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Red Bull Mobile is set to strap onto Vodafone's network and offer some very nice pricing deals soon with all-you-can eat models for its main access plans. Each Red Bull Access plan includes unlimited calls to Australian mobile and landline numbers as well as unlimited texts. Most surprisingly, it also has unlimited 1300 and 1800 number calls. Voicemail access is free and every recharge includes a hefty amount of data.
A $10 recharge gets 7 days of access and included 750MB. $20 gets 15 days and 1.5GB, $39 runs for 30 days and includes 4GB, $75 goes for 60 days and includes 8GB of data. For $365, you get 365 days of access plus 5GB of data each month. International calls and texts are bolt-ons, at $15 or $25 plans which remain available until your main credit expires. Red Bull Mobile are also offering the HTC Cha Cha Android-based phone for $239 outright which is $60 cheaper than buying it directly through Vodafone.
T&C is a bit nasty though, data usage is calculated in 250KB increments (!!) and the connection "must not be used on peer-to-peer file sharing services".
Skype have just released some new products, FREETALK® ConnectMe Home Phone Adapter for Skype and a New Skype-enabled Cordless Phone from GE. Currently Skype powers calls through a large range of devices, on computers (Windows, Mac or Linux), iPhones, iPads, Android smartphones and even Skype-enabled HDTV or Blu-ray players. Today, Skype are talking about their FREETALK ConnectMe Home Phone Adapter for Skype.
The FREETALK ConnectMe Home Phone Adapter for Skype allows hassle-free, plug-and-play simplicity that uses your existing handset to make free Skype-to-Skype calls, including low-cost calls to landlines and mobile phones worldwide at Skype's great low rates. All that is requires is to connect this to your home phone, broadband and landline and after, enjoy making Skype calls anywhere.
The next USB 3.0 specification is set to deliver something pretty amazing, 100w of power to devices. What this will allow is much more power to devices that are demanding of power without additional power through USB ports or stand-alone power. The USB 3.0 Promoter Group announced that the new standard would allow USB 3.0 ports to power and charge devices such as notebook PCs and would remain backwards compatible with USB 2.0 devices.
Currently, USB 3.0 can deliver speeds of up to 5Gb/sec to compatible products and also maintain currents and voltages up to 900mA at 5V for a maximum power output of just 4.5W. This was roughly double the maximum power output of USB 3.0 ports. The new USB 3.0 spec is more than twenty times its old power input and output and should set the industry on fire, allowing hungrier, more power-sucking products such as monitors, desk lamps and even notebook PCs to power from a single USB 3.0 port.
This would help in more ways than one, it would create an entire new market of products as well as clean up your desk and the tangle of cables leading to the power sockets on your wall. The USB 3.0 Promoter Group says that the new standard will be ready for industry evaluation at the end of 2011 and is set for release to manufacturers in early 2012.
With SATA 6Gbps not fast enough to keep up with todays SSDs, the Serial ATA International Organization had to come up with something, and quick. SATA-IO have just announced the development of a new standard that combines SATA software infrastructure with the PCI Express interface. The new standard will be called "SATA Express," and will allow manufacturers to create devices that can access the bandwidth of the PCIe slots whilst remaining compatible with existing SATA applications.
The combination of the technologies will provide 8Gb/s and 16Gb/s (one lane via PCIe 2.0 or two via PCIe 3.0) - which is a decent increase over SATA 3.0's single-channel throughput of 6Gb/s. SATA-IO is still concerned certain high-end consumer and enterprise configurations could saturate the existing 6Gb/s interface.
In a time when multi-monitor setups are more popular than ever before, ZOTAC is jumping onboard in making it easier for people to set up a multi-display output configuration that was previously not possible.
These DisplayPort and Mini DisplayPort to dual HDMI adapters are the first of their kind, allowing for example a single DisplayPort output on a notebook to be converted into two HDMI outputs. However, due to bandwidth limitations of the older DisplayPort 1.1a or earlier revsion, the maximum resolution possible from each of the two HDMI outputs is 1920x1080.
Meanwhile, all sorts of drugs are somehow imported into the [super secure] borders of most countries (like the US for example), yet a little 'ol cable like the Mini DisplayPort to HDMI cables have been deemed by HDMI org to be illegal. HDMI org are the committee that oversees the HDMI specification, saying such wires are illegal and could soon disappear from stores.
HDMI org claim that any cable with a male Mini DisplayPort connector on one side and a male HDMI connector on the opposite side is unlicensed and shouldn't be sold on store shelves. HDMI org did back up its claims with a few lines from the HDMI specification, one line says that a HDMI cable consists of only HDMI connectors, nothing else is permitted.
Google last year announced a new project: to provide a community with Internet access more than 100 times faster than what most Americans have today. Insane, right? Well, they're following through with that wish. Google, after going through 1, 100 requests from cities around America chosen Kansas City, Kansas as the city to be upgraded.
Google will be working closely with local organizations, businesses and universities to bring next-generation web experience to the community. Obviously over the last decade, the massive increases in required bandwidth have changed - now more and more people are using more and more high-end services like streaming online video, video conferencing, etc.
Rumor has it that Apple are set to use the new connector technology on their upcoming MacBook Pro update which is rumored to happen on February 24. Even if the MacBook Pro refresh doesn't include Light Peak, Apple are expected to use the technology in the future - but most likely under a different name.
Intel themselves have said that the first Light Peak products should pop up in the first half of 2011. If Apple have included it on their upcoming refresh of the MacBook Pro it would be a huge coup - as it's faster than USB 3.0, being capable of 10 gigabits per second in both directions, simultaneously.
I don't travel much these days, but the worst thing about traveling when I have to is that for several hours while in the air, I am typically without access to the web and I get bored easily. I am sure that lots of geeks are the same way. You can only read or play video games or so long before you need to get online to check email or work. Google has announced that it is offering holiday season travelers a free gift.
Google is offering travelers on all domestic flights with AirTran, Delta, and Virgin American free Gogo WiFi while in the sky. Gogo is an inflight WiFi service that allows you to surf the web, work, and check email or anything else you can think of while in the air. Having web service will make it much easier to put up with long flights. Farmville fans won't have to worry about crops withering and connected types can IM and Tweet from 35,000 feet.
We now may have more reasoning behind Steve Jobs' inference that Apple products will not be supporting USB 3.0 anytime soon. According to CNET's report from an industry source, Apple may be jumping past USB 3.0 to become an early adopter of Light Peak technology which is "now on track to appear in products in the first half of 2011-and likely earlier in the year than later."
Light Peak, a high speed connection capable on 10 gigabit per second data transfer, is currently in development by Intel with possible help from Apple themselves, who may have had the original idea in the first place. With Intel chipsets not expected to natively support USB 3.0 until 2012, Apple jump into a faster standard may be a shrewd move.