Flash and HDD: A synergy story (Infographic)

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Flash memory has been around for more than 25 years. But over the past few years, the technology has enjoyed explosive growth, arguably becoming more ubiquitous than the hard disk drive (HDD). In 2008, the flash memory market generated about $9 billion in revenue and by 2012, that figure had grown to nearly $27 billion.

While the merits of the technology were never in doubt, it’s never been as scalable as it is today. Indeed, it’s believed that flash memory is shrinking at a rate that exceeds Moore’s Law. With increased scalability, the applications for flash storage have likewise grown. One of the areas where flash is quickly becoming the standard is as a storage solution for high-performance workloads.

What makes flash effective?

The basic difference between a conventional hard drive and flash (also known as Solid State Storage or SSD) is that a flash drive has no moving parts. Previously, when a user needed to access a file on an HDD, a series of rapidly rotating disks would begin spinning and a magnetic head mounted to an actuator arm would scan for the relevant data—not unlike a record player. Any of these parts could break and your data would be lost forever. Remember “that clicking noise”?

With flash memory, data can be accessed simply and immediately. Latency is reduced by up to 90 percent because no parts need to move to access the data you’re requesting. The implications of this distinction for high-performance workloads are tremendous.

Flash memory is believed to be shrinking at a rate exceeding Moore’s Law

Flash: When most effective meets most cost-efficient

The cost of flash memory is dropping below $5/GB, but the cheap price of SSD is only one of several factors behind its compelling return on investment. Flash drives have an 84 percent smaller footprint compared to HDD, so they take up less physical space. There are no spinning disks or massive cooling systems, so energy costs are defrayed as well. Rapid access to data also boosts productivity and allows for operating costs and IT staff workloads to be downsized.

Finally, flash can be used to optimize your HDD resources. While flash offers faster speed than a spinning disk hard drive, HDD can still be leveraged for high-capacity storage. In a multi-tier flash solution, SSD memory is used as a secondary cache where data is “fired up” before being rapidly delivered to the endpoint.

Check out the ways flash can optimize your data storage and save money in this infographic:

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DisplaySearch-chartDisplay industry research firm DisplaySearch recently disclosed its predictions for the new display tech that will be unveiled in 2014. According to DisplaySearch analyst David Hsieh, Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) will likely boost the size and resolution quality of its next iPhone displays. The analyst also noted that Apple may utilize a flexible display technology for its long-rumored iWatch.

Hsieh noted that Apple is exploring two different screen sizes for the iPhone 6 — a 4.7-inch display and a 5.5-inch display. Like the current iPhone 5S display, both display sizes would continue to utilize the LTPS (low-temperature polysilicon) TFT (thin-film-transistor) LCD (liquid-crystal display) technology. However, the 4.7-inch display would be upgraded to a 1,600 x 900 pixel resolution that would give it 386 ppi (pixels per inch). In comparison, the iPhone 5S currently has a 1,136 x 640 pixel resolution for 326 ppi. Hsieh also predicted that the 5.5-inch version of the iPhone 6 will have a 1,920 x 1,080 pixel resolution for a stunning 401 ppi display.

Hsieh also sees two different possible screen sizes for Apple’s long-awaited wearable tech product. According to the analyst, Apple’s iWatch will feature a 1.3-inch or 1.6-inch flexible AMOLED (active-matrix organic light-emitting diode) display. This is the same display technology that Samsung (SSNLF.PK) uses for its curved Galaxy Round smartphone. Hsieh believes that the iWatch will have a 320 x 320 pixel resolution for 348 ppi for the 1.3-inch display, or 278 ppi for the 1.6-inch display.

Besides weighing in on Apple’s upcoming iPhone and iWatch, Hsieh also offered his prediction for Apple’s iPad product line. The analyst believes that Apple may unveil a 12.9-inch iPad in 2014 that will have a TFT LCD display with 2,732 x 2,048 pixel resolution for 265 ppi. DisplaySearch’s iPhone display forecast aligns with recent supply chain rumors that have been reported by various media outlets. Bloomberg cited an unnamed source who predicted that Apple would unveil 4.7-inch and 5.5-inch iPhone screen sizes this year. However, Bloomberg’s source also noted that the new iPhones would feature displays that curve down over the edge of the devices.

Cantor Fitzgerald analyst Brian White has also predicted that Apple will unveil 4.7-inch and a 5.5-inch iPhone screen sizes this year. “Given Apple’s pattern of keeping at least one older iPhone model alive, this would equate to a total of three iPhone screen sizes for consumers to choose from this year,” wrote White in a recent note to investors obtained by StreetInsider.

Meanwhile, there have also been various unconfirmed supply chain rumors about a 12.9-inch iPad. For example, Taiwan’s DigiTimes website reported in December that Apple is planning on releasing a 12.9-inch tablet in October 2014 that will be geared towards North America’s educational market.

Rumor: Apple Accelerating Plans for 12.9-Inch iPad

Apple 12.9 Tablet RumorDoes Samsung’s (SSNLF.PK) oversized Galaxy Note Pro model raise the stakes for Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) in the tablet market? A recent rumor from an Asian supply chain source suggested that Apple may have adjusted its tablet market strategy based on the recent debut of Samsung’s 12.2-inch Galaxy Note Pro tablet.

According to supply chain sources cited by the Taiwan-based DigiTimes, Samsung’s new large-screen tablet has put additional pressure on Apple’s large-screen iPad production plans. “Samsung’s recent launch of its 12.2-inch model is expected to propel Apple to accelerate development of large-size iPads,” noted DigiTimes’ unnamed sources. “Apple is likely to release a 12.9-inch model by the end of the third quarter at the earliest.”

DigiTimes has a mixed track record when it comes to the accuracy of its supply chain rumors. On the other hand, there have been multiple rumors about a large-format iPad that have been reported by various media outlets since May of last year. Last summer, the Wall Street Journal bolstered the supply chain rumors with its own report about a “new tablet measuring slightly less than 13 inches.” More recently, DisplaySearch analyst David Hsieh predicted that Apple would release a 12.9-inch iPad with a 2,732 x 2,048 pixel resolution and 265 ppi sometime in 2014.

Whether or not Apple is responding to Samsung’s Galaxy Note Pro debut, it should be noted that Samsung may have created its oversized tablet in response to the original rumors about Apple’s large-screen iPad. The Korea-based manufacturer has a history of rushing products to market in order to beat its California-based rival. According to CNET, Samsung completed the Galaxy Gear wearable tech product less than a year after the initial decision was made to create it.

Although Apple has never confirmed the development of a 12.9-inch iPad, some analysts have already speculated about the device’s potential impact on the tablet market. In a recent note to investors obtained by Barron’s, Evercore Partners analyst Patrick Wang predicted that the 12.9-inch iPad will operate as a two-in-one hybrid device and will be targeted at enterprise users. Other industry commentators believe the upcoming large-screen iPad will be a desktop computer replacement for the traditional PC and will be aimed at the educational market.

Besides noting Apple’s supposed adjustment to its large-screen iPad development plans, DigiTimes’ sources also reported that Apple’s suppliers are already working on new models of its 9.7-inch iPad and 7.9-inch iPad mini. The sources also predicted that Apple will ship 80 to 90 million iPads in 2014, while rival Samsung will ship 60 to 70 million tablets.

Your Child’s World Just Got Bigger

Introducing delightful robots that fuse play with programming for kids of all ages.  Reserve Bo & Yana! The robots that open a new world of play and learning for your child

Meet Bo & Yana

Bo
Bo is an explorer. Bo is playful and curious. Bo loves going on adventures and making new friends. As you play together, Bo learns new skills and becomes a more capable robot. Together, there’s no stopping where you and Bo can go.
Yana
Yana is a storyteller. Yana is clever, imaginative and full of dreams. Yana can surprise and entertain you by bringing characters to life as you play! Use the power of your imagination to unlock Yana’s potential.

https://www.play-i.com/

‘Terminator’ polymer can spontaneously self-heal in just two hours

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‘Terminator’ polymer can spontaneously self-heal in just two hours

Terminator 2: T-1000, the self-healing liquid metal robot

In the future, we may praise the computer repairman on his needlework. After all, the self-healing power of skin has served life very well over the years; it could be just as powerful in other contexts, too. If we surrounded the most sensitive  computer components with a sac of soft material, air- and water-tight, repairs could end with the technician suturing shut a scalpel hole.

Researcher Ibon Odriozola at CIDETEC Centre for Electrochemical Technologies has created a polymer that has the potential to lead to such a future. The material is comprised of a poly (urea-urethane) elastomeric matrix, a network of complex molecular interactions that will spontaneously cross-link to “heal” most any break. In this context, the word “spontaneous” means that the material needs no outside intervention to begin its healing process, no catalyst or extra reactant. In the experiments, a sample cut in half with a razor blade at room temperature healed the cut, with 97% efficiency, in just two hours.

The reaction, called a metathesis reaction, has led Ibon to dub the material his “Terminator” polymer, in reference to Terminator 2′s T-1000. That’s an apt comparison, since this homogenous material resembles the thick liquid of T-1000′s interior. Unlike other self-healing materials, this one requires so catalyst and no layering. There’s currently no word on how well it can heal itself over multiple separations, but so long as it’s not cut in precisely the same place twice, that shouldn’t cause too many problems.

There is potential for this technology to help extent the lift-spans of some plastic parts, things that are under a lot of repetitive strain often slowly acquire minute but growing fractures. The group’s main goal now is to make a harder version, perhaps one that could be formed into such parts itself. As it exists today, the polymer is squishy and somewhat soft. The researchers couldn’t stretch a single piece to breaking by hand, either before or after the cut, but it’s not rigid enough to make parts from just yet. (See: Stanford creates touch-sensitive, conductive, infinitely-self-healing synthetic skin.)

healing polymer headerA good self-healing material has been one big challenge for artificial skin, something that can quickly stop up small wounds on its own. Self-healing also potentially grants to the ability to grow over time, as new units of the matrix could be incorporated as the material stretches and tears on the microscopic level. A graft of artificial skin given to a growing child might be able to grow along with them for a while. And since it allows easy surgical work, self-healing skin lets the body stay shut up tight against germs.

If its healing mechanism proves robust enough, we could even see this Terminator material injected like an adhesive or a sealant. Its impressive combination of elasticity and strength could let it bring the self-healing advantage to everything from leaky window frames to painful joints in need of some padding to stop bones from rubbing together. (See: Self-healing, self-monitoring chip rearranges circuit if damaged.)

And then there’s the possibilities for protective coatings. Inventors have long been in search of a self-healing protective coating, a top-sheet that could soak up small nicks and return to its prior state. Even the thick piece cut in the video healed with a barely perceptible “scar,” so there’s at least hope for a transparent coating that heals invisibly.

Now read: Scientists create self-healing protective coating, deliver killing blow to screen protectors

Research paper: doi:10.1039/C3MH00061C – “Catalyst-free room-temperature self-healing elastomers based on aromatic disulfide metathesis”

Samsung reportedly close to releasing Glass competitor — and Google’s involved

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Samsung reportedly close to releasing Glass competitor — and Google’s involvedGoogle Glass

This one is definitely a rumor, but its source is reliable enough to warrant a little speculation. Analyst and blogger Eldar Murtazin tweeted a rather definite message this week that Samsung is “developing [its] own version of Google Glass. We will see it (probably) around April – May under Gear Glass brand.” Given that Google’s own version of Glass is not expected to hit the mass market until early 2014, Samsung’s Glass competitor could very well race Google’s to market.

That might seem like a nightmare for Google, which has invested heavily in Glass and is no doubt planning for a strong event launch, but as was pointed out in a CNet article, the use of the word “Glass” implies an official partnership. Samsung is known for its aggressive branding and Google would likely raise legal concerns regardless, so it’s unlikely the brand Gear Glass would be used without a partnership.

Sergey Brin wearing prototype Google Glass

Does Google even want to sell Glass, or does it just want you wearing face-screens?

If Google is involved, it would almost certainly be in terms of software and basic technology; there’s no point in Samsung reinventing Google’s eye-tracking or bone conduction technology if it doesn’t have to, nor in building a whole operating system from scratch. Samsung has become used to profit sharing with the internet giant, and despite recent rumors that the Galaxy brand might move away from Android, that seems out of character given its increasing integration with other Google products like Docs. If Google is involved in a Gear Glass solution, that would effectively end any worrying on that score.

More than that, however, Google is fundamentally a software company. It seemingly moved into mobile phone hardware just to put out phones without additional proprietary software, pushing Motorola along with little fanfare until the Moto X. It seemed not to know what to do in an arena where it can’t just release a promising beta and produce a grassroots movement around it. That only works when your product is free. Google tends to approach hardware as a necessary evil in support of its true work on the software side. It entered the telecommunications industry with Fiber, expressing open frustration that it was necessary to do so.

50 iOS 7 Features You’ll Actually Care About

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Apple announced a major iOS 7 redesign, with countless iOS 7 features that are rolling out in the iOS 7 beta today.

There are hundreds of new iOS 7 features, but you won’t care about every single thing that’s new in iOS 7. You can check out a dozen new iOS 7 features on Apple, but there are many more iOS 7 features that Apple tucked inside descriptions, quickly flashed on slides or glossed over during the iOS 7 announcement.

These “hidden” iOS 7 features join the major items announced on stage to make up the 50 iOS 7 features you will actually use and care about.

 

Control Center in iOS 7 replicates some jailbreak features and makes it easier to change settings.

Control Center in iOS 7 replicates some jailbreak features and makes it easier to change settings.

 

  1. Control Center – In iOS 7 Apple adds a Control Center, which allows users to swipe up from the bottom of any screen for access to toggling WiFi, Do Not Disturb, Brightness, controlling music playback, AirPlay and more. There’s also a flashlight built-in and shortcuts to apps.
  2. Swipe to Go Back – When in Safari or other apps, if you need to go back, don’t bother looking for the back button, swiping in from the left will go back.
  3. Scrolling App Folders – The new app folders in iOS 7 aren’t limited to a few apps. If you want to put all your games into a folder you can now do that and scroll through apps in a folder.
  4. Better Sharing Menu – The new iOS 7 sharing menu includes a scrollable list of apps and other iPhones to make sharing photos and more simpler. 

    Share faster with a new sharing menu in iOS 7.

    Share faster with a new sharing menu in iOS 7.

  5. Great New Look – Apple changed the look of IOS, from the font and dock up to the status bar at the top of the iPhone. This is a brand new look that many users are already excited to try out.
  6. New Multitasking With Previews – The new iOS 7 multitasking uses the full size of the iPhone 5 display to let users see what’s going on in apps. Users can also swipe up to kill an app, instead of long pressing on it. 

    The new iOS 7 multitasking offers large previews and easy access to closing apps.

    The new iOS 7 multitasking offers large previews and easy access to closing apps.

  7. Siri Voice Options – In iOS 7 Siri offers a new female voice and a male voice for the first time.
  8. More Control of iPhone with Siri – Siri can now control more of the iPhone. In the demo Siri on iOS 7 controlled brightness, returning calls and controlling iRadio. 

    Siri can do much more in iOS 7.

    Siri can do much more in iOS 7.

  9. iOS 7 Looks Change to Match Your Background – When you change the background of the home screen, elements of the IOS system will change to match the colors. This includes the dialer and other parts of iOS 7. 

    In iOS 7 parts of the system change based on your background color.

    In iOS 7 parts of the system change based on your background color.

  10. New Camera App – iOS 7 features a new Camera app that includes faster access to panorama, a new look and much more.
  11. Live Camera Filters – If you like Instagram, the new square photo option and live filters will be at the top of your favorite iOS 7 features list. 

    A new camera app comes with iOS 7, with several new features.

    A new camera app comes with iOS 7, with several new features.

  12. Photos App That Sorts By Location – The new Photos app knows where you took photos and sorts them by location making it easier than looking through an endless stream of photos.
  13. Tap and Scroll to Search for Photos – If you want to find a specific photo, tap and hold to scroll through thumbnail previews.
  14. iCloud Video Sharing – iCloud will now support sharing videos. A great feature when you don’t want to share on YouTube or Facebook.
  15. iCloud Photo Sharing Activity View – See what friends are sharing in a Facebook like feed of new photos and videos shared to a Photo Stream.
  16. iPhone Theft Deterrent – In addition to Find My iPhone, iOS 7 makes it impossible to activate a stolen iPhone if it is still tied to your user ID. 

    The new iOS 7 Photos app makes finding photos easier.

    The new iOS 7 Photos app makes finding photos easier.

  17. iCloud Keychain – iCloud will now sync passwords, credit card info and WiFi networks to all OS X Mavericks and iOS 7 devices.
  18. iTunes Radio – iTunes Radio is a new way to listen to music in iOS 7. Pick a genre or create a station form your favorite artist like on Pandora, but gain Siri control. 

    iTunes Radio comes in iOS 7 with streaming stations that are ad-free for $25 a year.

    iTunes Radio comes in iOS 7 with streaming stations that are ad-free for $25 a year.

  19. One Bar on Safari – Safari gets a new look on iOS 7 and finally sees a single bar at the top to enter addresses and searches.
  20. More than 8 Safari Tabs At Once – On iOS 7 users can open more than 8 tabs in Safari at once. Finally. 

    Safari in iOS 7 features a single bar and a new look.

    Safari in iOS 7 features a single bar and a new look.

  21. Notification Center On Lock Screen – Users can now access the Notification Center on the lock screen.
  22. Synced Notifications – Notifications will sync between OS X Mavericks and other iOS 7 devices to make sure you don’t see notifications twice.
  23. Today Mode – A new mode shows today’s weather, appointments and other info at a quick glance. 

    The iOS 7 Notification center is on the lock screen.

    The iOS 7 Notification center is on the lock screen.

  24. Smarter App Updates – iOS 7 groups app updating to save battery life, essentially batching multiple app updates and preferring WiFi.
  25. Automatic App Updates – iOS 7 also includes automatic app updates, so you won’t have to tap update all in the App Store.
  26.  

    AirDrop simplifies file sharing.

    AirDrop simplifies file sharing.

     

    AirDrop – Simple, wireless sharing to iPhones and iPads nearby without the need to upload to a service or all be on the same WiFi network.

  27. Shared Links in Safari – See every link posted by your Twitter friends in one location with easy access to reading.
  28. Popular Apps Near Me – Find apps that relate to what you are doing, such as apps popular at a museum or at a beach.
  29. Better Business Support – Enterprise Single Sign On arrives in iOS 7, which might help your company say goodbye to BlackBerry.
  30. Siri Can Search Better – Search Bing, Wikipedia and Twitter right from Siri,
  31. Smarter Weather App – The weather app shows more weather information without the need to go to Yahoo where they try to change your search engine.
  32. iCar Integration – Starting with select 2014 models, the iPhone display will basically AirPlay to the dash offering access to the iPhone apps and features

    In iOS 7 the iPhone will connect to the dash systems on many 2014 model cars.

    In iOS 7 the iPhone will connect to the dash systems on many 2014 model cars.

  33. Block Calls, Messages and Facetime – iOS 7 now includes built-in support to block calls, messages and FaceTime calls from anyone. No third-party apps needed.
  34. Facetime Audio – Make FaceTime Audio calls on WiFi for better sound than a cell phone call. Perfect for calling friends on AT&T.
  35. Support for Game Controllers – iOS 7 brings support for Made for iPhone game controllers, which is huge for iPhone gaming.
  36. 60 Frame Per Second Video Capture – Capture video at high speed on the iPhone. This feature may be limited to the iPhone 5.
  37. Enhanced Parental Control – Guided Acces API opens up support for apps to tie into Apple’s iOS controls, which could lead to a better Kid’s mode for the iPhone and iPad.
  38. Send Apple Maps To Your iPhone – OS X Mavericks will send Maps details to your iPhone or iPad for simplified sharing between your devices. 

    Apple Maps in Mavericks can send info to the iPhone or iPad.

    Apple Maps in Mavericks can send info to the iPhone or iPad.

  39. No More Waiting for Updates on Notifications – Apps will load the notification pushing an alert so you don’t need to wait after opening Facebook to see the updates.
  40. Smart Calendar – The new Calendar app factors in time to commute, weather, businesses nearby and more. And it comes with a new look.
  41. Kids App Section – Apple now includes a kids section on the app store that makes finding age appropriate apps easier.
  42. Per App VPN – In IOS 7, users can now set up VPN use on an app-by-app basis. Big news for security minded users or business users.
  43. Smart TV Episode Downloading – Apple didn’t dive into the details of this, but we assume it means when you finish watching an episode it will start downloding the next.
  44. Do Not Track in Safari – Safari now supports Do Not Track mode for users that don’t want advertisers to track them.
  45. Turn By Turn Walking Directions – There are now walking directions built-in to Apple Maps in iOS 7. Walk on!
  46. Scan to Add a Passbook – Users can now scan barcodes with the PassBook app to add a new Pass, making it easier to add a pass from a business or the web.
  47. Night Mode for Maps – iOS 7 not offers a night mode for Maps that tones things down when driving at night, a great feature for users that mount the iPhone on a dash. 

    Pull down to access Spotlight from any iOS home screen.

    Pull down to access Spotlight from any iOS home screen.

  48. Fast Access to Spotlight – Pull down on any home screen to search the iPhone with Spotlight. No need to tap or swipe all the way to the left.
  49. Automatic WiFi Connections to Save Data Usage – iOS 7 supports WiFi Hotspot 2.0 which should help the iPhone automatically connect to a partner WiFi network like AT&T or Verizon hotspots when you are traveling, saving on data usage.
  50. Apple Maps Bookmark Syncing – Apple Maps bookmarks will now sync between the iPhone, iPad and OS X Mavericks so your favorite places are always at hand.

The iOS 7 release is set for this fall, likely timed with an iPhone 5S release. The iOS 7 beta is available today for the iPhone 5, iPhone 4S and iPhone 4. Apple is preparing an iOS 7 beta for the iPad 4, iPad 3, iPad 2 and iPad mini. Not all devices will recieve the same features.

Millions of Sim cards are ‘vulnerable to hack attack’

A flaw with mobile phones’ Sim card technology is putting millions of people at risk of being spied on and robbed, according to a leading security expert.

Karsten Nohl has said he has found a way to discover some Sims’ digital keys by sending them a special text message.

He warned criminals could potentially use the technique to listen in on calls or steal cash.

Industry organisation – the GSMA – said it was looking into the findings.

“Karsten’s early disclosure to the GSMA has given us an opportunity for preliminary analysis,” said a spokeswoman for the association, which represents global network operators,

“We have been able to consider the implications and provide guidance to those network operators and Sim vendors that may be impacted.

“It would appear that a minority of Sims produced against older standards could be vulnerable.”

Mr Nohl has posted preliminary details of the vulnerability on the website of his company, Berlin-based Security Research Labs.

Intercepted calls

Sim (subscriber identity module) cards effectively act as a security token, authenticating a user’s identity with their network operator.

They also store a limited amount of data such as text messages, contacts’ telephone numbers and details used for some applications – including a number of payment and banking services.

Mobile phone users in AbidjanMr Nohl says that mobile banking customers in Africa rely on the security offered by their Sim cards Continue reading

New computer is the size of a pack of index cards, costs $100

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utilite-computerCompuLab, an Israeli maker of embedded computing products, has announced a tiny, bare-bones computer called the Utilite that will sell for $99 and up.

It’s just 5.3 inches by 3.9 inches by 0.8 inches, which means it is just slightly larger than a pack of 100 index cards. Yet inside it has a powerful Freescale i.MX6 system-on-a-chip, with an ARM Cortex A9 processor at its heart, with one, two, or four cores. The device will have up to 4GB of RAM and can contain a hard drive with up to 512GB plus a microSD card with up to 128GB of storage.
Read more at http://venturebeat.com/2013/07/15/new-computer-is-the-size-of-a-pack-of-index-cards-costs-100/#MQM0AyQmMDsfqHfG.99

Google Maps Street View takes us to the most exotic location yet — inside a carwash?

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After taking us to the top of a fiery volcanothe Great Barrier Reef, and even the White House, Google Maps is finally taking Street View allowing us to travel with them on their greatest adventure yet… inside a carwash. Okay, so it’s not that exciting, but it’s definitely the last place I’d expect to get the virtual Street View treatment. I suppose it makes sense, it is a business after all.

If you want to check out the images from inside Clean Freak Carwash located on 4th and McDowell in Phoenix, Arizona, hit the source link below on either your desktop browser or Android-powered device. In the meantime, I’ll be filling out my resume to become a Google Street View driver.

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