News en Best Free Hardware Monitoring Tools <!--paging_filter--><h3>Apps that regulate your rig’s internals</h3> <p>Making sure your rig’s temperatures, hardware, and clock speeds are running correctly is a good way to monitor your PC’s health. We always recommend stress-testing your shiny-new rig, or checking your hardware if you experience any stability issues that occur out of the blue. We’ve gathered up a list of the best free utilities you can use to make sure you have a healthy PC.</p> <p>Know of any other free monitoring tools? Let us know in the comments section below!</p> <p><strong><a title="CPU-Z" href="" target="_blank">CPU-Z:</a></strong></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="/files/u154280/cpuid_cpu_z.png" alt="CPU-Z" title="CPU-Z" /></p> <p>CPU-Z tells you what’s going on with your CPU by giving you readouts of your Core Speed, Multiplier, Bus Speed, and your different cache levels. It also tells you the make and model of your motherboard and video card, along with your RAM speed and capacity.&nbsp;</p> <p>We recommend using this tool if you have a preconfigured system from an OEM like Lenovo, HP, or Dell and need to find out your motherboard’s model number (if it isn’t printed on the board). The tool can also be used to monitor your CPU’s voltage, so it's overclocker friendly.</p> <p><strong><a title="GPU-Z" href="" target="_blank">GPU-Z:</a></strong></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="/files/u154280/gpu_z.png" alt="GPU-Z" title="GPU-Z" width="560" height="637" /></p> <p>GPU-Z gives you detailed readouts of your GPU’s clock speeds and memory size. You can use this tool to make sure that your video card is running at PCIe 3.0, as some boards run in 2.0 instead of 3.0 by default. You’ll look at the Bus Interface box to check out your video card's PCIe configuration.</p> <p><strong><a title="Furmark" href="" target="_blank">Furmark:</a></strong></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><strong><img src="/files/u154280/furmark.png" alt="Furmark" title="Furmark" width="600" height="453" /></strong></p> <p>Got GPU problems? Furmark is a fantastic tool if you’re getting blue screens during games and want to find out if your video card is the culprit. The utility gives your GPU a workload to max-out your video card. You’ll also see a temperature read from it, so you can see if your card is running hot.</p> <p><strong><a title="FRAPS" href="" target="_blank">FRAPS:</a></strong></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><strong><img src="/files/u154280/fraps.png" alt="FRAPS" title="FRAPS" width="600" height="370" /></strong></p> <p>Getting weird frame rate issues after freshly installing BF4 or Assassins Creed Black Flag? FRAPS will give you readouts of your real-time frame rate in-game, so you can see when and where you rig is starting to stutter. We like using this utility when a game is running poorly, so we can keep an eye on our frame rate during gameplay. We also use this tool to capture average frame rates of games that don’t come with benchmarking tools like BF4, Far Cry 3, and Crysis 3.</p> <hr /> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong><a title="Core Temp" href="" target="_blank">Core Temp:</a></strong></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><strong><img src="/files/u154280/core_temp.png" alt="Core Temp" title="Core Temp" width="351" height="388" /></strong></p> <p>Unlike other utilities in this round-up of free apps, Core Temp tells you the individual temperatures of each of your CPU’s cores. We use this tool to make sure our processor isn’t running too hot. Core Temp also tells you the TDP, voltage, and power consumption of your&nbsp; CPU.</p> <p><strong><a title="AMD Catalyst Control Center" href="" target="_blank">AMD Catalyst Control Center:&nbsp;</a></strong></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><strong><img src="/files/u154280/amd_overdrive.png" alt="AMD Catalyst Control Center" title="AMD Catalyst Control Center" width="600" height="573" /></strong></p> <p>AMD video card users can use AMD’s Catalyst Control center to monitor their video card’s performance. You’ll be able to change your GPU’s core and memory clock speeds by using AMD’s Overdrive utility, which is found in the performance tab of AMD’s Catalyst driver. You can also adjust your video card’s fan speed here.</p> <p><strong><a title="Prime 95" href="" target="_blank">Prime 95:&nbsp;</a></strong></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><strong><img src="/files/u154280/prime_95_running.png" alt="Prime 95" title="Prime 95" width="600" height="378" /></strong></p> <p>Prime 95 puts your CPU through its paces by giving it a workload that will max-out your processor’s cores. We suggest using this utility if you’re having blue screen errors or freezing issues to make sure that your CPU isn’t the offender behind those infuriating messages.&nbsp;</p> <p><strong><a title="3DMark" href="" target="_blank">3DMark:&nbsp;</a></strong></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><strong><img src="/files/u154280/3dmark_demo.png" alt="3DMark" title="3DMark" width="600" /></strong></p> <p>3DMark is great for benchmarking your system’s overall performance, and the free demo version also shows you where your rig stacks up with other systems that have similar hardware. The paid version lets you run the Extreme benchmarks, which run in 1080p instead of the demo’s 720p default.</p> <p><strong><a title="Rainmeter" href="" target="_blank">Rainmeter:</a></strong></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><strong><img src="/files/u154280/rainmeter.png" alt="Rainmeter" title="Rainmeter" width="600" /></strong></p> <p>Rainmeter is a simple widget that displays your CPU and RAM usage and also tells you how full your hard drive and/or SSD are.&nbsp; &nbsp;</p> <p><strong><a title="EVGA Precision X" href="" target="_blank">EVGA Precision X:&nbsp;</a></strong></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><strong><img src="/files/u154280/evga_precision_x.png" alt="EVGA Precision X" title="EVGA Precision X" width="600" height="471" /></strong></p> <p>Precision X is made by EVGA exclusively for Nvidia video cards. The tool allows you to check out your GPU clock speed and temperatures, and adjust your fan speeds, too. You can also overclock your GPU with the sliders, seen above. This tool displays your GPU's load, which we find quite handy.</p> apps benchmark components cpu id free furmark gpu z Hardware Hardware monitoring tools overclock pc monitor heat Software News Features Tue, 21 Oct 2014 23:41:16 +0000 Chris Zele 27117 at Google Gets Moody with Play Music App <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/google_play_music.jpg" alt="Google Play Music" title="Google Play Music" width="228" height="187" style="float: right;" />What music are you in the mood for?</h3> <p>What started off as a somewhat barebones streaming music app is developing into a fleshed out package with new features being rolled out every so often. We're talking about Google Play Music, which is Google's version of Spotify. In a continued effort to make the app more spiffy, <strong>Google for the first time is making use of its Songza technology acquired this summer to offer users music based on mood</strong>.</p> <p>"If you’re a Google Play Music subscriber, next time you open the app you’ll be prompted to play music for a time of day, mood or activity," Google announced in a <a href="" target="_blank">blog post</a>. "Choose an activity to get options for several music stations to make whatever you’re doing even better—whether it’s a station for a morning workout, songs to relieve stress during traffic, or the right mix for cooking with friends. Each station has been handcrafted—song by song—by our team of music experts (dozens of DJs, musicians, music critics and ethnomusicologists) to give you the exact right song for the moment."</p> <p>Like other stations and songs, provided you're an All Access subscriber you can download these new stations for offline listening, view the song queue, remove or re-order tunes, or start a new station based on any of the songs.</p> <p>You'll find these new mood stations on the redesigned Listen Now page, which now features cards for all of your recently played music, new releases of potential interest, and radio stations based on what you like to listen to, Google says.</p> <p><em>Follow Paul on <a href="" target="_blank">Google+</a>, <a href="!/paul_b_lilly" target="_blank">Twitter</a>, and <a href="" target="_blank">Facebook</a></em></p> apps Google google play music Software songza streaming News Tue, 21 Oct 2014 17:42:02 +0000 Paul Lilly 28760 at Microsoft Awards CEO Satya Nadella $84 Million Pay Package <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/satya_nadella_fist_pump.jpg" alt="Satya Nadella Fist Pump" title="Satya Nadella Fist Pump" width="228" height="157" style="float: right;" />Not a bad looking paycheck</h3> <p>We'd all like to be paid eleven times the amount we earned last year, though for most of us, such a jump wouldn't put us in the tens of millions of dollars range. But for Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella, well, let's just say it's been a good year for him. How good? <strong>Microsoft revealed in a regulatory filing that its CEO was given a compensation package worth in excess of $84 million</strong> for 2014.</p> <p>Most of that money -- $59.2 million -- comes in the form of restricted stock, which is dependent on Microsoft's stock outperforming 60 percent of Standard &amp; Poor's 500 Index in 2019, 2020, and 2021, <a href="" target="_blank"><em>The Wall Street Journal</em> reports</a>. And if Microsoft outperforms 80 percent of the Index, the shares award could jump to $88.8 million. The bottom line is, Nadella could earn more than $350 million in stock awards alone by 2021.</p> <p>As for Microsoft's fiscal 2014 period that ended June 30, Nadella raked in about $919,000 in salary plus a $3.6 million cash bonus, to go along with a $13.2 million stock award. In other words, he isn't likely to worry about the electricity being turned off in his home due to a late payment.</p> <p>Image Credit: <a href="" target="_blank">Flickr (Bhupinder Nayyar)</a></p> <p><em>Follow Paul on <a href="" target="_blank">Google+</a>, <a href="!/paul_b_lilly" target="_blank">Twitter</a>, and <a href="" target="_blank">Facebook</a></em></p> microsoft satya nadella News Tue, 21 Oct 2014 17:13:00 +0000 Paul Lilly 28759 at Amped Wireless Launches High Power AC Adapter to Double Wi-Fi Range <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/amped_wireless_ua230a.jpg" alt="Amped Wireless UA230A" title="Amped Wireless UA230A" width="228" height="160" style="float: right;" />Extend your Wi-Fi range</h3> <p>The further you get from your wireless router and the more obstacles that are in the way, the weaker the signal. That's especially true if you're connecting on the 5GHz band (it doesn't penetrate objects as well as the 2.4GHz band). What do you do when there's a dead spot in your home or surrounding area? There are several possible solutions, one of them being a more powerful Wi-Fi adapter. On the topic, <strong>Amped Wireless says its new UA230A high power Wi-Fi USB adapter can offer up to the two times the distance</strong> of your current adapter.</p> <p>The UA230A sports high power amplifiers and a high gain 3dBi antenna to help blast through walls for superior Wi-Fi performance. It's also based on next-generation 802.11ac wireless technology, though limited to 433Mbps on the 5GHz band and 150Mbps on the 2.4GHz band (it's advertised as AC600, which is a combination of those two speeds).</p> <p>In our experience, where things like this come in handy the most is when traveling and staying at a hotel (bear in mind we haven't tested this particular adapter). While things in general are getting better, it's not uncommon to experience a crummy Wi-Fi signal in your room.</p> <p>Amped Wireless is <a href="" target="_blank">accepting pre-orders</a> for its UA230A adaptber for $50. It will ship out on October 31, 2014.</p> <p><em>Follow Paul on <a href="" target="_blank">Google+</a>, <a href="!/paul_b_lilly" target="_blank">Twitter</a>, and <a href="" target="_blank">Facebook</a></em></p> 802.11ac adapter amped wireless ua230a wi-fi News Tue, 21 Oct 2014 16:27:12 +0000 Paul Lilly 28758 at Amazon's Kindle Voyage Exits Pre-Order Status, Sets Sail for Homes Today Starting at $199 <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/kindle_voyage.jpg" alt="Kindle Voyage" title="Kindle Voyage" width="228" height="223" style="float: right;" />Amazon's latest e-reader sports a next-generation paperwhite display</h3> <p>Though we haven't evaluated Amazon's recently announced Kindle Voyage for ourselves just yet, a peek around the web shows that it's getting generally favorable reviews, some of which are calling it the best e-reader yet. That's high praise at this stage of the game. If you want to check it out for yourself, here's a heads up that the <strong>Kindle Voyage is now in stock and shipping to homes</strong> starting at $199 (Wi-Fi with Special Offers).</p> <p>"Kindle Voyage is designed to disappear so you can lose yourself in a story," <a href=";p=irol-newsArticle&amp;ID=1979814" target="_blank">said Dave Limp</a>, Senior Vice President, Amazon Devices. "This is the most advanced Kindle we’ve ever built. Customer response has been overwhelmingly positive, and we’re working to build more as fast as we can. We can’t wait to get Kindle Voyage into the hands of readers starting today."</p> <p>The Kindle Voyage sports a high-resolution 300 ppi display that's supposed to read more like a printed page than ever before. It also comes with 4GB of internal storage to hold thousands of books, 802.11n Wi-Fi and optional 3G connectivity, free cloud storage for all Amazon content, pressure-based page turn sensors with haptic feedback, a built-in light that shines on the page, light sensor to automatically adjust the brightness, and a flush front bezel.</p> <p>It's a bit pricey, which is the consistent knock against the device, though the built-in light and high-resolution display might make the cost easier to swallow. Speaking of which, here's a price breakdown:</p> <ul> <li>Kindle Voyage Wi-Fi w/ Special Offers: $199</li> <li>Kindle Voyage Wi-Fi w/o Special Offers: $219</li> <li>Kindle Voyage Wi-Fi + 3G w/ Special Offers: $269</li> <li>Kindle Voyage Wi-Fi + 3G w/o Special Offers: $289</li> </ul> <p>If you're interested in one, head over to the <a href="" target="_blank">Kindle Voyage's product page</a> on Amazon.</p> <p><em>Follow Paul on <a href="" target="_blank">Google+</a>, <a href="!/paul_b_lilly" target="_blank">Twitter</a>, and <a href="" target="_blank">Facebook</a></em></p> amazon e-reader ebook reader Hardware kindle voyage mobile News Tue, 21 Oct 2014 14:54:35 +0000 Paul Lilly 28757 at Steam Posts Minimum System Requirements for Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/codadvancedwarfare.jpg" alt="Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare" title="Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare" width="228" height="128" style="float: right;" />Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare needs 6GB of RAM</h3> <p>If you've been wondering what it takes to run <strong>Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare, you'll be happy to know that Steam has now posted minimum system requirements</strong>. All in all, you'll need a fairly respectable system to run the game -- among the requirements are 6GB of RAM and 55GB of free hard drive space, and that's just to get your foot in the door. What else do you need?</p> <p>According to <a href="" target="_blank">Steam's listing</a>, you'll need an Intel Core i3 530 processor clocked at 2.93GHz or an AMD Phenom II X4 810 clocked at 2.8GHz, Nvidia GeForce GTX 450 or ATI Radeon HD 5870 graphics card, DirectX 11, broadband Internet connection, and Windows (Windows 7 64-bit, Windows 8 64-bit, or Windows 8.1 64-bit).</p> <p>As for recommended system requirements, Activision is still mum on that front.</p> <p>CoD: Advanced Warfare releases to the public on November 4. Unlike previous CoD games, Advanced Warfare won't make use of a traditional heads-up display and will instead use holographic projections from whichever weapon you have equipped.</p> <p><em>Follow Paul on <a href="" target="_blank">Google+</a>, <a href="!/paul_b_lilly" target="_blank">Twitter</a>, and <a href="" target="_blank">Facebook</a></em></p> call of duty: advanced warfar cod games Software Steam News Mon, 20 Oct 2014 18:58:32 +0000 Paul Lilly 28754 at Globalfoundries is Buying IBM's Chip Business for Negative $1.5 Billion <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/ibm_0.jpg" alt="IBM" title="IBM" width="228" height="153" style="float: right;" />Say what now?</h3> <p>Think you could sell ice to an Eskimo? Hey, that would be an impressive demonstration of your ability to make a sale, though it pales in comparison to Globalfoundries deal with IBM. As odd as it may sound on the surface, <strong>IBM today announced that it's offloading its semiconductor business to Globalfoundries</strong>, along with $1.5 billion in cash to be paid over the next three years.</p> <p>You read that right -- IBM is essentially paying Globalfoundries to take control of its chip business. On top of that, IBM will go through with its previously announced $3 billion investment over five years for semiconductor technology research, of which Globalfoundries will have primary access to.</p> <p>It's an unusual move, and on the surface, one would be excused for thinking IBM had gone and lost it marbles. However, IBM can justify the transaction because of two reasons.</p> <p>"While IBM has world-class technology and intellectual property, the company has lacked scale," IBM stated in a regulatory filing. "As a subscale business, IBM's microelectronic business has been generating losses."</p> <p>The semiconductor business had become a burden on IBM. By getting rid of it, IBM plans to further focus on fundamental semiconductor research and the development of future cloud, mobile, big data analytics, and secure transactions-optimized systems.</p> <p>As part of the deal, Globalfoundries gains all kinds of intellectual property, including thousands of patents.</p> <p>"This acquisition solidifies Globalfoundries' leadership position in semiconductor technology development and manufacturing," <a href="" target="_blank">said Dr. Sanjay Jha</a>, CEO, Globalfoundries. "We can now offer our customers a broader range of differentiated leading-edge 3D transistor and RF technologies, and we will also improve our design ecosystem to accelerate time-to-revenue for our customers. This acquisition further strengthens advanced manufacturing in the United States, and builds on established relationships in New York and Vermont."</p> <p><a href="" target="_blank">IBM posted</a> a profit of $3.5 billion for its fiscal third quarter of 2014, down 17 percent from $4.1 billion in the same quarter a year ago. Straight and to the point, IBM CEO Ginni Rometty said "We are disappointed in our performance," noting a marked slowdown in client buying behavior during the month of September.</p> <p><em>Follow Paul on <a href="" target="_blank">Google+</a>, <a href="!/paul_b_lilly" target="_blank">Twitter</a>, and <a href="" target="_blank">Facebook</a></em></p> acquisition globalfoundries ibm semiconductor News Mon, 20 Oct 2014 18:20:34 +0000 Paul Lilly 28753 at Google's Third Quarter Profit Misses Target as Advertising Growth Slows <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/google_2.jpg" alt="Google" title="Google" width="228" height="171" style="float: right;" />Sultan of search reported $16.52 billion in Q3 revenues</h3> <p><strong>Google enjoyed another overall strong quarter for the period ended September 30, 2014</strong>, with consolidated revenues reaching $16.52 billion, a healthy jump of 20 percent compared to the same quarter a year ago. However, some other numbers were down year-over-year. On a GAAP basis, Google reported $3.72 billion in operating income, or 23 percent of revenues, versus $3.76 billion, or 27 percent of revenues a year ago. Non-GAAP operating income came to $5.36 billion, or 32 percent of revenues, compared to $4.62 billion, or 34 percent of revenues in the third quarter of 2013.</p> <p>The search giant's <a href="" target="_blank">profit was down</a> on a GAAP basis ($2.81 billion versus $2.97 billion a year ago) and up on a non-GAAP basis ($4.37 billion versus $3.28 billion a year ago). Either way, Google came up short of what analysts were expecting.</p> <p>Though revenue was up for the third quarter, the cost per click (average price Google receives each time a user clicks on an ad) dipped 2 percent compared to the previous quarter, and was flat compared to last year. Cost per click for Google sites dropped 1 percent sequentially and 4 percent year-over-year. The primary problem is that users are spending more time with mobile phones and less time on the desktop.</p> <p>Google's also invested money in its workforce -- the search company now home to 55,030 full-time employees, up from 52,069 full-time workers a year ago.</p> <p>Image Credit: Flickr (<a href="" target="_blank">mename comunicacions</a>)</p> <p><em>Follow Paul on <a href="" target="_blank">Google+</a>, <a href="!/paul_b_lilly" target="_blank">Twitter</a>, and <a href="" target="_blank">Facebook</a></em></p> financial report Google revenue News Mon, 20 Oct 2014 17:41:41 +0000 Paul Lilly 28752 at Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella Addresses Inequality and Other Topics in TV Interview <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/satya_nadella_3.jpg" alt="Satya Nadella" title="Satya Nadella" width="228" height="198" style="float: right;" />Satya Nadella's first TV interview since being named CEO of Microsoft</h3> <p><strong>Jon Fortt at <em>CNBC</em> sat down with Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella for his first TV interview</strong> since becoming boss of the Redmond outfit. Nadella answered questions about Microsoft's cloud strategy, why he opposes a spinoff, and yes, he addressed recent controversial comments that were made in regards to women in the workplace, and specifically the issue of a pay discrepancy between men and women.</p> <p>The controversial comments came when Nadella was a guest speaker at the Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing. Speaking to a mostly female audience, Nadella suggested that women workers rely on karma for raises.</p> <p>"It's not really about asking for the raise, but knowing and having faith that the system will actually give you the right raises as you go along. Because that's good karma. It'll come back because somebody's going to know that's the kind of person that I want to trust," Nadella said.</p> <p>His comments were later criticized on the web. Fortt asked Nadella if he understands why what he said upset so many people and if he could elaborate on that. In response, Nadella said he spent several days reflecting on what's been a "very humbling experience," admitting that he was "completely wrong" in his answer to how women should promote themselves.</p> <p>"I basically took my own approach to how I approached my career and sprung it on half the humanity, and that was just insensitive," Nadella said.</p> <p>On the topic of cloud computing, Nadella said that any major company that's not already spending "four or five billion dollars each year to just grow your cloud, probably it's a little too late to enter the market." That's what Microsoft is doing, as are Amazon and Google, which are really the big three in that category.</p> <p>And what of splitting the Microsoft's consumer business from its enterprise efforts? Nadella is against the idea, choosing instead to focus on what he calls "dual-use," such as people using Windows and Office for their personal use, and taking it to work."</p> <p>There's a lot more to <a href="" target="_blank">digest here</a>.</p> <p><em>Follow Paul on <a href="" target="_blank">Google+</a>, <a href="!/paul_b_lilly" target="_blank">Twitter</a>, and <a href="" target="_blank">Facebook</a></em></p> interview microsoft satya nadella News Mon, 20 Oct 2014 15:55:57 +0000 Paul Lilly 28751 at Mozilla Approved Matchstick Dongle Nearly Quadruples Funding Goal, New Features in Sight <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/matchstick_0.jpg" alt="Matchstick" title="Matchstick" width="228" height="140" style="float: right;" />Local Play and Ad Hoc Mode are next</h3> <p>It only took 24 hours for <a href="">Mozilla's Matchstick HDMI dongle</a> to reach its targeted $100,000 funding goal on Kickstarter, and since then, the project has skyrocketed to more than $390,000 with 9 days still to go. However, this is where things interesting, as they often do on these crowdfunded sites. <strong>If Matchstick hits $500,000 in pledges, the developers will implement two frequently requested stretch goals -- Local Play and Ad Hoc mode</strong>.</p> <p>To quickly recap, Matchstick is the first HDMI stick based on Firefox OS. You plug it into your TV, connect to it via Wi-Fi, and stream and interact with the web. It's similar to Google's Chromecast dongle, except that Matchstick is a completely open hardware and software platform with no approval or oversight system in place.</p> <p>There are hundreds of apps in the Mozilla app store, and as the developer program ramps up, many of those existing ones (and lots of new ones) will become available on the Matchstick app store. At launch, the Matchstick team promises to deliver a core set of content through apps like YouTube, HBO Go, Pandora, and others.</p> <p>Should the project raise another $110,000 within the next 9 days, Local Play and Ad Hoc will join the party. Local Play will allow Matchstick to stream content from your own local media servers (located on the same LAN).</p> <p>"We will provide an app for you to access content on your local media servers (NAS, SAMBA, NFS) in a list view so you can navigate to the exact content you want to fling. Of course, APIs are available for those of you who want to develop your own apps to access you local content," <a href="" target="_blank">Matchstick explains</a>.</p> <p>Local Play is one of the most requested features, though not as much as Ad Hoc mode, or peer to peer playback. This will allow you to play any content you have local, on your device, without a connection to the cloud -- just connect your phone or tablet directly to Matchstick and start streaming.</p> <p>If this sounds like something you want to support, or if you simply want to learn more, hit up the project's <a href="" target="_blank">Kickstarter page</a>.</p> <p><em>Follow Paul on <a href="" target="_blank">Google+</a>, <a href="!/paul_b_lilly" target="_blank">Twitter</a>, and <a href="" target="_blank">Facebook</a></em></p> Dongle firefox os Hardware HDMI matchstick Mozilla News Mon, 20 Oct 2014 15:17:07 +0000 Paul Lilly 28750 at Report: Microsoft Smartwatch Announcement Imminent <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="" alt="Microsoft Readying Smartwatch" title="Microsoft Smartwatch" width="228" height="152" style="float: right;" /></h3> <h3>Only a matter of weeks now</h3> <p>Microsoft, which first flirted with smartwatches through its Smart Personal Object Technology (SPOT) initiative all the way back in 2004, is rumored to be on the verge of re-entering the smartwatch market. A new report suggests that the <strong>company could launch a wearable device within the next few weeks. </strong></p> <p>This report comes to us from <a href="" target="_blank">Forbes</a>, which was also the first to report back in May that a “sensor-rich smartwatch” capable of syncing with iPhones, Android phones and Windows Phones was in the works at Microsoft. According to the latest report, Microsoft is getting ready to unveil the device in the next few weeks. Forbes has further learned from sources close to the development effort that the plan is to make the device available soon after the launch so as to make the most of the coming holiday season.&nbsp; <br />&nbsp;<br />Other than cross-platform compatibility, the device is said to be capable of lasting two days on a single charge despite constantly tracking the wearer’s heart rate — this monitoring functionality reportedly relies on company’s extensive optical engineering know-how.</p> <p><em>Image Credit: BizJournals</em></p> <p>Follow Pulkit on <a href="" target="_blank">Google+</a></p> android heart rate monitor ios kinect microsoft smartwatch spot Wearable windows phone News Mon, 20 Oct 2014 07:14:36 +0000 Pulkit Chandna 28747 at Are Chrome and Android About to Merge? <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="" alt="Chrome-Android Merger" title="Chrome-Android Merger" width="228" height="228" style="float: right;" /></h3> <h3>Recent management change suggests so</h3> <p>Talk of Android and Chrome OS merging into a single platform is nothing new. It has been around since the day Google first lifted the curtain on the cloud-based operating system, with even Google co-founder Sergey Brin admitting as far back as 2009 that the two appeared likely to “converge over time”. Now, per the <a href="" target="_blank">Wall Street Journal</a>, such a <strong>merger is looking more and more likely in light of a recent management change inside the software behemoth.<br /></strong></p> <p>Hiroshi Lockheimer, vice president of engineering at Google’s Android division, has now also been entrusted with the task of overseeing the Chrome engineering team. Google previously had Linus Upson in this role. </p> <p>This move shouldn’t be viewed in isolation. We have now finally begun to see some synergy between the two platforms, with Google last month bringing the first batch of Android apps — Duolingo, Evernote, Sight Words, and Vine — to the cloud OS. These apps run on Chrome using using the App Runtime for Chrome (beta), a project the company announced at Google I/O in June. The company is now “working with a select group of Android developers to add more of your favorite apps so you’ll have a more seamless experience across your Android phone and Chromebook.” To us, it looks more like the “Androidifcation” of Chrome than a merger. What do you think?</p> <p><em>Image Credit: Chrome Story</em></p> <p>Follow Pulkit on<a href="" target="_blank"> Google+</a></p> android app runtime for chrome chrome os Hiroshi Lockheimer linus upson Software News Mon, 20 Oct 2014 05:42:56 +0000 Pulkit Chandna 28746 at This HDMI Stick Rocks a Bay Trail Chip, Supports Windows 8.1 <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="" alt="HDMI Stick with Intel Inside" title="HDMI Stick with Intel Inside" width="228" height="145" style="float: right;" /></h3> <h3>A thumb drive-sized PC powered by a quad-core Bay Trail Atom SoC</h3> <p>ARM clearly has the PC-on-a-stick niche cornered. What’s more, it has enjoyed a near unmolested run at the top in this category. But this might be set to change. Some Chinese suppliers have begun selling a <a href="" target="_blank">diminutive Bay Trail-powered PC the size of a USB stick. </a></p> <p>The device in question packs a quad-core <a href="" target="_blank">Intel Atom Z3735F/G</a> chip with a clock speed of 1.3GHz (up to 1.83GHz burst frequency). Capable of running a wide variety of operating systems including Windows 8.1 and Android, this <a href="" target="_blank">thumb drive-sized PC</a> comes with up to 2GB of RAM, up to 32GB of storage, 802.11b/g/n, Bluetooth 4.0, microSD card reader, two USB 2.0 ports, and one HDMI out port.</p> <p>A Chinese seller on Aliexpress is selling this <a href="" target="_blank">mini PC for $110 a pop (shipping extra)</a>. However, it’s not clear whether this price is for the the basic version or the best configuration. The former has a Z3735G chip, 1GB of RAM and 16GB of eMMC storage.</p> <p>Follow Pulkit on <a href="" target="_blank">Google+</a></p> android bay trail Hardware HDMI intel pc-on-a-stick windows 8.1 News Mon, 20 Oct 2014 03:42:24 +0000 Pulkit Chandna 28745 at Patent Troll’s Bid to Benefit from Windows Live Tiles Falls Flat <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="" alt="Live Tiles on a Windows Phone" title="Live Tiles " width="228" height="115" style="float: right;" /></h3> <h3>All patent claims ruled ‘unpatentable’</h3> <p>Microsoft is not the only company to have pinned high hopes on Windows Live Tiles and been let down. The user interface element that has come to be associated with Windows 8’s well-documented alienation of desktop users has been at the center of a patent lawsuit since 2012.&nbsp; A little-known Portland, Maine-based company named <a href="" target="_blank">Surfcast</a>, which inhabits the obscure realm of “operating system technology” design, suddenly shot to attention a couple of years back, when it filed a <strong>lawsuit against Microsoft, accusing the latter of infringing on one of its patents with Live Tiles.</strong> The Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) on Monday gave its <a href="">final written decision in an inter partes review (IPR) of patent 6,724,403 (the “'403 patent”)</a> and sadly for Surfcast, Live Tiles are just as difficult to make money from as ever.</p> <p>In its final written decision, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office's (USPTO’s) Patent Trial and Appeal Board declared as many as <a href="">52 of Surfcast’s patent claims “unpatentable.”</a> Now this wouldn’t have been such a huge problem had the total number of claims in Surfcast’s patent not been exactly 52. Ouch!</p> <p>“Microsoft has shown by a preponderance of the evidence that claims 1–52 of the ’403 patent are unpatentable,” the board said in its decision.&nbsp; Further, the board also denied Surfcast’s motion to amend claims.</p> <p>Anyway, here’s an excerpt from <a href=";hl=en&amp;sa=X&amp;ei=IVhEVP2zIMGxuAS-zYGgDQ&amp;ved=0CB0Q6AEwAA" target="_blank">the ’403 patent</a> describing Surfcast’s proposed tiles-based interface:&nbsp; “The present invention comprises a grid of tiles that resides on the user's computer desktop. The grid of tiles provides a uniform, graphical environment in which a user can access, operate, and/or control multiple data sources on electronic devices. The graphical environment is uniform with respect to the source of accessed information and can manage multiple streams of content, entirely of the user's choice. For example, the invention presents video clips, e-mail messages, television shows, Internet sites, application programs, data files and folders, live video streams, music, radio shows, and any other form of analog signal, digital data or electronically stored information, to the user uniformly and simultaneously, regardless of whether the information is stored locally or available via modem, T1 line, infrared, or any other form of communication.”</p> <p>Follow Pulkit on <a href="" target="_blank">Google+</a></p> inter partes review lawsuit live tiles microsoft patent Patent Troll surfcast UI windows 8 windows 8.1 windows phone News Mon, 20 Oct 2014 01:34:08 +0000 Pulkit Chandna 28744 at 40 Awesome 3D Wallpapers <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u154082/avp.jpg" alt="avp" title="avp" width="250" height="141" style="float: right;" />Deck out your desktop with some awesome 3D wallpapers</h3> <p>Bold <strong>3D wallpapers</strong> are a growing trend that we happen to think look extremely cool. They often are beautifully rendered, have interesting subject matter, and feel like you can reach out and touch them. Whether you're looking for some additions to spice up your collection or needing some new desktop adornments, we've rounded up 40 of the best 3D wallpapers we could find, with some fun geeky surprises here and there.</p> <p><strong>Warning:</strong> Before you continue willy-nilly downloading wallpapers, do understand that we can't be held accountable for any third-party links you download. Many of these websites may be plagued with adware. We suggest you read our <a href="" target="_blank">how-to-download-without-installing-adware article</a>&nbsp;in case you plan on downloading from third-party sites.</p> 3d wallpapers background customization Desktop News Features Fri, 17 Oct 2014 22:52:10 +0000 Brittany Vincent 27296 at