Those of you using Skype in Windows 8 will be happy to know that Microsoft’s just bumped the app to version 1.6. It’s been a few months since the last update, and this revision brings more features to the table, including contact blocking and a slew of performance tweaks. You’re now able to block users, with an option to remove or report the offending party. Speed and reliability have been improved, especially when loading contacts, and a number of bugs have been fixed, including one where the outgoing video was not always displayed after switching cameras. The update’s available in Windows Store, so what are you waiting for?
Filed under: Microsoft
Source: Skype Blogs
View full post on Engadget RSS Feed
Western Digital has expanded its line of desktop-grade VelociRaptors to include a 1TB model that’s available now for $310, but those kidding themselves with that whole “250GB is enough” thing can get in for as little as $160. Top-level specs include a 10,000RPM spindle rate and a SATA 6Gb/s interface housed within a 3.5-inch heatsink — useful for lessening the burden of the drive’s thermal output on the rest of the machine. Storage Review‘s tests reveal that sequential read and write transfer speeds top out around 206MB/s, thermal dissipation is excellent with low power consumption, and that random access has improved compared with it’s 600GB predecessor. They consider the new HDD to be a “very appealing value proposition” and “a blend of high performance, storage, capacity, and low cost.”
Hot Hardware discovered virtually identical numbers with their tests, but wasn’t quite as forgiving when it comes to the cost-per-GB versus 7200RPM hard drives. However, they call this VelociRaptor the “fastest HDD yet” at “nearly double the capacity of previous” model. You can find even more stats and impressions to chew on at the sources below.
View full post on Engadget
You knew that NFC hardware can be embedded into SIM cards, right? Right? Regardless of whether you’ve been paying attention, the practice is about to become a whole lot more common, as 45 of the world’s largest mobile operators have extended their support for the GSM Association’s standard. Among the networks, you’ll find heavy hitters such as China Mobile and China Unicom (which account for nearly 800 million subscribers between the two), along with familiar names such as America Movil, AT&T, Deutsche Telecom, KPN, Orange, Rogers, SFR, SK Telecom, Softbank, Telus, Verizon and Vodafone. Even Isis, the unholy mobile payment lovechild of AT&T, T-Mobile and Verizon, has pledged its support… in hopes of taking your money, that is. The new standard is expected to drive the proliferation of NFC across the globe, with Anne Bouverot, Director General of the GSMA commenting, “Mobile operators, working together, are ideally positioned to roll out services based on the requirements published by the GSMA, providing proven security and interoperability, global reach and customer care for consumers and businesses and a secure platform for service providers.” Now, as you’d expect, we just wanna see it happen. For a complete list of the cooperating carriers, check out the PR after the break.
[SIM card photo via Shutterstock]
View full post on Engadget