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KidzGear Launches Headphones for Kids with Volume Limiting Technology

Kidz Gear, the Grown-up Performance, Built For Kids! brand, announced today that its award-winning line of Wired Headphones for Kids has been expanded to include a NEW Apple version designed specifically for the iPod, iPhone and iPad – the Kidz Gear Apple Wired Headphones for Kids. This Apple-specific version of the popular Kidz Gear headphones feature unique “KidzControl" Volume Limiting Technology for a safe listening experience while helping to protect children’s hearing; an Inline Microphone; and a Remote with controls for Track Up, Track Down, and more.

$25 Raspberry Pi Hobby Computer Doubles iPhone 4S GPU Performance And Beats Tegra 2

We have previously reported on the super cheap ARM-based Raspberry Pi hobby computer that's been under development from the Raspberry Pi foundation. However, it's now going into production and is generating a lot of interest, so gamesindustry.biz interviewed its founder, Eben Upton, about it (free registration required).

The computer's primary purpose is as a computer science teaching aid in schools and colleges and also for home brew use by enthusiasts who want to tinker with it and make specialized solutions out of it. However, it seems that enthusiasts will have a nice surprise in that the onboard GPU is surprisingly good. The actual ARM implementation is a Broadcom BCM2835 System on Chip (SoC) containing an ARM 11 CPU and a custom graphics core, which has been designed by the Raspberry Pi team, including Upton. In the interview, Upton claimed that it can double iPhone 4S performance and handily beats NVIDIA's Tegra solution, because of its tile mode architecture.

New USB Charger Powers 16 Devices At A Time

Charging large numbers of iPads, iPhones and iPods is a challenge for many schools, businesses and other organizations. A new 16-port professional USB charging station now makes this possible.

Compact, light and easy to use, the Power Pad 16 (DS-IP-PP16) provides the optimum power required for charging iPads and other iDevices. It can be used to replace bulky power strips and the AC adapter bricks of the standard chargers.

Apple Reports Record First Quarter Results

Apple today announced financial results for its fiscal 2012 first quarter which spanned 14 weeks and ended December 31, 2011. The Company posted record quarterly revenue of $46.33 billion and record quarterly net profit of $13.06 billion, or $13.87 per diluted share. These results compare to revenue of $26.74 billion and net quarterly profit of $6 billion, or $6.43 per diluted share, in the year-ago quarter. Gross margin was 44.7 percent compared to 38.5 percent in the year-ago quarter. International sales accounted for 58 percent of the quarter's revenue.

The Company sold 37.04 million iPhones in the quarter, representing 128 percent unit growth over the year-ago quarter. Apple sold 15.43 million iPads during the quarter, a 111 percent unit increase over the year-ago quarter. The Company sold 5.2 million Macs during the quarter, a 26 percent unit increase over the year-ago quarter. Apple sold 15.4 million iPods, a 21 percent unit decline from the year-ago quarter.

Apple the Biggest Buyer of Semiconductors: Gartner

Apple has become the biggest buyer of semiconductors in 2011, according to the latest data by market researcher Gartner. It pushed ahead of Samsung Electronics and HP. In 2012, Apple spent a total of US $17.3 billion in sourcing semiconductors as raw material in making its products. Gartner attributes Apples growth to solid sales of its iPhone and iPad brands, and the success of Macbook Air, which became a path-breaking product as it pretty-much defined the requisites of what go into making performance ultra-portable notebooks such as Intel's Ultrabook specification. Apple's semiconductor purchases grew from US $12.8 billion in 2010 to $17.3 billion in 2011, a 35 percent growth. At the second place is Samsung, with $16.7 billion in semiconductor purchases, a 9.2% growth.

Source: PCWorld

Foxconn Boss Likens Workers to Animals

A pinch of Foxconn is in most pieces of computer hardware and tech-gadgets sold today, but it's known more to be one of Apple's main contract-manufacturers of products such as the iPhone. Even as Apple has to fight flames on behalf of its suppliers about the bad PR the state of welfare of their workers are given, Hon Hai Precision industry's (Foxconn's) chairman kicked off a storm with one of his latest comments, where he likened his workers to animals. "Hon Hai has a workforce of over one million worldwide and as human beings are also animals, to manage one million animals gives me a headache," said Hon Hai chairman Terry Gou.

You might excuse Mr. Gou when that statement is read without context, since we're all technically animals, so let's add the context in which he made that remark, which is what kicked off the storm. Mr. Gou was attending an year-end party (Chinese lunar year-end), which was also attended by Chin Shih-chien, director of Taipei Zoo. He followed up that comment saying that he should learn from Shih-chien about "how animals should be managed." WantChinaTimes comments that Terry Gou's words were not carefully chosen.

Elecom Intros New Pocket Bluetooth Keyboard for iOS, Mac OS, and Windows Devices

Japanese company Elecom unveiled a nifty new gadget for those on the move, and don't mind long sessions of thumb-typing, the TK-FBP029 Mini Bluetooth Keyboard. Measuring 146 x 78 x 21 mm, and weighing 96 g, the keyboard features a clam-shell form-factor like the electronic pocket organizers of last century. The keyboard works over Bluetooth 3.0, and is compatible with Apple iOS devices (iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad), Apple Mac OS devices (Macbook, Mac, Mac Pro), Windows devices (Windows PC, Windows Phone, Windows Embedded), and even Sony Playstation 3. The hinge of its lid can get locked into an obtuse angle, letting you place a portable device (such as your iPhone) on it. It comes in lid color options of black, white, and hot pink. The company did not give out pricing information.

Source: Akihabara News

Apple Patents New Face-Recognition Device Unlock Technology

Some time in June 2010, Apple filed a patent application for a unique new facial-recognition technology that's light on the resources. It was discovered by AppleInsider. Entitled "Low Threshold Face Recognition," the application defines a method of recognizing a person using a front-facing camera of a device (could be anything from an iPhone, iPad, to even a Mac or Macbook), that consumes very little system resources, and is hence light on the device's power source.

It could very well be an evolution of the "Slide to Unlock" mechanism found on iOS devices, and conventional password entry to wake Macs up. If granted, this technology comes to being at a particularly important time, when a similar technology evolving out of Android Face Unlock, and when facial-recognition will be a key feature of Microsoft's Windows 8 operating system, to log into systems and wake devices up from their e-slumbers. Apple's proposed technology relies on analyzing a "high information portion" portion of the human face, rather than using the conventional resource-heavy method of recognition. Apple claims its technology will be just as reliable.

Source: Apple Insider

Christmas Special: The PC Technology of 2011

Welcome to the TechPowerUp 2011 PC technology Christmas special. We hope that you will enjoy reading it while tucking into your turkey, Christmas presents and a little too much wine... In this article, we go through the technology of 2011 that has had the most significance, the most impact and was generally the most talked about. It's not necessarily the best tech of 2011 which is the most significant though, since lemons can be just as significant as the ground-breakers in how they fail to deliver - and the backlash that goes with it.

January: Intel Sandy Bridge i5 & i7

Released on January 9th, the new Intel Core i5 & i7 processors were based on Intel's second generation Core architecture built on a 32 nm production process (HEXUS review). They included an IGP (Integrated Graphics Processor) physically on the same piece of silicon along with HyperThreading. These new dual and quad core processors soundly beat all previous generations of Intel processors in terms of processing performance, heat, power use, features and left AMD in the dust. Therefore, Intel badly needed some competition from AMD and unless you have been living under a rock, you will know how that turned out in October with the launch of Bulldozer. Sandy Bridge was a sound win and is generally considered to be the only architecture worth considering at this point. The i5-2500K is currently at the sweet spot of price/performance. It comes at a stock speed of 3.3 GHz, but typically overclocks to an amazing 4.5 - 5 GHz with a decent air cooler and without too much difficulty in getting there. Models in the budget i3 range were released at various times later. See this Wikipedia article for details.

AOC to Show Off 23-inch Monitor with Built-In iPhone/iPod dock at CES 2012

Next month at CES 2012 in Las Vegas (January 10-13) monitor maker AOC is promising to showcase a widescreen display which includes a built-in iPhone/iPod touch dock. This extra allows people to view videos or photos taken with their Apple-flavored handheld on the monitor's 23-inch Full HD (1920 x 1080) panel, or to listen to the music on the device via the monitor's SRS Premium Sound speakers.

Beside this slim, sleek, and dock-enhanced monitor (called e2343Fi), AOC will show off at CES a new USB-powered display, and a fresh, passive 3D display.

Apple Working on Retina Display for Macbook Pro

Apple sure knows how to surprise us when it comes to display advancements, be it its retina display on iPhone products, 2560 x 1440 pixels in 27-inch monitors (Apple was first to market with that density), or talk of 2048 x 1536 pixels native resolution with the next generation iPad. This latest news is bound to shock and awe. Apparently, Apple is working with upstream suppliers to develop a retina display for its Macbook Pro products. As early as in Q2 2012, Apple will launch a new Macbook Pro with 2880 x 1800 pixels (that's more pixels than even the costliest of today's 30-inch displays can manage). More importantly, it's a return to the 16:10 aspect ratio. It will achieve this without upscaling display dimensions. Meanwhile, Apple's PC competitors ASUS and Acer plan 1920 x 1080 display notebooks around that time.


Source: DigiTimes

Transcend Announces StoreJet Cloud Wireless Portable HDD

Transcend announced the launch of its new StoreJet Cloud Wireless Portable Drive. Featuring small dimensions, long-lasting battery, and capacity of up to 64GB, the portable StoreJet Cloud significantly extends the storage space available on Apple iOS and other Wi-Fi enabled devices. Photos, documents, eBooks, music, and movies are accessed via a dedicated wireless network, providing much-needed freedom from cables.

StoreJet Cloud offers support to the capacity limitations of mobile devices and presents an excellent value alternative to the ongoing expense and coverage demands of Internet storage. By physically storing media with flash-based technology, StoreJet Cloud can provide a further 28 hours of DVD quality movies or 16,000 songs in a small and lightweight design, as well as skip-free playback in an instant. When connected to a computer, StoreJet Cloud acts like any other portable drive. Simply drag and drop files from the computer into personalized folders for straightforward file management.

MSI Announces All-New X79 Motherboard Series Featuring Military Class III Components

Leading international mainboard and graphics card manufacturer MSI today announces the official release of its X79A-GD65 (8D), X79A-GD65, X79A-GD45, and X79MA-GD45 mainboards. The new mainboards are based on Intel's latest X79 chipset and uses the LGA 2011 socket supporting the 2nd generation Core i7 processors. The X79A-GD65 (8D) features with 8 memory DIMMs, supports 16GB DDR3 memory modules, bringing maximum capacity up to a staggering 128GB! For superior quality and stability, MSI X79 series mainboards adopts Military Class III components. With DrMOS II - the next generation of DrMOS with improved double thermal protection - the lifetime of components is maximized, even in warmer environments or when the machine is heavily overclocked.

MSI X79 series mainboards also feature the latest PCI Express Gen 3 bus and MSI's proprietary Click BIOS II for maximum performance and user convenience. When taking into account all of the other advanced technologies supported such as 3-Way NVIDIA SLI and 4-way AMD CrossFireX multi-GPU processing technology, THX TruStudio PRO sound, Multi-BIOS II, Control Center II, and Super Charger, MSI X79-series mainboards are simply the best choice for enthusiasts!

AMD Fails to Halt S3 Graphics Patent Lawsuit Against Apple

In late September, S3 Graphics, still a subsidiary of VIA Technology and soon to be transferred to HTC, dragged Apple Inc. to court over charges of patent infringement related to graphics component IP of nearly all Apple products, including iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, and iMac. Last month, AMD, now a main supplier of graphics processors for Apple's Mac products, intervened with a counter lawsuit claiming it owned the patents that S3 has asserted against Apple, and sought an immediate halt to S3's patent case against Apple.

In an October 28 filing with the ITC, S3 says that a federal judge struck down a request for an immediate halt into S3's case, but the Commission is scheduled to release its final decision on November 15. The case struck down is (rather was) Advanced Micro Devices Inc. v. S3 Graphics Co., 11cv965, U.S. District Court for the District of Delaware (Wilmington).Source: Bloomberg

Apple Reports Fourth Quarter Results, Reports All-Time Record Mac and iPad Sales

Apple today announced financial results for its fiscal 2011 fourth quarter ended September 24, 2011. The Company posted quarterly revenue of $28.27 billion and quarterly net profit of $6.62 billion, or $7.05 per diluted share. These results compare to revenue of $20.34 billion and net quarterly profit of $4.31 billion, or $4.64 per diluted share, in the year-ago quarter. Gross margin was 40.3 percent compared to 36.9 percent in the year-ago quarter. International sales accounted for 63 percent of the quarter’s revenue.

The Company sold 17.07 million iPhones in the quarter, representing 21 percent unit growth over the year-ago quarter. Apple sold 11.12 million iPads during the quarter, a 166 percent unit increase over the year-ago quarter. The Company sold 4.89 million Macs during the quarter, a 26 percent unit increase over the year-ago quarter. Apple sold 6.62 million iPods, a 27 percent unit decline from the year-ago quarter.

New Portal 2 DLC Imminent – and It’s Free!

It took somewhat longer than expected, after having been promised for the summer and then a couple more times, but now this fresh new DLC called Portal 2: Peer Review will be released to eagerly waiting Portal 2 fans on October 4 on PC (Steam), PS3 & Xbox 360 platforms. This is a hard date, so there should be no more slips.

Now, S3 Graphics Slaps Apple with Two Patent Infringement Charges

Soon to be subsidiary of HTC, currently held by VIA Technologies, S3 Graphics, fired off two more patent infringement charges against Apple Inc. Last week, VIA Technologies had sued Apple for alleged infringement of two of its CPU-related patents. These fresh charges by S3 Graphics, like those by VIA, seek sales ban on iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch, as well as Mac in the United States. The complaints were filed with the US ITC (United States International Trade Commission), and a district court in Delaware.

S3 Graphics patents that the company claims Apple infringed are: #5945997 "block- and band-oriented traversal in three-dimensional triangle rendering," and #5581279 "VGA controller circuitry". If S3 Graphics pulls it off, it could inflict significant damage on Apple's sales, as the company heads towards the winter shopping season.Sources: FOSS Patents, TechConnect Magazine

VIA Seeks US Ban of iPhone, iPad Over Patent Infringements

Taiwan-based low-power computing technology company VIA sought a sales ban of Apple's iPhone and iPad, for what it alleges to be patent infringements of its microprocessor intellectual property. VIA sought a jury trial along with a sales ban on Apple products containing the inventions in the U.S., according to a complaint filed yesterday in federal court in Wilmington, Delaware.

In its complaint VIA says “The products at issue generally concern microprocessors included in a variety of electronic products such as certain smartphones, tablet computers, portable media players and other computing devices.” This specifically impinges upon Apple's cash-cow products, the iPhone and iPad, and it isn't coming at a good time because Apple, according to market analyst Gartner Inc., will dominate tablet sales this holiday season. The case is Via Technologies v. Apple Inc. (AAPL), U.S. District Court, District of Delaware (Wilmington).Source: Bloomberg

Iomega Introduces New Mac Companion Hard Drive

Iomega, an EMC company and a global leader in data protection, today announced the new Iomega Mac Companion Hard Drive, a speedy, large capacity desktop hard drive styled to match the latest Mac computers with a first-of-its-kind convenient high-powered port to charge your iPad, iPhone and iPod, as well as selection of computer interfaces for connecting peripherals like a printer or other external storage device.

"With the new Iomega Mac Companion Hard Drive, Mac users now have a convenient and stylish way to quickly charge their iPads with the bonus of plenty of new storage capacity for their Mac computer," said Jonathan Huberman, president of Iomega Corporation. "With more than nine million iPads sold in the last quarter alone, the new Mac Companion Hard Drive is the perfect complement for all those iPad owners. This futuristic drive blends effortlessly with the latest Mac computers and the Apple ecosystem of mobile devices. Together, form and function rarely looks as good or works as well as the new Iomega Mac Companion Drive."

Apple Introduces iCloud, Free Cloud Services Beyond Anything Offered to Date

Apple introduced iCloud, a breakthrough set of free new cloud services that work seamlessly with applications on your iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, Mac or PC to automatically and wirelessly store your content in iCloud and automatically and wirelessly push it to all your devices. When anything changes on one of your devices, all of your devices are wirelessly updated almost instantly.

“Today it is a real hassle and very frustrating to keep all your information and content up-to-date across all your devices,” said Steve Jobs, Apple’s CEO. “iCloud keeps your important information and content up to date across all your devices. All of this happens automatically and wirelessly, and because it’s integrated into our apps you don’t even need to think about it—it all just works.”

Seagate Debuts First Mobile Wireless Storage For iOS And Other Mobile Devices

Seagate, today announced GoFlex Satellite mobile wireless storage, the first battery-powered external hard drive to wirelessly extend the storage capacity of any Wi-Fi enabled mobile device. With 500GB and Wi-Fi access over 802.11 b/g/n and a rechargeable battery, this latest member of the GoFlex family provides the ability to carry an entire library of video, music, pictures and documents with you. Devices are wirelessly connected directly to the GoFlex Satellite drive by use of the free GoFlex Media app–available now on iTunes and the Apple App Store–or a web browser. GoFlex Satellite is available immediately for preorder from Seagate.com, Amazon and BestBuy.com for a manufacturer's suggested retail price of $199.99, and is scheduled to arrive in Best Buy stores in July 2011. Global availability is planned for later this summer.

"With the growth of the tablet and iPad markets and the larger volumes of high-quality media now being consumed, there is a clear need for access to content that is not plagued with the challenges of streamed video over the Internet," said Patrick Connolly, vice president and general manager of Seagate's retail group. "The unfortunate fact is that these popular new mobile devices are hampered by their limited storage capacity while one of their primary functions is that of media consumption.

Apple Announces New iMac with Next-Gen Quad-Core Processors, Graphics, Thunderbolt

Apple today updated its signature all-in-one iMac with next generation quad-core processors, powerful new graphics, groundbreaking high-speed Thunderbolt I/O technology and a new FaceTime HD camera. Starting at $1,199, the new iMac is up to 70 percent faster and new graphics deliver up to three times the performance of the previous generation.

“Our customers love the iMac’s aluminum enclosure, gorgeous display and all-in-one design,” said Philip Schiller, Apple’s senior vice president of Worldwide Product Marketing. “With next generation quad-core processors, powerful new graphics, Thunderbolt technology and a FaceTime HD camera, we've made the world’s best desktop even better.”

Apple Intros 2011 Macbook Pro, First Taker for Intel Thunderbolt

Apple today introduced its 2011 Macbook Pro, the company's premium line portable computers. Available in 13.3-inch, 15-inch, and 17-inch sizes, the Macbook Pro binds the latest notebook hardware with the Apple Mac platform. The 2011 version makes use of Intel's second-generation Core "Sandy Bridge" processors, AMD Radeon HD 6000 series graphics, a minimum of 4 GB of DDR3 memory, and Intel's newly introduced Thunderbolt 10 Gb/s "Light Peak" interface. The new Macbook Pro also features a new Facetime HD camera that allows Facetime conversations with three times the video resolution, and a revamped glass-based multi-touch surface trackpad that gives pointing with the precision of an iPhone 4. Mac OSX "Snow Leopard" is the OS of choice.

The lineup, with available hardware configurations is split according to screen size. The 13.3-inch are the entry-level, starting at US $1,199. The base model features dual-core 2.3 GHz Core i5 with 320 GB HDD, topped by a dual-core 2.7 GHz Core i7 driven model with 500 GB HDD at $1,499. The 15-inch pair includes a quad-core 2.0 GHz Core i7 powered model with AMD Radeon HD 6490M graphics and 500 GB HDD priced at $1,799, followed by a quad-core 2.2 GHz Core i7 model with Radeon HD 6750M graphics, and 750 GB HDD at $2,199. The series is topped by a 17-inch model with quad-core 2.2 GHz Core i7 processor, Radeon HD 6750M graphics, and 750 GB HDD, priced at $2,499. They are available right away from the Apple Store.

QNAP Debuts New Affordable High Performance Turbo NAS Server Family

QNAP Systems, Inc., a leading manufacturer of world class NAS servers, NVR Video Surveillance Systems, and Network-based Media Players today announced the TS-x12 lineup of affordable high performance Turbo NAS servers intended for the fast-growing home and SOHO market segment. The new models utilize the latest Marvell 1.2GHz processor and include 256MB of DDRII memory and Gigabit LAN ports, offering up to 8TB of networked storage with a unique blend of solid performance, high reliability, and advanced features at very affordable price points. The TS-x12 series includes the 1-drive TS-112, 2-drive TS-212, and 4-drive TS-412.

NAS is becoming a popular addition to home networks as they solve the problem of how to centrally store and share digital content among computers in the home – especially in mixed Windows/Mac networks. QNAP's new TS-x12 models are easy to attach to existing networks and provides easy file sharing within the network, centralized backup of all networked computers, website hosting, printer sharing, even recording of surveillance video from IP cameras.

Verbatim Announces MediaShare Mini Easy Storage Sharing Solution

Verbatim, the information storage pioneer and computer peripherals leader, helps consumers nationwide get “plugged in” like never before with the brand-new MediaShare Mini, an easy-to-use home networking solution that makes any USB drive and its files network accessible. The new unit also allows for seamless content sharing with friends and family as well as multimedia streaming.

“With more than 18 million external hard drives expected to be shipped this year, coupled with the increasing need for users to be able to access and share their content whenever and wherever they are, the MediaShare Mini is the perfect solution for helping people manage their digital life in the most efficient possible way,” said Verbatim Product Manager, Ron Hanafin. “Whether it’s retrieving files remotely, streaming iTunes music or uploading photos directly onto Facebook, the MediaShare Mini is the must-have tool for today’s connected consumer.”
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