Friday, March 24, 2017

CORSAIR ONE Gaming PC Released

First announced in February, the new Corsair ONE pre-built gaming PC is now shipping. The Corsair ONE is the first ready-to-run system from the manufacturer that has mostly been known for their PC components and peripherals. Selling and supporting entire systems is a new venture for Corsair, but the design and capabilities of the Corsair ONE are a good fit for the company's product lineup.

The Corsair ONE uses a custom case form factor that is a shallow-depth mini tower, but all of the major components inside use standard PC form factors: mini-ITX motherboard, SFX power supply, 2.5" SSDs and supporting graphics cards up to 11" long with two or three slot cooling solutions. Naturally, many of those components are either existing Corsair parts or special editions made for the Corsair ONE. The total volume of the case is around 12L and the exterior is mostly black aluminum.
The system's cooling is provided by a single ML140 exhaust fan at the top and intake is through the side panels. The right side intake is occupied by the radiator for the CPU's closed-loop water cooler. The left side intake vent opens directly onto the air-cooled graphics card in the base model, while the top Corsair ONE includes a second water cooler for the GPU. Neither radiator has any fans of their own, as the exhaust fan at the top of the case provides most of the air flow. The power supply uses semi-passive cooling with its own fan, and the system as a whole emits around 20dB at idle.

In order to allow the graphics card to be positioned behind the motherboard and facing its own air intake, the Corsair ONE chassis provides the necessary cables to route the PCIe lanes to the graphics card, and pass-through video connections to ports on the back and one HDMI port on the front that is intended for VR displays. The power supply is mounted in the top of the right side of the case and also makes use of a short pass-through cable to the plug on the back of the machine. Because both side panels are used as air intakes, the Corsair ONE can only operate in vertical orientation cannot be operated with either side directly against any obstructing surface.

The top vent and fan are removable without tools, but the two side panels with the radiators must be unscrewed at the top and are hinged at the bottom. While Corsair cases are usually quite easy to work in, further disassembly of the Corsair ONE gets tricky as usability has been sacrificed to save space.

Corsair ONE PC Specifications
ModelCorsair ONECorsair ONE PROCorsair ONE PRO (web store only)
CPUi7 7700i7 7700K
GPUair-cooled GeForce GTX 1070water-cooled GeForce GTX 1080
DRAM16GB DDR4 2400
Motherboardmini-ITX, Z270 chipset
Storage240GB SSD + 1TB HDD480GB SSD + 2TB HDD960GB SSD
PSUcustom edition of Corsair SF600: SFX, 80+ Gold with semi-passive cooling
Warranty2 years

The base model Corsair ONE comes standard with an Intel Core i7 7700 processor in a Z270 motherboard with 16GB of DDR4-2400 RAM. The base graphics card is an air-cooled NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070. The Corsair ONE PRO model upgrades to a Core i7 7700K processor and a MSI GEFORCE GTX 1080 AERO 8G OC with Corsair's custom water cooler. Storage is either a combination of a SATA SSD and a 2.5" hard drive or a single larger SATA SSD.

Stylistically, the Corsair ONE is less ostentatious than many gamer-oriented products. The front face of the case includes aqua blue accent lighting that can be controlled or entirely disabled through Corsair Link software, but it's single-color rather than full RGB lighting. Even with the lighting off the Corsair ONE doesn't easily blend in with typical office or living room furnishings, but the relatively small size and all-black color scheme make it fairly unobtrusive.

The software pre-installed on the Corsair ONE is minimal: Windows 10 Home with all the necessary drivers, Corsair's CUE customization tool, and installers for popular game digital distribution platforms including Steam, Origin, Uplay and GoG Galaxy.

Corsair will be selling the Corsair ONE PC through major electronics retailers as well as directly through their online store. Support will be be handled in-house by Corsair's expanded support department that now includes specialists for the Corsair ONE. The system comes with a two-year warranty and aftermarket upgrades performed by the consumer will void that warranty, but Corsair will also be partnering with retailers to provide in-warranty aftermarket upgrades.

Thursday, March 23, 2017

SimilarTech tells you what’s powering any website, alerts web companies to new leads

Over the years, developers have turned to resources like BuiltWith to help them figure out what technology is under the hood powering today’s websites – including things like shopping carts, analytics, hosting platforms and more. Now BuiltWith has new competition: SimilarTech, which not only monitors the technologies used by any site, but also automates the process of finding leads for web companies.

If the name sounds familiar, it’s because SimilarTech is actually a spin-out from the web analytics platform, SimilarWeb, which last fall raised another $25 million, valuing its business at $400 million.

SimilarTech’s service began its life as a passion project by former SimilarWeb software engineers Yaniv Hadad (now CEO at SimilarTech) and Eyal Weiss (CTO). When it grew, they decided to turn it into its own company.

But two companies are still affiliated. Not only do they share the same branding, SimilarWeb also owns a stake in SimilarTech as it shares traffic data with them. This allows SimilarTech to offer different levels of segmentation – like by industry or by country, for example – which isn’t currently available on other platforms.

SimilarTech has actually been operating in stealth mode for the past six months, and today includes clients like Google, PayPal, Facebook, Amazon and other smaller, web-based platforms, like Paddle, Playbuzz, and Skimlinks, which are looking to determine who’s using their competitor’s technology, or find customer leads.

While the value proposition is somewhat like other measurement resources such as BuiltWith or lead-gen platforms like Datanyze, SimilarTech aims for a broader scope with its service. Instead of simply uncovering the technology of websites and highlighting web trends, it’s using SimilarWeb’s comprehensive data – like traffic insights and geo segmentation – to offer a better understanding of the websites in question.

In addition, SimilarTech aids in lead generation by finding potential customers for web companies. It does this by profiling websites, including details like category, geography, web traffic and technology usage.

And it will send out an email alert to customers every time a target site stops using a competitor’s product or technology. This can help in timing the outreach appropriately – for example, if someone just left a free trial of your competitor’s technology, it could be a good time to try to convert them into your own customer.

This process of tracking technology can also help companies reduce their own churn – as in the case of a customer who begins trialling a competitor’s technology, for instance, before they’ve cancelled their service with your company.

SimilarTech also provides its customers with the verified emails of relevant people within the target companies as part of the lead.

The business model involved here is freemium-based, with a free version that lets users search for any site and see what technology it uses, as well as compare market trends (this is like BuiltWith, but SimilarTech has nice graphics), market share among different technologies, and it looks at things like geographic distribution. It will also generate limited reports of leads.

The paid version begins at $290 per month and the price scales as customers ask for bigger lists, geographic segmentation, or more verified emails.

SimilarWeb also used a freemium model, much to its advantage – this makes it a resource for those in the industry, allowing it to gain mindshare. It then makes money off its Pro tiers. SimilarTech clearly believes that model will work for its web tech and lead-gen platform, too.

Today, SimilarTech is a team of five in Tel Aviv, and looking to double over the next year.

AT&T and Verizon join advertising boycott against Google over offensive YouTube videos

AT&T and Verizon are the latest companies to pull advertising from Google’s display network amid concerns that company does not do enough to prevent ads from appearing on YouTube videos promoting terrorism and hate speech.

The two telecommunication conglomerates issued statements on Wednesday that they will stop advertising on YouTube and Google’s display network until they are reassured that their ads won’t play ahead of videos with objectionable content.

According to Kantar Media data cited by Bloomberg, Verizon and AT&T are the third- and fourth-largest advertisers in the United States, respectively, with AT&T alone spending $941.96 million on advertising last year.

But it is important to note that Verizon and AT&T’s decision to withdraw advertising from Google isn’t just about taking the moral high ground. Both companies are focused on building their ad-tech businesses and are spending heavily to do so. That ambition underpins Verizon’s desire to acquire Yahoo (and why it spent $4.4 billion purchasing AOL, TechCrunch’s parent company, in 2015) and AT&T’s proposed acquisition of Time Warner. This means both companies potentially stand to benefit if Google loses advertising marketshare.

The problem with advertising running right before offensive content was highlighted last week when The Times published an article demonstrating how often Google’s programmatic advertising tools fail to prevent ads from appearing in front of videos by terrorists and hate groups.

In response, Google promised to give brands more control over where their advertisements run and make it easier for them to alert the company when ads appear in problematic places.

A Google spokesperson told TechCrunch “We don’t comment on individual customers but as announced, we’ve begun an extensive review of our advertising policies and have made a public commitment to put in place changes that give brands more control over where their ads appear. We’re also raising the bar for our ads policies to further safeguard our advertisers’ brands.”

The diverse group of companies and organizations already boycotting Google ads include the U.K. government, advertising and marketing agency Havas SA, Sainbury’s, Toyota Motor, Volkswagen, GlaxoSmithKline, the British Broadcasting Corporation and the Guardian newspaper.

In a media statement, AT&T said “We are deeply concerned that our ads may have appeared alongside YouTube content promoting terrorism and hate. Until Google can ensure that this won’t happen again, we are removing our ads from Google’s non-search platforms.”

In its own release, Verizon stated “We take careful measure to ensure our brand is not impacted negatively. Once we were notified that our ads were appearing on non-sanctioned websites, we took immediate action to suspend this type of ad placement and launched an investigation. We are working with all of our digital advertising partners to understand the weak links so we can prevent this from happening in the future.”

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