BCCHardware

BlackBerry is BACK!

BlackBerry was pretty much out of the fight for a few years, but with TCL at the helm of the hardware ship, they are once again making pretty compelling hardware. The Passport was their big (emphasis on BIG) return to the physical keyboard and was followed up by the KEYone. Now they are following up the KEYone with the Athena. I've got a big of a soft-spot for physical keyboards and with a name like Athena, well, I'm sure it going to be great!

The rear looks to be made from a different texture from the KEYone and you can also see that Athena will have dual camera sensors and an LED flash. Furthermore, the physical buttons like the power, volume rocker, and convenience key - have all been moved to one side. The Athena will still have a 3.5mm headphone jack, USB Type C, and downward firing speaker. While things look good, we still do not have any information about a release date or a price.

Source: Neowin

Facebook's Financial Contribution to Lawmakers

With Mark Zuckerberg in the spotlight this week regarding security, user privacy and more, there has been a lot of scrutiny about what exactly is going on behind closed doors at Facebook over the past few years. It seems in fact, that Mark doesn't attend meetings regarding privacy, and he doesn't want to. What he does want to do is contribute money to lawmakers so maybe they can go easy on him and let things slide. While it is not a ton of money to any specific individual, the fact that Facebook donates to individual congressmen and women as well as to individuals in the senate seems a bit sketchy.

Cory Booker, who has received $44,025 from Facebook since 2014 (the largest amount), questioned Zuckerberg on the 2016 ProPublica investigation that showed Facebook allowed advertisers to target by race. Kamala Harris, who took the second largest amount ($30,990) grilled the CEO on why Facebook did not notify users in 2015 that Cambridge Analytica had misused their data, causing Zuckerberg to squirm uncomfortably.

Source: TheVerge

Sharp @ CES 2013

This year at CES the big product in the TV market is 4K TV's. Sharp brought their new 4K tvs to the show but they decided to take things one step further and were showing off their 8K TV (7680x4320 resolution, or 16x the resolution of a 1080p screen). Right now 4K content is tough to find so you can imagine how tough it would be to get 8K content but like with any technology its fun to see the future. Not many specs are really known about Sharp's 8K TV but the 85" demo TV they had on the show floor was pretty amazing.


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Sharp 8K TV


Another interesting product Sharp was showig off was their Web + TV split-screen unit. As TV's have become larger and larger the ability to use half the screen for web and half the screen for TV makes you able to multi-task all from the comfort of your couch.


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Sharp Web + TV Split-Screen TV
 

Able Planet @ CES 2014

At the very first CES BCCHardware attended (8 years ago) we got to meet with a brand new audio company called Able Planet. We knew from that very first meeting that Able Planet wasn't just another headphone company thanks to their much different approach to audio and every year at CES we look forward to stopping by and seeing what they've been up to.


At CES 2014 we saw a countless number of headphone makers showing off countless number of designs and colors but Able Planet isn't worried about colors and designs, they are all about the audio quality. We've had the chance to review numerous Able Planet headphones over the years and we've always walked away impressed with the sound quality.


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Last year at CES 2013 Able Planet was showing off their newest product that promised to bring 4D sound to their headphones. Last year we got to see the prototypes but at this years CES the product is completed and we got a proper demo of the final product which Able Planet has called Linx Fusion. In addition to the audio signal, Linx Fusion adds a slight vibration to the sounds which allows the user to listen to audio at a lower decibel level yet the brain still processes the audio as if it was much louder. Adding a vibration might sound like a cheap gimmick, but the reality is that when done properly it can add an entirely new dimension to the audio and also can help prevent hearing loss over time as the audio does not need to be as loud as with other products. Hopefully I've done a good enough job trying to explain this product, unfortunately it might just be one of those things that you need to hear to really believe and if you're like me you will be very impressed.
 

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Able Planet Linx Fusion Headphones
 

Check out more pictures in the gallery here - as well as more of our CES 2014 coverage here.

Kingston Brings 64GB DDR4 kits to CES 2015

Kingston brought some great stuff to CES this year with a new SDD drive, DDR4 RAM, a new M.2 form factor SSD, and a 7.1 channel gaming headset. The HyperX Predator PCIe is the new M.2 SSD that boasts a 1400 MB/s seq read speed and 1k MB/s seq write speed. Kingston was also showing off the HyperX Predator in 2.5-inch form factor as well which uses the Phison s10 controller which allows for speeds of 560 and 540 sequential read and write speeds.

 

Kingston Lineup

 

Next on the list is the HyperX Cloud 2 gaming headset that touts a USB DSP sound card in the microphone control unit. It allows for switching between normal operation or 7.1 channel virtual audio with the press of a button. From a short demo of the headset, gaming sounds pretty good with the 7.1 enabled, however music sounds much better with the 7.1 audio off. With the best saved for last, the new HyperX Predator DDR4 64GB RAM is claimed as the first to be produced using the official standard for DDR4. This ram can operate at 3000MHz and in quad-channel making this ram very beastly.

Big System

 

To check out more of our CES 2015 coverage, please check here and of course you can check out more pictures from the Day 3 of CES 2015 right here.

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