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TweakTown News Posts - Page 47

Kickstarter project funding a potato salad brings in thousands

By: Tamlin Magee | More News: Internet & Websites | Posted: Jul 8, 2014 6:07 pm

A Kickstarter project to crowdsource potato salad has received over 37,000 US dollars shortly after going live and with 25 more days to go at the time of publication.


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The page's creator, Zack Danger Brown, simply said that he is "making potato salad" and that backers will be guaranteed a bite. Stretch goals at $35 included making four times as much potato salad, while reaching $75 dollars guaranteed a pizza party and $100 came with a promise of trying two different potato salad recipes.


"We're really tearing through these stretch goals," Brown said. "I honestly don't know what is realistic anymore." At $3,000 Brown promised to rent out a party hall and "invite the whole internet" - "the internet loves potato salad," he added. "Let's show them that potato salad loves the internet!" Backers are now also being guaranteed hats that will express a love for the carby Summer treat.

LG G Pad 10.1-inch tablet launches this week

By: Shane McGlaun | More News: Mobile Devices, Tablets & Phones | Posted: Jul 8, 2014 5:00 pm

LG is set to throw its latest Android tablet onto the market this week with the launch of the G Pad coming on July 11. On that day, the G Pad 10.1 will launch in South Korea and then go on sale in other countries on July 14. On July 14, the tablet will launch in "most of the rest of the world" and the only places we aren't expecting to see the tablet this month are China and India.


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The LG G Pad 10.1 has a 10.1-inch screen with a resolution of 1280 x 800 and is powered by a 1.2GHz quad-core processor. The rear camera on the tablet is a 5MP unit with a 1.3MP front camera.


LG has also announced smaller 7-inch and 8-inch tablets as well. Those smaller tablets will have lower resolution cameras and smaller batteries, but will have the same screen resolution and CPU.

New Zealand ISP gives subscribers access to US version of Netflix

By: Shane McGlaun | More News: Business, Financial & Legal | Posted: Jul 8, 2014 4:00 pm

Netflix doesn't offer the same programs to everyone; availability varies depending on the country where you live due to streaming agreements. One ISP in New Zealand is offering subscribers a way to get around that limitation with a new global mode. The ISP is Slingshot and global mode lets users access the US version of Netflix.


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Global mode is said to be at its core a VPN that reroutes traffic through servers in other countries so people in NZ look like they are in New York, for instance. VPN use for accessing country-restricted content is frowned on.


Slingshot suggests that this service is only aimed at New Zealand homes housing international visitors. Global mode likely violates the terms of service for most streaming video providers.

Uber slashes New York prices as part of global competitive drive

By: Tamlin Magee | More News: Apps | Posted: Jul 8, 2014 3:09 pm

Smartphone cab app Uber is planning a fare cut to match the cheapest taxis in New York, the latest in a worldwide drive to match or undercut the traditional taxi competition.


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UberX, the cheapest available service from the company, has had its price slashed by 20 percent, putting it on an even keel with New York's iconic yellow cabs. It follows cost cutting efforts in San Francisco and Boston. As a result, UberX drivers will be forced to accept lower fares, but the company insisted it could actually produce an upturn in revenues for workers. "What we've seen in cities across the country is that lower fares mean greater demand, lower pickup times and more trips per hour increasing earning potential and creating better economics for drivers," Uber said in a blog post. "What does what mean in the long run? They'll be making more than ever!"


Just last month, taxi drivers in London protested en masse in response to Uber - citing safety concerns and insisting the company's model was actually illegal. However, the British capital's transport authority just ruled in Uber's favor, leaving it free to operate in the city.

Samsung forecasts sales recovery for smartphones after earnings miss

By: Shane McGlaun | More News: Business, Financial & Legal | Posted: Jul 8, 2014 3:00 pm

Things were looking bleak for Samsung not long ago when it announced a profit for Q2 that fell short of what analysts were expecting. The reason for that shortfall was competition from Chinese smartphone makers and gains for the Korean won. Despite the weak profit that Samsung reported, the company is now forecasting an improvement in smartphone sales.


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Samsung has said that new products and demand for 4G devices will boost its sales in Q3. Samsung is counting on new products from competitors like Apple to increase the demand for devices overall. The company is also hoping that demand for 4G phones in China will increase in Q3.


In Q2, Samsung saw sales of its smartphones slide to 78 million units compared to 87.5 million units in Q1 marking the third straight quarter with sales decline. Several analysts agree with Samsung's expectation for improved sales.

Chinese hacker group Deep Panda targets US think tanks for Iraq data

By: Tamlin Magee | More News: Hacking & Security | Posted: Jul 8, 2014 2:07 pm

A team of researchers at CrowdStrike is claiming China's "Deep Panda" cyber offensive group has begun targeting, and has now compromised, US national security think tanks. In an alarming statement, co-founder Dmitri Alperovitch asserted that the attacks seem to be tied into monitoring activity from the newly founded Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIS).


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In a blog post, CrowdStrike's co-found Dmitri Alperovitch outlined the company's work with human rights groups and security think tanks. Former senior government officials frequently work in organizations like these, and so are a natural target of hostile intelligence services, Alperovitch said, adding that he has "great confidence" the Deep Panda group is affiliated with the Chinese government. It's one of 30 CrowdStrike closely follows in China, but the company points out it is also one of the most sophisticated.


As the armed ISIS faction launched an attack on an oil refinery, Alperovitch claims Deep Panda began a hunt for files from US thinktank employees. He pointed out that China is the top foreign investor in Iraq's oil infrastructure, and so espionage fits in with the country's national interests. "It wouldn't be surprising if the Chinese government is highly interested in getting a better sense of the possibility of deeper US military involvement that could help protect the Chinese oil infrastructure in Iraq," Alperovitch wrote. "In fact, the shift in targeting of Iraq policy individuals occurred on June 18, the day that ISIS began its attack on the Baiji oil refinery."

Decades old ISEE-3 satellite finally fires thrusters

By: Shane McGlaun | More News: Science, Space & Robotics | Posted: Jul 8, 2014 2:06 pm

A group of volunteers has been working out of an old abandoned McDonalds on the campus of NASA's Ames Research Center in Mountain View. These researchers have been working to establish communications with an old NASA satellite called ISEE-3 that was retasked decades ago by NASA to study comets.


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The team was able to establish communications, but was unable to get the spacecraft to fire its thrusters previously. The team has announced that it has now been able to get the thrusters to fire before the satellite was too far away and lost again for thousands of years.


The ultimate goal of the volunteers is to get ISEE-3 back to the Earth-sun Lagrange point 1 to resume its original task of observing solar winds. NASA has to give the volunteer team the final approval to bring the satellite into its intended orbit.

Samsung unveils datacenter NVMe solutions at the SSD Global Summit

By: Paul Alcorn | More News: IT/Datacenter | Posted: Jul 8, 2014 1:43 pm

The 2014 Samsung Global SSD Summit 2014 in Seoul, South Korea, was somewhat of an SSD nirvana. Samsung touted their industry-first 3D NAND (V-NAND), the first 3bit MLC SSDs for the datacenter (the 845DC EVO), the world's first M.2 SSD for the datacenter, and to top it all off we were finally able to take a peek at Samsung's NVMe offerings.


Samsung has the distinct advantage of being the first to receive NVMe interoperability certification from UNH-IOL, but the OEM market has kept the drive hidden from the retail space.


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We start with the SM1715 and its unique heat sink that encompasses the entire side of the drive. The SM1715 utilizes the standardized NVMe protocol. NVMe provides numerous advantages with its simplified driver stack, command set, and enhanced queue/pairing mechanisms. For an in-depth view of NVMe, reference our recently released Defining NVMe article.


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The SM1715 delivers up to 750,000 random read IOPS and 180,000 random write IOPS via its PCIe Gen3 x4 connection. The incredibly dense package comes in the standard HHHL form factor with capacities of 1,600 GB and a whopping 3,200 GB. The drive also features enhanced power loss protection in the form of the discrete capacitors that are hiding under the heat sinks.

Continue reading 'Samsung unveils datacenter NVMe solutions at the SSD Global Summit' (full post)

Giant fossilized bird identified 30-years after discovery

By: Shane McGlaun | More News: Science, Space & Robotics | Posted: Jul 8, 2014 1:03 pm

Fossilized remains of the largest flying bird ever discovered have been identified after being unearthed 30 years ago. It has taken scientists that long to identify the species, but the identification is complete. Scientists say that the massive bird would have resembled a seagull with a wingspan between 20 and 24-feet.


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The fossil was discovered in South Carolina and scientists on the project say that the fossil is remarkable for its size and its preservation. The skull is said to be remarkably intact and the scientists are surprised that the bird made it to the bottom of the ancient sea without being destroyed by scavengers.


Scientists say that despite its massive size, the bird would have been a very elegant flier. The team believes that the massive bird would have used air currents to soar over the ocean looking for food.

Samsung displays world's first datacenter M.2 SSD at Global Summit

By: Paul Alcorn | More News: IT/Datacenter | Posted: Jul 8, 2014 12:24 pm

Samsung is on a roll with V-NAND and 3bit MLC datacenter products making a huge splash at the 2014 Samsung Global SSD Summit in Seoul. The SM953, the world's first M.2 SSD designed for the datacenter, was yet another exciting Samsung-exclusive product on display in the product showcase.


The chains of legacy HDD form factors have been binding SSDs into large bulky cases that are not required for today's dense NAND. M.2 provides a new standardized form factor that limits the device to the size of the NAND, controller, PCB, and other components. This will allow for denser deployments and enable even smaller blade and microserver designs. Storage and performance density are paramount in the datacenter and SSDs provide the ultimate in both respects. It is encouraging to see these new designs finally making their way into the datacenter.


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Other than the 1,800 MB /s sequential read performance, there is precious little information publicly available at this point. We do know that the SM953 comes in one capacity of 480GB. M.2 also has standardized designs that are longer, which will allow for even more NAND per device. The inclusion of V-NAND, with its enhanced density, will also provide much more capacity in these 'gumstick' devices. There is no mention of the NAND employed on the SM953.


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A few interesting details were outlined briefly during the presentation. The first is that the SM953 will deliver incredible power efficiency. Power is always a big concern and can lead to excessive heat generation. Active power is rated for 6W, whereas the competition is rated for 10-25W per device. Compatibility with NVMe v1.1 assures that the SM953 provides the latest in power optimizations from the NVMe spec. NVMe revision 1.1 includes enhanced autonomous sleep state functionality for NVMe devices, which will enable lower idle power draw much like DEVSLP. NVMe provides even more streamlined efficiency by allowing the device to automatically transition into lower sleep states without host initiation.

Continue reading 'Samsung displays world's first datacenter M.2 SSD at Global Summit' (full post)

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