Category: Hardware

Oracle proclaims itself a hardware firm

Former database giant Oracle has transformed itself into a hardware company – it said as much today.

The company announced that it’s finalised the acquisition of Sun today and plans to engineer and develop integrated systems – from applications to disk.

A statement said that the combination will “transform the IT industry. With the addition of servers, storage, SPARC processors, the Solaris operating system, Java and the MySQL database to Oracle’s database, middleware, and business applications, we plan to engineer and deliver open and integrated systems – from applications to disk – where all the pieces fit and work together out of the box.”

Larry EllisonThat rather Proustian sentence means that Oracle is declaring it will compete against companies like IBM and HP for that matter. And EMC will watch very carefully what Oracle is up to.

It’s now got a lot of the components that will allow it to enter the fray against the last of the computer giants, and Ellison is savvy enough and aggressive enough to just be able to pull it off.

He’s going to webcast this to the world later today, and it’s going to take him quite some time.

He will say that Oracle+Sun will offer a broad range of products including servers, storage, networking and software and integrate all the components. Oracle will also “simplify IT management and reduce system deployment and integration costs”. Imagine, Intel will have to negotiate with Oracle!

Some might say all this is rather more significant than the launch of a tablet by St Cupertino of Jobs.

Samsung starts mass producing 3D TV glass

Giant manufacturing combine Samsung said it has started making panels for 3D LED TVs and 3D LCD TCs.

It’s started making panels for 40-inch, 46-inch and 55-inch HD 3D TVs that use its 240Hz technology and will need “3D Active Glasses”.

The 240Hz technology operates at 240 frames a second and Samsung claims delivers full HD viewing in 2D and smooth full HD 3D images.

3D nightmareThe response time of the LCD and LED panels has been cut by 20 percent to less than four milliseconds. That, said Samsung eliminates interference between right eye and left eye images.

The 3D Active Glasses technology is a standard approved by the Consumer Electronics Association. Rather than use polarised glass, 3D Active Glass tech blocks the left and then the right lens when images are displayed to give more lifelike 3D images.

Sounds like a recipe for a headache, but Samsung like other panel makers hopes the 3D market will be worth $17 billion a year in 2018.

Samsung launches the Galaxy Portal

Samsung has launched its Android inspired Galaxy Portal, which has some nifty augmented reality search features.

Using the Layar application on Google maps it can guide you to the nearest cash point, bar and hotel., Barclays, the, Nestoria property search, and who provide the detailing can also provide quick reviews, which could be useful if you were after something specific.

Samsung also provides a football pub finder app, from its database of bars across the UK, which must have been painstakingly put together by some dedicated Samsung employees.

Due to the collaboration with Google the device also includes gmail and YouTube, along with social networking support for both Facebook and Myspace.

The Galaxy also has a 3.2 inch touchscreen for navigating round all the apps and guides.

Samsung Mobile UK, said in its release: “This is a great opportunity to work in one of the most innovative and exciting areas of mobile technology and with some fantastic lifestyle brands, providing some amazing experiences for our customers.

“The Samsung Galaxy Portal marks our first entry into the exciting world of Augmented Reality.”

The phone also has a 3.2 megapixel camera. Built-in Wi-Fi connectivity is also included, along with standards such as Bluetooth.

The Galaxy Portal is available on T-Mobile now, but will be rolled out across other networks over the next few months.

Roman bloke stabbed in Playstation row with son

Computer games consoles are bringing a whole new dimension to father and son relationships in Italy.

Traditionally a father would approach his son, put his arm around him and give him some paternal advice. There would then follow a long animated row with arms being flung around like windmills. Sometimes it would get so heated that one side will pull a knife and the other would end up in the tabloids and the hospital. This has been going on since the founding of Rome.

According to the Rome press the story now has a modern twist. Apparently Fabrizio R was playing the soccer video game FIFA 2009 with his 16-year-old son, Mario.

He apparently felt that now was the time to advise Mario on his style of play. This apparently angered Mario who was not keen on his father’s Playstation methods. The father was so miffed at this lack of respect that he turned the TV off to discuss the matter further, with the traditional shouting and arm waiving.

According to the Carbonari,  Mario stabbed his dad in the neck with a 15-inch (40 cm) kitchen knife.

He apparently cleaned the knife, because Mamma was there and she would not like to see a mess. In fact Mamma didn’t find out until her husband stumbled into the room, clutching his throat.

The teenager shut himself in his bedroom and sulked in a  traditional “Oh God” teen manner after the attack and came quietly when the coppers knocked on his door.

Ironically the Playstation was bought for him as a birthday present a few days earlier. His parents didn’t want him playing violent games because “you never know what they will do” so they got him the football game instead.  After all Italian football is never violent.



LSI, Seagate enter into solid state pact

Seagate and LSI Corporation said that they’re going to work together to produce PCI Express products aimed a the data centre and for cloud computing.

LSI will deliver board level products integrated with Seagate solid state drive (SSD) technology.

The companies will produce samples for OEMs starting in the second quarter of this year.

SSDs are predicted to be worth $2.08 billion for the enterprise sector by 2013.

Magnetic hard drives remain the core part of Seagate’s business. But, said David Mosley, an executive vice president at Seagate, Seagate will deliver the best fit products for IT with a mix of both traditional hard drives and solid state storage.

LSI executive VP Jeff Richardson said: “By building upon the industry’s most widely deployed SAS software stacks, OEMs and system builders will gain a proven, lower risk path to market and continuity across technology generations.”

Panasonic intros tiny Lumix camera

Japanese electronics giant Panasonic said it has started shipping a tiny digital camera which includes built in GPS and captures 12.1 megapixel snaps.

The Lumix DMC-7S7 has a 25mm ultra wide angle Leica lens and a 12X optical zoom. It claims that it’s the world’s smallest photo/video hybrid superzoom digital camera and can record HD video using its recording capability.

The machine includes an auto focus feature which gives a shutter release time lag which can be as short as 0.006 seconds – the auto focus feature locks on to the subject in around 0.35 seconds.

Whoops - no photo supplied, tsk tskThe GPS features include information for 500,000 landmarks across 73 countries – for example if you’re taking a snap of the Eiffel Tower in Paris, the locations are displayed on the screen and tagged in the data. It also has an automatic internal clock that adjusts to different time zones.

An image processing technology that Panasonic calls Intelligent Resolution examines outlines, texture areas and soft gradations pixel by pixel and enhances these areas automatically. There’s also inbuilt face recognition and  six auto night scene modes.

Pricing details are not yet available and the camera isn’t shipping yet. There also is no photo included in the press blurb – something of an omission for a camera, surely?

Company launches 3D scanner

A company called Ortery said it has started selling the Photosimile 3D scanner. It will set you back $17,000.

The Photosimile 5000 includes a PC controlled turntable with lighting also controlled by PC software.

The unit comes with a Canon SLR camera,and a lighting system that’s also controllable through the software.

Photosimile 5000

The unit has a 28″x28″x28″ light box with 6500K daylight bulbs. The unit connects to a PC through a USB port, and can create 360 degree product shots and spherical 3D flash animations.

The turntable can support objects up to 25lbs in weight and can take 72 pictures per 360 degree rotation at nine different angles. The software will stitch together 20 pictures in around two and a half minutes.

Asustek jumps on eBook reader bandwagon

Asustek is going to launch six inch and nine inch e-book readers in the US and Europe markets as soon as the second quarter of 2010.

The move is mostly to test market response but equally could be to make sure that all bases are covered if Apple manages to succeed in its unlikely quest to make a Tablet computer viable.

Asustek’s ebook readers use SiPix’s e-paper technology and Samsung Electronics’ processors, the sources said, adding that Asustek plans to launch colour-screen models in the fourth quarter of 2010.

The spec which has been leaked to the great unwashed on the world wide wibble has the nine inch model with 1,024×769 resolution and supports Wi-Fi, HSDPA, WiMAX, and USB. It supports PDF, TXT, MP3, ePub, HTML, JPEG, GIF, PNG and BMP formats.

Lenovo also plans to launch a 6-inch e-book reader, the iBook (EB-605), in the third quarter, targeting the Europe market, the sources said. The iBook uses E-Ink technology and Samsung’s processors with a price of $292.98.

Microsoft drinks, drinks to Lily the Pink

Pink is the colour, devices land in spring. That’s what the blokes at Engadget believe, based on an article by Mary Jo Foley. That article is here.

Jock McFrockAt TG Daily there’s a report saying that scientists believe that runners could get up to 40 miles an hour – they’ve established the theoretic limits of running speed. I can manage three miles an hour when I’m topped up with a couple of Taliskers. That’s here.

Power supplies seem to be the name of the game over at the hardware sites these days – HardOCP reviews one with the compelling name of ABS Majesty MJ1100-M 1100W. It’s here.

Hexus has tested an Inno3D graphics card and the lengthy cognomen it’s been landed with outbids Mr Majesty above – because it’s called the GeForce GT 240 XStriker 3 iChill 512MB.  The name weighs almost as much as the card. The review is here.

The guys at Anandtech review the Intel Core i3 530 microprocessor and conclude that it’s a wonder of the world for overclockers and for gamers. The 530 clocks 2.93GHz but only costs $113. It doesn’t have a turbo mode. The review is here.

Gizmodo has a fun piece about the timeline of the Apple Tablet – in some senses it goes back to the Victorian Era, they reckon. That’s here.

IBM reckons it has set a new record in magnetic tape data density – it has created a prototype that has a density of 29.5 billion bits a square inch – about 39 times the areal data density of the best of the bunch. The tape is based on particles of barrium ferrite (BaFe). There’s a video all about it – below.

Sony's motion controller may be called Arc

Sony has registered the domain name, leading gaming fans to speculate that this is the name of Sony’s soon-to-be-announced motion controller.

Rumours have been rife online that the PS3’s motion controller will be called Arc, and although Sony has not admitted anything, many are taking this development as conclusive proof.

The controller, which has been described as ‘wand-like’ is said to work together with the PlayStation Eye camera to rival the Nintendo Wii, on PS3 games. Sony has said that it will also be launching a series of games especially developed by Sony and its partners for the new peripheral.

“We will continue to work to have a comprehensive portfolio of attractive and innovative games for the Motion Controller, not only from SCE Worldwide Studios but also from the third party developers and publishers, whom we have been working closely with,” said Sony Computer Entertainment CEO Kazuo Hirai in a press release.

The new motion controller, which we’ll call the Arc for the time-being, is expected to be launched in the Autumn,. Sony hopes that the Arc will help even the market after the success of the Nintendo Wii. However, Microsoft’s ‘controller free control’ Project Natal for the XBox 360 is also due to be launched at the end of the year leading to a potential Christmas fight.