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Nintendo Wii U is the most energy-efficient of the current consoles

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Gaming | Posted: Dec 11, 2012 10:39 am

The Nintendo Wii U has been out for a few weeks now, and there have been some more interesting tests run on Nintendo's next-gen console. With no increase in actual processing power over the current-gen Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3, where can we see some improvements? Efficiency.




Performance per watt numbers show Nintendo have the lead, where the Wii U offers some of the same graphical capabilities and gameplay experiences that the current Xbox 360 and PS3 offer, but at much lower power consumption numbers.


The Wii U is slimmer than the just-released PlayStation "Super Slim" model, but offers the same performance (and sometimes better) in terms of resolution support, and lower power consumption numbers by a decent amount. During the FIFA 13 Demo, the Wii U only consumes 32w of power compared to the Xbox 360S and PS3 Super Slim with 76.5w and 70w, respectively.

Continue reading 'Nintendo Wii U is the most energy-efficient of the current consoles' (full post)

Microsoft's latest ad takes swipe at competition, says they have more Windows licenses sold than Android, iOS and OS X combined

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Operating Systems | Posted: Dec 11, 2012 9:31 am

Another week, another ad from Microsoft trying to push their latest operating systems. The latest ad is titled "Windows 8: Introducing a New World of Apps", which goes for two minutes and tries to show off the fact at just how powerful their new OS is, and can be for the future, all while swiping their claws at Apple and Google.



There are some quotes MS use within the ad, such as "A worldwide app store with over 1 billion potential users!". Yes, Microsoft, welcome to all the other app stores. Also, "Over the last 2 years, more Windows licenses have been sold than Android, iOS and Macs combined". Again, a great statement - but MS are hurting compared to Google and Apple's complete stranglehold on the mobile market right now.


The video seems suited to developers, so much so that if they weren't already coding for Windows, they should because there's endless possibilities with the platform.

Continue reading 'Microsoft's latest ad takes swipe at competition, says they have more Windows licenses sold than Android, iOS and OS X combined' (full post)

Pandora is now music to the ears of Australia and New Zealand

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Apps | Posted: Dec 11, 2012 8:34 am

Pandora has been dipping its toes in Australia and New Zealand for a while now, but it has been a web-based trial only. But the full service has just launched in both countries after the trial wrapped up.




People can now sign up and enjoy fully-functional Pandora accounts which includes access to apps on both the iOS and Android platforms. Pandora have said that 75% of their traffic in the United States comes from their mobile apps, so when launching in other countries this is a very important part of the launch.


Australia and NZ are the very first countries outside of the US to have full access to Pandora. Usually we Australian's get everything months later, in half-baked releases, so it's nice to see Pandora doing things right the first time around.

Continue reading 'Pandora is now music to the ears of Australia and New Zealand' (full post)

Next-gen military drones to sport 'death-ray' laser

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Drones | Posted: Dec 11, 2012 7:24 am

It looks like the US skies are about to get a little scarier, with next-generation military drones being unveiled by a top US manufacturer. These new unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) will sport an ultra-light laser, which is capable of reportedly destroying an object at the speed of light - yikes.




Someone close to the High Energy Liquid Laser Area Defense System (HELLADS) told Time magazine "it would give us an unlimited magazine".


The Defense Advance Research Project Agency (DARPA), over the last four years, have handed contractor General Atomics over $60 million to develop, and then scale the HELLADS project, which contains a very powerful 150kW laser. Lasers available at that strength contain the power to destroy an incoming rocket or plane, but are very big and heavy - meaning they're only capable of being deployed on stationary defense systems.

Continue reading 'Next-gen military drones to sport 'death-ray' laser' (full post)

RIM ramps up their reveal for BlackBerry 10 hardware, getting ready for their January unveiling

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Mobile Devices, Tablets & Phones | Posted: Dec 11, 2012 6:32 am

RIM are getting ready to ramp up the BlackBerry experience with their BB10 handset, teasing that they're "Re-designed. Re-engineered. Re-invented". Let's just hope that this is enough to compete with the seriously tough competition.




Well, this image has arrived as a slight teaser on the new BB10 handset, and is parted of the registration campaign for news updates on BB10. Apart from this there's nothing more to add, but the huge reveal will take place on January 30.


So we'll see in just over a month if RIM can compete in a very different market - something I'm not convinced they'll be able to pull off. But, I guess we'll have to wait and see.

Android developers provide improved in-app purchasing abilities

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Software | Posted: Dec 11, 2012 4:35 am

It's the festive season, so over at the Android developer blog they've just unveiled version 3 of in-app purchasing. Most of this isn't for show and tell, and is back-end stuff that most people won't notice. It does include some cool new stuff:




  • Streamlined code. Google says what used to take several hundred lines of code can be done in as few as 50 now.
  • A more robust architecture.
  • Local caching, so API calls happen faster. That means part of the legwork is being done on your phone, without the need to call into Google Play.
  • And "the ability to consume managed purchases and query for product information."

160 Mac mini's crammed into a custom enclosure

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Super Computing | Posted: Dec 11, 2012 3:40 am

Apple did have the datacenter-designed Xserve for quite a while, but when they went into retirement Apple fans were left with no alternative. But there is someone who has thought of a way around this.




Over at Steve's Blog, who is anonymous, he has thought up of a solution to Apple's Xserve who has disappeared from the market. "Steve" has worked with vendors to developed a custom 1U shelving, cooling from car radiators and four-in-one power cables that cram 160 Mac mini's as well as a managing Xserve into a single enclosure.


This is quite the feat considering 160 machines would all obviously run hot, and we all know heat rises. Each machine sports a quad-core Core i7 processor and an SSD and this cluster features double the cores at 640 cores, when compared to the competing Xserve cluster. There's power consumption savings and a 45-second, network-controlled reboot with the cluster.

Continue reading '160 Mac mini's crammed into a custom enclosure' (full post)

CyberPowerPC debuts the Zeus Touch all-in-one desktop

By: Trace Hagan | More News: Computer Systems | Posted: Dec 11, 2012 2:32 am

More and more OEMs are jumping on board the Windows 8 and touchscreen boat. CyberPowerPC is the latest to join in the crowd with its new Zeus Touch all-in-one desktop. Drawing from the iMac, and other simplistic designs, it features Windows 8 and supports up to 10 simultaneous finger inputs.




The new desktop challenges the offerings by the likes of MSI, HP, and others, who are much bigger companies. The system is powered by the latest Intel processors and features a 1080p touchscreen. It also features the other accouterments that one would expect from a desktop all-in-one, including a built-in 1MP webcam.


USB 3.0, 802.11n and Bluetooth, card reader, DVD drive, and the other standard PC features come on the Zeus. Upgrades to the machine include larger hard drives, an mSATA SSD, and more powerful processors. A wireless keyboard is also included for those who aren't ready to ditch it quite yet.


The base configuration is available for $899.

Facebook data analyzed, points to roughly 4.2 million devices sold since October

By: Trace Hagan | More News: Mobile Devices, Tablets & Phones | Posted: Dec 11, 2012 2:06 am

It looks like Microsoft's Windows Phone might be selling a bit better than some people were expecting. Previously, blogs had used the publicly available monthly active user count to figure out a ratio between users of the Windows Phone Facebook app and the total number of handsets sold.




WMPowerUser has again used this method to approximate the number of devices sold since October, and the number is promising:


Using the number of Monthly Active Facebook users as a guide, we can see around 627,000 MAU of the built-in Facebook app has been added since the 1st October 2012, the start of the quarter. Last year over the same period less than 150,000 was added by the 15th December.


Using the same ratio of 6.756 handsets per active Facebook user, The Next Web arrives at an estimate of just over 4.2 million handsets sold since the beginning of the quarter. WPPowerUser actually places the number higher, around 7 million, meaning that we could actually see over 10 million Windows Phone devices sold this quarter.


Microsoft may again be relevant in mobile.

Bing looks to compete with Google's Knowledge Graph, adds people and places to Bing Snapshot sidebar

By: Trace Hagan | More News: Internet & Websites | Posted: Dec 11, 2012 1:32 am

Google has apparently got something good with its Knowledge Graph product as Bing has decided to try and do something similar. Today, Microsoft has announced that Bing's snapshot sidebar will now show results for famous people and places, much in the same way that Google's Knowledge Graph does. Take a look:




Yes, we're sure that that is Bing in the image. The sidebar aims to fill the need for quick information and helps keep users on Bing's site for longer, an important aspect for advertising revenue. Which of the two services is better? I guess we'll just have to wait for Microsoft to run another one of its blind taste-tests!

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