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Graphene could soon be used for flexible, ultra-thin devices

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Science, Space & Robotics | Posted: Oct 16, 2012 5:49 am

We all want thinner devices, but how about flexible? It's all an inevitability, but what materials would be used to deliver such devices to the masses? Well, it looks like graphene, a carbon-based material, could be the answer.




The American Chemical Society, graphene is a "wonder material", which is 100 times stronger than steel and if stretched out thin enough, a single ounce of the material could cover 28 football fields. The ACS have said that the material is currently under development for use in solar panels "that could be used to cover the outside surface of a building, in addition to the roof".


As soon as these solar panels start getting bolted to buildings and houses, the next step would be smart devices. The ACS explains:


Touch screens made with graphene as their conductive element could be printed on thin plastic instead of glass, so they would be light and flexible, which could make cell phones as thin as a piece of paper and foldable enough to slip into a pocket. Because of graphene's incredible strength, these cell phones would be nearly unbreakable.

Apple to open up their third store in Beijing on October 20

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Business, Financial & Legal | Posted: Oct 16, 2012 4:30 am

Apple are looking to expand their retail arm prowess in China, with the third store in Beijing opening this week. Apple will also open up a sixth store in China on Saturday, on the historic Wangfujing Street.




Wangfujing has over 100 years of history and has been labeled in the some in China as "China's No. 1 street". Apple's first retail store in China opened up in Beijing in the busy Sanlitun area of the city. A second store was opened in 2010 on the west side of town in Xidan. Earlier this year CEO Tim Cook was spotted in the Xidan Joy City store during a business trip in Beijing.


China has over 1.3 billion residents, so it would make perfect sense to start ramping up their retail presence in the country. Apple had actually planned on opening 25 stores in China by the end of 2012, but this has been more difficult than expected for the Cupertino-based iDevice maker.

The top 5 things to be excited over Windows 8 for

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Operating Systems | Posted: Oct 16, 2012 3:33 am

Windows 8 is nearly here, folks - are you excited? It's going to be a mammoth launch from Microsoft, who are reportedly spending $1 billion or more on a huge marketing campaign stretching the globe. We're looking at the Surface tablet, Microsoft's iPad competitor, a new operating system, a smart device OS (Windows RT, Windows Phone 8) and more.




What should you be looking forward to? Well, a lot! I've compiled a list of five things I think you should be excited for - and as usual, this list is just a personal opinion.


1.) Proper touchscreen support in a Windows OS. Yes, there have been previous versions of Windows that support touchscreens, but Windows 8 has been built with touchscreens in mind.


Not only are we going to see tablets with Windows 8 on them but we're going to see Ultrabooks, notebooks, all-in-one PCs and other form factors with touchscreens. Microsoft's touchscreen revolution will truly start with Windows 8.


2.) An iPad competitor. Microsoft are set to launch the Surface tablet on October 26 along with their next-generation OS and it should really be an interesting device to compare to the already-established giants found in Apple's iPad and Google's Android-powered tablets.


What will we see in Surface? Well, I expect to see great things from the passion Microsoft have been expelling from every pore about it - so stay tuned for a review of Surface!

Continue reading 'The top 5 things to be excited over Windows 8 for' (full post)

ASUS Taichi 21 dual-screen Windows 8-based notebook goes up for pre-order

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Laptops | Posted: Oct 16, 2012 1:33 am

ASUS have one of the most interesting Windows 8-based devices coming out this year, with their Taichi 21 dual-screen notebook. The ASUS Taichi 21 sports two 11.6-inch screens, both featuring 1920x1080-pixel IPS displays.




The first screen is where a notebook screen normally resides, in front of you, the user. The second one is on the rear of the screen, so when the lid on the notebook is closed it turns into an 11.6-inch touchscreen-capable Windows 8 tablet. It truly is a wonderful design. Both screens are IPS-based, meaning we'll see gorgeous color and viewing angles backed up by the Full HD 1080p resolution on each display.


Taichi 21's backside monitor supports 10-finger touch with an included stylus that offers 256 levels of pressure sensitivity. ASUS' Taichi 21 doesn't pack on the pounds, even though it packs dual screens where it measures in at just 0.7-inch thick, and 2.75lb with the included 6-cell battery.


There are two configurations ASUS are putting up on offer for the Taichi 21, the first of which is the Taichi21-HD51 which sports a Core i5-3317U processor clocked at 1.7GHz with 2.6GHz at Turbo peak, Intel HD 4000 integrated graphics, 128GB SSD, and 4GB of RAM which brings us to a total of $1300.

Continue reading 'ASUS Taichi 21 dual-screen Windows 8-based notebook goes up for pre-order' (full post)

RumorTT: Apple to update Mac mini at iPad mini event on October 23, seems to have a theme of miniaturizing

By: Trace Hagan | More News: Computer Systems | Posted: Oct 15, 2012 11:03 pm

Apple seems to be coming with a theme for the October 23 event. October 23 is when the iPad mini is "scheduled" to be announced, though no official confirmation has come as of yet. Reports are now surfacing that the Mac mini will also see an upgrade at the event, giving the thought that the theme is "miniaturizing."




Rumored upgrades that will be bestowed upon the Mac mini include a new Ivy Bridge processor and USB 3.0. Packing this kind of hardware into the now somewhat large (take a look at some of the stuff Intel is doing) Mac mini isn't exactly impressive, but it is nice of them to upgrade the hardware anyway.


There is a definite performance upgrade by switching out a Sandy Bridge processor for an Ivy Bridge. However, there is nothing revolutionary with stuffing it into the same package. The same thing goes for USB 3.0; nice, but not exactly revolutionary. There is also talk that there will be three versions of the Mac mini. One will likely run OS X Server and the other two will likely be a low-end and high-end configuration for consumers.

Raspberry Pi doubles down on RAM, doesn't up its price

By: Trace Hagan | More News: Mobile Devices, Tablets & Phones | Posted: Oct 15, 2012 10:13 pm

The pint-sized development platform better known as Raspberry Pi has gained an onboard RAM upgrade without any typical price increase. Purchasers will now have access to 512 MB of RAM instead of the previous 256 MB, which will allow multiple programs to be ran simultaneously or programs with higher memory requirements.




Good Guy Gregg, err, I mean Raspberry Pi Foundation has decided to keep the pricing at the tiny $35 so that as many people as possible can take advantage of the development board. Even Upton said this was one of the most common suggestions for a "Model C" that would cost more money if produced.


"This would be useful for people who want to use the Pi as a general-purpose computer, with multiple large applications running concurrently," he wrote on the official blog.


To take advantage of the new RAM that is shipping on boards, users will have to update the firmware running on the system. In other news, a "Turbo Mode" has been implemented in the firmware which allows the board to run at 1GHz, instead of the standard 700MHz that it comes with from the factory.

Optical disk that can hold 1-2TB of data not far off

By: Trace Hagan | More News: Storage | Posted: Oct 15, 2012 8:31 pm

A new start-up has produced viable optical disks that can hold 1TB or 2TB of data, an incredible feat considering Blu-ray disks usually hold 25GB, or 50GB in a dual layer version. Magnetic spinning disc drives have just recently topped the 2TB barrier with 3TB and even 4TB drives finally being available on the market.




However, an optical disk will be much cheaper to purchase for data back-up, though it can only be written to once. But for back-up, this really doesn't pose any sort of problems. And, since it is a disc, data can be located upon the surface in mere seconds instead of the minutes it can take to wind through magnetic tape, the current standard for backing up data.


"A disc will be on the capacity scale of magnetic tapes used for archival data storage," said Kenneth D. Singer, the Ambrose Swasey professor of physics, and co-founder of Folio Photonics. "But, they'll be substantially cheaper and have one advantage: you can access data faster. You just pop the disc in your computer and you can find the data in seconds. Tapes can take minutes to wind through to locate particular data."


The technology uses something I had previously read about. The new start-up has layered 64 data layers of optical film onto a standard DVD plastic base. Slight modifications to a standard disc drive allow the laser to read the different layers without any interference from the layers above or below the current layer being read.

Continue reading 'Optical disk that can hold 1-2TB of data not far off' (full post)

Celeron processors to be powered by Ivy Bridge in Q1 2013

By: Trace Hagan | More News: CPU, APU & Chipsets | Posted: Oct 15, 2012 7:30 pm

It always starts the same way with Intel: they release their new, high-end architecture to the top of the product line at the start. The remaining older silicon and design continues to be sold as the low-end chips to deplete supply. The failed high-end chips and excess supply then start trickling down into the lower-end chips.




Ivy Bridge was launched all the way back in April, a fair time ago considering the speed at which PC innovations continue to move at. It was only last month that Ivy Bridge finally made it into the Pentium line of Intel CPUs, and by Q1 2013, it will be nearing an entire year since the original launch of the architecture.


The new Celeron chips will reportedly be named G1610, G1610T and G1620. They will still feature two cores and 2 MB of L3 cache. They will also continue to lack Hyper-threading and Turbo Boost. The new Ivy Bridge models will support faster memory as well as a slight speed bump on the bottom model. The top two processors will feature a lower TDP.

Google updates Android developer console, hopes to make app publishing easier

By: Trace Hagan | More News: Apps | Posted: Oct 15, 2012 6:32 pm

Developers of Android applications will be pleased to hear that Google has heard your complaints and updated the Android developer console to make it easier to use. As the system stands, there are some significant difficulties seeing whether or not an app is published and is generally confusing to use.




"At its core, the Developer Console is how you put your app in front of hundreds of millions of Android users around the world, and track how your app is doing," the company said in a blog post. "We hope that with a streamlined publishing flow, new language options, and new user ratings statistics, you'll have better tools for delivering great Android apps that delight users."


Like most updates offered by companies, the new version is faster, sleeker, and easier to use, or so Google says. By the looks of it, this is true, though I'm no Android developer. The new version features loads of new analytics with charts and graphs everywhere. Developers can see data by device, country, language, carrier, Android version, or app version.


However, a few features from the old console are not compatible with the new version, so Google has left in the option to switch between views so that those few features are still accessible by developers. Part of the reason that Apple products have so many great apps is that developing is easy. Hopefully this new update will aid Android developers do the same.

"miniFlame" virus has been discovered by Kaspersky Labs, designed for cyber espionage

By: Trace Hagan | More News: Hacking & Security | Posted: Oct 15, 2012 5:27 pm

More proof of cyber espionage has surfaced with the discovery of miniFlame, a virus that is small and highly flexible. miniFlame is designed to control systems and steal data and was originally discovered in July 2012. When first discovered, it was thought that the virus was simply a module for the Flame virus.




However, further analysis has shown that the "module" is actually an "interoperable tool that could be used as an independent malicious program, or concurrently as plug-in for both the Flame and Gauss malware." Kaspersky research suggests that there were several versions built during 2010 and 2011, some of which are still on infected machines.


Alexander Gostev, Chief Security Expert, Kaspersky Lab, commented: "miniFlame is a high precision attack tool. Most likely it is a targeted cyberweapon used in what can be defined as the second wave of a cyberattack. First, Flame or Gauss are used to infect as many victims as possible to collect large quantities of information. After data is collected and reviewed, a potentially interesting victim is defined and identified, and miniFlame is installed in order to conduct more in-depth surveillance and cyber-espionage. The discovery of miniFlame also gives us additional evidence of the cooperation between the creators of the most notable malicious programs used for cyber warfare operations: Stuxnet, Duqu, Flame and Gauss."

Continue reading '"miniFlame" virus has been discovered by Kaspersky Labs, designed for cyber espionage' (full post)

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