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Apacer unveils new sleek and stylish AS710 Portable SSD

By: Charles Gantt | More News: Storage | Posted: Feb 6, 2014 10:14 pm

External hard drives are one of the most convenient devices a person on the go can have, but they are quite fragile when it comes to falls from desk, rough handling, and frequent trips to and from inside a full backpack. With the recent drop in SSD prices, more companies are forgoing the external spinner and opting for something more solid.




Today Apacer launched its new AS710, a portable SSD that is designed to be carried with you where ever you may go. The company said that the AS710 is the first external SSD that is equipped with both a SATA III interface as well as USB 3.0 connectivity, which provides unparalleled speeds. Real-world testing shows that the SATA III interface is capable of sequential read speeds up to 550MB/s and sequential write speeds of 530MB/s. The external drive itself can reach speeds of 380MB/s and 420MB/sec through a USB 3.0 connection. This means that it takes less than 15 seconds to copy a 5GB video file over to the drive when using USB 3.0.


The Apacer AS710 is available at a capacity of 128GB and measures in at just 7mm thick. Its stylish exterior housing is comprised of aluminum with a black finish and machined edges for a very sleek look. The device features 30G anti-vibration protection as well as 3000G anti-shock protection. The SSD itself supports Microsoft Windows-To-Go,which allows one to store the start-up system from his/her Windows 8 Enterprise install directly onto the SSD. Additionally the drive boasts built-in advanced wear leveling and Error Correction Code (ECC) functions and supports Win7 Trim command, ensuring enhanced reliability of data transmission and longer service life for higher stability of data storage.

Continue reading 'Apacer unveils new sleek and stylish AS710 Portable SSD' (full post)

HTC says it will release a smartwatch by the end of 2014

By: Charles Gantt | More News: Wearable Computing | Posted: Feb 6, 2014 9:21 pm

During a recent interview with Bloomberg, HTC's chairwoman, Cher Wang, said that the company is working on a smartwatch to bring to market in 2014, and that work on the device has been slowed from issues with its battery as well as display problems. She did go on to say that HTC will launch a smartwatch by the holiday season if everything works out from here.




"Many years ago we started looking at smart watches and wearables, but we believe that we really have to solve the battery problems and the LCD light problems. These are customer-centric problems," said Wang. She went on to echo HTC CEO in saying that the device needed to fill a specific need to be welcomed into day to day life, otherwise it would be yet another novelty gimmick. I think that HTC is doing this the right way and that taking the development process slowly will allow for a better end product and not just something that does the same stuff our smartphones and Bluetooth headsets already do.

Facebook hears pleas of father seeking Look Back of deceased son

By: Michael Hatamoto | More News: Internet & Websites | Posted: Feb 6, 2014 9:16 pm

Shortly after receiving an emotional plea from a father whose son died at 21 years old due to natural causes, Facebook will provide a 62-second Look Back of the son's account. After sending numerous letters that didn't garner a response, John Berlin posted a heartfelt, emotional plea on YouTube, which quickly went viral.




Following the death of a Facebook member, when verified, the account is removed so friends and family no longer have access. However, Berlin doesn't want access to his son's account, and just wants to be able to view the Look Back and see the pictures generated in the brief collage.


The Look Back feature was rolled out for Facebook's recent 10-year anniversary, and has proven popular among avid Facebook users.

TRENDnet unveils new HomePlug AV2 Powerline Adapters

By: Charles Gantt | More News: Networking | Posted: Feb 6, 2014 7:33 pm

Today, TRENDnet announced the launch of its latest Ethernet over powerline adapter series, the HomePlug AV2. The new Powerline 500 AV2 Adapter kit features two TPL-480E adapters capable of 500Mbp/s transfers and are said to offer double the real-world performance over the company's first generation powerline 500 adapters.




The HomePlug AV2 line is ready to go out of the box and features pre-encryption for enhanced data security. Each model features a a high-performance Gigabit Ethernet port, and a power saver mode that reduces electrical consumption by up to 80-percent when not in use. Each module featured a three-year limited warranty and can be found at major electronic retailers both online and in-store.

Knowledge of Target point-of-sale breach raises alarm bells

By: Michael Hatamoto | More News: Hacking & Security | Posted: Feb 6, 2014 7:25 pm

U.S. retailer Target is still working its way through a massive security breach that impacted more than 70 million in-store customers, a major issue that was first reported late last year. Additional details made available indicate a serious security overhaul will need to take place within Target, and other major retailers should closely follow suit.




Although it appears sophisticated malware targeted point-of-sale (POS) machines in Target stores, it appears some blame is being thrown towards a heating, ventilation and refrigeration third-party contractor. Cyber criminals behind the Target breach may have used the HVAC contractor's stolen account information to gain access, which led to easier access to Target's internal network.


The HVAC company, rumored to be Fazio Mechanical Services from Pennsylvania, confirmed it was recently visited by Secret Service investigators looking into the Target breach.


Target Chief Financial Officer John Mulligan recently appeared before a U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee, apologizing for the retailer's massive data breach.

Steve Wozniak says Apple needs to build an Android smartphone

By: Charles Gantt | More News: Mobile Devices, Tablets & Phones | Posted: Feb 6, 2014 6:14 pm

Should Apple make an Android-powered smartphone? Steve Wozniak seems to think so. In a recent interview with WIRED, Wozniak said that he feels that Apple would do well competing in the Android market space. He said, "There's nothing that would keep Apple out of the Android market as a secondary phone market, We could compete very well... People don't really choose their smartphones based on features," added Wosniak. "I think Apple is superior at being able to say no."




"People like the precious looks of styling and manufacturing that we do in our product compared to the other Android offerings. We could play in two arenas at the same time," Wazniak said. "The great products really come from secret development," he said. "You put small teams of great people on them and they aren't bothered by other people commenting on what they're doing while they're doing it. A whole new category of products doesn't happen very often. It might happen once a decade. Sometimes you have to wait for one of those to come about."


I have to agree with this statement, as the numbers do not lie. Apple has a cult following for its iPhone, and even people who do not like the current versions continue to buy the device because they feel that they have to if they wish to stay relevant in their social circles. If Apple were to release an iPhoneDroid, iAndroid or any device running Android, people would buy it with out question, not because of Android, but because of Apple's false sense of high-quality, and the idea that just because its Apple-made, it is a superior device.

Continue reading 'Steve Wozniak says Apple needs to build an Android smartphone' (full post)

Sony sells off PC unit, TV business, and will lay off 5,000 employees

By: Michael Hatamoto | More News: Business, Financial & Legal | Posted: Feb 6, 2014 6:05 pm

In addition to selling off its VAIO PC business unit, Sony also plans to spin off its TV lineup as 5,000 employees will be given walking papers by 2015, according to recent reports.




As part of its latest restructuring plan, Sony announced it will cut 5,000 global jobs by March 2015 - and hopes to cut almost $1 billion per year in fixed costs. Sony also plans to spin off its TV division into an independent company within the next five months.


Japanese electronics manufacturers have struggled to compete against rising global competition, especially from Korean and Chinese rivals. Japan Industrial Partners will secure the Sony PC division, ensuring it won't head to Lenovo, the Chinese PC manufacturer that is No. 1 in global sales.

Newegg copies Amazon, offers up premium membership for $50

By: Michael Hatamoto | More News: Business, Financial & Legal | Posted: Feb 6, 2014 5:45 pm

Popular tech e-tailer Newegg has launched its Premier Membership, a $50 yearly charge for customers looking for additional perks. Items that have a "P" badge are eligible for Premier Membership perks. A 30-day trial is available for free.




Members receive free shipping for products in less than three days, special notices for upcoming sales, members-only shopping area, lowered cost for two-day and next-day shipping, free returns, and Premier Member-only customer service.


"We developed Newegg Premier because we aspire to become the most loved and trusted marketplace on the web," Newegg said in a blog post. "We want to provide our loyal customers with speedy deliveries and exceptional customer service. We also want to attract new customers that may not know about us."


Newegg remains one of the most popular tech-centric e-tailers, though trying to compete directly with Amazon has been difficult. However, most e-tailers that try to follow in Amazon's footsteps will most likely fall flat, as Prime includes many of the same perks as Premier, along with access to a wider product catalog, music, TV episodes, and movies.

World of Warcraft Warlords of Draenor details outed in new report

By: Charles Gantt | More News: Gaming | Posted: Feb 6, 2014 4:57 pm

World of Warcraft still holds the title of most popular MMORPG despite the game itself being a decade old, and today fans are getting a glimpse of what the next expansion will bring. Titled Warlords of Draenor, the fourth expansion takes WoW to the next level with upgrades in graphics in the form of much more detail being added to the character models as well as the actual game world.




Unfortunately, Blizzard has decided to keep the same game engine it has been using for years, and while the improvements will make the game look much better, its graphics will still lag behind current gaming standards by a few years. In the image below, you can see some of the new facial expressions and overall added detail to the Orc model for Warlords of Draenor.




As far as things go on the actual game-play side, this new expansion will be returning to WoW's roots and diving heavily into dungeon content to allow players to easily level up, and gearing up for those long raid sessions you have scheduled for Thursday night at 9pm. Additionally, a new Raid finder engine will be utilized so that raids can scale in difficulty based on the raids group size. Furthermore, a new Mythic level difficulty will be added which raids can participate in if they have 20 members.

Mobile threats affected 11.6M devices in 2013, Alcatel-Lucent says

By: Michael Hatamoto | More News: Mobile Devices, Tablets & Phones | Posted: Feb 6, 2014 4:40 pm

Cyber criminals accelerated their focus on attacking mobile devices in 2013, with more than 11.6 million devices compromised as malware becomes increasingly sophisticated.




Google Android devices made up 60 percent of infected devices, with mobile malware sampling drastically increasing 20 times in 2013. Smartphone makers installing Android - and software developers - are slowly making changes to ensure they are able to offer more advanced security software alternatives.


"Not only is Android the largest smartphone market, unlike iPhone and BlackBerry, it allows apps to be loaded from third-party sites," said Kevin McNamee, Alcatel-Lucent Security architect, in a statement. "This provides cybercriminals with an unpoliced mechanism to distribute their malware which can easily evade detection by device-based anti-virus. Thus, in 2013 we saw an increased trend towards operators offering network based anti-virus security to subscribers as a service."


Mobile security solutions are evolving to meet the growing threat from cyber criminals, though the types of attacks also are evolving. Instead of relying on malware to just collect personal information and steal bank data, mobile spyware has become big-business to hijack devices and use them as part of an organized botnet.