Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Gamers 4 Giving 2009: A Video Game Event For Charity

Gamers Outreach Foundation hosts its second annual ‘Gamers for Giving’ event.

From February 27th to March 1st, 2009, video gamers from across the country will convene at the Eastern Michigan University Student Center to participate in Michigan’s largest annual video game convention, Gamers for Giving.

Two years ago, public safety officials from Washtenaw County canceled a Halo 2 tournament planned by 11th grade Saline High School student Zach Wigal. Claiming the game was “…corrupting the minds of America’s youth,” the public safety officials convinced high school administrators the event was a hazard to public safety. Wigal, who had spent 3 months planning the event, made plans to host a new Halo tournament to raise money for charity. Illustrating the positive impact video games could make on the lives of individuals, Wigal, and fellow high-school friends, hosted a new tournament called ‘Gamers for Giving.’ The event was an incredible success. Over 600 participants and spectators attended, and gross revenue from the event totaled more than $15,000.00. Profits were donated to a local chapter of the Autism Society of America.

Wigal went on to form Gamers Outreach Foundation, a non-profit organization that utilizes video games for charity purposes and community projects. The foundation is preparing for its second annual fundraising event, ‘Gamers for Giving 2009,’ which has become the largest video game convention in the state of Michigan. The three-day non-stop event will jumpstart several community programs being launched by Gamers Outreach Foundation in 2009.

Event activities include a 2vs2 Halo 3 tournament with a $1,000.00 cash prize, a 300-person LAN party, (an event that allows participants to play video games with one another via a “Local Area Network”) a Super Smash Brothers Brawl Tournament, and a number of other gaming activities.

With attendance expected to exceed 1,000 individuals, Gamers for Giving provides a fun and interactive involvement opportunity to individuals who are interested in helping their community. The event utilizes one of today’s most rapidly growing forms of entertainment to help bring attention to the unique ways our own individual efforts can be applied to help others.

About Gamers Outreach Foundation
Gamers Outreach Foundation is a 501©(3) non-profit organization that utilizes video games to address community issues. The foundation takes a unique approach towards addressing community needs by directly using video games in ways that improve the livelihood of others. Further information and event registration can be found at www.GamersOutreach.org.

Intel To Invest $7 Billion In U.S. Manufacturing Facilities

intel logoIntel President and CEO Paul Otellini today announced the company would spend $7 billion over the next two years to build advanced manufacturing facilities in the United States. The investment funds deployment of Intel's industry-leading 32 nanometer (nm) manufacturing technology that will be used to build faster, smaller chips that consume less energy.

The commitment represents Intel's largest-ever investment for a new manufacturing process.

"We're investing in America to keep Intel and our nation at the forefront of innovation," Otellini said. "These manufacturing facilities will produce the most advanced computing technology in the world. The capabilities of our 32nm factories are truly extraordinary, and the chips they produce will become the basic building blocks of the digital world, generating economic returns far beyond our industry."

Intel's investment will be made at existing manufacturing sites in Oregon, Arizona and New Mexico and will support approximately 7,000 high-wage, high-skill jobs at those locations -- part of a total Intel workforce of more than 45,000 in the U.S. Intel, while generating more than 75 percent of its sales overseas, carries out roughly 75 percent of its semiconductor manufacturing in the U.S. At the same time, about 75 percent of the company's R&D spending and capital investments are also made in the U.S.

The technology used in Intel's manufacturing process builds chip circuitry 32nm (32/billionth of a meter or about 1/millionth of an inch) across – incredibly small, atomic level structures.

Once You Know, You Newegg

The first Intel processors to be built using this technology are codenamed "Westmere" and will initially be used in desktop and mobile mainstream systems. Westmere combines Intel's latest high-performance micro-architecture ("Nehalem") with graphics capability integrated into the processor. As a result, computer manufacturers will be able to increase performance and simplify system manufacturing compared to current systems. Outstanding 32nm manufacturing and product health are enabling Intel to accelerate the Westmere production ramp beginning in 2009. Additional 32nm products will follow in 2010.

Otellini will discuss the importance of new technology and investing for the future at 9 a.m. EST today during a speech at the Economic Club of Washington, DC. In addition, Intel executives will be on-hand at an event beginning at 10 a.m. PST in San Francisco to provide the world's first public demonstration of a fully functional 32nm based device – the first Westmere processor. Additional details on these events are available at www.intel.com/pressroom.

About Intel
Intel (NASDAQ: INTC), the world leader in silicon innovation, develops technologies, products and initiatives to continually advance how people work and live. Additional information about Intel is available at www.intel.com/pressroom and blogs.intel.com.

Source: Intel Press Release

Kaspersky Confirms Website Hacked

Kaspersky Lab's has confirmed that hackers using an SQL injection technique have gained access to a database containing customer information. The database had been exposed for almost 11 days prior to Kaspersky learning of the breach. It wasn't until the Romanian hackers told the firm about it last Saturday, and later posted proof of the attack that the company was aware of the issue.

According to Kaspersky representatives approximately 2,500 users' e-mail addresses and some 25,000 activation codes were at risk. However, Kaspersky researchers said that after carefully reviewing their logs, they found that the hacker was only able to lift table headlines, and not customer credit card numbers, activation codes or other sensitive information as previously claimed.

acronis true image 11"No data has actually been accessed. No data has been exposed or leaked," said Roel Schouwenberg, senior antivirus researcher for Moscow-based Kaspersky Lab. "He tried to get access to some of the content of these tables, but he failed to manage to get access to actual data. He got the directory, but he didn't get into the folders as it were."

The following press release as posted to Kaspersky's site today:

Kaspersky Lab Confirms Website Attack; Verifies No Data Was Compromised

The usa.kaspersky.com domain was attacked on Friday, February 6, 2009. The attack occurred when a SQL injection attack was launched on a subsection of the site, the support site. A vulnerability was in the code of the support site when a new version of the site was rolled out at the end of January. The attack was successful in penetrating the support site, but it was unable to take data from the site and as a result no data was compromised.

Upon notification of the vulnerability, company personnel took immediate action to address the issue, and the vulnerability was remediated within 30 minutes of notification. The attack was not able to access to any other portions of any other Kaspersky Lab sites – including ecommerce sites.

The company’s experts are currently investigating the incident and to go a step further have hired Next Generation Security Software’s David Litchfield to further investigate. Upon completion, the results of Litchfield’s report will be made public.

Kaspersky Lab recognizes the fact that this attack could have had much more serious ramifications and is doing an extra-thorough security audit of all official Kaspersky Lab sites and developing additional internal review processes to ensure the company’s corporate resources are protected from similar attacks in the future.

It should also be noted that Kaspersky Lab’s core competency as a company is developing anti-malware solutions and our research and development is a different group from our web developers, therefore the quality of the solutions we deliver has not been compromised in any way.

Crucial Memory SelectorSQL injection attacks are nothing new, and Kaspersky admitted fault for not properly securing their site. "We could have done a bit more to protect ourselves," Schouwenberg said. He also acknowledged that both internal and external monitoring of the company's Web properties had not caught the error. "A piece of the site did not receive the usual scrutiny."

According to a report today on ChannelWeb Kaspersky might not be alone. ChannelWeb is report the Kaspersky hacker, also known as Unu, has to launched a similar attack on security company BitDefender's database, posting screen shots on the hackersblog.org site.

"It seems Kaspersky aren't the only ones who need to secure their database. BitDefender has the same problems. The images speak for themselves. First we see the version, user and name of the database," the hacker said.

So the question would be seem to be, how can we trust these companies to secure our data when they can't even secure their own?

Dell Announced Latitude XT2 Industry-First Multi-Touch Capable Tablet

dell logoDell today announced the Latitude XT2 convertible tablet building on the industry’s first tablet PC with multi-touch screen capabilities designed to enhance security, increase performance and extend battery life. The system starts at $2,399 and is available today at www.dell.com/latitude.

Multi-touch capabilities on the Latitude XT2 allow users to use natural gestures like a pinch or tap for scrolling, panning, rotating and zooming that work with productivity applications they use every day. Dell’s integration of multi-touch screen technology allows customers to use the full real estate of the display, as opposed to just the touchpad.

“As part of our commitment to deliver the best mobility experience, Dell revolutionized the tablet space with the first multi-touch capable product that allows customers to use the entire screen,” said Brett McAnally, director, Dell Product Group. “Today, we’re extending that leadership with the Latitude XT2 to deliver more performance, security and manageability.”

dell xt

Other features include:

  • Up to 11 hours, 28 minutes of battery life with six cell battery and optional 6-cell battery slice
  • Daylight Viewable display that has up to 100 percent more luminance than the HP EliteBook 2730p
  • Full-size keyboard, touchpad, point stick and battery-free pen give users input flexibility
  • Combines performance with high touch accuracy to allow touch interface with small icons without drops or hangs
  • Comprehensive services options with Dell ProSupport.
  • Improved connectivity with new LCD-based wireless antenna design
  • Enhanced hinge design for improved panel stability
  • SATA drive support providing updated storage technology and enhanced performance
  • Comprehensive security features adding Dell ControlVault and ControlPoint Security Manager
  • DDR3 RAM allows better performance and up to 5GB RAM
  • Manageability with integration of Intel vPro and DASH 1.0 compliance.


Source: Dell Press Release

$838 Billion Stimulus Plan Approved

The Senate has voted 61-37 to pass the economic stimulus bill pushed by U.S. President Barack Obama. Three Senate Republicans joined Democrats to pass the bill, after no Republicans voted for a House of Representatives version that passed Jan. 29.

The moderate Republicans senators -- Susan Collins and Olympia J. Snowe of Maine and Arlen Specter of Pennsylvania joined all 56 Democrats and two independents in passing the bill.

The new bill now heads to a House-Senate conference to resolve differences between this version and the version passed in the House late last month. President Obama hopes to sign the resulting bill into law before Presidents' Day on Monday.

More on the Stimulus bill:

Monday, February 09, 2009

Upcoming AM3 Motherboards

phenom II logoToday AMD announced the release of their new AM3 based Phenom II CPUs. The new chips will feature DDR3 controllers with full DDR3 memory capability. However to utilize DDR3 consumers will have to purchase a new socket AM3 motherboard. Several motherboard manufactures have been working on their new AM3 boards to match the release of the new chips.

Listed below are the some of the expected boards as well as current AM2+ boards that will support AM3 Phenom II CPUs. Release dates for newer boards have yet to be published.

First reveled back in Dec ASRock is said to be releasing the AM3 based M3A790GXH/128M, however there is nothing listed on the ASRock site at this time. Here is the ASRock AM2+/AM3 Phenom II CPU support list.

ASUS currently has two boards listed in the M4 series that when released will support AM3 CPUs and DDR3 RAM. M4A79T Deluxe and the M4A78T-E. Here is a full list of ASUS boards supporting Phenom II AM3 CPUs

*Update - The is now on-sale at eWiz.com. Newegg now has the ASUS M4A79T DELUXE listed at $199.99

Today announced the TA790GX A3+, this is thew companies first and currently their only AM3/DDR3 based board.

GoDaddy.com Hosting & Servers

DFI does not currently list any socket AM3 motherboards. Here is their current list of AM2+/AM3 Compatible Motherboards

ECS currently only lists one board with AM3 and DDR3 support, the A790GXM-AD3. Here is a full list of ECS AM2+ boards that currently support Phenom II CPUs

Foxconn does not currently list any socket AM3 motherboards. Here is the full list of Foxconn AM2+ AM3 ready motherboards.

Gigabyte currently offers two boards supporting both socket AM3 Phenom II's and DDR3. The GA-MA790XT-UD4P and the GA-MA790FXT-UD5P. Here is a list of all of the current Gigabyte boards that through a bios update will support AM3 Phenom II chips.

*Update - Gigabyte's AM3 boards are now showing at retailers. Newegg has the
GIGABYTE GA-MA790XT-UD4P AM3 for sale at $139.99 and the GIGABYTE GA-MA790FXT-UD5P AM3 for $179.99

Currently Jetway does not list any socket AM3 motherboards, here is the list of AM2+ Jetway AM3 compatible motherboards

Last month MSI unveiled two new AMD AM3 motherboard the 790FX-GD70 and 790GX-G65.. These are currently the only two socket AM3 boards listed in the MSI site. Here is a full list of MSI Am2+ boards that support Phenom II CPUs.

I have yet to find anything on the Zotac site listing Phenom II or AM3 CPU support

We are currently working on expanding the list to include all of the manufactures so please check back. For a full list of AM2+ boards that are AM3 compatible checkout our previous motherboard list or there is a full list of compatible AM2+ motherboards on AMD's Web site.

AMD Moves To DDR3 Launches Five New Phenom II CPUs for Socket AM3

amd logoAMD has made the move to DDR3 support with the launch of 5 new Phenom II CPUs. The new chips will join the Phenom II X4 940 at 3.0GHz and the Phenom II X4 920 at 2.8GHz which AMD launched last month.

The new chips include the Phenom II X4 910 which is a slightly slower version of the 920 running at 2.6GHz with 2MBs of L2 cache, 6MBs of L3 cache. We also see the introduction of the 8xx series with Phenom II X4 810 and 805. Both chips feature 2MBs of L2 cahce, 4MBs of L3 cache and a TDP of 95w. The Phenom II X4 810 runs at 2.6 ghz while the 805 comes in at 2.5 ghz.

neweggThe other two chips introduced were the new 7xx series and include the Phenom II X3 720 and Phenom II X3 710. These are both triple-core chips which are physically the same die as the Phenom II X4 900 series, but with only 3 cores enabled and 1.5MBs of L2 cache versus 2MBs in the 9xx series.

Pricing for the Phenom II X3 720 Black Edition and the Phenom II X3 710 is $145 and $125 each, respectively. The Phenom II X4 810 will also be sold for $175 each. Both the Phenom II X4 910 and the X4 805 will be sold as OEM part to channel partners; AMD did not release pricing for either.

Users can ensure their motherboards are compatible with the new processors by checking our AM3 compatible motherboard list or a list of compatible AM2+ motherboards on AMD's Web site. We'll have a full list of upcoming AM3 boards posted shorty!

AMD is expected to follow today's launch with more launches in April and June.

April 2009:

  • Phenom II X4 945 3.0GHz with 8MB total cache on the AM3 socket
  • Athlon X4 615 2.7GHz with 2MB total cache on the AM3 socket
  • Athlon X4 605 2.5GHz with 2MB total cache on the AM3 socket
  • Athlon X3 420 Athlon X3 420 2.8GHz with 1.5MB total cache on the AM3 socket
  • Athlon X3 410 Athlon X3 410 2.6GHz with 1.5MB total cache on the AM3 socket

June 2009:

  • Athlon X2 240 2.8GHz with 2MB total cache on the AM3 socket
  • Athlon X2 235 Athlon X2 235 2.7GHz with 2MB total cache on the AM3 socket


The Woz Is Dusting Off His Dancing Shoes

Fresh off the announcement that Apple Co-Founder Steve Wozniak would be getting a new job as chief scientist at Fusion-io today we learn that he was named a contestant on the reality television show Dancing With the Stars.

The Woz will be one of the 13 contestants on the eigth season of the show which will have its highly anticipated two-hour season premiere MONDAY, MARCH 9, 2009. The other contestants include: singer Belinda Carlisle, comedian David Alan Grier, popular folk and country singer Jewel along with her fiance the legendary bull riding champ Ty Murray, Olympic gold medalist Shawn Johnson, Grammy Award winning multi-platinum rapper, singer, actress, and fashion icon LIL' Kim, actor Gilles Marini, comedian and all around nut job Steve-O, co-Anchor of Access Hollywood Nancy O'Dell, actress Denise Richards, NFL Hall of Famer Lawrence Taylor and singer songwriter Chuck Wicks.

Got Extra DTV Coupons Pass Them Along To Someone In Need

Did you order a DTV converter coupon from the government that you don't need? Maybe you asked for two and only ended up using one. I know several people mistakenly ordered coupons only to find out they either already had digital tuners in their TVs or that because they are using cable television they won't need a new converter box. Still more people were confused on whether or not they needed one and order then just in case.

For those of you that might be sitting on extra coupons there are a few easy ways to pass them along to people in need.

Retrevo, has started a Good Neighbor Coupon Exchange program for DTV vouchers. The Retrevo system is pretty easy and very straightforward. If you are looking for a DTV voucher, fill in the I need form. If you've already got a voucher and want to give it away to someone in need make sure that it hasn't reached its 90-day expiration date and fill in the donor form. The system will match people based on zip codes and will hook you up with someone to whom you can mail the coupons, or who will pick them up, if you're comfortable with that.

Another popular option is The Freecycle Network. Freecycle is a collection of Yahoo Groups where individuals post items they either have or need. If you are in need of a DTV voucher you've find the group nearest you and essentially post a Wanted ad. If someone from the group has an extra voucher they in turn would contact you. If you've got an extra coupon and would like to give it away, you'd find your local group and post an offer ad. Offering up your coupon to someone in need.

A third option would be posting and ad on your local Craigslist. Every city featured on Craigslist has a free section in which you can often times find people posting extra vouchers. For those of you that have an extra you can post there, or browse the wanted sections to perhaps find someone that is in need.

To date the government has issued 47.6 million DTV coupons, roughly 23 million of those coupons have been redeemed while 14 million have expired. That means there are currently somewhere near 10 million coupons out there that have been unused. On top of that the government currently has a waiting list of 3.7 million applicants. If we can get a fraction of those unused coupons into the hands of the people that need them then maybe we can stop the government from adding on additional tax payer dollars.

Nielsen ratings estimates that only about 6.5 million households are still completely unprepared for the DTV transition. That means with the 10 million coupons in circulation we should have more than enough to cover everyone that actually needs one.

EVGA Releases GPU Voltage Tuner v.1.0

EVGA now gives you even more ways to maximize your EVGA card, with the exclusive EVGA GPU Voltage Tuner (GVT). This utility allows you to set a custom voltage level for your GTX 295, 280 or 260 graphics card. (see below for full supported list) Using this utility may allow you to increase your clockspeeds beyond what was capable before, and when coupled with the EVGA Precision Overclocking Utility, it is now easier than ever to get the most from your card. With these features and more it is clear why EVGA is the performance leader!

  • Provides an environment to possibly increase your GPU voltage allowing for higher Core/Shader clockspeeds.
  • Easy to use interface, with “Apply at Startup” functionality so you do not need to apply on every bootup.
System Requirements:
  • Windows XP, Vista and 7. (Both 32/64bit)
  • Supported EVGA graphics card (see below)
  • Forceware 181.22 or higher drivers
Compatible Cards:
  • EVGA GTX260
    EVGA GeForce GTX 260 Core 216 896-P3-1255-AR Video Card
  • 896-P3-1260-XX
  • 896-P3-1262-XX
  • 896-P3-1263-XX
  • 896-P3-1264-XX
  • 896-P3-1265-XX
  • 896-P3-1266-XX
  • 896-P3-1267-XX
  • 896-P3-1268-XX
  • 896-P3-1269-XX
  • 896-P3-1270-XX
  • EVGA GTX280
    EVGA GeForce GTX 280 FTW Edition 01G-P3-1286-AR Video Card
  • 01G-P3-1280-XX
  • 01G-P3-1282-XX
  • 01G-P3-1284-XX
  • 01G-P3-1286-XX
  • 01G-P3-1289-XX
  • EVGA GTX295
  • 017-P3-1291-XX
  • 017-P3-1292-XX
  • 017-P3-1293-XX

The application is available exclusively to registered users of EVGA graphics accelerators, and can be downloaded from here. For more details checkout the EVGA GPU Voltage Tuner FAQs

Dell Teams With Susan G. Komen for the Cure To Fight Breast Cancer

Dell and Susan G. Komen for the Cure Make a Promise to Fight Breast Cancer Together:
More than style statements, Dell’s Promise Pink laptops contribute to a passionate cause

Round Rock, Texas, February 5, 2009:
Dell announced today a partnership with Susan G. Komen for the Cure to raise money through Dell’s new Promise Pink laptops and Minis for breast cancer research and community-based programs for breast health education and screening.

Starting today, with every purchase of a Promise Pink laptop or Mini, Dell will donate $5.00 to Susan G. Komen for the Cure, the world’s largest breast cancer organization. The partnership is part of Dell’s continued commitment to community involvement.

The News

  • Dell is committed to making a positive impact on the world and contributing to the fight against breast cancer.
  • Dell will donate $5.00 for each Promise Pink Dell PC or Mini purchased to Susan G. Komen for the Cure, with a minimum donation of $250,000 in 2009.
  • Already one of Dell’s most popular colors, the new Promise Pink PCs and Minis make a style statement while supporting a meaningful cause.
  • Promise Pink is available today in the Inspiron Mini 9 & Mini 12, as well as the Inspiron 1525, Studio 15 & Studio 17, Studio Hybrid, XPS M1330, the XPS M1530 and the Latitude E4200
  • Through its Promise Pink offer and as host to one of the busiest retail Web sites in the world, Dell is helping drive awareness of a disease that is diagnosed in more than 1.3 million women worldwide each year.
  • Dell actively listens to its users through Dell Communities like IdeaStorm, and Komen for the Cure is a cause those communities support.

About Susan G. Komen for the Cure and Breast Cancer

  • The global leader of the breast cancer movement, Susan G. Komen for the Cure has invested more than $1.3 billion since inception in 1982.
  • As the world’s largest grassroots network of breast cancer survivors and activists, Komen for the Cure promises to save lives and end breast cancer forever.
  • Breast cancer research has lead to successful discoveries including personalized treatments for the disease, but there is still much work to be done.
  • Early detection is key to increasing the chances of survival because when breast cancer is caught before spreading beyond the breast, the five-year survival rate in the U.S. is 98 percent.


“Many of us at Dell and in our communities have been touched by breast cancer and we feel privileged to join the fight with such an impactful organization,” said Michael Tatelman, Dell vice president of consumer sales and marketing. “Dell’s partnership with Susan G. Komen for the Cure is another opportunity to make choices in personal technology that reflect passion areas and self-expression.”

“With Dell’s Promise Pink laptops, people will be able to share their passion for the cause and show their support for those touched by breast cancer,” said Katrina McGhee, vice president of marketing at Komen for the Cure. ”Dell users are joining the global breast cancer movement and helping us create a world without breast cancer.”

Source: Dell Press Release

Obama Puts Renewable Energies To The Forefront

The following post is a guest post written by Eva Vesper
blogger/writer for WebHostingSearch.com

The nearly $900 billion stimulus plan is aimed at driving the world’s largest economy from disaster back to recovery. While the stimulus will help bail the auto, tech, housing, and banking industries, it will also push towards renewable energies.

President Barack Obama and his administration have plans to modernize the nation’s power network; a central piece of this large stimulus bill. Alternative energy development and research will help create thousands of jobs through the Department of Energy. The stimulus package has set aside a whopping $11 billion to help finance the installation of 3000 miles of transmission lines. These lines will carry renewable energy to population centers and 40 million smart electric meters in houses.

The electricity grid is finally entering the digital age. Katherine Hamilton, head of the GridWise Alliance, says that, “It’s like the Internet for the energy economy.”

The $11 billion spending package will be distributed to improve power lines, to energy renewal programs, and to research and development. The bailout package will also support broad plans for electric vehicles and road improvements. Two billion dollars will be devoted to “Advanced Battery Loans and Grants,” to help EV batteries currently in testing, make it to the market. Grants will also be set aside for electric vehicle development.

A sweeping approach to include renewables is a way for the Obama administration to quickly move forward in setting energy efficiency standards. The Bush administration missed all of the 34 deadlines set by Congress, according to the Government Accountability office. Now is the time to catch up. It is hopeful when people are discussing global warming issues, CO2 implications relating to the internet, alternative energies, and stricter emission standards, that the US will be able to enforce and create strong legislation for energy.

Sunday, February 08, 2009

Turn Your iPhone In To A Fitness Monitor

New SMHEART LINK Technology Allows iPhones To Double As Fitness Monitors

iTMP Technology, a pioneering smartphone hardware and software developer, has introduced SMHEART LINK, a highly-anticipated new technology that is poised to bring unparalleled health and fitness capabilities to Apple iPhone and iPod touch users.

SMHEART LINK is a wireless bridge that enables any iPhone or iPod touch to double as a heart monitor and cycling computer, collecting data generated by distributed fitness sensors such as heart rate chest straps and cycling sensors on bikes and sending it to the iPhone for easy display and tracking.

Apple iPod Sale

  • iSPINNING is a cardio fitness system and cycling computer that enables Spinning enthusiasts around the world to track and record their cardio exercise anywhere. Whether riding on a Spinner bike, road or mountain bike, iSPINNING workouts can also be uploaded to eNewLeaf to add key cardio training and cycling metrics to your online fitness diary.

  • iNewLeaf is a cardio fitness system and cycling computer that allows you to incorporate unique metabolic profile data from New Leaf to more precisely track and monitor the right intensity for "real results." Upload your completed workouts to eNewLeaf to add key cardio training and cycling metrics to your online fitness diary.

  • iRPM+ is a cardio fitness system and cycling computer that allows you to track any cardio exercise, anywhere. Upload your completed workouts to eNewLeaf or MapMyFitness to add key cardio training and cycling metrics to your online fitness diary.

"We wanted to make the fitness metric tracking experience cool, fun, simple and custom," says iTMP CEO & Founder Michael Williams, "we've done just that. By leveraging the iPhone's technology and partnering with leaders in the industry, we are raising the bar in the fitness metrics monitoring space."

SMHEART LINK is available for purchase at www.SMHEARTLINK.com and will be bundled with SMHEART Sleeve, a flexible, lightweight case that integrates with the heart monitor chest strap. The bundle will cost $154.95 before taxes and shipping.

LG's New Arena KM900 Smartphone

LG Electronics announced this weekend that they will debut their new Arena KM900 smartphone at the Mobile World Congress next week in Barcelona Spain. The original announcement came via blog post on LG's Official UK Blog on Friday, with little more than a high res picture of the new phone, and was then followed by a press released released to the Korean Press Release Network NewsWire.

LG Electronics, a worldwide technology and design leader in mobile communications, announced today the launch of its new flagship mobile phone for 2009, LG Arena (LG-KM900). This fully loaded multimedia phone with LG’s innovative and dynamic 3D S-Class User Interface will be on hand at the Mobile World Congress 2009 in Barcelona.

LG ARENA’s groundbreaking 3D S-Class UI was specifically designed to be a more fun and engaging gateway to an amazing multimedia environment. A cube-based layout provides four customizable home screens for direct access to all features. Music, movies, pictures and more are within reach, thanks to intuitive, touch-based 3D menus. The rich 3D graphics give S-Class a life-like look that makes it natural and easy to navigate.

“The direct, intuitive and dynamic S-Class UI will be unlike anything that has appeared on a mobile phone before. With rich 3D graphics, touch sensitivity and exciting multimedia capabilities, it will truly make ARENA a fully loaded multimedia phone,” said Dr. Skott Ahn, President and CEO of LG Electronics Mobile Communications Company. LG ARENA will feature audio and video technologies never before seen on a mobile phone. LG took great effort to ensure that its 2009 flagship delivers an exhilarating multimedia experience, including features aided by Dolby and DivX technologies. LG ARENA will also include enhanced internet connectivity with HSDPA 7.2 networks, Wi-Fi, A-GPS and far more. LG will announce more specifics about ARENA and its features a long with some surprises during a press conference at the Mobile World Congress.

The known LG Arena KM900 specs include:

  • Tri-band GSM/UMTS/HSDPA 7.2 Mbps connectivity
  • 3″ 800 x 480 WVGA 262K color touchscreen display
  • 5 megapixel camera with DVD quality video recording
  • FM Radio
  • Mobile TV
  • A-GPS support
  • 1000 mAh battery with 300 hrs stand-by and 230 min talk time
  • Wi-Fi
  • “S-Class” 3D interface
Its unknown when and if the phone will be released to the American market but one thing is for sure LG has sparked some interest with the sleek phone.

Saturday, February 07, 2009

Week In Review: Congress Restricts H1-B Visas, Delays DTV And More

Congress has been busy this week passing several laws that impact the tech sector. The most significant of which might be the passage of legislation to place restrictions on any firm that received money under the Troubled Assets Relief Program (TARP) from hiring foreign workers requiring H-1B visas.

The legislation would require companies receiving TARP funds, mostly banks and financial services firms seeking funds for the mortgage bailout, to comply with hiring rules set for "H-1B dependent" firms -- those with more than 15% of their workers on H-1B visas.

Any firm receiving TARP funds will be automatically considered H-1B dependent, regardless of the percentage of H-1B workers on the payroll. The H-1B dependent designation subjects employers to a number of provisions, including a good faith effort to hire U.S. workers first.

"I firmly believe that companies going through layoffs that employ H-1B visas (holding workers) have a moral obligation to protect American workers by putting them first during these difficult times," said U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders, according to an unofficial transcript of his remarks on the Senate floor.

Also this week the House of Representatives once again passed a bill that would delay the DTV transition by four months, postponing the cutoff date to June 12. A previous version of the bill passed in the U.S. Senate on January 26, but was rejected by the House.

The passage of the bill might be the shortest hurdle faced by consumers still needing to get their converters. The DTV converter box program currently has a wait list of nearly 3.7 million requests for new coupons and the additional funding still hasn't been released. Additionally the Associated Press is reporting DTV converter boxes could run out.

Manufactures stopped making DTV boxes in January, expecting demand to reach a peak in February and decline rapidly once the transition was made. The Consumer Electronics Association estimates U.S. retailers have 3 million to 6 million boxes at hand.

"The worst case is that there are only 3 million boxes," Michael Petricone, senior vice president of government affairs for the consumer electronics group, said. "Retailers would then run out of inventory by the end of February."

Nielsen Co. estimates that as many as 5.8 million households are unprepared for the transition leaving a gap of nearly 3 million boxes. If those inventories are closer to 6 million boxes then stocks should last until newly made boxes can reach shelves in April.

Friday, February 06, 2009

Is Windows 7 A Viable Netbook OS?

windows seven logoThere has been much debate over the new operating systems and its performance with many users claiming it runs as fast as Windows XP. Many users out there have thoroughly tested Windows 7 on their netbooks often times with mixed results. However the general consensus is that the new OS runs fairly smoothly.

Microsoft's Windows Consumer Product Marketing, claims that Windows 7 has a smaller OS footprint, faster boot-up and shut-down times, improved power management for enhanced battery life, and other improvements that will make it possible for all Windows 7 editions to run on netbooks. This however has come into debate as the overall footprint of Windows 7 might take up too much space on SSD equipped netbooks.

Intel employee and fellow blogger Josh Bancroft has been testing the Windows 7 beta on his netbook which he thinks "runs GREAT," but he foresees several serious problems with pricing and storage, according to a blog entry posted on an Intel website Tuesday.

Norton 360: Comprehensive, automated protection Bancroft's first concern is price, of course Microsoft hasn't yet disclosed the pricing for the new Windows 7 line-up as of yet but we can assume none of the 6 versions currently planned will match the price of the discounted XP version used in many netbooks today.

"Currently, when Microsoft sells a license of Windows XP on a netbook, they're making very little money. They would have preferred to stop selling XP altogether a long time ago. But the low cost of an XP license adds very little to the overall cost of a netbook - important when you're selling a device for $300-$500," Bancroft writes in his post. It would be safe to assume that Microsoft won't be discounting the price on any of the available version of Windows 7 so the only option left would be an increase in price.

Bancroft agrees with that position stating, "No one but Microsoft knows how much it will charge for the various versions of Windows 7, but it's safe to assume that it won't be much (if at all) cheaper than Windows Vista. And adding, say, $100 to the cost of a $400 netbook just to pay for Windows 7 is going to be a tough proposition all around."

Much of the popularity of the low powered netbooks stems from them also having a lower price tag. So I don't see a cost increase being a viable option, not when you have a cheaper XP or Linux option available.

The second major concern would be the operating systems footprint. The beta version takes roughly 6 gigs of hard drive space. My current fully functional (all my applications installed) operating system footprint is nearly 15 gigs. That doesn't account for anything other than my day to day applications, no music or videos and only a few photos.

This wouldn't be a problem on a netbook with say a 160gig hard drive. But what about those people wanting to use SSDs that only offer 4, 8, or 16GB of total space? Obviously the only option would be the 16gb drive as the OS its self wouldn't fit on the 4 gig drive and there wouldn't be much room for apps on the 8 gig drive.

That leaves you with either a) going with a larger SSD at a higher price or b) being stuck with a standard drive. SSD price for larger drives has fallen recently but again adding any additional cost just isn't viable.

Introducing the Inspiron Mini 9. Starting at $249.According to Bancroft, "The cheapest version (Starter edition, with its insane limitation of only running 3 apps at a time) is the logical choice, given the price sensitivity of netbooks." Microsoft on the other hand is still pushing their stance of any version. I their recent press release they are encouraging you to think of Windows 7 Home Premium as the version you'll want to see running on you netbooks.

I'd have to agree, I wouldn't want to run a crippled version of any OS, In fact I wouldn't!. Based on the features I wouldn't want to run anything less than the Home Premium version. But how much will Windows 7 Home Premium add to the cost of a netbook, and will it be worth it?

Bancroft sums up his post with several interesting questions:
But how much price increase will the market stand? Will netbook sales and adoption taper off if the next generation of Windows 7-equiped devices are MORE expensive than their predecessors? Will people flock to Linux-based alternative operating systems, like Easy Peasy (formerly Ubuntu Eee, by Jon Ramvi)? Should Microsoft simply give Windows 7 away for free, to try to "wipe away the bad aftertaste" that Vista left with some people? What do YOU think?
Personally I don't see Windows 7 as being a viable option, at least not in its current incarnation and I don't see people wanting to use a cut down version. The price premium for the regular OS when added to low end machine just wouldn't be worth it. So while Microsoft might be calling Windows 7 on a netbook a "Win" I'm calling it an epic fail.

Intel Cuts SSD Prices, Still Not In The Affordable Range

intel x-25mLooking to stay ahead of the competition Intel has announced price cuts on its lineup of SLC (Single Level Cell) and MLC (Multi Level Cell) Solid State Drives, cutting prices by as much as 30%.

The price cuts affect 2 models of Intel's mainstream M series utilizing MLC NAND, as well as 2 models of the E series uses the faster SLC NAND. The X-25M 80GB originally priced $595 will now be $390 while the X-25M 160GB originally priced $945 is cut to $765. The X-25E 32GB was $575 and will now be $415 and for the first time, Intel revealed the price of the 64-Gbyte X25-E at $795.

All prices reflect lots of 1,000 units so retailer pricing varies. For instance the current Newegg pricing on the Intel X25-M SSDSA2MH080G1 Internal Solid state disk (SSD) is $369.00 while the Intel X25-M SSDSA2MH160G1C5 Internal Solid state disk (SSD) is priced $729.00.

It's good to see the prices coming down however as you can see solid-state drives still carry a hefty premium. The drives have no moving parts as they use flash memory which is generally considered to be several times faster and much more rugged than rotating drives. Thanks to competition from OCZ as well as a drop in NAND flash prices we are seeing a but of a pricing war. That pricing war will hopefully help push these drives to a much more user friendly price.

Thursday, February 05, 2009

QNAP Announces the World's First 4-Bay Intel Atom-based NAS - TS-439 Pro Turbo NAS

QNAP Systems, Inc. announces the next gen Intel-based network attached storage TS-439 Pro Turbo NAS for business users. Featuring low power Intel 1.6GHz CPU, 1GB DDRII memory, and stylish industrial design, the TS-439 Pro supports dual Giga LAN, five USB 2.0 ports and two eSATA ports, RAID 0/1/5/6/5+spare configurations, Online RAID Capacity Expansion and Online RAID Level Migration, and offers advanced functions such as iSCSI target service with Thin Provisioning, AES 256-bit volume-based encryption, automatic policy-based IP blocking, instant SMS and email alert, and SSL secure certificate etc.

"The TS-439 Pro Turbo NAS presents a new definition of high scalability, high redundancy, large storage capacity and high stability NAS in the current market. The 4-bay NAS supports up to 6TB storage capacity which can be further expanded by connecting external hard drives to the five USB ports and two eSATA ports. Yet, the NAS is able to maintain low power consumption by the energy-saving Intel CPU which allows 24x7 operation in the business environment," says Troy Lin, Product Manager from QNAP. Moreover, the TS-439 Pro supports a wide range of business-class features such as iSCSI target service with Thin Provisioning and AES 256-bit volume-based encryption. Up to 8 iSCSI devices can be created for storage expansion or backup destination of the existing application servers on the network.

Versatile server functions are provided, e.g. file server, FTP server, DDNS support, Web server with built-in phpMyAdmin, Joomla, MySQL/ SQLite, editable php.ini, MySQL server and printer server (max 3 sets), etc. All these server functions can be accessed across Linux, UNIX, Mac, and Windows platforms. The TS-439 Pro also supports all-in-one XDove mail server by QPKG software expansion which enables the business users to establish their own mail server easily at the minimum cost. The Surveillance Station feature is available for the users to monitor and record the video from up to four IP-based cameras to enhance the office security.

More information about the TS-439 Pro Turbo NAS is available on http://www.qnap.com/pro_detail_feature.asp?p_id=110.

Source: QNAP Press Release

The Woz Gets A New Job

Apple's co-founder Steve "The Woz" Wozniak has agreed to become chief scientist at Fusion-io, an enterprise solid-state technology company, the company said Thursday. Wozniak will work to formulate corporate strategy and act as technical advisor for Fusion-io's R&D group.

Fusion-io's press release

Fusion-io, a leading provider of enterprise solid-state architecture and high-performance I/O solutions, announced today that Steve Wozniak has joined the company as its Chief Scientist. Wozniak will act as a key technical advisor to the Fusion-io research and development group. He will also work closely with the executive team of Fusion-io in formulating a company strategy that will accelerate the expansion of major global accounts. Wozniak, who co-founded Apple Inc., was the engineering force behind the launch of the home computer revolution.

“With the revolutionary technological advances being made by Fusion-io, the company is in the right place at the right time with the right technology and ready to direct the history of technology into the 21st century and beyond,” said Wozniak. “The technology marketplace has not seen such capacity for innovation and radical transformation since the mainframe computer was replaced by the home computer. Fusion-io’s technology is extremely useful to many different applications and almost all of the world’s servers.”

Prior to his appointment as chief scientist at Fusion-io, Wozniak was a member of the company’s advisory board, where he counseled the company on market trends, product road maps and other strategic activities. Wozniak will continue to advise the Fusion-io team on these vital issues.

The company’s ioDrive is the first direct-attached, solid-state storage technology on a PCI-Express (PCIe), with I/O performance that surpasses that of mechanical disks by hundreds of times. Building on this innovation, the company has recently announced two additional products: the ioSAN, which is the first networked enterprise SSD, and the ioXtreme, a consumer product based on the company’s ioMemory technology.

By creating components that can drop into any off-the-shelf server, Fusion-io enables the enterprise to build a complete, high-performance storage area network (SAN) quickly, easily and cost-effectively. With multi-terabytes of low-cost, tiered storage, including high-performance enterprise flash and high-speed enterprise networking, these easy-to-deploy-and-manage solutions facilitate migration away from proprietary SAN architecture to higher performing, more flexible, lower-cost storage solutions.

Fusion-io’s technology was recently declared the “world’s fastest storage” product by several reviewers, including independent new product testing web site TweakTown.com. In addition, independent lab testing through Finisar’s Medusa Labs has verified that the ioDrive can achieve more than 100,000 mixed transactions per second (IOPS). Fusion-io is currently working with IBM on its Project Quicksilver to easily achieve over 1,000,000 IOPS by presenting multiple ioDrives as a shared storage solution. The ioDrive is also the first solid-state storage device to receive IBM’s coveted ServerProven designation.

“Steve Wozniak has been among the most elite innovators of his age and we are honored by his enthusiasm for our technology and our company,” said Don Basile, CEO of Fusion-io. “Steve’s inventions and insights have inspired generations of IT professionals and we look forward to the influence he will have on the future direction of Fusion-io as we continue to transform the enterprise.”

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Rumor: Palm Pre Might Launch As Early As March 15th

palm pre logoThe Palm Pre is definitely one of the most anticipated new smarthphones of 2009. Since its debut at CES everyone have been drooling over the new phone and eagerly awaiting its release. Well according to the Boy Genius Report (BGR) you might not have to wait too much longer.

The site has reportedly got their hands on Sprint's latest End of Life (EOL) list. This list features the EOL dates representing the target death of the EOL handset (in the warehouse, existing store inventory will still be sold) and the target in stock-date at Sprint’s warehouses for its replacement.

The sheet shows a target in-stock date of 3/15 for the Palm Pre which will be replacing the Palm 755P which has a projected EOL in late May.

BGR says, "This could indeed put the Pre launch on or around 3/15, but we wouldn’t bet on it. Sprint wants to move their stock of Treo 755Ps before they get to the Pre, and if we were a betting bunch, we’d peg the Pre release closer to May/Early June than Mid-March. "

BGR is usually pretty accurate with their predictions, May/June might sound a little far off considering the anticipation factor for the Pre. But a late May release would make sense, hitting shelves just in time for the Memorial Day holiday.

Here is the full list as reported by BGR:

Device Name - Projected Warehouse EOL - Replacement (if available)

  • Sierra Compass 597 USB - Early February - Sierra 598 USB
  • Motorola ic602 - Early February
  • LG 160 - Mid-February - Samsung M220
  • LG Rumor (blue) - Mid February - LG 265 Rumor II (target in-stock 2/15)
  • Motorola i325IS - Mid February - Motorola i365IS
  • LG Rumor (green) - Mid March - LG 265 Rumor II (target in-stock 2/15)
  • Franklin Wireless U680 USB - Early April
  • Palm 800W - April - Palm Treo Pro (target in-stock 2/15)
  • LG Rumor (black) - Mid April - LG 265 Rumor II (target in-stock 2/15)
  • Motorola i615 - Mid April
  • Samsung M520 Lumina - Mid April - LG LX370 (slider)
  • RIM BlackBerry Pearl (red) - May
  • LG LX400 - Late May
  • Palm 755P (blue) - Late May - Palm Pre (target in-stock 3/15)
  • Sanyo 6750 Eclipse (pink) - June
  • Palm Centro (berry) - June
  • Motorola Q9C - Mid June
  • Sierra 597E - July - Sierra 2-in-1 Aircard
  • Palm Centro (green) - July
  • Palm Centro refresh (black) - July
  • Motorola VE20 - July
  • HTC Touch Diamond - July
  • RIM BlackBerry 7100i - August - RIM BlackBerry 8350i
There is still no word yet on pricing for the Pre however rumors we reported on last month suggest the Pre might be sold exclusively at Best Buy and could potentially be priced as low as $399 for an unsubsidized phone, and between $149 and $199 for a subsidized phone.

Stalk Your Friends Anywhere With Google Latitude

Google has released Latitude, a new service that lets Google users share their location with friends, family, and coworkers. Latitude is a new feature for Google Maps for your mobile devices. The service is accessible via an iGoogle gadget and a variety of supported devices and smartphones like BlackBerry, Windows Mobile 5.0+, and Symbian S60. (iPhone and iPod touch devices as well as several more products are "coming soon")

Once you've opted in to Latitude, you can see the approximate location of your friends and loved ones who have decided to share their location with you. So now you can stalk your friends, family and co-workers anywhere they are at any time, kinda cool huh. Not only with you be able to stalk them but you can keep in touch with them too via SMS, Google Talk, Gmail, or by updating your status message; you can even upload a new profile photo on the fly.

Users using virtually any Google product, like Gmail or Google Reader, can log in their your Google account and either manually type in a location such as a specific street address or a less specific general location such as city/state. They will then be displayed on map for other members to follow. For users on the go you can harness the automated location technology in supported cellphones. Notebook/Netbook users can use Google Gears to tap into the plug-in's recent update that added WiFi positioning and geolocation features.

Worried about privacy concerns, well you aren't alone. Google says they only keep your last known location. If you've hidden your location, then Google says they don't hold any information on your locale at all.

"Fun aside, we recognize the sensitivity of location data, so we've built fine-grained privacy controls right into the application," said Steve Lee, Product Manager for Google Latitude. "You not only control exactly who gets to see your location, but you also decide the location that they see."

According to the Google Mobile blog, Latitude gives you control over how much or little location information you want to share, and with whom. You can make your location fully detailed or slightly more general. Your information is only shared with those people that you add to your friends list, so there shouldn't be any strangers stalking you. Latitude is 100% opt-in so you can opt out at anytime. Learn more about using Latitude and its privacy features in our Help Center or check out our privacy video. For more detail visit the Official Google blog or the Google Mobile blog, and check out the video below to see Latitude in action.

Rapid Repair Creates World's First 240GB iPod

Rapid Repair, a leader in online small electronics repair, has just announced the first 240GB iPod. The iPod features a 240GB Toshiba MK2431GAH Hard Drive, the Largest 1.8' Drive to Date.

KALAMAZOO, MI (2/2/09) – Rapid Repair has just finished testing the largest 1.8 inch drive available to date. The Toshiba MK2431GAH 240GB single platter drive can hold a bit more music than you may be used to. This 8mm dual platter drive came from the MK1231GAL package released in 2008 when the iPod Classic 2nd Gen. 120GB came out from Apple.

Unfortunately this drive is only compatible with the original iPod Video versions. It will work in a 30GB, 60GB and 80GB original iPod Video ONLY. Initial compatibility tests indicate functionality only on the iPod Video 5G, but we are working to develop a method to enable use on iPod Classic, and Zune 2G units. Cram as much music as you can on this HUGE drive! Price is yet to be announced, we should start seeing stock in a few weeks. Check the product here for your iPod repair and upgrade needs: MK2431GAH

The images below, courtesy of Rapid Repair, feature shots of the working iPod with the updated hard drive.

Source: Rapid Repair Press Release

Amazon Launches New Game Download Service

Yesterday Amazon announced the launch of a new video game download service, the Amazon Game Downloads store. The new store currently features more than 600 games all priced under $9.99 with the online retailer promising to add more titles over time. The stores features "casual games", if you aren't sure what those are don't worry I wasn't either, think Pogo.com, RealArcade or even your favorite cell phone games.

To kick things off and get a little buzz going Amazon will be offering three free, full-version games – “Jewel Quest 2,” “The Scruffs” and “Build A Lot.” Every other game
on their list can be played for free for 30 minutes as a timed trial before the need to purchase, so you can try them out before shelling out any actual cash. So far there is no word on whether or not Amazon will be offering downloads from major publishers of top genre games but knowing Amazon I'm sure we'll see them moving to more mainstream games shortly.

Go Figure Removing Admin Rights Cuts Windows Bugs

I usually enjoy reading my news at ComputerWorld but yesterday's article "Removing admin rights stymies 92% of Microsoft's bugs" almost put me into hysterics. Anyone who knows anything about operating systems should know that you "shouldn't" run day to day on your administrator account. That running full time with administrative privileges opens the door to a posbile devistating attack.

However ComputerWorld and BeyondTrust felt the need to tell us again. Sorry guys but the entire article wrecked of nothing more than advertisement for BeyondTrust which, go figure, develops enterprise level software for the removal of admin rights.

The article says, "The vast majority of critical Microsoft vulnerabilities -- 92% of them -- could have been mitigated by stripping users of administrative rights John Moyer, the CEO of BeyondTrust." Heck I could have told you that. The majority of issues users face like malware, spyware ect are made worse by those running their systems with admin privileges.

Running day to day task on your administrator account leaves the door open for malware, spyware, worms and trojans. Should you be hit with a piece of malicious software under the admin account it is granted full access to your computer. If you are running under a general account not only will you be less likely to be infected because you are running the with the smallest set of privileges needed to perform tasks, but you'd also be less likely to install the software to begin with as general accounts don't typically allow software changes.

We really didn't need BeyondTrust to tell us that using the admin account makes you more vulnerable, Microsoft themselves have told user that for years. I will admit though that the numbers they report are higher than I'd have expected.

Of the 154 bugs published and patched by Microsoft in 2008, critical or not, 69% would have been blocked or their impact reduced by configuring users to run without administrative rights, said the company.

When BeyondTrust looked at the vulnerabilities patched for Microsoft's browser, Internet Explorer (IE), and its application suite, Office, it found that 89% of the former and 94% of the latter could have been stymied by denying users administrative privileges.
Those are pretty astonishing numbers, and yet another reason Microsoft users should get use to using none admin accounts. I personally never will, so I don't practice what I preach. Then again I'm not the average computer user and tend to practice safer surfing and computing habits than most.

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Microsoft Confirms 6 Version Of Windows 7 As Well As XP Upgrades

Windows 7 has been moving at a hurried pace with Microsoft stating earlier this month they will not be issuing any further beta testing. The company expects the operating system to head directly to a release candidate sometime over the next several months, with a release to manufacture following later this year.

While no official release date has been set today Microsoft has confirmed they will be following Vista product lines and offering a total of six different version of Windows 7. The company says even though they are releasing 6 editions they will mainly be marketing two primary editions: Windows 7 Home Premium, and Windows 7 Professional. From the looks of it they apparently didn't learn anything from the Vista fiasco and related lawsuits. Here is the full Windows 7 SKU line-up:
  • Windows 7 Starter Edition (for emerging market and netbook users)
  • Windows 7 Home Basic (for emerging market customers only)
  • Windows 7 Home Premium (the main “Media Center” equivalent)
  • Windows 7 Professional (the business SKU for home users and non-enterprise licensees)
  • Windows 7 Enterprise (for volume licensees)
  • Windows 7 Ultimate (for consumers who want/need business features)

Microsoft has also confirmed that it will sell what they are calling "upgrades" for Windows 7 to users running Windows XP. Since there is no direct upgrade path users will have to do a "clean" installation of Windows 7.

The company has not included details on pricing or speculation on a release date yet. For more details checkout the Q&A session with Windows General Manager Mike Ybarra.

ASUS Introduces New VENTO TA-U Series PC Case

ASUS, leading producer of PC chassis, has released the new ASUS VENTO TA-U Series chassis. Targeting users who require a chassis that provides excellent functionality as well as trendy aesthetics, the VENTO TA-U Series utilizes an exquisitely handcrafted aluminum body and features exceptional ventilation for both performance and stability. It also allows users to enjoy hassle-free installation and optimized scalability—making it the best choice for gamers and power users alike.

Exquisitely Handcrafted Quality Design
The VENTO TA-U Series utilizes a unique frame welding technique to provide lightweight yet mechanically strong reinforcement for the whole frame. The sturdy design incorporates an aluminum body with brushed aluminum finishing on the faceplate as well as the top panel; while the optical drive bay is exquisitely framed with a diamond-cut technique. The faceplate is also overlaid with an anode treated bezel and the delicate VENTO logo name plate that exudes a premium and luxurious feel. The side panel also supports two transparent 12cm LED fans to radiate a cool blue lighting during operation—further enhancing the overall look and feel.

asus VENTO TA-U2
Maximized Thermal Efficiency for Continuous Operation
The VENTO TA-U Series provides support for four 12cm LED fans: a front intake fan, a rear exhaust fan, and two side fans—allowing fresh, cool air to be drawn into the casing for exceptional cooling capabilities (VENTO TA-U2 cooling fin edition supports an additional three LED fans on the top of the chassis). Heat generated from the system is expelled immediately via the rear fan, while side venting holes deliver even more cool air to circulate into the chassis—lowering CPU and video card temperatures. The VENTO TA-U Series even features pre-drilled liquid cooling pipe holes that allow users to prepare for future liquid cooling options. This maximized thermal efficiency enables long and continuous operations for the most powerful processing platforms and increases overall system performance and stability.

asus VENTO TA-U2

User-centric Design for Easy, Hassle-free Installation
Incorporating several convenient design features, the VENTO TA-U Series is user-friendly and easy to assemble. These features include trimmed and folded metal edges that protect fingers from scrapes and cuts. The ASUS screwless design allows users to easily and quickly install the ODD, HDD and PCI cards tool-free, without requiring screws or extra tools. The added space in the chassis also accommodates either a single graphics card of up to 315mm or SLI / Crossfire cards of up to 300mm. One of the four 5.25” racks can even be converted into 3.5” via a supplied bracket for more flexibility in the users’ setup. Furthermore, rubber shock absorbers in the side cover and foot stands eliminate vibrations that cause excessive noise for quiet and comfortable operation.

  • Model: TA-U1 / TA-U2
  • Form Factor: ATX / Micro-ATX Aluminum 0.8-2.3mm thickness
  • Dimensions: 202mm x 456mm x 530mm / 202mm x 484mm x 530mm
  • Drive bays 4 x External 5.25" (one is convertible to 3.5”) / 4 x Internal 3.5"
  • Front I/O Ports: USB 2.0 X 2 / Audio x 2 / e-SATA X 1 (optional)
  • Expansion Slots: 7
  • Front Ventilation: 120mm blue LED fan x 1 / 120mm blue LED fan x 1
  • Rear Ventilation: 120mm fan x 1 / 120mm fan x 1
  • Side Ventilation: 120mm blue LED fan x 2(optional) / 120mm blue LED fan x 2(optional)
  • Top Ventilation: N/A / 120mm blue LED fan x 3(optional)
Source: ASUSTeK Press Release

Laptops at Buy.com

Dell Offers Exclusive Deals On Twitter

dell logoDell has jumped into Twitter marketing with both feet, as of today the company will start offering Twitter only exclusive deals for their followers. Bob Pearson, VP—Communities & Conversations explained the new marketing approach in a Direct2Dell blog post this afternoon.

Beginning today, Dell will offer deals from the Dell Outlet exclusive to Twitter in the U.S. With over 11,000 followers, our team wanted to show their thanks to the Twitter world through these new deals which will continue each week.Our team at Dell, by the way, now has over 80 twitter properties, including new Dell Outlet-focused ones in the UK and Ireland. For those interested in offers on new systems, we support regional sites in Australia and New Zealand, and for US customers and looking for new system offers can check out Dell Home Offers and Dell Small Business. For a list of where Dell is on Twitter, and to see the individuals behind them, take a look at www.dell.com/twitter.

@DellOutlet has come a long way since the first follower joined shortly after SXSW Interactive in March 2007. We want to thank the Twitterers of the world for their support.

To illustrate our thinking, we have our first interview with Stefanie Nelson, who leads our Twitter efforts for Dell Outlet. Enjoy! www.twitter.com/bobpdell

So far today the Dell Outlet has posted an exclusive deal for 30% on Outlet XPS M1210 laptop. There has also been a collection of tips and updates on deals. Here is a full list of Dell Offers, News, Blogs, & Community Sites on Twitter Dell on Twitter : Follow Us

Monday, February 02, 2009

Put Your Computer Or PS3 To Work For A Good Cause With Folding@Home

techimo team 111 f@h logoFolding@home is a world wide distributed computing project. The software which has been downloaded from people from throughout the world links together computers and Play Station 3s to make one of the largest supercomputers in the world. These computers are then put to use using advanced computing methods, to share the workload amongst millions of PC's running this piece of software.

The goal is to try to figure out how proteins fold, or "misfold". When they misfold, it can lead to some well known and world wide diseases. (Examples being Alzheimer's, Mad Cow (BSE), CJD, ALS, Huntington's, Parkinson's disease, and many Cancers.) This program tries to solve and cure these misfolding proteins.

What is Folding@Home (the Wikipedia definition)
Folding@home (sometimes abbreviated as FAH or F@h) is a distributed computing (DC) project designed to perform computationally intensive simulations of protein folding and other molecular dynamics (MD). It was launched on >October 1, 2000, and is currently managed by the Pande Group, within Stanford University's chemistry department, under the supervision of Professor Vijay Pande.

The none geek break down
Folding@Home links together millions of PCs to run simulation programs for calculation. The average computer user only uses a fraction of the computers actual power. This program uses that left over power, what we call "idle" clock cycles, to run these tests. F@H uses the left over power from your CPU or graphics card that you're not using.

It sounds interesting how do I help?
To get started visit the download page and download the client that corresponds with your system. You should see a list of recommended software (based on information furnished by your browser). There are many different clients for the many different systems out there so be sure to check to make sure you get the right one. Any/Every contribution helps so it doesn't matter if you are running the program some of the time, or all of the time will help. Just so long as you keep it running.

Still not sure about what to do
Don't worry there is plenty of help out there. First off check the Folding@Home main site, there you'll find the installation guides, you'll also fine a great FAQs. If you are still stumped then head over to the very useful user forums. If after all that you can't figure it out then drop me a message and I'll try to walk you through it.

Now the fun part!
As many of my readers know I've been a member of the TechIMO community for several years, a little more than 6 years actually. As part of TechIMO we've got a great Distributed Computing community, within that community is Folding@Home Team 111.This a great group of guys and gals dedicated to helping everyone get the most out of their F@H experience. They've even setup monthly giveaways to help fellow members create better F@H rigs.

Last month I was the winner of a new NVIDIA 9600 GSO (January Folding@Home Team 111 Giveaway) Once a month the core members (yes this is sponsored by the members themselves and not the site) of Team 111 will be giving away a prize to a certain member for folding for Team 111. Prizes may range from points per day, to system upgrades and, possibly even a complete system. In order to be eligible for this giveaway you must be a member of TechIMO as well as a member of Folding@Home Team 111 and have have folded for the team for at least 1 month.

If you are willing to give it a try and put that computer to work doing some good head over to the Folding@Home main page and download then software. Once you get it installed be sure to enter team 111 in the team field then head over to TechIMO and sign up. Drop by the distributed folding forum and say hi.