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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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+ - Chrome OS Receives Extreme Makeover With Material Design And Google Now->

Submitted by MojoKid
MojoKid (1002251) writes "Late last week, Google quietly began inviting people to opt into the beta channel for ChromeOS to help the company "shape the future" of the OS. Some betas can be riskier than others, but Google says that opting into this one is just a "little risk", one that will pay off handsomely for those who crave new features. New in this version is Chrome Launcher 2.0, which gives you quick access to a number of common features, including the apps you use most often (examples are Hangouts, Calculator, and Files). Some apps have also received a fresh coat of paint, such as the file manager. Google notes that this is just the start, so there will be more updates rolling out to the beta OS as time goes on. Other key features available in this beta include the ability to extract pass protected Zip archives, as well as a perk for travelers. ChromeOS will now automatically detect your new timezone, and then update the time and date accordingly."
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+ - Intel Broadwell-Powered Mini PCs Arrive In Volume, Tiny Gigabyte Brix S Tested->

Submitted by MojoKid
MojoKid (1002251) writes "Since Intel started pushing its NUC (Next Unit of Computing) platform, manufacturers have been designing various versions of these tiny computers that serve as solid Home Theater PCs, public kiosks, etc. One difference between these Ultra small form factor PCs and traditional PCs is that these little boxes are mostly sold as barebones solutions. The basic load-out consists of a CPU, power supply, motherboard, chassis, and wireless card; so it's up to you to install your own memory and storage. Gigabyte just refreshed their Brix line of these tiny PCs with Intel's latest 14nm Broadwell architecture that is perfect for the form factor. The Gigabyte Brix S is powered by a Core i7-5500U, which is a 15 Watt dual-core Broadwell variant that turbos up to 3GHz, though it still manages to stay cool and quiet even under heavy loads. The little fella holds its own in the benchmarks but none of these systems will ever blow you away with its performance. It's just the nature of the beast as they're essentially like putting an ultrabook in a palm-sized box, although it's absolutely silent, and you can still upgrade storage capacity and RAM down the road."
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+ - New Screenshots Detail Microsoft Spartan Web Browser For Windows 10 Smartphones->

Submitted by MojoKid
MojoKid (1002251) writes "One of the most anticipated new features in Windows 10 is the Spartan web browser, which will replace the long-serving Internet Explorer. We've seen Spartan in action on the desktop/notebook front, but we're now getting a closer look at Spartan in action on the mobile side thanks to some newly leaked screenshots. Perhaps the biggest change with Spartan is the repositioning of the address bar from the bottom of the screen to the top (which is also in line with other mobile browsers like Safari and Chrome). The refresh button has also been moved from its right-hand position within the address bar to a new location to the left of the address bar. Reading Lists also make an appearance in this latest build of Spartan along with Microsoft's implementation of "Hubs" on Windows 10 for mobile devices."
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+ - Micron And Intel Announce 3D NAND Flash Co-Development To Push SSDs Past 10TB->

Submitted by MojoKid
MojoKid (1002251) writes "Both Micron and Intel noted in a release today that traditional planar NAND flash memory is reaching a dead-end, and as such, have been working together on 3D memory technology that could open the floodgates for high densities and faster speeds. Not all 3D memory is alike, however. This joint development effort resulted in a "floating gate cell" being used, something not uncommon for standard flash, but a first for 3D. Ultimately, this 3D NAND is composed of flash cells stacked 32 high, resulting in 256Gb MLC and 384Gb TLC die that fit inside of a standard package. That gives us 48GB per die, and up to 750GB in a single package. Other benefits include faster performance, reduced cost, and technologies that help extend the life of the memory."
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+ - OCZ Launches Vector 180 SSD With Power Loss Protection, Barefoot 3 Controller->

Submitted by MojoKid
MojoKid (1002251) writes "OCZ Technology just launched another new Solid State Drive, built around the company's tried-and-true Barefoot 3 controller. The Vector 180 series SSD is packing some of Toshiba's latest A19nm MLC NAND Flash memory and has some welcomed features normally reserved for more expensive, enterprise-class drives. Crack open a Vector 180 and you'll see a Barefoot 3 M00 controller on board and that controller is paired to A19nm Toshiba MLC (Multi-Level Cell) NAND flash memory and a DDR3-1333MHz DRAM cache. Something new to this drive, that's not very common on consumer SSDs is power-loss protection. OCZ calls the feature PFM+ or "Power Failure Management Plus." There's a large capacitor on the PCB that protects the drive itself and at-rest data. Unlike more advanced power loss protection schemes, however, in-flight data is NOT protected. Even still, PFM+ is a welcome feature that should minimize the chance of bricking the drive due to a power-related issue. Performance-wise, the Vector 180 is solid, just missing some of the top-end numbers put up by Samsung's 850 EVO series SSDs. These new OCZ drives do come with a longer 5 year warranty, however."
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+ - NVIDIA Launches Maxwell-Powered Quadro M6000 Workstation Pro Graphics Cards->

Submitted by MojoKid
MojoKid (1002251) writes "NVIDIA released its Quadro M6000 at last week's GPU Technology Conference, but interestingly, it was without much fanfare. Perhaps that has something to do with the card belonging to the professional market that NVIDIA didn't feel the need to trumpet the new release. As the "M" in its name implies, this is a Maxwell-based Quadro — the first of its kind. Just as with the desktop GeForce series, the move from Kepler to Maxwell on Quadro offers a slew of benefits, from improved general performance to increased power efficiency. Specs-wise, the M6000 is effectively a GeForce GTX TITAN X, but clocked down ever-so-slightly. It's comprised of 3,072 CUDA cores, a 988MHz clock speed, and memory throughput of 317GB/s (vs. 336.5GB/s of TITAN X). Also, like the monstrous TITAN X, the M6000 features 12GB of memory and a 250W TDP. While higher-end Kepler-based Quadro K6000 cards offered solid double-precision performance, the M6000 doesn't target that as much. The reason for this is that NVIDIA decided to push the single-precision performance higher, since that's the major demand lately and it also offers improved ray-tracing performance. In that comparison, the M6000 should be close to 20% faster than the K6000, although real-world performance gains greater than that might be achieved, depending on the scenario."
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+ - Lenovo CEO Reportedly Posts Image Of Next Gen Moto 360 Smartwatch->

Submitted by MojoKid
MojoKid (1002251) writes "When the Android Wear platform was unveiled last year, the star of the show was undoubtedly the Motorola Moto 360. With its stainless steel body and round display, the smartwatch looked futuristic while retaining styling that was somewhat familiar to traditional time pieces. However, it's been a year since the original Moto 360 was unveiled and there have been a number of round-faced Android Wear devices that have either hit the market or will in the coming months. Motorola, of course, is still pushing ahead with a second generation Moto 360 and it appears their new parent company — Lenovo — may have just leaked the design of the upcoming smartwatch. Lenovo CEO Yang Yuanqing posted an image to Weibo, which shows a number of smartwatches in various states of assembly. The image is interesting, because it provides us with two interesting bits of information. First, the new Moto 360 appears to adopt a traditional, exposed-lug design, which should make it easier for users to swap out the band that comes with the Moto 360 for a wider variety of third-party bands. Also, what you can glean from the photo is that, it appears that the "flat tire" display found on the original Moto 360 will carry over to its successor. The Moto 360 currently houses its ambient light sensor and display driver in the crescent-shaped cutout at the bottom of the display."
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+ - Magic Leap Augmented Reality Office Demo Will Blow You Away, If It's Real->

Submitted by MojoKid
MojoKid (1002251) writes "Augmented Reality seems to be all the rage these days. Last week at GTC 2015, we saw some rather interesting augmented/virtual reality demos from Google and some of its software development partners, using the Project Tango Development Tablet. But perhaps the most amazing demo of augmented reality that we've seen yet — at least with regards to gaming — comes from Magic Leap, a company that has received half a billion in venture capital funding from Google and a number of other backers. The company recently posted a video entitled "Just another day in the office at Magic Leap" on YouTube. The video shows a person interacting with a YouTube clip and opening Gmail to flip through some emails, before spinning a carousel-like on-screen menu to select a game. And that's where the action really starts to liven up. The person in the video then picks up a weapon and proceeds to start zapping enemy robots that drop from out of the ceiling. The demo is meant as a showcase for Magic Leaps augmented/virtual reality headset and it definitely looks very impressive. But we have to ask, how much of this is actually possible with current hardware and software technology? In fact, the demo looks a little too good to be the real deal. What do you think?"
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+ - Ebola-Proof Tablet Developed By Google Set For Deployment In Sierra Leone->

Submitted by MojoKid
MojoKid (1002251) writes "Google has co-developed a tablet device for use by workers battling Ebola in Sierra Leone. The modified Sony Xperia tablet comes with an extra protective shell, can withstand chlorine dousing as well as exposure to the high humidity and storms that are typical of life in West Africa. And it can even be used by workers wearing protective gloves. As even a single piece of paper leaving a high-risk zone poses a risk of passing on the infection, at the end of their shifts Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF) doctors on site at the height of the current outbreak of the disease were reduced to shouting patient notes to workers on the other side of a protective zone fence, who would then enter them into patient records. A practice that MSF technology advisor Ivan Gayton says was "error prone, exhausting, and it wasted five or 10 minutes of the hour medics can spend fully dressed inside the protective zone before they collapse from heat exhaustion." To address the issue, MSF challenged a number of technology volunteers to create an "Ebola-proof tablet" to improve efficiency. This collective, which included Whitespell's Pim de Witte and Hack4Good's Daniel Cunningham, grew to include a member of Google's Crisis Response Team, and it was this group that co-developed the device."
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+ - First AMD FreeSync Capable Gaming Displays And Drivers Launched, Tested->

Submitted by MojoKid
MojoKid (1002251) writes "Soon after NVIDIA unveiled its G-SYNC technology, AMD announced that it would pursue an open standard, dubbed FreeSync, leveraging technologies already available in the DisplayPort specification to offer adaptive refresh rates to users of some discrete Radeon GPUs and AMD APUs. AMD's goal with FreeSync was to introduce a technology that offered similar end-user benefits to NVIDIA's G-SYNC, that didn't require monitor manufacturers to employ any proprietary add-ons, and that could be adopted by any GPU maker. Today, AMD released its first FreeSync capable set of drivers and this first look at the sleek ultra-widescreen LG 34UM67 showcases some of the benefits, based on an IPS panel with a native resolution of 2560x1080 and a max refresh rate of 75Hz. To fully appreciate how adaptive refresh rate technologies work, it's best to experience them in person. In short, the GPU scans a frame out to the monitor where it's drawn on-screen and the monitor doesn't update until a frame is done drawing. As soon as a frame is done, the monitor will update again as quickly as it can with the next frame, in lockstep with the GPU. This completely eliminates tearing and jitter issues that are common in PC gaming. Technologies like NVIDIA G-SYNC and AMD FreeSync aren't a panacea for all of PC gaming anomalies, but they do ultimately enhance the experience and are worthwhile upgrades in image quality and less eye strain."
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+ - Google, Developers Demo Impressive Gaming And VR Apps For Project Tango Tablet->

Submitted by MojoKid
MojoKid (1002251) writes "Google's Project Tango Android tablet offers a new way to interact with the world through the use of 3D mapping and real-time depth sensing. Combined with custom software and hardware sensors, Project Tango devices are capable of performing over a quarter million 3D measurements per second to create a 3D model of the world we see. There are endless possibilities as Google notes. "What if you could capture the dimensions of your home simply by walking around with your phone before you went furniture shopping? What if the visually-impaired could navigate unassisted in unfamiliar indoor places? And there are obvious big advantages in gaming applications for positioning, augmented reality, etc. Google was offering a first-hand experience with virtual reality gaming using Project Tango at GTC in San Jose today, and the results are pretty impressive. The first demo involved Zombie Gunship Reality, which allows you to take aim at killer zombies from the relative safety of the air. Using an NVIDIA Tegra K1-powered Project Tango dev tablet, you're able to aim your weapon by moving the tablet around in front of you, which provides for a more immersive experience than just tapping/swiping away on the screen alone to move. Google also demoed how a Project Tango device could be used to create a 3D capture of a room or even an entire building, giving users a way to navigate through unfamiliar surroundings without the need for Wi-Fi or GPS hardware."
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+ - Elon Musk On Autonomous Cars: Could Human Drivers Eventually Be Outlawed?-> 1

Submitted by MojoKid
MojoKid (1002251) writes "One of the highlights of the opening keynote at the NVIDIA GPU Technology Conference in San Jose (GTC), was NVIDIA CEO, Jen-Hsun Huang's special guest, Tesla CEO, Elon Musk and the "fireside chat" the two participated in. With NVIDIA's focus on deep learning and machine vision technologies for cars, much of the talk centered around autonomous vehicles and the notion that someday they may be so reliable, that they're actually safer on the road than cars operated by humans. Think about it. Is the idea of a vehicle that recognizes distance, velocity, weather conditions and real-time changes, faster than a human can, all that far-fetched? In the interview shot here, Musk even thinks we may get to a day when human drivers could be outlawed in favor of an all autonomous driving society."
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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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+ - Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon Update w/ Intel Broadwell, Self-Encrypting SSD, Tested->

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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