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Concrete is about to go next-gen with re-healable concrete to be start outdoor testing

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Current Affairs | Posted: Nov 1, 2012 12:29 pm

Concrete is the world's most widely used building material, but there haven't been any fundamental changes in the material, and because of that it is prone to cracks - which means that most structures be substantially reinforced with steel.




This is all about to hopefully change with experimental concrete that self heals - yes, self, heals. The experimental concrete contains limestone-producing bacteria, which are activated by corrosive rainwater working its way into the structure. The new concrete is about to enter outdoor testing, and if successful, we could see new structures made with the concrete that could provide better service life with the concrete, and huge cost savings, too.


The work is being done at Delft Technical University in the Netherlands and is the brainchild of microbiologist Henk Jonkers and concrete technologist Eric Schlangen. If the testing is positive, Dr Jonkers says that they could start the process of commercializing it as soon as 2-3 years from now.

Continue reading 'Concrete is about to go next-gen with re-healable concrete to be start outdoor testing' (full post)

Acer delays their Windows RT tablet until Q2 2013, is cautious because of Surface

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Mobile Devices, Tablets & Phones | Posted: Nov 1, 2012 11:37 am

Acer have announced that they are delaying the launch of their Windows RT-based products until Q2 2013. Acer President, Jim Wong, told Reuters that Microsoft's Surface tablet is a threat, that "because of Surface... we are much more cautious".




The hardware maker did state earlier this year that Surface would hurt the industry, going as far as considering alternative partners. With Acer now pushing their Windows RT devices back, this might be more of a reality now.


Wong has said that he wants to see how Surface does in the market, how its received by customers, and how aggressive the Redmond-based company are at pushing Surface. But with a reported $1 billion in marketing money to play with, aggressive would be quite the understatement.

Linus Torvalds would like to see laptops with 2560x1600 displays, and so would I

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Laptops | Posted: Nov 1, 2012 10:30 am

It looks like Linus Torvalds and I have something in common, we both want to see higher resolution notebook displays. Torvalds has used his Google+ account to post about the subject, asking "can we please just make that [the 2560x1600-pixel] the new standard laptop resolution? Even at 11"? Please."




The problem is, as he says, is that we're seeing so many 1366x768 displays in this Full HD world of displays, and it really is just crap. He does state that "soon even the cellphones will start laughing at the ridiculously bad laptop displays".


I fully, 100% agree with Torvalds, and I think every sector needs a reality check. TVs should have jumped from 1080p ages ago, and so should PC screens. I had 1920x1200 displays when the first Dell FP2405W came out and that cost me $1500+, I upgraded to the HP LP3065 monitor as soon as it came out because I wanted the 2560x1600 res it offered. Now we're going backward with 90% or more of displays only offering 1920x1080.

Continue reading 'Linus Torvalds would like to see laptops with 2560x1600 displays, and so would I' (full post)

Samsung's Galaxy Note II Smart Dock turns your smartphone into a desktop, kinda

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Mobile Devices, Tablets & Phones | Posted: Nov 1, 2012 9:34 am

Samsung's Galaxy Note II is slowly sprawling its phablet tentacles all across the world, with Samsung announcing a new Smart Dock for the 5.5-inch smartphone. The Smart Dock turns the device into a mini desktop setup, sporting plenty of connectivity options for a display, as well as wired peripherals.




It is priced at $99, sports three USB ports, a full-sized HDMI port allowing 1080p output, as well as a 3.5mm stereo audio output to hook up some speakers. A micro USB port is also featured, which charges the phone and powers the Smart Dock itself, too. The Note II can be used while it is docked, including the ability to make phone calls.


This means that you could use the Samsung Smart Dock, with your docked Note II, with a full-sized keyboard, mouse and monitor setup as a quasi-desktop. The normal Android applications will scale up onto the 1080p display, or alternatively, you could use it to play back media (video, audio) to a TV for example. It folds up, too, which means its simple enough to carry around in a bag with you.

Continue reading 'Samsung's Galaxy Note II Smart Dock turns your smartphone into a desktop, kinda' (full post)

Samsung's 28nm Exynos CPU for Galaxy S IV to soon enter mass production

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: CPU, APU & Chipsets | Posted: Nov 1, 2012 8:25 am

We all know Samsung doesn't just twiddle their thumbs after their release a flagship smartphone, where earlier this year we saw the release of the phenomenally popular Galaxy S III, and now we're seeing the rollout of the 5.5-inch Galaxy Note II. These two smartphones represent just a sliver of what Samsung actually sell, and now we're hearing more talk on the Galaxy S III's successor, the Galaxy S IV.




Sources are claiming that Samsung recently produced a test version of their 28nm High-K Metal Gate (HKMG) processor which goes by the codename "Adonis", that will eventually be baked into their next-gen flagship smartphone. Adonis is a quad-core design, which will most likely end up with the name Exynos 5400, and uses ARM's Cortex A15 architecture. The new chip should ship with better GPU abilities, that reportedly use very little power. Samsung currently use the Cortex A15 architecture in their Exynos 5250, but that is built on the older, and less efficient 32nm process.

Continue reading 'Samsung's 28nm Exynos CPU for Galaxy S IV to soon enter mass production' (full post)

AT&T to buy more 700MHz spectrum across the US

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Business, Financial & Legal | Posted: Nov 1, 2012 7:33 am

It looks like AT&T is making a move for some more 700MHz spectrum, according to the FCC's latest information. A deal between AT&T and Broadband Wireless Unlimited will see the US telco receive more 700MHz spectrum in several markets across the US.




Concerned parties will have until November 14 to submit their complaints, if they have any, but if the deal goes through it will see AT&T receive license to more spectrum in the B Block of the 700MHz band, where it operates its LTE network - in specific markets where more bandwidth is required.


This additional spectrum would be used in markets where it's needed most, which is set to be Georgia, Illinois, Louisiana, Massachusetts, New York, Tennessee, Texas and Virginia. AT&T could also have anywhere between 70 and 125MHz of spectrum available to use, post-acquisition.

OWC unveils 480GB Mercury Aura Pro SSD for 13-inch Retina MacBook Pro

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Storage | Posted: Nov 1, 2012 6:31 am

If you've picked up a 13-inch Retina MacBook Pro and weren't happy with the included storage space inside of it, you might be thinking of upgrading. Or, before you've purchased it, you've balked at the price of the 512GB SSD option through Apple, which is $800.




OWC is here to save the day offering up their 480GB Mercury Aura Pro SSD for just $580. Sure, $580 for an SSD is expensive, but it is over $200 cheaper than Apple's option. OWC's latest SSD is certified for use with Apple's latest Retina-sporting MBP.


OWC have also stated that additional capacity sizes will be announced in November, so you could also hold out if 480GB was too much, or too expensive. I'm loving the fact that SSD prices are coming down like a sack of bricks, it's glorious.

Samsung to have Australian launch event for the Galaxy Note II on November 14

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Mobile Devices, Tablets & Phones | Posted: Nov 1, 2012 5:31 am

Australian's won't have to wait too much longer for Samsung's Galaxy Note II, with the South Korean company holding a launch event on November 14. This means that Aussies only have to wait two more weeks until official release information is available.




Samsung's Galaxy Note II should arrive with 1800MHz LTE compatibility on Telstra and Optus 4G networks. With Samsung selling over 10 million units of the original Galaxy Note, it'll be interesting to see just how many Note II's they'll sell.


Considering that the original Galaxy Note was only ever thought to be a niche device, it really has done well for itself.

ASUS selling around 1 million Nexus 7 tablets per month

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Mobile Devices, Tablets & Phones | Posted: Nov 1, 2012 3:35 am

It looks as though ASUS are on a roll with their Nexus 7 tablet, where yesterday we reported about their strong Q3 earnings but we didn't know about their Nexus 7 numbers. After a bit more digging, I've found those numbers and they're definitely strong. The Wall Street Journal report from ASUS' third-quarter earnings conference, that Asustek Chief Financial Officer, David Chang told the WSJ:




At the beginning, it was, for instance, 500K units a month, then maybe 600, 700K. This latest month, it was close to 1 million.


Estimates over the last few months having been hovering at the 800,000 to 1 million mark, based on an analysis of Google's revenue figures. With ASUS' comments, the number seems to be higher. ASUS, along with Google, still have a long road ahead of them if they want to reach those dizzying heights of Apple's iPad sales, which reached 14 million in the quarter just gone.


I think we're only seeing the beginning of the Nexus journey from Google, and hopefully the end of carrier and phone maker UI crap on flagship smart devices, thankfully.

Telstra won't be stocking Nexus 4 or Nexus 7 3G, want to focus on 4G LTE products

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Mobile Devices, Tablets & Phones | Posted: Nov 1, 2012 2:33 am

Some bad news for Australians regarding the Nexus 4 and Nexus 7 3G devices, big Australian telcos Telstra and Vodafone won't be stocking them. Telstra have weighed in, saying they won't be stocking either of the Nexus devices:




At this stage we don't plan to offer the Nexus 4 smartphone or the Nexus 7 3G tablet. Our customers are increasingly demanding a high speed mobile internet experience on their devices so we are focused on bringing 4G LTE compatible models to market.


Telstra are expanding their LTE network, but their 3G side of things has far more customers and is a way bigger piece of the network pie. Myself and 99% of everyone I know is on 3G, with the only people I know on 4G are one, with Telstra, and two, have an iPhone 5. It was only on the first day that I saw people bragging about 4G speeds, and now it has died off - the honeymoon period for 4G disappears quite quickly, it seems.


I think the telcos won't be selling them because there's no money in it - contracts are a two-year thing, and with the ability of buying the Nexus 4 for $399 outright, who in their right mind would want to go on a $50+ contract? The only way it would make sense is to throw people on a $20-$30 per month contract, but there's no money in that. I think with a monster company like Google, the time of two-year contracts on $700+ devices is, well, over. Good riddance, I say. I'm going to get a Nexus 4 on day-one, and throw my Telstra pre-paid SIM card in it.

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