Gadgets news: Nextbit phone and world’s largest hard drive

17 Aug 20159 Shares

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Kevin Thomas' 3D-printed rubber band gun via Kevin Thomas

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This week in gadget news, start-up Nextbit promise a phone that improves over time, someone creates a US$32 device that can hack into your car and Samsung have gone and made the world’s largest hard drive.

Nextbit phone that improves over time

It’s a bold claim for a manufacturer to make to say that its latest phone can improve over time, but that’s exactly what Nextbit – a start-up made of Android and HTC Veterans – is claiming.

Having begun as a software company, Nextbit took the step to diversifying into one of the most competitive markets around in mobile hardware with plans to unveil their first “friggin’ awesome” smartphone in September this year.

Nextbit offices

Nextbit staff working on the Nextbit phone. Image via Nextbit/Facebook

The phone’s major selling point, however, appears to be not what’s on the outside, but rather the inside, with Nextbit CEO Tom Moss saying the phone will improve over time thanks to a hyper-refined Android operating system.

Much of the storage capacity of the phone – to be designed by the designer of the HTC One M8 Scott Croyle – will be put in the cloud and it’s expected to be sold for between US$300 to US$400.

US$32 device can hack almost anything

The latest trend it appears in the hacking community is to hack not just hardware, but mobile hardware in the form of cars, whether it’s its brakes or even just the entire control of the car.

Now one attendee of the recent DefCon conference, security expert Samy Kamkar, has made a name for himself with his own very cheap gadget that can open your car with very little effort.

Just by being near the car owner activating its wireless locking keychain, Kamkar’s device can receive the signal, record it and loop it back to the car through his small device, all with ease, according to Wired.

RollJam device

The RollJam device. Image via Samy Kamkar/Wired

Calling it the RollJam, the device just needs to be placed near the car or garage door for the car and all that the car owner will notice is that their pressing of the button doesn’t work the first time, but needs another press.

In effect, RollJam bypasses the industry standard encryption known as ‘rolling codes’, which change with every use to prevent the signal being copied, that is, until now.

Less than the size of a mobile phone, the device certainly wields incredible power, but for those of you with bad intentions, Kamkar does not plan on actually releasing the RollJam.

Samsung 16Tb hard drive

Yes, you read that right: a 16Tb hard drive. The insanely-large hard drive was launched at the Flash Memory Summit this week in California and has already raised some serious eyebrows given that the current largest hard drive is 10Tb.

In terms of the technical power, Samsung say its enormous storage capacity is thanks to its own-brand 256GB 3D V-NAND flash memory based on 48 layers of three-bit multi-level-cell (MLC) arrays for use in SSDs (phew).

That means it has packed between 480 and 500 of these 256Gb SSDs into the hard drive, with each of these chips being no larger than the tip of a finger.

Samsung says this new hard drive model designated PM1633a will continue being developed until the end of the year and is clearly marketed at company-level data centres, with an estimated price tag of €7,000-plus.

3D-printed rubber band sentry gun

If ever there was an incentive to get into 3D printing, then an automated sentry gun that fires rubber bands is it.

Developed by engineering student Kevin Thomas in Switzerland, the amazing-looking device uses an Arduino board that is programmed to scan the surrounding area for movement and anything fast-moving, according to The Next Web.

Once it’s locked onto its target it will begin unleashing the fury of six of elastic bands at whoever is attempting to steal the stapler from your desk.

If you want, though, you can set it to a manual mode and control it with a joystick for precision on one unlucky individual.

The open source schematics can be downloaded online and produced provided you have the right materials.

Lenovo ThinkPad P50 and P70

Chinese desktop computer manufacturer Lenovo is adding two more PC workstations to the market in the forms of the ThinkPad P50 and P70 to be launched in Q4 2015.

Aside from both models’ hardware including an Intel Xeon Processor E3-1500M v5 and NVIDIA’s Quadro GPU, the P50 and P70 also promise a new powerful FLEX dual-fan cooling system.

As the most expensive of the pair, the P70 will feature a 17in UHD 4K screen with 64GB of DDR4 ECC memory, as well as being capable of handling a 1Tb SSD hard drive, while the P50 has a smaller 15.6in display.

Prices for the P5o are expected to start at the pricey amount of €1,434, while the P70 will cost even more at €1,793.

Lenovo ThinkPad P70

The Lenovo ThinkPad P70

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Colm Gorey is a journalist with Siliconrepublic.com

editorial@siliconrepublic.com