The DragonBlog is a constantly updated collection of news stories, technical references and DragonMicro staff posts that we believe you will find useful or informative. Please subscribe to our RSS feed to be kept automatically updated.
Latest blog posts
06/10/15 General Technology by DragonMicro | Comments (0)
Microsoft has launched a laptop dubbed the Surface Book, as part of a suite of new Windows 10 products. It also showed off two new smartphones, an updated Surface tablet and a new fitness band. Much is riding on the launches as chief executive Satya Nadella sets out to prove Microsoft can compete with its rivals. Analysts said the new laptop may help revive the ailing PC market. The laptop, Microsoft’s first, was the highlight of a tranche of new products shown off at an event in New York. It is designed to take on Apple’s Macbook, with Microsoft directly comparing the products. It said that, just as its Surface tablet was a hybrid between a tablet and a laptop, so the Surface Book would “reinvent categories”. Analysts seemed impressed.”It is a highly innovative, flagship device that will act as a much-needed halo product for Windows 10 and the broader PC market and proves that innovation in personal computing is not just confined to Apple’s Cupertino campus,” said Ben Wood, head of research at CCS Insight.
The device, which weighs 1.6lbs (0.7 kilograms) and is 7.7mm thick, comes with a touchscreen that can be separated from the keyboard. It will be available at the end of October for $1,499 (£984).
Microsoft also showed off two new smartphones – the 5.2in Lumia 950 ($549) and the slightly larger Lumia 950 XL ($649) both of which will be available in November. Features include a 20 megapixel camera, a dedicated camera button, the ability to capture 4K video and 32 gigabytes of storage.
Microsoft also showed off its much-anticipated upgraded tablet – the Surface Pro 4 which will be released at the en of October, priced at $899. It is thinner, with new screen technology, a more ergonomic keyboard cover and various other upgrades. Mr Wood described it as “an impressive update”.
05/10/15 General Technology by DragonMicro | Comments (0)
OS X 10.11 El Capitan is the next version of OS X and will succeed Yosemite. Apple previewed the new version of the Mac operating system alongside iOS 9 at theWorldwide Developers Conference on Monday 8 June. Since then it has released a public beta of the new operating system, so a lot of people have been able to try it out and we have a fair idea of what to expect from it.
Then at the iPhone event on 9 September Apple let slip that OS X El Capitan will be available to download on 30 September.
El Capitan is now available to download from the Mac App Store.
Read more here http://www.macworld.co.uk/feature/mac-software/mac-os-x-el-capitan-release-date-launched-features-specs-3594193/
14/08/15 General Technology by DragonMicro | Comments (0)
Yesterday Samsung announced a 16 terabyte flash memory drive. The announcement is particularly significant because though flash memory is known for its speed, it doesn’t generally produce the highest capacity drives. By comparison, the largest magnetic spinning drives typically top out around 8-10 TB.
The drive uses Samsung’s newest 256 gigabit NAND flash die technology. This is combined with a 3D stacking technique to effectively fit more storage into the same space. Traditionally, flash chips are arranged flat on a two dimensional plane, but Samsung now instead stacks several layers of memory cells next to one another to achieve greater storage density.
Samsung boasted the tech with a server containing 48 of these drives. It’s capable of around 2 million input/output operations per second, whereas the average consumer SSD maxes out at around 90,000.
This all fits into a 2.5-inch hard drive enclosure – albeit thicker than the modules typically found in laptops.
Samsung did not announce a price, but it’s currently aimed at the enterprise. It’s estimated the drive will cost more than £3200. For reference, a 2.5 TB drive from Samsung currently retails for £640. That much storage doesn’t come cheap.
For more info visit: http://thenextweb.com/gadgets/2015/08/14/samsungs-record-breaking-hard-drive-fits-16-terabytes-into-a-2-5-inch-ssd/
11/08/15 General Technology by DragonMicro | Comments (0)
In a surprise move, the tech giant announces it will be slimmed down, with some of its newer entities to be run separately.
Google has announced a major shake-up which will see it become part of a new parent company called Alphabet.
The newly created firm will house Google’s main businesses, including its search engine unit, mapping and YouTube.
Under the surprise reorganisation, Google will also be “slimmed down”, with some of its newer entities to be run separately.
They include Google Fiber, Nest, the investment arm Google Ventures, its current efforts in life sciences and its delivery drones venture.
see more at http://news.sky.com/story/1533601/google-to-become-alphabet-in-major-shake-up
29/07/15 General Technology by DragonMicro | Comments (0)
The software, launched globally on Wednesday, is the company’s attempt to reverse its fortunes in the mobile industry. Windows 10 will be offered as a free upgrade to most consumers. However, companies will have to pay for their version, as will PC-makers to pre-install it. Analysts say the strategy is designed to speed adoption. Speaking exclusively to BBC News, Satya Nadella said: “Windows 10 is a huge milestone for us as a company, and quite frankly the industry.” Microsoft is staggering the release over several weeks, so not everyone will be able to get the upgrade on the launch day.
16/01/14 General Technology by DragonMicro | Comments (0)
“Adobe has rolled out an update to Photoshop that incorporates direct support for 3D printing. According to Adobe, they don’t expect most users to directly create 3D meshes in Photoshop. Instead they expect most of the time people will import objects from other applications and then use Photoshop as a finishing tool to tweak and repair meshes — in a similar fashion to how Photoshop can be used to tweak photos before production. The application currently directly supports MakerBot printers and the online Shapeways service. More printer support is coming (printer profiles are editable XML files) and the application can also export STL files that can be copied to a USB drive and used on other brands of 3D printer.”
16/01/14 General Technology by DragonMicro | Comments (0)
“Microsoft today announced it will continue to provide updates to its security products for Windows XP users through July 14, 2015. Previously, the company said it would halt all updates on the end of support date for Windows XP: April 8, 2014. For consumers, this means Microsoft Security Essentials will continue to get updates after support ends for Windows XP. For enterprise customers, the same goes for System Center Endpoint Protection, Forefront Client Security, Forefront Endpoint Protection, and Windows Intune running on Windows XP.”
16/01/14 General Technology by DragonMicro | Comments (0)
Apple Inc. has agreed to provide full refunds to consumers, paying a minimum of £20 million, to settle a Federal Trade Commission complaint that the company billed consumers for millions of dollars of charges incurred by children in kids’ mobile apps without their parents’ consent.
Under the terms of the settlement with the FTC, Apple also will be required to change its billing practices to ensure that it has obtained express, informed consent from consumers before charging them for items sold in mobile apps.
“This settlement is a victory for consumers harmed by Apple’s unfair billing, and a signal to the business community: whether you’re doing business in the mobile arena or the mall down the street, fundamental consumer protections apply,” said FTC Chairwoman Edith Ramirez. “You cannot charge consumers for purchases they did not authorize.”
The FTC’s complaint alleges that Apple violated the FTC Act by failing to tell parents that by entering a password they were approving a single in-app purchase and also 15 minutes of additional unlimited purchases their children could make without further action by the parent.
Apple offers many kids’ apps in its App Store that allow users to incur charges within the apps. Many of these charges are for virtual items or currency used in playing a game. These charges generally range from 69p to £99.99 per in-app charge.
The complaint alleges that Apple does not inform account holders that entering their password will open a 15-minute window in which children can incur unlimited charges with no further action from the account holder. In addition, according to the complaint, Apple has often presented a screen with a prompt for a parent to enter his or her password in a kids’ app without explaining to the account holder that password entry would finalize any purchase at all.
The rapidly expanding mobile arena has been a focus of the Commission’s consumer protection efforts. In addition to its consumer protection enforcement activity in the mobile sphere, last year, the FTC issued staff reports addressing mobile payments and providing recommendations for the mobile industry on how to protect consumers as new and innovative payment systems come into use, advocating improved privacy disclosures in the mobile environment, and addressing advertising disclosures in the context of mobile devices.
In its complaint, the FTC notes that Apple received at least tens of thousands of complaints about unauthorized in-app purchases by children. One consumer reported that her daughter had spent £1,599 in the app “Tap Pet Hotel,” and other consumers reported unauthorized purchases by children totaling more than £300 in the apps “Dragon Story” and “Tiny Zoo Friends.” According to the complaint, consumers have reported millions of pounds in unauthorized charges to Apple.
The settlement requires Apple to modify its billing practices to ensure that Apple obtains consumers’ express, informed consent prior to billing them for in-app charges, and that if the company gets consumers’ consent for future charges, consumers must have the option to withdraw their consent at any time. Apple must make these changes no later than March 31, 2014.
Under the settlement, Apple will be required to provide full refunds, totaling a minimum of £20 million, to consumers who were billed for in-app charges that were incurred by children and were either accidental or not authorized by the consumer. Apple must make these refunds promptly, upon request from an account holder. Apple is required to give notice of the availability of refunds to all consumers charged for in-app charges with instructions on how to obtain a refund for unauthorized purchases by kids. Should Apple issue less than £20 million in refunds to consumers within the 12 months after the settlement becomes final, the company must remit the balance to the Commission.
27/09/12 General Technology by DragonMicro | Comments (0)
Congratulations to Emily Hunt of Travail Recruitment Group and Karl Seeley of Willowbridge Labels, prize draw winners of the 2TB Hitachi Touro Desktop drives from the Menta and Bury Free Press Trade Fairs held recently.
10/09/12 General Technology by DragonMicro | Comments (0)
Microsoft reminds Windows administrators that an update scheduled for October 9th will require a higher standard for digital certificates. “That warning comes as Microsoft prepares to release an automatic security update for Windows on Oct. 9, 2012, that will make longer key lengths mandatory for all digital certificates that touch Windows systems. … Read more…