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Google, or Skynet? Google acquires robot maker Boston Dynamics

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Business, Financial & Legal | Posted: Dec 18, 2013 12:12 am

Is Google feeling festive, or is the Mountain View-based giant feeling a little T-101ish? Well, Google has acquired robotics engineering company Boston Dynamics, which is best known for its quadrupeds, and super-impressive robots.

 

 

We've already seen BigDog, a motorized robot that is capable of walking through ice and snow, the Cheetah - which is capable of running at 29 miles per hour, and a convincing humanoid known as Arnold Schwarzenegger PETMAN. We don't know the business side of the deal, or the exact amount of money it took to acquire the robot maker.

 

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We do know that a $10.8 million contract that the US Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) had with Boston Dynamics would still be honored after it has been acquired by Google. Something else I find fishy, is that a year ago the Director of DARPA left the defense agency, moving to... Google. Now Google acquires a high-end robotics maker? Yeah... Skynet is getting closer, folks.

Thecus set to unveil two new NAS units at CES 2014

By: Charles Gantt | More News: Storage | Posted: Dec 17, 2013 11:00 pm

Today Thecus announced the launch of two new NAS devices designed for small business and enterprise networks. The all new N7710 and N8810U will officially make their debut next month at CES 2014. Thecus says that the two new NAS units feature new hardware and software that make them powerful for both SMB and enterprise environments.

 

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Both NAS units are powered by Intel Pentium G850 Dual Core processors that are clocked in at 2.9GHz, and feature 4GB of DDR ECC RAM. Additionally, both devices can be equipped with 10Gb Ethernet, and can utilize RAID 0,1,5,6,10,50 (N7710) and 60 (N8810U). JBOD is also available.

Continue reading 'Thecus set to unveil two new NAS units at CES 2014' (full post)

NVIDIA releases GeForce Experience 1.8.1, adds in Twitch integration

By: Charles Gantt | More News: Video Cards | Posted: Dec 17, 2013 9:30 pm

Today NVIDIA announced an update to its GeForce Experience bringing the current version up to version 1.8.1. This new update comes less than a month after version 1.8 was released to the public, and brings forth Twitch streaming to ShadowPlay.

 

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This new feature allows users to stream their games live on Twitch via NVIDIA Shadow Play, and include real-time commentary as well. NVIDIA says that ShadowPlay streaming to Twitch does not have any negative impact on gameplay due to H.264 encoding. "Broadcasting to Twitch has become an integral part of the gaming experience," said Brooke Van Dusen, Director of Business Development, Twitch. "We're extremely excited to work with NVIDIA to make Twitch live streaming available to GeForce Experience users. ShadowPlay is revolutionary, providing high quality streams with almost no noticeable performance impact for our users."

Lian Li Unveils the PC-V358 M-ATX Flip-Open PC Chassis

By: Charles Gantt | More News: Cases, Cooling & PSU | Posted: Dec 17, 2013 8:00 pm

Today Lian Li unveiled a new brushed aluminum cubed PC chassis designed for mATX motherboards that features the unique ability to flip open for easy access to internal components. The front hinge design of the PC-V358 is said to allow for ample access to core components of the PC making for a cube style PC that is much easier to work on than traditional small form factor cases.

 

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The PC-V358 features support for 240mm radiators from custom liquid cooling kits or All-in-One kits. The radiator can be mounted on a swing-open bracket which is secured by thumb screws, making for an effortless install of advanced cooling solutions. Two front 120mm fans and a rear 120mm fan handle all of the passive cooling duties by providing ample airflow to all components.

 

Storage capacity is capped at six 3.5-inch hard drives, and two 2.5-inch SSDs. Alternatively up to 8 2.5-inch drives can be installed with the use of adapters. The PC-V358 has room for a single slim optical drive as well. VGA cards up to 330mm long and PSU's up to 200mm long fit inside, and for those not into liquid cooling, a 130mm tall CPU cooler will fit as well. The new Lian Li PC-V358 will retail for $179 at Newegg.com at the end of this month.

Continue reading 'Lian Li Unveils the PC-V358 M-ATX Flip-Open PC Chassis' (full post)

Never run out of I/O on your Arduino again with this new shield

By: Charles Gantt | More News: | Posted: Dec 17, 2013 6:32 pm

A new Kickstarter campaign has caught my eye after running out of I/O ports on my Arduino during a recent project. The 64 I/O Arduino Shield is designed to fit a standard Arduino Uno and will expand its I/O from the standard 20 pins to 64 pins thanks to the use of the Arduinos I2C bus.

 

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The shield appears to use the MCP2301, a 16-Bit I2C I/O expander, and the Kickstarter documentation says that thanks to an address changer, two shields can be used in conjunction to form 128 GPIO pins. The 64 I/O Arduino Shield can be purchased for about $28 US with shipping included. As someone who uses Arduinos for most of his projects, I will be picking up a few of these to keep in the workbench for future projects.

Continue reading 'Never run out of I/O on your Arduino again with this new shield' (full post)

VIA files suit against Asustek over alleged misuse of trade secrets

By: Charles Gantt | More News: Business, Financial & Legal | Posted: Dec 17, 2013 5:03 pm

Today VIA announced that it has filed suit against a subsidiary of Asustek as well as four of its employees over allegations of misappropriations of trade secrets. The civil lawsuit has been filed in the Taipei District Court with VIA seeking damages equating to $138 million US.

 

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The lawsuit states that misappropriation of VIA intellectual property related to USB technology occurred and names Asmedia Technology, Asustek, Asmedia Chairman Jerry Shen, Asmedia President Lin Chewei, and other Asmedia employees as those responsible for the misappropriation.

 

"As a long-time leader in IC design and technology innovation, VIA strongly believes in the importance of protecting intellectual property rights," commented Wenchi Chen, CEO of VIA Technologies, Inc. "In addition to protecting interests of VIA and our shareholders, the aim of this suit is to ensure our industry operates in a healthy market environment that fosters innovation and promotes fair competition."

Continue reading 'VIA files suit against Asustek over alleged misuse of trade secrets' (full post)

Facebook says it's new video ads will incorporate "auto play"

By: Charles Gantt | More News: Social Networking | Posted: Dec 17, 2013 3:15 pm

This morning Facebook announced that it will be bringing video ads to its social networking service. This is a move that has been rumored for about a year now and was expected to launch earlier this year. Facebook says that the ads will incorporate an "auto play" feature as well, something that is sure to annoy all.

 

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Fortunately, the videos will not feature sound when activated, and users must first click on the video to open it full screen before the audio will play. Facebook did win back points with me here as I simply hate video ads that start with the sound on. As someone who usually has 20-30 tabs open at any given point, it is a major hassle to track down which tab keeps playing the annoying commercial.

NVIDIA begins its G-Sync push, starting with the ASUS VG2480QE

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Displays & Projectors | Posted: Dec 17, 2013 1:39 pm

We were in Montreal, Canada when NVIDIA announced its glorious, V-Sync killing G-Sync technology, but now you can buy monitors with the game-changing technology built-in.

 

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The first off the production line is the tweaked ASUS VG2480QE, which is a 1920x1080-pixel monitor at 144Hz, which has a G-Sync module installed into it. Digital Storm is offering the panel with the G-Sync module installed for $499, or you can bring in your own VG2480QE, and Digital Storm will install G-Sync goodness into it for $299.

 

If you want some of the most bleeding edge gaming technology available, and think the next-gen consoles are for peasants, well, your meal ticket is right here. We'll have one in the labs ASAP, and I'll be all over that.

Qualcomm: Apple 'hit us in the gut' with its 64-bit A7 processor

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: CPU, APU & Chipsets | Posted: Dec 17, 2013 12:36 pm

aWe've already witnessed what happened to Qualcomm over Apple's 64-bit-capable A7 processor, but it looked like it "hit [Qualcomm] in the gut", according to an unnamed Qualcomm employee.

 

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Dan Lyons, a tech columnist, reported from the unnamed Qualcomm employee: "The 64-bit Apple chip hit us in the gut. Not just us, but everyone, really. We were slack-jawed, and stunned, and unprepared. It's not that big a performance difference right now, since most current software won't benefit. But in Spinal Tap terms it's like, 32 more, and now everyone wants it."

 

Not that 64-bit processors are changing the way users use their iPhone 5S smartphones, but it's a good step in the right direction. Apple now just needs to use some innovation outside of the iPhone, instead of inside of it.

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