Solar Cells So Small They Don’t Even Pop Bubbles

Solar panels are hardly small things, they are so big that some places even create large fields covered in just the devices, some laws even state that you either use them on your roof or you have grass. With recent advances in the field, increasing both how much energy each solar panel can absorb but also what they look like, it was no surprise that people are more and more keen to adopt the new technology, but sometimes giant panels, even hidden ones, are just too inconvenient to be considered useful; introducing the solar cells so small that they don’t even pop bubbles.

The solar cells were created by researchers at MIT, who while they state they are years away from commercial products, the proof-of-concept means that soon your phones and even your clothes could soon be powering all your gadgets. The process involves a vacuum chamber and avoids the use of solvents, something that differs from the traditional approach of high temperature and chemicals in solar cell production.

The researchers were able to demonstrate how light and thin their solar cell was by placing it atop a soap bubble, the bubble then remained intact. The problem with the cell though is it may be too small, making it maybe a little too prone to blowing away in the wind or after a heavy breathe.

Would you like to see solar panels integrated into more things? Your house windows or your roof, why not your watch or the back of your phone? The possibilities are endless!

Giada Announces GT400 All-round MicroServer

Micro Servers are growing in popularity along with any other device that is shrinking in size while maintaining the performance power of the larger siblings, and it is no surprise. A great feature set, low power consumption, and a small footprint make them an optimal choice for enthusiasts as well as small and medium businesses. Giada announced their newest take on this market and it is called the GT400 MicroServer.

Giada’s GT400 MicroServer is a 4-bay storage system and it would be perfect for NAS systems as well as general Windows and Linux OS uses. It is built for low power consumption and 24/7 reliability and it supports RAID 0, 1, 5, and 10 modes for the installed drives.

 

The system is very power efficient thanks to the Intel Celeron 1037U dual-core processor with an operating frequency of up to 1.8GHz while it only consumes a mere 17W at max. And the Celeron is great at file tasks, quite a lot better than the Atom for example, making it a great choice. The built-in power supply can deliver up to 180 Watts, which should be more than sufficient no matter what drives you install. The chipset used is the Intel HM77

Connectivity is provided through dual Gigabit Ethernet, both Intel-powered. One is a 210AT and the other is an 82579LM. USB 3.0, USB 2.0, D-Sub VGA, and audio out connections are available on the rear while the front features a USB 3.0 port with hardware copy button.

 

The four drive bays are hot-swappable and lockable for security purposes and prevent accidental ejection. The system itself is cooled by a 75mm fan that is placed on the rear of the unit. The available LEDs include one for each drive, one for each LAN port, one for USB, one for Status and one for Power. A system buzzer is also included, making it a complete package for almost any scenario.

The GT400 is compatible with both Windows and Linux systems, allowing you to use the one that is best for your setup. Free NAS systems such as OpenMediaVault and FreeNAS would be the perfect choice for prosumers while SMB users most likely will go with a custom Linux or Windows Server version.

You can equip the Giada GT400 with up to two SO-DIMM DDR3 modules, but Giada didn’t specify a maximum amount. So, 16GB in two 8GB modules should work without trouble on this chipset and CPU. The GT400 also features an internal m-SATA SSD port for your system partition.

Giada also applied its own designed and patented JAHC technology in the GT400. JAHC, Active Hardware Control Technology, provides built-in capabilities for unattended operations such as auto power on when connected to power, or a scheduled power on/off.

The GT400 also has an optional enterprise-class wireless router function. With this feature, the server is equipped with an enterprise-class main control chip and 4 external detachable antennas. In addition to the 2.4GHz/5GHz dual-frequency technology, its maximum wireless transmission rate reaches up to 600Mbps. The professional and enhanced low-noise amplifier increase the wireless performance with better signal strength, penetration and stability performance.

Phantek Enthoo Mini XL Super Micro Tower Chassis Review

Introduction


A few months ago, I reviewed the gorgeous Phanteks Enthoo EVOLV Micro-Tower Chassis and I loved it enough to award it with our Editors Choice Award. This week, we’ve gone a lot further up the Phanteks range, to take a look at their mighty Mini XL Now, the world mini might not imply that this is a big chassis, but it certainly isn’t mini at all, and we’ll show you why that is in just a moment.

Features

Enthoo Mini XL includes 2 x 140mm fan in front and 1 x 140mm fan in the rear. Ability to upgrade to additional fans is possible. All fans included are Phanteks’ new redesigned and better performing SP series fans.

Appearance

  • Sandblasted aluminum faceplates with matte finish
  • Multi-color LED light strips
  • Stealth interior design

Cooling

  • Extreme cooling capacity
  • Support for up to 14x 120mm / 8x 140mm
  • Comes with 3 Phanteks premium fans
  • PWM fan hub plus 2x y-splitters allow for 8 fan connections* (11 fans max with additional y-splitters sold separately)
  • Extensive water cooling support. Provides up to 5 different installation areas for slim and thick radiators varying from single to triple (120mm and 140mm form factors). Clearance for push-pull fan configurations.

Functionality

  • Dual removable harddrive cages
  • 2x removable Drop-N-Lock SSD brackets
  • Fully equipped with dustfilters (1x top, 1x front, 2x bottom)
  • Removable top panel for easy fan installation and dust filter cleaning
  • Compartment for fan installation in top panel
  • Clean cable management using Phanteks’ preinstalled Hoop-N-Loop cable ties
  • Mod friendly structure uses screws NOT rivets
  • 10 color ambient lighting controller
  • 2x USB 3.0, microphone, 3.5mm audio jack

The Mini XL comes with support for Micro-ATX motherboards, despite being a little bigger than most mid-towers and almost as tall as some full-towers. It also comes with support, through the purchase of some additional brackets which I have at my disposal today, for mini-ITX motherboards. What’s important to mention is that this isn’t an either-or situation, as it’ll support both a Micro-ATX and a Mini-ITX motherboard simultaneously!

“The MINI XL introduces a new form factor, super micro ATX. With its unique power supply location, the Mini XL case has been redesigned with optimal cooling in mind. Resembling the Enthoo Primo, it offers extensive water-cooling possibilities and supports the thickest radiators in the market (80mm). The case brings modularity to a new level. Almost every single panel or bracket can be removed or relocated to serve different purposes. For the ones who desire even more, the Mini XL leaves options for additional upgrades. Pherhaps the most interesting one is the possibility to transform the MINI XL into a dual motherboard system.” – Phanteks

One of the biggest features of this chassis is its water cooling support and the best way to demonstrate this would be the video below. It’s obvious that water cooling enthusiasts are going to love this chassis!

In the box, you get everything you need to get you started, from hard drive and water cooling adaptor brackets, as well as a lovely mini component box for all the screws you’re ever likely to require.

First things first, I’m pretty sure this chassis is coated in some kind of military grade paint used for stealth jets. In a well-lit room with a camera flash for extra light, it still manages to look dark black; that’s not a bad thing, but it’s terrible for some of my photographs. The left side panel features two windows, the larger one on the left, then a smaller one on the right to show off two extra SSD mounts and the Phanteks logo on the inside of the chassis; a great way to show off your fancy SSDs.

The right side panel comes with two ventilated sections with magnetic dust filters on the interior. The one near the front can be used for cooling fans or radiators, or just passive cooling for the hard drive bays dependent on your internal configuration of choice. The section at the rear is for the PSU, which is side mounted in the top right of the chassis.

The front panel looks really cool, with a mixture of curved edges and bold shapes. You can see that the has an extended took to it, with the main section sort of floating from the bottom and right sides of the chassis, which comes with a ten colour LED light strip, further adding to that “floating” effect. This extended design means the chassis is quite wide, but that will help drastically with radiator support, as well as the dual motherboard configurations that are compatible.

Around the back, you’ll see all kinds of crazy things going on. There’s a PSU mount in the top left corner, a universal 120/140mm spacing fan and radiator mount on the right, then down at the bottom you have your Micro-ATX motherboard mounting. Now, it’s worth mentioning that the radiator panel as well as the small panel in the bottom right corner can be unscrewed completely, lifted out of the chassis and replaced with an alternative panel to allow you to install an SFX PSU and Mini-ITX motherboard on top of all the usual hardware; don’t worry, we’ll be doing that shortly.

The top panel is vast, allowing huge amounts of ventilated airflow for a wide range of fan and radiator configurations as you saw in the video at the start of this review.

The front panel is tucked to the right side of the top of the chassis and comes with the usual power controls, two USB 3.0 ports and HD Audio jacks.

Instead of smaller feet, the chassis has two long feet that run the full length of the chassis, giving it extra stability; There are six tough rubber pads to help keep it firmly planted on your surface of choice. There are two dust filters that cover the full length of the chassis, and what’s really nice is that these filters can be removed from the left side of the chassis, making maintenance a much easier task.

Rumours Surround Acquisition of AMD by Microsoft

Word has spread that in an effort to start its own chip design operations Microsoft is planning to buy Advanced Micro Devices (AMD). It appears that Microsoft initiated the talk several months ago, if this move is true, will hit a vast swath of industry major players across the globe as AMD itself is the only hardware supplier to Microsoft’s own Xbox One and Sony’s PlayStation 4. Apple also uses AMD tech when it comes down to the professional graphics cards included in Mac pro and some MacBook models.

As this is an unofficial rumour, we can only state that current negotiations remain unclear, especially regarding Microsoft’s exact proposal to AMD. However, it’s good to keep in mind that Microsoft has operating funds of $95.3 billion, while AMD is capitalised right now at somewhere around $41.81 billion; so the possibility of an offer that AMD can’t refuse from Microsoft is still very much possible.

This is just how very fragile the balance of the IT industry is at the present moment. It is held only at the will of the big contenders such as Microsoft and Samsung if a similar move were to be played by Samsung or even Sony, this would cause chaos with smaller companies and even larger companies that depends on companies like AMD to provide excellent products with enough profit to build a solid brand.

We have heard many stories regarding the acquisition of AMD lately, do you think this rumour is true?

Thank you SOFTPEDIA for the information

Gauss Cannon Designed To Heal You From Inside

SONY DSC

Gauss Guns are often a thing of fiction. While they have been designed, achieving their aim is difficult due to the size and energy required to fire them. For those who are unaware of what I mean when I say gauss gun, it was a device designed to avoid using gun powder. Using magnetic charges, the concept is to propel an object through the air using only metal, a small electrical charge and magnetism. A research team in America may have found another use for it though.

University of Houston and Bostons Child Hospital have developed an application for the gauss technology to help medicine. The idea would be to inject tiny microscopic robots into your body which could then be ‘remote controlled’ via an MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) machine. Using magnetism, the nano-bots would be steered to a location, before finally sending in an activation nano-bot. When this final nano-bot is inserted it bumps into the next, sending it flying into the next and this continues until the last one is reached. With this in mind the final nano-bot can be used to do anything from opening blocked passageways, delivering a drug to a specific area of the body or even puncturing a membrane to release fluid which has gathered in the body.

With yet another example how science is being changed to not only prevent harm but also to save lives, the only thing left before future trials is to miniaturize the nano-bots, which at the moment are just bots.

Thank you Engadget for providing us with this information.

Image courtesy of Wikipedia.

Power Plug PC’s Are Now A Thing Thanks To Microsoft

More and more devices these days use USB chargers, to the point where you can even buy wall plugs with USB plugs built in, allowing you to charge your phone or iPod without needing an adapter. The next thing you plug into the wall socket may not be a power cable for your computer, instead it may simply be an entire computer thanks to the people over at Microsoft.

Computex 2015 is a showcase of technology from all around the world, but the Quanta Compute Plug was a little different. With two USB 3.0 ports and an HDMI port, the device can easily be plugged into your TV with your favourite mouse and keyboard. To top it off Microsoft say that with a Bluetooth remote or headset you can even use Cortana, their new voice command system that will be rolling out with windows 10, to control the computer no bigger than your average phone charger.

With no word on pricing or the hardware inside, the best guess is the device will be a low power device focused toward the increasing demand for media centres, hopefully with a price to match the dedicated media streaming devices that are becoming more and more accessible to everyday users.

What do you think about it? Would you be interested in plugging in a tiny little power plug if it meant you could stream your movies from into the sitting room? Are you attracted by the small space and wireless command capabilities available make it more appealing than a mini computer with a mouse and keyboard?

Thank you TechSpot for the information.

Image courtesy of Microsoft.

Say Hello To Your MicroSD Computer, Courtesy Of Google

Data security is a big issue in the news and politics, with everything from hacking to ransomware affecting a variety of both personal and business users. Mobile phones are used to store everything from personal pictures to work login details. Google aims to solve this with their latest gadget, Project Vault.

The vault looks like your everyday micro SD card, with sizes ranging from 4GB to 64GB announced. The difference being is that this little memory chip has a miniature computer built in. Powered by an ARM processor running ARTOs, an operating system focused on privacy and data security, the chip is designed to allow you a full range of security features such as batch encryption and hardware random number generator. The chip even features a NFC (near field communication) chip and an antenna to allow authorization and authentication services for the device its plugged into.

With all the new security features, allowing a more secure way to store your data on the go the device is designed to be compatible with everything from Android and Linux to Windows and OS X. With no additional software required the chip can be plugged into any micro SD readers and will be picked up as a generic storage device with a standard file system, no additional work required.

Currently, the device is being aimed at companies, with their first version being used internally at Google, however, they have not ruled out plans to make a consumer-focused version in the future. With the release of the Open Source Development Kit they hope that people can test and understand the hardware before they invest more time and finalise the details. In the demonstrator, Vault was used in a chat conversation, with vault taking care of encrypting and decrypting messages, meaning the phones used never actually had to use a key or algorithm, allowing secure communication easily.

With digital security such a big issue these days, generic hardware which can help encrypt everything like this are going to make a big difference to everyday users and giant corporations alike.
Thank you Tech Crunch for the information and images.

 

Spire Release Powercube 710 mATX Chassis

The Netherland based Spire has released their latest PC chassis named the Powercube 710 micro ATX case. The cube formed case only measures 28.5 x 21 x 27 cm, which is about the size of a sheet of A4 paper.

The tiny case only has room for one 80mm fan at the bottom of the case, the rest is packed to make room for your tiny Gaming or HTPC and media system. It is built from durable 0.5mm SPCC steel and it features two front USB 3 and HD-Audio ports. Inside it has room for a standard sized ATX power supply and can take micro ATX and ITX motherboards.

There isn’t a whole lot of room for drives, but it does have 2 internal 3.5-inch drive bays. The Spire Powercube 710 micro ATX case is backed by a 2-year warranty but listed with a 5-year life expectancy. The MSRP is set to $59.95 for the US and €44.95 for Europe.

Thanks to Spire for providing us with this information

Images courtesy of Spire

Kingston Upgrades Their SD Cards

Memory cards aren’t just memory cards and there can be a huge difference between them, just the same way that a USB device doesn’t have to be fast just cause it has a blue connector. Kingston is no stranger to good memory products and have just announced a double-up on two of their high-speed memory cards. The Class 10 UHS-I microSD is now available up to 128GB capacity while the Class 10 UHS-I SDHC/SDXC card will be available all the way up to 256GB.

The microSD card is perfect for apps, music, photos and videos that take up significant space on a smartphone or tablet and is compatible with microSDHC and microSDXC.

The increased size in the SDHC/SDXC cards will allow photographers to shoot even more full HD and 3D video without switching their cards or offloading the content to a 3rd device. The cards can perform up to 90MB/s while reading and 45MB/s while writing, a nice performance for the size. Over-the-counter default memory cards provide less than 10MB/s transfer rate, just as a comparison.

Class 10 UHS-I microSD cards are available in 16GB, 32GB, 64GB and 128GB capacities. Class 10 UHS-I SDHC/SDXC cards are available in 16GB, 32GB, 64GB, 128GB and 256GB capacities. Both types are backed by a lifetime warranty and free technical support.

Kingston Class 10 UHS-I microSDHC/SDXC Features and Specifications:

  • Versatile: when combined with the adapter, can be used as a full-size SDHC/SDXC card
  • Compliant: with SD Card Association specification
  • Compatible: with microSDHC & microSDXC host devices; not compatible with standard microSD-enabled devices/readers;
  • microSDXC cards are not compatible with microSDHC- enabled devices/readers
  • Warranty/support: lifetime warranty, free technical support
  • Capacities*: 4GB, 8GB, 16GB, 32GB, 64GB and 128GB
  • High-Speed Class Rating**: Class 10 UHS-I: 10MB/s minimum data transfer rate
  • microSDHC/SDXC Card Dimensions: 11mm x 15mm x 1mm
  • SD Adapter Dimensions: 24mm x 32mm x 2.1mm
  • Operating Temperature: -25°C to 85°C
  • Storage Temperature: -40°C to 85°C

Kingston Class 10 UHS-I SDHC/SDXC Features and Specifications:

  • Performance: 300X up to 90MB/s read and 45MB/s write, Ultra High-Speed bus I (UHS-I)
  • Versatile: Class 10 performance when used in a non-UHS-I capable device
  • Compliant: with the SD Card Association specification
  • Secure: built-in write-protect switch prevents accidental data loss
  • Compatible: with SDHC & SDXC host devices; not compatible with standard SD-enabled devices/readers; SDXC cards are not compatible with SDHC-enabled
  • devices/readers
  • File format: FAT32 (SDHC 16GB–32GB), exFAT (SDXC 64GB–256GB)
  • Guaranteed: lifetime warranty, free technical support
  • Capacities*: 16GB, 32GB, 64GB, 128GB and 256GB
  • Dimensions: 0.94″ x 1.26″ x 0.08″ (24mm x 32mm x 2.1mm)
  • Operating Temperatures: 13°F to 185°F (-25°C to 85°C)
  • Storage Temperatures: 40°F to 185°F (-40°C to 85°C)
  • Voltage: 3.3v

Thanks to Kingston for providing us with this information

Images courtesy of Kingston

Fancy a PC That Can Fit In Your Pocket? Tango PC Is On The Way

Small Form Factor systems are making a comeback as we seek cleaner desktops and workspaces, but a new system dubbed the Tango PC will make even the smallest SFF chassis seem big considering you can fit it into your pocket.

Built around an AMD A6-5200 2GHz quad-core processor that typically resides within laptops, along with 2-8GB of DDR3 memory and a mSATA drive ranging from 32GB to 1TB, the unit that is not much larger than an iPhone 5 slots into a docking station that provides users with 3 USB2.0 ports, 1 USB3.0 port, HDMI output, a headphone jack and WiFi.

Following a successful Indiegogo campaign earlier this year, the Tango PC creators have got a second campaign currently running on Kickstarter to boost the funding needed to get the system into the mass production stages.

The small dimensions and gaming levels of performance don’t carry a heavy price tag either with prices starting at $99. The creators also stress that this system is upgradeable as well so even if you order a system with 2GB RAM and 64GB SSD, the option is there to upgrade down the line. OS support is just the same as any laptop with Windows 7 and 8.1 capable of running along with any Linux distro along with Chrome and Steam OS.

With just over 24 hours to go until the Kickstarter campaing ends the Tango PC has exceeded the minimum pledge needed and this means that Tango PC can make the next step towards production and hitting the retail market.

[youtube width=”800″ height=”450″]http://youtu.be/OuhPlhICG2I[/youtube]

HP’s ‘Fanless’ Chromebox Uses a Fan to Keep Itself Cool

Earlier in the year, HP announced the imminent arrival of their ChromeBox, the desktop answer to the popular Chromebook line of systems that a number of manufacturers are offering. As a part of their product design and advertising, HP have stated (as can see in a shot of their website below) that users will get “The silent operation of the fanless design prevents dust from being funneled through computer case.” Well it appears that HP never got the memo to say that in order to qualify as a ‘fanless’ product, you can’t put a fan inside the chassis. To me this sounds like a simple concept to grasp but apparently I’d be wrong about that.

Following a video review on the system, YouTuber Lon Seidman discovered that HP have been sneaky placed a fan inside the chassis to keep things cool under the collar. This would therefore indicate to us that HP may have had a couple of problems during development to keep their Chromebox cool. The fact that there is a grill on the back of the chassis to ventilate heat through is also a bit of a give-away that there is some forced cooling going on. Placing the fan inside the chassis not only means that the Chromebox doesn’t qualify for the fanless tag, but their claim that dust is not being sucked into the case is also false – this is actually false advertising and can lead HP into a lot of trouble on the legal side of things.

As for the end-user, what does is mean to them? Well it simply means that the $10 premium that you would be paying to have a ‘silent and fanless’ unit over that of Asus’ offering is actually not worth the paper that it is written on. Simply put, save your money and get the cheaper unit that is (bar aesthetic design) identical. For such a big and well know vendor such as HP, this is to be perfectly honest a bit of a shameful discovery and we look forward to hearing their response on the subject.

 

 

Source: Geek.com

Image courtesy: CartridgeLink

Model 2000 PS Vita To Lose Proprietary Charging Cable

Since its release back in late 2011, Sony’s PS Vita has like many other Sony built devices stuck with having to use their own proprietary charging cables. This has left many user a bit disheartened however when they’re in the need to charge their devices and there are only ‘common’ charging cables to hand.

Thankfully though it seems like Sony have come to their senses with using common charging methods and when revealed at this years Tokyo Game Show, the new Vita, also known as the model 2000, was seen to use the more commonly found micro-USB port on its lower edge for both power and data handling.

With so many devices, from smartphones to cameras using this type of charger these days, it’s a logical move for Sony to make, enabling the new consoles users to use third-party chargers to keep their units running whilst on the go. Through a translated twitter message, Shuhei Yoshida – the President of Sony Worldwide Studios wrote “You’ll be happy to know PS Vita 2000 can charge with a smartphone charger with micro USB”. This message was accompanied by the image as seen above with the new slimmer and lighter hand-held device.

For now there is no word as to when the new Vita will make its way over to Europe but as sales are expected to have started late last week in Japan, we may be looking around the latter part of the year, just after the launch of the PS4 for the new system to hit our shelves locally.

Source: joystiq.com

Silverstone Micro PC Chassis at CeBIT 2013

We take a look over one of Silverstone’s latest and smallest cases to date. The PT-14 is a NUC style case where all the major components feature on a single PCB with a heatpipe on the rear to cool the CPU directly to the chassis itself. The system can be run either passively or with an active fan, which Silverstone do recommend as the case can get hot to touch during use.

The PT-14 will be available later this year.

[youtube]http://youtu.be/lMRiIHgPPXQ[/youtube]