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T-Mobile updates its "Un-Carrier" strategy to stay ahead of the competition

By: Charles Gantt | More News: Mobile Devices, Tablets & Phones | Posted: Jul 26, 2013 7:03 pm

T-Mobile USA announced today that it is updating its popular Un-Carrier strategy tomorrow to now offer all devices for $0 down. This means that customers can now upgrade their smartphones for free without signing a contract and just pay a monthly payment on the phone for 24 months. For example, you could upgrade to a new Samsung Galaxy S4 tomorrow for $0 down and just pay $25 per month over the next 24 months. That works out to $600 for the phone with 0% APR.




"The number of reasons not to switch to T-Mobile this summer is ZERO," said John Legere, president and chief executive officer, T-Mobile US. "This is a fantastic offer and we're making it easier than ever for customers to get the latest amazing devices. Adding Zero Down in addition to JUMP!, and Simple Choice with no contract is all about making wireless work for consumers and shaking up this industry."

Continue reading 'T-Mobile updates its "Un-Carrier" strategy to stay ahead of the competition' (full post)

ASUS ROG unveils RAIDR Express PCIe-based SSD

By: Charles Gantt | More News: Software | Posted: Jul 26, 2013 6:04 pm

Today, ASUS ROG launched the first PCIe-based SSD in the world that works with either Legacy or Modern UEFI BIOS. The RAIDR Express is geared towards hardcore gamers and PC enthusiasts who demand nothing but the best performance possible for their PC. ASUS says that the new PCIe-based SSD combines the best compatibility with incredible performance and durability.




We have seen many other PCIe-based SSDs, but what makes the RAIDR Express so unique is a hardware switch that allows users to switch to either Legacy BIOS or use the more modern UEFI BIOS that is found on more modern high-end motherboards. The switching is made possible because ASUS has included dual BIOS chips on the board, something that has never been done in the SSD world until now.


The RAIDR Express features the latest-generation dual LSI SandForce controller, Toshiba-made 19nm 16K-page size multi-level cell (MLC) sync-NAND flash, 100,000 4K read/write input/output operations per second (IOPS), and 830/810 MB/s sequential read/write speeds, meaning RAIDR Express truly lives up to its name.

Continue reading 'ASUS ROG unveils RAIDR Express PCIe-based SSD' (full post)

Google to add Google TV to Chromecast, says employee

By: Charles Gantt | More News: HT & Movies | Posted: Jul 26, 2013 5:03 pm

Chromecast may just be the kick in the pants that Google TV needs. According to one employee, Google will be providing Google TV support for Chromecast. With all the talk of a new Google TV set-top box being readied for launch, this could mean that you would be able to plug your Chromecast into this new box, or it could mean that Google is bringing a Google TV app to Chromecast.




Warren Rehman, an employee of Google said that "Google TV isn't dead" and went on to confirm that Google will be integrating Chromecast into Google TV in some form. Earlier this week, the Wall Street Journal reported that earlier this year at CES, they got a closed doors, private demo of Google's upcoming set-top box. The new Google TV box is said to feature a built-in camera, motion sensor, and have support for Google Hangouts.

The UK's Sky TV releases $9.99 rebranded Roku 2 XS as new set-top box

By: Charles Gantt | More News: HT & Movies | Posted: Jul 26, 2013 4:03 pm

This seems to be the week for cheap home theater streaming devices. Two days ago, Google launched its Chromecast in the US and today, the UK's Sky TV has announced their own low-cost set-top box. Dubbed the NOW TV, the set-top box is essentially a rebranded Roku 2 XS with modified software that allows it to stream content from Sky's IPTV platform.




The device also features built-in apps for iPlayer, Demand Five, Spotify, Facebook, and several other Sky channels. From what we can tell, users are not able to add any additional apps, and there is no app store in which you can buy new apps. For some, this may not be that big of a deal as the low cost of entry--about 10 euros--offsets the lack of features and apps.

SanDisk announces world's fastest 64GB microSDXC card

By: Charles Gantt | More News: Storage | Posted: Jul 26, 2013 3:04 pm

This morning, SanDisk has announced what they are billing as the "world's fastest" 64GB microSDXC card. Designed for the latest generation of smartphones and tablets, the 64GB microSDXC card boasts speeds of 80MB/s read and 50MB/s write.




The card features UHS-1 and is a Class 10 card, so video recording and playback even at the highest bit rates should perform exceptionally well. SanDisk says that the card is even fast enough to handle super high bitrate 4K Ultra HD video. The card is waterproof along with the usual compliments of being x-ray proof, shock proof, and can handle temperature extremes from -25 Celsius all the way to 85 Celsius.

Best Buy begins selling Nexus 7 four days early

By: Charles Gantt | More News: Mobile Devices, Tablets & Phones | Posted: Jul 26, 2013 2:04 pm

Best Buy seems to enjoy beating Google to the punch on the second generation Nexus 7. The electronics retail giant opened pre-orders of the device before Google had even confirmed its existence, and now those pre orders have began to ship a four days before Google releases the device to the public.




During the Nexus 7 launch event, Google said that the device would begin hitting retail shelves and shipping to customers on July 30th, but the Verge has confirmed that Best Buy has indeed began shipping out pre-ordered units. They have also confirmed that the Union Square Best Buy in San Francisco actually has stock for in-store purchases today.


Google's second-gen Nexus 7 features a 1920 x 1200 pixel display, a 5-megapixel camera, and a much faster processor than the first gen model. RAM has also doubled to 2GB, and the device is overall thinner and lighter. It features Google's latest version of Android, version 4.3 Jelly Bean. The 16GB model is retailing for $229 while the 32GB version will set you back $269.

Continue reading 'Best Buy begins selling Nexus 7 four days early' (full post)

What if Superman punched you? Other than it destroying you, you'd be surprised at the science behind it

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: HT & Movies | Posted: Jul 26, 2013 12:30 pm

There has been a lot of discussion about the destruction of Metropolis in Zack Snyder's reboot of Superman, Man of Steel. Sure, there's insane amounts of destruction, but when two God-like (fictional) beings fight each other in an otherwise realistic portrayal of a city, what do you think would happen? Other than it causing an estimated $700 billion worth of damage, it would be an intense few nanoseconds.



The video above goes into the science of what would happen if Superman punched you, and has so many numbers and facts that it'll make you laugh out loud at how ridiculous it would be if Superman really did punch someone in real life. The punch itself would be so quick, you wouldn't even see it for one. Secondly, it would have so much force it would create a 1km deep crater in the ground.




It would take just a few nanoseconds for it to happen, before a blast radius of several kilometers engulfed into fury and flames. So, what we see in Man of Steel is more 'realistic', but it could've been so much worse. I loved the destruction in Man of Steel, and thought it was one of the more realistic superhero movies to depict God-like beings fighting in a city.

Apple could be slapped with $490 million bill for eBook price-fixing debacle

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Business, Financial & Legal | Posted: Jul 26, 2013 11:23 am

Apple have been caught conspiring to fix eBook prices, something that might cost the iPhone maker $490 million. A lawyer from Hagens Berman, the lead class action firm involved in the case told GigaOM that Apple could pay three times' the publishers' total liabilities.




This is minus the $166 million that the publishers have agreed to pay in separate settlements, but brings the total to be sucked out of Apple's cash piles to be $490 million. Considering they have just spent $16 billion buying their own shares - because, you know, they've been tanking pretty hard lately - this is nothing but a drop in the ocean to them.


Kind of like one of us mere mortals dropping $1 on the street from our wallet filled with $100 notes.

Intel have been building custom processors for big companies such as eBay and Facebook, are now looking at the datacenter market

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: CPU, APU & Chipsets | Posted: Jul 26, 2013 10:29 am

Some interesting information is coming out from Intel engineer Ronak Singhal, who has spent most of his 17-year career at Intel developing relationships with the top computer experts in the world.




The experts he has worked with include huge companies such as Amazon, eBay, Facebook, Google, Microsoft, and more. Singhal spoke with EE Times during a break in a press briefing in regards to Intel's latest Xeon and Atom server chips, where he said: "When three of them all tell you they want the same thing, you know you are on to something."


But, as you can imagine, some companies don't want the same thing and want a CPU that is custom-made to their specific needs. In the last couple of years, Intel have been providing some of their biggest customers like eBay and Facebook, with custom versions of their CPUs. Intel is taking this slow, and isn't rushing into custom-made processors for companies just yet, though.

Continue reading 'Intel have been building custom processors for big companies such as eBay and Facebook, are now looking at the datacenter market' (full post)

Activision Blizzard breaks up with Vivendi in a deal worth $8.2 billion

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Virtual & Augmented Reality | Posted: Jul 26, 2013 10:06 am

Activision Blizzard have just broken off their relationship with Vivendi in a deal worth $8.2 billion. Activision will be purchasing $5.83 billion worth of shares back, combined with a share purchase totaling $2.34 billion from an independent investor group led by Activision CEO, Bobby Kotick and co-chair Brian Kelly.




This might just sound like yet another move for a big company, but Activision Blizzard own quite a lot of hot gaming properties, such as Call of Duty, World of Warcraft, Diablo, and more.


What will this mean for gamers? Well, Activision CEO Bobby Kotick has said that his company "should emerge even stronger -- an independent company with a best-in-class franchise portfolio...The transactions announced today will allow us to take advantage of attractive financing markets while still retaining more than $3 billion cash on hand to preserve financial stability".

Continue reading 'Activision Blizzard breaks up with Vivendi in a deal worth $8.2 billion' (full post)

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