Intel Haswell-E review: The best consumer performance chip you can buy – with some caveats August 29, 2014 at 12:00 pmToday, Intel is launching its long-awaited update and refresh of its top-end enthusiast platform: Haswell-E. It’s a refresh that’s been a long time coming — the old X79 chipset was long in the tooth 12 months ago, while the top-end six-core Ivy Bridge didn’t overclock well and wasn’t a huge improvement over the six-core Sandy Bridge. Will the new hardware put a fresh coat of paint on a lackluster lineup? Let’s take a look.
Run Android apps on your Windows PC August 29, 2014 at 11:22 amYou don’t need an Android phone to run apps designed for the platform—with a few software downloads and a couple of tweaks, you can explore them on your PC.
Apple’s iWatch is finally coming in September: Are you ready for the wearable revolution? August 28, 2014 at 10:46 amAfter years of rumors, leaks, and false starts, it seems the stars are finally swinging into alignment this fall: Apple is now expected to unveil an iWatch smartwatch alongside its new large-screen iPhone 6 at an event on September 9. Presumably the iWatch would also be released alongside the iPhone 6, a week or two later. Previous rumors had pointed to an October unveil for the iWatch, but it seems Apple has moved it forward — possibly in response to the Samsung Gear S, LG G Watch R, and the Moto 360, all of which will be released over the next month or two. Just as the iPhone and iPad popularized the smartphone and tablet, will the arrival of the iWatch signal the beginning of the wearable computing revolution?
Samsung unveils standalone Gear S 3G smartwatch: Awesome, until the battery runs out after an hour August 28, 2014 at 8:23 amWhether you like it or not, it seems this fall will be all about the smartwatch. This morning, following LG’s tease of the round-faced G Watch R, Samsung has unveiled the Gear S — the first major smartwatch with its own 3G connection, allowing it to send/receive calls and generally act as an internet-connected smart device without being paired to a nearby smartphone. Is the world ready for a standalone smartwatch? Do we even have the battery technology to allow a 3G smartwatch to run for more than a few hours?
64-bit Chrome finally available to download: Faster, more secure, twice as stable August 27, 2014 at 9:44 amAt long last, Google has released a stable 64-bit version of Chrome for Windows. It’s faster, more secure, and more stable. Some tasks, such as decoding HD video on YouTube, are 15% faster under the 64-bit version of Chrome. The only major caveat seems to be a lack of support for 32-bit NPAPI plug-ins — Silverlight and Java, and lots of lesser-known plug-ins, won’t work on 64-bit Chrome. That’s a small price to pay for increased speed, security, and twice the stability of 32-bit Chrome, though.
Why are high-end graphics cards so big? August 26, 2014 at 2:16 pmSapphire revealed a compact version of a traditionally big graphics card, prompting us to ask the question — why are GPUs so big to start with?
Windows 9 may remove the Metro interface for desktop PC users, feature one-click upgrade process August 26, 2014 at 1:04 pmAccording to new Windows 9 leaks and rumors, it seems we could be in for some dramatic changes by the time the first public preview of Windows 9 rolls around on September 30. The most recent leaked builds of Windows 9 (codename Threshold) indicate that Microsoft will finally fix the awful upgrade process that has plagued Windows for almost two decades, replacing it with a one-click upgrade system. Perhaps more excitingly, another source says that Windows 9 will formally split the Metro and Desktop interfaces: Tablets will be restricted to Metro, while laptops and desktops will be locked to the standard Desktop interface.
A fully transparent solar cell that could make every window and screen a power source August 26, 2014 at 8:10 amResearchers at Michigan State University have created a fully transparent solar concentrator, which could turn any window or sheet of glass (like your smartphone’s screen) into a photovoltaic solar cell. Unlike other ‘transparent’ solar cells that we’ve reported on in the past, which are actually quite colorful and opaque, this one really is transparen. The team are confident that the transparent solar panels can be efficiently deployed in a wide range of settings, from “tall buildings with lots of windows or any kind of mobile device that demands high aesthetic quality like a phone or e-reader.”
The final ISA showdown: Is ARM, x86, or MIPS intrinsically more power efficient? August 25, 2014 at 12:58 pmA new paper from the University of Wisconsin tackles the question of whether ARM or x86 is more power efficient with updated processors and results from China’s Loongson processor. Does ISA still matter?
Hackers take down PSN with DDOS, and Sony president’s plane with a bomb threat August 25, 2014 at 8:41 amIn a rather bizarre twist of events, a group by the name of Lizard Squad has taken hacking to the next level: Not only did the hackers take down the PlayStation Network with a distributed denial of service (DDOS) attack, but they also took down Sony Online Entertainment president John Smedley’s airplane with a bomb threat.