TV Revolution Is Upon Us?

television

television (Photo credit: jeevs)

How many more players are going to join the TV revolution?  As now, we know Google, Apple, Microsoft, and other players are trying to tear down the old and introduce the new TV experience to the mass.  It’s all about how to unplug consumers from Cable and plug ’em into the Internet pipe.  Why would they and the consumers want everything, from phone to TV, to be plugged into the Internet pipe?  I guess the consumers demand and so they give ’em.  After all, the Internet isn’t just more hip and compatible with the time, but consumers can make wiser choices and have more control with their programs.

It’s about on demand yo!  On demand is definitely easier and more hip when consumers plug into the Internet, and so Cable will have to go the way of the dinosaurs.  Netflix is superb example of how on demand would work.  Instead of dictating when a content consumer should view a program, Netflix aired a complete first season of House of Cards show at once, so everyone could watch this all at one go.  Of course, whoever has all the time in the world will be able to watch the whole show at one go with few breaks in between, but most people have jobs and other pleasures to tend to, and so they will have to make their own time to enjoy Netflix’s House of Cards.  The big difference between Netflix’s House of Cards content viewing experience and Cable is that content consumers are in the driver seat for program choices and schedules.

A new player who has just joined the TV revolution is now Intel.  According to The Verge’s “Intel confirms its Internet TV will launch this year, complete with set-top box and a camera” article, Intel will launch Internet TV which comes with hardware that even has camera.  The camera can be turned off at will, but if you leave it on it will watch you watch whatever that you watch… it’s a little creepy in my opinion.  The Verge suggests that Intel will be able to make a wiser choice of showing what commercials and to suggest what shows to the TV audiences if the camera is on.  In my living room?  Sigh…  I don’t mind the camera watch me doing my things in the public space, but in my living room is just creepy.  I prefer a little more privacy when I enjoy my time in my own living room…

I think the TV revolution is about to be cranked up even more.  It’s the trend yo!  I like where this trend is taking us, but I think there will be things that will be discarded into the forgotten pits.  Through trial and error process, the TV revolution will reward the sensible features.  For an example, I don’t think that many people will appreciate being watched by a camera as they watch their favorite shows in the living room.  Features like this will definitely be thrown into the forgotten pits when the TV revolution (of this time) becomes the norm.

I think the TV revolution (of this time) is more about the experience and less of marketing gimmicks.  How come?  There aren’t that many choices for the publishers and marketers when it comes down to how to dictate what will be the ultimate TV experience in the Internet age.  After all, the TV audiences have plenty of choices to tap into for their content viewing pleasure from the Internet itself.  It’s like the TV revolution has to compete with the medium that hosts it.  It competes against the Internet and yet the Internet will be the medium which hosts this Internet TV thingy.  The trick is to make Internet TV the tube to go to for all TV and video content viewing pleasures…  The trick is to beat YouTube?

Sources:

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Apple Announced The Next Generation MacBook Pro For 15″ And 13″

English: Unibody MacBook Pro Deutsch: MacBook ...

English: Unibody MacBook Pro Deutsch: MacBook Pro 5. Generation (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Unfortunately, I don’t have access to the next generation MacBook Pro yet, therefore I can’t really snap a picture of it.  I guess a picture of any older MacBook Pro iteration would do.  The picture is taken from Wikipedia.  Enjoy!!!

Wow, Apple had just announced new MacBook Pro that is hugely more powerful than older generation ones.  Even more, Apple is now taking order for their new MacBook Pro.  Apple calls the latest MacBook Pro as the next generation MacBook Pro.  By getting the next generation 15″ MacBook Pro at the price point of $2,199, you get a MacBook Pro that is only .71 inch thick, 7 hours battery life, weight 4.46 lbs, retina display, 2.3GHz quad-core Intel Core i7 processor (Turbo Boost up to 3.3GHz) with 6MB shared L3 cache, 8GB of 1600MHz DDR3L RAM which can be upgraded to 16 GB RAM, 256 GB flash storage, dual graphic switching which includes Intel HD Graphics 4000 and NVIDIA GeForce GT 650M with 1GB of GDDR5 memory, 720p FaceTime HD camera, 2 Thunderbolt ports, 2 USB 3.0 ports, HDMI port, headphone port, SDXS card slot, 802.11n Wi-Fi wireless networking;3 IEEE 802.11a/b/g compatible, Bluetooth 4.0 wireless technology, Up to 30 days standby time, and OS X Lion as the operating system.  I think if you buy the next generation MacBook Pro now, you get to upgrade to the next version of OS X (Mountain Lion) for free.  Got the cash?  Paying the next generation 15″ MacBook Pro at the price point of $2,799, you get a more powerful i7 processor which clocks around 2.6 GHz and can be Turbo Boost up to 3.6 GHz.

What I like most about the next generation 15″ MacBook Pro is that it has amazing retina display which is capable in putting current HD display on my MacBook Pro to shame.  The retina display should make the images and videos way more enjoyable as the pictures should be way more beautiful than older kind of displays.  Amazingly though, the next generation 15″ MacBook Pro’s battery lifespan is still great, up to 7 hours wireless web, even though it packs with a more powerful processor and graphic card.  I bet the next generation 15″ MacBook Pro users will love how fast it’s to be able to transfer data from the laptop to the external hard drive at breakneck speed, because the Thunderbolt ports can allow them to transfer data up to 10 Gbps.  Unfortunately, even now though not that many external hard drives are built to support Thunderbolt.  Luckily though, Apple is smart to include 2 3.0 USB ports, therefore users can still transfer data at near breakneck speed, because USB 3.0 supports data transfer up to 5Gbps.  So the highlights for me about the newest 15″ MacBook Pro are speed and display.  The prices for the newest MacBook Pro is another story, because I think it’s just too expensive as always.

Apple also had announced the release of the next generation 13″ MacBook Pro, but this one isn’t as powerful as the 15″ one.  How come?  The processor for the 13″ one is only a dual core Intel i5 or i7 processor.  Obviously, the 15″ one is more powerful since it has quad-core processor.  Besides a less powerful processor, I think the 13″ one does have all the goodies that the 15″ one has.  So, if you do need a smaller, less heavier, cheaper next generation MacBook Pro, I guess 13″ one would do.  How much cheaper?  The Intel dual core i5 13″ one touts at $1,199 and the dual core i7 13″ one touts at $1,499.  It’s a lot cheaper than the 15″ one if you actually compare the prices side by side.  My question to you is, do you like how Apple has upgraded the MacBook Pro line?

What About Ultrabooks?

Since the announcement of new MacBook Air product line from Apple in late July of this year, Intel is increasingly pushing for its PC partners to roll out Ultrabooks.  Appropriately surmising, many people think Intel wants Ultrabook product lines to take on Apple’s MacBook Air product line.  If it’s true, Ultrabooks do have the specifications to tackle head on against MacBook Airs.

There will be a plethora of Ultrabooks to flood the market.  Ultrabooks can be made by any PC maker.  Intel designs the essential specifications of Ultrabooks such as the processors, and all PC makers will apply such specifications to their own unique designs so a specific Ultrabook from a specific PC maker can stand out somewhat.  This also means the differences of Ultrabooks’ specifications among different brands (i.e., PC makers) might not be that different.

To compete against Apple’s MacBook Airs, Ultrabooks carry competitive specifications.  In general, each Ultrabook should carry low-voltage Intel Core processor (e.g., i5, i7), no thicker than 21mm frame (0.83 inches), at least 5 hours of battery life, and flash storage to allow really fast boot time.  Arming with this information, people now know that there won’t be a specific Ultrabook product line that will be substantially superior over all other Ultrabooks’ product lines.  With so many types and brands of Ultrabooks to choose from, which will be your perfect Ultrabook?  It might have to come down to which PC brand you trust most and knowing ahead why you want an Ultrabook in the first place.

Before you want to buy an Ultrabook, make sure to check out the Ultrabooks from the PC brands that have been good to you in the past first.  Knowing why you need an Ultrabook in the first place will help you pick the right Ultrabook specification.  For an example, let say you have an interest in thinnest, lightest, and average performance laptops with price tags under $1,000.  With this in mind, the current logical choice of laptops has to be the Ultrabooks with the specification that carries 2011 ‘Sandy Bridge’ Core i5, hybrid hard drive, glossy screen, and other general electronic components that most Ultrabooks should carry.

So, why 2011 ‘Sandy Bridge’ Core i5s?  First of all, Sandy Bridge processors are the latest generation processors, and so Sandy Bridge processors should provide the latest capabilities.  Second of all, I suggest Core i5 in the example for two reasons.  The first reason is to match a processor with the need of an average performance laptop, and Core i5 provides average performance for a laptop.  Second reason is that Core i5 is cheaper than Core i7, and so this helps cut down the price of a laptop — hint: the example requires price tags of laptops under $1,000.

So, why hybrid hard drives?  Hybrid hard drives are slower than all-SSDs, but the price tags for hybrid hard drives are cheaper than all-SSDs — hint: the example requires price tags of laptops under $1,000.  At least though, hybrid hard drives are faster than the traditional hard drives and carrying flash storage that allows Ultrabooks to boot faster.

So, why glossy screens?  Glossy screens look sharper indoor.  It’s also possible to add matt layers onto glossy screens to reduce outdoor reflections.

Like the idea of buying one of the top of the line Ultrabooks for best performance and features?  In this scenario, price tags will be expensive for obvious reasons.  It’s easier to choose a specification when you have the money to spend, right?  I guess, because you can always choose the brand you like first, then pick the best specification such as the one that carries 2011 ‘Sandy Bridge’ Core i7, all-SSD, glossy screen, and all other best internal electronic components there are.

One thing you must aware about buying an Ultrabook is that Ultrabooks cannot be upgraded!  According to Ultrabooknews article “Ultrabook Buying Tips,” Intel might have intended to not allow Ultrabooks to be upgradable for Anti-Theft measure.  According to Ultrabooknews article “Ultrabook Buying Tips,” everything is packed tightly and soldered within extremely thin Ultrabooks, this makes one more good reason for Ultrabooks not to be upgradable.  This is why you must know ahead what you really want from an Ultrabook in regarding to the specification.  Without knowing ahead what you really want from an Ultrabook before you plunge into buying one for real, it might be too late to be regretted after the purchase of an Ultrabook since you can’t really upgrade or downgrade it.

According to Ultrabooknews article “Ultrabook Buying Tips,” there are other key features that most Ultrabooks carry, and these are:

  • Wireless display
  • Smart Connect — updating while sleeping
  • Sleep ‘n ‘Charge — charging devices over USB while Ultrabook is sleeping
  • Quick Charge — fast charging of battery of Ultrabook
  • IPS display — wide angle viewing
  • Silent Mode — fan off
  • Enhanced Stereo Speakers
  • ‘HS’ capability with the Bluetooth standard
  • Lockable trackpad
  • USB 3.0
  • 3G/4G data
  • Back-lit keyboard
  • Microphone array
  • Separate headphone out / Mic in

You can check out the list of Ultrabooks that are either in the process of launching or already available at Ultrabooknews’ Product List.

Windows 8 might be released in fall of 2012, but the exact date is still anyone’s guess.  Is it wiser to wait for Windows 8 to be released first before buying an Ultrabook?  It’s up to you really!  Do you really need another laptop right away?  If it’s not so urgent for you to buy a laptop right away, then I suppose it’s wiser for you to wait till Windows 8 comes out.  Nonetheless, it will be months for Windows 8 to come out, and so the waiting is going to be long!  On the plus side, waiting might give you a chance of getting an Ultrabook at a bargain, because by then some Ultrabooks might be cheaper.  Let cross our fingers, OK?

Sources:  http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2390824,00.asp,
http://ultrabooknews.com/2011/10/17/ultrabook-buying-tips/,
http://ultrabooknews.com/product-list/

Intel Works On New Thunderbolt To Speed Up Data Transfer Up To 700 MB/sec

Thunderbolt might be a hell lot faster in upcoming years.  According to Gizmodo, Intel claims to work on new Thunderbolt version which will use fiber optic cable to push data.  With this new way of pushing data, the data speed can be in the range of 700 MB/sec.

Imagine by today standard, a dual layer disk of Blu-ray can hold up to 50 GB of data.  If my math isn’t wrong, then it takes only 71.43 seconds for one to completely transfer the maximum data capacity of a a dual layer disk Blu-ray over this newest Thunderbolt version that Intel is working on.  It’s just plain awesome to see the transferring of data this large this fast!

A commenter on Gizmodo raises an issue where this newest Thunderbolt version yet might be useless, because there isn’t any storage technology that has yet to show it will also be able to read and write data at such speed.  But to point this out, the commenter is wrong about this if Wikipedia is on the money!  According to Wikipedia’s article “Solid-state drive,” and I quote verbatim:

At Cebit 2009, OCZ demonstrated a 1 terabyte (TB) flash SSD using a PCI Express ×8 interface. It achieves a maximum write speed of 654 megabytes per second (MB/s) and maximum read speed of 712 MB/s.[21] In December 2009, Micron Technology announced the world’s first SSD using a 6 gigabits per second (Gbit/s) or 600 (MB/s) SATA interface.

As you can see, I don’t think the future has to worry about achieving the 700 MB/sec write and read speed of a storage technology since OCZ had demonstrated that it could already done something similar in 2009.  If OCZ can, I think others will be able to do so too.  So, it’s naturally to assume, I should say safely assume, that a compatible storage technology with the newest Thunderbolt version yet might be readily available in the upcoming years.

Sources:  http://gizmodo.com/5844210/thunderbolt-will-become-even-faster++just-with-new-cables, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Solid-state_drive

Leveraging Intel’s Smart Response Technology To Boost Computer Performance, Requiring SSD

Without sacrificing hard drive space and yet gaining excellent computer performance, but how one goes about to do just that for Windows 7 machines?  It’s all about Intel’s Smart Response Technology (i.e., using Intel Rapid Storage Technology software).  What Intel’s Smart Response Technology does is to allow your SSD and HHD to form RAID zero so Windows 7 machine’s data could be cached, consequently increasing Windows 7 machine’s performance many folds.  You probably want to ask why not using pure SSD, right?  Of course, it would be good to use pure SSD, but pure SSD will cost you a huge chunk of your saving.  Instead of going for pure SSD, you can buy a small size SSD (i.e., around 120 GB or less), and then utilizing Intel’s Smart Response Technology to increase overall performance of Windows 7 machine.

Instead of only hearing about how other had done it, I went out and bought Agility 3 SATA 3 SSD (6 Gbps), installed it inside my Windows 7 machine, and utilizing Intel’s Smart Response Technology (i.e., Intel Rapid Storage software).  No surprise there when I saw my system got super fast!  Shutting down the machine felt instant, and it was the same for turning it back on.  Updating from a fresh installation of Windows 7 usually took me hours, but using this method felt so much faster!  I think I’m in love with SSD and Intel’s Smart Response Technology, at least for now!

You can either clone your Windows 7 machine to move its data onto the SSD, or you can freshly install Windows 7 onto SSD.  Either way, I think you have to disconnect your HHD first, installing Windows 7 or clone it onto SSD second, then reconnect the HHD so Windows 7 won’t be confused about which drive you want to install Windows 7 on.  Don’t forget to change your BIOS’s boot sequence.  I changed the boot sequence to have SSD to boot before HHD.  Utilizing Intel’s Smart Response Technology requires you to make sure if your chipset is supporting this technology or not.  If it’s, you can download the correct Intel Rapid Storage software, and use it to configure your RAID 0.

I’d made a video which demonstrated how one would go about configuring RAID zero using Intel Rapid Storage software.  Check it out right after the break!

Update:  The process of utilizing Intel’s Smart Response Technology in the video above is a little bit off in accuracy.  Nonetheless, I don’t want to delete the video since there are couple good tips in it.  If you want to go the easier way, you can always install Windows 7 onto SSD (or any other operating system), and then only save rarely use files in HHD.  Of course, without SSD cache (i.e., using Intel’s Smart Response Technology), your system won’t be as optimized as it could be.  Still, by using SSD to boot Windows 7 (or any other operating system) and to load computer games and so on can be very fast, indeed.  Faster than carrying out those strenuous computer activities on normal HHD even though such HHD has 7200 rpm.

Intel’s New Chip Technology Allows Data Transfer Rate At 50 Gigabits Per Second

How fast is your Internet connection?  Compare that to Intel’s new invention and soon to be a new innovation!  So what is it?  Intel has discovered a way to transfer data at 50 gigabits per second.  The current technology is only allowing up to 12 gigabits per second data transfer rate at maximum.  To hit the 50 gigabits per second rate, Intel creates a new type of chip that can convert photons into electricity using more channels in one chip.  The medium for transferring data using the new chip technology is still going to be over fiber optic cables.  According from source, as long Intel improves the technology of the new chip, it may be able to transfer 1 terabit per second in the future; 1 terabit per second equals to something as transferring entire printed collection of the Library of Congress in 1.5 minutes.  Source: Venturebeat.com’s “Intel demos chips that can transfer an HD movie in 1 second.”