Wednesday, July 01, 2009

Rock The Bike Utilizes Power Efficiency Of JBL PRX Series Loudspeakers To Drive Environmental Awareness

This is a story that truly rocks. The folks at Rock The Bike have teamed with JBL to create a human powered audio setup that can be used as an artists performs. You can pedal along and power up the stage while you rock out with your favorite artist, what a great concept!

Checkout the press release below for more details on the setup.



In a highly creative and environmentally forward-thinking application of JBL PRX portable loudspeakers, Rock the Bike, a designer and manufacturer of bicycles with an eye on raising the awareness of the “bike culture,” has employed PRX loudspeakers at several of its live music events, which are run on human power generated on bicycles.

For its live events, Rock the Bike designed a pedal-powered stage, which enables one or many individuals to ride stationary bicycles in place, which in turn power the audio system as the artists perform. “It’s been a steady progression to this—most of our performances used to be primarily in the streets and running off battery power,” said Paul Freedman of Rock The Bike. “Then we started hooking up with people interested in human power and over the past year, we’ve put a lot of energy into creating our own pedal-powered stage.”

Thanks to the efficiency of the JBL PRX Series, Rock the Bike employs PRX535 speakers for its main sound reinforcement system. “Because we’re an environmentally conscious group, the PRX speakers are a perfect fit, plus they’re lightweight so we can easily transport them on our cargo bicycles,” Freedman said. “I also really like the PRX speakers because the low/mid/high knobs on my mixer correspond directly with the low/mid/high drivers in the speaker, which make them very easy to use.”

Rock the Bike relies on volunteers from the audience to pedal the bikes, something that has never posed a challenge. “If there are a lot of people at an event, we have no problem getting volunteers from the crowd to keep a 2-bike pedal-powered system going,” Freedman said. “We position them close to the stage so they have a good view of the performers, and they’re literally supporting the music with their power.”

While the pedal-powered stage contributes to a sense of community at the live events, the system has taken an ironic (but intentional) back seat to the actual performances, as a result of its own efficiency. “The pedal-powered stage used to be the center of attention at our shows, but with the sound quality of the PRX speakers, along with our ability to make the pedal-power bikes quieter, the audience is getting absorbed into the music without even thinking about the pedal power,” Freedman added. “That’s our goal: to keep the music excellent and help spread the spirit of the bike.”

Since employing the pedal-powered stage, Rock the Bike has supported events ranging from rock star performances to a press conference at City Hall in San Francisco. “We recently powered a show by Stone Gossard of Pearl Jam,” Freedman said. “He was only supposed to play the first song of his set through pedal power, but he ended up playing the entire set with it because he got such a great response from the crowd.”

For more information on Rock The Bike, please visit www.rockthebike.com

They've got some great pics over at Rock The Bike of them doing everything from street performances, music festivals what looks like a back yard jam session. If you are into bikes and music then this is one gadget that is definitely worth checking out.

Zer01 Mobile Officially Launches New Mobile Wireless Service

zer01_logoZer01 Mobile Officially Launches New Truly Unlimited Voice, Data & Web Mobile Wireless Service Nationwide That Includes No Contracts, Low Pre-paid Monthly Fee

Zer01 Mobile announced today the formal launch of its new nationwide truly unlimited voice, data and Web mobile wireless service that will allow users to make as many phone calls, surf the Web, view movies and videos, text messages, download music and use their smartphones for a variety of other applications all for one, low monthly fee. Offering the new mobile wireless service as a mobile virtual network enabler, Zer01 Mobile has created its own grouping of mobile virtual network operators and strategic business alliances including a new partnership with Netmovies.com, an online entertainment network.

"Many years of research and testing have culminated in the public launch this week of the new, truly unlimited voice, data and Web mobile wireless service from Zer01 Mobile. Thanks to the ingenuity of the Zer01 Mobile engineering team, our new Veritable Mobile Convergence technology allows each smartphone user to make voice calls or transmit data through a VoIP system," explained Ben Piilani, CEO, Zer01 Mobile. "Because Zer01 Mobile is the only carrier in the United States offering truly unlimited mobile Web access, a number of important strategic partnerships with Zer01 Mobile have been finalized including the recent agreement with Netmovies.com, the Boston-based online entertainment network."

In April 2009, Zer01 Mobile first premiered its new truly unlimited voice, data and Web mobile wireless service at the CTIA Wireless Conference in Las Vegas, NV. Receiving positive reviews while showcasing its service at the global wireless industry event, Zer01 Mobile was presented with the "Best Overall Product" Award by Laptop Magazine. "That's the appeal of Zer01, which uses highly efficient VoIP technology to let users make phone calls over existing cellular networks. This new breed of carrier will sell a variety of Windows Mobile devices starting in July that can tap into its service, but it will also enable users to bring their unlocked BlackBerrys, Android phones and other handsets. An extra $10 per month will allow subscribers to add international calling to 40 destinations. Zer01 Mobile promises that it will take as little as five minutes for the company to update your phone's SIM card to make it compatible with its network," stated the Laptop Magazine Web site.

Based in Las Vegas, Nevada, Zer01 Communications is owned and operated by the Unified Technologies Group, Inc., a global technology services and consulting company headquartered in Wilmington, Delaware. Zer01 Communications recently premiered the new Zer01 Mobile service at the CTIA Wireless 2009 Conference. Laptop Magazine awarded Zer01 Mobile the "Best Overall Product" Award at the conclusion of the industry conference. For more information about Zer01 Communications, visit www.Zer01mobile.com.

The New Pirate Bay Plans To Share The Booty

The new owners of The Pirate Bay want to pay you for file-sharing that is of course if the files you share are nice and legal.

Hans Pandeya, Global Gaming Factory's Chief Executive Officer told the BBC "we are going to set up a system where the file-sharer actually makes money." According to Pandeya the new business model for The Pirate Bay would setup to continue the traditional file-sharing aspects of the site with the one major difference being - at least in terms of content - that the files would be hosted legally, rather than stolen from copyright holders.

Under the new model not only would copyright holders be paid for sharing their files but users would also be paid for hosting those files and sharing them via P2P.

As Pandeya explains:
"Let's say a popular song comes out. Rather than a million downloads from a [single site] - which would cause a considerable strain on that ISP - we can take that song and put it out on P2P.

The copyright holder still gets paid, the users still get their file, the ISP doesn't have a million people all grabbing a file and - for the users who share that song - a payment for putting that file on the P2P network."


The major downside is now users would have to pay to download the files they want. While this might create a win win for copyright holders and could potentially help file sharers in the long run traditional P2P users are likely to jump ship. Who wants to pay for something they can get free elsewhere?

Getting users online with the new business model will be vital in TPB's plans for creating the revenue stream that would make it possible to pay the royalties to the copyright holder and pay those users that would be sharing via The Pirate Bay's new network. However unless they are sharing a decent amount of the profits with file sharers I don't see it working!

When you break it all down essentially what the company is looking to do is create a giant computer grid. The company wants to harnessing the storage capacity and processing power of all the computers in the file-sharing community. Every user connected would become a node for the network which could ease the burden placed on local ISP's.

"We're talking about next-gen file sharing so you can create revenue from storage and internet traffic optimization, this technology is new. For now, we're outlining our intentions and asking users to have faith," said Mr Pandeya

Have faith is one thing traditional Pirate Bay users don't have. Reading through comments on TPB's blog you'll see that the vast majority of users think the sales represents a sell out on behalf of The Pirate Bay's co-founders. The sell-off sparked hundreds of remarks of dissension from TPB's loyal users. The dissension amongst TPB loyalist eventually lead to an all out DDoS attack.

TPB co-founder Peter Sunde confirmed the attacks via his Twitter account yesterday. In response to one user who asked if a DDoS attack was why he couldn’t access the site, Sunde replied, “Yup, DDoS. Understand the people doing it as well. I hope people will calm down and understand what it means logically instead...”

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Dell To Offer GPS And Wi-Fi Positioning In New Mini 10s

Dell today announced they will begin offering GPS and Wi-Fi positioning via the Dell Wireless 700 location solution for the new Mini 10 netbook. Dell's Wireless 700 location solution will feature a combination of hardware and software built to accurately pinpoint a users position anywhere around the globe.

dell small businessThe hardware will feature an internal GPS card with built-in Wi-Fi locationing. Used in conjunction the two technologies will work together to locate the netbooks position both indoors and out. In other words, it can calculate your position using Wi-Fi access points by utilizing Wi-Fi Positioning System (WPS) or using standard GPS satellites. The Dell Wireless 700 will be powered by Broadcom's A-GPS and Skyhook Wireless' Wi-Fi position solutions.

On the software side, the Dell Wireless 700 location system features CoPilot navigation software to provide turn by turn directions. The software will offer things like 2D and 3D map views, the ability to save up to 50 addresses for one trip, trip optimization to provide the most efficient route as well as providing instant detour information when you encounter expected delays and provides continuously updated information about the trip.

Dell also plans to offer a secondary location-based services in the form of a location aware portal. The company has partnered with Skyhook Wireless and Loki for this offering. Loki is a browser based plugin that comes preconfigured for Internet Explorer and Firefox. The plugin works with Loki-supported sites to improve local search functionality by providing you details from nearby restaurants store locations and even your friends' location information from supported social media sites like Flickr, Loopt and BrightKite.

In the OS department, initially, it will support Windows XP. Vista and Windows 7 support will come later. The Mini 10 is the first system that we'll offer with the optional Dell 700 Wireless location solution.

Source: Direct2Dell Blog

The Pirate Bay Sells-Off, Users Jump Ship

Several sources around the web are now confirming that Swedish software company Global Gaming Factory X AB has purchased The Pirate Bay for the rock bottom price of 60 million Swedish Krona or roughly $7.8 million. While the top dogs at The Pirate Bay have confirmed there "might" be a sell in place they have yet to confirm it has been finalized however it appears as though TPB users aren't waiting around to find out.

Shortly after the news broke and confirmation came in that TPB might be sold users began asking to have their accounts deleted and all possible personal information removed. In fact TPB received so many requests that they are now setting up a user deletion interface for faster easier deletion of user accounts.

It appears as though the Pirates are jumping ship like fleeing rats much to the dismay of TPB's owners.

We are going to build a user deletion interface later today. Many people have asked about having their account removed and we will not force anyone to stay on of course.

However, we also want to point out that we have no logs of anything, no personal data will be transferred in the eventual sale (since no personal data is kept). So no need to be worried for safety. We always care for that.

It also feels a bit sad to see the comments on the previous blog entry. We understand that you're upset. But we have reasons to do this that we cannot ignore. We need to keep the site going and this is the only working alternative. We cannot finance the growth of the site anymore and we cannot back down. The only way is up and this is the only route to that place.

The support we had, is support we still need. We've been fighting for years for you; and yes; you have supported us in that endevour. We still need you, even if you abandon the site. The important thing is that you keep sharing and keep on saving the internets. We will try to do that, but right now, we need and deserve a break. Some things needs to be reborn and rebooted. Let's make this into something good!

TPB's owners have faced mounting pressure as well as mounting fees in their fight to keep the site. Back in April they were slapped with hefty fines when they lost their trial and were found guilty in their ongoing legal battle. Clearly the pressures put on to keep the site alive and the sheer amount of money it takes to fight the legal battles have taken a bit of a toll.

The sale of the site and the changeover of ownership is reportedly scheduled for August 2009, whereby GGF will take over all day to day operations of the site which will in turn launch with new business models so that copyright owners actually get paid.

Still Using The Windows 7 Beta, Its Time To Upgrade

Beginning on Wednesday users that are still running the Windows 7 Beta will face spontaneous reboots every two hours. The beta software came equipped with this little annoyance as a way for Microsoft to push users into upgrading to the newest releases.

Computers with begin shutting down, then restarting, all in the attempt to get you to either move to the release candidate or install another one of Microsoft's operating systems before the Windows 7 Beta deadline of Aug. 1, when the operating system will completely shut down.

The only way users can avoid being plagued by this major annoyance is to download and install the release candidate (which you all should have by now anyways) or as mentioned you'll need to reinstall your old OS. The Windows 7 RC will be available until Aug. 15 so you have plenty of time to download and install it.

Just keep in mind that Microsoft blocks installation of the RC when the newer edition recognizes that the PC is running Windows 7 Beta, users must do a "clean install," which will wipe out all the all the data and applications you currently have. However, Microsoft did publish instructions on how to work around that block; the fix requires editing of the Windows registry. It sounds tricky but its really not that bad.

Monday, June 29, 2009

FireFox 3.5 Coming Tomorrow

According to reports the final version of Firefox 3.5 will be made publicly available for download tomorrow morning, Pacific time.

According to Mozilla, some of the new features included in Firefox 3.5 are:

  • A high-performance TraceMonkey JavaScript engine
  • An improved Gecko layout engine
  • Support fr Location Aware Browsing
  • Support for HTML5 (including HTML5 offline resources)
  • Various other stability and performance tweaks
Last Thursday, Mike Beltzner, the director of Firefox strongly hinted that Firefox 3.5 would meet the ship deadline previously set for the first half of the year. "Everyone's pretty happy with the release, and while we haven't picked a date yet, we're still tracking to our latest schedule," Beltzner said in an e-mail to ComputerWorld.

For more details on some of the new features you can visit the FireFox 3.5 developers page.

Comcast Launches New High-Speed 2go Wireless Data Service

Comcast Begins National Rollout of High-Speed Wireless Data Service

Portland first to launch Comcast High-Speed 2go with Atlanta, Chicago, Philadelphia and more launching before year-end 2009

Comcast Corporation, the nation’s leading provider of entertainment, information, and communications products and services, launches its anticipated high-speed wireless data service tomorrow in Portland as the company kicks off its nationwide rollout of Comcast High-Speed 2go.

Comcast’s High-Speed 2go is a fourth-generation or 4G wireless high-speed data service that provides the fastest available wireless Internet in the nation via wireless data cards. Comcast will be selling this wireless service bundled with one or more of its popular Internet, phone and television products, providing mobile broadband where ever and whenever customers need to be connected.

“With Comcast’s wideband Internet, we already offer one of the fastest wired connections available today. Now with the launch of High-Speed 2go, we also deliver the nation’s fastest wireless Internet,” said Cathy Avgiris, senior vice president and general manager for wireless and voice services at Comcast. “Innovation through mobility is one of many advances Comcast is providing consumers in the area of entertainment, information and communications. Comcast High-Speed 2go now gives consumers the best of both worlds, the fastest fast at home and on the go. In today’s world, consumers don’t want to be disconnected for even a minute and now Comcast provides wired and wireless access – a combination consumers won’t want to live without.”

Comcast is selling two different data cards and service plans:

  • Comcast High-Speed 2go Metro service uses a 4G-only data card giving customers the fastest wireless service within the 4G metro coverage area. The Metro device operates only in a 4G service footprint.
  • Comcast High-Speed 2go Nationwide service delivers the fastest metro 4G service plus coast-to-coast access on Sprint’s national 3G network. The Nationwide device automatically switches between available 4G and 3G networks.

The world-class services Comcast is known for in the home are beginning to be extended to where consumers work, live and play. High-speed mobile Internet is one of the first products consumers want as a natural extension of Comcast’s super fast wired high-speed Internet. The combination of the two is a unique proposition and the only package of its kind available in Portland today.

Bundled Pricing
For the first time, consumers will have bundled access to both the fastest wired and wireless internet in the nation - sold together at launch as a “Fast Pack” for as low as $49.99 per month for one year. Both new and existing Comcast customers will be eligible for special bundled pricing, with Triple Play customers receiving 4G wireless as an add-on for as low as $30 per month. Visit www.comcast.com/highspeed2go for additional pricing plans and service packages.

The $49.99 Fast Pack Metro service includes Comcast’s 12 Mbps home Internet service, a free WiFi router for mobility and extended coverage in the home, and 4G service that will provide up to 4 Mbps download speed when customers are on the go. For an additional $20 per month, consumers can upgrade to the Fast Pack Nationwide service that includes the same services plus nationwide 3G mobile network access.

Comcast also will be selling High-Speed 2go to small-to-mid-sized businesses through Comcast Business Services sales teams. As the nation’s largest video provider, largest residential ISP and the third-largest residential phone provider, Comcast now has the ability to provide wireless mobility to consumers in a combination that is both competitive and differentiated from any bundled services on the market today.

Comcast is selling wireless data services following its investment in Clearwire in November 2008. Comcast’s 4G service will be provided via the Clearwire network, and its 3G service will be provided by Sprint’s nationwide 3G network. Comcast is one of the first investors in Clearwire to bring a service to market and expects that it will continue to add value to existing bundled products.

Source: Comcast Press Release

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Google's Day In The Cloud Challenge Has Begun

Google's Day in the Cloud Challenge, an online scavenger hunt has officially kicked off today. The game is being played simultaneously on the ground and in the air aboard Virgin America flights across the U.S. The Day in the Cloud demonstrates how people can use Google Apps to stay connected with friends, family and co-workers when they're away from their homes — even at 35,000 feet in the air.


The online game will be available until 11:59pm PDT today, so check them out and see how well you can do. Google has teamed with Virgin America to offer a total of five top prizes to the top five scorers in the challenge. The prizes will include a "Year in the Cloud" prize package, which offers a year of free flights and free in-flight Wi-Fi from Virgin America, an HP netbook computer, and 1 terabyte of Google account storage for all of your photos and email.

The Day in the Cloud Challenge will offer several levels of challenges that last just one hour. Google is inviting everyone to take on the challenge between 12:00am and 11:59pm PST. If you want to win a prize you must be a legal resident of the U.S. and at least 18 years of age to be eligible.

Linksys Launches New WRT160NL Linux-powered Media Sharing Router

Cisco launches Linux powered N-Router with media sharing functionality

linksys wrt160nl

Cisco this week announced a new Linux powered router, the Linksys by Cisco Wireless-N Broadband Router with Storage Link (WRT160NL). The new model complements the existing Linksys by Cisco consumer router line-up and is essentially the next generation of the popular WRT54GL. The design of the product is similar to other Linksys by Cisco N-routers, but has integrated connectors for external antennae. Consumers that prefer external aerials can now enjoy the new Linksys by Cisco router design because of the integrated R-SMA antenna connectors. The integrated Storage Link functionality lets consumers connect their USB storage device to the router to create a powerful media sharing solution that enables video, photo and music sharing through the integrated media server.

Facts/Highlights:

  • The Storage Link port lets users connect USB storage devices to the router. Music, video, or data files can be made available in the network through the built-in media server. The media server can stream to PCs or UPnP AV digital media adapters. The integrated Storage Link port supports FAT16, FAT32 and NTFS file systems in both read and write mode.
  • Although most Linksys by Cisco router feature internal antennae the WRT160NL has external antennae. The two R-SMA antenna connectors are designed to allow tech savvy users to be more flexible in their antennae choice and placement.
  • The new Linksys by Cisco product packaging provides more than 40% reduction in waste materials compared to the previously offered packaging. The size of the boxes is reduced, internal packaging is transitioning to more recyclable material, the use of plastic bags is being eliminated where possible and all packaging and internal documents are printed on paper that is made from 80% recycled content and vegetable and soy inks are being used.
  • The Wireless-N Broadband Router with Storage Link is shipped with Linksys EasyLink Advisor (LELA). LELA helps consumers to get their network up and running and helps keep their network updated and secure. The included set-up CD is compatible with both Macintosh and Windows computers.

System specifications:

  • Linux powered
  • 802.11n draft 2.0 certified
  • 400Mhz processor
  • 8 Megabytes Flash memory
  • 32 Megabytes DDRAM
  • Storage Link port (USB 2.0)
  • UPnP AV media server
  • Wi-Fi protected Setup pushbutton security
  • 2 x R-SMA antennae connectors

Supporting Quote:

“In the past we have had many successful Linux powered devices with the WRT54GL and NSLU2 being great examples. The WRT160NL is the logical next step combining Linux, 802.11n technology and USB storage functionality. We see the WRT160NL as a possible successor of our WRT54GL as the market transitions to 802.11n – but then with storage functionality on top of that,” said Aaron Marinari, senior product manager, Cisco Consumer Business Group.

Pricing

The Linksys by Cisco Wireless-N Broadband Router with Storage Link is available from authorized Linksys by Cisco retailers, resellers, and VAR partners. MSRP: $119.99.

Internet Resources:


Source: Cisco/Linksys Press Release

Microsoft Antivirus Beta Released Then Pulled

Microsoft Security Essentials, the company's new free antivirus software which was originally codenamed "Morro", was released in its beta form yesterday for users in the United States, Israel, People's Republic of China and Brazil to download and try. However today the beta program has already filled up meaning us late comers to the part no longer have a chance to try the new software.

Posted across the download page is a message from Microsoft stating, "Thank you for your interest in joining the Microsoft® Security Essentials Beta. We are not accepting additional participants at this time. Please check back at later a date for possible additional availability."

For those lucky enough to grab an early copy of the beta the software is said to provide free protection from viruses, spyware, rootkits, and Trojans for users running Windows XP, Windows Vista, and Windows 7. According to several reports the new AV program appears to be very well built and extremely efficient.

DailyTech reports the software even beats out competitive offerings from Symantec and McAffee, using a scant 4 MB of memory in initial tests; processor use was also minimal. Quick scans take a mere 10 minutes, while a full scan comes in at a competitive 45 minutes, despite the small footprint. The software strives to perform most of the scanning when the system is idle, and even then maintains a relatively polite footprint.

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.