nirvana

Oculus Rift + Razer Hydra + Half-Life 2 = Gaming Nirvana

Using the Oculus Rift and Razer Hydra together is a game-changing way of playing games. Anthony shares his exciting experiences with us here.

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TweakTown News Posts - Page 1

Toshiba launches 6TB 7,200 RPM MG04 HDD

By: Paul Alcorn | More News: IT/Datacenter | Posted: 54 mins ago

Toshiba has announced the release of their latest datacenter HDD, the 6TB MG04 series. The MG04 comes in SAS and SATA flavors and also touts a 30% increase in the sustained data rate. The models also feature Toshiba's persistent write cache technology. This technology persists data to the storage medium by utilizing the rotation of the disk platters during a power loss event to generate enough power to flush the data. This power loss protection technique lends another layer of protection for key business-critical storage systems.

 

 

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The MG04 spins at 7,200 RPM to deliver nearline-class seek performance, and the increased storage density delivers 50% better power efficiency, on a watts-per-TB basis, than previous 4TB models. The drives use 4K native and 512e sector lengths, and models are available with ISE (Instant Secure Erase) functionality. The SAS drives also sport a 12Gb/s connection for compatibility with the latest hardware. The competition in the HDD arena is heating up as we move to denser HDD storage solutions, and the continued advances in HDD technology compliment Toshiba's vast flash-based product portfolio.

Continue reading 'Toshiba launches 6TB 7,200 RPM MG04 HDD' (full post)

University of Wisconsin-Madison researchers embracing IoT

By: Michael Hatamoto | More News: Science, Space & Robotics | Posted: 1 hour, 55 mins ago

The University of Wisconsin-Madison is fully embracing the looming storm connected devices, with students creating dozens of connected devices in its custom Internet of Things Lab. Students have created a smart kitchen inventory, smart tech football helmet able to detect injuries, and other cutting-edge products - all part of a unique effort that isn't for a class, so students set aside their own time to learn more.

 

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Sandra Bradley, the lab's research director for consumer and retailer applications, broke down IoT: "Imagine everything you touch could have an Internet connection with sensing and data, and it could do more. Your refrigerator keeps things cold. What if it could give you shopping lists or monitor spoilage of food? This is about things people touch every day, and say, 'What if?'"

 

Preparing students for IoT research, engineering and programming is an important effort - analysts believe there will be 50 billion connected devices in our lives by 2020. The job market should boom around connected technology, so this is an innovative program at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Continue reading 'University of Wisconsin-Madison researchers embracing IoT' (full post)

NASA's Curiosity rover finds methane on the surface of Mars

By: Michael Hatamoto | More News: Science, Space & Robotics | Posted: 2 hours, 46 mins ago

The Curiosity rover traveling across the surface of Mars has stumbled across organic matter, with scientists saying they saw a tenfold spike in methane. The discovery means there must be a "relatively localized source," with many potential sources, both biological and non-biological, as Curiosity continues to drill into the Martian surface.

 

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"This first confirmation of organic carbon in a rock on Mars holds much promise," said Roger Summons, MIT scientist and Curiosity participating researcher, in a press statement. "Organics are important because they can tell us about the chemical pathways by which they were formed and preserved. In turn, this is informative about Earth-Mars differences and whether or not particular environments represented by Gale Crater sedimentary rocks were more or less favorable for accumulation of organic materials."

Continue reading 'NASA's Curiosity rover finds methane on the surface of Mars' (full post)

Scientists using drones to help better study how tornadoes form

By: Michael Hatamoto | More News: Science, Space & Robotics | Posted: 3 hours, 49 mins ago

Researchers are using unmanned drones to fly into Western and Midwestern storms, as they try to better learn how tornadoes form. Using drones is a realistic and more affordable way to reach storms that most scientific instruments simply can't reach.

 

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The Unmanned Aircraft System and Severe Storms Research Group was created by the University of Colorado and University of Nebraska, with both universities creating a custom research consortium. Both universities will strengthen their relationship with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to receive approval for flying drones in extreme weather.

 

"For most of the past decade, CU-Boulder's UAS research group has collaborated closely with Dr. [Adam] Houston and his UNL severe-storm research group," said Brian Argrow, CU-Boulder aerospace engineers. "Our creation of the new consortium establishes a forum to productively engage current and future collaborations with whom we will work to use UAS to better understand the origins and evolution of severe storms, and to potentially revolutionize severe-storm forecasting and warning systems."

California needs whopping 11 trillion gallons of rain to end drought

By: Michael Hatamoto | More News: Science, Space & Robotics | Posted: 5 hours, 57 mins ago

Northern California is enjoying a rather wet December, and the rainfall has helped increase the state's largest water reservoir from 26 percent to 31 percent capacity, but still needs as much rain as possible. The state still needs 11 trillion gallons of water to recover from three years of relatively mild winters, according to NASA satellite data.

 

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Mandatory water restrictions occurred throughout the state over the summer, with low water levels in reservoirs and lakes, while also hurting agriculture. Since 2011, there has been a decreased volume of four trillion gallons of water per year at the Sacramento and San Joaquin river basins.

 

"We will need two or three winters of above average precipitation," said Jay Famiglietti from the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory, in a statement made to CBS News during the American Geophysical Union (AGU) conference in San Francisco. "Every rain storm is like a deposit in a bank account by the size of the deficit is so big. We are going to need a lot of rain to accumulate that storage."

Samsung betting big on wearables in 2015, as industry matures

By: Michael Hatamoto | More News: Wearable Computing | Posted: 7 hours, 33 mins ago

Samsung expects wearable technology to help create a "new era of power dressing for business leaders" in 2015, while consumers begin to show greater interest in connected wearable devices. The use of wearables and downloaded apps will provide insight into the "power hours," when in the day wearers have the most productivity - with companies using this research for their benefit.

 

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"2014 has been the year that the wearables market has really exploded and broken into the mainstream consciousness," noted Roger Enright, Samsung Electronics UK & Ireland Product Director of IT & Mobile, in a public statement.

 

This is a unique opportunity for companies to benefit from their employees wearing connected devices - which will be a growing trend in 2015 and beyond, analysts predict.

Sprint being targeted for billing subscribers bogus charges on bill

By: Michael Hatamoto | More News: Business, Financial & Legal | Posted: 8 hours, 15 mins ago

Sprint has been accused by US federal regulators of charging its subscribers hundreds of millions of dollars in charges for services they didn't order. Sprint, the No. 3 wireless carrier in the US, reportedly engaged in "cramming," which means they knew third-party companies were charging for text message alerts and other random garbage their customers didn't want.

 

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"Consumers ended up paying tens of millions of dollars in unauthorized charges, even though many of them had no idea that third parties could even place charges on their bills," said Richard Cordray, director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), in a statement. "As the use of mobile payments grows, we will continue to hold wireless carriers accountable for illegal third-party billing."

 

Not surprisingly, Sprint disagreed with the CFPB's accusations, saying that it "strongly disagree with (the CFPB's) characterization of our business practices," and wants customers to contact them if they believe they were unfairly charged.

Lenovo will call upon Intel to power two 4G smartphones in early 2015

By: Michael Hatamoto | More News: Mobile Devices, Tablets & Phones | Posted: 8 hours, 42 mins ago

Intel may have been late to the smartphone game, but is quickly picking up allies to promote its mobile hardware. The company is working with Lenovo, a top-five ranked smartphone manufacturer, and the companies will have two new devices announced by the end of February 2015.

 

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Intel will reportedly offer its 64-bit Atom CPU and LTE-Advanced modem chips for the devices, with one phone aimed for China - and the other mobile device will be available in emerging markets.

 

Even if these devices aren't going to be high-priced models available in the US, it's an important step forward for Intel. The company still isn't in the same neighborhood as Qualcomm when it comes to smartphones and tablets, but shows Intel is ready to fight for everything it can gain in 2015. The 4G system-on-a-chip platform from Intel, being promoted as SoFIA, indicates Intel's seriousness in providng a processor and modem together.

Engineers mess up causing Microsoft Azure downtime

By: Chris Smith | More News: Software | Posted: 9 hours, 26 mins ago

Due to gaps in the deployment policies produced by engineers, Microsoft's Azure cloud service was taken offline during a period of time throughout November 2014. This information has been discovered thanks to a detailed mea culpa analysis by Microsoft themselves.

 

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Jason Zander, Azure team member, conducted a final root cause analysis (RCA) and published it recently, claiming that the engineers intended to push software changes to improve performance and reduce processor load of the services' front-end system. However an outage was caused, meaning customers being unable to connect to Azure's storage, virtual machine, website, Active Directory or management portal functions.

 

The coding succeeded well in improving performance in the testing phases, however the full roll-out was discovered to encounter two main issues. Usually Microsoft deploys these updates in waves, slowly increasing the updated infrastructures bit by bit rather than a full roll-out. However an engineer saw this update as a low risk exercise after a small testing phase and pushed it to everyone in one hit. Thanks to this blunder and subsequent outage, Microsoft are heavily enforcing staged deployments from now on.

Continue reading 'Engineers mess up causing Microsoft Azure downtime' (full post)

ICANN hit by spear phishing attack, employee credentials compromised

By: Michael Hatamoto | More News: Hacking & Security | Posted: 9 hours, 48 mins ago

ICANN employees have fallen victim to a suspected spear phishing cyberattack that began in late November 2014, the group confirmed in a blog post. The social engineering attack mimicked emails that closely resembled communications from its own domain and targeted ICANN employees. Unfortunately, the attack was successful and several ICANN staff members had their credentials compromised.

 

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The compromised credentials were used to access ICANN's Centralized Zone Data System, providing criminals with access to names, postal addresses, email addresses, fax and phone numbers, usernames and passwords. The breach also hits the ICANN GAC Wiki, with only public information accessible to the cybercriminals.

 

Earlier in the year, ICANN boosted its cybersecurity, which the group said likely helped keep unauthorized access to a minimum from this attack.

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