New Android 4.3 update will introduce console mode, Gamepad Mapper, and allow you to install apps to your Shield’s MicroSD card
We liked Nvidia’s Shield gaming handheld system when we reviewed it back in August but one of its glaring flaws is that only a little over 100 Android games supported its controller (most of them were touch-based). Nvidia is attempting to fix that issue with an upcoming over-the-air update that will include what the green team is calling the Shield Gamepad Mapper. This new feature will allow users to manually map touch-controls to the Shield’s physical buttons via a drag-and-drop system. Furthermore, users will be able to save these profiles to the cloud and will also be able to download other user-made profiles from the community. Nvidia says the Gamepad Mapper will expand controller support from about 140 Android games to thousands of titles.
Samsung's new line of SD and microSD memory cards look so good it's a shame they'll spend most of their time hiding inside your digital camera or other portable device. Regardless of the fact that memory cards are destined to spend most of their days out of sight, Samsung decided to add a bit of bling to seven new models of SD and microSD cards as part of either its High Speed Series or Plus Extreme Speed Series.
It’s increasingly becoming a wireless world, folks. Just check out the headlines from the past week or so. On top of the omnipresent smartphone/tablet chatter, we saw the launch of next-gen “5G Wi-Fi” chips capable of streaming 1080p video without a hitch, and now, today’s news: even your SD card is going wireless. Seriously.
SD memory cards are the format of choice for mobile devices, but as megapixels continue to rise and HD video recording becomes the norm, flash memory speeds will become an increasingly important bottleneck. SDHC cards are cutting it for now, but according to CNET the SD Card association isn’t resting on its laurels and is hard at work on the next generation of flash designs.
Modern high-speed SD cards have data-transfer buses with a maximum theoretical speed of about 104MB per second, but in reality most cards are yielding speeds much slower than this. The new standard called SD 4.0 will increase the theoretical maximum speed to 300MB per second, and the association believes this will give them the headroom they need to build faster cards. The higher speeds are accomplished by adding an additional set of pins to the bottom face of the card, but the dimensions and backwards compatibility will be maintained.
The specification is expected to be completed by Q1 2011 meaning we could see products with the new standard by the end of 2011 or early 2012.
We've praised the concept of Eye-Fi's wireless SD cards on more than one occasion, and as it turns out, we're not the only ones who values this tech's upshot. Toshiba, in collaboration with Singapore-based Trek 2000 International Ltd., announced the launch of an industry forum whose only purpose is to promote a SD card that integrates Wi-Fi with data storage capabilities, Toshiba said.
"In recent years, as digital cameras have achieved huge rates of market penetration, the need for quick and easy way to share photographs has grown," Toshiba says. "The new card offers an innovative solution that brings new capabilities to the already very popular SDHC format.
"The card is designed to bring Wi-Fi functionality to digital still cameras that have an SDHC slot. Once in a camera, a card can recognize and communicate with the same type of card in another camera (on a one-to-one basis), and users can exchange photographs quickly and easily. It also allows users to upload and download photographs to and from a server without any need for a cable connection or transfers of the memory card."
The card supports IEEE 802.11g/b and stores up to 8GB of data. Applicable formats include JPEG and RAW files, Toshiba says.
SanDisk this weekend announced a new memory card capable of storing data for up to 100 years, though you'll have to be careful what you put on there because it can only be written to once.
The "write once read many" (WORM) card is now shipping in volume in 1GB capacity to Japan's police force where the card sees use as a storage medium for tamper-proof forensic image archiving.
"Japan's police force is one of the world's largest and most respected law enforcement agencies, and a leading adopter of cutting-edge technologies," said Christopher Moore, director, product marketing, SanDisk. "Working closely with police around the world and our partner camera vendors, we have created a one-step system for tamper-proof data acquisition and archiving. This essential memory solution greatly simplifies the digital evidence handling process while exceeding the government's requirements for data integrity and longevity."
The WORM cards offer a superior storage solution to 35mm film, which degrades over time, is slow, and is both inconvenient and increasingly difficult to use, SanDisk says. Though the card is seeing volume shipments in Japan, SanDisk says it's available worldwide in 1GB capacity. Pricing depends on the quantity ordered.
One recurring criticism of Eye-Fi's Wi-Fi SD cards has been their slow upload speeds. But the all new Eye-Fi Pro X2 unveiled today promises brisker uploads. The Eye-Fi Pro X2 features an 802.11n radio besides a revamped antenna design, resulting in faster uploads and increased Wi-Fi range. The card itself is said to boast faster read/write speeds thanks to the propriety X2 engine, which also helps it deliver Class 6 performance.
Next on the list of enhancements is greater storage space: the Pro X2 features 8GB space instead of the current 4GB. Apart from directly transferring images and videos to a computer, it is also possible to wirelessly upload them to a host of photo and video sharing sites. The new Endless Memory mode can help optimize storage space by deleting “files that have been safely uploaded, beginning with the oldest - even when the card is not connected to a network.” You can pre-order the card now for $150.
Blockbuster will soon begin renting movies on SD cards. You will need to visit your nearest Blockbuster Express Digital kiosk to rent your favorite movies. There, users will be able to transfer DRM-protected movies to their own SD cards. According to a Fast Company report, the rentals will cost $1.99.
All said, hardware incompatibility may prove to be a major issue as not all phones, TV sets and notebooks feature a full-size SD cardslot. The kiosks will be built and managed by NCR Corporation, the very company that manages Blockbuster’s DVD-rental kiosks.
We’ve long loved Eye-Fi’s series of Wi-Fi-enabled SD cards that allow you to instantly upload pics from your camera to a website, but it has lacked two key features: the ability to select which photos you want to upload and the ability to perform peer-to-peer transfers from the camera to a computer or laptop. This new card addresses those needs.
The card continues to support all the good stuff we’ve seen before in Eye-Fi cards: the ability to connect to open access points to upload your photos to a photo service, Wi-Fi-based geo-tagging, and video sharing. But we’re more excited by the improvements in the Eye-Fi Pro. Now, instead of uploading every image on the card, you select which photos you want to upload by checking the write-protect on the files and the card dutifully uploads them. JPEG, video, and even RAW files are now supported, too. And in case you’re wondering whether RAW is too large to transfer via Wi-Fi, we moved an 18MB RAW file from a Canon EOS Rebel T1i to a laptop in about two minutes using the Eye-Fi Pro’s Ad-hoc mode. Not bad.
You’ve got a digital camera, you’ve got a cell phone, and along with these you’ve probably got a few SD cards laying around that you just don’t use anymore. It looks like someone at LaCie had the very same issue, and decided to turn them into an extremely easy to use flash drive.
The LaCie DataShare is compatible with all SD and MicroSD cards currently on the market (SD/SDHC/Class 1 to 6), and comes with two separate sides, that let you discern your private data from your public data.
If this looks like something you could make use out of, be sure to check it out on LaCie’s site here, where it’s currently on sale for $9.99.