Corsair is one of the companies that helped forge the third-party SSD ecosystem as SSDs entered the mainstream. The new Neutron XT is a continuation of that theme, but leverages the new Phison quad-core S10 controller. Phison and Silicon Motion have been grabbing SSD controller market share as we await new competitive products from SandForce and Marvell. The SSD also features Toshiba A19nm 2bit MLC NAND.
Chris posted the Corsair Neutron XT SSD Preview as an early look at the new drive, but withheld final scoring until concrete MSRP information was available. Corsair has released the MSRP guidelines. The 240GB SSD is $149.99, the 480GB is $269.99, and the 960GB weighs in at $539.00.
The Apple iPhone 6 and 6 Plus are extremely popular smartphones - demand has been very tight, and supply constraints have eased only slightly. However, supply still hasn't caught up with such strong demand, with 56 percent of models available in store as of Friday, December 12, according to figures compiled by Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster.
Mid-November statistics indicated there was only little supply, and Munster predicts it will be close to the end of the quarter before the numbers reach 80 percent supply.
Apple previously said it didn't have interest in larger-screened iPhones, but reversed its decision after Google Android smartphones began to take over. Each new generation of iPhone tends to do well, but the large screen devices have captured a large amount of attention from Apple enthusiasts.
The Ebola outbreak has largely lost popularity in the press, but the war wages on in Africa, and over 6,800 people have died in the recent scourge. Unfortunately, the death toll continues to climb. One of the keys to combating Ebola is quick detection. Isolating patients away from the general population reduces risk of that infected person spreading the disease. The World Health Organization has set a goal of have 70% of Ebola victims quarantined, and 70% of the dead safely buried, in order to begin to turn the tide back. To achieve this goal a fast and reliable test is needed to streamline the process. Even the sad task of ensuring proper burial protocols is simply impossible if there isn't a confirmed Ebola diagnosis.
Enter technology. An IC developed by STMicroelectronics and Clonit, in collaboration with Italy's National Institute for Infectious Diseases, has led to development of a portable analyzer that can identify an Ebola infection in under 75 minutes. The portable analyzer is based on the Real-Time Polymerase Chain Reaction (RT-PCR) molecular biology technique and utilizes a stamp-sized silicon microchip. The device only requires a few microliters of human blood, and can even detect Ebola in samples that have been diluted up to a million times. The key is to get this device through regulatory agencies and in the field as soon as possible.
The debate regarding the use of police body cameras rages on across the country, as numerous jurisdictions continue to evaluate potential benefits and risks of using them. Supporters hope it will help keep police officers on their best behavior, while also making criminals think twice before engaging in an altercation with police.
Some of the benefits of deploying body cameras worn by officers include being able to resolve complaints from the public, using footage in future training efforts, and providing additional evidence in legal cases.
"In addition to these benefits, a recent study suggests that the mere presence of [body worn cameras] may even serve to prevent negative interactions by modifying police officer and citizen behavior," according to a study from the Department of Justice. "As a result, the use of these devices may lead to enhance police accountability, as well as improved police-community relations."
Stanford University will study artificial intelligence over the next 100 years, as part of a long-lasting study to see how AI impacts the US economy, war, crime, and society as a whole. There is growing concern that AI developments, while extremely impressive, could displace human workers and create something that may have disastrous long-term effects.
"Loss of control of A.I. systems has become a big concern," said Dr. Horvitz, Microsoft Research managing director, in a statement to the New York Times. "Rather than simply dismiss these dystopian claims, he said, scientists instead must monitor and continually evalutate the technologies. Even if the anxieties are unwarranted, they need to be addressed."
Dr. Horvitz will lead a committee of leading computer, math and engineering professors and representatives from around the country - and carefully chosen scientists will create a report on the current state of AI that will be published in late 2015.
Students studying unmanned aerial systems and aviation at the Sinclair Community College in Dayton, Ohio, will be able to test their creations in a custom 40-foot high pavilion. The school wanted students to be able to test their flying aircraft in a controlled environment, while also not worrying about any Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) restrictions.
"We think it is really important for students to be able to experience the capabilities of flying, said Deb Norris, Sinclair VP for workforce development and corporate services, in a statement published by the Associated Press.
As drones are expected to have a larger role in the United States, colleges and universities want to prepare students for job opportunities - and to give them real-world training in how to design, repair, and use them.
Seattle non-profit group Urban Death Project has a wacky idea: to provide human composting, so recently deceased human bodies can be used to help nurture plant life. Non-profit organizers want to begin the service within three years, but must complete fundraising and build a facility to conduct research. The Washington State Department of Licensing said the group will also have to receive a license to operate as a funeral home.
The bodies would be stored up to 10 days in a refrigeration unit, and no embalming would be required.
"The idea is to fold the dead back into the city," said Katrina Spade, founder and executive director of the Urban Death Project, in a statement. "The options we currently have for our bodies are lacking, both from an environmental standpoint, but also, and perhaps more importantly, from a meaning standpoint."
Re-gifting is a common practice, especially during the Christmas holiday season, and opens consumers up to potential security problems, according to identity protection company Protect Your Bubble. Consumers need to be fully aware of potential risks when they give PCs, laptops, smartphones and tablets to a family member or friend - many users forget about email addresses and social networking sites they are auto-logged into, financial details available on the storage drive, and other personal information.
"Identity theft has received a lot of awareness in the news media over the last few years, especially around the holidays," said David Anderson, Protect Your Bubble Director of Product. "However, someone's digital and personal footprint can still be acquired any number of ways outside the cash register or Internet shopping cart."
At a time when data breaches and identity theft are continually in the headlines, remembering to disable apps, uninstall programs, and delete financial information is important.
Connected technologies should have a major presence during CES 2015 next month in Las Vegas, as the Internet of Things (IoT) provides a great variety of different smart products. The wide adoption of smartphones and tablets, controlling these connected services, will make it even easier to control a slew of potential new devices.
Currently, 16 percent of online households have at least one connected home device, however, it will take some time to show connected tech is more than a gimmick. To that extend, most current spending on connected home devices and services is saved for households with "high-disposable-income," according to the Gartner research group.
"I think we will see the trend of more household/standard brands in the connected home space," said Hendrik Bartel, Gartner research director, in a Gartner statement. "This will be [a] huge step towards democratization of such services and devices. Certainly Apple HomeKit will bear the first fruits, and we should see products taking advantage of deep iOS integration at CES 2015. I am also really hoping for new innovative ways to control existing connected home devices."
After The Australian released reports on some possibly dodgy conduct by tech-giant Telstra back in October 2014, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) were urged to investigate - eventually ruling that Telstra's ads were misrepresenting the price of their iPhone 6 phone and plan bundle.
Telstra has rolled over to this claim, paying the fine in full. The ads in question were run in local newspapers, claiming that the phone and accompanying phone plan would cost consumers only $70 AU per month, with the fine print stating that there was a sneaky $11 AU per month handset payment applicable - raising the total cost to $81 AU.
ACCC Chairman Rod Sims commented that "consumers should be able to understand the true cost of an advertised product so they can make informed purchasing decisions," further warning that all "businesses must be careful about using attention-grabbing headline prices to ensure that their advertisements do not mislead consumers about the actual price they will have to pay. This is especially the case for bundled goods and services like phones and plans."