Microsoft Lumia Windows Phone 8 smartphones will receive a free upgrade to the Windows 10 mobile edition in 2015, according to Microsoft. Although the company hopes to upgrade all Windows Phone 8 devices to Windows 10, there are some that could be left out in the cold.
"It's our intention to enable a Windows 10 upgrade for Lumia Windows Phone 8 smartphones," Microsoft told VentureBeat. "At this early stage in the development process, and given the vast portfolio of Windows devices worldwide, we can't predict that all devices will be upgradeable, but it is our intention that the Lumia smartphone line be upgradeable to Windows 10."
Despite continued press coverage, Microsoft has been unable to keep up with Google Android and Apple iOS in the mobile market - but Windows Phone 8 has proven to be a dependable operating system, though doesn't amount to anything more than a few percentage points of the current mobile OS market.
Power consumption is the highest ongoing expense in the datacenter, and for giants like Facebook it can easily add up to billions of dollars per year. One of the most obvious sources of power consumption spawns from cooling costs. Power consumption generates heat, and Facebook has grabbed the low-hanging fruit by moving to open-air datacenter designs that radically reduce cooling requirements. Now Facebook has turned their attention to UPS systems for the next layer of power savings. Reducing overall power consumption is key because it also incurs the expense of power backup. During a power loss event the systems automatically fall back to massive UPS systems that provide enough power, typically 90 seconds worth, to cover the gap until backup generators come online. Facebook has already altered UPS design by migrating from large central UPS systems to seven-foot tall server cabinets interspersed throughout the datacenter.
Today these massive power backup systems rely upon lead-acid batteries, but now Facebook is experimenting with the same type of lithium-ion batteries found in today's latest electric vehicles. The long term cost of maintenance is lower for lithium-ion batteries, and they also deliver more power in a smaller footprint. Facebook is experimenting with designs that embed lithium-on batteries at the rack level. Two batteries will slide into each rack and provide UPS protection. This design also reduces the chance of UPS failure. If a standard centralized UPS fails the entire datacenter can go down. With rack-level battery backups, only small groups of servers would be effected by individual failures.
Recent advances in lithium-ion battery technology have been fueled by electric car development. Vehicles like the Volt, Tesla, and Leaf, have ushered in advanced battery technology and also lowered the overall cost. Now that cost of Li-on batteries has fallen they have become a sensible alternative for UPS applications in massive datacenters. Facebook is integrating their new designs into their Open Compute initiative, which might serve to expand the widespread use of Lithium-ion in the datacenter. There is no word on how increased demand would affect the overall pricing.
As many musicians and music industry executives are still worried about Internet piracy, longtime artist Rob Zombie isn't overly concerned about the problem. Just a few years ago, Zombie mentioned how piracy could hurt indie bands, not the major artists, but admits he feels "freed" by the current state of the music industry.
"I don't care about any of that stuff," Zombie recently said. "In fact, in a funny sort of way the fact that nobody buys records doesn't bother me. In fact, I feel like it's freed me. I never did anything to sell records, per se, but when you take that pressure away 100 percent, I swear to God you get more creative because it doesn't matter anymore."
Instead, Zombie has a more glass half-full approach: "That's really been the case, I'm happy to give it away for free. I don't care. I just want to make it, play it, get crazy with it. I hear a lot of musicians crying about it but for me, it's re-energized us."
The battle between online streaming service Spotify and Taylor Swift continues, with the CEO of her Big Machine record label, Scott Borchetta, recently speaking out. Borchetta says Swift has received less than $500,000 in the past 12 months for US Spotify listeners enjoying her music - despite Spotify saying Swift could be paid upwards of $6 million in 2014.
It appears Swift's cut will be $2 million for the past 12 months globally, with that number expected to grow as more users sign up for Spotify.
Unfortunately, it seems Swift and Borchetta are both forgetting who truly is missing out in this ongoing war of words: the music fans. Millions of Spotify users listened to Swift's music, and while they are no longer able to via Spotify, they are either going to purchase the music, or find an illegal way to download her music.
Apple hasn't heard reports of any users that have been compromised by the "Masque Attack," but cybersecurity experts are still asking Apple engineers to develop new protections to ensure enterprise users are more secure.
"We designed OS X and iOS with built-in security safeguards to help protect customers and warn them before installing potentially malicious software," an Apple spokesman recently said. "We're not aware of any customers that have actually been affected by this attack."
Cybercriminals want to hijack OS X and iOS users - and have largely struggled to find security loopholes - but are increasing their efforts into malware development.
The Sony PlayStation 4 outsold the Microsoft Xbox One in October, with sales growing 59 percent year-over-year, racking up $273.6 million, according to the NPD Group. Nintendo, Sony and Microsoft have all declined to release sales figures of their respective consoles in October, indicating it was a rather lackluster 31 days of sales.
"Overall sales across hardware, new physical software, and accessories were essentially flat in 2014 compared to October 2013," according to the NPD Group's Liam Callahan.
However, the Xbox One price cut has helped the console's sales triple, as it approaches 10 million units sold since launch, and looks poised to better compete against the PS4.
Tablet sales were marginal heading into the 2014 Christmas holiday shopping season, with some success generated by back-to-school promotions, but the market is fighting a slowdown, according to the NPD Group. Google Android tablet sales have decreased 16 percent, while Apple iOS sales also dropped 16 percent. Microsoft Windows tablet sales slid 23 percent in units sold.
"The extraordinarily tough comparisons that will come up during the holiday season, after last year's groundbreaking pricing for both iPads and small-size Android tablets, will keep the tablet market in a precarious position through the holidays," said Stephen Baker, NPD Group VP of industry analysis, in a press statement. "While tablets still generate enormous traffic and unit volumes, the days of easy growth and native demand are now gone."
For consumers looking to purchase new electronics, there will be a wide variety of different desktop PCs, notebooks, tablets, and smartphones available with appealing pricing.
The latest episode of South Park, if you haven't already watched it, has Cartman using the Oculus Rift. Cartman gets stuck in virtual reality, resulting in Kyle having to 'go into' VR to 'get him out'.
The compilation video above shows you all of the parts of the episode that involve the Oculus Rift, and I'm hoping that the guys and girls at Oculus have seen the episode, realizing they've just made the mainstream (even more so than they already have) hitting an episode of South Park.
Airplane flights have given the US Department of Justice (DoJ) the perfect opportunity to snoop on American citizens with a custom surveillance program operated by the US Marshals Service. The covert program originally started in 2007 and uses "dirtboxes," portable cell towers, that can secretly collect identity and phone locations on subscribers.
The flights leave from five different airports across the United States, and can snoop on thousands of citizens during any given flight. Specific details regarding the program remain unclear, but the US Marshals conduct these missions "on a regular basis" - and not surprisingly, the DoJ is refusing to comment. The phones are in continuous communication with local cell towers, providing a great opportunity to snoop while being discreet.
Following former NSA contractor Edward Snowden's mass surveillance disclosures, American citizens have become more concerned of government spying.
The Texas Armoring Corporation (TAC) believes in its product so much that company CEO R. Trent Kimball sat in the driver's seat of a Mercedes-Benz while sales manager Lawrence Kosub shot the windshield with an AK-47. The 240fps slow-motion video shows Kimball getting into the vehicle as Kosub shoots one dozen rounds directly into the windshield.
"When it comes to assuring our clients' safety, we take product testing very seriously," Kimball says in the YouTube video.
The company says it produces the world's lightest weight armored vehicle passenger vehicles, and sets the standard for luxury, and our vehicles provide the absolute finest finishing available on the market."