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RumorTT: Microsoft will release Surface Mini this holiday season

By: Charles Gantt | More News: Mobile Devices, Tablets & Phones | Posted: Sep 23, 2013 8:22 pm

According to recent reports, Microsoft is planning to release an eight-inch tablet later this year, which will be named the Surface Mini. Rumors say that the tablet will feature a QUALCOMM ARM-based processor and will run Windows RT 8.1.




The Surface Mini is expected to be priced somewhere between Apple's iPad Mini and Google's Nexus 7, and I expect it will fall somewhere right in the middle around $299. The tablet was expected by some media to launch earlier this morning at the company's Surface 2 event, but as far as I can tell it was not even mentioned.


Microsoft did, however, launch a newly refreshed Surface Pro 2, which features an energy sipping Intel Haswell processor that is said to extend battery life by 60 percent. Additionally, the company announced the Surface 2, which runs Windows RT 8.1 and is powered by an NVIDIA Tegra 4 processor.

Valve unveils SteamOS, an open source, free OS for the living room

By: Charles Gantt | More News: Operating Systems | Posted: Sep 23, 2013 6:48 pm

Last week we broke the news that Valve was prepping for three big announcements this week surrounding its Steam gaming platform, and today the company released its first announcement by unveiling a new operating system. The new SteamOS is a free, open-source operating system that is designed around steam and built on Linux.




Valve says the new OS is capable of running on "any living room machine" which presumably means custom-built HTPCs, Laptops, and almost certainly the mystical Steam Box many industry insiders expect to be launched during one of the company's next announcements on Wednesday or Friday. Unfortunately Valve did not clue us in on an actual release date, but did say that the new OS would be available for download "soon."


"As we've been working on bringing Steam to the living room, we've come to the conclusion that the environment best suited to delivering value to customers is an operating system built around Steam itself," Valve stated. "SteamOS combines the rock-solid architecture of Linux with a gaming experience built for the big screen. It will be available soon as a free stand-alone operating system for living room machines."

Continue reading 'Valve unveils SteamOS, an open source, free OS for the living room' (full post)

BlackBerry to sell off its fleet of private jets worth millions

By: Charles Gantt | More News: Business, Financial & Legal | Posted: Sep 23, 2013 5:50 pm

Earlier this year amidst its growing financial troubles, BlackBerry announced its plans to sell off its two Dassault Falcon medium-range private jets. The two smaller jets would be replaced by a a long-range Bombardier Global Express Jet. The Bombardier would cost the company roughly $25 million at a time when the company was already struggling financially.




Fast-forward to the past week when BlackBerry announced that it would be leaving the consumer market space as it planned to lay off 4,500 employees. Today the once king of smartphones announced that it will be selling all three of its private jets, including the two Dassault's that it never managed to get rid of after the Bombardier arrived several months ago. Analysts are suggesting that all three jets could be worth a combined $50-65 million, but that depends on the planes condition, and current market value.


"Several years ago, the company bought two medium-range Dassault aircraft," BlackBerry said in a statement. "Earlier this year the company decided to sell both planes and replace them with one longer-range aircraft. The company considered several options and selected a used Bombardier aircraft, which was eventually delivered in July. In light of the company's current business condition, the company has decided to sell that aircraft along with the two legacy aircraft and will no longer own any planes."

HP and NVIDIA open new research lab, will build faster computers

By: Charles Gantt | More News: Business, Financial & Legal | Posted: Sep 23, 2013 4:54 pm

HP and NVIDIA have announced a collaboration that has led to the two companies opening up a joint research facility in Grenoble, France. The new R&D facility that will help software vendors and developers solve high performance computing challenges by using the latest technology from both companies.




The new research and development lab is built around 10 HP Proliant SL250s, SL270s and ML350P Generation 8 servers, all which feature integrated NVIDIA Tesla GPUs. NVIDIA is calling this server CPU and GPU mashup "GPU Computing" and says that it improves performance by handing off compute-intensive task to the GPU while the rest of the code is passed through the CPU.


"The goal of the collaborative centre was to enable solution improvements and spur the adoption of HP systems based on NVIDIA Tesla GPUs for HPC," Philippe Trautmann, EMEA sales director HPC for HP. "HPC systems require huge amounts of compute resources to achieve their expected performance, as well as the expertise to integrate them."

Microsoft unveils the Surface 2 which runs Windows RT 8.1

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Mobile Devices, Tablets & Phones | Posted: Sep 23, 2013 3:06 pm

Microsoft also announced its Surface 2 slate today, which is powered by NVIDIA's Tegra 4 SoC. Its bigger brother, the Surface Pro 2 is powered by a full Intel fourth-generation Core processor.




Microsoft wants to see people get more productive on the Surface 2, instead of consumption-only devices like the iPad. It seems as though Microsoft was just as excited about the Surface 2 as it was for the Surface Pro 2, which is great. The Surface 2 is both lighter and thinner than its predecessor, and it also comes in silver, too.


The display has been increased to 1920x1080, which is a great bump for the tablet over its predecessor. Microsoft says it has "increased the CPU speed dramatically" on Surface 2. The Surface logo is on the rear of the device, instead of the Windows logo, just like the refreshed Surface Pro 2.

Continue reading 'Microsoft unveils the Surface 2 which runs Windows RT 8.1' (full post)

Microsoft announces the Surface Pro 2, packs Haswell processor

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Mobile Devices, Tablets & Phones | Posted: Sep 23, 2013 2:45 pm

We've been hearing about the Surface Pro 2 tablet from Microsoft for quite a while now, and while that $1 billion write down on the Surface RT may have hurt the Redmond-based giant, that hasn't stopped them from delivering quite the upgrade to the higher-end Surface Pro 2 today.




Microsoft's Vice President of Surface, Panos Panay, took the stage at its NYC event today to unveil the second-generation Surface slates, of which have been under development for over 18 months now. Panay says that the Surface Pro 2 "is literally faster than 95 percent of laptops today." The graphics performance on Surface Pro 2 has been increased by 50%, too.


The kickstand on the Surface Pro 2 has been greatly improved and there is no more Windows logo on the rear of the device, just the Surface branding. The Surface Pro 2 operates cooler, quieter, and includes more battery life - much more battery life. Microsoft has said the Surface Pro 2 features up to 75% more battery life than its predecessor.




We also have the Surface Pro with Power Cover, which provides 2.5 times the battery life of the original Surface Pro 2. Inside the Power Cover is a 30w battery. This improvement makes the Surface Pro 2 an all-day-use product, which is a huge improvement.

Continue reading 'Microsoft announces the Surface Pro 2, packs Haswell processor' (full post)

AMD's upcoming Radeon R7 260X leaks in new photographs

By: Charles Gantt | More News: Video Cards | Posted: Sep 23, 2013 2:35 pm

Earlier this morning we saw AMD's Radeon R9 290X leak in a series of photos and benchmark test, but that was not the only upcoming GPU to surface in leaked images. AMD's Radeon R7 260X has also appeared in some newly leaked photographs that show off a uniquely designed ducted cooling solution.




The R7 260X is an upper mid-range graphics card that is said to be based off of the "Bonaire" silicon that is featured in the company's Radeon HD 7790 high-in the GPU, but as TechPowerUp reports, it is more likely that the card is based on the "Curacao" architecture given the PCB and component layout on in the photo below. AMD is hosting a press event in Hawaii this Wednesday the 25th and is widely expected to launch its Hawaii-based GPUs. Our own Shawn Baker will be on hand covering the event so stay tuned.



Galaxy S4 catches fire in mans pocket, explodes shortly after

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Mobile Devices, Tablets & Phones | Posted: Sep 23, 2013 11:27 am

Manolo Rodriguez isn't happy with his Galaxy S4 after he heard it sizzling in his chest pocket, before it exploded. He said: "I tried to reach for the phone and pull it out, but it was too hot. So I retracted my hand, closed the zipper and then unzipped the center one so I could get my jacket off."




Rodriguez was in a Goodwill store at the time, where he threw it to the floor. The Galaxy S4 ended up burning right through his jacket, getting so hot that it singed the floor and Rodriguez's fingertips. He added: "If I had been talking on the phone or something, it could have exploded in my face. It could have been worse."


Rodriguez has hired an attorney, where he hopes to see Samsung recall the 20 million+ Galaxy S4's in the wild. While he wants, Rodriguez purchased himself an HTC One.

Apple underestimated Asian demand for the gold iPhone 5S

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Mobile Devices, Tablets & Phones | Posted: Sep 23, 2013 10:33 am

It looks like you could be waiting a while to get your mits on the gold-colored iPhone 5S, as Apple has reportedly underestimated the demand for the Asian desire for all objects and products that are gold.




Business Insider reports that from the 5th Avenue Apple Store, most of the crowd were of Asian heritage looking for that precious gold iPhone 5S. The Wall Street Journal reports that only the black iPhone 5S was available in China when it launched. 25-year-old Lian Jiyu, said he wanted the iPhone 5S instead of the iPhone 5C because the 5S is the first iPhone to be offered in gold, he said: "I don't care what's inside the device. Chinese people like gold."


The gold iPhone 5S sold out across Asia within 24 hours, and won't even be available in the US until October because of a massive backlog in web orders.

Crytek wants to use real-world street map data for game environments

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Gaming | Posted: Sep 23, 2013 9:29 am

Crytek has challenged software makers, pushing them to create a program that would use open source street map data in order to render in-game world environments, which would save countless man hours creating the worlds we all play games in.




The concept is now in use at the IC tomorrow's digital innovation games content, which offers up to £25,000 to five businesses to create an innovative applications that meets certain objectives, provided by big companies including Google, Sony, Intel and Crytek. Crytek's Technical Director of R&D, Jake Turner, said: "Why do we have to use people to make a city when there's consistent open source street data out there which is very detailed, it's got buildings, lights, it's got streets - material data. Why can't we just press a button and instantly see that?"