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Sunday, June 30, 2013

Microsoft nearly acquired Nokia

According to a Wall Street Journal report, Microsoft and Nokia were close to striking a deal that would see Microsoft acquiring Nokia's device business. According to sources familiar with the matter, talks were taking place as recently as this month, though they are unlikely to be revived after Microsoft walked away.


The two companies were reportedly close to an oral agreement over the acquisition before talks broke down. The deal would have likely made use of Microsoft's off-shore cash piles that amount to nearly $66 billion. This would have been great for Microsoft because it would have incurred a massive tax bill to bring the cash home.

Read more at 

Whatsapp with 250 million users

Messaging platform WhatsApp has seen massive user growth over the past four years, with a large portion of the growth coming in the last year or two. WhatsApp has announced that they are now seeing more than 250 million active users, or a quarter of the total users on Facebook.


Back in December, Twitter announced that they had surpassed 200 million active users, making it possible that WhatsApp is now ahead of the micro-blogging site. Telecom companies are likely unhappy with the growth that WhatsApp has seen as they are currently making huge profits from text messaging.

Whether WhatsApp will be able to continue this rate of growth remains to be seen.

Read more at 

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Oculus receives $16 million in funding, Rift could see new height

If there's one technology that has me positively tingling with excitement over, it's Oculus' Rift. The company announced yesterday that they have just closed a deal that will see them with a cash injection of $16 million.

The funding comes from Spark Capital and Matrix Partners with Santo Politi, Spark founder and general partner and Antonio Rodriguez, entrepreneur and general partner of Matrix, joining Oculus' board of directors. The injection of cash will help speed up the development of virtual reality hardware, software and services, which will hopefully see Oculus' Rift as a great, commercially available VR platform.


Considering Oculus raised $2.4 million from their Kickstarter campaign, which was close to 10 times the amount they originally needed, this $16 million should do some wonderful things for the company

Read more at 

Smartphones with Quad core hits 40million

Quad-core smartphones are all the rage these days, but not so much last year - or so you may have thought. Market research firm Berg Insight, have said that 40 million smartphones featuring quad-core processors shipped last year.


The firm believes that companies have found the sweet spot in terms of specs, where they think the majority of the 1.5 billion smartphones expected to be sold in 2017 will feature quad-core processors, leaving eight-core processors in the sidelines. I don't know about that, but I think we'll see much more efficient processors - that's for sure.

Read more at 

Friday, June 28, 2013

Angelbird SSD2Go External USB 3.0 SSDs

Affiliates Reviews - For reviews exchange, please email webmaster(at)

Angelbird featured
Up on our Test Bench early this morning are three of the most colorful SSDs we have ever seen, these being the Angelbird SSD2Go External USB 3.0 SSDs.

Don’t let their good looks alone fool you; these drives are among the best built we have ever seen, scream out LSI SandForce performance at above 460MB/s and are as at home with a PC as they are a Mac.  This speed has yet to be seen in any portable SSD before today.
Angelbird is an owner/operated Austrian company that first made its appearance on the SSD scene a few years ago with their stackable PCIe SSD,  named Angelbird Wings.  Our relationship with Angelbird goes back to its beginnings and two things seemed to prevent North American success with the Wings SSD, the first being availability while the second was the release and pricing of theOCZ Revo family.  Back on track with North American distribution, Angelbird has introduced a new external SSD that is 100% hand built from the ground up by their manufacturing team, a product manufacture where every part is sourced, built, tested and inspected by hand to ensure that each and every SSD2Go External SSD is an amazing experience.
Angelbird Colors
AngelBird SSD2Go External SSDs are available in 120, 240 and 480GB capacities or in a dual configuration where two SSD2Go drives are back to back as one and function as a dual SSD/dual USB 3.0 package.  Each and every SSD2Go SSD is a custom build and the purchaser selects from A 64 different color combination colors for the drive cover and drive base plate separately.  The SSD2Go SSD is both Mac and Windows compatible (as we will demonstrate), has a 3 year warranty, and pricing on their website is set at $219 (120GB), $389 (240GB) and $669 (480GB) for single units while dual units are priced starting at $439, $779 and $1339, depending on the configuration chosen.  It is entirely possible to get a 120GB SSD2Go on one side with a 120/240/480GB on the other side and the dual color paint job is built into the pricing.
Angelbird SSD2Go Dual External SSD
Specifications for the Angelbird SSD2Go list it as being the single highest performing portable storage device on the market today with read and write speeds of 460MB/s and IOPS at 85,000 with low 4K random write aligned disk access. Also non-existent in portable SSDs before today is that the SSD2Go has a built in UPS, overload protection as well as it being TCG Opal compliant. It is also TRIM capable, has ECC, RAISE, SMART and EMS protection, all of which are part and parcel with LSI SandForce solid state drives.
Angelbird SSD2Go External Dual SSD
The fact that the SSD2Go is capable of speeds of 460MB/s is very unique as this performance level has never been reached in a USB 3 device on our benches  prior (or elsewhere that we are aware of) and the main reason has always been the SATA to USB3 bridge used.  Angelbird utilizes ASMedia 6Gbps quality components in such a way that no bottleneck whatsoever occurs in the performance of this SSD, an attribute that has already grabbed the attention of several  media industry professionals.

SSD2Go Band

Runcore opens new manufacturing plant

RunCore, the leading company in the field of SSD has exciting news for you today regarding its company expansion. RunCore Jinzhou SSD manufacturing plant, located in Hunan province, has completed large construction projects recently and is now under planned decoration. The overall planning area is 38667 aquare meters , which without any doubt will make it the largest SSD factory in China and satisfy the large demand of SSD in domestic and overseas market.

The exact location of RunCore manufacturing plant is No. 88 East Jinsha Road, Jinzhou New Area, Ningxiang County, in Hunan province of China. As the first-stage project, construction covers an area of 20000 square meters, with building area of 15,457 square meters.

There are total 5 office buildings. Building 1 is the main office building located in the front, which consists of four floors and with tall glass curtain walls. You can see its imposing profile and will easily feel RunCore’s strength and passion. Building 2 is a three-floor building mainly planned for production. Here, RunCore product line will occupy two floors, which cover more than 2,000 square meters in total. Once input production equipment in so large area, though it is hard to imagine, it is true that a monthly production capacity of over one million pieces will
realize when it is under operation. In the back, there appear two brick red buildings. Among them, two-layer building 3-5 is being planned as integrated services building, which will be as staff canteen and a recreation center for Runcore family.
Renovation work, the second-stage project, is currently being implemented and is hoped to be completed in the third quarter of 2013. RunCore new manufacturing plant is expected to operate by the end of this year.

When the new factory is finished, RunCore will be with a monthly production capacity of over one million pieces and will become one of the most influential SSD manufacturers in Asia, with the biggest SSD factory that has advanced test devices and equipments, and as a result the capacity and capability of output will increase dramatically.

Apple publicly charts iOS fragmentation to prove it barely exists

Apple publicly charts iOS fragmentation to prove it barely exists
Apple surely loves its third-party app developers, but it doesn't love them equally. The company reserves special affection for those who optimize their apps for the latest version of iOS and its integrated services (PassbookGame CenterMapsetc.), and we guess that's why the official iOS Dev Center has published the chart above. Based on two weeks' worth of recent data, it shows that 93 percent of iOS users who visited the App Store were on iOS 6, while just one in a hundred were on something lower than iOS 5, implying that fragmentation isn't something for devs to fret over. Of course, as Appleinsider points out, Cupertino may have had other reasons for choosing this specific style of presentation, since it begs to be compared against Android's fortnightly pie chart (shown below).
Apple publicly charts iOS fragmentation to prove it barely exists

Top500 list of supercomputers updated

Intel seems to be quite proud of the fact they now power the top supercomputer in the world. Today, the Top500 list of supercomputers was updated and a new first-place system was crowned. The Milky Way 2 is a supercomputer located in China and powered by Intel. It booted out a former US-based system powered by AMD.


Milky Way 2 is capable of 54.9 PFlops, or 54.9 quadrillion floating point operations per second. This is more than twice the performance that the former leader was capable of. Even more interesting, this is the first Intel-powered system to take the crown since 1997, or a span of more than 15 years.

Milky Way 2 is powered by 32,000 Intel Xeon processors and 48,000 Intel Xeon Phi processors. It has over 3 million processing cores across its nodes. You can read more about the system at Intel's blog post, linked at Source #1 below.

Read more at 

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Eurocom ships fastest Haswell notebook, Scorpius 2.0 with NVIDIA GeForce GTX 780M SLI, Intel Core i7-4930MX

Eurocom is currently shipping the fastest Haswell based 4th gen Intel Core i7 powered notebook with dual NVIDIA GeForce GTX 780M graphics.  The EUROCOM Scorpius 2.0 is a ultra high performance, VGA upgradeable laptop computer designed to offer the utmost in performance and capability.

The Scorpius 2.0 is a fully customizable and upgradeable 17.3” Laptop with the newest and best available components to offer our customers the absolute best in no compromise performance.

Featuring dual graphics technology including dual NVIDIA GeForce GTX 780M graphics cards offer EUROCOM Scorpius 2.0 users up to 8 GB DDR5 video memory, 3072 CUDA cores, 256 TMUs and 64 ROPs.

The addition of the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 780M, the highest performance mobile solution from NVIDIA, gives Eurocom customers a superior choice of graphics processor to configure into their new Scorpius, which already consists of AMD Radeon, NVIDIA GeForce and NVIDIA Quadro graphics to give Eurocom customers the exact graphics configuration to fit their specific application.

Up to 32GB of DDR3 1600 memory is also supported via four sockets. With such massive amounts of RAM available, the Scorpius becomes a great tool for high performance computing.

Eurocom customers can now have the latest 4th gen Intel Core i7 mobile processors providing up to a 15% CPU performance increase over last generation and increased power efficiency for longer battery life, with a 20 times reduction in idle power draw.

In the EUROCOM Scorpius 2.0, up to 5 storage drives are offered, including two mSATA SSD drives.

The Scorpius 2.0 has many connectivity options to allow users to connect the system to external displays for gaming for video streaming including: HDMI 1.4a, S/PDIF, Thunderbolt.   4 USB 3.0 ports, an eSATA, USB 2.0 combo port are also offered.  The thunderbolt port is a revolutionary new interface technology that supports both high resolution displays and high throughput storage devices, allowing for a new level of flexibility and ease of use.

The EUROCOM Scorpius comes with an illuminated backlit full size keyboard with numeric keypad. The backlit keyboard helps to increase usability in dim lighting conditions, to ensure operators can see the keyboard in nearly any environment.

Eurocom Engineers have tested and benchmarked the Scorpius 2.0, achieving extremely high results unseen in any other Haswell based system.  The results can be found here:  

Tested Configuration:
EUROCOM Scorpius 2.0
Intel Core i7-4930MX
16 GB DDR3-1600
2xNVIDIA GeForce GTX 780M (GPU/VRAM clock: 771/2500)

3DMark Vantage: P48141

3D Mark 11: P11606

Unigine Heaven 4.0 fps: 96.2
Unigine Heaven 4.0 Score: 2423

Unigine Heaven 3.0 fps: 156.8
Unigine Heaven 3.0 Score: 3950

Cinebench 11.5 OpenGL: 73.38
Cinebench 11.5 CPU: 7.45

SPECviewperf 11 64 bit
Catia-03: 8.54
Ensight-04: 23
Lightwave-01: 21.24
Maya-03: 15.7
Proe-05: 1.61
Sw-02: 13.16
Tcvis-02: 1.16
Snx-01: 2.51

Tested Configuration:
EUROCOM Scorpius 2.0
Intel Core i7-4930MX
16 GB DDR3-1600
2xNVIDIA GeForce GTX 780M (GPU/VRAM clock: 851/2750)

3DMark Vantage: P49141

3D Mark 11: P11861

Unigine Heaven 4.0 fps: 99.6
Unigine Heaven 4.0 Score: 2509

Unigine Heaven 3.0 fps: 168.7
Unigine Heaven 3.0 Score: 425.1

Cinebench 11.5 OpenGL: 76.66
Cinebench 11.5 CPU: 7.4

SPECviewperf 11 64 bit
Catia-03: 13.26
Ensight-04: 24.12
Lightwave-01: 21.29
Maya-03: 16.02
Proe-05: 1.63
Sw-02: 13.7
Tcvis-02: 1.22
Snx-01: 2.72

iPhone 5S with dual-LED flash

iPhone 5S with dualLED flash spied in blurry rumorgram
Did you back out of an iPhone 5 because it didn't have a dual-LED flash? If this leaked image from MacRumors turns out to be real, that may not be a problem for much longer. Inside and out, these blurrycam snaps purport to show an iPhone 5S which is nearly identical to its predecessor -- the only obvious differences being a slightly larger 5.92 Whr battery and the aforementioned dual-LED flash. Given that the internal layout is consistent with the iPhone 5 (pictured, after the break) and we were expecting an incremental revision this year, we're marking this one down as "plausible."
iPhone 5S with dualLED flash spied in blurry rumorgram

Sony set to release wristband watch

Sony teases new smartwatch announcement for next week,
Sony's got us waiting on a super-sized Xperia smartphone, but it could have a new wearable to show Mobile Asia Expo attendees in Shanghai next week. In recent days, its Sony Xperia account has been tweeting cryptically about its existingSmartwatch, the demand for smart devices and (well, it is Sony) the company's portable tech heritage. Sony is set to host a Shanghai-based media event on Tuesday next week, and we'll be there to cover it.

Via Engadget

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

NZXT Phantom 630 Ultra Tower

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phantom 630a
   During the last two years PC Case manufacturers seem to have but a single goal in mind and that's to release towers of unprecedented quality, size and features aimed almost entirely towards hardcore gamers, enthusiasts and professionals. Certainly that's a very good thing for consumers especially since never before have we seen the release of overwhelming towers like the massive Corsair Obsidian 0900D, the breathtaking Cooler Master Cosmos II, the elegant Lian Li PC-X2000FN and the modern NZXT Phantom 820 inside such a short period of time. The only downside such dreadnaughts have is their hefty price tags making them extremely hard for the majority of people to own something which every manufacturer out there is well aware. So to cover all consumer segments NZXT has several models in the Phantom line including the Phantom 630 Ultra Tower which they released as the next best thing for people who can't or don't want to spend way over USD200 for the top of the line Phantom 820 Ultra+ Tower. Thus prior to checking out the Phantom 820 Ultra+ Tower we decided to see just what the Phantom 630 Ultra Tower has to offer and then in turn compare it with its larger brother.

   Our People: React, adapt and be fearless: we’re a group of young people who aspire to be better tomorrow than we are today. We are driven by the yearning to explore, create, change, and push boundaries. Our culture revolves around having a passion to walk off the well-beaten path, and turn away from the status quo. Our company: Avant-garde and unconventional: NZXT as created because we aspire to make a positive difference for people. We believe that there are companies that ship product, and then there are companies that ship innovation. We routinely re-invest in ourselves, and hope that we can drive a positive influence in the industry. Our products: Think like a beginner: because we grew up in the generation of the 25-cent arcade, the 16-bit home gaming console, and Star Wars Lego collections, the experience is what concerns us. Nothing excites us more than the blank canvas waiting for inspiration. We’re always pushing to learn and reinvent ourselves. This is NZXT.

   My first "official" encounter with NZXT was when they released their very first Phantom tower back in 2010. The Phantom was a full tower which offered plenty of interior space, a nice set of features and a rather futuristic/sporty exterior design. However i can't say that i was very impressed with its overall build quality since NZXT used too much plastic on the exterior, at least for my taste. Of course the same material was responsible for the great design since aluminum would be extremely hard to use to in order to get the same results (and would also increase the cost of the unit significantly) but still it didn't really feel as sturdy as some aluminum towers. Unfortunately the same pretty much applies for the Phantom 630 Ultra+ Tower but this time over NZXT has outfitted it with more features including more interior space, modular internal drive cages, mounting spots for up to three 120mm radiators or two 240mm ones, two SSD mounts behind the mainboard tray, an 30W single channel 3-speed fan controller and an SD card reader. Are these however enough for us to put aside the similarities with its predecessor?

phantom 630b
   The original Phantom full tower surprised everybody with its unique design, plenty of interior space, wealth of features and impressive airflow even out of the box especially since it was designed and manufactured by a relatively new player called NZXT. Well the Phantom 630 is basically an improved Phantom full tower and offers more interior space, better overall build quality, more features and many times over the cooling potential of its predecessor due to the many available 120mm/240mm radiator mounts. Three more great features are the two SSD mounts placed beneath the mainboard tray, the removable drive cages and the 3-speed fan controller although the switch at the top I/O could be slightly better to use (softer would be nice). The only two slight problems with the Phantom 630 Ultra Tower is the inability to change the orientation of the front door and the amount of plastic used for the top/front covers. Granted the Phantom 630 Ultra Tower offers a lot more than it lacks but we just wish NZXT would make an all-aluminum Phantom Super Tower.

Microsoft tones down on restrictive XBox One controls

In the aftermath of Microsoft's stunning reversal of its Xbox One game licensing plans, we talked to Xbox chief product officer Marc Whitten to find out exactly what will change about Redmond's next game box this November. Whitten thankfully assuaged our primary concern right off the bat: the company's (new) used game policy extends to third-party publishers as well as Microsoft first-party games.
Though gamers won't have to put up with requirements for an internet check-in every 24 hours, some lauded features we'd heard about will not be available as a result -- at least at launch. That includes the sharing between up to ten family members, and playing disc-based games without having the disc in the One. It also means new consoles will need a patch at launch to enable this future / past scenario of disc-based console gaming.
"There are some things -- the family sharing stuff is an example -- where as we move to this system, that functionality goes away," Whitten told us. Another such piece of functionality the console's losing: digitally accessible versions of disc-based games. "You're gonna see your online content but you won't see your physical discs," he said. Should you choose to purchase those games digitally, of course, they'll show up as part of your online persona.
There are some bizarre added benefits of the new system, as well. One disc can act as a copy for several people, at least on the install. "If I had a physical version of my game and I went to your house, we played, and then I left with my game, you could actually buy the game instantly with no download," he told us. Since the Xbox One automatically rips disc-based games to its HDD, it essentially installs games on any box you play them on.
Despite the changes, Whitten said he still believes most Xbox One buyers will use the various online functionality, and that the company's plans are mostly unchanged.
"We think most people will be using the console in the connected state, they'll be taking advantage of all that functionality. Their games will all be up to date, they'll be switching between content, they'll be doing smart matches all the time, they'll be streaming content -- then they'll have the choice, if they're going on vacation or if they're in a place with low connectivity, to use the console in a different way. Candidly, I think we're adding functionality. I think we're adding choice into the console. I don't really see it as losing things."

Via Engadget 

Blackberry OS able to run Android Applications

BlackBerry has the great position of being able to brag that their mobile OS runs Android apps, but BB10 only runs Android 2.3 Gingerbread apps (and earlier revisions of the OS) which isn't all that great.


BlackBerry have announced that BlackBerry 10.2 will add support for Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean, which will see BlackBerry owners with the ability of running a bunch of the latest Android apps. There's a beta release of the BlackBerry Runtime for Android Apps and Plug-in for Android Development Tools that was made available for developers, but the actual updated OS isn't expected until later in the year.

Read more at 

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Google Glass: Visual Bluetooth or Nerd Identifier? Only Time Will Tell

Remember when hands-free headsets, especially the wireless ones debuted? When a trip to the grocery store seemed more like a tour of an insane asylum of old - with people animatedly addressing fruit or a box of cookies? Now, we're conditioned to assume those solo conversations are the result of a minute bluetooth headset and pocketed cell phone.

Google Glass could take that phenomenon one step further by giving viewers a hands-free camera and screen. Google co-founder Sergey Brin wants Google Glass to become at least as popular as the now-common Bluetooth headset. According to technology experts, however, there's a long, long way to go for Google Glass.

Obstructions to Popular Acceptance

Tech experts cite not only the current cost of Google Glass — a hefty $1,500 in the first release to developers — but some writers identify medical and cultural limitations to a larger global acceptance of the new devices. Journalist Dan Farber reminds us of the common sense issue required to provide over 150 million potential users with prescription versions of the device at

Marcus Wohlsen of Wired speaks of the "nerd factor" of the devices. They don't look very cool, a negative impression apparently intensified after tech writer Robert Scoble released a certifiably dorky photo of himself wearing his Glass in the shower. While Scoble's extended and enthusiastic blog post on Google Glass promised that the devices would never again leave his face, one has to wonder why he didn't chose to illustrate the waterproof nature his Google Glasses doing something cooler. Like scuba diving.

Finally, Jason Hiner of CNET questions Google's blanket assumption that Google Glasses are actually a functional improvement to users' lives as opposed to just an expensive new toy.

Could Google Glass Be the Next Great TV Accessory?

Despite extreme enthusiasm from gadget-lovers, Google Glass likely won't revolutionize the world the way the printing press did. Though it could provide significant improvements to experiencing certain entertainment options. Austin Carr of Fast Company writes about the potential for Google Glass to improvement our television viewing experience. To date, Google TV hasn't seen much (if any) success but Google Glass could change that.

Potential uses include a complete replacement of a handheld remote control with voice control by Google Glass. However, this is hardly a milestone as one can easily imagine Siri changing channels with an Apple TV upgrade. Furthermore, do you really want to talk over the TV to control it? Might the Google Glass "face cam" feature be used to give a first-person view of everything from hockey games to orchestral concerts? Sure, it probably could, but plenty of other products could also fill that niche. More likely, is a tie in with your DirecTV service. According to, DirecTV's Genie currently allows streaming to an iPad app. If Glass takes off, imagine the convenience of catching up on your favorite shows on the Subway, without holding your phone up at eye level.

What Consumers Want to Know

While there will always be early adapters clamoring for the latest tech, the final verdict on Glass won't be in for quite some time. As usual, expect the price point to drop as the novelty wears off and the market is increasingly saturated. Questions about availability, durability and longevity have yet to be answered due to the small number of users.

Will Google Glasses survive the numerous drops that usual spectacles experience? How long will a pair physically last, much less be supported by technology as newer versions are released? And yet, these questions may be moot. projects a one percent consumer market slice of the pie in two years, a century in technology time. Maybe Glass will become the next big thing in the consumer area. Maybe, like the Segway, it'll be a cool idea that just doesn't take off in the real world. Voice command and video are great options, but making them the standard just may not be practical. Just because an iPhone has FaceTime doesn't mean we use it every time we answer the phone.

Google Glass photo from Flickr user Matt McGee.

BIWIN SSD C8386 with Power Failure Protection Tech

BIWIN, a world-leading expert in the development and manufacture of flash and advanced NAND flash memory, has launched a new business-grade SSD, the C8386, equipped with unique power failure protection technology.
BIWIN’s C8386 SSD offers real-time monitoring through the adoption of a power supply detection chip. The firmware of the SSD will be immediately guarded once the voltage is detected to be lower than 4V. This effectively avoids serious damage caused by an unexpected power losssuch as the disk being unable to be read or a system crash.

The BIWIN C8386 uses the advanced Tantalum capacitor. Compared with ordinary capacitors, the Tantalum has a longer operational life of 25 years and better thermo stability under a 110° temperature working environment. The unique Self-Healing Function enables the Tantalum capacitor to automatically repair or isolate the oxidation film defect which iscaused by long time usage. Consequently, the oxidation film medium can be strengthened and the insulating capability can be recovered.

Within the high standard selection of flash memory, the C8386 is optimized for its outstanding performance. Both read and write speeds are 3 times faster than a traditional hard diskwhich enormously reduces the file transferring time and accelerates program execution processes.

Google creating industry-wide database to help crack down on child pornography

Google is taking a step to end easy access to child pornography on the web as political pressure increases. Google has announced that its engineers are working on an industry-wide database to store information about images that have been flagged as child pornography. This database would include metadata about the image and a hashed signature of the image, allowing the file to be easily identified by others and removed.


The hashing idea allows duplicate images to be easily identified across multiple websites without a human having to identify the image as child pornography. There could be a few issues with the system, however, as one could easily manipulate a pixel or two to change the signature of the image. Google has probably thought of this and maybe even come up with a solution, but we don't know for sure.

Google has also announced a $2 million fund for independent software developers who work on solutions to end the circulation of child pornography.

Read more at 

CPU-Z comes to Android platform

CPU-Z is now available for Android, a tool that has been used for many years by people like myself and other enthusiasts to get information on their systems and to check their latest overclock and what not. The app is now available for Android, which is a refreshing change.


CPU-Z for Android provides a slew of information about the internals of your Android-powered device that you can use for debugging, optimizing or tweaking, just like you would on your Windows-powered PC. There are different tabs for your SoC, system build information, battery stats and live sensor data. There are obviously other apps that provide users with a similar experience, but this is CPU-Z, something that has been a long time companion of PC tweakers and enthusiasts.

Read more at 

Monday, June 24, 2013

Yahoo files for patent on social influence-based advertising

Yahoo has published a patent detailing how ad charges could be based on a viewer's "social influence". The US firm suggests that marketers could bid against each other to target users perceived to have a high degree of authority among their peers. A score could be based on the number of followers a user has on social networks, and the number of times they are mentioned in others posts.

One marketing expert suggested it could prove popular with the industry. The patent for "social reputation ads" was filed with the US Patent and Trademark Office in December 2011, but has only just been published. Yahoo notes that marketers can currently specify where on a site their ads are placed to help target a specific type of user. The use of cookies - which monitor browsing habits - can also help them fine tune their aim. The patent suggests taking this to the next level by identifying users with higher, or lower, than normal sway over others. "The level of social influence may be based upon factors such as the number of followers of the user, the number of contacts of the user, and/or the title of the user," it says. It adds that the score could further be tweaked by looking at:

  • The number of posts, reposts and retweets they make.
  • The type of products they "like".
  • The lists they subscribe to.
  • The amount of times others write about them.
  • How influential their own followers are.

"In this manner, an advertiser may be billed a higher amount for advertisements provided to users having a higher social authority score than for advertisements provided to users having a lower social authority score," the patent adds.

Firms including Klout, Kred and Proskore already offer ratings of how influential internet users are. Marketers can make use of these to directly target high-ranking individuals by sending them messages via Twitter or LinkedIn. But one industry consultant suggested Yahoo's suggestion could help expand this to a much wider audience. "This is a new, creative way for marketers to use a multiplier effect to influence how their brands are perceived to ideally lead to sales," said Allyson Stewart-Allen, director of International Marketing Partners. "It's a practice not widely used by brands currently but may well become a new standard, especially as 'word of mouth' is the holy grail for brands since the credibility of that medium is so much higher than paid-for media."

Latest Intel Haswell roadmap is going to blow your mind

Intel have just launched their Haswell processors, or fourth-generation Core processor, but they will never stop. The 2014 platform known as Haswell-E will launch as an 8-core processor, oh baby, yeah.


Intel's Haswell-E platform will launch in 2014 and will be their enthusiast platform, we're going to get into some specs now so you'd better put a book on your lap or something. Haswell-E is set to debut in the second half of next year and will be Intel's first 8-core desktop CPU, so expect some serious CPU performance. We should see an offer of between 6- and 8-core CPUs with up to an amazing 20MB of L3 cache.


But, wait, there's more! 8 physical CPU cores means we're still greeted with Hyper-Threading, meaning 16 logical cores. Maximum TDP for Haswell-E should sit at around 130-140W with the processor itself sitting on the 22nm second-generation Hi-k process. Performance-wise, with the additional two physical CPU cores and the usual improvements in the architecture, we should expect a 33-50% performance increase over the 2014 platform.

Haswell-E will launch with a new set of motherboard shipments known as the Wellsburg family. This new chipset will finally introduce DDR4 support which will be clocked at 2133MHz with lots of room left for overclocking. The Wellsburg X-PCH will include some beauties in the form of:

  • Up to 6 x USB 3.0 ports
  • Up to 8 x USB 2.0 ports
  • Up to 10 x SATA 6Gbps ports
  • Integrated Clock support
  • TDP of 6.5W


Quad-channel DDR4 is to be expected, which will arrive at four speed steps - 1333MHz, 1600MHz, 1866MHz and 2133MHz. 2133MHz should be the minimum, and most enthusiasts will probably dive onto the highest-clocked DDR4 they can find, I know I will. Quad-channel DDR4 will provide frequencies that could provide nearly 50% more bandwidth compared to triple-channel DDR3.


Let's talk about the socket itself, which is dubbed LGA 2011-3, a derived socket that comes in the same dimensions and ball pattern pitch as the current LGA 2011. The new design seems more efficient thanks to Intel's brains, with the additional wings in the LGA 2011-3 socket to help improve package handling.


We shouldn't expect huge performance increases for most things, but multi-monitor users should see a huge improvement especially with multi-GPUs and next-generation games coming in the next few months. AMD, you'd better click your heels together, and quick!