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Maine School District Gives Every Kindergardener An iPad 2

By: Trak Lord | More News: Mobile Devices | Posted: Apr 12, 2011 1:17 am



That headline is as unbelievable as it sounds. But seriously, a public school district in Auburn, Maine in the cold, culturally and technologically barren state of Maine from which I hail, is giving all 285 students of its Kindergarden class a brand new iPad 2. Tell me that doesn't make you feel better as a parent if your child is a spring baby. Damn. Like, 3G enabled and everything? Do these kids even have iTunes accounts? What happens if they drop like 3k on Smurfberries?


Evidently Auburn school district, frankly, does not give a damn as they voted to budget $200,000 on the iPad 2 initiative, including insurance, cover, educational software and technical training. And the kindergarden teachers get them too. Eventually, the program plans to be expanded to include all six elementary schools in the district (right now it's just at Washburn Elementary). The idea was proposed by kindergarden teachers that noticed how useful the original iPad became in helping children having trouble with the alphabet.


Exsqueeze me? They haven't legalized marijuana in Maine while I've been gone have they? They're having trouble with the alphabet so you buy them a @#%ing $499 device? When I was a kid we had anthropomorphized Letters that taught us with VHS TAPES how to, you know, use them. WTF is going on in Maine? I mean, I know we had a lot of "failing" public schools guys, but maybe that has to do with drug use, poverty, lack of motivation, mundane higher...

Continue reading 'Maine School District Gives Every Kindergardener An iPad 2' (full post)

Google Unveils GoogleADay Trivia Game

By: Trak Lord | More News: Gaming | Posted: Apr 12, 2011 12:18 am



Today was a big day for Google. Almost $170 million in solar power and a new Google-based trivia game all in 24 hours. Google announced today that they'll be implementing a new trivia game that encourages rather than prohibits the Googling of answers. It seems relatively redundant to have questions for which a player can just type a few words into a search engine, but Google is specifically crafting cryptic and difficult questions that will teach Google users how to better use their search engine. What about when people just post the answers online? Google has even refined their algorithm to exclude those types of sites from the results so as to not spoil the game for the rest of us.


You can start playing now by going to and checking out the first question. Questions will be posted daily, and will also be located conveniently above the New York Times Crossword puzzle each day.


This is an insanely clever way to get people to use their site. I would say it's evil (which it is), but I love trivia...

Continue reading 'Google Unveils GoogleADay Trivia Game' (full post)

Google Invests $168 Million In Tower Of (Solar) Power

By: Trak Lord | More News: Business, Financial & Legal | Posted: Apr 11, 2011 11:01 pm



Silicon Valley's favorite search engine giant just dropped a whopping $168 million in a new solar energy plant in California's Mojave Desert designed and developed by BrightSource Energy. Google is counting on BrightSource's Ivanpah Solar Electric Generating System (ISEGS) to generate 392 MegaWatts (gross) of minty-fresh clean solar energy. In a blog post today, Google wrote:


That's the equivalent of taking more than 90,000 cars off the road over the lifetime of the plant, projected to be more than 25 years.


Which would be no small contribution to our nation's energy qualms, something Google is clearly dedicated to aiding as the tech firm has now invested more than $250 million in the future of clean, renewable energy. Google is investing in the proven technology of "Power Towers", which use fields of mirrors (heliostats) to focus solar rays onto a receiver placed on top of a large tower (seen above in the photo). According to the post, the first use of the technology was the fabled existence of Archimedes' heat ray that used a similar system to focus solar energy to burn the sails...

Continue reading 'Google Invests $168 Million In Tower Of (Solar) Power' (full post)

G-Form iPad Case: The Force Is 12 Lbs Strong With This One

By: Trak Lord | More News: Mobile Devices | Posted: Apr 11, 2011 9:20 pm



Whether it's an iPad 2 being blended or an iPhone 4 falling from 1,000 ft and surviving, we've seen some pretty weird things done to Apple post-pc devices. This week, G-Form comes up with a creative way to drop bowling balls on tablets. In a demonstrational video, G-Form's Tom Cafaro tests the durability of two different cases by dropping 12 pounds of bowling ball. The sound that follows the first attempt is eerily familiar to all touchscreen-device owners- that terrible crunching of scratch resistant glass. The second attempt with the G-Form case leaves the iPad delightedly undamaged. I remember my math teacher in high school repeatedly touting the resistance of TI-83 graphing calculators: "It can withstand a 10-foot drop onto concrete." This is definitely better. The case is made out of PORON XRD, a material originally intended for sports equipment. It tightens up when impacted, absorbing and reflecting all of the force. Otherwise, it's floppy and lightweight.


The case is compatible with iPads and other tablets, even the iPad 2 with the Smart-Cover attached. For $60 bucks you can pre-order one in black or yellow.


Aurasma AR Browser Makes Waves, Virtual Objects Appear On Print

By: Trak Lord | More News: Software | Posted: Apr 11, 2011 6:54 pm



European software company Autonomy has announced their upcoming augmented reality iPhone application, dubbed Aurasma. The application uses a form of Autonomy's already existing IDOL pattern recognition software to scan what appears to be print images of all types with the end goal of automatically inserting a related video of some sort. Aurasma seems to have been conceived as a competitor to Google's already available Google Googles visual search application that allows the user to search their environment by snapping pictures of it. Autonomy's founder, Michael Lynch, told the New York Times:


We have been convinced for a long time that the idea of typing keywords into a search box is a byproduct and not an end. If you're truly going to interact between the physical world and the virtual world you're not going to do that sitting in your bedroom at the keyboard.




Aurasma will evidently be available sometime next month, debuting as part of an AR advertisement tie-in with an as-yet unnamed upcoming film. Lynch also reportedly mentioned the availability of a development platform which, like Aurasma, will be available for free download.


We're dubious as to the "AR" aspect of this application so far- if "all" that Aurasma is doing (and it's nothing to sneeze at) is loading up videos for pre-loaded images in a database, what reality is it augmented? How different is this from a QR code....

Continue reading 'Aurasma AR Browser Makes Waves, Virtual Objects Appear On Print' (full post)

Weekly Giveaway: HIS 6950 IceQ X Turbo 1GB and 6870 IceQ X Turbo 1GB Video Cards

By: Cameron Wilmot | More News: Contests & Giveaways | Posted: Apr 11, 2011 4:06 pm

We have teamed up with HIS this week to giveaway one 6950 IceQ X Turbo 1GB video card and one 6870 IceQ X Turbo 1GB video card. That means this week we will have two winners who get a shot at winning either card.






Make your Overclocking dream comes true!


The HIS IceQ X Turbo models are bios-overclocked out of the box, and thus brings the immersive gamers the best over-clocking potential.




HIS 6870 IceQ X is over 15°C cooler than the Reference Cooler.


Thanks to the 9.2cm silent fan, massive amount of cool air is drawn from the central fan to cool down the GPU and graphics card directly.


4 heatpipes optimize cooling performance by removing heat from the core area, providing ultimate solution for professional gamers and HTCP users.




HIS 6870 IceQ X is over 15dB quieter than the Reference Cooler, significantly reducing noise level.


Head on over to our forum giveaway page to find out how to win one! For this weekly giveaway anyone can enter and you do not pay for the shipping charges.

Monday Morning Roundup

By: Steve Dougherty | More News: Roundups | Posted: Apr 11, 2011 3:41 pm

The latest happenings from around the web - April 11th, 2011




- ASUS P8P67 WS Revolution P67 Motherboard @ Aphnetworks

- ASRock H67M-ITX/HT Socket 1155 Motherboard @ Pro-Clockers




- MSI GTX550 Ti Cyclone OC Video Card @ Ninjalane

- The Major Open-Source ATI Improvements Over Two Years @ Phoronix

- ASUS GeForce GTX580 DirectCU II: The Ultimate Choice @ InsideHW

- Asus PA246Q ProArt 24-Inch LCD Monitor @ HotHardware




- Sennheiser HD 800 Headphones @ tbreak

- Tt eSports Shock One USB Gaming Headset @ Hardware Heaven

Continue reading 'Monday Morning Roundup' (full post)

AMD FM1 socket spotted

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: CPUs, Chipsets & SoCs | Posted: Apr 11, 2011 2:00 pm

AMD's new socket, FM1 has been spotted, the FM1 socket will be the platform for the upcoming "Llano" A-series accelerated processing units (APUs) in both desktop and notebook solutions. AMD will have a proper competitor for Intel's LGA1155/LGA1156-based solutions which rely on the processor's embedded graphics.




AMD have the upper hand as the APU will integrated a quad-core x64-64 processor with a DirectX 11-capable AMD Radeon HD6000 graphics core which should sport 400+ stream processors, a dual-channel DDR3 controller and a PCI-Express 2.0 hub. FM1 is a pin-grid array but the exact pin count is unknown. Llano APUs are expected in May/June of this year.

TweakTown checks-in at IDF Beijing 2011 on Day 0

By: Nicole Scott | More News: Trade Shows | Posted: Apr 11, 2011 11:21 am

Intel's IDF Beijing 2011 kicks off tomorrow but we're here on the ground getting a head start at some media only session.



When things get going tomorrow you better be ready for tablets, tablets and more tablets! We should be seeing the official debut of Oak Trail with CPUs officially going on sale a few weeks ago. There are some rumors that we might get to see the next generation netbook processor as there is a session entitled 'Designing a new generation of Netbook with the Intel Atom Based Platform' so we're hopeful they are showing and not just talking!


So get ready for some awesome coverage of Intel's latest and greatest technologies.




Oh and props to Intel from providing this amazing internet connection in the press room! w00t w00t!

Download of the Day: GPU-Z 0.5.3

By: Steve Dougherty | More News: Software | Posted: Apr 11, 2011 7:32 am

Our Download of the Day today is GPU-Z 0.5.3.


GPU-Z is a lightweight utility designed to give you all information about your video card and GPU.


• Support NVIDIA and ATI cards

• Displays adapter, GPU and display information

• Displays overclock, default clocks and 3D clocks (if available)

• Validation of results

• No installation required

• Support for Windows 2000 / XP / Vista (both 32 and 64 bit versions are supported)




The latest version includes the following changes:


Changes in Version 0.5.3


- Added support for AMD Radeon HD 6790, FirePro V5800

- Added support for GeForce GT 555M, GTX 540M, G315M, Quadro FX 600, FX 2800M, Quadro 4000

- Fixed GeForce GTX 590 release date

- Added support for voltage controllers VT1556, uP6266, uP6218

- Added VDDCI measurement on CHL8228 based ATI cards

- Added capability to show sensors in TechPowerUp OSD Server

- Fixed several crashes and resource leaks


Download Now - TweakTown Download of the Day

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