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Google acquires design studio that worked on the G1

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Business, Financial & Legal | Posted: May 25, 2012 7:25 am

If Google's acquisition of Motorola Mobility, Project Glass, and their push toward hardware design and manufacturing wasn't enough, the acquisition of the industrial design firm Mike and Maaike should be enough to convince most people that Google are in it for the long haul.

 

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Who are Mike and Maaike? They're a studio that worked on the very first Google Nexus phone, and bill themselves as "a progressive industrial design studio" who is focused on "functionality, intelligence, and ease" in the design process for the G1. Mike and Maaike have some rather large clients in Belkin, Steelcase, Microsoft and the City of San Francisco.

 

Google representatives have commented on the purchase, saying that it was a "natural next step" for the company to get "even more serious and to really for for it" when it comes to mobile device offerings sporting their Android OS.

Blizzard discusses Diablo III hotfixes, secutity, announces that the real-money auction house has been postponed

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Gaming | Posted: May 25, 2012 6:24 am

Blizzard community manager 'Nethaera' has posted on the official Diablo III forums, talking about some of the problems and concerns from the Diablo III community, and how the company plan to handle some of the post-launch issues so that players can continue slaying demons and more in Diablo III.

 

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Blizzard have applied various hotfixes to Diablo III since the launch of the game that address gameplay issues, as well as tweaks to improve service stability, and performed occasionally server maintenance when necessary to ensure that in the long-term, players have the best gameplay experience possible. But, the fixes won't stop there, Nethaera has said that sometime next week we should expect a game update in the form of a patch that will address client issues, as well as additional bug fixes.

 

One of the big shockers from this post is the delay of the real-money auction house. It was previous delayed from May 22 to May 29, but has now been delayed beyond this date. Blizzard want to ensure that everyone has the "smoothest experience possible when the real-money auction house launches", citing that they need more time to iron out the existing general stability and gameplay issues before a feature like that goes live. Blizzard haven't given a date for this yet.

Continue reading 'Blizzard discusses Diablo III hotfixes, secutity, announces that the real-money auction house has been postponed' (full post)

NCSA is building a supercomputer with 380 petabytes of storage... of magnetic tape capacity

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Super Computing | Posted: May 25, 2012 5:25 am

Just when you thought tape was dead, the National Center for Supercomputing Applications is getting ready to build a new storage infrastructure that will include 380 petabytes (PB) of magnetic tape capacity which will be backed up by 25 petabytes of online disk storage made up from 17,000 SATA drives.

 

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The new storage infrastructure is said to be built to support one of the world's most powerful supercomputers, Blue Waters. Blue Waters was commissioned by the National Science Foundation (NSF), and is expected to have a peak performance of 11.5 petaflops. The NCSA says that they're building the system to:

 

Predict the behavior of complex biological systems, understand how the cosmos evolved after the Big Bang, design new materials at the atomic level, predict the behavior of hurricanes and tornadoes, and simulate complex engineered systems like the power distribution system and airplanes and automobiles.

Continue reading 'NCSA is building a supercomputer with 380 petabytes of storage... of magnetic tape capacity' (full post)

Apple's new iPad has caught up on the market share of the first-gen iPad

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Business, Financial & Legal | Posted: May 25, 2012 5:24 am

Apple's third-generation iPad has only been available for two months now, but it has already caught up to the first-generation iPad market share in the US, according to market analysis firm Localytics. The new model is enjoying over 20-percent of all US-based iPad sales, a little over 1-percent more than the first-generation iPads.

 

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The iPad 2, released last year, is ahead of both the first- and third-gen iPads in terms of market share. The iPad 2 has around 60-percent of the US iPad market share, but the third-generation iPad has moved up from the 14-percent it had just after it was released, to the now 20-percent market share, a nice improvement for a very new product.

 

How have Localytics gotten to these numbers? Well, the market share determination comes from iPad apps that use Localytics for app analytics.

Intel building Skynet, are launching research into technology that mimics the human brain and "learns" about its user

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Augmented Reality | Posted: May 25, 2012 4:24 am

Reuters is reporting that Intel are launching research in Israel into technology that will mimic the human brain, with devices that will hopefully "learn" about their user. Intel's Chief Technology Officer, Justin Rattner told reporters in Tel Aviv:

 

Machine learning is such a huge opportunity. Despite their name, smartphones are rather dumb devices. My smartphone doesn't know anything more about me than when I got it. All of these devices will come to know us as individuals, will very much tailor themselves to us.

 

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Intel Collaborative Research Institute for Computational Intelligence, as well as specialists from the Technion in Haifa and the Hebrew University in Jerusalem will carry out the research, and is aimed at enabling new applications, as well as small, wearable computers that can enhance, or help with daily life. One example cited is if you were to leave your keys in the house, the wearable system would remember where you left them, and learn this. By the second week it will remind the user to pick up the keys before you leave the house.

Continue reading 'Intel building Skynet, are launching research into technology that mimics the human brain and "learns" about its user' (full post)

Apple patents stylus for iPhone, iPad

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Mobile Devices, Tablets & Phones | Posted: May 25, 2012 3:31 am

It seems as though Apple are looking at stylus pens for the iPad, and iPhone, according to a new patent from the Cupertino-based company. Apple's latest patent applications have shown that they're definitely working on one, but whether we see it eventuate into a physical product is another thing.

 

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The patent filed is for an optical stylus, with haptic feedback. The optical stylus is an input device with an optical camera on the tip, when you move the stylus over the touchscreen, the optical camera tracks specially formatted pixels, or special, user eye invisible markings on the display.

 

So as you can see, it's not just a simple stylus pen. The stylus with haptic feedback comes with a built-in haptic actuator and a short-range wireless receiver. The vibration commands are transmitted through a tiny wireless transmitter built into the bezel of the iPad. Right now, these products are just teases, nothing concrete yet. But it's definitely funny for Apple, a company that once laughed at stylus pens, with the late Steve Jobs saying "if you see a stylus, they blew it."

Facebook petition pushing for new Mac Pro

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Computer Systems | Posted: May 25, 2012 2:31 am

The power of Facebook has allowed a disgruntled Apple fan to start a petition for the company to pay more focus to its Mac Pro line of systems. The maker of the page, Lou Borella, wants Apple to refresh its professional-level desktops, or at least be vocal with Mac Pro fans to let them know something is at least coming soon.

 

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The maker of the page is said to be a professional editor and graphic animator in the New York City area, and initially posted a lengthy plea to Apple to update everyone on their Mac Pro plans, claiming that he didn't want to go to "the Dark side" by buying a Windows-based machine, and that hacked models combining more modern equipment with Apple's OS X operating system were insufficient to meet professional needs.

 

The page has more than 4,200 likes, and over 2,270 people talking about it. You know what, I love this idea. I have to hand it to Lou, this is one of the best ways to get attention from a usually secretive company. Apple has been concentrating more on slightly updating their iOS-based devices, than they have on their Mac Pro line. But, we can see the changes within OS X, and the upcoming Mountain Lion, where it's going more toward iOS. Maybe this is why Apple are being hush-hush when it comes to refreshing their Mac Pro.

Bungie's next game is an MMO style sci-fi FPS 'Destiny', arrives next year on the Xbox 360 and next-gen Xbox 720

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Gaming | Posted: May 25, 2012 1:39 am

Ah, Bungie. Fresh from the Halo titles, their next game 'Destiny' is, er, destined, to launch next year initially on the Xbox 360, and the next-gen Xbox, according to the developer's contract with new publisher, Activision. The contract was made public as part of the lawsuit between Activision and Call of Duty creators, Jason West and Vince Zampella.

 

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The contract unveils that Bungie are signed to make up to four "sci-fantasy, action shooter games" in the Destiny universe, every other year from autumn 2013 to 2019. Bungie won't stop there, they will also make four downloadable expansions packs codenamed Comet every other year from autumn 2014 up to 2020.

 

The document does reveal some very interesting information about, not only do we know how many Destiny titles are coming, but it states the next Xbox as "Xbox 720". This should be considered unofficial confirmation of Microsoft's next-generation console, and if I had to predict, it should be here next year. Destiny will be sold in shops, be boosted with DLC, subscriptions, and micro-transactions. Activision and Bungie are considering a PlayStation 3 port for 2014.

Continue reading 'Bungie's next game is an MMO style sci-fi FPS 'Destiny', arrives next year on the Xbox 360 and next-gen Xbox 720' (full post)

Google CEO, Larry Page poses for the camera with Google Glasses

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Augmented Reality | Posted: May 25, 2012 12:52 am

News on Google's augmented reality Glasses hasn't been strong since they were teased a few weeks ago, but CEO Larry Page was spotted rocking the Glasses in London. The pictures you see below are thanks to a Google employee, where they posted them on Google+.

 

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The employee wrote alongside his pictures "My life is now complete - met Larry Page today! Thank you for visiting EMEA". Google's Glasses project is quite big, as its the company's first jump into cutting-edge hardware.

 

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On top of this, thanks to the acquisition of Motorola yesterday, we should see Google's hardware division strengthened considerably. The best picture is the one above, where I think Page is laughing at the Facebook share prices tanking, as a layer in front of his eyes thanks to the Glasses, but that's just my guess.

RumorTT: AMD Piledriver FX CPU production to begin Q3 2012

By: Trace Hagan | More News: CPU, APU & Chipsets | Posted: May 24, 2012 10:36 pm

"Industry sources" are reporting that the next-generation AMD architecture code-named "Piledriver" will commence production in Q3 2012. Bulldozer, Piledriver's predecessor, was only released in October of 2011, so this could match Intel's one year release cycle. Trinity, an APU based upon Piledriver was released just last week.

 

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The upcoming CPU will continue to be based upon the AM3+ platform. This simple fact should keep enthusiasts happy and will allow for current Bulldozer users to upgrade for only the cost of a CPU. AMD has always had a history of retaining sockets and providing upgrade paths whereas Intel often kills off sockets with each new processor.

 

Piledriver will be very similar to Bulldozer in that it will be made on a 32nm process and feature the same compute module design. Piledriver will also retain the same dual-channel 1866MHz DDR3 memory controllers. Piledriver will continue to feature AMD's Turbo Core at version 3.0. The new CPU will deliver more performance, thanks to an improved IPC, at lower power usage, thanks to AMD's new energy-recycling technology called resonant clock mesh.

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