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Android

NVIDIA SHIELD Tablet Android Lollipop Update Performance Explored 57

MojoKid writes Last week, NVIDIA offered information regarding its Android Lollipop update for the SHIELD Tablet and also revealed a new game bundle for it. This week, NVIDIA gave members of the press early access to the Lollipop update and it will also be rolling out to the general public sometime later today. Some of the changes are subtle, but others are more significant and definitely give the tablet a different look and feel over the original Android KitKat release. Android Lollipop introduces a new "material design" that further flattens out the look of the OS. Google seems to have taken a more minimalist approach as everything from the keyboard to the settings menus have been cleaned up considerably. Many parts of the interface don't have any markings except for the absolute necessities. While the OS definitely feels more fluid and responsive, the default look isn't always better, depending on your personal view. The app tray for example has a plain, white background which looks kind of jarring if you've using a colorful background. And finding the proper touch points for things like a settings menu or clearing notifications isn't always clear. Performance-wise, NVIDIA's Shield Tablet showed significantly better performance on Lollipop for general compute tasks in benchmarks like Mobile XPRT but lagged behind Kit Kat in graphics performance slightly, which could be attributed to driver optimization.
Hardware Hacking

New Keyboard Accessory Shocks Users When They Try To Go On Facebook 125

cartechboy writes "Two Ph.D. students from MIT have created a keyboard accessory, the Pavlov Poke, that shocks you every time you go onto Facebook. The project comes as a result of the students finding the waste over 50 hours a week combined on the social network (instead of working on their dissertations) So the pair created an Arduino-based keyboard hand-rest that shocks computer users who spend too much time checking the social network. The hack is 'intended to generate discussion' — not actually turn into a business." Inventor Robert Morris describes it as "something of a joke," but I'm sure there's a market out there.
Data Storage

Baserock Slab Server Pairs High-Density ARM Chips With Linux 51

Nerval's Lobster writes with a report at Slash Datacenter that a portion of the predicted low-power-ARM-servers future has arrived, in the form of Codethink's Baserock Slab ARM Server, which puts 32 cores into a half-depth 1U server. "As with other servers built on ARM architecture, Codethink intends the Baserock Slab for data centers in need of extra power efficiency. The Slab supports Baserock Linux, currently in its second development release (known as 'Secret Volcano'), as well as Debian GNU/Linux. While Baserock Linux was first developed around the X86-64 platform, its developers planned the leap to the ARM platform. Each Slab CPU node consists of a Marvell quad-core 1.33-GHz Armada XP ARM chip, 2 GB of ECC RAM, a Cogent Computer Systems CSB1726 SoM, and a 30 GB solid-state drive. The nodes are connected to the high-speed network fabric, which includes two links per compute node driving 5 Gbits/s of bonded bandwidth to each CPU, with wire-speed switching and routing at up to 119 million packets per second."
Hardware

ARM Chips Designed For 480-Core Servers 132

angry tapir writes "Calxeda revealed initial details about its first ARM-based server chip, designed to let companies build low-power servers with up to 480 cores. The Calxeda chip is built on a quad-core ARM processor, and low-power servers could have 120 ARM processing nodes in a 2U box. The chips will be based on ARM's Cortex-A9 processor architecture."
Upgrades

ARM Readies Cores For 64-Bit Computing 222

snydeq writes "ARM Holdings will unveil new plans for processing cores that support 64-bit computing within the next few weeks, and has already shown samples at private viewings, InfoWorld reports. ARM's move to put out a 64-bit processing core will give its partners more options to design products for more markets, including servers, the source said. The next ARM Cortex processor to be unveiled will support 64-bit computing. An announcement of the processor could come as early as next week, and may provide further evidence of a collision course with Intel."
AMD

AMD One-Ups Intel With Cheap Desktop Chips 362

CWmike writes "Advanced Micro Devices on Tuesday announced inexpensive desktop microprocessors with up to six cores to put pricing pressure on rival Intel. AMD's new chips include the fastest AMD Phenom II X6 1075T six-core processor, which is priced 'under $250' for 1,000 units, AMD said. AMD also introduced a range of dual-core and quad-core Athlon II and Phenom II desktop microprocessors priced between $76 and $185. By comparison, Intel's cheapest six-core processor is the Core i7-970 processor, which is priced at $885 per 1,000 units, according to a price list on Intel's website."
Upgrades

ARM Unveils Next-Gen Processor, Claims 5x Speedup 283

unts writes "UK chip designer ARM [Note: check out this short history of ARM chips in mobile devices contributed by an anonymous reader] today released the first details of its latest project, codenamed 'Eagle.' It has branded the new design Cortex-A15, which ARM reckons demonstrates the jump in performance from its predecessors, the A8 and A9. ARM's new chip design can scale to 16 cores, clock up to 2.5GHz, and, the company claims, deliver a 5x performance increase over the A8: 'It's like taking a desktop and putting it in your pocket,' said [VP of processor marketing — Eric Schorn], and it was clear that he considers this new design to be a pretty major shot across the bows of Intel and AMD. In case we were in any doubt, he turned the knife further: 'The exciting place for software developer graduates to go and hunt for work is no longer the desktop.'"
Input Devices

Canon Develops 8 X 8 Inch Digital CMOS Sensor 209

dh003i writes "Canon has developed a 8 x 8 inch CMOS digital sensor. It will be able to capture an image with 1/100th the light intensity required by a DSLR and will be able to record video at 60 fps in lighting half the intensity of moonlight. There are already many excellent quality lenses designed to cover 8 x 10 inches, although Canon may develop some of their own designed specifically for their requirements."
Movies

Buy Your Own Tron Lightcycle For $35,000 170

ElectricSteve writes "The lightcycle scene was probably the most memorable part of an absolutely jaw-dropping movie when Tron was released in 1982. One of the first films to use the kinds of computer-generated special effects that later become commonplace, it was a glimpse into a whole new world that left an indelible impression on most who saw it. Now, as Disney prepares to release Tron Legacy, a sequel some 28 years after the original, the lightcycles are back and looking meaner than ever. Built by the same guys who did the memorable Batpod replica, the new lightcycles feature massive dual hubless wheels, carbon fiber/fiberglass bodies, and all the lashings of neon that you'd expect. And there will be five running models built — all of which are now up for sale on eBay for a cool $35,000."
Firefox

Firefox 4.0 Beta Candidate Available 366

An anonymous reader writes "Mozilla quietly posted the first beta build of its Firefox 4 browser early this morning. The 'Chromified' browser leaves a solid first impression with a few minor hiccups, but no surprises. If you have been using a previous version of Firefox 3.7, which now officially becomes Firefox 4.0, you should already feel comfortable with this new version. Mozilla has not posted detailed release notes yet, but there seem to be no major changes from Firefox 3.7a6-pre, with the exception that the browser is running more smoothly and with fewer crashes." Update: 06/29 18:40 GMT by S : Mozilla's Asa Dotzler writes, "Mozilla has not shipped Firefox 4 beta yet. We are in the process of making and testing the final set of changes, but we're not quite there yet." Changed headline to reflect this.
Data Storage

ARM-Based Servers Coming In 2011 253

markass530 writes with this from the EE Times: "Arm Holdings chief executive officer Warren East told EE Times Wednesday that servers based on ARM multicore processors should arrive within the next twelve months. The news confirms previous speculation stemming from Google's acquisition of Agnilux and a recent job advertisement posted by Microsoft. East said that the current architecture, designed for client-side computing, can also be used in server applications."
Internet Explorer

Steam UI Update Beta Drops IE Rendering For WebKit 244

Citing massive growth in their user base ("25 million users, 1000+ games, 12 billion player minutes per month, and 75 billion Steam client minutes per month"), Valve unveiled a revamped UI for Steam on Tuesday, opening the beta test to anyone who wants to try it out. There are many changes, and an increased focus on social features: "Right from within your own game Library, you can now track which of your friends plays each game or invite them to play one with you. Before you've even bought a game, knowing whether your friends play it is one of the most useful pieces of information to have. So on the store homepage, there's a new listing of what your friends have bought or played lately." Tracking games and achievements have both gotten simpler, and Valve has dropped the Internet Explorer rendering engine in favor of WebKit. An enterprising user also found files that may indicate the existence of an OS X Steam client.
Power

Trash-To-Fuel Process Validated By US Military 64

An anonymous reader writes "After going through all kinds of grief, including being shut down by the Washington State Ecology Department, classifying them as an 'incinerator,' it looks like Green Power Inc is finally ready to shine. The Air Force, Navy, Army, and Marines, in a joint effort, validated their technology in November, and the results are now being published for the first time. For every 100 tons of municipal solid waste feedstock processed each day, the plant produces 1240 gallons of Naphtha, 3700 gallons of Kerosene, 6900 gallons of Diesel and 3000 gallons of Fuel Oil. And even the ash can be used for cement or asphalt. They generate 1 MW of electricity to sell to the grid 24/7, running three shifts per day to keep the plant going, employing approximately five people per shift. Sticker price is $25 million. ROI, 3.5 years. Maybe with this announcement, the trend of no sales in the US will change, compared to the 72 foreign contracts backed by letters of credit."
Linux Business

ARM Exec Says 90% of PC Market Could Be Netbooks 307

Barence writes "ARM chief executive Warren East has claimed that netbooks could dominate the PC market, in an exclusive interview with PC Pro. 'Although netbooks are small today – maybe 10% of the PC market at most – we believe over the next several years that could completely change around and that could be 90% of the PC market,' he said. East also said ARM isn't pressuring Microsoft to include support for its processors in Windows, claiming progress in the Linux world is 'very, very impressive.' 'There's not really a huge amount of point in us knocking on Microsoft's door,' he said. 'It's really an operational decision for Microsoft to make. I don't think there's any major technical barriers.'"

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