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+ - Dell 2015 XPS 13: Smallest 13" Notebook With Broadwell-U, QHD+ Display Reviewed->

Submitted by MojoKid
MojoKid (1002251) writes "Dell's 2015 XPS 13 notebook made a splash out at CES this year with its near bezel-less 13-inch QHD+ (3200X1800) display and Intel's new 5th Gen Core series Broadwell-U processor. At 2.8 pounds, the 2015 XPS 13 isn't the absolute lightest 13-inch ultrabook book out there but it's lighter than a 13-inch MacBook Air and only a few ounces heavier than Lenovo's Core M-powered Yoga 3 Pro. The machine's Z dimensions are thin, at .33" up front to .6" at its back edge. However, its 11.98" width almost defies the laws of physics, squeezing a 13.3" (diagonal) display into an 11.98-inch frame making it what is essentially the smallest 13-inch ultrabook to hit the market yet. Performance-wise, this review shows its benchmarks numbers are strong and Intel's Broadwell-U seems to be an appreciable upgrade versus the previous generation architecture, along with lower power consumption"
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+ - Alienware Alpha Windows-Based Steam Machine Alternative PC Console Tested->

Submitted by MojoKid
MojoKid (1002251) writes "Valve's Steam Machine was all the rage at CES 2014 but as we enter 2015, the SteamOS gaming platform (and Valve's Steam Controller) are still works in progress. SteamOS hasn't been written off, but Dell, which was one of the first PC makers to build a custom console-sized system for SteamOS, made it clear they weren't waiting around. Dell's Alienware gaming brand launched the Alienware Alpha, which is targeted as a living room gaming PC. The Alienware Alpha plugs the holes left by Valve with standard PC and Microsoft hardware, Microsoft-powered software and a simple 10-ft UI developed in house. Instead of shipping with a Steam Controller, for example, the Alpha features an Xbox 360 wireless controller. The 10-foot user interface, which would have been handled by SteamOS, comes courtesy of Dell's custom Alpha UI. And that software, in turn, runs on Windows 8.1, though you can choose to boot directly to Windows if you wish. You can also boot to Steam Big Picture mode. Prices on the various Alpha models currently available range from $499 to $899. The processor selection includes Intel Core i3, Core i5, and Core i7 CPUs and 8GB of memory. For graphics, Alpha relies on an NVIDIA GeForce GTX 860M GPU with 2GB of GDDR5 memory. The system can handle most modern game titles at 1080p resolution with medium to high image quality. It's a decent little gaming rig that looks good and blends in well with a home theater setup."
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+ - NVIDIA Launches New Midrange Maxwell-Based GeForce GTX 960 Graphics Card->

Submitted by MojoKid
MojoKid (1002251) writes "NVIDIA is launching a new Maxwell desktop graphics card today, targeted at the sweet spot of the graphics card market ($200 or so), currently occupied by its previous gen GeForce GTX 760 and older GTX 660. The new GeForce GTX 960 features a brand new Maxwell-based GPU dubbed the GM206. NVIDIA was able to optimize the GM206's power efficiency without moving to a new process, by tweaking virtually every part of the GPU. NVIDIA's reference specifications for the GeForce GTX 960 call for a base clock of 1126MHz and a Boost clock of 1178MHz. The GPU is packing 1024 CUDA cores, 64 texture units, and 32 ROPs, which is half of what's inside their top-end GeForce GTX 980. The 2GB of GDDR5 memory on GeForce GTX 960 cards is clocked at a speedy 7GHz (effective GDDR5 data rate) over a 128-bit memory interface. The new GeForce GTX 960 is a low-power upgrade for gamers with GeForce GTX 660 class cards or older that make up a good percentage of the market now. It's usually faster than the previous generation GeForce GTX 760 card but, depending on the game title, can trail it as well, due to its narrower memory interface."
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+ - Scientists pinpoint 8 genes that determine brain size->

Submitted by sciencehabit
sciencehabit (1205606) writes "When it comes to brains, bigger is definitely better. Now, scientists have pinpointed 8 genes that help determine the size of key brain regions that influence everything from memory to motor control. These variants may represent “the genetic essence of humanity,” says Stephan Sanders, a geneticist and pediatrician at the University of California, San Francisco."
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+ - First Look At Dell Venue 8 7000 And Intel's Moorefield Atom Performance->

Submitted by MojoKid
MojoKid (1002251) writes "Dell has been strategically setting-up their new Venue 8 7000 tablet for cameo appearances over the past few months, starting back at Intel Developer's Forum in September of last year, then again at Dell World in November and at CES 2015. What's interesting about this new device, in addition to Intel's RealSense camera is its Atom Z3580 quad-core processor, which is based on Intel's latest Moorefield architecture. Moorefield builds upon Intel's Cherrytrail Atom feature set and offers two additional CPU cores with up to a 2.3GHz clock speed, an enhanced PowerVR 6430 GPU and support of faster LPDDR3-1600 memory. Moorefield is also built for Intel's XMM 7260 LTE modem platform, which supports carrier aggregation. Overall, Moorefield looks solid, with performance ahead of a Snapdragon 801 but not quite able to catch the 805, NVIDIA Tegra K1 or Apple's A8X in terms of graphics throughput. On the CPU side, Intel's beefed-up quad-core Atom variant shows well."
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+ - Microsoft Researchers Explore Using Light Rays To Charge Smartphones->

Submitted by MojoKid
MojoKid (1002251) writes "Making wireless charging a viable thing is far from being a new goal, but to date, no method has caught on in a big way. Microsoft might have an alternative solution that involves light rays, but not solar pads. Because indoor light is so weak compared to outdoor light, it's not realistic to rely on those light rays to charge a device. So, Microsoft built its own charger, in the form of a light fixture. Equipped with a high-powered LED flashlight, whenever this light fixture detects a compatible device kicking around, it'll begin beaming light straight at it. However, a big problem arises here immediately: no one is likely to want a light randomly pointing at their phone. It's mentioned that infrared lights could be used down-the-road to fix that problem. Also, this charger won't simply continue to charge a device when its battery is full. Via an on-phone LED, the mobile device would handshake with the light source, and either charge or not charge depending on the battery-level."
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+ - Intel 5th Gen Core Series Performance Preview With 2015 Dell XPS 13->

Submitted by MojoKid
MojoKid (1002251) writes "Intel's strategically timed CES 2015 launch of their new 5th Gen Core Series processors for notebooks was met with a reasonably warm reception, though it's always difficult to rise above the noise of CES chatter. Performance claims for Intel's new chip promise major gains in graphics and more modest increases in standard compute applications. However, the biggest bet Intel placed on the new Broadwell-U architecture is performance-per-watt throughput and battery life in premium notebook products that are now in production with major OEM partners. A few manufacturers were early out of the gate with new Core i5 5XXX series-based machines, however, none of the major players caught the same kind of buzz that Dell received, with the introduction of their new XPS 13 Ultrabook with its near bezel-less 13-inch WQHD (3200X1800) display. As expected, the Core i5-5200U in this machine offered performance gains of anywhere from 10 to 20 percent, in round numbers, depending on the benchmark. In gaming and graphics testing is where the new 5200U chip took the largest lead over the previous gen Core i5-4200U CPU, which is one of the most common processors found in typical ultrabook style 13-inch machines."
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+ - Dell Unveils XPS 13 Ultrabook With Near Bezelless QHD Display, Intel 5th Gen CPU->

Submitted by MojoKid
MojoKid (1002251) writes "Dell unveiled their new XPS 13 ultrabook at CES, which the company says is the smallest 13-inch laptop in the world. Dell claims it achieved this feat by employing what it calls an "infinity display" that is virtually borderless (the bezels measure just 5.2mm), allowing the XPS 13 to maintain the external dimensions of an 11-inch notebook but with a 13-inch Quad-HD display (3840X2160). Dell also says that the XPS 13 has the longest battery life of any 13-inch notebook, clocking in at 15 hours on a charge and powered by Intel's new 5th gen Core series processor. In addition, the machine was spotted at an Intel event streaming 4K video wirelessly to a 4K HDTV via Intel's next gen WiDi technology. Other interesting notables from Dell included a 34-inch wide-aspect, curved monitor dubbed the UltraSharp U3415W that sports a 2560X1440 WQHD resolution."
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+ - Dell Outs XPS 13 Ultrabook With Near Bezel-less QHD Display->

Submitted by MojoKid
MojoKid (1002251) writes "Dell took the wraps of their new XPS 13 ultrabook at CES today, which the company says is the smallest 13-inch laptop in the world. Dell claims it achieved this feat by employing what it calls an infinity display that is virtually borderless (the bezels measure just 5.2mm), allowing the XPS 13 to maintain the external dimensions of an 11-inch notebook but with a 13-inch Quad-HD display (3840X2160). Dell also says that the XPS 13 has the longest battery life of any 13-inch notebook, clocking in at 15 hours on a charge. In addition, the machine was spotted at an Intel event streaming 4K video wirelessly to a 4K HDTV via Intel's next gen WiDi technology. Other interesting notables from Dell today, included a 34-inch wide-aspect, curved monitor dubbed the UltraSharp U3415W that sports a 2560X1440 WQHD resolution."
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+ - Intel Unveils 5th Gen Core Series Broadwell-U CPUs And Cherry Trail Atom->

Submitted by MojoKid
MojoKid (1002251) writes "Intel has officially taken the wraps off it's 5th generation Core Series notebook processor, code named Broadwell-U. This new SoC is a "tick" in Intel's tick-tock plan, which means it's mostly a die shrink of the existing Haswell architecture, at least, on the CPU side. On the GPU side, there's a bevy of improvements and advances, and the video decoder block has been beefed up with dual bit stream decoders in its high-end (GT3) hardware. Other feature improvements and capabilities are expected, though Intel has been quiet on exactly what they have tweaked and changed to date. Intel is claiming that the architecture will boost battery life by 1.5 hours, speed video conversions, and offer a whopping 22% improvement to 3D performance — a gain on par with what we saw when moving from Ivy Bridge to Haswell. Intel also took the wraps off their next gen Atom CPU, code named Cherry Trail. This is essentially a 14nm Bay Trail die shrink that's been on the roadmap for a while. As with Haswell-Broadwell, the Bay Trail-Cherry Trail shift is aimed at improving CPU power consumption and overall SoC power characteristics, though again, we'll see an updated GPU baked in as well."
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+ - 6 Terabyte Hard Drive Round-Up: WD Red, WD Green And Seagate Enterprise 6TB->

Submitted by MojoKid
MojoKid (1002251) writes "The hard drive market has become a lot less sexy in the past few years thanks to SSDs. What we used to consider "fast" for a hard drive is relatively slow compared to even the cheapest of today's solid state drives. But there are two areas where hard drives still rule the roost, and that's overall capacity and cost per gigabyte. Since most of us still need a hard drive for bulk storage, the question naturally becomes, "how big of a drive do you need?" For a while, 4TB drives were the top end of what was available in the market but recently Seagate, HGST, and Western Digital announced breakthroughs in areal density and other technologies, that enabled the advent of the 6 Terabyte hard drive. This round-up looks at three offerings in the market currently, with a WD Red 6TB drive, WD Green and a Seagate 6TB Enterprise class model. Though the WD drives only sport a 5400RPM spindle speed, due to their increased areal density of 1TB platters, they're still able to put up respectable performance. Though the Seagate Enterprise Capacity 6TB (also known as the Constellation ES series) drive offers the best performance at 7200 RPM, it comes at nearly a $200 price premium. Still, at anywhere from .04 to .07 per GiB, you can't beat the bulk storage value of these new high capacity 6TB HDDs."
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+ - Google Now Brings Voice Control To Nest Smart Thermostat->

Submitted by MojoKid
MojoKid (1002251) writes "Earlier this year, Google made a big splash with its $3.2 billion acquisition of Nest Labs. In the months following the announcement, Google tossed around less interesting ideas of displaying ads on your thermostat or fridge and began the process of harvesting data from Nest Thermostat users. However, the Google-Nest Labs hook-up is beginning to make more sense as the couple closes in on one year post-acquisition. Google just announced that voice control is coming to the Nest Thermostat via Google Now for both Android and iOS users. All you have to do is say "OK Google" to being the process. Once prompted, you can say, "turn the thermostat to 67 degrees" and your command will be sent directly to the internet-connected Nest Thermostat. At this time, you don't appear to be able to issue voice commands for anything other than changing the temperature, so saying something like "set system to away" or "turn system off" doesn't appear to be in the cards, yet."
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+ - Google Now Brings Voice Control To Nest Smart Thermostat->

Submitted by MojoKid
MojoKid (1002251) writes "Earlier this year, Google made a big splash with its $3.2 billion acquisition of Nest Labs. In the months following the announcement, Google tossed around less interesting ideas of displaying ads on your thermostat or fridge and began the process of harvesting data from Nest Thermostat users. However, the Google-Nest Labs hook-up is beginning to make more sense as the couple closes in on one year post-acquisition. Google just announced that voice control is coming to the Nest Thermostat via Google Now for both Android and iOS users. All you have to do is say "OK Google" to being the process. Once prompted, you can say, "turn the thermostat to 67 degrees" and your command will be sent directly to the internet-connected Nest Thermostat. At this time, you don't appear to be able to issue voice commands for anything other than changing the temperature, so saying something like "set system to away" or "turn system off" doesn't appear to be in the cards, yet."
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+ - Samsung SSD 850 EVO 32-Layer 3D V-NAND-Based SSD Tested->

Submitted by MojoKid
MojoKid (1002251) writes "Samsung just took the wraps off a new family of mainstream solid state drives, targeting the market segment previously occupied by its popular SSD 840 EVO series. The new Samsung SSD 850 EVO series is the follow-up to the company's current flagship SSD 850 PRO, but the new EVO is Samsung's first to pack 32layer 3D VNAND 3-bit MLC flash memory. The move to 32layer 3D VNAND 3-bit MLC flash brings pricing down to the .50 to .60 per GiB range, but doesn't adversely affect endurance because the cell structure doesn't suffer from the same inherent limitations of planar NAND, since the cells are stacked vertically with the 3D VNAND. The new 850 EVO drive performs well with large sequential transfers and also offered very low access times. The compressibility of the data being transferred across the Samsung SSD 850 EVO had no impact on performance and small file transfers at high queue depth were fast. Small file transfers with low queues depths, which is what you'd expect to see with most client workloads, were also very good. The Samsung SSD 850 EVO drives also put up excellent numbers in trace-based tests like PCMark 7."
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+ - Sony Employees Receive Email Threat From GOP, 'Your Family Will Be In Danger'->

Submitted by MojoKid
MojoKid (1002251) writes "It appears that things are going from bad to worse when it comes to the recent Sony Pictures Entertainment breach. Sony experienced a security breach last month and the fallout from the attack continues to mount. Not only has sensitive financial information been released — including the salaries of high-ranking Sony executives — but more damaging personal information including 47,000 Social Security numbers of employees and actors have been leaked to the internet. We're now learning some even more disturbing details, unfortunately. Guardians of Peace (GOP), the hackers claiming responsibility for infiltrating Sony's computer network, are now threatening to harm the families of Sony employees. GOP reportedly sent Sony employees an email, which just so happened to be riddled with spelling and grammatical errors, that read in part, "your family will be in danger.""
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