BetaNews Staff

Ant-sized chip could pave the way for the 'next wave of wireless devices'

Ant sized chip

Engineers at Stanford University have developed a radio the size of ant that they claim could make a big impact on the fledgling Internet of Things (IoT) market.

The computer chip, which is just a few millimeters across, is powered by harvesting radio signals and so requires no external power.

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Oculus VR could revolutionize education

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Facebook’s Oculus VR wants to transform the school classrooms of the future with a new breed of virtual reality [VR] headset that its creators think will be big part of the education sector.

Brendan Iribe, chief executive of Oculus VR, told The Chronicle of Higher Education that his prototype that secured the $2 billion [£1.2 billion] takeover by Facebook is even more impressive than the current incarnation.

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Google transforms old oil fields in to a $145m solar project

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Google has announced it is investing $145 million into its latest renewable energy project.

The search engine giant is helping to finance the 82 megawatt solar power plan, which will be the company's 17th renewable energy project, alongside SunEdison.

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Meet Samsung's NX1, a 28 megapixel compact system camera

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Samsung has launched a new high-end snapper, a fast compact system camera to rival DSLRs for professional usage.

The Samsung NX1 boasts a 28 megapixel APS-C BSI CMOS sensor, supports 4K video recording, and has a new NX Auto Focus System III with 205 Phase Detection AF. The latter delivers an autofocus speed of 0.055 seconds to help ensure you capture the moment with clarity -- and this camera offers 15 fps (frames per second) continuous shooting to cover entire action sequences.

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PVU, ILMT, LPAR, IPAA and IPLA -- IBM's licensing jargon decoded

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Software licensing jargon used by the different software vendors makes up some of the most complex and potentially confusing terminology to have emerged from the technology industry. As one of the biggest vendors of all, IBM creates more than its fair share of confusion amongst enterprises and has developed some of the most complex software licensing metrics and compliance requirements.

It is essential to be on top of IBM's licensing jargon because its software is so prevalent in the datacenter (and everywhere else). So what are the key terms and acronyms that anyone charged with managing IBM software needs to know?

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Moto G (2014): The same, but different [Review]

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What's in a name? A smartphone by any other name would still make calls and texts, right? Not according to Motorola it won't. The Moto G was Motorola's best-selling phone to date, despite its budget status. So in a not-so-subtle attempt to recreate that handsets' success, what has Motorola called its successor? The Moto G of course.

No "Moto G 2" or "Moto G+" or "Moto G 2nd generation" moniker here, the 2014 edition of the Moto G has swanned in as an out-and-out replacement of its older brother that boasts some seriously upgraded specs.

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How technology is changing football (or soccer) for the better

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The use of technology in sports has historically been a contentious issue. "Video reviews will slow down the game" and "unfair advantage" are some of the complaints that get thrown at sporting bodies the world over when technology comes under scrutiny. Just look at the controversy with full-body swimsuits being banned in Olympic swimming. In this case records were broken, but so were rules.

Sport is big business. The latest European football transfer window only closed after £835 million ($1,356 million) was spent by British Premiership clubs. That's the highest spend ever seen within the league. Football clubs operate like any other business, meaning that cash flow and business documentation are vital processes. With so much money, hundreds of jobs and scrutiny from millions of fans worldwide reliant on actions on and off the pitch, things needs to run as smoothly as possible. That's why I believe that clubs need to embrace digital technology off the pitch. However, what about technology on it?

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5 quick ways to speed up your Android smartphone

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Remember the halcyon days of your HTC One/LG G3/Samsung Galaxy S5? How you ran your fingers across the screen and marveled as it transitioned smoothly between apps? You were together, taking on the world in ergonomic bliss.

Now though, with a few scratches to the screen and some scuff marks to the casing, your beloved phone has become sluggish and as you browse the web, your eyes guiltily move towards the gleaming fascias of the latest models.

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It's time for business-led IT to come out of the shadows

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In the past, business-led IT spending -- and by that I mean technology investments outside the IT budget -- has been viewed by IT as unusual or threatening and pejoratively labelled "shadow" or "rogue" IT.

Whatever the perceptions, we all agree this trend is here to stay. According to CEB's latest research, business leaders now spend an additional 40p on technology for every £1 spent through the traditional corporate IT budget. Interestingly, much of the business-led IT budget is dedicated to innovation and new capabilities. In fact, we estimate that three quarters of all spending on IT innovation now occurs outside the traditional IT budget.

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Apple takes the lead in the health and fitness race

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The health and fitness industry is one that Apple has been involved in for a while now. Its partnership with Nike has seen a bunch of dedicated apps appear on several previous iPhone and iPod models. Apple's latest batch of products is no exception. In fact, the fruit-themed company has made the iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus and Apple Watch much more fitness-focused than any of its previous products, which clearly suggests that the company sees this area as a potentially lucrative one.

The first illustration of this comes through the iOS 8 operating system, which will be available as a free upgrade from 17 September. iOS 8 will be released with a health app, as well as a tool for developers called 'HealthKit,' which will bring information from a potentially unlimited amount of health apps straight to your fingertips.

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Western Digital to launch 10TB hard drive

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Western Digital's HGST unit has announced plans to launch the first 10 terabyte hard drive, the largest capacity drive released so far.

The firm also announced it will be shipping its 8TB Ultrastar He8 drive shortly, which uses pressurized helium to fit two extra disks into the drive, but still relies on perpendicular magnetic recording (PMR) technology.

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85% of Android and iOS apps are failing on privacy

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A report carried out by the Global Privacy Enforcement Network (GPEN) has revealed that the majority of apps are failing when it comes to user privacy.

Of the 1,211 apps examined, the study found that 85 percent didn't clearly explain what data was being collected and nearly one in three requested an excessive amount of personal information.

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Is it time for your business to implement an artificial intelligence strategy?

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For decades the prospect of artificial intelligence (AI) has loomed over the business world. Often warped and distorted by its depiction in fiction, there's been a certain stigma associated with the use and the potential impact of AI. From Skynet enslaving the world to psychotic computers threatening astronauts in 2001: A Space Odyssey, the concept of AI has been taken a long way from the fundamental point of having a software which can independently carry out rudimentary tasks. But there are real benefits it can bring that can make life easier and more enjoyable for workers and citizens alike.

You will often hear business leaders talking about maximizing productivity and driving efficiency in their organizations. Yet, when you look at some of the typical wastage that goes on at companies, a lot of it comes from the standard admin and menial tasks none of us like doing. We recently asked workers, who are often targeted in these productivity drives, if they thought a little automation could help them in their day to day work. Over half said they believe predictive software will be capable of doing 10 per cent of daily admin work in the very near future.

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The long road from communications service provider to digital service provider

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The last two years have arguably witnessed the greatest advances in the mobile and telecoms space since the first mobile phone call was actually made on the April 3, 1973. With the emergence of 3G and 4G/LTE, the mobile space has changed beyond all recognition, as have the ways that consumers use mobile phones.

According to Vodacom's quarterly update for the period ending June 30 2014: The average monthly data usage on smartphones increased 44.5 per cent to 312 MB per device, and usage on tablets increased 43 per cent to 848 MB per device. While these figures are unique to the Vodacom group, they are broadly speaking, representative of wider global trends.

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Xperia Z3 Tablet Compact: Sony ups its game [Review]

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When Sony released its Xperia Z2 tablet earlier this year, they moved the goalposts in the global tablet market. The entertainment giant managed to release a serious competitor to Apple's iPad Air that redefined just how thin and light a tablet computer could be.

So how does the Xperia Z3 tablet compare to its predecessor, and what has Sony done to up the game? We go hands on to find out.

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