Monday, June 22, 2009

Apple Claims A Million iPhone 3Gs' Sold, 6 Million Downloads Of iPhone 3.0 OS

Apple today announced that the company has sold over one million iPhone 3GS models in its first full weekend of sales (through Sunday, June 21, the third day after its launch). In addition the company claims that there have been six million downloads of the new iPhone 3.0 software in the first five days since the operating systems release.
“Customers are voting and the iPhone is winning,” said Steve Jobs, Apple’s CEO. “With over 50,000 applications available from Apple’s revolutionary App Store, iPhone momentum is stronger than ever.”

The new iPhone 3GS is the fastest, most powerful iPhone yet, packed with incredible new features including improved speed and performance—up to twice as fast as iPhone 3G—with longer battery life, a high-quality 3 megapixel autofocus camera, easy to use video recording and hands free voice control. iPhone 3GS includes the new iPhone OS 3.0, the world’s most advanced mobile operating system with over 100 new features such as Cut, Copy and Paste, MMS, Spotlight Search, landscape keyboard and more. iPhone 3GS customers get access to more than 50,000 applications from Apple’s revolutionary App Store, the largest application store in the world where customers have already downloaded over one billion apps. iPhone 3GS offers twice the capacity for the same price with a 16GB model for just $199 and a new 32GB model for just $299. And iPhone 3G is available at the breakthrough price of just $99 for the 8GB model—a huge milestone for the high end smartphone market.


Source: Apple Press Release

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

AT&T Caves, Drops iPhone Upgrade Prices For Some Early Adopters

According to reports on AppleInsider AT&T has caved to the pressure put on by their iPhone customers and has decided to drop the upgrade cost for some early adopters.

AT&T today published an open letter to customers on its iPhone 3G S upgrade eligibility program in which it announced that, for a limited time, it will offer early iPhone 3G adopters the opportunity to purchase an iPhone 3G S at the same $199 and $299 price points as new customers.



You can click here for full details of the announcement and the letter to AT&T

An Update for our Customers

Some customers have had questions about our plans and policies for iPhone 3G S, and we’d like to provide you with answers. We’d also like to announce a change to the date when some iPhone customers are eligible for our best upgrade pricing to iPhone 3G S.

PRICING

Importantly, we want our customers to better understand our wireless device upgrade program. Like most U.S. carriers, we offer a variety of phones that we sell below our actual cost when customers agree to sign service agreements. In general, the more a customer spends with us, the quicker they become eligible for a price break on a new device. For example, iPhone customers who spend more than $99 a month per line with us generally are eligible for an upgrade between 12 and 18 months into their contract.

We also currently offer early upgrade pricing only for iPhone 3G S and iPhone 3G.

All of that said, we’ve been listening to our customers. And since many of our iPhone 3G customers are early adopters and literally weeks shy of being upgrade eligible due to iPhone 3G S launching 11 months after iPhone 3G, we’re extending the window of upgrade eligibility for a limited time.

We’re now pleased to offer our iPhone 3G customers who are upgrade eligible in July, August or September 2009 our best upgrade pricing, beginning Thursday, June 18.

If you’re one of the many customers who will benefit from this change, please note that our upgrade eligibility tools will reflect this change on Thursday, June 18.

We invite you to come to our stores beginning Friday during normal store hours, although please be aware that customer demand may exceed supply in some of our stores. You may also preorder online on June 18 at www.att.com/iPhone, and your iPhone 3G S will arrive in 7 — 14 days. Or you can purchase iPhone 3G S at Apple’s retail and online stores, as well as at other popular retailers.

If you’re one of the customers who benefits from this change, and you’ve already preordered from an AT&T store, we’ll adjust the price of the device when you pick it up. If you benefit from the change and you pre-ordered from AT&T online, we’ll send you an e-mail and issue you a credit.

If you pre-ordered an iPhone 3G S through Apple’s online store, your upgrade eligibility will be reassessed based on AT&T's new upgrade policy for iPhone 3G owners. If you are eligible for the lower price, Apple will issue you a credit for the difference as applicable.

So, what if you still aren’t eligible for our best upgrade pricing and you still want iPhone 3G S now? You do have options:

  • You may qualify for the iPhone 3G S early upgrade price of $399 (16GB) or $499 (32GB).
  • You can pay full retail — and not have to sign a 2-year contract — at $599 (16GB) or $699 (32GB).
  • You can wait until you’re eligible for our best upgrade pricing. We invite you to check your upgrade eligibility by visiting www.att.com/iphone, calling *NEW# (*639#) on your AT&T device (we’ll send you a text with upgrade information), or visiting any of our over 2,200 stores.

If you want more details on our pricing and upgrade policy, check out our FAQs. And as always, you may visit one of our stores to talk with a representative.

CyberPower's New Core i7 Gaming Laptop

Netbooks might be fun for browsing the web and composing that email to mom but what happens when you want to play a game of Crysis? That's when you turn to the new power house on the block, Cyberpower's new Xplorer X7-Xtreme S1 notebook, which the company claims is the world's fastest gaming laptop and its first laptop based on Intel’s Core i7.



The base model of this new beast features an Intel Core i7-920 paired with an Intel X58 + ICH-10R Chipset Mainboard. For optional upgrades you can choose either the i7-950 or for those of you that are looking for some extreme laptop computing you can pack it full of i7-965 Extreme Edition goodness.

For graphics you get the Nvidia GTX 280M with 1GB of DDR3 which will be running a 17-inch WUXGA monitor at 1920x1200. Your memory options includes 6 GB (2GBx3) PC3-8500 DDR3-1066 SODIMM Memory, and storage consists of several options the base being a 350 GB HDD. If you want an SSD that'll set you back a pretty penny.

Some of the bonus features of the Xtreme S1 are an optional Blu-ray player and an optional 160 GB Intel X25-M 2.5 inch SATA Gaming MLC Solid State Disk (Nearly Instant Data Access Technology).

There’s no word on how long the Li-Ion battery is going to last but with all that power you can bet its not going to last long. Pricing for this monster is going to be costly with the base model setting you back $2335.

Logitech Releases New Streamlined Video Calling App

logitech logo

Say Hello to Vid: Logitech Introduces Simpler, Streamlined Video Calling

Logitech Vid Software Designed Exclusively for Video Calls, Sets Up With Webcam Installation

Video calls have always offered the promise of strengthening the connection between you and your distant friends and family. But for many, getting the software and hardware to work has been a challenge. If you’ve been waiting for a simpler way to make a video call, Logitech Vid is the answer – the free, fast and easy way to make true-to-life video calls with your Logitech webcam on a PC or Mac computer.

A pioneer in the development of webcams and video calling, Logitech dramatically simplifies video calling with Vid by offering a streamlined setup and a simple, intuitive interface dedicated to video calling. In fact, you can set up Vid in fewer than half the steps required by the major instant-messaging programs. Vid is available for download at www.logitech.com/Vid.

Vid can also make it easy to see your loved ones in lifelike colours. From the sparkle in your daughter’s engagement ring to the smile on your grandson’s face, Vid optimizes the speed and resolution of your video call, so you’re always getting the best-possible frame rate and resolution for your webcam.

“Video calling has been around for more than a decade, but Vid truly has the potential to make video calling one of the primary ways that people stay in touch with their loved ones,” said Gina Clark, general manager and vice president of Logitech’s Internet Communications business unit. “Vid gives you the best of both worlds – eliminating the biggest obstacles to making video calls, while still providing the exceptional-quality audio and video that you expect from Logitech. Above all, you don’t need to be tech-savvy to use Vid.”

Logitech research revealed that the overwhelming reason why many people do not make video calls is that they are frustrated by complex software. Unlike video calling through IM or VoIP programs, Vid was designed exclusively for video calling. Powered by the Logitech SightSpeed Network, Vid is a reliable source for high-quality video calling.

Sets Up With Webcam
Vid is set up automatically when you plug in your Logitech webcam. A few clicks and you’re ready to go. There are no screen names. And there’s no third-party software to download. When you’re ready to make a video call, Vid uses your friend or family member’s e-mail address to connect. Your friend simply accepts your e-mail invitation to participate in a video call on Vid, and you’re both connected and ready to chat.

Simple, Intuitive Interface
Unlike other free software that offers video calling as another hard-to-find feature in a long list of features, Vid presents a simple, intuitive interface in which every element is designed to help you make a video call. You can make a call in just a few simple steps. Each one of your contacts is represented by a thumbnail picture. You simply click the picture of the person you want to contact, and Vid starts your video call.

Vid is free with your Logitech webcam – and for anyone you’re calling. There are no added charges. If you don’t have a Logitech webcam, you can still use Vid if a friend or family member invites you. (If you’re invited by a friend or family member that has installed Vid, but doesn’t have a Logitech webcam, you’ll get Vid free for 30 days. At the end of the 30-day period, you can use Vid with the purchase of a Logitech webcam.)

Vid is compatible with PC and Mac computers, as well as stand-alone and embedded webcams.

Pricing and Availability
Logitech Vid is available for download at www.logitech.com/Vid and is free for anyone with a Logitech webcam or anyone who is invited by a Logitech webcam owner.


Source: Logitech Press Release

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

TweetDeck Set To Hit An iPhone Near You

Digg co-founder Kevin Rose got his hands on a new iPhone application that I'm sure many of you iPhone user have been waiting on. Yes that's right the very popular Twitter app TweetDeck will be making its way to the iPhone.

According to a post on Rose's blog the desktop application is coming to the iPhone “soon,” and will replace Tweetie as his person favorite iphone app. You can checkout Kevin's blog for some great screenshots of the app in use.

Features include:
- Column based friend groups! (like TweetDeck desktop)
- TweetDeck desktop syncing (make a change on the iphone and it's reflected back on the PC)
- Facebook toolbar like status updates

According to reports at TechCrunch TweetDeck for the iPhone is currently in the process of being reviewed by the App Store. It’s been about 9 days since it was submitted, but we all know how fast (or slow) Apple works and apparently the company is a bit backed up on approvals following its big WWDC conference, so it should launch any day now.

Acrobat.com Leaves Beta, Adds Subscription Services

Adobe Systems Incorporated has announced that Acrobat.com has moved out of public beta and will offer two new paid subscription services that add capacity and capabilities for intensive business use. Since Acrobat.com first launched in June 2008, 5 million people have signed up to use the innovative service, with over 100,000 people signing up each week. Outlining a vision for online collaboration that establishes a new way for business people to work together on the Web, Adobe also provided a look into the future of Acrobat.com. Planned features include shared team workspaces and smartphone access, as well as a spreadsheet-like application, Acrobat.com Tables, which joins the recently announced Presentations application on Acrobat.com Labs.

“Acrobat.com is poised to become the online destination for team collaboration, with the tools business people need to get work done faster, together, from anywhere. Our customers have moved from e-mailing multiple versions of documents back and forth to collaborating on documents directly in a fluid online environment,” said Rob Tarkoff, senior vice president, Adobe’s Business Productivity Business Unit. “Over the next 12 months, we will continue to add powerful yet simple-to-use team collaboration capabilities that establish a new way to work, while removing barriers to getting work done within and across companies and around the world.”

adobe acrobat.com

Adobe is announcing two new Acrobat.com Premium subscription services that address the intense collaboration needs of business people, enabling them to be more productive by bringing them to documents to work together in real-time, rather than sending attachments to inboxes and invitations to calendars. Available today, both Premium offerings include Adobe phone and Web support programs. The Premium Basic service includes Adobe ConnectNow Web meeting capacity for up to five participants and online conversion of 10 uploaded documents to PDF per month. The Premium Plus service includes ConnectNow Web meeting capacity for up to 20 participants and unlimited online creation of PDF files. The free service will continue to offer Adobe® Buzzword® online word processing, ConnectNow Web meeting capacity for up to three participants, and online creation of up to five PDF files.

“Improved collaboration is a critical need for today’s companies that must move faster and do more with less. At the same time, business people expect to use online technology at work just like they do outside the workplace – especially the generation now entering the workforce,” said Melissa Webster, program vice president, Content and Digital Media Technologies, IDC. “Successful online collaboration tools will show the potential of cloud-based services to revolutionize the way business people get work done by helping teams stay connected and work together much more efficiently in real-time."

Over the next year, Adobe plans to extend the team collaboration capabilities of Acrobat.com to provide simple, anywhere access to an open and comprehensive online workspace, such as:

  • More real-time document collaboration tools that use the power and richness of the Adobe Flash® Platform to provide a cool user experience in the browser and on the desktop
  • A simple new interface that streamlines access to the tools business people need to create, share and meet online to get work done as a team
  • Shared team workspaces that let groups of people work on and keep track of documents they need to finish projects, without the pain of version control and e-mail attachments
  • Mobile access so people can upload, manage and share Acrobat.com documents from iPhone, Blackberry, Nokia and Windows® Mobile smartphones
  • Social media style updates from the documents people are working on to stay informed about what is happening and what needs to be done
  • Deeper integration with desktop tools including Adobe products and Microsoft® Outlook 2007, plus import from and export to Microsoft, Open Office and PDF formats
  • Increased support for the Adobe developer community, including access to the underlying technologies of Acrobat.com, as well as its rapidly growing customer base
Pricing and Availability

Click Here for a product comparison to see which product is right for you.

Acrobat.com Premium Basic - $14.99 a month or $149 annually

Description: Communication and collaboration is a whole lot easier with this innovative and intuitive online service. Use web conferencing to share your screen and host a meeting for up to five participants. Share and store your files online (up to 5GB) with a unique URL that never changes. Easily convert up to ten files to PDF per month. Online word processing is also included which makes it easy to work on your documents from anywhere. Two subscription levels are available. Note: you must reside in North America to purchase an Acrobat.com subscription; a valid address is required as part of the checkout process.


Acrobat.com Premium Plus - $39 a month or $390 annually

Description: Acrobat.com makes it easier and more productive to collaborate within and across teams, allowing you to focus on the content of the work, not the process. Use web conferencing to share your screen and host a meeting for up to 20 participants. Share large files without worrying about e-mail restrictions. Access your files, up to 5GB, from anywhere at any time. And easily create an unlimited number of PDFs. Online word processing is also included which makes it easy to work with others on the same document without the hassle of swapping e-mail attachments. Works with PCs and Macs. No download necessary; just purchase your subscription and start working with others online -- right now. Note: you must reside in North America to purchase an Acrobat.com subscription; a valid address is required as part of the checkout process.

Top Reasons to Buy Acrobat.com Premium Basic and Premium Plus
  • Share your computer screen and add video, audio, and chat for groups up to 20 people.
  • Send large files to others for easy access while you maintain control.
  • Easily upload files and convert them to Adobe PDF.
  • Easy-to-use web conferencing reduces travel costs, saves times and increases productivity.
  • Feel confident that anyone can attend a meeting with a PC or Mac.
  • Premium 1-on-1 support.
For a limited time Adobe is offering $15 off an Acrobat.com Premium Basic annual subscription or save $50 off an Acrobat.com Premium Plus annual subscription for subscriptions
purchased by July 16, 2009 via the online Adobe Store. Click here for more information and enter coupon code: acrobat50 at checkout

Flip Video Introduces Next-Generation Personal Video Sharing

flip video logo
Latest FlipShare software makes it simple to share video publicly, privately, or with groups

Taking video sharing to a new level, the makers of Flip Video today announced the latest version of its on-board FlipShare software that makes sharing personal video easier than ever before. FlipShare now gives users the ability to publish personal video channels online with Flip Channels, in addition to easy uploading to popular sites like MySpace and YouTube, and one-click private video emailing capabilities.

The innovative new Flip Channels feature enables users to easily share their favorite Flip content with groups of people they designate. Once created, their personal Flip Channels can be instantly viewed online at FlipShare.com or on any iPhone model by using the new FlipShare for iPhone application, available soon.

“Flip Video changed the way people use video by making it simple to capture and fun to share,” said Jonathan Kaplan, senior vice president and general manager of the Consumer Business Group at Cisco, which recently acquired Pure Digital Technologies, makers of Flip Video products. “Our latest FlipShare software, with the new Flip Channels feature, takes video sharing to the next level by making it incredibly easy to share video with a friend, a group, or with the world.”





With FlipShare’s new Flip Channels feature, consumers now have a simple way to share their favorite Flip content – both video and snapshots – with many different groups such as friends, family, classmates or teams. Once a user creates a Flip Channel, it can be viewed online now at FlipShare.com or on an iPhone using the breakthrough FlipShare application for the iPhone available soon. This new application gives FlipShare users, as well as their friends and family, instant access to their favorite Flip Video content from anywhere.

These latest software innovations build upon the success of the wildly popular Flip Video camcorder line. Since its launch in 2007, more than 2 million Flip Video camcorders have been sold and millions of videos have been shared using FlipShare software. Flip Video models are ranked as the number one and number two top-selling camcorders in the U.S. for the first quarter 2009, as ranked by leading market research firm The NPD Group.

The new version of FlipShare software will begin shipping as the on-board software for all Flip Video camcorders as of June 16, 2009. The software can also be downloaded for free by visiting www.theflip.com. The FlipShare for iPhone application will be available for free in the iPhone App Store.

FlipShare Software Features:
  • Pre-loaded software to save, organize, and edit videos with ease
  • Works on any PC or Mac
  • Email videos and video greeting cards
  • Upload videos instantly to YouTube and MySpace
  • Capture HD snapshots from videos using enhanced freeze-frame capabilities and share them along with videos
  • Create Flip Channels to share content privately with groups of friends or family or to access your own content on the web
  • Watch videos on-the-go at flipshare.com
  • Create custom movies with your own music
  • Enjoy your videos in full-screen play mode
  • Order DVDs and have them shipped anywhere in the world


FlipShare Application for iPhone Features:

  • View your favorite FlipShare videos and snapshots on any iPhone model
  • Access Flip Channels instantly from anywhere
  • Watch Flip Channels from friends and family
  • Download for free at the iPhone App Store

Source: Flip Press Release

URL Shortening Service Hacked, Millions Redirected

Cligs, a URL-shortening service similar to TinyURL and bit.ly was hacked over the weekend redirecting millions of users to an unintended destination.

Cligs acknowledged the hack, on Monday which had exploited a vulnerability in its editing function. "I've identified the hole and disabled all cligs editing for now and I'm restoring the URLs back to their original destination states," said Far, Cligs' creator, in a blog post. "However, the most recent backup is from early May, and so we may have lost all URLs created since then. My daily backups with my host were turned off for some reason, which is another story."

According to ComputerWorld.com the hack resulted in more than 2.2 million Web addresses being redirected to Kevin Saban's blog, which is part of the Orange County Register's Web site. Noticing a dramatic upswing in traffic, Saban who just happens to be a Cligs user and use the service to shorten URLs for his Twitter messages, contacted Pierre Far, the creator of Cligs.

At this time its relatively unclear as to why the hacker chose to redirect unsuspecting visitors to Saban's blog however it doesn't appear as though he was involved.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Why Should AT&T Lower iPhone 3GS Upgrade Prices

Browsing Twitter over the last several days I see a trend of people complaining because of what they feel is an exuberant cost for existing customer to upgrade to a new iPhone 3GS. There are even a few petitions floating around. Personally I've got to say I don't see the issue here. Yeah I know it might suck that you have to pay a higher price to get the latest greatest, but hey welcome to the world the rest of us geeks live in.

Every geek out there knows the costs associated with early adoption. I mean how many times have we shelled out that extra couple hundred dollars for the hottest new video card or hot new CPU just to see prices drop a few months later. That's part of every day life in the tech arena, something newer, faster and hotter is always right around the corner.

But that isn't what the complaint is here, or at least not as it was explained to me. Existing customers that have only been in their current contracts think they should be offered the hottest new phone on the market at the same subsidized price as new customers. Be damned with the fact that they already have a contact in place, or the fact that they already paid less than retail for the phone they already have. No they seem to want their cake and eat it too.

How many of you out there that are complaining signed up and got new iPhone 3G's at the subsidized price? A phone that I'd assume you would also like to keep!

AT&T doesn't need to offer existing customers better upgrade prices what they should offer is a trade-in program like the ones EVGA and BFG have implemented. With those programs customers, typically with a 90 day period of purchase, can swap out their old parts for a newer (faster/better) component at a reduced price equal to that off the old cost of the old part.

A program like that would be win win for everyone. Customers could stop whinning about the high cost to upgrade and AT&T would get the old phone back to refurb and sale again and they'd still get a new 2yr contract to help recover some of the subsidized costs of the new phones.

Of course there would have to be a time limit say 3-6mo's. After which you have to wait the standard year or so to start getting your lowered cost. Then of course after 2yrs you'd be eligable again for the full subsidized discount.

EVGA Releases GeForce GTX 285 Mac Edition

Mac lovers rejoice NVIDIA has just announced the new GeForce GTX 285 Mac Edition graphics card, which is its hottest fastest offering to Mac users to date.

EVGA GTX 285 mac edition

The new card is technically identical to the standard EVGA GTX 285 using the standard reference design for the PCB and cooler as well as the standard reference clock speeds of 648/1476/2484 MHz (core/shader/memory), and 1 GB of GDDR3 memory across a 512-bit interface. The new GeForce GTX 285 Mac Edition comes completely bundled with the necessary power dongles to slip right into the PCI-E slot on your Intel x86 based Mac Pro workstations. EVGA even packs the card with their latest system software for use with your favorite Mac OS.

Features
  • PCI Express 2.0 – Designed for the new PCI Express 2.0 bus architecture offering the highest data transfer speeds for the most bandwidth hungry applications.
  • Two Dual-Link DVI ports – Able to drive the industry’s largest and highest resolutions flat-panel displays up to 2560x1600 with HDCP.
  • 1GB of onboard DDR3 Memory - View high-resolution images and textures with this massive amount of onboard memory.
  • OpenGL Optimization and Support - Provides top-notch compatibility and performance for OpenGL applications.
  • 2nd Generation NVIDIA Unified Architecture – Combines vertex, pixel, and geometry shaders for an overall more efficient architecture.
  • NVIDIA Purevideo HD Technology - High-definition video decoder and post-processor delivers unprecedented picture clarity, smooth video playback, and accurate color for movies and video.
  • NVIDIA CUDA Technology – Accelerates CUDA enabled applications using GPU’s processing cores. Delivering more performance than traditional CPUs.

EVGA is pricing this at US $449.99 or about $100 more than the standard PC counter part.

AOL, Comcast & Sprint Top the MSN Money 2009 Customer Service Hall of Shame

MSN Money today released its third annual Customer Service Hall of Shame and Hall of Fame survey results, finding that as the economy worsened this past year, so did Americans’ satisfaction with customer service from some of the nation’s top companies. The Customer Service Hall of Shame and Fame is a collaboration of MSN Money and polling firm Zogby International, which ranked 145 companies based on consumers’ customer service experiences. The survey was taken in late April 2009.

For the second year, AOL retained its crown as consumer’s top pick for worst customer service. The Internet service provider received “poor” marks on its customer service experience from nearly 45 percent of respondents. Cable provider Comcast was a close second with 41 percent of consumers rating their experience as “poor.”

“The annual MSN Money Hall of Shame and Hall of Fame survey gives people the opportunity to rant and rave about their retail and service experiences,” said Lisa Gurry, director, MSN Division of Microsoft. “Interestingly, in this economic climate, people praised companies that deliver great value, whether it’s low-cost entertainment or bulk food, while panning financial institutions.”

Banks and credit card issuers fared noticeably worse this year when it came to pleasing customers. Bank of America, Capital One and HSBC all made repeat appearances on the Customer Service Hall of Shame list. They were joined by the only new company on 2009’s list, Citibank, which replaced Cox Communications, the only company to drop off the list.

In addition to banks, telecommunication companies continued to be seen as poor customer service providers by consumers, with Sprint, Time Warner Cable and Qwest joining AOL and Comcast in the top 10. Abercrombie & Fitch was the only retailer on the list.

Customer Service Hall of Shame

  1. AOL
  2. Comcast
  3. Sprint
  4. Capital One
  5. Time Warner Cable
  6. HSBC
  7. Qwest
  8. Abercrombie & Fitch
  9. Bank of America
  10. Citigroup

Doing Things Right

On the flip side of the coin, discount retailers and supermarkets continued to satisfy the public with their customer service as six retailers were recognized in the Hall of Fame. Grocers, in particular, stood out — with Trader Joe’s, Publix, Whole Foods and Costco all being ranked among the nation’s best companies for customer service.

Customer Service Hall of Fame

  1. USAA
  2. Trader Joe’s
  3. Netflix
  4. Amazon
  5. Nordstrom
  6. Publix
  7. Whole Foods
  8. Apple Computer
  9. Costco
  10. Southwest Airlines

The MSN Money-Zogby International survey listed companies in 15 industries, which also included airlines, hotels, mail delivery outfits and online service providers. Survey respondents were asked if they had experience with each company’s customer service and, if so, to rate it “excellent,” “good,” “fair” or “poor.” Companies were ranked based on the percentage of opinion responses that were “poor.”

Each year, companies in the Hall of Shame are given the opportunity to respond to the survey. Consumers can find full rankings and a detailed breakdown of survey results at http://money.msn.com.

Source: Microsoft PressPass

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Google Launches New Translator Toolkit

Looking to expand on the capabilities of Google Translate Google has launched the new Google Translator Toolkit, an easy-to-use editor that enables translators to add their own personal touch to the standard machine translations found in most online translator tools.



With the new Google Translator Toolkit users can load various articles into the toolkit which will then translate the article to the language of choice. Then the user has the option of correcting any mistakes made by the automatic translation, allowing them to then publish the newly corrected page.

The translator toolkit is composed of the following tabs:

  • Translation Search Results: Google will search their translation memories for previous, human translations of the current segment and show the translations in the Search Results tab. If there was a previous human translations that exactly matches the current segment the results will be shown as a color-code segment as an 'exact match' translation. If no 'exact match' translations exist the toolkit will search for translations of sentences similar to the current segment and show those 'partial match' translations. By using previous, human translations as reference, you can find just the right words to adapt the current segment to its own context.
  • Computer Translation: Sometimes, even partial matching of previous human translations may come up empty. In those cases, you can use our computer-generated translation in the Computer Translation tab to jump-start your translation of the current segment.
  • Glossary: When available the toolkit will also search Google's multilingual glossaries to help you translate specific terminology for your language. For example, even native Spanish speakers may have trouble finding the right words to translate "particle accelerator" from English into Spanish. To help translate such terms, you can use our multilingual glossary to find definitions and (when available) exact translations of vague or hard-to-translate terminology.
  • Dictionary: You can use the Dictionary tab to do custom searches on our multilingual dictionaries. Dictionaries are only available for a limited set of languages. See Dictionaries and glossaries for details.

As you translate each segment the toolkit will save your translations to either Google's shared translation memory or to a translation memory of your own choosing. Thus, you and other users can save time in future translations by reusing your previous translations as reference.

For now the toolkit is only integrated into Google's Knol and Wikipedia, however it does support common document types including Word and HTML.

Western Digital Releases New 4TB My Book Studio Edition II For Mac Enthusiasts

WD Unveils World's First 4 TB External Hard Drive for Creative Professionals and Mac Computer Enthusiasts

New My Book Studio Edition Dual-drive External Storage Systems Deliver a Perfect Blend of High Performance and Power Conservation

Western Digital the world's leader in external storage solutions, today introduced its new 4 terabyte capacity My Book Studio Edition II dual-drive storage systems, which are designed to seamlessly work with Mac computers and provide an ideal blend of high performance and power conservation. The new My Book Studio Edition II dual-drive storage systems are available now at select retailers and the WD online store (www.shopwd.com).

Compatible with Apple Time Machine automatic backup feature and formatted for Mac computers, the new 4 TB My Book Studio Edition II external storage system's dual-drive RAID 0 configuration and high-speed interfaces deliver high performance for creative professionals, workgroups, small offices and anyone looking for fast data transfer. The system offers four interfaces: eSATA and FireWire 800 for maximum performance as well as FireWire 400 and USB 2.0 for maximum flexibility. The eco-friendly(2) system uses WD's hard drives with WD GreenPower Technology for power savings and cool and quiet operation.

"Whether in the studio, at home, or on the road, I backup all my photographs and files on WD drives," says Peter Read Miller, a staff photographer for Sports Illustrated magazine. "I use the My Book Studio II drive and WD ShareSpace network drive at home and in the studio and always have at least one My Passport portable drive when I'm on the road. The bottom line is they're safe, fast and reliable. In my business I need to rely on products that will protect my livelihood. WD's line of products perform that task exceptionally well," Miller added.

"The new My Book Studio Edition II is the best choice for creative professionals who require massive capacity and extra-fast performance," said Dale Pistilli, vice president of marketing for WD's branded products group. "With 4 terabytes of capacity, photographers, graphic artists, videographers, and home video enthusiasts alike will have the space they need to store hours of high definition videos as well as the performance they need for demanding video editing applications."

Extra-fast Performance with RAID 0

Lightning-fast eSATA or FireWire 800 interfaces combined with RAID 0 (Striped) yields the speed users' need for: fast, smooth video editing; rendering complex 3D objects or special effects; and saving huge blocks of data in record time. With RAID 0, users can have 4 TB of storage in an elegant, small footprint design that offers plenty of room to store an entire digital photo library and hundreds of hours of HD movies or digital video (results will vary based on file size and format, settings, features, software and other factors).

Features

Formatted for Mac computers, these new storage systems feature:
  • Massive 4 terabyte capacity;
  • Extra-fast performance with four interfaces (FireWire 400/800, eSATA, USB 2.0);
  • Cool, eco-friendly operation with WD's drives with WD GreenPower Technology that consume approximately one-third less power than standard dual-drive external storage systems and efficient convection cooling architecture and power-saving mode and designed without a fan to run quietly;
  • Quad interface with connections for ultra-fast eSATA and FireWire 800 and for flexibility and convenience FireWire 400 and USB 2.0;
  • Automatic and continuous backup software;
  • User serviceability, enabling owner to open the enclosure and replace the drive inside;
  • Capacity gauge to see at a glance how much space is available on the system; and,
  • 5-year limited warranty.

Pricing and Availability

My Book Studio Edition II dual-drive storage systems are available now at select retailers and WD's online store (www.shopwd.com). MSRP for My Book Studio Edition II with 4 TB is $649.99 USD.


Storage Deals

Source: Western Digital Press Release

Review: Adesso Wireless Media Center Keyboard

The fine folks over at Adesso were nice enough to send us out one of their new Wireless Media Center Keyboards to test out. So over the course of the last week or two we were busy putting this little multimedia keyboard to the test with some mixed reviews. Checkout our full review and you'll see exactly what we liked and didn't like about this nifty little multimedia keyboard.

Adesso Wireless Media Center Keyboard

First impressions:

Opening the box on any new toy is always the funnest part for me. You get the excitement of that first peek and your first chance to see if it actually looks as good in person as it does on your screen. For me this is where I was a bit disappointed.

I've never used an Adesso product so I was a bit uncertain of their overall quality and feel. When I opened the box to take the keyboard out right off my thought was this thing looks a little cheap. The media keys on the top are all squared boxes at full height and the multimedia keys to the left just look flat out generic. Since this is billed as a media center keyboard for me that would equate to use with HTPC's however I would want something a bit better looking sitting on my coffee table and with a $55-75 price tag for just the keyboard I was very unimpressed by its overall appearance.

I bought my Logitech MX 3200 combo for less than that and comparing the two side by side the MX 3200 is a clear winner when it comes to looks and overall features.

Features:

  • 2.4 GHz USB Wireless Interface
  • Wireless connectivity with 16 Channels and 65536 IDs per channel
  • 800 DPI optical trackball for easy navigation.
  • Range distance from receiver is 100 ft.
  • Quite tactile keys for smooth typing.
  • Easy to use Scroll Wheel with left and right click option.
  • Media Center Edition, Multimedia and Internet Hot Key controls.
  • Light weight compact design
  • (MCE) Media Center Edition Hot Keys
    • My TV
    • My Video
    • My Picture
    • My Music
    • Live TV
  • Multimedia Hot Keys
    • Channel Up/Down
    • Volume Up/Down
    • Mute
    • Previous Track
    • Next Track
    • Play/Pause/Stop/Forward/Rewind/Record
  • Internet Hot Keys
    • Internet Explorer
    • Close
    • Mail
  • Mouse Functions
    • Left Click
    • Right Click
    • Scroll Wheel
    • Laser Optical Trackball

The layout, how compact is to compact?

Adesso Wireless Media Center Keyboard

Having used several compact keyboards I'll say this; this one isn't as small as it could be but its still too small for my personal taste. The keys are just a little too cramped causing me to either create more typos or accidentally hit the caps lock (very annoying).

For sitting on the couch, as use as an HTPC keyboard the size and layout are just about perfect, as is the ergonomics of the under side. I only mention this as the curves on the bottom contour just about right for my lap and the placement of the trackball and multimedia keys feel just about perfect when its sitting there.

For use as anything but and HTPC or media center keyboard (I'm using it on my desk now and its a pain) I'd pass but it does have a good fit and feel and works very well for what it is intended to do.


The setup:

What this little keyboard lacks in looks and size it more than makes up for in easy of use. Its was all plug and play with the Windows 7 RC. I slapped the batteries in, plugged the USB receiver in and I was off and running with full hot key, scroll wheel and trackball functionality. That was honestly something I didn't expect since most of my multimedia keyboards including my Logitech MX 3200 have to have drivers for everything to work.

Connectivity was very good with very good extended coverage. I could use the keyboard throughout my entire house even using a PC at the opposite end of the house in the office that was behind a closed door. Making it possible to use a PC setup with a wireless media adapter from the other room or simply control a PC hidden off in another room.


Overall thoughts:

  • The good - For a media center keyboard I'd give the Adesso MCE a very positive rating. The compact size and built in mouse functions make it very useful for movie watching, searching music or pictures or just basic internet browsing. The extended range was a big positive as I had no issues running my PC from almost anywhere in my house.
  • The so so - One of the major sticking points for me was the appearance, I'd like to see a sleeker more stylish design. There is room for more hot keys along the top so why not utilize the space and add some program keys there to make life a little easier? Using the trackball and mouse functions for thins like word processing was overly annoying and forget trying to do cut/copy and pasting.
  • The not so good - I constantly ran into issues when typing. The small layout caused a few problems, especially when trying to blog and type things quickly but that was only a small problem. I had a rather odd input issue where after sitting unused for a few mins the first letter keyed wouldn't be typed. I also ran into this when typing spaces or using the enter key.

Conclusion:

In my opinion the Adesso MCE would make a nice little HTPC keyboard, however with a $59.99 price tag at Newegg I don't think it would be my first choice. For me personally I'd rather go with a full size mulitmedia keyboard that has a more stylish design. However for someone wanting a comapct design with very good extended range then this might be the keyboard for you and I'm sure it will function well. As an overall rating I'd have to give it a 2.25 out of 5.

Where to buy:

Monday, June 08, 2009

Apple Introduces The New Iphone 3GS

Today at the Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) in San Francisco, Apple introduced the company's third generation iPhone: the new iPhone 3GS (the “S” stands for Speed).

The latest addition to the iPhone family comes packed with many of the features that had been swirling around the web over the last few months including a larger capacity, better camera, extended battery life and lots more goodies for you iPhone lovers to drool over.

Not everything new to the 3GS is hardware based the new phone will come packed with Apple's new OS 3.0 which was announced back in March. IPhone OS 3.0 packs tons of new features including long-requested support for copy and paste, MMS, turn-by-turn directions, voice memo recording, Spotlight search, landscape email/notes/messaging, 3G tethering (via Bluetooth or USB), stereo Bluetooth (A2DP), peer-to-peer Bluetooth connectivity, and more. IPhone OS 3.0 will be available to download on June 17 (free for iPhone users, $9.95 for iPod touch users).

Another new addition to the iPhone 3GS is the increase in data transfer speeds from 3.6Mbps to 7.2Mbps HSDPA. AT&T already announced plans to beef up its data networks to handle the faster transfer speeds so iPhone 3GS owners will be ready to take advantage of the new faster download speeds once the company completes the role out.

As for pricing there was nothing that wasn't already expected. In order to keep up with the competition Apple priced the 16GB and 32GB iPhone 3GS at the same level of the current 8GB and 16GB iPhone 3Gs: $199 and $299 respectively. And just to add a little more fuel to the iPhone 3G fire they dropped the price of the 8GB model to $99 to further expand its user base -- the new price will reportedly be effective today however they hadn't been changed on the AT&T site as of 1pm PST.

The iPhone 3GS will be available June 17.

*Update*

AT&T has confirmed they will be offering the iPhone 3GS on June 19 with preorders being taken both online and at AT&T stores today. The company also confirmed price drops on both the 8 and 16 GB models now at $99 and $149 respectively.

White Paper: ABCs of RFID: Understanding and Using Radio Frequency Identification

Read this in depth overview of RFID technology and capabilities, major standards and ways to improve convenience, accuracy, safety and security.

RFID offers great value for many industries and applications. However, misperceptions about what RFID is and what it can do pose obstacles that discourage some organizations from taking advantage of the technology. This white paper provides an overview of RFID technology and capabilities, describes the common frequencies and technologies used in business applications, identifies major standards, and introduces ways to take advantage of RFID to improve convenience, accuracy, safety and security.

Publisher: Intermec Technologies Corporation

Click here to get this free white paper now



Complimentary Industry Downloads
Here at Geek-News.Net we've joined forces with TradePub.com to offer readers the industries best selection of complimentary white papers, webinars, podcasts, and more. Each week we'll feature a new set of offers featuring some of the best white papers, articles or downloads from Tradepub.com.

3DMark Records Fall At Lords of Overclocking Competition

Last week Futuremark Corporation released winners' details from the first two weeks of their Lords of Overclocking competition and revealed that halfway through the four week contest the 3DMark06 world record has already fallen twice. Since then it appears as though competition has heated up and the record may be set to fall yet again.

Overclockers are competing to achieve the highest score with 3DMark06, a benchmarking program from Futuremark that measures the 3D gaming performance capabilities of PCs. So far the contest has attracted over 120,000 entries from around the world.

Week 1 Top Scores

  • Lord of Europe - Sampsa Kurri - 35924 3DMarks
  • Lord of Americas - Andre Yang - 37353 3DMarks – new world record!
  • Lord of Asia - Goddy Roodt - 33937 3DMarks

Top 15 in each region, week 1: http://bit.ly/LOCWeek1

Week 2 Top Scores

  • Lord of Europe - Haakon - 37004 3DMarks
  • Lord of Americas - Kevin Wu - 37839 3DMarks – record broken again
  • Lord of Asia - HWA OC Team - 34989 3DMarks

Top 15 in each region, week 2: http://bit.ly/LOCWeek2

Week 3 Top Scores - just released

  • Lord of Europe - Benchbrothers - 36720
  • Lord of Americas - 3151768 - 37342
  • Lord of Asia - Hwa Oc Team - 35332

Winners will receive a selection of prizes from contest sponsors MSI, Huntkey, Thermaltake, GlacialTech, Enermax and Patriot Memory.

The contest also rewards random winners for taking part, even if their PCs are unlikely to match the scores achieved by the world’s best overclockers. Congratulations then go out to the random winners from the first two weeks.

At this point there are just over five days left in the competition and it looks like there will be another record set as the top spot right now is listed as 38639 3DMarks by user Onepagebook.

RapidRepair Strips Apart The Palm Pre

The fine folks over at RadidRepair got their hands on the new Palm Pre and like the good gees they are they immediately tripped it down and setup a nice little Palm Pre Repair Guide.



The guide is packed with several great shots of the inner workings of the Pre as well as a brief walk through for anyone else that wants to tear into their new phone.

AMD Plans To Block Core Unlocking

As most of us already know many of AMD's new dual and triple core Phenom II chips are actually quad core chips with the third and/or fourth cores disabled do to various issues. We also know that when coupled with the proper motherboard these relatively cheap CPUs can be unlocked turning them into a higher end quad core chip.

For obviously reasons this discovery was troubling news for AMD who is now planning to release a new microcode for motherboard BIOS updates that will disable the core-unlocking feature, blocking people from unlocking the disabled cores.

So what can you do? Well the obvious would be to not update your motherboards BIOS. But sometimes that isn't an option. Motherboards makers do from time to time add very important feature updates or fixes that you'll need. The other option would be to buy yourself a dual bios Gigabyte board.

According to Tom's Hardware Gigabyte said that their dual BIOS boards will store the old microcode in the secondary BIOS chip, and allow you to do normal BIOS updates on the primary chip. When you update your BIOS, your system will boot using the new BIOS code but it will be injected with the old AMD microcode, allowing you to continue to unlock your CPU cores.

Of course this hasn't been confirmed, at least not yet. So it might be a bit of a gamble, then again it's a bit of gamble anyways as you might not have a Phenom II that when unlocked will be entirely stable. So proceed with caution.

Wednesday, June 03, 2009

AT&T Launches New In-car CruiseCast Satellite Service

Currently featuring more than 42 channels of satellite TV and radio and a monthly subscription fee off $28 AT&T's new in car satellite service is designed to allow the mobile viewer/listener to tune in via rear-seat entertainment units, or for the family RV on the go.

AT&T CruiseCast Service Launches Nationwide In-Vehicle Entertainment Package

AT&T Services Inc. and RaySat Broadcasting Corporation (RBC) announced today that AT&T CruiseCast service is now available across the continental United States with a robust lineup of content. Whether driving around town or on vacation, consumers can now enjoy 42 channels of satellite TV and radio on their existing rear-seat entertainment systems.

Programming includes the following video channels:
USA Network SCI FI Discovery Animal Planet
CNN mobile Adult Swim Mobile Lifetime Channel NFL Network
MSNBC FOX News AccuWeather ESPN Mobile
Disney Disney XD Discovery Kids
Cartoon Network Mobile CBS College Sports Network

The programming lineup also includes five additional video channels that are favorites among young children, “tweens” and teen-agers.

To learn more about the AT&T CruiseCast service, to view the complete channel lineup and to find a local installer, visit www.cruisecast.com/launch.

“We are very pleased to bring this fantastic lineup of channels to our AT&T CruiseCast customers nationwide,” said Winston Guillory Jr., president of RBC. “In-vehicle satellite entertainment is the next major trend in consumer electronics. We are proud to deliver a robust live-TV experience to vehicles.”

The AT&T CruiseCast service is made consumer-friendly by the unique scaling down of satellite technology into the small pod-like antenna that affixes to the roof of vehicles. The antenna is paired with a receiver that is mounted in the vehicle and provides all video and audio connections to the appropriate vehicle systems, such as rear seat entertainment, vehicle audio system, etc. The antenna is secured to a roof-rack on sedans, SUVs and mini-vans and via a magnetic mount on all other vehicles. The AT&T CruiseCast service utilizes breakthrough technology that overcomes line-of-sight obstacles such as overpasses, buildings, trees or tunnels to deliver television programming to cars, non-commercial trucks and SUVs.

AT&T CruiseCast service is available through a nationwide network of authorized installers and aftermarket-car retail outlets. Once the system is installed, consumers can sign up online for service at http://www.cruisecast.com or call 866-800-9030. Customers will create a personal profile, select a payment method and choose programming features. Once a profile is on record, and the installer has completed the equipment installation, the service will be activated over the air. The manufacturer’s adjusted price (MAP) of the equipment (antenna and receiver) is $1,299 and the monthly subscription fee is $28.

Source: AT&T CruiseCast Press Release

Logitech Introduces Its First Force-Feedback Flight Simulation Controller

logitech logoLogitech Flight System G940 Delivers Simulator-Grade Flying Experience, Authentic Controls, Realistic Force Feedback

To provide flight simulation enthusiasts with a realistic experience, Logitech today unveiled the Logitech Flight System G940. The latest addition to the acclaimed Logitech G-series line of gaming peripherals and the company’s first force-feedback flight simulation controller, the design and controls of the Flight System G940 were inspired by military and commercial planes and helicopters.

“There’s nothing ordinary about a G-series gaming peripheral, and the G940 is no different,” said Ruben Mookerjee, Logitech’s director of product marketing for gaming. “We approached this project with the goal of redefining the flight sim experience. Whether you’re flying an A380, an F/A-18 Hornet or a Comanche helicopter, when you want to feel the wind on your wings, control engines together or independently or master tricky maneuvers, the G940 behaves and feels like the real thing – from takeoff to landing.”

logitech g940

For an immersive experience, the three-component Logitech Flight System G940 features a force feedback joystick, dual throttle and rudder pedals. And, with more than 250 programmable button options integrated into a fully featured HOTAS (or Hands On Throttle-and-Stick) design, you’re able to access critical aircraft systems without taking your hands off the controls.

The system is also easy to set up; just connect the throttle and the pedals to the joystick cable, and plug the USB connector into your computer. And all components feature mounting hard points, making it easy to secure them to a surface. The Flight System G940 is compatible with most popular PC flight simulators, including Microsoft Flight Simulator X, IL-2 Sturmovik: 1946 and Lock On: Modern Air Combat X-Plane 9.

Force Feedback Joystick
For added realism, the Flight System G940 joystick features Logitech’s award-winning force feedback technology, which allows you to control your aircraft with confidence as you feel its movement as well as its reaction to air, turbulence and g-forces. Unlike vibration feedback or rumble technology, force feedback is directionally precise and tactile, so you get an accurate simulation of the forces experienced in the game.

g940 joystick

Featuring a two-stage metal trigger, six programmable buttons, mini-stick, 8-way hat and three analog trim controls, the Flight System G940 joystick is designed to put you in complete control of your aircraft. And to ensure comfort during long flights, the joystick has a wide, solid base, a palm rest, a slight forward tilt of the stick and soft touch surface.

Programmable Dual Throttle
To give you realistic control over any aircraft, the Flight System G940 features a split throttle design, for easy control of multi-engine aircraft. When flying a single engine aircraft, a push-button interlocks the throttles for a more comfortable experience.

g940 throttle

The interactive, programmable throttle-base buttons integrate with your favorite flight simulation software and illuminate red, green, amber or off to indicate the status of critical aircraft systems – just like they would in a real cockpit. For your convenience, Logitech includes 80 pre-designed legend inserts that slip into the buttons, making it easy to create an authentic switch panel with, for example, GPS, autopilot and landing-gear controls.

In addition to the eight programmable base-buttons, the Flight System G940 provides two eight-way hat switches, four programmable grip buttons and two rotary analog-controls. The included Logitech Gaming Software allows you to assign virtually every possible control to the G940 in just a few steps.

Authentic Pedals
The pedals – the four-bar mechanism, inspired by the designs of current jet fighters – feature an open frame design with rudder controls and toe brakes, giving you true-to-life control, especially when performing defensive maneuvers or crosswind landings, or piloting helicopters. An adjustable pedal-force knob lets you change the resistance to fit your flying style. And for added comfort, the pedal base has carpet grips and heel rests to keep the pedals and your feet in place even during the most difficult maneuvers.

g940 pedals

Pricing and Availability
The Logitech Flight System G940 is expected to be available in the U.S. and Europe in September for a suggested retail price of $299.99 (U.S.)

Source: Logitech Press Release

Dell Confirms Windows 7 Upgrade Program

Earlier this week Microsoft confirmed the Oct 22nd release date for the new Windows 7 operating system. At that time the company also confirmed rumors that as with previous Windows launches, they will be partnering with PC manufacturers like Dell to offer the Windows 7 Upgrade Option program.

Today through the Direct2Dell blog Dell has confirmed they will be offering the Windows 7 upgrade option on select systems sold through retail stores or directly from Dell. The company didn't provide exact details for the new program only stating that once the Windows 7 Upgrade Option program is officially announced they will provide more details as to when the program will launch, which PCs will be included in the offer and which countries will be involved.

It’s important to note that Dell has said the Windows 7 upgrade kits will not be shipped until AFTER Windows 7 has officially launched on Oct. 22.

LaCie Adds More LaCinema Black Series Wireless HD Media Players

Today LaCie announced the latest products to expand their range of Wireless HD media players – LaCinema Black PLAY and LaCinema Black RECORD, Design by Neil Poulton. The new LaCinema Black products are built to optimize how consumers access and play content right from their HDTV.

lacie lacinema

Access all your media
LaCinema Black PLAY and RECORD provide the latest in home networking capabilities. Users can choose from a direct network connection, or use the built-in Wi-Fi connection, making it easy to store music, movies and photos from any computer on the local network. A built-in UPnP client player makes it fast and easy for users to access media content from a networked PC or Mac from anywhere in the home.

Built for High Definition
Designed with High Definition in mind, LaCinema Black PLAY and RECORD allow users to watch downloaded HD movies and television programs directly on the television. Promoting a greater use of HDTVs, these new products are capable of decoding 1080p resolution movies, HD JPEG photos and 1080i upscaling of Standard Definition movies. Consumers can enjoy movies with more detail, clarity and sharpness, making the LaCinema Black products a vital part of their viewing and entertainment experience. Users can even enable surround sound through the optical audio output.

LaCinema Black RECORD features Digital Video Recorder (DVR) technology, which allows users to record, pause, and rewind their favorite TV shows with the support of a connected set-top box or cable converter.

"Now that families are beginning to consume masses of digital content, they need a multimedia device that will allow them to easily store and play their favorite content right from their existing home entertainment center," said Patrick Salin, LaCie Multimedia Business Unit Manager. "With LaCinema Black products, users can access media over their network, listen to music, sort photos, record TV programs, and ultimately get the desired experience from their media collection – all from one product."

Easy use for the entire family
With the help of an intuitive user interface, families can easily browse their media, creating photo slideshows or music playlists with the touch of a button. LaCinema Black products also come with a parental control feature to password-protect files, allowing parents to centralize and secure their multimedia content with confidence.

The LaCinema Black PLAY and RECORD are available starting at 500GB and support a broad variety of file formatting options. They are capable of storing up to 710 movies, 165,000 songs, 500,000 photos, or 250 hours of recording**. USB ports for peripherals allow users to expand capacity, or store their photos and videos by directly connecting video and digital cameras.

Availability
The LaCinema Black is available through the LaCie Online Store or LaCie resellers at the suggested retail price starting at $429.99. For more product information, visit www.lacie.com.

Tuesday, June 02, 2009

Slew Of Android-Powered Netbooks Due Later This Year

Several of the top netbook manufactures including Acer and HP have confirmed plans to potentially offer Google's open source Android operating system on low cost netbooks coming later this year.

Acer confirmed today
that it was making Android PCs and will likely be the first company to launch netbooks using Google's Android. Jim Wong, Acer's global president for IT products, confirmed the news at a news conference at Computex, the world's second-largest PC trade show held in Taipei.

Acer will not speculate on the number of netbooks it expects to ship with Android installed, nor are they speculating on possible ship dates or other details such as pricing but the average savings for using Android versus Windows XP is roughly $25. Meaning these new netbooks might be a viable alternative at a cheaper cost than the current Linux based PCs.

The Aspire One netbooks Acer displayed at its news conference on Tuesday at Computex were running a dual-boot system allowing users to switch between Android and Windows XP, but Wong said the device that goes on sale later this year will only have Android and another Linux OS.

OEM/PC vendor Elitegroup Computer Systems (ECS) also showed off their first netbook with Google's Android operating system at Computex. The ECS device called the T800 has an 8.9-inch screen, a small keypad and weighs less than a kilogram (2.2 pounds) and features a chip from Texas Instruments (TI) called OMAP3, which contain ARM processing cores. ECS will offer two devices, one with ARM processors that run at 800MHz and another at 1GHz.

At least one company, Asustek, will be placing their plans to offer Android on hold. Shortly after confirming plans to utilize the new operating system top executives from the company said the project will be put on the backburner for now.

Accroding to PCWorld Asustek officials feel the new OS is not mature enough for consumers with vice chairman of Asustek Jonathan Tsang stating the "Eee PC with Android is not ready yet because the technology is not mature. For the time being this project is not a priority because our engineering resources are limited."

AMD Launches New Budget Minded Dual Core Phenom & Athlon II CPUs

amd logoAMD has always been known as "the" company to look to for powerful mainstream chips at a great price. So it should come as no surprise that they have announced two new chips that set their sites directly on some of the best budget dual core CPUs that rival chip manufacture Intel is producing today.

Yes you heard that right, AMD has released two new budget minded dual core chips, not triple core nor quad but good old fashioned dual core. The two new offerings are the AMD Athlon II X2 250 and the AMD Phenom II X2 550 Black Edition processor, which will be the first ever dual-core AMD Phenom II CPU.

AMD Athlon II X2 Processor Details

  • The AMD Athlon II X2 250 performs exceptionally well when combined with AMD chipsets and integrated graphics solutions to create an all-AMD platform. Platforms featuring all-AMD technology can deliver up to twice the graphics performance of those with Intel integrated graphics.
  • Windows 7 is optimized for multi-core processors like AMD Athlon II processors to give consumers an amazingly fast, simple and engaging PC experience. For example, Windows 7 is tuned to make the most of these new processors’ power management features, such as AMD PowerNow! 3.0 technology. AMD power management technologies, in combination with Windows 7, can help OEMs and partners to build exceptionally green, cool and quiet PCs.
  • Based on AMD’s acclaimed 45nm process technology, the AMD Athlon II dual-core processor has a TDP of 65W and can slash power consumption by up to 50 percent when doing basic tasks, up to 40 percent when running heavy workloads and up to 50 percent when at idle.

AMD Phenom II X2 550 Black Edition Details

  • AMD Black Edition processors, like the AMD Phenom II X2 550, help users to take control and unleash the maximum potential of Dragon platform technology’s unprecedented performance tuning capabilities.* The same massive headroom that set world records in recent months is at users’ finger tips, offering impressive performance at a price the competition can’t beat.
  • Users can also maximize their overclocking experience by utilizing the new features and capabilities of AMD OverDrive 3.0, designed to enable quick and effective tuning of their PC experience for optimal performance.
  • With dual-, triple- or quad-core processors, AMD provides platform level solutions at multiple price points, each of which exceeds expectations for virtually any user.

Other Resources:

  • Press looking for more information on AMD Athlon II X2 250 and AMD Phenom II X2 550 Black Edition, click here.
  • Click here for more detail on AMD processor pricing.
  • Compare AMD Phenom II processors.
  • Find out more about Dragon platform technology and see it in action.
  • Check out all of AMD’s processors and get more information here.
  • Follow AMD desktop updates on Twitter: @AMDDesktop.
  • Hear what AMD executives have to say on AMD blogs.
  • In collaboration with Thermaltake and BMW Group DesignworksUSA, comes an ideal environment for AMD’s high-performance CPU and GPU solutions - the Level 10 Limited Edition chassis. Check it out!
AMD Phenom II X2 550 BE and Athlon II X2 250 Reviews:

Source: AMD Press Release

Official Modern Warfare 2 Trailer Released

The official uncut and extended MODERN WARFARE 2 Worldwide Reveal Trailer is finally here!

On November 10, 2009, acclaimed developer Infinity Ward will make its return with the release of MODERN WARFARE 2, the sequel to the multiple Game of the Year winner Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare. MODERN WARFARE 2 continues the gripping and heart-racing saga with an unprecedented level of action as players face off against a new threat dedicated to bringing the the world to the brink of collapse.



For more info check out the Modern Warfare 2 homepage

ByteShield Offers New DRM Solution Gamers Might Actually Like

ByteShield - A DRM solution that an anti-DRM group actually likes???

PRISM, a gamers group for sensible DRM solutions, has thoroughly tested ByteShield and found it to be safe, transparent and non-invasive on your PC’

The first DRM solution to be approved by an anti-DRM gamers group has arrived.

ByteShield, Inc., a leading provider of user and developer friendly software Digital Rights Management (DRM), today received the results from the PRISM/RYG testing of ByteShield. PRISM, a gamers group for sensible DRM solutions, has thoroughly tested ByteShield and found it to be “safe, transparent and non-invasive”. Both the test and results are industry firsts. In fact, the evaluation by PRISM validates ByteShield as a far superior DRM solution, no doubt because it was created by gamers.

The PRISM: “Several members of the PRISM forum were able to test the ByteShield DRM thoroughly. It was invisible when playing the game, and left only a few easy to delete registry entries when the game was uninstalled. The overall opinion of those able to test ByteShield was very positive. They were pleased with how unintrusive ByteShield was. The reviewers were also very pleased at how ByteShield listened to their concerns and included some features they asked for. The members who reviewed ByteShield would have no problem recommending it to other gamers.”

ByteShield is very proud to have received this recognition, in particular given that PRISM, like many other groups, was established as a result of the many failures of DRM products last year. Jan Samzelius said: “As far as we can tell, it is the first time that a DRM vendor has engaged with one of the many anti-DRM groups and surely the first when a DRM solution has gotten such a positive evaluation”.

As the statement says, our product already meets most of PRISM’s criteria including:

  • Disclosure
  • Transparency
  • Connectivity
  • Easy activation
  • Compatibility
  • Non-Invasiveness
  • Privacy/security
  • Sunsetting of DRM


Meet ByteShield At E3 And Find Out What Is So Different
We will be presenting ByteShield in more detail on Wednesday, June 3 at 4:45pm, at the Nordic Game & Film Lounge @ E3, Figueroa Hotel, 939 South Figueroa Street, Los Angeles. For more information see http://www.digitalmediawire.com/nordiclounge/.

About ByteShield
Users’ frustration with today’s user-unfriendly anti-piracy systems (copy protection or DRM) and the developers and publishers frustration with these systems’ ineffectiveness against piracy and unintended negative impact on end users are opening the market for new innovations. ByteShield DRM turns these issues 180 degrees through a completely novel approach and design and makes DRM work for all involved (that is, except the crackers). With ByteShield, Users have an un-intrusive and convenient experience instead of the opposite from other DRM solutions; Publishers have an easy to use and flexible protection solution which also provides sales and usage data; Crackers have a significantly greater work effort.

ByteShield has been selected as a finalist in the ‘Most Innovative Software for the Software Industry’ award category of the 2009 SoftwareCEO Software Innovation Awards of the Computing Technology Industry Association (CompTIA). For more information see http://www.softwareceo.com/leadership/2009/awards_finalists.aspx.

ByteShield, Inc. is a privately held California corporation, established in 2004 and headquartered in San Francisco, California. To find out more, visit http://www.ByteShield.net or call +1 415 420 6636.

About the PRISM/RYG
PRISM, which is an acronym for Players Resisting Invasive Security Measures, is a forum site dedicated to discussing the in and outs of various DRM solutions. The forum, which was initially founded by a handful of Sims 2 players, started by providing tech support on SecuROM issues. The scope of PRISM continues to grow, and now have many on-going discussions on a number of topics. At present is a new DRM rating system being discussed and PRISM hope to have it in place in a few months. For more information, please visit http://www.the-prism.com.

Reclaim Your Game (RYG) is PRISM’s informational site dedicated to articles and educating gamers about the in and outs of DRM and related topics such as online distribution. On RYG you will find an explanation of SecuROM in non technical terms. There are also many tutorials on upgrading hardware components, others on computer maintenance and a SecuROM removal tutorial. For more information, visit http://www.reclaimyourgame.com.

Source: ByteShield Press Release (pdf)

Monday, June 01, 2009

AMD Boosts Performance Of Embedded GPUs, Intros ATI Radeon E4690

AMD Triples the Performance of ATI Embedded Graphics Chips

Single-chip solution offers high definition video playback and blazing fast 3D graphics for arcade, casino and digital signage embedded markets −


AMD today announced the ATI Radeon E4690 graphics processor unit (GPU) designed to enable a whole level of new reality for embedded graphics applications with more than triple1 the 3D graphics performance of prior AMD embedded products. Arcade system manufacturers will appreciate the long term support and lower cost AMD Triples the Performance of ATI Embedded Graphics Chipst of placing the GPU chip directly on the motherboard instead of a separate add-in graphics card. This product will enable digital signage manufacturers to decode and play multiple high-definition videos in hardware, offloading all the decoding from the CPU2. Casino system manufacturers will be amazed by triple the graphics performance to help attract players while increasing overall entertainment value with incredibly realistic 3D graphics, plus two-monitor support3.
  • The ATI Radeon E4690 GPU is packed with the latest graphics features, including support for Microsoft DirectX 10.1 and OpenGL 3.0.
  • The second-generation AMD Unified Video Decoder (UVD 2.0) includes hardware acceleration of H.264 and VC-1 high-definition (HD) video as well as MPEG-2, enabling multiple HD video streams and freeing the CPU for other tasks.
  • The ATI Radeon E4690 is designed to simplify board design and speed time-to-market by incorporating 512 MB of 700 MHz GDDR3 graphics memory on chip.
  • The ATI Radeon E4690 comes with AMD’s commitment of 5 years of planned supply availability4. Technical support is provided by a dedicated team of application engineering experts.

“The ATI Radeon E4690 sets a new bar for embedded graphics performance,” said Richard Jaenicke, director of embedded graphics at AMD. “Blazingly fast graphics and HD video capabilities enhance the appeal of applications − such as arcade, casino, digital signage and more. With the industry’s only embedded graphics chip that offers DirectX 10.1 and UVD 2.0 support, the ATI Radeon E4690 enables competitive advantages for AMD’s embedded customers.”

“The ATI Radeon E4690 is the perfect solution for the digital signage market,” said Dwight Looi, product manager at iBASE Technology, Inc. “The ATI Radeon E4690 combines phenomenal graphics performance, full hardware HD video decode acceleration and 512MB of very fast GDDR3 memory into a compact 35 mm package, which enables us to offer a high-end digital signage solution in a previously impossible, booked-sized system.”

“With the on-chip memory and responsive technical support from AMD, we were able to bring our Condor 2000 product, featuring ATI Radeon E4690, to market in just six weeks from the time we received the design documents,” said Selwyn Henriques, president of Tech Source, Inc. “Based on the product specifications, TechSource expects the resulting product to significantly outperform existing products in the industry.”

Supporting Resources


Source: AMD Press Release