MojoKid writes: Samsung announced their latest Android Wear-based smartwatches the other day, the Gear S2 and Gear S2 Classic. At a hands-on press even in New York this week, Samsung had the Gear S2 and Gear S2 Classic up and running on demo. Both of these smartwatches feature 11.4mm thin casings and 1.2-inch, 360x360 displays that are completely circular, unlike the "flat tire" displays used on the Moto360. At the heart of the Gear S2 is an undisclosed Samsung-sourced 1GHz dual-core processor paired with 512MB of RAM. NFC technology is incorporated into the watches as well, which will support Samsung Pay in the near future as well. The Gear S2 and Gear S2 Classis are IP68 certified for dust and water resistance and there will be versions with and without integrated 3G connectivity. Both watches feature a rotating ring around the display, in addition to two buttons at the side, intelligently located at 2 and 4 o'clock to minimize accidental actuation, for navigating the various menus and apps. Samsung also allows user customization of some watch-faces to show personalized info and offers dynamic watch-faces with notifications presented on-screen at all times, along with the time. Link to Original Source
MojoKid writes: Motorola's first generation Moto 360 smartwatch was one of the first Android Wear smartwatches to hit the market, and because of its round display, became the immediate flag bearer for the Android Wear platform. As new competition has entered the fray — including entries from Apple with the Apple Watch and Samsung with the Gear S2 — Motorola is announcing a second generation smartwatch that solves most of the complaints of the previous model. Motorola has ditched the archaic Texas Instruments OMAP 3 processor in the original Moto 360. The new second generation Moto 360 brings a more credible 1.2GHz, quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 processor and Adreno 305 graphics to the table. You'll also find 512MB of RAM and 4GB of storage. And if you didn't like the largish dimensions of the previous Moto 360, you'll be glad to know that Motorola is offering two sizes this time around. There's a 46mm diameter case that comes with a 360x330 display and a smaller 42mm diameter case that houses a 360x325 display. Motorola has also introduced a dedicated women's model of the Moto 360 which features a 42mm diameter case and accepts smaller 16mm bands. As for battery life, Motorola says that the men's and women's 42mm models comes with a 300 mAh battery which is good for up to 1.5 days of mixed use, while the 46mm watch comes with a larger 400 mAh battery which is good for up to 2 days on charge.
MojoKid writes: Amid the privacy concerns and arguably invasive nature of Microsoft's Windows 10 regarding user information, it's no surprise that details on how to minimize leaks as much as possible are often requested by users who have recently made the jump to the new operating system. If you are using Windows 10, or plan to upgrade soon, it's worth bearing in mind a number of privacy-related options that are available, even during the installation/upgrade. If you are already running the OS and forgot to turn them off during installation (or didn't even see them), they can be accessed via the Settings menu on the start menu, and then selecting Privacy from the pop-up menu. Among these menus are a plethora of options regarding what data can be gathered about you. It's worth noting, however, that changing any of these options may disable various OS related services, namely Cortana, as Microsoft's digital assistant has it tendrils buried deep. Link to Original Source
MojoKid writes: Prices for solid state drives have fallen precipitously over the past year. This is especially true when shopping 2.5-inch form factor SATA SSDs, which is where some of the best values in solid state storage are currently found. Micron's Crucial brand MX200 drives that were recently introduced, for example, are currently selling for around.35 to.36 per GiB for a 500GB capacity drive at $179 and $349 for a 1TB drive. Based on Marvell's 88SS9189 controller and 16nm Micron NAND Flash, it's a reasonably solid option for SATA-based storage and definitely marks another point on the trend line for solid state storage costs in mainstream, cost-sensitive applications. With performance north of 500MB/sec, IO response times are pretty snappy too. Link to Original Source
MojoKid writes: Samsung may have goofed up when designing its Galaxy Note 5, depending on your perspective. If you accidentally insert the S Pen backwards into the Galaxy Note 5, you could permanently damage your handset. And unlike previous Galaxy Note devices, there's no mechanism in place to prevent you from pushing a backwards oriented S Pen into place. It's not a foregone conclusion that your S Pen will get permanently stuck inside your Galaxy Note 5 if you insert it the wrong way. However, even if you're successful at removing it, there's a high chance you've already broken the mechanism that detects if an S Pen is attached or detached from the handset. The previous generation Galaxy Note 4 didn't allow the S Pen to be inserted backwards. It wouldn't fit but the Note 5's S Pen slides in either way very easily. Samsung's response to this is that users should read the manual, which warns about this specifically on page 25. Link to Original Source
Deathspawner writes: At its IDF event in San Francisco last week, Intel talked a lot about the super-fast Thunderbolt 3.0 protocol and what it is capable of. Surprisingly, one such use shown off is a GPU dock, one that would allow mobile warriors the ability to play high-end games on their modest notebook, either on the device itself, or an external monitor. We've been hearing about such docks for many years, but we're being promised that this one is going to take hold within the next six months.
MojoKid writes: Where old PC technology is concerned, most folks don't feel nostalgic about it with completely fond memories. It could be because newer tech is just so much better. Take the old IDE cable interface, for example. Plugging that thing in was a true chore. So too was the need of having to manually set the dip switch on the back of a drive, to set it as either as a slave or master. While IDE cables and dial-up modems have limited use nowadays, except for the recycle bin, there's been an odd resurgence of the floppy drive from time to time. No, not to store data, but rather to take advantage of that obnoxious noise it makes to create music. This is made possible thanks to the fact that the drive head noises change based on how the floppy is being accessed — written to or read from — at a given time. Some incredibly creative people have taken good advantage of this interesting design by product, by pairing up many drives working together to create recognizable music score. If you want a bit of nostaglia, there are such timeless classics out there like Soft Cell's 80s hit Tainted Love or the Star Wars Storm Trooper March... Oh the joy. Link to Original Source
MojoKid writes: Where old tech is concerned — tech we grew up with — not everyone feels nostalgic about it with completely fond memories. It could be because newer tech is just so much better. Take the old IDE cable interface, for example. Plugging that thing in was a true chore. So too was the need of having to manually set the dip switch at the back to treat a drive either as a slave or master. While IDE cables and dial-up modems have limited use nowadays, there's been an odd resurgence of the floppy. No, not to store data, but rather to take advantage of that obnoxious noise it makes to create music. This is made possible thanks to the fact that the noises will differ based on how the floppy is being used — written to or read from — at a given time. Some incredibly creative people have taken good advantage of this interesting design feature by pairing up many drives to work together to create recognizable music score. Such as Soft Cell's 80s classic Tainted Love... Oh the joy. Link to Original Source
MojoKid writes: Intel opened up their annual Intel Developer's Forum (IDF) in San Francisco today and in the keynote, a number of unreleased technologies were shown, from Google's Project Tango smartphone with Intel's RealSense camera, to wearables from Fossil, and even a RealSense-equipped robotic butler. However, at the end of the keynote Intel unveiled one of the more interesting products based on its recently announced 3D Xpoint Memory. A new SSD based on 3D XPoint was demoed live for the first time. 3D Xpoint is a new type of memory that's non-volatile like NAND flash, but highly-durable and faster than NAND, more in line with DRAM speeds. 3DXpoint memory can reportedly be up to 1000X faster and more durable than today's NAND, and 10x denser than DRAM, while offering lower latency. Products based on 3D XPoint will arrive as early as next year. The prototype drive, which will be branded Intel Optane when it arrives, was shown running a number of workloads in IOMeter, side by side with an Intel SSD DC3700 series enterprise-class PCIe SSD. Throughout the demo, the Optane / 3D XPoint drive was roughly 5 to 7x faster than the DC3700, which is no small feat. Those numbers don't come close to 3D XPoint's potential, but then again, the demo system was using very early, pre-release silicon and firmware. Link to Original Source
MojoKid writes: Asus seems to be on a roll these days, especially in mobile technologies. In the past few months, the company surprised many with the affordable and capable ZenPhone 2 smartphone (which starts at a frugal $200 off-contract) Today, Asus invoked its "Zen factor" again, this time in the tablet space, with the introduction of its ZenPad S 8.0 Z580CA. Front and center on the new ZenPad S 8.0 Z580CA is a crisp, 7.9-inch QXGA (2048x1536) IPS display. The device is also very thin, just a hair thicker than an iPad Mini 3, for reference, measuring.3 inches thick. On back, the ZenPad S 8 has a brushed and textured aluminum finish that completely resists fingerprints and a rubberize bottom strip that offers an anti-skid effect and also makes the device less slippery in the hand. Under the hood, there's a potent quad-core, 64-bit Intel Atom Z3580 processor paired with a PowerVR G6430 for graphics duties. The Atom chip is backed by a healthy 4GB of RAM, which ASUS says is a tablet first, along with 64GB of standard internal Flash storage. It's also one of the first tablets on the market with USB-C support. Probably one of the better features of the new Asus Android slate, however, is its MSRP of $299. Link to Original Source
MojoKid writes: Will they or won't they continue on with the 'flat tire' display? That's been the big question surrounding Motorola's next generation Moto 360 smartwatch. Today, we finally learn the answer to the question, and unfortunately, it looks as though Motorola still hasn't seen clear to incorporate a completely circular display like LG, Huawei and now Samsung into a smartwatch. In an incredibly short video posted to Motorola's official Twitter account (the tweet has since been taken down), we see a fleeting glimpse of the next generation Moto 360. There is still a cutout at the bottom of the display, which houses an ambient light sensor in the current generation Moto 360. Keen eyes will also spot that the side button has been moved from the 3 o'clock position to the 2 o'clock position and that the integrated lug system for the watch bands has been abandoned in favor of an external lug system typical of most modern wristwatches. Link to Original Source
MojoKid writes: Samsung held their Unpacked 2015 event in New York City today and the company unveiled its latest flagship, big-screen smartphones, the Galaxy S6 Edge+ and Galaxy Note5. Immediately following the on-stage presentations and reveals, Samsung opened up a demo area featuring the new devices for direct hands-on time. Both of these phones feature a 5.7-inch Super AMOLED display with a QHD screen resolution (2560x1440), though the sides of the S6 Edge+'s display are curved. Powering the both devices is the the same octal-core Samsung Exynos 7420 processor that's at the heart of the previously-released Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge. These new phones, however, are packing 4GB of RAM—not just 3GB, like the older models and also have LTE Cat9 support and high-speed wireless charging built-in. Samsung has also beefed up the cameras; these new devices pack the same 16MP sensor from the Galaxy S6 with OIS, but an additional digital image stabilization algo which complements the optical solution to further smooth out video is included as well. Built-in software on the new devices also allows for live-streaming to YouTube. Link to Original Source
MojoKid writes: Sometimes it's the enterprise sector that gets dibs on the coolest technology, and so it goes with a trio of TCO-optimized, high-performance solid state drives from Samsung that were just announced, all three of which are based on three-dimensional (3D) Vertical NAND (V-NAND) flash memory technology. The fastest of bunch can read data at up to 5,500 megabytes per second. That's the rated sequential read speed of Samsung's PM1725, a half-height, half-length (HHHL) PCIe card-type NVMe SSD. Other rated specs include a random read speed of up to 1,000,000 IOPS, random write performance of up to 120,000 IOPS, and sequential writes topping out at 1,800MB/s. The PM1725 comes in just two beastly storage capacities, 3.2TB and 6.4TB, the latter of which is rated to handle five drive writes per day (32TB) for five years. Samsung also introduced two other 3D V-NAND products, the PM1633 and PM953. The PM1633 is a 2.5-inch 12Gb/s SAS SSD that will be offered in 480GB, 960GB, 1.92TB, and 3.84TB capacities. As for the PM953, it's an update to the SM951 and is available in M.2 and 2.5-inch form factors at capacities up to 1.92TB. Link to Original Source