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Archive for February, 2011

Rugged alternative for SO-DIMMs makes its debut

February 22, 2011

The Small Form Factor Special Interest Group (SFF-SIG) has comes up with a ruggedized alternative to SO-DIMM that offers more flexibility in memory sizes compared to memory soldered to a CPU board. The RS-DIMM Rugged Memory Specification, supported by two upcoming Swissbit and Virtium Technology modules, defines a rugged, DDR3 mezzanine memory module with a pin-and-socket connector optimized for small CPU boards.

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Car computer runs Ubuntu 10.10, offers GPS and HSDPA

February 22, 2011

Vic has begun selling an Ubuntu Linux-based, double-DIN car computer with GPS and 3G HSDPA for approximately $410. Based on an Intel Celeron M processor with 2GB of DDR2 memory, the NaviSurfer II Ubu-3G offers a 250GB hard disk drive, a seven-inch, 800 x 480 touchscreen, and extensive connectivity including multiple camera inputs, says the company.

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Rugged Core i7/i5 computer has five gigabit Ethernet ports

February 18, 2011

Vecow announced a fanless industrial computer that employs Intel Core i7/15 processors and is designed for harsh environments. The Vecow EC-3000 Fanless Embedded Controller offers up to 4GB DDR3 SDRAM, plus SATA and Compact Flash storage, mini-PCIe expansion, up to five gigabit Ethernet ports, six USB 2.0 ports, four serial ports, and dual display capability, says the company.

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Tablets last on list of U.S. consumers’ wishlists, says Gartner

February 18, 2011

Despite the tablet mania sweeping the consumer electronic industry, a Gartner survey found that tablet computers rank the lowest on Americans' tech wishlists for 2011. Smartphones topped the list of desired devices, especially those with open source operating systems, while laptops and desktops were next in line for consumer spending plans, says the research study.

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Open source Snowball board taps dual-core Cortex-A9 SoC

February 18, 2011

Calao Systems announced an open-platform, 3.34 x 3.34-inch development board for smartphones and tablets based on ST-Ericsson' dual-core, 1GHz Cortex-A9 “Nova A9500” system-on-chip. The “Snowball” board offers extensive wireless and sensor connectivity, HDMI output, support from an open source “Igloo” community, and Android, MeeGo, and Ubuntu BSPs developed by Movial and Linaro.

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Flash memory persistence tech supports super low voltage devices

February 18, 2011

Researchers from the University of Massachusetts and Texas A&M have developed a way to use flash memory in gadgets that use low power or have no batteries at all. Applied to a sensor-monitoring application using a 1.8 Volt microcontroller, the researchers' “persistence” technique reduced overall energy consumption by 34 percent, says the researchers.

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Debian 6 offers updated applications, few rough spots, says review

February 18, 2011

Debian 6 will play well in server deployments that draw on open source components, as well as for desktop Linux users who require configuration flexibility, says this eWEEK review. Welcome additions are said to include Ubuntu's Software Center and a new GNU/kFreeBSD variant that opens up the open source OS to a wider audience.

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Full-duplex transmission could double speed of wireless networks

February 18, 2011

Stanford University researchers have announced a breakthrough that could nearly double the throughput of wireless networks. The “antenna cancellation” technology has already been demonstrated in office settings and, once perfected, will add little cost to Wi-Fi equipment, according to the university.

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Google music app to ship on Motorola Xoom tablet

February 17, 2011

Motorola Mobility CEO Sanjay Jha said a Google music application will be available with the Motorola Xoom tablet later this year. Also this week, Motorola confirmed the $799 (unsubsidized) pricing for the Android 3.0 tablet and announced the retailers that will participate in the tablet's second-quarter release in the U.K.

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Industrial computer offers 12 serial ports

February 17, 2011

Adlink announced a fanless, Atom N270-based industrial computer featuring extended temperature support and 12 serial ports, some of them programmable. The MXE-1200 offers CompactFlash storage, Mini PCI Express and SIM slots, LVDS and VGA, gigabit Ethernet outputs, and the ability to work on power supplies from 6~36 Volts, the company says.

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Linux Foundation to unite Linux and Android devs at new summit

February 17, 2011

The Linux Foundation announced an event intended to increase “systems level” collaboration among Android and Linux developers — and perhaps patch up an ongoing rift with Google over kernel contributions. The Android Builders Summit, scheduled for April 13-14 in San Francisco, is now open for presentation submissions, the organization says.

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Wind River and McAfee team up on embedded security

February 17, 2011

Wind River and McAfee — the first already an Intel subsidiary, the second soon to be — say they will jointly develop security solutions for mobile and other embedded devices. The strategic agreement will initially focus on software related to Wind River Linux, say the two companies.

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Google One Pass to challenge Apple subscription service

February 17, 2011

Seeking to undercut Apple's App Store subscription service, Google unveiled a payment service to let publishers set their own prices and terms for digital content they serve on tablets, smartphones, and websites. With “Google One Pass,” publishers will keep 90 percent of sales, vs. 70 percent from Apple's service, giving Android a potential advantage over iOS in the digital publishing contest.

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Google asks Patent Office for second opinion on Oracle’s Android claims

February 17, 2011

Hoping to fend off Oracle's lawsuit claiming Android patent infringement for certain Java patents, Google has asked the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) to reexamine four of them. Meanwhile, an open source expert suggests that because Google is a relative weakling in the patent game, lacking few patents of its own, it will be tough to settle with Oracle.

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IBM’s Linux-based Watson supercomputer wins Jeopardy final

February 17, 2011

After some heady competition from its human rivals in the second exhibition round of Jeopardy, supercomputer “Watson” handily won round three, as well as the competition. Now the SUSE Linux-powered Watson is heading to medical school to prep for a role as a diagnostic assistant, while IBM readies a more context-sensitive successor dubbed “Racr”.

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Dust-proof signage PC taps dual-core 1.8GHz Atom

February 16, 2011

Axiomtek is readying an IP4X-rated, dust-proof digital signage player based on a dual-core, 1.8GHz Intel Atom D525 processor. The DSB-300 offers 4GB of DDR3 memory, dual PCIe slots with wireless options, a gigabit Ethernet port, four USB 2.0 ports, a serial port, and an optional hardware decoder that supports 1920 x 1080 HD video, says the company.

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ARM Cortex-A15 processor adopts Imagination’s new graphics IP

February 16, 2011

ST-Ericsson announced an ARM Cortex-A15 “Nova A9600” processor it says will be the first to offer Imagination Technologies' speedy “Rogue” graphics. The chipmaker also announced two Cortex-A9 application processors — the Nova A9540 and A9500 — plus three Cortex-A9-based “NovaThor” smartphone platforms, and an open source “Snowball” board and “Igloo” community based on the A9500.

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4G base-station on a chip runs Linux

February 16, 2011

Freescale Semiconductor announced a Linux-ready system-on-chip family for femtocell and picocell 4G base stations. The QorIQ Qonverge SoCs combine a Power-PC core for the PSC9130/31 femtocell version — or dual cores for the PSC9132 picocell model — as well as one or two Freescale StarCore DSP cores, a Maple baseband accelerator, and other accelerators that create a scalable “base station-on-chip.”

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LiMo 4 spec adds UI enhancements

February 16, 2011

The LiMo Foundation announced the imminent launch of LiMo 4, giving its mobile Linux stack new components such as widget libraries, social networking support, and support for multitouch and larger screen sizes. Meanwhile, LiMo's Morgan Gillis told Reuters that Nokia's move to Windows Phone 7 should open more opportunities for the increasingly marginalized consortium.

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Google tips future unity between Gingerbread and Honeycomb forks

February 16, 2011

An upcoming “I” Android release will provide Honeycomb-like tablet features for phones, Google CEO Eric Schmidt said during a Mobile World Congress (MWC) keynote. He added that Google would still welcome Nokia in the Android camp, demonstrated a video editor for Honeycomb named Movie Studio, and waxed eloquent on mobile technology's positive effect on society.

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