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Corsair announces "ultra-quiet" RM Series Power Supplies

September 13th, 2013 No comments

Corsair announces ultra-quiet RM Series Power Supplies

Corsair RM1000 PSU.


Corsair has unveiled the latest addition to its power supply range in the shape of the Corsair RM Series.

The new lineup has quiet operation as its focus with the fan only kicking in when the PSU is under heavy loads.

Replacing the company’s TX Series the new models are all fully modular, with even the main motherboard connection being removable. They’re also all rated at 80 Plus Gold, which means they offer up to 92% (90% for 115V AC) efficiency.

Corsair has also confirmed the range is certified to work with Intel’s latest Ivy Bridge E and Haswell processors. Some PSUs had problems working with Intel’s Haswell CPUs due to their particularly low power states, but not here.

Starting at 450W and going all the way up to 1000W the new range covers most practical power requirements for your average PC.

The RM Seriesis also compatible with the Corsair Digital Bridge cable, which can be used to connect to your motherboard or Corsair Link hub and provide real-time monitoring of fan speed and +12V power delivery via Corsair Link software. The Digital Bridge is included with the 1000W unit and an optional extra for the other models.

Prices start at around £80 for the 450W unit and top out at around £150 for the 1000W model, including a 5-year limited warranty. The range is available to buy now, with the likes of Overclockers and Scan stocking the full range.

Corsair announces ultra-quiet RM Series Power Supplies

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Get the new Nexus 7 now? The case for and against waiting

It’s finally here! But is there any hurry?


(Credit:
James Martin/CNET)

The unveiling of the second-generation Nexus 7 Android tablet on Wednesday was something I’d been waiting months for — ever since a cracked screen essentially bricked my original Nexus 7 (although it could enjoy a second life as a dedicated e-reader).

Yet now that the new Nexus is here, Google’s Chromecast streaming-media stick has stolen all the buzz. I’ve been a big fan of the Nexus 7, but I’m now thinking about waiting longer before diving into the latest Nexus
tablet. Let’s take a quick tour of my reasons for and against hopping in line for a new Nexus 7 right now (and stay tuned for CNET’s official Nexus 7 review coming up shortly).

(Buy now) The best Jelly Bean around
Perhaps the strongest reason for grabbing a new Nexus 7 is for the
Android early-adopter clout. The tablet ships with the latest version, Android 4.3, and a pure Google experience that puts the Nexus ahead of all other Android tabs in my book.

When my original Nexus 7 arrived last summer, running Jelly Bean and Google Now, it let me in on the ground floor of Android features that emerged more prominently over the course of the last year. If you want to see where Android is now, and get hints at where it’s headed next, you’ll want to order the new Nexus 7 as soon as possible.


(Buy now) Waaay more pixels than you need

With the latest, tastiest version of Jelly Bean and what amounts to a Retina Display in a 7-inch package, the new Nexus 7 is one of the most beautiful and affordable touch-screen devices you can buy. Add to the package rear and front cameras, wireless charging capability, and near-field communication (NFC), starting at less than $250, and you’d certainly be forgiven for making an impulse buy.

(Wait) LTE version still evolving long term
Witness the awesome and often awful power of U.S. wireless carriers, and you have the most obvious reason for waiting. Presumably, as with the original Nexus 7, it’s taking a bit longer to work out a deal to offer the tablet with 4G connectivity, which was easily my most wanted feature in my original Wi-Fi-only version from last year. While the second-generation Wi-Fi-only Nexus 7 will be available with 16GB or 32GB starting July 30, the 4G is slated for sometime “in the coming weeks.”

If you’re a Verizon customer like me, you may want to practice patience, given Big Red’s recent track record on provisioning hot new devices (like the HTC One) for its network. I’m going to be hella-zen by the time a Verizon Nexus 7 arrives.

(Wait) Not alone anymore
While this Nexus 7 is an attractive package with some nice upgrades, the tablet landscape could very well change in coming months. When the original Nexus 7 first came out, the Kindle Fire was the only small tablet with any real traction and its lackluster specs weren’t exactly coveted by the geekiest segments of society. Fast-forward a year and there’s now the
iPad Mini to contend with, as well as a meatier Kindle Fire and numerous other small Android tablet choices. And in the next two months we’re likely to see the next versions of the Kindle Fire HD and the iPad Mini. They may change the landscape again.

I also wonder if it’s worth waiting to see if an even more ideal form factor pops up soon. Could a Galaxy Note 3 with a 6-inch screen wind up being the perfect device?

I think I might wait to find out, unless I start hearing from you all how amazing the new Nexus 7 is and the early adopter envy becomes too much to bare. Let me know in the comments what your tablet-purchasing plan of action is (if you have one) for the coming months.

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Gunman hospitalized for mental health


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This photo, released by the Santa Monica Police department, shows the gunman entering the Santa Monica College library on June 7. The gunman's shooting spree began in a home near the college, where two were found dead, and ended when police killed him in the college library.This photo, released by the Santa Monica Police department, shows the gunman entering the Santa Monica College library on June 7. The gunman’s shooting spree began in a home near the college, where two were found dead, and ended when police killed him in the college library.

The gunman, carrying what appears to be an assault rifle (circled), enters the library.The gunman, carrying what appears to be an assault rifle (circled), enters the library.

The Santa Monica police released this photo showing ammunition, magazines and guns believed to have been dropped by the gunman.The Santa Monica police released this photo showing ammunition, magazines and guns believed to have been dropped by the gunman.

Los Angeles Police Department officers along with Los Angeles County Sheriff deputies search the campus of Santa Monica College after a reported shooting on Friday, June 7. Los Angeles Police Department officers along with Los Angeles County Sheriff deputies search the campus of Santa Monica College after a reported shooting on Friday, June 7.

a href='http://ireport.cnn.com/docs/DOC-985090'iReporter Daniel Kraft /atook this image of what he believes to be the shooter's body as Kraft was being evacuated from the campus by a SWAT team.iReporter Daniel Kraft took this image of what he believes to be the shooter’s body as Kraft was being evacuated from the campus by a SWAT team.

A car with windows shattered by bullets sits in front of a partially burned house where two bodies where found. Authorities believe the incident may be related to the shooting on the campus of Santa Monica College.A car with windows shattered by bullets sits in front of a partially burned house where two bodies where found. Authorities believe the incident may be related to the shooting on the campus of Santa Monica College.

An inspector stands outside the partially burnt house where two bodies were discovered near the Santa Monica College campus.An inspector stands outside the partially burnt house where two bodies were discovered near the Santa Monica College campus.

 A Los Angeles County SWAT team sharpshooter circles the campus in a helicopter. A Los Angeles County SWAT team sharpshooter circles the campus in a helicopter.

Los Angeles Police Department officers deploy around the campus. Los Angeles Police Department officers deploy around the campus.

 Students rush to safety after shots were fired. Students rush to safety after shots were fired.

 California Highway Patrol officers work to contain the scene. California Highway Patrol officers work to contain the scene.

Los Angeles County Sheriff deputies search the grounds.Los Angeles County Sheriff deputies search the grounds.

Backpacks and food are left behind after students fled the campus. Backpacks and food are left behind after students fled the campus.

Police gather during the search of the campus.Police gather during the search of the campus.

SWAT officers conduct a search at the college after the shooting. SWAT officers conduct a search at the college after the shooting.

Women leave campus after the shooting. Women leave campus after the shooting.

 A police officer helps search the campus. A police officer helps search the campus.

During the campus lock down, a href='http://ireport.cnn.com/docs/DOC-985263'iReporter Aleksandr Kats/a photographed local law enforcement trying to secure the grounds of Santa Monica College. During the campus lock down, iReporter Aleksandr Kats photographed local law enforcement trying to secure the grounds of Santa Monica College.

a href='http://ireport.cnn.com/docs/DOC-984881'iReporter Nathaniel Westveer/a photographed the chaotic scene right outside his office building, which is 100 feet away from the crime scene at Santa Monica College. He says during the shooting, police closed down the intersection as they combed the adjacent office complex with their guns drawn.iReporter Nathaniel Westveer photographed the chaotic scene right outside his office building, which is 100 feet away from the crime scene at Santa Monica College. He says during the shooting, police closed down the intersection as they combed the adjacent office complex with their guns drawn.


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Santa Monica, California (CNN) — The gunman’s rampage began at a home in this beachfront city, where two were found dead inside. Then he carjacked a woman and fired at a public bus. It all ended when police shot him dead at Santa Monica College as students studied for finals, a mile from the house.

His blood trail, however, left four people dead Friday in Santa Monica, which abuts Los Angeles and is renowned for its liberal openness.

A law enforcement source with knowledge of the investigation told CNN on Saturday that the gunman had suffered mental health issues. A couple of years ago, he was hospitalized for treatment after allegedly talking about harming someone, according to the official.

It’s not clear whether the state government or his family committed him for treatment or whether he committed himself. It’s also unclear under what circumstances he was released.

Authorities have found no link to domestic or international terror, the official added.

The gunman has been identified, but his name won’t be released until authorities reach his family members, who are believed to be outside the United States, city Police Chief Jacqueline Seabrooks said Saturday.

The gunman and a family member had been enrolled in the college as recently as 2010. The gunman, 23, would have turned 24 on Saturday, Seabrooks said.

Police had contact with the gunman in 2006, but because he was a juvenile then, authorities couldn’t release further information Saturday, Seabrooks said.

One of the four persons killed in Friday’s shooting rampage was shot outside the library of Santa Monica College, college Police Chief Albert Vasquez said.

Another victim shot dead was identified as Carlos Navarro Franco, 68, who resided in one of Los Angeles’ west neighborhoods near Santa Monica, authorities said. He was the driver of an SUV who was gunned down on the campus, police said.

Franco was with his youngest daughter, Marcela, who was going to buy textbooks for her studies at California State University, Dominguez Hills, Santa Monica College President Chui Tsang said in a statement Saturday.

The daughter, 26, was shot and is in critical condition at Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center “and is not expected to survive,” said Tsang.

Alfred Creollo, a relative who lives in the same building as the family, said that Carlos Franco had worked as a groundskeeper and been with Santa Monica College for 30 years — though he wasn’t working the day of the shooting.

This isn’t the first tragedy to hit the family, Tsang notes: Carlos Franco’s son died two summers ago in a car accident.

“He was a dedicated husband, dedicated to his family, he was a good person,” Creollo said. “We lived here together for 30 years. It was just a devastating blow to hear what happened to him.”

The three other victims have not yet been identified.

The two-year college remained closed Saturday as police combed the crime scene for clues to the rampage, which began shortly before noon at an acquaintance’s house in one of Santa Monica’s breezy neighborhoods.

The gunman, shot by police, died of multiple gunshot wounds, the Santa Monica police chief said.

Investigators are still trying to determine the motive in the shootings that left five people wounded, Seabrooks told reporters Saturday. A woman is in grave condition and her prognosis is not good, Seabrooks said.

The gunman had addresses connected to the house where the rampage began and to a residence in Los Angeles’ Palms neighborhood, Seabrooks said.

The shooting spree at several locations in Santa Monica lasted 13 minutes, though the house was apparently set afire before the shooting began, police said.

Given that gunman was wearing a ballistic vest and heavily armed, “I would say it’s premeditated,” said Seabrooks, who estimated that the shooter had some 1,300 rounds of ammunition during the spree.

Dressed in black and toting an assault-style rifle, the man’s apparently random gunfire became the nation’s latest disturbing killing spree, ending with his death in the college library and leaving this tourist beachfront city reeling with shock.

A neighbor’s account

Jerry Cunningham stepped onto her porch when she heard the shots. She saw the gunman firing at a neighboring house, which was also on fire.

The neighborhood, regarded as working class, sits beside Interstate 10 — “the last affordable area in Santa Monica,” with houses under $1 million, said nearby resident Carmen Franco, 47, who’s not related to the killed victim. “Nobody can afford to buy now here in Santa Monica,” where houses are easily seven figures, she added. The area’s only trailer park is on the other side of the highway.

Investigators believe the gunman knew the dead people in the house, but police were unsure of the connection. The fire began in the front room of the 1,000-square-foot house, and the two bodies were found in a back room, Fire Chief Scott Ferguson said. No accelerant was found, he added.

Cunningham then observed the gunman force at gunpoint a woman to stop her car.

Another car approached. The gunman waved it by, Cunningham said. That driver, also a woman, hesitated for just a moment, and the gunman “fired three shots directly into her and the car,” Cunningham said.

The motorist was wounded in the shoulder, she said. That driver was hospitalized and is in stable condition, authorities said.

The gunman then got into the first car and forced the woman to drive off with him, police said.

During their ride, 911 calls poured in, keeping police on the gunman’s path, said Sgt. Richard Lewis, a spokesman for the Santa Monica police.

As the car headed toward the campus of the community college, where 30,000 students are registered, he opened fire on a passing bus, slightly wounding three people, Lewis said.

He was carrying an “AR-15 style rifle,” pistols and “more clips for the rifle,” Lewis said.

Police have described the shooter as a 25- to 30-year-old man who was dressed in black and wearing a tactical vest.

As the car pulled onto the campus, the man fired into Franco’s red SUV, killing him and critically wounding his passenger, police said. Franco’s vehicle crashed after the shooting, Lewis said.

The gunman then abandoned the hijacked vehicle — leaving the driver unhurt — and fled on foot, shooting at police, Lewis said.

On campus

College employee Joe Orcutt saw the firefight between the man and officers and took off running, but ran the wrong way and found himself facing the gunman.

“He looked over at me, and I looked at him,” Orcutt said. “He just panned his gun and trained it on me, and I just jumped behind the building and he shot at me.”

The gunman was “very calm, not running around.” He was just “looking around for targets very casually,” he said.

“He just looked like he was standing there posing for the cover of an ammo magazine or something. It was bizarre.”

Inside a classroom

Jasmine Franco, 22, was in a classroom at Santa Monica College — next to the library — waiting for her English class to start at noon on Thursday. Little did she know that the gunman began his rampage at a house near to where she and her mother, Carmen, live.

Jasmine Franco’s friend had left the room to fill his water bottle and she was sitting alone when she first became aware something was wrong. “You could hear rumbling, a lot of rumbling, it sounded like an earthquake or something,” she said, referring to the sounds of gunfire mixed with the footfalls of people running.

But her 11 classmates and the teacher appeared oblivious, and continued their banter until her friend burst back in. “His whole face was red and his veins were coming out of his neck, he was trying to calm himself,” Franco said.

“I’m entirely serious,” she said he told them. “There’s a shooter on campus.”

He told the class he had heard a gun unload. “He said it just sprayed and unloaded tons of rounds.”

Not knowing what to do, “We just sat there.”

The teacher left the classroom to see what he could learn and, moments later, ran back inside. “He says, ‘They just unloaded a magazine.’ He said there was a lot of bullets.”

At that moment, the door to the hallway locked shut — automatically — with a click, she said. Outside the classroom, she could see dozens of people fleeing on the cement. “We could see people running with their backpacks,” Franco said. “No screaming, just running. We could just hear feet and running.”

Inside the library

As the killer ran, he fatally shot a woman, then burst into the campus library, said Santa Monica Police Chief Jacqueline Seabrooks.

Another woman — who asked not to be identified — said she was in the building when she heard a gunshot. She took off.

In a hallway, she saw a dark-haired man in black combat boots who she initially thought was a police officer, but quickly realized was the shooter. The man was walking quietly and casually.

She and a colleague ran; gunshots rang out.

Priscilla Morales said that, when she and her friends looked out a library window and saw people running, they grabbed their belongings and prepared to leave, too, but didn’t get far. “As we open the door, we hear three gunshots,” she said.

So they closed the door and hid.

“I was so scared and thought literally I was going to die,” she said.

“Drop it!” she heard police say, then heard gunshots and a man’s screams.

The officers had shot the gunman, Lewis said.

Police said that, with the exception of his first two victims in the off-campus house, all of the other victims appear to have been chosen at random.

“My heart goes out to the families of the victims of these tragic shootings in Santa Monica, and I am praying for the recovery of those who were injured,” said U.S. Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-California.

At the time of the shootings, President Barack Obama was in Santa Monica for a fundraiser a 10-minute drive from the campus, CNN affiliate KCAL/KCBS reported. His schedule was not affected.

Back in the classroom

Franco’s classroom ended up waiting three hours before police arrived.

During that time, some students followed events on Twitter, but the reports of people being shot and a house burned down seemed unconnected and far-fetched. “Everything’s hearsay,” Franco said. “People tell you one thing, but you have no clue what’s happening. You just don’t know anything. The best thing to do is not worry about it. Sit down.”

People kept opening the classroom door, which infuriated Franco. “You’re not supposed to open the door,” she said. “I’m just like, ‘No, we’re not going to do that.’”

Though they could see police from classroom windows, “no one came to check on us” for more than two hours, she said.

Tan-uniformed officers with big guns finally arrived and escorted students out with their hands on their heads for security — “like inmates,” Franco said. Officers shouted “Go! Go! Go!”

But at least the class was safe.

Franco called her mother, who also drove home some classmates whose cars were inaccessible behind yellow police tape.

“I went home and fell asleep,” Franco said.

CNN’s Stan Wilson, Kyung Lah and Miguel Marquez reported from Santa Monica, Susan Candiotti from New York; and Michael Martinez wrote from Los Angeles. CNN’s Cheri Mossburg, Sonya Hamasaki, Tom Watkins, Chelsea J. Carter and Traci Tamura contributed to this report.


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Tranquil PC launches passive cases for Intel’s NUC

January 28th, 2013 No comments

Tranquil PC launches passive cases for Intel's NUC

Tranquil PC’s NUC case provides entirely-passive cooling and optional VESA mount compatibility, at the cost of an increased device footprint.


Quiet computing specialist Tranquil PC has launched a pair of new passively-cooled chassis, designed specifically for the Intel Next Unit of Computing (NUC) ultra-compact motherboards.

Brought to our attention by the guys over at FanlessTech, the Tranquil NUC cases are compatible with both Intel NUC motherboards thus far unveiled – the D33217CK, which features Thunderbolt capabilities, and the D33217GKE, which instead has gigabit Ethernet compatibility.

Moving the NUC to a Tranquil PC case does mean sacrificing a little desk space: while the NUC motherboard itself measures just 10cm on a side, and the official case only a little more, the Tranquil NUC – as the aluminium chassis has been named – measures 11cm x 16.4cm and is 4.7cm tall. That’s still pretty compact, but not quite as impressive as Intel’s official NUC case – until, that is, you take note of what the Tranquil version lacks: fans.

Constructed from solid aluminium, the Tranquil NUC cases are designed to operate entirely passively, acting as a heatsink with a claimed surface area of 11,000cm². The result is a case capable of dissipating the heat output of the NUC’s Ivy Bridge Core i3-3217U without the annoyance of a whining fan – something small form factor systems, which typically can’t spare the room for a slow-turning 92mm or 120mm fan, are notorious for.

Tranquil PC claims the cases are easy to fit, and come with all fittings, screws and a pre-wired power switch and power LED which is fitted to the rear of the case. The company further claims that the passive system offers cooling in excess of the fan-based official NUC case, reporting temperatures of between 5 and 15 degrees Celsius lower with the Tranquil NUC case fitted.

Both cases are available to buy now direct from Tranquil PC, priced at £99. A VESA plate, for mounting the case to the back of a TV or onto a wall, is also available for an additional £17.

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iPhone 5 versus Samsung Galaxy S3: Wait or buy now?

Samsung Galaxy S III, GSIII, GS3, iPhone(Credit:
CNET)

“The Samsung Galaxy S III (S3) is a great phone, but should I wait for the iPhone 5 instead?”

This is the kind of question we CNET editors are asked all the time, and with good reason. In the breakneck pace of the smartphone world, there’s always something good now, but something better around the corner — and you want your investment to last.

In some ways, the answers are obvious if you prefer one OS over another, have a
Mac at home, or need a phone right now. However, if not, there’s a lot to like about each platform’s super phone (we surmise; one of them hasn’t even been announced), and we can’t make your decision for you. So here’s what we’ll do. We’re going to break it down by some of the phone features that we think could sway your decision.

Design
When it comes to first-class materials, Apple has Samsung beat. That is, if you like glass on both sides of your handset, and an industrial look and feel. In the Galaxy S3, Samsung unabashedly sticks to its plastic preference, but has managed to make it look and feel sleeker and more desirable than in past Galaxy S devices. The GS3 also features a Gorilla Glass 2 cover, which we expect Apple to announce as well in its mystery
iPhone.

Size is the other issue. Rumors point to an
iPhone 5 with larger screen real estate, but an only-slightly taller profile. Apple’s phone would still fit in the hand about the same way. Compare this to the Galaxy S3, which dwarfs the iPhone 4S. We like its smooth, comfortable feel, but some people will simply find it too large.

Screen
Apple has made it abundantly clear that it’s obsessed with screen quality. And now that the MacBook Pro is sporting the Retina Display, it’s safe to assume the next iPhone will be equipped with the same technlogy. Though the iPhone 4S has the brighter and sharper display of the two phones, the Galaxy S3′s HD Super AMOLED display has the richer color contrast. Some argue that the GS3′s AMOLED screen technology oversaturates, and in some cases we do find that to be true.

However, the human eye can only register so much. As displays get sharper in high-end devices, getting into the minutia of screen comparisons won’t matter towards user experience as much as size does. And as we previously stated, the Galaxy S3′s 4.8-inch screen may seem like overkill for some, but it’ll definetly feel less cramped than the iPhone, even if the iPhone 5 does generate its expected 4-inch screen.

Samsung Galaxy S III screen comparison

The Samsung Galaxy S III screen is dimmer than the HTC One X (above) and the iPhone 4S (below.)

(Credit:
Josh MIller/CNET)

Camera
If the camera specs for the new iPhone remain in line with the current model (as in it’ll still have an 8-megapixel lens and an A5 chip), then we’ll let our shoot-out shots between the S3, the iPhone 4S, (and the HTC One X), speak for themselves. We found that both cameras had their specific strengths and weaknesses under certain conditions.

However, Apple is never one to pass up a chance to lift smartphone camera standards and some rumors about report an interchangeable lens and a high-definition front-facing camera would call for another camera showdown.

For now, both cameras offer the same amount of megapixels, high dynamic range, and zero shutter lag. But if want something featured-packed, the GS3 has a lot of options. True, we don’t know what sort of services the new iPhone will offer, but the GS3 already has panoramic shooting, burst shot, two sharing modes, and other fun shooting settings like “cartoon” (a la “A Scanner Darkly”) and “beauty” (a la this-is-not-real-life).

Processor
Samsung and Qualcomm teamed up to put a dual-core Snapdragon S4 processor in the GS3, which makes it one of the fastest phones in the U.S. Apple is all about advancing its processors with each succeeding model. Rumor is that Apple will promote the 4S’ A5 chip to a faster A5X chip. We’d expect the same quad-core graphics processor as the iPad 3. However, don’t get too caught up in processor specs (after all, quad-core prowess is still shrouded in myth). Both phones’ internals will impress.

Data speeds
The Samsung Galaxy S3 and Apple iPhone 5 will be evenly matched once the iPhone comes along with its expected (and anticipated!) 4G LTE support. Just keep in mind that not every carrier supports LTE (like Sprint and T-Mobile), and some networks are faster than others.

Availability
Both the Galaxy S3 and iPhone 5 will be easy to get. The GS3 will be available on T-Mobile, ATT, Sprint, Verizon, U.S. Cellular, and even C Spire (a regional carrier.) Apple will surely let its carrier partner gravy train keep rolling with the Big Four, and (way later) down the line, it could also pass the iPhone 5 to Cricket and Virgin Mobile, following suit with taking the iPhone 4 and 4S prepaid.

Price
In the U.S., the Samsung Galaxy S3 is starting on-contract at $199.99 for the 16GB and $249.99 for the 32GB model (it’ll differ by carrier.) As for the iPhone, the 4S on a designated network has a retail price of $199.99 for its 16GB version, $299.99 for its 32GB, and $399.99 for its 64GB model. And, if the rumors prove true, the newest generation won’t be any cheaper. With luck, Apple will remain steady on price, which would make a 32GB Samsung SG3 more cost-effective.

Conclusion
Whether or not a phone is right for you depends on a whole bushel of personal values, but the bottom line is that when you compare the main features and specs, the GS3 is good enough to recommend on its own against the iPhone 4S.

However, if you’re open to either OS (as we are) and you’re in no rush to buy a phone, here’s what we’d do. We’d go ahead and wait until Apple’s announcement this autumn. If the iPhone 5 fails to impress you, the Galaxy S3 has proven itself a worthwhile device with plenty of bells and whistles. And if in your estimation it falls to Apple’s charms, you’ll be fully informed and clear from any pangs of buyer’s remorse.

Article source: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/cnet/pRza/~3/5BMkCkylCwE/

The best of NY Tech Day, a showcase of startups


The first inaugural New York Tech Day, hosted by the 69th Regiment Armory.

The first inaugural NY Tech Day, hosted by the 69th Regiment Armory.

(Credit:
Sarah Tew/CNET)

NEW YORK — Today, more than 200 startups, most from the Big Apple, came together for the first NY Tech Day, their chance to show off their wares to a gathering of more than 1,000 press, investors, and members of the public.

While the companies’ offerings were diverse and rather uneven, there were some that stood out, and CNET did its best to pull together a list of the best that were on display:

FoundIt
FoundIt is a useful service with an analog approach. The idea is to help you recover lost belongings. By signing up, you receive a sheet of stickers, each with an ID number assigned to your FoundIt account. Affix a sticker to your phone, your wallet, or anything worth recovering, and the finder can contact FoundIt via a phone number or by entering your code number on FoundIt’s Web site. FoundIt then notifies the owner via text message or e-mail that the item has been located.

(Credit:
Sarah Tew/CNET)

The service starts at $9.99 for 12 stickers and a year of access to the FoundIt Web site. Depending on the preferences of the owner and the finder, FoundIt will either put both parties in touch directly, or it allows for anonymous exchanges, where the finder can direct the owner of a lost item to retrieve it at an intermediate site.

FoundIt says its stickers can survive a trip through the dishwasher or the washing machine. They also come in various sizes, as well as QR codes. You might not love the idea of a label marring the aesthetics of your
iPhone, but you’d probably also rather increase the odds that it will be returned to you if you ever misplace it.

Voicebunny
A service for content creators, Voicebunny is a spinoff of Voice 123, a Web-based voice-over booking service. By relying on Voice123′s network of more than 100,00 vocal talents, Voicebunny can turn around custom voice work in under five minutes.



Where Voice123 offers various ways for you to select and negotiate a fee with specific voice actors, Voicebunny is more automated. Simply type in a script, select a language and the general category of actor, suggest a few comments on the tone and you submit your order. Voicebunny routes it to its talent pool, and within five minutes or so you get an audio file.

Unlike Voice123, Voicebunny isn’t necessarily meant to disrupt the prevailing voice-over booking model. Rather, its aim is to make spoken content readily available to anyone that might want it, be it a blog, an informal video, or otherwise. Pricing is also variable. Enter a big bid to attract top talent and a fast turn-around time, or go low if you’re not too concerned with speed or quality.

As a quick test, this sample cost me $15 and it took about five minutes to show up in my in-box.

Voicebunny sample
Listen now:

And if you’re unhappy with the results, you can always reject the first take and try again.

TheMutual
TheMutual seems like the one discounting site that doesn’t smack of a sketchy business model or uninspired me-too-ism. Where TheMutual sets itself apart is through its charitable giving. Of your $10 monthly subscription fee, $8 goes to charity. You can choose to send your money to a single cause, or distribute it between a number of causes, all focused on environmental and sustainability issues.

In exchange for your fee, not only do you get that warm, altruistic glow, you also get to chose from TheMutual’s list of discounts, which it calls perks. Options include discounted material goods, but also discounted services, and admission to local events. TheMutual says because vendors can offer you deals from month to month, they will avoid the crush of entitled, one-time customers who can overwhelm businesses that use other discount promotions.

Solidoodle
Solidoodle founder Sam Cervantes worked for General Electric for four years before lending his engineering services to MakerGear, where he helped design the Mosiac 3D printer we built earlier this year. After a stint at MakerBot, Sam started his own 3D printer shop, Solidoodle.

Solidoodle is aiming for the budget niche of the 3D printer market. Where MakerBot’s Replicator sells for around $2,000, and a Mosaic build-it-yourself kit from MakerGear costs about $1,000, the Solidoodle sells pre-assembled for $499.

The Solidoodle has a smaller build area than the Replicator, and it can’t print in multiple colors. It also requires you to use the Skeinforge and Prongerface software, which offers a not insubstantial learning curve (note to 3D printer vendors: software usability should be high on your to-do list). Regardless, at $499, the Solidoodle is the most accessible 3D printer to date, pre-built or otherwise. I expect 3D Systems, which has mass market dreams for its $1,299 Cube 3D printer, will take note.

Yapp
These days, it seems just about everyone has built a mobile app. But while that’s not really true, Yapp wants to bring that perception to life.

Yapp is a mobile app development platform for the masses. The company’s idea is that anyone can — and should — be able to build their own app, and its tools are designed to make it possible.

In the early going — Yapp is in private beta right now — it is focusing on apps built around events. So users can create new apps for things like weddings, conferences, birthday parties, and the like. And Yapp thinks that most people will be able to build their new tool in about 10 minutes.

To be sure, these are not apps ready for the masses, but neither are they supposed to be. They’re not, for example, meant to be publicly available through Apple’s App Store or the
Android Market. Rather, these are apps that users will make available to their friends and family through e-mail invites, Web-based short URLs, or QR codes. Then, those people will run their new event app inside Yapp’s so-called “Yapp Box.”

With a wedding app, a bride and groom could give their guests a tool that lists any related events, like a bachelor party or rehearsal dinner, and their date, time, and address. At the same time, there could be a guestbook, where people can share their photos from the wedding, and a curated photo gallery where the bride and groom can post specific photos they want to share.

App designers have a series of themes to choose from and some stock design choices. Ultimately, Yapp apps will probably all share a common look and feel, but users probably won’t care.

Sleep Bot
Most people get less sleep than they need. That’s something that the folks behind Sleep Bot think they can help with.

Currently available for Android, Sleep Bot is a sleep management platform designed to help people track their daily sleep and come up with insight into their rest patterns.

Users start by “punching in” when they go to sleep, and punching out and rating their night’s sleep when they wake up. Essentially, the app keeps track of users sleep performance, letting them see things like how much they sleep from night to night, what time they go to sleep, and the hours they’re generally asleep.

The company is “working on” a motion tracking tool that integrates an accelerometer to gauge users’ tossing and turning during the night. Ultimately, the idea behind the app is that knowing their sleep patterns can help people sleep better, and be more productive.

My Stream
My Stream is an interesting take on music sharing. Essentially, it’s a digital, wireless version of headphone splitters, an iPhone app that lets people stream their audio files to nearby friends over a Bluetooth or Wi-Fi connection.

My Stream lets users share their songs and playlists with up to five people via Bluetooth and up to 30 people via Wi-Fi.

(Credit:
My Stream)

At any given time, users can share their music with up to five people over Bluetooth and up to 30 people over Wi-Fi. And in addition to sharing individual songs with friends, users can also share playlists from their iPhone. The app allows any combination of individual song plays and playlist plays, up to the limits of the wireless connection.

Artists and record companies may well like My Stream because all songs that stream through the service come with a Buy Now button, meaning that instead of getting no benefit when someone uses a headphone splitter, artists now have a way to make a little money off of users sharing their music.

Songza
If you like music, there’s a good chance you’ll like iPhone and Android, is that users can choose to listen to a wide array of custom, curated, playlists that have been vetted by music professionals. All playlists are more than three hours long, and users can choose from a very long list of genres.

A look at the general concept for Songza’s new concierge service, which it has just added to its existing personalized streaming playlists.

(Credit:
Songza)

With its new concierge service (for iPhone only), Songza is hoping to attract users looking for good music to come to them. Essentially, the tool takes the time of day into consideration and serves up suggestions for playlists that are deemed appropriate for certain kinds of situations, like dinner parties, working or studying, and even “between the sheets.”

Songza draws its playlists from a legal library of 18 million songs using the same license as Pandora, meaning that users can enjoy the music without worrying that the RIAA is going to kick down their door.

Article source: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/cnet/pRza/~3/_evq8LoI7C4/

The best of NY Tech Day, a showcase of New York startups


The first inaugural New York Tech Day, hosted by the 69th Regiment Armory.

The first inaugural New York Tech Day, hosted by the 69th Regiment Armory.

(Credit:
Sarah Tew/CNET)

NEW YORK–Today, more than 200 startups, most from the Big Apple, came together for the first NY Tech Day, their chance to show off their wares to a gathering of more than 1,000 press, investors, and members of the public.

While the companies’ offerings were diverse and rather uneven, there were some that stood out, and CNET did its best to pull together a list of the best that were on display:

FoundIt
FoundIt is a useful service with an analog approach. The idea is to help you recover lost belongings. By signing up, you receive a sheet of stickers, each with an ID number assigned to your FoundIt account. Affix a sticker to your phone, your wallet, or anything worth recovering, and the finder can contact FoundIt via a phone number or by entering your code number on FoundIt’s Web site. FoundIt then notifies the owner via text message or email that the item has been located.

(Credit:
Sarah Tew/CNET)

The service starts at $9.99 for 12 stickers and year of access to the FoundIt Web site. Depending on the preferences of the owner and the finder, FoundIt will either put both parties in touch directly, or it allows for anonymous exchanges, where the finder can direct the owner of a lost item to retrieve it at an intermediate site.

FoundIt says its stickers can survive a trip through the dishwasher or the washing machine. They also come in various sizes, as well as QR codes. You might not love the idea of a label marring the aesthetics of your
iPhone, you’d probably also rather increase the odds that it will be returned to you if you ever misplace it.

Voicebunny
A service for content creators, Voicebunny is a spin-off of Voice 123, a Web-based voiceover booking service. By relying on Voice123′s network of over 100,00 vocal talents, Voicebunny can turn around custom voicework in under five minutes.



Where Voice123 offers various ways for you to select and negotiate a fee with specific voice actors, Voicebunny is more automated. Simply type in a script, select a language and the general category of actor, suggest a few comments on the tone and you submit your order. Voicebunny that routes it to its talent pool, and within five minutes or so you get an audio file.

Unlike Voice123, Voicebunny isn’t necessarily meant to disrupt the prevailing voiceover booking model. Rather, its aim is to make spoken content readily available to anyone that might want it, be it a blog, an informal video, or otherwise. Pricing is also variable. Enter a big bid to attract top talent and a fast turn-around time, go low if you’re not too concerned with speed or quality.

As a quick test, this sample cost me $15, and it took about five minutes to show up in my inbox.

Voicebunny sample
Listen now:

And if you’re unhappy with the results, you can always reject the first take and try again.

TheMutual
TheMutual seems like the one discounting site that doesn’t smack of a sketchy business model or uninspired me-too-ism. Where TheMutual sets itself apart is through its charitable giving. Of your $10 monthly subscription fee, $8 goes to charity. You can choose to send your money to a single cause, or distribute it between a number of causes, all focused on environmental and sustainability issues.

In exchange for your fee, not only do you get that warm, altruistic glow, you also get to chose from TheMutual’s list of discounts, which it calls perks. Options include discounted material goods, but also discounted services, and admission to local events. TheMutual says because vendors can offer you deals from month-to-month, they will avoid the crush of entitled, one-time customers that can overwhelm businesses that use other discount promotions.

Solidoodle
Solidoodle founder Sam Cervantes worked for General Electric for twelve years before lending his engineering services to MakerGear, where he helped design the Mosiac 3D printer we built earlier this year. After a stint at MakerBot, Sam started his own 3D printer shop, Solidoodle.

Solidoodle is aiming for the budget niche of the 3D printer market. Where MakerBot’s Replicator sells for around $2,000, and a Mosaic build-it-yourself kit from MakerGear costs about $1,000, the Solidoodle sells pre-assembled for $499.

The Solidoodle has a smaller build area than the Replicator, and it can’t print in multiple colors. It also requires you to use the Skeinforge and Prongerface software, which offers a not insubstantial learning curve (note to 3D printer vendors: software usability should be high on your to-do list). Regardless, at $499, the Solidoodle is the most accessible 3D printer to date, pre-built or otherwise. I expect 3D Systems, which has mass market dreams for its $1,299 Cube 3D printer, will take note.

Yapp
These days, it seems just about everyone has built a mobile app. But while that’s not really true, Yapp wants to bring that perception to life.

Yapp is a mobile app development platform for the masses. The company’s idea is that anyone can–and should–be able to build their own app, and its tools are designed to make it possible.

In the early going–Yapp is in private beta right now–it is focusing on apps built around events. So users can create new apps for things like weddings, conferences, birthday parties, and the like. And Yapp thinks that most people will be able to build their new tool in about ten minutes.

To be sure, these are not apps ready for the masses, but neither are they supposed to be. They’re not, for example, meant to be publicly available through Apple’s App Store or the
Android Market. Rather, these are apps that users will make available to their friends and family through email invites, Web-based short URLs, or QR codes. Then, those people will run their new event app inside Yapp’s so-called “Yapp Box.”

With a wedding app, a bride and groom could give their guests a tool that lists any related events, like a bachelor party or rehearsal dinner, and their date, time, and address. At the same time, there could be a guestbook, where people can share their photos from the wedding, and a curated photo gallery where the bride and groom can post specific photos they want to share.

App designers have a series of themes to choose from and some stock design choices. Ultimately, Yapp apps will probably all share a common look and feel, but users probably won’t care.

Sleep Bot
Most people get less sleep than they need. That’s something that the folks behind Sleep Bot think they can help with.

Currently available for Android, Sleep Bot is a sleep management platform designed to help people track their daily sleep and come up with insight into their rest patterns.

Users start by “punching in” when they go to sleep, and punching out and rating their night’s sleep when they wake up. Essentially, the app keeps track of the user’s sleep performance, letting them see things like how much they slept from night to night, what time they go to sleep, and the hours they’re generally asleep.

The company is “working on” a motion tracking tool that integrates an accelerometer to gauge users’ tossing and turning during the night. Ultimately, the idea behind the app is that knowing their sleep patterns can help people sleep better, and be more productive.

My Stream
My Stream is an interesting take on music sharing. Essentially, it’s a digital, wireless version of headphone splitters, an iPhone app that lets people stream their audio files to nearby friends over a Bluetooth or Wi-Fi connection.

My Stream lets users share their songs and playlists with up to five people via Bluetooth and up to 30 people via Wi-Fi.

(Credit:
My Stream)

At any given time, a users can share their music with up to five people over Bluetooth and up to 30 people over Wi-Fi. And in addition to sharing individual songs with friends, users can also share playlists from their iPhone. The app allows any combination of individual song plays and playlist plays, up to the limits of the wireless connection.

Artists and record companies may well like My Stream because all songs that stream through the service come with a Buy Now button, meaning that instead of getting no benefit when someone uses a headphone splitter, artists now have a way to make a little money off of users sharing their music.

Songza
If you like music, there’s a good chance you’ll like Songza, a personalized streaming service that has been around for awhile, but which has just launched a new concierge feature.

The idea behind Songza, which is available for iPhone and Android, is that users can choose to listen to a wide array of custom, curated, playlists that have been vetted by music professionals. All playlists are more than three hours long, and users can choose from a very long list of genres.

A look at the general concept for Songza’s new concierge service, which it has just added to its existing personalized streaming playlists.

(Credit:
Songza)

With its new concierge service (for iPhone only), Songza is hoping to attract users looking for good music to come to them. Essentially, the tool takes the time of day into consideration and serves up suggestions for playlists that are deemed appropriate for certain kinds of situations, like dinner parties, working or studying, and even “between the sheets.”

Songza draws its playlists from a legal library of 18 million songs using the same license as Pandora, meaning that users can enjoy the music without worrying that the RIAA is going to kick down their door.

Article source: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/cnet/pRza/~3/8FJMlcaPJBc/

Should you buy a laptop now, or wait?

With Intel’s next-gen CPUs arriving late spring/early summer, and Windows 8 coming to new PCs sometime around October, it’s easy to recommend that laptop shoppers hold off on any new purchases until one or both of those are available.

Or, is it? We’ve opened up the question for point/counterpoint debate, with Scott taking the position that you should definitely not buy a laptop right now, and Dan saying we shouldn’t be slaves to a release calendar, and just buy what you want, when you want it.

Scott:

Of course you should wait for a laptop. Isn’t it clear? Intel’s Ivy Bridge processors are just around the corner. Nvidia has a new graphics platform for laptops. Windows 8 may still be a ways off, but the underlying hardware is set for a significant CPU upgrade in a matter of mere months, which will affect future Apple laptops as much as Windows ones.

Sure, you can buy a perfectly good laptop right now…but why would you, when the benefits of Ivy Bridge seem significant, especially for integrated graphics? I wouldn’t have recommended you buy an
iPad in February, and for the same reason I wouldn’t recommend you buy a laptop now, unless you don’t mind owning a product that feels outdated by May.

If you wait, you’ll get more computer for the same money. Plus, there’s a good chance that some significant redesigns will emerge, with thin ultrabooks on the rise and Windows 8 emphasizing touch screens and larger touch pads.

Dan:
The first thing you learn in this industry is that there’s always going to be something newer and better (and possibly more expensive) — and it’ll usually be released just as you’re pulling the shrink wrap off the gadget you just bought.

Case in point: on the very day last fall that Apple announced a series of modest MacBook Pro updates, a reader wrote in to ask if he should get the new model, or if an even newer one was right around the corner. My longtime rule of thumb has been: if you want or need something like a new laptop, just go out and get it. Otherwise, you’ll spend your entire life worrying about whether something newer or shinier is about to come out.

Besides, the next-gen Intel Core i-series processors don’t look like they’re going to be as revolutionary as the last leap. Integrated graphics will be better for casual gaming, but they’ve said that about every Intel update for years — and gaming still isn’t great on systems without a dedicated GPU. And, Windows 8 has some fun widgets and different views, but how many people do you know still rocking Windows XP (hint, a lot)? It turns out that an OS update is one of the things a lot of people find they can live just fine without.

(Credit:
Sarah Tew/CNET)

Scott:
When you’re this close to a new product release — as we are with Ivy Bridge, which should hit somewhere between late April and May — you’d kick yourself if you bought a last-gen model with less impressive specs for the same price. You get more each year, and not just in terms of processor: sometimes, that means more RAM or more hard-drive space for your money, too.

You can’t chase new technology forever, but don’t be stubborn and ignore an upgrade that’s literally around the corner. I guess if you’re desperate for a computer now and your laptop is just plain dead, go ahead. What’s the hurry, can’t wait a month or two? Newer operating systems and software have a way of eating up resources, and using them on new hardware, rather than installing them on your current system, can always help stave off the Spinning Wheel of Death just a bit longer.

Dan:
Yeah, Ivy Bridge is reportedly coming in April/May, but only for the high-end quad-core versions. The everyday computers are coming even later than that, and who knows when your favorite laptop is actually going to get an upgrade; some PC makers take six months or more to roll out new models.

Finally, here’s the unpleasant truth about most people’s laptop habits. Today’s laptops are more than enough for what you need. Last year’s laptops are also fine. You can probably even go back another year or two before that.

Why? Because you’re not doing genome sequencing or running a CGI render farm. You’re on Twitter. You’re sending a few e-mails. You’re watching Netflix. Maybe you’re playing the latest farm simulator on Facebook.

For years, people have bought too much laptop, and it’s time we all stop worrying about specs, and start worrying about finding a laptop that works for your lifestyle, whether it’s one that’s easy to type on, light enough to throw in your bag, or one that just looks cool.

What do you think?

Should someone in the market for a new laptop buy now? Or wait for next-gen CPUs or Windows 8? Vote in our poll, or let us know what you think in the comments section below.

Article source: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/cnet/pRza/~3/7Nzote3OTfo/

Illuminate your PC

February 2nd, 2012 No comments

Illuminate your PC – Part 1

This is the first part of a three-part guide on how to illuminate your PC. In the first part, we’ll be covering the basics then moving on to intermediate and advanced techniques. We’ll be taking a look at lighting to your PC using cathodes and LEDs and also talking about more advanced techniques such as using acrylic and making illuminated panels for your PC.

There are plenty of ways to add illumination to your PC, and if you haven’t tinkered with cathodes, LEDs or light strips yet, then you’re definitely missing out on a fun and rewarding way of making your PC unique and great to look at.

However, it’s not just a case of reaching for a bunch of cathodes and sticking them inside your PC. Following a few simple rules will mean your PC looks professional rather than giving the Las Vegas strip a run for its money. In essence, it’s more important to actually illuminate your hardware than to simply make your PC bright enough to be able to see the bones in your hand.

Decide on a colour.
The choice of colour is as important with PC lighting as it is with clothes or bedroom walls. Get it right and it looks great; get it wrong and your PC can often end looking much worse than before you started. Unlike clothes and bedrooms, though, it’s usually best to use just one colour and definitely avoid any lighting that offers rainbow effects or something similar.

*Illuminate your PC - Part 1 Illuminate your PC - Part 1 *Illuminate your PC - Part 1 Illuminate your PC - Part 1
Click to enlarge
Strictly speaking, white isn’t a colour, however white cathodes and LEDs are all the rage at the moment and are great for highlighting acrylic details. They’re also the best choice if you’re looking to build a super-clean system. Thankfully, they’re available in practically any guise, including LEDs, Cathodes and light strips meaning they’re as versatile as lighting of any other colour.

It’s also worth considering any details on your case. If it has red details, such as logos or switches, then opting for green or blue lighting is a bad idea. In general, the lighting should match these details, except of course for white lighting, which is pretty much universal. If your PC is water-cooled, the tubing or coolant colour should decide the colours of your lighting. The only exceptions to the rules may involve the use of UV lighting, but we’ll get to that later.

Which lights do I need?
This question may seem obvious, but there are many factors that you should consider before clicking the buy now button. The inside of modern PC cases can be very different – some are modularised, others have mid-sections, while others have huge gaping voids. For a uniform dousing of light for a large area, the humble cathode is a good choice, but LED-type lights offer more intensity, produce less heat and are more flexible.

*Illuminate your PC - Part 1 Illuminate your PC - Part 1
Click to enlarge

LED light strips are very popular at the moment and are much more flexible. They’re available in a variety of colours, including white and UV, with pre-made sets available from the likes of Phobya and BitFenix in its Alchemy range of modding gear, while lighting company Phenoptix offers customisable strips, which, if you’re up for a bit of soldering, you can chop to specific lengths.

Article source: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/bit-tech/modding/~3/VOveLHnzIxI/1

Article source: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/GamingRipplesWeb/~3/2G62jzkaCvM/

Buy now, if you dare: Microsoft takes orders for $8,400 table PC

November 18th, 2011 No comments

The second-generation Microsoft Surface unit, named SUR40.

The second-generation Microsoft Surface unit, named SUR40.

(Credit:
Microsoft)

Some 10 months after its introduction, Microsoft has opened up presales of its second-generation table computer.

Microsoft and Samsung today said the new unit, which starts at $8,400, is now available for preordering in 23 countries, with a release to follow in early 2012.

The computer, called SUR40, made its debut at the Consumer Electronics Show in January, and is Microsoft’s second attempt at large-scale multitouch computing. It sports a more powerful processor, new system software, and new sensor hardware that promises to make touch recognition more accurate.

Unlike the first-generation model, which worked with a combination of projectors, the newer model uses a flat-screen panel from Samsung that can be used horizontally, or mounted vertically on walls. As a result of the new design, the unit is cheaper than the first generation’s $12,500 price tag.

The technology that powers the touch recognition is called PixelSense. It uses 2 million sensors that have been built into the panel to pick up visible or infrared light. It’s not powerful enough to recognize something like a person’s fingerprint, but it gives the unit more accuracy when it comes to being able to differentiate users by the size of their fingers as well as where they’re sitting on the board.

SUR40 remains a specialty device aimed at businesses, as opposed to consumers, with a price tag that’s about twice the price of a top-end TV and computer. Earlier this year, initial customers were listed as Dassault Aviation, Fujifilm, Red Bull, Royal Bank of Canada, and Sheraton Hotels Resorts Worldwide.

Here I am getting a quick look at the SUR40 at
CES, shortly after its introduction:

Article source: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/cnet/pRza/~3/QZi0b-R5XrY/