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The Tech Inside Apple’s $50 Thunderbolt Cable 29th Jun 2011

The Tech Inside Apple’s $50 Thunderbolt Cable

By Chris Foresman, Ars Technica

The first Thunderbolt compatible peripherals — Promise’s Pegasus RAIDs — started shipping on Tuesday. Using the RAIDs with a Thunderbolt equipped Mac, though, requires a rather expensive $50 cable that is only available from Apple. We dug into the design of the cable to find out why Apple felt justified in charging $50 for some plastic-wrapped copper wire, and why Thunderbolt may have a hard time gaining traction outside of the higher-end storage and video device market — a fate similar to Apple’s FireWire.

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Practical-Looking Concept Electric Bike Actually Exists 27th Jun 2011

Practical-Looking Concept Electric Bike Actually Exists

Yes, this is another concept bicycle project, but this time there’s a difference. The designer, Vojtěch Sojka, has actually made a working prototype, and it looks pretty sweet.

Working at the University of Technology in Brno, Czech Republic, Sojka developed the electric bike with Czech bike company Superior. From a distance, it looks like a cross between the Specialized Stumpjumper and a BMX. Step a little closer and you see the usual additions beloved of concept-bike designers.

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Rumor: Amazon Gunning for a Tablet Release This Fall 21st Jun 2011

Rumor: Amazon Gunning for a Tablet Release This Fall

It looks like we could be getting an Amazon-branded tablet sooner rather than later, based on the latest reports on the retail giant’s plans.

According to DigiTimes, Amazon will launch its tablet PC models by August or September of this year. The company hopes to push four million units by the end of the 2011 holiday season.

Previous reports suggested that Amazon would be releasing two tablets, codenamed “Coyote” and “Hollywood”, before the end of the year.

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Microsoft Releases Xbox Kinect SDK, Hackers Get to Work 16th Jun 2011

Microsoft Releases Xbox Kinect SDK, Hackers Get to Work

Microsoft on Thursday released a software development kit for its Kinect gaming system, and hackers are already testing the limits of what the device can do.

After the release of the SDK, Microsoft invited a group of developers to its headquarters in Redmond, Washington to see what kinds of applications they could come up with for the device. Dubbed “Code Camp,” the developers were given 24 hours to create programs that would interact with the Xbox-based motion-sensing device.

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AMD Equips HP Laptops With Fusion A-Series Chips 12th Jun 2011

AMD Equips HP Laptops With Fusion A-Series Chips

HP and AMD announced Tuesday a fleet of new laptop and notebook computers, powered by a new series of AMD processors.

Previously codenamed Llano, AMD’s Fusion A-series of chips come inside each of HP’s 11 new notebook models — six consumer-based devices, five for the enterprise. Under the new APU moniker (accelerated processing unit), the chips are a hybrid of traditional CPUs, or central processing units, and GPUs, or graphics-processing units.

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Huge, Heavy Retro-Styled Box Juices MacBooks with C-Cells 8th Jun 2011

Huge, Heavy Retro-Styled Box Juices MacBooks with C-Cells

If you were looking for the most expensive and least ecologically-friendly way to power your MacBook, then you could do a lot worse than pick the MacBook Air External Power from Bird Electron. If your other criterion is to have a device that looks like a 1970s cassette tape recorder, then you really have no choice.

Here are the numbers.

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Samsung Courts Modders With Free Smartphones 6th Jun 2011

Samsung Courts Modders With Free Smartphones

There’s no sure-fire way to silence software modders, so you might as well work with them. That seems to be the idea Samsung had with a group of phone hackers.

Four members of the CyanogenMod software team on Monday received Galaxy S II smartphones in the mail, direct from the company at no charge.

“All four of us involved in the porting process for the first Galaxy S received a new phone,” CyanogenMod team member Kolja Dummann told Wired.com in an interview.

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Pentax GPS Unit Sees Stars — Literally 1st Jun 2011

Pentax GPS Unit Sees Stars — Literally

Pentax has announced a new GPS geo-tagging turret for its SLRs. Called the O-GPS1, it connects to the camera and also communicates via the hotshoe. The unit does the usual satellite tracking thing to record your latitude, longitude, altitude as metadata in the image file, but then it gets fancy.

Pentax has added a digital compass to the box, so the camera not only knows where it is, but in what direction it is pointing. This could be useful in future applications which could use this data to build 3-D models automatically, just using this metadata.

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Asus Padfone Puts a Phone Inside a Tablet 30th May 2011

Asus Padfone Puts a Phone Inside a Tablet

This is the Asus Padfone, a truly ridiculous device that seems to have been inspired by the Wizard of Oz, with a little dash of Transformers.

Although the actual design isn’t finalized, the mockup shows the concept clearly enough. You get an Android phone which slides into a dumb tablet. The phone then drives the tablet’s bigger display. The tablet itself is little more than a touchscreen with speaker and a battery.

At fist, it might seem like a smart idea: you never need to sync content between devices, and if the power runs out on your phone you can just put it inside the mothership and carry on computing.

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Russian Company Sells iOS Cracking Software 24th May 2011

Russian Company Sells iOS Cracking Software

If you trust Russian security company Elcomsoft with your credit card details, you can buy a piece of software which will let you crack the encryption on an iOS device and gain access to the juicy information contain within.

The €79 software is called Elcomsoft Phone Password Breaker, and works with both iOS and blackberry devices. What it does is to crack open the iPhone backup you have on your computer and then harvest SMS data, call logs, you address book, photos, e-mail settings, browsing history and web cache, and more.

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