Monday, November 17, 2014

Windows 10 With The Latest Technical Preview Build

If you've been keeping tabs on Microsoft's Windows 10 Technical Preview then you should really focus in here for a second. Microsoft has been consistently tweaking its Windows 10 Preview with new builds loaded with new features. These builds have been coming out pretty regularly with the first one debuting on October 1. The next iteration, which was known as Build 9860, came out around three weeks ago and Microsoft has just released the newest build, Build 9879. But why are these new builds so important?

With Windows 8 failing to attract customers like Windows 7 did so, naturally, Microsoft is under a lot of pressure to make sure that Windows 10 releases to as much fanfare as possible. In that respect, Microsoft has opened up a Windows Insider Preview Program, the purpose of which is to encourage people to download and install Windows 10 and share their opinions with Microsoft in order for the company to see if it is making the right choices. By keeping up with the latest builds you ensure that your feedback is relevant and up to date.

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In order to be up to date you have to be running the latest build, but how do you make sure that you're doing so? If you're not already running the Windows 10 Technical Preview then you can download it on your PC, though that isn't recommended unless you plan on doing so on a separate, spare computer. You can download it as an ISO file and then copy that file to a DVD or USB drive in order to install it on another PC, in a separate partition or as a virtual machine on your current computer.

Ok so if you've done all that or already have Windows 10 running it's time to get the latest build. And here's how to do it:
  • If you're using Windows 10, click the Start button and then click the option for PC settings. 
  • On the PC settings screen, click the Update and Recovery setting.
  • On the Update and Recovery screen, click the option for Preview Builds.
  • On the Preview Builds screen, click the button to Check Now. 
Once you do all this, Windows will tell you if a new build is available and display a Download Now button. If there are no new builds then another message appears alerting you that there are no new Preview Modes found. If a new build is found then:
  • Click the Download Now button. Windows will begin downloading and then installing the new build. 
  • Once the build is installed Windows will prompt you to restart your PC. 
  • Restart your  PC, log back in and the new build will be ready and waiting. 

You can then confirm that you are running the newest build by looking at the lower right portion of your desktop. There you will see the label Windows Technical Preview Evaluation Copy followed by the number of the build. At the moment, the latest build number is 9879. The next time you run this process you should see a higher build process number.

Now you are able to mess around with new build to see what you like, what works and what doesn't. Microsoft's OneDrive, for example, is not working in the current build. As Microsoft unleashes new builds, new features and new bugs will be noticed. In order to send feedback, click the Start Button and then click the Windows Feedback tile. At the Windows Feedback page you can select a specific category and feature to see feedback from other users or add your own.

Microsoft already has certain plans for Windows 10 and how it will tweak and shape things for the final build, though the company is definitely relying on the feedback it is receiving from users of the Technical Preview builds. If you were less than thrilled with Windows 8 then this is your chance to make Windows 10 the operating system you've always wanted.

Monday, October 20, 2014

HP Splitting Personal Computers And Printers Division From Enterprise Division

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When HP took over UK software group Autonomy the results were pretty bad. So bad, in fact that HP went into a full-blown crisis, which inspired the company to break up the two companies. This
news comes after allegations have been going back and forth between the two companies with each stating things like "fraud" and "misrepresentation" involved in the takeover with HP claiming that Autonomy overstated the number of contracts it had when the deal was being brokered.

CEO of HP Meg Whitman, whom has come under considerable fire for this whole situation, has decided to split HP's personal computers and printers business from its corporate hardware business, which has been highly profitable. Each part of the company will be worth tens of billions of dollars, though the deal itself is directed at making the large PC division easier to manage and focus on.

Whitman will take on the role of CEO of the enterprise division with Senior PC Division Executive Dion Weiser leading the PC division. In addition to that, Whitman will also be chairman of the PC division with the current Senior Independent Director, Patricia Russo, becoming chairman of the enterprise division. Some people have noted that this was the plan of Whitman's predecessor Leo Apotheker, who's idea of breaking up the two businesses was swiftly canned when Whitman took over. In addition to that, it has also been noted that both halves of the company are pretty equal in size, generating revenues of $55.9 billion last year.

HP was previously the world's biggest PC maker until Lenovo managed to snag the top spot last year. Lenovo has been increasing its presence in the American market with its low cost of production and quickly increasing technology. Whitman has had trouble finding HP's next area of growth in the computing world. Things like tablets and cloud computing have changed the face of the computing world drastically. As a result, Whitman has tried to branch HP into cloud computing, but with little success. That has also been exacerbated by her failed efforts to pull off a mega-merger with data storage giant EMC Corp.

SEE ALSO: Lenovo & Ashton Kutcher Are Giving Us A Tablet With A Built-In Pico Projector!

Whitman is looking at the need to not only cut costs due to the falling sales of traditional PCS. What's more is that Whitman and HP are also dealing with the need to cut tens of thousands of staff members around the world. The decision by HP to divide the two companies will likely be seen as positive by those on Wall Street due to the fact that investors have been demanding sprawling companies with diverse interests break up into smaller divisions that are easier to value and easier for management teams to oversee.

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Monday, September 22, 2014

Micron Ships Its Cheapest SSD With New 16n, Node

Last week Micron announced its newest solid-state drive (SSD), one that uses its densest process ever and one that has a chip capable of programming the memory to act like a high-performance SLC or high-capacity MLC flash drive. This new client-class SSD is known as the M600 SSD and uses Micron's new 16nm lithography with 128GB NAND density.

That greater density allows the company to drop the cost per GB to as low as $0.45. In addition to that, the ability to dynamically program the flash also reduces power use while improving write performance up to 2.8 times over models without this feature, according to Senior Technical Marketing Engineer for Micron Jon Tanguy. Tanguy also added that the M600 also has a sequential read/write rate of 560 MBps and has a random read/write rate of up to 100,000 I/Os per second and 88,000 I/Os per second, respectively.

The M600 is based on an 8-channel Marvell controller that comes with government-grade hardware encryption using the 256-bit AES protocol. This SSD is being marketed to manufacturers of corporate notebooks and ultra-thin netbooks as well as workstations and desktop PCs. As a result, the M600 comes in three form factors: a 2.5" SSD, an mSATA card and an M.2 memory stick. The mSATA and M.2 form factors come in 128GB, 256GB and 512GB capacities for $80, $140 and $260, respectively. The 2.5" SSD comes in all the same capacities for the same prices but adds in a 1TB version that runs $450. In addition to that, the prices drop depending on the quantity you purchase, meaning the more you buy the cheaper they are per unit.

These prices may seem a little steep but they are in line with consumer-class products. SanDisk recently released its Ultra II SSD, which sells for $0.44 per GB. This SSD uses triple-level cell NAND flash, which means it stores three bits of data per NAND flash cell making it the densest industry specification to date. However, the more bits that are stored in cells the bigger the potential for data errors, which requires companies to create more sophisticated ECC.

Micron, instead of packing more bits in cells or over-provisioning its SSD with flash capacity, reduced the size of its process technology and added what "Dynamic Write Acceleration". Dynamic Write Acceleration is a special firmware that changes flash cells from single-level cell technology to multi-level cell technology. According to Tanguy, "So you can swap back and forth dynamically in order to deliver a pool of SLC or MLC capacity. Any new data programming is performed in SLC mode for really high performance."

This new firmware allows Micron to create a dynamic pool of cache without the need to overprovision. "We think doing this gives us a good method to address client loads that tend to be bursty in nature as opposed to enterprise data center write workloads that tend to be sustained," Tangy added. However, changing the NAND flash from SLC to MLC and back does increase write amplification. Increasing this wears out the usable lifespan of NAND flash more quickly. "The additional write amplification introduced with the new dynamic write acceleration firmware is manageable," Tanguy stated.

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Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Microsoft's New Surface Pro 3 Has A New Docking Station That Makes It Indistinguishable From A Desktop

I feel that there are far too many times where we see add-ons for technology or games. Really, just about anything that has to deal with add-ons kind of makes me cringe, and here is the reason why. I just spent money on the product, but now you're telling me that there is something else I need to add to make it better? While that is all well and good, I feel like I'm getting gypped because I feel as if I'm getting an unfinished product. We see this a lot with video games and downloadable content extras. I feel as if tech companies have started to take notice of all the people who purchase things like this and now have decided to use it with their own technology to increase sales. Take for example the relatively new Microsoft Surface Pro 3. The "tablet that can replace your laptop" now is offering a nice little add-on for those hardcore enough to get it.

The Docking Station
Let's get to the meat and potatoes of it all. Microsoft has just recently introduced a new docking station for their Surface Pro 3, and for what it's worth, it's actually pretty awesome. The docking station itself comes with quite a few extra ports; 5 USB ports, a 3.5mm audio jack, a security slot, a gigabit Ethernet port, and a very handy Mini Display Port connector. The Mini Display Port can enable your tablet to add another monitor to double the screen size, definitely a really nice touch for the new docking station. Arguably the best part of the whole device is the way that it makes the new Surface Pro 3 look oddly reminiscent of a desktop computer in the way that it has been designed. The new docking station is pretty portable as well, and only adds to  fact that the device can have its versatility stretched.

The Price Tag
You may not think that the price tag of something like this is really that much to talk about, but it's more the price tag for different add-on devices that tends to grind my gears. This particular device has a relatively smaller price tag. The docking station will cost you roughly $200. This in itself isn't TOO bad, but when you think about the fact that the Surface Pro 3 is already $800 (and that doesn't even include the tablet's keyboard), those extras add up quickly. So the docking station raises the price tag of the Surface Pro 3 by quite a bit, which can only raise one question: Is it really worth it?

A Sound Investment?
These types of add-ons for devices aren't usually this intricate or this practical. It definitely makes having the Surface Pro 3 that much better if you do own/use one. Now you really can have a desktop on the go with the new docking station. The docking station does still have a few drawbacks, including the price and that fact that the only display port is a MiniDisplay port. That being said, if you can get past the price of the docking station and not really need another screen, then this honestly could be a must buy. The only thing that would really hold me back from this, again, is the price tag of this station. $200 is a lot of money to ask for when you're not really getting anything other than a power charging station and a few extra ports.

For those of us who may happen to already own, or may rent, the new Surface Pro 3, this could definitely help make working with your laptop/tablet hybrid a lot easier. The fact that you can basically have a new desktop wherever there is electricity definitely makes the new docking station all that much more appealing despite the fact that it still is $200. Who is to say that more tech companies won't follow suit and start putting out tech add-ons either? We will see in the very near future!

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Monday, August 25, 2014

Windows 9 May Be Unveiled On September 30th

It appears that we may not have to wait much longer for Windows 9 to come out. According to reports, Windows is planning a huge event scheduled for September 30th. At this event the company is expected to show off an early version of their highly anticipated Windows 9 operating system.

Update: Microsoft Is Skipping 'Windows 9' And Naming Their Newest Operating System 'Windows 10.' Read more here:

Many different sources that have proven to be legitimate in the past have said that Microsoft is probably going to release a developer version of Windows 9 at the same time that the press event on September 9th happens. Last week a report from Mary Jo Foley, a ZDNet Microsoft expert, said that a preview version of the new operating system would be coming some time in late September or early October. This is pretty consistent with the news that is popping up, so all the puzzle pieces are starting to come together.

The code name that they are using right now is Windows Threshold. This is likely going to be Windows 9, but either way it is expected to feature a brand new and re-worked Start menu for Desktop mode. It is also going to have a nixed Charms bar and Metro apps that you can run in a window. There have also been hints dropped that there will be a desktop version of Cortana, Microsoft's mobile voice assistant. Cortana might not be in the first build of the new operating system, but it is pretty certain that she will make her way in at some point or another.

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There has also been some talk about what else there might be at the big event on September 30th. There may be a new hybrid of Windows RT and Windows Phone. There has been a lot of talk about a unified Windows operating system for all devices, so that might make sense. There will be tons more details as we get closer to the event, so stay tuned.

Monday, July 28, 2014

The Tablet Winds Are Changing For Everyone, Including Apple And Microsoft

Tablets are the way of the future... right? Well that would be the case if you asked just about anyone who uses them. Some experts would say otherwise unfortunately. Tablets have come a long way since Apple came along and introduced the iPad back in 2010. Ever since that point, an entirely new category was opened up for other tech companies to come along and develop new products in. Over time that have been a few changes though. Certain companies can only stay on top for so long. We've known that Microsoft was the top dog tech company for years and years. The PC was good to go but again, times have changed. PC's aren't as sought after as they used to be. The tablet sales are also going downhill a little bit, even for Apple. So Microsoft and Apple have something to worry about now... don't they?

Well, yes and no.

Microsoft hasn't had the best luck lately. With the recent deal between IBM and Apple, the funeral for PC's has been set. Think about this. Just with the way that technology has gone more mobile, the days of stationary computing are gone. That's just the facts. Microsoft recently killed off it's attempts at a mini tablet with the death of the Surface Mini. This is a big deal for Microsoft. The small screen tablet market has been filled up with other companies' products, such as Apple's iPad Mini or Google's Nexus 7. Since these tablets are already well established on the market, Microsoft wouldn't be making the best investment should they've decided to release it. No one would've taken notice since they're 2 years late and the fact that their operating system's staple office programs don't work very well on small screen tablets.

Recently there have been reports of Apple's iPad sales going down. This has led experts to think that the iPad is on its way out. They couldn't be more wrong. The way that we deal with tablets is oddly reminiscent of the way that we deal with most other computing technology. Yes, I feel that tablets are basically smartphones without the phone part, but they aren't dealt with in the same manner. What I mean by this is that we deal with our tablets the same way we deal with our laptops and computers. We don't normally replace our laptops or computers every 2 years like we do with our phones. Because of this, this is going to cause a lull in sales over a particular amount of time. Not to mention the fact that people don't just trash their tablets after their done with them. They typically pass them down in order to save money. So the sales have slowed but people are still buying tablets, just not as much as they used to.

What Does This Mean For Both Of These Companies?
Apple doesn't really have much to worry about. Mainly because they are Apple and until another company one ups them, they will always be a fashion statement in terms of the most advanced tech. They will continue to make more tablet iterations of the iPad. I'm sure we can expect to see the iPad Air 2 some time soon. The only thing is that the sales might still fade unless they are in the holiday season to boost sales. Microsoft is a different story. People don't resort to Microsoft for their mobile technology needs like they do for Apple and Samsung. Microsoft has the Surface Pro 3 out and even though it's been getting good reviews, it's still not everyone's first choice. The Windows phones don't seem to be doing well either. Naturally, Microsoft is just a PC company and unless they are able to create something game changing for the mobile technology world, they're going to be out of luck in terms of sales.

The tablet market is going through a change right now, and only the top companies will remain in the game. Apple will be fine until someone knocks them off of their throne, but Microsoft looks to be on the ropes in comparison. Time will only tell how long Microsoft will last, and what will become of the current tablet market and it's future. Specializes In All Kinds Of Tablet Rentals Contact Us Today At 888-736-8301

Monday, June 30, 2014

The Surface Pro 3 Is A Nightmare For DIY Users

The Surface Pro 3 is officially available from Microsoft with the company touting the hybrid device as a true notebook replacement. However, a lot of do-it-yourself tech junkies out there are singing a different tune. DIYers in no way see the Surface Pro 3 as a notebook replacement, instead viewing the hybrid as a tablet only through and through, according to iFixit.

iFixit, which is based out of San Luis Obispo, California, is one of the most well-known electronics repair companies in the country and recently acquired the Surface Pro 3. Once in hand, iFixit decided to tear the thing apart (in a professional way) to see what Microsoft had stuffed inside it and to determine how easy or difficult it was to reach the internal components. On iFixit's repair score spectrum, which rates how easy or how difficult it is for a DIYer to get inside and replace things, iFixit rated the Surface Pro 3 the lowest possible score of 1.

Several characteristics of the hybrid were to blame for the incredibly low score, including what iFixit called a "paper-thin display glass" that actually cracked when the team tried to pry apart the device. According to an email about the device from iFixit, "The Surface Pro 3 traded the 2's 90+ screws for some seriously hideous adhesive, and consolidated even more components."

The cracked screen wasn't the only thing that went wrong with iFixit's teardown. In addition to the screen, the battery in the hybrid also became warped thanks to the thick adhesive spread throughout the device. This adhesive technique is a common thing among ultra-thin tablet makers these days. Though we shouldn't be too surprised by this as iFixit also gave the Surface Pro 2 a repair score of 1 and the original Surface Pro a 1 as well.

"We think the 3 is pretty much the same insane difficulty to repair as the 2," according to Co-Founder and CEO of iFixit Kyle Wiens. "You're more likely to break the screen than on the 2, but things are more a bit more straightforward once you get inside, it's not very modular."

It isn't just Microsoft devices that are receiving these low scores. Other popular tablets have also earned 1 point repair scores, including Apple's iPad Air. The thing for Microsoft is that it has been touting the Surface Pro 3 as a notebook replacement, not a tablet. When you compare the Surface Pro 3 to other notebooks, accessibility is simply a nightmare. Talking about repairability Wiens added, "Notebooks are usually pretty darn good. Dell, HP and Lenovo post service manuals for their laptops and believe that they are reasonably serviceable."

Some notebooks are just as impossible to get inside of as the Surface Pro 3. iFixit tried to break into a Retina Display MacBook Pro in 2012 it titled the device the "least-repairable laptop we've even taken apart", giving it a score of 1 also. However, the MacBook Air, which Microsoft has used as a direct comparison for the Surface Pro 3, earned a repair score of 4 out of 10 from iFixit last year.

"Part of the reason we emphasize repairability on tablets is that it's such a huge departure from the designs of the past," Wiens added. "People assume their electronics are repairable, and then are surprised when they learn that things have changed for the worse."

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Sunday, June 1, 2014

Apple's WWDC 2014 Is Tomorrow, And It Looks To Be The Biggest And Best One Yet!

Tomorrow is the day. Finally, the Apple WWDC for 2014 is here! This particular convention is one that you will be talked about for a while after it finishes. We all know Apple to be the top dog in terms of consumer electronics and tech devices, so we know for sure that this year's event will be a big one. You have to figure that there have already been quite a lot of rumors surrounding Apple recently. With the iWatch consistently talked about around the internet, the recent deal they made with the one and only Dr. Dre for his Beats, and the talk of a new iOS, this should be quite the conference. Since the deal isn't finalized with Dr. Dre yet, we probably shouldn't expect to see much, if anything at all, about the incorporation of the Beats into Apple's technology.

While we might not get to see anything with the Beats take the stage yet, there is still quite a bit to look forward to.

Arguably the biggest part of the conference will be the new iOS and OS X. Whenever there is a new update to be had regarding software, you can expect Apple to give it everything they've got and then some. You can also expect a slew of critics and tech experts standing by to find any and all flaws in the software that they can. All obviousness aside, the iOS 8 software is sure to get many people excited. This is the biggest update since iOS 7, and we all know how the design overhaul for that update went. Needless to say, I don't foresee Apple making the iOS 8 software changes as crazy as the iOS 7 were, but I'm sure that there will be a few different key features accompanying it. OS X 10.10 will be undergoing the same type of design overhaul that iOS saw with the iOS7 update. The new OS X update will also be seeing a name change as well. It's still not specified yet, but we will be looking at the new OS X Yosemite or OS X El Cap in the near future.

Naturally, we can all look forward to some new hardware being announced to go along with the new software. There are some out there who believe that we won't be seeing any type of hardware coming out during the event. I tend to believe otherwise, simply due to the fact that Apple always has SOME sort of new hardware being announced at the WWDC events. Whether it be an upgraded version of the Mac Pro or a new Macbook of sorts, I'm sure there will be something.

There is also disbelief that Apple will show the new iWatch at the event. I disagree here as well. The rumors have spread around enough, and Apple is already quite late to the wearable fray as it is. If they plan on keeping up with the other companies that are already pushing the wearable trend to further their respective businesses, then they need to get in the game now. Samsung unveiled the Galaxy S5, along with a few wearables, at the Upacked event this past February. It would seem unwise of Apple to NOT show the iWatch.

Whether there will be a showing of the new product, or new hardware at all, has yet to be determined, but we will all find out tomorrow at 10 AM. No matter what, this event is sure to not disappoint!

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Monday, May 5, 2014

It Seems Microsoft Still Supports Windows XP... For Now

As we all know, Microsoft officially retired Windows XP in April, and it was a really big deal to a lot of people. After the huge zero-day bug that affected every version of Internet Explorer from Windows XP to Windows 8, Microsoft actually decided to put out a patch for XP users when they put out a patch for everything else. Although this is ultimately a good thing, it may not have been the smartest move that Microsoft ever made. The whole reason they decided to abandon Windows XP was to get more people to upgrade to the newer versions of Windows. It is now very apparent that Microsoft will still continue to fix major issues with XP as long as it still has a lot of users.

The bug was found by a security firm called FireEye on April 26th, and Microsoft confirmed it the next day. It was one of the most dangerous bugs ever, and even the U.S. government was telling everyone not to use Internet Explorer. Although it was dangerous, it may have been one of the best things that could have happened to Microsoft. Companies couldn't keep using Windows XP if there was an insane, crippling security issue with it. Thousands of people would have been forced to upgrade if Microsoft would have stuck to what they said and not put out a patch for XP.

Microsoft says that the reason they put out the patch is because this incident happened so close to the end of the support for Windows XP. That makes sense, but are they going to do the same thing if something else happens next week? Don't get me wrong, I'm not one to complain about a company being nice and doing good things for its customers, I'm just talking here. But it still doesn't seem like the smartest thing ever. Now everyone is just going to assume that Microsoft will always cave in, and there is no reason to give up on Windows XP.

The worst part about all of this is that it may give some people false hope. Yes, you are safe for now as an XP user, your company might be safe, and whatever else. But the thing that everyone should realize is that this is not going to be the last time something like this happens. This isn't the last security breach of all time. Not only that, but Windows XP is going to be the biggest target of all now because Microsoft absolutely can not keep supporting such an outdated operating system. Either way, the time has come to go ahead and upgrade if you haven't already done so yet.

Tonight, you can use Windows XP and sleep well knowing that you are safe. Tomorrow, however, is another day where anything in the world could happen. It's best to look at this as a warning or just a close call. But it is actually time to upgrade now. Seriously this time.

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Tuesday, April 15, 2014

What To Do If Your Computer Becomes Infected

If you have a desktop or laptop computer that has recently been infected by a virus, spyware, or any other kind of malicious bug, getting it removed as quickly as possible is something that you should make a priority. If you do a lot of work on your computer, having such an infection can put you at risk to lose everything that you have stored on there. Even if you do not work on your computer, losing saved files is never a good thing. Thus, taking your computer to a shop offering computer repair in Simi Valley is something you should do as quickly as possible.

A computer repair shop can help you remove the offending items from your computer before they can do any more damage. Like a physical virus, computer viruses spread throughout the system and attack everything on their way through. While it is not likely that you will escape any and all damage, you can minimize the damage you experience by acting quickly.

Another reason to check out a shop for computer repair in Simi Valley is so you can have preventative programs installed, thus decreasing the risk of contracting another infection. Having safety protocols in place to help you avoid problems such as these can save you time and frustration, as well as money in the long run. Rather than paying for computer repairs every so often due to these types of issues, you can avoid them down the road by having anti-virus and other types of software installed. While it is still recommended that you exercise caution when you use your computer, having protection can give you peace-of-mind.

Having issues with your computer can be frustrating and extremely damaging. Having a reliable source for computer repair in Simi Valley can be a huge source of relief when you eventually need to take advantage of their services. If you have no such place, look into your options today.

Sunday, April 6, 2014

The Future Of Technology Could Change As Silicon Goes Down, And Graphene Goes Up!

Here's something that we never normally think about. Whenever you are surfing the web on your laptop, playing Angry Birds on your tablet, or playing Black Ops II on your Playstation 3, do you ever stop and think what is making all of that technology work? 9 times out of 10 the answer is going to be a no. We don't ever really think about how something works as long as it works. However, inside your favorite devices are multitudes of different transistors and microchips that make it possible for your tech to do what it does. Almost everything it mad out of something called silicon. A readily available resource that is conductive enough to have everything work properly, but not conductive enough to fry all of the electronic inner workings. While silicon is definitely the "go to" resource for any real tech company, our friends over at Samsung may have found something that could knock silicon off of the map

Is anyone familiar with something called graphene? No? Not shocking as it isn't something that tech companies use very often.

Graphene is a pretty amazing little material. We are talking about something that is actually HARDER than diamond and with only the thickness of an atom. It's conductivity levels are through the roof and has the potential to, ultimately replace silicon. The only limitation that has been found with this amazing little metal is it's size. Because of it's small size, the qualities that it possesses can't really be replicated and mass produced to benefit electronic products for consumers. Samsung however may have cracked the code to the whole "miniscule" problem.

Researchers at some of Samsung's facilities have found a way to grow the crystal on a "large area, single crystal wafer scale". What does this mean exactly? One word: Synthesize. Simply by finding a way to "grow" and copy, or synthesize, the graphene crystal, Samsung has effectively created a way to properly utilize the material despite its small stature. Now, while synthesizing most materials tends to deteriorate some of the materials natural properties, that hasn't been the case for Samsung's graphene endeavors. By synthesizing the material upon a semiconductor, it has been able to retain all of it's properties without deteriorating later.

Samsung isn't new to graphene either. It's in almost every display to date. That iPad or iPhone that you're reading this article on? Yup. Graphene in it. There is one drawback to the material though, aside from the small size. The fact that it is SO conductive that it's almost TOO conductive. There is no real "energy gap" like with silicon. Since this material is so super conductive, it almost can't really be turned "off", even with the help of transistors. The transistors are what is used to help maintain power within the materials so that they don't fry the inner workings of the devices. Remember, there can be a thing as too much power.

Some scientists within the Samsung research facilities might be onto something when they say that they could "dope" the material. By "doping" it, they'll add chemicals to the material in order to tone down it's conductive nature, however testing is still going on as they aren't sure how the "doping" will affect the other properties.

Silicon is slowly becoming more and more scarce, and graphene is starting to looking really inviting. Should Samsung be able to work graphene into their products and start becoming more reliant on that instead of silicon, we might be in for a very different future in terms of our technology.

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Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Magnetic Materials Could Make Computers 1,000 Times More Powerful

If you have ever had to actually use your laptop on your lap, you know all too well that they can produce a ton of heat, especially when the processor is working hard. No matter how advanced computer technology gets, the amount of heat that a computer produces is something we can't seem to get away from. If you think about it, all of the extra heat given off is just wasted energy that could be used for something else. A team of engineers at UCLA have found a way to make integrated circuits more efficient using a class of magnetic materials that are called multiferroics.

Basically, everything you use daily, like your computer, phone, TV, and many other things, relies on tons of transistors packed together making an integrated circuit. When chained together, transistors act as logic gates. The energy passing through these transistors results in large amounts of heat and loss of electrons. There really shouldn't be a way around it, but multiferroic materials have found a way to bypass this.

By simply applying an alternate voltage, a multiferroic material can be switched on or off. Doing this allows it to carry power to different parts through spinning electrons instead of actually moving them. This effect is call a "spin wave bus". The energy of the wave moves in, but the actual molecules don't have to move at all. It is a little bit hard to understand, but trust me... that's how it works.

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There was actually an experiment that the team did to test the ability of the materials to keep a stable spin wave bus. The device that they used in this experiment was made of nickel-based film on a piezoelectric substrate. The initial voltage is applied here to generate the spin wave. In the middle of the chip they used for the experiment was a 5-micrometer-wide ferromagnetic strip, which is where everything happens. The strip is the waveguide for the spin wave bus and directs power from one section to another without moving any electrons at all.

The experiment worked and successfully generated a voltage-driven spin wave. It is still a super long way away from replacing a regular charge current, but the team thinks that the improved efficiency of this method could make processors 1,000 times more efficient at very least. This would mean that there could be a whole new generation of computers that could work so much harder with a lot less power. The possibilities are endless.

Monday, February 10, 2014

Sony Gives Up On The PC Market

Times are tough for everyone in every industry these days, and even huge companies that are making the PCs that you use every day are no exception. There are a ton of companies out there doing the same thing, and less people have extra money to upgrade to the latest and greatest things that are coming out. When your company is struggling with a business that isn't even your main priority anymore, it's probably about time to give it up. And that's exactly what Sony is doing. They are selling their PC business to investment fund Japan Industrial Partners.

Sony has previously came out and said that they were talking to Lenovo about joining forces, so it's a little bit odd that Vaio isn't being sold to another huge PC brand. That makes the whole thing a bit more surprising. But, if you really think about it, the PC market isn't doing that well at all. In 2013 the entire PC market went down by 10%, even after 316 million PCs were sold.

When Sony announced the sale of Vaio, they spoke on the huge changes in the global PC industry and also stated that smartphones an tablets were the number one concern of the company. They have been moving more toward the mobile side of tech, and that's where they need to aim their focus.

If this news surprised you, then you may have quite a few more surprises headed your way. It's very likely that we will see many more huge brands doing the exact same thing as the industry keeps changing. Everyone was blown away when IBM sold it's PC business and when HP said that they were going to do the same thing as well. But for most people, this probably makes more sense than those situations, because Sony has made themselves a top contender in other markets that are far more important.

The craziest thing about the move that may make a few people really sad, is that even though Vaio will continue, it will not be widely available. Mainly, it will be available in Japan, and that's about it until they decide otherwise. So, this spring is the last time you'll ever see Vaios on the shelves.

Sony made good computers. They were even doing a lot of the same things that Apple is doing now, but years before. It's been made known that Steve Jobs himself even wanted Sony to use Apple's operating system on their machines! They weren't always the hottest seller, because they were fairly pricey and basically no different than any other computer on the market when it came to a lot of specs. But with the high price tag came an expensive looking design. Having a Vaio was almost like making a fashion statement.

Though it seems like a sad day in the PC world, something new will more than likely pop up next week that will excite us and make us forget that Sony ever made computers. Luckily for us, this is one of the fastest moving industries ever. There is never enough time to be sad.

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Sunday, January 12, 2014

New Phase-Change Cooling System From Captherm

For over a decade, the best way to cool your PC has been with a water cooling system. This year at CES 2014 a new product has emerged and introduced what could be the new standard for cooling your PC.

The MP1120 from Captherm may have a slightly boring name, but don't let that fool you. This awesome new product that has PC enthusiasts excited is an extremely simple integrated phase change cooler, and it plugs directly into a processor socket adapter. The way that phase change cooling works is by heating up the liquid until it turns into a vapor. Then, the vapor moves to a condenser and is changed back into a liquid and finally returned to the processor.

This method cools your PC much more efficiently and does not require the use of a pump. Eliminating the pump also eliminates the risk of break or leaks and annoying noises that you may have to put up with.

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The MP1120 is made of corrosion resistant metals, but these metals can't be welded together in a normal way because they won't accept a strong and long lasting bond. So, they have to use "explosion welding", which is pretty much exactly what it sounds like. Large chunks of the materials are put together in slabs, and then they are bonded together by the force of an explosion instead of welding. After that, they are cut to fit the pieces of the cooler. Using this method means that the bond will never leak or get weaker.

In case you were wondering, yes; There is a built in window so that you can watch the process of the phase change cooling. You can actually watch the water turn into vapor. You also have the choice of any color lights that you would like, as the system comes with fully customizable LED lighting.

According to Captherm, the MP1120 will sell for $249. This may seem a little bit pricey compared to other cooling systems, but it's actually a pretty good price compared to other phase change cooling kits on the market. Some sell for over $1000.