Anker announces new 9000mAh Astro2 external USB battery charger
Today, Anker announced the release of its new Astro2 external USB battery pack. Featuring a capacity of 9000mAh, the Astro2 is capable of charging two mobile devices simultaneously meaning that you can now charge your smartphone and tablet at the same time while on the go.
Like the other devices in its second generation Astro line of external battery packs, the Astro2 is capable of detecting what device is plugged in and then adjusting the charging rate to deliver the fastest charge speed. It works on both iOS and Android devices including Apple's iPhone and iPad, as well as Samsung's Galaxy devices.
"Even with our Astro line of external batteries established as the top-selling external battery brand on Amazon, we continue to evolve and improve our product line by sticking to the basics of listening closely to our customers,"said Steven Yang, Anker Founder and Chairman. "We know people have different power needs but the same high standards for quality and design, and this Astro2 offers the same innovative design of our newest Astro3 but in a more compact package. For those who desire even greater portability, never fear - we have an even smaller addition coming for you in the near future."
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Lian Li unveils new brushed aluminum PC-A79 full-tower chassis
Today, high-end PC case manufacturer Lian Li announced the release of the PC-A79 full-tower PC chassis to the North American market. The PC-A79 is an all aluminum chassis with a brushed exterior that provides ample cooling options while retaining the convenience of a removable motherboard tray. Lian Li says that the case is capable of supporting HPTX, E-ATX, XL-ATX, ATX, and Micro-ATX form-factor motherboards and has enough space to fit even the largest high-end video cards.
The A79 is capable of housing up to 11 hard drives, either in 3.5-inch or 2.5-inch form-factors. Nine of the drives are accommodated in the three removable drive cages in the front of the case, while two more can be placed on the bottom of the chassis using the of the two included mounting brackets. Additionally, a crafty modder could manage to mount another five to six 2.5-inch SSDs on the right side of the drive cage, which appears to be recessed the good half-inch.
Keeping things cool is a quite an easy task in the A79 as well. Each of the three drive cages up front have a dedicated fan that can be positioned at the front or rear of the drive cage. It also features a cool removable panel that allows the quick installation of a 240mm radiator, two 120mm fan locations on the removable left side panel, and a 120mm exhaust fan in the rear designed to suck out all of the hot air.
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Rockstar gives the skinny on GTA V's Special and Collector's Editions
Grand Theft Auto V is nearly here, but before the 720p (or lower) title reaches current generation consoles (can you hear my disappointment yet?) Rockstar Games has taken to its website to detail the Special and Collector's Editions of GTA V.
Both editions will include more weapons, outfits, custom characters and more. Both the Special and Collector's Edition will include the addition of the .50 Caliber Pistol, the Bullpup Shotgun and melee weapon, the Hammer. Buyers will also receive a 20% discount in GTA V's stores and an additional outfit for the three protagonists in GTA V.
The Collector's Edition is a little more special, including custom characters from Grand Theft Auto Online, as well as GTA IV's Niko Bellic, as well as Claud and Misty from GTA III. Collector's Edition buyers will also receive the CarbonRS sports bike and open frame 1930s style hotrod, the Hotknife.
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Facebook's Instagram now offers in-app image straightening feature
As an ex-professional photographer, one of the most annoying things about 90 percent of the photos posted online is the fact that they are never straight. No one seems to care about holding their smartphone in a nice in level orientation. Today, it appears that the developers over at Instagram felt the same way and decided to fix this crooked issue.
The latest version of Instagram for iOS features built-in image straightening and the best thing about it is that it can be setup to happen automatically. The developers figured out that they can collect data from the phone's accelerometer and gyrometer sensors to figure out at what orientation and the angle the smartphone was being held at at the time the image was captured and then use that data to automatically straighten the image. Below is an excerpt from a post written by Alex Restrepo on Instagram's Blog.
Most phones have a variety of sensors that allow us to determine the orientation and tilt of the device relative to a specific reference, meaning we can tell the angle of your phone at the time you took the picture. This seemed to us a way of making the feature quick and simple to use, which is something we try to achieve with every feature release...
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Yahoo begins rolling out recycled usernames, emails being sent now
Yahoo began doling out good news (or bad) today to its users who applied for a recycled username back in July. The company began firing off emails today notifying users if a username they wished to recycle has been reserved for them are not. Today also marks the beginning of the new policy in which Yahoo will begin recycling user accounts if they go dormant for more than 90 days, so remember to keep logging into your account even if you're not using it if you wish to keep your name.
If you did not receive an email today, do not worry as it is expected to take several days for Yahoo to completely notify everyone who signed up. Additionally, if you did not have the chance to sign up for the original wish list of names, Yahoo will now allow you to do so at the cost of just $1.99. Fortunately, I was one of the lucky few who received my very first request, but apparently was denied for my other four. We want to know how many of you received your requested username, so drop us a line in the comments below!
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The first details on the Galaxy S5 emerge, arrives in 2014
It's hard to imagine that we're already here... talking about the Galaxy S5 and it's August of 2013. It wasn't too long ago that Samsung released the Galaxy S II, the first phone to truly compete with the iPhone. It wasn't until the S III that the tides began the change, and now the S4 truly rules the world.
Now we're hearing about the Galaxy S5, which is said to feature a new 16-megapixel rear-facing camera that is currently under development. This new camera would feature optical image stabilization (OIS) technology, too. The news is coming from South Korea's Electronic Times News. The report notes:
At first Samsung Electronics wanted to adopt the OIS function for Galaxy Note 3, but the schedule was put off due to problems with parts supply. The OIS function is implemented in the auto focus (AF) actuator, but the supply of the OIS AF actuator is not smooth yet. Korea's Hysonic and Jahwa Electronics and Japan's Mitsumi are the only companies which successfully developed the OIS AF actuator. However, the OIS AF production capacity of Korean companies will be greatly increased early next year.
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Is Ballmer's retirement 100 percent voluntary? Some analysts say no
Last week, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer announced his retirement in an aptly named internal memo titled "Moving Forward." The memo depicts Ballmer leaving the company on his own decision, but many industry analysts are speculating that the sometimes wild CEO was actually being forced out by the company's board.
GigaOm journalist Barb Darrow said in a recent article that "Several former and one current Microsoft execs told me that there was no way Ballmer would step down unless Gates withdrew his long-time support" when this is paired with Ballmer's own statement from the memo "My original thoughts on timing would have had my retirement happen in the middle of our transformation to a devices and services company focused on empowering customers in the activities they value most." It's easy to interpret Ballmer's retirement as a not so voluntary departure.
The article on GigaOm goes on to quote another former vice president who it says is still tightly connected with Microsoft; "Bill must have flipped the bit on Steve," said the VP, adding that the recent reshuffling of most major executive roles--Ballmer's his own--"lined everything up behind Steve."
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Mellanox and LSI introduce low-latency Storage Solution at VMWorld
VMWorld 2013 - Today, Mellanox and LSI announced the results of a collaborative solution they designed to enable greater virtual desktop density per server based on VMware's Horizon View technology. This new low-latency solution is built using a Mellanox 40GbE NICs and the LSI Nytro MegaRAID application acceleration card.
The two devices once paired up create a unique solution that integrates onboard flash capacity with intelligent caching software and hard drive rate management. This gives the customer a new lower cost alternative to traditional storage solutions. Mellanox and LSI say that this solution enables the virtual desktop infrastructure workload to support up to 1500 desktops across 10 vSphere servers with a hardware cost of less than $25,000.
"Providing acceptable response times to virtual desktop users while maximizing the number of desktop sessions per server can be challenging," said Manish Muthal, vice president of product management and strategy, Accelerated Solutions Division, LSI Corporation. "The low-latency LSI Nytro MegaRAID card, combined with Mellanox's 40GbE NICs, delivers an intelligent and cost-effective VDI solution compared to all-flash solutions that can cost upwards of $100K."
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Samsung opens sign-ups for October developer conference
Today, Samsung opened up registration for its first major conference, which will be held October 27-29 in San Francisco, California. Samsung DevCon 2013 is aimed at enticing North American developers to focus on creating software for devices made by the Korean electronics powerhouse.
I first covered Samsung's announcement about its Developers Conference 2013 back in July and Samsung has kept pretty quiet about the event until now. Unfortunately, Samsung is still remaining silent on who will speak, what new products it might announce, and what incentives it might offer to developers who attend the event. You can sign up to attend the event at the source listed below, but be prepared to pay $299 for the ticket that will include access to keynotes, sessions, and developer events on the first night of the conference.
Samsung hopes to convince developers that by creating applications for their smart TVs, tablets, smartphones, and other smart devices, they will see a major return on investment. Additionally, Samsung hopes that developers will be convinced to code programs that will run exclusively on its devices over creating apps that will run on all Android devices. I think that's a very hard pill to swallow because even though Samsung has a major portion of the Android market, there are just far too many other Android users out there for developers to overlook.
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Mellanox teams up with Micron to unveil 40GbE Flash Storage Solution
VMWorld 2013 - Today, Mellanox Technologies teamed up with Micron to announce a collaborative solution that enables higher storage performance and efficiency for virtualized environments running VMware's ESXi 5.1. Consisting of Mellanox's ConnectX-3 40GbE NICs with iSCSI over RDMA (iSER) and Micron's 1.4TB P420m PCIe SSD cards, this new solution takes advantage of the iSER protocol and allows Micron's flash storage to deliver superior performance.
Mellanox and Micron say that this combo, when ran on a single ESXi 5.1 host, can deliver an aggregate bandwidth of 11GB/s or 527,000 IOPS using only two interconnect cards in a 3U box. The companies evaluated the solution on a Supermicro 6037R-TXRF that supports 10 PCIe Gen3 x8 slots with two Mellanox 40GbE RDMA NICs and 8 Micron 1.4TB P420m PCI SSDs.
"Selecting the right interconnect technologies is vital when selecting Flash-based storage in a virtualized infrastructure. The performance benefits of Flash can easily get trapped behind slow interconnects," said Jared Hulbert, SW Research Manager at Micron. "Mellanox's 40GbE with the iSER protocol gives virtualized applications access to higher bandwidth and excellent 4KB random throughput that only Flash can provide."
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