Angry Birds is one of the most successful mobile games going in recent years and its franchise has grown and grown to more than just game downloads. We first saw the plush stuffed toys, then t-shirst, mugs, hats, phone cases, the list just goes on and its going to stop there. Rovio, the games maker has announced that that game is now going to have its own TV show, coincidently named “Angry Birds Toons” is due to hit our screens on 16th March and will be pretty much as you could imagine if you know the game.
Launched way back in December 2009 originally for iOS, the game has streached way past the point that anyone could have imagined and now there are six main game titles, a spin off game and dubbed as “one of the most mainstream games out right now”, it has seem well over 1 billion downloads happen across all its compatible platforms that include PCs, Android, Windows Phone, iOS, games consoles and Symbian.
Angry Birds has also become the biggest mobile phone app that the world has seen so far and unless something goes horribly wrong for Rovio, this isn’t going to change any time soon.
There is no definite answer as the where and when the show be available to view means other than the shows official site, but we do know so far that there will be 52, 3-minute episodes that will run for the first series, but it looks like this is not where the line will be drawn. Rumours are flowing after the company has given word that there is a movie in the works as well. Believe it or not this is not a joke, as the little birds are due to smash on to the big screen in full 3D in 2016.
Is this all a step too far or will we all eventually absorbed in to Piggy Island where the show is set and end become one with Bomb Bird or King Pig? Time will tell, but for now, just have a look at the trailer above and decide for yourself if you think this is going to go big or end up smashing through the floor.
CES today have announced their latest product to market; the G24 All-In-One (AIO) touch based computer with its elegant and innovative design.
With Windows 8 hitting the market more now since its initial launch, we’re finding partners and system integrators utilising the technology even more and designing products based around the OS. ECS have designed the G24 touch based computer with a edge-to-edge 23.6″ touch panel, 10 finger touch capability, realistic audio display and full HDMI functionality to give the user the true benefits of a Windows 8 PC.
The G24 is aimed at many markets, as you’d expect with a product of this nature, with a keen eye on the medical and health sectors with thanks to the large, high resolution touch friendly display. Other markets that ECS are aiming for are stores and shopping centres where they claim the AIO to be perfect for public information, promotion and advertising.
At the heart of the G24 is an ECS Thin Mini-ITX motherboard with various models from the Q7H2-TI, B75H2-TI, H61H2-TI and NM70-TI, all with full HDMI functionality and with the addition of a TV tuner kit (extra), the G24 allows the unit to be used as a second TV at home. Other capabilities of the All-In-One includes a hot swap bay on the right side of the display, allowing users to connect a 2.5″ portable hard disk drive to get their data whenever they need.
The G24 is VESA mountable, taking it from a PC to a fully fledged TV with the addition of the tuner. Aimed at having an elegant, entertainment unit for sharing, business and much more, the G24 really does put the words “All-In-One” into perspective.
Chipmaker; Freescale Semiconductor wanted to make a chip that can be implanted into a human body, and by doing so they’ve created the world’s smallest ARM-powered chip model; the Kinetis KL02.
The KL02 is as small as 1.9 x 2mm. Despite the insanely tiny footprint, the fully loaded multi-controller unit has a processor, RAM , ROM, Clock and I/O controller. It uses 32k flash storage, 4K memory, a 32bit processor, a 12-bit analog to digital converter and a low power Universal Asynchronous receiver/transceiver in a single die shrink, which allows devices to be made tiny enough that one can use it as swallow-able computers. Freescale said that they’ve been working with customers and partners to make this happen, but they can’t say anything further as the product is not announced officially.
In all honesty, devices as tiny as this can not only help doctors and even surgeons to understand their patients but users can also use it to keep a track on their health. If this is perfected as swallow-able computers, the possibility of it are endless.
As of now, Freescale is working with health and wellness clients such as Fitbit and the Omipod insulin pump which uses the company’s chips. The KL02 as of now is meant to be used with stuff like Nike+ where it can be used to wirelessly report your steps.
Steve Tateosian, Freescale’s Global manager, said,”We come across hundreds of micro-controllers embedded in the devices we use throughout the day. For example, you may come across them when your alarm wakes you up, you brush your teeth, make your coffee, unlock your car door, open your garage, put down the car window, pay the parking meter, tell the time on your watch, measure your heart rate, distance, and pace. While running you may listen to your music player with several controllers inside, including in the ear buds themselves.”
The multi-controller is available for retail but the KL02 is specifically designed only in response to a customer’s request.
Japanese-based Industry giant Toshiba recently announced that they’re developing a technology with a promise that it will be making a substantial cut in power consumption for embedded SRAM solutions which is used in smartphones, tablets, MP3 players and such portable devices which use high-performance memory modules. The company believes that this technology may be used to save significant amounts of battery power.
However, what Toshiba claim is that the embedded memory chips could have power usage lowered by as low as 27% on a device with power saving features enabled, but when used. On standby, Toshiba assures that it should be able to save up to a surprising 85% of memory chip power consumption.
Toshiba was able to do this by implementing a few circuits and not re-designing the SRAM or introducing a new memory type. The changes will have temperature sensitivity, predictive capability and will even be able to dynamically adjust its performance depending on the load.
Toshiba said the following in its press release:
Toshiba’s new technology applies a BLPC and DCRC. The BLPC predicts power consumption of bit lines by using replicated bit lines to monitor the frequency of the ring oscillator. It minimizes the active power of the SRAM in certain conditions by monitoring the current consumption of the SRAM rest circuits. The DCRC greatly decreases standby power in the retention circuit by periodically activating itself to update the size of the buffer of the retention driver.
Toshiba wasn’t exactly clear about the actual savings of power consumption in smartphones and such portable devices. It is presumed that due to the the role of the memory chip, it still consumes power after locking the device or turning the screen off. Additionally higher memory chip counts lead to even more power consumption and therefore it is something that needs to be addressed. Toshiba’s solution may be one of the ways to address that issue especially at a time when on-board memory of such devices are beginning to grow to 2GB and even beyond.
Maybe smaller die-shrinks and other technology implementations could help to reduce power consumption even more in the future.
Today we have with us a nice selection of fans from BitFenix. We have the 120mm and 140mm variants of the BitFenix Spectre Pro PWM series. In addition to that we also have the 120mm and 140mm variants of the BitFenix Spectre LED PWM series. It is also worth nothing the Spectre series also includes the Spectre Pro LED, Spectre Pro, Spectre, Spectre PWM and Spectre LED fans. If you aren’t confused by now then I guess you are ready for this review!
The PWM variants of the Spectre series have been designed mainly with CPU heatsink and radiator operation in mind. If you want case fans then the cheaper non PWM versions are available to suit those needs.
Full specifications of all four of these fans can be seen in below table.
Games and interactive entertainment trade body, Ukie welcomes today’s announcement from the Department for Culture Media and Sport (DCMS) that the British Film Institute (BFI) will be administering the cultural test for the UK games tax relief.
The BFI cultural test team has a proven record of offering an effective and expert service to the film industry which will be vital for developers looking to take advantage of the new video games tax relief. The production and examination of games is very different to film however, so we are pleased to see that the BFI is currently recruiting analysts who are experts in the games industry. http://www.bfi.org.uk/about-bfi/job-opportunities/current-vacancies/certification-analyst-video-games
Ukie CEO, Dr Jo Twist said: “The BFI Cultural Test team have delivered a very effective service and expertise to the film industry so we welcome their experience to the games industry. The process of developing a game, and understanding their cultural nature is extremely different from films so we’re happy too that BFI will be hiring recognised games industry experts with significant experience of the sector to administer cultural test applications from games businesses, as we recommended in our tax break response to government. We will be assisting BFI with the recruitment of these key roles and will also be in regular contact with them to make sure the guidelines for the test are fit for games businesses.”
Tax breaks in this sector are a big issue for UK, especially for developers, and since it was something left from the last budget, many developers were hit hard and have been forced to move their studios to countries like Canada that offer incentives to technology companies and developers in the form of tax breaks, which of course helps reduce development costs and save the company a lot of money.
Do you work in the games industry in the UK, do you think this the start of welcome changes for the future, or is it too little too late?
The author of this article Sarah Bolloum advised her daughter to do a broadband speed test when she had some speed issues on her computer.
In rural communities, high-speed Internet access is not always easy to find. Even if a local provider offers service, your home might be ineligible for various reasons. Consider these tools and options to help locate a provider that serves your area.
Check with companies that offer other services
Sometimes, nationwide companies bundle different services for rural customers. For example, your telephone or satellite-TV provider might offer Internet access via satellite dish. Visit the company’s Web site, or make a phone call, to learn more.
Get on waiting lists
Waiting lists tell providers that they have potential customers in the area. If access is close to your home, but not quite there yet, a list of interested people might persuade the company to plan for expansion. This can take time—months, even years—but adding your information to the list does not take long. Afterward, you can move on and continue looking for other providers.
Search online for providers
Sites like DSLReports.com have searchable databases. These sites include different kinds of Internet connections; customer reviews; and multiple search options (by ZIP code, for example, or by state). Some companies that come up in your search results don’t serve your area, but others might.
Look for more than one kind of connection
You might not be able to get a Digital Subscriber Line (DSL) through your telephone provider, but what about a WISP (terrestrial wireless) connection from another provider? This kind of access is ideal for some people in rural areas. Others can use satellite dishes. In some parts of the country, cell-phone providers’ connections work well. Don’t limit yourself to one or two kinds of service; you might have other, unexplored options.
Use local resources
Ask your neighbors how they get Internet access at home. If the family next door has a high-speed provider, the odds are very good that you, too, can subscribe. Sometimes, providers advertise in your area. Keep an eye on billboards, the local newspaper, and even signs staked out in yards. Rural areas are no different from more-populated regions as far as advertising goes; companies find creative ways to get your attention.
You might have only one option other than dial-up. If that’s the case, keep looking while you make the most of what you have. Companies expand coverage areas on a regular basis. New providers move into underserved areas and set up shop. Businesses that offer other services expand. Keep looking, stay on the waiting lists, and talk with your neighbors; convincing them to express a desire for high-speed Internet in their homes can encourage a company to sell you all what you want.
So its just over a week since NVIDIA officially announced their contender to the single GPU battle between themselves and AMD. The GeForce GTX Titan has been the talk of the town for a little while and now we are finally able to get our hands on one and see what the fuss is all about. NVIDIA have said that they are going to leave it to us, the reviewers, to decide whether or not this new card is any competition for AMD’s 7970. This naturally can be taken either way in that they honestly don’t know how it will compare, or they are hiding the fact that this is not only going to give AMD a run for their money, but they will have to sprint to keep up.
So what is so special about the Titan? Well NVIDIA has dubbed this as potentially being the worlds most powerful single GPU in the world and that it is build for the next generation of supercomputer gaming. At the same time, with the announcement from AMD that they won’t be bringing out any more GPUs until next year and until then will be sticking with the 7000 series for desktops (even though we know the mobile 8000 series are about), it looks like this could be the one and only major release of the year meaning that if NVIDIA can pull it off, they potentially could be holding the top spot and podium for a large portion of time when it comes to single GPU cards.
The card has been named after what is currently the worlds fastest super computer – ‘Titan’ – a behemoth of technological engineering, packing in 18688 AMD Opteron 6274 16-core CPUs, 18688 Tesla K20X GPUs, 710TB of total memory, 10PB of storage, an a theoretical peak speed of 27petaFLOPS. The Cray supercomputer which consumes a whopping 8.2MW of power costs a total of $97 million and resides at the Oak Ridge National Labratory.
We saw a few of the Titan’s highlights mentioned last week when NVIDIA lifted the NDA on the cards specifications, but to refresh ourselves on these, the single GPU design houses 2,688 CUDA cores and 7.1 billion transistors and runs at a speed of 837MHz boosting to 876MHz – this is topped with 6GB of GDDR5 memory. A key feature that we will point out that is new to Titan over any other NVIDIA GPU is GPU Boost 2.0. This works in a similar way to how GPU Boost operates on other cards, however rather than limiting the cards overclock to staying within a certain power envelope, GPU Boost 2.0 now allows to card to go even further and overclocks the card dynamically whilst keeping it under 80 degrees Celsius. This in effect means that the card will be able to overclock itself to a higher speed and since the temperature is linked directly to the vCore, the board and adjust the voltages more accurately and higher at the same time to keep the card stable.
This is not where the new features end, there is also display overclocking, a concept that allow most monitors to display frame rates higher than they typically would be able to under normal circumstances. Typically most displays run at 60Hz, although there are a number that can run at 120Hz (normally 3D enabled panels) and to put this into frame rates, 60Hz = 60fps, so whilst the card is able to push out far more than this, the panel will only display at its refresh rate. What the Titan is able to do however is overclock the refresh rate of the screen and by increasing the frequency to say 80Hz, the screen will now actually display more frames each second to give a smoother image.
Keeping things simple and to the point, we find a standard Gigabyte / NVIDIA box design with the blue Gigabyte eye that we have come to associate with the GPUs.
Inside the box, we find a tube containing a MP8000 gaming mouse mat and a separate box with a quick start guide, driver CD, VGA adapter, two power adaptor cables, a HDMI lead and a new addition to the Gigabyte array of goodies, a pack of branded cards.
Slovenia based water cooling experts EK Water Blocks have today announced another product release, only days after launching a GTX Titan full cover waterblock. Today however sees the launch for AMD’s 7970 in the form of the Asus Matrix Platinum. You may remember that we took a look at the Asus Matrix HD 7970 Platinum 3GB card a couple of months back and found it to be exceptional with some very unique features, walking away with our Editor’s Choice award.
Much like other full cover blocks from EK, the EK-FC7970 directly cools the GPU, VRMs and memory due to the design which allows for water to flow across all critical areas of the card, thus meaning that pushing the card further in terms of overclocking should yield better results due to the improved cooling solution.
EK have also made sure that the EK-FC7970 features a high flow design so that it can be used in conjunction with liquid cooling loops that feature weaker water pumps, which decidedly is a cost decision more than anything.
The base of the water block is nickel plated electrolytic copper, and the top is made from a quality POM Acetal material. Rubber washers are used to seal the unit and brass standoffs pre-installed making installation both simple and painless.
The Matrix Platinum by standard features a three slot I/O design, whereas EK bundle in a two slot I/O bracket making it easier for CrossFire configurations. With the block installed, up to four EK-FC7970 Matrix enabled cards can be used together on a single ATX form factor motherboard in conjunction with the EK-FC terminal which comes in dual, triple or quad flavours.
Pricing is set at €109.95 Inc VAT and will be available on Friday March 8th 2013 through both the EK Webshop and their retail partners and pre-ordering is already possible.
Huawei are not a company that one would typically jump straight towards when looking for a new phone, but the company has today announced that they will be launching the W1, an entry-level smartphone that runs on the Windows Mobile platform. The handset will be available both online and in stores on both PAYG (Pay-As-You-Go) and Pay Monthly contracts from as little as £13.50 per month or for £119.99 on PAYG SIM deals.
By utilising the popular Windows Mobile interface, Huawei aims to give users a phone that is easy to use and ideal for novice users to smartphones. The iconic tile based layout will be displayed on a 4-inch 480×800 IPS screen, powered by a combination of a dual core 1.2GHz Qualcomm CPU and an Adreno 305 GPU. The phone will also feature a 1950mAh battery, supposedly giving it the best standby time see to date when compared to other handsets in its class and it also offers up a 5 megapixel camera on the back with LED flash and a 4GB memory which can be expnded to 32GB through the microSD slot on the side of the phone.
The W1 will be available solely in ‘Electric Blue’ to start as shipments roll out, however there will also be an ‘Electric Pink’ variant that will become available as well from the 18th March. Huawei are keen to push the W1 right into the heart of the markets and they plan to have an extensive advertising campaign across the UK media to promote the newcomer to the entry-level markets.
Windows Phone 8, offers users a simple to use tile based animated home screen that seamlessly integrates with their other Windows 8 devices such as tablets and PCs giving a unrivalled experience in its class where users can customise all their devices as one with real-time updates and give easy access to information, entertainment and updates in the news and social worlds.
A white handset is also in production, but at this moment, only the blue and pink models will be available to buy, ideal for the teenage generation where an inexpensive smart-phone with a bit of colour and style is key.
Today we have something a little special and by that I mean it’s literally little and it’s special, I am of course talking about one the latest small form factor chassis’ from SilverStone, the SUGO SG09. SilverStone have already proven time and time again that they are the masters of compact design. This is something we have seen in previous reviews of the SilverStone range such as the PS07 and the FT03-Mini, both of which were worthy of eTeknix awards for their unique design features, performance and build quality, all of which we hope to see in the SG09.
As you can see from the specifications below, the SG09 may be small but it’s capable of housing either Micro-ATX, DTX or Mini-ITX motherboards, giving it a wide range of compatible motherboards to choose from. Add to this the fact that it comes equipped with three fans as standard, support for two 3.5″ hard drives, four 2.5″ hard drives, a slim optical drive, large CPU coolers and long graphics cards! All of which is impressive for a chassis of this size.
This feature set addresses something that has been growing in popularity for quite some time now in the system building community, I am of course talking about the craze of putting immensely powerful gaming / work systems into smaller chassis’. This is in part due to the ever increasing popularity of LAN gaming events and the need for systems that can perform like any other desktop, yet still be highly portable. So let’s dive right in and take a closer look at what the SG09 has to offer and see just how capable a chassis of this size can or can’t be.
The first thing I want to take a look at is this Strider Plus PSU, while its not something that is included with the SG09, you do have to purchase it separately, SilverStone included it with the SG09 to demonstrate the chassis better. Not only will a fully modular PSU aid in the cable management of a small form factor build (or any build for that matter), but this PSU is the standard ATX PSU size of 140mm deep, where as most PSUs in the catagory have grown over the years to make room for more power/performance. The Strider Plus of course is more compact and still packs all the performance of a modern CPU, perfect for this kind of build.
Another treat from SilverStone that was given to aid with this build are the PP05 cables, a complete set of short cables that will once again improve on the cable management of this build. This set completely replaces all the original PSU cables and having less excess cable length within the chassis is no bad thing. Some people are under the belief that cable management is just for show, when in fact it can greatly improve the cooling capabilities of a system by helping to keep airflow unobstructed.
The front of the box features the usual names and logos for the product, as well as a solid run down of the major features of the chassis such as its graphics card, PSU and cooler capabilities, cable routing and fan mounts. The box also comes fitted with a Velcro strap that acts as a handle, while not the best solution ever the box could potentially double as the chassis’ own carry case for LAN events. But my absolute favourite part of the packaging is the writing at the bottom “Designed for advanced PC builder – Higher degree of assembly skill recommended”, as far as I’m concerned “Challange Accepted“.
Around the back of the box we have a great tear down image of the chassis that comes well labelled with more details about the chassis capabilities, fan mounts and PSU compatibility, but we’ll take a closer look at all of this in just a moment.
The SG09 comes well equipped with everything you need to install your components; a 4 pin fan power adaptor, USB 3.0 to 2.0 adaptor, sturdy rubber chassis feet and fan mount as well as all the usual screws and an easy to read instruction manual. The manual is most welcome here as the chassis can be quite complex to navigate as you shall see in a moment.
Michael Irving is a freelance writer and blogger, who’s investigating colocation options for his small home business.
Cloud computing is a fascinating area of IT that’s quickly emerging to streamline many processes we take for granted. Whether you’re running a business or looking to improve your personal computer use, the cloud can help.
Wondering how this piece of technology can best benefit you? Here are five ways that cloud computing can help streamline your PC use.
Perhaps the simplest and most useful benefit that cloud services offer is portability. No more carrying things between work and home on USB drives or CDs, or emailing files to yourself. Cloud storage means files are accessible from potentially any device with an internet connection. You won’t accidentally leave important files at home anymore: save it to the cloud, and it will be in the office before you are.
Maybe you already have a reliable system for transporting your own files. That’s good. But we all know that collaborating with others can throw the most carefully laid plans out the window. Sure, you might never forget to update your USB stick with the latest versions of your work, but co-workers may not be so organised.
Easy access to the cloud from anywhere means that anyone contributing to a project can simply save the work as normal, and have it automatically update the online version. They can’t forget to save the work, surely. In this way, the cloud streamlines that most painful of practices: version control.
Less hardware is required
While programs like Microsoft Office aren’t too intensive on your computer’s memory, others, like the Adobe Creative Suite, can be. And once it’s on your hard drive, the license system makes it difficult to work anywhere else, without purchasing another license and installing the software on another device.
Running these programs through the cloud has several advantages. For one, your PC only really needs enough processing power to access the internet and run the operating system. The heavy lifting is handled by the servers. Pairing back the hardware requirements will save you money both immediately and in the long run, as you won’t need to update as often to keep up with advancing technology. And, of course, it keeps your PC clear of the clutter of rarely-used programs.
Secure data storage
If digital data storage is a key element of your business, the cloud can provide safer and more cost-effective alternatives to setting up and managing your own storage.
Third-party colocation data centres, such as Macquarie Telecom, are designed with security and stability in mind. The infrastructure will let you access your information from anywhere with an internet connection, keep it secure to ensure only you and those you authorise can access it, and protect against data loss with backups and advanced safety measures within the facility.
You may believe it’s best to only trust yourself with your vital data, but data centres can take the stress and expense out of the equation for you, without sacrificing availability or security.
Expandable – multiple servers as required
Online businesses can suffer if their servers can’t support the traffic they receive. Traditional single-server hosting may not be able to handle a sudden increase in visitors to your site, meaning some customers may be left waiting, and will likely take their business elsewhere.
In the past, the only way to prevent this was to purchase additional servers to support the traffic flow – a risky strategy in itself, if the traffic levels fluctuate.
Cloud computing streamlines this, in terms of cost and effort. From the cloud, your business can automatically connect to as many servers as the traffic requires, without the need for you to estimate a specific amount. When your visitors increase, the host will assign as many additional servers as required. When it wanes, the servers hosting your content will decrease, to prevent unnecessary expenses.
A patent application was recently discovered which was filed by Apple, Inc. The patent application indicates that the company is working on a wearable “slap bracelet” type device, filed with the title “Bi-stable spring with flexible display” back in August 2011.
As mentioned in the patent application, the bi-stable spring would be made of thin steel with fabric being used to wrap it and then then-seal it. One side will have the logic board and the battery on the slap bracelet, whereas on the other side it will have a display stuck with an adhesive. It also showed that the display was mounted on the right side of the bracelet with a thicker fabric frame.
The circuit board would come with some on-board sensors such as accelerometers and gyroscopes and the bracelet would be for universal fit of any wrist size. The patent indicates that there are sensors which will turn off the unused portion of the bracelet in case of any overlaps.
The sensors can even be used curved when strapped around a wrist. It will detect that the device is being worn and provide an uninterrupted screen.
The battery may be powered by solar panels, kinetic energy or even a wireless charger.
The patent describes the following about the display:
“With a touch screen user input a user can accomplish a number of different tasks including adjusting the order of a current playlist, and reviewing a list of recent phone calls. A response to a current text message can even be managed given a simple virtual keyboard configuration across the face of the flexible display.”
It’s being said that the tech giant is in talks with Hon Hai Precision Industry who has been working on wearable device technology associated with displays and chips. It will be interesting to see how this device turns out if and when Apple showcase the product to the public.
Demolition derby is set to return in a very big way! Best known for their critically acclaimed, multi-million selling “FlatOut” series (FlatOut, FlatOut 2, FlatOut: Ultimate Carnage) and most recently for Ridge Racer Unbounded, team Bugbear is going to deliver the definitive demolition derby racing game soon.
“We are returning to our roots to make this game, re-interpreting what initially excited us way back in FlatOut days. It’s full-contact motor sports with cars built for crashing. We’re doing it because our fans have been asking for this kind of game for years. We get the messages every week.”
“Nobody else seems capable of delivering what they need, and there hasn’t been a proper demolition derby game for a long time. It’s about time the fans got an answer.”
“Technology now allows us to fully realize what we imagined back then – debris-filled scenes of high speed carnage. We’re taking destruction racing to a level you’ve never seen before. We can put tons more metal and dirt in the air now, and that’s exactly what we’re going to do. We want to make you feel the carnage. We’re calling it just our next car game for now. It’s coming for the PC and yet to be announced platforms. More news soon.”
The FlatOut games used to be a lot of fun on the PC, I even still go back for a few games of FlatOut 2 from time to time myself and the prospect of a next-gen fully up-to-date and no doubt packed to the max with epic physics based destruction makes this one game I really can’t wait to see in action.
Check out the teaser video bellow and let us know, are you looking forward to a new FlatOut title?
Sometime back it was put up that AMD would not be introducing any new GPU’s this year except for the HD 7990 dual GPU card. Furthermore it was speculated that other than the HD 7990, AMD is practically done with 7xxx series and will move on to release the AMD Radeon HD 8000 series which is said to be emphasizing on GCN 2.0 architecture and better tessellation, but then AMD clarified that we will be seeing the newer cards by the end of this year.
Shortly after this though, it seemed that AMD is infact not done with the 7 Series, to refresh that, a report has come up that the company will be releasing a HD 7790 GPU card in April in an effort to bridge the gap between the HD 7770 and HD 7850 graphics card. It was further stated that unlike these cards, the AMD HD 7790 Radeon will be based on the Bonaire XT core. This will be the first AMD GPU that will be based on GCN 2.0 architecture which is said to be used for the AMD 8000 series GPU as well.
What’s even more interesting is that according to Fudzilla, the performance of the HD 7790 is so impressive that AMD have asked manufacturers not to have a non-reference/overclocked version of the cards. The reason that they’ve asked to do so is because AMD has fear that doing so may surpass the performance of HD 7850, not only defeating the purpose but also eventually crippling HD 7850’s sales.
Although this doesn’t really translate that this will be a good performer, one can speculate its overclocking~performance potential altogether.
As of now, if the rumours are true, AMD would be making the HD 7790 appear during CeBIT which will be hosted next month (of which we will be covering), along with other products as well. Hopefully if AMD are generous enough to show some GPU benchmark comparisons, then this will give us some idea about the Bonaire XT GPU and about the card’s performance in general.
When we look at mobile graphics, ARM is not a brand that springs to mind, but when we take into consideration the number of digital TVs and Android based tablets that there are, ARM’s presence is a little more profound than some may think. Due to the increased popularity of mobile devices and the shift towards digital television (including the digital switch-over that took place in the UK mid last year) means that the company that is typically associated with mobile CPUs has also had a boom in its mobile graphics shipments.
In 2011, fifty million SoCs with Mali graphics on them were shipped out around the world, but the boom in tablet and TV sales has seen shipments rocket and last year the figures were already up three fold. This increased rate of shipping has seen the company make a forecast that by the end of this year, they may end up shipping just under 240 million units giving a turn over of nearly five times what ARM saw only three years back.
It’s not all plain sailing though as whilst ARM is thriving off the market trends, they’re not the only players out there and there is strong competition in the field from the likes of Qualcomm and NVIDIA, but their sales dominate the mobile and smart phone markets a little more for now whilst ARM take up a 20% share of the GPU shipments for use here.
Over other options the Mali GPUs offer up a balance between power and performance, which is important when it comes to efficiency and prolonging battery life in tablets and reducing overall power consumption in TV sets. In comparison to other companies, ARM’s graphics, which 95% of the time see themselves married up with their own processor such as the Cortex-A are designed a for a system-on-chip integration which gives a single unit multiple functions, ideal for compact devices such as tablets and smart phones. With the dramatic increase in smartphone sales and the shipments estimated to hit 1.1 billion this year across the board, there is the potential available for ARM to take a bigger slice into the smartphone sector and give the competition a run for their money.
Intel brought the 22nm architecture to the desktop in the form of “Ivy Bridge” back on April the 29th 2012. The transition to 22nm represented a large step forward in power efficiency and a modest step forward in clock-per-clock performance. Now Intel is promising that this transition will hit their Atom processors by the end of this year and this is particularly exciting news for mobile and tablet users. Intel Atom processors are designed from the ground up with power consumption in mind, they have to be incredibly power efficient for the sake of battery life and that often means Intel have to reduce clock speeds to get the right balance. However, the introduction of 22nm means that Intel can now hit these same power envelopes with much more performance. As well as being able to offer lower-powered options to really squeeze the absolute maximum battery life out of these 22nm tri-gate Atom System-on-Chips (SoCs).
However, as we wait for these new 22nm Atom SoCs to be released, Intel has just announced three new SoCs based the 32nm Clover Trail+ Atom micro-architecture at the Mobile World Congress (MWC) event in Spain. The Intel Atom Z2580, Z2560 and Z2520 are the three new SoCs to hit the market.
Intel are claiming double the compute performance and three times the graphical capabilities over the previous generation of mobile Atom processors – all while maintaining “competitive low power”. New features include support for 16 Megapixel (MP) image sensors, burst mode capabilities capturing 8MP images at 15 frames per second (FPS), hardware acceleration for 1080p video encoding and decoding at 30 FPS and enhanced High Dynamic Range (HDR) capabilities – something Intel needed to include because Nvidia’s Tegra 4 is also promising this. However, integrated LTE support didn’t materialise although Intel does offer the 4G capable XMM 7160 modem. As an extra Intel is also providing real-time facial recognition technology as part of the Clover Trail+ platform.
Lenovo’s IdeaPhone K900 will be the first phone to boast Intel’s flagship Z2580 Atom SoC on its 5.5″ high resolution display. More products using these SoCs have been promised by ASUS and ZTE, while Intel claims Android tablets will be powered by these in the not-so-distant future.
The main story from the even though is Intel’s Merrfield 22nm Atom SoCs which Intel will start producing this year. If ARM progress is anything to go by, Intel are really going to need the lowered power and improved performance that the 22nm process has to offer. Add to that the fact Intel is already having a hard time encouraging App and OS developers to opt for x86 instruction set support – the pathway to mobile success for Intel looks long and obstacle filled.
Production begins in late 2013 meaning finished products will not arrive until Q2 of 2014. By then Nvidia’s Tegra 4 and Samsung’s Exynos 5 Octa (eight core) SoCs will already be established in the market. Best of luck Intel – you’re going to need it.
After a series of delays, the six strike system is finally all set to roll out to make ISPs punish their customers. The Six strike system is designed to prevent/discourage copyright infringement within the United States. The six strike system works with a concept of throttling the speed of the internet connection in the hopes of discouraging the end user to infringe on copyright material and even forcing educational videos about copyright infringement from the anti-piracy groups.
Its video presentation emphasized that under any circumstances, it will not share private information to the companies that filed copyright infringement complaints, although ISPs are ending up playing the role of a “policeman” in this system.
As of now, Verizon, AT&T, Comcast, and Time Warner who are associated with its large media partners and are no strangers to throttling speed seem to look like its early adopters and even formed a group called “Center for Copyright Information”, but this system was supposed to go online by this week. The reason it wasn’t able to do so was due to Hurricane Sandy which lead to issues with testing servers that got knocked offline.
The CCI even started its own website and started its promotional video on YouTube (that manage to achieve an amazing milestone of receiving 4400 dislikes) which it lead to believe that the new will system will be online by next week.
According to the six strike system, the first warning has no actions, but later on ISP’s will be sending more warnings about acting on the copyright infringement. The CCI stated that there will be a $25 filing free which maybe waived if one can meet the affordability criteria, but the fees would be refunded if the challenge is successful.
However, real estate owners and Wi-Fi cafe owners are concerned about this system as it would be near impossible to keep an eye on customer activities all of the time. So the only choice they have is to quit their business deals with the following ISP’s mentioned above and get a local ISP for their customers, but if more ISPs sign up with CCI, it’s not possible to avoid this system.
Efforts are made to make mobile payments easier and more practical in every step, like how Paypal introduced a mobile device to accept credit cards. Samsung went ahead and made a deal with Visa to do just that. The deal will allow Samsung to embed Visa’s own payWave mobile payment applet in the next generation smartphones and tablets with NFC (Near Field Communication). The alliance was formally announced on Monday at Mobile World Congress held in Barcelona.
The next generation Samsung Galaxy S IV is all set to be announced in March and is rumoured to have Visa payWave implementation. This is a news that many officials from Visa and Samsung have confirmed. Since the use of NFC has taken its time to grow, this alliance should help to speed things up.
However, Brad Greene, Visa’s head of NFC payment said that there has been some friction with the implementation of NFC in the United States. The reason why they signed up with Samsung was because the Korean company produces practically half of all the Android powered smartphones in the market today. Since their goal was to make mobile payments available through many devices, Samsung is special and it’s because of this that they get an advantage.
In the agreement, Samsung agreed to load the payWave applet in its devices with NFC embedded in a chip with an encryption algorithm called secure element. The payWave applet also can be used in SIMs, where it can be moved from phone to phone. Samsung will manage the encryption keys and provide security capability to banks and mobile carriers for allowing their users to activate the services.
This alliance will also allow banks and carriers to implement faster, easier and cheaper mobile payment options using NFC according to Greene. Currently Visa payWave is used in a consortium of AT&T, Verizon Wireless, T-Mobile and even Google Wallet.
However, Visa isn’t the only one eyeing up NFC functionality. MasterCard have also announced that it is expanding beyond NFC so that merchants can let customers use QR codes, credit cards and anything else for transactions.
In this day and age, storage is everything, especially when you’re on the go, and there’s generally speaking, two ways of having it in your life when mobile. The first is utilising the cloud and the second is via USB storage. Patriot’s newest USB flash drive is aimed at users needing both large capacities and high performance and is branded under the Supersonic Magnum branding, though not for the faint hearted, as the range starts from around £70.
The Supersonic Magnum comes in three flavours, with a 64GB, 128GB and 256GB model spanning the range. Today we find the cream of the crop 256GB model gracing us with USB 3.0 quoted speeds up to 250MB/s read and 160MB/s write speeds and is compatible with both Windows 8 and MAC based computers.
With technology getting faster and devices smaller, the Supersonic Magnum may seem large at first but considering the capacity, it’s still a handy sized device that will fit easily into any pocket or handbag. Style wise it’s nothing out of the ordinary, though it is encased in an aluminium black body with a pleasant colour scheme and subtle branding.
As expected, it keeps the standard USB 3.0 blue connector, for those unaware of the drives potential blistering speed.
With a 256GB capacity, the flash drive appeals to a variety of consumers from those needing a device for business or pleasure and the speeds should be more than sufficient for all walks of life. With rated speeds of 200MB/s read and 160MB/s write, we were keen to see how this drive performs in the real-world as we’re used to manufacturers stretching out their figures, just a bit.
If anything from testing the drive, we saw that Patriot haven’t stretched it out enough with focussing on performance, we can see that our drive not only surpassed their rated figures but actually blew them out of the water.
Now we know that sometimes flukes are always possible but after testing the drive various times, we were greeted with the same numbers repeatedly showing that this drive’s performance doesn’t degrade after stressing it for a long period of time.
To give us another view on the performance of the drive, we fired up another benchmark tool to see if the results were consistent.
The read speed remained at the quote speeds at various size blocks, and even pushed to 290MB/s when dealing with 4096KB sizes, though the write speed performed no where near the rated speeds that Patriot claim.
We said earlier that you’d be looking at around £70 for the 64GB base model which undercuts the similar performing Kingston DataTraveler HyperX flash drive.
The next model up comes in the shape of a 128GB capacity and pricing wise, sets itself very competitively coming in £40 cheaper than the Kingston equivalent, with an amazing price of £110. Last up is the model we have today, with the 256GB model coming in at a stonking £270 which even at that price point remains the winner undercutting the Kingston HyperX drive by £30.
Though the Supersonic Magnum manages to give a competitive edge over its rival, it is still by no means cheap, in fact it’s pretty damn expensive when compared to a portable hard drive or SSD, though convenience doesn’t come into play when comparing the size and mobility.
Is It Worth It?
The price of this drive really does stick in your mind, as it’s not something you’d buy as an all-round stocking filler, like most other USB flash drives. The issue there is that this isn’t like most other USB flash drives, as it offers extreme performance for those who need it, and if you don’t need that, Patriot have you covered with their rest of their product lineup. We tend to use a similar flash drive for when we travel to events such as CeBIT, CES, and Computex, and we can honestly say that this is going to be worthy upgrade for us editing our High-Definition video footage.
This is a bit of a Marmite product, as it offers insane performance for a product of this calibre but costs a small fortune on the other hand, and due to this, it’s going to be aimed at a niche market and generally speaking, that market will warrant paying a little bit extra to get the performance that we saw today.
Also to make things a little sweet, Patriot have slapped a 5-year warranty onto this drive and with full plug and play support for Windows 8, this makes the Supersonic Magnum pretty unbeatable.
Leading manufacturer of memory for the extreme enthusiast; G.SKILL, have teamed up with EVGA and KINGPIN Cooling to give away some amazing prizes with the number 1 prize being the newest GeForce GTX TITAN graphics card from Nvidia among other fantastic up-for-grab hardware.
With the recent launch of the GTX TITAN, currently the world’s fastest single core GPU based graphics card, these three companies have teamed up to show some love to their fans on Facebook.
Starting on Wednesday 27th February 2013 and running until Friday 11th March 2013, Facebook users will be able to participate through the following link – http://goo.gl/vlPu1
One entry per user, though fans will get a bonus entry for every time that one of their friends enters through the above shared link.
Remember to enter, you’ll need to check out the following link (http://goo.gl/vlPu1) on or after the 27th February 2013 and you could get your hands on some simply amazing prizes so be sure to enter, and for an even beter chance invite all of your friends.
HP is giving itself one more chance to penetrate the tablet race by introducing the “Slate 7”, a touchpad with Google’s Android OS priced for $169.99.
The specification however is not very special. HP’s Slate 7 uses a 7 inch display with a 1024×600 resolution with a dual 1.6 GHz ARM Cortex A9 SOC, 1GB of memory, 8GB of on-board storage with a Micro SD memory slot option. It uses 802.11 b/g/n/ Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 2.1 with a VGA quality front facing camera and a 3 Mega Pixel camera on the rear.
What HP does have is that its stereo speakers use Beats audio processing and the company’s ePrint functionality is also present, but is it something that users would be interested in when looking at the Slate 7 in an already crowded tablet business?
Alberto Torres, HP’s senior vice president of the mobility Global Business Unit, said, “To address the growing interest in tablets among consumers and businesses alike, HP will offer a range of form factors and leverage an array of operating systems. Our new HP Slate on Android represents a compelling entry point for consumer tablets.”
While HP is all set to launch the Slate 7 in the United States by April, HP sells their WebOS patents and code to LG. To those who do not know, HP bought Palm back in 2010 and with it got its WebOS operating system. Unfortunately since then, HP wasn’t able to pull any attention to its “powered by this OS” because of the fierce competition that Google’s Android and Apple’s iOS gave to it and to each other. HP also had to go through some management re-shuffling which lead the OS to be put into cold storage.
Whether or not WebOS gets a new life is something that remains to be seen in the future, but LG announced that it was buying all of the patents and codes as it has plans to use the OS for its line of smart televisions. On the bright side, WebOS won’t be in the middle of the notorious mobile OS battle that has been going on for a long time.
The amount of this deal was not disclosed by either of the parties, but one could speculate that it can be significantly lower than what HP had to pay back in July 2010.
The engineer team of WebOS (or whatever is left of it) will be moving to L.G.’s California lab. Will LG’s plan to integrate WebOS for smart TVs be successful?
Asus have today announced a new series of motherboards on both their Intel and AMD lines that are set to take advantage of the more powerful integrated graphics that is now available from both chip manufacturers. Using the 4000 series graphics from Intel’s 22nm chips and the 7000 series on-board graphics from FM2 and A-Series chips over at AMD, all boards now feature HDMI and DVI display outputs to give discrete levels of performance for media centres and HTPCs.
The idea from Asus is that by removing the need to purchase a dedicated GPU for such needs as HTPC builds and fully harnessing the power of the onboard graphics that both AMD and Intel now offer up, the overall cost of building a HTPC can be dramatically reduced.
On top of the new support for each set of on-board graphics, the two sets of boards, namely the B75M-A, H61M-PLUS, H61M-A/USB3 and H61M-A on the Intel side and the A85XM-A, A55M-A/USB3, A55M-A for AMD, on some models will also see an updated and notably improved USB3.0 performance with USB3.0 boost. This utilises the USB Attached SCSI Protocol (UASB) to take advantage of the entire bandwidth available to USB3.0 and creates more lanes through which data can be passed. Typically this means speeds of around 10x that of USB2.0 and 1.7x that of typical USB3.0 ports.
On top of the main features, all the boards will now be home to solid capacitors for more efficient and precise power control and with a lifespan of over 50 years, should see the boards working a lot longer than previous models under typical operating conditions of around 65 degrees Celsius.
There is no current mention on pricing as of yet for the new range of boards, but with the key focus on utilising the on-board graphics, budget HTPC builds are certainly the main focus and we can certainly expect a suitable price tag to go along with this budget mindset.
Given the focus on harnessing the on-board GPUs, we look forward to having a look at some of these boards in the near future and comparing how the on-board graphics for HTPC use compares to using dedicated graphics.
Rick Delgado is a freelance writer who specializes in technology advancement and network forensics. He enjoys keeping up with the latest gadgets and anticipating the next breakthroughs.
As the physical world has moved digital, so have criminals. Before, it would have been difficult for a thief to steal important information from a company. They would have to break in to the office itself. Now however, everything is stored online and if a company isn’t careful that information could be easily accessible by outsiders.
Just as you would want to make sure your home has the best security system possible to protect the assets inside, companies need to make sure their online information is securely locked up. If you think that online attacks couldn’t possibly happen to your company, think again. Consider the following three aspects of network security that many people overlook.
1. It is cheaper to prevent cyber-attacks than wait to fix them
A study of U.S. companies revealed that out of the companies affected by cyber-attacks, most ended up paying close to $3.8 million a year to fix the problem. Those companies could have saved a lot of money if they had been a little more cautious. It may seem like a big investment at first, but network security will pay off in the long run.
2. Loss of information due to theft accounts for the highest external cost for businesses
Businesses are always looking for ways to increase productivity in the workplace. They come up with fancy ideas like rewards programs, weekly interviews or even throwing office parties. While these all may be helpful, companies also need to consider how they can prevent situations that will drastically disrupt productivity.
Imagine what would happen if on a busy workday, the entire office was shut down. It could result in a loss of important clients, big sales, or a number of other things. If your company network is infiltrated with a virus your company could be out for several days.
In addition to loss of work time, reports have shown that information theft can add up to almost half of all external costs for many companies. Disruption or loss of productivity as a result of fixing the problem is the next highest cost. If companies knew these statistics they would likely put a stronger effort into establishing an effective network security system.
3. Hackers also want to get into your computers at home
While every business should take necessary precautions to protect their information, don’t forget about your home computer as well. Just because you don’t have classified documents saved to your home network, it doesn’t mean no one wants access to it. Hackers or crackers will often look to take control of a home network so they can then launch attacks on other networks without being traced. Even though their final target may be a large corporation or a government agency, working through your network will give them the cover they want.
There are also people who simply want to cause trouble. If you don’t have strong security they could access and change information or even reformat your hard drive.
Facebook have announced this week that it has been working with multiple mobile carriers around the globe in a deal that could see Facebook Messenger data costs greatly reduced, with users in some countries even seeing data costs disappear completely from their bills.
The deal is with 18 carriers in 14 different countries across Europe, Asia, the Middle East and South America, all of which are a nice mixture of growing and struggling markets for Facebook unlike the US which it already dominates in. While many of us may have mobile contracts that cause little concern for our overall data rates, this isn’t true in many other parts of the world where mobile data can be (and often is) a lot more expensive. This is also the case when travelling across countries, even with the reduced rates that we’ve seen throughout Europe.
The discounted or free data access (carrier and country dependent) for iOS and Android Facebook Messenger will be setup to tempt more users to the Facebook service, especially in countries where Facebook isn’t the leading platform, as global #1 doesn’t always translate to local #1.
This should go well with the integration of new features to Facebook’s messenger app that allows people to use the service, even in they are not signed up to the Facebook site and this will go a long way to pushing Facebook deeper into the world of mobile communications on a global level.
The new data plans are initially only setup to last around three months, but if they prove successful for both Facebook and the mobile networks you can expect the deal to last a good while longer.
Could this be the start of mobile communication becoming affordable for the whole population or is it just a scheme to push Facebook even more into our lives? The future will be the only answer and personally we welcome this at eTeknix as we are all about keeping in contact and this is a prime example of how it can be done.
Asus are one of the biggest names on the market, famed for their motherboards, graphics cards and other solutions. Most famously of all of course is the Republic of Gamers brand, also known as ROG. It’s with the ROG brand that they have pushed many of the latest and greatest gaming components of this generation and while Asus has some impressive internal system components, they have also created some impressive peripherals such as the one I will be taking a look at today, the Asus ROG Vulcan ANC PRO Gaming Headset.
“For years since its establishment, ASUS aimed to put an ever-greater emphasis on PC gaming. This process resulted in the 2006 founding of the Republic of Gamers brand (ROG), formed for the sole purpose of delivering the most innovative hardcore hardware for truly dedicated gamers.” – rog.asus.com
As you can see, the ROG brand think quite highly of their own products and you can’t go around claiming to have the most innovative hardcore hardware for truly dedicated gamers if you don’t have the goods to back it up, fortunate then that Asus / ROG have already proven themselves time and time again with their high end components. What I want to find out today of course is whether or not the same can be said about the Vulcan ANC headset. Is it just another common addition to the already crowded PC gaming headset market or does it offer something unique that makes it stand out from the crowd? Let’s take a closer look and find out.
As you can see, the packing comes styled with the common ROG colours of black, red and white although if that wasn’t enough of a clue then we still have the ROG logo on just about every surface of the box, on the side of the headset, in the image and no doubt a few other places. The front of the box features a stylish photograph of the headset and a few marketing quotes such as “The first ANC for gamers”.
Opening the front cover of the box is much more revealing as we find a clear window in the box to display a zip-lock hard case which contains the headset, while the left side of the box features a diagram of the headset and highlights some of its features.
Around the back of the box there is a much lighter focus on marketing quotes and phrases, here we have the hardcore details and specifications of the headset and its accessories. 85% active noise cancellation, 30dB noise isolation, lightweight 325g design and 40mm drivers are the main highlights here but judging by the specifications it looks like the Vulcan ANC should be something a little special in terms of headset performance.
In the box I found a simple quick start guide, warrant booklet and the zip-lock carry case for the headset.
Capcom is showcasing three brand new titles, all of which go on sale after Gadget Show Live: Remember Me, Resident Evil Revelations and Dragon’s Dogma: Dark Arisen. All three titles will be playable on PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360.
Epic Games is returning to Gadget Show Live with its unmissable Make Something Unreal Live tournament. The four shortlisted teams of aspiring game developers will work live onstage throughout the show under the guidance of studio mentors and some very special games industry gurus. The overall winner will take home the full source Unreal Engine 4 licence, which effectively sets the victorious team up as a commercial games development studio.
In a first for Gadget Show Live, the UK’s leading specialist games retailer Game is offering a 10% discount to all visitors buying new games at the show.
Gaming celebrities Ali-A and KSI, hosts of two of the world’s leading YouTube gaming channels, will be showing off their skills on the Game Stage, and eSports will be running an adrenaline-packed 16-team Counter Strike: Global Offensive tournament with a fantastic £10,000 cash prize up for grabs. Featuring the top teams from across Europe, the tournament will take place on 5-7 April. eSports will also be hosting single-day turn-up and play tournaments for visitors.
Visitors can also take part in casual or hardcore single and multiplayer gaming challenges on the Game Stage in the Game Zone, as well as enjoy the ever popular free to play Retro Arcade area.
Battlefield Live is making its debut at Gadget Show Live, too, letting visitors take part in the most authentic combat experience short of joining the military with special adult and kids’ sessions running throughout the show.
Igloo are also bringing its unique 360 degree gaming dome to Gadget Show Live giving visitors the chance to immerse themselves in a full 360 gaming experience. Its unique technology complete with weapon tracking and high quality sound means Gadget Show Live visitors will experience gaming on a brand new and exciting platform.
Gadget Show Live is the ultimate destination for gamers this Easter, jam-packed with gaming celebrities, brand new games, top tournaments and exclusive 10% discounts from Game. The event takes place on 3-7 April at the NEC, Birmingham, and tickets are available to buy now from www.gadgetshowlive.net/birmingham.