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+ - Apple Watch's Hidden Diagnostic Port To Allow Battery Straps, Innovative Add-Ons->

Submitted by MojoKid
MojoKid writes: Apple's Watch launched two weeks ago to some unbelievable hype and coverage in the press. However, it appears one feature flew under the radar and Apple actually had just one more trick up its sleeve. You see, on one side of the watch face is a hidden door that exposes a 6-pin port. It's assumed that this could be used for diagnostic purposes, but with an Apple Watch in hand, a company by the name of Reserve Strap was able to verify that it could also be used for charging. This seems pretty huge and strange at the same time: why would Apple keep such a thing quiet, when the Apple Watch's battery-life isn't what most people would consider impressive? Even more interesting is the fact that Apple didn't make use of this port to release its own charging straps — watch straps that carry a charge themselves. Apple's lack of transparency here doesn't much matter, though, as the aforementioned Reserve Strap is planning to get such a product to market as soon as possible. The company says about its first offering: "The Reserve Strap will come in White, Gray and Black and will fit both the 38mm and 42mm case sizes. The first batch of straps will be shipped in the Fall.
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+ - Microsoft Office 2016 Public Preview Released

Submitted by jones_supa
jones_supa writes: Back in March, Microsoft made Office 2016, the next release of the company's leading office suite, available to IT professionals to test and submit feedback on. At Microsoft's Ignite conference, CEO Satya Nadella announced that the public preview of Office 2016 has now been released as well. Office 2016 comes with a range of new features that build upon Office 2013. There is far more integration with cloud, allowing a user to access documents anywhere, and Outlook now syncs with OneDrive when sending large files. So called Smart Applications extend the functionality of Office, including Tell Me, a new search tool, and Clutter, which unclutters your inbox based on machine learning. Anyone can start testing the free Office 2016 Preview right now. Just as they have done with Windows 10, Microsoft is receiving open feedback on the product.

+ - Square Enix Witch Chapter Real-Time CG DX12 Demo Impresses At Microsoft BUILD->

Submitted by MojoKid
MojoKid writes: Computer generated graphics have come a long way in the past several years and are starting to blur the line between animation and real actors. One of the more difficult tasks for CG artists is to recreate human emotions, especially crying, though you wouldn't know it after watching a tech demo that Square Enix showed off at the Microsoft BUILD Developer Conference. The real-time tech demo is called Witch Chapter 0 [cry] and is part of a research project that studies various next generation technologies. For this particular demo, Square Enix put a lot of research into real-time CG technology utilizing DirectX 12 in collaboration with Microsoft and NVIDIA, the company said. It's an ongoing project that will help form Square Enix's Luminous Studio engine for future games. The short demo shows some pretty impressive graphics, with an amazing level of detail. As the camera zooms in, you can clearly see imperfections in the skin, along with glistening effects from areas where the face is wet with either tears or water
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+ - Disney replaces longtime IT staff with H-1B workers->

Submitted by Lucas123
Lucas123 writes: Disney CEO Bob Iger is one of eight co-chairs of the Partnership for a New American Economy, a leading group advocating for an increase in the H-1B visa cap. Last Friday, the partnership was a sponsor of an H-1B briefing at the U.S. Capitol for congressional staffers. The briefing was closed to the press. One of the briefing documents obtained after the meeting stated, "H-1B workers complement — instead of displace — U.S. Workers." Last October, however, Disney laid off at least 135 IT staff (though employees say it was hundreds more), many of them longtime workers. Disney then replaced them with H-1B contractors that company said could better "focus on future innovation and new capabilities." The fired workers believe the primary motivation behind Disney's action was cost-cutting. "Some of these folks were literally flown in the day before to take over the exact same job I was doing," one former employee said. Disney officials promised new job opportunities as a result of the restructuring, but the former staff interviewed by Computerworld said they knew of few co-workers who had landed one of the new jobs. Use of visa workers in a layoff is a public policy issue, particularly for Disney. Ten U.S. senators are currently seeking a federal investigation into displacement of IT workers by H-1B-using contractors. Kim Berry, president of the Programmer's Guild, said Congress should protect American workers by mandating that positions can only be filled by H-1B workers when no qualified American — at any wage — can be found to fill the position."
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+ - LG G4 And Qualcomm's Snapdragon 808 Benchmarked->

Submitted by MojoKid
MojoKid writes: LG officially lifted the veil on its new G4 flagship Android phone this week and the buzz has been fairly strong. LG's display prowess is well known, along with their ability to pack a ton of screen real estate into a smaller frame with very little bezel, as they did with the previous generation G3. However, what's under the hood of the new LG G4 is probably just as interesting as the build quality and display, for some. On board the LG G4 is a Qualcomm Snapdragon 808, the six-core little brother of the powerful and power-hungry Snapdragon 810 that's found in HTC's One M9. The One M9 is currently one of the fastest Android handsets out there, but its battery life suffers as a result. So with a six-core Snapdragon and a slightly tamer Adreno 418 graphics engine on board, but also with 3GB of RAM, it's interesting to see where the G4 lands performance-wise. It's basically somewhere between the HTC One M9 (Snapdragon 810) and the Snapdragon 805 in the Nexus 6 in CPU bound workloads, besting even the iPhone 6, but much more middle of the pack in terms of graphics and gaming.
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+ - Teenager Stuns Fellow Geeks By Solving Rubik's Cube In Record 5.25 Seconds->

Submitted by MojoKid
MojoKid writes: Some folks are better at solving the timeless classic Rubik's Cube puzzle than others. However, Colin Burns, a teenager who thrilled a crowd of onlookers over the weekend at Central Bucks West High School in Doylestown, PA, supposedly just broke the record in a big way. It took Colins a mere 5.253 seconds to solve Rubik's 3x3x3 contraption, besting the previous record held by Mats Valk from the Netherlands, who accomplished the same feat in 5.55 seconds. Colins is one of only eight people to have correctly lined up the scrambled colors in less than 10 seconds during an official competition. The video of the feat is impressive to be sure. Just be warned that the ensuing celebration is quite boisterous, so you may want to turn down the volume on your speakers or headphones.
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Comment: Re:Bad source (Score 1) 17

Dear Anonymous Coward, it matters not what or whom I work for. See, that's the beauty of transparency and credibility. I make no bones about it and the content I'd submit is always relevant. Do you work for Audiostream.com? Do you? I care because you clearly have an axe grind posting off-topic binspam like that.

Comment: Re:Bad source (Score 4, Informative) 17

What the heck is this binspam comment? Who you happen to be behind that site you've linked in here by chance? Let's see, HotHardware rips on your support of of $5 - $7K Ethernet cables that supposedly make a difference in audio fidelity, so you go trolling totally unrelated news stories linking to some rebuttal story on your site? Who's the "bad source?" Stay classy behind that Anonymous Coward login, chief.

+ - Intel Showcases RealSense 3D Camera Applications And Technologies In New York->

Submitted by MojoKid
MojoKid writes: Intel gathered a number of its OEM and software partners together in New York City recently to showcase the latest innovations that the company's RealSense 3D camera technology can enable. From new interactive gaming experiences to video collaboration, 3D mapping and gesture controls, Intel's front-facing RealSense technology holds promise that could someday reinvent how we interact with PCs. The F200 RealSense camera module itself integrates a depth sensor and a full color 1080p HD camera together with standard technologies like dual array mics, but with an SDK, on-board processing engine and 3rd party software that can allow the camera module to sense numerous environmental variables, much more like a human does. In the demos that were shown, RealSense was used to create an accurate 3D map of a face, in a matter of seconds, track gestures and respond to voice commands, allow touch-free interaction in a game, and remove backgrounds from a video feed in real-time, for more efficient video conferencing and collaboration.
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+ - Google Apologizes For Maps Snafu Of Android Robot Peeing On An Apple Logo->

Submitted by MojoKid
MojoKid writes: A recent "Easter Egg" of sorts was found in Google Maps, in a sharp jab at Apple. Yes, this is a screen shot of the real Google Maps, just south of Islamabad, Pakistan. Unfortunately, the graphic has already been removed, as well as some others. In case you think Apple was hit too harshly, another now-removed message was seen in a field: "Google review policy is crap". In another area in Lahore, Pakistan, a Skype logo could be seen. Given the other messages, it becomes pretty obvious that Google itself had absolutely nothing to do with a graphic showing an Android robot urinating on an Apple logo. And it's probably a good thing, as you can't get much more unprofessional than that. The reason such messages hit Google Maps isn't because of a hacking; it's because the community is allowed to contribute data. Supposedly, Google is should have the final say on committed changes to map, so either that's not the case, or a seriously slack editor was working this particular day.
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+ - NVIDIA Quadro M6000 12GB Maxwell Workstation Graphics Tested Showing Solid Gains->

Submitted by MojoKid
MojoKid writes: NVIDIA's Maxwell GPU architecture has has been well-received in the gaming world, thanks to cards like the GeForce GTX Titan X and the GeForce GTX 980. NVIDIA recently took time to bring that same Maxwell goodness over the workstation market as well and the result is the new Quadro M6000, NVIDIA's new highest-end workstation platform. Like the Titan X, the M6000 is based on the full-fat version of the Maxwell GPU, the G200. Also, like the GeForce GTX Titan X, the Quadro M6000 has 12GB of GDDR5, 3072 GPU cores, 192 texture units (TMUs), and 96 render outputs (ROPs). NVIDIA has said that the M6000 will beat out their previous gen Quadro K6000 in a significant way in pro workstation applications as well as GPGPU or rendering and encoding applications that can be GPU-accelerated. One thing that's changed with the launch of the M6000 is that AMD no longer trades shots with NVIDIA for the top pro graphics performance spot. Last time around, there were some benchmarks that still favored team red. Now, the NVIDIA Quadro M6000 puts up pretty much a clean sweep.
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+ - Tesla To Unveil Its Gigafatory's Home/Utility-Scale Batteries->

Submitted by Lucas123
Lucas123 writes: Elon Musk is expected to announce batteries that will store power from renewable energy sources in homes and for utilities that will supplement their power supply in off hours at night and during inclement weather. The announcement will take place next Thursday (April 30) at 8 p.m. Musk is also chairman of SolarCity, the largest provider of residential solar systems in the U.S., which controls 30% to 40% of the U.S. market. Tesla plans to mass produce household- and utility-grade batteries in a $5 billion lithium-ion battery factory project it calls the "Gigafactory" — the first one of which is being constructed in Nevada. As battery technology evolves, it could pave the way to cost effectively store both wind and solar-generated energy and connect to electrical power grids. The technology also could be used by businesses and homes, which could virtually remain off the power grid except in emergencies. The grid, essentially, would be the backup. The company is currently beta-testing its batteries in about 330 homes, mainly in California. Those batteries can hold up to 10kWh of electricity. The utility-grade model is expected to have a 400kWh capacity.
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+ - Intel Compute Stick PC On HDMI Dongle Launched, Tested->

Submitted by MojoKid
MojoKid writes: Intel first offered a sneak peek of their forthcoming Compute Stick HDMI dongle earlier this year at CES but today is officially announcing product availability and has lifted embargo on first tests with the device. The Compute Stick is essentially a fully-functional, low-power, Atom-based system with memory, storage, and an OS, crammed into a dongle much bigger than a USB Flash drive. There will initially be two compute sticks made available, one running Windows (model STCK1A32WFC) and another running Ubuntu (model STCK1A8LFC). The Windows 8.1 version of the Compute Stick is packing an Intel Atom Z3735F processor, with a single-channel of 2GB of DDR3L-1333 RAM and 32GB of internal storage, though out of the box only 19.2GB is usable. The Ubuntu version of the Compute Stick has as a similar CPU, but is packing only 1GB of RAM and 8GB of internal storage. All sticks have USB and MicroSD expansion capability.The device is packing a low-power Atom processor, Intel HD graphics and only a single-channel of DDR3L-1333 memory, so it's not going to burn through any benchmarks. For multi-media playback, basic computing tasks, web browsing, HD video, or remote access, the Compute Stick has enough muscle to get the job done and it's cheap too at $99 — $149.
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+ - Star Wars Battlefront Game Trailer Is So Realistic It Looks Like Movie Footage->

Submitted by MojoKid
MojoKid writes: It has been a tremendous week for Star Wars fans. First we got to see Han Solo and Chewbacca make an emotional reappearance in the newest Star Wars: The Force Awakens trailer (the second official trailer Disney has put out). Now, Electronic Arts is treating us to a visual smorgasbord of cinema-quality footage showing the forthcoming Star Wars Battlefront game. Battlefront will support to up 40 players divided between the Rebel Alliance and Galactic Empire, all shooting it out and playing with some of the coolest Star Wars vehicles and weapons around. We're talking jetpacks, AT-AT war machines, AT-STs, TIE Fighters, X-wings, and more. Though the trailer allegedly shows actually "game engine footage," it's questionable whether or not it's actual gameplay or just pre-rendered cut scenes from the game engine. Either way, it's still pretty impressive.
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