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SK Hynix begins full-scale mass production of 16nm 64Gb MLC NAND

By: Charles Gantt | More News: Storage | Posted: Nov 21, 2013 7:09 pm

This week SK Hynix announced that it has began full-scale production of its new 16nm scale 64Gb MLC NAND Flash Modules. This is the company's second version of 16nm NAND Flash with the first version going into fabrication earlier this year in June. SK Hynix says that this revision is more cost competitive due to its smaller chip size.

 

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This is very good news as well as this means that SK Hynix has recovered from a nearly industry devastating fire at one of its fabrication facilities located in China earlier this year. While it is still unclear exactly how much fabrication equipment was damaged in the fire, the ramp up to full-scale production of these new chips should help lower the NAND Flash price per GB some.

 

SK Hynix says that it has also developed a new 128Gb MLC Chip that is based on the 16nm specification and endurance design of its 64Gb MLC. The new 128Gb chips will go into full production in the first half of 2014 which should further lower the price per GB of NAND Flash. This will equate to lower SSD pricing, which is a winning scenario for consumers.

iFixit shows us what the Xbox One looks like on the inside

By: Charles Gantt | More News: Gaming Consoles | Posted: Nov 21, 2013 6:02 pm

With the Xbox One officially launching in New Zealand today, it was only a matter of time before the guys and gals over at iFixit got their hands on the next-gen console. The team from iFixit were on hand at the official Xbox launch party in New Zealand and managed to obtain an official Day One special edition console to tear down.

 

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Unfortunately Microsoft chose not to hide any screws under the rubber feet and the team had to look elsewhere on how to begin the disassembly process. The Xbox One is disassembled by first removing the plastic grill much in the way one has to disassemble the Xbox 360. Once the Grill is removed, only a few plastic clips remain to hold things together.

 

Inside the Xbox One, the PCB and other internals are shielded inside a metal cover which is easily removed by extracting a few screws. Once the cover is removed the Blu-ray drive, cooling fan, and cooler are all prominently visible. The hard drive is also unveiled at this point and it appears to be a Samsung Spinpoint M8 ST500LM012 500 GB 5400 RPM with 8MB Cache SATA II 3.0Gb/s hard drive. With a form factor of 2.5-inches, this could easily be replaced with a large capacity SSD. You would void your warranty, so keep that in mind if you decide to tear down your Xbox One.

Continue reading 'iFixit shows us what the Xbox One looks like on the inside' (full post)

HBO launches its HBO Go app on Google's Chromecast streaming dongle

By: Charles Gantt | More News: HT & Movies | Posted: Nov 21, 2013 4:39 pm

Google's Chromecast is one of those cheap-enough tech devices that everyone should own, and the device is slowly getting better as the months roll by. Today Google announced that HBO has launched its HBO Go app on the Chromecast, which means that anyone with an open HDMI port and an internet connection can catch up on Game of Thrones.

 

 

"Google's Chromecast is one of the newest, more exciting devices in the marketplace today, so we are very happy to bring this capability to our subscribers," said Otto Berkes, CTO of HBO. "From the beginning, our goal has been to bring HBO GO to the devices where viewers want to watch it and Chromecast definitely falls into that category."

 

The app is able to stream HBO Go content from Android, iOS and even the HBO Go web app. For anyone who does not have a SmartTV, spending the $35 on a Chromecast is a much cheaper option than upgrading the entire TV. With HBO Go now on the device, keeping a Chromecast in your travel kit a better idea than ever before.

Continue reading 'HBO launches its HBO Go app on Google's Chromecast streaming dongle' (full post)

Chinese scientists use water to create metal, can print it, too

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Science, Space & Robotics | Posted: Nov 21, 2013 12:28 pm

Yeah, science, b****. You all know the show, but science really is a magical thing, isn't it? Well, three Chinese scientists have found a new way to create metal, from liquid at room temperatures.

 

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This metal can then be printed onto pretty much anything, as would ordinary ink. It will stick to surfaces such as rubber, paper, t-shirts, or even a leaf. Yes, a leaf, from an actual tree. The biggest thing to take away from this, according to the MIT Technology Review,e is that the alloy of gallium and indium that the scientists discovered.

 

It's printable at room temperature, compared to other circuit inks that require massive temperatures, upwards of 400C/752F. This is an issue when you want to print onto something that much catch fire, or perish, such as paper. The three scientists explain: "Different from the former direct writing technology where large surface tension and poor adhesion between the liquid metal and the substrate often impede the flexible printing process, the liquid metal here no longer needs to be pre-oxidized to guarantee its applicability on target substrates."

 

The best bit? It's cheap. MIT says that the technology involved in this innovation is "cheap and simple," which should hopefully mean we see it commercialized, quick.

The PlayStation 4 costs $381 to build, retails for just $18 more

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Gaming Consoles | Posted: Nov 21, 2013 11:33 am

According to IHS iSuppli, the components and assembly costs associated with Sony's PlayStation 4 console, sums up at around $381. This it thanks to two expensive parts of the PS4, the first being the AMD-designed APU, which costs $100.

 

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The second part, is the 8GB of GDDR5 RAM in the PS4, which costs around $88. These two parts make up approximately $188 of the $381, which is over half the cost of the next-gen console. The 500GB HDD costs around $37, the Blu-ray drive comes in at $28, and the controller is just $18. Of course, this is just pure costs, without any of what sells it: marketing.

 

We also have to take into consideration the R&D for the console, advertising, shipping costs, and a whole lot more. At least this time, Sony isn't losing hundreds of dollars per console, like it did with the PS3.

Tesla Motors to launch driverless car before 2017

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Technology in Vehicles | Posted: Nov 21, 2013 10:29 am

Tesla Motors' founder and CEO, Elon Musk, believes that his company will be able to produce autonomous, self-driving cars within 3 years. This is not speculation, this is something that he has said is currently in development.

 

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Musk, when talking to the Financial Times, said: "We should be able to do 90 per cent of miles driven within three years. My opinion is it's a bridge too far to go to fully autonomous cars. It's incredibly hard to get the last few per cent." If Tesla Motors can do this, they will beat Volvo and Google to the self-driving car punch, with the Mountain View-based search giant finding it hard to secure a partner for its driverless technology.

 

Tesla will be offering a vehicle that would allow drivers to flick an "auto-pilot" switch, which would let the car drive itself. I think that this is a great idea, and it would stop a lot of the unnecessary deaths on roads around the world. I'm sure we would see breathalyzers installed, so you could drive to the pub, or to a friends place, enjoy your drinks, and be driven home in complete safety. The taxi industry on the other hand? Well, Johnny Cab's seemed to be popular in Total Recall...

HTC One to receive Android 4.4 KitKat before the end of January 2014

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Mobile Devices, Tablets & Phones | Posted: Nov 21, 2013 8:30 am

After using Android 4.4 KitKat on my Nexus 5 for the last few days, I'm loving the new mobile OS from Google. But when exactly will HTC's flagship One smartphone receive the update?

 

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Well, it looks like the company will be rolling the tasty-sounding mobile OS out to its One smartphone before the end of January next year. We know this because HTC USA said on Twitter that the delay of Android 4.3 for Verizon Wireless customers "does not impact delivery of 4.4 by end of January - still on track."

RumorTT: Tomb Raider will hit next-gen consoles soon

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Gaming | Posted: Nov 21, 2013 7:31 am

The PS4 is on the market, and the Xbox One drops in barely 24 hours, but where is Crystal Dynamics' reboot of Tomb Raider? Well, Square Enix isn't telling us just yet, but a representative with the company told IGN that we will know more about it next month.

 

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The rep said: "it's so hard to keep a secret these days. We appreciate all of the enthusiasm, however we don't have any details to share just yet. That said, we highly recommend you keep an eye on any major gaming events happening in early December." It will be interesting to see Tomb Raider on the next-gen consoles, since both of them are based on AMD designs, will we see TressFX hair?

Blizzard invites most active players for Reaper of Souls beta

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Gaming | Posted: Nov 21, 2013 6:32 am

Diablo 3: Reaper of Souls is inching closer to release, and the closer we get, Blizzard is actually opening up the beta program for the upcoming expansion.

 

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The developer is inviting "valued media contacts" and 3,000 of Diablo 3's most active players, at least those who have opted into the beta through Battle.net. Better yet, the beta invitation doesn't include an NDA, which means we should expect a bunch of press, videos, pictures and more on Reaper of souls. The beta will include the full game, minus the final boss battle, which is great for beta players.

Google Translate app on Android gets updated, sleek new look

By: Idene Saatchi | More News: Apps | Posted: Nov 21, 2013 5:55 am

Google has updated its Google translate app for Android. The update brings more supported languages, gesture, and better speech translation. The app has a "new sleek look" according to Google. Google says the app can now have good "fully translated back-and-forth conversations." The update's conversation translator has been improved greatly.

 

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One of the new features the update brings is gesture support, you can turn your phone and it will switch between languages. Google has added Malay and Ukrainian to the apps camera translation, and Javanese, Hebrew, and Esperanto to the handwriting feature. The update is available to download through the Google Play Store, Google mentions the update is coming out today and tomorrow.

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