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Hard drive reliably outed in new study of more than 25,000 units

By: Charles Gantt | More News: Storage | Posted: Jan 21, 2014 10:02 pm

Late last year, BlackBlaze, a online backup hosting provider published a comprehensive study on hard drive failure rates based on the 25,000 units it has in service. While no manufacturer names were published, the study stated that failure rates were highest in the first 18 months of service or as well as after the first three years.

 

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Today the company released the second part of its report and has officially gone on record and listed out which brands are associated with the study. Unfortunately, Seagate appears to be the worst with an annual failure rate of about 14-percent on its 1.5TB model while its 3TB and 4TB models are likely to see 10-percent and 4-percent fail within the first 12 months.

 

Western Digital's 1TB and 3TB models fare better in the survey with annual failure rates between two and three percent respectively. Surprisingly Hitachi branded hard drives are the most reliable with the 2TB, 3TB and 4TB models all experiencing less than a 2-percent annual failure rate. The study even goes as far as to note that Seagate's Barracuda LP 2TB and Western Digital's Green 3TB both begin accumulating errors as soon as they are spun up for the first time.

Continue reading 'Hard drive reliably outed in new study of more than 25,000 units' (full post)

Xbox One Kinect doesn't work on PCs, according to Microsoft

By: Michael Hatamoto | More News: Gaming Consoles | Posted: Jan 21, 2014 9:21 pm

Microsoft has confirmed PC users will need a special version of the Kinect, as the Xbox One edition won't ship with a USB adapter so it can be connected to a PC. Instead, Microsoft made sure to include a proprietary connector unable to connect into a PC, and there are no immediate plans to release an adapter.

 

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"The Kinect for Xbox One Sensor will not have an adapter that allows it to plug into a computer," a Microsoft spokesperson told tech journalists. "... the new generation Kinect for Windows sensor will connect to computers using a standard USB3 port. The new generation Kinect for Windows sensor will be a fully tested, licensed, and supported Kinect experience on Windows."

 

The original Xbox 360 Kinect shipped with an adapter so the system could plug into a regular USB port or use power from a power outlet - and hackers were able to turn the adapter into a tool to test out the Kinect's power - as it was a cheaper 3D camera than other alternatives.

 

It's an interesting move from Microsoft, as the company wants Windows-based developers to use the Kinect for next-generation, third party programs.

Alienware confirms its Steam Machines are not upgradeable

By: Charles Gantt | More News: Computer Systems | Posted: Jan 21, 2014 7:48 pm

When Valve first announced that it was working with OEM partners to develop a full range of Linux-based gaming devices called Steam Machines, great emphasis was placed on the fact that the devices were to be PC based and fully upgradeable. Unfortunately today we are seeing the first major OEM break away from this philosophy and built their Steam Machine devices similar to current console construction.

 

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Alienware has long been known for its high-end gaming PCs and while overpriced in some opinions, the company's wares have always been fully upgradeable. Today, Frank Azor, Alienware's general manager said in an interview that "There will be no customization options, you can't really update it." This means that Alienware's Steam Machines are most likely being built with AMD APUs or custom GPU solutions that are hard mounted to the motherboard, much like how Microsoft and Sony are doing with the next-gen consoles. Personally I feel that this will ultimately hurt Alienware in the longrun, as the main appeal to a Steam Machine is its upgradeability.

Beats Music finally launches to US consumers, only on iOS though

By: Charles Gantt | More News: Apps | Posted: Jan 21, 2014 6:11 pm

For over a year now we have been hearing rumors and seeing leaks surface around a secret music streaming service being built by Beats Audio. The service was given the code name Daisy, and at one point, it appears that it would never make it to launch, but this morning Beats Music launched on the Apple App Store.

 

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Beats Music offers mobile music streaming of more than 20 million tracks for just $10 per month, and its MadLib-style music suggestion feature is actually pretty innovative. Users can create playlist, share them on social media, and rate their suggested songs to improve what music is selected next time. The launch of Beats Music signifies the end of MOG, the long running streaming service owned by Beats parent company. Subscribers will see their billing arrangements terminated on March 15th and annual subscribers will receive a prorated refund.

3D print your baby while still in the womb

By: Michael Hatamoto | More News: 3D | Posted: Jan 21, 2014 5:30 pm

Expectant mothers can shell out between $200 to $600 for a 3D print model of their unborn child, thanks to the 3D Babies company. Using 3D and 4D ultrasounds and computer images leads to a 3D image in three different sizes: 2" Mini 3D Baby, 4" Halfsize 3D Baby, or the 8" Life size 3D Baby. The baby doll renderings can be made in two different positions, which allow parents to make a decision to disclose gender prior to birth.

 

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"Our ultimate goal is to bring a smile to the faces of parents, grandparents, and other family members as they recall the day that they met their little one," the company's website reads. "This product will become a treasured family heirloom."

 

There is huge potential for 3D imaging, but an artist rendering of a fetus in the womb might creep some expectant parents out. 3D Babies is well short of its $15,000 crowdfunding goal, but decided to move ahead with production.

Man removed from movie theater and detained for wearing Google Glass

By: Charles Gantt | More News: Wearable Computing | Posted: Jan 21, 2014 4:31 pm

Everyone reading this knows that both the MPAA and Hollywood studios are quite nuts when it comes to piracy, and today we are finding out just how crazy they are. While attending a showing of Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit at an AMC movie theater in Columbus, Ohio, a man wearing Google Glass was removed from the theater and detained by the FBI for allegedly recording the movie.

 

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The pair of Google Glasses were fitted with prescription lenses and the electronic side was completely switched off during the movie, but that did not stop a badge wielding official from removing the pair of glasses from the mans face followed by escorting him out of the theater. Once outside the man was met by several mall cops and the FBI who detained him and his wife in separate rooms and began demanding answers as to why he was recording the movie.

 

"About an hour into the movie, a guy comes near my seat, shoves a badge that had some sort of a shield on it, yanks the Google Glass off my face and says 'follow me outside immediately'. It was quite embarrassing and outside of the theater there were about 5-10 cops and mall cops," the man said in an interview.

Continue reading 'Man removed from movie theater and detained for wearing Google Glass' (full post)

South Korea personal data stolen on 20 million customers

By: Michael Hatamoto | More News: Hacking & Security | Posted: Jan 21, 2014 4:19 pm

A representative from the Korea Credit Bureau (KCB) has reportedly been arrested following accusations he stole personal customer information from three different credit card companies, media reports from South Korea indicate.

 

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The stolen information includes full customer names, Social Security numbers, credit card numbers and expiration dates, and phone numbers, according to the South Korean Financial Supervisory Service (FSS). The information was continually stolen from May 2012 until December 2013, with the suspect saving information on a flash drive.

 

Companies and government agencies providing access to large amounts of personal information must now combat the information from being mistakenly released - or intentionally stolen and later shared - as customers demand better privacy protection.

Hewlett-Packard snubs Windows 8, and will offer Windows 7 again

By: Michael Hatamoto | More News: Software | Posted: Jan 21, 2014 3:39 pm

PC maker Hewlett-Packard will continue to sell Windows 7-powered PCs until Microsoft's tentative deadline of October 2014 to stop pre-installs, with options still available to interested consumers and business users. However, many OEMs are focusing more on promoting Windows 8 and 8.1, which provides better sales revenue from the touch-enabled devices.

 

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Microsoft increasingly wants value-added resellers (VARs) and partners to push consumers directly to Windows 8 or 8.1 - but clients still have the option of downgrading from 8/8.1 to 7. However, customers not ready to embrace 8/8.1 are choosing the familiarity and stability of Windows 7, and that trend doesn't appear to be going away anytime soon.

Thief is nearly here, will feature support for AMD's Mantle

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Gaming | Posted: Jan 21, 2014 12:29 pm

Thief will be released in just over a month's time, but Eidos Montreal have decided that now is the time to unveil the PC hardware specifications required to play its reboot of the stealth title.

 

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Square Enix have used Nixxes for the PC version of Thief, the same team who did the great PC port of Deus Ex: Human Revolution, and many more over the years. Thief will be released on February 25 in North America, and three days later in Europe, on February 28. It will reach the Xbox One, Xbox 360, PS3, PS4, and PC.

 

There will also be support for AMD's Mantle technology, which will provide performance improvements on GPUs that are compatible. Eyefinity support will be included, as well as AMD's impressive TrueAudio codec.

Continue reading 'Thief is nearly here, will feature support for AMD's Mantle' (full post)

South Korea's SK Telecom to roll out 300Mbps mobile Internet

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Connectivity & Communications | Posted: Jan 21, 2014 11:29 am

As it stands today, South Korea's largest mobile network, SK Telecom, has 'regular' 75Mbps LTE mobile broadband. The South Korea-based company has just announced plans to push out some insane mobile Internet speeds.

 

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SK Telecom's upcoming '3band LTE-Advanced' will offer speeds of up to 300Mbps, or LTE-Advanced (LTE-A) by aggregating "more than two frequency bands". The service will roll out toward the end of the year. New Agency, Yonhap, reports that users can download an 800MB file in 22 seconds, which is just insane.

 

The company will be showing off its new blistering fast Internet at Mobile World Congress next month, in Barcelona.

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