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Beijing's smog problem is so bad that sunrises are televised on TV

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Current Affairs | Posted: Jan 18, 2014 12:18 am

Beijing's smog problem is becoming so bad that not only do people have to walk around wearing masks to try and be a little safer than walking through pollution, but citizens of one of the city cannot even view a natural sunrise.

 

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The Chinese capital has now placed massive digital commercial TVs across the city that display virtual sunrises... yes, virtual sunrises. Air pollution monitors have issued a severe air warning for both the elderly and school children to stay indoors until the quality improves. Beijing's commuters have resorted to wearing industrial strength face masks to get to work because of the intense smog.

 

Beijing's air quality is normally poor, but the readings for Thursday for particles of PM2.5 pollution are the first of the season to be above 500 micrograms per cubic meter. Mid Thursday morning, the density of PM2.5 was between 300-500, but the air started to clear toward the afternoon. The World Health Organization considers 25 micrograms safe, so these readings are around 26 times the WHOs safe limits.

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LG G3 specs leak, will feature 5.5-inch 2K display, 8-core processor

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Mobile Devices, Tablets & Phones | Posted: Jan 17, 2014 11:53 pm

2014 could be the year for LG, especially if its upcoming G3 smartphone can win against the Galaxy S5 from Samsung. According to a new report from Korean-language site Kaver, the South Korean giant is preparing to launch its G3 smartphone in mid-May.

 

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LG's G3 smartphone should feature a 5.5-inch 2K display (2560x1440), as well as a 16-megapixel rear-facing camera and either a quad- or eight-core processor - which should arrive as LG's Odin processor. Specs aren't everything, as we've seen with LG's dismal G2 sales in 2013.

Toshiba receives approval for OCZ buyout, RIP to popular company

By: Michael Hatamoto | More News: Storage | Posted: Jan 17, 2014 7:59 pm

Today the long running saga of OCZ's slow decline has finally come to an end. This morning a OCZ received approval from the United States Bankruptcy Court for the district of Delaware, to sell all of its Solid State Drive assets to Toshiba. This approval allows OCZ to finalize the acquisition that we were the first to tell you about back in October, and then again in November.

 

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"The OCZ team is excited to be a part of an innovative company like Toshiba where we can continue to develop new and unique SSD technologies that position the company as a solid state solutions leader in both the client and enterprise storage markets," said Ralph Schmitt, OCZ CEO, in a statement.

 

OCZ says the asset acquisition will complete by the end of next week, and Toshiba will keep the OCZ brand alive with its full portfolio of consumer and enterprise SSD products. With the financial powerhouse that is Toshiba now behind the OCZ brand, things could turn out very well for the once falling company.

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Pres. Obama tells nation NSA phone surveillance program overhaul soon

By: Michael Hatamoto | More News: Hacking & Security | Posted: Jan 17, 2014 7:34 pm

President Barack Obama announced an overhaul of the National Security Agency (NSA) phone surveillance program following classified data leaks by former IT analyst Edward Snowden.

 

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"Let us chart a way forward that secures the life of our nation, while preserving the liberties that make our nation worth fighting for," Obama said during his Friday morning press conference. "The United States is not spying on ordinary people who don't threaten our national security ... unless there is a compelling national security purpose, we will not monitor the communications of heads of state and government of our close friends and allies."

 

Obama's administration has endured a tremendous amount of criticism following NSA data leaks, courtesy of Snowden's disclosure last year. Even with a promised overhaul, many Internet users - and foreign government leaders - expect continued distrust from regular Internet users. Furthermore, Obama's promise of not spying on "close friends and allies" only applies to "dozens" of foreign leaders and high-ranking government officials.

T-Mobile wants users to write 'breakup' letters to current carrier

By: Michael Hatamoto | More News: Mobile Devices, Tablets & Phones | Posted: Jan 17, 2014 6:40 pm

T-Mobile is getting a kick out of offering an initiative that allows subscribers on other carriers to write "breakup" letters for their current wireless provider. Even with more than 80,000 of the "Dear John" letters from disgruntled subscribers to their carriers doesn't necessarily mean they are ready to abandon ship.

 

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"As you can see from some of the breakup letters, people do say who they're breaking up with," a T-Mobile spokesperson recently told reporters. "In fact, customers are making signs, wanting to get their photo taken - they really want to have fun with it."

 

T-Mobile, currently the No. 4 biggest U.S. carrier in the United States, also boasts the cheapest monthly subscriptions for its subscribers. The company also recently announced it would open the door to paying up to $350 in early termination fees, per line, to woo subscribers away from AT&T and Verizon Wireless.

Futuremark rolls out PCMark 8 Steam version

By: Michael Hatamoto | More News: Software | Posted: Jan 17, 2014 6:17 pm

PC benchmark company Futuremark has rolled out a major update for PCMark 8, PCMark 8 v2.0.191, offering additional tests for image processing, video editing and spreadsheets. The Home, Creative and Work benchmarks have all received important updates, including a feature to allow Professional and Advanced Editions to run older versions of each test, which can be used for comparison purposes.

 

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Futuremark wanted to ensure enterprise environments can also be quickly and accurately scored, along with an addition to boost drive performance analysis.

 

The Steam version of PCMark 8 will update automatically, while the standalone version requires users to download and install the update.

 

The download link is available here.

Verizon Wireless subscribers pay the most, $148 per month for service

By: Michael Hatamoto | More News: Mobile Devices, Tablets & Phones | Posted: Jan 17, 2014 5:34 pm

Verizon Wireless subscribers in the United States pay the most per month for their phone bills, according to a study compiled by Cowen and Company. On average, Verizon Wireless subscribers pay $148 per month after taxes and fees, while Sprint is the second most expensive with a $144 average. Meanwhile, AT&T subscribers pay $141 and T-Mobile subscribers tend to pay $120 per month for their phone service.

 

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Verizon CEO Lowell McAdam previously noted several times that his company isn't interested in trying to compete against AT&T, T-Mobile, and Sprint in pricing.

 

The most recent Cowen and Company study follows up reports last year that indicated the same pricing structure for the four major carriers.

Report: Neiman Marcus was hacked starting in July 2013

By: Michael Hatamoto | More News: Hacking & Security | Posted: Jan 17, 2014 4:32 pm

Luxury retailer Neiman Marcus reportedly first had its computer network accessed by hackers dating back to July 2013, with the security hole only recently plugged, according to recent stories. The security breach likely compromised customer names and credit card information used in-store only, and online shoppers reportedly remained safe.

 

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The company didn't reportedly receive an alert about the cyber intrusion until mid-December - a shocking reality check for retailers, as five months elapsed from the first date-stamped data intrusion.

 

Retailers are facing increasingly sophisticated physical and online security threats - and consumers rightfully demand companies handle personal information carefully - though security experts warn this is only the beginning.

Experts recommend encrypting files to limit NSA snooping activity

By: Michael Hatamoto | More News: Privacy & Rights | Posted: Jan 17, 2014 3:03 pm

Current cryptography encryption is still giving the National Security Agency (NSA) fits, providing Internet users with an extra layer of protection from government snooping, according to a well-known security researcher.

 

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Bruce Schneier, author and security blogger, said the U.S. government is on a "quixotic mission" to collect as much information as possible, including online chats, instant messages, e-mails, and forum postings - and it's uncertain what current procedures are more secure. It's up to users to help develop an Internet that is secure for all users, rather than a system that is open and vulnerable from government snooping - and cyber criminals trying to compromise information.

 

The large amount of information collected by the NSA - against regular Internet users and foreign government leaders - has left people across the world angry.

Nimbus Data has banner year, doubling sales and expanding net income

By: Paul Alcorn | More News: IT/Datacenter | Posted: Jan 17, 2014 2:49 pm

Nimbus Data, a leading provider of unified all-flash storage systems for enterprise and cloud infrastructure, has announced record-setting financial results for 2013. Nimbus Data specializes in unified all-flash array technology, and their Sustainable Storage systems have surpassed 500 deployments. Their products bring together low-latency flash, data management and protection, and highly-scalable multiprotocol storage features to create a fault-tolerant solid state solution designed for server and desktop virtualization, databases, HPC, and next generation cloud infrastructure.

 

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Nimbus all-flash arrays are available for a acquisition cost that is comparable to disk-based storage arrays with tremendously lower operating costs and total TCO.

 

Things are moving along quickly for Nimbus Data, with net income growth 4x that of 2012 and doubled revenue as well. They have also expanded their facilities and staff with a new sales and engineering office in Austin, TX, and headcount growth of 125%. These solid financials and continued controlled growth may foretell a possible IPO in 12-18 months.

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