Monday, August 10, 2009

Zer01 Mobile Coming Under Fire

zer01_logoZer01 Mobile has recently come under fire for major delays in the launch of their new unlimited voice & data mobile service. The company which was reportedly set to launch the new service back in July is still not up and running leaving speculation about the company, its investors and whether or not the service will ever be launched.

IDG News Service recently questioned whether or not the unlimited mobile voice and data service that Zer01 had advertised was actually too good to be true. The offer was so attractive and the hype over the company was such that it garnered loads of media coverage in top business and technology publications. We did two writes up about the new service and their recent award of "best in show" from Laptop magazine.

IDG News Service in their investigation of the company found that Zer01's service is being marketed through an MLM program run by a company called Global Verge. That company has has had to face some tough questions of its own with CEO Mark Petschel. Petschel is reportedly currently on probation after pleading guilty to securities fraud. According to a bankruptcy filing in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Eastern District of Missouri, Petschel allegedly promised to invest $168,000 that he collected from several people, but instead spent some of the money on items like jewelry.

With the recent questions regarding their marketing and delays Laptop magazine rescinded the award it offered to Zer01 at the CTIA wireless conference.

"We're taking this extraordinary step because of serious ethical questions that have arisen about the company. We can no longer endorse its service and therefore are compelled to warn our readers to avoid it," the magazine wrote Laptop magazine's Mark Spoonauer in a blog post.

Spoonauer voices several concerns over the company stating:

"The company claimed that it would offer unlimited voice and data for $69.95 per month and use VoIP technology to let users make calls. We were informed at CTIA that Zer01 would launch its service by July 1. However, the company has since broken its promises both to consumers and to us.

Serious questions have also been raised about Zer01’s network and whether it can offer the coverage it promises. The company says it has interconnect arrangements with GSM providers yet refuses to tell us who they are. AT&T denied to us that they have any agreements with Zer01, and T-Mobile declined to comment. As we’ve reported, Zer01’s coverage map is identical to that of AT&T’s, which raises even more doubts.

We also take issue with the fact that Zer01 changed its business plan after CTIA Wireless 2009. Initially, the company claimed it would offer its service directly to consumers. Then in May, Zer01 said it would provide its unlimited voice and data service to Buzzirk Mobile subscribers, a chosen distributor whose parent is a multi-level marketing company called Global Verge. A report from Network World recently revealed that Global Verge’s CEO, Mark Petschel,has plead guilty to securities fraud. When we asked Zer01’s CEO Ben Piilani about it, he told us that Petschel had resigned, though we have no independent confirmation of that.

As of July 1, according to Network World, Zer01 changed the content of its Web site and began calling itself a mobile virtual network enabler. Even more unsettling is the fact that sales associates for Buzzirk Mobile, which is the public face of Zer01, have deceived the public by claiming that Zer01 owns 2100 MHz spectrum when it does not.

When we interviewed Zer01 CEO Ben Piilani on July 22nd and confronted him about our concerns, he promised to deliver a phone for us to test by the following week. However, to date we have yet to receive an evaluation unit. In addition, an e-mail message sent to Zer01’s public relations firm last week, which warned that we may rescind our Best of CTIA Award, was not answered.

At this time we can only urge extreme caution to those interested in using or selling Zer01’s service."


IDG News Service and Laptop magazine aren't alone in their suspicions of the company. In a follow up story posted to PC World today Gartner analyst Tole Hart, who was once big on Zer01's concept, is now suspicious about the company and its promises. Hart is quoted as question Zer01's claims to have partnerships that give it nationwide coverage using GSM (Global System for Mobile Communications) technology. To date it has not been confirmed by any of the nationwide GSM operators that they say they are working with Zer01.

Hart ask, "why would they let someone come on their network and undercut them?" A good question as Zer01's unlimited offering would cost far less than that of many of the operators, which also typically impose a cap on data usage. I highly doubt AT&T which already struggles keeping up with high data usage from iPhone customers would allow a third party service to suck up more bandwidth at a lower price!

For now it's really unclear as to what is going on at Zer01. I'll admit I for once was very interested in checking out the new service when I first heard about it. But now I think I'm glad I didn't get overly involved. I think I'll take a page from Laptop and warn readers to avoid it, at least until we get some solid answers.

AMD's New 785G Chipset Reviewed

Late last week AMD introduced their newest motherboard chipset featuring integrated graphics, the new AMD 785G. The newest offering meant for mainstream and budget minded builds will feature Radeon HD 4200 Graphics with Driectx 10.1, UVD 2.0 and full 1080p HD playback. These new boards will be ideal for a HTPC or the casual user. For more details checkout the AMD 785G Chipset Overview and the reviews listed below.

AMD 785G Chipset Reviews:

NVIDIA And Intel Agree On SLI Licensing Terms For Core I7 And Core I5 Platforms

nvidia sli logo
NVIDIA Corporation today announced that Intel Corporation, and the world’s other leading motherboard manufacturers, including ASUS, EVGA, Gigabyte, and MSI, have all licensed NVIDIA SLI technology for inclusion on their Intel P55 Express Chipset-based motherboards designed for the upcoming Intel Core i7 and i5 processor in the LGA1156 socket. As a result, customers who purchase a validated P55-based motherboard and Core i7 or Core i5 processor when available can equip their PCs with any combination of NVIDIA GeForce GPUs, including Quad SLI, for the ultimate visual computing experience.

“NVIDIA SLI technology is a perfect complement to the processing prowess of our new Core i7 and Intel DP55KG desktop board,” said Clem Russo, VP and General Manager of Intel Client Board Division at Intel Corporation. “NVIDIA and Intel share a combined passion for furthering the PC as the definitive platform for gaming, and this combination will surely be attractive to anyone building or purchasing a brand new PC this fall.”

As a result of today’s announcement, NVIDIA SLI technology is now available for all consumer PC platforms, including the Intel Core i7, Core i5, Core 2 Quad and Core 2 Duo processors, as well as those based on the AMD Phenom II CPU. In addition to raw graphics performance, NVIDIA GeForce GPUs also provide gamers with additional capabilities not found on any other discrete graphics solutions, including NVIDIA PhysX technology for deeper gaming immersion, and stereoscopic 3D gaming with NVIDIA 3D Vision technology.

“Only the best-designed motherboards are capable of tapping into—and reaping maximum benefits from—the powerful synergy between SLI technology and the P55 platform,” said Joe Hsieh, General Manager of ASUS’ Motherboard Business Unit. “ASUS has honed the art and science of motherboard design with the ASUS P7P55 Deluxe and ROG Maximus III Series motherboards, which deliver unparalleled performance and stability.”

For more information on NVIDIA SLI technology, please visit: www.nvidia.com/sli.

save money with paypal and newegg

“The world is awaiting the arrival of P55 and Core i5, and the inclusion of SLI technology will make the platform complete,” said Klaus Ruether, senior product manager at ATELCO Computer Germany. “We are very excited to offer our customers this amazing platform, which we believe will hit a sweet spot of price, performance, and functionality.”

“Since NVIDIA introduced it back in 2004, SLI has become required equipment for any serious gaming platform” said Kelt Reeves, President of Falcon Northwest. “Clearly the combination of the Intel P55 chipset, Core i5 or i7 processor, and SLI will be the dominant recipe for any high-performance PC from this point forward.”

“Gamers are always looking for the best bang for the buck, and GIGABYTE P55-based motherboards with NVIDIA GPUs running in SLI mode will definitely deliver,” said Henry Kao, VP of Worldwide Service and Sales Marketing of GIGABYTE. “This will be a hot platform for sure.”

“By enabling NVIDIA SLI on Intel’s latest P55 chipset, NVIDIA allows us to bring added flexibility and cutting-edge graphics performance to MAINGEAR gamers,” said Wallace Santos, president of MAINGEAR PC. “We’re excited to offer this configuration to our customers.”

Source: NVIDIA Press Release

Monday, August 03, 2009

Google Makes Finding Images Easier With New Search Options

Last week Google announced a new set of features that will make finding images located around the web a whole lot easier. Google images will now feature search options which will offer quick access to existing tools, including search by color and image type.

google images

Color search will find images that are only in color or only in black and white, or even images that contain a specific color, such as red, pink, or green. Type search is a great way to narrow down your results if you are looking for a specific kind of image, such as a photo, clip art, line drawing or face.

Google has also added a a few new options to the size search. In addition to choosing from commonly searched-for sizes, now you can search for an exact image size or any image larger than a certain size. You can find images of practically any size, including 70 megapixels or more.

Internet Freedom Preservation Act

A new bill introduced by Representative Edward Markey, (D-Mass.) and co authored by Anna Eshoo, (D-Calif.) seeks to prohibit broadband providers from blocking or impairing Web content.

The new Net neutrality bill HR 3458, or as it is aptly named the Internet Freedom Preservation Act of 2009, looks to amend the Communications Act of 1934 to establish a national broadband policy, safeguard consumer rights, spur investment and innovation, and for related purposes.

In short the new legislation is geared towards protecting Network Neutrality under the Communications Act, safeguarding the future of the open Internet and protecting Internet users from discrimination online. The bill would prohibit broadband providers from gouging Internet content, service or application providers to enable their products, by limiting the fees to that of the normal end-user. HR 3458 would prohibit broadband providers from selling service that prioritizes some Internet traffic over other content, and it would require providers to offer Internet service to "any person upon reasonable request."

A network neutrality policy based upon the principle of nondiscrimination and consistent with the history of the Internet’s development is essential to ensure that Internet services remain open to all consumers, entrepreneurs, innovators, and providers of lawful content, services, and applications


Media activists and pundits of net neutrality cheered the introduction of the bill. Ben Scott, policy director of Free Press, made the following statement:

"The future of the Internet as we know it depends on maintaining freedom and openness online. This crucial legislation will help to ensure that the public -- not big phone and cable companies -- controls the fate of the Internet. The rules that govern the Internet must protect economic innovation, democratic participation and free speech online. If we don’t make Net Neutrality the law once and for all, we could see the innovation and promise of the Internet derailed forever."

"All Americans deserve access to a free and open Internet, and millions have already called on our lawmakers to take action. This legislation gives the grassroots confidence that their voices are being heard, and we applaud Representatives Markey and Eshoo for taking a stand for Net Neutrality. This bill will serve as a great complement to the dedicated work of Subcommittee Chairman Rick Boucher to make Network Neutrality the law of the land."

Friday, July 31, 2009

OCZ Z-Series Gold Power Supplies Now Available

OCZ Technology Announces the Immediate Availability of the Z-Series Gold Power Supplies, Featuring 80-Plus Gold Certifications



OCZ Technology Group, a worldwide leader in innovative, ultra-high performance and high reliability memory and PC components, today announced the immediate availability of the Z-Series power supplies, the latest high-end enthusiast offering excelling in both performance and ultimate efficiency. Featuring industry-leading 80+ Gold Certifications, the Z850 and Z1000 PSUs offer the highest efficiency on the market combined with a power output to meet exceptional system demands. The Z-Series is the ideal solution for today’s high-end gaming systems and professional workstations, and are now shipping to OCZ’s widespread resellers.

“The Z-Series is the culmination of close to two years of development time within our Power Management division” commented Ryan Edwards, Director of Product Management at the OCZ Technology Group. OCZ power supplies now stand at the very forefront of efficiency and performance, offering end-users the ultimate solution for their future-proof builds. The Z-Series offers maximum-performance without compromise, cutting-edge power conversion efficiency, a single +12V rail to support overclocking efforts, optimal thermal management, a standard ATX footprint, extremely low audible fan noise, and modular or non-modular configurations.”

The Z-Series power supplies are immediately available in 850W and 1000W configurations to meet the system needs for high-end gamers, professionals, and enthusiasts. The industry-leading Gold Certified Z1000 (1KW) and Z850 (850W) PSUs deliver over 90% efficiency at typical load, making them an excellent contender for high-end PCs and workstations that require maximum wattage and efficiency. Both the 1000W and 850W are available in modular and hard-wired configurations, offering choice and variety for case-modders, enthusiasts, and overclockers.

OCZ Z1000 1000W 80+ Gold PSU

OCZ Z100M 1000W Modular 80+ Gold PSU
OCZ Z Series Gold OCZZ1000M 1000W Power Supply

OCZ Z850 850W 80+ Gold PSU
OCZ Z Series Gold OCZZ850 850W Power Supply

OCZ Z850M 850W Modular 80+ Gold PSU

Featuring exceptionally clean DC output, a sophisticated architecture, and a complete array of connectors for your PC needs, Z-Series PSUs can power an impressive cross-section of high end components while contributing to energy savings. The Z-Series offers the most efficient design in its class, and comes backed by an industry-leading 5-Year warranty commitment and technical support for ultimate peace of mind. The Z-series is available at Newegg.com retailing for $299.99 (Z1000M), $289.99 (Z1000), $239.99 (Z850M), and $219.99 (Z850).

For more information about OCZ 80 Plus Certified PSUs, please visit 80plus.org

Source: OCZ Press Release

Firefox Hits The Billion Downloads Mark

Late last night Mozilla reached a major milestone with the one billionth download of Firefox.

"This is a monumental event – Firefox has come a long way since its debut in November 2004, thanks to the amazing Firefox community," Mozilla wrote in a blog post.

On Monday, www.onebillionplusyou.com will go live and act as a hub of information concerning the billionth download of Firefox. To help celebrate the milestone Mozilla is asking users to get involved by taking a picture of yourself proudly sporting Firefox apparel (t-shirt, hat, etc) or poster. You can go to a famous landmark, your favorite place nearby, or anywhere you think will make for a great photo.

Checkout the Spread Firefox site for more details. And for those of you that want to follow along as Firefox looks to reach the next major milestone you can do so on Twitter @FirefoxCounter.

Update: Windows 7 Master Key Leaked Now Blacklisted

Earlier this week we reported that the Windows 7 OEM master key had been leaked to the web. The leak could have resulted in the activation of an unlimited number of copies of Windows 7 OEM editions. However Microsoft has moved fast to combat the issues and according to Alex Kochis, Director of Genuine Windows at Microsoft, Microsoft has blacklisted the key, delivering a new key to Lenovo.

Kochis said Microsoft is working with Lenovo to ensure that all the Windows 7 based PCs the company ships will contain a new key and none use the old key. All Windows 7 installs using the leaked key will be blacklisted and customers will be warned that they have a non-genuine version of Windows.

Apple Rushes Out SMS Vulnerability Patch

Apple has been working feverishly to pump out a new patch for a recently publicized SMS vulnerability originally disclosed by researchers Charlie Miller, an analyst with Independent Security Evaluators, and Collin Mulliner from the Technical University of Berlin, at the Black Hat security conference in Las Vegas.

At approximately 2pm EST Apple released the iPhone 3.0.1 software update. The release notes of the 3.0.1 update were short and to the point: "Fixes SMS vulnerability" for the iPhone 3G and 3GS.

To download the 3.0.1 security update, connect the iPhone to your computer, click on the "Check for update" button and follow the on-screen instructions.

Microsoft To Give Some Beta Testers Free Copies Of Windows

Microsoft has decided that it will reward some of their beta testers with free copies of Windows 7 Ultimate Edition, however use regular folks shouldn't get too excited. The company is planning on sending these free copies to invitation-only testers who received the very earliest builds of the OS last year.

"To show our appreciation, members of the invitation-only Windows 7 Technical Beta Program will be eligible for a free, final copy of Windows 7 Ultimate," said Microsoft spokesman Brandon LeBlanc in a post to the Windows 7 blog. Just last week, LeBlanc had categorically said no to the question of whether or not testers would receive a free copy.

Since the free copies are for invitation only users those of us that downloaded the public beta or release candidate will not be eligible.

"If you were invited to join the Windows Technical Beta Program, you are eligible to receive a free final copy of Windows 7 Ultimate," added Anthony Mann in a post to TechNet. Mann is the Microsoft employee who manages the Windows forums on TechNet. "If you were not sent an invitation to participate, this offer does not apply to you."

Mann has added that all eligible users will be getting a direct email in the next couple days. He also said, "If you want to check the newsgroups now, you can login to Microsoft Connect and go the “Windows 7 Beta Program” site. This is secured only to members of Windows 7 Beta. You can then click on “Newsgroups” on the left to find the .Beta_Program newsgroup to ask any questions you might have. If you don’t have access to the “Windows 7 Beta Program” site on Connect you were not part of this program and are therefore not eligible."

Unfortunately I'm not on the invitation list so it looks like I'll be waiting until Oct. 22nd and dishing out my hard earned cash like everyone else.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Kodak Releases The New Zi8 Pocket Video Camera

KODAK Zi8 Pocket Video Camera brings sleek style and high-performance to pocket video

kodak zi8

The Eastman Kodak Company this week announced an exciting new addition to its popular line of Digital Video Cameras – the KODAK Zi8 Pocket Video Camera, featuring a sleek design, high-quality full 1080p High Definition video capture, and built-in electronic image stabilization.

“Images and video have tremendous power to help us stay connected to family and friends,” says Phil Scott, Worldwide Director of Marketing, Digital Capture and Devices and Vice President, Consumer Digital Group. “The KODAK Zi8 Pocket Video Camera makes it easy to spontaneously capture HD video – of heartwarming moments, of ‘can you believe that?’ moments, and of just plain laugh-out-loud moments – and then quickly and easily share them.”

The slim and stylish KODAK Zi8 Pocket Video Camera is designed to meet these needs at the touch of a button -- no lens cap, dials to turn or settings to adjust. The new camera’s range of advanced features includes:

  • Full HD 1080p video capture wherever you go;
  • Built-in electronic image stabilization for sharper videos and reduced blurring;
  • Vivid 2.5” color LCD;
  • Flexible swing-out USB arm for fast uploading, sharing, and charging;
  • 5 MP 16:9 widescreen HD still pictures;
  • Easy upload to Facebook and YouTube;
  • Compatible with PC and Mac operating systems;
  • Record up to 10 hours of HD video* with the expandable SD/SDHC card slot that can hold up to 32 GB;
  • Capture family and friends in their best light with smart face tracking technology;
  • See more details and accurate colors in low light;
  • External microphone jack;
  • In-box HDMI cable;
  • Record from a distance or playback on your TV conveniently with optional KODAK Pocket Video remote control;
  • Grab attention and define your style with the ultra compact design, stunning looks, and a range of colors.

Uploading to Facebook and YouTube

The KODAK Zi8 Pocket Video Camera provides one-button upload to Facebook, the premiere social networking and sharing website. Content can also be quickly and easily uploaded to YouTube, the world’s most popular online video community. The built-in software on the camera allows seamless upload of your video and pictures from the same desktop interface used for video editing and movie creation.

Accessories

A range of accessories are available for the KODAK Zi8 Pocket Video Camera, including:

  • KODAK SDHC Memory Cards, available in 4, 8, and 16GB capacities customized for optimal video capture;
  • KODAK Pocket Video Remote control;
  • KODAK KLIC-7004 Lithium Ion batteries;
  • KODAK Flexi-tripod;
  • KODAK Adventure Mount for helmet, handlebars and more;
  • KODAK cases, camera bags and neck straps.

Pricing and Availability

The KODAK Zi8 Pocket Video Camera will be available in aqua, raspberry and black starting September, 2009, and will retail for US$179.95 MSRP.

Source: Kodak Press Release

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Super Talent Unveils World’s Smallest 32GB USB Drive

Water Resistant 32GB Pico Drives Feature Optional AES-256 Encryption

Super Talent Technology, a leading manufacturer of Flash storage solutions and DRAM memory modules, has succeeded in squeezing 32GB of NAND Flash storage into a thumbnail sized USB drive that is water resistant and supports data transfer speeds up to 200X (30MB/sec). Six new models of 32GB Pico drives will begin shipping this week.

Just 15 months after launching the 8GB Pico drive, then hailed as the world’s smallest 8GB USB drive, Super Talent is now able to pack an astounding 32GB of NAND flash into the same small dimensions. “Our customers have an insatiable need for higher capacity flash drives, but they don’t want a big and bulky drive”, Super Talent Director of Marketing, Joe James said in a statement. The Pico C drive measures only 31 x 12 x 3 mm and weighs less than an American nickel (~5g). Super Talent uses a COB manufacturing process for its Pico series to achieve the smallest possible size.

Pico drives are water resistant. These drives also support blazing fast read speeds up to 200X (30MB/sec). The 32GB Pico C is offered in either a nickel plated or 24K gold plated steel casing, while the 32GB Pico E, with a patent-pending sliding lid, is available with 24K gold plating. “Pico drives are feature rich and have an unmistakable aura of quality”, Mr. James added. For the first time ever in the Pico series, Super Talent now offers three new models that include AES-256 hardware encryption for the highest level of data security. 32GB Pico drives will begin shipping this week to online retailers worldwide.

Part Number

Description

Retail Price

STU32GPCG

32GB Pico C Gold, 200X, Water resistant

$85

STU32GPCN

32GB Pico C Nickel, 200X, Water resistant

$85

STU32GPEG

32GB Pico E Gold, 200X, Water resistant

$85

STU32GPCGE

32GB Pico C Gold, 200X, Water resistant, hardware encryption

$99

STU32GPCNE

32GB Pico C Nickel, 200X, Water resistant, hardware encryption

$99

STU32GPEGE

32GB Pico E Gold, 200X, Water resistant, hardware encryption

$99



Source: SuperTalent Press Release

ZiiLABS Announces Zii Plaszma And Zii EGG The World's 1st Handheld StemCell Computer

ZiiLABS Announces Zii Plaszma an Open Standards Development Platform for Integrators and Developers to Create Customized Applications and Devices

zii egg

The Zii Plaszma Platform Includes the Zii EGG Handheld StemCell Computer that Supports the Plaszma OS or Android OS

ZiiLABS, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Creative Technology Ltd. today announced the launch of Plaszma - an open standards development platform. The Zii Plaszma Platform includes the Zii EGG StemCell Computer, Plaszma OS and Plaszma SDK.

The Zii EGG is an energy efficient handheld StemCell Computer based on the powerful ZiiLABS ZMS-05 media-rich applications processor. Besides its multi-touch 3.5-inch LCD screen, it can also output HD video at up to 1080p. The ZMS-05 has 24 floating-point processors that deliver up to 8 GFLOPS of raw processing power and its flexible StemCell Computing architecture allows stunning 3D graphics on a small handheld battery-powered device.

"This feature-packed Zii EGG comes with a take-no-prisoners price from as low as US$199," said Sim Wong Hoo, Chairman and CEO of Creative Technology. "This signifies an integral part of our new strategy moving forward to engage every party in a win-win-win partnership."

Zii EGG provides the essential building block that empowers developers, system integrators, OEMs and ODMs to efficiently and economically develop compelling media-rich devices. They can rapidly bring to market an extensive range of devices and applications, even under their own brand.

"Zii StemCell Computing Technology and the Zii Plaszma Platform are the direct results of our US$1 billion investment including 10,000 man-years of R&D effort in developing platform and chip solutions. We’re excited to offer the Zii Plaszma Platform now to enterprising individuals, developers and companies so they can innovate and profit by designing Plaszma-based handheld solutions," said Hock Leow, President of ZiiLABS.

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"We've worked diligently on the design, from the chip and board, to OS integration and CODEC support, all the way to device design, mechanical tooling, and standards compliance to ensure that innovators are freed from the complexities of hardware and software development. With all of these steps taken care of, innovators can bring Zii Plaszma-based products 'quick-and-cheap' to market. If you’re looking to develop and market an energy efficient device that supports High Definition video and audio and 3D graphics, the Zii Plaszma Platform delivers."

THE Zii PLASZMA PLATFORM

Zii Plaszma is a complete portfolio of hardware platforms and software solutions based around the ZiiLABS ZMS processors that deliver the essential building blocks required for the rapid creation and deployment of next- generation media-rich devices. Plaszma includes:
1) Zii EGG StemCell Computer, and the recently announced ZMS-05 System Module
2) Plaszma OS, Plaszma SDK and Zii Optimized Android


Zii EGG StemCell Computer

The Zii EGG is a sleek, energy efficient handheld Wi-Fi platform that offers a 10-point multi-gesture touch screen display, hardware GPS receiver, forward and rear facing cameras, Bluetooth, HD video output connections, a full-size High Capacity SD (SDHC) card slot, 256MB RAM, up to 64GB of Flash Memory (up to 32GB of internal memory and up to 32GB of external memory). This rich feature set provides a powerful platform for creating compelling solutions that benefit from advanced UI capabilities, multi-format audio and video playback and recording, web browsing, OpenGL ES 3D graphics, content streaming and up to 1080p HD video output.

The rich feature set of the Zii EGG opens up exciting possibilities for developers to create compelling customized applications, for example:

1080p HD Output

The Zii EGG is the first handheld device that can support high definition H.264 video and image output at up to 1080p, enabling, for example, the instant implementation of a network of Wi-Fi enabled HD TV digital signboards.

OpenGL ES

The powerful 3D OpenGL ES capabilities of the underlying ZMS-05 processor enable developers to create compelling 3D games and applications that take full advantage of the 42 million textured pixels/sec fill rate.

HD and VGA Dual Cameras

The forward facing VGA camera and rear facing HD camera enable developers to easily customize the Zii EGG into a pocket-sized high definition photo, movie capture and video conferencing device.

SDHC Card Slot

The High Capacity SD (SDHC) card slot provides the removable external storage capacity of up to 32GB which can hold up to 100 digital movies, or 30 DVD-quality movies, or 10 HD movies. Combined with the internal memory capacity of up to 32GB, the Zii EGG can become a 64GB battery-powered handheld media hub that can hold up to 200 movies, or 5,000 karaoke/MTV videos.

This flexible combination of external and internal flash storage capacity allows VARs (value-added-resellers) and OEMs to customize and cost-optimize their Zii end product to a variety of storage capacities, namely 0GB, 1GB, 2GB, 3GB, 4GB, 5GB, 6GB, 8GB, 9GB, 10GB, 12GB, 16GB, 17GB, 18GB, 20GB, 24GB, 32GB, 33GB, 34GB, 36GB, 40GB, 48GB and 64GB.

10-point Multi-gesture Touch Screen

The Zii EGG features a 10-point multi-gesture touch screen that allows developers to offer a customized device with a compelling widget-based user interface. This enables developers to create applications such as a virtual piano where you can actually play chords with onscreen keys. Users can even enjoy customized gesture commands.

Hardware GPS Receiver

The Zii EGG has a dedicated hardware GPS (Global Positioning System) chip that allows it to receive signals directly from satellites anywhere in the world. The Zii EGG's hardware GPS receiver lets developers create advanced location-based applications, and enhanced 3D Navigation systems that benefit from the location accuracy, coverage and responsiveness that only hardware GPS can deliver.

Text-to-speech Feature

The Text-to-speech feature combined with the HD camera on the Zii EGG opens up a whole new field of exciting application possibilities. Coupled with OCR technologies, it allows the capturing and reading back of text to help the visually impaired or for educational applications such as audio eBooks.

Zii EGG Features and Specifications


  • Capacitive 10-point multi-gesture touch display 3.5” 320 x 480 true-color display X-Fi audio processing
  • Up to 32GB Internal Flash Storage
  • 32MB NOR Flash (Linux kernel Boot ROM)
  • 256MB Mobile DDR RAM
  • Supports 720p and 1080p HDTVs via HD cable
  • Composite video-out
  • Dual cameras for High Definition photos and movie capture
    • - Forward facing VGA camera
    • - Rear facing HD camera
  • Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g
  • Hardware GPS receiver
  • Bluetooth 2.1 + EDR
  • Accelerometer
  • Ambient light sensor
  • SDHC slot (supports up to 32GB of external SDHC Card)
  • USB 2.0 Mini-B (MTP and Charging)
  • Universal Docking connector (USB, Audio)
  • Headphone socket, built-in speaker and microphone
  • Supports Plaszma OS and Zii Optimized Android
  • Light weight: 108g

Plaszma OS

The Plaszma OS is a robust, fully featured multi-tasking Operating System built upon a Linux 2.6 kernel that enables the creation of native and web- based applications that are significantly enhanced by the 3D, advanced media and communication capabilities of the ZMS processor and Zii Plaszma Platform.

The Plaszma OS supports a rich set of industry standard APIs that have been optimized by ZiiLABS, with a wide range of multimedia CODECs, powerful video, image and audio playback and recording capabilities and advanced audio processing including a text-to-speech engine. The Plaszma OS also supports a desktop grade Opera 9.7 browser with Web 2.0 capabilities, 2D graphics, and OpenGL ES 3D graphics, plus a powerful intuitive gesture-based user interface.

Plaszma SDK

The Plaszma SDK is a software development kit that provides all the developer tools, libraries, documentation and sample CODECs needed to create the next generation of media-rich networked applications.

Plaszma SDK Features and Specifications
  • Native C/C++ Development
  • Wide range of supported video, image and audio formats
  • Cell Framework of industry standard API's and Libraries
  • Advanced 2D and vector graphics, compositing and blending
  • OpenGL ES 3D graphics
  • HD media playback and record framework
  • State-of-the-art multi-touch, gesture-based user interface
  • Opera 9.7 Web Browser supporting CSS, XHTML, JavaScript and Ajax
  • Adobe Flash Lite 3.1 (available later)
  • Internationalization and localization of applications
  • Integrated Database
  • Network Services and Event management
  • Sensor handling (accelerometer, GPS, ambient light)

A range of market-ready applications such as a music and video player, photo browser, and web browser will be included with the handheld Zii EGG StemCell Computer. Future upgrades to the application suite that will take advantage of the built-in hardware will be made available.

Adobe Contribute CS4Zii Optimized Android

Zii Optimized Android gives developers the chance to use the familiar Android OS, but with a difference. Harnessing StemCell Computing Technology found on the ZMS-05 Media Rich Processor, Android is now super-charged with seamless 3D graphics and High Definition video playback performance.

Pricing and Availability

A Plaszma SDK Starter Kit is available for immediate purchase at US$399 on www.zii.com. This Starter Kit comes bundled with Plaszma OS, Plaszma SDK and the Zii Optimized Android OS.

As an introductory offer, ZiiLABS is offering a 32GB Zii EGG for FREE with the purchase of the Plaszma SDK Starter Kit, limited to one per customer while stock last.

For customers who want to run the Android OS, an after-sales installer upgrade will be made available soon allowing them to change their operating system selection.

Value-Added-Resellers Bulk Purchase Price

Bulk purchase price of Zii EGG (0 GB) starts from as low as US$199 in volume quantities.

By offering VARs, developers and companies the lowest possible price of US$199 for Zii EGG (0 GB), ZiiLABS provides developers the freedom to create complete hardware and software solutions specific to their customers' requirements as they can use external SD storage. Alternatively, developers can custom order different internal storage capacities of up to 32GB.

For product information, please visit www.zii.com.
For more technical information, please visit www.ziilabs.com.

Source: Zii.com Press Releases

Windows 7 OEM Key Out In The Open

Hackers have found the proverbial goose that lays golden eggs, ok well maybe not golden eggs but they have found the mother of all product keys. The super secret OEM master key that will activate an unlimited number of copies of Windows 7 OEM editions.

The key is meant to allow OEMs such as Dell, HP or in this case Lenovo, to pre-activate machines so they are already setup for consumers when they get them home. The OEM activation system relies on a special BIOS string that identifies itself to Windows. A software hack is all that's required to fool Windows into thinking that any machine is an authorized one that can be activated using the OEM license key.

The OEM license key this time around was extracted from a legitimate Lenovo OEM Ultimate edition DVD .ISO file which contained the data that hackers needed to make the activation tools. The data was first posted on a Chinese web forum and has since spread its way around the web.

The new master key has already been used to implement a click-and-forget activator which some users have confirmed works on downloaded copies of the Windows 7 Ultimate OEM.

This is pretty amazing, and startling news for Microsoft and their OEM partners. Especially considering the consumer release date isn't slated until Oct. 22

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Greenpeace Boycotts HP Paints 'Hazardous Products' On Roof

Greenpeace: Hewlett-Packard = Hazardous Products

Action at global headquarters highlights company’s broken promises on hazardous chemical elimination



A Greenpeace action today exposed electronics giant Hewlett-Packard for backtracking on its public commitment to eliminate key toxic chemicals in its products by the end of this year. In Palo Alto, Greenpeace activists climbed to the top of HP’s global headquarters and painted the message “Hazardous Products” in big, bold letters on the roof. The message, applied using non toxic children’s finger-paint, covered over 11,500 square ft., or the size of two and half basketball courts.

This protest follows similar demonstrations against HP at its offices in China and Holland. HP employees were also greeted today by an automated phone calls from actor William Shatner, calling upon the company to phase out the toxic chemicals.

“HP continues to put hazardous products on the market despite promises made years ago to phase out these toxic compounds,” said Greenpeace International Toxics Campaigner Casey Harrell. “Apple has led the sector in phasing out of these toxic chemicals. HP should be following Apple’s lead, instead of breaking its commitment and delaying action.”

Earlier this year, HP postponed its 2007 commitment to phase out of dangerous substances such as brominated flame retardants (BFRs) and polyvinyl chloride (PVC) plastics from its computing products. Its delay shifts compliance up to two years from 2009 to 2011.

Apple’s new computer lines, virtually free of PVC and completely BFR free demonstrate the technical feasibility and supply chain readiness of producing alternatives to these hazardous substances. Competitors Dell, Lenovo and Acer have stayed ahead of HP by putting models on the market that are free of or at least significantly reduced in the use of PVC and BFRs. HP currently stands in 14th place in the quarterly Greenpeace Guide to Greener Electronics having been penalized in the previous ranking for its backtracking on PVC/BFR phase out.

“Greenpeace will not stand idly by while companies that commit to environmentally responsible action backtrack on commitments,” Harrell said. “As the number one seller of PCs worldwide, HP has both the responsibility and the ability to make sure the company no longer deserves the moniker ‘Hazardous Products’.”

PVC and BFRs are highly toxic, and can release dioxin, a known carcinogen, when burned. With the growing tsunami of electronic waste being shipped to developing countries for open burning, workers who deal with e-waste are at the most significant risk for health impacts. Eliminating these substances will decrease exposure to workers and consumers and will increase the recyclability and reusability of electronic products.

More details from Greenpeace - "HP Breaking Green Promises – No More Excuses!". Images from the action, as well as b-roll footage of e-waste disposal is available at:
http://usaphoto.greenpeace.org/ewaste_broadcast_access

Bloggers Looking For A Cheap Advertising Tool? Try Laptop Stickers

Often fledgling bloggers and webmasters are looking for cheap effective way to market their new site. We often go to extremes looking for a way to get the word out about new projects. I've seen bloggers spend hundred of dollars on advertising with things like new hats, t-shirts, business cards, flyers and more of the traditional avenues.

However one approach that I've seen that more often than not gets overlooked are stickers. More specifically laptop stickers.

What better way to gain some exposure. I mean if you are like me you carry your laptop or hand held device with you everywhere you go right? So why not cover it with some branding for your site.

Laptop stickers from a company like PSPrint can be a great marketing tool for bloggers, businesses or just about anyone wanting to promote a site, brand or company. Sticker printing from PSPrint is a relatively inexpensive with prices starting as low as $40 for 250 2" x 2" stickers. Making it a cheap way to get your name out there to hundreds of potential visitors.

Stickers are available in any size from 2" x 2" all the way up to 12.5" x 17". You can upload your sites logo or let them create a design for you. You've also got the option to go with traditional square stickers or go with something more custom and have them custom die-cut into various shapes.

At less than 20¢ a pop you really can't go wrong, and I know some hot looking Geek-News.Net stickers would be well worth the cost. Hey if Allen Stern and the guys over at CenterNetworks can do it, and the guys at Google can then why can't we?

Intel 34nm SSDs Suffer Defective Firmware

Just days after their release Intel's new 34nm X25-M G2 "Postville" SSDs have been pulled from store shelves and are no longer being shipped by Intel. According to a blog post from OEM system builder Puget Systems the new SSDs suffer a serious firmware
defect that has been discovered in the first batch of drives shipped last week.

There is a defect in the units which causes data corruption if - and only if - a password is set on the drive in the system BIOS and then changed or disabled later.

Intel has halted shipments of the Postville SSDs until they have installed the new firmware and the problem is resolved. However, for those of you that might have already purchased the drive Intel has said you should be fine as long as you don't utilize a BIOS password on the drive. Intel advises consumers not to alter, delete, or create BIOS passwords until the drive is flashed with the update firmware.

The firmware can be downloaded here when it eventually goes live.

Top eBay Sellers To Receive New Perks

ebay logoSo called "Top-Rated Sellers" on eBay will now receive a few extra perks including a slash of listing fees of up to 20 percent and higher ranked listings in the search queue. All this as a way for eBay to rev up its long-stagnant Marketplaces arm.

Announced on Monday, the new program is aimed at rewarding the most reputable sellers, who drive shoppers to the site and give top customer service. eBay will give the "Top-Rated Seller" designation to approximately 150,000 sellers that conduct 100 transactions a year and post at least $3,000 in annual sales volume.

Those sellers must have a detailed seller rating of at least 4.6 out of a possible 5 on eBay's newest seller rating system. The ratings are a measure of a sellers auction accuracy, shipping time and cost.

"For buyers, the new eBay Top-Rated Seller status makes it easy to find the highest quality sellers on eBay based on the feedback of other buyers," said Lorrie Norrington, president of eBay Marketplaces. "For sellers, the Top-Rated Seller status recognizes and rewards their commitment to consistently delivering the highest level of customer satisfaction."

Other changes eBay is making include a more streamlined claims process when winning auction bidders do not pay, an easier system for editing listings of bulk items and a tool that allows sellers to see the factors affecting the placement of their items on eBay's site.

Apple Rejects Google Voice

Apple has always ruled the App store with an iron fist, often times rejecting the mundane apps like the fart machine and baby shaker. But not only do they reject the distasteful apps they have also taken a stance to reject apps that are competitive with products are applications they already have.

The company has yet again taken an anti-competitive stance rejecting the Google mobile software program Google Voice from the iTunes App Store.

News of the banned iPhone app first hit the web when TechCrunch published an article Monday quoting a Google spokesperson that said the Google Voice mobile application was submitted to Apple six weeks ago and was rejected. "Apple did not approve the Google Voice application," the Google spokesperson told TechCrunch. According to the report Apple went one step further and pulled a non-Google iPhone app from iTunes called GV Mobile on the basis of the applications duplicate functionality to apps that already come with the iPhone.

Sean Kovacs, creator of GV Mobil, originally said that his app was personally approved by Phil Schiller Apple’s senior Vice President of Worldwide Product Marketing. Apple has since done a 180 informing Kovacs via phone that his app would be immediately removed from the app store.

Speculation has it that AT&T was concerned over the potential for competition and objected to Google Voice. Google Voice could have potentially interfered with the carrier’s business model. Since the iPhone is so heavily subsidized the company has to try to recoup some of the costs. AT&T does so on monthly service charges for voice, data, and SMS. Had Google Voice been allowed the app could seriously cut into AT&T's bottom line.

Of course neither AT&T nor Apple will confirm the reasoning behind the apps being rejected and pulled.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Review: Dymo LabelWriter 450 Twin Turbo

Over the past few weeks we've had a chance to test out the blazingly fast new Dymo LabelWriter 450 Twin Turbo. This compact stylish label maker is simply put one of the fastest easiest label printers I've ever had the chance to use.

Dymo LabelWriter 450 Twin Turbo

Featuring dual print heads for multiple label styles and printing up to 71 labels per minute this little print is perfect for the mass mailer, eBay power seller or just about anyone that needs to pump out the labels quickly and efficiently.

Specifications
  • Works with Windows XP, Windows Vista or Windows 7 (32-bit, 64-bit) and Mac OS v10.4 or later
  • USB connectivity; includes cords, cables, software, instructions and 2 sets of starter labels
  • Features DYMO Stamps service provided by Endicia, a licensed USPS PC Postage provider.
Features & Benefits
  • Features two print heads for dual label compatibility. Really useful for easily changing between printing address labels and DYMO Stamps postage without swapping label rolls
  • Create labels quickly and erasily with proprietary DYMO Productivity Software, featuring the new DYMO Label version 8, DYMO Stamps, DYMO FileTM and Address FixerTM
  • DYMO Label version 8 software enables you to create and print address, shipping, file, folder and barcode labels, plus name badges and more—all from your PC or Mac
  • Conveniently Print USPS approved DYMO Stamps for postage directly from your desktop –no monthly fee, contracts or commitments required
  • Super fast printing with the ability to print up to 71 labels per minute, 40% faster than the base model
  • Uses thermal printing technology – no expensive ink or toner needed ,ever
  • Create labels directly from text in Microsoft Word, Excel, Outlook, QuickBooks and other programs, without retyping
  • Built-in address book easily prints labels from your Outlook Contacts or Mac Address Book – just search and filter your contacts to print exactly the labels you want
  • Verify US addresses and ZIP+4 codes with included Address Fixer software (Requires Internet connection)
  • Quickly create a one-off label whenever you need one with the Quick Print widget
  • Stylish compact design fits in any modern workspace

The setup:


Connecting our LabelWriter 450 Twin Turbo was a breeze and took less than 3 mins from start to finish. Simply install the DYMO software, plug in the 450 TT and you should be up and printing in no time.

The printer comes with two test rolls of labels, one for address and one for stamps and since the 450 TT auto senses the labels when you slide them up to the print head its almost fool proof. I did have an issue with the first set of labels jamming up, however it was my error for not having them justified correctly.

One touch I really liked was the in-line transformer for the power cord. Almost everything these days uses a transformer that takes up too much plug space. But out 450 TT moves the transformer down the cord allowing for extra plug space on my surge protector.

The software:

The DYMO Label version 8 software sets up very nicely. The layout is nicely organized with everything you need well placed. You can setup the program to print just about anything from one of labels to bar codes or you can print labels directly from your favorite programs – no retyping or program switching required! Print from within Microsoft Word, Excel, or Outlook, QuickBooks, or CardScan – just select the text and click an icon.

dymo 8

The built in address book and auto address correction make it quick and easy to print out a full mailing list. A handy feature for sending invites to friends and family or for the home worker that has a block list of addresses to mail to.

I didn't have the chance to try the DYMO Stamps service, but looking at the introduction video it looks like its as simple and efficient to use as the rest of the included software. Since there is no monthly fee and you only pay as you go there really is no reason not to try it out, I simply didn't have the time nor did I have anything that needed shipping over the course of our trial.

In conclusion:

For someone that needs a great looking, compact label maker the DYMO LabelWriter 450 Twin Turbo would be a great choice. The MSRP of $210 might seem a little pricey at first, however once you see how much time you can save with the speed and efficiency of this little machine you'll quickly see that its well worth the cost.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Get An iPhone 3G As Low As $49

AT&T announced late Friday via Twitter that they will be selling refurbished 8gb iPhones for as low as $49 or 16gb iPhones for $99. The phones will likely sell out fast so anyone wanting to grab one better hurry!



Now for the down side. The new phone does require a new 2 year contract as well as an iPhone data plan. And since these are refurbs AT&T warns that these are previously owned devices that have been unused or lightly used and returned during the 30-day trial period. Each refurbished phone is independently quality tested and loaded with the latest software to meet current factory standards. Some refurbished iPhone 3G devices will have minor scratches.

Refurbished iPhone 3G devices carry a warranty of 90 days or more. For details about the warranty on your refurbished iPhone 3G go to www.apple.com/support/oss/.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Have A Need For Weed? iPhone's Got an App For That

Two L.A. based software engineers, Devin Calloway and Julian Cain, have made headlines this last week when their new iPhone app was approved by Apple. The new app which is designed to help medical marijuana users find the nearest medical marijuana dispensary as well as weed-friendly doctors and lawyers is appropriately titled "Cannabis".



The $2.99 app quickly became popular as many news sites jumped on the story and run several articles with catchy titles like "Need some weed? There's an app for that"(link) and "Need Medical Marijuana? Yep, iPhone's Got an App For That" (link) sold more than 1,000 units its its first few days of availability. The apps founders said they planned to put 50 cents of every purchase -- or 17% of the proceeds -- toward establishing a nonprofit organization dedicated to media outreach for the pro-pot cause.

Calloway is a founding member of ajnag.com which stands for Activists Justifying the Natural Agriculture of Ganja. According to Calloway, the website was the first comprehensive online map of legal cannabis distributors as well as doctors and attorneys in the U.S. when he launched it in 2006.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

DivX And Samsung Introduce First DivX Certified Mobile Device

DivX Certification transforms the Samsung Mondi into a powerful portable media player for DivX video playback anytime, anywhere
samsung mondi

DivX Inc., a digital media company, and Samsung Electronics Co., LTD, a leading mobile provider, today announced the launch of the Samsung Mondi, the first DivX Certified, WiMAX-equipped mobile Internet device. Combining laptop functionality and Internet connectivity in a compact design, the Mondi enables consumers to enjoy high-quality DivX video anytime, anywhere.

DivX technology produces highly compressed video suitable for mobile platforms that require minimal storage for the highest quality experience possible. Utilizing the Mondi's large 4.3-inch touch screen, consumers will be able to playback DivX video stored on the device's internal 4GB memory or on additional microSD flash cards.

The Samsung Mondi can connect to the Internet via WiFi or WiMAX and possesses a full-featured web browser that enables consumers to download and watch DivX content on the go.

"Supporting high-resolution, high-quality video playback on new and emerging mobile devices is one element of our strategy to enable a seamless, end-to-end solution for digital media," said Kevin Hell, Chief Executive Officer at DivX. "The Mondi joins a broad array of other DivX Certified Samsung consumer electronics devices that are a part of the DivX ecosystem. We look forward to partnering with Samsung to bring our robust, high-quality DivX video solution to their next generation of mobile devices, digital TVs, and Blu-ray players."

Products that bear the DivX Certified logo have undergone a rigorous testing program to ensure a high-quality DivX media experience, including reliable video creation and playback, interoperability with other DivX Certified devices and the visual quality users expect from DivX.

For more information about DivX, visit www.divx.com.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Verizon Backs Off Exclusivity Deals

After see mounting pressure from Congress, the DOJ and the FCC Verizon Wireless CEO Lowell McAdam sent a letter to the House of Representatives last week indicating that the company would back off of their exclusivity contacts after a six month period. Verizon said following the initial six months the company will share access to exclusive phones with small wireless companies with fewer than 500,000 customers.

According to the Wall Street Journal, Congress and the DOJ has begun questioning whether wireless carriers are hurting competition by shutting out rivals from offering popular new phones like the Apple iPhone, the Palm Pre and the BlackBerry Storm. And the Federal Communications Commission has said it is looking into the issue.

"At the heart of this issue is this question: Is it better or worse for competition, for innovation and for the American consumer if the carrier controls the decision over what devices can and cannot operate on their network?" Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.) said in his opening remarks at the hearing. "I think the Commerce Committee should consider how the wireless industry is functioning and whether current practices are in the best interest of competition and the consumer."

Verizon appears to be making a preemptive move trying to avoid a full blown investigation while still addressing the concerns of the smaller carriers. McAdam's letter was sent to Representative Rick Boucher, the Virginia Democrat who is chairman of a major telecommunications subcommittee. While Verizon isn't completely backing of their exclusivity deals by appeasing smaller carriers they may preserve the right of big carriers to offer handsets their rivals cannot.

“Exclusivity arrangements promote competition and innovation in device development and design,” Verizon wrote.

“When we procure exclusive handsets from our vendors, we typically buy hundreds of thousands or even millions of each device. Otherwise manufacturers may be reluctant to make the investments of time, money and production capacity to support a particular device.”

Microsoft Delivers Linux Device Drivers

In a move out of the ordinary for the software giant Microsoft today announced they'd release the source code for three Linux device drivers for inclusion in the Linux tree. The drivers will be available to the Linux community and customers alike, and will enhance the performance of the Linux operating system when virtualized on Windows Server 2008 Hyper-V or Windows Server 2008 R2 Hyper-V.

The 20,000 lines of source code released by Microsoft will be included in the Linux kernel under a GPLv2 license.

Sam Ramji, Microsoft's senior director of Platform Strategy in Microsoft’s Server and Tools organization said, "We are seeing Microsoft communities and open source communities grow together, which is ultimately of benefit to our customers. The Linux community, for example, has built a platform used by many customers. So our strategy is to enhance interoperability between the Windows platform and many open source technologies, which includes Linux, to provide the choices our customers are asking for."

The goal according to Ramji is to provide MS customers and partners more flexibility and choice

"Obviously we are tickled about it," said Jim Zemlin, executive director of the Linux Foundation. "Hell has frozen over, the seas have parted," he said with a chuckle.

Microsoft originally made the announcement at the annual OSCON open source conference that opened Monday in San Jose. Greg Kroah-Hartman, the Linux driver project lead and a Novell fellow, said he accepted more than 20,000 lines of Microsoft's code at 9 a.m. PT Monday. The Microsoft code will be available as part of the next Linux public tree release in the next 24 hours, which would mean inclusion in version 2.6.30.1 which will be the next stable release.

Read more on the Linux driver release at Microsoft PressPass - Microsoft Contributes Linux Drivers to Linux Community

Firefox Add-On Creators Get Donation Button

Mozilla has announced a new pilot program is once in place will allow Firefox add-on developers to ask downloaders for donations for using their add-ons.

The new program, which Mozilla has aptly named "Contributions", has been in the planning stages since May. The program will provide developers an add-on tool that will allow them to add an optional "Contribute" button to the install process of every add-on they create.

discover cardNick Nguyen, Mozilla's director of add-ons tells Computerworld "The intent of this pilot is to provide an optional path for payments."

Mozilla has said that Contributions will be entirely optional and that there is no need to worry about the potential of developers now charging for your favorite add-ons. The initial program is set to launch as a pilot. With Mozilla developers and users to help support the program by providing their feedback.

How will payments work?

Contributions will be made through PayPal. Developers can optionally create a PayPal ID for each of their Firefox Add-ons. Users will be presented with a “Contribute” button that gives them the option of paying the suggested amount or a different amount. Again contributing is optional.

Does Mozilla earn a percentage from Contributions?

For this pilot, Mozilla will not earn a percentage of any contributions made by users. Developers will receive all the proceeds from contributions minus the PayPal transaction fee.

For more details on the program checkout the Mozilla Add-ons blog post - Firefox Add-ons Contributions Pilot

Gateway Introduces New Atom Powered LT2000 Netbook

Gateway has been notably absent from the netbook market having only recently released the companies first netbook the AMD Athlon powered Gateway LT3100. Today the company has expand their sub-laptop lineup with the new Intel Atom N270 powered Gateway LT2000.

gateway lt2000

Gateway Expands LT Netbook Line to Maximize Mobility, Communications
Svelte 10.1-inch Model Ideal for On-the-Go Mobility; Delivers Convenient Wireless Connectivity

Gateway Inc. today introduces the Gateway LT2000, a new sleek and compact netbook with a 10.1-inch TFT LED-backlit display that will let mobile customers maximize their time on the go to stay connected and productive.

At the core of the Gateway netbook line is excellent mobility and wireless communications, so customers can shop online, browse websites, make VOIP calls, and stay in touch with friends and colleagues via email and social networks. The Gateway LT2000 netbook line is powered by Intel Atom processors and can provide easy access to the Internet via Wi-Fi 802.11b/g.

Incredibly portable, the new Gateway LT2000 netbook line measures only about an inch thin and weighs only 2.62 pounds so it is comfortable to hold, easy to transport and fits neatly into a purse or backpack. Boasting the same fashionable design seen in the Gateway LT3100 netbooks launched last month, the new Gateway LT2000 netbooks come in NightSky Black and Cherry Red with an engraved Gateway logo and modern silver trim accents.

“The new sleek Gateway LT2000 netbooks let customers do more with their time on the go – from enjoying the Internet to video chatting and staying in touch via email and social networks,” said Ray Sawall, senior product marketing manager for Gateway. “The expressive design is modern and stylish, looking perfect whether it’s used for work or play.”

Its 10.1-inch TFT LED-backlit LCD display gives today’s mobile-savvy customer the room they need to view web pages, documents, email, digital media and more. The Gateway LT2000’s petite form factor features all the ports for connecting to the latest peripherals. It has three USB 2.0, Ethernet and VGA as well as a multi-in-one digital card reader.

Additional Features Make it Incredibly Functional

The new Gateway LT2000 netbooks are well-equipped with features that make them highly useful for enjoying life on the go. They come with a full 1GB of memory and 160GB of hard drive space, so customers have ample room for music, photos and other files. The integrated webcam is ready to go with a simple software click. Customers can capture memories with still photos and live video that can be posted to personal blogs and sites like YouTube and Facebook. Also, video emails and video conferencing calls offer a more personal way to stay in touch.

The unique Multi-Gesture Touchpad on the new Gateway LT2000 netbooks lets users move around websites, documents and digital media in an incredibly intuitive way. For example, customers can swirl their fingers in a circular motion to scroll through web pages, long lists of files and music playlists. In addition, customers can move two fingers to flip through photos, web pages and PDF documents as well as make an inward or outward pinching motion to zoom in and out on photos and documents.

The new Gateway LT2000 netbooks use the latest Intel Atom processors to deliver excellent mobile performance while promoting extended battery life and power efficiency. The line provides up to 3 hours of battery life.

Available Configurations Pricing and Availability

The new Gateway LT2000 is available now in several configurations at a starting manufacturer’s suggested retail price of $299.99. One of the configurations follows:

Gateway LT2001u

  • Intel Atom Processor N270 (1.60GHz, 533MHz FSB, 512KB L2 Cache)
  • Genuine Microsoft Windows XP® Home (Service Pack 3)
  • 10.1-inch WSVGA 16:9 ratio TFT LCD (1024x600 resolution)
  • Mobile Intel® 945GSE Express Chipset
  • 1024MB DDR2 533 MHz SDRAM
  • 160GB SATA 5400RPM Hard Drive
  • Integrated Intel Graphics Media Accelerator 950
  • Multi-in-1 Digital Media Card Reader
  • 802.11b/g Wi-Fi CERTIFIED
  • Web Camera
  • Two Built-in Stereo Speakers
  • Dolby Headphone Technology
  • Three USB 2.0 Ports
  • 3-cell Li-ion Battery
  • Chassis: NightSky Black
  • One-Year Standard Warranty
  • 2.62 lbs.
  • 10.17 (w) x 7.24 (D) x 1.03 inches (H)
  • Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price: $299.99

*Note: Cherry Red Version is available in the same configuration at the same price as model number Gateway LT2021u.

The Gateway LT2000 netbook line comes with additional preinstalled software including Microsoft Works with Office Home and Student 2007 Trial, Gateway Recovery Management, Adobe Reader, and Norton Internet Security 2009 Trial.

Gateway Limited Warranty, Service and Support

The Gateway LT2000 netbook line is backed by a one year limited warranty. Gateway's commitment to quality and reliability is evident in its award-winning line of PCs as well as in its exceptional service and support programs. In addition to the company's standard limited warranty options, its extensive online support center helps customers maximize their PC investment; it gives them easy access to customer support representatives and information on important issues such as limited warranties, technical issues and upgrading.

Source: Gateway Press Release