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Samsung to invest $4 billion on its Austin chip plant, the main beneficiary of this could be Apple

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Business, Financial & Legal | Posted: Aug 22, 2012 9:31 am

Samsung have announced that they are set to invest around $4 billion overhauling its chip manufacturing plant in Austin, Texas. The South Korean company has plans to renovate the plant's current production line in order to boost system chip production.

 

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The $4 billion investment follows news of a new chip plant back home for Samsung, where they'll spend $1.98 billion in South Korea building a new plant. But, the news brings a surprise, as the Texas-based plant is where most of the A-series chips that are baked into Apple's iPhone's and iPad's are produced. This means that the expansion of the plant might benefit Apple, too.

 

The expansion of the Texas plant should also provide more jobs, but how many would be created is unclear at the moment.

RumorTT: iPad mini production ramp up has started, 4 million units to land in September

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Mobile Devices, Tablets & Phones | Posted: Aug 22, 2012 8:29 am

DigiTimes is reporting that the supply volume of Apple's rumored 7.85-inch 'iPad mini' is estimated to reach four million units per month, starting next month. This is in preparation of demand on the smaller iPad for the year-end holidays, and as usual, it's all "according to sources from the upstream supply chain".

 

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Rumors have been strong that the Cupertino-based company would launch the smaller, 7.85-inch iPad in October, sporting a thinner screen frame which will "allow the device to feature a bigger display area than other competing products," reports DigiTimes, and "will also feature a resolution similar to that of iPad 2."

 

DigiTimes' sources have said that the supply chain has already started supplying a small volume of the smaller iPad back in June, where they reached a monthly volume of a few hundred thousand. Apple would most likely peg a $299 price on the 'iPad mini', and their strength in the market, with their name, they should be able to compete without a fight, even against Google and ASUS' $199 Nexus 7 tablet, and anything Amazon throws at them.

It looks like T-Mobile might be offering up unlimited nationwide 4G data

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Business, Financial & Legal | Posted: Aug 22, 2012 7:28 am

It looks like T-Mobile is not messing around anymore, with reports of a leaked document from T-Mobile showing that the telco coon soon be offering unlimited data plans starting early next month. T-Mobile currently offer "unlimited" data plans, but they're throttled in various ways.

 

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This new "Unlimited Nationwide 4G Data" plan is completely unthrottled, uncalled and sports truly unlimited data for just $30, or $20, depending on whether you put it on a Classic, or Value Plan, respectively. Considering the "Unlimited Plus - 2GB" plan costs $10 less, and only comes with 2GB, it is truly a great offer. The 2GB offer gets it plans shaped to 60 kbps download, and 150 kbps upload once the 2GB cap is hit.

 

If you mix and match an unlocked Galaxy Nexus from Google's Play store, with one of these unlimited plans, you could be in for the data ride of your life. Now I just have to move my family over to the US where I can enjoy these super-amazing plans.

International version of Samsung's Galaxy S III to get Jelly Bean update next week

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Mobile Devices, Tablets & Phones | Posted: Aug 22, 2012 6:29 am

Android Central have quite the exclusive today, where they've revealed that the international Samsung Galaxy S III (GT-i9300) will receive its Android 4.1 Jelly Bean update next week, after Samsung's Mobile Unpacked event which is being held in Berlin, Germany.

 

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Android Central report the news from "sources familiar with Samsung's plans" that the firmware for the S III is in the "final stages of testing". We should expect the JB update to arrive within days of the Mobile Unpacked event, which starts next Wednesday, August 29. We should also expect Samsung to unveil their Galaxy Note II at the event, which means it should be quite the explosive event once things get underway.

 

After Mobile Unpacked, Android Central report that the update should roll out to several countries, including the UK. There's currently no information on whether the LTE-capable Snapdragon S4-powered Galaxy S III will receive Jelly Bean updates, but we should expect Samsung to give the same JB love to their US-based customers, too. More information as it happens.

Bitcoin-funded debit/credit cards are on their way, expect them in 6-8 weeks

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Business, Financial & Legal | Posted: Aug 22, 2012 5:26 am

Bitcoin lovers are going to find this news heartwarming, where during an IRC chat with BitInstant co-founder, Charlie Shrem, it has been revealed that his company are 6-8 weeks away from launching a Bitcoin-funded international debit/credit card that will be issued by two yet unnamed major banks. One of them will be international, with the other domestic.

 

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The Bitcoin-funded card will act like any normal debit or credit card account, and should be accepted wherever MasterCard is accepted, which is virtually anywhere. The first 1,000 Bitcoin debit/credit cards will be issued for free, but after the first 1,000, the cards will set you back around $10 per card.

 

Shrem also revealed that each card will sport a QR code on the front that can be scanned to complete transactions that are under $1,000 and a printed address on the rear featuring the user's Bitcoin Address. Future Bitcoin-funded card owners should expect to pay a 1% fee to fund the card, and a $1.50 ATM withdrawal fee. What are your thoughts on the Bitcoin-funded future of debit and credit cards?

The Oatmeal's $850,000 goal for a Nikola Tesla museum has been reached in just 6 days

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Business, Financial & Legal | Posted: Aug 22, 2012 4:29 am

Matthew Inman, or as he's known online as "The Oatmeal", has reached his $850,000 goal where it would save a project that would see the building of a museum to honor the great Nikola Tesla. We reported on it a few days ago, but the goal has been met and will go ahead!

 

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Better yet, the state of New York has promised to match Inman's raise, which will double the whatever is raised. At the time of writing, the funding has reached $896,474. With 39 days left, we could be looking at million raised, and then doubled by the state of New York.

 

The single biggest contribution was an astounding $33,000 which pushed the fundraising past its required $850,000 mark. The site has noted that even with $1.7 million raised, it won't be enough to build an actual museum/science center but would "effectively put the property into the right hands so it can eventually be renovated into something fitting for one of the greatest inventors of our time."

Flash Memory Summit 2012: Virident FlashMax II Pictured - 2.2TB in a half height form-factor

By: Paul Alcorn | More News: IT/Datacenter | Posted: Aug 22, 2012 3:32 am

One of the neatest aspects of attending industry shows like the Flash Memory Summit is that you never know just what the guy sitting next to you has in his pocket. While attending the seminar on NVMe (an emerging specification and subject of another article soon), we managed to strike up a conversation with a fellow attendee. After mentioning that we had previously done a write up of the Intel 910, which he had also happened to have read, he produced something that he claims to be much more interesting.

 

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Considering that this device is unreleased and holds 2.2 TB of raw NAND flash, he most certainly did open our eyes. This is the Virident FlashMAX II, which is a PCIe SSD aimed for the datacenter. With read speeds of up to 2.7 GB/s and write speeds up to 1.6GB/s, these cards deliver monstrous performance. 1.5 Million IOPS of random read is simply astounding, especially considering the attention given to solid, sustainable performance over a long period of time. With MLC NAND, and a hefty bit of overprovisioning, Virident is looking to bring sustainable performance to their customers.

 

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Unfortunately their primary competitors can suffer high levels of performance degradation after extended use. The Virident FlashMAX II is designed specifically to avoid these pitfalls, operating at full speed even after years of continuous load.

Continue reading 'Flash Memory Summit 2012: Virident FlashMax II Pictured - 2.2TB in a half height form-factor' (full post)

Seidio shows off 3500 mAh extended battery for Samsung's Galaxy S III

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Mobile Devices, Tablets & Phones | Posted: Aug 22, 2012 3:28 am

Running out of juice on your Samsung Galaxy S III? After an extended battery? Well, Seidio are here to your rescue with an extended battery for Samsung's flagship smartphone. The stock battery in the S III is just a 2100 mAh battery, but the S III is super-slim, after all.

 

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If you want some extra juice, Seidio have a 3500 mAh extended battery that straps to the back of the Galaxy S III, but is it a little too thick? If you're like Fergie, and love your hump, your hump, your hump, your hump... then you should be okay with a little extra junk in your Galaxy S III's trunk.

 

I'm guessing with this extended battery from Seidio, you should definitely get two days at full brightness on the screen, and full use of the features of the handset itself, such as GPS, Wi-Fi, without running out of battery and needing a charge.

Is the end of HTC near? Troubled phone maker has Taiwan Central Bank propose a bailout

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Business, Financial & Legal | Posted: Aug 22, 2012 2:56 am

We know HTC are struggling, as the competition from Samsung and Apple not slowing down, it seems that HTC can't release a product that really sticks with consumers. My first Android-based product was a HTC Desire, so I'm fond of the company.

 

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But, we've seen the phone maker go from one bad report to another, with recent financial reports showing extremely low profit margins across more than one sector, where they were forced to sell off 50% of their share in Beats Audio just so they could meet some financial obligations. The company also took a $40 million arrow to the knee from the OnLive restructuring, where they invested the money in February of last year.

 

The big news here is that Taiwan Central Bank have proposed a bailout in an effort to save the struggling company, and we know that when the word "bank" and "bailout" are used, there's trouble brewing. HTC is still profitable, but we're not seeing anywhere near the numbers that rival Samsung are making, and I think right now HTC could all but dream of the numbers Apple are pulling off. What do you think? Are we looking at the beginning of the end of HTC?

Continue reading 'Is the end of HTC near? Troubled phone maker has Taiwan Central Bank propose a bailout' (full post)

Google Play giftcards officially announced, will arrive at selected retailers shortly

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Business, Financial & Legal | Posted: Aug 22, 2012 2:26 am

We heard about Google's Play store gift cards a few days ago, but at the time, nothing was official. Now, the time has come where the Mountain View-based company has come clean, and officially announced the availability of the Google Play gift cards.

 

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They'll be made available in three denominations, $10, $25, and $50 and should arrive at Target, RadioShack and GameStop retail stores across the United States in the coming weeks. As for availability outside of the US, Google have not hinted at this just yet.

 

But, they have said that they'll be made available through Walmart.com later on this month, but not at the brick and mortar Walmart stores for now. The gift cards can be used to purchase anything from the Google Play store, which includes music, books, movies, apps and more.

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