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Google Makes Robotics Its Next 'Crazy Idea'
December 04, 2013
Hard on the heels of Amazon's recent announcement that it's planning deliveries by drone, Google this week acknowledged that it has embarked on a new robotics effort under the leadership of former Android head Andy Rubin. "I am excited about Andy Rubin's next project," said Google cofounder and CEO Larry Page. "His last big bet, Android, started off as a crazy idea that ended up putting a supercomputer in hundreds of millions of pockets."
MacBooster Can Help Keep Your Mac Humming
November 26, 2013
Surf over to the Mac App Store, and you'll find plenty of utilities for keeping your Apple personal computer in tip-top shape. There are tools for freeing up RAM and cleaning files from disks and thoroughly uninstalling apps. Have you ever wished, however, that you had a an app to perform all those tasks under the same hood? IObit is doing that with MacBooster.
Intel Chief Lays Out the Game Plan
November 25, 2013
In his first meeting with investors since taking the helm, CEO Brian Krzanich presented a road map for the company's future. Intel will make a stronger push into mobile devices, expand its foundry business to build processors for other chip makers, and move into additional new markets. Intel has lagged behind competitors such as Qualcomm in the smartphone and tablet spaces.
The Yay! and Uh-Oh Reasons for Slowing Mac Sales
November 21, 2013
There's been some concern over the last year or so over slowing Mac sales. Instead of selling at wildly better rates than the constricting PC industry, Macs have been languishing. Of course, at the same time iPad and iPhone sales have been skyrocketing, so it's not hard to point a finger at iPads as a reason. Makes sense. iPads hold a heckuva lot of computing power inside their one-piece slab.
FiftyThree's iPad Pencil Makes Artistic Point
November 20, 2013
FiftyThree, which has earned kudos in the iPad community for its critically acclaimed art app Paper, has moved into the hardware business with a new stylus called "Pencil." The stylus, which looks like a carpenter's pencil, comes in two versions: a graphite offering for $49.95 and a walnut one for $59.95. "Its balance is beautiful," said Mobile Art Academy Education Director Caroline Mustard.
Microchips May Haunt Tombstone Thieves
November 18, 2013
A private company in South Africa has created "Memorial Alert," a microchip-based technology designed to thwart tombstone robberies. There recently has been a spate of these crimes in Johannesburg. The microchip is inserted into a memorial. When it is disturbed, it will sound an alarm and send a text message to relatives and integrated security companies.
Italy Investigates Apple's Hidden Billion
November 14, 2013
Italian authorities are investigating Apple for allegedly hiding 1 billion euros -- about $1.34 billion -- from the taxman. Prosecutors in Milan claim that Apple didn't declare more than $250 million in 2010 and more than $1 billion in 2011. Apple's Italian subsidiary booked some profits with an Irish subsidiary, thereby lowering its taxable income in Italy, according to Italian sources.
Wiggly Takes the Jiggle Out of iPhone Moviemaking
November 13, 2013
I was far up on the St. Joe Rive in Idaho one September, fly fishing with a buddy. We were filming some of the action because we were having such a great time. I spotted a big cutthroat trout and handed my friend the camera. Everything went perfectly: The trout rose and took my fly; I hooked it and fought the wild fish in a fun and spunky battle. Then I returned home and saw the footage.
Reactive Grip Brings a Magic Touch to Gaming Control
November 12, 2013
If you think about the failings of existing game controls next time you're playing, you might come up with touch feedback -- the game's tactile responses to your actions. Video has improved over the years partly because of increased computer processing power; audio improvements have been due to improved sound engineering. We're also finally beginning to see usable virtual and augmented reality.
Metacloud's Steve Curry: We Need a Better Cloud Storage Model
November 12, 2013
The popularity of cloud storage is growing rapidly, and few would deny that open source technology is driving individual and business users to the clouds in droves. Yet enterprise adoption decisions are often hindered by competing technologies for public and private clouds. Often, it is less a question of open or closed source and more an issue of service and cost.
Apple to Put Down Roots in Arizona
November 06, 2013
Arizona this week welcomed Apple with open arms. The company will be opening a manufacturing facility there as it ramps up U.S. operations. The new plant will house production of sapphire materials as part of a $578 million deal between Apple and mineral crystal company GT Advanced Technologies. Apple uses the sapphire materials in some of its consumer devices.
Insecurity and the Internet of Things, Part 2: Dangers Lurk
November 06, 2013
In early September, the U.S. Federal Trade Commission's first action involving security and the Internet of Things came to fruition. The FTC came to a settlement with Trendnet, which makes Internet-connected video cameras, over the firm's lax security practices. The settlement was over intrusions that occurred in January 2012, when hackers posted live feeds from about 700 Trendnet cameras online.
The Latest Big Blue Sea Change
November 05, 2013
IBM's recent Enterprise 2013 conference in Orlando, Fla., was the Systems and Technology Group's inaugural event focusing on high-end business solutions. So it was no surprise that the CIOs, partners and IT practitioners -- data center admins and managers -- who work with IBM's System z mainframe and Power Systems platforms were thick on the ground.
HGST's New Hard-Drive Isn't Full of Hot Air
November 04, 2013
Western Digital subsidiary HGST has found a novel way of packing more storage capacity into a standard 3.5-inch hard disc drive: filling it with helium instead of air. The 6-TB Ultrastar He6 HDD is the highest-capacity drive in the world, according to the company. HGST has achieved this by packing seven disk platters into the drive instead of the standard five.
How to Choose an Enterprise Server Linux Distro
October 30, 2013
Discuss the merits of the many competing desktop Linux distributions out there, and you could fill several hours with heated debate. Turn the conversation to enterprise server distros, however, and the room can become quiet very quickly. The fact is, those on the hunt for the best or easiest or cheapest enterprise Linux distro have far fewer choices.
Motorola Launches 'Have It Your Way' Smartphone Project
October 29, 2013
Motorola's making a big splash with the launch of Project Ara, an ambitious, open source hardware initiative that allows consumers to customize their entire phone, down to the specific components and display. Ara's approach centers around an endoskeleton, or "endo," that is the core frame holding the other components together. Consumers will be able to swap modules however they like.
The IF Convertible: 3 Devices, 1 Data Plan
October 29, 2013
Back in 2011, in the dark, pre-tablet days of the netbook, Motorola introduced a phone and laptop combo called the "Atrix." The then-powerful 4G, dual-core AT&T phone slotted into a unique receptacle on the back of the optional laptop's clamshell hinge -- a bit like a game cartridge slides into a console. The phone then powered the Chromebook-like, highly stripped-down laptop.
You've Got to Touch Apple's Airy New iPad to Believe It
October 22, 2013
In a flurry of presentations at its special media event on Tuesday, Apple introduced new iPads, MacBook Pros, the Mac Pro, OS X Mavericks -- available immediately, and free -- as well new generations of iWork and iLife app suites. The biggest buzz comes from Apple's brand new iPad, the iPad Air, which is 20 percent thinner and 28 percent lighter than the fourth-generation iPad that it replaces.
AMD, Verizon Pump Each Other Up
October 22, 2013
Customer testimonials play an odd role in many IT industry announcements. At first glance, they offer proof that technologies are actually being used successfully as advertised, lending credence to vendors' sometimes lofty go-to-market claims. Even the most enthusiastic clients tend to guarded, though, for fear that they may injure relationships with other vendors or negate competitive advantages.
LG Goes Chrome-Crazy at Trademark Office
October 21, 2013
LG last week filed for trademarks on three names that contain the word "Chrome," sparking widespread speculation that the company is planning to launch an array of devices that run Google's Linux-based Chrome OS. "ChromeOne," "ChromeDesk" and "ChromeStation" were the names LG snapped up, and for all three LG listed the device class as "laptop computers; computers, convertible computers; tablet computers."
Dell Hedges Its Bets in Latest PC Lineup
October 19, 2013
It doesn't take a genius to perceive the difficulties mainline PC vendors have faced over the past three to four years. As user preferences have shifted toward ultramobile products such as smartphones and tablets, PC makers and core allies have suffered enough stumbles, false starts and pratfalls in their attempts to keep up to populate a Hangover movie.
Windows 8.1 Could Get Some Love
October 17, 2013
Microsoft on Thursday began rolling out Windows 8.1 worldwide. This latest update to its flagship OS has improved multitasking, improved search, a redesigned Windows Store, and new and updated apps. The Start button, which users have been clamoring for since Windows 8 was released, has been restored.

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