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+ - California has become the first state to get over 5% of its power from solar->

Submitted by Lucas123
Lucas123 (935744) writes "While the rest of the nation's solar power generation hovers around 1%, California clocked in with a record 5% of power coming from utility-grade (1MW or more) solar power sources, according to a report from Mercom Capital Group and the Energy Information Administration. That's three times the next closest state, Arizona. At the same time, 22 states have yet to deploy even one utility-grade solar power plant, according to the Solar Energy Industry Association. Meanwhile, the rest of the world saw a 14% uptick in solar power installations in 2014 for a total of 54.5GW of capacity, and that figure is expected to grow even faster in 2015. While China still leads the world in new solar capacity, Japan and the U.S. come in as a close second and third, respectively. In the U.S. distributed solar and utility-grade solar installations are soaring as the solar investment tax credit (ITC) is set to expire next year. The U.S. is expected to deploy 8.5GW of new solar capacity in 2015, according to Mercom Capital Group."
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+ - Samsung Introduces M.2 and mSATA Versions Of The SSD 850 EVO Line->

Submitted by MojoKid
MojoKid (1002251) writes "Samsung is introducing a number of new members to their SSD 850 EVO line-up of Solid State Drives today, based on different form factors than their standard 2.5-inch drives. Samsung's new mSATA and M.2 Samsung SSD 850 EVO drives that were just announced, however, leverage all of the same technology. The last few generations of Samsung's 2.5" Solid State Drive utilized PCBs that barley filled up half of their encloses, and a large portion of those PCBs were dedicated to the standard SATA power and data cable connectors, so it's no surprise to see these new, smaller variants arrive with mSATA and M.2 support. Samsung will be offering SSD 850 EVO series drives with capacities ranging from 120GB all the way up to 1TB in mSATA flavors, but the M.2 models top out at 500GB. The 120GB, 250GB and 500GB models feature dual-core Samsung MGX controllers. The controller is fundamentally similar to the triple-core MEX controller used in the recently released 850 Pro series, though a core has been removed. Samsung claims it made this move in order to save power, because the extra core didn't help performance on the lower capacity drives. Note, however, that the 1TB mSATA drive has the original MEX controller. Performance-wise, the 500GB drive tested here performed well throughout a battery of tests, whether large sequential transfers, or small file random workloads. It also offered very low access times. The compressibility of the data being transferred across the Samsung SSD 850 EVO had no impact on performance as well."
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+ - Toshiba Announces 3D Flash With 48 Layers -- The Industry's Densest ->

Submitted by Lucas123
Lucas123 (935744) writes "Admitting it has bumped up against a 15 nanometer process wall, Toshiba announced it's focusing its efforts on three dimensional NAND using its Bit Cost Scalable technology in order to increase capacity. It has dedicated a Japanese fab plant to it and developed 48-level 3D NAND, which bumps density up 33% over previous 3D NAND flash. The new 3D NAND will be able to store 128Gb of data per chip (16GB). Samsung has been mass producing 32-layer, triple-level cell (TLC) 3D NAND since last October and has incorporated it into some of its least expensive SSDs. Yesterday, Micron and Intel announced their own 32-layer 3D TLC NAND, which they claimed will lead to 10TB SSDs. While Toshiba's 3D NAND is multi-level cell (meaning it stores two bits per transistor versus three), the company does plan on developing a TLC version. Toshiba said it's not abandoning 15nm floating gate flash, but it will focus those efforts on lower capacity applications."
Link to Original Source

+ - Elon Musk's SolarCity Offering To Build Cities, Businesses Their Own Grids->

Submitted by Lucas123
Lucas123 (935744) writes "Rooftop solar distributor SolarCity announced a new service where it will build a centrally-controllable power grid for cities, business campuses and even islands. Marketing its GridLogic service by calling attention to the recent uptick in natural disasters and the extended power outages that resulted from them, SolarCity said its "microgrids" are fully independent power infrastructures fed by solar panels with lithium-ion backup batteries (courtesy of Tesla). SolarCity claims its GridLogic program can provide electricity to communities and businesses for less than they pay for utility power and the facilities can still be connected to their area's utility power grid as an added backup."
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+ - Apple Makes Good on It's Promise to Double MacBook Pro Performance-> 2

Submitted by Lucas123
Lucas123 (935744) writes "Benchmark tests performed on the 2015 MacBook Pro revealed it does have twice the read/write performance as the mid-2014 model. Tests performed with the Blackmagic benchmark tool revealed read/write speeds of more than 1,300MBps/1,400MBps, respectively. So what's changed? The new MacBook Pro does have a faster Intel dual-core i7 2.9GHz processor and 1866MHz LPDDR3) RAM, but the real performance gain is in the latest PCIe M.2 flash module. The 2014 model used a PCIe 2.0 x2 card and the 2015 model uses a PCIe 3.0 x4 (four I/O lanes) card. Twice the lanes, twice the speed. While Apple uses a proprietary flash card made by Samsung, Intel, Micron and SanDisk are all working on similar technology, so it's likely to soon wind up in high-end PCs."
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+ - Elon Musk predicts driving may someday be illegal->

Submitted by Lucas123
Lucas123 (935744) writes "During a discussion at a Nvidia conference, Elon Musk predicted that in the future, consumers will not be allowed to drive cars because it will be considered too dangerous. "You can't have a person driving a two-ton death machine," he said. Others agree. Thilo Koslowski, a vice president at Gartner, said instead of laws dictating drivers must cede control to their car's computer, we may someday someday just pass signs requiring drivers to activate auto-drive functionality for certain particularly treacherous stretches of roadway. Kowlowski said fully autonomous vehicles won't be ubiquitous for another 10 to 15 years, but the government could spur that on by offering tax incentives as it does today with all-electric vehicles and hybrids."
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+ - Hertz Installs Internal Cameras in Rental Vehicles->

Submitted by Lucas123
Lucas123 (935744) writes "Hertz as installed internal cameras in about 12% of its rental fleet as part of an upgrade to its in-vehicle navigation system NeverLost. While the sixth iteration of NeverLost includes the camera, Hertz said it currently can't be activated because there's no software behind it. The nation's largest rental car company said the cameras were selected as a feature of their new Magellan touchscreen GPS system as a way of someday offering passengers video conferencing with Hertz representatives in the event of a problem. Hertz began installing the cameras last summer and to date has 60,000 of them in rental vehicles. The company said it doesn't know when or if it will activate the cameras, "We'd have to see whether there'd be customer acceptance of it, and you'd be weighing the convenience of video conferencing...against the privacy concerns some people have," a spokesman said."
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+ - NVIDIA Launches GeForce GTX Titan X, Benchmarks And Full Testing Ensue->

Submitted by MojoKid
MojoKid (1002251) writes "NVIDIA just officially took the wraps off its latest flagship monster graphics card, the $999 GeForce GTX Titan X. The GeForce GTX Titan X is powered by the company's massive Maxwell-based GM200 GPU, which is comprised of roughly 8 billion transistors and is manufactured using TSMC's 28nm process node. The GPU packs 3072 CUDA cores and links to a huge 12GB frame buffer via a 384-bit wide interface. In terms of performance, the GeForce GTX Titan X is easily the fastest single-GPU powered graphics card available, though the dual-GPU (and less costly) Radeon R9 295X2 was faster overall. The Titan X is also highly overclockable, relatively quiet, and surprisingly power efficient."
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+ - Deploying Solar in California's Urban Areas Could Meet Demand Five Times Over->

Submitted by Lucas123
Lucas123 (935744) writes "About 8% of terrestrial surfaces in California have been developed, ranging from cities and buildings to park spaces. If photovoltaic panels, along with concentrating solar power, were more effectively deployed in and around those areas, it could meet between three and five times what California currently uses for electricity, according to a new study. The study from the Carnegie Institution for Science, found that using small- and utility-scale solar power in and around developed areas could generate up to 15,000 terawatt-hours (trillion watt hours) of energy a year using photovoltaic technology, and 6,000TWh of energy a year using concentrating solar power technology. "Integrating solar facilities into the urban and suburban environment causes the least amount of land-cover change and the lowest environmental impact," post-doctoral environmental earth scientist Rebecca Hernandez said."
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+ - Police fight to keep use of Stingrays secret

Submitted by v3rgEz
v3rgEz (125380) writes "The New York Times looks at how local police are fighting to keep their use of cell phone surveillance secret, including signing NDAs with Stingray manufacturer Harris Corp and claiming the documents have been lost. It's part of a broader trend of local agencies adopting the tactics of covert intelligence groups as they seek to adopt new technology in the digital era."

+ - Why Apple Won't Adopt A Wireless Charging Standard->

Submitted by Lucas123
Lucas123 (935744) writes "As the battle for mobile dominance continues among three wireless charging standards, with many smartphone and wearable makers having already chosen sides, Apple continues to sit on the sideline. While the new Apple Watch uses a tightly coupled magnetic inductive wireless charging technology, it still requires a cable. The only advantage is that no port is required, allowing the watch case to remain sealed and water resistant. The iPhone 6 and 6 Plus, however, remain without any form of wireless charging, either tightly coupled inductive or more loosely coupled resonant charging. Over the past few years, Apple has filed patents on its own flavor of wireless charging, a "near field" or resonant technology, but no products have as yet come to market. If and when it does select a technology, it will likely be its own proprietary specification, which ensures accessory makers will have to pay royalties to use it."
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+ - Lenovo Revamps ThinkPad X1 Carbon With Broadwell, Traditional ThinkPad Keyboard->

Submitted by MojoKid
MojoKid (1002251) writes "Lenovo just revamped the ThinkPad X1 Carbon and in this third generation of the machine, they've adopted Intel's latest 5th generation Core Series Broadwell processors, along with a few other updates. In addition, they've retooled the keyboard and trackpad area, returning back to more traditional roots versus the second generation machine, which was met with some criticism due to its adaptive function key row and over-simplified, buttonless trackpad. Notable upgrades to this 3rd gen model are a faster Core i5-5300U processor and a self-encrypting Opal2 compliant SSD. Performance-wise, the new ThinkPad offers up some of the best numbers in utlrabooks currently, though battery life is a bit middle of the road, but still able to last over 8 hours under light, web-driven workloads."
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