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Subject: General Tech | March 3, 2013 - 04:49 AM | Tim Verry
Tagged: Seagate, mobile, laptop, hard drives, 7200 rpm
Seagate Technology, the world’s second largest hard drive manufacturer (by market share), recently announced that it will be ceasing production on notebook hard drives featuring 7200 RPM spindle speeds. According to X-Bit Labs, Seagate Director of Marketing and Product Management David Burks stated that “We are going [to] stop building our notebook 7200rpm hard disk drives at the end of 2013.”
Stopping production of high-end notebook hard drives is a curious move for a company that is still dependent on hard drives to survive--with just a toe in the Solid State space with its hybrid hard drives. On the other hand, the market for such high-end notebook drives is likely feeling pressure from Solid State drives for pure performance at any price, cheap hard drives paired with a small mSATA caching SSD, and high-capacity 5400 RPM drives at extremely cheap prices. Users that would have traditionally favored 7200 RPM drives for an extra price during laptop configuration are now faced with more choices on the performance at modest price increases front with caching options. Further, with the advent of interfaces like Thunderbolt and USB 3.0, it is now more acceptable to go with a low capacity, cheaper, Solid State Drive for the operating system and applications while using external hard drives for your storage needs without incurring a transfer speed bottleneck that USB 2.0 exhibited.
Reportedly, Seagate will stop production of its Momentus 7200.4, Momentus 7200.2, and Momentus Thin notebook drive lineups. Further, the storage company will put more focus into further fleshing out its Momentus XT drives. The XT series features a spindle hard drive and small bit of SLC NAND flash for caching frequently accessed files. Hopefully the renewed focus on its hybrid hard drive series will result in drives with larger caches. That may necessitate the move to MLC flash to keep costs down, but I think a HHD with 32GB+ of MLC or TLC flash would be an acceptable compromise.
What do you think of the move? Customers will likely be able to get their hands on 7200 RPM mobile drives well into 2014 thanks to stock on hand at the various OEMs and retailers (and alternative options from other HDD manufacturers), so the fallout is likely to be minimal. Still, is it the right move for Seagate?
Subject: General Tech | March 2, 2013 - 11:58 PM | Tim Verry
Tagged: web browser, market share, internet explorer, chrome
Net Market Share has released statistics on the state of browser market share as of last month (February 2013). The numbers indicate that Internet Explorer is still the dominant browser on the desktop, with Firefox and Chrome coming in second and third place respecitvely. Interesting, the situation is reversed on the mobile front, with Internet Explorer being greatly surpased by Apple’s Safari in the top spot.
On the desktop browser front, Internet Explorer experienced year over year growth to 55.52% in February 2013. Firefox market share remained fairly stable YoY, ending up with 20.12%. Further, Chrome saw a slight YoY decline to 16.27%. Additionally, Safari and Opera sustained 5.42% and 1.82% market share in February 2013. Both browsers’ slice of the market remained fairly stable throughout the year. It will be interesting to see if Opera’s switch to WebKit will net the browser additional market share (RIP Presto).
Ars Technica further compiled charts on the specific browser versions used. While the majority of IE users are running version 8 and 9 (with IE 6 sadly being the thrid most popular version), Chrome and Firefox users are spread out fairly evenly between the different versions. That may have more to do with Chrome and Firefox’s accelerated versioning/updating though.
For mobile, Apple’s Safari browser leads the pack with 55.41% as of February 2013, which is surprisingly a YoY decline. Meanwhile, the stock Android web browser gained ground throughout the year, ending up with a market share of 22.85%. Opera Mini came in third place with 12.72% market share. Other interesting numbers include Chrome with 1.96%, Internet Explorer (mobile) with 1.58%, and BlackBerry with 0.96%. Further, Symbian has 1.37% market share, which puts it above BlackBerry and just under Internet Explorer. Not bad for a dying mobile OS!
I was fairly surprised by the Internet Explorer numbers, but when taking into account work machines and Windows’ dominance (and users that generally use the default browser--power users excluded of course) I suppose it makes sense. I do wish that the IE6 numbers would fall a bit more though, even it if it just users moving to a newer version of IE.
You can find the full Net Market Share report here. What browser(s) do you use on a daily basis?
Subject: General Tech | March 1, 2013 - 02:57 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: 3M, Novec, Iceotope, liquid cooling, mineral oil
The demonstration video for Novec's Iceotope features a full submerged and functioning iPhone, as well as a less expensive phone, neither of which suffered at all from being dunked in the non-conductive liquid; you should probably wipe them off before using them though. This project from Leeds University claims an 80-97% improvement in cooling efficiency over air cooling though they do not compare it to mineral oil or other exotic cooling solutions. Head over to The Register for a look at the demonstration video.
"We've seen quite a few innovative engineers who have tried to bring down data centre cooling costs, including this mad crowd who dunked theirs in a deep fryer... Now boffins at Leeds University and British start-up Icetope have invented a super cooling liquid that could create a new generation of "wet servers". They say it could cut the cooling costs of the world's server farms by 97 per cent."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- USB 3.0 problems for Intel's Haswell @ Hardware.info
- Soluble support structure can be used with any extruder-based 3D printer @ Hack a Day
- Blackberry updates Blackberry 10 OS @ The Inquirer
- Dremel 8200 12V MAX Lithium Ion Cordless Rotary Tool Review @ ModSynergy
- Philips Hue: Automated Home Lighting Gets Colorful @ AnandTech
- Moscow's speed cameras 'knackered' by MYSTERY malware @ The Register
- INVICTA 12845 Specialty Black Dial Watch Review @ NikKTec
Subject: General Tech | March 1, 2013 - 01:47 PM | PCPer Staff
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Subject: General Tech | February 28, 2013 - 03:45 PM | Ken Addison
Tagged: video, titan, sli, R5000, podcast, nvidia, H90, H110, gtx titan, frame rating, firepro, crossfire, amd
PC Perspective Podcast #240 - 02/28/2013
Join us this week as we discuss GTX TITAN Benchmarks, Frame Rating, Tegra 4 Details and more!
The URL for the podcast is: http://pcper.com/podcast - Share with your friends!
- iTunes - Subscribe to the podcast directly through the Store
- RSS - Subscribe through your regular RSS reader
- MP3 - Direct download link to the MP3 file
Hosts: Ryan Shrout, Jeremy Hellstrom, Josh Walrath and Allyn Malventano
Program length: 1:24:28
Podcast topics of discussion:
- 0:01:18 PCPer Podcast BINGO!
- Week in Reviews:
- 0:40:30 This Podcast is brought to you by MSI!
News items of interest:
- 0:41:45 New Offices coming for NVIDIA
- 0:45:00 Chromebook Pixel brings high-res to high-price
- 0:48:00 GPU graphics market updates from JPR
- 0:55:45 Tegra 4 graphics details from Mobile World Congress
- 1:01:00 Unreal Engine 4 on PS4 has reduced quality
- 1:04:10 Micron SAS SSDs
- 1:08:25 AMD FirePro R5000 PCoIP Card
1:13:35 Hardware / Software Pick of the Week
- Ryan: NOT this 3 port HDMI switch
- Jeremy: Taxidermy + PICAXE, why didn't we think of this before?
- Josh: Still among my favorite headphones
- Allyn: Cyto
- 1:13:35 Hardware / Software Pick of the Week
- 1-888-38-PCPER or email@example.com
- http://twitter.com/ryanshrout and http://twitter.com/pcper
Subject: General Tech | February 28, 2013 - 12:30 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: Office 365 Pro Plus, microsoft
The new subscription based Office Suite is now available for small businesses including Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, OneNote, Access, Publisher, InfoPath, and Lync. The subscriptions are on a per user license system, with Small Business Premium costing $150 user/year and the Midsized Business is $180 user/year for up to 250 employees. Both versions are able to run along side old versions of Office and the Midsized version includes hosted SharePoint and Lync servers as well as Active Directory integration for use with existing infrastructure in addition to the Microsoft hosted Exchange and Cloud storage services. Contrast that to Office 2013 which is purchased on a licensed per machine basis, a non-transferable license at that, making upgrading machines a more expensive undertaking for SMBs. Get more details over at The Register.
"One month after lifting the curtain on the updated version of its Office 365 subscription service for home users, Microsoft has officially launched the equivalent service for business customers with three new offers for small and midsized companies."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
Subject: General Tech | February 27, 2013 - 03:50 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: gaming, Crysis 3
While Crysis 3 is an incredible benchmarking tool, bringing even the new TITAN to its knees when played on multiple monitors it was actually designed to be a game that you play. With Crysis 2 being such a disappointment to PC gamers after the incredible sandbox which was Crysis, many gamers are a little leery of paying full price for the third installment. Techgage recently published a review of the game, all 6 hours or so of playtime. The suit and weapons upgrade system returns, with the Strength power returning from the first game for those who like a more physical game. They also added an unfortunate hacking mini-game and the AI might be better than Colonial Marines but is still in need of some polishing. Multiplayer is strong, as anyone who tried out the Alpha or Beta can attest to but for the single player you should read through the review if you are on the fence about purchasing this game.
"Following the events of Crysis 2, we find ourselves back in New York – but this time, things have changed. The city has turned into an urban rainforest, and while CELL is working towards global domination, Ceph continue their war against humanity. Only one man can save mankind: “They call me Prophet”."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- Crysis 3 @ Kitguru
- Homeworld’s For Sale, And Supreme Commander Too
- Assassin’s Creed 4 Gets Pirated @ Rock,Paper,SHOTGUN
- Raging Rainbow: Bit.Trip Runner 2 Out Now @ Rock,Paper,SHOTGUN
- Rifle Report: Arma 3 Enters Playable Alpha On March 5th @ @ Rock,Paper,SHOTGUN
- Balls For The Ball God – Blood Bowl II Announced @ Rock,Paper,SHOTGUN
- Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance PlayStation 3 @ Tweaktown
- Unigine Oil Rush for Android Review @ Hi Tech Legion
Subject: General Tech | February 27, 2013 - 03:47 PM | PCPer Staff
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Subject: General Tech | February 27, 2013 - 01:11 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: ssd, enterprise ssd, SAS, micron, micron p410m
Micron has announced a new SSD, the P410 SSD which will use a Serial Attached SCSI interface, perfect for dropping into existing enterprise servers. SATA is perfectly fine for SOHO users and enthusiasts but for large businesses with a need for extreme reliability, SAS has been the interface of choice. Adoption of SSDs has been slowed in large businesses in part because it would require changing the existing architecture to SATA in order to incorporate SSDs into their systems. With the new Micron drive that is no longer necessary, at 7mm it will support high density servers and with the 25nm MLC NAND it is expected to survive for five years of duty with 10 full drive fills every day. Read more at DigiTimes.
"Micron Technology has announced another addition to its growing lineup of solid state drives (SSDs) targeted at data center appliances and enterprise storage platforms. The new Micron P410m SSD is a high-endurance, high reliability 6Gb/s Serial Attached SCSI (SAS) drive built to provide the performance necessary for mission-critical tier one storage applications that require uninterrupted, 24/7 data access."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- AMD to sell a cut down version of Sony's Playstation 4 APU @ The Inquirer
- Google offers a single sign-on system, embraces 10 partners @ The Inquirer
- Benchmarking Ubuntu Linux On The Google Nexus 10 @ Phoronix
- Intel takes on all Hadoop disties to rule big data munching @ The Register
- Stuxnet worm dates back to 2005, Symantec reveals @ The Inquirer
- First Debian/Ubuntu Bootable ARM64 Images Released @ Slashdot
Subject: Editorial, General Tech, Systems | February 26, 2013 - 08:07 PM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: ps4, unreal engine 4
Unreal Engine 4 was present at Sony's Playstation 4 press conference, but that is no surprise. Epic Games has been present at several keynotes for new console launches. Last generation, Unreal Engine 3 kicked off both Xbox 360 and PS3 with demos of Gears of War and Unreal Tournament 2007, respectively. The PS4 received a continuation of the Elemental Demo first released at the end of E3 last June.
All I could think about when I watched the was, “This looks pretty bad. What happened?”
If you would like to follow along at home, both demos are available on Youtube:
As you can see from the animated GIF above, particle count appears to have been struck the worst. The eyes contain none of the particle effects in the PS4 version. There appears to be an order of magnitude or two more particles on the PC version than the PS4. There are no particle effects around the eyes of the statue. Whole segments of particles are not even rendered.
In this screenshot, downsampled to 660x355, the loss of physical detail is even more apparent. The big cluster of particles near the leg are not present in the PS4 version and the regular cluster is nowhere near as densely packed.
And the lighting, oh the lighting.
On the PS4 everything looks a lot higher contrast without a lot of the subtle lighting information. This loss of detail is most apparent with the volcano smoke and the glow of the hammer but are also obvious in the character model when viewed in the video.
Despite the 8GB of RAM, some of the textures also seem down-resolution. Everything appears to have much more of a plastic look to it.
Still, while computers still look better, at least high-end PC gaming will still be within the realm of scalability for quite some time. We have been hampered by being so far ahead of consoles that it was just not feasible to make full use of the extra power. At least that is looking to change.
Subject: General Tech | February 26, 2013 - 01:45 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: mcafee, security, RSA 2013, sandbox
McAfee has been showing off their stuff at RSA 2013 specifically the new heuristic malware detection capabilities which they will be using instead of their current malware signature database which has over 113 million core samples. That signifies a huge change for the antivirus company as it moves to real time monitoring of all the processes on your machine for suspicious activity instead of matching patterns directly. While this could lead to some interesting side effects for verification software such as you find in some games, McAfee claims 100% effectiveness against current rootkits on Intel hardware compatible with Deep Defender, though they did not give many specifics about that test to The Register.
That is not all they are up to, McAfee just purchased Validedge's sandboxing technology to allow them to watch malware as it arrives and infects a machine to allow them to study its patterns. Strangely, The Inquirer mentions that they will be recording the signature so it is possible that it is an exaggeration that they are completely abandoning their signature database altogether and will be using a hybrid database and heuristic monitoring. The first software using this new option will be available in the second half of this year. Also briefly mentioned in the story is a suggestion that McAfee will be able to repair infected computers automatically via the ePO Agent.
"Signature-based malware identification has been around since the dawn of the computer security industry, but McAfee has said it's dumping the system – or rather, adapting it – in an upgraded security suite which will (it claims) virtually eliminate susceptibility to botnets."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- Altera signs up to use Intel's upcoming 14nm process node @ The Inquirer
- HP offloads WebOS to LG for use in televisions @ The Inquirer
- Internet Explorer 10 for Windows 7 @ [H]ard|OCP
- Samsung, Visa in pay-by-bonk tie up @ The Register
- Not so fast, BlackBerry. Now Samsung wants your tasty biz mobe pie @ The Register
- Hacking the International Space Station with a toothbrush @ Hack a Day
- Super single-photon source for quantum computers @ nanotechweb
Subject: Editorial, General Tech, Systems, Mobile, Shows and Expos | February 26, 2013 - 04:19 AM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: Firefox OS, mozilla, firefox, MWC, MWC 13
Mobile World Congress is going on at Barcelona and this year sees the official entry of a new contender: Firefox OS.
Mozilla held their keynote speech the day before the official start to the trade show. If there is anything to be learned from CES, it would be that there is an arms race to announce your product before everyone else steals media attention while still being considered a part of the trade show. By the time the trade show starts, most of the big players have already said all that they need to say.
If you have an hour to spare, you should check it out for yourself. The whole session was broadcast and recorded on Air Mozilla.
The whole concept of Firefox OS as I understand it is to open up web standards such that it is possible to create a completely functional mobile operating system from it. Specific platforms do not matter, the content will all conform to a platform of standards which anyone would be able to adopt.
I grin for a different reason: should some content exist in the future that is intrinsically valuable to society, its reliance on an open-based platform will allow future platforms to carry it.
Not a lot of people realize that iOS and Windows RT disallow alternative web browsers. Sure, Google Chrome the app exists for iOS, but it is really a re-skinned Safari. Any web browser in the Windows Store will use Trident as its rendering engine by mandate of their certification rules. This allows the platform developer to be choosey with whichever standards they wish to support. Microsoft has been very vocally against any web standard backed by Khronos. You cannot install another browser if you run across a web application requiring one of those packages.
When you have alternatives, such as Firefox OS, developers are promoted to try new things. The alternative platforms promote standards which generate these new applications and push the leaders to implement those standards too.
And so we creep ever-closer to total content separation from platform.
Subject: General Tech | February 26, 2013 - 03:29 AM | Tim Verry
Tagged: tracking cookie, Privacy, firefox 22, cookies
Mozilla’s Firefox web browser continues to add new features. A recent patch submitted by Jonathan Mayer proposes an interesting change to the way the browser handles third party cookies. The patch is suggested to be rolled into Firefox 22, and should it be approved, the open source browser would adopt Safari-like behavior by blocking third party cookies by default. Specifically, the patch would change the default behavior to block third party cookies by default unless the user has visited the website themselves at some point. Users will also be able to tweak the setting via a UI menu item and choose whether to always block third party cookies, only allow cookies from previously visited sites, or allow all third party cookies (for comparison, Google Chrome goes with this option as its default).
This is a positive move for consumer privacy, but it is also a disruptive strike at online advertisers. So called third party cookies are tidbits of code that sites can utilize to identify and track users on other sites. The uses of cookies can range from a shopping site using cookies for shopping carts or coupons to ad networks that track you across the internet to deliver targeted advertising and gather information about users. Safari has managed to get away with blocking third party cookies by default so far, but Firefox has a great deal more market share. Should Firefox move to a block-by-default model, advertisers are not likely to be pleased considering they think that Do Not Track is bad enough (heh). I think it may need to be relaxed somewhat, but the proposed patch’s behavior is closer to a fair balance between privacy and tracking than the current arrangement.
Currently, you can choose to accept all or block all (with accept all being the default). The new patch would add a new option to the GUI menu to only allow cookies from previously visited sites.
Interestingly, this is not the first time that changes to Firefox’s cookie handling behavior has been proposed. A few years ago, developers considered a similar patch but found that it caused too many problems with websites. It is worth noting that Jonathan Mayer's patch is not as strict in what it blocks as that previous patch attempt, so it is more likely to be approved--and break fewer sites out of the box. Then again, the more browsers that adopt a block-by-default policy for third party cookies, the more websites will be pressured into finding workarounds such as poxy-ing the third party ad cookies from their own domain (making the cookies first party as far as the browser is concerned). In the end, the battle between consumers and advertisers will rage on with websites/publishers caught in the middle tryng to find an acceptable balance.
It will be interesting to see whether this patch goes through and what the fallout (if any) will be.
What do you think about the proposed change to the default cookie handling setting? Are you already using a third party browser plugin with a white list to block them by default anyway?
Also Read: Firefox 19 Includes Built-In PDF Viewer @ PC Perspective.
Subject: General Tech | February 26, 2013 - 02:54 AM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: 2K, bioshock, bioshock infinite
So it was announced just a couple of days ago that Bioshock Infinite will be boosted with three pieces of expansion DLC. What will they be? Who knows! Rest assured, the marketers have declared there will be “new stories, characters, abilities, and weapons.”
Phew! I was worried that I would only get a soundtrack or something... wait, no I wasn't.
Give me more money, or I cut you.
Publishers, these days, have been looking for new methods to increase the price of games and prevent their discs from being resold on the used market. We seem to be escaping the dark era where single-player games were condemned as fiscal black holes from which your capital would never be seen again. The view was that a solo experience would be completed before they finished monitoring their sales figures and the used market would eat the rest of their sales curve. The solution clearly was to toss even more capital at those games to tack on a multiplayer component that no-one played and make the loss look really bad on paper and further justify your fears of used sales and piracy.
And really we are part of the problem as consumers when we expect the $50 or $60 price-point. Of course, we expect that price-point because we have been conditioned to expecting that value fairly across-the-board. We have begun to see games, mostly indie titles, come in at lower launch prices in particular with digital distribution platforms.
The biggest problem is this: publishers do not need to find the largest value customers would pay for their content; publishers need to find the largest product of any given price and its corresponding probability of purchase for all potential buyers. On Steam you see this explode with sales where a moderate price reduction yields a massive sales increase with even a halo effect when the price returns to its norm.
So what about Bioshock?
In this case, honestly, the game will probably be worth more than its $60 price tag when speaking from a development effort versus the risk in finding its audience standpoint. As such, the publisher will add some attach rate of slightly extra content for a moderate price addition. This is one more example of how members of the industry continue to avoid risks. In this case, they want to spread the risk out over multiple products.
At least they didn't, you know -- be Irrational (heh heh heh), and toss that development money going after the used sales boogyman. At least they will get the money they expect.
Subject: General Tech | February 25, 2013 - 04:06 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: input, gaming keyboard, gaming mouse, AiZO, L3VETRON GM2000, L3VETRON Mech5, L3VETRON
At a glance, AiZO's L3VETRON Mech5 keyboard has a lot of extras for gamers, with a keypad that can be relocated to the left side of the keyboard as well as a 6 key macro pad which can be attached almost anywhere and be assigned up to 12 functions. There is also a volume knob and a switch to disable the Windows key for those games which just don't like losing focus. Unfortunately, while these extras did function reasonably well Overclockers Club thought the overall design felt rather cheap and not what they expected from a keyboard that costs over $100.
The GM2000 mouse came out a bit better, in part because it costs around $40, but also thanks to the light weight and DPI features. On the other hand they ran into problems with button response and from other reviews of this mouse they are not the only ones who did. Still, it is reasonably priced and will get you in the game quickly.
"Mechanical switches are becoming the typical switch in most gaming or enthusiast builds – at this point just having the mechanical switch isn't enough to warrant such high dollar signs. That is where I feel the L3VETRON Mech5 was a major let down. It reminded me of the toy that looked super in the box until you saved up your money to buy it and find out what crap it actually was. The features of a movable number pad as well as the little Macro keypad do deserve some merit in the overall review. Although I'm not big on using macros the ability to choose to have them is nice while not massively increasing the standard layout of the keyboard. The removable ability and varied placement of the number pad was by far my favorite part of all of the AZiO products today. Just the ability to customize my layout in a LEGO sort of manner was like being a kid all over again – loved it."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- AZiO Levetron GM-2000 Mouse Review @ Hi Tech Legion
- Zowie AM - Ambidextrous Mouse @ eTeknix
- Logitech Bluetooth Easy-Switch Keyboard Review @ Legit Reviews
- Cooler Master CM Storm Sentinel Advance II Gaming Mouse @ Modders-Inc
- Logitech G600 MMO Gaming Mouse Review @ Legit Reviews
- Func MS-3 Mouse and Surface 1030XL Mousepad Review @ Hi Tech Legion
- SteelSeries Free Mobile Wireless Controller Review @ Madshrimps
- Rosewill Gaming Keyboard RK-8100 @ Benchmark Reviews
- Gigabyte Aivia Osmium Mechanical Keyboard @ Benchmark Reviews
- Das Keyboard Model S Professional @ Benchmark Reviews
- CM STORM TRIGGER Mechanical Gaming Keyboard Review @ NikKTech
- AZiO Levetron Mech5 Modular Mechanical Keyboard Review @ Neoseeker
Subject: General Tech, Graphics Cards | February 25, 2013 - 01:32 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: jon peddie, graphics, market share
If last weeks report from Jon Peddie Research on sales for all add in and integrated graphics had you worried, the news this week is not gong to help boost your confidence. This week the report focuses solely on add in boards and the drop is dramatic; Q4 2012 sales plummeted just short of 20% compared to Q3 2012. When you look at the entire year, sales dropped 10% overall as AMD's APUs are making serious inroads into the mobile market, as are Intel's, with many notebooks being sold without a discrete GPU. The losses are coming from the mainstream market, enthusiast level GPUs actually saw a slight increase in sales but the small volume is utterly drowned by the mainstream market. You can check out the full press release here.
"JPR found that AIB shipments during Q4 2012 behaved according to past years with regard to seasonality, but the drop was considerably more dramatic. AIB shipments decreased 17.3% from the last quarter (the 10 year average is just -0.68%). On a year-to-year comparison, shipments were down 10%."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- 3DMark Review @ OCC
- Trendnet N300 Easy-N-Range Extender @ Rbmods
- NETGEAR ProSafe GS110T Gigabit SmartSwitch @ Benchmark Reviews
- Quantum computer one step closer after ‘true’ quantum calculation @ The Register
- Microsoft brings Azure back online @ The Register
- Understanding Camera Optics & Smartphone Camera Trends, A Presentation by Brian Klug @ AnandTech
- MWC Sunday roundup: HP Slate, Ascend P2 and Firefox phones @ The Inquirer
- AMD releases Firepro R5000 with remote display technology @ The Inquirer
- The TR Podcast 129: PlayStation 4, Titan, and more
Subject: General Tech | February 25, 2013 - 12:47 PM | PCPer Staff
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Subject: General Tech, Systems | February 25, 2013 - 02:18 AM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: Chromebook Pixel, Chromebook
We have covered many Chrome OS-based devices, even a pair of reviews, but we have never seen the platform attempt to target the higher-end of the price spectrum. As you could guess by my ominous writing tone, that has changed.
The development commentary video could have been an Apple advertisement. We will embed it below, but it definitely had that whimsical tone we all know and groan. The Pixel was heavily focused on design and screen quality.
The display is quite small, just under 13”, but it has a higher resolution than professional-grade 30” monitors. It leapfrogs Catleap. When trying to visualize the use case, the first thought which comes to mind is a second PC for someone to take with them. If you can get a really high resolution experience with that, then bonus. Right?
The specifications, according to their Best Buy product page, are actually quite decent for a web browser-focused device.
- Ivy Bridge Core i5
- 4GB DDR3 RAM
- 32GB SSD
- Intel HD 4000 Graphics
- With the low cost of RAM
The downside? The price starts at $1299 USD and goes up from there. You can get a larger SSD and LTE for just 150$ more, at the $1449 price point if you can wait until April.
Once you factor in the price, and a mighty big factor that is too, it makes it really difficult to figure out who Google is targeting. The only explanation which makes sense to me is a high-end laptop which is easy for IT departments to manage for executives and students.
Lastly, 4GB of RAM is ridiculously cheap nowadays. Could it have killed them to add in a little extra RAM to get more headroom?
Also, what about the lack of connectivity to external displays? (Update: Sorry, just found mini displayport on the product tech specs.)
Subject: General Tech | February 22, 2013 - 12:23 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: nvidia, jen-hsun huang
NVIDIA will have a new nerve center across the street from their existing headquarters as from what Jen-Hsun told The Register they are almost at the point where they need bunk-desks in their current HQ. The triangle pattern that the artists concepts shown not only embodies a key part of NVIDIA's technology but is also a well recognized technique in architecture to provide very sturdy construction. Hao Ko was the architect chosen for the design, his resume includes a terminal at JFK airport as well as a rather tall building in China. For NVIDIA's overlord to plan such an expensive undertaking shows great confidence in his companies success, even with the shrinking discrete GPU market.
"Move over Apple. Nvidia cofounder and CEO Jen-Hsun Huang wants to build his own futuristic space-station campus – and as you might expect, the Nvidia design is black and green and built from triangles, the basic building block of the mathematics around graphics processing. And, as it turns out, the strongest shape in architecture."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- TSMC supply of 28nm chips remains tight @ DigiTimes
- AMD and The Sony PS4. Allow Me To Elaborate @ AMD
- Google reveals Glass details in patent application @ The Register
- Build your own dumb USB power strip @ Hack a Day
- ARM and Synopsys tape out a Mali-T658 GPU at 20nm @ The Inquirer
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Subject: General Tech | February 22, 2013 - 07:31 AM | Tim Verry
Tagged: servers, facebook, exabyte, data centers, cold storage, cloud computing
Facebook is planning to construct a new cold storage facility to house archived and less-frequently-used media files. The new data center will reside in a new 62,000 sq. ft. building on the company's existing 127-acre property in Prineview, Oregon.
As cold storage, the data center will house servers with up to 3 Exabytes of total data capacity. The machines will be in a sleep state the majority of the time, but will be automatically turned on to serve up media files when accessed on the social network. Because the servers are normally in a lower-power sleep state, there will be a slight delay when users request files. According to Oregon Live, Facebook has stated that the delay will be as much as a couple of seconds and as little as several milliseconds.
The new cold storage facility will enable Facebook to save a great deal on electrical usage and hardware wear and tear (though primarily power bill savings). The company claims that its users upload 350 million photos each day, but that 82% of the social networking site's traffic focuses on a mere 8% of available photos.
Err, not quite the cold storage Facebook has in mind...
Considering Facebook's existing Prineview data center used a whopping 71 million Kilowatts of power in the first 9 months, moving to a new cold storage system for infrequently accessed files is an excellent idea. The photos will still be available, but Facebook will save big on the power bill--a fair compromise for retaining all of those lolcat and meme photos, i think.
The new data center will be rolled out in three phases, each measuring 16,000 sq. ft. in the Prineview facility. The first phase of cold storage servers should be up and running by Q4 2013. There is no estimate on the power savings, but it will be interesting to see how beneficial it will be--and whether other cloud service providers will adopt similar policies.
Also read: Amazon Glacier offers cheap long-term storage.