3D printers could end up in a hardware store near you
The 3D printing craze continues to gain steam, as well as attract attention outside of the technology sector. To wit, MakerBot and The Home Depot announced a collaboration to bring MakerBot Replicator Desktop 3D Printers on the hardware store's website and a dozen brick-and-mortar Home Depot stores in California, Illinois, and New York beginning today. It's considered a pilot program and could expand to more stores if received well by the public.
More affordable Windows tablets could be on the horizon
Here's a bit of potentially good news for Microsoft's hardware partners. Word on the web is that Microsoft may expand its free Windows license program to include tablets priced below $250. Up until now, tablets less than 9 inches qualified for the subsidized pricing, though unconfirmed reports suggest the program will cast a wider net in order to get more Windows-based tablets out in the wild.
At some point in the future, there will be a brand new version of the Raspberry Pi, likely dubbed Raspberry Pi 2. For now, however, the Raspberry Pi Foundation decided to tweak the original model one final time by implementing several requested upgrades, and what emerged is the Model B+. It uses the same BCM2835 application processor as the Model B and still has 512MB of RAM. Heck, it even costs the same (or at least it's supposed to) -- $35. So, what's new?
The voice assistant was spot on with 15 out of 16 knockout match predictions
The quadrennial soccer extravaganza that is the FIFA World Cup just got over in Brazil, with the Germans beating the Argentinians for the title by scoring the only goal of the match in the second half of extra time. But they weren’t the tournament’s only winners. The final also saw Microsoft’s Windows Phone voice assistant Cortana cap off an overall brilliant tournament by once again correctly predicting the winner prior to kick off.
Use of inexpensive ARM SoCs could pave the way for sub-$200 Chromebooks
When Acer recently introduced the C720 Chromebook, a Haswell Core i3-toting device, we couldn’t help but wonder if users would be comfortable shelling out $350 or more for a Chromebook. This is an especially pertinent question because if there’s one thing that has helped these nifty little devices carve a niche for themselves, it is their greater affordability compared to entry-level Windows machines. The good news is that Chromebooks are likely to get even more affordable in the near future.
Over a year back, Adobe abandoned its pay-once, use-forever Creative Suite in favor of a subscription-based app distribution model. Despite the ensuing furor, the company’s recurring annual revenue from Creative Cloud subscriptions has grown to over $1.20 billion. That being said, the company seems willing to address some of the gripes of its over 2.4 million Creative Cloud subscribers — well, especially where Lightroom users are concerned.
Build 6.4.9788 was recently spotted in Windows Store logs
We’ve known about the Start Menu’s impending comeback for over two months now. Ever since the return of what is perhaps the most iconic Windows UI item to have been left out of Windows 8 was announced by the Redmond-based company in April, there has a been a lot of speculation about the time of its comeback. If some recent reports are to be believed, it’s more likely to come back with the Windows 9 “Threshold” update than the less significant Windows 8.1 Update 2.
It's easy to get lazy towards the end of the work week as we look forward to the weekend, but not so at Micron. Rather than check out early, Micron today announced the introduction of a monolithic 8Gb DDR3 SDRAM component based on the company's latest-generation 25nm DRAM manufacturing process. According to Micron, the addition of an 8Gb monolithic component will enable cost-effective, high-capacity solutions optimized for large-scale, data-intensive workloads.
Starting with AMD Catalyst 14.6 Beta, AMD is no longer support Windows 8
AMD has made available to download its new Catalyst 14.7 drivers in Release Candidate form. Be advised that if you're rocking Windows 8.0 instead of Windows 8.1, you can't use these drivers -- AMD stopped supporting Windows 8 as of its Catalyst 14.6 Beta release. For everyone else, you're good to go with this latest release, provided you're interested in RC drivers.
A dispute over unauthorized in-app purchases made by children
Amazon had a chance to settle with the U.S. Federal Trade Commission out of court over allegations that it let children make millions of dollars worth of unauthorized in-app purchases, but apparently the offer wasn't too good to refuse. Having rejected the settlement, the FTC is now suing Amazon for an undisclosed sum of money, and also to force the e-commerce giant to make some changes to such purchases.