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The International Trade Commission has refused pleas by Qualcomm to suspend a ban on the import of chips and phones using its technology. IDG News reports that the ITC has issued an eight-page ruling, noting that Qualcomm has not met a "four-prong" test: likelihood of appeal success, the threat of irreparable harm, a lack of harm to others, and public interest. Hours before the ruling's distribution, the cellular industry organization CTIA had actually delivered a letter to US President George Bush, urging him to intervene in face of an innovation "freeze" on wireless and emergency phone services. Qualcomm may also attempt to seek help from the US Court of Appeals.
The French company Calao Systems has developed the equivalent of a full Linux computer able to fit into a USB key, measuring 3.3 by 1.4 inches. Inside the USB-9260 is an ARM926EJ-S processor clocked at 190MHz, and memory comes in the form of 64MB of SDRAM, with permanent files being kept on 256MB of NAND flash. Aside from the obvious USB 2.0 main port, the 9260 also has hidden secondary connections: two USB 2.0 host ports, and a 10/100 Ethernet port, enabling local or Internet connections where they might otherwise be difficult. The Atmel chipset used in the key is aimed mainly at GPS functions; there is an increasing demand, however, for compact Linux systems. [via MobileRead]
Former Alienware designer Garrett Bain is attempting to surpass his predecessors with the EXO, a gaming PC with extremely high standards. The case is by default composed of carbon fiber and polished aluminum, but virtually anything can be substituted, including steel or woods such as bamboo. RAID hard drive mounts are supplied, and a watercooling system comes stock, covering both the CPU and video card. Raw performance remains the focus however, foremost because the computer uses a Core 2 Extreme processor, giving buyers the choice of going quad-core. Bain's company has further signed a deal with Nvidia, giving it access to the top one percent of 8000-series chipsets suitable for overclocking.
At a demonstration held in Paris, Toshiba recently premiered two new LCDs in its TekBright monitor line. The new 20- and 22-inch screens have a native resolution of 1680x1050, and a response time of 5ms. Contrast is rated at a figure of 800:1. In an unusual step for modern, high-end LCDs, neither of the new screens will have HDMI ports; they will, however, be equipped with both DVI and VGA ports. The products also come with built-in stereo speakers, simplifying computer setups for those who don't need elaborate sound. The screens should go on sale in Europe by the end of June, for €250 ($336) and €295 ($396) respectively. [via Akihabara News]
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Secure your Google accounts today
Google is offering 2GB of Google Drive storage today for free, if users check the security of their accounts. As part of Safer Internet Day 2016, the scheme will give the 2GB storage extension to anyone going through the Google Security Checkup, examining connected devices, permissions, and other security settings associated with their Google account.
Swift benchmarking suite goes open-source
Following the release of new betas for all its platforms, Apple on Monday also made a suite of 75 tools for benchmarking Swift-developed coding projects, including libraries for benchmarking functions, a utility for comparing the resulting metrics, and a driver for running them. The company says it is asking the community for help in developing additional benchmarks, as well as further "helper" libraries and overall code review for better stability and performance. Apple plans to include benchmark pull requests in Swift's new continuous integration system as well. http://bit.ly/1W8u0EU
Instagram now supporting multiple accounts
As reported earlier, Instagram is now rolling out support for multiple accounts (up to five) in version 7.1.5 of its iOS app. The feature has been one of the main attractions of third-party Instagram clients, but it is unclear if users must seek out an "add account" preference in the app; additionally, some users are reporting that the ability to add accounts has not yet been added. The company says notifications "depend on when you last logged in, and the number of devices that are logged into that account," suggesting not all notifications across accounts will appear when logged into a given one. http://bit.ly/1moh95p
Pictures of Galaxy S7, Edge leaked
New images have been leaked of Samsung's new Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge. The images of the Galaxy S7 are very similar to a draft leaked earlier this year, with a curved back reminiscent of the iPhone 3G with the normal Samsung camera hump in the upper center of the phone. The picture of the Galaxy S7 Edge as leaked is running a benchmark application showing modest improvements over the S6 line, if accurate. Both models are expected to be formally announced in a February 21 press event hosted by Samsung. http://bit.ly/20Gf07X
Bambooti wooden skins for MacBooks
Bambooti has introduced premium wooden skins for Apple laptops that allow users to customize any design or logo directly on the case. Each Bambooti skin is handcrafted from sustainably managed forests, and are hand sanded and spray-finished to create an ultra smooth exterior. Bambooti's wooden skins start at $65 on the fully-funded Kickstarter which includes a custom design or logo of the user's choice that will be engraved on the product. http://kck.st/1PhE6Sb
Apple Music in Taiwan, now up to 113 countries
Apple Music has now added its 113th country, Taiwan, to its expanding list of areas where it offers its paid subscription service. The price in the country will start at NT$150 (about $4.50 US) for an individual subscription, and that now includes (as it does in the rest of the world) the formerly free-but-ad-supported iTunes Radio feature, which as in other countries will be customized somewhat to offer channels of locally-popular music styles. Apple Music is now available in 16 countries and regions -- including China, India, Russia, and Japan -- where Spotify has not yet arrived.
Invisible wall mount for iPad Pro, mini
Computing hardware mounting company Wall-Smart has announced the availability the new "invisible" wall mount, with models for the iPad Pro, iPad Air 2 and iPad mini 4 -- all with no bezel. The invisible mount includes ÂPower Over Ethernet to USB, which allows charging while in-wall, and is available for both drywall and solid surfaces such as solid wood panels or partition walls. Prices vary widely by iPad model, and required mounting hardware. http://bit.ly/1SE5jCO