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TweakTown News Posts - Page 29

Next-gen lithium-ion battery charges 20x faster, lasts 20x longer

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Mobile Devices, Tablets & Phones | Posted: Oct 14, 2014 2:31 am

The next-generation of lithium-ion batteries is really going to ensure that users get all-day, and even more battery life out of their devices. A team of researchers in Singapore have developed this improved lithium-ion battery tech, which is capable of recharging a battery to 70% in just two minutes, yes: 120 seconds.

 

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The clinch, is that this isn't a new battery technology, but it improves on the existing technology that is used. The improvements are coming from a form of nanostructures, where instead of traditional graphite used to create the lithium-ion battery's anode, this new technology uses a cheap titanium dioxide gel, which is a similar material to that used in sunscreen, that absorbs UV rays.

 

The scientists have discovered a way to turn these compounds into nanostructures that super-speed the charging process, with this change making lithium-ion batteries capable of charging 20x faster, and lasting up to 20x longer. Associate Professor Chen Xiaodong of Nanyang Technological University said in a release "With our nanotechnology, electric cars would be able to increase their range dramatically with just five minutes of charging, which is on par with the time needed to pump petrol for current cars". The researchers hope to have this technology on the market within two years, which should be perfect timing for our next, next-gen smartphones and electric cars.

Robert Downey Jr. to star as Iron Man in Captain America 3

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Celebrities & Entertainment | Posted: Oct 14, 2014 2:12 am

Some exciting news for the Marvel Cinematic Universe, with Robert Downey Jr. reportedly "on the verge" of signing up for Captain America 3. Downey Jr. will reprise his role as the infamous Tony Stark, or Iron Man, for Marvel's upcoming movie, which will go head-to-head with Batman vs. Superman: Dawn of Justice, which screens a few months earlier - moving its debut two months away from Captain America 3.

 

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Downey Jr. teased the news during his interview with Howard Stern, a move that could really change into a new phase of movies from Marvel. JoBlo also reports that this could "bring on the "Civil War" storyline from the Marvel Cinematic Universe". Continuing: "The plot has Stark ging against Captain America's alter-ego Steve Rogers, played by Chris Evans, as they feud over the Superhero Registration Act, which forces anyone with superhuman abilities to reveal their identities to the U.S. government and agree to act as a police force for the authorities. Stark supports the program, but Rogers does not, saying it threatens civil liberties, causing sides to be taken and Rogers, among others, to go on the run to avoid arrest. The moral question and battle with his Avengers teammate essentially makes Stark a villain of sorts in "Captain America 3," providing Downey with a meaty role he could play out into future Marvel films, including a fourth 'Avengers.'".

 

Captain America 3 reaches screens on May 6, 2016.

Google releases an Android L 64-bit emulator, for Intel x86 CPUs

By: Roshan Ashraf Shaikh | More News: Mobile Devices, Tablets & Phones | Posted: Oct 14, 2014 1:46 am

Android app developers can now get their hands-on an Android L emulator to design 64-bit architecture. This will help developers who take advantage of features and instruction sets that only 64-bit processing can provide.

 

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But they're restricted to Intel's x86 64-bit architecture: Bay Trail and Atom - for now. Questions are raised by the Android community and other tech journalists, as to why Google didn't allow for ARMv8, knowing that ARMv8-based NVIDIA Tegra K1 64-bit capable chipset is going to be out soon. Qualcomm is also prepared its Snapdragon 810 64-bit processor as well.

 

The reason behind this could be that Intel may have worked closely with Google to develop Android L, but it's currently unknown if ARM or NVIDIA is having similar development tie-ups with Google. In regards to Google Android L, the 64-bit version of Android L will provide larger addressable memory space, larger number of registers and newer instruction sets that developers can play around with. Not only developers can build newer apps, but also optimize their older apps for the Android L architecture.

 

The emulator can be accessed via Google's developer portal.

Report: China iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus preorders top 20 million

By: Michael Hatamoto | More News: Mobile Devices, Tablets & Phones | Posted: Oct 14, 2014 12:30 am

It appears China is ready to embrace the Apple iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus smartphones, as preorders reportedly topped 20 million in three days. A mix of China Mobile, China Telecom and China Unicom, the three largest Chinese wireless carriers, snagged 10 million preorders, while retailers racked up 9.5 million preorders.

 

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Previous generations of the iPhone sold extremely well in the United States and Western Europe, but struggled against Google Android-powered devices in emerging markets. However, analysts have predicted huge potential for consumer electronics in China, as the market continues to mature.

 

The iPhone will hit China starting on Friday, October 17, and should continue to generate surprising interest leading into the 2014 Christmas holiday season.

Microsoft learning from Windows 8 mistakes, hopes to win users over

By: Michael Hatamoto | More News: Operating Systems | Posted: Oct 13, 2014 11:30 pm

Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella admits the company dropped the ball with Windows 8, but has listened to complaints and hopes to win over trust with the Windows 10 operating system. The company took both consumer UI and IT components into consideration with Windows 10 development, and Nadella said he currently feels "very good" about progress.

 

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Here is what Nadella recently said: "Let's face it, we got some things wrong in Windows 8. Windows 10 is a very important step for us. It's the first step in a whole new generation of Windows... computing is much more ubiquitous. It will run not just on tablets and PCs but 200+ billion sensors. So we want to make sure that we architect Windows 10 at its core, so it can run across a lot of things."

 

This is a drastic turnaround from Microsoft's stance on promoting Windows 8, with users unfamiliar with the format - and having different branding and UI for smartphones, tablets, and desktop versions of the OS.

iPhone 6, 6 Plus will be available in 115 countries by end of 2014

By: Michael Hatamoto | More News: Mobile Devices, Tablets & Phones | Posted: Oct 13, 2014 10:30 pm

The Apple iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus will be available in at least 115 countries before the end of 2014, Apple recently said. Before the end of the month, there will be 36 additional markets added in Asia, Europe, Latin America, Africa and the Middle East - as Apple hopes to drive demand for its newest iPhones.

 

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The iPhone is extremely popular in the United States, UK and Western Europe, but the company hopes to expand interest in emerging markets. The company hopes their release in China and India, scheduled for October 17, will also help drive up sales in two increasingly tech-centric markets.

 

Apple wanted to hit the ground running - and despite several high-profile hiccups - wants to expand sales faster than any other generation of the device. Furthermore, Apple has worked with the Chinese government to ensure there were no security backdoors for the U.S. government to snoop on Chinese users' personal information.

Futuremark shows off Fire Strike Ultra, first 4K Ultra HD benchmark

By: Michael Hatamoto | More News: Software | Posted: Oct 13, 2014 9:24 pm

Benchmark company Futuremark has launched its Fire Strike Ultra, designed as the world's first 4K ultra high-definition (UHD) benchmark. Test content is rendered at 3840 x 2160 (4K UHD) resolution, and is scaled down to the PC's display resolution.

 

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Using the Ultra preset gives users the ability to use a comprehensive 4K benchmark without actually needing a 4K monitor. Fire Strike Ultra is a function available to 3DMark Advanced and Professional versions of software, and is available now. Another requirement is that interested users need to have a GPU with at least 3GB of dedicated memory, as the test will put PCs through their paces.

 

"And while it's always been possible to run 4K tests with customer settings in 3DMark, using a dedicated 4K test will provide a common reference point..." Futuremark noted in a press release.

Toyota gambles on vehicles powered by fuel cells to compete with Tesla

By: Michael Hatamoto | More News: Technology in Vehicles | Posted: Oct 13, 2014 5:16 pm

Toyota continues to develop hydrogen fuel cell technology, and the company has already invested 20 years to help develop it for widespread development. The Japanese automaker received praise for its plug-in Prius, and its 2015 FCV (fuel cell vehicle) has a range of 300 miles and only needs up to five minutes to refuel.

 

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Details about the FCV will be revealed later down the road, as the real name of the vehicle, production volume, pricing, and interior specifications haven't been disclosed.

 

"We really see this as the technology for the future," said Jana Hartline, Toyota environmental communications manager. "The scalability of fuel cells is such that it's not only appropriate for passenger cars, but buses and heavy duty commercial applications, with zero emissions."

Continue reading 'Toyota gambles on vehicles powered by fuel cells to compete with Tesla' (full post)

Google could beat Apple to be the world's first $1 trillion company

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Business, Financial & Legal | Posted: Oct 13, 2014 7:23 am

It was only April of 2014 where most, ourselves included, thought Apple were well on its way to be valued at over $1 trillion. But, it looks like Google will beat Apple to this milestone, but it would have to more than double Apple's stock performance before 2020.

 

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While Apple makes consumer electronics and online services, like the iPhone, iTunes, and more, Google steps right out of those boundaries. It has a massively used search engine, mobile OS and hardware, partnerships with virtually every player in the technology and manufacturing industry, artificial intelligence, robotics, health technology, the list truly goes on.

 

Colin Gillis, an analyst with BGC Capital, wrote in a research note to clients on Friday: "If you look at the range of [projects] Google is attacking, it represents opportunities on a much more massive scale than Apple is addressing". He added: "What are we going to get from Apple - a thinner iPad?". Right now, Apple is the most valuable US company, with a market capitalization of $599 billion, compared to Google's $372 billion.

Google rents a camel for taking Arabian desert's street view images

By: Roshan Ashraf Shaikh | More News: Internet & Websites | Posted: Oct 13, 2014 5:31 am

Google has been known to hire cars, boats, hikers, mountain climbers and scuba divers, but this is the first time they mount its street view camera over a camel.

 

 

The search giant hired a camel named 'Raffia' to collect images of the desert around the Liwa oasis area in Abu Dhabi. With a help of the guide, the camel took pictures of the desert region called 'the trekker' which is usually strapped on a person for taking street view images. Najeeb Jarrar, Google's product marketing manager for the Middle East and North Africa said, "We hope this collection gives you a glimpse of what it may be like to travel the desert as caravan merchants have for the past 3,000 years."

 

The Liwa desert is a popular tourism spot in Abu Dhabi. Company spokeswoman Joyce Baz also said that undertaking such projects helps to boost tourism in the region. She said, "In the case of Liwa we fashioned it in a way so that it goes on a camel so that it can capture imagery in the best, most authentic and least damaging way."

Continue reading 'Google rents a camel for taking Arabian desert's street view images' (full post)

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