Monday, April 27, 2015

Google Looking to Increase Internet Speeds with QUIC Network

Google has been stress-testing its QUIC (Quick UPD Internet Connections) network protocol the past quarter. Right now, about half of requests from Chrome to Google servers are being set through QUIC and the company says it's leading to a greater performance improvement over TCP resulting in an increasing amount of traffic.

QUIC supports multiplexed transport over UDP while also giving security comparable to TLS/SSL. It is also cutting down on latency by relying on UDP instead of TCP. As of now the only real concern with latency-sensitive services like Google Search is how the UDP-based QUIC outperforms TCP by establishing connections with servers its already communicated with, without any hassle or extra round trips to the server. QUIC gets the better part of TCP in poor network conditions.

“The standard way to do secure web browsing involves communicating over TCP + TLS, which requires 2 to 3 round trips with a server to establish a secure connection before the browser can request the actual web page,” Google wrote in a blog post Friday.

When re-transmitting a packet, packet sequence numbers are never reused. This helps figure out which packets have been received as well as not having to worry about your internet timing out. QUIC over TCP has helped save a second off of the Google Search page load time for the slowest 1% of connections. This helps sites like YouTube, for watching videos online. Viewers have reported 30% fewer rebuffers using QUIC to watch videos.


Google also wants to ask if the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF), with some changes like the wire format and dissociate the current plan from SPDY and moving to QUIC-over-HTTP2, will make the protocol an Internet standard. Google wants to continue increasing traffic over the protocol, with the overall outcome of entrusting it with all the traffic from Google clients to Google services.

Google is expecting good things to come from this so we'll see how it all plays out in the end.

Content originally published here

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Windows 10 Release Date Spoiled by Partners

At the end of January, Microsoft released the Technical Preview of Windows 10, which is an unfinished build that Microsoft lets its enterprise partners try out ahead of the final release so that they can provide feedback. The actual release date of the operating system has been kept under wraps, until now. During an earnings call AMD slipped up and announced that Windows 10 will launch at the end of July.

If you're thinking about or planning to get the new Microsoft Surface 3 tablet coming out soon then this should help you lean more towards actually getting the tablet. When Microsoft was announcing the new Windows 10. they never gave a specific time frame. Microsoft only mentioned it was launching this summer.

During the call, it was reported that AMD President and CEO Lisa Su stated, "What we also are factoring in is, with the Windows 10 launch at the end of July, we are watching the impact of that on the back-to-school season, and expect that it might have a bit of a delay to the normal back-to-school season inventory buildup."

AMD makes processors that power some Windows laptops, and is considered to be Intel's biggest rival in the space. If Su is correct, we can probably expect to see Microsoft's various hardware partners show off new tablets, laptops and desktops that run on Windows 10 in the coming months. Windows 10 will be a free upgrade for Windows 8.1 and Windows 7 users, and it comes with a new Start menu that also shows you tiles from the Windows "modern" user interface.


Microsoft is focusing on two different types of app experiences in Windows 10; desktop apps, and "universal" apps that work the same across smartphones and tablets. Microsoft says the new Surface 3 will be running Windows 8.1 until Windows 10 is released. Now if you wanna upgrade your Surface Pro 3 to the Surface 3, then shortly after your Surface 3 will upgrade a bit more to Windows 10.

Keep on the look out for the Microsoft Surface 3 coming out in May and then shortly after for Windows 10 releasing at the end of July.

Content originally published here

Friday, April 10, 2015

A Unified Windows Store is Coming with Windows 10

Microsoft is trying as hard as possible to make Windows 10 the best operating system yet thanks to the less-than-enthusiastic response to the launch of Windows 8. In an attempt to wipe our memories of everything involved with Windows 8 Microsoft is looking to unify as much as possible.

The next version of Windows is said to be a unified operating system for all of Microsoft's devices. The operating system is said to be designed in such a way that it will look, feel and function in the exact same way on every piece of technology, whether it be a desktop PC, laptop, tablet or smartphone.

There will be different interfaces across the different platforms, with "universal" apps that are able to be scaled across all screen sizes. Well now, Microsoft has announced that the Windows Store is going universal as well. The company recently confirmed that the store in Windows 10 will be your one-stop shop for apps, games, music, movies and TV shows.

These functions were distributed across apps in Windows 8. The Xbox Music app allowed users to purchase songs and albums, the Xbox Video app allowed users to get videos and general apps and games were found in the Windows Store. The unified store will take all of these things and combine them into a single app store.

There have been hints about a unified app store circulating around the internet for a while now, right after Microsoft added a dormant "Movies & TV" option to the beta version of the Windows 10 Store Beta. You couldn't actually use the page but it was still there.

The pages for movies and television should be live no for most Windows 10 Technical Preview users in the US. The preview OS now allows you to rent and purchase movies and TV shows from the Store Beta and even watch them from the Video Preview App. Microsoft does warn, however, that the current version of the movies and television option in the technical preview is functional but unfinished, missing things like cast and crew information and videos can only be streamed, not downloaded. In addition to that, you may also have problems with frequent Store crashes.

Music is the one thing that is currently missing from the beta, though Microsoft says it is planning on releasing that in the coming weeks, probably around Microsoft's annual Build conference on April 29. The Build conference is when Microsoft plans on sharing more information about the plans for the unified app store.

Unification is huge for Windows 10 as it should make finding everything you need way easier. With everything in a single location you will no longer have to go open up multiple different app stores. Microsoft has a lot riding on Windows 10. The success of this release really needs to go off without a hitch as people are still upset over Windows 8. To see what Windows 10 looks like in the Technical Preview check out the video below.

Content originally published here

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Custom Lego Computer Brings Out the Kid in All of Us

Image Courtesy of Total Geekdom
Legos have been a staple of childhood for years. Unlike some toys that come and go with the times, Legos have always reigned supreme and shown incredible longevity. Legos are so popular and so iconic, in fact, that Mike Schropp over at Total Geekdom created an entire computer out of Legos.....an entire, real, working computer.

Now this concept isn't new. Schropp made his first Lego computer back in 2011 but has since had tons of requests to reproduce the concept. People really took to the concept and inquired about getting one of their own and even asking Schropp about custom variations. However, the original concept wasn't one that was easily replicated.

With all the interest in the computer, Schropp has been trying to figure out a way to make one that wasn't hard to reproduce and one that could be purchased by anyone looking for a new computer with a unique twist. The challenge was to make a Lego computer that was compatible with a wide array of devices and one that is also capable of meeting the needs of modern users. This new device needed to be advanced in 2015 and still relevant in 2017 but could also be upgraded so that it might last as long as 2020.

With all this in mind, Schropp fine tuned the guidelines for his new Lego Computer System:

  Design
  • Small Form Factor Design
  • Intuitive Features
  • Thermal Management Control
Connectivity
  • Fully Wired Connectivity (USB 3.0, DisplayPort, HDMI, LAN, Audio)
  • Wireless Connectivity (Wireless AC, Bluetooth)
  • Optical Drive (DVD/CD Combo Standard, Blu-Ray Optional)
  • Front USB 3.0 Ports
Powerful
  • [Memory] Minimum 8GB RAM with 16GB RAM Support
  • [Processor] Latest Intel Core i3, i5 and i7 Processors
  • [Storage] Multiple SSD Drives (Optional HDD Storage Drive)
  • [Graphics] Intel HD4600 Graphics
Efficiency 
  • High Efficiency Energy Star Level 5 Rated Power Supply
  • Low Energy Usage
Capabilities
  • Multi-Tasking (Office, Internet, Video)
  • HD 1080p Video Playback
  • 4K Resolution Support
  • Multi-Monitor Setup
  • Light-Medium Gaming Capabilities
  • Built-In, Intuitive System Backup
  • Supports Windows 7/8/10 & Linux

With these guidelines, Schropp went on to create a completely new system unlike anything currently available on the market today. If you head on over to Schropp's post about the computer on Total Geekdom you can see a very, very in-depth and detailed article that goes through the entire process of building this new Lego computer. In the post Schropp adds tons of photos of different variations as well as customization and even internal pics of the building process.

This is definitely an incredible idea and one that a lot of people all over the world would be more than willing to get their hands on. I'm half tempted to get one right now! Truly an amazing accomplishment.

Welcome to the New Tech Revolution

There is no escaping technology and the ever emerging trends that are continuing to blossom almost daily. Technology is everywhere now. It's as simple as that. It affects everything we do today. Whether it be work, communication and interaction, or even for entertainment. Because of this, technological innovation is now an essential part in a company's development. Whether or not a company itself is part of a tech trend forefront, they are still seeing the effects of it's continuous growth trickle down in the society and economy. Simply put, since technology is virtually inescapable now, every business is affected by it. That means even the companies that aren't tech related.

When you stop and think of the growing tech trends that are happening in today's market, you probably don't think of clothing or fabric companies. Recently, however, a business owner by the name of Mark Dwight saw his bag-making company being affected by technology. While trying to create a new type of messenger bag that would be more easily visible at night, Dwight kept hitting a road block of sorts. The new reflective thread they had developed kept snapping. Due to time and financial constraints, Dwight began using a more recent social media technology (LinkedIn) to try and solve his dilemma. All because a wood working and fabric weaving business had been looking for potential business that day, Dwight's problem solved.

Dwight ordered the fabric he needed and later went on to develop and market his new, more visible, messenger bags. He also used the help of Kickstarter to help get the funds he needed for development and marketing. This is where technology comes into play. It almost has to be thought about obviously. We're talking about a company that doesn't sell or deal in any kind of smart technology or tech trend. Yet, there he was utilizing a trend that we may not have even thought was still a trend; social media.

By the example of Mr. Dwight's messenger bag business using social media to help accrue the supplies he needed, we can see just how how much the industry's recent tech trends have been influencing every business imaginable. It goes to show us one thing; that innovation in technology is exactly what our businesses needs. With the latest technology and tech trends that we have available, it's much easier to get a business started now than it would have been in the past.

Think back to the days of dial up. Do you think it would have been as easy to purchase or sell from a business standpoint as it is today? Almost every company is linked up with their own website or email service. Many companies are now also using the latest office equipment and business tech they can afford. With this being the case, it should come as no surprise that businesses that may not even deal in technology are being affected.

Every business is looking for the most efficient way to turn their product into profit, and they want the best tech and services possible to make that happen. Technology is readily available. With the growing tech trends, we will continue to see its innovation influence every company and consumer's way of doing business. Welcome to the new tech revolution.

Content originally published here

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

10TB SSDs Are No Longer A Dream But A Reality

Toshiba and Intel recently came out with a big announcement that is going to make flash memory devices and SSDs a whole lot cheaper. Both of the companies just announced new memory chips called "3D NAND" chips. These new chips are stacked in layers in order to hold more data than a standard single-plane chip that is generally used. Toshiba also said that they have created the very first 48 layer NAND chip with a 16GB capacity and way faster speeds and reliability. This doesn't come to any surprise, considering they were the first company to invent flash memory, and they created the world's smallest NAND cells at 15nm. The new products won't make their way into new devices for about a year, but they are already sending engineering samples to manufacturers.

Intel and their partner Micron are working on even bigger chips than Toshiba. They have their own 32 layer NAND chips that should see use in devices around the same time that the ones from Toshiba. So far they have a 32GB chip made and a 48GB version that is currently in development. Micron says that the chips could be used to make gum-stick sized M.2 PCIe SSDs up to 3.5TB in size and 2.5-inch SSDs with 10TB of capacity. Now that all of this is happening, it means that companies like Samsung are going to have some serious competition. They have been using the 3D NAND technology for quite some time, but Intel and Toshiba are doing it bigger, better, and cheaper.

No matter what, this is nothing but fantastic news for consumers everywhere!

Source found here

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Computer and Network Security: Why It's Important

Any business, whether long standing or just starting out, needs an adequate view and understanding of network security. Any kind of business or corporation keeps lists of vendors, customers and their accounts, budget access and spending, and more within their secured networks. This is all vital information that is, essentially, the lifeblood of any company. When you have assets at risk, such as developmental research, it's important to have a network security system in place that you're entire company knows how to work and is informed on.

Security within a company goes way beyond the night watch guard in the parking lot. It also goes beyond one simple technology. It's a unique system that has to be appropriated piece by piece so that each branch of the company's security works in tandem with each other.

Computer security, albeit just one aspect of security as a whole, is arguably the biggest portion of company security and integrity. Think about it. All of the information within your company is stored on servers that employees access and have certain control over. That security can be taken advantage of through employees however. Whether an employee has malicious intent through his actions or not, it's still a concern that needs to be noted.

Firewalls, data encryption, controlled access, and more need to be added within a proper security network in order to maintain optimal online company security. Computer company Dell is now offering a network security suite program intended to cover all online security fronts. Many security companies on the market offer excellent security measures, but it's odd to see an actual computer company offering the same type of services.

The new Dell Endpoint Security Suite is utilizing interconnected programs and capabilities such as threat detection and protection, authentication services, and encryption on all employee computing devices. Dell is looking to offer services such as data encryption instead of complete hard drive encryption. Brett Hansen, the executive director of end user computing software and mobility at Dell, made a very valid point against full hard drive encryption. Hansen expressed that should a password be lost to the hard drive, the entire disk has basically lost its use. He also claimed that during full disk encryption, entire programs become encrypted. Thus when a program needs to be updated, the entire thing must be decrypted for it to update properly. This, of course, can take a lot of valuable time.

This is just a taste of what the security protocols on the new Dell Endpoint Security Suite can do and, by the looks if it, you may want to take advantage of it. Apple has had its share of certain people trying to gain access to the security of their devices. The CIA has actually been attempting to decrypt Apple's processors and Xcode in order to create back doors to different applications and programs within the Apple operating systems.

Between people like the CIA trying to hack into Apple device security so that they may have "lawful electronic surveillance" become more possible and  employees intentionally or unintentionally putting your company's information and data at risk, it's easy to see why your company's network security is so important. Your company's information is invaluable, so make sure you have all of your bases covered.

Sources located here, here and here.