Monday, August 31, 2015

Self-healing material could patch up damaged spacecraft in under a second


Space is big and mostly empty, but it’s the small part that isn’t empty that ends up being an issue for space exploration. Even a tiny piece of debris from a derelict satellite or ancient bit of space rock can cause damage to a spacecraft, and that damage can expose your fragile atmosphere-loving body to the harsh vacuum of space in a real hurry. Researchers from the University of Michigan working with NASA have developed a material that might add an extra layer of protection from space debris, a material that can heal itself to seal hull breaches.

Sunday, August 30, 2015

Breaking Bad pilot becomes first 4K content pirated from Netflix

Can't be stopped

You probably don’t even have a 4K TV yet, but content providers are already getting the video ready for the day when you do. Netflix is one of the main sources for 4K video right now as we await 4K Blu-Ray discs, and thus far content producers could feel secure providing their UHD video on the streaming platform. However, it appears that the first pirated 4K content from Netflix has hit torrent sites, calling into question how secure the latest DRM schemes really are.

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

This might be HTC's late-2015 flagship phone


HTC has been promising another "hero" phone this October to try and turn around its dismal fiscal performance, but what that device would look like has remained a mystery. Would it just be a tweaked One M9? If a claimed photo leak is accurate, it might be considerably more than that. The two images purport to show the A9 (aka Aero), a handset that has very little in common with the M9. Its camera is above the antenna stripe (reminiscent of the M8's depth camera) rather than below, and it appears to be flatter. The front, meanwhile, looks like it's switching to "2.5D" curved glass. Those aren't far-fetched changes, but we can't blame you if you're still skeptical -- these pics are tough to verify, so it's possible that they're just fanciful renderings.

And what's inside? That's even less certain, although there are rumours that the A9 will use a 10-core MediaTek Helio X20 processor, 4GB of RAM, a 5.2-inch quad HD display and a hefty 3,500mAh battery. If so, this would be a different beast than the M9, focusing more on longevity (the main reason the X20 has all those cores) over raw performance. With that said, we're not convinced yet. The X20 isn't supposed to be ready until early 2016, so you may see a more familiar chip inside HTC's stopgap smartphone.

Source: engadget

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Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Mirror your Android device on your Mac or PC with Vysor


There are plenty of ways to mirror your smartphone onto your desktop, but none are as apparently easy (or snappy) as this one. Vysor has been cooked-up by AllCast creator Koush as a seamless way to mirror your Android device's display onto a Windows, Linux or Mac computer. All you'll need to do is connect one to the other over USB and install the Chrome plugin and in a few seconds, you should be able to control your phone with a keyboard and mouse. It may have been intended as a developer tool, but one keen-eyed Reddit user spotted the app while it was in private beta and shared it with the world.

Scientists in Antarctica detect cosmic neutrinos from outside our galaxy

There's life out there

Few particles in the universe are as strange and interesting as the neutrino. These elementary particles have no charge and so little mass that they can usually slip through matter without leaving a trace. While you read this sentence, several thousand neutrinos have shot right through your body unimpeded by all the squishy stuff inside. Naturally, detecting these particles is not easy, but a team of researchers working in Antarctica has managed to detect the rarest neutrinos of all — cosmic neutrinos from beyond the Milky Way.

Saturday, August 22, 2015

Microsoft kills patch notes, will no longer explain most Windows 10

You don't need to know

When Microsoft debuted Windows 10, it began offering significantly less information about KB updates in any given package. Instead of getting a clickable link that provided more than a bare sentence of information, users have to manually search for KB articles based on the given name. While this isn’t difficult, it’s an example of how Redmond has made it a bit more difficult to know what the OS is doing or why it’s doing it. Now, the company has stated that this obfuscation isn’t an artifact of a rushed launch — the company will not explain feature updates unless it deems them significant.

Monday, August 17, 2015

The realities of a $50 smartphone

Is it possible?

As mobile networks kill off phone subsidies, users might now begin to appreciate just how much their new smartphone really costs. It's an even bigger problem in the developing world, where relatively few have the cash to buy even a mid-range phone like the Moto G. Google attempted to remedy the problem with Android One, but the first generation of "affordable" devices were far too expensive. That's why the company is pledging to get the cost of a smartphone down to just $50 -- a price that, right now, seems impossible to achieve. If Google can do it, however, it'll be able to connect countless people in countries like India, the Philippines and Turkey. Fifty dollars isn't a lot of money to put together a device, so what sort of phone can you get for the money?

Friday, August 14, 2015

Samsung unveils massive 16TB SSD built with new 3D NAND

It's bigger

We've seen multiple companies jockey for the record of largest SSD over the years, but Samsung appears to have gotten tired of the hooplah and decided to own the category outright. The company announced a new 16TB SSD (formatted capacity, 15.36TB) at the 2015 Flash Memory Summit. The massive increase in density is thanks to the 48-layer 3D TLC NAND that Samsung announced earlier this week, and it’s one massive puppy. Based on the company’s own statistics, each of its new 3D NAND chips can hold up to 256Gb (32GB). That means 32 chips per terabyte, and 512 chips to provide 16TB of data. If Samsung over-provisioned the drives by 10%, there could be as many as 600 NAND chips inside the PM1633a.

Lenovo can sell PCs, but not phones

Even the world's no.1 PC maker finds selling smartphones tough

Lenovo is the biggest PC maker in the world, but smartphones remain a challenge. The company's mobile arm announced a pre-tax loss of $292 million for the three months ending in June: Motorola phones shipped stood at 5.9 million, down just less than a third from last year. The company now plans to cut 10 percent of its non-manufacturing jobs (roughly 3,200 people), aiming to save around $650 million in the second half of 2015. It's also writing down $300 million in unsold phones. The company's total net profit dropped 51 percent year-on-year, down to $105 million.

Lenovo's chief exec, Yang Yuanqing, told Reuters that he stands by the acquisition of Motorola, which cost $2.91 billion in 2014. He added that restructuring Motorola and Lenovo's smartphone divisions will take two to three quarters. This looks likely to cost $600 million, due to the "toughest market environment in recent years" -- likely why the company is trying all sorts of gambits.

Source: Engadget

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