Items tagged with systems

It's been one heck of a ride, but like all good things, the Windows XP era is officially coming to an end next month. For many users, the XP era ended long ago, though according to market research firm StatCounter, around 2 out of 10 PC users are still rocking the legacy OS after all these years, which is more than Windows 8 and Windows 8.1 combined. Microsoft is doing everything within its power to change that, even going so far as to offer incentive discounts on new systems. One of the newest promotions in the Microsoft Store is that users who buy a select new PC will receive a $50 gift card good towards any future purchase, 90 days of free support (includes free premium phone, chat, an sales... Read more...
There will be no deduction of geek cred points if you've never heard of Steiger Dynamics, a relative newcomer to the scene. However, from this point forward, you may want to make a mental note of the company, which is breathing some fresh air into the growing home theater PC (HTPC) market. Introduced at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) earlier this year, the Maven is one of the company's newest products, and it's now available to order. The Maven comes in three different lines. They include the Maven Pure (media center capable of 4K playback), Maven Core (for hardcore gaming), and Maven Reference (an enthusiast configuration). Pricing starts at a modest $999 for what's also a rather modest... Read more...
Every time NVIDIA drops a new line of GPUs, all your favorite boutique PC builders refresh their systems with the tasty new components, and today’s debut of the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 800M series of GPUs is no exception, as CyberPowerPC, Maingear, MSI, Razer, and Origin PC all have new machines ready to go. For more on the 800M series GPUs, bang it here. CyberPowerPC loaded up its FANGbook EVO HX7 notebooks with the new goods as well as 4th-gen Intel Core processors. There are four base models in the series, from the HX7-100 to the HX7-400, and they start at $1,499. The base HX7-100 features a 17.3-inch Full HD 1080p display, an Intel Core i7-4700MQ processor, and a GeForce GTX 870M (6GB) GPU.... Read more...
Makerbot’s making them both big and small these days. Just weeks after beginning orders for the Replicator Mini Compact 3D printer, Makerbot announced that the big brother of its new line of 3D printers, the Z18, is available for purchase. Whereas the Mini Compact offers a petite build volume of 10x10x12.5 inches, the Z18 can handle 2,592 cubic inches of build with dimensions of 12x12x18.5 inches. The Z18 is Makerbot’s largest 3D printer to date, and it comes with an optional Makerbot Cart ($1,250) for moving it around and Makerbot Filament Case ($750) that holds XL and XXL spools to ensure that you have enough PLA for each large print job. “We believe the MakerBot Replicator... Read more...
Apple has released an update to its latest mobile OS with iOS 7.1, and among the bug fixes and miscellaneous tweaks, there’s a big new feature with CarPlay. CarPlay allows you to connect your iPhone to your vehicle in a powerful way, most notably by bringing up a variety of apps and tools from your iPhone to the car’s built-in display. You can control CarPlay with Siri voice commands, use the vehicle’s touch display, and even use the car’s own knobs and other controls. That means that maps and driving directions, calls, messaging, and music can all be seamlessly run from your iPhone to your car. Some apps that will work with CarPlay right off the bat include Podcasts,... Read more...
Zotac has a new lineup of mini PCs that alternately rock Intel Core CPUs and AMD A8 APUs, and some of them are aimed at mainstream gamers. The Zotac Zbox E-Series offer Intel Iris Pro 5200 graphics with 128GB of EDRAM and Intel Pixel Sync technology and have quad-core Intel Core i7-4770R (3.2GHz) or Intel Core i5-4570R (2.7GHZ), both with Turbo Boost. Zotac ZBOX E-Series The four E-Series models also feature up to 16GB of DDR3-1600 RAM (2 DIMMs) and a 2.5-inch HDD or SSD. The “Plus” configuration offers 8GB of RAM and a 1TB (5400 RPM) HDD via SATA 6Gbps. Ports include two DisplayPort, two DVI-O, a 4-in-1 card reader, dual 10/100/1000 LAN, four USB 3.0, and 802.11ac WiFi and Bluetooth... Read more...
Just as inexpensive laptops running Google’s Chrome OS are looking to eat away at traditional PCs’ market share, there’s a new spate “chromeboxes” that are designed to do the same on the desktop side. ASUS’ $179 Chromebox model is now available for preorder at Amazon, Newegg, and Tiger Direct, with more coming. The ASUS Chromebox-M004U features an Intel Celeron 2955U processor with integrated Intel HD Graphics, 2GB of DDR3-1600MHz RAM, and 16GB of SSD storage. There’s a 10/100/1000 LAN port, dual-band 802.11a/b/g/n WiFi, and Bluetooth 4.0 for communication. Ports include a 2-in-1 card reader, four USB 3.0, HDMI, DisplayPort, a Kensington Lock, and a mic/speaker... Read more...
Oddly, it seems like it’s been a while since the Ouya Android gaming console felt truly compelling after a whirlwind Kickstarter honeymoon, fundraising explosion, and emergence of the device as a Real Thing, but the company is trying to change that with its “Ouya Everywhere” initiative. Basically, Ouya Everywhere is a way to embed the Ouya platform into other devices. It makes sense to do so, considering that Ouya has hundreds of titles now and could use any exposure it can get wherever it can get it. Mad Catz M.O.J.O. The first Ouya Everywhere partner is Mad Catz, which has its own M.O.J.O. Android-based microconsole. Ouya content will be available on the M.O.J.O later this... Read more...
AMD announced its new AM1 platform, which consists of dual- and quad-core Kabini APUs that slot into motherboards using the FS1b socket. The idea is that AM1 gives users a powerful but compact and affordable--not to mention upgradable--system. Designed for the mainstream market, Kabini APUs come equipped with Jaguar core architecture and Graphics Core Next (GCN), as well as support for USB 3.0 and SATA 6Gbps, and are destined to land on microATX and miniITX motherboards from all the usual manufacturers, including ASRock, ASUS, Gigabyte, MSI, and more. MSI AM1 motherboard “AMD continues our APU technology leadership by introducing the AM1 platform with ‘Socketed Kabini’, an APU... Read more...
Samsung announced the next generation of its chromebook series with the 11.6- and 13.3-inch Chromebook 2 laptops that have unique pleather stitching on the chassis and specs that are starting to match up more with “real” notebooks. The two chromebooks, which are identical save for their respective sizes and the fact that the 13.3-inch model has a 1920x1080 display resolution (as opposed to the 11.6-inch model’s 1366x768) and a slightly better 8.5-hour battery, feature a Samsung Exynos 5 Octa processor (2.1GHz, 2MBL2 cache), 4GB DDR3L-1600 RAM, and 16GB of onboard storage in the form of eMMC iNAND embedded flash drives. They also both feature a 720p HD webcam; HDMI, USB 3.0,... Read more...
Make no mistake, connected cars are an emerging reality, and Apple wants to be there as early as possible. The Cupertino company is launching an in-car OS next week in a bid to help push cars into a new age where they use an operating system and are connected to services such as navigation, communication, video, and more. According to CNBC, Apple’s car OS will first be integrated with--what else--Ferrari, Mercedes-Benz, and Volvo vehicles. It’s not at all surprising to see cars that run on the same (or a similar) platform to the phones people carry with them. Frankly, it’s a completely natural evolution. Credit: Steven Troughton/YouTube Most of us already use our phones in vehicles... Read more...
The smallest member of MakerBot’s 3D printing platform, announced at CES, is now available to order at MakerBot’s website or at one of the company’s three store locations in New York, Boston, and Greenwich, CT. The Replicator Mini Compact 3D Printer (the build volume is 10x10x12.5 inches) is designed to be easy to use with features such as One Touch printing, plug-and-play capabilities, a no-leveling build plate, and included free software. The printer offers a 200 micron resolution and is optimized for MakerBot PLA filament (available in 17 colors) and connects easily to Thingiverse and the MakerBot Digital Store for plenty of printable 3D designs. It’s also designed... Read more...
We’ve seen our share of wild chassis designs, and Lian Li is giving the world another with the DK01, which is a chassis that serves double duty as a PC case and a desk, which brings new meaning to the phrase, “sitting at your computer”. The funky DK01 looks like a brushed-metal chassis turned on its side and mounted on legs and the surface is a solid piece of tempered glass. The power button and some USB 3.0 ports and audio jacks are on the front side of the case, to the right of where the user would sit. It’s unclear where the rear I/O ports are stashed. Lian Li DK01 The DK01 seems like a brilliant DIY mod, but Lian Li has applied its spit and polish to the idea which... Read more...
MiiPC, a kid-friendly, cloud-managed, Android-based computer has offered both desktop use, media center applications, and it also offers a new level of Android gaming by incorporating Cannonball from 18th Parallel. The MiiPC now supports Android gaming with a number of third-party gamepads, including Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, and Logitech controllers. There are over 100 kid-friendly titles you can choose from. Designed to be hooked up to a monitor and used as a desktop or connected to your TV for media center and gaming purposes, the MiiPC offers multiple user accounts and cloud-based parental controls that you can use via an iOS or Android app. The device runs on a Marvell ARMADA 1500 Plus SoC... Read more...
Freescale Semiconductor announced its smallest-yet MCU, and it’s destined for the many objects in the growing Internet of Things (IoT) trend. The Kinetis KL03 MCU is a 32-bit chip based on ARM, and it promises lower power requirements in smaller devices than existing solutions. “When size is no longer a barrier to incorporating microcontrollers into edge node devices, we can start to redefine what’s possible for the Internet of Things,” said Rajeev Kumar, Freescale’s director of worldwide marketing and business development in a press release. The Kinetis KL03 MCU includes a 48MHz ARM Cortex-MO+ core with 1.71-3.6V operation, 32KB flash memory, 2KB RAM, and 8K ROM... Read more...
Microsoft is reportedly cutting the cost of its Windows 8.1 licensing fees on cheaper PCs and tablets in an attempt to remain competitive in the lower-end market. According to Bloomberg’s sources, manufacturers will pay just $15 to preinstall the OS on any device that sells for less than $250 instead of the normal $50. It’s notable that there’s no form factor requirement or size restrictions, nor a touch requirement, meaning that the discount could apply to inexpensive notebooks and tablets alike. This is a clear effort to fight back against market-invading forces such as inexpensive Android tablets and the growing spate of chromebooks on the market. The measure to slash licensing... Read more...
Belkin has an intriguing suite of WeMo-branded smart devices for home automation, including light switches, motion detectors, integration with appliances, and more, but security firm IOActive recently discovered multiple vulnerabilities in WeMo--vulnerabilities that Belkin says it has now patched. Belkin’s statement on the subject reads in part: Belkin has corrected the list of five potential vulnerabilities affecting the WeMo line of home automation solutions that was published in a CERT advisory on February 18. Belkin was in contact with the security researchers prior to the publication of the advisory, and, as of February 18, had already issued fixes for each of the noted potential vulnerabilities... Read more...
Bitcoin digital currency is somewhat controversial as many people are just completely confused by it, but that hasn’t stopped Bitcoin from being used around the world--nor has it protected the currency from cybercriminals. SecureMac detailed the discovery of a Trojan called OSX/CoinThief.A that specifically targets Apple computers running Mac OS X. “The malware, which comes disguised as an app to send and receive payments on Bitcoin Stealth Addresses, instead covertly monitors all web browsing traffic in order to steal login credentials for Bitcoin wallets,” reads the post. Image Source, above: Flickr (antanacoins); Inset, via Ross Burgess The malicious app that facilitates... Read more...
There’s a good bit of scuttlebutt circulating about the upcoming update to Microsoft’s operating systems--both Windows Phone 8.1 and Windows 8.1--and all of it sounds juicy. For starters, there’s more evidence that Microsoft will roll out an AI assistant called Cortana (named after the Halo character) for Windows Phone. A person Bloomberg cited as “familiar with the matter” said that Microsoft has invested $15 million in Foursquare Labs in order to gain access to deeper Foursquare data that will allow Cortana to give users more location-based tips, suggestions, and more. “We’re building some contextually aware experiences to power some upcoming products... Read more...
Sony is officially leaving the PC business. Instead, the company will focus on smartphones and tablets and also work to make its TV unit profitable. The venerable company has been trying to turn its PC unit around for a while now but announced that, due to the “drastic changes” in the PC industry and other internal factors, it feels that selling off its PC assets is the best move. No more of this... Sony is selling its VAIO brand to Japan Industrial Partners, Inc. (JIP), which sell the computers to consumers and businesses in Japan under a new brand, at least at first. The deal should be completed by the end of March, and Sony will no longer sell its VAIO machines after the spring... Read more...
Innovation in the 3D printing space is exploding. At CES alone, we saw printers that can create food and ceramics, and there’s also a new multimaterial 3D printer that gives you full-color prints. And the Mark One 3D printer from Mark Forg3d prints in carbon fiber. Carbon fiber, people. Mark Forg3d claims that its composite material printer “print parts, tooling, and fixtures with a higher strength-to-weight ratio than 6061-T6 Aluminum”, or 20 times stiffer and 5 times stronger than ABS plastic. “The incredible strength of carbon fiber comes from the long, continuous strands that carry load down the entire part. This is why space shuttles, rockets, and Formula 1 cars are... Read more...
We got a firsthand look at some of CyberPowerPC’s Zeus Mini small form factor gaming PCs at CES, and now you can grab your very own from the company’s site. There are eight different models to choose from, with three AMD-based models and five systems rocking Intel parts. The SFF chassis, which measures just 4.4 x 17.4 x 13 inches (LxWxH), houses a mini ITX motherboard and a slim 8x DVD/RW drive, and it can accommodate full-size GPUs and 240mm liquid coolers. Each system includes three USB 3.0 ports, HDMI 1.4, and HD audio. To give you a sense of the range of the Zeus Mini options, the least expensive system is $599 and has an AMD A10-A7850K processor, integrated graphics, 8GB (4GB... Read more...
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