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SanDisk pushes MicroSD to 200GB

SanDisk has managed to cram 200GB of memory into a MicroSD card.The new card is a 56 percent jump on the current highest capacity MicroSD, a 128GB card.SanDisk said it managed the higher capacity by using a proprietary design and production process that allows for more bits of memory per chip.It didn’t disclose details of the process, but the capacity of the card gives a clue as to how close it has come to the current limits of manufacturing technology.Memory chips are typically sized in powers of 2, with steps such as 16GB, 32GB, 64GB and 128GB. Keeping that patten would result in a 256GB chip, but it appears SanDisk wasn’t able to do that. Instead, it settled for 200MB.To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

MediaTek wants to put its chips in Chromebooks

Most Chromebooks today are running Intel processors, but chipmaker Mediatek wants to change that as it sees an opportunity to expand its market beyond Android tablets and smartphones.MediaTek’s new high-performance mobile chip, the Helio X10, already supports Chrome OS, said Kevin Jou, vice president and chief technology officer at MediaTek, in an interview on Sunday ahead of Mobile World Congress in Barcelona. Besides powering Chromebooks, the chip is also a fit for other thin-and-light laptops and hybrid laptop-tablets, he said.Chromebooks are growing in popularity as a low-cost alternative to Windows PCs for users who do most of their computing while online. Most Chromebook applications require Internet connectivity, though more applications are moving to offline functionality as well.To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

MIPS Creator CI20: Sort of a challenge to the Raspberry Pi 2 Model B

Single Board Computers are all the rage these days and for a good reason: The supporting technologies have become so sophisticated and powerful and the prices so low that off-the-shelf SBCs are great for everything from embedded systems in commercial products through supporting hobby projects to being educational tools. Perhaps the most famous of SBC is the Raspberry PI (I covered the latest version of this board, the Raspberry Pi 2 Model B, in a recent article) but that’s not the only contender in the SBC market as new ones are appearing all the time.To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

YO! This messaging app has a lot more to say for itself, even offline

Mobile World Congress is not the best place to launch a new messaging app: With thousands of tech-savvy visitors in Barcelona, many of them toting multiple connected devices, public wireless and Wi-Fi networks quickly become so saturated that it’s difficult to send a message via Internet, even a brief “Yo,” to a nearby colleague.But that Yo is so last year. The app that could only send one word still sent every message to a central server before bouncing it over to its destination.This year showgoers will be able to try out a new Android app, called YO!, that can send text messages, photos and videos over Wi-Fi to other users nearby without any Internet connection whatsoever, making it a true peer-to-peer messaging app. And as long as they’re prepared to disable certain security settings on their phone, they won’t even need to log on to the Play store to get it: Anyone with YO! installed on their phone can share it with other would-be users over Bluetooth.To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

YO! This messaging app has a lot more to say for itself, even offline

Mobile World Congress is not the best place to launch a new messaging app: With thousands of tech-savvy visitors in Barcelona, many of them toting multiple connected devices, public wireless and Wi-Fi networks quickly become so saturated that it’s difficult to send a message via Internet, even a brief “Yo,” to a nearby colleague. But that Yo is so last year. The app that could only send one word still sent every message to a central server before bouncing it over to its destination.+ See our full coverage of MWC 2015 + This year showgoers will be able to try out a new Android app, called YO!, that can send text messages, photos and videos over Wi-Fi to other users nearby without any Internet connection whatsoever, making it a true peer-to-peer messaging app. And as long as they’re prepared to disable certain security settings on their phone, they won’t even need to log on to the Play store to get it: Anyone with YO! installed on their phone can share it with other would-be users over Bluetooth.To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

Lenovo brings 64-bit Android to $129 tablet

Tablets running 64-bit Android haven’t been out for long but prices are already set to fall fast.Lenovo’s 8-inch Tab 2 A8 will ship in June starting at $129, with a 64-bit version of Android 5.0 and a 64-bit quad-core processor from MediaTek. It was one of three tablets Lenovo announced ahead of the Mobile World Congress trade show in Barcelona.Sixty-four-bit tablets have a few advantages. They can support more memory and therefore make light work of multimedia-intensive apps such as games, as well as apps that use encryption for security. More 64-bit Android apps are in development, so a 64-bit tablet also provides some future-proofing.To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

Lenovo brings 64-bit Android to $129 tablet

Tablets running 64-bit Android haven’t been out for long but prices are already set to fall fast. Lenovo’s 8-inch Tab 2 A8 will ship in June starting at $129, with a 64-bit version of Android 5.0 and a 64-bit quad-core processor from MediaTek. It was one of three tablets Lenovo announced ahead of the Mobile World Congress trade show in Barcelona. Sixty-four-bit tablets have a few advantages. They can support more memory and therefore make light work of multimedia-intensive apps such as games, as well as apps that use encryption for security. More 64-bit Android apps are in development, so a 64-bit tablet also provides some future-proofing.To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

MediaTek eyes new markets with $300 million startup fund

MediaTek, the Taiwanese chip maker that has helped create the market for low cost smartphones and tablets, is setting up a $300 million venture fund to expand in new areas.MediaTek Ventures will invest in startups in Asia, North America and Europe, with a focus on areas like the Internet of Things, Internet infrastructure and online services, the company announced Monday.Along with China’s Rockchip, MediaTek produces a lot of the processors that go into the cheap smartphones and tablets that are being adopted quickly in developing markets like India and China. By investing in startups, it hopes to expand more quickly in emerging areas like wearables.To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

New products of the week 03.02.2015

New products of the weekOur roundup of intriguing new products. Read how to submit an entry to Network World's products of the week slideshow.Transporter 15 and 30 appliances Key features: Private cloud file sync and share appliances that have been designed to deliver critical business-class file sharing features, performance and capacity to small businesses, departments and remote offices. More info.To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

Acer’s new low-cost handset will be upgradeable to Windows 10

Acer is getting a head-start on Windows 10, releasing a new smartphone that comes with Windows Phone 8.1 but which it promises will be upgradeable to the new OS when it arrives later this year.Called the Liquid M220, it’s priced from €79 (US$89) and will go on sale in Europe, the Middle East and Africa. Acer couldn’t immediately say if it will be sold in the U.S., but it’s been focussing on EMEA lately for its mobiles and wearables.It is one of many low-cost phones Acer is announcing at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona. The others run Android.The M220 has a 4-inch screen, which is similar to other low-cost Windows handsets like the Lumia 435 and Lumia 512. It has a 5-megapixel rear camera and a 2-megapixel front camera, and comes with a bevy of Microsoft apps including Cortana and OneDrive.To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

Acer’s new low-cost handset will be upgradeable to Windows 10

Acer is getting a head-start on Windows 10, releasing a new smartphone that comes with Windows Phone 8.1 but which it promises will be upgradeable to the new OS when it arrives later this year. Called the Liquid M220, it’s priced from €79 (US$89) and will go on sale in Europe, the Middle East and Africa. Acer couldn’t immediately say if it will be sold in the U.S., but it’s been focussing on EMEA lately for its mobiles and wearables. It is one of many low-cost phones Acer is announcing at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona. The others run Android.+ See our full coverage of MWC 2015 +To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

8 great ways to celebrate Raspberry Pi’s 3rd birthday

Happy Pi Day!Image by Shutterstock/Stephen SauerHas it really been three years? The Raspberry Pi has been through several updates, new models and sold more than 5 million units since its launch in February 2012 – sounds like a good excuse for a party to us! Here are some suggestions for a fun Pi Day.Play EliteOne of the major early backers of the Raspberry Pi project was David Braben, PC gaming pioneer and creator of the classic spaceship title Elite. An open-source version, Oolite, is still available to play for free, but if you’ve got money and a modern computer, you might try the swanky, impressive new reboot, Elite: Dangerous.To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

With expansion into West Africa, VMK ignites Africa-designed brands competition

By opening its first store in the Ivory Coast, VMK, based in the Republic of the Congo, is taking a big step in its expansion plans and potentially setting up a designed-in-Africa brand competition with RLG.VMK has up to now offered products manufactured in China but has plans to start making phones in Africa. RLG, which has global headquarters in Dubai, runs its West African phone-assembling operation from Ghana.VMK’s move into West Africa from its Central Africa base in Brazzaville coincided with the Ivory Coast’s launch of a project aimed at equipping 500,000 families with a computer or a tablet, plus an Internet broadband connection.To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

Google tests business Hangouts in search results

Using Hangouts, Google is testing a search feature that enables users to conduct live chats with businesses directly from their search results. Google confirmed to Computerworld that it is running a test on the technology, but declined to offer any specific details about the size of the test or which businesses are participating. Matt Gibstein seems to be the first one who spotted the test, tweeting, "Super interesting: @Google search now offering the ability to chat with local businesses (a la @Path Talk)." The feature has a live chat, or Hangout, feature pop up in the search results if a business has someone available to communicate with the user. The Hangout can be launched on a desktop system or mobile device.To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

Funniest video about Boston winter e-vah

I’d pay good money to watch Ken Burns watch this hilarious YouTube video: “Facebook Statuses About the Boston Snowstorm With Sad Civil War Fiddle Music.” (Some NSFW language.) Thanks, Safety Whale Comedy Collective; we needed that.One of the voices on the video, actor and filmmaker Harry Aspinwall, tells me the back story via email: “My friend Luke Palmer made it after I wrote the final quote, about eating dogs and so on, as a Facebook status. He commented by posting Ashokan Farewell (the fiddle piece, which has been used in Ken Burns' stuff about the Civil War) and it sort of went from there. He got me to record the male voices.”To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

IDG Contributor Network: Smartphones charge in a minute with bio-battery

Better batteries? In the words of one Reddit user: "OMG, not this again."But wait, there's more, as the expression goes. There's a reason that new battery technology piques our interest whenever we hear about it. Batteries are the last insurmountable hindrance to the seductive idea of total nomadism and blissful un-tethered freedom.Murphy's LawBatteries are one technology that haven't really seen a Moore's law-esque periodic doubling of capacity. Moore's law says that the number of transistors in an integrated circuit doubles about every two years.To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

IBM to pump $4 billion into cloud, mobile and analytics

IBM will dedicate $4 billion in spending this year to the cloud, analytics and mobile technologies, as it struggles with seismic shifts that are changing the computing landscape it once dominated, In return, by 2018 IBM expects to reap a combined $40 billion in annual revenue from the areas in which it's investing, which also include social and security, the company said at an annual meeting on Thursday. It could use the growth. IBM's sales declined to about $93 billion last year, from just over $98 billion in 2013, thanks to declines in some of its traditional businesses and the sale of two big hardware divisions to Lenovo and GlobalFoundries.To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

CIOs report that spending is on the rise

IT leaders will see bigger technology budgets in the coming year, according to CIO’s most recent Tech Poll, which is conducted regularly to gauge IT spending and stages of implementation in key technology categories.To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here(Insider Story)

Samsung mass produces 128GB smartphone memory with 2X-plus performance

Samsung is mass producing the industry's first 128GB embedded flash memory based on the Universal Flash Storage (UFS) 2.0 standard.The memory will be targeted for use in next-generation flagship smartphones and will offer 2.7 times the performance of today's embedded MultiMediaCard (eMMC) flash memory.Samsung is touting the new memory's ability to offer smoother ultra-high definition video streaming, more efficient multitasking and reduced power use.The UFS 2.0 specification, released in 2013, offers a multi-lane, serial bus versus the single-lane, parallel bus used in today's eMMC flash.The UFS 2.0 specification boasts up to 600MBps (megabytes per second) of throughput, but because it can use two serial lanes, it has a total of 1,200MBps, or 12Gbps, Samsung stated. That compares with the eMMC 5.0 spec, which has a 400MBps maximum performance over a single parallel bus.To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

Docker introduces orchestration tools for large scale deployments

As adoption of the Docker virtualization container grows, the namesake company behind the open source technology has released three tools for managing large scale deployments.Docker Machine, Swarm and Compose are collectively designed to make containers more portable and scalable, so they can be deployed and managed more easily en masse. Machine and Swarm are in a beta stage of development.Debuting in 2013, Docker has become popular with developers and organizations, having been downloaded over 100 million times. The software provides a way to package an application along with its dependent libraries so it can be easily and quickly run on any Linux platform. All the major cloud providers, including Amazon Web Services, Google, IBM, Joyent, and Microsoft, can host Docker containers.To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here