Intel has officially unveiled a set of 22nm Ivy Bridge CPUs to be used specifically in its Ultrabook initiative. The dual core, hyper-threaded processors are designed for very slim and light notebooks that maintain a $1,000 price point, and arrive alongside a few new requirements that notebooks must follow in order to carry the Ultrabook label. The Ultrabook-specific generation of processors is named “Ivy Bridge DC,” CPUs with 17-watt power envelopes of the Core i5 and i7 variety. The processors have half the cores and half the last-level cache (3MB in the i5s and 4MB in the i7s) of previous Ivy bridge releases. TechReport notes that an Intel PR rep refused to disclose the usually available information about the chips’ transistor counts and die size, leading the outlet to guess that Intel is recovering quad-core Ivy Bridge chips by disabling half their cores and cache. TechReport’s ten-page article on the new processors and a prototype Ultrabook is well worth a read. The new i5-3427U is priced at $226, while the i7-3667U will cost $346 (the other two don’t yet have listed prices). Intel’s prototype Ultrabook using one of the new processors includes a 1600×900 13.3-inch display, 4GB RAM, and a 240GB solid-state drive, yet still weighs only 3.22 pounds. According to Intel, such a system should retail for $1,000-1,100 when the new Ivy Bridge Ultrabooks debut around June 5; we must say, a notebook like that would hit a lot of sweet spots for us. Intel hopes to reach price points as low as $599 with the new Ivy Bridge processors. Read more | Comments
Archive for May, 2012
It feels like it was just yesterday that I was downloading Fruit Ninja on a review unit of the iPad, swiping away at juicy watermelons and nearly-invisible kiwis. But the app has been around for a while — two years to be exact. And over the span of 24 months, Halfbrick’s deliciously addictive game has become so popular that it is now installed on 1/3 of the iPhones in the United States. The app has surpassed the 300 million download mark, with 1.5 trillion pieces of fruit sliced. But the crazy stats don’t end there. Every day, the cumulative time we spend playing Fruit Ninja over the course of 24 hours tops 100 years. Who knew slicing flying fruit would be such a sensation? That said, an update to the app is available now in the App Store, offering a few new features, fruits, and a virtual currency: Starfruit. Gutsu and his merchant cart are now acting as a marketplace, from which you can buy power-ups that let you add time, explode, or swat away bombs in exchange for Starfruit. In other words, expect to see both scores and in-app purchases go up in Fruit Ninja. Check out the video introducing Gutsu:
The crew of carriers that have been allowed to sell the iPhone has been growing steadily over the past few months, but today’s announcement from Cricket Communications wasn’t one most us expected to see any time soon. They revealed earlier this morning that they will start selling the iPhone 4 and 4S sans contract starting on June 22, making them the first prepaid carrier in the country to do so. If you’re not terribly familiar with Cricket or their plans, I can’t blame you — with roughly 7 million users, they’re the seventh largest wireless carrier in the United States behind the Big 4, MetroPCS, and U.S. Cellular. Nevertheless, they hope to rope budget-conscious customers in by offering the iPhones with their $55 Unlimited plan, though there’s a catch. Users will only be able to use 2.3GB of data bandwidth at full speed before getting throttled. Of course, when it comes to buying prepaid, the hardware is much more expensive since there’s no hefty subsidy to take the sting out of the price tag. In this case, an 8GB iPhone 4 will set customers back $399, while the 16GB iPhone 4S can be had for $499. Sadly, there’s no sign of the 32GB model anywhere, so people who take the plunge may have to be more thoughtful about what they throw on their new device. Nabbing the iPhone may seem like a coup especially for a carrier like Cricket, but rumors of the iPhone making its way to a prepaid provider have been brewing for years now. The prime suspect for a while was Sprint-owned Virgin Mobile, which makes sense considering the relationship we now know Apple and Sprint had at the time, but Cricket and parent company Leap Wireless seem to have been a more receptive target.
You’d be more than forgiven for not knowing who Klas Tybrandt is. The doctoral student at Linköping University is hardly a household name, but his latest creation may garner him some serious attention. The Swedish scientist has combined special transistors he developed into an integrated circuit capable of transmitting positive and negative ions as well as biomolecules. The advantage here is that, instead of simply controlling electronics, the circuits carry chemicals which can have a variety of functions, such as acetylcholine which the human body uses to transmit signals between cells. Implantable circuits that traffic in neurotransmitters instead of electrical voltages could be a key step in taking making our cyborg dreams a reality. We’re already counting down the days till we’re more machine than man. Bio-chemical circuits may make you a man of a machine originally appeared on Engadget on Thu, 31 May 2012 06:26:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds . Permalink | Phys.org | Email this | Comments
The background noise added to the audio version of Google’s reCAPTCHA didn’t include high frequencies, making it easy for histograms like this one to pinpoint the six distinct words included in each challenge. C-P, Adam, Jeffball Google revamped its reCAPTCHA system, used to block automated scripts from abusing its online services, just hours before a trio of hackers unveiled a free system that defeats the widely used challenge-response tests with more than 99 percent accuracy. Stiltwalker , as the trio dubbed its proof-of-concept attack, exploits weaknesses in the audio version of reCAPTCHA, which is used by Google, Facebook, Craigslist and some 200,000 other websites to confirm that humans and not scam-bots are creating online accounts. While previous hacks have also used computers to crack the Google-owned CAPTCHA (short for Completely Automated Public Turing test to tell Computers and Humans Apart) system, none have achieved Stiltwalker’s impressive success rate. “The primary thing which makes Stiltwalker stand apart is the accuracy,” wrote Adam, one of the three hackers who devised the attack, in an e-mail. “According to the lead researcher from the Carnegie Mellon study, the system we attacked was believed to be ‘secure against automatic attack,’” he added, referring to this resume from a Carnegie Mellon University computer scientist credited with designing the audio CAPTCHA. Read more | Comments
Gigabyte makes 975g X11 official, claims ‘world’s lightest’ 11.6-inch notebook (update: hands-on video)
Well hello there again, Gigabyte X11. Hot on the heels of yesterday’s leak , Gigabyte’s just made its 11.6-inch X11 laptop (or is that an Ultrabook?) official. At 975g (2.15 pounds) it claims the title of “lightest notebook on earth” — and weighs even less on Mars. Design-wise, you’re looking at a 16.5mm (0.65 inches) to 3mm (0.19 inches) thin Macbook Air-like body made of real carbon fiber (!) with an aluminum hinge. Under the hood you’ll find unspecified third generation Intel Core processors (read Ivy Bridge), 4GB of DDR3 RAM, Mobile Intel HM77 Express chipset with Intel HD Graphics 4000, a 128GB SSD, WiFi b/g/n and Bluetooth 4.0. Ports include power, USB 2.0 and mini DisplayPort on the left side plus microSD, combo audio and USB 3.0 on the right. While the specs also mention gigabit Ethernet, there’s no sign of it anywhere in the press shots. The display is a 1366×768-pixel LED-backlit affair dotted with a 1.3 megapixel webcam. A chiclet keyboard, buttonless trackpad and 4730mAh 7.4V Li-ion polymer battery (likely sealed) complete the package. There’s no word on availability, but prices will range from $999 to $1299 with Windows 7 Home Premium and Professional in tow. Expect more information when we get our hands on this sexy beast at Computex next week. Update: Our colleagues over at Engadget Chinese just got to spend some time with this svelte black slab. Take a look at the gallery below and hit the break for the hands-on video. Gallery: Gigabyte X11 hands-on Gallery: Gigabyte X11 press shots In addition, Gigabyte’s announcing two 14-inch laptops — the U2442 and U2440 — which feature third generation Intel Core processors and NVIDIA GeForce graphics. Unfortunately, we’re still busy drooling all over the X11 gallery, so we’ll direct you to the full PR after the break for the complete details. Andy Yang contributed to this report. Continue reading Gigabyte makes 975g X11 official, claims ‘world’s lightest’ 11.6-inch notebook (update: hands-on video) Gigabyte makes 975g X11 official, claims ‘world’s lightest’ 11.6-inch notebook (update: hands-on video) originally appeared on Engadget on Thu, 31 May 2012 03:35:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds . Permalink | | Email this | Comments
Ytai Ben-Tsvi’s IOIO board is quite the hit with the Android-hacking DIY crowd . But, that doesn’t mean there isn’t room for improvement on the $50 dev board. A second-gen version is in the works that adds the ability to connect to a computer as a USB device (not just as a host) or via Bluetooth, without the need for a intermediary controller like an Arduino. Perhaps most exciting for those interested in tinkering with DIY Android phone accessories, is the plan to cut the price of the new IOIO. How much less the next version will cost isn’t clear yet, but even just $5 could make a major difference. For more details check out Ytai’s blog post at the source link. Second-gen IOIO in the works: embraces the wireless revolution, cuts cost originally appeared on Engadget on Wed, 30 May 2012 17:55:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds . Permalink Make | Ytai Ben-Tsvi | Email this | Comments
Google scored an important win over Microsoft a few weeks ago when it won a $35 million U.S. government contract to bring its cloud-based office solution to the Department of the Interior. Microsoft’s legacy solutions, of course, remain a staple in government offices, but as more and more agencies want to move their productivity and collaboration services to the cloud, Microsoft is running the risk of losing out in this lucrative market. Today, however, the company is launching a new service that should give more of its government customers, which tend to have very strict data security and privacy regulations, the option to move to the cloud. Microsoft’s new Office 365 for Government is, in the company’s own words, “a new multi-tenant service that stores US government data in a segregated community cloud.” Google touted its ISO 27001 certification for Google Apps for Business last week, which Office 365 for Government also qualifies for. Just like its predecessor, the Business Productivity Online Suite Federal , Microsoft’s new service also supports a plethora of other certifications , including SAS70 Type II, the US Health Insurance Portability, Accountability Act (HIPAA) and the US Federal Information Security Management Act (FISMA) . Microsoft also plans to support Criminal Justice Information Security policies soon. The service will soon offer support for IPv6 as well. The major difference between Microsoft’s enterprise solution and this government cloud is that the government data lives on its own segregated infrastructure. Besides this – and the additional certifications – Microsoft’s government solution includes virtually the same services as the enterprise version, including Exchange Online, Lync Online, SharePoint Online and Office Professional Plus. Given that Microsoft’s enterprise solution is also now FISMA certified , this new service is mainly meant for agencies that have requirements beyond this certification.
Internet access as fast as a superhero. JD Hancock Verizon today said it will double its highest FiOS Internet speeds to 300 megabits per second. That’s faster than any cable offering, and faster than many of the wireless routers powering our homes. (If only FiOS was available in more places…) The new speeds will be available in June, and offer a big boost to both upload and download times across most FiOS service levels. The biggest increase percentage-wise comes in the 50Mbps tier, which will triple to 150Mbps, as you can see in this chart provided by Verizon: The vast majority of existing Verizon customers will be eligible for the upgrades. Unfortunately, Verizon may be stopping any major expansions of its FiOS infrastructure , so if cable and its 100Mbps max speed is your best option today it will likely stay your best option. But for existing customers, Verizon will provide free equipment upgrades (including faster routers) when necessary. Read more | Comments
Every year, Cisco issues its Visual Networking Index (VNI) to forecast the amount of data traffic that will be used worldwide. The latest VNI forecast shows a massive uptick in data usage, from the 369 Exabytes of IP traffic used worldwide in 2011 to approximately 1.3 zettabytes in 2016. According to Cisco, that rapid growth in data traffic will be driven by a proliferation of connected devices, ever-increasing broadband connectivity, and greater adoption of IP video worldwide. Let’s put that into perspective: According to Cisco, the amount of data in 2016 will be more than all the IP traffic transferred between 1984 and 2012. And the rate of increase Cisco forecasts between 2015 and 2016 alone (330 exabytes) is nearly equal to all the data transferred last year. So what’s driving that explosion in traffic? For one thing, an increase in the total number of devices that are connected to the Internet. With the proliferation of smart phones, tablets, connected TVs and other smart devices (think broadband-enabled washing machines, refrigerators and the like), folks are no longer just connecting to the Internet via PCs. In fact, the number of network connections is expected to grow from 10.3 billion in 2011 to 18.9 billion by 2016. That represents nearly 2.5 connections for each person on Earth. More importantly, those devices are chipping away at PC dominance for amount of data transferred. In 2011, PCs accounted for about 94 percent of all consumer Internet traffic. That’s expected to fall to 81 percent by 2016, according to Cisco. The total number of Internet users is poised to reach 3.4 billion by 2016, with ever-increasing broadband speeds increasing the average data usage among them. Cisco forecasts that the average fixed broadband speed will nearly quadruple, from 9 Mbps in 2011 to 34 Mbps in 2016. As has been the case for the last several years, the fastest growing traffic type will continue to be IP video, which is expected to make up 86 percent of all data traffic by 2016. Cisco forecasts that the amount of video delivered via IP will reach 3 trillion minutes per month in five years, which amounts to about two years (833 days) worth of video transferred every second. That growth is predicated on the number of IP video viewers doubling over the next five years, from 792 million viewers in 2011 to 1.5 billion by 2016. The massive growth in video online means that the influence of peer-to-peer file sharing will continue to decrease over time. While P2P files made up 77 percent of global consumer Internet traffic in 2011, that is forecast to fall to about 54 percent by 2016. That doesn’t mean actual file-sharing will decrease — in fact, traffic is expected to grow from 4.6 exabytes per month in 2011 to 10 exabytes in 2016. However, as a percentage of data usage, P2P traffic will grow much slower than video. Anyway, so here’s the caveat: Cisco has a lot riding on this tremendous growth in Internet data usage because Cisco sells a bunch of networking equipment. So it’s a good thing for Cisco if network operators see this report and decide they need to buy a bunch of new gear. That said, Cisco’s VNI forecasts have actually been pretty conservative relative to the amount of traffic that eventually showed up. In its initial VNI forecast of 2007, Cisco expected 28.4 exabytes of traffic per month in 2011, and that forecast ended up being low. Actual data transferred was 7 percent higher, or 30.7 exabytes per month.