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Intel Shrinks Down the PC with New NUC Line

Thursday, February 26th, 2015

IntelNucIn a screening at Intel’s suite, the company showed off their latest Next Unit of Computing devices, or NUCs. These super tiny PCs feature the latest Core i3, i5 and i7 Broadwell processors, with some of them even running Braswell chips, all within a 4-by-4 design.

This latest series of NUC has ditches the mSATA storage interface and moved into M.2, allowing for lightning fast read and write speeds to the disk. USB 2.0 ports are also a thing of the past, and the NUCs all feature USB 3.0 ports only. Some of the higher-end models also feature a mini-DisplayPort v1.2 output, giving the ability to connect three monitors to this mini PC. All of this power packed into such a small frame means that it can not only replace your home theater PC, but could easily replace most users’ desktop PCs.

There are three distinct enclosures for the NUC, depending on which processor you select. The two that will be commonly sold are 115mm x 111mm wide and are either 29.8mm or 48.5mm tall. Your differentiator there is going to be whether or not you want to fit a 2.5″ SSD inside the NUC.

What I found most intriguing was the customizable lids that can be interchanged on the NUC. One of the prototypes on display was a Hauppauge TV tuner that was attached to the top of one of the NUCs, allowing full TV capture and playback, built right into the top of the PC. There was also a NUC that wore a lid that had NFC capability built into it, and Intel said there would be another dozen or so lids to choose from in the near future, with hopes that more partners will join in to create other lid styles.

One surprise was saved for the end, and that was the Intel Compute Stick. Donning Windows 8.1 with Bing, 32GB of storage, 2GB RAM and a Baytrail processor all within a device that can fit in your pocket, the Compute Stick can plug into any TV or monitor. Intel looks to sell this extremely compact computer for only $149.

Interview by Nicholas DiMeo of F5 Live: Refreshing Technology for the Tech Podcast Network.

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Razer Looks Sharp in the Living Room with New Gaming Devices

Thursday, February 26th, 2015

RazerRazer, the hardcore gamer’s favorite peripheral company, has leapt from just the standard mouse and keyboard and is moving into the living room for your entertainment. Whether casual or enthusiast, Razer has something lined up for both of those gamers with their latest products.

Razer’s mission was to bring PC gaming into the living room without needing an expensive and high-end computer. Razer’s newest product, the Forge TV, an Android TV-powered microconsole that allows games, music, movies and PC gaming all from the device. For the skeptics out there, what’s different about the Forge TV’s Android box is the buy-in from developers. Razer is working with top-level game studios to have popular and well-known titles show up on the Forge in order to entice gamers to try out the platform.

Further enhancing the living room experience for gamers is Razer’s PC game-streaming technology, called Cortex Stream. Coming later this year, you’ll be able to stream desktop PC games to the Forge TV at only $99.

Lastly, Razer introduced their newest peripheral, made for the living room, called the Turret. The wireless mouse and keyboard combo will run you $129, and really makes living room gaming comfortable. The lapboard features a magnetic mousepad to keep the mouse from falling to the floor, and the keyboard has anti-ghosting technology to keep your keystrokes sharp and intentional.

Interview by Nicholas DiMeo of F5 Live: Refreshing Technology for the Tech Podcast Network.

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Zolt Proves That Great Things Come in Small Packages

Thursday, February 26th, 2015

ZoltIt’s no secret: Everyone, at least once in their life has forgotten a charger or brought the wrong one on a business trip or vacation. What if there was one charger that you could bring that could handle 2 devices and a laptop? And what if the charger automatically knew what voltage and wattage to deliver to the devices? Meet Zolt.

The world’s smallest laptop charger was a 2015 International CES Innovation Award Honoree. Zolt’s ability to charger a laptop and two other devices at the same time is what makes it so unique and truly a product that stands out from the pack.

Zolt comes with a 6-foot proprietary cable that’s the same color as the charger, which comes in an assortment of flavors. It also features the a bunch of different laptop tips that charge almost every device on the market today. Your Lenovo laptop, Apple iPad and any micro-USB device are all on the list of the hundreds of devices in total that can work with Zolt.

Weighing in at only 3 ounces, and available for a special pre-order price of $79, or $99 when launched, Zolt looks to makes its debut sometime in Spring 2015.

Interview by Nicholas DiMeo of F5 Live: Refreshing Technology for the Tech Podcast Network.

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From laptops and Lumia to Surface and Xbox, get it at the Microsoft Store.
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Ericsson Changes the Way We Think About Cloud Security

Thursday, February 26th, 2015

EricssonWith the cloud becoming an ever-expanding, highly-vulnerable space, there comes a time where businesses need to start caring about their customers’ data. That time is now, and many companies are working towards building better infrastructure to put customers’ minds at ease. One of those companies is Ericsson, one of the world’s largest mobile infrastructure groups.

Ericsson is taking the charge to make the cloud more safe and secure. By 2020, Ericsson estimates there will be 50 billion connected devices, and a majority of those devices will live in an industrialized cloud system. The problem is that the cloud isn’t secure nor efficient enough to sustain those devices.

Because of this, Ericsson is working on a platform that is highly programmable, highly accessible, highly governable, and controllable, but above all else is secure. The hope is that this work will change the way businesses think about security and the cloud, and the easiest way to explain the concept is to say that we need to build a bigger wall around our data.

Ericsson is just starting with its mission to roll out a better way to authenticate, validate and confirm your data and its transmissions. The ability to forensically prove your data during a breach and after a breach becomes crucial to understanding the severity of the breach, and Ericsson has made a series of acquisitions and partnerships to start to make this possible. If the infrastructure contains governed policies and profiles, the end users can feel safer knowing their data is authentic.

Interview by Nicholas DiMeo of F5 Live: Refreshing Technology for the Tech Podcast Network.

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Plantronics Shows Off a Line of Gaming Headsets

Friday, February 20th, 2015

RIGIn addition to their well-known phone products and their music headphones, Plantronics also offers a line of gaming headphones and accessories.

Plantronics RIG is a gaming headset which also offers a desktop mixer. You can bring in 2 audio sources so you can listen to the game and also bring in external sound. If you want to add your own music, you can; if you want to chat on Skype while you play a game on Origin you can. Plantronics has even heard of people using the external audio to bring in audio from a baby monitor – the options are pretty limitless.

Using the mixer, which supports line-in or fiber optic in, the headphones can be used with nearly any platform, including Xbox, PC and PlayStation. With dual microphones, the headset can also allow you to game chat and use the phone at the same time. They are available now for $129.99.

To focus on the PC, an altered version of the headset is also available specifically for PC gamers. Offering a shorter cord for desktop use, plus 7.1 surround sound, PC gamers get a bit of an advantage over their competitors. The mixer does not include fiber optic support or Xbox headset, like its multi-platform partner does. It is available now for $99.99.

Finally comes the simpler RIG Flex. It plugs in directly with a standard 3.5mm plug, meaning you can plug it in directly to a computer, Wii or mobile device. It has lost the mixer, making it ideal for mobile. What it doesn’t lose is the sound quality, build quality and, of course, comfort. It is available now for $79.99.

Interview by Scott Ertz of F5 Live: Refreshing Technology for the Tech Podcast Network.

Sponsored by:
From laptops and Lumia to Surface and Xbox, get it at the Microsoft Store.
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The Race to Challenge the Surface is On

Friday, February 20th, 2015

SouthernTelecomIn terms of Windows tablets, Microsoft’s Surface series is definitely the one to challenge if you are a manufacturer. Manufacturers seem to agree, as this CES showed us a collection of tablets trying to enter that space.

One of the brands throwing their hat into that ring is Southern Telecom, a company that usually builds products under licensed brands, but has their own tablet for the market. Running an Intel Atom processor and 32GB of internal storage, this guy isn’t headed for the Pro 3’s territory, but it could certainly do some damage in the abandoned Surface RT space.

With the ability to run full applications, which the RT models were not, it makes this computer far more usable. With a price point of $249, with the keyboard included, it even undercuts the RT models by more than half. Unfortunately, what the Surface has going for it is the easily removable and attachable keyboard, while this keyboard is not nearly as easy to attach or remove. For some users, however, this won’t be a killer. Take a look and decide for yourself.

Interview by Scott Ertz of F5 Live: Refreshing Technology for the Tech Podcast Network.

Sponsored by:
From laptops and Lumia to Surface and Xbox, get it at the Microsoft Store.
Welcome to the Eureka! Factory, where great programs, projects, events and creative spaces and places happen!
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Southern Telecom’s Windows Tablet Breaks the Price Barrier at CES

Sunday, February 8th, 2015

Southern Telecom logoTablet computers have become fixtures in our everyday lives. In recent years, this market has exploded, with multiple vendors releasing many new products. One of these companies is Southern Telecom, who showed off its new Windows tablet at CES 2015.

Scott spoke with Isaac from Southern Telecom. Isaac explained that his company’s new Windows tablet runs the “full-blown” version of Windows and also comes with a full-sized keyboard. The tablet will ship with 32gb of onboard storage and a Micro-SD card slot. This tablet should sell for the impressive price of $249 and will be available in May of this year.

Interview by Scott of F5 Live for the TechPodcast Network.

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Voiceboard Brings Gesture and Intuitive Speech Controls to Presentations

Thursday, February 5th, 2015

VoiceboardBeing involved with TEDxTampaRiverwalk, one things I can say for sure – controlling a presentation is difficult. Whether it be an inability or unwillingness to know the presentation, fumbling with the buttons on a controller, or needing to move around more than just a slide at a time, presentation software and hardware are not friendly.

Enter Voiceboard, a new way to think about presentations. With Kinect-style voice controls and a ring-powered gesture system, a presenter can focus less on the slides and more on their presentation. You can skip through slides with the wave of a hand or even go to particular slides using your voice. No more hoping the button advanced to the right slide, or peering back over your shoulder to see if you’re in the right place.

If you are a regular presenter, either in a conference room or on a stage, Voiceboard is certainly something to consider adding to your presentation kit. It is available now for $599 and comes with the software, gesture ring and headset for voice control.

Interview by Scott Ertz of F5 Live: Refreshing Technology for the Tech Podcast Network.

Sponsored by:
From laptops and Lumia to Surface and Xbox, get it at the Microsoft Store.
Welcome to the Eureka! Factory, where great programs, projects, events and creative spaces and places happen!
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Juiceboxx is Here to Save Your Expensive Macbook Power Supply

Thursday, February 5th, 2015

JuiceBoxxApple fans and haters alike can agree on one thing: the MacBook power block is a disaster. Almost everyone who owns a MacBook, or knows someone with out, has witnessed the untimely death of one of these powerblocks because of fraying or breaking. Luckily, Juiceboxx is here to rescue you!

The product is a cover of sorts for your MacBook power supply, which uses a trumpet design to keep the power cable from bending over sideways in your bag; the most common cause of the problem. In addition, the case gives you the ability to customize your block to match your computer bag, your outfit or your personality.

Estimated to ship in early February, you can preorder your Juiceboxx right now for only $19.99 in one of 6 colors, available for 3 different models. If you have a MacBook, this is a must have for you.

Interview by Scott Ertz of F5 Live: Refreshing Technology for the Tech Podcast Network.

Sponsored by:
From laptops and Lumia to Surface and Xbox, get it at the Microsoft Store.
Welcome to the Eureka! Factory, where great programs, projects, events and creative spaces and places happen!
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Aleratec Hard Drive Duplicator at CES

Saturday, January 31st, 2015

Aleratec LogoLet’s been honest, it’s not often that the average geek needs to duplicate a single hard drive to five others in a range of physical sizes and capacities. But if you did need to do it, Aleratec have the machine for the job with the snappily named 1-to-5 HDD Copy Dock Advanced. Jamie and Todd find out what it offers from Perry Solomon, President and CEO of Aleratec.

The Aleratec 1-to-5 duplicates one SATA drive to five others, taking both spinning disks and SSDs while catering for both 3.5″ and 2.5″ form factors without any additional adaptors. In itself, that’s not particularly amazing as Aleratec do other units that will duplicate 24 HDDs at once, but this working prototype has a couple of features that set it apart. First, it has a secure erase function which will wipe disks to Dept. of Defense standards, but more impressively, the 1-to-5 has the capability to duplicate from a larger drive capacity to a smaller drive capacity. This situation often occurs when moving from an HDD to an SSD where the HDD has a volume capacity in a terabytes but the SSD has only gigabytes. Obviously the files on the source drive have to be pruned to fit the space on the receiving drive but it’s a great feature on a duplicator.

The price of the 1-to-5 HDD Copy Dock Advanced is $899 and will be available shortly.

Interview by Jamie Davis of Health Tech Weekly and Todd Cochrane of Geek News Central for the TechPodcast Network.

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