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Goodbye LTE, Hello LTE-A

Since the dawn of time, or at least the launch of data plans on phones, we have all wanted faster speeds and the ability to do more. 3G technology brought us all something to be excited about; we were all given data speeds that allowed quicker Web browsing, music downloads, games, etc. Then we were all graced with the 4G experience on our smart phones. The difference in 3G and 4G speeds was such a huge contrast that it almost seemed unfair to own a phone or have a carrier that wasn’t 4G capable. To make this all very simple, at a minimum, you want 4G speeds if you can get them. From Facebooking, to MMO games, and now the ever more popular music downloading, you’ll see the best results with 4G. With all of the basics, the biggest thing to know is the true benefit of these increases in network technology. 3G towers average a reliable data connection to around 60-100 users. 4G, however, not only doubles that number to around 100-200 users, it also provides a dramatic latency reduction to them at the same time. When you have a network coverage like 4G that not only supports more people to any given tower, but takes care of their data requirements 10 times faster, you have a local network that manages its users far more efficiently than the latter network.

 Now let’s delve into the pure joy of using a 4G LTE network. LTE, unlike 3G and 4G, uses different frequencies that allow it to provide a dramatic increase in upload and download speeds and more intelligently control its frequency. How does that really benefit the people on its network? Think of how rush hour traffic jams can lock hundreds of cars on a busy highway all at once. Their first intentions are usually to hop on their cell phones to pass the time. 100 people using 3G and 4G phones that are all tapping into a network tower will be struggling with congestion, very slow data speeds, dropped and even missed calls. This is all due to the way these networks control data usage. In short, it’s a free-for-all where the better phones will experience the better part of the congestion. Now 100 people stuck on the highway using an LTE network will not only experience less or zero congestion, but because LTE towers use different frequencies and provide a much greater amount of data to disperse, you’ll happily get to Facebook while not having to worry about missing a call. Smarter networks are giving the consumers what they pay for.

If 3G, 4G, and 4G LTE weren’t enough to swallow, Samsung has announced it will be the first company to launch a phone with 4G LTE-A (Long Term Evolution-Advanced) that is set to be released in South Korea. LTE-A promises to provide over double the speeds that standard LTE networks are providing now. In fact, Samsung is stating it is the true standard in 4G technology. Now every bit of detail is clear on this new technology, but from what I have gathered, it will provide benefits with huge data capabilities, range expansions, an even more complex multi-frequency technology, and smaller network cells. Think of the cells like this: with a main radio signal connecting to 6 cells, it is disbursing its connections to cellular devices as they are in range. Old technology not only has less cells that are larger, they stay active even when there is no requirement for their use. The new Smaller Cell approach will have more cells that are smaller, combined with range expansion packs. This allows the pass off in a network at an almost constant state to provide the best connection possible at all times, and at a further distance than previously allowed. Here’s the greatest part of how LTE-A is going to make networks more reliable: these smaller cells, unlike current cells, go into a dormant state when there is no demand on them to disburse a signal. So instead of wasting data on 6 cells that are constantly on, providing a less reliable call and data experience, you have a 6 cell area that can have only 3 actually needing to be active. So people in range of those 3 cells are getting all that the main network tower has to offer because it’s not wasting its radio transmission to 3 cells that aren’t even being used. In a nutshell, this means you are getting all the performance your LTE-A connection has to offer, all the time. With its expected multi-carrier tower connections providing extremely high data peaks of 1 Gbps, even in the off chance your network is overrun at one time, you’ll be able to happily use your mobile device with blazing fast speeds. Oh! Did I happen to mention LTE-A has an average download rate of 150 Mbps? Ya…Wow!

 We will be waiting, though, for this technology to roll out in the states because we are just maximizing our standard LTE potential as of now. But knowing we are becoming more consistent with technological upgrades, more so in the cellular world, I’d expect small LTE-A markets to start rolling out by the end of 2014. Till then, though, we will have to make do.

Source: SkyNet Solutions

By: Chris Raines


Android Root: Why kernels are key to performance

For those of you out there who dabble in the world of Rooted Android devices, you’ve probably come to the crossroad of flashing a new Linux kernel. Most of you reading this just probably asked, ‘what is a kernel?’ Every time you touch your screen to launch an app, adjust your brightness, or activate Wi-Fi tethering, your kernel is the ‘in between’ that makes all that possible. This is the I/O (input/output) process at work. Your kernel is the voice that orchestrates every action, reaction, and just exactly how that reaction responds, so in a nutshell, if there’s no kernel, there’s no functions period!

When you buy any Android device, you have a factory kernel that is installed along with your current version of Android (Gingerbread, Ice Cream Sandwich, etc.) that controls the I/O Scheduler as well as the CPU Governor. If the kernel itself is what orchestrates your phones functions, then the I/O scheduler and Governor are definitely to be considered the Conductors. These kernels are developed for the factory version of your device, which means they are made for what they see as ‘content’ for your phones best experience. Thankfully though, there are options available that can turn even the blandest of devices into something to fall in love with again.

Myself, like many others who are in the Android development world, asked the question of, ‘can I make this better?’ The answer is yes! Despite if you’re asking can you make your battery life better, your phone faster, or even your screen colors to be more vibrant, the answer to everything is yes! Flashing a new kernel can not only make every aspect of your phone better, it can also give you applications and functions that your factory kernels design was never intended for (like adjusting your screens colors). The options though that matter most, are the ‘optimizations’ made when an Android developer compiles a new kernel. This usually means they’ve removed all the unnecessary junk from the kernel, and tweaked it in a way to allow better battery, the ability to overclock your processor and graphics chip, Spam blocking’pretty much anything and everything they see fit to make your device better.

Of course delving into this rabbit whole would leave an endless conversation on the topic of kernels, but for those who dabble in Android development, or those looking into it, you can’t do enough research on the topic of kernels. They will make or break your phone, and sadly without doing your research, breaking it, is usually the outcome.

Till next time,

Source: SkyNet Solutions

By: Chris Raines


Photoshop could not save file because write access not granted

Ever run into this problem with OSX? Or how about: “Photoshop could not save file because it is already in use.”?

These items were driving me up the wall lately, and I could not figure out where to point the blame; was it a server permission problem? Adobe Photoshop or Illustrator problem? Or is it OSX?

Of course I don’t want to blame the Apple that is trying to survive in our Windows work environment, so I started by getting super admin permissions to the server. That didn’t fix the problem. Next I searched and searched for some sort of Adobe preference but found nothing. Finally I started searching online to find many other people on several different discussions boards all blaming different items from software to hardware.

There are two iMacs here both running Mountain Lion 10.8.3. The one that I use every day was throwing the ‘access not granted’  line, but it was when I moved over to the other iMac to continue testing that I got the error of ‘file is already in use’. And then it was clear as day. I have been having this random problem since Snow Leopard 10.6, and that is when they introduced a preview function in Finder. AH-HA!

I have a monitor hooked to the iMac that houses 4 Finder windows that continually stay open, and I noticed that the problem would replicate if I were to leave the file highlighted in another finder window.

Preview, Apple’s general image display program was causing all of my problems. I still use Preview as my default image program, but I disabled the Preview option for Finder, and I am happy to report that this issue has been resolved!! It is very easy to disable this option; I will demonstrate:

Open a Finder window, right-click on a root folder, and select the ‘Show View Options’ from the fly out menu

This menu will appear next, and all you need to do is un-check the ‘Show preview column’

This item is turned on by default from Apple, so I am sure many other people would benefit from reading this post.

Source: SkyNet Solutions

By: Clint Smith

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Nintendos Wii U Performance….Impressive!

Nintendo’s Wii U Performance…Impressive!

With the announcement of both the Xbox One and PlayStation 4, we were all left mind-boggled at what they are shoving into these bad boys in terms of hardware. Let’s recap quickly here.

PlayStation 4

CPU: x86-64 AMD 8 core

GPU: 1.84 TFLOPS, AMD Radeon Sky Series

Memory: 8GB DDR5

Xbox One

CPU: x86-Microsoft Custom 8 core processor

GPU: (Reported a 7xxx AMD Radeon)

Memory: 8GB DDR3

We can take a look at these specs and see both Sony and Microsoft have taken these past years to make sure when their next systems launched, they hit the stratosphere! But who is talking about the Wii U? We keep seeing sites like IGN, GameFAQs, and about every tech site talking about how doomed Nintendo is with the Wii U, and why it even has a system so far behind in the times. Folks…this is Nintendo we are talking about here. Have they ever really tried to graphically blow our minds? Have they ever tried to add this or that to stay up to speed with everyone else? The answer to all the above is no…until now.

One thing to note right off the bat is Nintendo integrating a 1080p capable GPU in their newest system.

It’s not only a smart choice, but it actually makes more sense than the majority realizes. Who could forget when the N64 launched, and we all got to experience the visual and gaming masterpiece that is The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time? Nintendo managed to keep rolling out game after game after game that won gamers hearts, but they were all polygonal and simplistic at the same time. Fast forward to 2012 as the Wii U launches. People are wondering how the Nintendo’s new 1080p system will compare to the competition. It not only holds its own, but it displays graphics no one could have ever anticipated from Nintendo.  This is all possible from IBM’s ‘Espresso’ CPU and AMD’s custom GPU codenamed ‘Latte,’ which was designed for the Wii U specifically. With a CPU at a mere 1.24Ghz and a GPU running a 554Mhz, this system manages to play gorgeous full HD games that move fluidly with virtually zero motion lag.

I’ll end with this note. I’ve owned both the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3. Yet somehow even with the Wii U having the ‘behind the times’ hardware, I’m more impressed by both the processing and graphical capabilities of the Wii U than I am with both of the other systems. It took Sony 5 years to start unlocking the PS3’s full potential; similar can be said about the Xbox 360, but if Nintendo’s new system has already shown to be this impressive in just a few months, then we can expect its future to hold some of Nintendo’s greatest feats yet!