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T-Mobile poised to offer free international data roaming and texting

By: Charles Gantt | More News: Mobile Devices, Tablets & Phones | Posted: Oct 11, 2013 12:25 am

Today T-Mobile announced that it will be eliminating international roaming fees on data usage and text messages. The company is also looking to end the high rates charged for voice calls and said that they will now be charging a fixed rate of $0.20 per minute for all international voice calls with no additional plan or fees needed.

 

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The free connection is not speedy though, and company officials say to expect something close to 128Kb per second which is not enough to stream video, but will be plenty for light web browsing, email, and MMS sending. For those who need a faster connection, T-Mobile will be selling "speed packs" that boost the connection speed in 24 hour increments for about $15 each.

Sony launches the Xperia Z1F smartphone, features a 4.3-inch screen

By: Charles Gantt | More News: Mobile Devices, Tablets & Phones | Posted: Oct 10, 2013 11:24 pm

Sony's flagship smartphone, the Xperia Z1 is highly regarded as one of the best smartphones on the market today. Looking to build off of that momentum, Sony has announced the launch of a smaller version of the phone. The new Sony Xperia Z1F is a shrunken down version of the of the Z1 and sports a 4.3-inch screen.

 

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The smaller display retains the 1080p resolution of its larger counterpart, and a Qualcomm quad-core 2.3GHz processor is present. 2GB of RAM, and 16GB of internal storage is also featured. Sony did opt to keep the same 20.1-megapixel camera on the rear of the device, which should make many small screen loving users very happy people. The device is expected to launch in Japan in December with a world wide launch still uncertain.

Dropcam launches next-generation Wi-Fi video monitoring camera

By: Charles Gantt | More News: Cameras | Posted: Oct 10, 2013 10:24 pm

Dropcam has upgraded its Wi-Fi video monitoring camera and today announced its launch. The Dropcam Pro features quite the list of improvements including an all-new six-element glass lens that provides 130 degrees of view. The improved optics are placed in front of a larger imaging sensor that is said to be twice as sharp as its predecessor.

 

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Dropcam has also implemented a new digital zoom function that is said to retail the HD image quality while featuring no mechanical parts to wear out. Users will now be able to pinch-to-zoom on the Dropcam mobile app. A new microphone has also been utilized which is said to bring higher quality audio, and the Wi-Fi radio has been upgraded to a dual channel model.

Fairfax Financial fails to secure funding to buy BlackBerry

By: Charles Gantt | More News: Business, Financial & Legal | Posted: Oct 10, 2013 9:24 pm

BlackBerry's board of directors have once again resumed talks of breaking the company up into pieces and selling things off to the highest bidder. The breakup talks have resumed after Fairfax Financial announced that it has failed to secure capital to fund the $4.7 billion needed to purchase the company.

 

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A breakup sale might actually turn out to be more beneficial for BlackBerry as the company's patents are estimated to be worth over $3 billion alone, the rest of the company could be sold for another $2 or $3 billion as companies like Apple, Microsoft, and Samsung could buy bits and pieces to strengthen their grip on the smartphone market.

Google purchases monorail after engineer jokingly submits request

By: Charles Gantt | More News: Current Affairs | Posted: Oct 10, 2013 8:24 pm

In what can only be described as a happy accident, Google has acquired not one, but two monorail cars for use as meeting rooms. The acquisition came after Paul Cowan, a site reliability engineer for Google submitted a request for a monorail as a joke. The joke stemmed off the fact that Google operated two facilities a distance apart in Pyrmont, Australia.

 

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After hearing that a third office may be opened up, Cowan jokingly submitted a ticket requesting a monorail system connecting all three facilities. At first the company denied the request, but fast forward a few weeks and Cowan got called into a meeting with a member of the facilities team. Cowan was informed that Google wanted to purchase some of the monorail carriages from the defunct Sydney Monorail system and they wanted him to pick out the cars.

 

 

Fast forward to today and as you can see in the photo above, Google has taken delivery of two of the monorail cars. Google's plans for the monorail cars is to use them as unorthodox meeting rooms. The cars were lifted into the company offices with the aid of a crane and the removal of a second story window.

Sapphire launches new line of AMD R-Series video cards

By: Charles Gantt | More News: Video Cards | Posted: Oct 10, 2013 7:23 pm

This has been the week of AMD R-Series GPU launches, and Sapphire Technology does not want to be left out of the party. Today the company announced the launch of its first two lines of AMD R-Series video cards. Sapphire is introducing two lines with three models each today which include the R9 280X TOXIC Edition, R9 280X Vapor-X edition, R9 280X Dual-X edition and the R9 270X TOXIC, R9 270X Vapor-X, R9 270 Dual-X edition.

 

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The R9 280X TOXIC Edition features Sapphire's new Tri-X Cooler design which utilizes three airfoil section fans in conjunction with 10mm heat pipes to deliver unmatched cooling performance. The GPU features 3GB of GDDR5 memory and supports Direct X 11.2. Resolutions up to 2560x1440 are supported and 4K displays can be utilized via a built-in HDMI 1.4a port.

 

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Sapphire's R9 280X Vapor-X edition is a slightly toned down version of the R9 280X TOXIC, and features vapor-chamber cooling. This cooling solution provides a more quiet but efficient method thermal dissipation that allows you to game at max while keeping the ambient noise low. Additionally a 280X Dual-X cooler edition has been announced that features the two Aerofoil fans, and heat pipe technology.

 

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Finally we have Sapphires new R9 270X line of GPUs. The 270X series features all three of the cooling solutions as above, but only sports 1280 stream processors, 2GB of GDDR5 RAM. The 270X series supports 1080p resolutions and Direct X 11.2. Both of the new lines of GPUs boast the latests GCN architecture from AMD, and feature Eyefinity multi-monitor support. The Sapphire R9 280X series starts at just $299 while the R9 270X series begins at the $199 level.

LG Launches the G Pro Lite, a 5.5-inch Android smartphone with stylus

By: Charles Gantt | More News: Mobile Devices, Tablets & Phones | Posted: Oct 10, 2013 6:33 pm

Today LG launched a new smartphone in its G Pro series of smartphones. The new LG G Pro Lite is a mid-range class smartphone with phablet-like qualities. A highly customized version of Android 4.2 Jelly Bean is present, but on the bright side, LG does include a stylus with the device.

 

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The LG G Pro Lite features a 5.5-inch display with a rather disappointing resolution of just 960x540, but it does feature 1GHz dual-core processor. 1GB of RAM is on hand but by today's standards, that is pretty low for a phablet. LG did opt for a 3,140mAh battery that should lend the phone decent battery life. One of the best features of this phone is its dual stereo speakers however, which should provide ample volume for your music sharing needs.

Toshiba unveils the all new Q Series Pro Solid State Drives

By: Charles Gantt | More News: Storage | Posted: Oct 10, 2013 4:48 pm

Today Toshiba announced the all new Q Series Pro line of internal solid state drives. The Q Series Pro is designed to be a high-end, high-performance replacement drive for consumer grade PCs. Toshiba says that the new Q Series Pro SSDs are ideal for consumers who need to boost their PC storage in a reliable and safe manner.

 

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"Toshiba's comprehensive ecosystem of devices positions the company at an advantage when understanding consumer needs for storage," said Maciek Brzeski, vice president of product marketing and development of branded storage products, Toshiba America Information Systems, Inc., Digital Products Division. "The Q Series Pro PC Internal Solid State Drive offers industry-proven caliber and authenticity with leading performance, speeds and capabilities."

The new Q Series Pro SSDs measure in at just 7mm thin and are very lightweight. The company says that this slim profile lends itself well to Ultrabooks and other lightweight notebooks that are popular today. Toshiba's Q Series is backed by a 3-year warranty, and is available in capacities ranging from 128GB to 512GB. MSRP is set at $159.99 and ranges up to $739.99 for the top end model.

LSI is announced as Supplier of the Year by Cisco at annual event

By: Charles Gantt | More News: Storage | Posted: Oct 10, 2013 3:25 pm

This morning LSI announced that it has been awarded the prestigious Supplier of the Year award from IT giant Cisco. The Award recognizes LSI for its relentless and and consistent excellence in quality. The award was presented at Cisco's 22nd Annual Supplier Appreciation Event that was held on September 17th in Santa Clara, California.

 

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"Our Supplier Appreciation Awards give us an opportunity to highlight excellent performances by the very best of our extended supply chain," said Gary Cooper, vice president, Global Supplier Management, Cisco. "Our strong relationships and close collaboration with our suppliers and partner ecosystem continue to drive excellence in innovation, productivity and efficiency."

 

The event is held by Cisco to thank its partners who helped contribute to its success during the fiscal year of 2013, and the company presented awards to several of its largest suppliers who continue to hold strong partnerships with the company. LSI designs semiconductors and software that accelerate storage and networking in enterprise settings.

Windows 7 still great for Toshiba, makes up 99% of enterprise sales

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Operating Systems | Posted: Oct 10, 2013 11:49 am

I must admit, I'm typing this news article on a Windows 7-based PC, still not moving to Microsoft's successor to the OS. It looks like Toshiba wants to high-five me, as it has stated during an interview with ZDNet that "Windows 7 is clearly the enterprise operating system at this time."

 

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The news comes directly from Toshiba's business-to-business product manager, Cindy Zwerling. Some businesses have moved onto Windows 8 tablets, but Windows 7-based machines make up 99% of Toshiba's business sales. Zwerling also said that migrating an entire business to a new OS is a "huge undertaking" and that most businesses feel like they only just moved to Windows 7 recently.

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