QNAP Is Beta Testing QTS 4.2 and It Looks Great

QNAP already has a very impressive operating system for their NAS series called QTS, but they aren’t resting on that and keep on improving and adding things. The newest version, QTS 4.2, is almost ready and it is currently being beta tested. That also means that you can try it if you have a QNAP Turbo NAS.

The new QTS 4.2 adds container virtualization snapshot, multi-zone multimedia control and other exciting new features. It also comes with a revamped user interface and will provide a smarter, smoother, and more spectacular cloud experience with strong security.

“QNAP continues to break the barriers of devices, platforms and geography to bring optimized cloud experiences to business and home users alike,” said Tony Lu, product manager of QNAP, adding “We have taken the lead in incorporating cutting-edge technologies like containers, snapshots and multi-zone multimedia streaming to extend the possibilities of QNAP NAS. With QTS 4.2, users are limited only by their imaginations.”

The revamped user interface will be the first thing you notice, it has a more flat design that reduces loading times and elevates the user experience with translucent login window, frameless media viewer, and new recycle bin. Multimedia is one of the big reasons to get an NAS in the first place, as you need a place to store everything. Your QNAP NAS can now be a multi-zone multimedia system with central control media streaming to different areas from a single device via HDMI, DLNA, Chromecast, Apple TV, Bluetooth and USB devices. The revamped Photo Station provides an excellent browsing experience with gallery and management modes and enhanced sharing mechanisms. Video Station now features online subtitle search while the HD Station now supports multilanguage and multitasking with new apps including Skype, Libre Office and Plex Home Theater.

QTS 4.2 also introduces an industry-leading hybrid virtualization solution with Virtualization Station and Container Station. The upgraded Virtualization Station adopts software-defined networking concepts and brings greater benefits for flexible networking. The new Container Station exclusively integrates LXC and Docker lightweight virtualization technologies, allowing users to operate multiple isolated Linux systems on a QNAP NAS as well as downloading apps from the built-in Docker Hub Registry. The FileStation can now directly browse and transfer files between their NAS and public cloud services as well as mount folders from a remote NAS.

There are a lot more improvements such as optimized storage management and cloud backup, higher data security with 2-step verification, shared folder encryption, instant notification to mobile devices, and VPN server. If you got a compatible QNAP NAS, then the new QTS 4.2beta is surely worth to check out.

Chrome to Get Faster with New JavaScript Techniques

Chrome was built with speed as one of the primary missions since its start back in 2008 and now the coders have come up with the next thing to help make it even faster. Chrome is introducing two techniques called script streaming and code caching designed to reduce that painful waiting time spent staring at a white screen, especially on mobile devices.

The script streaming optimizes the parsing of JavaScript files where previous versions of Chrome would download a script in full before beginning to parse it, an inefficient way to deal with data. Starting in version 41, Chrome parses async and deferred scripts on a separate thread as soon as the download has begun. This means that parsing can complete just milliseconds after the download has finished, and results in pages loading as much as 10% faster. It’s particularly effective on large scripts and slow network connections.

Code caching is the second new technique that helps speed up page loading, specifically on repeated visits to the same page. Chrome 42 introduces an advanced technique of storing a local copy of the compiled code, so that when the user returns to the page the downloading, parsing, and compiling steps can all be skipped. This allows Chrome to avoid about 40% of compile time across all page loads.

Thanks to Chromium for providing us with this information

Apple’s iPhone 6 TLC and MLC Put to the Test

We recently reported on Apple disabling TLC Memory in their iPhone 6 Plus models due to a high failure rate in their devices – further slowing down people’s phones and causing major outrage within clued up users. In further developments, we’ve gotten our hands on some testing and results looking into exactly how these changes will affect you. Is there a real difference betweel TLC and MLC flash in the iPhone 6 and will it make major differences to performance?

Experienced Hong Kong hardware testers HKEPC have just completed a detailed review and have found that a number of iPhone 6 64GB samples, including space gray, silver and gold colors may contain either HYNIX MLC, TOSHIBA MLC or SanDisk TLC flash memory. Put simply, it’s not obvious to know (simply by looking at the model) whether your iPhone 6 will have TLC or MLC memory at all – it seems to be almost random across the board and very hard to trace.

Without further adieu, here’s the first batch of results, showing a Zero Fill test comparison between MLC and TLC memory on the iPhone 6, 64GB model.

At first glance, these results are fairly obvious and there is no real need for explanation. However, HKEPC’s tests discovered that TLC utilization in the iPhone is optimized for fast access for processes like quickly opening applications. Its performance ranks above double MLC’s for the most part, drops off majorly toward the end of testing. This shows that if you’ve got multiple applications all fighting for a share of TLC memory, it might slow down to crawling pace. As the quote goes – “slow and steady wins the race”. However, if you’re using TLC for simple applications and not loading up your phone – it’s a far superior alternative.

We haven’t seen reports as to if Apple will be replacing iPhone’s under warranty that have had their memory randomly shut off without warning – we will continue to report as the story develops.

Images courtesy of Chiphell and eTeknix

XBONE Gets Processor Upgrades

In a bid to allow gamers to experience proper frame-rates, the Xbox One has just been confirmed receiving an upgraded higher-speed, lower-power 20nm AMD processor.

On top of giving the Xbox a little more grunt, AMD’s 8-core Jaguar GCN architecture GPU processor will be receiving an upgrade which is claimed to provide a cheaper cost, reduced power consumption and improvements to heat management. The current offered chip is rated at 28nm in all Xbox One production models and can be seen also utilized in Sony’s PS4.

This upgrade information was leaked through AMD’s Daniel McCann posting company secrets on his Linked In page, claiming “successful planning and implementation of Microsoft’s Xbox One host 28nm processors and more low-cost 20nm process processor”.

It’s rumored that the new 20nm processor may be up to 30% faster than its 28nm predecessor whilst consuming 25% less power. Still confused about what the ‘nm’ actually means? 28nm means that each transistor located in the chip measures one 28th thousand-millionth of a meter, when compared to the smaller packed 20nm.

Unfortunately, there is no current release schedule posted publicly for release – we’ll certainly report as soon as Microsoft releases an official statement.

Information thanks to Chiphell

Image courtesy of Games in Asia

 

Apple Vs Android -iPhone 6 is Just an Old Nexus 4?

The Apple Vs Android argument will be ongoing until the end of time – Apple fans often claiming that the iPhone ‘just works’ and Android fans claiming of the latest technology and lowest prices. Both parties have good points, but are you paying way too much for your iPhone with possibly outdated technology?

The comparison shot above has been circulating around popular image boards and social media websites as of late, showcasing how Apple’s brand new iPhone 6’s premium features match that of something released almost two years ago by Google.

One thing this image doesn’t list however is the backend specifications of the phone, meaning there is no RAM or CPU model or speed noted, without taking this into account however this begs the question – is the iPhone really worth the price tag? But to put it into context, Googles Nexus 4 contains a Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Pro and 2GB of internal RAM compared to Apple’s iPhone 6 with a faster 64-bit, A8 CPU but smaller 1GB of RAM.

As a whole – you’ll be paying $199 for the Nexus 4 8GB, compared to a much larger $869 for the iPhone 6.

Personally, I’m not a fanboy either way – but it does make you stop and think. Are you upgrading to the new iPhone 6? We want to know why you prefer Apple’s product over its competitors – is it the interface, are you happier with their design? Or maybe something else has got you hooked.

Image courtesy of CNet

Google Planning on Bringing ‘Fiber’ To 34 Cities In The U.S. By The End Of 2014

It appears that Google is interested in providing its fiber services to even more cities in the US. The company giant has reportedly invited nine metro areas to analyse the requirements of bringing Google Fiber into their ‘neighbourhoods’.

“People are hungrier than ever for faster Internet, and as a result, cities across America are making speed a priority,” Google says. “We’ve long believed that the Internet’s next chapter will be built on gigabit speeds, so it’s fantastic to see this momentum.”

Google has stated that up to 34 cities around the US could be potential candidates for its fiber services. The metro areas stated are Charlotte, North Carolina; Nashville, Tennessee; Portland, Oregon; San Antonio, Texas; Atlanta, Georgia; Raleigh-Durham, North Carolina; Phoenix, Arizona; Salt Lake City, Utah and San Jose, California. It is said that Google will come up with a list of Fiber cities by the end of this year

“Between now and then, we’ll work closely with each city’s leaders on a joint planning process that will not only map out a Google Fiber network in detail, but also assess what unique local challenges we might face,” Google says.

Potential cities will also join Google’s initiative by providing feedback on their requirements on implementing the Fiber in their home town, along with a map of other service lines, such as gas, electricity, water, etc, that need to be avoided when working on the infrastructure.

This move could also be seen as a treat to competitors such as Comcast, which has cited Google as being a ‘legitimate competitor’. However, Google has stated that nothing is guaranteed at the current stage, but a lot can be learned from successfully implementing the Fiber in some cities and shared with others for future development.

Thank you The Verge for providing us with this information
Image courtesy of The Verge

Nvidia GeForce GTX 780 3GB Graphics Card Review

It’s that time of year again where NVIDIA have a new series of cards in the pipelines and as we have seen running up to today, the number of rumours and leaks that have been flying about are as profound as ever. For some this leads to pure confusion as to what is to be seen and what is complete rubbish, and for people like myself it leads to pure frustration as I know all the true facts and figures, meaning that when I see the rumours and false facts floating around I can do nothing but sit and wait until the NDA lifts to put a number of these claims to rest with the real specifications and performance figures behind the new cards.

So here we have it, the GTX 780 – the first in the new line of Kepler based 700 series cards and before we get too far into the nitty gritty of what’s new in the 700 series, I want to make the following fact clear and true – the GTX 780 CANNOT be flashed in any way to effectively turn it into Titan. There are a number of reasons for this; first off, whilst both cards share the same GK110 core, the 780 has far less CUDA cores, is a different revision of the core chip and has less texture units on-board. On top of this, there is also half the amount of video memory and a number of components in the power region of the PCB are missing as the 780 does not require these as opposed to Titan.

Point out of the way, NVIDIA’s new 700 series cards are here to replace the ever popular 600 series, although they are not a re-hash and re-brand of 6xx cards as some may presume. Whilst the GK110 cores may be featured on both 600 and 700 series cards, they will have subtle variances to them, mainly on the front of CUDA core count and texture filters and so forth.

So what is the 780 in relation to the 600 series cards. Whilst it may look like Titan, it is a slightly lower performing card. Titan is more geared towards users with multiple high resolution displays and thus the higher 6GB of GDDR5 memory that it encompasses. The 780 whilst still home to 3GB of GDDR5 is more aimed at users who are going to be gaming on a single screen at high resolutions with all the settings turned to 11. Over its predecessor, the GTX 680, the 780 has 50% more CUDA cores with a count of 2034, 50% more memory, up to 3GB from 2GB and overall a 34% increase in performance. Interestingly enough, GTX 580 users who upgrade to a 780 will see a whopping 70% gain in performance between the two cards and a 25-30% gain can also be found over AMD’s 7970.