Fully Charged: Samsung shows world's largest hard drive, and HTC and Lenovo suffer layoffs

Saturday morning's top tech news tidbits, all wrapped up in a tight little package

Samsung's 16TB SSD

The world's largest hard drive

As if Samsung didn't have enough to unveil yesterday, what with the Galaxy S6 Edge+, Galaxy Note 5, and a tease of the Gear S2 smartwatch, the company also used an appearance at the Flash Memory Summit in California to showcase the world's largest hard drive to date. And it's an SSD drive, cramming 16TB of space into a 2.5in shape.

How's that possible? It's 3D NAND memory, which means the cells aren't simply stacked flat like in traditional storage; the varying arrangement allows much more solid-state storage to be crammed into the same amount of space. It's similar to what Intel unveiled recently, but Samsung already has this 16TB option on the horizon. Ars Technica estimates that it'll cost at least £5,000 (about five lac rupees), so unsurprisingly, it's aimed at business users.

[Source: Golem.de via Ars Technica]

HTC and Lenovo plot layoffs

HTC One M9

The smartphone world is ultra-competitive, and when a bet doesn't pay off, companies lose - and sadly, their people often do, as well. HTC has suffered ongoing losses for some time, so yesterday's announcement that the company will shed 15% of its employees (at least 2,000 people) is largely unsurprising, but still hard to hear. The company hopes to cut expenses by 35% as it restructures and pursues new markets (like VR with the Vive).

Yesterday also brought word that Lenovo will cut some 3,200 jobs, or about 10% of the company's non-manufacturing staff, due in part to flagging Motorola sales. Motorola itself will lose a quarter of its Chicago staff, about 500 people, even as it nears the release of the anticipated Moto X Style. Hopefully these changes leave the companies stronger and better suited to compete, and all the best to the employees affected by these drastic moves.

[Sources: Engadget, Reuters]

NASA wants smartwatch apps

Samsung Gear 2

Hey app and UI designers: want to see your work used in outer space? Sure you do - so you should probably get cracking on a smartwatch app for NASA. The United States space organization put out a call for original wearable apps for its astronauts to use on the International Space Station, attempting to cheaply crowdsource a solution.

NASA wants apps that let astronauts get warnings of danger ahead, as well as alerts of when they're in a position to communicate with controllers back on Earth. Apparently NASA's working with the Samsung Gear 2 (not the new Gear S2) here... curiously... and it'll pay US$1,500 for the best design through Freelancer.com.

[Source: Freelancer.com via The Verge]

LG's high-fidelity music service


LG apparently sees high-quality music downloads as a growth area - which is probably why phones like the G4 and G Flex 2 have 24-bit audio playback support - and as such, is expanding a hi-fi music download service into almost 70 countries later this month. It's already available in South Korea, but Computerworld says the company plans to hit other countries via the LG SmartWorld app and website in the coming weeks.

[Source: Computerworld]