iPod fathers new startup "Nest Labs" builds Learning Thermostat

Fathers of the iPod, Ton Fadell who created the first 18 generations of the iPod and the first three versions of the iPhone, and Matt Rogers who was responsible for iPod software development at Apple, have a new startup: Nest Labs. Their first product? The Nest Learning Thermostat, which is designed to intelligently "learn" the behaviors of the user and adjust accordingly.

During the first seven days of use, the customer will set base temperatures using a single dial which is like a big click wheel. Click the wheel right for the temperature to increase and the display to turn orange, or to the left, to bring it down and the display turns blue. The Nest then records your initial settings and starts to take over after the first week or so. As usage continues, Nest will fine-tune settings using sensors, algorithms and cloud computing.

As an example, Nest is able to detect when users have left the house using a motion sensor and it will throttle back heating or cooling accordingly. The thermostat also includes an ambient light sensor and will adjust the brightness of the display relative to the surrounding light in the room to not cause eye strain.

Continue reading: iPod fathers new startup "Nest Labs" builds Learning Thermostat (full post)

SAPPHIRE celebrates Battlefield 3's launch with Special Edition HD 6970 GPU

Anthony Garreffa | Video Cards & GPUs | Oct 25, 2011 8:26 PM CDT

To celebrate the launch of Battlefield 3 (for some initial impressions, check it out here), SAPPHIRE Technology have introduced the SAPPHIRE HD 6970 BF3 Special Edition, which sports two SAPPHIRE exclusive technologies, SAPPHIRE FleX and Vapor-X cooling as well as performance enhancing options for the enthusiast and finally, a FREE copy of Battlefield 3.

SAPPHIRE celebrates Battlefield 3's launch with Special Edition HD 6970 GPU | TweakTown.com

The SAPPHIRE HD 6970 BF3 Special Edition includes a Dual BIOS switch which goes between two performance settings delivering the best performance in its class. While sitting in the 'normal' setting, clock speed sit at 880MHz for core, 1375MHz for memory and a quite fan profile. Choosing the "boost" setting throws the card up to 930MHz as well as increasing core voltage, fan speed and overclock limits to deliver higher performance.

SAPPHIRE's FleX technology is also great as it allows Eyefinity from three DVI monitors, without the need for DisplayPort or any adapters. Vapor-X cooling is also awesome, which enables the performance to be maxed out, but keeping those noise levels down low.

It's a little late to be offering BF3, but if you purchase the card and have multiple machines at home, or a friend who doesn't yet own BF3, this is a great product from SAPPHIRE.

Continue reading: SAPPHIRE celebrates Battlefield 3's launch with Special Edition HD 6970 GPU (full post)

Battlefield 3 launches, initial impressions, yes its awesome, but it has its issues, too

Anthony Garreffa | Gaming | Oct 25, 2011 7:20 PM CDT

For everyone who reads TweakTown, and more specifically, my news posts, you'll know that I've been waiting for Battlefield 3 for what feels like, my entire life. I've posted everything from screenshots, to launch trailers, alpha footage to beta/full release footage, interviews, details and everything in-between. I found out on a forum last night that the game can be unlocked for some who change some VPN settings, so I did so...

I have a 3 screen (Alienware AW2310's) in Portrait, backed up by 2 x GIGABYTE GeForce GTX570's and a 4GHz Core i7... the beta, I had a few little issues, but they somehow worked themselves out and I was bug-free for the rest of the beta. The full game on the other hand... doesn't even work on my 3 screen setup. Yes, that's right: the beta worked and the full game does not.

My issue is, I launch the game, and it goes full-screen. Once its in full-screen, I can hear it load up and finish, if I move my mouse I can hear the cursor going over menus, but I cannot see the menus. If I alt-tab and go to a window, the menus appear and it's OK. If I click a menu, it goes back to full-screen. So I have to click a menu, alt-tab, full-screen, click a menu, alt-tab, full screen, etc until I get to video and change it to run in a window.

Continue reading: Battlefield 3 launches, initial impressions, yes its awesome, but it has its issues, too (full post)

ASUS Rampage IV Extreme X79 motherboard video preview

Cameron Wilmot | Motherboards | Oct 25, 2011 11:06 AM CDT

Yesterday we attended an ASUS motherboard technology seminar in Taipei where we were introduced to its range of upcoming Intel X79 Express chipset based motherboards. These motherboards will support second generation Intel Core i7 processors for high-end desktop systems using the new and larger LGA 2011 socket.

Intel has super tight restrictions on what can be said about these new products and as we are bound by an Intel NDA, we need to stick to the rules. That is one of the reasons why the video below might seem a little cryptic at times - we both had to be very careful what we said. The man in the video below is Jack Cheng who is with the ASUS motherboard R&D team and was kind enough to tell us some ASUS ROG driven features of the Rampage IV Extreme X79 motherboard.

Some of the big ASUS features with this board include the OC Key for simple on-screen and very much on-the-fly overclocking, subzero sense for finding out temperatures under extreme cooling conditions and VGA hotwire for putting your video card through hell and back. There is also the X-Socket which allows you to bring along your old coolers and they'll work on the new 2011 socket - it will also be good for extreme LN2 overclockers and their pots. Besides just the video above, there is a selection of pictures below in the gallery which we took.

ASUS Rampage IV Extreme X79 motherboard video preview 1

Continue reading: ASUS Rampage IV Extreme X79 motherboard video preview (full post)

ASUS Sabertooth X79 motherboard video preview

Cameron Wilmot | Motherboards | Oct 25, 2011 10:59 AM CDT

Yesterday we attended an ASUS motherboard technology seminar in Taipei where we were introduced to its range of upcoming Intel X79 Express chipset based motherboards. These motherboards will support second generation Intel Core i7 processors for high-end desktop systems using the new and larger LGA 2011 socket.

Followers of ASUS will know the Sabertooth motherboard from previous generations and some will also be happy to know that it is back again with the X79 Express chipset. Impressive cooling is a big part of the Sabertooth and Jack Cheng who is with the ASUS motherboard R&D team and was kind enough to go on video and tell us about some of the ASUS driven features of this motherboard.

It's not just cooling though, with the included software powered by the impressive Digi+ VRM power control design you get really good monitoring (12 different parts of the board are digitally thermally monitored) and control over the board and all the different aspects of it using the included Thermal Radar software. There are no real big single handed massive features that will take the crown for the Sabertooth, but the message being sent is that it's "tough".

ASUS Sabertooth X79 motherboard video preview 1

Continue reading: ASUS Sabertooth X79 motherboard video preview (full post)

NVIDIA's working on a new GTX 560 Ti w/ 448 CUDA Cores

Steve Dougherty | Video Cards & GPUs | Oct 25, 2011 8:42 AM CDT

The VGA market almost seems like it's in hibernation at the moment for the most part, as we all anticipate the launch of new families from both sides of the fence sporting 28nm GPUs, of which we know won't be until a bit of a ways into 2012.

However, it appears NVIDIA has been working on a little bit of a side project in the meantime; some more love towards its popular GeForce GTX 560 Ti. Apparently the company is preparing a new suped up release of the model that switches the GF114 GPU on the original version for the GF110 that's used on the GTX 570 and 580 models.

NVIDIA's working on a new GTX 560 Ti w/ 448 CUDA Cores | TweakTown.com

This in turn would give the card 448 CUDA Cores, as denoted by the supposed model name NVIDIA is going for, "GeForce GTX 560 Ti (448 Core). This compares to the 480 cores on the GTX 570 and 512 on the GTX 580. The card will have 56 TMU's a 320-bit memory interface, 3-way SLI support, DVI, HDMI and DisplayPort outputs, and will most likely carry 1280MB of GDDR5.

Continue reading: NVIDIA's working on a new GTX 560 Ti w/ 448 CUDA Cores (full post)

AMD's next-gen Trinity mobile APUs further detailed

Steve Dougherty | CPU, APU & Chipsets | Oct 25, 2011 7:53 AM CDT

A bunch more details have surfaced today on AMD's upcoming "Virgo" PC platform which comprises their next-gen mobile "Trinity" APU using an FM2 package. The latest details confirm that Trinity will in fact be compatible with AMD's current-gen A75 "Hudson-D" chipset, but we are yet to learn whether or not FM1 and FM2 are pin compatible.

AMD's next-gen Trinity mobile APUs further detailed 01

AMD's Trinity mobile APUs are 32nm based and run a TDP of up to 35W. The four x86-64 cores used are based on AMD's next-gen "Piledriver" architecture (rumoured to be between 10 and 15% quicker on average when compared to Bulldozer) and these four cores are arranged in two modules. Each of the two modules holds two cores and is given certain shared and dedicated resources.

Continue reading: AMD's next-gen Trinity mobile APUs further detailed (full post)

ASUS to bundle Battlefield 3 with next-gen Rampage IV Extreme motherboard

Cameron Wilmot | Motherboards | Oct 25, 2011 5:35 AM CDT

We just got back from an ASUS motherboard technology seminar in Taipei today where we were introduced to its upcoming range of next-gen Intel motherboards.

ASUS to bundle Battlefield 3 with next-gen Rampage IV Extreme motherboard | TweakTown.com

Right at the end of the presentation, ASUS announced that it will be offering a full game bundle of Battlefield 3 with its upcoming next-gen Rampage IV Extreme ROG motherboard.

ASUS were not prepared to release any details on pricing at this stage, but they did mention that you would save a lot of money by selecting the bundle version. ASUS will also offer normal versions of the motherboard without BF3 bundled.

The BF3 ROG bundle will begin selling at the same time as the rest of the ASUS next-gen Intel boards begin shipping, which shouldn't be too far in the future.

Continue reading: ASUS to bundle Battlefield 3 with next-gen Rampage IV Extreme motherboard (full post)

Steve Jobs wanted a "thermonuclear war" with Google

Anthony Garreffa | Business, Financial & Legal | Oct 25, 2011 4:25 AM CDT

Walter Isaacson's authorized biography of Steve Jobs is set to hit next week, and within, we find out more details of how Steve Jobs was absolutely furious about Android "ripping off" the iPhone. Of course, multiple smartphone makers and OS builders have "copied" the iPhone, but its not to say that Apple did it first.

Steve Jobs wanted a

Apple bought something to the market that had been attempted before, but just did it better. Google were hot on the heels and have innovated multiple times within their Android OS, where Apple's iOS has not really grown outside of its initial iPhone launch. Yes it has been upgraded with more features, etc, but an actual change in the way it works, no. It still features the same tile-based icon layout, and has only seen "Notifications" in the last iOS 5 upgrade - something from Android.

But Steve Jobs hated, hated, hated Android. With a passion. To the point where he wanted a "thermonuclear war" with the company because they "ripped the iPhone off". Isaacson has written that Jobs was livid in January 2010 when HTC introduced an Android phone that boasted many of the popular features found on the iPhone. Apple sued, and Jobs told Isaacson in an expletive-filled rant that Google's actions amounted to "grand theft".

Continue reading: Steve Jobs wanted a "thermonuclear war" with Google (full post)

RumorTT: Is Google looking at purchasing Yahoo?

Anthony Garreffa | Business, Financial & Legal | Oct 25, 2011 3:41 AM CDT

According to the Wall Street Journal, Google Inc. has talked to at least two private-equity firms about potentially helping them finance a deal to buy Yahoo Inc.'s core business. This would be a very strategic move for Google, which would push them right against Microsoft in its bid for the company. The move is of course still in "early-stage discussions" with no formal bid put together. The Journal has a few words as to why the move could be a huge win for Google:

RumorTT: Is Google looking at purchasing Yahoo? | TweakTown.com

Google is interested in selling some advertising across Yahoo's websites-something Yahoo largely does on its own today-according to people familiar with the matter.

Any deal involving Google could also bring other opportunities, such as bring Google's social-networking service Google+ to Yahoo's audience of nearly 700 million unique visitors a month, these people said.

Yahoo also has relationships with many so-called premium content publishers such as ABC News, which provides video and other content for Yahoo sites and for which Yahoo currently sells ads. Google is interested in having deeper business relationships with such publishers, one of these people said.

Continue reading: RumorTT: Is Google looking at purchasing Yahoo? (full post)

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