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All posts by Andy Walker

  • The flash and the furious: 11 of the internet’s greatest custom computers

    There are few things in this world more entertaining than stripping a device of its guts, just to put it back together again. Building something from scratch also comes pretty close. Fun turns to dread (or in some cases, panicked laughter) when the power button's flick fails to lurch it into life. Failing miserably is, thankfully largely part of the experience. These PC customisers and builders have definitely not failed by any means. From adorning their machines with glowing LEDs and glass panels, to cooling them with aircraft-sized turbines and water-pulsing pipes, building custom computing devices to take over little...

  • Nanospheres to make lithium batteries four times juicier

    Batteries are wonderful creatures, powering our digital lives for days at a time. But as thirsty mobile devices' need for power grows, the current generation of lithium ion packs just can't keep up. Researchers have now discovered a novel way to squeeze more juice from the modules, promising up to four times longer lasting charges in the process. Lithium is dubbed the "Holy Grail" substance, but it's traditionally too troublesome to use as a solitary substance in a battery. The negative anode -- where electrons exit the battery and into the device -- is usually made partially of graphite, a...

  • 128GB? No thanks: ‘RRAM’ offers terabytes of storage for future smartphones

    Data researchers based at Rice University, Texas, have developed a breakthrough storage technology that could bring terabytes to smartphone within the very near future. Up to now, mobile devices have had access to (a relatively puny) 128GB flash-based storage in some cases, but it's both uncommon and massively expensive. "RRAM", or resistive random access memory, promises to balloon this capacity by "tens or even hundreds of times as much data" as currently available. The modules work much like flash memory (the current technology housed in mobile devices and SSDs), but instead of using charged transistors to store data, it uses electrical...

  • Wonky 720p ‘The Last Of Us Remastered’ gameplay footage surfaces

    With just five days until the North American launch, The Last of Us Remastered has been played and published on YouTube by an extremely lucky chap. YouTube vlogger PapiGFunk has uploaded a short snippet of what is allegedly a walkthrough running on Sony's flagship console. Of course, due to YouTube's well-documented hatred towards uncompressed media, the video is uploaded at a subpar 720p (hence the shoddy screenshot quality too) and doesn't quite demonstrate the visual gulf between the PS3 and it's more powerful younger brother. If one were to judge the game's visuals on this video alone, it's more a...

  • Sony’s 6.4″ Xperia Z3X may have 22MP camera, 2.86Ghz CPU, Android L, 4GB RAM

    There are new renders and specification leaks floating around of what could be Sony's most exciting Xperia to date, featuring a 22MP camera no less. It's dubbed the "Z3X" and if indeed real, it's about to make current smartphones (and smartphone owners) cower in the corner and weep. Uncovered on Digi-Wo, the alleged phone features a Snapdragon 810 2.86GHz with 64-bit instruction sets, 4GB RAM and a massive 6.14" 2560x1152 display. The device will also feature a rather standard 16GB storage, but it will run Google's forthcoming Android L OS. The camera however is the real show stopper. Featuring a 22MP...

  • A streamlined ‘Windows 9’ to become centralised OS for all Microsoft devices

    Microsoft's forthcoming OS will be a one-size-fits-all solution, spanning across desktop, mobile and Xbox platforms, Satya Nadella confirmed. The move comes amid a spate of bad news for company employees and missed Q4 2014 earnings targets. This signals the death of Windows in mobile and desktop flavours, and marks a new unified OS for all devices, including the Xbox app system. Nadella explains: "We will streamline the next version of Windows from three Operating Systems into one, single converged Operating System for screens of all sizes. We will unify our stores, commerce and developer platforms to drive a more coherent user...

  • Is Gionee’s 5mm thin GN900S the world’s skinniest smartphone?

    Smartphones are starting to resemble compact discs with screens attached to them. The upcoming iPhone 6 for example, promises to be around 5.59mm thin, while its rival, the Samsung Galaxy S5, measures in at a comparatively plump 7.6mm. However, it's Chinese manufacturer Gionee who takes the world's thinnest handset cake. But that record's about to be broken by the company themselves. Not settling for a mere 5.5mm -- the width of the current champion the Elife S5.5 -- Gionees follow up device, dubbed the GN900S (model number), will be a mere 5mm from face to backplate. Considering that a CD...

  • Xbox One August update turns console into Facebook, also adds 3D Blu-ray playback

    It's Xbox One update time again and this August the new Xbox Feedback portal has been put to good use, according to Larry Hyrb and Jeff Rubenstein. Painstakingly sifting through these suggestions and complaints, Microsoft's Xbox crew is now tending to its customers needs, improving the gameplay, social experience and user-friendliness of the Xbox One and its backend, in the forthcoming patch. Alongside the console's new 3D Blu-ray playback superpower (turning it into the all-conquering media player it ought to be), users can look forward to a social-centric, Facebook-inspired experience complete with "Likes" and all. The new activity feed updates,...

  • Killstreak confirmed: Microsoft shuttering Xbox Entertainment Studios

    The 18 000 job cuts announced by Satya Nadella earlier this week weren't going to go unnoticed, but Microsoft, for all intents and purposes, is on one massive rampage. After the newly-bought Nokia Devices and Services division suffered the first blow, the company is now slaying its under-performing Xbox Entertainment Studios. Just like the Nokia-Android X debacle, this move doesn't seem much of a surprise either. The division has been at pains to draw interest or projects in its relatively brief lifespan. The Santa Monica subsidiary, charged with providing interactive Xbox-exclusive television content for Live subscribers, employed around 200 people according...

  • 7 improvements that would make Windows 9 the best Microsoft OS ever

    There's a myth around the tech world that Microsoft follows up its blockbuster OS with universally hated sequels. This theory seems to bear true when looking at its dismal track record. Starting at Windows 95, the crash-happy 98 soon followed. Windows XP, in turn, was ceded by the unstable and heavily bloated Windows Vista. And now, Microsoft's most successful OS of all, Windows 7, is overthrown by Windows 8, a version destined to become its most hated OS ever. It's not like Windows 8 is awful either. It shares its older brother's granite-like stability and boots faster than a scolded...