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More fire for iPad mini rumors: Mr. Jobs 'very receptive' to 7" screen

By: Trace Hagan | More News: Mobile Devices, Tablets & Phones | Posted: Aug 6, 2012 5:31 pm

Rumors have been heating up regarding a possible iPad mini that sports a 7-inch screen. As of late, the rumors have been identifying a launch next to the upcoming iPhone 5. Publicly, Steve Jobs was completely against an iPad mini: "The reason we [won't] make a 7-inch tablet isn't because we don't want to hit that price point, it's because we think the screen is too small to express the software."




It turns out that it could all have been clever misdirection. As part of the on-going litigation between Samsung and Apple, new e-mails have been released which show that Mr. Jobs was actually receptive to the idea. The e-mail, sent January 24, 2011 by Eddy Cue, was received by Steve Jobs, Scott Forstall, and Tim Cook.


It reads:

Having used a Samsung Galaxy, I tend to agree with many of the comments below (except actually moving off the iPad). I believe there will be a 7" market and we should do one. I expressed this to Steve several times since Thanksgiving and he seemed very receptive the last time. I found email, books, facebook and video very compelling on a 7". Web browsing is definitely the weakest point, but still usable.

Wikipedia suffers outage after networking issues

By: Trace Hagan | More News: Internet & Websites | Posted: Aug 6, 2012 4:29 pm

The outage you may have seen on Wikipedia earlier this morning was not another SOPA-style blackout, nor was it any sort of foul play by upset teachers. The cause was a simple networking glitch with servers in Tampa. As of now, the site should be back up to its fully functioning and fully informative state.




The outage started around 6:30 a.m. PT with a simple error message that the "servers are currently experiencing a technical problem." The site was somewhat navigable, with pages only partly loading and much of the content style and layout being stripped out. Just about an hour later, the site was back to normal.


The Wikipedia status page was aglow with orange and red which notated warnings and service disruptions. As of now, almost every single one is back to green or orange, showing that the site has recovered. The outage is said to be "due to networking issues with servers in Tampa, Florida," but no further information is available.


"We certainly haven't been hit by a denial of service attack." Further contributing to the story of networking issues rather than a bunch of angry teachers teaming up.

Google Chrome is still on top of the browser heap, has over 1/3 of market

By: Trace Hagan | More News: Internet Browsers | Posted: Aug 6, 2012 3:32 pm

It all started with a day. A while back, we reported how Chrome became the top browser in the world for a day. A little later, it managed to stay the top browser for a week. And then it managed a month. And now, it's still on top and is continually increasing its lead over the others. It currently has captured one-third of the market.




StatCounter has the market share of Chrome pegged at 33.8% for July 2012. This figure is up from June's 32.8% and up significantly from July 2011's figure of 22.1%. IE is still putting up quite the fight and still manages to have 32% of the market. Firefox, on the other hand, is losing ground and is down to 23.7%.


Safari has managed to hold steady at around 7.1%. Last month, Chrome managed to become the top browser in Europe and surpassed Firefox for the first time. Chrome has a massive lead in South Africa and Asia, where it is the top browser and has a massive lead. IE still leads the US, UK, and Australia, which is interesting.

Intel plans to standardize SSD specifications for Ultrabooks

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Storage | Posted: Aug 6, 2012 8:32 am

Intel have plans to standardize SSD specifications for their popular, and heavily marketed Ultrabook platform. The chipmaker wants to steer it toward slimmer, faster Ultrabooks. Intel plan to invite a large number of industry players such as NAND flash memory makers SanDisk, Micron and Samsung.




This would result in a bunch of the big players in the market discussing what is known as Next Generation Form Factor (NGFF), a new SSD form-factor derived from mSATA. Intel wants to accelerate their NGFF SSD plans, as current mSATA has limitations, including limited PCB area, where a number of ONFI channels can be wired out.


NGFF will probably end up as mSATA with much more PCB area, which will allow the same number of ONFI channels as 2.5-inch SSDs, with the latest generation of controllers and toggle-NAND flash memory. NGFF doesn't increase the thickness of the SSD itself compared to mSATA, but just elongates it. Intel and their Ultrabook partners are discussing five length standards at the moment.

eBay enters same-day shipping service with eBay Now

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Business, Financial & Legal | Posted: Aug 6, 2012 7:21 am

eBay have entered the same-day shipping service business with eBay Now. eBay Now has arrived, for now, as an iOS app that will allow San Francisco-based residents to get $5 same-day shipping on products from local stores.




The company is signing up users for an "exclusive beta", which lets anyone register and those who do, should get a download link shortly after. It looks like eBay Now currently only works for purchases that exceed $25, but beta testers get $15 off their first eBay Now order as well as free shipping on their first three orders before a $5 delivery fee kicks in.


What do you think of eBay's move for same-day shipping? It's a good idea, but I think they're going to need to rapidly expand it to as much of the US as they can, as quick as they can, if they want to keep up with competitors.

Google's PageSpeed Service gets updated, websites now load even quicker

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Internet & Websites | Posted: Aug 6, 2012 6:26 am

Google launched their PageSpeed Service last year with the aim of improving the experience of web surfing, without making them a dime. The idea sounded great, as it worked like similar services such as Akamai, where it would boost web browsing speeds by caching pages in the same way, but as always, there's always improvements that can be made.




Google's latest PageSpeed beta uses some simple techniques that improve performance even more, using a new rewriter called "Cache and Prioritize Visible Content". Using this new tool, your browser will load content before it even appears "above the fold" before fetching text and photos that would be initially hidden on the page, all while prioritizing other content ahead of Javascript, which isn't needed as much as more basic elements.


Also, for pages that include HTML that isn't cacheable, such as personalized info, is returned, standard portions of the side and cache are displayed immediately, whilst other content loads in its normal fashion. This new tool isn't the best for every website on the web, but it's great to see these changes, all for free.

WD's 2TB Green 2.5" HDD gets caught on camera

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Storage | Posted: Aug 6, 2012 5:26 am

Western Digital's latest mini creation, the latest in their 2.5-inch range of HDDs, the WD Green WD20NPVT has made its way onto a Japanese retailers shelf. The drive is built from the 2.5-inch form-factor, is 15mm thick, which means it won't fit in most notebooks.




But, the 2.5-inch drive sports an insane 2TB of storage, features IntelliPower variable spindle speed, 8MB cache, SATA 3Gb/s interface, 0.2W idle (parked) and 1.7W (active) power consumption. The new 2TB 2.5-inch drive is priced at $240.


What do you think? We're eyeing 2TB 2.5-inch drives, isn't that a little crazy? Would you have thought 10 years ago this is possible, and not be that surprised? At just $240, that's quite a deal.

Russian billionaire wants to make immortality a reality by 2045

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Health Technology | Posted: Aug 6, 2012 4:33 am

Technology has done wonderful things for us, if you went back 200 years and thought we'd be here with smart devices, or even 30 years ago and told me quad-core processors would rule your smartphone, I wouldn't believe you. But, it hasn't really extended our lifespan all that much, yes health technology has improved, but not in the pure leaps and bounds that consumer-based electronics have.




Well, a Russian billionaire wants to change that, who plans on making immortality a reality by 2045. Dmitry Itskov, a 31-year-old billionaire, has planned "The 2045 Initiative", and only needs a few billion to make it happen. Itskov's project has multiple phases, each bringing mankind closer to the dream of living forever. The first step in his plan is to create robotic humans that are controlled remotely. This step has a goal of 2020, or earlier.


By 2025, "Avatar B" happens, which is where the human brain is transferred into a robotic skeleton so that life can be enjoyed after death. By 2035 "Avatar C" begins, where the brain will be constructed separately, and your own personality will be "transferred" into the robot when you're ready to stop living life as a weak human being. By 2045, the fourth and final stage, "Avatar D" begins and gives us the option to walk around in holographic avatars, for eternity.

Continue reading 'Russian billionaire wants to make immortality a reality by 2045' (full post)

Apple's top-secret market research surveys of iPhone, iPad users could be made public in Apple vs. Samsung trial

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Business, Financial & Legal | Posted: Aug 6, 2012 4:09 am

The late Steve Jobs famously said that Apple did "no market research", so Apple never really knew what consumers want. But, it looks as though Apple were lying through their teeth, as new documents have been bought up during the Apple vs. Samsung patent lawsuit.




Network World's Yoni Heisler writes that Apple is positively freaking out that the possibility of their extensive market research surveys of iPhone and iPad users could be made public. That sentence should send shivers down Apple's spine, as it is considered the 'secret sauce' to attracting, and keeping loyal Apple users.

Continue reading 'Apple's top-secret market research surveys of iPhone, iPad users could be made public in Apple vs. Samsung trial' (full post)

Samsung begins mass production on new mobile flash memory, up to 4x faster than previous chips

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: RAM | Posted: Aug 6, 2012 3:33 am

Samsung have started mass production on a slew of new mobile flash memory chips that could give us nearly four times the speed of current chips. Samsung's Pro Class 1500 high-speed embedded memory will hit 'SSD-like' speeds in read/write operations in smart devices with capacities of 16, 32 and 64GB.




With smartphones already reaching 2GHz clock speeds running four cores, the CPU can't be the one to do all of the heavy lifting and continue to make the device feel fast. The job of system RAM is to keep an eye on all open programs, and if this part of the device is lacklustre, you'll feel it. Samsung have claimed that the new flash modules can reach speeds of up to 140MB/sec with write speeds hitting 50MB/sec at 1,500 IOPS writes and 3,500 IOPS reads.


Samsung seem to have leant on multiple technologies in order to reach these speeds, such as the 20nm manufacturing process, quick toggle DDR 2.0 memory that sports its own controller and a new JEDEC memory standard. At the moment there's no ETA when we should expect this tech to be baked into devices, but it shouldn't be too long.

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