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TweakTown News Posts - Page 55

Samsung's Galaxy A7 walks through the FCC, with an all-metal frame

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Mobile Devices, Tablets & Phones | Posted: Nov 30, 2014 10:35 am

While Samsung might be taming down its smartphone offerings, there are still a few handsets in the pipeline that we'll be introduced to very soon, one of which is the Galaxy A7.

 

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A recent filing over at the FCC is now hinting at the Galaxy A7, which should feature an all-metal unibody frame. We should also expect quad-band connectivity with Band 5 LTE, dual-band Wi-Fi, A-GPS, and NFC. Inside of the Galaxy A7, we should see the Snapdragon 615 processor, which is an 8-core 64-bit chip, Adreno 405 graphics, 2GB of RAM, and 16GB of NAND flash.

 

The Galaxy A7 should sport a 5.2-inch FUll HD display, 12-megapixel rear-facing camera and a 5-megapixel selfie snapper. When should we expect Samsung to take the wraps off of this smartphone? We could guess and say CES 2015 in January, but it might be pushed off for a few months yet.

AMD want their APUs in 2020 to feature 25x the energy efficiency

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: CPU, APU & Chipsets | Posted: Nov 30, 2014 10:03 am

AMD is hoping for some serious improvements in the energy efficiency of its APUs by 2020, where the chipmaker is aiming for a massive 25x improvement. In order to reach this goal, AMD will have to outpace historical energy efficiency by over 70%, but the company is optimistic that it can do this.

 

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The company has goals in terms of energy efficiency, where it wants to have "more performance with less power", as well as "long battery life, sleek light weight form factors, cool and quiet computation" mixed with "lower energy consumption and utility bills, lower Total Cost of Ownership" and a "reduced environmental impact".

 

Using a comparison of a 35W notebook processor released this year, versus a 35W processor from two years ago, the new notebook processor is twice as fast. You can say that the energy efficiency has improved by 200% as well, but the older 35W processors no longer fit into notebooks. AMD needs to find a way to reduce power consumption, as well as increasing the performance of the processor. Up until now, we've seen Intel and AMD do one or the other, but not both to the extent of 200% leaps each time.

Continue reading 'AMD want their APUs in 2020 to feature 25x the energy efficiency' (full post)

Need to find clean air? There's a wearable product for that: TZOA

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Wearable Computing | Posted: Nov 30, 2014 12:02 am

TZOA is a new project on Kickstarter, that is hoping to raise $110,000 to fund its wearable enviro-tracker. TZOA "measures your personal air pollution and UV exposure in real-time using advanced sensor technology", according to its Kickstarter page.

 

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It will arrive as a small round tracker that has sensors on it that keep an eye on air quality, UV light, humidity, and temperature. All of this data is fed to a companion smartphone app to quantify the environment around you. From within the app, you can find out the quality of the local air, and upload this data to a crowdsourced pollution map of your town. That last bit, is a very nice trick.

 

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The team is still in the early stages of building TZOA, with a projection production run starting in summer 2015. A $135 pledge on their Kickstarter page will secure you one of the first TZOA sensors off the production run.

Batman: Arkham Knight gameplay details teased, trailer on Monday

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Gaming | Posted: Nov 29, 2014 10:35 pm

Rocksteady Studios is back in the driving seat of the Batman series, with Batman: Arkham Knight being revealed during their recent AMA (Ask Me Anything) on Reddit (with some spoilers for Batman: Arkham City, so if you haven't played that, turn your eyes off).

 

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The studio revealed that Arkham Knight will continue right after the Joker's death, with the studio adding that the Joker's death is the point we jump off, asking "what happens when Joker is removed from Gotham" and then looking at the fallout from this event. Batman's suit also mirrors the Batmobile in many ways, with Rocksteady adding that the new suit "impacts gameplay as well, as it enhances some of Batman's abilities, particularly in the way the Batman and the car work together".

 

When it comes to the Batmobile, this is the biggest addition to the Arkham Knight, with Rocksteady teasing that there will be some missions that require the Batmobile in order to complete them. Rocksteady said: "When we added the Batmobile to the game, we wanted to make sure it's a fun, meaningful addition to every part of the game. Batman wouldn't use it if he didn't need it. So there will be points in the main story where you will need to use the Batmobile to progress, and if you're anything like me, there will be points where you can't use the Batmobile and wish it was there!".

Continue reading 'Batman: Arkham Knight gameplay details teased, trailer on Monday' (full post)

US expansion isn't in immediate future plans for Xiaomi just yet

By: Michael Hatamoto | More News: Mobile Devices, Tablets & Phones | Posted: Nov 29, 2014 9:01 pm

Xiaomi has taken the global smartphone market by storm, and is now the No. 3 smartphone manufacturer in the world - but has previously said it doesn't want to just rush into markets and struggle. Instead, the company will continue its expansion outside of China and focus on India, Brazil, Mexico, and a select handful of other markets, while continuing to learn and evolve.

 

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"We don't think that the US market is in our near-term plans," said Hugo Barra, Xiaomi VP for international operations. "Brazil and Mexico are far more interesting markets."

 

It would seem like only a matter of time before Xiaomi makes an entrance to the US market, but with most subscribers on a postpaid plan - the US market still is not a priority for the company. Meanwhile, Xiaomi is able to launch products such as the Redmi Note becoming the first 4G smartphone on the Indian market available for less than $160.

North Korea could be behind Sony Pictures hack, investigation underway

By: Michael Hatamoto | More News: Hacking & Security | Posted: Nov 29, 2014 8:28 pm

Forget China and Russia - Sony Pictures Entertainment is investigating a major cyberattack that could have originated from North Korea. The attack crippled SPE's email and computer systems since Monday, interrupting employee operations throughout the short holiday week. Several movies being promoted by SPE were also impacted, as Twitter feeds were disrupted by the cyberattack.

 

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The "Guardians of Peace" group claimed responsibility for the attack, and said it has a large amount of internal Sony data that it has taken. GOP is reportedly preparing a "volume of the data" to the Internet in the immediate future.

 

SPE is the studio behind "The Interview," a geopolitical satire that features James Franco and Seth Rogen as a talk show host and producer turned American operatives tasked with killing Kim Jong Un.

AOptix pioneering hybrid laser for internet, faster than fiber

By: Paul Alcorn | More News: Internet & Websites | Posted: Nov 29, 2014 8:26 pm

A California company has a novel approach to solve problems with delivering fast internet to remote and rural locations. The system can even deliver speeds faster than fiber in locations where laying fiber isn't a financially viable option. Lasers can beam signals up to 10km per jump by utilizing a technology called COR (Composite Optical RF). Each 10km span will merely end up with another repeater, and series of these can deliver up to 2 gigabits per second over amazing distances. This all sounds like the technology of the future, but AOptix Intellimax links are up and running on 5 continents and passing data through diverse weather conditions.

 

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This isn't the first time lasers have been envisioned for backhaul internet applications, but the differentiator is the hybrid nature of the system. Inclement weather, such as rain, dust storms, and other factors, can disrupt laser transmissions. Fog can disrupt millimeter radio as well. The AOptix system also employs millimeter-wave radio in tandem with laser optics. Complex algorithms merge the laser and millimeter wave radio into one cohesive system that essentially provides fault-tolerance in inclement weather.

Continue reading 'AOptix pioneering hybrid laser for internet, faster than fiber' (full post)

Chip and PIN cards gaining steam in US after year of data breaches

By: Michael Hatamoto | More News: Hacking & Security | Posted: Nov 29, 2014 5:20 pm

The use of credit cards with magnetic chips in the United States is slowly but surely being replaced by new chip and PIN cards that are more secure. However, retailers need to make sure their employees are properly trained in how to accept payments with chip and PIN cards, especially with some retailers replacing their own magnetic cards with the newer security.

 

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Target, which suffered a massive breach at the end of 2013, is rolling out support for chip and PIN cards - and other retailers that suffered data breaches are expected to follow suit. But customers are finding checkout to be a tedious process when cashiers are unsure how to handle this new this payment process, however, the growing pains should prove to be worth it.

 

The use of chip and PIN technology will likely begin to transition from large retailers down to smaller businesses, as they discover its added security benefits. "It's about the peace of mind for the consumer, right?" said Shane Cowger, Arvest Bank sales manager, in a statement. "More consumers feel comfortable coming into your store, hopefully the more money they're going to spend in return."

QNAP announces SSD-powered TS-451S Turbo NAS

By: Paul Alcorn | More News: Storage | Posted: Nov 29, 2014 5:04 pm

Those looking for the ultimate in NAS performance have long yearned for SSD specific NAS models. 2.5" NAS models offer a slim design and impressive density, but adding in SSDs can actually provide a big capacity bump along with increased performance. Due to popular demand QNAP has released the TS-451S Turbo NAS, the first consumer NAS unit designed for SSDs.

 

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The four-bay TS-451S Turbo NAS features a quad-core Celeron 2.41Ghz processor and comes with 4GB of DDR3L, which can be easily increased to 8GB. The Turbo has a low price point that is similar to HDD NAS models, so users do not have to pay a premium for the 4,000+ IOPS performance, at least for the NAS. SSDs are selling as low as 35 cents a GB, so users can find plenty of economical SSDs on the market. SSDs are well-suited for NAS environments due to lower power consumption and totally silent operation. The new TS-451S Turbo will be available within a month.

Continue reading 'QNAP announces SSD-powered TS-451S Turbo NAS' (full post)

More than 6 million email accounts exposed during past quarter

By: Michael Hatamoto | More News: Hacking & Security | Posted: Nov 29, 2014 4:26 pm

There have been more than 6 million email accounts and credentials leaked over the past three months, as several major data breaches gave criminals a treasure trove of information. There are typically just 150,000 accounts stolen per month, according to Heimdal Security, so seeing more than 6 million is being seen as an epidemic.

 

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"As a security company we only pick up a smaller part of what hackers actually have access to, and you have to remember that the 6 million accounts have only been discovered over the last three months," said Morten Kjaersgaard, Heimdal Security CEO. "The actual number could be 20 times as high or more."

 

The entire year has been a painful lesson in how evolved cybercriminals have become in their craft, as experts believe data breaches - and more compromised information - is likely to happen multiple times in the future.

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