HI-TECH NEWS

by menarate
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HTC to release new camera

HTC, most widely renowned as a manufacturer of Android smartphones, has announced the release of a new device – the standalone digital Re Camera. The camera is said to be compatible with both Android and iOS smartphones and, unlike the famous GoPro, popular with those keen on extreme sports and adventures, is designed for regular people.

It will be available in the US later this month for $199.99 in orange, blue, teal, and white, complete with a 8GB micro SD. HTC also offers a range of accessories for the camera, such as handlebar mount for bikes and a case to enhance its waterproof qualities.

As for the appearance, it is a pocket size camera of a simplistic design with a solid water-tight body in glossy plastic. All you can see on its outside is just a button on the front, another on the back, a red LED to indicate video recording, and a blue one for slow motion. However, even though the camera has nothing like a viewfinder, a display or a graphical user interface, it boasts 16-megapixel resolution, a 146-degree fixed-focus lens and can shoot 1080p HD video. The device is turned on automatically as you pick it up, and its 820 mAh battery allows shooting for as long as 1 hour 40 minutes on end without recharging.

According to HTC, the Re Camera is designed to make photographing more enjoyable. Using the camera, you supposedly won’t have to worry about framing a shot or starting a camera app, with your eyes off the display and open for the beauty of the moment. However, from preliminary testing, it doesn’t seem like a better option to take pictures than a smartphone. It takes too long for the camera to wake up and to capture an image, and the picture quality leaves much to be desired.

So, though HTC claims to be working on improvements, they will sure have to struggle to win a market for a non-pro camera in that price range.

by menarate
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WD to Launch New Power-Efficient Hard Drives

The new Re+ hard drives by WD are intended to address the power consumption issues of modern high-capacity datacentres. With 6 Gb/s transfer rates, sequential data rates of up to 225 MB/s and a capacity of up to 550 TB per year, these are claimed to combine the high reliability of Re hard drives and the industry’s best watt-per-gigabyte ratio. In fact, WD claims the Re+ family products have the lowest power consumption of all 3.5-inch hard drives available on the market today.

According to WD, the Re+ hard drive platform is currently the most power-efficient, high-intensity and high-capacity one in terms of total cost of ownership, i.e. capacity-price-power consumption relation. Considering that watts have become a currency, like the dollar, massive deployments of these under today’s large web-scale cloud infrastructures could result in enormous savings of millions of dollars per year, while providing for enhanced performance and reliability as required for high-intensity datacentres.

by Computer Care
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HTC's new selfie wonder

No doubt selfies have become part and parcel of our everyday digital lives. With this in mind, HTC has done its best to make its newly released Desire Eye smartphone a powerful ‘selfie’ tool. Indeed, the first thing you notice about the phone is the big front-facing camera staring at you like some giant eye. In fact, HTC claims to have provided the highest front camera resolution to date – 13 megapixels. The camera also boasts features such as autofocus, 1080p video recording, and a dual LED flash (and on the back of the phone, too). The camera app package includes a mode where you can insert yourself into a scene or merge your face with some other person’s image, the face-tracking mode for video calls, and the automatic selfie snap mode. You can also take pictures, using both cameras – on the rear and on the front – simultaneously.

Actually, besides the powerful front-facing camera, the smartphone has more to offer than an average mid-range smartphone: a nicely designed 5.2-inch 1080p display, viewable from most angles, a Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 processor, and 2GB RAM. Its plastic body feels good to the touch and not so slippery as most metal bodies do. Moreover, it’s IPX7 water resistant, which means you can hold it under water at a depth of one meter for as long as 30 minutes with no harm done to it at all. The phone is also packaged with all the fancy features a high-end smartphone is supposed to have, and, though its price is not known for sure yet, it is expected to be sold cheaper than the M8 or other high-end phones.

However, all the rest of it is much the same as the M8 – the same Android 4.4 KitKat and the HTC’s usual Sense 6.0. And though Desire Eye does have a front camera of outstanding capacity and does take pictures of nice quality outdoors and in daylight, it has some obvious issues with taking photos in low light. In fact, compared to the iPhone 6's front camera, for example, pictures you can get with Desire Eye look way less impressive.

Anyways, it might be the right choice when a good nicely packaged smartphone for a good price is what you’re looking for.

by menarate
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New Resource for Music Artists

The new resource YouTube for Artists is intended to help musicians with their public debut. It is said to be just one of the numerous resources YouTube plans to launch for the benefit of artists and video publishers. The site, among other things, features tips on how to get discovered, attract fans and earn money from creative work, how to advertise music shows, raise funds and sell merchandise. Plus it includes information on available free production resources.