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Microsoft invests $1.1 billion in a new data center in Iowa

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Business, Financial & Legal | Posted: 5 hours, 46 mins ago

Iowa is quite the hot spot for data centers, with the state attracting Microsoft yet again to build its new data center in West Des Moines, a spot where the company already runs a data center.

 

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The investment is costing $1.1 billion, with the project being one of the largest in the history of the data center industry. The new facility will be spanned across 1.2 million square feet of space, on a massive 154-acre property. This data center has been a mystery for a while now, something that has been known as Project Alluvion.

 

On Friday, the Iowa Economic Development Authority Board approved a $20.3 million sales tax rebate to Microsoft on the project, something that will be made available until 2021. This is on top of the $18 million in incentives that the company has been promised by West Des Moines. Microsoft will be pumping around $8 million a year in property taxes back into the city, as well as creating 84 jobs when its fully built up. 66 of those jobs will have hourly wages of $24.32.

Thanks to Palcohol, powered alcohol is now a thing

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Humor & WTF | Posted: 7 hours, 19 mins ago

Do you get pissed at high prices of alcohol at events? Don't you wish you could bring your own alcohol with you, without the massive space and weight it takes to bring it in? Well, powered alcohol is your answer, or Palcohol.

 

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Palcohol is just alcohol, powderized. Palcohol comes in a pouch, which you tip into a glass, fill with water and stir. You can even add a mixer if that's something you like. Palcohol is a patent pending product, which is "made from premium Puerto Rican Rum". 58% alcohol from its weight, and 12% by its volume. We don't know if you can buy it just yet, but this is an interesting development in the world of alcohol. This is something Nucky Thompson needs.


Motorola rumored to release the Moto E, an even cheaper, thinner phone

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Mobile Devices, Tablets & Phones | Posted: 8 hours, 52 mins ago

The next couple of months will be an important time for the smartphone industry, and more importantly, the mid-range handset market. Motorola already has a cheap handset on the market in the form of the Moto G, but it looks like the company - now owned by Lenovo - is working on an even cheaper smartphone dubbed Moto E.

 

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Moto E will reportedly sport a 4.2-inch 720p display, 1.2GHz dual-core processor, 1GB of RAM and 4GB of on-board storage. This will be joined by a 5-megapixel rear-facing camera and 1900mAh battery. When comparing the Moto E against the Moto G, the Moto E has a slightly smaller screen, half the on-board storage, half the processor cores and slightly less battery.

 

But, we should see the Moto E sliding in at just 6.2mm - noticeably thinner than the Moto G at 11.6mm, and a price of around $230 off-contract. This comes in off the heels of Google being rumored to be unveiling a new Nexus smartphone soon, priced at under $100.

Wireless power is close, 40 smartphones powered simultaneously at 5m

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Science, Space & Robotics | Posted: 9 hours, 48 mins ago

Wireless power is something I simply can't live without, but I can only charge one or two devices at once. But, over in Daejeon, Republic of Korea, scientists have used something they call the Dipole Coil Resonant System to charge 40 smartphones simultaneously, even if the power source is up to 5m away.

 

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We already know about MIT's Coupled Magnetic Resonance System (CMRS) which was unveiled in 2007, which used a magnetic field in order to charge devices - but it had an envelope of 2.1m. CMRS had some major technical limitations for commercialization, most of which haven't been solved: "a rather complicated coil structure (composed of four coils for input, transmission, reception, and load); bulky-size resonant coils; high frequency (in a range of 10 MHz) required to resonate the transmitter and receiver coils, which results in low transfer efficiency; and a high Q factor of 2,000 that makes the resonant coils very sensitive to surroundings such as temperature, humidity, and human proximity".

 

Chun T. Rim, a Professor of Nuclear & Quantum Engineering at KAIST, along with his team, developed the "Dipole Coil Resonant System" or DCRS. This system is for an extended range of inductive power transfer, at up to 5 meters between transmitter and receiver coils. Professor Rim's solution to CMRS' problems are all but solved with DCRS.

 

The technology is capable of powering "a large LED TV as well as three 40 W-fans can be powered from a 5-meter distance" according to to Professor Rim. He continues: "Our technology proved the possibility of a new remote power delivery mechanism that has never been tried at such a long distance. Although the long-range wireless power transfer is still in an early stage of commercialization and quite costly to implement, we believe that this is the right direction for electric power to be supplied in the future. Just like we see Wi-Fi zones everywhere today, we will eventually have many Wi-Power zones at such places as restaurants and streets that provide electric power wirelessly to electronic devices. We will use all the devices anywhere without tangled wires attached and anytime without worrying about charging their batteries".

Google wants developers to be smarter about the design of their apps

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Apps | Posted: 10 hours, 50 mins ago

Google I/O isn't far away, but now the Mountain View-based giant is warning its developers to work more on the design of their apps. The warning fires have been shot, so we should see some big changes at the event in June.

 

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Google's Staff Designer and Evangelist, Nadya Direkova, took to a blog post saying: "When Google launched, it was a crisp white page with a simple search box. You might not have thought there was much in the way of design, but its appearance underscored two of our most important principles: simplicity and usefulness".

 

The company wants its developers to emphasize design as they consider the best way to develop and distribute their apps and services. Google's Director of Developer Relations, Billy Rutledge, said in a blog post that the goal Google has it to help developers "build and prove your app from start to finish".

Sony has great things to say about DayZ when talking about H1Z1

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Gaming | Posted: 12 hours, 22 mins ago

Sony Online Entertainment President, John Smedley, participated in a Reddit AMA, where he talked about the similarities between the upcoming MMO from the company H1Z1, and the already popular DayZ.

 

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He said: "Not going to give some politically correct dodgy b.s. answer. H1Z1 is a survival in a Zombie Apocalypse game. So is DayZ. They have made a brilliant game (first I might add). So sure. We're another Zombie Apocalypse game. Call it what it is. But our goal is to make ours fun, accessible, hard core and super, super deep".

 

Smedley continued: "This is our take on the Zombie Apocalypse with a lot of friends and hopefully some great enemies both living and dead. We're proud to be up front and say we love DayZ and the job they've done and we hope they enjoy what we make, too". H1Z1 does have quite a big difference when held up against DayZ, where it will allow gamers to create "structures, forts and towns" to stop the zombies from coming in. H1Z1 will also feature "a deep in-game economy that is heavily dependent on crafting. Players will be able to become manufacturers ... sell bullets, arrows ... etc. The in-game economy will be entirely player driven".

 

H1Z1 arrives on Steam Early Access in the next couple of weeks for just $20, after which it will launch sometime in the near future on the PlayStation 4.

Google rumored to unveil a new mid-range Nexus, priced at under $100

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Mobile Devices, Tablets & Phones | Posted: 1 day, 2 hours ago

The Nexus 5 is already one of the most competitively priced smartphones on the market, at just $349 directly from Google. But the latest rumors of a new Nexus smartphone that would sell for under $100 should scare Samsung, Apple and every other smartphone maker.

 

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A new report from Chinese publication MTKSJ says that the new Nexus smartphone would feature a MediaTek processor to keep costs down, versus the Snapdragon processor found in the Nexus 5 for $349. There's not much else known about the cheap smartphone, but it would make sense as Google ramped down the required RAM on Android - could that have been a hint of things to come from Google?

Heat-seeking drones are getting the 420 on weed in the UK

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Humor & WTF | Posted: 1 day, 4 hours ago

Technology isn't just helping the NSA track every move you do online, but it is also helping criminals, too. In the UK, criminals are using heat-sensing drones to find weed farms, after which they'll go in and take it all in a heist.

 

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Growing weed is obviously illegal, but you're not exactly going to report that your farm of weed is gone. This leads to violence, with a thug talking to Halesowen News, admitting that his crew steals from, and imposes a tax on their targets because "the people growing [weed] are not gangsters". Local members of Parliament are reportedly not in the know, but Tom Watson, who is the Chair of a Parliamentary group on drones had something to say about the weed-heisting using drones.

 

He said: "This ... story shows the proliferation of drone technology which can be used for both good and bad".

Nike rumored to abandon FuelBand, fires the hardware team

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Wearable Computing | Posted: 1 day, 4 hours ago

It looks like Nike is done with its FuelBand wearable, with reports surfacing that the company has let go of most of its hardware division, and that the company will be stopping production of the hardware completely.

 

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There was a 'slim' version of the FuelBand expected toward the end of the year, but most of the 70 or so hardware employees have been let go. The anonymous network Secret.ly saw someone post a rumor last week, which read: "The douchebag execs at Nike are going to lay off a bunch of the eng team who developed The FuelBand, and other Nike+ stuff. Mostly because the execs committed gross negligence, wasted tons of money, and didn't know what they were doing".

 

But, Nike has just launched the Fuel Lab, which is think tank for connected devices based in San Francisco. We could see the company release an API for its software services, partnering up with a company to build the hardware while Nike provides the software.

OnePlus One could see wood, carbon fiber, denim back covers

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Mobile Devices, Tablets & Phones | Posted: 1 day, 6 hours ago

The OnePlus One smartphone is shaping up to be one of the surprise announcements this year, but there are some new leaks which make the cheap smartphone sound even better.

 

TweakTown image news/3/7/37147_05_oneplus_one_could_see_wood_carbon_fiber_denim_back_covers.jpg

 

TweakTown image news/3/7/37147_04_oneplus_one_could_see_wood_carbon_fiber_denim_back_covers.jpg

 

OnePlus is set to release some removable back covers that will change the entire look of the One smartphone. Why? Because these covers will come in some interesting designs: wood, carbon fiber and denim. We will find out more when the OnePlus One smartphone is officially unveiled on April 23.

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