SpaceX becomes first privately owned company to put capsule in space
Space X has successfully launched a large capsule into Earth's orbit today, with this success it makes them the first private corporation to reach this milestone.
Elon Musk made a fortune by co-founding PayPal and lives the kind of life Tony Stark (aka Iron Man) but, in real life. He's a billionaire who is also the founder of Space X. He is also the co-founder of Tesla Motors and has spent $400 million of his own fortune to advance Space X to it's current point in time.
From here, the plan is cheap space ferrying. The rocket will have capabilities to transport 6000 kg with a return cargo capacity of 3000 kg. The average cost per flight will be under $5360 USD/kg. The previous cheapest option was Russia's Rockot [a converted ICBM] which delivered cargo for $7297 USD/kg (and was reportedly subsidized by the Russian Navy).
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LCD makers fined $857 million for price fixing
The European Commission has issued a fine to AU Optronics, Samsung, LG, Chimei InnoLux, Chunghwa Picture Tubes and HannStar Display after the companies held so called "Crystal meetings" between 2001 and 2006. The fine? €648.925 million ($857.49 million).
The goal of these meetings was for the 6 companies to agree on product range pricing and the minimum prices of LCD's, with the intent of the agreement to boost their own profits. All 6 companies knew it was illegal and tried to cover it up.
Samsung was the one who reported the price fixing and was thus granted immunity (kinda like Survivor) they held that torch and were not allowed to be eliminated. Each company was fined a different amount, the breakdown of this is €215 million ($284.10 million) for LG, €116.8 million ($154.34 million) for AU Optronics, €300 million ($396.42 million) for Chimei InnoLux, €9.025 million ($11.93 million) for Chunghwa Picture Tubes, and €8.1 million ($10.70 million) for HannStar Display.
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Crucial Ballistix pimps their RAM with Thermal Sensors
Crucial have just added Thermal Sensors to their Ballistix line of memory - the memory comes in two-flavors. The first being the DDR3-1866MHz capable, available in 2GB and 4GB dual-channel kits, with triple-channel 6GB kits also available.
Secondly, they have the DDR3-2133MHz available in 2GB and 4GB dual-channel kits. The new memory incorporates a new thermally improved design and a built-in thermal sensor. The new kits are also compatible with Crucial's recently announced Crutial Ballistix Active Cooling Fan.
For more info, hit up their datasheet.
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Intel, AMD and system builders to finally push VGA off a cliff by 2015
Sitting down? Hopefully you are because this news is a little shocking - Intel has teamed up with AMD, yes... teamed up. They've also joined up with Dell, Lenovo, Samsung and LG to phase out the VGA and LVDS display connectors by 2015.
HDMI and DisplayPort will be pushed up to default connections (which is being pushed now). AMD has said that it will discontinue VGA and LVDS outputs from most of it's products by 2013 following this by a complete stop by 2015.
Intel has also said that HDMI is being increasingly adopted by PC's for easy connection to consumer electronics and TV's while DisplayPort is expected to become the single PC display output for monitors, projectors and embedded flat panels.
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RunCore 3.5" SSD packs in tons of storage
Almost all of the SSDs on the market today are packed inside small 2.5" cases. That is all fine and good if you are building up a mobile machine or a SFF rig, but if you want more performance out of a desktop PC with lots of open 3.5" bays, 2.5" SSDs are not ideal. RunCore has launched a new and very awesome SSD that uses a 3.5" form factor. The reason for the 3.5" size is more space for storage.
The new SSD packs in a full terabyte of storage capacity. RunCore says that the small 2.5" SSD simply is too small to put in enough flash storage for all the storage that your average user needs on a desktop. I can attest that tiny 60GB or smaller SSDs are more trouble than they are worth for many computer enthusiasts.
The massive 1TB SSD uses the SATA III 6Gb port for connectivity and is blazing fast. The SSD promises performance of over 500MB/s. The large number of flash chips inside the SSD are divided in two groups. That means that inside the single enclosure is a pair of SSDs and each has its own Sandforce 1200 controller. The dual SSDs inside mean that you can switch the SSD to RAID support for data mirroring. The read performance of each SSD is 285MB/s and write is 275MB/s. Pricing and availability are unknown, but this thing will be crazy expensive. I expect it to be well into the thousand dollar range or higher.
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NVIDIA announces major mainboard firms license SLI for Sandy Bridge mainboards
We all know that the Intel Sandy Bridge processors are on the horizon and with the parts will come the need for a new mainboard if you plan to upgrade. NVIDIA has issued a press release today that notes most major mainboard makers have licensed its SLI technology to put into their Sandy Bridge boards. The companies include Intel, ASUS, Gigabyte, MSI, and EVGA.
The SLI tech is licensed to use on the SLI-certified P67 mainboards. "The combined processing prowess of Sandy Bridge and NVIDIA SLI technology will provide consumers with the building blocks for the ultimate gaming PC platform," said Joel Christensen, General Manager of Intel Client Board Division at Intel Corporation. "Both NVIDIA and Intel continue to share a combined passion for furthering the PC as the definitive platform for gaming, and this combination will surely be attractive to anyone building or purchasing a brand new PC in 2011."
Some of the boards will also support 3-way SLI. Naturally the SLI supporting boards will work with any NVIDIA GPUs include the new GTX 580 and GTX 570 boards. That leak about the dual GPU high-end video card a while back would be great in SLI with one of the new processors and mainboards.
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Refurbished limited edition Polaroid instant cameras for sale
Growing up everyone I knew had one of the Polaroid instant cameras. My parents have photo albums of my youth that are packed with photos that came shooting out of the font of one of those instant cameras. My grandmother was always walking around shooting photos with the camera. The sound will forever be associated with Christmas for me and my cousins and I would fight over who got to shake the pic until it developed.
I was among the many who were disappointed when the cameras were discontinued. If you have fond memories of the camera, you can get a very limited edition run of refurbished units right now that work and everything. The cameras come from Photojojo and have been polished to look and work just as if they were new.
My mom had one of those rainbow ones when I was a kid and later bought the block one with the pop up flash. If you have these old cameras sitting around, you could make some serious Christmas cash. Photojojo is selling the 660 Sun for $200 and it comes with a pack of film too. When you need more film, you can get new packs of film for $20 to $23 with eight exposures.
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Disney Interactive Studios launches Tron: Evolution video game
Tron was the coolest film ever when I was a kid and the movie is still really cool. I spent many a Saturday in the arcade in the mall playing the Tron video game when I was a kid. I loved the light cycle game and the one where the face was inside all the swirling tiles you had to destroy. I recall there were several different games you could play on the arcade game, but I forget what the others were now. Disney Interactive Studios has announced a new Tron: Evolution video game to go with the flick launching this month.
The game is on every game console and on Windows as well. Not surprisingly considering it's based on what will be one of the biggest flicks of the year, the title is offered in a few versions for other game systems. On the Xbox 360 and PS3, it will sell for $59.99, which is the typical price of a new game. The Wii Version is $49.99 and is called Tron: Evolution - Battle Grids. The DS and PSP versions are $39.99 and the Windows game is $29.99.
The most awesome version of the game will be on the Xbox and PS3 with a Collector's Edition of the game for $129.99. In addition to the game the collector's also get an illuminated light cycle, protective case, and vouchers for free tickets to the flick. I totally want that collector's edition of the game.
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iPad 2 inbound in February says rumor
The Apple iPad is selling in droves and is taking a bunch of sales away from the computer market. The wild popularity of the tablet has meant that for a while it was very hard to find. Now that production has ramped up the iPad is easy to find in all sorts of locations. The tablet is selling very well and as Apple fans are apt to do, new rumors are already swirling about the next installment of the iPad dubbed the iPad 2.
According to the rumor, the iPad 2 will be landing at the end of February of 2011. The rumor also claims that Foxconn will have in the area of 400,000 to 600,000 iPad 2 units ready to ship at that time. To add a rumor within a rumor the source cited by Redmond Pie claims that the iPad 2 was supposed to land in January, but firmware testing has pushed the launch to February.
The iPad 2 is expected to get some of the cool new features of the iPhone 4 like a front facing camera for FaceTime, a new Retina display, and a gyroscope. That display is the only thing that will make me want to upgrade to a newer iPad. The retina display on my iPhone 4 is so much better than the screen on my 3GS was. Other rumors about the next iPad suggest that Qualcomm is providing the baseband chips for the device.
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Sharkoon unveils new QuickPort dock with Backup Function
Sharkoon reminds me a lot of Brando with all sorts of USB offerings. Rather than weird USB gadgets, Sharkoon tends to concentrate on making some really cool docking station that connect to your Pc via USB and allow you to use your old desktop and laptop hard drives as external storage. The docking stations are a great way to be able to use your old HDDs without having to buy up a bunch of external enclosures.
Sharkoon has announced a redesign of its QuickPort HDD docking station called the SATA QuickPort XT. The redesign offers the dock for the first time with black or white colors and you can get the thing in USB 3.0 as well. The drive also gains a cool backup feature that can backup your machine with the touch of a button.
The single click backup feature is software driven and included on a CD and must be installed to a Windows XP, Vista or 7 computers. The front of the docking station has a LED that glows when the drive is active. The dock ships with a power supply and has an on/off switch as well. The are now five versions of docking station with a USB2.0/eSATA version, USB 3.0 kit that also includes a USB 3.0 host card that fits into a PCIe slot.
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