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Why You Should Still Care About Moore's Law
August 19, 2014
Ironically, the greater IT accomplishments become, the harder they are to see. Consider Intel's latest achievement: the new Broadwell architecture that shrank microprocessor manufacturing from the previous generation 22nm Haswell process to 14nm. Since a nanometer is a millionth of a millimeter, you'd be hard pressed to tell the difference without an electron microscope.
Nvidia's Tegra K1 Stars in New Acer Chromebook
August 12, 2014
Acer America has rolled out a new Chromebook contender featuring a 13.3-inch display and an Nvidia Tegra K1 mobile processor. With a battery life of up to 13 hours, along with a light, fanless design, the Acer Chromebook 13 is available with a full HD display with 1920 x 1080 resolution, 2 GB of memory and a 16-GB solid state drive for $299.99; or 1366 x 768, with similar specs, for $279.99.
Intel's Broadwell: What Happens When the MacBook Air Is Thinner Than the iPad Air?
August 11, 2014
Intel on Monday introduced its Broadwell processor platform to the world, and it is an impressive piece of technology. Stepping outside of its normal two-step process of first releasing the processor and then updating the platform, Intel is doing both this cycle, and the end result is a massive step forward in terms of size and power efficiency Intel is stepping solidly into ARM turf.
I Think, Therefore IBM
August 08, 2014
IBM has announced the latest version of its neurosynaptic processor -- that is, a processor whose workings are inspired by the human brain. It has 5.4 billion transistors and an on-chip network of 4,096 neurosynaptic cores. IBM claims it is the first neurosynaptic chip to achieve 1 million programmable neurons, 256 million programmable synapses, and 46 billion synaptic operations per second.
That Innocent Little Thumb Drive Could Be Big Security Trouble
August 01, 2014
USB flash drives could be at risk of a pernicious attack on their firmware. Over the past two decades, USB devices, aka "thumb drives," have proliferated all over the world, because USB has proven to be a versatile standard. That versatility, though, also makes USB devices vulnerable to what could be a very nasty firmware attack, noted Karsten Nohl and Jakob Lell of Secure Research Labs.
Linux Gaming: If You Build It, Will They Come?
July 25, 2014
For long-suffering Linux users who have endured the dearth of high-quality action games on their open source desktops, the wait for better game developer support soon may be over. New technology is making Linux more attractive to game makers. Until now, game makers have relied primarily on Windows PCs and gaming consoles powered by proprietary alternatives to the Linux OS.
Tim Cook Reveals Apple's Plan for World Domination
July 23, 2014
Strong iPhone and Mac sales droves Apple to achieve record revenue for the June quarter -- quarterly revenue of $37.4 billion and quarterly net profit of $7.7 billion, which is $1.28 per share and about a 12.3 percent rise in profits. Interestingly, Apple managed to bump up its profit margin, too: Gross margin was 39.4 percent compared to 36.9 percent in the year-ago quarter
Critical Infrastructure Companies Lack Cyberdefenses
July 11, 2014
Companies providing the world's critical infrastructure are woefully unprepared for cyberattacks despite the increasing threat level, evidenced by the release of the Stuxnet worm and the Shamoon virus in recent years, found a survey conducted by the Ponemon Institute and Unisys. Nearly 70 percent of the 599 surveyed companies in the past 12 months have reported at least one security breach.
Downward PC Sales Spiral to Slow
July 08, 2014
The years-long PC sales slide will slow somewhat this year, predicted Gartner. "After declining 9.5 percent in 2013, the global PC market is on pace to contract only 2.9 percent in 2014," Gartner research director Ranjit Atwal said. The company lumps in desktops, notebooks and premium ultramobiles under the "PC" category. However, the skyrocketing demand for tablets will slow, Gartner forecast.
The Novena Open Hardware Laptop: A Hacker's Dream Machine
July 03, 2014
Would you buy a high-end laptop built completely around open hardware and the Linux distro of your choice? Novena offers that opportunity, but it comes with an out-of-the-box experience that might be beyond the reach of the typical computer consumer. That said, the Novena laptop's experimental technology has the potential to offer new options to a sluggish computer industry.
Dell's Latitude 12 E7240 - in and Beyond the Office
July 03, 2014
A confluence of recent events has gotten me thinking about laptops. First, IDC and Gartner released PC market surveys that suggest a significant slowing in the declines plaguing PC sales for the past few years. Then last week, due to "stronger than expected demand for business PCs," Intel said it was raising Q2 and full-year revenue and gross margin expectations.
The Big Winners at Google I/O 2014
June 30, 2014
At last week's Google I/O, Nvidia was the big winner. It was showcased in TVs, mobile devices and automotive as the supplier of a key technology. Other brands were mentioned in the keynote, but it was Nvidia that was mentioned most consistently -- and its technology apparently was connected to most of the demos. Though it was mentioned only in passing, Lenovo actually was the other big winner.
Verizon Flips Off Chromebook Pixel Customers
June 24, 2014
Though early purchasers of the LTE model of Google's Chromebook Pixel were promised two years of limited data, it appears Verizon has reneged on those assurances. The WiFi-only Pixel cost $1,299 while the LTE model set back consumers an extra $150. Those who bought the system through the Google Play Store when it went on sale last April were offered 100 MB of free Verizon data every month.
Microsoft Aims to Put Some MacBook Airs Out of Circulation
June 24, 2014
Microsoft is offering up to $650 worth of in-store credit to MacBook Air owners who are willing to trade them in and purchase a Surface Pro 3. The campaign runs until July 31. All models of MacBook Air are eligible for the deal, though the value given in the trade will vary, depending on the specific model and its condition. The offer is an extension of the company's "Recycle for Rewards Program."
Apple Edges Into Entry-Level Desktop Market
June 18, 2014
Apple is making a foray into the entry-level desktop market with the introduction of a lower-cost iMac. The 21.5-inch, all-in-one system features a 1.4 GHz dual-core Intel Core i5 processor. That increases to up to 2.7 GHz with Turbo Boost Speeds. It includes an Intel HD 5000 graphics card, 8 GB of memory and a 500-GB hard drive. As is standard in iMac systems, this model includes 802.11ac WiFi.
Dell vs. Apple: Round 3
June 09, 2014
When Dell and Apple first confronted each other in the 1990s, Dell was a startup and Apple was a mature company attempting to fight Dell's kind of fight. It didn't go well, and Apple almost failed. When they faced off for the second time, Apple had been dramatically transformed by Steve Jobs into a much leaner, more-focused firm. Dell was having its own mid-life crisis, and Apple clearly won.
Apple vs. Microsoft Marketing: Spark vs. Spork
June 09, 2014
During Apple's WWDC keynote event last week, it became exceedingly clear that we won't be seeing a converged iPad/MacBook device anytime soon. Unlike Microsoft, with its Surface Pro 3 effort, Apple doesn't seem at all interested in forcing iOS and OS X into a single unified operating system. In fact, Apple doesn't seem to be interested in making OS X touch-based or touch-enabled.
IBM Flexes X6 and Xeon Muscle
June 02, 2014
IBM's new Flex System compute node solutions -- the x280 X6, x480 X6 and x880 X6 -- don't qualify as anything new, some might say. After all, they utilize solutions announced months ago -- IBM's X6 in mid-January and Intel's Xeon E7v2 a month later -- which means they simply have been upgraded with the respective vendors' latest and greatest technologies.
Surface: The Embodiment of Microsoft's Vision
May 26, 2014
Surface largely was the brainchild of Steve Ballmer, Microsoft's last CEO, and it resulted from a similar thought process that created Zune. In other words, the OEMs weren't building a product that was competitive with Apple, and Microsoft got frustrated and felt it could do a better job. In both cases, the conclusion that ultimately should have been drawn was that OEMs alone weren't at fault.
HP's Whitman Pulls Out the Chain Saw
May 23, 2014
In the wake of a weak second-quarter earnings report, HP has announced it will eliminate 11,000 to 16,000 jobs. The news was a blow; it was only two years ago that HP announced it would undergo a massive restructuring to move away from its PC roots. As part of that restructuring it planned to eliminate 34,000 jobs from its payroll, which then came as a shock.
The Apple-ization of Microsoft's New Surface
May 22, 2014
Microsoft is positioning its new Surface Pro 3 tablet as a laptop replacement device -- instead of competing head-to-head with the Apple iPad. However, the Surface Pro 3 naturally invites comparisons to both the MacBook Air and the iPad Air. Plus, Microsoft has had plenty of time to smooth the rough edges from Windows 8 and build a more competitive mobile device.
Going Gold - IBM's Mainframe Turns 50
April 22, 2014
Longevity doesn't get much respect in the tech industry, partly due to new technologies regularly entering and dominating industries and commercial markets. However, cultural factors play a part, too. Much of IT's vibrancy results from the startup mindset and youthful employees who willingly embrace crushing 80-hour work weeks for a chance to become millionaires -- or billionaires.
Data Center Fire Fries Samsung's Un-Backed-Up Servers
April 21, 2014
A fire that erupted at the data center of Samsung SDS in Gwacheon, South Korea, reportedly took out services to Samsung smartphones, tablets and smart TVs for several hours. The company reportedly stopped all services offered through its website and smartphone apps, and said consumers could not use its online payment services or receive text message confirmations of payments made.
Amazon's Rumored 3D Smartphone May Radically Change E-Commerce
April 16, 2014
A picture may be worth a thousand words but the photo of what might be a smartphone in development by Amazon has produced many more words than that. The photo shows a black smartphone that looks like any number of mobiles on the market, save for the number of cameras on the front. In addition to the typical front-facing camera for selfies and video messaging, there are four others.

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