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We are all friends here so we can be honest. The cellular reception in a lot of areas for AT&T sucks. Any iPhone user will tell you this. AT&T is working hard to fix that problem and one of the things it hopes to use are femtocells.
A femtocell takes your cellular call or internet request and routes it over your broadband network at home or in the office giving you more speed, better signal quality, and reducing the strain on the wireless network. AT&T has announced that its 3G MicroCell will be offered to purchase in new markets staring on April 1 on its way to nationwide availability.
The MicroCell has been testing in certain markets for several months now. The device costs a one-time fee of $149 and can be activated the day it is purchased. The device supports up to ten lines and the service costs an extra $19.99 monthly. That monthly fee to fix poor indoor call quality, which is something AT&T should be fixing anyway really irritates me.
Asus took the time today to gloat a bit over the number of products that it offers with USB 3.0 support. The company has more devices than most firms have do and is tooting its own horn.
Asus points out that it was first with a USB 3.0 mainboard and it offers notebooks and netbook sporting USB 3.0 as well. Asus also touts its unique PCI Express x4 PLX bridge chip designed for better USB 3.0 performance without compromise.
Asus CEO Jerry Shen said, "We are the first in the world to introduce USB 3.0 through our notebooks, namely the multimedia N Series. We're also the first to win USB-IF certification, achieved on our P6X58D premium motherboard. We believe that USB 3.0 has a pivotal role to play in delivering the ultimate experience to a new generation of multimedia-savvy users. With USB 3.0, everyone can enjoy fast data backup and ultra-speedy file sharing."
There are all sorts of devices around the home that are drawing power when you might think they are off. Your TV for instance draws power when you hit the off button and your PC often does as well.
A company called Ventev has announced a new green charger called the EcoCHARGE that will eliminate the power drawn by mobile phone chargers even when the phone is not connected called vampire power. The charger can disconnect itself from the AC power when it sense no phone is connected.
The charger will ship in April for right under $30 in two versions. One version uses a mini USB connector and the other uses a micro USB connector. Both have a hidden full size USB port for charging devices like the iPhone.
Buffalo today announced that it has started shipping its new MiniStation Cobalt USB 3.0 portable hard disk drives onto the market.
Using the new USB 3.0 bus standard, Buffalo claim that its new drives are 10 times faster than similar USB 2.0 devices, but we know (as do they) that the actual performance improvements are really closer to 3 or 4 times faster in real-world terms, at this stage of the game, as USB 3.0 develops and matures.
While there is no word on what type of storage is inside the shiny new USB 3.0 hard drive enclosure be it SSD or HDD, the MiniStation Cobalt HD-PEU3 drives will begin shipping next month in capacities up to 640GB. Pricing information is not available yet, but don't expect them to be super cheap since they are based around the new SuperSpeed USB platform and will ask a premium price, no doubt.
Ever since USB 3.0 started to be spoken about in the industry, the folks over at GIGABYTE made it very clear to us in speech and in product that the new SuperSpeed connectivity standard was a very important focus for the Taiwanese motherboard maker.
Yesterday GIGABYTE announced to the world that it has so far shipped one million motherboards with USB 3.0 since they started shipping, which really was not all that long ago. It is a rather impressive milestone and shows just how serious GIGABYTE is about USB 3.0.
Further, GIGABYTE did some basic calculations based on a recent announcement by NEC that so far three million of its USB 3.0 controllers have been shipped and concluded that GIGABYTE have captured one third of the global USB 3.0 market share - and that's not just talking about motherboards, but also all products that feature USB 3.0 such as laptops, PCI Express cards and so on.
Jealous much, ASUS? I am sure we will see some sort of response soon.
Whoever the dude was that put those plugs on Christmas lights that let you daisy chain sets was a genius. He should have won some sort of Nobel Prize. A new design concept has turned up for USB cords that is very similar to Christmas lights.
The concept cables have a USB port on the back of the plug that lets you plug in multiple USB devices using one USB port. Sure, you can already do this with a USB hub, but these stackable cables mean you don't need to take a hub with you.
The cables are color coded to make it easy to track which of your peripherals each one goes too. I'm not sure how many of these would be chainable before you draw too much power, but I bet you could get your USB lava lamp and other gadgets in there.
USB 3.0 is turning up in more and more products and more and more USB 3.0 gear is coming to market all the time. Many were disappointed when Intel decided not to integrate USB 3.0 into its chipsets this year.
Intel has now said that it will have its own USB 3.0 host controller later in 2010, but that controller will not be part of its chipsets. The reason the controller won't be part of the chipset is that it reportedly costs about $9 to integrate USB 3.0 into the typical mainboard.
This eliminates the feature for low-end boards because it would make the board too expensive. Still, Intel doesn't want to give the market fully to its completion like NEC, who is set to ramp production on its USB 3.0 controller. More availability of competing solutions is a good thing.
The Xbox 360 has been selling very well love the last few months and for a time it was selling better than both the Wii and the PS3. The game console is set to get new storage according to reports.
Joystiq reports that USB storage may be introduced to the Xbox 360 consoles as a cost reduction method. The idea is that the consoles would store to USB devices rather than internal hard drives.
That would actually be a great thing. We could plug in any size external HDD we wanted to store download games and other stuff on rather than running out of space on an internal HDD that you can't upgrade.
GIGABYTE today posted an update on its Tech Daily blog regarding a new small Mini-ITX motherboard that is in the works from the Taiwanese company.
The motherboard is based on Intel's H55 Express chipset. Blog author Tim mentioned that it comes loaded with many audio and video features that are unprecedented in motherboards of this size and we would tend to agree with that statement. He reckons that "dynamite does come in a small package!" What's interesting is that we saw on a Chinese blog that the board will also come with USB 3.0 ports, which makes it the first Mini-ITX board to come with the new SuperSpeed connectivity.
TweakTown was able to obtain a picture of the upcoming motherboard, which sits next to a comparatively giant X58A-UD7, for some prospective on its actual size. The shot of the board you can see above is of a non-final sample and we are not totally sure when the board will go on sale, but we expect pretty soon.
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