Friday, November 28, 2014

Microsoft to show off Windows 10's consumer features at January event

Should be a touching occasion

Nott long to wait.

Microsoft showed off Windows 10's desktop and mouse features when it made the enterprise-focused technical preview available to download on October 1, and as expected, it offered very little in the way of new touch functionality.

According to a new report, you might not have long to wait to see Windows 10's tactile side and its consumer features. Microsoft insiders told The Verge that Redmond is planning to show them off at an event to be held in late January, which will be separate to Microsoft's appearance at CES during the middle of the month.

As the report notes, Microsoft previously said that it would unveil the new operating system's consumer features in "early 2015", so a date of late January fits the bill.

Windows 10 brings a number of new features, including a revamped Start Menu with Live Tiles, new options for snapping and arranging Windows and virtual desktops, a new desktop-friendly Charms bar and a new, shortcut-friendly command prompt.


Your VB Kid

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Is Apple set to kill off the iPhone 5C

Apple's iPhone 5C may turn out to have been a short-lived experiment

Goodbye, cheap rainbow
Lookhow cute it is

The iPhone 5C is Apple's most affordable, colorful and adorable iPhone, but it's reportedly going to be discontinued by the middle of 2015.

Apple's suppliers will cease production on the iPhone 5C next year, possibly after some final promotions on the company's part, reports Taiwan's Industrial and Commercial Times.

The iPhone 5C is currently available only in a tiny 8GB size, and it's notably lacking the TouchID sensor present on the iPhone 6, the iPhone 6 Plus and even the older iPhone 5S.

TouchID is critical to the company's Apple Pay plans, which may be why the iPhone 5C has to go.

But that leaves one enormous, colorful question: will a TouchID-equipped iPhone 6C replace it?

Source: TechRadar

Your VB Kid

EU wants Google's 'right to be forgotten' to work for global searches too

Google might not yet be forgetful enough

Should privacy or freedom ofinformation prevail?

Earlier this year the EU made a ruling that Google must give its citizens the 'right to be forgotten', by removing search results for things that are "inadequate, irrelevant or no longer relevant, or excessive in relation to the purposes for which [it was] processed" if requested to by the affected individual.

Monday, November 24, 2014

AMD shows off Carrizo, declares it on time and coming in first half of 2015


When rumors surfaced several weeks ago claiming that AMD would launch Carrizo late this year, we attempted to deflate them with minimal success. Now, AMD’s John Byrne has taken to YouTube to demonstrate the new Carrizo APU and to confirm that both Carrizo and Carrizo-L won’t ship until the first half of 2015 — in line with original expectations. Managing product narratives is particularly important for a company in the midst of the kind of transitions that AMD is experiencing, and the internet’s self-referential echo chamber can become a nightmare.

Alienware’s knockoff Steam Machine finally ships, but it’s not the gaming PC you’re looking for


There was a lot of hype surrounding the impending launch of Valve’s Steam Machine platform, but much of the excitement dissipated when the first wave of machines were delayed until 2015. Now, Alienware is going in alone, and shipping its own consolized gaming PC with an Xbox 360 controller and a custom 10-foot interface. It’s certainly an interesting gambit from Dell, but this offering is pretty weak. It’s not as flexible as a normal gaming PC, and it’s not as cheap as a PS4. The Alienware Alpha just seems stuck in an uncomfortable no man’s land.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

For the first time you can now search through every tweet ever

Tweets from years ago are suddenly fair game

Twitter has opened the floodgates and is now letting you search through anything that's ever been posted on the 140-character social network.

That's hundreds of billions of tweets since Twitter launched in 2006, the company says.

Up to this point Twitter's search index has parsed through mainly recent tweets, but now it includes them all - for better or for worse.

Twitter Search Infrastructure Engineer Yi Zhuang elucidated a number of different uses for the new expanded search, from tracking historic elections to revisiting entire conferences, in a blog post.

Let's be honest, though: you're going to use it to look up every embarrassing thing your friends ever tweeted, and godspeed you on that mission.

Source: TechRadar

The Chief Technomancer
VB Kid

Bold move: Yahoo will soon be Firefox's default search engine

Mozilla ditches Google and signs with Yahoo

Yahoo and Firefox team up

There were a ton of fledgling search engines when the web was young - remember Ask Jeeves, or the one with the dog? - but over time Google emerged as the top choice for basically everyone.

(Except except for Microsoft, although that's a different story.)

That does, however, include Mozilla, makers of Firefox, which has always used Google as its default search engine - until now, that is.

Sergey Brin picked a bad time to leave his Google Glass in the car

OPINION The cracks begin to show

Apply yourself, Sergey

The future of Google Glass feels less certain than ever. Not only is Google rumoured to have pushed back the public launch of its headset to 2015, but developers like Twitter are already backing away from the wearable device.

Not helping matters is Google's very own co-founder and father of Glass, Sergey Brin, who showed up on the red carpet at a Silicon Valley event last week sans Glass. A bare-faced Brin has become a rare spot, so naturally he was asked by one reporter about the whereabouts of his trusty Glass. Brin's answer? He left it in the car.

Chrome's bookmark manager is getting some useful new features

Take a picture

Chrome's new bookmark manager

In most cases saving a bookmark is pretty straightforward, and it's an area in which browsers haven't really had to improve much over the years.

But Google is nevertheless introducing some new features in Chrome that will roll out "over the next few weeks," Google Product Manager Cynthia Johanson wrote on the Chrome blog.

With Chrome's new bookmark manager you'll be able to select an image and add a note or "snippet" to save along with a bookmark to make it easier to find later, and Chrome will also suggest a folder for it if it detects one that makes sense.

The update will also add improved search, letting you search not just your bookmarks' titles but also the contents of the bookmarked pages, automatic organization by topic, and social bookmark sharing, and all your existing bookmarks will be updated as well.

The changes hit the Chrome beta first and should roll out to more users soon.

Source: TechRadar

Your VB Kid

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Nvidia’s new Tesla K80 has 24GB of RAM, doubles up on GPU horsepower


For the past two years, Nvidia has launched high-end supercomputing hardware at the International Conference for High Performance Computing, Networking, Storage and Analysis (sensibly abbreviated as SC). Today, at SC14, Nvidia is following that trend, except this time it’s bringing a new dual-GPU product to the table. The new K80 is based on a revised version of the GK110 chip, dubbed GK210, with 13 of Kepler’s 15 SMX’s enabled and a 300W TDP. This may allow the card to hit higher Boost frequencies than the desktop-oriented Titan Z, which struggled to deliver equivalent scaling to two Titan Black’s in an SLI configuration.

MIT can now use E. coli DNA tape recorders for living and replicating data storage

Could cloning be on the way?

DNA microchips can now encode arbitrary digital information at a density of over at 700 terabytes per gram. That number could be pushed much higher, theoretically even as high as 455 exabytes per gram. Cold hard storage capacity like that is great, but what if that kind of power could be integrated with something more alive — something like a single cell, or for that matter, integrated into every cell.

Monday, November 17, 2014

We can land on comets. Why does everyday tech still suck?

GARY MARSHALL If humans are so smart, why haven't we solved these tech traumas yet?

I've been marvelling at the images beamed back to Earth by Philae, the plucky little robot probe that's currently parked on the excitingly named Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko.

The mission's even more impressive when you consider that in the 10 years it's taken Philae to reach its four-billion-mile target, we've seen astonishing advances in technology. And that's got us thinking. Surely if the tech of 2004 can send a robot four billion miles and parallel park it on a flying ball of rock, the tech of 2014 should have eradicated all kinds of annoyances by now? If we humans are hot stuff, why haven't we solved this little lot?

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Microsoft makes .Net open-source, finally embraces iOS, Android, and Linux


It’s a big day for Microsoft and its (soon to be even larger) cadre of dedicated developers: Starting today, Microsoft is making the core parts of its .Net framework open-source, and cross-platform on Windows, Mac OS X, and Linux. Microsoft is also committing to adding Android and iOS support in the upcoming Visual Studio 2015 — in fact, there’s already an Android emulator in Visual Studio 2015 Preview, and iOS support will be added soon. Furthermore, Microsoft is releasing a new version of Visual Studio — “Community 2013″ — that is free and full-featured. This is a bold move that will attempt to cement .Net, C#, and Visual Studio as the dominant development platform across Windows, Linux, Android, iOS, and Mac — and, well, it might just work.

Lollipop will bring tasty new features to Android Wear

Here's what Android Wear's Lollipop update will bring to your wrist

Google's keeping it fresh

Material Design is right around the corner

The latest version of Android is readying itself for the jump to smartphones, but details have only just emerged about what Google has planned for the wrist-based version of Android 5.0 Lollipop.

There's no definitive date for Android Wear's update to Lollipop. But according to reports posted on Phandroid, we'll be seeing plenty of new features when it drops - including the arrival of Material Design.

Monday, November 10, 2014

Dark market massacre: FBI shuts down Silk Road 2.0 and dozens more Tor websites

The Shut-downs

A large-scale bust by the FBI and the UK’s National Crime Association has resulted in the arrest of 17 individuals in several countries, and the shut down of more than 25 other .onion (Tor) websites — including the darknet’s Grand Poobah, the Silk Road 2.0. [Note: The FBI originally reported that it had downed more than 400 sites, but this has since been replaced with a drastically lower number.] An incomplete record of the investigation is creating wild speculation about the FBI’s Tor-cracking technologies, but while there are still questions about how exactly the Bureau located a few key servers, a potential Tor-cracking technology is not the only possible explanation for these raids. Former SpaceX engineer and avid web developer Blake Benthall has been charged with running the Silk Road 2, and if guilty it seems he went down for the exact same reason as mild-mannered coder Ross Ulbricht before him: he was stupid.

Microsoft will unveil its first Nokia-less Lumia on Tuesday

Get set for a new era of Microsoft smartphones

Microsoft teases its first non-Nokia Lumia, coming November 11

Promises it will be 'big on experiences'

Something's coming...

Microsoft has posted a teaser on Facebook which hints at a new Lumia announcement coming on November 11.

The post includes a close up of a front-facing camera and the date 11.11.2014. Along with the image, the Nokia Facebook page cryptically states 'Big on experiences. #MoreLumia'.

Microsoft is in the process of dropping the Nokia name from its Lumia phones, and it looks like this will be the first handset to be branded as a Microsoft Lumia.

Furthermore, on Microsoft's website it adds, "Microsoft is delivering the power of everyday mobile technology to everyone", suggesting that we're in store for a mid-range device.

Relationship status: it's complicated

We've recently seen leaks of a new Lumia phone, dubbed the RM-1090, that appears to have dropped the Nokia branding in favour of a Microsoft logo.

Microsoft has also stated that its non-Nokia smartphones will be unveiled soon. The new Facebook post might be referring to these handsets.

It's pretty likely that the tease is in relation to the Microsoft Lumia handset we reported on earlier, but we'll have to wait until November 11 to find out what exactly Microsoft has in store.

Source: TechRadar

Your VB Kid

Friday, November 07, 2014

Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare disables Share Play on the PS4

And you wonder why I don't like Call of Duty...

If you were hoping to play your friend’s copy of Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare with Share Play on the PS4, I’ve got some bad news for you. Sony’s game-sharing feature, introduced recently with the 2.0 firmware, will not work with one of this year’s biggest releases. Sadly, Activision disabled this feature on purpose, and the executive team at Sony didn’t bother stopping it. Now, we wait to see how many other publishers will follow Activision’s lead.

The Alienware Graphics Amplifier: Finally, desktop quality graphics on your laptop


The Alienware 13 laptop — announced this morning — will go down in history as the first ever laptop allowed into the vaulted, blustery, and mythical halls of True PC Gaming. While the laptop itself is just an upgraded version of the Alienware 14, it has a new peripheral that will blow your mind: the Alienware Graphics Amplifier, an external enclosure that allows you to attach a full-length desktop graphics card — such as the Nvidia GTX 980 or Radeon HD R9 295X2 — to your laptop. The price of desktop-like performance on your laptop, though, is steep: The Amplifier itself, without a graphics card, is $300 — and, sadly, it (currently) only works with the Alienware 13 laptop.