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TweakTown News Posts - Page 2308

Adobe CTO steps down, joins Apple's ranks as a VP of Technology

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Business, Financial & Legal | Posted: Mar 20, 2013 1:18 am

It truly has been the year for shuffles at the top of big companies, with today bringing news that Adobe CTO Kevin Lynch is stepping down. Lynch is taking a job over at Apple, where he'll be titled as the VP of Technology.

 

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Lynch will step down on March 22, with his CTO position not being filled by a successor. Adobe's official statement, below:

 

Kevin Lynch, Adobe CTO, is leaving the company effective March 22 to take a position at Apple. We will not be replacing the CTO position; responsibility for technology development lies with our business unit heads under the leadership of Adobe CEO Shantanu Narayen. Bryan Lamkin, who has recently returned to Adobe, will assume responsibilities for cross company research and technology initiatives as well as Corporate Development. We wish Kevin well in this new chapter of his career.

OCZ releases Vector SSD firmware V2.0, said to improve performance

By: Chris Ramseyer | More News: Storage | Posted: Mar 19, 2013 7:29 pm

Today OCZ Technology released a firmware update for Vector. The new firmware, version 2.0, is available through OCZ's Toolbox and is a mass production release (not beta). At the time of writing the release notes weren't available but Alan, a long time TweakTown reader provided the benchmarks below from a system in steady state with the Vector 512GB used as a boot drive.

 

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He states that "IOPS are great" and "the performance has definitely increased, you will want to run this against the Samsung 840 Pro and maybe reevaluate which is drive is faster in all capacity sizes."

 

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You can find the thread discussing the new update on OCZ's Forums. Firmware update instructions are located here. Do note that C-States were enabled in this tests. We'll have a full article with all three Vector capacity sizes updated in a few days here on TweakTown.

More details on Raspberry Pi's camera module surface, still aiming for $25 and up to 2592x1944 stills

By: Charles Gantt | More News: Science, Space & Robotics | Posted: Mar 19, 2013 6:30 pm

Since its release, the Raspberry Pi has been changing the DIY landscape much like the Arduino did in 2009-2011. The Raspberry Pi Foundation has been hard at work developing the most anticipated add-on module it has developed to date, the camera module.

 

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Today Raspberry Pi released a blog post detailing how the upcoming $25 camera module was created, and in that document we learn some interesting information about the camera. A fixed focus 5MP sensor capable of 2592x1944 stills, but also 1080p30, 720p60 and 640x480p60/90 video is featured. The lens is fixes so that means no auto focus will be present.

 

The camera will connect to the Raspberry Pi via two connections. I2C will handle the basic functions like start, stop, change resolution, and adjust exposure time. The much higher bandwidth CSI bus will handle the pixel data from the sensor back to the processor.

 

Each pixel produced are 10 bits wide compared to the 8-bit pixels you are used to seeing with standard JPGs. Raspberry Pi configured things this way so that they can adjust parts of the dynamic range, which will reduce "gaps" that cause banding in images. In the blog post, the foundation said that they are very close to releasing the camera module now and that the $25 price point is still there.

Continue reading 'More details on Raspberry Pi's camera module surface, still aiming for $25 and up to 2592x1944 stills' (full post)

Microsoft announces Imagine Cup competition for young students, encouraging game development

By: Charles Gantt | More News: Contests & Giveaways | Posted: Mar 19, 2013 5:36 pm

This morning Microsoft announced a new Imagine Cup competition that is aimed at game developers in the 9-18 years old range. The Imagine Cup Kodu Challenge is designed around Kodu, an easy to learn game creation tool kit and programming language.

 

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Scott Fintel, producer for Kodu at Microsoft said:

 

"Microsoft developed Kodu to transform programming from a skill perceived as overly difficult to grasp to one that is fun and kid-friendly. By getting students interested in game design at an early age through Imagine Cup, it's our hope they will acquire new skills that will translate into a lifelong passion for computer programming and computer science and will encourage them to explore STEM-related careers in the future."

 

The Kodu environment can be downloaded for free on Windows based computers and has generated over 16,000 kid-created games since its release. The Imagine Cup Kodu Challenge begins today and runs through May 17th 2013 and features two age brackets 9-12 and 13-18 that students can compete in.

WhatsApp for iPhone will move to subscription based business model in Q4 of 2013

By: Charles Gantt | More News: Apps | Posted: Mar 19, 2013 4:40 pm

WhatsApp, the $0.99 SMS-like instant messenger, is used by millions daily. In fact, the app sees a reported 17 billion messages sent across its service daily. That is more than eight times the number of messages sent on Apple's iMessage.

 

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With its ever growing popularity, the company is looking to capitalize on its user base. Later this year WhatsApp for iPhone will move into a subscription based service where the app will cost $0.99 and the first year of service is free. Each additional year will run subscribers an additional $1 per year.

 

WhatsApp has been using this model on its Android app for a while now and when asked about the new subscription model, WhatsApp CEO Jan Koum said that the company just wanted "to keep things simple." He went on to say that the new subscription model "would likely follow the same pricing structure as its other apps, which are free for the first year and then cost $1/year, compared to the single, for-life $0.99 purchase that users make on iOS today."

Digital Storm announces your new dream PC, the Hailstorm II

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Computer Systems | Posted: Mar 19, 2013 4:00 pm

You might want to be good this year, or else Santa won't know to add this to your Christmas list - Digital Storm have just announced their brilliantly specced Hailstorm II. Digital Storm's latest creation crams some seriously high-end components into Corsair's Obsidian Series 900D case.

 

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Hailstorm II features an advanced liquid cooling system with the current of cold air driven by three front intake fans, backed up by a large exhaust fan. The Hailstorm II is capable of having a total of 15 fans installed, which should give even the most airflow crazy gamer out there plenty of room to move. There's ten expansion slots at play, up to nine HDDs or SSDs with three hot-swap mounts, four 5.25-inch optical drive bays, two USB 3.0 ports and four USB 2.0 ports on the front of the Hailstorm II give you plenty of storage and connectivity options.

 

Each Digital Storm PC goes through a rigorous 72-hour stress-test, ensuring that when you receive your Hailstorm II (or any other Digital Storm PC) it is ready for some serious gaming. There are four tiers of Hailstorm II PCs available, Level 1 through 4. Level 1 starts at $2762 and comes with an Intel Core i7 3770K overclocked to up to 4.8GHz, 16GB of DDR3 1600MHz, NVIDIA's GeForce GTX 680 GPU, a 120GB SSD and 1TB HDD for storage.

Continue reading 'Digital Storm announces your new dream PC, the Hailstorm II' (full post)

Wacom announces Cintiq 13HD, a 13-inch interactive graphics pad

By: Charles Gantt | More News: Peripherals | Posted: Mar 19, 2013 3:48 pm

Wacom has announced a new 13-inch addition to its Cintiq line of interactive pen displays. The new Cintiq 13HD is being billed as a smaller display that saves valuable desk space, but still packs a full size performance punch.

 

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The new Cintiq 13HD features a 13-inch LED display with a 1920x1080 resolution, adjustable mount, and uses a tweaked version of the same battery-free Pro Pen that the larger Cintiq's feature. Wacom says that the screen provides a 178-degree viewing angle and sports four customizable ExpressKeys.

 

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The display is tethered to a PC or Mac by a USB cable, and it features HDMI output as well. The Cintiq 13HD is expected to go on sale in early April and with a price point of $1000. It looks to be an awesome gateway for someone who wants a Cintiq, but does not want to spend $2k on a larger model.

Samsung confirms it is developing a Smart Watch to compete with Apple

By: Charles Gantt | More News: Wearable Computing | Posted: Mar 19, 2013 3:09 pm

Samsung has made it no secret that it intends to go head to head with Apple in everything it does. This time we are getting reports that the Korean make-everything giant is planning on entering the Smart Watch game... again.

 

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Samsung's executive VP said in an interview with Bloomberg today that "We are preparing products for the future, and the watch is definitely one of them." He went on to say that between Apple and Samsung the "issue here is who will first commercialize it so consumers can use it meaningfully."

 

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This is not the first time Samsung has taken on the role of Smart Watch builder, just back then we did not call them smart watches. The S9110 "Watchphone" debuted in 2009 and a decade earlier, it released the SPH-WP10 "Watch Phone". Who do you think will win the Smart Watch war? My bet is on Samsung, but in reality all we can do is sit back and watch.

Spotify's Five Plays per Track policy for free users lifted in the UK

By: Charles Gantt | More News: Apps | Posted: Mar 19, 2013 2:25 pm

Over the last several months free users of Spotify's music streaming service have been increasingly experiencing caps on how many times they can listen to a specific track. The limits seem to take effect after the six month free trial period has expired.

 

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UK users have been limited to five plays per track unless they subscribe to Spotify, but as of today, that limit has been lifted. In a statement on the company's blog Spotify said: We've got some mighty fine news for all Spotify Free users. From today, there's no more 5 play-per-song limit. You can listen to your favorite songs as many times as you like.

 

The company went on to state:

 

That's right, no more greyed-out songs. The tracks that you couldn't listen to before will once again be available for your listening pleasure...Of course, if you've been using Spotify for less than 6 months, this change won't affect you. You can already listen to whatever you want, as often as you like.

New NATO cyber war manual details what is and what isn't allowed in cyber warfare

By: Charles Gantt | More News: Hacking & Security | Posted: Mar 19, 2013 1:47 pm

NATO has released a new document that lays down the law about cyber warfare for all of its members. The document details what is considered acceptable and what is thought of as out of bounds for state sponsored hacking.

 

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Hospitals, nuclear power stations, dams and dykes are all on the do not touch list much like similar UN resolutions that do not allow its members to bomb certain targets. The new document does give the go-ahead to enact analog war against a country who is digitally attacking you.

 

"An international armed conflict exists whenever there are hostilities, which may include or be limited to cyber operations occurring between two states or more." The Guardian suggest that this may roll over into the so-called "hacktivist" community as well. This could leave its members venerable to physical attack if a country deems them a threat.

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