'Candy-bar' phones will get smartphone features with new Qualcomm chip

From PC World: The Nokia 3310 phone, a replica of its iconic namesake, took Mobile World Congress by storm last month. It was a surprising show of enthusiasm for so-called candy-bar phones, which remain popular in developing countries because of their rock-bottom prices.

Qualcomm believes there's an untapped opportunity in such feature phones and believes it can bring smartphone-like capabilities to these handsets. So it made the 205 Mobile chip, which will bring LTE capabilities, better graphics, and more responsiveness to candy-bar phones.

Botched Windows patch KB 3178690 freezes, crashes Excel 2010

From InfoWorld: If you use Excel 2010 and your spreadsheets are suddenly acting strange—freezes, crashes for no apparent reason—you likely have Windows Automatic Update turned on. Last Tuesday, as part of its usual Patch Tuesday celebrations, Microsoft pushed a patch,KB3178690, that causes recalculations in Excel 2010 to freeze or crash the program.

The only solution at this point: Uninstall the patch.

Intel claims storage speed record with first large-capacity Optane SSD

From PC World: Intel’s first Optane storage modules came out in early January, but were only 32GB. Larger Optane drives with up to 1.5TB of storage capacity are on their way, and we now have a better understanding of how they’re going to perform.

The first large-capacity Optane SSD drive is the DC P4800X, which has 375GB of storage and started shipping on Sunday. The $1,520 SSD is targeted at servers. (Intel didn’t provide regional availability information.)

How often do you use intelligent personal assistants?

I talk to one all the time
11% (14 votes)
Once in a while
30% (38 votes)
Very rarely or never
59% (74 votes)
Total votes: 126

V-MODA Forza Metallo Review (Page 1 of 4)

Back in December, my colleague Hai talked about my experience at the 84th IEEE Vehicular Technology Conference in his OLALA iDisk ID100 64GB review. Although it was kind of unconventional how he told one of my stories in his review rather than his own, since I did not have a chance to talk about that until now, I would like to take this opportunity to tell my side of the story. At the conference, Apple set up a hiring booth to look for academics with a background in wireless technology. Like any normal person seeing representatives from Apple, I initiated a conversation with the human resources manager. "I have an iPhone and a MacBook Pro," I began, deliberately avoiding the fact I primarily boot Windows 10 on the latter. "That is awesome," she replied. "Which iPhone do you have?" Without really thinking twice, I jokingly teased, "The one with a headphone jack." For two seconds that felt like an eternity, we both paused and looked at each other, unsure what to say next. At that point, I realized I probably lost all my chances at getting a job at Apple to design the next big thing already. There are a couple of things you can draw from this story. Firstly, do not make fun of products from a company you are trying to build a connection with. Secondly, the 3.5mm headphone jack we have all come to love is indeed going the way of the dodo bird. As we stop for a moment of silence to celebrate everything the connector has brought us since the 1950s, today, we will review V-MODA's Forza Metallo: An in-ear monitor designed with everything pre-iPhone 7 in mind. And yes, in case you are wondering, there is a wireless version available from the company.

V-MODA Forza Review (Page 1 of 4)

As I have written before about my Chevrolet Cruze, I recently had to go to get an oil change for the car. Being an ignorant first-time car owner, I cruised on over to the dealership for their express lube service. After waiting about an hour, they finished up with my car, and I was on my way to the office. Later on that day, I told my colleague Jonathan about my experience and how much the whole appointment cost. He was surprised at the high price, and told me I should instead go and find a good mechanic rather than going to the dealership. Personally speaking, I just did not have enough time to really look for a mechanic, and I just needed to get the servicing done. On the other hand, I can completely understand the merits of this. Considering I can find other options at a lower cost but offering the same types of service, it makes more sense for me to be able to find someone else. It may require some more effort to find the right person for my needs, but I think the effort is worth it. Today's review unit of the V-MODA Forza can be seen as a local mechanic, at least in terms of pricing. The Forza comes in at one of the lowest priced headphones we have seen from V-MODA, and while we have liked this company for its sound signature, I have to wonder if it can compete on its own. Is this the dependable but lower cost version of headphones, or will there be some sacrifices I will have to make at this? Let us find out today, as we take a closer look at the V-MODA Forza.

AMD's Radeon memory business is slowing down

From InfoWorld: AMD's Radeon memory business has slowed down, with fewer products available in the U.S. and no new product releases since the introduction of the Polaris GPUs last year.

Products are not being sold by key partners like Newegg, Best Buy, or TigerDirect, and some products are out of or almost out of stock at Amazon.com. Some Radeon DRAM is still being carried on Walmart's website and at specialist tech retailers at discounted prices.

Nintendo is ramping up its Switch supply, report says

From CNET: It's been hard to find a Nintendo Switch -- unless you were willing to pay through the nose. Your luck may change soon, however. According to the Wall Street Journal, Nintendo Switch production will double over the next year.

Microsoft says it's blocking Windows 7, 8 patches on latest AMD, Intel chips

From PC World: When Microsoft said last year that it would restrict the latest Intel Kaby Lake and AMD Ryzen silicon to Windows 10, enthusiasts wondered what would happen if they tried running those PCs using Windows 7 or Windows 8. Now we know: no new patches.

Word of a new Microsoft support document surfaced Thursday, applying the stick to those bold enough to try and pair an older Microsoft OS with the latest silicon. The upshot: Windows will block any updates from appearing on your PC until you upgrade to Windows 10.

Android switches to native Java 8 support

From InfoWorld: Android's mobile application build system will natively support Java 8 features going forward, with Google deprecating the Jack toolchain.

Jack has served as a toolchain to compile Java source code into Android dex byte code, with Java providing the basis of Android development. But now, Google wants to support Java 8 features directly in the current javax and dx set of tools.


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