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Nintendo, Philips end patent disputes, and sign patent agreement

By: Michael Hatamoto | More News: Business, Financial & Legal | Posted: Dec 2, 2014 11:43 pm

The legal war between Philips and Nintendo is now over, with both companies creating a new patent license agreement to cross-license select portions of their intellectual property portfolios. Philips originally dragged Nintendo into a legal battle over the Japanese company's use of motion and gesture-tracking systems.

 

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Philips originally filed a complaint against Nintendo in May, saying the game company infringed on two patents it owns in the United States. Later in the year, a UK judge ruled the Wii, Wii U, Wii remote, Nunchuk, Wii Motion Plus controllers, Balance Board, and GamePad violated Philips-owned patents in the UK.

 

"We are very pleased to have reached this agreement with Nintendo," said Brian Himnan, Philips Chief Intellectual Property Officer. "It demonstrates that both companies recognize the importance of intellectual property rights. It also shows the value of our extensive IP portfolio and our commitment to protect our significant investments in research & development."

Amazon's Jeff Bezos admits Fire Phone was 'bold bet' that didn't work

By: Michael Hatamoto | More News: Mobile Devices, Tablets & Phones | Posted: Dec 2, 2014 10:20 pm

Amazon's first effort in the smartphone market, the Fire Phone, was an expensive endeavor that largely underwhelmed - but Amazon doesn't regret its decision, according to CEO Jeff Bezos. Even though the Fire Phone didn't work, the company is learning from its mistakes and will not shy away from experimenting to see what does and doesn't work.

 

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"People love to focus on things that aren't working," Bezos recently said. "That's fine, but it's incredibly hard to get people to take bold bets. And if you push people to take bold bets, there will be experiments... that don't work."

 

The unlocked 32GB Fire Phone was recently given a price cut and is now available for $199, as Amazon wants to try to liquidate its large supply of the smartphone.

Report claims Iranian hackers focused on airlines, energy utilities

By: Michael Hatamoto | More News: Hacking & Security | Posted: Dec 2, 2014 9:26 pm

Iranian hackers continue to develop their cyberattack capabilities, and have breached some of the leading energy infrastructure and transport companies, potentially leading to physical damage, the Cylance cybersecurity firm warned.

 

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As part of the widespread campaign, companies in the United States, China, Israel, Germany, France, India and Saudi Arabia have been hit - with industries ranging from aerospace research companies, universities, energy firms, telecommunications operators and hospitals being compromised.

 

"We believe that if the operation is left to continue unabated, it is only a matter of time before the team impacts the world's physical safety," the Cylance report claimed.

Continue reading 'Report claims Iranian hackers focused on airlines, energy utilities' (full post)

Stephen Hawking concerned artificial intelligence might end mankind

By: Michael Hatamoto | More News: Science, Space & Robotics | Posted: Dec 2, 2014 8:35 pm

Professor Stephen Hawking is concerned that artificial intelligence development will evolve to the point of AI being able to not only match - but surpass - human capabilities, opening up the door to potentially aid in the end of mankind.

 

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"The development of full artificial intelligence could spell the end of the human race," Hawking recently told BBC. "It would take off on its own, and re-design itself at an ever increasing rate. Humans, who are limited by slow biological evolution, couldn't compete, and would be superseded."

 

Despite the concerns shown by Hawking, not everyone is worried about AI: "I believe we will remain in charge of the technology for a decently long time and the potential of it to solve many of the world problems will be realized," said Cleverbot creator Rollo Carpenter.

Continue reading 'Stephen Hawking concerned artificial intelligence might end mankind' (full post)

Dead Island 2 beta hits Sony PlayStation 4 before PC, Xbox One

By: Michael Hatamoto | More News: Gaming | Posted: Dec 2, 2014 7:29 pm

Deep Silver's Dead Island 2 beta doesn't have a release date, but it will be released for the Sony PlayStation 4 30 days ahead of the Microsoft Xbox One and PC. Dead Island 2 is scheduled for release on the PS4, PC and Xbox One in spring 2015, but an exact date hasn't been made available.

 

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To be accepted into the Dead Island 2 beta, gamers were required to purchase Escape Dead Island (Xbox 360, PS3 or PC) game title. Unfortunately, Deep Silver hasn't provided details about any other way someone can get into beta testing, though will probably expand entrance into the program as the beta nears launch.

PMC Flashtec NVMe controllers to power 8TB Memblaze PBlaze4 PCIe SSDs

By: Paul Alcorn | More News: IT/Datacenter | Posted: Dec 2, 2014 7:02 pm

PMC Flashtec controllers are powering the next generation of Memblaze PCIe SSDs. The Memblaze PBlaze 4 is designed for hyperscale and Open Compute Project architectures. The Flashtec controllers on the PBlaze 4 provide up to 850,000 IOPS for random read workloads, and 265,000 IOPS for random writes. Sequential performance is equally impressive, with up to 3.2 / 2.5 GB/s read/write available. NVMe provides the lowest CPU load and includes a number of architectural improvements for high-performance storage products. We recently took a deep-dive on the new NVMe specification in our Defining NVMe article.

 

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The Flashtec controller can address up to 8TB of flash and features 16 and 32 channel variants. Dual-port functionality provides enterprise-class high-availability features. Memblaze differentiates their products with multiple capacity points and solutions tailored for specific workloads. Memblaze utilizes NAND from several vendors, and Flashtec NVMe controllers provide a flexible architecture that supports a wide variety of NAND vendors.

Continue reading 'PMC Flashtec NVMe controllers to power 8TB Memblaze PBlaze4 PCIe SSDs' (full post)

Seagate releases new 6TB NAS HDD for 4-16 bay NAS units

By: Paul Alcorn | More News: IT/Datacenter | Posted: Dec 2, 2014 6:16 pm

Seagate has announced the release of a new HDD aimed at 4 to 16 bay enterprise NAS deployments. The stratification of the NAS market has led to varying HDD products to address the different workloads and performance requirements of each segment. The new Seagate enterprise NAS HDD bumps speed up a notch. Typical consumer NAS models spin at 5,400 RPM, but the new Seagate NAS HDD moves up to 7,200 RPM. WD has already released the WD Red Pro, a 7,200 RPM product, to address larger NAS arrays, as outlined in our WD Red Pro 4TB Enterprise NAS HDD Review.

 

 

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The WD Red Pro tops out at 4TB, but the Seagate Enterprise NAS HDD comes in 2, 3, 4, 5, and 6TB flavors and features Seagate's NASWorks firmware. NASWorks specifically tailors the drive for NAS usage. The drive also features RAID rebuild technology that supports surgical rebuilds to significantly reduce RAID rebuild time. The drive also features a larger 128MB cache in comparison to the WD Red's 64MB, and a faster transfer speed of 216 MB/s. An optional data recovery service also offers users easy data recovery in the event of a drive failure.

Continue reading 'Seagate releases new 6TB NAS HDD for 4-16 bay NAS units' (full post)

Huawei exec says "nobody" made money using Microsoft Windows Phone

By: Michael Hatamoto | More News: Mobile Devices, Tablets & Phones | Posted: Dec 2, 2014 4:33 pm

Huawei won't release any other smartphones powered by Microsoft Windows Phone, as the two handsets it made available running the OS weren't profitable. Instead, consumers want to enjoy Google Android smartphones, which yields a thriving community and jam-packed app store.

 

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"We have tried using the Windows Phone OS," said Richard Yu, Huawei consumer business group lead. "But it has been difficult to persuade consumers to buy a Windows Phone. It wasn't profitable for us. We were losing money for two years on those phones."

 

Windows Phone now has just over 8.1 percent of global market share - still far behind Android and Apple iOS - but shows that Microsoft is able to continue expanding the OS further.

Australian law enforcement investigating bitcoin crime link

By: Michael Hatamoto | More News: Business, Financial & Legal | Posted: Dec 2, 2014 2:34 pm

The Australian government is again showing concern that organized crime groups have turned to the bitcoin cryptocurrency to help commit money laundering and collect payments. Australian law enforcement want to crack down on all links related to bitcoins being used as part of organized crime, but it's a slippery slope that is difficult to track.

 

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"We know that virtual currencies including bitcoin are used as payment methods to facilitate illegal trade on the darknet," said Judy Lind, Australian Crime Commission Executive, in a statement to Reuters. "Organized crime groups continue to make use of darknets to harbor trading in illicit commodities, including child exploitation material, illicit drugs and firearms, stolen credit card and identity data, and hacking techniques."

 

National governments are still largely baffled into potential bitcoin regulations, but if there are signs of criminal groups using the cryptocurrency, the fight could end up getting ugly. In October, a bitcoin ATM was seized during a $2.6 million drug raid in Queensland, the state's first bitcoin ATM machine, and officials believe it was used for criminal activity.

HP's new business laptop is thinner, lighter than the MacBook Air

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Laptops | Posted: Dec 2, 2014 12:49 pm

The last time I remember hearing "HP" and "MacBook Air" in a sentence, was back in 2008 when the then CTO of HP's Global Gaming Business and founder of VoodooPC, Rahul Sood, used a MacBook Air to cut his birthday cake. Sood in that time moved onto Microsoft, and recently left the Redmond-based giant to form his own business Unikrn. Well, HP is taking another swipe at Apple's MacBook Air, this time with a new business-focused notebook.

 

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The EliteBook Folio 1020 is a Windows 8-based notebook that features a proprietary enterprise port and a fingerprint scanner for added security, with the company touting it can pass military-grade drop and shock tests. Inside of the EliteBook Folio 1020 we have 8GB of RAM, an SSD between 128GB and 512GB, and around 9 hours of battery life. Intel's new fanless Core M processor makes the cut, with HP offering up two models of its new notebook.

 

The first model is lighter than Apple's MacBook Air, with the Standard Edition being slightly heavier than the MBA, packing a 12.5-inch 1080p display, which is also upgradeable to a touchscreen. The lighter model, the Folio 1020 Special Edition, features a 12.5-inch QHD display, without a touchscreen option. There's a nice red accent on the hinge, which sweetens the deal. The Standard Edition will be made available next February, while the Special Edition will be made available in April 2015.

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