Check out the Amazing 17-Liter Project Nova Chassis

Some of the best ideas are born out of necessity because they are needed but don’t exist yet. The same goes for the 17-liter chassis currently known as Project NOVA. Aibohphobia wanted to add more RAM to his system built-in a Mini-ITX NCASE M1, but there wasn’t any room to add more. Disappointed with the available mATX cases, he set out to design his own and it looks amazing so far.

Project NOVA is designed to be as small as possible and still have a maximum of flexibility and space for high-end hardware. This easily goes beyond what has been seen before, at least when we don’t count specialized systems with specially designed hardware components. The Project NOVA can do all this with default hardware.

The NOVA is only 300 mm high, 170 mm wide, and 333 mm deep. It is built from 20 gauge steel panels and frame while the handle on the top is machined aluminium. It is however currently unknown if the handle will make it to the final version. In my opinion, it isn’t needed and the case would look better without it. It could also save some costs.

Speaking of costs and the actual reason for this post, the case that started out as a project for a single system will turn into a commercial product. We don’t have the final details yet as they won’t be revealed until the 11th February, so in three days. We do however already know that it will be launched as a crowdfunding campaign which I have no doubt will be successful. It looks amazing while the design has been finalized and the prototype stands, so all that is missing to get it off the ground is some funding.

So, how much can you actually fit into this tiny chassis? The answer is a lot. It comes with 5 expansion slots and room for an mATX motherboard. There is clearance for 113mm CPU cooler height when we assume it will use a 25mm thick fan and side bracket left in. The side bracket can hold a 120mm or 140mm AIO cooler support while the PSU area supports both normal SFX and the longer SFX-L PSUs.

The above specifications allow for the basic hardware parts such as motherboards and graphics cards, but there also needs to be space for all our files. The NOVA has a dual 2.5-inch drive tray and you can also place a 3.5-inch sized drive instead of using the 5th expansion slot. That coupled with the available M.2 storage these days should be more than enough for most users.

As previously mentioned, the NOVA allows for AIO cooling solutions to be mounted on the side bracket, but the rest of the system also needs some cooling. For this, you can mount a 92mm fan at the rear and a 120mm fan at the front. The bottom allows for either two 120mm fans or a 92mm fan when a 3.5-inch drive is mounted there. Every little bit of space has been used and optimized for the best possible hardware support.

The top mounted slim fan seen in the image below has since been removed as testing showed little to no difference whether it was mounted or not.

The finished product as seen here is built with an i7 5930K, two GTX 980 in SLI, Gigabyte X99M Gaming 5 motherboard, 32GB Crucial 2400MHz DDR4 memory, a Samsung 840 EVO 250GB SSD, an NZXT X41 CPU cooler, and the SilverStone SX600-G PSU.

A system that can kick some serious butt and when you take the size into consideration, it’s mind-blowing. Here’s a comparison that shows just how small it is.

I’ve attached a few more images below, but I can also highly recommend the official build log that takes you on a trip from the start of the project and into its final stage, that is if you got a couple hours spare as you’ll quickly loose yourself in it. There is a lot to view and read.

EKWB Issues Full Recall of Predator 240 and 360 AIO Coolers

If you purchased one of EKWB’s Predator 240 or 360 all-in-one liquid coolers, then you should read this. EKWB has issued a full recall of all EK-XLC Predator 240 and 360 pre-filled and pre-assembled all-in-one (AIO) CPU liquid cooling units due to a potential risk of leakage of liquid from the unit. Affected are all Revision 1.0 models of both the 240mm and 360mm version with the EAN-codes 3831109863343 and 3831109863350.

At first it was estimated as a limited risk situation where only a single batch of units were affected and could develop leakage over time, it quickly turned out to be a more widespread problem and that is why EKWB issued a full recall. The good news in all of this is that a new and fixed version is ready, any revision 1.0 product will be replaced or refunded, and EKWB even covers damage to other parts that resulted from a leaking Predator AIO.

EKWB first identified the issue as a faulty O-ring in the EK-Supremacy MX CPU water block that was used in the unit. At first, it was thought that it only affected the November batch of O-rings, as pre-orders and early testers hadn’t reported any issues. That quickly changed and EKWB found the problem to affect all units. The leakage may occur between the copper cold plate and bracket on the water block after it is heated up and pressure rises. Current statistics show that 1 out of 10 units leaks.

If you currently use one of these units, then you are strongly recommended to stop doing so. EKWB has redesigned and released a new version of EK-XLC Predator (Revision 1.1) on the 4th of January 2016 that prevents any leakage under normal working modes. For the full details on refund or exchange, please visit EKWB’s official note about this issue. You’ll also find contact email addresses and phone numbers for both EU and US customers.

Errors in productions are something that can happen to anyone at any time, what is important is how you handle the aftermath. EKWB has shown a prime example of how it is done. They are taking full responsibility for it and giving their customers multiple fix options from a refund to replacement units. No secrets but full disclosure all the way through. Well done EKWB, it might cost you some money to fix the issue right now, but you’ll win some loyal customers with it.

Peanut Shells Used To Design a New Air-Purifying Filter

A hot topic within society today is the quality of air that we breathe; major cities including London have found that pollution is quickly on the rise and this has led to the associated health problems for citizens. Air purification research is always advancing to the point whereby the research team at the centre for Advanced Biotechnology Studies within the National University of Mexico have developed an air-purifying filter that implements Peanut Shells.

Under the leadership of biotech expert Raul Pineda Olmedo, the team have found that the Biofilter specifically relies upon micro-organisms such as Fusarium fungi and Brevibacterium bacteria which typically grow in peanut shells. The research and studies have found that these microbes are able to absorb harmful substances in the air before converting them to carbon dioxide and water.

It takes 28 days before an effective amount of the organisms are able to colonize one of the filters. As yet, the only created prototype is in the form of a kitchen hood, however, the university hopes to further develop this project with the aim of bringing this innovation to market.

It is a fascinating insight into how a previously thought of disposable and ignored ingredient as in this case, could in fact be utilized in such a manner.

LG Unveils An Enormous Television Screen At CES

Televisions are becoming thinner and thinner yet bigger and bigger, more homes are adopting at least a 40-inch screen and above with the aim of enjoying a wide variety of entertainment on a Full HD or even a 4k screen. LG have noted this and might have taken it to slightly over the top heights after unveiling a 98-inch Television screen at CES 2016 which is being held in Las Vegas, (and eTeknix are there, yes I know)

The South Korean electronic manufacturer has unveiled this mammoth screen that boasts a 98-inch UHD with 8K resolution, below is an image to demonstrate this, it looks imposing and it feels as if it could provide a fantastic experience if you played Call of Duty or GTA on it, only pity is you might be playing it in the garden when you consider the size.

Understandably, there has been no word concerning the official price, my guess is it would be very expensive when you consider Sharp’s 98 inch offering at 2015 CES had a price of over $130,000 dollars (£88,591.77)  Content is also slightly limited on the 8K front when you consider consumers are not exactly overwhelmed by a vast array of 4K TV let alone 8K.

Only time will tell whether this TV will be a viable product if it is, my guess is the price will be for those who have enough room in their house for such a gadget.

Image courtesy of androasia

The Unique World Of 2016 Cyber Security Predications

2016 is here and I still want my hoverboard, by this, I mean an authentic Back to the Future machine and not the cheap plastic device that is currently being marketed. Anyway, this year promises to be compelling for a number of reasons including Cyber Security and the nature of locking data away from the many threats that now lurk within the Cyber walls. Various individuals have had their predictions concerning the coming year’s potential cyber security issues and I thought it would be interesting to convey a selection of the many theories below.

A Cyber Attack will look to exploit the 2016 US presidential election
This may be classed as an outside possibility, even though it would be technically possible whether it will happen is a different matter, this prediction arrives courtesy of Ryan Olson, director of threat intelligence for Palo Alto Network who states that hackers could look to obtain private information from candidates via emails or social network accounts.  Any sensitive information that might be released could, in theory, sway an election, unless you’re Mr Trump who says what he thinks anyway.

Virtual Boarders that control access to the Internet
This theory is far from new, but could be a reality if certain powerful figures are able to exert major control over the internet.  According to Kaspersky Lab, we could see a development of Internet borders that divide access to information along country lines.

Hacked data could become a huge commodity
2015 became the year of the hack and included everything from Dating websites to the leaking of huge databases containing sensitive government details, according to Dmitri Alperovitch, CTO and co-founder of Crowdstrike, who states that hackers are aiming to build up huge stocks of information that contain multiple strands of data. This could lead to blackmailageddon, or something equally terrifying, whereby extortion attacks on individuals and companies are widespread.

Chinese VS Russian Hackers
This one sounds like an opening scene from Rush Hour, but no, according to experts with IID predict, as China’s economy stops growing, many cyber hackers might turn from Cyber espionage to cybercrime. This could then lead to criminal activity that is far bigger than that of Easton Europe.  Is it possible?  You never know considering the technical expertise many hackers possess in china.

Cyber attacks will destroy a major brand or product.  
This prediction from Mark Painter who is a security evangelist for Hewlett-Packard Enterprises is quite feasible considering the many holes which exist within certain tech products.  This individual states that “We are increasingly close to finding out in 2016 if a major product will shut down due to security issues”. Adobe Flash springs to mind considering we all know companies would quite happily cut their losses if a product becomes more trouble than it’s worth.

Will any of these come true?  Only time will tell, especially if Ronald McDonald becomes president.

Image courtesy of PCWorld

Zano Expenses Revealed

Kickstarters are becoming all the more popular these days. With anyone being able to come forward with an idea and express it to the public. That very same public then support it by pledging money, normally in exchange for early backing rewards, and watch as the inspired products and creations come alive. Ideas range from the insane to the ridiculous, with some in between including bringing back old series like Mystery Science Theater 3000  to creating the NoPhone, a plastic block shaped like a phone with the intent to help people who are “addicted” to their phones. There is one problem though with a system like this, and that is that the developer, after getting funded, can actually supply their product.

Most projects include stretch goals, where if a certain level of funding is reached, new features or additions are added to the product. This means that people are rewarded for over supporting projects, and the Zano is one such example of a project that reached beyond its goals.

The Zano is a mini drone built by Welsh start-up, Torquing Group. It received large amounts of public attention and ended its Kickstarter with a whopping £2,335,119. The original target, as set out in their stretch goals, was a mere £125,000 (just under 0.02% of the end result). So why are none of the drones operating as they are meant to? That is if your one of the lucky ones to actually receive a Zano, many are still yet to receive theirs.

In their latest update, as requested by their backers and Kickstarter themselves, a full review of their expenses have been revealed, in an attempt to find out why and how such an over funded project can fail to produce anything close to its initial goal.

Featuring a colorful pie chart, the update shows that 46% of the funding went on Stock & manufacturing (roughly £1,074,154). Citing developments made during the initial stages, including the “creation of a bespoke and automatic testing rig had significant financial and timeline impacts upon the project”.

They go on to explain that delays in shipping dates coupled with problems encountered with calibrating the “product in large volumes” affected the basic performance in large amounts of their production units.

We’ve reported on the Zano before, as have groups like the Ars Technica, who stated that when they visited the site to report they weren’t able to see the drone in flight.

Kickstarters are great adventures for people to support, but these few times when companies over promise and oversell millions of pounds from everyday supporters has to make you worry about just how can you trust schemes without seeing the product with your own eyes?

Roccat Unveils New Kova Gaming Mouse

Roccat has announced the new Kova gaming mouse featuring an ambidextrous design and streamlined shape to create maximum comfort across a wide range of grip styles. Additionally, the Kova utilizes a 3500 native dpi Pro-Optic r5 sensor which extends up to 7000 dpi for extreme sensitivity gameplay. To help with demanding tasks, the mouse is powered by a 72MHz Turbo Core V2 32-bit ARM-based MCU and contains 512KB of on-board memory.

The Kova also opts for a 12-bit data channel, 1000Hz polling rate, 1ms response time, 1.8m braided cable and employs 20G of acceleration. In the peripheral market, RGB lighing is the latest trend and embedded into the Kova. You can adjust the colour of the scroll wheel and mouse rim to individual shades or use visual lighting effects. Roccat’s Swarm software is an essential addition to adjust button arrangements, and other visual tweaks.

The Kova houses a wide array of programmable side buttons which are easily accessible without having to move your hand. This should make the device an excellent choice for various genres. Also, the mouse comes in either a white or black finish and is visually stunning. As white components become more popular, it’s imperative for manufacturers to create products to match a certain theme.

Tech Furniture With a Twist

If it sounds as if we have turned into popular but dull television show QVC, we haven’t, you won’t find any of the following sublime pieces of furniture on that or any other mass-produced channel. As tech is produced in greater volumes, there is one question which remains constant, what do you do with the eventual waste within a perpetual upgrading cycle? Well, according to the below items, you can achieve quite an array of dazzling re-imaginings of classic products.

So, what do we have first? Below is a table, but not just a standard run of the mill Ikea flat-packed piece, but a coffee table which has been constructed out of circuit boards.  This amazing item was the brain child of David Maloney of Glendale, Wisconsin. In 2009 he saved a series of circuit boards for a potential craft project which turned into a table. He achieved the design by building an internal structure to mount the boards before crafting the frame from Black Walnut wood; wow is my impression, I would love to own this.

Next up is a chair/stool, Chilean Designer Rodrigo Alonso created the N+EW (No More Electronic Waste) art product in 2007. He collected components which had been blended into bits before placing them into a mould. He then filled the gaps between them with an epoxy resin which permanently encased the waste in a translucent form that can be used as a stool. The top of the stool looks to be the earth at an angle, again, an amazing design which re-imagines the whole concept of electronic waste.

Next up is a round table with a difference, a clever individual by the name of Joe Grand of Grand Idea Studio in Portland, Oregon, created a table from a 26-inch diameter hard drive platter from a 1960s mainframe computer. Today an average standard consumer based hard drive can hold around 3TB of data with Laptops holding around 1TB as standard, this disk could hold a huge 9MB of storage, which is tiny compared to today. Hopefully, the round edge is not sharp.

Last piece of tech furniture porn arrives courtesy of a 1987 Apple Mac II in the form of a sofa, or 25 to be precise, each mac was worth a staggering $5,500 dollars each, so that’s 25 x 5,500 = $137500. Of course, this price doesn’t account for inflation or the dirt cheap a price which these computers can now be found for. It’s an eye-catching piece of furniture, but maybe not the most comfortable.

Thank you bradlands, thenewsisbroken, grandideastudio and ralonso for providing us with this information.

Drone Munition Now Available To Consumers

Picture the scene; you look skywards and what lies before you? Some morons drone which is circling above your house, what do you do? If you live in the good old US of A, you walk into your garage with the aim of fetching your shotgun or course. But there is a problem, what if you do not have the correct ammunition? Luckily help is at hand as a product is now being marketed which promises to be the right kind of bullets for these pesky drones.

A company by the name of Snake River Shooting Products and Consulting Inc, consulting? We consult to offer you products which will maim or kill you, anyway, is proud to announce a new product by the name of Drone Munition. Which according to ammoland, is a

“Shot shell based defence rounds are now shipping. The rounds are a 12 gauge 3″ shot shell solution aimed at defending against drone-based privacy concerns and terror!”

Not too sure it’s the best idea to defend privacy by shooting expensive pieces of kit out of the sky, but there you go. The following sentence makes me laugh; apparently this ammunition has environmental credentials which are

“Drone Munition is lead free and safe for the environment”

Good to know, at least the planet was not harmed from the manufacturing of these bullets at someone’s funeral.

I can see this company being open to many a lawsuit, if you’re effectively condoning shooting an individual’s unmanned aerial vehicle to bits, then this will be seen as damaging property which does not belong to you. I do agree these Drones need more robust regulation, but you cannot if you feel like it, aim and fire skyward.

Casey Betzold, who is the president of Snake River Shooting Products, stated that “We are very excited to be manufacturing a product focused on defending our freedoms. We see this line as a game changer in the industry and as an important defence against rising threats to our way of life”

The words “Defending Our Freedoms” is interesting, would it be really against ones freedoms to spot a drone flying in the sky? What about if it’s a US government drone, would it be then safe to shoot that as well?. If it was a suspected terrorist drone then it would be considered OK to shoot it, but then again, I doubt it will be sign posting itself when flying.

Well, at least we know for any of life’s problems, there will be Ammo for that.

Thank you ammoland and snakerivershootingproducts for providing us with this information

iPhone Gun Case?

Hands up! This is an armed robbery, well not armed, more like an iphonee heist; I would like to see the spell checker correct that. Anyway, a new product which has briefly been shot onto the market had aimed to have a unique selling point by turning your iPhone into a mock gun.

As the illustrative image below demonstrates, the product works by allowing the consumer to slide his or hers iPhone into a plastic handgun frame. This product had been marketed by online retailer Japan Trendshop for a nominal price of $49 (£31.50) this, however, was before the item disappeared from the website with the status being “product not found”

This item is silly, potentially dangerous and could have serious repercussions for the owner. Just imagine strolling into your local bank with what looks to be a gun handle sticking out of the side of your pocket and sounds as if it’s ringing, you will either be laughed at of shot, or both.

Confirmation of the silliness of this invention came from the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office who stated in a Facebook post that “A police officer’s job is hard enough, without having to make a split second decision in the dark of night when someone decides without thinking to pull this out while stopped for a motor vehicle violation,” This point is very valid, if a police officer only has a fraction of a second to determine if this gun is real or not, the consequences could be fatal for the recipient.

I do feel however it’s a sorry state of affairs when a phone case could potentially cause problems within society. It’s a silly invention, but it’s a product which in a different time might have been viewed more light-heartedly instead of having obvious connotations which could be fatal in today’s gun toting world.

Images courtesy of CNN Money and artist Freeport D Art page

Thank You CNET for providing us with this information

MSI Launch Gaming Series SLI Bridge

We all love to spruce up the insides of our computers from time to time; a bit of cable tidying here, a new fan there and maybe a tasteful amount of LEDs to really show off the boring SLI bridge you have connecting the premium GTX 980Ti’s.

Some companies have already designed and produced own branded SLI bridges to cover the market gap, but MSI have remained quiet; until now. This new bridge is simply stunning and follows a similar design pattern to the already establish MSI GAMING range of products.

 

With sharp lines and vivid red, these will enhance the look of your graphics cards. They incorporate an LED-backlit MSI GAMING logo and are encased by a carefully engineered metal shroud. Weighing in at 50g, it isn’t the lightest of options on the market, but who cares; it looks amazing.

This new product hasn’t come as much of a surprise, with developers pushing the boundaries of gaming detail while utilising 4k resolutions; the need for multi-GPU set-up’s couldn’t be greater. To effectively run most games at the maximum graphics detail at 4k, you will now require at least two NVIDIA GTX 970 graphics cards.

Will you be investing in one of these SLI bridges? Let us know in the comments.

Thank you to TechPowerUp for providing us with this information.

Tesla’s Model S Sets New Sales Record, New Product to be Revealed at the end of April

Tesla Motors has just announced that it had sold 10,030 cars during the first quarter of this year, a figure that actually shows cars that end up in customers’ hands. The figure has helped the company achieve a new quarterly record, having it be a 55% increase compared to the first quarter of 2014.

Besides the sales record, Tesla’s Elon Musk has also announced that the company will reveal a new product at the end of April, but it won’t be a new car. Given that Tesla has recently released the home battery kit “that can harness solar energy, power the house, and even send energy back to the grid”, the new product might be something in the same range of appliances.

Tesla has been keeping itself busy lately, displaying a true passion and devotion for its products. This in turn seems to have led to an increase of fans and a rise in customers, but it looks like this is just the beginning for the company. What do you think Tesla will be revealing at the end of the month?

Thank you BGR for providing us with this information

Amazon Listing Hints at a December 31st Release Date for Halo 5: Guardians

Amazon is known for posting release dates for future products, even if they do not have any official information about their release date. Its latest product listing appears to add a release date for the Halo 5: Guardians title.

The Spanish branch of the online retailer has apparently listed that the release date for the latest Halo title will be Thursday, September 10th 2015. However, that listing has recently changed to “la venta el 31 de diciembre de 2015”, which means that they now point to a December 31st release.

While the release date is just pure speculation, it might somehow indicate that Microsoft and 343 might be looking to delay the title a bit. Take the information with a grain of salt though, since the release date might as well be something completely different and Amazon ES can at any moment take down the product listing as well.

Thank you Gamingbolt for providing us with this information

Apple Increases Prices of Its Products in Non-US Countries

While Apple has discounted the price of its Apple TV in North America to $69, the company seems to be doing the exact opposite to a lot of its products around the world. This comes as a result of the US Dollar gaining some ground and becoming stronger in the market.

Apple products which suffered an increase in pricing include the iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, MacBook Air, MacBook Pro and Thunderbolt Display, and are now more expensive in countries such as Canada, Australia, New Zealand, France, Denmark, Sweden, Finland, Portugal and other countries to reflect currency adjustments.

For example, the Canadian Apple Store shows an increase in unlocked iPhone 6 from between $749-$969 to $839-$1,099, Thunderbolt Displays from $999 to $1,199, and 15-inch Retina MacBook Pros from between $2,099-$2,699 to $2,449-$3,049. Apple also upped the price on its 15-inch MacBook Pro in France, with the base model now starting at €2,249 up from €1,999, and the higher-spec model up to €2,799 from €2,499.

Apple is said to continue to make the adjustments in order to ensure that its products and services are as consistently priced as possible throughout the world. However, in some cases, international prices will remain higher than North America prices as a ‘safety’ against currency fluctuations.

Thank you MacRumors for providing us with this information

Portable Smartphone Battery Pack Roundup Review

Introduction


Today we’ll take a look in to a few different portable battery pack offerings from companies from around the globe. You’re quite possibly just like me – in the beginning you weren’t exactly certain why people would want or need to invest in a portable battery and maybe even thought of them to be quite useless. Then came along my Galaxy S4. As great as the phone performs, even when I’m out and about at tech expos’ or traveling around, my phone will be flat in a few hours – even with all precautions possible taken.

Screen brightness down, check. GPS off, check. Wireless disabled, check. Background applications closed, yep. Then, as your 6th hour away from a USB port rolls around, you hear that all-too-noteable “bloop bloop” – your phone is warning you that only 15% of your battery remains. In comes our hero, in the form of a 5,000 mAh – 11,000 mAh power bank. If you’re going to take most large-brand consumer phones into account, they’ll be providing you with an average battery sizing of around 2,600 mAh – as seen in Samsung’s Galaxy S4. If you’re running a 5,000 mAh battery pack and take into account some small power losses along the way, you’re looking at about 1.8 full charges of your device.

We’re not here to tell you if you do or don’t need a power bank in your life, but here are some packs that we think are worth a look at. The full list of products in this roundup and their pricing is as follows:

Apple Raised $20 Million For (Product) RED

In an e-mail to employees, (seen by Re/code) Tim Cook said that the company had raised a total of $20 million for AIDS charity (Product) RED.

Apple had a massive campaign for the charity centred around World AIDS Day in November. The App Store was taken over by (RED) (literally) with a countless number of high profile apps donating all or some of their earnings to the effort. For World AIDS Day itself, a percentage of all profits made by Apple on all products sold on its online store was donated to (RED).

“I’m thrilled to announce that our total donation for this quarter will be more than $20 million — our biggest ever — bringing the total amount Apple has raised for (PRODUCT) RED to over $100 million,” Cook wrote. “The money we’ve raised is saving lives and bringing hope to people in need. It’s a cause we can all be proud to support.”

The money raised during this campaign brings a total donation of $95 million over the period that Apple has supported (RED).

Source: Re/code Via: MacRumors 

The $1 Million “Worst Product Ever Made”

Snazzy Labs has reviewed the LogBar Ring, the result of a highly publicised $1 Million Kickstarter campaign, and concluded that it is, quite simply “the worst product ever made”.

The ring was featured all over the web, TV and print, being included in Time Magazine and on almost every tech site you can think of. It promised the user that it would be the ultimate wearable, allowing them to control pretty much any device with in-air hand gestures – like a swipe of the finger to change channel on your TV for instance.

Well Snazzy Labs found that most of this was pretty much nonsense, and what is included with the device mostly doesn’t work. They concluded that the gestures only work about 5-10% of the time and they’re largely pointless because you have to have the app open on your iOS or Android device for them to work. A quick look at their Kickstarter pages reveal comments like:

“So who’s in for a group lawsuit? This thing is a piece of crap and they won’t even respond to requests for refunds.”

Just watch the review and you’ll know why you need to stay well away from this product.

Source: Business Insider

Apple Lights up Stores in Red

Apple has begun lighting up its logo in red at stores across the world, in anticipation of World AIDS Day tomorrow (Monday). The first store to get the red treatment is in Sydney, Australia, with more to follow in key locations across Europe, Asia and the United States.

Apple has gone (RED) crazy this week, filling its App Store with apps that contribute all or part of their earnings to the charitable fund, while Apple will donate a part of the earnings from literally every single product sold on the Apple Online Store or in their retail stores to AIDS charities on Monday.

“(RED) and the global health community have reached a critical turning point in the fight against AIDS in Africa. Together, they’re getting closer to delivering the first generation in over 30 years to be born free from the disease. The purchases you make during our holiday shopping events and through Apps for (RED) can create a lasting impact on the future of millions.”

Apple is the largest contributor to Product (RED), the charitable brand created by Bono and Bobby Sriver in 2006. So far the company has donated over $75 million, more so than anyone else.

Source: Mashable 

Reliable Tech – Hardware Repair Rate Rankings Released

As computer enthusiasts often get hostile about their favorite brands warranties, returns and reliability, we’ve just been given an insight into hardware failure and warranty rates across popular technology manufacturers.

Only just being released but complied with data relevant prior to October 2014, these statistics will show the top four performers in each category.

Starting with motherboards, the results read:

  • GIGABYTE: 2.51%
  • MSI: 2.65%
  • ASUS: 2.86%
  • ASRock: 2.99%

Before you grab your pitchforks and book the next-leaving flight to the island country of Taiwan, take a close look at the results and think about what you see. The first thing noticeable is that all four of these figures are land within a 0.5% margin, which is a pretty impressive result. Another interesting fact is that of ASUS’s ranking. We’ve just reported that ASUS are looking to out-sell all other brands in 2014, followed next by GIGABYTE, but looking at these statistics shows they aren’t the most reliable.

As with many other things in life (even including CS:GO tournaments), these broad spectrum statistics aren’t a be-all and end-all. Obviously it’s a little damaging for ASRock to be places last in the race and GIGABYTE are sure to have some PR bragging rights given their first place rating – but warranty tracking is often a fickle thing.

If you wish to see the full list of rankings and percentages (and have a translating app or add-on handy), please feel free to check a list compiled here (in Chinese), or the full comprehensive list (in French).

Power supply rankings came in at:

  • FSP Group: 0.83%
  • Be Quiet!: 0.84%
  • Corsair: 1.32%
  • Cooler Master: 1.51% 

The memory (RAM) rankings are:

  • Kingston: 0.36% 
  • Crucial: 0.57%
  • G.Skill: 0.97%
  • Corsair: 1.20%

Graphics card failure rates are slightly higher than any other statistic – ranking from 5.09% down to 2.25%.

  • MSI: 2.25%
  • Gainward: 2.67%
  • GIGABYTE: 2.98%
  • ASUS: 3.00%

It’s also interesting to note that there’s a rather large (in comparison) failure rate here reported of the Radeon R9 280X – coming in at 8.81%.

Hard Drive manufacturers have reported:

  • Seagate: 0.69%
  • Western Digital: 0.93% 
  • HGST: 1.01% (former Hitachi)
  • Toshiba: 1.29%

SSD’s saw most of the lowest rates of failure and a very close race within the top 3:

  • Samsung: 0.24%
  • Intel:  0.27%
  • Sandisk: 0.29%
  • Crucial: 0.57%

Please note that this statistical data has been taken from French online dealers, meaning some companies were not included due to their product sample being too small to manage. But either way this gives you a pretty fair comparison of companies units as a whole.

Coming from my own experience, as a person who’s previously worked in a hardware manufacturing company for 4 years, here’s a few things I’ve noticed about this warranty/failure rate subject:

  • Not every end user will warranty their broken products
  • Warranty percentages can often be skewed by a bad batch of products due to shipment, storage or factory error
  • Warranty percentages are not always reported, double checked, nor stock-taken

Rankings thanks to Hardware.fr

DeLorean’s Flux Capacitor from ‘Back To The Future’ Now Available for $25

Back To The Future movie series fans should be familiar with the Flux Capacitor, the item that makes the DeLorean car be an actual time travelling machine. According to Doc Brown, the character from the movie, the Flux Capacitor is the thing that ‘makes everything work’.

Every fan would like to have such a device in their car. At least for show if not for actual time travelling experience (which is not possible of course). However, the item now appears to be for sale, courtesy of ThinkGeek. They have apparently made something that looks like the real flux capacitor, aside from the time travelling feature of course.

The device is said to be a gadget which you plug into your car’s cigarette lighter. It has two USB ports which can be used to charge your phone or other gadgets such as GPS or others. Also, a great feature about the flux capacitor is that it lights up, similar to how the original flux capacitor from the movie does.

The gadget is said to have been unveiled back in April as an April Fool’s joke. However, due to the overwhelming demand, it seems that ThinkGeek made a real product, which is said to be selling quite nicely. The flux capacitor is selling on ThinkGeek’s website, having it priced at $24,99 and expected to ship to buyers in September.

Thank you Ubergizmo for providing us with this information
Image courtesy of Ubergizmo

High-Tech Vending Machines To Support Wi-Fi and Bitcoin Payments

Vending machines have always been as a good friend to some people. Whether at work, in train station platforms or just passing by one in the most unexpected places, they are a sight for sore eyes when in need of a drink or just something to eat.

While time passes by, improvements are likely to be made. It seems that the old vending machine is next in line will be upgraded, at least in the United States. The news reports say that vending machines will not only be upgraded, but their product offerings will diversify. This means that instead of selling cheap candy and soda, customers should expect to buy everything from beauty products to electronics or even higher quality food from these new and improved vending machines.

A good example of such a high-tech machine comes from Denis Koci, having to roll out his Burritobox vending machines via his Box Brands companies. The vending machines are said to offer hand-rolled burritos which can be customized with sour cream, guacamole and other options. The company is also said to be interested in rolling out Pizzaboxes and other niche food vending machines, having them placed in shopping malls, near parks, or other locations where people are likely to buy something to eat.

From a techy point of view, some machines are said to also include Wi-Fi, touchscreens and even accept a variety of payments spanning from cash, credit cards and all the way to bitcoins. Some companies are said to even show some interest into releasing models with built-in webcams, allowing customers to take a picture and share it on their social media websites.

Thank you TweakTown for providing us with this information
Image courtesy of TweakTown

Microsoft Office Reportedly Heading for Android Tablets

Microsoft has launched its Office product for the iPad earlier this year, having it be a stripped-down version of the actual Microsoft Office for desktop, designed specifically for the iPad. It apparently has been released ahead of Microsoft’s own Windows tablets, which is a little ironic.

Rumor now has it that the Android version of Office is nearly here, having Android tablet users be able to benefit from Microsoft’s product by the end of the year. The Android version is said to be similar to the iPad version, having users with an Office 365 subscription able to use it. Microsoft is apparently looking for private beta testers, having companies to individuals given an equal chance to sign up for the beta program over at Microsoft’s SharePoint website.

This information points to the Android version of Office being released ahead of the Windows version as well. Though this might sound as a ‘failure’ for the company, it could be a big thing financial-wise. This is because iOS and Android are currently ahead of Microsoft’s mobile OS, and thus have more potential in drawing companies and individual users to benefit from Microsoft’s product. Also, this move can further improve Microsoft’s final version of Office for Windows tablets, having it releasing a more stable and bug-free product for its own OS.

Microsoft is said to be releasing the Office product for its own devices later on in 2015. Until then, Android tablet users can sign up to experience the Office product on their own devices through the beta program.

Thank you Ubergizmo for providing us with this information
Image courtesy of Ubergizmo

Panasonic Recall Laptop & Tablet Batteries – Over 43,000 Units Affected

Toughbook manufacturer Panasonic has announced that they are in the process of recalling over 43,00 batteries from their Toughbook laptop and tablet ranges after three batteries in Asia malfunctioned and caught fire. The batteries in question are found in products purchased in the period of June 2011 to May 2012 and are Panasonic branded. Built for the CF-H2 tablets, the batteries in question have been found to overheat in some instances, resulting in some catching fire – a major safety risk for users where burns are a high risk.

The main bulk of these batteries are reportedly found in Asia, whilst a smaller number of units are found around Europe and the rest of the world. To prevent the risk of overheating, Panasonic are urging users to remove the battery from their tablet and run it through mains power until a replacement part is shipped out – free of charge.

The model numbers that are affected are as follows:

  • B6NA
  • B6YA
  • B71A
  • B74A
  • B75A
  • B76A
  • B7CA
  • B7VA
  • B83A
  • BBGA
  • BBJA
  • BBWA
  • Battery model number CF-VZSU53AW is also affected.

In addition to the recall on the CF-H2 tablets, a second recall is also being made on batteries that are found within the CF-S10 and CF-N10 laptop ranges. In this instance, the batteries in question are found within products shipped in the period April 2011 to October 2011. The batteries here are said to suffer from the same fault found in the tablet batteries and once again users should remove the parts as soon as possible, leaving the laptops to run from mains power until a replacement part has been shipped.

In all cases users should contact Panasonic support to report their device is one of those affected and replacement part will be arranged.

Source: BBC News

New Microsoft CEO Announced, Satya Nadella To Steer The Wheel

Microsoft officially announced the company’s new CEO, Steve Ballmer’s successor, after a long-awaited selection period. Satya Nadella, former Microsoft VP of Cloud and Enterprise group, joined Microsoft in 1992, having a pretty interesting background.

Mr. Nadella, age 46, was born in India and studied electrical engineering at the Mangalore University. He the moved to the US where he studied a master’s degree in Computer Science at the University of Winsconsin, followed by a Business Administration degree at the University of Chicago. A former Sun Microsystems employee, he joined Microsoft and worked on the Windows NT operating system, having been familiar with UNIX 32-bit systems at his former working place.

His career at Microsoft continued to advance, becoming VP of R&D for the Online Services Divisions, vice president of the Microsoft Business Division and most recently as president of Microsoft’s Server and Tools Business where he led a transformation and major shift to cloud infrastructure and services. Nadella is now the third Microsoft CEO, having Bill Gates stepping down as chairman and becoming a technical advisor. His place is now effectively taken by John Thompson, who was heading Microsoft’s CEO search committee.

Microsoft has been receiving customer criticism for a long time due to their slow evolution of its Windows and Office products. On the other hand, Microsoft continues to take the lead in the PC market, where most of its profits come from, as well as having the entertainment sphere, Xbox, and the cloud division as a profit maker as well. Mobile products such as Windows Mobile and handsets running the OS or web products such as Bing search engine have been long-shots for Microsoft, as other brands and companies were there first to take the crowd away.

Thank you Tech Spot for providing us with this information
Image courtesy of Tech Spot

Sony To Release A Windows Phone Device In 2014

Microsoft and Sony are reportedly in talks for releasing a Windows powered Sony handset. Such a move would break Sony’s current loyalty to Android and give Nokia some fresh competition in the Windows Phone segment. Both sides have reportedly held numerous discussions, with Sony going so far as to draw up designs for a prototype device. Any future product could be branded under Sony’s Vaio line, according to The Information.

Talks have continued even after the acquisition of Nokia by Microsoft was first announced. But the report notes that a deal hasn’t yet been finalized and plans could come undone if Microsoft and Sony disagree over licensing fees, preloaded software, and other topics. A mobile alliance wouldn’t be altogether new for the pair, and older prototypes reveal that Sony has previously considered embracing Windows Phone.

Nokia’s Lumia smartphones hold a commanding lead over Windows Phone hardware from Microsoft’s other partners. But that’s partially due to a lack of genuine competition; Samsung and HTC both remain focused on developing smartphones running Android, the world’s most popular mobile operating system. For Windows Phone to succeed, Microsoft must find other vendors willing to give the platform a significant push. It’s also reportedly held discussions with ZTE to produce additional low-end Windows Phone devices in the US, China, and Europe.

Thank you The Verge for providing us with this information

Spiders Webs Spark A Recall On 870,000 Toyotas

Toyota are making a recall on a number of vehicles from their 2012 and 2013 ranges due to a problem with a component in the air conditioning system that could lead to airbags deploying in the worst case.

As many as 870,000 Toyota Avalons, Camrys and Venzas are affected and includes all models of these vehicles including hybrid versions. Believe it or not though, the problem in some cases has been caused by a spider making itself at home inside on the of the drainage tubes that come from the air conditioning condenser units.

As the webs are made, they can lead to a blockage that in turn causes the condensed water to flow in a direction that was otherwise not intended and drip onto the module that controls the airbags and cause a short-circuit inside.

In most cases, this has led to a warning light coming up on the dashboard of the vehicle, however there have been instances where the power steering system has failed, or as seen in at least three cases, the driver side airbag has deployed without warning.

Toyota have stated that in the 35 cases of warning lights coming up on the dash, there was a consistent discovery of spiders webs however they have not stated if this is the direct cause for each incident.

As part of the recall, Toyota will make a modification to the drainage tube in question to prevent it from dripping on to the airbag module and owners of affected vehicles will be notified via post to take their vehicle to their nearest dealer where the works will be carried out free of charge.

Source: CNN

Image Courtesy of Toyota