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Microsoft inviting some Xbox Live users to beta Xbox One updates

By: Shane McGlaun | More News: Gaming | Posted: Feb 21, 2014 6:25 pm

Microsoft is always working on updates for the Xbox One and Xbox 360 game consoles. Sometimes those updates are for bugs that have surfaced, like the black screen bug the last Xbox One update added for some. Other times the updates for the consoles add new features.

 

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Microsoft has announce that it has been inviting specific Xbox Live gamers to beta the next update for the Xbox One game console. The Xbox team is working on an update for the Xbox One for March. The users that are chosen by Microsoft will get some of the features of that update early.

 

They will use the new features and provide Microsoft with feedback on the update via a private forum. Microsoft isn't offering any information on how it is choosing the people that will participate in the program. It does say that the users will be able to opt out of participating. That implies that the people don't have to ask to be part of the program.

Continue reading 'Microsoft inviting some Xbox Live users to beta Xbox One updates' (full post)

DELL joins A4WP to adopt wireless charging standard

By: Roshan Ashraf Shaikh | More News: Computer Systems | Posted: Feb 21, 2014 6:15 pm

Dell joins the Alliance for Wireless Power, short for A4WP, making this as the first biggest PC maker in the world to join an initiative to adopt a wireless charging standard.

 

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Other members of A4WP are Intel, Samsung, LG, SanDisk and other names, but Dell is the first PC maker to join the group. A4WP's primary goal is standardize Rezence, a wireless power transfer method that uses near-field magnetic tech which has the ability to charge multiple device at the same time.

Continue reading 'DELL joins A4WP to adopt wireless charging standard' (full post)

South Korea increasing its own offensive cyber weapons effort

By: Michael Hatamoto | More News: Hacking & Security | Posted: Feb 21, 2014 6:07 pm

In an attempt to attack North Korean nuclear facilities, the South Korean government wants to develop cyberwar weapons to target critical infrastructure. Similar to the Stuxnet software aimed towards Iran, South Korean wants to use software to disrupt its neighbors to the north, even with military analysts hesitant to condone significant attacks.

 

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Earlier in the month, U.S. and South Korean officials held continued meetings regarding cybersecurity efforts to protect both nations from prying eyes in China, North Korea, and other locations. There is continued concern regarding North Korea's nuclear ambitions, and excluding an actual military strike, cyberattacks are believed to be the next option as diplomatic efforts have struggled.

 

The South Korean government also plans to increase funding for home-grown startups, with software and cyber development expected to be a major effort. The United States and western allies would be able to share information with South Korea, offering a unique perspective into functional cyber weapons.

 

However, there will be mounting concern that a physical cyberattack could harm infrastructure that wasn't initially targeted.

Peak antifreeze to sponsor iRacing NASCAR series for next 3-years

By: Shane McGlaun | More News: Gaming | Posted: Feb 21, 2014 5:43 pm

Peak Antifreeze and iRacing have announced something that will excite virtual racers out there. Peak will be sponsoring iRacing's top online racing championship series for the next three years. The events sponsored by peak will kick off on February 25.

 

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The NASCAR Peak Antifreeze Series powered by iRacing.com will pit the top sim racers in the world against each other for over $20,000 in cash and prices. Participants will race in precise digital models of Generation-6 stock cars with a 17-race schedule.

 

The racing will take place on iRacing.com's laser scanned NASCAR racing tracks. This is the only sanctioned online world championship by NASCAR. The racing series will kick off at the virtual Daytona International Speedway at 9pm Tuesday, February 25th.

Continue reading 'Peak antifreeze to sponsor iRacing NASCAR series for next 3-years' (full post)

G.SKILL SO-DIMM memory overclocked to 2600MHz on ASROCK M8 barebone

By: Roshan Ashraf Shaikh | More News: RAM | Posted: Feb 21, 2014 5:16 pm

Now that mini-PCs from companies such as ASROCK, ASUS and Zotac are catching up, SO-DIMM overclocking is something that would be interesting to see. G.SKILL did that using ASROCK M8 Barebone system.

 

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G.SKILL managed to do just that, as they were able to overclock its ripjaws SO-DIMM 1.35V C11 2133 MHz to 2400 MHz 12-14-14-25 @ 1.35v.

Continue reading 'G.SKILL SO-DIMM memory overclocked to 2600MHz on ASROCK M8 barebone' (full post)

Microsoft Office Web Apps officially rebranded as Office Online

By: Charles Gantt | More News: Software | Posted: Feb 21, 2014 5:14 pm

Microsoft's Office Web Apps was meant to take on Google's Drive / Docs services, unfortunately it seems like the masses never took hold of Office Web Apps the way we all adopted to using Google Drive. Microsoft seems to think that the issue lies within the service's branding, and this week made a major move to rebrand Office Web Apps to something that makes a little more sense.

 

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The service is now called Office Online, something many feel that it should have always been named. Microsoft says that the new name more closely reflects what the actual product is, and is free to use for OneDrive users. The rebrand also includes a new URL, Office.com, which should go a long way in introducing new users to the service. Office Online is made up of Word, Outlook, OneNote, PowerPoint,Excel and more, and even includes Google Drive-like co-editing features. Microsoft has also refreshed the service with a wealth of new templates, and given the UI a handy drop-down toolbar to make life easier.

 

You might remember that Microsoft also rebranded its SkyDrive cloud storage service to the new name of OneDrive earlier this week. The renaming stemmed from a lost trademark battle with British Sky Broadcasting last year. OneDrive and Office Online sync up together just like Google Drive and Google Docs do, and users are given 7GB of storage space for free upon signing up. Additional space can be purchased, and 500MB of free storage is given with each user referral.

Millions of Europeans SMBs, homes will have cellular-connected alarms

By: Michael Hatamoto | More News: Connectivity & Communications | Posted: Feb 21, 2014 4:49 pm

The "Internet of Everything" is still nowhere near its full potential, but Europe will embrace the trend with an estimated 5.7 million small businesses and home alarm systems connected to European cellular networks in 2018.

 

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The recent findings were released by Berg Insight in an effort to show how technology is increasing - many automated security services currently make use of self-monitoring, though as more devices are connected, it provides great opportunity for professional monitoring services to be included.

 

"There is considerable growth potential," said Andre Malm, Berg Insight analyst, in a press release.

 

It's not just home- and business-based security alarms that are receiving a strong boost from technological developments that are emerging. There is a great effort to bring connected features into vehicles on the roadway, including enhanced security measures, which can be used to quickly identify - and track - stolen vehicles.

LaCie adds 5TB capacity drives to external storage line

By: Shane McGlaun | More News: Storage | Posted: Feb 21, 2014 4:47 pm

LaCie is a company that makes all sorts of storage products that run the gamut for small and portable hard drives that connect via USB ports to high-end multi disk RAID solutions for storing and protecting your data. LaCie has announced that it has added a new 5TB drive options to a number of the external storage products it makes.

 

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The 5TB hard drive is a 7200-rpm unit and can be found in several LaCie product lines. The product lines that will get the larger capacity drive option include the 5big Thunderbolt series, 2big Thunderbolt series, and the d2 Thunderbolt Series. We reviewed the LaCie 5big NAS Pro storage solution last summer.

 

With the availability of the 5TB drive, shoppers can now get 5big series storage devices with up to 25TB of storage space. LaCie says that the 25TB option makes it the largest 5-bay storage solution on the market. It will also be able to provide data speeds of up to 785 MB/s. The larger capacity drives are available in the LaCie 2big Quadra and d2 Quadra storage devices as well.

Oral-B Bluetooth toothbrush syncs with smartphone app

By: Shane McGlaun | More News: Health Technology | Posted: Feb 21, 2014 4:06 pm

Many people out there are still using normal toothbrushes to keep their teeth clean. There are also a number of folks that have adopted high-tech toothbrushes to help keep their mouths even cleaner. Oral-B is one of the biggest names in electric toothbrushes and the company has announced that it will be showing off its most tech packed toothbrush yet at MWC 2014.

 

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The toothbrush is the first to feature Bluetooth 4.0 technology inside. The Bluetooth tech inside the toothbrush interfaces with an app that runs on your smartphone. The idea is that the app can be programmed with the help of a dentist to help you concentrate on part so the mouth that need it.

 

The app also gives you feedback on how well you brush. That feedback includes how long you brushed and if you used too much pressure among other things. The toothbrush can be programmed with personal brush settings for target session length and preferred brushing modes.

Continue reading 'Oral-B Bluetooth toothbrush syncs with smartphone app' (full post)

Ubuntu-based smartphones coming from Meizu and BQ later this year

By: Charles Gantt | More News: Mobile Devices, Tablets & Phones | Posted: Feb 21, 2014 3:34 pm

After its failed Indiegogo campaign, many though that Canonical would be unable to bring the Unbuntu Edge to reality, but a new partnership with Meizu and BQ, little known mobile phone OEMs, to bring Ubuntu's mobile OS to production devices. While Meizu and Bq are unrecognizable by most US readers, the companies are global powerhouse. Unfortunately no availability at any US carrier has been announced, but Canonical did say that the devices would be available online at several stores as well as on Ubuntu.com.

 

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Canonical says that the first Ubuntu smartphone will launch later this year, but I suspect that it may not be branded as or have all the features of the Ubuntu Edge we all fell in love with during the Indiegogo campaign last year. Unfortunately, with past Ubuntu smartphone deadlines being passed by months, I would not hold my breath on a timely release, and would realistically look for a launch near or after the holiday season this coming winter. If China-based Meizu and Spanish-based BQ can pull it off in a timely manner, then Ubuntu smartphones could quickly grow to take over lower tier operating systems such as Samsung's delayed Tizen, or even Microsoft's Windows Phone.

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