Google throws $200 million into the wind, the Texas wind project that is

Anthony Garreffa | Business, Financial & Legal | Jan 11, 2013 2:31 AM CST

There's a wind project in Texas that is capable of generating an astounding 161 megawatts of energy, enough to power 60,000 average homes across the US. Search and mobile giant Google have now invested $200 million in the project.

Google throws $200 million into the wind, the Texas wind project that is | TweakTown.com

Google have injected the investment into the Spinning Spur Wind Project in Oldham Country, Texas, which is run by EDF Renewable Energy. This new $200 million investment is the 11th investment the search giant has made in renewable energy since just 2010. With all of Google's investments, their total output across their invested facilities is now a crazy 2 gigawatts of energy.

The Spinning Star facility begun construction in February 2012, and was opened for commercial operation in December last year. The Spinning Star facility features 70 Siemens 2.3 megawatt turbines, and the energy it generates will be pumped into a utility company named SPS, which provides for the Texas and New Mexico areas. Kojo Ako-Asare, Senior Manager of Google Corporate Finance has said:

We're proud to be part of a project that provides the Lone Star state with a new source of low-cost, renewable energy and supports the state's thriving wind industry. This investment reflects Google's ongoing commitment to clean energy and our belief that corporations can be an important new source of capital for this sector.

Continue reading: Google throws $200 million into the wind, the Texas wind project that is (full post)

For the first time in five years, PC sales drop in Q4 2012

Anthony Garreffa | Business, Financial & Legal | Jan 11, 2013 1:31 AM CST

It's not like you or I did not see this coming in this smart device heavy world, but PC sales are now dropping according to new data from analysis firm IDC. IDC's latest data from Q4 2012 "marked the first time in more than five years that the PC market has seen a year-on-year decline during the holiday season".

For the first time in five years, PC sales drop in Q4 2012 | TweakTown.com

The analysis firm said that although Windows 8 has launched, worldwide PC shipments reached 90 million units which is 6.4% lower than what they reached last year. Jay Chou, Senior Research Analyst with IDC's Worldwide Quarterly PC Tracker said in a statement:

Although the third quarter was focused on the clearing of Windows 7 inventory, preliminary research indicates the clearance did not significantly boost the uptake of Windows 8 systems in Q4. Lost in the shuffle to promote a touch-centric PC, vendors have not forcefully stressed other features that promote a more secure, reliable, and efficient user experience. As Windows 8 matures, and other corresponding variables such as Ultrabook pricing continue to drop, hopefully the PC market can see a reset in both messaging and demand in 2013.

Continue reading: For the first time in five years, PC sales drop in Q4 2012 (full post)

Beats Audio to release new music streaming service later this year

Anthony Garreffa | Software & Apps | Jan 11, 2013 12:38 AM CST

Thanks to Beats Audio's acquisition of music subscription service MOG, we should expect an iTunes-like music service to be launched from the company. Currently going under the codename of Daisy, the company announced the service on Thursday and have chosen Ian Rogers to oversee "the direction, vision and strategy for project 'Daisy' and the talented team developing the service.

Beats Audio to release new music streaming service later this year | TweakTown.com

Beats Audio have also announced that Trent Reznor from Nine Inch Nails fame, has been appointed Chief Creative Officer. CEO and co-founder of Beats Audio, Jimmy Iovine, has said:

What's missing from the digital music landscape is a cultural context. We need to bring an emotional connection back to the act of music discovery. With Trent and now Ian we have the right team in place to do it.

There aren't many more details to report on just yet, but we should see a late-2013 launch, and should expect it to arrive as a stand-alone company falling under Beats Electronics' umbrella.

Continue reading: Beats Audio to release new music streaming service later this year (full post)

Lian Li had a train, a lot of anodized aluminum, and a chassis almost large enough to live in!

Chad Sebring | Cases, Cooling & PSU | Jan 10, 2013 11:57 PM CST

CES 2013 - Arriving to Lian Li's booth on the floor, there was a few sections of track allowing the PC-CK101 to run back and forth to attract everyone to their booth, or at least make them stop so that the representatives could then show off some of the new trends and creations.

Lian Li had a train, a lot of anodized aluminum, and a chassis almost large enough to live in!  01

On the tiny side of chassis design, there was this PC-Q27 which is a mini-ITX chassis that is intended to be a show piece as you have this chassis running your HTPC. While the design is atypical to most, the sleek design, slight curve to the chassis, and the large window in such a small chassis makes me think many people may be looking to add this chassis to their living room!

Continue reading: Lian Li had a train, a lot of anodized aluminum, and a chassis almost large enough to live in! (full post)

Western Digital shows off new hybrid SSD at CES 2013, known as SSHD

Anthony Garreffa | Storage | Jan 10, 2013 11:34 PM CST

CES 2013 - Western Digital have unveiled something quite interesting at CES this year, where they've shown off some new hybrid solid state technology known as SSHD. The new tech features the speed of a decent SSD, but the capacity that a mechanical HDD would feature.

Western Digital shows off new hybrid SSD at CES 2013, known as SSHD | TweakTown.com

WD says that the solid state storage will continue to be much more expensive than traditional drives for the foreseeable future. This makes WD change gears and work on hybrid drives in the meantime, until we get to a point where pricing drops to more "competitive" levels in regards to flash storage. The demo that took place at CES saw the drive loading a bunch of applications to measure just how long it takes to load.

The Tech Report reported that it took 81 seconds to complete the task using a standard drive, and just 51 seconds on a normal SSD. On WD's hybrid SSHD, it took only 55 seconds - less than 10% longer than a normal SSD, but much faster than a traditional mechanical-based HDD. WD says that the incoming writes from the host system aren't stored on the NAND, with the caching system being controlled by the firmware and host-based software drivers.

Continue reading: Western Digital shows off new hybrid SSD at CES 2013, known as SSHD (full post)

InWin borrows from Ducati to inspire the new D-Frame as well as showing some other goodies

Chad Sebring | Cases, Cooling & PSU | Jan 10, 2013 11:10 PM CST

CES 2013 - As I checked the show floor, I met up with InWin to have a look at what they are going to offer this year. After some discussion, and of course a bunch of images, I got into some of the finer details of what was shown and what will soon be on the pages of TweakTown.

InWin borrows from Ducati to inspire the new D-Frame as well as showing some other goodies 01

First on the table is a white version of the GR One. We have already seen and reviewed this chassis, but as with all manufacturers, white is the obvious revision choice to start with.

InWin borrows from Ducati to inspire the new D-Frame as well as showing some other goodies 02

Second in the line-up is the H-Frame which I have not seen up close and personal, well at least until now, and I finally got to see what all of the review and forum hype was all about.

InWin borrows from Ducati to inspire the new D-Frame as well as showing some other goodies 03

As I moved down the counter I finally ran into what is soon to arrive at my house so I can bring it to all of our readers, and that is the super slick Ducati inspired, D-Frame chassis. InWin even went as far as to offer this chassis in Ducati red, as well as being constructed of welded tubular aluminum, and the use of a cast aluminum inner core. To keep tiny hands or pets out of this truly open air concept, the side panels are made from a tinted, tempered glass, and are the first chassis I have ever seen to do this.

InWin borrows from Ducati to inspire the new D-Frame as well as showing some other goodies 04

They will also be offering this kit in bright orange version to offer a bit of choice to their lucky customers that can actually by them. Not solely based on price, but also availability.

Continue reading: InWin borrows from Ducati to inspire the new D-Frame as well as showing some other goodies (full post)

Chrome Beta channel opens its doors to Android

Anthony Garreffa | Software & Apps | Jan 10, 2013 10:34 PM CST

The Chrome Beta channel has just opened for Android today, offering up version 25.0.1364.8. It acts just the same as the Beta channel for a PC, which offers up a preview of features and fixes that has already passed the development channel and is on its way to final testing before it gets baked into the final version.

Chrome Beta channel opens its doors to Android | TweakTown.com

It makes for the perfect way to try out new things that might still be broken, but will allow the software to function as a hole. The release offered up comes with the following bugs:

  • Performance is sluggish, noticeably on Galaxy Nexus and Nexus S
  • Frequent freeze on devices with specific versions of Qualcomm GPU driver
  • Text autosizing may break formatting on some sites
  • 164632 - Editing bookmark feature is broken
  • 165244 - Text position handler jumps or disappears when moving
  • 163439 - Clicking on links in yahoo.com not navigating on Nexus 7
  • 166233 - Unable to submit comments on Facebook posts in desktop version of Facebook
  • 165244 - Text handler jumps or disappears when moving
  • 167351 - Youtube video controls are lost after returning from fullscreen video mode
  • 162486 - iframe scrolling broken

If you want to hit up the Beta channel, check it out here.

Continue reading: Chrome Beta channel opens its doors to Android (full post)

Micron displays world's first working DDR4 memory at CES 2013, videos here

Paul Alcorn | IT/Datacenter & Super Computing | Jan 10, 2013 9:50 PM CST

CES 2013 - Micron today had the first working samples of DDR4 memory in action, putting on a demo that not only shows the new RAM working, but also being simultaneously tested by a Teledyne LeCroy analyzer.

The new DDR4 spec operates at voltages as low as 1.2V, which is roughly 20% lower than previous generations, and yet still manages to run twice as fast as DDR3. The stock timings for DDR4 will weigh in at a hefty 2133MHz, compared to the old DDR3 starting at 1066MHz. This will speed up users' applications, improve responsiveness, increase multi-tasking, handle data-intensive programs and overall increase the speed that the computer processes data.

Micron displays world's first working DDR4 memory at CES 2013, videos here 04

This new DDR4 module looks like standard fare for a stick of RAM, but it packs a serious performance punch, with speeds expected to be much higher when overclocked at lower voltages.

Continue reading: Micron displays world's first working DDR4 memory at CES 2013, videos here (full post)

SMART Storage Systems gets SSDs rocking at CES 2013 with the NAND Band

Paul Alcorn | IT/Datacenter & Super Computing | Jan 10, 2013 5:23 AM CST

CES 2013 - SMART Storage Systems introduced the new CloudSpeed Series of SSDs today which provide some great endurance with a very low price point, with enterprise class features at prices only slightly higher than consumer SSDs.

The two new SSDs are the CloudSpeed CS1000 and the CS1000E, which will both be available soon. The real story here is the shrink to 19nm MLC NAND and the high endurance that SMART Storage Systems has managed to pull from the NAND. In an effort to spread the word in a new and refreshing way, SMART Storage Systems CEO John Scaramuzzo formed the NAND Band.

SMART Storage Systems gets SSDs rocking at CES 2013 with the NAND Band 01

In order to understand the need for new more powerful storage solutions we must take into account the data explosion that is currently taking place. As we can see from the graph above there is a shocking amount of data produced every day, and the data is only multiplying as users are becoming increasing mobile.

Perhaps the most intriguing number on the chart is the fact that 90% of the world's data was created in the last two years. This points to an exponential increase in data production every year. The challenge is to provide solutions that can solve performance problems while also being able to stand up to the wear and tear.

Continue reading: SMART Storage Systems gets SSDs rocking at CES 2013 with the NAND Band (full post)

Samsung wants RIM's corporate users, RIM don't have their shields up right now

Anthony Garreffa | Business, Financial & Legal | Jan 10, 2013 1:39 AM CST

Research in Motion (RIM), the company behind the huge BlackBerry range, are already in trouble and this news is not going to help them one bit. Samsung have slowly but surely taken the consumer market into their hands after Apple's sticky hands got all over it, at least in shipment volume, and now it looks like Samsung have shifted aim to RIM's corporate users.

Samsung wants RIM's corporate users, RIM don't have their shields up right now | TweakTown.com

Samsung are investing heavily in enterprise devices that sport higher levels of security and reliability, the opposite of what consumers need badly. Various governments and corporations aren't too sure on BlackBerry 10, and are now looking for alternatives, which is where Samsung comes into play.

Chief Product Officer for Samsung Mobile USA, Kevin Packingham, said during an interview with Reuters:

The enterprise space has suddenly become wide open. The RIM problems certainly fueled a lot of what the CIOs are going through, which is they want to get away from a lot of the proprietary solutions.

Continue reading: Samsung wants RIM's corporate users, RIM don't have their shields up right now (full post)

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