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Mar 26, 2012

Huawei Ascend P1 Confirmed for Mid-April in China, Other Countries Soon to Follow




Unveiled back in January at the International Consumer Electronics Show, Huawei Ascend P1 is one of the slimmest Android smartphones, only 7.7mm thick.

Although the device was announced a few months ago, the Chinese company did not mention the exact release date of the Ascend P1. 

In the meantime, Huawei announced the Diamond series of smartphones, which includes top notch devices such as the Ascend D quad.

Anyway, it appears that the Huawei Ascend P1 will be launched on the market in mid-April, the folks at ePrice claim. Initially launched in China, the Ascend P1 will make its entrance in other countries soon afterwards. 

Huawei Ascend P1 will be shipped with Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich platform out of the box and a dual core processor clocked at 1.5 GHz. 

In addition, the smartphone packs an 8-megapixel rear camera, 1 GB of RAM, 4GB of ROM and microSD card slot (up to 32GB).


If Apple Sold You Water, You’d Probably Buy It




Here’s a nifty little poke at Apple’s iconic marketing materials that’ll make you drool over this simple bottle of H2O.

Actually, if you were to ask scoopertino.com, it’s not a simple bottle of water. It’s Water (Apple Water). The marketing pitch reads:

“If you’ve been drinking the juice, you’re ready to drink the water. Apple Water is designed especially for the Apple connoisseur: beautifully packaged, easy to drink, and perfectly overpriced. A magical blend of hydrogen and oxygen, Apple Water says everything they need to know about you.”

The product’s key features include instant waterfication, built-in display (a temperature sensitive logo that shifts from red to blue when the temperature is in Steve Jobs’ acceptable limits), molecular perfection, resistance, and more.

Interested parties would even be able to buy an accessory - the Apple-designed “cup” for just $29.99.

Note: this gag is rather old (note that it mentions the late Steve Jobs), but it’s still a fun piece, worth sharing.


HTC Wind Dual-SIM Smartphone with Android 4.0 ICS Gets Launched in China




It appears that HTC has different plans for the Chinese market. Although the handset maker confirmed it would produce less smartphones this year, it looks like HTC changed its mind.

After announcing its HTC One series of smartphones last month at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, the Taiwanese company promised that all devices will be available on the market within the next 60 days.

Most of HTC One series smartphones are already available for pre-order in various regions with an April release tag attached to it.

However, the folks over at UnwiredView have spotted an unannounced HTC device that doesn’t belong to the HTC One series, or at least it shouldn’t. The smartphone is known as HTC T328w Wind and will soon be available for purchase in China.

Rumor has it that HTC Wind features dual-SIM capabilities, but this has yet to be confirmed. It is also worth mentioning that the smartphone is priced a bit lower than expected, though its features are pretty nice.

The phone is now listed at ePrice for a suggested retail price of 2,000 yuan (315 USD or 240 EUR) off-contract. For the time being, there are no details regarding the phone’s exact release date or availability, but we doubt the HTC Wind will be launched outside China.

According to the leaked specs sheet, the Wind is powered by Google’s Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich operating system with HTC Sense 4.0 UI, and packs a 1 GHz single-core processor.

The insides of the smartphone are pretty standard with 512MB of RAM and 4GB of internal memory, as well as microSD card slot for memory expansion (up to 32GB).

On the back, HTC Wind sports a 5-megapixel photo snapper with autofocus and LED flash. The phone comes with Beats Audio, a 1650 mAh Li-Ion battery, as well as Wi-Fi and Bluetooth support.



iPad 3 Charge Meter Lies to Protect the Battery, Report Suggests




Following reports that the new iPad lies about reaching a 100% charge, ZDnet’s Adrian Kingsley-Hughes upholds that the iPad 3 battery meter is not acting up. He says it is a general misconception that the iPad 3 charge mechanism is flawed.

The indicator is actually doing you a favor, by not telling you when the battery is, indeed, at 100% charge, according to the man. He claims Apple displays the 100 percent charge indicator at a lower capacity, to keep the battery “safe and healthy.”

This is not the first time Apple has done this, he says, but it’s the first time people notice because the new iPad has a considerably larger battery, which takes more time to recharge.

“The battery on the new iPad is huge, with a total charge capacity of a massive 42Wh or measured another way a monstrous 11,666 mAh. A 3 percent safety margin for the iPad 2 battery would be equal to around 210 mAh, while the same safety margin for the new iPad would be equal to 350 mAh.”

The publication’s Jason D. O'Grady (who is convinced Apple will soon fix this via software update) cites Jon Fortt of CNBC as saying that ”Apple is saying… if you charge it more than [when the battery indicator reads 100%], you could actually harm the longevity of the battery.”

On its website, Apple has an entire section dedicated to Li-ion batteries, how you’re supposed to charge them, recycle them, etc.

For iPads in particular, Apple says the following: “For proper reporting of the battery’s state of charge, be sure to go through at least one charge cycle per month (charging the battery to 100% and then completely running it down).”

The company says nothing about damage to the battery, should the customer leave it plugged in for longer than necessary. However, it is a known fact that charging batteries for longer than necessary may result in damage, albeit minor.


Mysterious Motorola RAZR-Like Device Emerges as “Blade”




It looks like a new Motorola device has just surfaced online. The mysterious handset features a RAZR-like design and strongly resemblance the recently leaked DROID Fighter.

However, there are several differences between these two smartphones, which makes us believe this is not a Chinese version of the DROID Fighter. 

First of all, the unnamed device gets the secondary camera to the left of the in-call speaker, while the DROID Fighter has the front-facing camera placed to the right.

The back cover is much more prominent where the module camera is, which might suggest that this is an improved photo snapper in comparison with standard DROID devices available in the United States.

The photo snapper on the back is HD, and it could be 13-megapixel, the folks at Droid-Life claim. The information might be accurate especially if we take into consideration that Motorola already launched a Chinese version of the Motorola RAZR, which comes with a 13-megapixel camera.

The material used for manufacture seems to be the same solid KEVLAR fiber on the back, and Corning Gorilla Glass coating on the front, but these details have yet to be confirmed.

The pictures of phone have been published by Chinese site Phone HK, and the respective thread mentions the word “Blade,” which could be the smartphone’s codename.

No other detail on the phone’s specs sheet is available for the moment, but we can safely assume that this will be powered by Android 2.3 Gingerbread platform, with an Ice Cream Sandwich upgrade coming soon after launch.

It will probably be equipped with a dual-core processor, 1GB of RAM, and possibly 16GB amount of storage, which can be upgraded up to 32GB via microSD card slot.

There’s a high chance that this phone will be initially launched in the United States, soon followed by a Chinese release.



AdvancedIO Launches V5031 10GE Network Card




Financial markets can be a bit tricky to participate in over the web, due to latency and how delays can cost millions, so AdvancedIO decided to try and do something about it.

What the company created is a new and improved 10GE network card with four optical ports, advanced memory configurations and a scalable Stratix V FPGA.

Dubbed V5031, it is the fifth generation programmable product for use in risk control, trading strategies and running algorithms as close as possible to the network.

V5031 is based on Altera's 28nm Stratix V FPGA and goes beyond the performance limit of existing small form factor cards.

“AdvancedIO’s application-centric approach to providing real-time low latency solutions for the financial markets coupled with Altera’s latest 28-nm industry-leading FPGA technology is an impressive combination,” said Jeff Waters, senior vice president and general manager of Altera’s military, industrial and computer business unit. 

“We are pleased to work with AdvancedIO to deliver solutions that enable low latency trading and accelerate trading algorithms.”

AdvancedIO's V5031 will be showcased by the end of the month in Altera’s booth #112 at the Low Latency Summit in London on March 27, 2012. No other pricing or availability details exist, unfortunately.

“There is an insatiable demand for scalable processing density, lower latency, and ease of programming to offer creative financial services in a competitive environment,” said Mohammad Darwish, chief executive officer at AdvancedIO Systems. 

“Our technology has been proven to accelerate processing along the trade path and ultimately increase profit margins for our financial customers. We are excited about the possibilities.”

For more info on the product, go here and toss a look over the specifications (8-lane PCI Express 3.0, RoHS compliance, etc.).

“The V5031 card has a high-speed, low-latency transceiver interface that allows direct communication between two cards in the system without host intervention. This is particularly useful for applications requiring extensive processing. It also allows for a soft handover, an essential feature for high availability system design,” the company says.


AT&T HTC One X with Snapdragon S4 CPU Shines in Benchmarks




Back in February when AT&T confirmed plans to carry HTC’s One X high-end smartphone, everyone thought that the dual-core processor version will be outperformed by the international version that comes with a quad-core CPU.

However, it looks like an AT&T device tester was able to run some benchmarks which prove that the US-bound version of HTC One X is even more powerful than the international variant.

Those who are not familiar with the difference between the two devices should know that AT&T will offer the HTC One X equipped with a dual-core Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Krait processor clocked at 1.5 GHz, while the international model packs a 1.5 GHz quad-core Nvidia Tegra 3 CPU.

AT&T’s HTC One X was tested with Vellamo and Quadrant benchmarks and the results are impressive to say the least. The smartphone seems to have managed to outshine the Asus Transformer Prime tablet, which is equipped with a quad-core Nvidia Tegra 3 processor.

Unlike the international version which embeds 32GB of internal memory, AT&T’s HTC One X, comes with only 16GB onboard memory. It is also worth mentioning the latter sports 1GB of RAM and an Adreno 225 graphics processing unit.

On the positive side, the US-bound HTC One X is packed with LTE support, which is specifically designed to work on AT&T’s network.

Software-wise, the smartphone will be shipped with Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich operating system and HTC Sense 4.0 UI

Both versions of the smartphone boast the same impressive 8-megapixel rear camera, which features HTC ImagingTechnology, as well as autofocus, LED flash and full HD (1080p) video recording. There’s also a secondary 1.3-megapixel front facing camera for video calls.

AT&T will be launching the smartphone in mid-May as HTC One XL. There is no word regarding the handset’s price tag, but this one should be priced between $250 and $300 with a new two-year agreement.



Script: jQuery HTML5 Fullscreen Slideshow




This jQuery plugin creates true fullscreen image slideshows. By true fullscreen we are referring to the entire area of the screen, not just the viewport, which was first supported by the HTML 5 API.

For non compatible or really old browsers, when starting the slideshow, the image will be shown on the entire area of the viewport, using some simple jQuery magic.

The plugin works as designed for all Firefox 10+ and Google Chrome 15+ browsers. The plugin's homepage says it will probably work on Safari 5.1+, but when we tested it with Safari 5.1.3, the image showed up only on the viewport, so don't get your hopes up just yet.

The slideshow also supports some other features like the possibility to add a caption (text description) to the image, and side navigation controls (left and right arrows for switching the images).

See a demo of jQuery HTML5 Fullscreen Slideshow on its official website.

Download jQuery HTML5 Fullscreen Slideshow from here.


NEC's Tactile Touchscreen Lets You Feel What's on Screen




Senseg may have been the first company to make a touch panel capable of emulating the feel of things, granting tactile feedback, but NEC and the Tokyo Institute of Technology wanted something easier.

What they came up with was a fairly simple idea involving wires anchored on each corner of the display.

When force is being shown on the panel, the wires jerk the screen in the corresponding direction.

Obviously this idea is still in its beginning stages, and we imagine that durability isn't one of its strong suites.

We also figure the whole moving display will become noisy after a while.

Still, an idea is an idea, and we even have a video of the thing in action, courtesy of Diginfo, so we are definitely not going to complain about the concept.

Planex Releases Wall-Socket Wi-Fi Router




Nowadays, most homes have wired networks already in place, so Planex decided to do something for those people who want less cable clutter.

Out comes the MZK-KR150N, a WiFi b/g/n router that plugs into a wall socket.

More precisely, it runs on AC power and links to the worldwide web through and Ethernet cable.

The front of the product has an antenna, plus a downstream Ethernet cable, configuration buttons and LEDs.

The wireless connection reaches up to 150 Mbps, while the wired ports enable common 100 Mbps connections.

April is when sales will begin, for the price of 9,800 JPY, which translates into $118.4 / 89.24 Euro.

Eventually, the company may start shipping a version with two downstream Ethernet ports. There does seem to be a blank socket on the front after all.


ASUS Launches the Z9PE-D8 WS Wonder Motherboard




ASUS has officially announced the latest member of their famous WS-Line of motherboards: the Z9PE-D8 WS. This is a dual LGA 2011 socket monster and packs no less than 7 PCI-Express x16 slots along with eight DDR3 DIMM slots, four for each CPU on the mainboard.

Out of the seven PCI-Express x16 Slots, 4 of them work at full 3rd Generation PCI-Express x16 speed and are colored in blue while  two of the 3 black ones are 2nd Generation PCI-Express x8. The bottom one is PCI-Express 2.0 operating at x4.

The eight DDR3 DIMM slots support up to 256 GB of RAM and the seven PCI-Express x16 slots ensure compatibility with AMD’s CrossFire and Nvidia’s SLI technologies.

You need Registered memory for a full 256GB of RAM configuration but if you manage to keep it under 64GB you can even overclock it to 2133 MHz.

The motherboard has 6 SATA III 6Gbps ports along with 8 SATA2 3Gbps ones controlled in part by Intel’s C602 chipset (2 SATA III ports and 8 SATA2 ports with support for RAID 0,1,5 and 10). Also used is Marvell’s PCIe 9230 controller (4 SATA III ports with support for RAID 0,1 and 10). There are two Gigabit Ethernet ports as well, controlled by Intel’s 82574L chip.

An ASMedia controller takes care of four USB 3.0 ports and the rest are likely handled by Intel’s own chips.

Surprisingly the board still carries a PS/2 keyboard/mouse combo connector along with two internal COM connectors and eight FAN headers, six for the chassis FANs and two for the CPU FANs.

The motherboard is quite large and you need a case compatible with the EEB Form Factor to fit its 30.5 x 33 cm size.




SAMSUNG’s Exynos 5 CPU Is Ready




The new ARM-based design from Samsung is called Exynos 5 and it is a true A15 Core solution on 32nm. Unlike Qualcomm’s SnapDragon S4 that can be characterized as being “A15-like,” the Exynos 5 is a Direct A15 Core.

The Korean company did not want to experiment with 28nm manufacturing process just yet, fearing difficulty with low yields and low scalability. Instead it went for their tried and true 32nm process and managed a 2GHz clock speed that’s even faster than what Qualcomm managed to get out of TSMC’s 28nm process for their SnapDragon S4 chips that rage between 1.5GHz and 1.7 GHz.

The Dual Core 32nm chip is based on Samsung’s High-K Metal Gate (HKMG) process and, despite being bigger, it’s stable enough to reach such high working frequencies.

The GPU inside Exynos 5 is a T-604 MP4 “Mali” design that’s also designed by ARM Holdings and is capable of offering around 60 fps or 3D gaming and support 8MP cameras at 30 fps. Samsung’s chip will support WQXGA resolution of 2560x1600 and will be competing with PowerVR SGX543 from Imagination Technologies.

So the GPU will play in the same league as the iPAD3 GPU while the CPU will show much better performance in single or dual threaded mobile applications that are, basically, most of them.

The Exynos 5 ARM CPU is expected to appear in tablets and low-end PCs rather than smartphones although some lower clocked variants might end up in some bigger phones like the next Galaxy Note.

While we are eager to see what kind of PC will use Samsung’s Exynos 5 CPU, we wonder what kind of performance Qualcomm’s recently demoed 2.5 GHz Krait based SnapDragon S4 will offer.



Linux Kernel 3.2.13 Is Available for Download




Greg Kroah-Hartman announced a few days ago, on March 23rd, the immediate availability for download of the thirteen maintenance release of the stable Linux kernel 3.2 series.  
  
Linux kernel 3.2.13 includes a few important fixes for the AFS, Perf tools and PowerPC, as well as networking IPv6/IPv4, iwl3945 and nilfs2 fixes. 
  
"I'm announcing the release of the 3.2.13 kernel. All users of the 3.2 kernel series must upgrade." 
  
“The updated 3.2.y git tree can be found at: git://git.kernel.org/pub/scm/linux/kernel/git/stable/linux-stable.git linux-3.2.y and can be browsed at the normal kernel.org git web browser: http://git.kernel.org/?p=linux/kernel/git/stable/linux-stable.git;a=summary" - said Greg KH in the email announcement
  
Just like previous releases, Linux kernel 3.2.13 is a must-grab update for all users of the Linux 3.2 kernel stable series. 
  


Samsung Galaxy Tab 11.6 Pictured. Maybe




There have been murmurs about a new tablet for the Samsung Galaxy Tab 11.6 series, murmurs that picked up in volume not too long ago. 

Granted, it still isn't known if the alleged Galaxy Tab 11.6 will ever actually become reality. 

Still, people are watchful of what they consider important, and this applies here as well. 

Long story short, a photo of an unreleased tablet has made its way to the web somehow. 

In looks, it resembles the Galaxy Tab 2, the one showcased at the Mobile World Congress. 

The photo actually first showed up on the product page of the Exynos 5250, which is the chip expected to power the galaxy Tab 11.6, hence the assumption that the one in the photo is it. We'll keep an eye out for anything new.


17W TDP Sandy Bridge Based Celeron Coming in Summer




Intel plans to release two new mobile CPUs in Q3 2012, the first one being named Celeron 887 Mobile, with a 1400MHz working frequency, and the second one being a 100MHz "faster" Celeron 807.

It comprises two cores with no HyperThreading involved along with 2 MB or cache memory. As expected, it has Intel HD Graphics built-in and it supports DDR 1333 MHz memory. It can clock its iGPU from 350MHz to 1Ghz  according to the task it is working on.

The CPU is part of Intel’s Ultra-Low voltage family and it will end up inside entry level mobile solutions.

The other mobile CPU in Intel’s future Ultra-Low voltage line is the Celeron 807. Regardless of the numbering scheme that might lead you to believe this CPU is just a lower-clocked Celeron 877 or even cache-deprived, this one is seriously handicapped as it has only one core working at 1500MHz.

It’s certainly 100MHz faster and even supports HyperThreading, but lacking the second core, this one will seriously be underperforming when compared with its Celeron 877 brother. The cache has also been cut to 1.5 MB. The CPU comes with no turbo support although it can alter its iGPU frequency between 350MHz and 950MHz.

Intel claims that the 877 model is 47 percent faster than its 807 little brother and we definitely believe them as half the cores and minus 25% of the cache in 807 cannot be compensated by the 7% increase in working frequency.


Intel's Valleyview Atom SoC to Have Multiple Versions




We learned about the Valleyview system-on-chip devices from Intel a few days ago, but the information was sparse, to say the least. 

VR-Zone managed to provide some actual details on the product series, starting with the correct spelling of the brand name. 

At least, we guess it is the correct spelling. Initially, the SoCs were called Valley View but now the report writes the name in a single word: Valleyview. 

Then again, this is not all that important in the end, since the chips will still be called Atom. 

Valleyview (really Valleyview 2) is actually the name of the Atom core, not the SoC itself. The latter is named Bay Trail in fact. 

There will be two versions of Bay Trail, neither of which is intended for consumers. 

There might eventually be a third, user-friendly one somewhere down the line (Atom N or Atom D), but that is pure speculation now. 

One of the planned SoCs is optimized for in-car infotainment systems, while the other is for standard desktop-style applications (and we don't mean standard PCs here). 

Two or four cores will be available, all of them created with the 22nm manufacturing process technology. 

The performance will be about four to seven times superior to the Atom E600, which wasn't really much to be honest. The PowerVR SGX 535 core only reached 400 MHz after all. 

Still, it's a leap and it also bears noting that many chipset features have been integrated into the Valleyview as well. 

Intel will even develop some versions of the SKU with the MIPI-DSI display interface and the MIPI-CSI camera interface. 

This all boils down to a healthy spec list: four PCI Express 1.0 lanes, two SATA 3.0 Gbps ports, SDIO support, four USB 2.0 ports, two USB 3.0 connectors, Gigabit Ethernet, DisplayPort, eDP and HDMI. 

Finally, though most SKUs will handle DDR3L memory (up to 8 GB) and even ECC (error-correcting code, only in single-channel), the ones for battery-based electronics will only support LPDDR2. Once Valleyview start shipping, the Santa Clara company may decide to phase out its Celeron series.


The Battle for 14nm Manufacturing Begins




The first publicity blow of showing a series 14nm silicon wafer belonged to IBM this year. SemiAccurate’s Charlie is reporting that, in the second week of March, the company has showed one of their first 14nm silicon wafers containing IC dies. 

The piece is certainly a test wafer and the chips on it have not been identified, but IBM has something to show for while Intel’s FinFETs are still a while away from manufacturing.

The VP of IBM’s Semiconductor Research & Development Center, Gary Patton said, at the Common Platform Technology Forum two weeks ago, that the company would use SOI technology for all of its 14nm products, including its own server products as well as for their Fab clients.

Samsung also showed a 14nm wafer last week. Unlike IBM’s new tech, Samsung’s is High-k FinFET based just like Intel’s will be.

The Korean giant has also shown a 20nm wafer, a whole year after IBM first came up with such a technology. It’s not FinFET but it is here now.

Intel promises it will start making 14nm chips in 2013 but, as expected, they won’t have anything to do with any x86 design as more fine tuning is needed working on simpler designs before moving a huge 3 billion transistor design on a new manufacturing process.

Intel’s first tape out might be a 4G LTE design that should ensure a low power envelope for a future smartphone chip that might go along with an x86 design to help make x86 a worthy competitor with its ARM counterparts.

Next to the table will probably be Toshiba, with a new process miniaturization for new flash cells, but there’s no word on that yet.


Nokia Belle FP2 Disappoints in HTML5 Benchmark, Tizen OS Outshines All Other Platforms




Nokia announced it would continue to support its Symbian operating system, especially after the Finnish company launched several smartphones that are meant to strengthen its proprietary OS market share.

Although the company decided to outsource the development of Symbian software and support activities to Accenture, Nokia included the transfer of 2,800 employees in the deal. Nokia employees transferred are to focus solely on developing and supporting Symbian software.
 
In the meantime, the Finnish handset maker decided to change the new platform’s name to Nokia Belle. The next-generation operating system was launched on the market along with several new smartphones, such as Nokia 603, 700 and 701.

Nokia also confirmed that these smartphones would receive a Belle FP1 update sometime in the summer. In this regard, it is also worth mentioning that Nokia 808 PureView will be shipped with Belle FP1 out of the box.

However, it appears that Nokia is already testing the Belle FP2 update, though it’s not clear what new features it will bring. We already know that Nokia Belle FP1 will improve Nokia 603, 700 and 701 CPUs speed.

A recently leaked benchmark for HTML5 shows disappointing results for Nokia Belle FP2 platform tested on a Nokia 701. The list of mobile platforms tested, Tizen OS is in the lead with 387 points followed by Blackberry 10 with 361 points. 

Unfortunately, Nokia Belle FP2 is last with only 242 points. Chrome Beta is third with 343 points, Firefox Mobile on fourth with 318, and on the fifth, outperforming Belle FP2, is Windows Phone 8 with 298 points.

Keep in mind that this HTML5 benchmark only includes results from mobile platforms that are currently in development or beta. This means that they are likely to receive further enhancements, which will improve their benchmark scores. Stay tuned for more updates on the matter.



Apple, Bring Back "Save As" in OS X Mountain Lion




Apple has a mission with OS X Mountain Lion, whether it likes it or not. It has to bring back some of the features that made people fall in love with the Mac. And that also includes one fundamental function in computing called “Save As.”

We published a feature piece on OS X Lion last year highlighting a surprising change in the operating system – the removal of "Save As" from a number of first-party applications, including Preview, and TextEdit.

As it was expected, Apple fans quickly took to the comments to explain how this omission thwarted their workflow.

Everyone had an example of how they used Preview to quickly save a photo with a different name, or how they employed TextEdit to quickly edit documents, then save to a specific location, with a specific name.

In OS X Lion, then the just-released Mac OS, they could no longer do this. Worst of all, Apple never gave anyone any warning that Save As would be removed. The upgrade to the new OS was (and still is) $29.99.

One of the last comments we received should really strike a chord in Cupertino. And not in a pleasant manner either.

reader Namban writes…:

Finally moved to Lion last night.

A Mac Lombard was my first computer and I have owned nothing but Macs since and have advised many, many people to switch to them. Today, I apologized publicly for that.

Mac was a wonderful thing for many years, but that was when "think different" meant something. Now, Mac stands for, "don't think- we'll do it for you". I work with images and Lion has completely destroyed my workflow. No more "save as", really?

So far the replacement, "save a version" has destroyed an original photo and caused what could be done with a click to need several files and many clicks to accomplish.

Finder no longer tells me how many files are selected, or how much space is available on the drive. That is important to me. So far, I've run into a bunch of stuff like that, little irritants with the potential to do real damage, like losing files. Sure, I can learn new workflows, but the point is Apple has veered off in a direction I don't like and won't get better.

If I have to learn new stuff, might as well do it going in a positive direction. Blending Mac OS with iOS will just result in a sugary little toy that looks cute in a coffee shop, but is incapable of doing any actual work. It's been a fun ride, Mac, but the bus is filling up with Bozos and it's time to hop off. I upgraded to Lion because I was about to buy an iPad, but those bucks will go to a new laptop running a Linux distro instead.

While Namban's approach may seem rushed, there are numerous Mac users out there who feel the same. Many of them can be found in the same thread in which Namban wrote his own thoughts on the matter.

With the upcoming arrival of OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion this summer, Apple has a chance to correct this mistake by re-including Save As in the File options.

Mountain Lion is shaping up to become a truly amazing operating system by stitching core features from iOS with the best of desktop computing.

It would be great to see “Save As” re-enabled in the next developer preview of OS X 10.8. This way Apple would also ensure that customers like Namban don’t jump ship before Mountain Lion is released to the public.

A screenshot taken in OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion Developer Preview 1 ("Save As" missing)

NVIDIA Dares Intel to Start Making Chips for ARM Designers




NVIDIA’s sparring with Intel has been well publicized in the last few years. NVIDIA claims their GPUs do a much better job than Intel’s FPUs and Intel is fighting back with better iGPUs and software integration. 

Ever since Intel decided not to allow NVIDIA to make chipsets for their new-generation CPUs some years ago and then basically shut NVIDIA’s  solutions out of their market as Intel’s own CPUs gained GPU capabilities, the two companies have been involved in a serious boxing match.

In the dawn of the first battle, NVIDIA even got a 3 billion dollar payment from Intel and then both signed an agreement. So there is serious friction between the companies.
  
Now, NVIDIA’s Jen-Hsun Huang has been quoted by HotHardware as saying, “Why not be a foundry for all the mobile companies? There’s no shame in that!” Of course, Intel has started manufacturing chips for third party chip designers as they have huge manufacturing capacity and it shouldn’t go idle.

But these chip designers, that are using Intel’s fabs, are mostly FPGA builders and they are in no direct competition with any of Intel’s products.

Companies like Achronix and Tabula build FPGAs (Field Programmable Gate Arrays) are not in the same market with Intel’s Atom line of products while NVIDIA’s Tegra line is a direct competitor and a very successful one at that.

The Tegra designs usually surpass most of the capabilities displayed by their Intel counterparts. Either their graphics processing is better or their power consumption is lower and, most importantly, they’re not held back by the x86 instruction set.

Most industry insiders believe that Intel is not doing it for the money, but rather to keep close any technology or IP that might be interesting for them to license or to acquire.

 With Oualcom’s new Krait design and NVIDIA’s new Tegra 3 / 4 + 1 , Intel could never let all those billions invested in the Atom project go to waste and start building better performing parts designed by its competitors.


Colorful GTX 680 iGame Kudan Graphics Card Pictured




Even though it has already been several days since the official launch of NVIDIA's GeForce GTX 680, there seems to be no stopping the downpour of custom models. 

Then again, this is not so much a report concerning a new video board, but a rumor about a model that has yet to come forth. 

Much like Galaxy, Colorful is developing a special iteration of the Kepler-based graphics card. 

It will be called GTX 680 iGame Kudan and will use the best air cooler that the company has in its collection. 

Called iGame Kudan (hence the card name), the cooling solution is actually modular, meaning that owners can modify it themselves, to some extent. 

The heatsinks can be handled independently (the VRM and memory can be covered with their own) and even the color can be changed (a pastel set is included). 

As people will have surmised by now, Colorful won't waste its best cooling technology on a reference-specced board. 

Unfortunately, though we can say for certain that factory overclocking will be involved, we don't know how much faster than the stock speeds the GPU, shaders and memory will work. 

We presume it won't be in the 2GHz range, but that's just fine, since buyers will get all they need to tweak the performance on their own. 

Speaking of which, the Colorful GTX 680 iGame Kudan will get an 8-phase digital VRM that can be augmented with a 4-phase circuit, through a daughterboard attached to a modified So-DIMM slot. 

The daughterboard lies at the back of the product, parallel to the plane of the PCB. 

People familiar with the company will know that Colorful only sells video controllers in Asia and Europe, so US citizens will have to look for alternatives. 

For the reference specifications that the Kudan seeks to leave in the dust, go here, where we covered the formal release of NVIDIA's invention.




IBM Power 7+ Pictured




IBM is still the packaging king as they’ve been for the last decade or so. They were first to the market with a really big MCM module of “bubble memory” back in the ’70, a huge MCM server design using their Power5 architecture in 2003, and now they are back with a new packaging technology.

On Friday, Charlie Demerjian’s camera from SemiAccurate caught eye of IBM’s new baby, fully exposed. 

The chips pictured here are part of the new Power7+ family and they are, from left to right: four P7+ CPU dies mounted on an interposer with no lid; four P7+ CPU dies with organic packaging, also without lid; and, on the right, one unnamed stacked die with and without the heat spreader. 

Nobody else can show such advanced technology on such a grand scale right now, so IBM is once again on the forefront of silicon IC design. 

It is said that the interposer is an active part that can integrate substantial amounts of eRAM  communicating on a very wide bandwidth.


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