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Intel, Samsung, Others Team Up to Drive Seamless Device-to-Device Connectivity

Technology industry leaders Atmel Corporation, Broadcom Corporation, Dell, Intel Corporation, Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd., and Wind River, are joining forces to establish a new industry consortium focused on improving interoperability and defining the connectivity requirements for the billions of devices that will make up the Internet of Things (IoT).

The Open Interconnect Consortium (OIC) is focused on defining a common communications framework based on industry standard technologies to wirelessly connect and intelligently manage the flow of information among personal computing and emerging IoT devices, regardless of form factor, operating system or service provider.

Sony WG-C20, 9mm Thick Portable Wireless Server To Hit Retail In November

Measuring just 14.4x7cm and 9mm thin, the pocket-sized server is evolved from the WG-C10, now adding even more possibilities to manage all your content while you're on the move or at home. Styled to match the latest Xperia smartphone, it's also a great companion for other phone and tablet users. Slip in an SD memory card and use the WG-C20 to view and share all those photos, videos and MP3 music? even office documents and other PC files. For even more storage capacity, hook up USB devices like a flash memory, digital camera or portable hard drive1.

It's the first Portable Wireless Server from Sony that supports NFC for fuss-free wireless connection. Just touch your Xperia or other NFC-equipped mobile device briefly against the WG-C20: the app wakes up and automatically makes a direct Wi-Fi connection with no fiddly set-up codes. Then enjoy wireless streaming of photos and movie clips from the server onto your smartphone. With support for DLNA, the WG-C20 is just like a mini home media server. Stream stored video, photos and music to your TV, hi-fi, PCs, tablets and other networked DLNA client devices around the house - with no cables needed. You can also hook up an external hard drive via USB cable and share the contents.

Belkin Announces WeMo SMART, a Platform to Bring Internet to Everyday Devices

Belkin, creator of people-inspired technology products, today announced WeMo SMART, a program designed to bring its simple, Wi-Fi based WeMo home automation platform to new brands and a wider variety of household devices. Jarden Consumer Solutions ("JCS"), a leading provider of global consumer products brands, will be the first company to partner with WeMo SMART for its Sunbeam, Crock-Pot, Mr. Coffee and Oster brands.

"As smart devices become more prolific in the home, we wanted to give companies an easy way to reinvigorate traditional product categories with internet connectivity and the ability to integrate with other household devices and cloud-based services," said Jamie Elgie, senior director of product management at Belkin. "JCS is the perfect initial partner because its brands make the exact kind of products our fans have been asking us to integrate with WeMo."

TP-Link Debuts 450Mbps Wireless N Dual Band PCI Express Adapter

TP-Link, a global provider of networking products, has released its 450Mbps Wireless N Dual Band PCI Express Adapter (TL-WDN4800), which allows users to connect a desktop computer to a wireless network to access a high-speed wireless network connection.

The adapter complies with IEEE 802.11a/b/g/n and can access the 2.4GHz or 5GHz channels to provide wireless speeds of up to 450Mbps. The speed is ideal for users seeking a highly robust, bandwidth intensive wireless networking experience for HD video streaming and online gaming.

NETGEAR Announces Wi-Fi Booster

NETGEAR, Inc., a global networking company that delivers innovative products to consumers, businesses and service providers, today announced the WiFi Booster for Mobile (WN1000RP). The compact, WiFi Booster for Mobile amplifies WiFi coverage for mobile devices in the home by extending and strengthening an existing WiFi signal, giving consumers the ability to enjoy an improved wireless experience on tablets, smartphones and e-readers.

Consumers are leveraging WiFi connectivity at home more than ever before to browse the web, stream movies and play online games on their devices. The NETGEAR WiFi Booster for Mobile improves an existing WiFi signal throughout the home and even outside on the deck or patio, enabling users to move freely around the house while streaming content on everything from tablets and e-readers to smartphones.

MSI CX61, CR61 Multimedia Laptops Launched

MSI’s new CX61 and CR61 15.6-inch multimedia laptops pack Intel's new generation Core i processor for the ultimate in computing power. What's more, to meet the needs of increasing high resolution of today's HD multimedia, the CX61 and CR70 come equipped with cinema-level SRS PC Sound and faster transfer ports, including USB 3.0, which is ten times faster than USB 2.0, HDMI 1.4, which can handle the latest HD resolution, and the new generation Bluetooth 4.0, which connects more quickly and covers a wider area.

Eric Kuo, associate vice president for global sales, MSI Notebook, notes that the CX61 and CR61 feature a cutting-edge processing platform that employs the most advanced nano production technology, enhancing great processing performance over the previous generation. They are also ready for the Windows 8 upgrade when it comes out. For details, please visit MSI's website. Furthermore, to handle HD multimedia with increasingly higher resolution, the CX61 and CR61 pack powerful features like SRS PC Sound, USB3.0, HDMI 1.4, and Bluetooth 4.0. In addition, the CX61 sports the most advanced performance-level discrete graphics card—the Nvidia GeForce GT640M discrete graphics card, giving you the absolutely fastest, smoothest multimedia performance available bar none, making it "Your multimedia companion!"

Belkin Announces Availability of WeMo

Belkin today launched WeMo, a line of modular, Wi-Fi-based products that turn an iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch into a remote control for household devices. Consisting of two initial products, the WeMo Switch and the WeMo Motion, WeMo works with the free WeMo app to create a scalable, customizable home control system designed to provide added safety, convenience, and peace of mind.

“WeMo uses familiar technology to create a plug-and-play solution for controlling gadgets and appliances remotely,” said Jamie Elgie, senior director of product management for Belkin. “Designed to address simple automation needs without the hassle or expense of whole home automation, WeMo is an easy and fun way to put your home at your fingertips.”

WD Enters Wireless Home Networking Market

Western Digital, the world's leader in external storage solutions and maker of the popular WD TV media player family, today unveils its first line of wireless home networking products, designed specifically to accelerate movies, video and gaming, delivering a premium high-definition entertainment experience. With the My Net family of powerful and easy-to-use home networking products, WD debuts its exclusive FasTrack technology that instantly detects entertainment traffic on the network and fast-forwards it to gaming consoles, media players, smart TVs, tablets, smartphones, computers and other Wi-Fi connected devices.

Lenovo Connects ThinkPad Users with No-Contract Mobile Broadband Service

Lenovo today introduced Lenovo Mobile Access, a flexible, no-contract mobile broadband service that gives consumers and business users greater choice and flexibility when connecting to valued online services. Lenovo Mobile Access provides pre-connected, always-on, customizable connectivity to the Internet and corporate networks, making it an ideal solution for users who need access to online content, applications and services away from their home, office or public Wi-Fi hotspots. Powered by a scalable cloud-based platform from Macheen Inc., the service is now embedded across select models of the ThinkPad product line and available immediately in the United States and nine European countries.

“We live in world where it’s not only undesirable to be without online access, it’s often disruptive to businesses. For that reason we wanted to create a flexible mobile broadband solution that would be unparalleled in its ability to help business users stay connected and working,” said Dilip Bhatia, vice president and general manager, ThinkPad Business Unit, Lenovo. “Fundamentally, Lenovo Mobile Access gives individual and corporate customers options to determine how, when and where they want to connect with online applications and services, all at a price that fits their budget.”

Intel Previews 1 Gbps DOCSIS 3.0 Gateway Capability at The Cable Show

Intel Corporation today previewed its first DOCSIS 3.0 cable gateway solution that is capable of 1 gigabit per second (Gbps). The Intel Puma 6 technology solution will help enable service providers to meet consumer demand and offer new services while extending their extensive network investments. A test program by South Korea’s SKbroadband is targeting production deployment of 1 Gbps in 2013.

As the number of Internet-connected devices in the home grows, service providers are challenged to provide higher broadband speeds to more customers utilizing an existing cable network. A service provider’s ability to scale up to this high level of bandwidth will help enable new high-bandwidth experiences for what the industry calls “TV Everywhere,” an immersive blend of Internet, television, gaming and applications across multiple screens throughout the home.

Wolfenstein 3D Celebrates 20th Anniversary with a Browser Edition

This month is the 20th Anniversary of Wolfenstein 3D. To celebrate id Software and Bethesda have given us all a free browser-based version of its seminal shooter. John Carmack has also given a director's commentary, full of the usual fascinating Carmackchat. You can play the snazzy HTML 5 version of Wolf 3D if you're browsing in Firefox 10, Chrome 16, Internet Explorer 9, Safari 5, or newer. Fingers crossed that your work computer is updated vaguely frequently. id Software got distracted by Doom and Quake after the release of a Wolf 3D prequel, but the series returned in 2001 with Return to Castle Wolfenstein from Grey Matter and Nerve Software. Splash Damage followed this with the superb free multiplayer spin-off Wolfenstein: Enemy Territory, then the last entry in the series was Raven's Wolfenstein in 2009. The iOS version is also going temporarily free in the App Store some time later today. Here is the Link

Source: Shacknews

StarCraft 2 Getting Global Play, and More!

As Blizzard winds up to launch StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm later this year, it's also preparing to finally roll out some features fans have been asking for since before SC2: Wings of Liberty launched back in 2010. These include resuming multiplayer matches from replays, playing in other global regions, and watching replays together with other folks. These features and more should be patched in "at or around the launch of Heart of the Swarm," production director Chris Sigaty wrote in a blog post. Resuming from replays will help tournaments go smoother, as SC2's lack of a LAN mode means that problems with a Internet or Battle.net connections can spoil a match.

Rather than starting over from scratch or having judges rule on whether to award the win to one player, they'll be able to pick up where they left off. Global play will let you, as you can probably guess, play on other regional servers around the world, rather than being limited to your home region. Multiplayer replay viewing is a feature from the original StarCraft but cut from the sequel, for when you fancy watching a replay with some chums and discuss the game together. Multilanguage support, a clan/group system, and unranked matchmaking are also in the works.

Source: Shacknews

Hauppauge Launches High Definition Video Streamer

Hauppauge Digital, Inc. has announced ‘StreamEez’, a high definition video streamer designed for organisations who want a simple to use, high quality video streamer to broadcast live events on the Internet.

The StreamEez ‘box’ connects to an HD video camera using either HDMI or Component Video, compresses the camera’s video using a built-in high quality H.264 encoder into a form which is compatible with many common streaming video sites such as Ustream and Justin.TV. StreamEez then connects to a laptop computer over USB. The computer has the Hauppauge StreamEez control application installed, which makes a connection to the streaming Internet web site.

Cisco Introduces New Linksys Smart Wi-Fi Routers

Cisco today unveiled a new line of Linksys Smart Wi-Fi Routers with app enabled capabilities for consumers to power and enjoy their connected homes of today and tomorrow. The three new Linksys Smart Wi-Fi Routers offer exceptional wireless performance and maximum throughput, as well as support for Cisco Connect Cloud, the next generation of Cisco Connect software, which provides simple anytime, anywhere management of multiple home networks. Cisco also announced it is working with top device manufacturers to simplify their networked products, (such as TVs, entertainment devices and home appliances) enabling new consumer experiences in the future.

"The proliferation of wireless devices and the explosion of video streaming have redefined the importance of the home network. Today's connected consumer has high expectations for reliability, simplicity, and software and apps that grow with them over time," said Brett Wingo, vice president and general manager, Cisco Home Networking. "Our new Linksys Smart Wi-Fi Routers are game-changing products that put intelligence into the home network so consumers have a platform that makes it easy to manage and optimize their devices, and enjoy apps that deliver great new experiences."

Nearly 1 Billion Smart Connected Devices Shipped in 2011, According to IDC

The universe of smart connected devices, including PCs, media tablets, and smartphones, saw shipments of more than 916 million units and revenues surpassing $489 billion dollars in 2011, according to the International Data Corporation (IDC). These numbers reflect the combined total from IDC's Worldwide Quarterly PC Tracker, Mobile Phone Tracker, and Media Tablet Tracker.

"Whether it's consumers looking for a phone that can tap into several robust 'app' ecosystems, businesses looking at deploying tablet devices into their environments, or educational institutions working to update their school's computer labs, smart, connected, compute-capable devices are playing an increasingly important role in nearly every individual's life," said Bob O'Donnell, vice president, Clients and Displays at IDC.

Don't Expect Better Browser Performance from New iPad: Futuremark Peacekeeper Team

Futuremark, the world leader in performance benchmarking software, today released the first benchmark results for the new iPad using Peacekeeper, its free to use browser speed test. While web pages may look sharper on the new iPad’s improved display, the benchmark results show that the browsing performance of the new iPad is the same as the iPad 2, suggesting that the computational processing power in both devices is near identical. http://peacekeeper.futuremark.com/results?key=stats

Peacekeeper is an HTML5 based browser performance test that can be used to measure and compare the performance of any browser on any Internet capable device, from desktops and notebooks, to tablets and smartphones. What’s more, as a device's browser performance is strongly linked to the power of its CPU, Peacekeeper offers a straightforward way to compare the performance of competing devices regardless of differences in operating system.

Anything that Ends in .com Seizable by US Government

Last week, US authorities shut down a Canadian-run website that ends with the TLD (top-level domain) ".com", raising eyebrows. It appears that the US is staking claim to the ".com" TLD, letting the authorities seize any ".com" domain, even of websites that are not American. Internet infrastructure company EasyDNS, in its latest blog post, said "[the] ramifications of this are no less than chilling and every single organization branded or operating under .com, .net, .org, .biz etc. needs to ask themselves about their vulnerability to the whims of U.S. federal and state lawmakers."

This latest controversy highlights how "the U.S. continues to hold over key components of the global domain name system, and rips a Band-Aid off a historic sore point for other nations," Wired commented. It also strengthens the case for non-American businesses and internet companies to opt for local TLDs (eg: ".co.uk", ".de", ".in", etc.,). Naming yourself "Dotcom" isn't such a bright idea, either.

Source: Wired, Image Courtesy: VegasDomain.org

Google to Buy Motorola Mobility

Today Fox Business is reporting U.S. and European regulators approved Google Inc's $12.5 billion purchase of Motorola Mobility on Monday and said they would keep a sharp eye on the web search giant to ensure patents critical to the telecom industry would be licensed at fair prices. The U.S. Justice Department also approved an Apple Inc -led consortium's purchase of a trove of patents from bankrupt Canadian company Nortel Networks.Both the Justice Department and European antitrust authorities said that they would monitor how patents are used to ensure they comply with antitrust rules. Antitrust enforcers on both sides of the Atlantic are concerned that patents essential to ensuring communications devices sold by different companies work together are licensed for a reasonable fee.

Power Ethernet Launches PE Socket, Integrates Power and Network To The Wall Socket

British technology start-up, Power Ethernet, has launched the ‘PE Socket’, the first product to integrate Powerline networking technology directly into an electrical socket. The PE Socket provides a simple and professional way of specifying high-speed data network connectivity throughout a building by using electrical cabling. The ‘PE Socket’ is available from leading electrical resellers including CPC and Rapid Electronics.

Based on the HomePlug AV standard for Powerline networking, Power Ethernet’s all-in-one PE Socket combines four Ethernet network ports, a fully-managed network switch and filtered power socket into a single device. It fits a UK Standard 35mm double gang metal back box and uses a building’s electrical wiring to create a high-speed and secure data network for connecting computers, Voice over IP phones, Internet-connected TVs and digital signage, home automation and entertainment systems, building management systems, CCTV cameras and other Ethernet connected-devices.

A Faster Internet, By Google

Boffins at Google are looking at ways of speeding up the internet. Not by making the underlying physical network faster, but by improving the efficiency of the Transmission Control Protocol (TCP) that underpins the internet. This will have the benefit of making all networks that use the new improved version faster and being more scalable with improvements to the underlying physical network. The new TCP stack will be compatible with the old one by running alongside it and only kicking in when both client and server have it installed. This is currently implemented in the Linux kernel and is in the process of becoming the TCP standard.

There are four basic ways that they're looking at improving TCP: 1) Increase the number of TCP packets sent at the beginning of a TCP connection from three to ten. This reduces latency. 2) Reduce packet loss timeout from three seconds to one ie shorten the time between retries, which is more appropriate for modern high speed networks. 3) Use TCP Fast Open (TFO) a faster way for a web browser to initiate a connection with a website and 4) Use Proportional Rate Reduction for TCP (PRR) which is a more efficient way to deal with traffic congestion.

The research team are also looking at improved transmission recovery (data loss) in noisy mobile environments. Full technical details are available at the Google blog.

SOPA/PIPA Internet Protests Go Viral, Hit Home

The protests to the widely condemned SOPA & PIPA "antipiracy" censorship bills have been a resounding success. They have gone viral with many, many websites blacking out and putting up protest pages, with big players taking part such as Wikipedia, Google, EFF, Reddit, Craigslist, Techdirt (greyed out) and many more taking part. Unsurprisingly, the bills' backers have not shown any sign of backing down (yet) but were prompted to make statements "wondering what all the fuss is about" to play down the damage done to their play for power, since they have recently made changes to them, such as removing the DNS blocking provisions - for now. Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) senior vice president of communications Jonathan Lamy called the protests 'stunts': "It's a dangerous and troubling development when the platforms that serve as gateways to information intentionally skew the facts to incite their users and arm them with misinformation. It's time for the stunts to end and those who claim to care about rogue website theft to back up their rhetoric and work with us on meaningful solutions." This is the same RIAA that sued their own customers with extortionate "settlement" letters remember.

World IPv6 Launch Solidifies Global Support for New Internet Protocol

Major Internet service providers (ISPs), home networking equipment manufacturers, and web companies around the world are coming together to permanently enable IPv6 for their products and services by 6 June 2012.

Organized by the Internet Society, and building on the successful one-day World IPv6 Day event held on 8 June 2011, World IPv6 Launch represents a major milestone in the global deployment of IPv6. As the successor to the current Internet Protocol, IPv4, IPv6 is critical to the Internet’s continued growth as a platform for innovation and economic development.

Anno 2070's Draconian DRM: Guru3D's Graphics Card Review Killed Off

Anno 2070's Draconian DRM: Guru3D's Graphics Card Review Killed Off (UPDATED)

Hilbert Hagedoorn of well-known PC tech review site guru3d.com recently bought a copy of Ubisoft's Anno 2070 and wanted to use it in one of his graphics card reviews. However, he became badly unstuck. This game comes on the Steam platform and the store page states: "3rd-party DRM: Solidshield Tages SAS 3 machine activation limit". Unfortunately for Guru3D, they found out exactly what this means, which resulted in just one performance graph, an aborted review, an unplayable game – and bad publicity for Ubisoft once again. They have published an article about their experience, pledging not to use their titles again because of this DRM.

Now GOG.com Joins Opposition to SOPA and PIPA

The highly controversial SOPA & PIPA bills currently being rushed through Congress by Big Media are encountering ever more opposition from minor and major players alike, such as Google. Now gog.com, owned by parent company CD Projekt RED, has come out against these bills too and are one of many games companies to do so. They address the questions of "will it work?" and "will it stop piracy?" with the answers being sort-of and no.

uTorrent Use Surges To 150M Per Month, Announce New Consumer Electronics Partnerships

BitTorrent, a leading peer-based technology company, today announced that the company's flagship BitTorrent Mainline and µTorrent software clients have grown to over 150 million monthly active users worldwide.

In December 2011, the classic BitTorrent Mainline client boasted over 20 million users, while the legendary tiny-but-mighty µTorrent client grew to over 132 million users. The numbers represent an aggregate count of both software clients running on Windows, Mac, Android and Linux platforms.

The company also announced four new strategic "BitTorrent Certified" device partnerships at CES in Las Vegas including TVs, set-top boxes, media adapters, and Blu-ray players. BitTorrent Certified devices are designed to enable consumers to discover, play, share and move all types of personal media, regardless of size, type or format, so that they can play high-quality content in their living rooms. New certification partners include:
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