Items tagged with systems

The SFF gaming PC craze is in full swing, and CyberPowerPC has lent the “Fang” moniker to a pair of the little beasts. The company is rolling out the Fang Mini R9 (which is based on an AMD platform) and the Fang Mini Pro (which is based on Intel), both of which are available today. How small is small? The chassis measures just 4.5 x 4.3 x 2.4 inches (LxWxH). The AMD version sports an AMD A8-5557M quad-core APU with Radeon R9 M275X (2GB) graphics, 8GB of DDR3 RAM (expandable to 16GB), and a 1TB (7200 rpm) HDD for $799. The Pro version rocks a quad-core Intel Core i7-4770R chip with integrated Iris Pro Graphics 5200, 8GB of DDR3 RAM (also expandable to 16GB), and a 1TB 7200 rpm HDD.... Read more...
John Carmack’s former employer, Zenimax, went after the industry veteran last week claiming that important code that he used in helping to build the Oculus Rift VR headset is actually IP owned by Zenimax. The company also stated that it provided VR technology to Oculus VR’s Palmer Luckey and others over the past couple of years in support of the Oculus Rift’s development. Carmack fired back on Twitter and Oculus VR denied the claims at the outset, but the company now has an official response. We present it in bulleted form because that’s how Oculus VR sent it to us. -There is not a line of Zenimax code or any of its technology in any Oculus products. -John Carmack did... Read more...
Now that Nokia’s Mobile Devices unit has been assimilated into Microsoft (to the point that Redmond is dropping Nokia’s branding), the company has an identity problem. What is Nokia now? What does it do? New Nokia CEO Rajeev Suri dropped some clues in Nokia’s Q1 financial report, including that Nokia is a large software company with a strong IP portfolio that includes its HERE Maps and networking technology, but we didn’t have to wait long to get a sense of what that means exactly: Bloomberg reports that Nokia is investing in companies that are working on driverless cars, such as Tesla and Google. “We’re seeing innovation that’s happening across the auto... Read more...
Apple’s WWDC is just around the corner, and reports indicate that fresh new goodies in store include a new version of Mac OS X (10.10), iOS 8, and new features for Apple TV. According to 9to5 Mac, OS X 10.10 is a complete redesign with a new look not dissimilar to some of iOS 7’s aesthetic features, perhaps in an effort to keep the Apple product experience more uniform across multiple devices. Unnamed hardware updates will be coming to support the new OS X 10.10, and Apple will ship it all this autumn. iOS 8 promises many new features, but the release may have to be split into iOS 8 and a later iOS 8.1 due to some feature delays--which may have been caused by a reallocation of iOS... Read more...
3D printing is quickly evolving, and a group called Rabbit Proto is pushing that evolution onward with its 3D printer attachment that lets you print 3D electronic circuits on or within an item while that item itself is being printed. Put more simply, Rabbit Proto makes it possible to print electronic devices and their cases simultaneously using capacitive “ink”. What they’ve developed is a print head add-on that plugs into your 3D printer (with software and documentation to go along with it). The team says that the Rabbit Proto works with RepRap printers that have dual-extrusion boards, a Rostock Max, and a Mendel Prusa V2, although it can certainly work on other 3D printers,... Read more...
Comparatively, the numbers don’t look great for Microsoft: The company has sold 5 million Xbox One consoles so far--which by itself seems a fine number--but competitor Sony has sold 7 million PS4s. That’s quite a margin of difference, although there’s are some nuances to consider, too. According to Geekwire, the PS4 is available in some 72 countries, while the Xbox One is in just 13 markets. Looked at that way, it’s possible that the Xbox One may actually be selling better in certain markets. (It’s impossible to tell, though, because those specific numbers aren’t available.) Xbox One Still, 2 million more units sold is 2 million more units sold however you... Read more...
Remember that neat little Micro 3D printer that we covered a few days ago? The one that was looking for $50,000 in funding via its Kickstarter campaign? It was doing well out of the gate, nabbing about $1 million on its first day, but that frenetic pace has not abated much. The current total in pledges is at $2.28 million and counting, and the campaign still has 25 days left to go. The Micro 3D Printer’s appeal is obvious. It promises incredibly simple functionality, at least reasonable quality, a small size to fit comfortably in the home or office, and--most importantly--a relatively low price point. It appears that the Micro 3D Printer could cost as little as $299, but that number is... Read more...
The level of performance that today's graphics cards can achieve is nothing short of mind boggling, especially as you venture into elite territory. Should you do that, you'll come across AMD's recently announced Radeon R9 295X2 graphics card, a beastly dual-GPU part that isn't intimidated by 4K gaming, and currently the fastest single video card we've ever tested. It's not yet available as a standalone part, though if you're in the market for a new system, boutique builder Maingear has added AMD's flagship pixel pusher to its lineup of desktops. You'll find the Radeon R9 295X2 offered as an option in several of Maingear's models, including the SHIFT, which can fit a single card configuration.... Read more...
In the race to drive down costs for and increase the capabilities of 3D printers, the team behind the Micro 3D printer believe they’re among the frontrunners. The Micro is designed to be inexpensive and incredibly easy to use while also offering reliability and consistency. “It is the most affordable 3D printer that can be used right out of the box. Perfect for beginners and experts alike, just plug in the printer, download or create models, hit print, and watch your custom creations form right before your eyes,” reads the team’s Kickstarter pitch. The Micro features auto leveling and auto calibration with a Micro motion chip; it’s quiet and consumes little power;... Read more...
The Internet of Things is coming, and there are increasing numbers of products designed to make the IoT reality more feasible and easier to build for. Enter The HIO Project, which offers an open hardware platform that features a tiny mainboard rocking Freescale i.MX6 ARM Cortex A9 processor technology. The premier portion of the project is the HIO-EMB-1200 mainboard which Habey USA describes as “a Post-it sized, Lego-like ARM based open modular platform for rapid prototyping, quick application module development, and fast time to market”. The board is just 72mm x 80mm and includes the processor, RAM, iNAND flash, and HDMI and USB ports. It’s designed for expandability in 3D... Read more...
Digital Storm debuted a new fleet of gaming notebooks rocking NVIDIA GTX 800M series graphics and Intel Core i7 4000 series CPUs, and one of the four--the aptly named “Behemoth”--offers a pair of NVIDIA GTX 880M GPUs in SLI. There are four notebooks in the family, the 15.6-inch Javelin and Lance and the 17.3-inch Krypton and Behemoth. Digital Storm offers all four at multiple levels and configurations. At the highest end of the line, the Behemoth sports an Intel Core i7-4930MX processor, 16GB of DDR3-1600MHz memory, a 256GB SSD and 750GB (7200 rpm) HDD storage setup, and a 17.3-inch (1920x1080) display. There’s also a DVD/CD 8x multi-drive, Intel Wireless-AC 7260 + Bluetooth... Read more...
Amazon confirmed today one of the worst-kept secrets in the industry, which is that the company now has its own streaming set top box. It’s called the Amazon Fire TV, and true to the rumors, it offers streaming TV and movies as well as games. “Fire TV is a tiny box that plugs into your HDTV. It's the easiest way to enjoy Netflix, Prime Instant Video, Hulu Plus, WatchESPN, low-cost video rentals, and more,” reads the announcement. You can also stream music from the likes of Pandora, iHeartRadio, and more. One of the Fire TV’s premier selling points is voice search; instead of doing that awful one-letter-at-a-time pecking that you have to do on most remote controls, you... Read more...
Microsoft is getting into the smart devices business. The company’s BUILD conference is happening this week in San Francisco, and it appears that someone at Microsoft made a new “Windows on Devices” website live before they were supposed to, because it was only up for a few hours (and somehow The Verge spotted it) before it was taken down early this morning. The link now just leads to an error page. When it was up, the site reportedly said that the company was "bringing Windows to a whole new class of small devices”, giving the examples of a smart coffee mug, a talking bear, and robots--which kind of sounds like an April Fools prank. Harumph. On the other hand, a Windows... Read more...
Although the 3D printing market has and will continue to grow rapidly, there are still some capabilities that the market needs that we take for granted on the paper printing side of things. For instance, you have to convert those excellent 3D models into a printable format, and that can be tricky. Enter Slic3r, a free and open source tool that coverts STereoLithography (STL) files into a printable format. The software cuts the 3D model into “slices” and then “generates toolpaths to fill them and calculates the amount of material to be extruded”, so says Slic3r supporter LulzBot’s announcement. LulzBot Taz 3D printer After being developed from scratch starting in... Read more...
New Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella announced some leadership changes at the company this morning, and the Xbox area has a new chief in Phil Spencer. Spencer was formerly head of Microsoft Studios, and he’ll maintain that role and subsume the responsibilities of leading the whole Xbox crew--including the Xbox, Xbox Live, Xbox Music, and Xbox Video teams. Spencer will report to Terry Myerson, the executive VP of operating systems, and thus Microsoft is keeping Xbox development and OS development cozy. “Combining all our software, gaming and content assets across the Xbox team under a single leader and aligning with the OSG team will help ensure we continue to do great work across the Xbox... Read more...
This isn’t about cool virtual reality games anymore. When the news first broke of Facebook’s $2 billion acquisition of Oculus VR, the knee-jerk reaction from many fans of the Oculus Rift was to feel betrayed that this grassroots tech company, funded in part by its individual supporters, was going to be part of a huge, lumbering entity that mines data and sells it. People were worried that the Oculus Rift would no longer be “cool”, like if your favorite band signed up to exclusively write commercial jingles. But with some time to process things more, it’s clear that although the above is still true to an extent, this is about ideology in the age of data more than... Read more...
The announcement that Facebook bought Oculus VR felt like a suckerpunch to the gut for many ardent fans of the Oculus Rift and all the amazing work that the Oculus team has been doing, and even more people have bemoaned the acquisition as a death knell for the once-promising VR project. However, you can count Valve veteran Michael Abrash among those who believe that this move is actually very much a good thing. Abrash has left Valve and gone to work for Oculus VR as its Chief Scientist--this, just days after the acquisition was announced. In a lengthy and fascinating blog post, Abrash discussed his reason for leaving Valve and joining Oculus VR by way of his personal history with VR and those... Read more...
The second version of Microsoft’s Kinect for Windows is nigh, and the company has shared images of the final hardware design. There’s nothing too revolutionary here, but Microsoft has made the Kinect for Windows v2 to be slightly more inconspicuous by moving the “Kinect” label to the top of the device and swapped out the glowing “X” logo for a simpler, lower-profile indicator. Above: Kinect for Windows v2; Below: The original There’s a hub which accepts input from the sensor and the power brick and also has a USB 3.0 output to a PC, and of course there’s the power brick itself. Kinect for Windows v2 hub and power brick Microsoft says to stay tuned,... Read more...
Buried under the typical eye-glazing congratulatory corporate-speak that is a mutual press release announcing cooperation between two companies is a curious nugget of information: Dell might start making Xbox consoles. Taking a step back here, the announcement pertains to Microsoft and Dell signing a patent licensing agreement wherein they’ll license each other’s intellectual property as it pertains to Android and Chrome OS devices as well as Xbox consoles. “Under the terms of the agreement, they agreed on royalties for Dell’s products running the Android or Chrome platforms and on consideration to Dell for a license for Xbox gaming consoles,” reads the announcement.... Read more...
MSI has a pair of gaming notebooks coming out with the GS70 Stealth and GS60 Ghost, and the company claims “unmatched” gaming power wrapped in slim and light chassis. The 17-inch Stealth and 15-inch Ghost are thin indeed, measuring just 0.85-inches and 0.78 inches thick, respectively. Both notebooks rock an Intel Core i7-4700HQ CPU, and the Stealth has an NVIDIA GeForce GTX 870M GPU while the Ghost offers the 860M. The Stealth has a 128GB mSATA drive plus a 1TB (7200 RPM) HDD with 16GB of DDR3-1600MHz RAM, while the Ghost pairs its 128GB mSATA drive with a 750GB (7200 RPM) HDD and 12GB (8GB + 4GB) of DDR3-1600MHz RAM. MSI GS70 Stealth Both feature Killer Gaming Network LAN + BT4.0... Read more...
Apple has snagged a patent from the USPTO for what amounts to Siri, evolved. The “method and apparatus for building an intelligent automated assistant” appears to be a situation where your whole home or office is littered with sensors that track where you are and what you’re doing while always being at the ready for voice commands and gestural input. The patented system would include message-passing between sensors as well as features such as language, activity, and time recognition with task automation, culled in part from events “collected from a user's environment”. In other words, the system (let’s assume Apple will call it “Siri”) will try... Read more...
There’s a new member in the small-but-growing virtual reality headset club, and it’s from a major player, as Sony announced that’s developing Project Morpheus, a VR headset that will rival the likes of the Oculus Rift. “I have long dreamed about VR and the possibilities it brings in regards to game development”, wrote Sony Computer Entertainment president Shu Yoshida in a blog post. “This new technology will deliver a sense of presence, where you as the player actually feel like you’re inside the game and your emotions feel that much more real.” Project Morpheus is designed to work with the PS4’s DUALSHOCK 4 Wireless Controller, and the PlayStation... Read more...
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