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Farewell, iPod nano and shuffle

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A pair of iconic Apple devices bite the dust as the company pulls the iPod nano and shuffle from its online retail site, three years after it stopped making the iPod classic.

iPod nanoIn fact, the dedicated websites for the nano and shuffle now redirect to the Apple Music site with no so much of a word of explanation.

“Today, we are simplifying our iPod lineup with two models of iPod touch now with double the capacity starting at just $199 and we are discontinuing the iPod shuffle and iPod nano,” an Apple statement to TechCrunch reads. As such, the iPod touch is now available in 32 and 128GB capacities, with the 16 and 64GB also no longer available.

The Most Profitable Retail Square Footage is...

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Which brick-and-mortar retail is the most profitable on a sales per square foot basis? According to eMarket the answer is no other than Apple, who managed to buck the decline seen in most traditional retail outlets.

Singapore Apple StoreThe analyst says the average retailer makes around $325 per square foot, down from nearly $375 in the early 2000s. In good part this is due to the disruption caused by Amazon, but some companies have managed to grow sales despite the decline. The most spectacular results come from Apple-- The iPhone maker makes $5546 per square foot, making it one of the most successful brick-and-mortar retailer in the world.

In comparison, second placing retailer Reis & Ivy makes $3970 per square foot, while gas/convenience chain Murphy USA makes $3721. Even top jeweler Tiffany & Co stands lower than Apple, since it makes $2951, and leading apparel retailer lululemon Athletica makes $1560.

Phanteks Intros Enthoo Evolv Shift, Shift X Cases

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PC component specialist Phanteks announces a pair of Mini ITX motherboard-compatible cases-- the Enthoo Evolv Shift and Shift X, both featuring a minimalist design with a sleek and slim stature.

Phanteks EvolvThe Evolv Shift measures 170 x 470 x 274mm, while the Shift X is the taller option at 170 x 650 x 274mm. Both are designed for use in either desktop case or tower orientations, and promise to look "clean from every angle." Construction features anodised aluminium panels within a powder-coated steel structure, with top and bottom cooling fins and tempered smoked glass panels on the right and left sides.

Being the bigger case, the Shift X allows for more storage options, with two 3.5-inch drives and four 2.5-inch drives (whereas the Shift holds one 3.5-inch/three 2.5-inch drives). It also allows for more cooling fans and larger graphics cards (529mm, as opposed to 350mm). Both chassis also have space for an 82mm CPU cooler.

Gravitational Anomaly Leads to Better Solid State Devices?

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A team of IBM researchers manage to observe an "elusive gravitational effect" on Earth-- a phenomenon previously thought possible only "hundreds of light years away," and one that could lead to improvements in the energy-conversion process in electronic devices.

IBM Quantum materialBut what does an elusive gravitational effect involve? It is, essentially, an unusual quantum effect scientists theorised could take place within quark-gluon plasma (GDP), the strange, soupy substance that made the universe back when it was little more than a few microseconds old. The quantum effect involved in the IBM experiments is known as the axial-gravitational anomaly, and breaks the conservation laws of classic physics such as charge, energy and momentum.

To observe the axial-gravitational anomaly here on Earth, the scientists used Weyl semimetal, a material similar to 3D graphene, inside a cryolab at the University of Hamburg using high magnetic fields. Weyl semimetal has two kinds of electrons, but when placed inside the cryolab mimicking the conditions of the early universe the electrons change from one type to the other.

Bluetooth Getting Mesh Capability

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The Bluetooth Special Interest Group (SIG) add a new capability to the wireless connectivity standard-- mesh networking, enabling many-to-many (m:m) capability and the creation of large-scale device networks.

Bluetooth MeshThe technology is compatible with Bluetooth 4.0 and higher, and operates on Bluetooth Low Energy (LE). It is ideal for building automation, sensor networks and other Internet of Things (IoT) applications involving tens, hundreds or even thousands or devices. According to the SIG, Bluetooth-based mesh networks are inherently self-healing, with no single point of failure, scalable to thousands of nodes and include "industrial-grade" security.

In addition Bluetooth offers global interoperability, since multi-vendor interoperability testing is conducted during the specification development process, not after the release of the specification.

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