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Tag Archives: Hardware

Shower Head Prompts People to Take Shorter Showers, Saves Water

Uji Shower

How long is a typical shower for you? Seven minutes is apparently ideal. At least, that’s the figure that Uji’s inventors are working with. But first thing’s first, what’s Uzi? It’s a shower head with a built-in lighting system. The light turns from green to red in a span of seven minutes, which basically signals the person bathing to wrap things up (and wrap himself or herself in a towel!)

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The CuBox Pro Is A Tiny PC With 2GB Of Ram

cuboxpro-100019832-large

The CuBox Pro by SolidRun was announced in January, but we’re just now stumbling upon it. It’s a very small, 2 inch cube box that contains a fully functional PC with 2GB of RAM. It uses a microSD card for storage, and the $160 machine comes with a 4GB card with Ubuntu pre-installed. And while everyone is going crazy for the $35 Raspberry Pi (understandably so), we kind of dig this little guy’s form factor.

The fanless miniature computer is based on a Marvell Armada 510 SoC and includes an infrared receiver, gigabit Ethernet port, two USB 2.0 ports, an HDMI port, and a micro-SD slot. The 800MHz dual issue ARM PJ4 processor uses the latest 32-bit ARMv7 architecture and instruction set, SolidRun says.

Capable of 1080p full HD output over HDMI, the device uses just 3 watts of power. It’s particularly suitable for use as a home media center, thin client, XBMC console, or even a simple, tiny desktop replacement machine, the company notes.

It’s not quite as cheap as the Pi, but the $160 price tag is still low enough and will look good sitting next to your TV.

[ Product Page ] VIA [ PCWorld ]

HP RED Z820 Workstation Is A Large Caliber Video Editing Machine

By David Ponce

You can take videos with your iPhone and try to do fancy things with iMovie, and you’ll get some cute results. But make no mistake about it, you’re not going to win any photography awards that way. If you’ve got the bankroll to do things right, you might have purchased a RED camera. Whether it’s the Scarlet, the Epic or even the One, you made the right decision. But you might also have noticed the reams of data that even a few minutes of shooting produces. This serious data needs a serious machine for editing and if you already splurged on a RED camera, why not go the extra mile and drop a few more dollars on the HP RED Z820 workstation? A partnership between HP and RED, the Z280 packs some raw horsepower:

It comes equipped with up to two RED Mag card readers to make things plug and play, as well as a RED Rocket booster card allowing any would be Ridley Scott’s to create an immersive 3D world. Processing power comes in the form of twin Intel Sandy Bridge E5-2687 chips resulting in 16 liquid cooled cores, configurable up to 3.1GHz with Turbo boost to kick things up to 3.91GHz. While 32GB of RAM is standard, you can turn that into 128GB with the tick of a box. A single SSD boot drive is standard as well as an NVIDIA Quadro 5000 video card, with upgrades available. You can even option a Blu-Ray burner for straight to video releases.

Pricing has not be announced yet while availability is set for July. It looks like one of those “if you have to ask…” kind of products, but then again, so are the cameras. So, well heeled cinematographers, below are links you could find useful.

[ Product Page ] VIA [ Gear Patrol ]

Knowing How Hard The Wind Is Blowing? There’s An App For That… Well, And A Piece Of Hardware Too

By David Ponce

There are situations where knowing just how fast that breeze is going can be important. We think. Like when you’re playing golf, or surfing, or… Well you get the idea. Instead of relying on a website which may give you a general idea of the wind speeds over a large area, the Shaka Wind Meter for the iPhone can let you know on the spot. It’s a little fan (some may call it an anemometer…) that plugs into your headphone jack and interacts with an application. You’ll get to know about wind speed and direction, as well as being able to post your results to Facebook (why would your friends care?) and overlaying the data on a map for… well, we’re not sure why this is cool. But we feel that the failure is on our part and not on Shaka; it’s entirely possible that there’s a wind-speed dependant world out there (Hey, sailing! What about sailing?) where this product would be right at home.

It’s tentatively $59 and iOS only at the moment, although other versions are in the works. And it’s not quite available yet: it’s “launching soon.”

[ Product Page ] VIA [ Engadget ]

Noise Canceling PC Fan

By David Ponce

Did you know you could create a speaker from the spinning blades of a fan? Simply rotate the fins and modulate the rotating speed. It’s actually the basis for the world’s largest subwoofer, which we wrote about back in 2005. Using this principle, Noctua’s NF-F12 integrated noise cancellation fan is able to reduce the racket inside your case by 20 dB, “utilizing a patented RotoSub ANC technology to emit anti-noise directly from the fan’s own blades.” They hope to achieve 1,500RPM noise levels from a fan running at 2,500. Of course this doesn’t beat liquid cooling solutions, but these can get unwieldy. There’s no word on price, though availability seems to be set for somewhere in the latter half of 2013.

[ Brochure (PDF, from page 20) ] VIA [ Enadget ]

Nerdgasm Alert: New NVidia Dual-GPU GeForce GTX 690 Is Spec-alicious, Fastest On Market

By David Ponce

Graphic cards are usually the flashier components on any PC build. Where the CPU would be an overachieving Asian student (please forgive the stereotype), the graphic card would be the weightlifter on steroids. Wearing fur. With a (potential) twin. And the new NVidia GeForce 690 takes things to a new level with the kind of nerdtastic specs that make serious gamers’ heads spin. Featuring two 28nm Kepler GPUs, the 690 packs a blistering 3,072 Cuda cores, effectively delivering double the framerates of its predecessor, the 680. And… it can be run in SLI mode, meaning if you have the cash, two of them can sit in your case.

But aside from processing power, there’s some serious mettalurgy going on:

An exterior frame made from trivalent chromium-plated aluminum, providing excellent strength and durability. A fan housing made from a thixomolded magnesium alloy, which offers excellent heat dissipation and vibration dampening. High-efficiency power delivery with less resistance, lower power and less heat generated using a 10-phase, heavy-duty power supply with a 10-layer, two-ounce copper printed circuit board.

This is some serious business so of course, the price is pretty darn serious too: $1,000. Expect it in limited quantities starting May 3, 2012, with wider availability by May 7, 2012.

P.S.: “For Crysis 2 Ultra, the GTX 690 scored 57.8 fps while the GTX 680 scored 32.3 fps. ”

VIA [ Engadget ]

NOFAN CR-95C Uses No Fan, No Liquid For CPU Cooling

By David Ponce

Keeping a CPU cool is typically the job of the fan. It’s noisy and the standard ones do an average job of things. More serious gamers and over clockers typically go the liquid-cooling way, which is quieter and much more efficient. But it’s also an intricate setup, requiring some plumbing and a pump. Nothing the average geek can’t handle, but it doesn’t even come close to the elegance and quietness of a fanless, passive design, like the NOFAN CR-95C. Made entirely out of copper and looking rather bling, it “is rated to cool CPUs of up to 100W TDP without the need for a fan. Judging from all the Intel and AMD leaks, that level efficiency ought to have you covered regardless of whether you opt for Ivy Bridge or Trinity”, which are the next generation processors to come out of the big two. The NOFAN CR-95C weighs in at a rather hefty 1,020g, putting it slightly over a kilo and measures 180mm by 148mm. it comes out sometime in June for an undisclosed price.

[ Manufacturer Website ] VIA [ Engadget ]

ModMyPi Offers Case For Raspberry Pi, 5% Kickback To Foundation

By David Ponce

So you might have heard about the Raspberry Pi, that deck-of-cards-sized $35 computer that runs Linux and has a Broadcom BCM2835 system on a chip (SoC), which includes an ARM1176JZF-S 700 MHz processor, VideoCore IV GPU, and 256 Megabytes of RAM. It’s supposed to promote the use of computers in schools, but at that price point, people are grabbing it for all sorts of reasons. We hear it runs HD video just fine, even if it has to be stored on a separate SD card. Anyway, for $35 what you get is a pretty bare bones system, with no case. ModMyPi is selling just such a case, which comes in 5 different colour combinations. They’re made out of perforated ABS plastic, which should keep your Pi cool while keeping the dust out. They cost “£7.99 ($12.70) for the black or white versions. The other colors will cost an extra £1.99 ($3.15), as will international shipping. So the price ranges from $12.70 up to $18.99 depending on your selection and location. To sweeten the deal, ModMyPi will donate 5% of their profits to the Raspberry foundation.

Hit the jump for a couple more pics and links.

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Elgato Thunderbolt SSD Puts That Connector To Some Use

By David Ponce

We’re a bit peeved at companies that refuse to follow standards. Sony for example, with their refusal to use SD for storage, instead opting for their much more expensive MemorySticks. Or Apple and their refusal to go with USB 3.0, instead decking their hardware with Thunderbolt. Do you know of many Thunderbolt enabled devices? Didn’t think so. But at least now you can add Elgato’s Thunderbolt SSD drives. Coming in 120GB and 240GB capacities, they feature 270MB/s data read speeds. This is fast, especially when compared to USB 2.0’s typical 35MB/s speeds. And it is indeed theoretically about twice as fast as USB 3.0 could be, but it’s also super expensive. The 120GB model retails for $430 while the larger 240GB unit goes for $700. People who work with large files, like HD video or RAW photos would definitely enjoy the extra storage room, especially if they’re working off a MacBook Air, with their limited 128GB/256GB drives. And of course, like any SSD, the drives are whisper quiet. However they feature only one port, which means that they’d have to be at the end of any daisy chain you might have created.

[ Product Page ] VIA [ Geeky Gadgets ]