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TweakTown's Computex Taipei 2015 Coverage direct from Taipei, Taiwan - ALL STORIES!

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Thermaltake Suppressor F51 Mid-Tower Chassis Review

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Trying to figure out how wearables will help mobile payments ecosystem

By: Michael Hatamoto | More News: Wearable Computing | Posted: 52 mins ago

Financial institutions are gearing up for a growing number of their customers using various forms of mobile payments while shopping. During the Wearable World Congress in San Francisco, executives from MasterCard, Capital One and PayPal discussed how each company is embracing the market - and watching to see what products and services emerge.

 

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"As we look at the future, consumers are clearly interacting with a whole host of new devices that extend beyond plastic or the devices in their pocket," said Stephane Wyper, VP of startup engagement at MasterCard. "How do we enable all of those connected devices to be payment devices?"

 

As the number of wearables reach the market, they could play a major role in how payments are made - moving away from the idea that just smartphones will be used for transactions. The use of smartwatches and other wearables, which keep owners connected, provide new opportunities for banks and credit card companies.

Continue reading 'Trying to figure out how wearables will help mobile payments ecosystem' (full post)

Solar-powered drone Google wants to use crashes during test flight

By: Michael Hatamoto | More News: Science, Space & Robotics | Posted: 2 hours, 52 mins ago

The Titan Aerospace Solara 50 drone that Google wants to use as a platform to help deliver Internet service to users across the world has unfortunately crashed. The US National Transportation Safety Board is investigating the crash which took place in New Mexico on May 1.

 

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Google purchased Titan Aerospace in 2014, and hopes the drone, which can operate at 65,000 ft. altitude, can carry up to 70 pounds of telecom equipment. Solara 50 can produce up to seven kilowatts of power using 3,000 enclosed solar cells, and features a wingspan up to 164 feet.

 

"Although our prototype plane went down during a recent test, we remain optimistic about the potential of solar-powered planes to help deliver connectivity," said Courtney Hohne, Google spokeswoman, in a statement to Bloomberg News. "Part of building a new technology is overcoming hurdles along the way."

Continue reading 'Solar-powered drone Google wants to use crashes during test flight' (full post)

The robot cheetah from MIT can now run and jump over objects

By: Michael Hatamoto | More News: Science, Space & Robotics | Posted: 3 hours, 37 mins ago

The cheetah-inspired robot created by researchers from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) has an innovative new skill: it can successfully jump over obstacles. The robot, which can run a maximum 10 miles per hour, is becoming even more impressive ahead of the DARPA Robotics Challenge Finals next month.

 

 

Researchers equipped the robot with a LiDAR system that uses laser to detect items, with the cheetah quickly creating a virtual map of its surrounding area.

 

"It's the first legged robot to be able [to] leap hurdles like this autonomously," said Sangbae Kim, MIT research team lead, in a statement. "Many other robots can move faster on wheels, or maybe jump higher, but they can't do it on their own."

Continue reading 'The robot cheetah from MIT can now run and jump over objects' (full post)

Xiaomi wants to jump into the US market, but no big risks being taken

By: Michael Hatamoto | More News: Mobile Devices, Tablets & Phones | Posted: 5 hours, 27 mins ago

Chinese electronics company Xiaomi wants to have a larger presence in the United States and other lucrative markets, but doesn't want to make any foolish mistakes. Xiaomi wants to make sure it has a customer service department and other necessary infrastructure in place before blindly selling higher-priced electronics to consumers.

 

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The company quietly launched the Xiaomi Mi store in the US and Western Europe, quickly selling out of devices - no smartphones or tablets available just yet - with low-priced headphones, fitness trackers and battery packs available.

 

"We are working on it," said Hugo Barra, VP of International at Xiaomi, while speaking during the Code Conference. "We don't have a set plan... we haven't picked a date yet."

Continue reading 'Xiaomi wants to jump into the US market, but no big risks being taken' (full post)

Carbine Studios switches things up, makes Wildstar MMO free-to-play

By: Michael Hatamoto | More News: Gaming | Posted: 6 hours, 52 mins ago

Carbine Studios has confirmed it will make its WildStar massively multiplayer online role-playing game (MMORPG) a free-to-play game title.

 

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When the game launched last June, it required a monthly subscription - Carbine Studios originally facing criticism to charge players - and it looks like things will change this fall. Developers watched how other similar games tried to make a transition from subscription to free-to-play and believe they will have time to work with players during the transition.

 

"WildStar is now a much better game than it was when it launched nearly a year ago," said Mike Donatelli, product director at Carbine Studios, in a statement to GameSpot. "We're at the point where it's time to really focus on growing the game, and we as a team feel that the best way to do that is to make it so that everyone who wants to play can do so with as few hurdles as possible. This means removing the two biggest barriers of entry to the game - the cost of the box and the required subscription."

Continue reading 'Carbine Studios switches things up, makes Wildstar MMO free-to-play' (full post)

Lawmakers want automakers to answer questions about connected security

By: Michael Hatamoto | More News: Technology in Vehicles | Posted: 7 hours, 42 mins ago

Members from the House of Energy and Commerce Committee want answers related to possible cybersecurity risks from larger numbers of connected vehicles hitting the road. There will be 250,000 connected vehicles on the road by 2020, according to the Gartner research group.

 

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In a letter that was submitted to the National Highway Transportation and Safety Administration (NHTSA), along with 17 automakers, committee members want additional information about connected vehicle security.

 

"Connected cars and advancements in vehicle technology present a tremendous opportunity for economic innovation, consumer convenience, and public health and safety," said the group. "These benefits, however, depend on consumer confidence in the safety and reliability of these technologies."

Continue reading 'Lawmakers want automakers to answer questions about connected security' (full post)

Apple scrambles to release fix for widespread iMessage glitch

By: Michael Hatamoto | More News: Hacking & Security | Posted: 8 hours, 52 mins ago

It didn't take long for Apple to provide a temporary fix for a bug that allows users to crash an iPhone, iPad or Apple Watch via text message. The company was reportedly working on a fix anyway, but had to speed things up when users started sharing details about the problem on YouTube and social media outlets.

 

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The problem stemmed from the way Arabic text is rendered by an iOS device, and the device's RAM ends up full, forcing a restart.

 

iOS users can have Siri read unread messages, and have Siri respond to the malicious message. Once that is done, users can open Messages again. Once in messages, users must swipe left to delete the entire conversation thread - or tap, hold, and delete the malicious message.

Migration from PCs towards wearables and IoT expected at Computex 2015

By: Michael Hatamoto | More News: Wearable Computing | Posted: 9 hours, 32 mins ago

Computex 2015: We're just a few days away from Computex 2015, and the tech world will turn its focus towards Taipei. Traditionally used to show off PCs, mobile devices, and other consumer-centric devices, there could be a new focus at this year's show: wearables and products that connect to the Internet of Things (IoT).

 

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As consumers become more comfortable with wearables, Computex could be a major launching pad for announcements - with Acer, ASUS, and other major Asian companies expected to announce new consumer wearable products. In addition, smaller companies could use the major tech trade show to announce and launch devices, especially if they can connect to smartphones and tablets.

 

Meanwhile, IoT should have a major presence at the show, and with more business partnerships being forged, consumers are looking ahead to the future. An estimated 30 billion to 50 billion Things will likely be on the market by 2020, and the emerging market will only accelerate higher.

QNAP releases a NAS with more computing power than my desktop

By: Chris Smith | More News: Storage | Posted: 11 hours ago

Don't you just love spare or backup computers? It's sad but true that I'm currently rocking an AMD quad-core and 4GB of DDR2 RAM thanks to my main desktop motherboard recently dieing after 4 years of long hard service.

 

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In comes QNAP to make me feel really inadequate with its new AMD-powered TS-563 NAS. Sporting an "AMD Embedded G-Series quad-core 2.0GHz SoC processor and up to 16GB RAM," this 5-bay NAS was announced in a recently issued press release.

 

QNAP's senior director of marketing Dilip Ramachandran says that the AMD G-Series SOC has been chosen because it "offers a low power solution delivering high performance at attractive cost levels," with the release further explaining that this 64-bit AMD Embedded chip is coupled with SATA 6Gb/s support, 2x 1GbE LAN ports and more.

Continue reading 'QNAP releases a NAS with more computing power than my desktop' (full post)

Using virtual reality to help medical patients walk again

By: Michael Hatamoto | More News: Science, Space & Robotics | Posted: 11 hours, 32 mins ago

The use of virtual reality can help medical patients suffering from strokes and other major brain conditions regain control over themselves, researchers believe.

 

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The Virtual Reality Medical Center is using VR to help medical patients re-learn motor functions, such as walking, sitting, or holding an item. Letting patients work in a virtual environment is a great first step, helping ease embarrassment or discomfort before they physically try to move again.

 

"What we do first is teach a person how to control their body and thought process," said Brenda Wiederhold, EVP of the Virtual Reality Medical Center, in a statement to CNBC. "Then we put them in VR and have them practice those skills in the virtual world so they feel confident they can use them in the real-world."

Continue reading 'Using virtual reality to help medical patients walk again' (full post)

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