Thursday, December 31, 2009

Happy New Years From Geek-News.Net

As the year draws to an end I'd just like to say thanks so all our friends and readers for a fabulous '09. This year was the best the blog has seen so far. We've got lots of new things planned for 2010 which will hopefully lead us to big and better things. So stay tuned!

PS - for all you partiers out there, if you plan to drink please don't drive! Several local tow companies and cab companies offer free/safe ride programs. So pan ahead of time and check with your local companies. Nationwide AAA is offering their free Tow To Go program at 1-800-AAA-HELP, so call if you get in a jam!

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Direct2Drive Year-End Blowout Sale Features More Than 50 Games

I really couldn't tell you how long this promotion has been going on because I just ran across it today but you've still got a a day to get in on some great prices on some great games.

In total the Direct2Drive Year-End Blowout game sale features 56 games at reduced prices covering most genres meaning there is something for everyone. Here’s just a few examples of the games available:

  • Resident Evil 5 $19.95
  • Street Fighter IV $19.95
  • Mirror’s Edge $4.95
  • Champions Online $14.95
  • The Witcher: Enhanced Edition Director’s Cut $19.95
  • Battlefiled 2: Complete Collection $14.95
  • King’s Quest Collection $9.95
  • Dragon Age: Origins $39.95
  • Need for Speed ProStreet $4.95
  • Need For Speed SHIFT $24.95

For the full list checkout Direct2Drive

A-DATA's Blazing Fast New USB 3.0 and SATA II Dual Interface N002 Combo Flash Drive

A-DATA Technology, the world leader in DRAM modules and flash memory products, launched the industry first ever combo flash drive N002 that features the dual interface of USB 3.0 and SATA II, designed to maximize data transfer speed to the ultimate. Adopting the industry-leading 8-channel architecture, N002 is able to boost transfer speed tenfold compared to ordinary flash drives with USB 2.0 interface by delivering up to ultra-fast 200 MB/s and 170 MB/s in sequential read/write performance respectively.

Ready to hit the market by January, 2010, N002 makes USB 3.0 a reality. It supports all latest platforms that come with USB 3.0 ports, while also being backward compatible with USB 2.0 ports at a lower speed performance. Available in 64GB, 128GB and 256GB, N002 is ideal for users who are thirsty for super-sized storage capacities with unrivaled speed via the innovative USB 3.0 and SATA II dual interface. A combination of speed, storage and portability altogether into one device, N002 is by all means the most effective solution to access and transfer large amount of data, including high-resolution images, multimedia files and whole lot more, at an instant and on the go.

Users can also take full advantage of A-DATA’s free-download value-add software UFDtoGO and the latest Norton Internet Security 2010 (60-day trial) to enhance both mobility and security of their A-DATA USB flash drives with just few easy mouse clicks away.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Garmin Adds New Oregon 450 & Oregon 450t Touchscreen GPS

All you outdoors geeks looking to for the latest in touchscreen mania look no further as today Garmin introduced two new touchscreen based GPS handhelds the Oregon 450 and Oregon 450t (topographic).

The 450 and 450t are the newest of Garmin’s next-generation outdoor handhelds featuring online community compatibility with Garmin Connect as well as Garmin’s free Custom Maps utility for transferring paper or digital maps onto your new handled.

“More than ever, Garmin offers intuitive touchscreen options for anyone exploring and enjoying the world around them,” said Dan Bartel, Garmin’s vice president of worldwide sales. “Oregon 450t and Oregon 450 provide a bridge between the slimmed-down Dakota family and the top-of-line Oregon 550t, all of which work seamlessly with Garmin Custom Maps in planning your adventure and Garmin Connect for reliving the experience and sharing the memories.”

Weighing only 6.8 ounces, the Oregon 450t and Oregon 450 last up to 16 hours on two AA batteries. Each device has a high-sensitivity GPS receiver with HotFixTM, which automatically calculates and stores critical satellite information and can use that information to quickly calculate a position. The new Oregon models have 850 MB of internal memory and a microSD card slot for photos and optional map data, and you can store up to 2,000 waypoints, 200 routes, 5,000 caches and a tracklog of up to 10,000 points and 200 saved tracks.

Geocachers can help the environment and be more efficient by going paperless with Oregon by quickly downloading cache information directly to the device. Oregon stores and displays key information such as location, terrain, difficulty, hints and description, so that you don’t have to tote printouts with you.

Both units are immediately available to order now on Garmin's site, and the Oregon 450 retails for $399.99, while the 450t will cost you $499.99.

Source: Garmin Press Releases

Is The Google Android Press Event Exciting News?

Several of our favorite news sources are announcing that Google has sent invitations out to join them next week for an "Android press gathering" in Mountain View, with invitations stating:

With the launch of the first Android-powered device just over a year ago, we've seen how a powerful, open platform can spur mobile product innovation. And this is just the beginning of what's possible.

Please join us in Mountain View on January 5, for an Android press gathering.

The question begs, what its the exciting news, or is there any?

Most speculation is that it's likely a Nexus One announcement and most (if not all) of your nagging questions about new phone will get answered. But is that all that exciting? We've seen all the speculation and rumors over the new phone and plenty of specifications have been released. Would that really be worthy of an Android press gathering? I'm wondering if there isn't more to this announcement than just the Nexus One announcement.

Eavesdropping On GSM Calls Just Got Easier

The New York Times is reporting that German computer scientist Karsten Nohl has cracked and published the "secret" code used by billions of wireless connections across the world. The the A5/1 algorithm code, which was originally developed in 1988 and is used to encrypt 80% of worldwide mobile calls, is now publicly available via BitTorrent, leaving GSM calls vulnerable to eavesdropping.

Nohl, with the aid of 24 other people have cracked the keys used to keep GSM calls and communications private. The end result is a database which is much like the equivalent of a large phone book for encryption keys. With a copy of these keys, some rather inexpensive hardware and software any user anywhere in the world could start listening in to calls.

“This shows that existing G.S.M. security is inadequate,” Mr. Nohl, 28, told about 600 people attending the Chaos Communication Congress, a four-day conference of computer hackers that runs through Wednesday in Berlin. “We are trying to push operators to adopt better security measures for mobile phone calls.”

In a statement, the G.S.M. Association said efforts to crack the algorithm were more complex than critics have asserted, and that operators, by simply modifying the existing algorithm, could thwart any unintended surveillance.

The group said that hackers intent on illegal eavesdropping would need a radio receiver system and signal processing software to process raw radio data, much of which is copyrighted.

But Mr. Nohl, during a presentation Sunday to attendees at the Berlin conference, said the hardware and software needed for digital surveillance were available free as an open-source product in which the coding is available for individuals to tailor to their needs.

Not the first GSM crack
This is not the first time the GSM system has been cracked. Back in 2008 security researchers David Hulton and Steve Muller demonstrated a GSM crack that utilized less than $1,000 worth of equipment. Their crack was far less sophisticated than the one using Nohl's database. They simply tracked a phone's mobile subscription identification number and built-in hardware ID. This new crack gives users more widespread coverage across several different devices as once.

The A5/1 algorithm used to encrypt GSM handsets is more than two decades old and is based on a 64-bit security algorithm. The next-generation standard called A5/3 that is considered much more secure is set to be deployed, yet at this time only reaches about 20% of the all devices. Companies have put off upgrading to the new algorithm, a move Knol hopes will be rethought after he posts his findings.

Friday, December 25, 2009

Comcast Settles P2P Throttling Case

Earlier this week Comcast decided to settle a class action lawsuit broght forth by several customers who were using popular P2P programs like Ares, BitTorrent, eDonkey, FastTrack or Gnutella P2P protocols. P2P users claimed wrong doing by the Cable company stating Comcast’s practice of throttling P2P connections was “data discrimination”.

Comcast, looking to stave off what could be a more damning judgment has given up on at least one of the court cases its facing and agreed to settle to the tune of $16M USD.  According tot he terms of the settlement Comcast won't admit any wrong doing instead handing over approximately $16/person affected.

Comcast stands by their throttling approach stating it has every right to "manage" its traffic and says the settlement was because it wanted to "avoid a potentially lengthy and distracting legal dispute that would serve no useful purpose."

Despite the fact they won't admit wrong doing the good news is that Comcast subscribers who "live in the United States or its Territories, have a current or former Comcast High-Speed Internet account, and either used or attempted to use Comcast service to use the Ares, BitTorrent, eDonkey, FastTrack or Gnutella P2P protocols at any time from April 1, 2006 to December 31, 2008; and/or Lotus Notes to send emails any time from March 26, 2007 to October 3, 2007" are entitled to a $16 piece of the settlement pie.

For more details on joining the settlement visit the Hart v Comcast of Alamenda P2P Settlement Website

Hulu Teams With Warner Music Group

Popular video streaming site has added their second major music label this week when they announced it struck a deal to offer some video content from Warner Music Group, one of the four largest recording companies.

"We're pleased to be working with Hulu as we expand our premium ad-supported video strategy to provide our artists with a customized and flexible approach to marketing and monetizing their music," Warner Music executive vice president Michael Nash said in a statement. "Hulu has been a leader and innovator in this space, and we look forward to working with them on creating compelling, content-rich artist channels that will provide a dynamic experience to their fans, while introducing our artists to new audiences online."

Warner, whose music labels include Atlantic Records, Rhino Records and Warner Bros. Records, said artist pages and channels will also be featured on Hulu.

Hulu is most widely known for offering full-length television shows and movies for free but last month the company sign a similar agree with EMI Music, its first major music label. Following that agreement Hulu began offering access to select concert footage and music videos of some of the label's artists.

MSI Teams Up with KODE5 to Announces KODE5 DotA Big Bang

Today, MSI and KODE5 are proud to announce the KODE5 DotA Big Bang – an online tournament that covers North and South America, Europe, and Asia. Featuring three simultaneous tournaments that culminate into an epic online final showdown, the KODE5 DotA Big Bang welcomes DotA gamers from all over the globe to compete for a bevy of fantastic prizes from MSI and Razer.

Event Schedule
The KODE5 DotA Big Bang consists of three simultaneous tournaments hosted from January 1st to February 5th, 2010. These tournaments cover three regions of the globe – Americas, Europe and Asia, and the top 4 teams from each region will then qualify for the KODE5 DotA Big Bang World Finals from February 5th to March 5th, 2010.

Event details are as follows:
EVENT: KODE5 DotA Big Bang - Americas
DATES: January 1st ~ February 5th, 2010
GAME: Defense of the Ancients
NOTES: Top 4 advance to KODE5 DotA Big Bang World Finals

EVENT: KODE5 DotA Big Bang - Europe
DATES: January 1st ~ February 5th, 2010
GAME: Defense of the Ancients
NOTES: Top 4 advance to KODE5 DotA Big Bang World Finals

EVENT: KODE5 DotA Big Bang - Asia
DATES: January 1st ~ February 5th, 2010
GAME: Defense of the Ancients
NOTES: Top 4 advance to KODE5 DotA Big Bang World Finals

EVENT: KODE5 DotA Big Bang World Finals
DATES: February 5th ~ March 5th, 2010

Registration for each regional preliminary will take place from December 21st to 31st. To sign up for this event, gamers can go to the corresponding tournament website and register their team. As spots are limited, all teams are encouraged to sign up as soon as possible to avoid disappointment.
Prize Pool
DotA fans will receive a whole lot more than bragging rights for placing in the top 3 at the KODE5 DotA Big Bang World Finals. The winners receive MSI Big Bang-Trinergy Gaming Motherboards and Razer gaming gears.

"MSI’s Big Bang Series was created with cutting-edge features geared toward serious gamers," said Jason Lee, MSI's Mainboard and Graphics Card Marketing Director. "We are proud to team up with KODE5 to bring the KODE5 DotA Big Bang Tournament to life, and hope that the gaming community can see just how MSI products can take their game to the next level."

"The next KODE5 DotA event has been long past due, and we are thrilled to announce it with our friends at MSI," said Lester Lau, KODE5 Revolutionary-in-Command. "There is a ton of great prizes from MSI and Razer that will be given away at KODE5 DotA Big Bang, and we encourage everyone in the DotA community to sign up and fight for glory!"

For more information on MSI, please visit:
For more information on KODE5, go to the official website:

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Cooler Master Introduces Hot New USP 100

Cooler Master recently introduced a new mainstream case and power supply combo dubbed theUniversal System P 100 or USP 100. This hot looking black and red case is packed with many of the features sought out by enthusiasts yet its priced at a very seasonable $99 making it a great offering for the budget minded builder.

Special features include a cutout in the motherboard plate to make it easier to swap your CPU cooler, a top I/O panel, a red power-on LED indicator bar, Cooler Master logo as power-on button, PSU at the bottom for better cooling, tool-free design for the 5.25" and 3.5" devices and thumbscrews for add-on cards.

Wide Body Design
USP 100 offers a no compromise interior including many popular innovations from Cooler Master high end chassis. The wide body design includes over 11 inches for VGA card length and over 6.5 inches in CPU cooler clearance height for class leading support of the mainstream CPU coolers and graphics cards. A chassis width of over 8.4 inches makes cable management easy, allowing system cables to be hidden in spacious .5 inch clearance behind the motherboard tray. USP 100 includes a CPU retention hole for easy CPU cooler installation, hassle free tool-free drive bays, and an easy to clean front filter air intake.

Powered by 550W Extreme Power Plus
Answering increasing requests for more value, USP 100 combines a spacious, high airflow chassis with a quality 550W power supply. The Cooler Master eXtreme Power Plus 550W has been field tested for both durability and performance with major graphics cards and CPUs. The combination of a power supply and chassis provides a stable, all-in-one solution perfect for mainstream system building. The USP 100 is exclusively available as a complete chassis and power supply solution.

Air Cooling Aesthetics
Taking cues from enthusiasts, the USP 100 is factory painted in crimson. Using proven all mesh front panel design, the USP 100 provides enhanced airflow to keep internal temperatures minimal. Front air filters increase dust management while reducing system maintenance. A hidden power button, red themed LED front fan, and crimson LEDs add a bold and edgy flair to any system.

USP 100 Availability
The USP 100 will be available Q1 2010 in North America, Canada, Mexico and Latin America. USP 100 with Extreme Power Plus 550W power supply will be available at a suggested market price of $99 USD. Other markets availability and pricing may be different. 

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

AT&T Hopes Wi-Fi Will Ease Network Woes

AT&T has, for fairly good reason, come under fire in regards to a woefully inadequate 3G network. Complaints are wide and varied but for the most part are centered around poor coverage, delays, and slow up/down speeds. AT&T's plan to deal with the issue, offer  "incentives" that would compel smartphone users, mainly those with iPhones, to switch to wireless Wi-Fi networks whenever possible.

AT&T hopes that by providing free Wi-Fi to iPhone subscribers through a series of partnerships that when iPhone users switch from 3G to Wi-Fi regularly, the strain on the network will be lessened. iPhone users use an estimated 60 percent of mobile web data, though they only have about a 24.7 percent smart phone market share (in a 36 million unit market) according to ComScore.

Cell towers get swamped when as few as a dozen nearby iPhone users simultaneously try to watch a YouTube clip or play a game. To prevent network swamping, AT&T plans to work with various companies such as McDonalds, Starbucks and the bookstore chain Barnes & Noble to give their users free access points to provide a cheaper faster alternative to the taxed 3G network.

Wi-Fi access points, which now days are found just about everywhere, move bits of information directly to and from a wired broadband Internet connection. That's cheaper and faster than transmitting the bits to and from a cell tower, as 3G does.

AT&T hasn't said how much traffic the company feels can be offloaded from its 3G network onto Wi-Fi networks but its clear they feel something has to be done.

In an interview with BusinessWeek AT&T Mobility President Ralph de la Vega said AT&T is looking at various ways to get these demanding users to curtail their consumption. Those remarks and a lack of immediate follow-up led many to believe that AT&T would inevitably move from its $30-a-month, unlimited data plan for iPhone users to a "tiered pricing" model that charges according to usage.

Many analysts believe this is just a case of AT&T not investing nearly enough to keep up with rising iPhone traffic. The company's overall capital spending is expected to drop to $17 billion this year, from $20.3 billion in 2008, although a spokesperson says the company has shifted "billions" of dollars to its wireless network.

My thoughts
For years the tide has been rising and the company has done nothing but set back and watched. They've pulled in tons of profits from the exclusivity contracts with Apple but haven't done as much as they should to strengthen their system. Now they want consumers to bear even more burden.

When the talk of tiered pricing was first making its waves I thought well good, if a consumer is using 4-5 times as much data as I am let them pay more. The problem there lies in the fact that AT&T forces high rate data plans on consumers. If I could be buy my iPhone, limit it to Wi-Fi and forgo the added monthly cost of an overpriced data plan I would. But AT&T won't do that, nor would they be likely to offer users that use less data cheaper plans.

AT&T and other wireless providers are doing their best to push smartphones, netbooks and other 3G connected devices. de la Vega himself says AT&T's network serves more than 24 million devices via its 3G network and they expect the addition of 2million more each quarter. If they can't handle demand now, after how many years of pushing smartphones at us. Then how are they going to handle it in 2010? 2011? 2012?

Howard Schmidt Named As US National Cybersecurity Coordinator

Today the White House has officially announced Howard A. Schmidt has been appointed to the roll of the United State's first National Cybersecurity Coordinator.

"Howard is one of the world’s leading authorities on computer security, with some 40 years of experience in government, business and law enforcement. Learn more about Howard's background and approach to cybersecurity," writes John O. Brennan,
Assistant to the President for Homeland Security and Counterterrorism.

Schmidt's 40 years of experience includes serving as the White House security advisor to George W. Bush, as well as long-held positions at eBay and Microsoft. He currently serves as president of the of the London-based Information Security Forum (ISF), an independent organization which, according to its own website, supplies guidance on "all aspects of information security", developing and publishing practical solutions for corporate security problems.

Here’s the full-text of the announcement email sent to the White House email list by John Brennan, Assistant to the President for Homeland Security and Counterterrorism:
Dear Friend,
Cybersecurity matters to all of us.  Protecting the internet is critical to our national security, public safety and our personal privacy and civil liberties.  It’s also vital to President Obama’s efforts to strengthen our country, from the modernization of our health care system to the high-tech job creation central to our economic recovery.
The very email you are reading underscores our dependence on information technologies in this digital age, which is why it seemed like a fitting way to announce that the President has chosen Howard Schmidt to be the White House Cybersecurity Coordinator.  Howard will have the important responsibility of orchestrating the many important cybersecurity activities across the government. 
Howard is one of the world’s leading authorities on computer security, with some 40 years of experience in government, business and law enforcement.  Learn more about Howard's background and approach to cybersecurity.
Howard will have regular access to the President and serve as a key member of his National Security Staff.  He will also work closely with his economic team to ensure that our cybersecurity efforts keep the Nation secure and prosperous.
Moving forward we will use, this email program and our other communications tools to keep you posted about our progress in this important area.
John O. Brennan
Assistant to the President for Homeland Security and Counterterrorism
P.S. You can play an important role in cybersecurity as well. Learn more about the issue and steps you can take to ensure your own security.

Intel Announces New Atom Platform

intel logoIntel Corporation announced new Intel Atom processors this week that feature integrated graphics built directly into the CPU, enabling improved performance and smaller, more energy-efficient designs in a new generation of netbooks and Atom-based entry level desktop PCs. Major OEMs have committed to having systems on the new Intel Atom processors and a new companion chipset available within the next few weeks.

The newest Intel Atom platform for netbooks consists of a new Intel Atom processor, the N450, and a new low-power Intel NM10 Express Chipset. For entry level desktop PCs, it consists of either the Intel Atom processor D410 or the dual core D510, also paired with the Intel NM10 Express Chipset. The Intel Atom processor was designed from the ground up for small devices and low power, and remains Intel's smallest chip, built on the company's 45nm high-k metal gate manufacturing process. The overall package, including chipset, just got smaller due to the increasing integration and 45nm manufacturing, which means smaller, more compact system designs, lower costs for OEMs and improved performance.

Broad Industry Momentum
Intel continues to see broad industry support for the Atom platform as netbooks in particular have been hot sellers during a recessionary year due to their affordability, function and small size (7-10.2" screens). Additionally, Intel is expecting to see broad channel adoption for Atom in a variety of small form factor entry-level desktop PCs at low price points, including ultra-small designs (less than 1-litre chassis), fanless designs, and low-cost all-in-one designs.

Since Intel announced the first Atom processors for netbooks and entry-level desktop PCs in June 2008, the market has expanded rapidly. Since introduction, Intel has shipped over 40 million Atom chips for netbooks to every major OEM around the world. In the same timeframe, netbooks ramped faster and sold more units than Apple's iPhone or the Nintendo Wii.* According to ABI Research, total Atom shipments for all segments are expected to continue to grow into the 100s of millions by 2011.* Intel is not letting up, offering the next-generation platform for OEMs to continue to innovate around.

"The Intel Atom processor has fueled an entirely new category of computing over the last year and a half and we think the growth will continue for devices like netbooks and entry-level PCs built around basic computing and Internet usage models," said Mooly Eden, Intel corporate vice president and general manager of Intel's PC Client Group. "We're excited to be delivering the next-generation Atom platform and working across the industry as we head into a second phase of growth, powering innovative new system designs with better performance, smaller footprints and better battery life."

Intel has over 80 design wins to-date for the new Atom platform from such leading OEMs as ASUS, Acer, Lenovo, Dell, MSI, Toshiba, Samsung and Fujitsu. While the bulk of the systems will feature the new Windows 7 Starter or Home Basic operating system, consumers will have a choice when it comes to selecting an operating system, with some OEMs offering MoblinTM Linux v2 as an alternative for customers who desire a customizable and differentiated user interface.

Worldwide netbook shipments by telecommunications companies such as T-Mobile, Vodafone, Orange and others are also growing and expected to fuel another round of expansion. Intel has been working closely with mobile operators and modem vendors to advance 3G capabilities in netbooks in established and emerging markets. To-date approximately a dozen service providers offer netbooks in various markets, and the numbers are expected to grow with the newest platform.

Improved processor and graphics performance
One of the most significant features of the new platform is the integration of memory controller and graphics into the CPU, a first in the industry on x-86 chips. That means two chips (CPU+chipset) instead of the previous three (CPU, chipset, I/O controller hub), a lower TDP, and substantial reductions in cost, overall footprint and power. The netbook platform features a 20 percent improvement in average power and a smaller package size over the previous Atom platform. This translates into smaller and more compact system designs and longer battery life. Because of the integration, the total footprint for the netbook platform has decreased by approximately 60 percent. For entry level desktop PCs, it's a nearly 70 percent reduction in footprint and about 50 percent lower TDP than the previous generation.

About the platform
The N450 is a single core Atom processor with 512k of L2 cache and a 7 watt total kit TDP including chipset. The D410 for entry-level desktop PCs is a single-core Atom processor with 512k of L2 cache and a 12-watt total kit TDP including chipset, and the D510 for entry-level desktop PCs is a dual core Atom processor with 1meg L2 cache and a 15-watt total kit TDP including chipset. The new chips all run at 1.66GHz. Pricing and availability will be announced in January as systems become available from OEMs.


Source: Intel

Monday, December 21, 2009

LG Display Unveils World’s Thinnest LCD TV Panel Measuring 2.6mm

LG Display Co., Ltd., a leading innovator of thin-film transistor liquid crystal display (TFT-LCD) technology, announced today that it has developed the world’s thinnest LCD TV panel measuring 2.6mm.

The development of extremely slim LCD panel was possible by applying the company’s accumulated “slimming” technologies including the use of an ultra-slim, edge-lit LED backlight system and proprietary optical film technology.

The 42-inch panel weighs less than 4 kilograms — making it ideal for wall mounted TVs. Moreover, the new product offers 120Hz refresh rate technology with full HD (1920 x 1080) resolution for clear and sharp image.

In May, LG Display broke the record by unveiling 42- and 47 inch LCD TV panels measuring 5.9mm - the world’s thinnest panels at the time. By nearly halving its record in just seven months, the company maintains its position as the technology leader in ultra-slim LCD panels.

Dr. In Jae Chung, LG Display’s CTO and Executive Vice President noted, “With the development of the world’s thinnest LED LCD TV panel that is only 2.6mm thick, LG Display has once again demonstrated its technical prowess to satisfy customer demand for high resolution and slim design products. We will continue to spur R&D activities in order to provide our customers and the market with the differentiated products that they desire.”

LG Display will showcase the product and its newest cutting-edge display technologies in a private room at the Bellagio Hotel during the upcoming Consumer Electronics Show (CES) 2010 in Las Vegas.

Source: LG Display

Barnes & Noble Offering $100 Gift Certificate For Nook Shipping Delay

Barnes & Noble announced today that the company will be giving $100 gift certificates to Nook e-reader buyers who placed pre-orders for the popular e-reader expecting the devices to be delivered before the holidays.  The overwhelming demand for the devices means the company won't be able to make all the delivery deadlines and several customers won't receive their Nooks until after Christmas.

Barnes & Noble said that they are working hard to ensure that most customers who pre-ordered the Nook would receive their device in time for Christmas but with today's announcement the company had to concede that delays which they said affected "a very small percentage of customers" meant that several people may not receive their Nook in time for Christmas Eve. In that event the company is going to provide those customers with a $100 gift certificate — representing more than a third of the value of the Nook.

The company blames the problems on higher than expected demand for the Nook.

Nook supply is so thin that devices ordered today won't ship until Feb. 1, according to Barnes & Noble's Web site. The bookseller has had to change the ship date several times since introducing the $259 product Oct. 20. Orders placed before Nov. 20 were promised by Dec. 24.

Magellan Launches Premium Car Kit for iPhone and iPod Touch

New Cradle Provides Complete Hands-Free Navigation Solution

Magellan, one of the leading GPS brands, today announced an innovative new vehicle mount for the iPhone 3G, iPhone 3GS and second generation iPod touch. With a built-in GPS receiver for improved navigation accuracy, the Premium Car Kit features an amplified speaker for crystal clear directions and enhanced Bluetooth hands-free calling and clear turn-by-turn directions.

For iPod touch 2G users, the GPS receiver in the Magellan Premium Car Kit allows true navigation functionality, turning the iPod touch into a complete car navigation system. Once the iPod touch is connected to the Premium Car Kit, a separate Bluetooth enabled mobile phone can be connected to it via Bluetooth for hands-free calling.

"Building on the ease of the Magellan RoadMate app, we are proud to introduce a cutting-edge Premium Car Kit that gives our consumers the entire in-car navigation experience from their iPhone or iPod touch," said Peggy Fong ,Chief Operating Officer for Magellan.

Features of the Premium Car Kit include the following:
  • Secure vehicle mounting for iPhone or iPod touch
  • Accommodates most silicon skins and hard shell cases
  • Adjustable mount securely rotates iPhone to either portrait or landscape mode for optimal positioning and widescreen route display
  • Recharges battery via the vehicle power outlet
  • Amplified speaker with volume control for loud and clear phone calls and directions
  • Noise canceling microphone for full duplex speakerphone operation
  • Auxiliary audio output (for connection to your car stereo)
  • Works with all navigation applications (including the Magellan RoadMate for iPhone application)
  • Bluetooth enables hands-free calling

Available now for pre-order, the car kit will retail for $129.99 and will be available at, Best Buy, and

Friday, December 18, 2009

Adobe And Avid Sponsor 5th Annual Editors Retreat

Future Media Concepts (FMC), the premier authorized digital media training organization for postproduction, broadcast, and content creators, announces Adobe and Avid as the main technology sponsors of the 5th annual Editors Retreat held in Miami Beach, Florida from January 13-16th 2010. As returning sponsors, Adobe and Avid show continuous commitment to the postproduction community. Their contributions and participation greatly enhance the Retreat's advanced workshops, discussions on emerging trends, cutting-edge technology application and workflow techniques. Avid editor Christopher Nelson, Emmy-nominated editor of the hit series "LOST" and "Mad Men," will deliver this year's keynote speech.

"This is Adobe's 4th consecutive year sponsoring the Editors Retreat. Our involvement with high-impact events such as the Editors Retreat provides an important opportunity to engage with the creative community," says Giles Baker, group product manager editing workflows, Adobe. "This Retreat gives us an opportunity to meet industry leaders and use their feedback to enhance the overall Adobe product experience for our customers."

Angus Mackay, marketing manager for professional segment, Avid, says, "We recognize the Editors Retreat as an invaluable opportunity for Avid's creative professionals to engage directly with today's digital content visionaries. The exchange of ideas that occurs during these sessions helps ensure our integrated audio and video solutions continue to align with customers' needs. In an ever-changing media production landscape, Avid seeks out these events to be a resource to the postproduction community, knowing the high caliber of attendees and presenters, and the depth of knowledge and industry insight that will be shared."

In addition to Adobe and Avid, Automatic Duck, CGM, Digieffects, Freeplay Music, NAB and Noise Industries are sponsoring the Editors Retreat, providing attendees with a phenomenal gift bag valuing over $5000 dollars. A variety of award-winning plug-ins, software, licenses and training are incorporated into this substantial gift, including:

  • Digiteffects Megasuite ($799)
  • Automatic Duck Plug-in ($495)
  • CGM DVE Favorites ($199)
  • Adobe Premiere Pro CS4 ($799)
  • FMC Training Course ($1,500)
  • NAB Post Production Conference Pass ($895)
  • Free Play Music, Music License ($100)
  • Noise Industries' FxFactory Pro ($399)

"We are excited to have Adobe and Avid back on board as our main sponsors. Because of their continuous generosity, we can guarantee attendees a truly unique experience," says Ben Kozuch, co-founder and President, Future Media Concepts. "They walk away with fresh skills and newfound confidence; compliments of the amazing trainers, speakers and keynotes that come out to the Editors Retreat year after year. I'd like to thank both Adobe and Avid, as well as our other sponsors for helping us establish such a great industry reputation. We look forward to seeing everyone in Miami in January."

Editors Retreat 2010 Details
The Editors Retreat is produced in association with the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB). It will take place at the Deauville Beach Resort Hotel, located at 6701 Collins Avenue in the exotic Miami Beach, Florida. To view footage from the 2008 Editors Retreat or for more information about the Editors Retreat 2010, including schedules and speakers, please visit:

Pricing and Registration
Registration is still open and a minimum of 5-years extensive professional experience is required to apply. Attendance is limited and pricing varies per package, but until December 1st, 2009, the promoters of Editors Retreat 2010 will continue to offer $500.00 off the total cost by giving attendees the option to prepare a Peer Presentation on a technical topic they have done commercially. Limited to 75 minutes, sessions can utilize any platform. Past examples include:

  • Producing from the Editor's Chair: The Hurricane Katrina Project by Stig Daniels (Avid)
  • Cutting the Independent Film by Abba Shapiro (Final Cut Pro)
  • Documentary Work and Workflow by Steve Audette (Avid)

LaCie Introduces New Super Small 2.5" Rikiki HDD

Earlier this week, LaCie introduced the most compact 2.5" hard drive on the market – LaCie Rikiki, in metal. Measuring just a mere 110cm3, its sophisticated form factor holds up to 640GB of media that you won't mind storing in a pocket or purse.

Encased in brushed, sturdy aluminum, the LaCie Rikiki, which means "tiny" in French, represents a resilient aesthetic that protects your media from everyday blunders and unwelcome fingerprints. Its lightweight design makes it a perfect companion for keeping your digital world close at hand.

"We are part of a generation that wants more from our electronics, but in the smallest form factor possible, and with a competitive price," said Anne-Sophie Marchand, Consumer Product Manager. "With the LaCie Rikiki, we have done just that by fitting high-performance and high-capacity in the palm of your hand, for under $100."

Leveraging the versatile USB 2.0 interface, the LaCie Rikiki is instantly compatible with your PC or Mac. Simply plug it in and you're ready to store and share your favorite media with high-speed performance. LaCie Rikiki also offers USB Boost software for enhancing speeds up to 33% (Windows only).

LaCie Rikiki also comes with a simplified software suite – for quick setup and easy-to-use backup management – enabling complete configuration in just a few clicks. The LaCie Rikiki is an all-in-one solution for storage mobility.

The LaCie Rikiki will be available in 250GB, 500GB, and 640GB capacities through the LaCie Online Store, LaCie Reseller+, and LaCie Corner, starting at the suggested retail price of $74.99 (excluding VAT). For more information, visit

Final 3-D Blu-ray Specification Announced

The Blu-ray Disc Association (BDA) today announced the finalization and release of the “Blu-ray 3D” specification. It leverages the technical advantages of the BD format to deliver “unmatched picture quality” as well as uniformity and compatibility across the full range of Blu-ray 3D products, both hardware and software. The specification is also designed to allow the PS3 to play back Blu-ray 3D content in 3-D.

Notably, the specification allows every player and movie supporting it to deliver full HD 1080p resolution to each eye. Moreover, the specification is display agnostic, meaning that Blu-ray 3D products will deliver the 3-D image to any compatible 3-D display, regardless of whether that display uses LCD, plasma or other technology and regardless of what 3-D technology the display uses to deliver the image to the viewer's eyes.

Regarding compatibility, the specification supports playback of 2-D discs in forthcoming 3-D players and can enable 2-D playback of Blu-ray 3D discs on the installed base of Blu-ray Disc players currently in homes around the world.

The Blu-ray 3D specification calls for encoding 3-D video using the Multiview Video Coding (MVC) codec, an extension to the ITU-T H.264 Advanced Video Coding (AVC) codec currently supported by all Blu-ray Disc players. MPEG4-MVC compresses both left and right eye views with a typical 50% overhead compared to equivalent 2-D content, and can provide full 1080p resolution backward compatibility with current 2-D Blu-ray Disc players. The specification also incorporates enhanced graphic features for 3-D. These features provide a new experience for users, enabling navigation using 3-D graphic menus and displaying 3-D subtitles positioned in 3-D video.

The completed specification will be available shortly and provides individual manufacturers and content providers with the technical information and guidelines necessary to develop, announce and bring products to market pursuant to their own internal planning cycles and timetables.

“Throughout this year, movie goers have shown an overwhelming preference for 3-D when presented with the option to see a theatrical release in either 3-D or 2-D,” said Victor Matsuda, chairman, BDA Global Promotions Committee. “We believe this demand for 3-D content will carry over into the home now that we have, in Blu-ray Disc, a medium that can deliver a quality Full HD 3-D experience to the living room.”

“From a technological perspective, it is simply the best available platform for bringing 3D into the home,” said Benn Carr, chairman, BDA 3D Task Force. “The disc capacity and bit rates Blu-ray Disc provides enable us to deliver 3D in Full HD 1080p high definition resolution.”

“In 2009 we saw Blu-ray firmly establish itself as the most rapidly adopted packaged media format ever introduced,” said Matsuda. “We think the broad and rapid acceptance Blu-ray Disc already enjoys with consumers will be a factor in accelerating the uptake of 3-D in the home. In the meantime, existing players and libraries can continue to be fully enjoyed as consumers consider extending into 3-D home entertainment.”


Intel Releasing 17 Chips In January?

Intel has already confirmed that at this years CES the main focus will be on the release of several new chips, including those based on the new Core i3 and next-generation 32-nanometer technology platform. But just how many chips can we expect? Sources say the company has as many as 17 new chips lined up for release.

The majority of the new chips will be from the company's new Core i3 and Core i5 line-up, which are already in mass production and shipping to PC makers, said Stephen Smith, director of PC client operations at Intel at a press event in San Francisco. In addition to the new CPU's Intel will introduce three chipsets and various wireless components, in all 27 new products will launch at CES.

Company executives did not talk about specific clock speeds or pricing information, saying those figures would be released at the Consumer Electronics Show, which will be held in Las Vegas between January 7 and 10.

Intel will share CES-related news, photos and videos on the Intel Fan Page in Facebook, on Twitter and the Inside Scoop blog. A live video stream of Otellini's keynote will be on the Intel Fan Page with "Check-ins" and special badges available on Foursquare. A full media press kit is also available at

Thursday, December 17, 2009

McDonald's Giving Customers Free Unlimted WiFi

According to the Wall Street Journal and other similar report McDonald's is planning on offering free unlimited Wi-Fi to all their customers.

The free Wi-Fi will come with no time limits, all the better to encourage visitors to stay longer and buy McDonald's coffee drinks and hamburgers.

According to the reports starting mid-January, the fast food restaurant will eliminate the $2.95 fee that it had previously charged for two hours of Internet access. The company also plans to expand the free Wi-Fi service to all 14,000 of their U.S. restaurants over time.

For more details or to find a McDonald's location near you checkout

Monday, December 14, 2009

Adobe Warning Of Potential Adobe Reader and Acrobat Vulnerability

Adobe is warning users of a potential new attack that is out in the wild. According to new reports hackers are attacking a previously unknown bug in the latest version of the company's Reader and Acrobat software.

This afternoon, Adobe received reports of a vulnerability in Adobe Reader and Acrobat 9.2 and earlier versions being exploited in the wild (CVE-2009-4324). We are currently investigating this issue and assessing the risk to our customers. We will provide an update as soon as we have more information. Please continue monitoring the Adobe PSIRT blog for the latest information.

As of tonight the Adobe PSIRT blog had few details to report. Computerworld reports they have searched security mailing lists and sites, including Bugtraq, Full Disclosure and but turned up no reports of exploits in the wild.

An Adobe representative described why, saying, "The reports came to PSIRT directly from partners in the security community," Adobe's Wiebke Lips said. "As of this moment, I have not seen any public reports aside from the Adobe PSIRT blog post that just went live."

Update:According to Shadowserver, a volunteer-run group that tracks vulnerabilities, users should disable JavaScript in Adobe's Reader and Acrobat tools to protect themselves until a patch is available.

To disable JavaScript in Adobe Reader or Acrobat on Windows, users must select Preferences from the Edit menu, choose "JavaScript," then uncheck the "Enable Acrobat JavaScript" option. (On the Mac, Preferences is under the "Adobe Reader" or "Adobe Acrobat" menus.)

12 Days Of Christmas Intel Style

Nintendo Unveils 2010 Video Game Lineup

Nintendo has unveiled their line-up of expected games to be released in the first quarter of 2010.

"During the holidays, tens of millions of Americans are going to spend enjoyable hours with both Wii and Nintendo DS," said Cammie Dunaway, Nintendo of America's executive vice president of Sales & Marketing. "And the enjoyment will only grow in the early weeks of 2010, whether your taste in gaming comes from exploring ocean depths, catching, training and battling Pokémon or even designing your own micro-games."

In addition to the games listed below Nintendo has also announced the company will release two new colors for its Wii Remote controller. Starting Feb. 14, the controller will come in Pink or Blue and will be bundled with a Wii MotionPlus accessory.

Below is a partial list of upcoming packaged and downloadable games for the Wii, Nintendo DS and Nintendo DSi systems. Note that game titles and launch dates are subject to change.


2K Sports
Major League Baseball 2K10 - March


How To Train Your Dragon - March 23

The American Game Factory, Inc.
Build-A-Bear Workshop - Friendship Valley - March 17

Atlus U.S.A., Inc.
Shiren the Wanderer - Feb. 9


City Interactive USA
Combat Wings: The Great Battles of WWII - Feb. 16
Chicken Riot - Feb. 9

Collision Studios
City Builder - February

Family Party: 30 Great Games Winter Fun - February

Deep Silver, Inc.
Let's Play Ballerina - March
Let's Play Garden - March

Disney Interactive Studios
Alice in Wonderland - March

Hudson Entertainment
Rooms: The Main Building - Spring
Calling - Spring

Walk it Out - Jan. 10
Yu Gi Oh! Duel Trancer - Q1
DanceDanceRevolution - Q1

Majesco Entertainment
Data East Arcade Classics - January
The Daring Game of Girls - February
Pizza Delivery Boy - March

Endless Ocean: Blue World - Feb. 22

SEGA of America
Super Monkey Ball Step & Roll - Feb. 9
Sonic & Sega All-Stars Racing - March

SouthPeak Games
Sled Shred featuring the Jamaican Bobsled Team - Feb. 1
Fast Food Panic - Jan. 5

Storm City Entertainment
Bermuda Triangle: Saving the Coral - February

UFO Interactive Games, Inc.
Arcade Shooter: Ilvelo - Q1
Rock Blast - Q1
Jaja's Adventure - Q1

No More Heroes 2: Desperate Struggle - late January
Sleepover Party - Jan. 12
Racquet Sports - March
Red Steel 2 - Q1

The Sky Crawlers: Innocent Aces - Jan. 5


Akaoni Studio S.L.
Zombie Panic in Wonderland - Q1

Broken Rules
And Yet It Moves - Q1

Phoenix Wright:Ace Attorney - January
Mega Man 10 - March

Ghostfire Games
Rage of the Gladiator - Q1

Hudson Entertainment
Military Madness: Nectaris - Q1

Nabi Studios
Toribash - Q1

WarioWare D.I.Y. Showcase - Q1

Press Play ApS
Max & the Magic Marker - Q1

Team Meat
Super Meat Boy - Q1

Nintendo DS/Nintendo DSi

2K Sports
Major League Baseball 2K10 - March

Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Lightning Thief - Feb. 2
How To Train Your Dragon - March 23

Aksys Games
World Cup of Pool - Feb. 9

The American Game Factory, Inc.
Build-A-Bear Workshop - Welcome to Hugsville - March 17

Atlus U.S.A., Inc.
Shin Megami Tensei: Strange Journey - March 10

Capcom Entertainment, Inc.
Ace Attorney Investigations: Miles Edgeworth - Feb. 16

City Interactive USA
Animal Country: Life on the Farm - Feb. 16
Art of Murder - March 16

Deep Silver, Inc.
Let's Play Flight Attendant - March
Let's Play Ballerina - March
Let's Play Garden - March

Disney Interactive Studios
Sonny With a Chance - Spring
Alice in Wonderland - March

GameMill Publishing
Escape the Museum - Jan. 12
Hidden Mysteries: Buckingham Palace - Feb. 9

Hudson Entertainment
Rooms: The Main Building - Spring

Scene It! Twilight - Q1
Puzzle Chronicles - Jan. 10

Majesco Entertainment
Super Speed Machines - February
The Daring Game for Girls - February
Dawn of Heroes - February
ATV Revolution - March

Glory of Heracles - Jan. 18
Pokémon HeartGold Version and Pokémon SoulSilver Version - March 14
WarioWare: D.I.Y. - March 28
America's Test Kitchen: Let's Get Cooking - March 28

Natsume Inc.
Squishy Tank - February
Cheer We Go! - March

PopCap Games
Bejeweled Twist - Q1

SEGA of America
Sands of Destruction - Jan. 12
Infinite Space - March
Sonic & Sega All-Stars Racing - March
Sonic Classic Collection - Spring

SouthPeak Games
Crime Scene - Feb. 1
Dementium II - Feb. 2
Fast Food Panic - Jan. 5
Sushi Go Round - Feb. 1
Montessori Music - March 1

Storm City Entertainment
Bermuda Triangle: Saving the Coral - February
Myst - February
ATV Quad Kings - March
T.A.C Heroes: The Big Red One - March

Monster Rancher DS - March
AGAIN - March

Telegames, Inc.
Puzzle Overload -Spring
Solitaire Overload Plus - Spring

Daniel X: The Ultimate Power - Jan. 12

Tomy Corporation
Lovely Lisa and Friends (enhanced Nintendo DSi content) - February

Imagine Reporter - Jan. 20
Imagine Party Planner - Jan. 13
Imagine Sweet 16 - Feb. 10
Imagine Gymnast - March 10

KORG DS-10 Plus - Jan. 19
Ragnarok DS - Feb. 16

Nintendo DSiWare

Downtown Texas Hold'em Poker - Q1
Surviving High School - Q1

Legends of Exidia - Q1
Let's Golf - Q1
Real Soccer 2010 - Q1
Gangstar 2: Kings of L.A. - Q1

Trajectile - Jan. 4
Number Battle - Jan. 25
Starship Defense - Jan. 18
Touch Solitaire - Jan. 11
X-Scape - February
Link 'n' Launch - February

Subatomic Studios
Fieldrunners - Q1

Shantae: Risky's Revenge - Q1

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Jolicloud Netbook OS Enters Beta

Google's Chromium OS might be stealing all the limelight these days but that is only one of the netbook optimized operating systems that is sitting on the horizon. In fact there are several new offerings that are currently in full beta testing including Intel's Moblin and the independently devolved Jolicloud.

Earlier this week Jolicloud's primary developer Tariq Kim presented the first public beta release of the new netbook optimized OS. As of the announcement, anyone can download and install Jolicloud Express on most Windows netbooks out there.

Jolicloud's Wubi-derived installer make the process fairly simple and pain free. Users have three options for installation. You can opt for the pain free way and download the 600Mb .exe [or the torrent] from their website, or you can opt to use an .ISO to build a bootable disk. For those with no optical drive there is the third option which is to build a USB version. For those that choose the executable its as simple as launching the program, making a few selections and within a few moments you're system can dual-boot into Jolicloud or Windows.

Jolicloud hopes to have it first full version out in early 2010. From the looks of my initial testing it looks as though they are really close to an official release.

Can I Use Jolicloud?

Jolicloud is only offering support for netbooks therefore the OS and the included driver packs are optimized around the hardware found most common in those devices. As such anyone running a netbook should be able to download and install the operating system and it should run fine, however you can check the list of the currently supported models beforehand to make sure. Sadly this also means there isn't much support for laptops and desktops although since the OS is built around the Linux 2.6.32-rc6 kernel it should work on most laptops and desktops but the company will not provide any end user support.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

The Linux Foundation Launches "Get One, Give One" Membership Program For Students

Linux Foundation Announces “Get One, Give One” Holiday Membership Program

For every new individual member who joins the Linux Foundation this month, a student will receive a one-year free membership

The Linux Foundation (LF), the nonprofit organization dedicated to accelerating the growth of Linux, today announced that for every new individual member who joins the organization between today and January 31, 2010, the Linux Foundation will give a free membership to a student for one year.

New members can elect to sponsor a student on the Linux Foundation wait list or can request the membership be given to a friend or family member with a valid student ID. Students who are interested in obtaining a sponsored membership can sign up at the Linux Foundation website and will be sponsored on a first-come, first-served basis. Proof of student status must be provided. Details can be found at the website:

“Individual members are the heartbeat of the Linux Foundation, and students bring to the table new ideas and energy required to advance Linux into a new decade,” said Jim Zemlin, executive director at the Linux Foundation. “New members who join during our holiday program will get the additional benefit of contributing to the advancement of Linux by bringing the next-generation of architects, maintainers and experts into the community.”

Members have access to exclusive benefits, including a email address (ex:; a Linux Foundation t-shirt; employee purchase pricing at Dell, HP, and Lenovo with savings up to 40% on purchases of hardware and accessories; 35% off O’Reilly books and e-books; a variety of deep discounts to attend events or subscribe to industry publications; and the ability to run for a Linux Foundation board seat, among others.

Both corporate and individual members are helping the organization that employs Linus Torvalds and supporting programs that promote and protect Linux. The annual membership fee for individuals is U.S. $99. Students receive all the same benefits as individual members.

Source: Linux Foundation Press Releases

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Dell's Sexy New Super Slim Vostro V13

dell logoMeasuring in at 0.65 inches thick Dell's new Vostro V13 is super slim and super sleek and I want one now! With a starting price of only $449 this super-thin laptop from Dell is definitely an eye catcher and a like win for Dell.

The new Vostro V13 comes with options for either a 1.2GHz Celeron, 1.3GHz Core 2 Duo or 1.4GHz Core 2 Solo with integrated Intel X4500MHD graphics, a 13.3-inch screen, up to 320GB of hard drive storage and up to 4GB of DDR3 RAM. For operating systems you get your choice of Ubuntu Linux version 9.04 for the base package or Windows 7 Home Premium, Business or Professional for the upgraded models.

As with most ultra thin laptops there is no option for an optical drive, users instead can opt for an external drive or simply do without. Its powered by a six-cell lithium-ion battery with a purported five-hour run time on a single charge.

One key note is the battery is integrated directly into the case, much like unibody Mac notebooks. Which means that the battery will not be user serviceable so should you ever need to replace the battery, you'll have to get your machine serviced via Dell or an authorized tech.

For now the V13 is targeted at small and medium businesses, initially launching on the Dell Small Business Site. Given the sleek design and ultra portability its likely the average consumer will be intrigued by the Vostro V13 as well.

All I have to say is after looking at the price and sizes of the V13 I want one. The 13" screen offers plenty of viewable space and the CPU, RAM and HDD options are exactly in-line with what I'd want from my next laptop. With the light weight of only 3.5 pounds and only 0.65 inches thick it should be perfect for totting around just about anywhere. It would be a perfect match for this blogger while he's on the go!

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Intel's Core i3 Shows Up On Retail Sites

Although there has been no official word on a release date yet Intel's new Clarkdale Core i3-530 processor has begun making its way onto retail sites.

Canadian retailer A-Power listed the Core i3 530 BX80616I3530 chip running at 2.9GHz. The dual-core chip has 512KB and 4MB of L3 cache, and is priced at around $150.

The "Clarkdale" CPU core is built on the 32nm 2nd generation Hi-K manufacturing process and the integrated graphics manufactured on the 45nm Hi-K manufacturing process. This means that there are two dies located under the integrated heat-spreader (IHS). The Clarkdale processor is drop-in compatible with with current LGA1156 motherboards that are on the market today, so an Intel P55 Express chipset is all you need to run one of these chips when they are officially released.

The Core i3 530 is reportedly the first chip in the i3 line which will also include Core i5-660, i3-540, G6950 processors.

UK Schools To Teach Kids Internet Safety

As part of a new Government endorsed program schools in the UK plan to teach children how to safely navigate their way around the web.

The campaign, called "Zip it, Block it, Flag it" will be adopted by retailers, social networking sites, schools and charities and displayed where appropriate. The programs aims at giving parents and children access to  a one-stop shop website for internet safety advice hosted by the Child Exploitation and Online Protection centre (CEOP). As part of the new program online safety will be a compulsory part of the curriculum for children age 5 and up beginning in Sept. of 2011 .

The goal is to encourage children to not give out personal details online, to block unwanted messages on social networks and to report inappropriate behavior to an appropriate person or organization, such as the website, a teacher or the police.

The program is part of "Click Clever, Click Safe" a new government strategy backed by the UK Council on Child Internet Safety (UKCCIS), a body comprising of more than 140 organizations. UKCCIS features several major players in the online arena including Google, Microsoft and Facebook, which have all pledged support for the campaign.

A Google spokesman said most of the websites represented by the group already had controls that "help users manage their personal information and block or report unwanted contact". The Google spokesman said, "We're strong supporters of the 'Zip it, Block it, Flag it' educational campaign as another way to get this message out and help young people to remember how to stay safe online."

The Government also announced today that:

All 270,000 computers to be provided under the Government’s Home Access scheme will incorporate the CEOP Advice, Help, Report button, to help children and their families quickly report inappropriate content or internet approaches from strangers as well as get help and advice on issues such as cyberbullying, viruses and hacking.
Government will lead the way globally, by exploring how child internet safety can be improved through the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC)

Prime Minister Gordon Brown said:

"The internet provides our children with a world of entertainment, opportunity and knowledge - a world literally at their fingertips. But we must ensure that the virtual world is as safe for them as this one.

"Today we are launching our online version of the 'green cross code'. We hope that ‘zip it, block it, flag it’ will become as familiar to this generation as ‘stop, look, listen’ did to the last."

More details can be found via the UKCCIS website and you can click here to download a full PDF copy of the Click Clever, Click Safe Strategy.

To see the press notice relating to the Strategy and the first annual UKCCIS Summit please click here.

Google Chrome Adds Extensions, Betas For Mac And Linux

Google has finally officially released beta version of the Chrome browser for both Linux and Mac platforms. The company has also officially announced the beta of extension for Google Chrome for Windows and Linux.

Google Chrome for Mac (Beta)
Google says they have worked hard on Google Chrome for Mac to get it right, and they also claim that it is much faster. Download Google Chrome for Mac
We’ve been working hard to deliver a first-class browser for the Mac — it took longer than we expected, but we hope the wait was worth it! We wanted Google Chrome< to feel at home on the Mac, so we’ve focused on uniting our clean, simple design with subtle animations and effects to create a snappy and satisfying browsing experience on OS X. As you might expect, the speed of Google Chrome for Mac is something we’re very proud of. If you have a Mac, try installing the beta and see how fast it launches — there’s hardly even time for the icon in the dock to bounce!
For more details on this beta release of Google Chrome for Mac, read on in the Google Mac blog or watch this video from one of our engineers, Mike Pinkerton:

Google Chrome for Linux (Beta)

Google enlisted the aid of more than 50 developers from the open source community to finally release their first Google Chrome Beta for Linux. The beta works with both  Gnome and KDE, and is updated via the normal system package manager. Google says the beta has been developed as a true open source project, using public mailing lists, IRC channels, bug tracker, code repository, and continuous build and test farm. Google invites you to download and try the Linux version of Google Chrome 

(note if you've already installed the dev channel version, you may need to uninstall that before installing the beta version -- we tried to make that work smoothly, but a few rough edges remain.)

Extensions in Google Chrome for Windows and Linux (Beta)

Google topped all the beta news with the most exciting feature, the addition of extensions for both the Windows and Linux platforms (sorry Mac guys). Extensions are one of the most requested features for Google Chrome and one of the main reasons I've been avoiding the browser.

Today Google officially opened the extension gallery, which, as of now, contains almost 400 extensions! Chrome users can browse and download extensions via the extension gallery. As of now they aren't categorized which makes browsing a bit painful, however its likely that Google will make the page a little more user friendly as more and more extensions are added.

For developers looking to build and upload an extension Google has listed a limited set of restrictions and says extensions will be available to users immediately will only a few manual reviews in limited situations.

Boxee Enters Beta, Teams With D-Link To Give Us A Set Top Uh Box?

Online video management software Boxee has officially entered Beta and thanks to a teaming with D-Link plans to become a set-top box (well kinda) in 2010.

For the most part Boxee has hidden away in a bit of obscurity, until now that is.

Boxee is a free media center software that allows you to navigate your way through all your stored movies, TV shows, music and photos, as well as allowing you to stream content from websites like ABC, NBC, MLB, Netflix, Hulu, Joost, YouTube and many more with a remote.

In addition to video content, Boxee users can access music from sites like Pandora,, shoutcast, and We are Hunted as well as finding and viewing photos from sites like flickr, Picasa and the Facebook. There is also and interface to connect to Bittorrent sites for one way sharing of legal torrents.

Today the company announced they have entered their first official beta which includes several improvements to its interface that Boxee says will make finding, organizing, storing and sharing web video content much faster and easier. The company also announced a few more content partners, including Clicker, The Escapist, and Suicide Girls.

In addition to the beta announcement Boxee also announced the Boxee Box by D-Link. The new oddly shaped Boxee Box, which apparently is supposed to look like a black square that has sunk halfway into the surface it's sitting on, will work as a standalone device and connects to your home network using Wi-Fi (802.11n) and/or wired ethernet. The device connects to your TV via HDMI, SPDIF, RCA Audio, and has 2 USB expansion ports.

According to a D-Link company rep the new box will be available in shops in the first half of 2010. As of yet there is now word on pricing other than the price "has yet to be determined."

Monday, December 07, 2009

Seagate Enters The SSD Arena With New "Pulsar" Drives

seagate logoSeagate has officially entered the SSD market with the announcement of their new enterprise class Pulsar solid state drives (SSD).

Seagate today introduced the Seagate Pulsar drive, the first product in its new enterprise solid state drive (SSD) family. Designed for enterprise blade and general server applications, the Pulsar drive uses single-level cell (SLC) technology, delivers up to 200GB capacity, and is built in a 2.5-inch small form factor with a SATA interface. The Pulsar drive leverages Seagate’s 30 years of leadership in meeting large enterprise customer needs in product development, qualification, and support.

“Seagate is optimistic about the enterprise SSD opportunity and views the product category as enabling expansion of the overall storage market for both SSDs and HDDs,” said Dave Mosley, Seagate executive vice president, Sales, Marketing, and Product Line Management. “Our strategy is to provide our customers with the exact storage device they need for any application, regardless of the component technology used. We are delivering on that strategy with the Pulsar™ drive, and you can expect additional products in the future from Seagate using a variety of solid state and rotating media components.”

The Pulsar SSD delivers the necessary performance, reliability, and endurance to match the application environments of enterprise blade and general servers. It achieves a peak performance of up to 30,000 read IOPS and 25,000 write IOPS, 240MB/s sequential read and 200 MB/s sequential write. Its SLC-based design optimizes reliability and endurance and helps provide a .44% AFR rating with a 5-year limited warranty. As an additional safeguard, the Pulsar drive leverages Seagate’s enterprise storage expertise to protect against data loss in the event of power failure.

Seagate began shipping Pulsar units to select OEMs for revenue in September 2009. With Seagate’s enterprise knowledge and expertise, OEMs have peace of mind knowing that Seagate has the global enterprise systems, people and processes in place to support their largest requirements.

“To deliver and serve the enterprise SSD marketplace effectively, it is critical for suppliers to understand the needs of their storage system customers with respect to design, manufacturing, supply chain delivery, and support,” said Dave Reinsel, IDC group vice president. “With its well-established OEM and eco-system relationships and a long history of serving global storage OEMs, Seagate is in a unique position to fortify its leading enterprise storage position with its entry into the enterprise solid state storage market.”

As the worldwide market leader in enterprise storage and the first enterprise HDD vendor to deliver an enterprise-class SSD solution, Seagate brings credibility, experience and leadership to this new market segment.

“The enterprise SSD market is now primed and well-positioned for growth from both a revenue and unit perspective, with Gartner estimating unit growth to double and sales to reach $1 billion for calendar year 2010,” said Joseph Unsworth, research director at Gartner. “Superior enterprise SSDs provide transformational capabilities when optimized in storage and server environments.”

The Seagate Pulsar SSD is available to OEM customers for qualification. More information can be found at

Source: Seagate

Sunday, December 06, 2009

Two New Tools From Google Help Speed Up Your Web And Your Website

Google this week introduced two new tools meant to help speed up not only your browsing experience but the browsing experience of visitors to your blogs and websites.

Google Public DNS
Google has launched their own public DNS resolver called Google Public DNS. The goal of Google's new DNS service is to make users' web-surfing experiences faster, safer and more reliable.

Google explains: The average Internet user ends up performing hundreds of DNS lookups each day, and some complex pages require multiple DNS lookups before they start loading. This can slow down the browsing experience. Our research has shown that speed matters to Internet users, so over the past several months our engineers have been working to make improvements to our public DNS resolver to make users' web-surfing experiences faster, safer and more reliable. You can read about the specific technical improvements we've made in our product documentation and get installation instructions from our product website.

Google Site Performance
With Google's new Site Performance tool webmasters will see real time how fast their pages load, how they've fared over time, how their site's load times compare to that of other sites, examples of specific pages and their actual page load times, and page speed suggestions that can help reduce user-perceived latency.The data given is derived from aggregated information sent by users of your site who have installed the Google Toolbar and opted-in to its enhanced features. The tool will only show the performance charts and tables when there's enough data, so not all of them may be shown if your site has little traffic. The data currently represents a global average; a specific user may experience your site faster or slower than the average depending on their location and network conditions.

To get the new tools, install the Firebug add-on and head to the Site Performance section of Google Webmaster Tools. At the bottom of the page you’ll see a button to install the new Firefox plugin. Once installed, head to your site, click the Firebug icon and look for two new tabs: Page Speed and Page Speed Activity.