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Foxconn is giving employees 16% pay increase

By: Trace Hagan | More News: Business, Financial & Legal | Posted: Aug 26, 2012 8:11 pm

Foxconn factories in China have some pretty dismal working conditions. They've been cited by numerous labor groups for violating human rights and they don't even abide by the Chinese maximum overtime law. However, with pressure from Apple, the US, and other groups, Foxconn is starting to make changes for the better, with the first change being an increase in pay.




The basic salary of production line workers will be increased by 16 percent, going from 1,550 yuan to 1,800 yuan, excluding overtime and other pay. Furthermore, Foxconn will be providing a 200 yuan bonus to all production line employees during the peak months of August to November.


In recent months, Foxconn has had difficulties enticing new employees to apply. In addition to these salary increase, Foxconn is lowering the probationary period for new employees from six months to three months. Foxconn has said they have fixed most of the pressing workers rights issues and are on track to fix more by mid-2013.

FCC contemplating taxing Internet service to raise money for the Connect America Fund

By: Trace Hagan | More News: Business, Financial & Legal | Posted: Aug 26, 2012 6:22 pm

Your broadband Internet connection may get a little bit more expensive if the FCC goes ahead with a plan to tax it. Right now, the FCC has asked for comment on several different proposals designed to raise money for the Connect America Fund, a fund used to bring broadband access to rural Americans, and a tax is among the proposals.




AT&T, Sprint, and Google have all supported the tax, likely because it would increase their revenues. The tax would be similar to the fee already paid on landlines and cellular phones. This fee goes to the Universal Service Fund, a fund that was designed to ensure every person in America had access to phone service.


"Today we propose three goals for contribution reform: efficiency, fairness, and sustainability," Genachowski, chairman of the FCC, said. "And we underscore that any reforms to the contribution system must safeguard core Commission objectives, including the promotion of broadband innovation, investment, and adoption."


The FCC hasn't offered any sort of definitive evidence that it plans to move forward with the tax. Furthermore, it is unlikely that the FCC would make such a massive overhaul just a few months before the election in November. If you oppose this tax, you might start writing letters. One thing is clear, keep your eye on the FCC and your Internet bill.

RumorTT: Next-gen iPod touch looks to feature redesigned look

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Mobile Devices, Tablets & Phones | Posted: Aug 26, 2012 7:30 am

Apple currently have the new iPhone close to release (if all rumors, and their event is to be believed to be the launch event for the iPhone), a smaller, 7.85-inch iPad and now a newly redesigned iPod touch coming out.




GizChina is reporting with photos of what they're calling a new case for the next-gen iPod touch, showing a less-tapered design. The case shows off a wider rear camera hole, which could be just big enough to allow an LED flash to be added. There's still the "mystery hole" that the Macotakara report noted on, which is located in the lower corner of the rear shell versus the center.


As you can see from the photos these cases suggest that the next generation iPod touch will have a new design (at least to the rear) and seem to be have a much less pronounced taper to the edges when compared to the current iPod touch 4.


The cases could also give away possible details as to the spec of the 5th generation iPod touch 5. The hole around the camera area to the left for example looks to have been elongated and tapered to fit around a possible LED flash to help with low light photography, and there is also the appearance of a new 'mystery hole' in the lower left hand side of the case.

Continue reading 'RumorTT: Next-gen iPod touch looks to feature redesigned look' (full post)

It looks like Apple's 7.85" iPad will be called 'iPad mini'

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Mobile Devices, Tablets & Phones | Posted: Aug 26, 2012 6:23 am

MacRumors has posted that Japanese blog, Macotakara, have some more details on Apple's upcoming 7.85-inch iPad. The site reports that the 7.85-inch tablet will be called the "iPad Mini":




According to Asian source, the name of Apple's new product, which are expected to have 7"85' and called as iPad mini, will be named as "iPad mini" officially. This source expects that "iPad" logo will be printed on back of case same as "iPod" is printed on iPod nano and iPod touch, and it means one new product will be added on iPad's product brand genre.


We shouldn't have to wait much longer to get an official word, or tease from Apple.

FMS 2012 - LSI and SandForce featured everywhere, a summary

By: Chris Ramseyer | More News: Storage | Posted: Aug 26, 2012 6:18 am

Flash Memory Summit 2012 - It really didn't matter where you were standing at Flash Memory Summit, within ten feet was a product with either LSI or LSI SandForce silicon.


For years, LSI has played a significant role in several markets, video processing, encoding and so forth, but their largest presence has been enterprise storage. SandForce, before joining LSI was known for their consumer SF-1200 and SF-2200 controllers, but these products were created from their enterprise counterparts, SF-1500 and SF-2500. The enterprise SandForce parts were successful on their own, but by adding three letters to the SandForce name, LSI SandForce flash processor units are now displacing the competition from the enterprise sector.






These are not DDR3 DIMMs, they are Viking SATADIMMs using LSI SandForce SF-2500 Series FPUs. These products draw power from the DRAM bus, but are enterprise SSDs in an innovative form factor that allows for unprecedented scalability...

Continue reading 'FMS 2012 - LSI and SandForce featured everywhere, a summary' (full post)

LeakedTT: HTC Proto get snapped on camera, specs also leaked

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Mobile Devices, Tablets & Phones | Posted: Aug 26, 2012 5:35 am

It looks as though some specs and images have leaked of HTC's upcoming Proto handset. The photos show off the Proto's change to HTC's usual chassis that the One series sports.




The picture above shows off a matte black finish, with capacitive Android navigation buttons. As you can see, there's no front-facing camera, so it looks like we won't be doing any video calling or 'selfies' for the social network of your choice. HTC's Proto sports Beats Audio branding, which means the company seems to still be working with Beats, for now.


The Proto should be close to the One V when it comes to its innards, expecting to sport a 4-inch WVGA screen, 5-megapixel rear-facing camera, and a Snapdragon dual-core 1GHz processor. It should measure in at 9.62mm in thickness.

LG's 'superphone', the Optimus G 'really flies'

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Mobile Devices, Tablets & Phones | Posted: Aug 26, 2012 4:42 am

LG's upcoming 'superphone' has already enjoyed a nice little teaser campaign, but the Optimus G is now firmly in the hands of AndroidMX, where they've done some testing on the device.




Optimus G should sport Qualcomm's Snapdragon S4 Pro quad-core 1.5GHz processor, 2GB of RAM and a 4.7-inch 1280x768 IPS display. We're also looking at an Adreno 320GB, Android 4.0.4 Ice Cream Sandwich.


The peeps over at AndroidMX had some hands-on time with it and have said that the Optimus G "really flies". The only problem I'm seeing with this otherwise nicely specced phone, is it doesn't include Google's latest Android 4.1 Jelly Bean OS. Hopefully LG are able to update it before it reaches shelves, and the hands of users.

Microsoft looking to scoop up ex-OnLive developers for Xbox and Kinect-based projects

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Business, Financial & Legal | Posted: Aug 26, 2012 3:48 am

The OnLive news from last week is slowly sinking in, but it seems Redmond-based company, Microsoft, are looking to grab some developers from the mass layoffs of OnLive. Microsoft explain in a description listed on events site, EventBrite:




We are eager to speak to individuals and teams affected by the OnLive transition. With the stunning success of Xbox/Kinect and the accelerated growth of this business, we are looking to add key players who want to make a real impact in creating groundbreaking new products and services.


The positions are open in Mountain View, and Microsoft's HQ in Redmond, Washington. Considering Microsoft found OnLive a "potential acquisition target" back in August of 2010, this news is definitely interesting. It looks like Microsoft sat back, let the chips fall, and will now benefit by treating some people better by offering them some great jobs.

Microsoft's Windows 95 turns 17 today, can't even enjoy a drink on its birthday

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Operating Systems | Posted: Aug 26, 2012 3:06 am

As we get closer to the release of Microsoft's latest touch-orientated OS, Windows 8, we celebrate a milestone in Microsoft's history. The company's first graphical user interface (GUI) powered version of their OS, Windows 95, turns 17 today!




Windows 95 ushered in a completely dominant lifestyle for Microsoft, with its powerful GUI, much-improved "plug and play" system that helped hardware installations and reduced conflicts, as well as moving from a 16-bit architecture , to a 32-bit architecture which bought with it a multitasking-friendly architecture.


Windows 95 pushed Microsoft into an antitrust case in 1998, where a later revision of the OS included Internet Explorer 4.0, which plaintiffs claimed gave Microsoft a monopoly in the browser market. Competitors such as Netscape Navigator and Opera required a download, over slow dial-up connections, or purchased in store, compared to IE which came included with the OS.


Windows 95 was supported by Microsoft until December 31, 2001.

FMS 2012 - Biwin Preparing Multi-Drive SF-2281 RAID on PCIe

By: Chris Ramseyer | More News: Storage | Posted: Aug 26, 2012 2:22 am

Flash Memory Summit 2012 - At Computex, Biwin distinguished themselves from the herd by showing the first Novachip Bugatti controlled SSD, NuvoDrive NX. We spent a few days with the upcoming NuvoDrive NX but that is old news now because Biwin just displayed an even more exciting product at Flash Memory Summit 2012.




We didn't get a chance to ask Biwin about the new drive but you know we are on top of it this morning. Under the heatsink is an undisclosed RAID controller, most likely either LSI or Marvell. Four mSATA SSDs using LSI SandForce FPUs are on each side for a total of eight.




On the connector side we found an 8x PCIe 2.0 connector, the industry standard at this time but PCIe 3.0 is just around the corner so this product may be shadowed by the start of 2013. Still, we'll take 8x LSI SandForce 2281 performance with PCIe 2.0 as a starting point.


We're excited about this one for sure!

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