Brian Fagioli

Acronis True Image is back, baby!

In a move that is sure to be celebrated by consumers, Acronis has announced the return of True Image, a household name for home cybersecurity since 2003. While the software never actually went away, it was previously renamed “Cyber Protect Home Office,” which never really caught on with the public.

Acronis True Image 2024, as it is now named, is designed for home users and small businesses, offering both protection and backup capabilities. This latest version brings bug improvements in security and performance, providing users with an integrated suite of anti-ransomware, anti-malware protections, and a dependable backup service.

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Samsung and MediaTek validate industry's fastest LPDDR5X DRAM for AI smartphones

Samsung today announced its successful collaboration with MediaTek, resulting in the verification of the industry's fastest Low Power Double Data Rate 5X (LPDDR5X) DRAM, clocking in at 10.7 gigabits-per-second (Gbps). This technology is set to feature on MediaTek’s upcoming flagship Dimensity 9400 System on Chip (SoC), which is scheduled for release later this year.

The 10.7Gbps operation speed verification was conducted on Samsung's 16GB LPDDR5X package, achieving this milestone within just three months of collaboration. This achievement is quite notable, as the new LPDDR5X DRAM offers over 25 percent improvement in power consumption and performance compared to previous generations. This advancement promises extended battery life and superior AI capabilities directly on mobile devices, enabling faster, server-independent AI applications like voice-to-text generation.

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Apple launches midnight HomePod mini

Apple has announced a new color, midnight, for its HomePod mini smart speaker. This replaces the very similar (almost identical) Space Gray variant. This color is the only one made from 100 percent recycled mesh fabric. The midnight color option joins the existing palette which includes yellow, orange, blue, and white. It features an acoustically transparent mesh exterior and a backlit touch surface.

The HomePod mini is designed to deliver a comprehensive audio experience, allowing users to access a catalog of over 100 million songs through Apple Music. It can be used as a single speaker, in a stereo pair, or as part of a multiroom audio setup. Additionally, it can enhance audio for home theater setups when used with Apple TV 4K.

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Linux 6.10 released

Linus Torvalds has announced the release of Linux kernel 6.10, highlighting that the last week of development was somewhat more active than previous weeks, but not enough to necessitate an additional release candidate. The final week’s activities were largely centered around the bcachefs and netfs filesystems, which accounted for about a third of the patches. Another third of the updates involved various drivers, while the remaining patches were categorized as miscellaneous.

This release paves the way for the merge window of Linux 6.11, which is set to open tomorrow. This timing coincides with the start of summer vacations in much of Europe, which may influence the pace of subsequent contributions. Nonetheless, the new release incorporates a wide range of fixes and updates across different subsystems and architectures, underscoring the collaborative efforts of the global developer community.

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Google makes Linux more secure

Google has taken a proactive step to bolster Linux security with the introduction of the counted_by attribute for flexible array members. This enhancement addresses a critical vulnerability in C programming related to buffer overflows, particularly those involving flexible array members whose sizes are determined at runtime.

Buffer overflows have long been a notorious source of security issues in software development. While sanitizers have mitigated some of these vulnerabilities by automatically inserting bounds checking, flexible array members have remained a challenging exception. The size of these arrays is typically opaque to the compiler, making it difficult to perform bounds checking outside the allocation function.

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GNOME 47 Linux desktop environment achieves Alpha status

Great news, fellow Linux fans -- version 47 Alpha of GNOME (the desktop environment) is released today. The DE introduces a host of updates and new features across various modules. It's essential to remember that this is an alpha release, meaning it's still in the early stages of development and not yet ready for production use. However, the enhancements are worth exploring for those eager to stay ahead of the curve.

One of the most notable additions in this release is the introduction of two new modules: localsearch and tinysparql. Localsearch aims to enhance local search capabilities within the GNOME environment, while tinysparql provides streamlined SPARQL query functionalities, focusing on efficiency and speed.

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Ampace Andes 1500 redefines portable power with ultra-fast charging

Ampace has officially launched the Andes 1500, a portable power station that offers extraordinary charging capabilities and longevity. The Andes 1500, powered by Ampace's exclusive A-Boost technology, can fully charge in just 55 minutes, significantly reducing downtime and enhancing user convenience.

The Andes 1500 introduces a new era of fast charging, boasting an 1800W AC input that enables a full charge from zero in under an hour. It also supports solar and car socket inputs, making it ideal for on-the-go charging needs. The unit offers an insane 1462Wh capacity and features 13 different ports, ensuring that users can charge multiple devices simultaneously.

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Leadership changes at GNOME Foundation: Should DEI influence the selection of a new director?

The GNOME Foundation has announced Holly Million is stepping down as Executive Director, with Richard Littauer stepping in as Interim Executive Director. This transition should hopefully prompt a broader discussion within the open source community about the role of diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) in the selection of new leadership. Shouldn’t we all want to see diversity and equality considered for the hire?

Million's contributions included the development of strategic plans and securing important fiscal sponsorships, setting a solid foundation for her successor. As the search for a new Executive Director begins, there is an opportunity to consider how DEI could influence the leadership direction at the Foundation. This includes evaluating the potential impact of diverse leadership styles and the benefits of varied perspectives in guiding the Foundation's future.

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TUXEDO launches InfinityBook Pro 14 Gen9 Linux laptop

TUXEDO Computers has launched the 9th generation of its InfinityBook Pro 14, which is notable for having an all-aluminum chassis. This latest model features a slim 17mm profile and weighs just 1.47kg. The redesigned chassis also accommodates a variety of keyboard layouts and offers a display that can tilt up to 180 degrees.

The InfinityBook Pro 14 Gen9 comes with two processor options: the AMD Ryzen 7 8845HS, which includes an 8-core setup capable of handling 16 threads, and the Intel Core Ultra 7 155H, which uses a combination of performance-optimized and efficiency cores to manage up to 22 threads. Both options are engineered to balance power efficiency with high performance, making the notebook suitable for a range of demanding applications.

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TCL brings NXTPAPER Android smartphones to the US

TCL Mobile has officially released its NXTPAPER smartphones in the United States, with the debut of the TCL 50 XE NXTPAPER 5G and TCL 50 XL NXTPAPER 5G. These devices are now available, with the TCL 50 XE offered nationwide at Spectrum for $149.99, and the TCL 50 XL available regionally at C Spire for $199 or at no cost with a 36-month agreement.

Both smartphones feature TCL’s NXTPAPER 3.0 display technology, which enhances eye comfort and preserves vibrant colors, balancing high refresh rates with a comfortable viewing experience. This technology has garnered attention for its ability to combine performance with viewer comfort, making it popular among both consumers and tech reviewers.

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Mint Mobile announces free roaming in Canada

Mint Mobile, a subsidiary of T-Mobile US, has announced a big update for its customers traveling to Canada. Starting today, all Mint plans now include unlimited talk, text, and 3GB of high-speed data per month for roaming in Canada at no extra charge. This enhancement builds on the existing perks of Mint Mobile plans, which already offer free calls to Mexico, Canada, and the UK, unlimited domestic talk and text, and access to T-Mobile’s extensive and award-winning 5G network in the US.

Aron North, Chief Marketing Officer of Mint Mobile, expressed enthusiasm about the new feature, stating, "Since joining forces with T-Mobile, we’ve been hard at work building an even better experience for Mint customers everywhere, and today, we’re excited to bring free roaming in Canada to everyone on every plan. Now, any Mint customer traveling to Canada this summer and beyond can call, text, and browse just like they’re at home.”

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Surfshark launches Alternative Number

Surfshark has introduced Alternative Number, an addition to its Alternative ID product suite. This feature provides users with a virtual US-based phone number, accessible through the Surfshark app, aimed at protecting users' actual phone numbers from misuse online.

Alternative Number helps shield personal information in an era where phone numbers are commonly required for online activities. "It can be difficult to keep your phone number to yourself online. We’re constantly asked for our numbers whenever we post ad listings, shop online, or sign up for free products/services. But there’s no telling where your number ends up once you share it online," says Sarunas Sereika, Alternative ID Product Manager at Surfshark.

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Sony ZV-E10 II camera debuts

Sony Electronics has unveiled the ZV-E10 II, the eagerly awaited successor to the widely popular ZV-E10 mirrorless camera, acclaimed for its versatility and ease of use in content creation. The new ZV-E10 II not only retains the beloved features of its predecessor but also introduces enhancements to cater even more effectively to the needs of creators.

The ZV-E10 II is equipped with an updated 26-megapixel Exmor R CMOS sensor and Sony’s latest BIONZ XR image processing engine, promising higher image quality and faster processing speeds. This second-generation model boasts enhanced autofocus capabilities, improved video features including a Cinematic Vlog Setting, and a redesigned user interface that supports vertical content creation seamlessly.

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Maxell launches OWS Pro Open Wireless Earhooks on Amazon

Maxell has launched the OWS Pro Open Wireless Earhooks. These earbuds are designed with an open fit to allow users to stay aware of their surroundings while enjoying audio content.

The earhooks are designed to sit securely on the outer ear and feature fast charging through a Type-C connection. They provide up to 18 hours of total playtime with the charging case, and the earbuds alone can deliver 6 hours of audio playback.

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Lenovo outpaces Apple in shocking PC market surge

The PC market is making a remarkable recovery, showcasing a 3 percent growth in the second quarter of 2024. This is quite impressive after a series of declines, with worldwide shipments of traditional PCs hitting 64.9 million units. Despite challenges in China, growth outside this region exceeded 5 percent, according to the IDC Worldwide Quarterly Personal Computing Device Tracker.

This resurgence is significantly fueled by the excitement around AI-enhanced PCs and a vital commercial refresh cycle. "Navigating through market maturity and various challenges, the back-to-back quarters of growth reflect a vibrant and changing landscape," commented Ryan Reith, Group Vice President at IDC.

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