Tagged With Computing

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Advances in regular hard drive tech are still very important, especially in the enterprise space. No, James Kirk doesn't need more gigabytes to keep his extraterrestrial porn collection — but the cloud does need more bits to hold your dirty pictures and videos and the odd work document. And so, we now have drives filled with helium.

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Briefly: The patent trolls strike again! Minero Digital LLC, a shell company with ties to the patent-holding giant Intellectual Ventures, is taking Wal-Mart, Best Buy and two dozen other companies to court over USB hubs. Minero demands the companies pay royalties on said hubs, based on a patent it acquired from IV in April, 2015.

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Depending on how much you like your hobbies, you'll be prepared to spend a good deal of cash on them. Think you'll like flying drones? $2000 for a DJI Phantom 3 Professional and you're set. Think you'll like snapping photos? Prepare to drop a couple of grand on a good DSLR or mirrorless camera and a couple of grand more on lenses. In that context, Razer's pro-grade podcasting and Twitch streaming mic seems affordable. At $399, it's pricy, but you get what you pay for.

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Gaming is more popular than ever these days, and if you want the most versatile gaming experience you're better off playing on a PC. Not only do you get the option of incredible graphics, there are a whole bunch of different ways to actually play everything. If you're looking for some gear to get you started on PC, or to improve your existing gaming experience, then look no further.

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Have a house full of the absolute latest and greatest in technology? A brand new Ultra HD television, a shiny new 12-inch MacBook, a top of the line wireless-connected desktop PC? Then you need a Wi-Fi router that can blast along all the data that these devices use to communicate back and forth . Linksys' EA8500 Max-Stream is the first of a new breed of Wi-Fi routers with MU-MIMO, a new piece of network tech that has the potential to quadruple the bandwidth available to your Wi-Fi devices.

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We don't all buy ridiculously powerful notebooks. Gaming PCs, sure, but not notebooks. Normal laptops — y'know, the ones you can buy in Harvey Norman and your local computer store, the ones that cost a thousand dollars and not five thousand — are far more common, but we don't give them as much love as we should.

AMD has just taken the covers off its latest high-performance notebook APU, called Carrizo, and the under-the-hood improvements are genuinely amazing. Say hello to double the battery life of last year's laptops, as well as almost double the computing power.

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AMD has a new top-end APU — that's accelerated processing unit, if you didn't know, combining a high performance CPU with a high performance integrated graphics chipset — in the A10-7870K. Built to go inside your next mainstream desktop PC purchase, it's just as small as any other CPU, but has some serious graphics grunt under the hood — more than enough to beat a mainstream Intel chip and standalone graphics card.

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Briefly: The Model B+, which spent a while as the flagship board before the Pi 2 came into being, is now just $US25. The Raspberry Pi foundation claims this is due to manufacturing efficiencies found in the manufacture of the Pi 2 board; I'm sure it has nothing to do with the new $US9 CHIP microcomputer on Kickstarter.

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Faster hardware and better software means artificial intelligence is only going to get more, er, intelligent. Games are one way to put electronics smarts through their paces and when researchers got bored of Chess they, naturally, moved onto Texas Hold'em. So, how well does a dedicated, poker-playing cyber-brain go against the professionals? Not well.