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Crytek Steps in the VR Arena

As much as I really don't get VR - for anything more than a passing fad - many game companies are stepping into the VR arena and the latest of these to take the plunge is Crytek. Now, Crytek is not a dummy when it comes to game development, and while I'm sure that there will be a small number of people that purchase and play "Robinson", I think it will pale in comparison to their other blockbuster titles, namely the Far Cry series.

However, there's a new frontier in the form of VR, and the demo at GDC, titled Return to Dinosaur Island, showed fans that the same jaw-dropping graphics engine can be implemented for virtual reality. A second act for the demo was also shown at E3, further cementing CryEngine's place in VR development.

Source: TomsHardware

IBM announces 7nm CPUs

As 14nm CPUs are now making their way to the public, IBM has stepped up and announced they've figure out 7nm CPUs. What does that mean for everyone? Well, like everyone time CPU makers are able to make things smaller, the more to 7nm technology will allow for more efficiency and more performance, two things everyone likes. 7nm isn't so important for your desktop, but for your smartphone and even laptops, the reduction in power consumption and increase in performance is a nice treat. This technology is obviously also going to be used for server farms and cloud computing which demand as much performance as possible. This whole move to 7nm isn't going to be overnight, but IBM in conjunction with Global Foundries and Samsung will obviously working as hard as possible to get it into the marketplace ASAP as this will give them an edge while the competition tries to catch up. Engadget has more on this announcement and what it all means.

While Intel is finally getting its 14-nanometer sized chips out to the public, IBM today announced an even more impressive silicon breakthrough: The production of the first working 7nm chip. It's particularly impressive since it took years for chip makers like Intel to move from 22nm chips to 14nm, which offer better power efficiency and faster overall speeds thanks to their denser manufacturing. IBM's 7nm chip, produced together with partners including GlobalFoundries (which is taking over IBM's semiconductor business) and Samsung, will offer similar benefits, but the road to get there was vastly more complex than 14nm chips. 

People want Gigabit Broadband

I think if you asked any person who has ever used the internet if they'd like faster access, chances are good they would say yes (as long as it didn't cost them much more). The process for most cities to get faster (yet still affordable) internet hasn't been a quick process and 101 cities in the USA have taken matters into their own hands by agreeing to work together to offer gigabit-speed internet connections to their residents. Google has been making headlines by rolling out gigabit in a few cities but it hasn't been fast enough so people have started taking on the telecom companies by installing their own networks. Rolling out this infrastructure is obviously expensive which is a major factor for both public and private companies and will be slow regardless, but if nothing else it shows that there is a demand and maybe lights a fire under the major players to step up their game. Motherboard has more details on the Next Century Cities group that already has 101 members.

The US has a big and rather complicated internet speed problem. Its broadband infrastructure is woefully behind in speed and price compared to a broad swath of other countries, and much of this has to do with its tenacious commitment to maintaining the status quo: that is, giving big telecommunications companies a lot of our money without being able to demand a fair amount in return.

But here’s a change: 101 cities are have agreed to band together to bring their residents gigabit-speed internet connections, even if they have to build it themselves. They’re part of the Next Century Cities coalition, which promises to help cities make sense of how to tackle the mess of making all this possible. The coalition took shape last October with an inaugural 32 members after the FCC decided that cities can build their own broadband networks despite some states’ efforts to ban or restrict municipal internet services.

T-Mobile knocks down borders

T-Mobile has made an announcement that they are going to be offering a plan called 'Mobile without Borders' that will allow their users to have exteneded coverage into both Canada and Mexico at no cost if they are on the plan. T-Mobile isn't promising full coverage in Canada and Mexico, but according to the list of cities being covered it seems like all the major ones have been covered. While this plan might not be for everyone, it may finally put pressure on companies to strike deals with each other across borders to give customers the ability to travel without being killed by roaming charges or having to buy expensive roaming 'packages' before they leave. BGR has more over here.

“Ok, I’m back.”

Those three simple words are enough to turn wireless executives’ stomachs when they’re uttered at the beginning of a video blog by T-Mobile CEO John Legere. The company announced Thursday morning during its earnings call that it added 2.1 million net new subscribers in the second quarter, but it also set the stage for its latest Uncarrier move: Mobile Without Borders.

Legere explained the new initiative by… bashing AT&T, of course.

Why the Apple Watch is Flopping

The Apple Watch hasn't been making many headline lately and apparently they haven't been flying out the door either as a new report is saying that the sales of the Apple watch have already dropped 90%. As users still struggle to find practical uses for the watch it appears that sales have dried up and the lack of sales could hurt Apple's overal sales number projections. The guys over at Fastcpdesign take a look at just what happened and why the Apple watch just isn't selling or as cool as it was supposed to be. If you have been following the Apple Watch saga this is a must read.

It wasn’t a good sign when Apple announced shortly before the Watch release that they weren’t going to be breaking out sales numbers. Now, a new report from third-party analysts Slice Intelligence not only show that Apple Watch sales are down 90% since launch—a big deal, since it implies early adopters aren't regaling more cautious buyers with glowing word-of-mouth—but also that Fitbit is outselling Apple in the wearables space. Apple may have already crushed small time smartwatch companies like Pebble, but the Watch has failed to disrupt the larger wearable marketplace.

BlackBerry + Samsung = BlackBerry Venice?

Everyone loves a good rumor, and this week we've got one that involves BlackBerry and Samsung working together to come up with BlackBerry's new phone they've dubbed Venice. A few months back Samsung was rumored to be trying to buy BlackBerry (which obviously didn't happen....yet?) but the new device that BlackBerry is working on looks very similar to the Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge and is also running Android (a first for BlackBerry). Chances are this is just a coincidence, but if you'd like more info on this conspiracy theory, head on over to Android Authority.

This past January, an interesting story began circulating. Originating from Reuters, it alleged that Samsung was in talks to purchase BlackBerry for $7.5 billion. The report said that top executives from both companies had met to discuss the deal, and cited both insiders and confidential documents as sources. The story was widely covered, and at one point BlackBerry’s stock had a major upturn. In the end, however, both companies vehemently denied such negotiations, and the topic was essentially finished. Still though, some of us at Android Authority felt the idea was deserving of further consideration.

WTU Episode #319 - Android: Back in Black(berry)!

We have just posted up Episode #319 of Weekly Tech Update. In this episode we are discussing Blackberry joins team Android, Google Glass is back and Samsung tops Apple in overall Smartphone sales in the USA. Check out those stories and more at the links below.

WTU EP 319

Download Episode #319
Show Notes
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Netflix Steps into Original Feature Films This October

Netflix is betting big on feature films and other exclusive content. While they do make a lot of money off of subscribers and their cost of bandwidth and storage is pretty high, this pales in comparison to the cost of their obligations to their "exclusive" content. With a bunch of feature films set to be launched this fall, their total annual bill for said content is now up to $9.8 Billion. That's right. $9,800,000,000.00 Tha's a lot of zero's.

Following “Beasts of No Nation,” Netflix says it will release the first of four Adam Sandler films with the launch of “The Ridiculous Six” on December 11, 2015. While Sandler can still churn out hits, his film releases are hit-or-miss. For every box office winner, there are a couple of bombs. However, as DVD and video-on-demand releases, Sandler movies do well. That means they’ll likely work for Netflix’s viewer base, too.

Source: TechCrunch

OnePlus 2 4GB of DDR4

OnePlus keeps teasing us with new bits regarding their upcoming OnePlus 2 device that is set to land here at the end of this month. The latest tidbit is that it will feature 4GB of LPDDR4 memory - and according to the previous post from OnePlus - will cost less than $450 USD. That means it will cost $449 of course, but for a flagship phone that is somewhat affordable, this is pretty cool stuff. The downside to the whole OnePlus experience is that the new device will be subject to the "Invite Only" treatment that we saw with the first device for about a year.

Why did we choose LPDDR4 for the OnePlus 2? Another notable benefit is lower power consumption for better battery efficiency. That means you’ll be able to use your favorite apps (and more) without draining the battery. With LPDDR4, you get twice the bandwidth performance as the LPDDR3 at the same power consumption profile.

Source: OnePlus

Speed Up Your Boot Time

If you are tired of slow boot times and hear all of this good news about people booting their working PC in less than 10 seconds, you may be a bit jealous - or think people are lying. Browsing the interwebs over the last couple of days, I found a guide that should be able to help you get those sub-10 second boots - if you're running an SSD. There is a lot more to it than that though, so make sure you check it out and share your results.

Many people do not know how to properly configure, or even know that it is possible to configure their system in such a way to speed up their boot time even more. There are some other things you can do than just slapping an SSD in your system and setting the SATA mode to AHCI or RAID to achieve ultra-fast boot times by using the latest hardware. When we say ultra-fast, we mean powered off system to desktop in 6-10 seconds.

Source: TheSSDReview

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