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Saturday, November 30, 2013

Steam Dev Days to have AMD, NVIDIA, Oculus and Intel on board

If there's one show to kick off 2014 in the world of technology and gaming, it would be Valve's Steam Developer Days, which happens in Seattle, Washington on January 15-16, 2014.


Valve has confirmed that Intel, AMD, NVIDIA, Oculus and Unity will all be there to talk during the two-day conference for developers and publishers working with Steam, and/or the upcoming Steam Machines. Better yet, attendees will have the chance to share industry expertise, take part in a roundtable discussion, and play with, and provide feedback on Steam OS, prototype Steam Machines and Stream Controllers.

The event is open, and is on a first-come, first-served basis, which sets you back just $95.

Sony PS4 owners will have to wait until 2014 for hardware replacement

Many of those who bought PlayStation 4 consoles early are experiencing frequent and sometimes system bricking errors, and today we are learning that replacement systems will not be arriving until 2014. Call it sabotage, an acceptable margin of failure, or poor design, the fact still stands that many PlayStation 4 owners will have to wait months to get their consoles replaced.


The issues range from poor thermal dissipation which leads to overheating, while other reports suggest a red-ring-of-death type event where the PS4 will fail to boot, and will flash the status LEDs indicating an error. While this is common for the first devices off the assembly line, the true cause could be much more nefarious andcould involve internal sabotage at the time of manufacture.

A report from says that Sony is now telling customers that replacement PS4 units will not be available for shipping until February . If you purchased your dead PS4 from and opted for the extended warranty, then you could get your replacement console as early as January 2014, but you should expect to wait until Feburary like everyone else. Best Buy and GameStop also could see replacement units arrive as early as January, but that is still up in the air as well.

With such massive momentum against Xbox One in the last few months, these issues are the last thing Sony needed. With the Xbox One launching in just days many analyst are fully expecting it to become this holiday seasons best seller. What ever momentum Sony may have had left may have been forever removed if they can not figure out a way to get these issues fixed much earlier than January or February. Personally, I say buy or build a gaming PC and never look back. With SteamOS right around the corner and the years biggest titles out already, you can no go wrong with a PC!

Lian Li PC-A79 Aluminum Chassis

Lian Li are legends in the PC chassis industry, not only are they famed for their high precession construction and relentless use of aluminium, but also for their huge range of products that support the more extreme end of the PC industry. While sure they make a few mITX cases, as well as some crazy and fun specialist cases, their real speciality are the big chassis suitable for workstations, rendering rigs and extreme performance computing in general.
The chassis we are taking a look at today is undoubtedly aimed at the more extreme end of the market and while many may interpret that as “ultimate gaming rig”, that is only one definition of extreme. This chassis is built to take anything from an mATX motherboard to a dual socket workstation board, huge amounts of storage, lots of expansion cards, lots of fans and just a lot of high-end components in general.
At £299 it isn’t exactly cheap but as you can see from the specifications below you do get some pretty impressive compatibility, not to mention the fact that the huge chassis is made of high quality, light weight aluminium. This maybe a retail product, but it is far from consumer grade tech, and it’s not even close to the sort of prices you would expect to pay for your usual high-end chassis product.
  • Full tower chassis
  • (W) 230mm
  • (H) 618mm
  • (D) 596mm
  • Front bezel Material Aluminum
  • Side Panel Aluminum
  • Body Material Aluminum
  • Net Weight 9.9 kg
  • 5.25″ drive bay (External) 12
  • 3.5″ drive bay (External) None
  • 3.5″ HDD x9
  • 2.5″ HDD x8
  • Expansion Slot 11
  • Motherboard HPTX
  • E-ATX
  • XL-ATX
  • ATX
  • Micro-ATX
  • System Fan (Front) 120mm Fan x3
  • System Fan (Rear) 120mm Fan x1
  • System Fan (Top) 120mm Fan x2 (Optional)
  • or 140mm Fan x2 (Optional)
  • System Fan (Side) 120mm Fan x2
  • I/O Ports USB3.0 x 4
  • e-SATA x1
  • HD Audio
  • Maximum Compatibility VGA Card length: 350mm
  • PSU length: 350mm
  • CPU cooler height: 165mm
  • ATX PSU (Optional)
  • Gross Weight 12kg
The packaging features a clear image of the chassis as well as some smaller pictures that detail the finer features, these include USB 3.0 support, slide out HDD mounts and air filters.
In the box I found a stack of screw on hard drive handles, a multi-language installation guide, a USB 3.0 to 2.0 converter, a huge amount of high quality screws, including motherboard thumbscrews, rubber mounting washers and a handy plastic container to store any extra screws. There is enough fittings here to fully install a dual socket motherboard a full compliment of storage and add-in cards.
Via eTeknix

Friday, November 29, 2013

Eslide-your friendly powerpoint aid

The exchange of information is a crucial aspect in managing a successful business. The workforce needs to understand vital business operations to improve productivity and increase revenue. An effective training environment improves employee morale and results in better performance from all employees. The utilization of PowerPoint presentations to convey basics of the operation is an effective measure to widely disseminate information to the entire company. Slides need to provide meaningful content that appeal to all senses of the human body. Facts should be clear and concise and visual elements designed to add value to understanding.

A poorly crafted presentation may negatively impact the audience. Care should be given toward effectively presenting information in a comprehensive manner. Service companies like offer effective techniques that improve existing presentations and turn stale content into professional quality information. The use of proven measures in impacting educational benefits drive the core aspects in useful slide design. Proper visual coordination of information can greatly enhance clarity resulting in greater success in informing the audience.

Making over a presentation can greatly improve how an audience responds to the content. An important call to action message will benefit from effective touches that enhance design and highlight key points. 
The level of expertise found with professional slide designers cannot be matched with less experienced presentation creators. Approaches toward slide enhancement are driven by providing solutions custom that result in greater retention of the content. These efforts will ensure that important company correspondence is understood by the entire workforce. 

Summation Technology

When a videographer finishes up a project, copies of the DVD must be made for the clients. In the past, the producer of the video was forced to ship the finished product off to a specialized DVD duplication service. The arrival of DVD duplicators has enabled videographers to handle the task of making the necessary copies. Here are some of the benefits of owning a DVD duplicator. 

No longer do videographers have to depend on an external source to duplicate their DVDs. A DVD duplicator allows the video producer to make copies whenever needed. This means that they will be able to control the entire project without the assistance of another firm. 

Saves Cash
Hiring a specialized service to duplicate the required DVDs can prove to be a very expensive venture. Not only does the videographer have to pay shipping costs, the DVD duplicates must also be purchased in bulk. An in-house DVD duplicator enables videographers to produce the specific amount of DVD copies that are needed. After the initial purchase of the DVD duplicator, the only future costs will be for the ink and blank discs. 

More Freedom
One of the best advantages to owning a DVD duplicator is that it empowers the video producer to make last minute modifications to the project. If the videographer decides to completely scrap the project, they will not have to worry about wasting any money. Summation Technology will be able to provide more information. 

Apple acquires the company behind the original Kinect system

An interesting move by Apple, which has reportedly acquired PrimeSense, the motion sensing technology company that was behind the first Kinect sensor. PrimeSense helped Microsoft design the original Kinect, and has reportedly been scooped up by Apple for a nice $345 million over the weekend.


PrimeSense told TheNextWeb, that it refers to the report as a "recycled rumor," adding that it "does not comment on what any of our partners, customers or potential customers are doing." Apple is reportedly after the motion sensing tech for its Apple TV, but I think we might see it gel between its TV set, and maybe a new form of touchscreen tech. Apple might not push touchscreens onto its MacBook line of products, but a motion sensing tech? Possibly.

Foxconn halting iPhone 5C production at Zhengzhou plant

Apple's dwindling iPhone 5C sales have been coming in for weeks now, and it appears that many of the rumors about Apple scaling back production on the device are true. A new report from Digitimes is claiming that Foxconn's Zhengzhou plant is halting all production lines building the colorful iPhone 5C.


The plant is said to be able to produce upwards of 9,000 iPhone 5C units per day, which means that halting its production lines further scales the devices daily production from a current 80,000 phones per day to just over 70,000. This puts 5C production drastically down from its high of 320,000 phones per day around launch. The device's poor sales numbers can be directly equated to its retail price of $549 off-contract, which is just $150 cheaper than the company's flagship, the iPhone 5S.

PowerColor Devil R9 270X 2GB

Last week we were blessed with the opportunity to check out MSI’s R9 270 Gaming, which is an excellent variant of AMD’s recently introduced Radeon R9 270 and this week we’ll be checking out a brand new graphics card from PowerColor, the Devil R9 270X. While the Radeon R9 270X and its variants have been released several weeks ago, PowerColor’s cards were  unfortunately missing from AMD’s initial launch, but for those of you who waited, you’ll have the option of getting what may possibly be the best R9 270X variant out there.
Today we’ll be reviewing the PowerColor Devil R9 270X. As you may expect, the PowerColor Devil R9 270X is quite a special variant of the R9 270X as it comes with a host of features catering to the enthusiast crowd. Among the features we get PowerColor’s aggressive custom triple fan four heatpipe cooling solution, which PowerColor claims will provide 17% more airflow, 18% reduction of noise and 25% lower temperatures compared to the reference cooling solution. PowerColor has also implemented what they call the Platinum Power Kit, which is their 7+1+1 digitally controlled power delivery system. PowerColor claims that the Platinum Power Kit aids in higher overclocking potential, provides an additional 20% boost in stability as well as 30% better power efficiency. Of course, what’s all that without an overclock from the factory, right? As such, the Devil R9 270X boasts core clocks of 1080MHz (30MHz faster than reference) and carries a memory clock of 1400MHz (5.6GHz effective).
Ready to see the beast PowerColor has unleashed? Let’s take a closer look!


GPUAMD Radeon R9 270AMD Radeon R9 270XPowerColor Devil R9 270X
CodenameCuracao ProCuracao XTCuracao XT
Core Clock900MHz Base / 925MHz Boost1000MHz (Base) / 1050MHz (Boost)1000MHz (Base) / 1080MHz (Boost)
Stream Processors128012801280
Texture Units808080
Memory Buffer Size2GB GDDR52GB GDDR52GB GDDR5
Memory Interface256-bit256-bit256-bit
Memory Frequency1400MHz (5.6 GHz Effective)1400MHz (5.6 GHz Effective)1400MHz (5.6 GHz Effective)
Additional FeaturesMantleMantleMantle, Platinum Power Kit, Triple Fan Cooler
Via Custom PC Review

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Xbox 360 trumps console wars for the last time

October NPDs show Xbox 360 over PS3 one more time before the next generation begins
How do you close out a console generation? By reclaiming your crown. According to NPD's October figures, Microsoft is back on top: The Xbox 360 is once again the best-selling home console. It's hardly surprising -- Microsoft has dominated home console sales for years, losing out to the PlayStation 3 for the first time in ages just last month. It almost wouldn't be notable, save for the fact that this month's numbers are the last NPD figures before the industry moves on. You can almost see the anticipation in the numbers. Hardware sales totaled $171.7 million for the month, 8 percent less than the same period last year and over $10 million less than the previous month. Business as usual, really. Care to take stab at who will take the cake in generation eight's first NPD report? 

ASRock Z87 Extreme6 (LGA 1150) ATX Motherboard Review‏

ASRock Z87 Extreme6 (8)
Despite Z87 being present on the market now since June it is still Intel’s newest consumer desktop platform and offers consumers a lot of cutting edge functionality. Today we have a rather fine looking motherboard that adds to the extensive array of Z87 motherboards available on the market. ASRock’s Z87 Extreme 6 is shooting to be a high end motherboard but at the same time offers a competitive pricing that is more typical of a mid-range Z87 motherboard. ASRock’s Z87 Extreme 6 sits in the ASRock mid-to-high end Z87 segment and offers up a load of high end features like a 12 phase CPU VRM, support for 2 Way SLI or 3 Way CFX, ten SATA III ports, Realtek ALC1150 audio and dual Intel LAN with teaming support. Below you can see a more in depth assessment of the Z87 Extreme 6′s core specifications:
ASRock isn’t just shooting for the enthusiast segment as it offers broader functionality like ASRock’s new “Home Cloud” feature that makes use of the advanced Intel LAN to offer you remote desktop support from anywhere with internet access. With ASRock’s Home Cloud you can access all your files, emails, documents or just keep an eye on your PC if someone else is using it. 
ASRock are also pushing their advanced sound implementation of Realtek’s ALC1150 codec which includes 7.1 channel HD audio, a 115 dB SNR DAC with differential amplifier, a Texas Instruments 5532 premium headset amplifier, an EMI shield and PCB isolation shielding.
A final thing I feel is worth a mention is ASRock’s HDMI-in port, yes in not out (they do also have a HDMI out next to it). This allows you to connect other devices to your monitor or even record/capture the HDMI output of other devices.

Via eTenix

PS4 production being sabotaged by interns

Well, the small number of PS4s that are experiencing issues could be the result of interns at the Foxconn manufacturing plant in Yantai, China, sabotaging it. Yes, sabotage!


The news broke on the IGN forums, but the forum was eventually locked. This particular manufacturing plant has hit the news headlines before, from the mistreatment of staff, and more. The intern notes that because Foxconn didn't treat them well, they sabotage the manufacturing of the PS4. The intern said: "The ps4 console we assemble can be turned on at best."

This would explain some of the issues some owners are experiencing, but if this is true, those interns are going to be in quite a lot of trouble with Foxconn.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Netflix and YouTube beat out BitTorrent for US download traffic

If you thought BitTorrent and Usenet would be the kings of peak-hour download traffic in the US, well, you'd be wrong. A new study from broadband company Sandvine, estimates that YouTube and Netflix are the kings of the US download traffic hill, by a long shot.


As you can see from the chart above, Netflix takes a huge 31.62% of the downstream traffic while YouTube scoops up 18.69%, so combined, they enjoy over half the US downstream traffic. If you look to the left, upstream traffic is completely dominated by BitTorrent with a huge 36.35%, and in second place is the usual HTTP traffic, with just 6.03%.

Over 3 million PS4s expected to be sold before the end of the year

The Japanese electronics giant is expecting to sell at least 3 million PS4 consoles before the end of the year.


During a recent interview with Bloomberg, President and CEO of Sony's US Computer Entertainment Division, Jack Tretton, said that Sony is currently running a marathon, and not a race, in terms of next-gen console sales. Tretten is confident that the company won't have supply issues during the holiday season like it did with the PS3 launch back in 2006, which should be a good thing for consumers this time around.

NZXT Source 530 Mid-Tower Chassis Review


Where the pair of predecessors to this series, the Source 210 and 220, were very small, compact cases, they had some old school flare to the interior layouts with a good mix of modern features, but what made these two cases such a huge hit was down to two things. Price was likely the main motivator for most users with a $49 price point, but the secondly the chassis was simple, easy to use, and not something that would stick out like a sore thumb. If anything, the more mundane aesthetics made for a design that would fit anywhere without too much notice.

What we learned about the NZXT Source series has been turned on its ear a bit with this latest chassis release. This time around, there is of course styling that fits the Source series and its heritage is plainly obvious. There are some other minimal changes to the exterior, which sets this new design apart, along with a handy feature from the much more expensive NZXT cases.

The inside is where things have definitely taken a turn for the better. Now there is plenty of room, convertible hard drive racks, room for water cooling - the list really goes on and on. The best thing to happen to the Source series is that this time they have went to a full-tower design.

While the price for this new Source 530 from NZXT that we are looking at today is a bit more expensive than the previous offerings, we will break it all down and show where the price increase comes from. It is rare that you see a chassis and its offerings scale so well within the same series of cases, but NZXT took a huge step and is now offering less of a "builder's special" case that is cheaper and readily available, to the lines of offering users a sleek yet simple design that offers just about everything needed to expand as you go, and take a while to run out of room if planned correctly.

The new Source 530 is not only a step up for potential source buyer's, but it is also a step in the direction of NZXT offering one of the better bang-for-the-buck solutions now offered.

Via Tweaktown

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

AMD with a graphic card suited for supercomputing

When it comes to video cards designed for supercomputing, it does not get much better than AMDs new FirePro 10000 video card. The GPU features 12GB of RAM, and is optimized for use in big-data high-performance computing environments. Featuring full support for PCI Express 3.0 and the OpenCL compute programming language, this card is made for some serious number crunching.


"Our compute application customers asked for a solution that offers increased memory to support larger data sets as they create new products and services," said David Cummings, senior director and general manager, Professional Graphics, AMD. "In response, we're announcing the AMD FirePro S10000 12 GB Edition video card to meet that additional memory demand with support for OpenCL and high-end compute and graphics technologies.""

"AMD is proving again to be a key player in providing outstanding 3D graphics and GPGPU compute solutions based on the OpenCL Khronos Group standard for the industry with the announcement of the new AMD FirePro S10000 12 GB video card," said Nicolas Duny, VP R&D Technologies, Dassault Systèmes. "AMD is an industry innovator by responding to our customers' needs with cutting edge technology. The AMD FirePro S10000 12 GB card will be a welcome addition to the market and to our customers."

"Our customers are always eager for additional memory, so the introduction of the AMD FirePro S10000 12 GB Edition video card means key applications will finally be able to take advantage of the graphics compute capabilities," said Laurent Bertaux, CEO, CAPS. "As a leading provider of software and solutions for the HPC community, CAPS recognizes that this is a great opportunity for customers to reduce the potential for the bottleneck of data transfer, thus improving overall application performance. CAPS is a long-time AMD supporter so we're pleased that CAPS FORTAN and C compilers for OpenCL can immediately make full use of the 12GB memory offered in this new AMD FirePro solution."

No information has been released yet on just how much this beast will cost, but with supercomputing in its description one can bet on it costing a small fortune. AMD says that the FirePro 10000 12GB edition will be available in the spring of 2014.

First Sailfish OS-powered Jolla smartphone benchmarks arrive

We heard about the Jolla smartphone quite a while ago now, with the company being formed from ex-Nokia staff. The Jolla smartphone is being centered around the Sailfish OS, which is an interesting competitor to Android.


Rightware's Power Board has a benchmark result showing off the world's first Jolla smartphone benchmark result, in Browsermark, which includes some useful information for those who want to check it out. We can see that the Browser engine that the Sailfish OS browser is built on, is using Gecko Engine v20.0 and for those who like the nitty gritty details, the user agent string that Browsermark received from the benchmark being: Mozilla/5.0 (Linux; U; Jolla; Sailfish; Mobile; rv:20.0) Gecko/20.0 Firefox/20.0 Sailfish Browser/1.0 like Safari/535.19.

TDK TREK A26 Ultra-Portable Wireless Speaker

tdk trek a26a
   We are literally just a few weeks away from Christmas and since all of us here happen to consider that season as the best and most cheerful time of the year we’ve decided to spend a weekend on the mountain away from technology and more specifically computers and TV. Personally i like the idea since i do need some time off to relax but I’m not about to leave here entirely unprepared and so because of that for the past 2 weeks we've been doing our best to get our hands on as many portable devices as possible that can help us enjoy our time there while at the same time making us feel safer. TDK has been in the business of designing and manufacturing high performance wireless speaker systems for quite some time now but until just recently they didn't offer something really tiny in their product line. It seems however that TDK listens to their consumer base and so the latest TREK A26 Ultra-Portable Wireless Speaker is here to change that.

   TDK Life on Record, a leading global brand with a rich audio legacy, is dedicated to personalizing and enhancing audiophiles’ ever-evolving digital music lifestyles. TDK Life on Record audio products are carefully crafted to focus on performance, marrying a clean, striking design with the precision and flexibility of modern technology. This world-class line of premium audio products delivers a warm, authentic, high-fidelity entertainment experience. The TDK Life on Record logo is a trademark owned by TDK Corporation and is licensed exclusively to Imation Corp., a leading global developer and marketer of brands that empower people to capture, save and enjoy digital information. All other trademarks are property of their respective owners.

   When TDK announced the release of the TREK A26 to us a few months back it was a pleasant surprise but not really a new concept since we are talking about basically the cut-down version of TDKs acclaimed A33 weatherproof wireless speaker which is placed in the same ballpark as the Boombox and A360 portable speakers, size-wise that is. However TDK did notice that although quite impressive their wireless solutions were not portable enough for some people and so what better way than to take the design of an award winning product and just shrink it down a bit? Well i haven't used/tested the A33 up till this day (will try too however soon) so i really can't make any comments regarding its performance (i only know for certain that it has won multiple awards worldwide) but the A26 retains the IP64 weatherproof certification of its enclosure and comes featuring Bluetooth v4.0 (A2DP/AVRCP/HSP/HFP), NFC (Near Field Communication), two 1.5" full range drivers and two 2" passive radiators that output a total of 4RMS. On top of that under the hood an NiMH rechargeable battery is responsible for keeping the A26 running for up to 6 hours so things couldn't get much if at all better. How does it perform? Well let's find out shall we?

Monday, November 25, 2013

Apple's iWatch to arrive in two different sizes

It looks like Apple's iWatch could arrive in two separate sizes, at 1.3 and 1.7 inches. The former will be aimed at women, with the latter being aimed at men. The news is coming from NPD DisplaySearch analyst, David Hsieh.


The Korea Herald reports: "Apple's wearable iWatch is expected to come with a 1.7-inch OLED display for men's watches and a 1.3-inch OLED screen for women, David Hsieh, DisplaySearch's Vice President of the Greater China Market, said at a conference today in Taiwan, citing Apple sources. It is yet to be confirmed whether the displays will be flexible but sources said it was a possibility, since Apple will want to upstage Samsung's Galaxy Gear."

Will you be waiting in line for the iWatch? I think Apple needs to really pull a rabbit out of its hat with its wearable computing, as it will be competing with Google Glass next year.

Cooler Master Storm Stryker PC Chassis Review

In short, this is a massive, fully-featured gaming chassis that can satisfy the gamer in all of us. The Stryker is full of cooling options and intricate functionalities that makes its customization endless, all while being wrapped  up into a beautiful design.
Cooler Master CM Storm Stryker Side Open
The large interior of the Stryker allows for the support of Micro ATX, ATX and XL-ATX motherboard’s, with room remaining for your four-way SLI or Crossfire X multi-GPU set-up. The chassis has room for a CPU cooler height of 18.5 cm and GPU card length of up to 32.2 cm.
The cooling abilities of the Stryker are exceptional with fan support from all sides. The front, side and bottom can each support two 120 mm fans, the rear fan fits one at 140 mm, and the top holds one 200 mm fan. Going one step further, there are also three rear-tubing holes for your water-cooling hardware.

Google's ad revenue beats print

Google is a gigantic company, a company that pretty much just prints its own money from advertising. Well, according to Business Insider's Henry Blodget, Google's yearly ad revenue has soared - and has overtaken both the magazine and newspaper industries.


If you look at the graph above, you can see that Google wasn't making that much money from ads in 2004... but each year sees a massive increase in profits made, and each year that Google makes more and more profits, the magazine and newspaper industries take an even bigger hit. Sure, back in 2004, the US newspaper industry was doing great business, but that has been knocked down, considerably.

If Google can keep at this pace, it will demolish the newspaper and magazine industries' profits in just a few years time.

Sunday, November 24, 2013

ADATA DashDrive Elite SE720 128GB External SSD Review

AData SE720 External SSD Front
The ADATA DashDrive Elite SE720 is presently available in a 128GB capacity, however rumor has it that it may also be offered in a 256GB capacity eventually.  It is an SSD that connects by way of a USB3.0 connector and its exterior is very well machined and crafted of 9H caliber scratch resistant brushed stainless steel.
AData SE720 Exterior FrontAData SE720 Exterior BackLooking at the exterior package, we can see performance listed at 400MB/s read and 300MB/s write, a three year included warranty, as well as free available software to include HDD2Go, OS2Go, and full Windows 8 compatibility.
Via The SSD Review

Smartphone sales expected to surge in 2019

Just how many smartphones are out in the wild right now? Around 1.9 billion, which is expected to blow out to a huge 5.6 billion devices in 2019.


5.6 billion smartphones is a mammoth number, with the estimation coming from communications technology company, Ericsson. According to Ericsson's latest quarterly report, 55% of all handsets sold worldwide were smartphones, even though smartphones represent just 25-30% of all active mobile phone subscriptions.

But, over the next 6 years, we should see smartphone adoption hitting 60% of all mobile phone subscriptions. This means that of the 9.3 billion phones in use by 2019, 5.6 billion (or over half) of them will be smartphones. The biggest reason for this is going to be the emerging markets like China and India, and I personally think another big push is going to be Android 4.4 KitKat, which has much lower minimum requirements - which will push smartphone technology into cheaper smartphones, and help drive sales in emerging markets, in droves.

Next-gen iPhone to be bigger, curvier and more

Apple used to be a company that was on the bleeding edge, but it looks like the Cupertino-based iPhone maker is preparing a new iPhone, which we knew about, but now we know some more details on what it could be.


Bloomberg is reporting that there are set to be two new models unleashed next year, with the company preparing a curved screen for the new iPhones. Rumor has it, that Apple is working on two curved models - like the LG and Samsung models we have seen - for 2H 2014. We should expect screen sizes of 4.7 and 5.5 inches.

Not only that, but Apple is reportedly working on a new pressure-sensing technology that would better detect your light, or heavy tough. We should expect this technology in 2015 and beyond, unfortunately.

Saturday, November 23, 2013


ttesports volosa
   Although i never was much into online MMO games i have tried most of them (out of curiosity mostly) and one of the things that was immediately clear to me from day one was that compared to normal FPS, platform, RTS, simulators and other game types online MMO games require a lot more buttons/keys both on the keyboard and on the mouse. That's mainly because when playing online with dozens of people (or even with thousands in games like PlanetSide 2 one of the very few online games I do enjoy playing) you can't afford to have the same speed/efficiency like you would with a single player game when faced against computer controlled opponents. Now back then it did take some time for gaming peripherals manufacturers to see that gap in the market and start producing gaming keyboards and mice with more buttons on them than usual but now several years later we see more and more such MMO oriented products get introduced quite frequently. The VOLOS MMORPG Gaming Mouse is the latest product designed and manufactured by our friends over at Tt eSPORTS and after roughly one week of testing today we can finally upload our opinion about it.

   “Challenge is the game” highlights the philosophy to bring out gamers’ addiction in gaming and the ambition of reaching to the extreme. Tt eSPORTS, a gaming obsessed division from Thermaltake, is uniting gamers from all over the world in a unique & fascinating eSPORTS culture, inherited the spirits of Thermaltake, is an energetic, powerful, bold and intelligent challenger who never says “no” to the extreme competition. We do not only provide gamers the ultimate gaming gears but also fulfills the passion to achieve the ultimate success. Thermaltake has been a well-known brand in the gaming & DIY market for PC Chassis, Coolers and Power Supplies PSU for many years. The brand personality of unique, aggressive, vivid and stylish makes Thermaltake an expert in creating exciting things and fascinating environment for gamers and enthusiasts. Tt eSPORTS inherited the brand personality with unique and creative design by observing users’ behaviors and requirements. The fan cooling design on Tt eSPORTS Challenger keyboard demonstrate the brand spirit. It is the worldwide first keyboard with fan cooling function that could dry your hand sweats and blow tension away during cut-throat competition.

   When i first looked at some "beta" marketing material regarding the VOLOS many months ago i can't say that i really liked its design because it reminded me a lot of gaming console controllers and i don't really enjoy consoles in general. Still since at the end of the day our primary goal is to test products in order to see how they perform and not judge their appearance based on our personal opinion (or at least that's a secondary goal) when the VOLOS got officially announced we just had to take it for a spin. So at first glance you will see that the VOLOS MMO Gaming Mouse features a total of 14 programmable buttons and an adjustable weight system placed at the lower rear end. The really impressive part about the VOLOS however lies underneath the enclosure since Tt eSPORTS has given it a 8200DPI laser sensor (configurable via 5 levels), 16.8 million colors LED illumination and a total of 4MB of onboard memory onto which you can store up to 140 programmable buttons via 10 different profiles. Bottom line yes the VOLOS actually seems to be the perfect MMORPG gaming mouse at least in terms of specifications but is it really?

iPad Air uses a new kind of display

Apple's new iPad Air uses some impressive display technology from IGZO, which has resulted in a reduction of weight of over 25%. Most of ths is thanks to lowered power consumption, which allows the iPad Air to feature a thinner battery, too.


IHS iSuppli has released its cost analysis, which points out that Apple's iPad Air uses just 36 LEDs to light the display, which is down from as many as 84 LEDs in previous models of the iPad. The iOS giant has also reduced the thickness of the display assembly, so with all of this display-related changes, we can see that the company has been capable of improving the size and weight of the new iPad Air.

But, does this lead to a better-looking display? Not exactly. Ray Soneria from DisplayMate Technologies has said that while the IGZO-based technology in the iPad Air has allowed for a thinner, more battery-friendly tablet, it doesn't look as good as something like the Kindle Fire HDX 8.9 display, which is based on LTPS (low temperature polysilicon technology). LTPS offers even better performance, and lower power requirements than the IGZO display.

Apple has generally been the leader of premier display technologies in its devices, but it is slowly slipping in this department to companies like Amazon who are able to secure LTPS technology, which is usually destined for smaller displays, but companies like Amazon are powerful enough to push the technology in order to bring it to the tablet market.

Xiaomi sells 220,000 smartphones in just three minutes

Xiaomi has done a flash sale for Single's Day. Just last month Xiaomi sold 100,000 of their MI3 smartphone in a minute and a half. This time around they had 380,000 devices in stock which consisted of 110,000 of each of their three different smartphones, the Mi3, the HongMI, the MI2s smartphones, and 50,000 set top boxes. In three minutes time Xiaomi sold over 200,000 smartphones, all of the MI3 and HongMI smartphones. Which made an immense RMB 107 million ($17.5 million) in just three minutes.


According to Xiaomi, "This makes it the first company on Tmall to break the RMB 100 million ($16.4 million) benchmark." Xiaomi also notes that "last year the company that passed this benchmark did so only in the afternoon, making the feat all the more astounding."

The company just recently hired Hugo Barra, Andoid's former Vice President of Product Management at Google. By the end of Xiaomi's Single's Day flash sale they had made RMB 300 million (~$49.2 million) which was just thirty minutes later.

Friday, November 22, 2013

Seagate Turbo SSHD Enterprise SSHD Review


The HDD has been a work in progress since its inception in 1956. The evolution of the HDD has been fundamental in many aspects, with the same basic spinning platter design being further refined to produce more storage capacity and increase efficiency. Shrinking the size of the HDD has been the principal goal, and we have come from massive drives weighing hundreds of pounds, down to devices in 2.5" and 3.5" form factors.

The evolution of the HDD has focused on increases in areal density, and a whole slew of technologies have managed to pack more data onto the platter. SMR, along with helium-based drives, have made their way to the forefront in the density war. The near-term future might hold TDMR, while longer-term HAMR and MAMR technologies will likely provide tremendous increases in density.

There is no doubt that density has a clear path forward due to intense focus from manufacturers, but the real problem lies on the performance front. The spindle speed of the common HDD has settled at a top speed of 15,000 RPM, and there are no plans to increase this speed in the future. This stagnation leaves only incremental speed increases, borne of increased density, on the horizon. SSDs, on the other hand, have brought massive increases in speed and efficiency. Even the fastest of HDD's cannot hold a candle to the sheer speed of an enterprise SSD. This has led to a continuing assault in the performance segment of the enterprise HDD market, with SSD's gaining market share at a rapid pace.

Even with the evolution of the SSD leading to lower prices, they are still many orders of magnitude more expensive to deploy than HDD's. For years, the only method to increase storage performance was short-stroking the drive. This sacrifices a large portion of available capacity to force an HDD to operate on the outer tracks, where speed is highest. This also increases the price of the storage solution considerably.

Seagate's answer to the performance problem is the introduction of SSHD's (Solid State Hybrid Drive). SSHD's are only a fraction of the cost of an SSD, yet provide some of the same workload acceleration benefits by storing hot data in a NAND cache buffer. Seagate's first foray into caching HDD's was in the client market, and the lessons learned were applied to the new Enterprise Turbo SSHD.

The Seagate Enterprise Turbo SSHD is geared for use in a multitude of mission-critical environments, such as OLTP, VDI and SAP HANA. The drive comes in capacities of 300GB, 450GB and 600GB in a 2.5" form factor with a 15mm z-height. The Turbo SSHD features a 6Gb/s SAS connection and 128MB of multi-segmented DRAM cache, though this is only the first level of caching.

The Turbo SSHD is built upon the same 15,000 RPM HDD used in the Enterprise Performance 15K v4 HDD's, and sports the same design with three platters and six heads. The real ingenious aspect of the drive lies in the NAND caching, handled by 32GB of eMLC and an additional 8MB of NVC (Non-Volatile Cache). Hot data is held in the NAND and served to the host system at a much faster rate than the platters can provide, in many cases providing up to a three times improvement in application performance. The drive itself delivers up to 800 IOPS, a SDR (Sustained Data Rate) of 247 MB/s, and an average latency of 2.0ms.

The hardest part of testing an SSHD is quantifying the massive speed increases brought out by the cache. We have developed specialized tests that isolate and explore the performance of the NAND components. First, we examine the way an SSHD operates.