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Not Rocket Science: The Layman's Guide to Creating a Smart House

By: Kevin Flanagan (Guest Blogger) | More News: Maker & DIY | Posted: Feb 4, 2015 10:08 pm

The interconnected age is upon us, and the proliferation of smart devices has made them consumer accessible and easy to use. The "Internet of everything" is everywhere. Business Insider estimates that by 2018 there will be more than 18 billion connected devices in use globally, ranging from smartphones to cars and wearable tech. Creating a connected home has never been easier. Here's a look at just a few of the devices you can use to move your home into the smart age. And you don't even have to be a rocket scientist or engineer to make it happen.

 

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August Smart Lock

 

The August Smart Lock lets you control your home locks from the palm of your hand, and even issue keys with various accessibility permissions. You can issue one key for a family member that allows 24/7 access and another for a cleaning person or guest who will only unlock the door at a certain time. August Smart Locks even keep a log of who entered and when, allowing you to know precisely who has been in and out of your home. August sends you reminders if the batteries in the lock are low and can even unlock the door automatically as it senses your approach.

 

Philips Hue Smart Lighting

 

Smart lighting is more than just being able to turn your lights on and off from your phone. Philips Hue Smart Lighting systems let you create macros and parameters for your lights. Hue can brighten gradually over time to wake you up in the morning or dim slowly to help you fall asleep. Perhaps the most impressive feat of the Hue system is the ability to re-create light parameters from photographs, such as bathing your home in the colors of your favorite sunset or even match the ambiance to events in the movie you are watching.

Continue reading 'Not Rocket Science: The Layman's Guide to Creating a Smart House' (full post)

Redesigned, slimmer PS4, Xbox One consoles teased by... Netflix

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Gaming Consoles | Posted: Feb 4, 2015 9:35 am

We've already heard that a redesigned PS4 is coming, as well as a redesigned Xbox One on AMD's new 20nm APU, but now Netflix is teasing that the redesigned consoles are coming.

 

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Samsung has some shiny new high-density GDDR5 memory that should be baked into the redesigned PS4 Slim, while the redesigned Xbox One should feature AMD's new 20nm-based APU. Both consoles are now close to 18 months old, which is about the time the previous generation consoles saw their slimmer, faster, redesigned models. Netflix's Chief Product Officer Neil Hunt said at CES 2015 that the company is expecting a "traditional two-year refresh" which should see both consoles with 4K abilities.

 

We should expect thinner, cooler, hopefully more powerful consoles from the redesign. AMD's 20nm APU should provide some added performance thanks to its lower heat and power outputs, while the better GDDR5 RAM from Samsung will give Sony a boost to its PS4. Let's just hope it's not a redesign, as in a smaller/thinner console, and that we get some added performance with them, too.

Samsung's marketing boss quits, before the launch of the Galaxy S6

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Business, Financial & Legal | Posted: Feb 4, 2015 7:40 am

It looks like Samsung is about to hit a bump in the road, with Kim Seok-pil resigning from his position as the executive in charge of the company's upcoming Galaxy S6 smartphone.

 

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Seok-pil only joined the company in December, and was goign to take the company through the launch of the Galaxy S6, which should be unveiled on March 1. The launch of the upcoming flagship handset is being watched by many, after not-so-great things came from the Galaxy S5. December was a bad month for Samsung as it is, with multiple executives being laid off due to a planned restructuring process.

 

D.K. Lee left the company, with Seok-pil replacing him, but with Seok-pil now leaving the company, what happens now? For the meantime, Samsung Russia's boss, Lee Sang-chul will take over, until the South Korean giant can find a replacement.

Rockstar has shipped over 45 million copies of GTA V since it launched

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Gaming | Posted: Feb 4, 2015 6:12 am

Just how well as Grand Theft Auto V performed since its release last year? Well, on the Xbox One and PS4, retailers have received 10 million copies since it hit the now current-gen consoles around two-and-a-half months ago now.

 

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When GTA V launched for the PS3 and Xbox 360, Rockstar sold a huge 11.2 million units in 24 hours, with a total of 45 million units being shipped since it launched. The PC version isn't even out yet, but these numbers will only increase on March 24. Don't forget the news of GTA 6 being under development, which shouldn't come as too much of a surprise, should it?

Radeon GPUs see memory leak issues in Battlefield 4 on Windows 8.1

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Video Cards | Posted: Feb 4, 2015 4:33 am

NVIDIA caught headlines last week with its VRAM issues on the Maxwell-based GeForce GTX 970, but it's a new week, with new memory-related issues. This time, it's AMD and its Radeon GPUs and a very specific game, on a very specific OS.

 

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Radeon users are seeing memory leak problems on Battlefield 4 with Windows 8.1, with WCCFTech confirming the issue with AMD's Head of Global Technical Marketing, Robert Hallock. Hallock acknowledged the issue in Battlefield 4, of which it only affects gamers running Windows 8.1. AMD is working directly with DICE on the issue, but with the game being over a year old and many DLC packs in, and the fact that AMD were and still are heavily partnered with DICE, this shouldn't be happening.

 

AMD will address the memory leak issues in a new beta driver that will arrive soon.

Motorola sales are up 118% after Lenovo acquired the firm from Google

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Business, Financial & Legal | Posted: Feb 4, 2015 2:52 am

When Lenovo acquired Motorola Mobility out from under Google's nose, we didn't know what would come of it. Well, increased sales is a huge part of that, with Lenovo's new FQ3 2014/5 results showing us just how well Motorola is doing.

 

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Motorola has sold over 10 million smartphones in the last quarter alone, which is up 118% from the same quarter of last year. We don't know the breakdown in numbers for the Moto X and Moto G, but we have to expect that those two phones have been selling rather well for the company. Lenovo is now positioning itself to launch Motorola into the Chinese market, which should see those numbers continue to climb.

 

Lenovo also expects Motorola to make a lot of money moving into the next four to six quarters (12-18 months), where as of this quarter the Mobile Business Group, of which Motorola operates within, posted an $89 million loss.

League of Legends tournament limited to one LGBTQ person per team

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Gaming | Posted: Feb 4, 2015 1:29 am

One of the many League of Legends tournaments being run is being operated by Garena, which operates LoL tournaments in places such as Southeast Asia, Taiwan, the Philippines and more. Well, they're hosting an all-women eSports competition, but there's just one catch.

 

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The host has put a limit on the amount of LGBTQ people allowed to participate per team, as it would offer the team an "unfair advantage". You might think we tripped over a language barrier here, but there is only one lesbian or trans woman per team in Garena's upcoming all-women Iron Solari League tournament. The tournament will take place at the end of the month in Manilla, Philippines. Garena has talked with the competitors of the first leg of the Iron Solari competition, as well as LGBTQ members in the League of Legends community. The organizer said that it wanted to be inclusive, but adds that "there are arguments and concerns from other participants who disputes that Lesbian, Gay, Transgendered Women members may probably have some unfair advantage".

 

What we need to see here, is that Garena is just telling the world what it's doing, without explaining why. Kotaku brings up the question in their article: "How does being lesbian, trans, or queer in any other way confer an advantage in a video game, a virtual space where physical characteristics cease to matter?" That's right, as they're all human beings at the end of the day with a normal brain, hands, fingers and reflexes. It's great that Garena is doing an all-women League of Legends competition, but this is definitely something that should raise some questions and red flags.

The new Borderlands will not be released on the Xbox 360 or the PS3

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Gaming | Posted: Feb 4, 2015 12:30 am

Take-Two President Karl Slatoff has said that the new Borderlands will be skipping the previous generation consoles, with the Gearbox developed game being tailor made for the Xbox One and PS4.

 

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The news came from Take-Two's financial report earlier today, which stated that the new Borderlands won't be hitting the Xbox 360 and PS3. We know that Gearbox is working on the game, even asking for fans to join the company, but other than that we don't know when it will be announced, let alone when the new Borderlands will be released.

ARM shows off Cortex-A72 processor and Mali-T880 graphics chip

By: Michael Hatamoto | More News: Mobile Devices, Tablets & Phones | Posted: Feb 3, 2015 10:55 pm

Chip manufacturer ARM wants to keep powering smartphones, and expects its Cortex A-72 processor to power devices available in 2016. At least 10 companies have licensed the processor, which is reportedly at least 3.5 times faster than ARM technology sold in 2014. ARM product designs are present in more than 95 percent of smartphones available worldwide, and Cortex A-72 should help keep the company's dominant lead.

 

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"The ARM Cortex-A72 processor sets a new standard for delivering a premium mobile experience and is expected to be the highest performing CPU technology for mobile SoCs [system-on-chips]," said Noel Hurley, GM of the CPU group at ARM.

 

In addition to the Cortex-A72 processor, ARM is promoting its Mali-T880 graphics chip which should also find its way into consumer devices in 2016.

Continue reading 'ARM shows off Cortex-A72 processor and Mali-T880 graphics chip' (full post)

Bitcoin still not dead, but needs to better promote itself

By: Michael Hatamoto | More News: Business, Financial & Legal | Posted: Feb 3, 2015 9:27 pm

The bitcoin cryptocurrency may be able to generate a large amount of buzz, but still has a major sales and marketing problem.

 

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"Bitcoin has a sales job to getting people to trust it, which is ironic because it was set up to be a trustless system," said Paul Vigna, co-author of "The Age of Cryptocurrency: How Bitcoin and Digital Money are Challenging the Global Economic Order, in a statement to CBS News. "It is sort of opaque and hard to understand and esoteric because it is so new."

 

Bitcoin won't go away any time soon, and there is around $50 million bitcoin-related transactions carried out per day. It's an extremely small figure compared to the entire financial market, but is an indicator that people remain interested.

Continue reading 'Bitcoin still not dead, but needs to better promote itself' (full post)

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