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NASA Upgrades The Robonaut In Space

July 24, 2014 by mphillips   | Category: Around The Net
NASA Upgrades The Robonaut In Space

The 300-pound humanoid robot working on the International Space Station is getting several upgrades, including new processors and software, in preparation of having a pair of legs attached to it. Robonaut 2, also known as R2, is the legless but humanoid robot that has been working on the space station since 2011. “Commander Steve Swanson focused his attention primarily on mobility upgrades for the station’s robotic crew member, Robonaut 2,” NASA reported on its website. “Since... 

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Several Countries Now Have More Wireless Devices Than People

July 24, 2014 by mphillips   | Category: Mobile
Several Countries Now Have More Wireless Devices Than People

Wireless broadband subscriptions now outnumber people in seven countries as consumers continue to add smartphone and tablet devices to their personal electronics arsenal, according to a new report. Finland, Australia, Japan, Sweden, Denmark, South Korea and the U.S. had wireless broadband penetration of more than 100 percent as of December 2013, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development said Tuesday. That means there was more than one wireless broadband subscription per person, usually... 

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Sony Wants To Capitalize On The ‘Selfie’ Boom

July 24, 2014 by mphillips   | Category: Consumer Electronics
Sony Wants To Capitalize On The ‘Selfie’ Boom

Sony Corp said that it has plans to invest 35 billion yen ($345 million) to increase production of image sensors for smartphones and tablets, as the company courts handset makers to get more orders for front-facing camera sensors, used to take selfies. The Japanese firm said it will increase production of stacked CMOS sensors at two factories on the southern Japanese island of Kyushu, while completing work on a factory in northwestern Japan it bought from Renesas Electronics Corp for a total investment... 

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Will The Console Gaming Market Shrink?

July 24, 2014 by Michael   | Category: Gaming
Will The Console Gaming Market Shrink?

The new generation of consoles and booming category of free-to-play PC games won’t be enough to keep the market growing indefinitely. According to a Juniper Research report, the market will soon turn south, falling from $46.5 billion worldwide this year to $41 billion in 2019. Despite that 12 percent drop, the PC and console segment will still account for more than half of all gaming revenues through 2019. Additionally, Juniper said software sales on PC and console “will remain relatively... 

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Intel Develops Self-encrypting SSD

July 24, 2014 by Michael   | Category: Computing
Intel Develops Self-encrypting SSD

Intel has announced the Drive Pro 2500 series of solid state disk (SSD) drives that are “self encrypting”, which the firm says makes them more secure against data breaches. Aimed at businesses, the Intel SSD Pro 2500 series will come in a 2.4in 7mm form factor with 120GB, 180GB, 240GB, 360GB and 480GB capacities, M.2 80mm size with 180GB, 240GB and 360GB capacities, and M.2 60mm size with 180GB or 240GB capacities. Intel promises that each form factor type will provide random input/output... 

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Astronomers Find Alien Planet With The Longest Year

July 24, 2014 by Michael   | Category: Around The Net
Astronomers Find Alien Planet With The Longest Year

A newfound alien planet is one for the record books. The alien planet Kepler-421b — which crosses the face of, or transits, its host star from Earth’s perspective — takes 704 Earth days to complete one orbit, and thus has the longest year known for any transiting alien world, researchers said. (For comparison, Earth orbits the sun once every 365 days, and Mars completes a lap every 780 days.) “Finding Kepler-421b was a stroke of luck,” study lead author David Kipping, of the... 

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Google May Have A Plan To Bring Wi-Fi To NYC Pay Phones

July 23, 2014 by mphillips   | Category: Mobile
Google May Have A Plan To Bring Wi-Fi To NYC Pay Phones

Google may be amongst a list of hopefuls looking to transform the New York City phone booths of the past into “communication points” of the future with free Wi-Fi and cellphone charging. The dominant search company was among 60 entities that attended a meeting on May 12 to discuss a project to replace or supplement as many as 10,000 pay phones around the city. The list came to light in a Bloomberg News article. Other participants included Samsung, IBM, Cisco Systems, Verizon Wireless,... 

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Yahoo To Purchase Flurry To Beef Up Mobile Ad Revenue

July 23, 2014 by mphillips   | Category: Around The Net
Yahoo To Purchase Flurry To Beef Up Mobile Ad Revenue

Yahoo Inc will acquire mobile analytics startup Flurry to beef up a fast-growing mobile advertising business that still lags Google Inc’s  and Facebook Inc’s in scale. Six-year-old Flurry uses analytics to help target ads at consumers by monitoring activity on more than half a million apps on some 1.4 billion mobile devices around the world, Yahoo said in a statement. The startup provides information to help marketers and brands more easily reach their desired audiences, Yahoo... 

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Xiaomi Sets Sights On Premium Smartphone Market With Mi 4 Device

July 23, 2014 by mphillips   | Category: Mobile
Xiaomi Sets Sights On Premium Smartphone Market With Mi 4 Device

China’s Xiaomi introduced on Tuesday its new flagship Mi 4 smartphone, aimed primarily at the premium handset market dominated by Apple Inc and Samsung Electronics Co Ltd. The Mi 4 has a 5 inch, 1080p screen and a Qualcomm Inc Snapdragon 801 2.5 Ghz processor, said Chief Executive Lei Jun at a launch event in Beijing. But sheathed in iPhone-like metal sides, the Mi 4′s similarities to Apple’s smartphone drew murmurs from the crowd of ‘iPhone’ when showcased by Lei. Founded... 

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Western Digital Updates The Red Line

July 23, 2014 by Michael   | Category: Computing
Western Digital Updates The Red Line

Western Digital has announced an upgrade of its WD Red range, providing a single brand structure across consumer and enterprise. The WD Red range is aimed primarily at network attached storage (NAS) applications, and is joined by a new WD Red Pro line. Both sub-ranges are controlled by upgraded firmware called NASware 3.0. At a briefing last week, Western Digital’s UK country manager Jermaine Campbell explained that the new firmware will be able to instruct the drive to work in different ways... 

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Intel Adds More To Haswell For The Desktop

July 23, 2014 by Michael   | Category: Computing
Intel Adds More To Haswell For The Desktop

Intel has added eight new desktop chips to its price list, ranging from cheap Pentiums to mainstream Core i3 parts. All the chips are dual-cores based on the good old Haswell core. Four new Pentiums are now available. All are dual-core, dual-thread chips with 3MB of L3 cache. The Pentium G3250 is clocked at 3.2GHz, it has a TDP of 53W and it costs $64. The G3250T runs at 2.8GHz, but it has a TDP of 35W. It costs the same. The second 35W part is the Pentium G3450T, which runs at 2.9GHz and costs... 

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Vintage NASA Probe Still Kicking

July 23, 2014 by Michael   | Category: Around The Net
Vintage NASA Probe Still Kicking

After refusing to fire its engines last week for a course correction, a vintage NASA spacecraft did produce a bit of thrust Wednesday (July 16), proving it still has at least some fuel left after 36 years in space. The International Sun-Earth Explorer 3 (ISEE-3), which launched in 1978, is close to Earth right now, but on a trajectory that will send it further out into the solar system. A private group, called the ISEE-3 Reboot Project, is sending commands to the aged NASA probe with the goal of... 

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Twitter Pressed To Release Diversity Data

July 22, 2014 by mphillips   | Category: Around The Net
Twitter Pressed To Release Diversity Data

U.S. civil rights leader Rev. Jesse Jackson is urging Twitter to release its employee diversity information, which its Silicon Valley peers such as Google, Yahoo, LinkedIn and Facebook have already done. The Rainbow Push Coalition, founded by Jackson, has also asked Twitter to signal its commitment to inclusion by hosting a public community forum to address the company’s plan to recruit and retain more African American talent. The coalition and black empowerment group, ColorOfChange.org, plans... 

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China’s Rush To The Internet Is Slowing

July 22, 2014 by mphillips   | Category: Around The Net
China’s Rush To The Internet Is Slowing

China’s once furious pace to get on the Internet is slowing, with the country adding only 14.4 million new Internet users in the first half of 2014, the lowest half-year growth in eight years. There were 632 million Internet users in China in June, according to the government-linked China Internet Network Information Center (CNNIC). Although China has long reigned as the country with the world’s largest Internet population, the services are still struggling to take off in the rural areas,... 

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Lenovo Says It’s Still In The 8-in. Windows Tablet Game

July 22, 2014 by mphillips   | Category: Consumer Electronics
Lenovo Says It’s Still In The 8-in. Windows Tablet Game

Lenovo on Friday said it would continue selling sub-10-in. Windows tablets in the U.S., backing away from statements it made the day before, when it said it was pulling the ThinkPad 8 from the North American market and had discontinued offering a model of the Miix 2. “We will continue to bring new Windows devices to market across different screen sizes, including a new 8-inch tablet and 10-inch tablet coming this holiday,” Lenovo said in a press release published on its website Friday. “Our... 

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