Computer

Backblaze releases billion-hour hard drive reliability report

Backblaze has released its reliability report for Q1 2016 covering cumulative failure rates both by specific model numbers and by manufacturer. The company noted that as of this quarter, its 61,590 drives have cumulatively spun for over one billion hours (that’s 42 million days or 114,155 years, for those of you playing along at home). […]

Computer

New medical tech coming to the rescue for the vision-impaired

Ever since the invention of the magnifying glass nearly 25 centuries ago, we’ve been using technology to help us see better. For most of us, the fix is fairly simple, such as a pair of glasses or contact lenses. But for many with more seriously impaired vision — estimated at around 285 million people worldwide — technology […]

Computer

IBM researchers announce major breakthrough in phase change memory

For years, scientists and researchers have looked for the so-called Holy Grail of memory technology — a non-volatile memory standard that’s faster than NAND flash while offering superior longevity, higher densities, and ideally, better power characteristics. One of the more promising technologies that’s been in development is phase-change memory, or PCM. IBM researchers announced a […]

Computer

Microsoft’s Windows 10 Anniversary Update doubles up on Start Menu advertising

One of the changes Microsoft introduced when it launched Windows 10 was the ability to show suggested applications, aka advertisements, within the Start Menu and on the lock screen. The “suggested application” function can be disabled relatively easily, but Microsoft is making changes in Windows 10 to increase application visibility and hopefully entice more users […]

Computer

Microsoft releases unofficial service pack for Windows 7

One of the disadvantages to using an older Microsoft operating system is the need to install several hundred megabytes of patches after the initial OS is loaded. In the past, Microsoft ameliorated this problem by releasing several service packs over the life of the OS, but Windows 7 only ever got one service pack, in […]

Computer

Adobe Spark will unleash your inner graphic designer

I’ve always been jealous of graphic designers. Their ability to transform a few photos and some text into a visually-compelling communication is both an art and a skill. There are plenty of applications around that provide the technical tools needed for great graphic design — starting with Adobe’s own Illustrator — but they are not […]

Computer

ARM announces new Artemis CPU core, first 10nm test chip, built at TSMC

ARM and TSMC have had a joint agreement in place for several years to collaborate on R&D work and early validation on process nodes, and they’ve announced a major milestone in that process. As of yesterday, ARM is announcing that it has successfully validated a new 10nm FinFET design at TSMC. The unnamed multi-core test […]

Computer

New Windows 10 update will change hardware requirements for the first time since 2009

Ever since Windows Vista launched in 2007, the minimum hardware requirements for Windows have remained mostly unchanged (Windows 7 slightly increased the required storage footprint from 15GB of HDD space to 16GB). Now, Windows 10’s Anniversary Update, which drops in roughly two months, will make three significant change for the first time in seven years. […]

Computer

IBM Watson amps up Moogfest 2016 with AI-infused programming

IBM Watson came to Moogfest 2016, but there were no Jeopardy! questions this time around. If you’ve been following, you already know that IBM Watson, an artificially intelligent system capable of answering questions in natural language, has been up to much more than that recently. At Moogfest, IBM Watson team spokesperson Ally Schneider was on hand […]

Mobile

Chinese phones or Samsung, LG, Sony and HTC?

Times are changing and in the smartphone market they change quickly. If you wanted to buy an Android device three years ago you had the choice between manufacturers like Samsung, Sony, LG and HTC. Chinese smartphones were usually out of the question. The devices were considered cheap replicas of famous brands with poor hardware on […]