New advancement in nanotechnology could help keep gadgets juiced without wall chargers

New advancement in nanotechnology could help keep gadgets juiced without wall chargers

By on June 23, 2011 at 8:03 PM.

What if you could charge your phone by simply tapping on the touchscreen display — never having to worry about plugging it in — or add more juice to your laptop every time you typed? New developments in piezoelectric technology at the RMIT University in Melbourne, Australia have brought those dreams closer to a reality. Researchers there have been able to create a new thin piezoelectric film that is capable of turning those taps, or “mechanical pressure,” into electricity. “The power of piezoelectrics could be integrated into running shoes to charge mobile phones, enable laptops to be powered through typing or even used to convert blood pressure into a power source for pacemakers – essentially creating an everlasting battery,” lead co-author, Dr. Madhu Bhaskaran, said in the report, which was published in the July issue of Advanced Functional Materials. The technology isn’t quite there yet; Bhaskaran said that the next step will be using the piezoelectric materials to generate enough electricity to actually power our devices, and then building them into “low-cost, compact, structures.” We’re dreaming up super thin devices with minuscule batteries that are always on, but the report didn’t suggest how long it will take for that fiction to become fact. More →

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Apple introduces updated Time Capsule, now with 3TB of storage

Apple introduces updated Time Capsule, now with 3TB of storage

By on June 21, 2011 at 9:00 AM.

Apple just took the wraps off of its new 3TB Time Capsule automatic wireless backup hard drive. The company said that it will continue to offer a 2TB version of its Time Capsule alongside the new 3TB version, and it doesn’t look like there are any other differentiating specs. Apple appears to have also quietly updated its Airport Extreme product with support for up to 450Mbps file transfers over both 2.4GHz and 5GHz frequency bands, and the website has also been refreshed a bit. The 2TB Time Capsule drive is now available for $299 and the new 3TB model will set you back $499.

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New Motorola Televation enables live-streaming TV around your home

New Motorola Televation enables live-streaming TV around your home

By on June 14, 2011 at 6:30 AM.

Motorola Mobility announced the Televation on Monday, a new device that plugs into a Wi-Fi router and uses your home network to stream live television to connected IP devices. Once it’s plugged into a router, it will automatically translate programming from MPEG-2 to MPEG 4 and match a device’s resolution to display content properly. Motorola is also providing Android and iOS SDKs so that its customers will be able to develop custom applications for finding shows and other content offered by cable providers. “Consumers love entertainment, and want easy access to TV no matter where they are in the home,” said John Burke, senior vice president and general manager, Converged Experiences, Motorola Mobility. “Coupled with the explosive popularity of tablet devices, this represents a terrific opportunity for MSOs [multiple system operators, or cable companies] to increase customer satisfaction while generating new revenue.” Unfortunately, it sounds like Televation will not be a direct-to-consumer product, and will instead be offered to Motorola’s cable partners, so pricing has not yet been announced. Hit the jump for the full press release. More →

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Sony PlayStation Vita hands-on!

Sony PlayStation Vita hands-on!

By on June 7, 2011 at 6:20 PM.

We’re here at E3 2011 in Los Angeles and we just got our hands on Sony’s brand new PlayStation Vita — its next-generation portable gaming console — and we’re impressed with what we’ve seen so far. Games were crystal clear in HD and the device was light, but large enough to feel like we were getting a great immersive gaming experience. It’s probably a bit too big for most pockets, but it will be perfect in a backpack. Also, you’ll probably note the fingerprints in some images — the device is definitely a grease magnet. The controls all felt snappy and they didn’t depart too much from the previous-generation PSP, which is a good thing. Unfortunately, the demo units we played with were locked in game-only mode, which meant we couldn’t back out to check out the other pre-installed applications, the default user interface, or the web browser, so we’ll definitely want to revisit that in the future. The Vita will land for $249.99 but there will also be a 3G version available from AT&T for $50 more. Sadly, we still don’t know when it will launch, but the good news is the gaming already feels top notch. Be sure to check out our hands-on photo gallery below!

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Hands on with Nintendo’s new Wii U controller

Hands on with Nintendo’s new Wii U controller

By on June 7, 2011 at 4:00 PM.

We just stormed the show floor at E3 and strong-armed a few people to get right up close and personal with Nintendo’s brand new Wii U controller. The demo game required a lot of movement on the user’s part — there was a lot of shaking involved with controlling the character on the screen — but the interaction definitely looked like nothing we’ve seen before. The large touchscreen display was bright, too, and the controls are all comfortably within reach of your thumbs. We dig the white color of the controller as well, and it absolutely looks like a substantial high-end device. Hit the gallery below to see the rest of our hands-on images!

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Intel discusses new ‘Ultrabook’ notebooks, Atom roadmap

Intel discusses new ‘Ultrabook’ notebooks, Atom roadmap

By on May 31, 2011 at 7:53 PM.

During the Computex trade show in Taiwan on Tuesday, Intel’s executive vice president Sean Maloney discussed a new category of laptop computers called “Ultrabooks” that Intel says will dominate 40% of the consumer market by the end of next year. Ultrabooks will blend the performance of today’s laptops with a tablet-like experience in a thin and light product, and the first such product is ASUS’ brand new UX21 laptop, which is due out by the 2011 holiday season. Initially, Ultrabooks will be powered by Intel’s latest Core processors, but they will also be powered by the firm’s new 22nm Ivy Bridge processor by the first half of next year. By 2013, Ultrabooks will be powered by Intel’s next generation “Haswell” processors. Maloney also said that its Atom processor family will “outpace Moore’s law” and that Intel will accelerate the processor from 32nm through 22nm to 14nm in just three years. The move will allow for more powerful and more battery-efficient Atom processors for tablets, netbooks, and smartphones. The firm also said that Android and MeeGo tablets running its Medfield processor will hit the market during the first half of 2012, and that Medfield will enable sub-9mm designs and products that weigh under 1.5 pounds. Hit the jump for Intel’s full press release. More →

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NVIDIA CEO says tablet sales will surpass notebook PC sales in five years

NVIDIA CEO says tablet sales will surpass notebook PC sales in five years

By on May 31, 2011 at 6:11 PM.

During the Computex tradeshow in Tapei, NVIDIA’s CEO Huang Jen-hsun said that sales of tablet PCs will surpass notebook sales in five years, Taiwan Economic News reported on Tuesday. It’s certainly no secret that NVIDIA hopes to profit off of that market shift — the firm already has its dual-core Tegra 2 chip in a number of tablets and phones from Motorola, LG, Samsung, Acer, and ASUS — and NVIDIA’s chief said that 14 of the top 20 global wireless carriers currently sell devices powered by its Tegra mobile processor. NVIDIA has already started showing off the power of its next-generation Kal-El quad-core mobile processor, too, but Hung says the company won’t stop there. It’s charging forward and will roll out a total of three new GPU models featuring a 28nm process technology between 2012 and 2014. The next chips are codenamed Wayne, Logan, and Shark. More →

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Rockstar suggests Sony’s latest PS3 firmware update is causing console to overheat

Rockstar suggests Sony’s latest PS3 firmware update is causing console to overheat

By on May 19, 2011 at 1:54 PM.

As if Sony didn’t have enough issues to deal with, Rockstar, the developer behind hits like Grand Theft Auto and L.A. Noir, is reporting that the latest 3.61 firmware update for the Sony PS3 is causing units to overheat. “We have received some reports of PS3s overheating while playing L.A. Noire or beeping three times before shutting down / turning themselves off, mostly on older 60GB and 80GB fat models,” Rockstar customer service team said on its support page, as reported by MCVUK. The developer suggested that the problem is not limited to L.A. Noir and that gamers are experiencing the same issue on other titles — the red light or PS3 freeze usually occurs 30 minutes to 2 hours into gameplay. Hit the jump for a statement from Rockstar’s customer service, which the company has clarified is not official.
More →

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Intel Medfield powered smartphones coming next year, CEO says

Intel Medfield powered smartphones coming next year, CEO says

By on May 17, 2011 at 5:01 PM.

According to Reuters, Intel’s CEO Paul Otellini confirmed that smartphones powered by Intel’s Medfield mobile processor would land next year. Otellini also denied earlier rumors that Intel might include ARM technology in future chips. “There’s no advantage going in there, we’d be beholden to someone else, beholden to ARM. We’d pay royalties to them so it would lower the overall profits,” Otellini explained during Intel’s annual investor meeting in California. Intel’s Atom processors have been used in tablets and netbooks, but the firm has been noticeably absent in the smartphone market, which has been dominated by ARM, Qualcomm, NVIDIA, Texas Instruments, and Samsung. “With Medfield we’re in the power envelope for phones … We’re working with several customers and we start to expect to see the revenue ramp toward the end of this year,” Intel’s CFO Stacy Smith said. More →

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Intel intros ‘Ivy Bridge’ processors with 3D transistors

Intel intros ‘Ivy Bridge’ processors with 3D transistors

By on May 5, 2011 at 9:58 PM.

Intel recently took the wraps off of its new “Ivy Bridge” platform that includes new 22nm 3D “Tri-Gate” transistors, as opposed to a traditional flat-circuit design. The new transistors will help chips run more efficiently at lower voltages, and Intel says the platform should offer up to a 37% increase in performance compared to its 32nm transistors. Ivy Bridge will make its debut in PCs and servers by the end of this year, Reuters said, although Intel also has plans to use 3D Tri-Gate transistors in mobile chips, too. More →

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Apple’s new iMac gets torn open; same LG display spotted

Apple’s new iMac gets torn open; same LG display spotted

By on May 4, 2011 at 9:11 PM.

The crew over at iFixit — torx screw drivers in hand – just stripped down one of Apple’s brand new 21.5 inch Sandy Bridge iMacs to give us a look at its guts. There aren’t too many surprises in store: the computer uses the same LG display found in the last generation of iMacs, and iFixit was pleased to find that Apple used an appropriate amount of thermal paste on the CPU and GPU — a “happy departure from the gobs” Cupertino put on the new MacBook Pro. The RAM, hard drive, and optical drive can be swapped out easily, too; you’ll just have to remove the LCD in order to do so. iFixit gave the new iMac a 7 out of 10 “repairability score,” as most of the hardware was easy to access. The team’s biggest complaint was with the need to remove the logic board in order to clean the LCD after reassembling the computer. Hit the jump for a few more images of the teardown. More →

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Qualcomm Snapdragon MSM8660 processing muscle shown on film [video]

Qualcomm Snapdragon MSM8660 processing muscle shown on film [video]

By on May 2, 2011 at 11:59 PM.

Qualcomm has released a few videos promoting its next-generation dual-core Mobile Development Platform, which includes its blazing fast MSM8660 Snapdragon processor. The video shows the platform’s Adreno 220 graphics processing unit chewing through 720p HD video. Similarly, Qualcomm’s single-core QSD8255 processor bests an LG Optimus 2X, powered by a a 1GHz dual-core NVIDIA Tegra 2 processor, in a Flash load test. What’s so exciting about that? The MSM8660 Snapdragon chipset powers devices such as the HTC EVO 3D, headed to Sprint, and the HTC Sensation 4G for T-Mobile that will launch in the coming months. Hit the jump for two quick videos. More →

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