Improved iPhone 5 less expensive to make than iPhone 4S

Is it possible to build a better smartphone for consumers that costs less to produce? Apparently so, if you’re Apple. A preliminary teardown of the iPhone 5 shows that the most expensive iPhone this year is cheaper for Apple to make than the iPhone 4S.

FlashSoft gets $3M and SSDs get more cachet

Combine virtualization, big data and solid state memory, and you get a trifecta of technology buzz words that a few startups are trying to combine to deliver faster speeds on top of virtualized infrastructure. Plus, as speed becomes crucial, are hard drives still relevant?

The Dream of Mobile Content Delivered at HQME

The fears that video will crush cell phone networks as people casually scan YouTube clips on the street or stream Netflix movies from their iPads is forcing mobile operators, entertainment companies and electronics companies to rethink their networks, but perhaps intelligent caching could help.

HQME Mobile Standard Ignores Today’s Streaming Reality

Sony, Orange, SanDisk and SoftBank are proposing a new standard called HQME for getting content to mobile devices using SD Cards and Wi-Fi networks in the home, but is a download model for mobile content going to fly in a streaming world?

SanDisk Delivers 32GB microSDHC Cards

Craving more storage in your phone? SanDisk is happy to oblige with tomorrow’s announcement of a 32GB microSDHC memory card. It comes with a 5-year warranty and plenty of space, but it won’t come cheap — the MSRP for this tiny card is is hefty.

Unity Seeks to Give Your Digital Toys a Memory Boost

logoThe big chip news this morning is about a 7-year-old company coming out with a completely new technology that it believes has the potential to replace the type of memory used to store data in phones, MP3 players and solid-state hard drives. Unity Semiconductor also said it’s raised $22 million from Morgenthaler, Lightspeed Venture Partners and August Capital, bringing the total it’s raised to create its chips to $75 million. The Unity silicon will use the movement of ions, rather than electrons and transistors, to store information. The result is yet another competitor to NAND Flash memory, which retains information even when the device is powered off. Read More about Unity Seeks to Give Your Digital Toys a Memory Boost

Viliv S5 WiFi Problem and a Fix

cimg14274If you have been following my adventures with the Viliv S5 Premium UMPC then you are aware I have been so impressed with the little PC that I have ordered one for my own. I am getting a tremendous amount of good use out of the S5, and everyone I have shown it to is duly impressed with Viliv’s UMPC. This weekend a problem cropped up with the S5 that had me doubting my own judgement until I figured out what was causing it and I was able to get it solved. Now I am back to happy mobile computing, so I’ll pass on what happened in case it will be helpful.
One of the things that has most impressed me about the S5 is the power management that Viliv has incorporated. The user doesn’t have to do anything to get great battery life, and a big part of that has to do with how well the S5 enters and exits Standby mode. The common usage scenario is to pop the device into standby and to resume when it’s needed again. I usually find it only takes about two seconds to go into Standby and 2-5 seconds to resume. Unlike other mobile computers I have used in the past the S5 is able to resume from Standby and reconnect to the WiFi network very quickly, at least until yesterday.
The problem set in all at once, as they often do. I found that the S5 was having trouble resuming from Standby. The desktop would appear right away as usual, but I found that the system didn’t want to execute programs, sometimes for as long as a few minutes. I watched the process many times to determine what might be causing this and began to suspect that the USB systems were not resuming from standby very well. There are many USB systems on the S5, as there are on most mobile PCs. The visible USB systems that were not resuming properly were the WiFi adapter and the Bluetooth adapter. Both of these devices are USB, and I felt pretty certain that one of them was not making the transition from running to standby to running again.
I tested this with repeated standby cycles and hard boots. The USB systems would always work as they should after a hard boot, it was just with a resume that they would fail and cause the system delays I’ve indicated. I set about scouring the Device Manager to see if some power management settings had been changed somehow but nothing really stood out. So I thought long and hard about what could have caused a major change to this system to interfere with this process, one that had been so solid before the problem set in?
The answer was ultimately the hardware driver for the WiFi adapter. My efforts to troubleshoot this went as far as doing a complete system restore to factory conditions. That went well as Viliv has a recovery partition and an easy method to reimage the system using the device buttons. The restore was followed by a Windows Update session to bring it up-to-date and that’s where I noticed what could easily be creating my problem.
I must share the blame for this new driver install as I saw a new Marvell driver update in Windows Update and thinking it was the Ethernet adapter, I checked the box to install it. I don’t remember applying this update before the restore, but I must have done so. I still had the resume problem after the restore so now that I was aware the WiFi adapter had been updated I could deal with it. The fix to my problem that I wasted hours on troubleshooting was to simply roll the driver back to what it was originally. Windows makes that very simple to do and that has fixed my problem.
My system is back happily resuming from standby as it did before. I suspect that Viliv has done a good job customizing the Marvell driver for the S5 and the generic Windows Update driver lost those customizations, thus creating my problem. It goes to show that you have to pay close attention to updates that Windows wants to apply and make darn sure you need a hardware update.