Seagate Innov8 USB-Powered Desktop Hard Drive Is World’s First

seagate-innov8Yes, there have been USB-powered hard drives in the past such as this particular model from Verbatim, but how many of them are able to measure up to what Seagate is offering? The Seagate Innov8 boasts of being the first USB-powered desktop hard drive in the world that comes with a whopping 8TB of storage space, now top that!

Sporting various advancements in USB 3.1 technology in order to deliver speedy data transfer speeds, the Seagate Innov8 will boast of its very own (and new) Ignition Boost Technology, which allows this 8TB desktop hard drive to rely fully on a USB outlet rather than having it hooked up to a power outlet. Ignition Boost, when working alongside USB 3.1, would allow the Innov8 to thrive off bus power without the need for a dedicated power source or adapter.

Not only that, the Seagate Innov8 is also a sight to behold, having already picked up this year’s Red Dot design award, as it arrives in a premium, well-balanced aluminum enclosure and design that enables users to place it horizontally or vertically, depending on their preferences.

Each Innov8 comes with the Seagate Dashboard software that will allow users to enjoy one-click on-demand or customizable, scheduled backups for their devices, and it will also be accompanied by 200GB of Microsoft OneDrive cloud storage and Lyve software compatibility. Expect the Seagate Innov8 to be out later next month for $349 a pop.

Windows 10 Anniversary Update Arrives This Summer

During its keynote at the Build conference today, Microsoft has confirmed that the next major update for Windows 10 is going to be released in the next few months. The company confirmed that the Windows 10 Anniversary Update is going to be released this summer. As the name suggests, the update will commemorate the launch of Windows 10, so it’s likely that it might be released on July 29th, the same date that Windows 10 came out on last year.

Prior to the launch, Microsoft will certainly roll out many of the upcoming features to members of its Windows Insiders program. Most of those features will be rolled out starting today.

Like all previous updates for Windows 10, the Windows 10 Anniversary Update is also going to be free and it will be release for all Windows devices, even the HoloLens and theXbox One.

More information about the new features included in the Windows 10 Anniversary Update will start to arrive in the near future as the Insiders get their hands on new builds and take them apart to see what’s new.

During the keynote today, Microsoft also confirmed that Windows 10 now powers more than 270 million computers across the globe, boasting that the latest iteration has the fastest adoption rate of any Windows iteration ever released.

Sony 4K Streaming Service Ultra Launches Next Month

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Sony first announced its new 4K streaming service at the International Consumer Electronics Show earlier this year and the company has revealed today when it’s going to be launched in the United States. As the name suggests, the service will enable subscribers to stream content in 4K Ultra High Definition, and for that, they will not only require a 4K TV but also a good enough internet connection that’s able to stream content in 4K.

Ultra, Sony’s new 4K UHD movie streaming service, is going to be launched in the United States on April 4th. It will be available on the company’s 4K UHD TVs powered by Android TV.

The service will provide users with a variety of movies for purchase and playback in 4K UHD resolution, many titles will also include support for High Dynamic Range and Digital Extras at no additional cost.

Sony hasn’t implemented a Netflix-like model here, customers don’t pay a monthly subscription to access content, instead they have to purchase individual 4K titles for $30 each. Purchased items are then streamed to the TV, they can’t be downloaded because the TVs don’t have enough storage onboard to storage a full movie in 4K.

Ultra is compatible with UltraViolet so users will be able to link their new Ultra profile to UltraViolet and stream Sony Pictures content they have previously purchased or redeemed through UV-compatible retailers like Vudu, SonyPicturesStore.com and others.

Customers who have purchased one of Sony’s new 4K TVs will get four 4K titles for free when they sign up for Ultra. Sony hasn’t confirmed as yet if Ultra will be available on thePlayStation 4, it wouldn’t be surprising since the company is believed to be working on a 4K PlayStation 4, but it has hinted at the possibility of allowing users to rent 4K titles through Ultra.

Microsoft Created A Version Of Windows 10 Just For The Chinese Government

China is one of the most lucrative markets on the planet for tech companies but it’s one that plays by its own rules. Tech companies often have to make exceptions when it comes to China if they want to gain access to the potential the market offers. It won’t surprise many to learn that Microsoft created a special version of Windows 10, the latest iteration of its operating system, just for the Chinese government.

It’s relatively easy to get your hands on various Windows 10 versions that include Windows 10 Home, Windows 10 Enterprise, Windows 10 Mobile, Windows 10 Pro, etc but you won’t be able to get your hands on Windows 10 Zhuangongban.

Windows 10 Zhuangongban refers to the “Windows 10 Specially-provided Edition,” a special version of Windows 10 that Microsoft has created for the Chinese government. Speaking to Chinese magazine Caixin, Microsoft China CEO Ralph Haupter said that this was done as part of a joint venture with China’s CETC.

Haupter tells Caixin that this special edition of Windows 10 has fewer apps and services from Microsoft and features more security and management controls as per the requirements of the Chinese government. Haupter didn’t go into too many details about the changes or if the OS looks any different but he does say that this version of Windows 10 retains the ability to run any Windows-compatible program.

Google Will Bring Internet To Cuba

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Relations between the United States and Cuba are gradually improving and the island nation has a long way to go before it can catch up with the technological advancements that have been made in the past few decades. Anybody who has been to Cuba will tell you that getting online is a big hassle there. With trade restrictions being eased andAmerican companies finally being allowed to offer services in Cuba, Google will be one of the first U.S. based companies working in Cuba to open it up to the internet.

President Obama is on a historic visit to the island nation, the first by a U.S. president in several decades. “One of the things that we’ll be announcing here is that Google has a deal to start setting up more WiFi and broadband access on the island,” he said in an interview with ABC News.

It was only last year that Cuba launched its first public Wi-Fi hotspots, however, the $4.50 per hour fee is expensive for most residents. Speeds are poor and the Wi-Fi hotspots are few and far between. There’s a significant room for improvement there and Google can play a major role in bringing Cubans online.

It’s unclear as yet what service Google will be providing in the country and when it will be launched, the company hasn’t commented on that yet, it could supposedly provide a cheaper way for people to access the internet given its experience with setting up infrastructure.

LG To Start Making Flexible OLED Light Panels

lg flexible oledLG makes many different products. The company makes white goods like fridges, washing machines, microwave ovens, and etc. They also make televisions, smartphones, and they also make components like display panels which they then supply to other OEMs. That being said, it looks like LG Display could be interested in making their foray into the lighting market.

The company has announced their plans to build the world’s first 5th generation OLED light panel plant, but what does this mean? Basically from LG’s press release, it sounds like the company wants to start creating light panels which can then be used in high-end commercial stores, after which they could then venture into supplying light panels for the home.

According to LG, “The company will firstly focus on task lighting and decorative lighting in high-end retail stores and in luxury hospitality; and expand to the general lighting market going forward. Also, the company will focus on automotive and convergence applications such as OLED light panels merged with furniture, architectural materials, electronic devices and more.”

It will be interesting to see what LG can come up with, and whether or not they might consider creating connected lights, like what Philips has done with their Hue series of smart lightbulbs. Production is expected to begin early 2017.

Windows 10 Installing Itself Without Permission For Some Users

While Windows 10 is considered to be a much improved version of the Windows operating system compared to Windows 8/8.1, there are some users who might be hesitant to update as they might be worried about app compatibility, having to learn a new user interface, and etc. Some might just be too comfortable to bother upgrading.

Now in the past we have seen how Microsoft has aggressively pushed the update to users, but recently there have been user reports in which there are some who have woken up and rudely discovered that their computers have updated themselves to Windows 10 without their permission.

Prior to this, Microsoft had reassured users that even though the update might download in the background, users will still need to give the greenlight before the actual update happens. “Depending upon your Windows Update settings, this may cause the upgrade process to automatically initiate on your device. Before the upgrade changes the OS of your device, you will be clearly prompted to choose whether or not to continue.”

Now we can’t say for sure what kind of settings these users had, but we’re sure that regardless of their settings, these users would have preferred a heads up all the same. Microsoft has yet to respond to these complaints, but in the meantime if you’re looking to avoid a similar situation on your computer, head on over to this Reddit thread where there are several posts on how to prevent your computer from auto updating.

President Obama Speaks Up On Encryption Debate

Encryption is currently a very hot topic, what with Apple trying to fend off the FBI and the courts from ordering them to unlock an iPhone belonging to a terrorist. The basic idea is that regardless of whose phone it is, unlocking the device or creating a backdoor will create a dangerous precedent, at least that’s the argument that is being presented.

 Recently at the SXSW festival, President Obama finally addressed the issue to the crowd, but based on what he has said, it certainly sounds like he is definitely not on Apple’s side. According to Obama, he says that right now the public already makes certain concessions when it comes to being searched. “We agree on that because we recognize that just like all of our other rights — with speech and religion, etc. — that there are going to be some constraints that we impose in order to make sure that we are safe, secure and living in a civilized society.”

He also acknowledges that the Snowden reports have probably led many to become suspicious of the government, but he also adds that “there has to be some concession to the need to be able to get into that information somehow.”

He goes on to warn that if this does not get resolved, it could lead to consequences that no one will be happy about. “What you’ll find is that after something really bad happens, the politics of this will swing and it will become sloppy and rushed and it will go through Congress in ways that have not been thought through.”

Google Creates An Offline Voice Recognition System

The problem with pretty much all voice assistant software and voice recognition applications is that they need a connection to a server in order to process your request. Sometimes we have to wonder if this is completely necessary, especially when there are certain requests that are small and simple enough where a connection isn’t really required.

Turns out Google has been exploring a similar idea as well, and the company has recently developed an offline voice recognition system (via 9to5Google) that is small and lightweight enough where it can be run on a 3-year old Nexus 5 handset, and weighs in about 20.3MB. To top things off, this system is said to be 7x faster than current systems and only has a 13.5% word error rate.

How did Google achieve this? By sampling 3 million anonymous voices taken from Google search. The voices were then further distorted into 20 different variations by extracting noise from YouTube, thus allowing the system to recognize different voices even better. Google also relied on a single model for the dictation and voice commands.

Now to be fair, Google Now does come with some offline commands albeit limited. With this system, Google will be able to help speed things up which we reckon would be good for markets with limited internet capabilities, or just in terms of overall efficiency. Google also notes in their paper that this system could be used beyond phones, and that it could find its way into wearables as well. Whether or not Google has plans to launch such a system remains to be seen, but we wouldn’t mind seeing it make its way onto Android.

Snowden Says FBI’s Argument Against Apple Is ‘BS’

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The FBI wants Apple to unlock the San Bernardino shooter’s iPhone, it even obtained a court order, but Apple is contesting that as it refuses to comply. Apple doesn’t want to set a precedent where governments can come in and demand the company to provide access to users’ devices and it also believes that doing so goes against its promise of keeping its devices protected from snooping. FBI says that only Apple has the “exclusive technical means” to unlock that iPhone but Edward Snowden is calling “BS” on that claim.

In case you’re unaware, Edward Snowden is a former CIA contractor who blew the whistle on US-government led electronic spying programs that span the entire globe. The documents he leaked showed just how massive the spying operation is.

Speaking at Common Cause’s Blueprint for Democracy conference via video link, Snowden said that the FBI’s claim of only Apple having exclusive technical means to unlock the iPhone is BS. He later tweeted a link to a post on the American Civil Liberties Union website to provide “one example” of how the FBI could have bypassed the iPhone’s auto-erase function on its own.

The FBI is essentially demanding Apple write software that will undermine the very protections it has placed inside iOS. Whether or not it can do that is a different matter, Apple is not even willing to entertain that thought as it doesn’t such a precedent to be set where governments can ask it to breach a user’s phone.

There’s support for both parties, some believe that Apple’s stance is right and that it shouldn’t be forced to open that iPhone while others say that tech companies should comply particularly when acts of terror have been committed. It’s not as simple as that, though, and the debate isn’t an easy one. There doesn’t appear to be an end in sight as both Apple and FBI are refusing to back down as of now.