Carpet Bomberz Inc.

Scouring the technology news sites every day

Consumer Reports puts ‘bendgate’ to bed, finds iPhone 6 easier to bend than Plus model

carpetbomberz:

Hats off and kudos to Consumer Reports for getting on this story as soon as they could. Measurement trumps anecdotes any and all days of the week. Here now some data and measurements regarding the bendy iPhone 6 and 6 Plus.

Originally posted on 9to5Mac:

Screen Shot 2014-09-26 at 9.21.21 PM

Consumer Reports released a new video today taking on claims of overly-flexible iPhones that have appeared online recently. Apple noted that only a handful of complaints have come in and gave journalists a look at its testing procedures. Regardless of Cupertino’s claims, Consumer Reports kept its promise to conduct testing that was a bit more scientific in nature than previous YouTube videos.

To address these claims, several different phones were tested under up to 150 pounds of pressure to see when each model would stop “snapping back” to its original shape. The devices tested were the iPhone 6 Plus, iPhone 6, iPhone 5, HTC One M8, Samsung Galaxy Note 3, and LG G3.

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Written by carpetbomberz

September 27, 2014 at 2:08 pm

Posted in technology

SanDisk Launches Its Highest Capacity SD Card Yet

The SanDisk Extreme PRO UHS-I SDHC/SDXC family includes 128 GB, 256 GB and 512 GB capacities. The new 512 GB card costs $799.99 and is available now.

via SanDisk Launches Its Highest Capacity SD Card Yet.

Interesting to finally see this form factor hit the market. These cards now are as big or bigger than the typical laptop hard drive. That’s a big deal in that any computer fortified with an SDXC card slot can have a flash based back-up store. I keep my Outlook mail archives on an a drive like this. And occasionally  I use it to transfer files the way I would do with a reliable USB flash drive. And this on a laptop that already has an SSD, so I’ve got 2 tiers of this kind of storage. We’re reaching a kind of singularity in flash based storage where the chips and packaging are allowing for such small form factors, hard drives become moot. If I can stuff something this small into a slot roughly the size of a U.S. postage stamp, then why do I need an SATA or even an M.2 sized interface? Is it just for the sake of throughput and performance? That may be the only real argument.

Written by carpetbomberz

September 22, 2014 at 3:19 pm

Posted in flash memory, mobile

Oculus Reveals Its New “Crescent Bay” Prototype With 360-Degree Head Tracking And Headphones

carpetbomberz:

I hope Oculus can get a shipping product out on the market soon. Perfectionism is not helping launch this market. The longer they wait, the more chance there’ll be a cheaper equally well working competitor. Pleez Oculus, release the Rift.

Originally posted on TechCrunch:

Oculus gave the world the first look at its new prototype Crescent Bay today at the Oculus’ Connect conference (livestream), and I got the very first hands-on demo. Crescent Bay has a faster frame rate, 360-degree head tracking, and integrated headphones, plus it’s lighter.

Oculus also announced the new Oculus Platform coming to the Samsung VR, which brings VR to a large audience through mobile apps, web browsers, and a VR content discovery channel. You can read our full story on Oculus Platform here.

CEO Brendan Iribe called Crescent Bay as big of a step up from the DK2 as the DK2 was from the DK1. This still isn’t a consumer version, but it’s getting closer.

The Crescent Bay is not an official developer kit, but instead a “feature prototype” designed to show off the future of what Oculus is doing, similar to the pre-DK2 “Crystal Cove”

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Written by carpetbomberz

September 21, 2014 at 12:29 pm

Posted in technology

Take back your log-in: It’s time to move away from Facebook Connect and toward OpenID

carpetbomberz:

As for me, when I submit comments on any publication’s website, I look for Disqus (which I have registered with using my OpenID) or straight out OpenID. Totally worth it when they want authentication and identification. It also helps tie my ID back to my WordPress blog. So it has a second knock-on effect if people want to find out more about my other writings. OpenID works and it works well, and failing that Disqus works equally well for me. No need to reinvent any wheels when it comes to logins, authentications, etc.

Originally posted on Gigaom:

If you are creating a new website or mobile app, one of the things you need to worry about most is user login.

User login is thorny. Make it too hard, and users won’t sign up. Make it too easy, and you put users’ passwords at greater risk of being hacked.

Moving all that pain to [company]Facebook[/company] might seem like an attractive option. Facebook has been pushing its Facebook Connect service as a way you can outsource the login capability to Facebook. You let Facebook handle the databases, the passwords, and so on, and you just do some simple code to link to Facebook. And there are already more than 1 billion Facebook users, so it’s likely your users already have a log-in. What’s not to Like (bad pun intended)? What’s not to like?

Well, most web properties have two important success criteria and measures: how many new users sign on every month, and how often they come back. Once you’ve used Facebook Connect, guess…

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Written by carpetbomberz

September 21, 2014 at 12:27 pm

Posted in technology

Building a Vector Monitor Controller

carpetbomberz:

Vector monitors for the Win!

Originally posted on Hackaday:

crt [fredkono] has a few vintage Atari arcade boards sitting around, and without the rest of the arcade machine – especially the XY CRT – these boards would continue to gather dust. The solution to this terrible shortage of vintage video games was to build a vector monitor from scratch. No, that doesn’t mean building a new CRT, but it does mean rewiring the yoke and building a CRT controller board for tubes salvaged from small, old TVs.

Nearly all the CRTs you’ll find at your local goodwill or surplus shop are raster displays. The CRTs used in the old Atari games were vector displays and extremely similar to the tubes found in old oscilloscopes. [fred] turned the CRT found in an old 9″ color TV into a vector monitor by rewinding the yoke.

With the tube rewired, it was only a matter of connecting the custom deflection circuit boards

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Written by carpetbomberz

September 18, 2014 at 4:23 pm

Posted in technology

HGST brings PCM to flash show, STUNS world+dog with 3 MILLION IOPS • The Register

English: A small device used by Goverment to t...

English: A small device used by Goverment to tap ilyas’s official phone in 2003 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In a terrific demo of the wrong technology for the Flash Memory Summit, HGST is showing a PCIe-connected Phase Change Memory device running at three million IOPS with a 1.5 microsecs read latency.

via HGST brings PCM to flash show, STUNS world+dog with 3 MILLION IOPS • The Register.

For a very long time I’ve been keenly following the IOPs ratings of newly announced flash memory devices. From the SATA->SSD generation and the most recent PCIe generation to the UltraDIMMs. Now however, this Phase Change Memory announcement has kind of pushed all those other technologies aside. While the IOPs are far above a lot of other competing technologies, that is for reads and not writes. The speed/latency of the writes is about 55 times slower than the reads. So if you want top speed on reading and not writing the data, PCM is your best choice. But 55 times slower is not bad, it puts the write speed at approximately the same speed as Multi-Level Cell (MLC) flash memory currently used in your consumer grade SSD flash drives.

Chris Mellor’s emphasis is PCM likely better suited as a competitor to UltraDIMM as a motherboard memory than a faster PCIe SSD drive. And a lot depends on the chips, glue logic and Application Specific Integrated Circuits (ASICs) on the PCIe board. HGST went to great lengths to juice the whole project by creating a bypass around the typical PCIe interfaces allowing much greater throughput overall. Without that engineering trick, it’s likely the 3M IOPs level wouldn’t have been as easily achieved. So bear in mind, this is nowhere near being a shipping product. In order to achieve that level of development it’s going to take more time to make the thing work using a commodity PCIe chipset on a commodity designed/built motherboard. But still 3M IOPs is pretty impressive.

Written by carpetbomberz

September 18, 2014 at 3:00 pm

Posted in computers, flash memory

Tagged with , ,

The MOOC Revolution That Wasn’t

carpetbomberz:

Flipped Classrooms and MOOCs still are hot topics and popular in the higher education and technology websites. Certainly in the time since the big entrepreneurial opportunities like Udacity and EdX sprang up something should have been learned. What have we learned in the 3 years since Sebastian Thrun put his AI course online for all to register for and take for a semester? Are we closer to understanding the cost and return of adopting this format for online education? The jury is still out but the doubts are there.

Originally posted on TechCrunch:

Editor’s note: Dan Friedman is the co-founder of Thinkful.

Three years ago this week, Sebastian Thrun recorded his Stanford class on Artificial Intelligence, released it online to a staggering 180,000 students, and started a “revolution in higher education.” Soon after, Coursera, Udacity and others promised free access to valuable content, supposedly delivering a disruptive solution that would solve massive student debt and a struggling economy. Since then, over 8 million students have enrolled in their courses.

This year, that revolution fizzled. Only half of those who signed up watched even one lecture, and only 4 percent stayed long enough to complete a course. Further, the audience for MOOCs already had college degrees so the promise of disrupting higher education failed to materialize. The MOOC providers argue that completion of free courses is the wrong measure of success, but even a controlled experiment run by…

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Written by carpetbomberz

September 11, 2014 at 10:44 pm

Posted in technology