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TweakTown News Posts - Page 35

Smartphone market flourishes: Chinese manufacturers grow

By: Lana Jelic | More News: Business, Financial & Legal | Posted: May 3, 2017 12:20 am

IDC has revealed its latest report on smartphone shipments in the first three months of 2017. According to the analytics firm, phone companies shipped a total of 347.4 million smartphones worldwide in the first quarter of 2017, which is a 4.3% increase compared to the Q1 2016.


The numbers show that Samsung and Apple are still at the top of this list, although their shipment number stagnates. Samsung regained control as the leader in the worldwide smartphone market despite a flat first quarter (0% year-over-year growth). The South Korean giant holds the biggest market share, 22.8%, with 79.2 million smartphones shipped, the same number they shipped in Q1 2016.




Apple remained essentially flat with shipments reaching 51.6 million units in the first quarter, up slightly from the 51.2 million shipped last year. These numbers mean they hold 14.9% of market share, a slight drop from 15.4% in Q1 2016.


Huawei launched their new flagship, the P10, earlier this year and sustained its dominance in China growing nearly 22% as shipments climbed from 28.1 million units last year, to 34.2 million units in the first quarter of 2017.

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Hearthstone amasses 70 million strong playerbase

By: Derek Strickland | More News: Gaming | Posted: May 2, 2017 10:13 pm

Blizzard has announced Hearthstone's online community has grown to 70 million players worldwide.




Blizzard Entertainment's free-to-play card game Hearthstone is one of the company's key money-making pillars. Thanks to its blind booster-pack style microtransactions (which mimic Overwatch's loot boxes), the game rakes in earnings hand over fist, and is a key facet to the company's digital earnings.


In fact, Activision reported that in 2016 total digital in-game revenues doubled year-over-year and represented over half of the company's $6.6 billion total yearly revenues. As a result, Activision raked in an incredible $3.6 billion from player purchases in games like Hearthstone.

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Nintendo plans 10 million+ Switch surplus to meet demand

By: Derek Strickland | More News: Gaming | Posted: May 2, 2017 9:08 pm

Nintendo's new Switch hybrid gaming system is in extreme demand right now, and constantly flies off shelves as soon as stores resupply stock. The Japanese console-maker is betting big on Switch sales in 2017, especially during the holiday season, but if the consoles are rare now what hope do consumers have for Christmas?




In a recent investors Q&A session, Nintendo President Tatsumi Kimishima assures investors that stock of its new $299 Switch handheld-console will be ample for the holiday season. Mr. Kimishima recently confirmed the Kyoto-based games company expects to sell 10 million Nintendo Switch systems in its current fiscal year, and now Mr. Kimishima iterates that Nintendo plans to ramp up Switch hardware production to ensure a hardware stock surplus that exceeds its 10 million sales forecast.


In fact, shortly before the Switch console's launch Nintendo exercised its manufacturing facilities to produce 700,000 extra Switch consoles to meet excessive demand--culminating in 2.74 million hardware sales in just 29 days.

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Half-Life co-writer Chet Faliszek leaves Valve

By: Derek Strickland | More News: Gaming | Posted: May 2, 2017 8:12 pm

After 12 years of instrumental work on Half-Life, Steam, and Vive VR, Chet Faliszek says goodbye to Valve




Chat Faliszek is the latest of Valve's key talent to say goodbye to the gaming giant. In his 12-year tenure Faliszek helped shape some of Valve's most notorious work: he co-wrote Half-Life 2's episodic expansions, the beloved Portal games, and the grisly co-op shooters in the Left 4 Dead series. The famed writer also helped build Valve's Vive VR platform and served as a public intermediary for VR developers across the globe. But now Faliszek seeks new horizons outside of Valve's pipeline.


"[It was]Nothing exciting or drama filled," ex-Valve writer Chet Faliszek told Games Industry Biz. "I worked there 12 years, shipped a bunch of great games and some amazing hardware and wanted to change things up. There's no news on what's next etc, I will let you know when that happens."

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Check out SpaceX's latest launch photos and footage

By: Lana Jelic | More News: Science, Space & Robotics | Posted: May 2, 2017 6:33 pm

On Sunday, SpaceX successfully launched and landed yet another Falcon 9 rocket. The military spy satellite was successfully launched into the orbit, and SpaceX marked their tenth successful landing.


The company landed their first rocket in December 2015, and just last month, they successfully launched and landed an already used Falcon 9 rocket, which was the first time in history that an already used rocket has been launched again.




Elon Musk believes that reusable rockets are the key to space exploration. He recently said that the company's next goal is to land and re-launch the same rocket within 24 hours.

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Microsoft's $999 Surface Laptop: Kaby Lake i5, 4GB RAM

By: Derek Strickland | More News: Laptops | Posted: May 2, 2017 4:25 pm

Microsoft today revealed its new lightweight Surface Laptop, a premium-priced notebook aimed at ousting Apple's Macbook.



Microsoft's new Surface Laptop features a stark disproportion of price versus specs that mirror Apple's hardware playback: the cheapest Surface Laptop costs $999, and comes with a measily 4GB of RAM (DDR3 or DDR4 or frequency not specified), a seventh-gen Intel Core i5 Kaby Lake CPU with Intel HD Graphics 620 eGPU, and a 128GB SSD. This indicates that the Surface Laptop is a "laptop" in name only: it's really a thinner, more optimized Surface tablet formed into a notebook's form factor, complete with a lightweight OS to match.


The Surface Laptop can be configured to higher specs including a Kaby Lake Core i7 and 8GB/16GB of RAM as well as 256GB or 512GB SSDs, but no pricing info was given on the upgraded models. The notebook features a 13.5-inch 2256 x 1504 (201ppi) PixelSense display with 10-point capacitive touch. Microsoft boasts the Surface Laptop's battery lasts up to 14.5 hours with the i5 8GB model, but only when watching video. Oh, and the Surface Laptop doesn't come with a pen: that's sold separately.

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Intel reveals DC P4500, DC P4600 3D NAND SSDs

By: Derek Strickland | More News: Storage | Posted: May 2, 2017 4:00 pm

Today Intel is announcing two new SSDs for the Datacenter. Both are based on Intel's 384Gbit 3D TLC flash technology. Normally TLC Flash of any flavor indicates lower performance and low endurance, but not this time. Intel has architected a brand new 12-channel controller and new firmware to power the DC P4500 and DC P4600. The result? The DC P4500 and DC P4600 are the highest performing Intel NAND-flash SSDs to date.




The DC P4500 is designed for high performance, massively scalable mainstream storage. The DC P4500 is available in capacities of 1, 2, and 4TB and two form factors; U.2 2.5"x 15mm and HHHL AIC. The DC P4500 is rated for 0.7 DWPD (Drive Writes Per Day) and is warranted for 5-years.


The DC P4600 sports the exact same physical hardware as the DC P4500. The difference between the DC P4600 and DC P4500 is the amount of overprovisioned space. With a healthy dose of OP, the DC P4600 is designed for caching and fast mixed workload storage performance. The DC P4600 in U.2 2.5"x 15mm form factor is available in capacities of 1.6, 2, and 3.2TB. The DC P4600 in HHHL AIC form factor is available in capacities of 2 and 4TB. The DC P4600 is rated for 2.9 DWPD (Drive Writes Per Day) and is warranted for 5-years.

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Tesla to announce four new Gigafactories this year

By: Lana Jelic | More News: Technology in Vehicles | Posted: May 2, 2017 3:13 pm

Elon Musk's Gigafactories could change the world. In Leonardo DiCaprio's National Geographic documentary Before The Flood, Musk explains that the Gigafactory isn't built just to manufacture lithium-ion batteries, but he hopes is will serve as a template for how others could contribute to converting the world to clean energy.


He also said that they did a calculation to see what would it take to transition the entire world to sustainable energy. According to him, we would need 100 Gigafactories.




Of course, Musk has no intention of building those factories himself. He hopes to encourage others to follow his path and start building factories that would have a huge impact on the well-being of our planet.


But while we are waiting for others to step in, Musk has plans for probably four more Gigafactories this year. As you are probably aware, the first Gigafactory has been built in Nevada. Last year, Musk confirmed that he plans to choose a location for Gigafactory 2 in Europe.

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Bandai Namco's new Code Vein is Dark Souls meets anime

By: Derek Strickland | More News: Gaming | Posted: May 2, 2017 1:51 pm

Bandai Namco just released the first trailer for its new Dark Souls-esque action RPG Code Vein, and we're very, very impressed.



Code Vein seems to be a delicious cocktail of some of the best JRPGs: we have Dark Souls combat with tons of rolling, hacking and slashing, infused with Dragon's Dogma's co-op pawn system, a fresh style straight out of an anime series, dark gothic storyline, and a dungeon-delving mechanic to top it all off. The game is being developed by the team that makes God Eater games, but Code Vein is a completely new IP.


Although Code Vein is a"dramatic dungeon-exploring action RPG," it certainly reminds us of Dark Souls in many different ways. The in-game world of Vein is dark, macabre and infused with mystery, and the combat itself looks to satisfy the bloodlust of ravenous Bloodborne and Souls fanatics everywhere.

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Toshiba expands its NetApp SolidFire lineup of SSDs

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Storage | Posted: May 2, 2017 1:00 pm

Toshiba has announced its latest HK4 Series SATA SSDs are now shipping on NetApp SolidFire SF4805, SF9605, and SF19210 all-flash arrays. All of the new drives arrive in the 2.5-inch form factor, with 2.6W of active operation power consumption.




The HK4 enterprise-ready SSDs are made for the datacenter, with low power consumption, latency, and high performance. The drives are made with Toshiba's fresh 15nm MLC NAND flash and their in-house controller, with enterprise class end-to-end data protection, and power loss protection.


Toshiba's new drives arrive in two different series: HK4R, and HK4E. Starting with Toshiba's new HK4R series, we have 240GB, 480GB, 960GB, and 1920GB - while the HK4E series has 200GB, 400GB, 800GB, and 1600GB. Toshiba backs enterprise clients up with 5-year warranty and 2 million hour MPOH, and easy to deploy purchase for the datacenter with the use of the 2.5-inch form factor.


Toshiba America Electronic Components, Inc. Vice President SSD Marketing and Product Planning, Jeremy Werner, said: "Toshiba established its US-based Storage Research and Design Center to bring innovation closer to its customers like NetApp. We are committed to continually offering NetApp a comprehensive portfolio that helps meet the evolving needs of their environment and customers".