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Tag: Ars Technica (Page 1 of 5)

Video: Microsoft Lumia 950 in action

Video produced by Jennifer Hahn (video link)

The Microsoft Lumia 950 is a long-awaited flagship Windows phone. I have a written review but if you want to see Continuum and iris recognition in action, you’ll want to check out my video review.

There’s even a cameo from one of my multitudinous and extremely bad mannered cats.

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iPad Pro has a lightning-fast USB 3.0 connector

Apple’s new iPad Pro has a hidden feature the company didn’t widely publicize: a USB 3.0-compatible Lightning connector. An iFixit teardown earlier this week revealed the compatible components hinting at USB 3.0 capabilities, but Ars Technica reports today that Apple has confirmed its ultra-large iPad supports ultra-fast data transfer speeds.

The jump is notable because previous iPads have relied on the older USB 2.0 standard, which has a theoretical maximum throughput of 480Mbps (or about 60MB per second). USB 3.0, on the other hand, supports speeds up to ten times faster, all the way up to 5Gbps or 625MB per second. For artist types in graphic design, photography, or video — one of the main, perhaps even only, target markets for the…

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Apple sneaks a USB 3.0-compatible Lightning port into the iPad Pro

The iPad Pro’s Lightning port will apparently support USB 3.0 transfer speeds. (credit: Andrew Cunningham)

Our full review of the iPad Pro covers a lot of ground, but there is one small item that escaped our notice. When iFixit tore the device apart, it found a USB 3.0 controller, and Apple has confirmed to us that the new iPad Pro will in fact support USB 3.0 transfer speeds over its Lightning port. USB 3.0 supports theoretical transfer speeds of up to 5Gbps, a little over 10 times faster than USB 2.0’s 480Mbps.

But those faster transfer speeds will cost you. The Lightning cable that ships with the iPad Pro is a standard USB 2.0-speed cable, and you’ll need to purchase USB 3.0 cables separately when they’re released at some undisclosed point in the future. The cables may be physically different from the current USB 2.0 models, which don’t appear to have enough pins to support the USB 3.0 specification.

Over the years, Apple has been making it easier and faster to transfer files between iDevices and Macs with things like iTunes Wi-Fi syncing and AirDrop, but especially for those who frequently transfer large files (like 4K videos) to and from their iPhones, the possibility of USB 3 speeds for future products in the lineup is welcome. Apple may choose to build a USB 3.0-compatible controller into a hypothetical next-generation A10 SoC to avoid the need for an additional controller, making it easier to fit into smaller devices.

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Microsoft to offer UK-based Azure, Office 365 from late 2016

Microsoft will spend $2 billion building out its European cloud infrastructure, and the company will create a new UK cloud region that will offer Azure and Office 365 from late 2016 and Dynamics CRM later.

Many in the UK are already using services operated out of Ireland and the Netherlands, and Microsoft is expanding both of these operations to provide additional capacity. UK-based hosting will open up Microsoft’s cloud services to the UK government, with the UK Ministry of Defence quoted as intending to make use of the UK facility. The new offering will also appeal to companies that need to keep data within the UK due to regulatory requirements, such as some of those operating in banking and finance.

Microsoft already boasts more distinct regions around the world—currently 24—than any other major cloud provider, with more than $15 billion already invested. This presence arguably gives the company an edge for any business with legal compliance concerns, as it’s more likely that Microsoft will have a data center subject to the right laws. The lower latency that comes with geographic proximity can also be important, such as Microsoft’s own use of Azure for hosting Xbox game servers.

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Analysis: Sony continues to widen its console sales lead over Microsoft

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Ars Technica‘s latest analysis of the worldwide game console market will look largely familiar to anyone who has been following our previous reports. Sony continues to slowly increase its majority share, while Microsoft holds relatively steady and the Wii U slides quickly into market obscurity.

Last week, all three major console manufacturers released their quarterly financial reports for the period ending in September. Sony once again reported the strongest console sale results, shipping four million consoles to stores during the three-month period, up from 3.3 million during the same time a year ago. Nintendo also saw its quarterly console shipments improve slightly from a very low base, up from 610,000 consoles last year to 720,000 consoles this year.

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