ARM Signs Another 20nm SoC Production Deal with GLOBALFOUNDRIES

Written by John Ponio on Monday, 13 August 2012 16:09 | Web and Industry News

ARM Logo

Last month ARM signed a deal with Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) to produce 20nm ARMv8 processors. Hopefully TSMC isn't a jealous partner, because ARM just signed another deal with GLOBALFOUNDRIES to produce 20nm ARM SoC's (system on a chip). With this agreement comes a start to a new platform from ARM under the name of the Artisan Physical IP. The platform will include things such as memory compilers and cell libraries. Basically, it's a platform that'll provide more performance with less power-usage. Read on for more.


Blizzard's Internal Network Has Been Breached

Written by John Ponio on Friday, 10 August 2012 14:02 | Web and Industry News

Blizzard Logo

In a recent announcement, Mike Morhaime of Blizzard said that Blizzard's internal network had been breached. At this time they don't believe that "any credit cards, billing addresses, or real names were compromised." E-mails were taken, however, as well as the encrypted passwords, security questions and answers, and the Mobile and Dial-in Authenticator information.. The passwords are encrypted through the Secure Remote Password protocol, so the hackers would have to individually crack each and every password in order to obtain one. It's still recommended to change your password, though. Read the announcement here, and a list of FAQs relating to the security breach here


Acer Chairman Says Microsoft Hears OEM Concerns over Surface Tablet

Written by John Ponio on Friday, 10 August 2012 13:53 | Web and Industry News

Acer Logo

Complaints from OEMs over Microsoft's Surface tablet being too much competition have been all over the news since the tablet was announced. With Microsoft not having to license their own software, they can either sell the tablet for a lot cheaper or give much better hardware fro the same price as an OEM tablet. Luckily, though, it looks like Microsoft will be sympathetic to those concerns. Acer chairman JT Wang said that Microsoft is looking at ways to make sure the Surface doesn't screw things up too much for OEMs, such as making the Surface priced fairly higher than any competing tablet. Sadly, there's still no word on pricing for any Windows 8 tablet. That's really what I'm waiting for to decide whether or not I like it. If they're priced competitively with other tablets, then it'd be worth it. But I couldn't see spending $500+ on something that I couldn't use as my main computer. 



Lenovo Answers Microsoft Surface with ThinkPad Tablet 2

Written by John Ponio on Thursday, 09 August 2012 17:02 | Web and Industry News

Lenovo ThinkPad Tablet 2

We've heard about Windows 8 tablets being in development from companies other than Microsoft, but we've yet to see any product announcements: until now. Lenovo today announced their ThinkPad Tablet 2, which is their own Windows 8 tablet. Surprisingly, it's running off of Intel's Atom processors. Size-wise it's only 9.8mm thick and 1.3lb heavy with a 10.1in. screen. I know the Surface should not be compared to the iPad in terms of function, but as most people know what an iPad feels like, the iPad 3 is 9.4mm thick and 1.46lb (for the wifi+cellular model) heavy. The ThinkPad Tablet 2 comes with both 3G and 4G options through AT&T (in the US). Lenovo claims 10 hours of battery life, so it shouldn't be too far under that depending on what you do with it. There isn't all that much information about the hardware inside or the ports, but we do know that there is a full-size USB port that you can use as you would use a regular USB port. There are front and rear-facing cameras, as well. Pricing was not revealed, very sadly, but it will be available with the launch of Windows 8 on October 26.

Read the announcement here and view the product page here


Google to Pay $22.5 Million Fine to the FTC for Privacy Violation

Written by John Ponio on Thursday, 09 August 2012 16:26 | Web and Industry News

Google Logo

It was announced today that Google will pay a $22.5 million fine to the FTC for violating Google's own privacy terms. Apparently Google didn't follow the default do-not-set-third-party-cookies setting in Apple's Safari browser. They used an exploit that allowed them to set a temporary cookie so they could deliver targeted ads to the users. While setting tracking cookies is pretty normal for Google, they're getting fined this time because they specifically told Safari users that they wouldn't set the tracking cookies if they left the default settings set on Safari browsers. 

Jon Leibowitz, who is the Chairman of the FTC, said:

The record setting penalty in this matter sends a clear message to all companies under an FTC privacy order. No matter how big or small, all companies must abide by FTC orders against them and keep their privacy promises to consumers, or they will end up paying many times what it would have cost to comply in the first place.

Read the full article here.


Windows 8 Retail Packaging Pops Up Online

Written by John Ponio on Wednesday, 08 August 2012 16:58 | Web and Industry News

Windows 8 Retail Packaging

With Windows 8 now being finished and sent off to manufacturing, it's pretty much a waiting game. If you're impatient, Microsoft's controversial operating system has been sighted online in its finished form. If you're waiting for the box copy, though, you now know what the retail packaging will look like. Thanks to the folks over at TheVerge, we have a digital image of the box art. Pictured above, the white box is for the standard Windows 8 OS, while the darker grey is for the Windows 8 Pro OS. Only seven more days until developers and TechNet subscribers get their hands on a digital version. Excited yet?

image credit


How Well do SSD Cache Drives Perform?

Written by John Ponio on Wednesday, 08 August 2012 16:48 | Web and Industry News

Intel Logo Nvelo Logo

For a while now, SSD cache drives have been gaining in popularity. They offer much better performance than traditional HDDs, but because you don't need as big of a drive, it's cheaper per gigabyte to couple a cache SSD and an HDD than buying an SSD. But how good are they? Well, Joel Hruska over at ExtremeTech decided to see just how good they are, and see which cache-system is better between Intel's SRT and Nvelo's Dataplex. Well, the results were quite astonishing. Between the two, they're about the same. Some perform better at one task while the other performs better at a different one. What's most surprising about his benchmarks is how the HDD+Cache SSD compare to a real SSD. And SSD is still faster, but the HDD+Cache SSD get pretty close to the same performance. You can read the full article here


The Hardware of Curiosity

Written by John Ponio on Tuesday, 07 August 2012 17:35 | Web and Industry News

Mars Curiosity Rover

We've just about all heard the news: Curosity, the "science lab on wheels," landed safely on Mars and is now roving around the Martian surface. While that's fine and dandy (actually quite amazing), the question on a lot of people's minds is. "What hardware is it using?" It's a robot, so it obviously has to have a computer on it. It also has to have control software so we can operate it from our home 250 million miles away. So what's inside? Read on for more.


The Bill Gates MS-DOS Mystery Solved

Written by John Ponio on Tuesday, 07 August 2012 17:18 | Web and Industry News


Ever since IBM started looking to make personal computers in 1980, there has been controversy over whether or not Bill Gates, the famed founder of Microsoft, had stolen MS-DOS from another popular OS from the time, Control Program/Monitor (CP/M). Everyone has had their own theory of how everything went down, but there's a theory that Bill Gates stole CP/M from Gary Kildall and made it into MS-DOS for IBM's personal computer, where Bill Gates' career took off. Kildall started taking the copyright infringement it to court, but when he actually had to prove it in court he stopped the suit. Ever since then no proof either way has come out, until now. Thanks to the president and founder of Zeidman Consulting, Bob Zeidman, we now know that MS-DOS was not stolen, but it was within Bill Gates' legal rights to license. Using a program called CodeSuite, made by one of Zeidman's companies, he was able to forensically determine that MS-DOS was not copied from CP/M. For the whole back-story and how he determined what he did, read the article on


NajmTek U-Book Uses Multitouch Screen for Keyboard

Written by John Ponio on Monday, 06 August 2012 14:09 | Web and Industry News

NajmTek U-Book

This is something I'm sure we've all thought of: a multitouch screen on a laptop instead of a keyboard. Well, it looks like a company called NajmTek ("najm" means "star" in Arabic) is taking that idea and putting it into a product. The so-called U-Book, U for Universal, will have a customizable, programmable high-resolution miltitouch screen where its regular keyboard should be. The advantage of using a screen instead of a physical keyboard is that keyboard types and languages can be switched out on the fly, it can be customized for specific tasks like programming, and other functions can be displayed such as a DJ mixing board. One other notable benefit is the use of a stylus, so the whole screen can be turned into a writing pad. The SDK for the screen will be publicly available, so anyone can make their own ideas come to life. The hardware the laptop will be using hasn't been released yet, but we do know that it will come with Linux or Windows 8 (your choice), multi-core processors coupled with NVIDIA GPUs (NajmTek is working closely with NVIDIA on this), a "variety of ports," a webcam and microphone, and a "large hard drive." Go to the U-Books webpage here, and read NVIDIA's summary of the laptop here.


Lenovo to Releases Carbon Fiber ThinkPad Ultrabook

Written by John Ponio on Monday, 06 August 2012 13:48 | Web and Industry News

Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon Lenovo Thinkpad X1 Carbon

Celebrating the 20th anniversary of the ThinkPad, Lenovo today announced the lightest 14" ultrabook ever: the ThinkPad X1 Carbon. Coming in at just 1.36KG (just under 3LB) thanks to its carbon-fiber body, this ultrabook is pretty crazy. Specifications haven't been released as of yet, but we do know that there will be an embedded 3G radio and rapid charge (charges the battery to 80% in 35 minutes). Even though it's so light, battery life is still expected to be around 8 hours. Hopefully the rest of the hardware doesn't suffer for it. The product page can be found here, and you can read a little more about Lenovo and the ThinkPad series here.


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