Monday, October 12, 2009

NVIDIA Inroduces The New GeForce GT 220 Edition

Not every computer or computer user needs to have the fastest most powerful card on the market. In fact the majority of users out there can get by with the on-boarding offering most new motherboards have. I know I know this is crazy talk coming from a true geek, but the truth of the matter is more low-end budget minded cards are ever sold than high-end GPU's. The reason why is obviously painful, high-end cards are extremely expensive!

Enter the new budget minded low end GT 200 series cards from NVIDIA. Now most the time you hear us say budget pr low end we mean lower in priced or performance compared to what's currently on the market. Well that's not the case here. These cards are lower in performance than some of the cards that have been out for two years.

So why would you be interesting in these new low power cards. Well for starters the new manufacturing tech uses less power, creates less heat and well in general out performs some of the older cards. Maybe not by much but every bit counts. Now I'm not saying if you have a card with similar specs, like the ATI 4670 or the NVIDIA 9600 GSO or 9600 GT you should upgrade. I'm saying if you don't have either you might want to look at the GT 220 before you buy one of the older models. The price to performance ratio isn't there but its another option if the pricing is right.

GeForce GT 220 Specs
  • 40nm core
  • PC!-E 2.0 Interface
  • 48 processing cores
  • Shader clock: 1360 MHz
  • Core clock: 625 MHz
  • 512MB or 1GB DDR3 or DDR2 memory
  • 128-bit memory interface
  • DirectX 10.1 with Shader Model 4.1 compatible
  • OpenGL 3.1 compatible
  • NVIDIA CUDA & PhysX ready
  • NVIDIA PureVideo HD technology

NVIDIA GeForce GT 220 Reviews

After reading the reviews you'll notice a common thread. The performance of the GT 220 is horrible when compared to other value cards at it's price point. NVIDIA wants to see these cards sell for $69-$79, with the best cards (those with GDDR3) selling at that $79 price point. Current Newegg pricing put these cards a $49-79 depending on model and MIR's. So depending on your taste for rebates, you can get a Radeon HD 4670 for between $59 and $69, or on the NVIDIA side a 9600GT for between $69 and $79 either of which would blow the GT 220 away.

Related Articles

Zotac Announces GeForce GT 220 and 210-based Graphics Cards
MSI releases N220GT/N210 Series Graphics Cards
Inno3D Introduces GeForce GT 220, and GeForce 210
Enjoy unique gaming experience within your budget with ECS GT 220 and G210 graphic cards
Point of View Announces its New Entry-Mid Range GeForce 200 Series Products
EVGA Announces GeForce 210 and GT 220 Series Graphics Cards

Get A Free Copy Of ZoneAlarm Pro

Starting on Tuesday and running for 24 hours Check Point makers of the popular free ZoneAlarm firewall will be giving away free licenses to its ZoneAlarm Pro firewall software.

The free giveaway is part of a "Patch Tuesday" promotion running this Tuesday, Oct. 13th. For more details on the promotion checkout ZoneAlarm's Web site.

ZoneAlarm Pro includes several upgrades over the freeware version including the two-way firewall, download monitoring, anti-phishing protection, plus a couple of advanced features: OSFirewall, which looks for changes in the OS that might have been missed by an antivirus program, and credit monitoring with the three major credit bureaus. The latter feature typically comes with a year's subscription.

Review: Able Planet Clear Harmony NC200 Foldable Headphones

Think a great set of noise canceling headphone need to cost an arm and a leg, well think again. The budget minded NC200 Clear Harmony Foldable Headphones, which retail for $99.99 (but can be found as low as $70 online) are priced perfectly for the budget-conscious market of audio-lovers who don’t want to pay $300 for a set of top-flight cans but still want first-class sound.

For the budget minded these compact headphones offer top-notch active noise cancellation, very comfortable ear cups and overall great sound quality for their relatively slim price. I wouldn't go so far as to place them next to the top offerings from Sony, Bose, Dennon or Sennheiser, however I would place them on the top of my list for the sub $100 market.

  • Featuring Award-Winning Patented LINX AUDIO-a Hear the Difference technology
  • In-Line Volume Control for Easy Adjustment to Safe Listening Levels
  • Lightweight and Comfortable fit
  • State-of-the-art active noise cancellation (ANC)
  • Small and compact foldable design perfect for travel

  • Frequency Response: 20Hz - 20,000Hz
  • Sensitivity at 1 kHz: 115 dB (Off); 121 dB (On)
  • Plug: 3.5mm w/ 1/4 home stereo adapter and airline adapter

Able Planet Clear Harmony NC200 Review

Personally I have never used headphones for a long period of time, most of my movie watching or music listening is done at levels that really wouldn't be noticeable by anyone else in the house or around the office and most of the headphones I've used bothered my ears.

This is one area that the Clear Harmony NC200's passed with flying colors. The ear cups were by far some of the best I've used in recent memory. The amount of flex and tension on the headband was just about perfect. The one down side noted in this area was with the adjustment which wasn't as smooth as I'd like and while I didn't notice any slippage it didn't feel very sturdy.

Other reviews of the headphones warned that enabling noise cancellation will add a faint hum to the headphones when no signal is played, this was only slightly noticeable when I first began my test.

The background noise is a by-product of the noise-canceling technology actively tuning out environmental sounds. The hum or buzz wasn't noticeable during playback but I did find it was becoming slightly more noticeable as time went on and eventually became annoying during long gaps when searching for new tracks or changing movies. If the slight hum becomes to noticeable you can disable the noise-canceling feature which is enabled via a single AAA battery, which can be turned off and on.

The LINX Audio technology, which supposedly makes the audio clarity a lot better, seems to work well. Personally I had to read up on the feature to understand exact what it did, but it does make a noticeable difference in listening.

Sound volume was generally good and using the built in volume controls was great. The controls were smooth and adjustment seemed precise. One trade-off that we found was that at higher volumes others might hear your music. The generous padding that made added to our comfort level seemed to offer little protection from noise seepage.

Blasting away during a few games I was told the noise spilled out and other around me could over hear my game play. You won’t like annoy anyone if you keep the volume at 50 percent or lower with noise cancellation turned on, but for some the fact that you even have to think about seepage might be a bit annoying.

The foldable design and light weight made traveling a breeze. During my review I took the chance to pack the headphones on a camping trip for use with my laptop and MP3 player. Folded they are slightly larger than a soda can making them easily stowed in a back pack or travel bag. Couple that with the airline adapter and the NC200's would seemingly be perfect for frequent fliers.

My overall opinion is that the Able Planet Clear Harmony NC200's are a great set of headphones. I personally haven't tested many headphone on the market but when compared to some of the offerings that I have used I'd say they are definitely a step up.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

T-Mobile Looses Sidekick Data

Over the past weekend T-Mobile has confirmed that data originally lost two weeks ago is indeed gone for good. T-Mobile issues the following statement via their customer forums;

T-Mobile and the Sidekick data services provider, Danger, a subsidiary of Microsoft, are reaching out to express our apologies regarding the recent Sidekick data service disruption.

We appreciate your patience as Microsoft/Danger continues to work on maintaining platform stability, and restoring all services for our Sidekick customers.

Regrettably, based on Microsoft/Danger's latest recovery assessment of their systems, we must now inform you that personal information stored on your device - such as contacts, calendar entries, to-do lists or photos - that is no longer on your Sidekick almost certainly has been lost as a result of a server failure at Microsoft/Danger. That said, our teams continue to work around-the-clock in hopes of discovering some way to recover this information. However, the likelihood of a successful outcome is extremely low. As such, we wanted to share this news with you and offer some tips and suggestions to help you rebuild your personal content. You can find these tips in our Sidekick Contacts FAQ. We encourage you to visit the Forums on a regular basis to access the latest updates as well as FAQs regarding this service disruption.

In addition, we plan to communicate with you on Monday (Oct. 12) the status of the remaining issues caused by the service disruption, including the data recovery efforts and the Download Catalog restoration which we are continuing to resolve. We also will communicate any additional tips or suggestions that may help in restoring your content.

We recognize the magnitude of this inconvenience. Our primary efforts have been focused on restoring our customers' personal content. We also are considering additional measures for those of you who have lost your content to help reinforce how valuable you are as a T-Mobile customer.

We continue to advise customers to NOT reset their device by removing the battery or letting their battery drain completely, as any personal content that currently resides on your device will be lost.

Once again, T-Mobile and Microsoft/Danger regret any and all inconvenience this matter has caused.

According to reports the data loss came as a result of a server failure at Microsoft/Danger. T-Mobile along with Danger are still looking for a way to recover user information but the above statement looks pretty hopeless. Customer have reported that it appears as though servers are still on the fritz and the companies are warning all Sidekick owners not just those that have experienced issues not to let their devices power down because anything that's still on there will be lost the next time the device is turned on.

T-Mobile has promised more details and a further report will be released later on Monday to give everyone a status update on the recovery efforts, but at this point, it's not looking good at all.

According to PC Magazine T-Mobile had already begun promising customers who had been hit by the outage a month of free data service. A quote from a T-Mobile spokesperson also implied that more compensation would be coming soon: "We also are considering additional measures for those of you who have lost your content to help reinforce how valuable you are as a T-Mobile customer," the company said.


NetworkWorld is reporting that some users have had their data restored. According to the report an undetermined amount of users have been posting response to the T-Mobile customer forums reporting that their data has been restored.

"I was just on my phone and when I got off my phone all my contacts returned," wrote tommyd2107 this morning. "I do not know if this will last for long but the [sight] of my contacts returning is encouraging." He had begun last night manually importing his contact data into his Sidekick. "[T]hen today when I went out on my phone and after I hung up the rest of my contacts came back."

In one response, Dariahna wrote, "The same thing happened to me...I shut my phone off several times without removing the battery...voila! My contacts returned!" Another frustrated but relieved user, Generalblue, reported his phone had frozen completely. He took out the Sidekick’s battery and replaced it (a common step for users in restarting their phone). "Once my phone was on about 5 minutes later I checked my address book for some reason and they were all there. I saved all my contacts to my simcard."

Gamer Girls XFX Wants You

XFX is looking for a few tech minded Gamer Girls to be models

XFX has just launched a new 8-week search for the gamer girl who has it all. The company is looking for new spokeswomen that they are calling “That” girl. “That” girl is a tech-savvy, borderline geeky (or willing to learn) gal who’s fun, adventurous and a little wild. As “That” girl, you’ll travel the world representing XFX at a variety of international social events, be spotlighted in advertising campaigns, be featured in promotional materials and be the host of your own Vlog, as well as chat it up on Facebook and Myspace as a voice of XFX.

The search, which the company calls XFX Girl 2.0, is scouring the world for a new spokesmodel who is 21 years or older, able to commit to a one-year contract and be willing to travel internationally. The spokesmodels also must be able to create, post and maintain the XFX Girl Vlog and interact on the XFX Girl Facebook and MySpace pages.

“We really wanted to move beyond having a ‘face’ of XFX, which is what we have done in the past,” explains Director of Global Brand and marketing Eddie Memon. “Gaming is a very interactive experience, and our goal is to make our next spokesmodel a physical embodiment of that, talking with and sharing her gaming experiences with our fans. We believe that our fans will enjoy the ability to interact with the brand through XFX Girl 2.0.”

The XFX Girl 2.0 search runs from October 5 through December 1, with the new spokesmodel announced on December 13. Those interested can enter here.

Thursday, October 08, 2009

New PayPal And GreenDot Agreement Allows More Customers To Shop Online

Green Dot Corporation and PayPal today announced a new agreement that will allow U.S. consumers to load money directly to their PayPal accounts using Green Dot’s MoneyPak. This will enable people to shop anywhere PayPal is accepted without the need for a bank account or credit card.

MoneyPak can be purchased with cash at a retail store, then the money can be loaded directly into a PayPal account and used to shop online anywhere PayPal is accepted, including eBay. MoneyPak is available at more than 40,000 stores nationwide, such as Walmart, CVS/pharmacy, Kmart, Rite Aid and Walgreens.

The new agreement provides a convenient option for customers who prefer to use cash when shopping. MoneyPak has been fully integrated into PayPal’s site, allowing money to be added directly, without needing to link to any personal financial accounts.

“This relationship is transformative,” said Steve Streit, founder and CEO of Green Dot Corporation. “It creates a cash-based solution for millions of people who want to use PayPal to shop online, but don't have a credit card or bank account.”

“Working with Green Dot, PayPal can now reach the large audience of people who prefer to fund their accounts with cash,” said Dickson Chu, vice president with PayPal. “We are thrilled to offer this new service to our customers.”

In addition to funding a PayPal account, MoneyPak enables people to reload prepaid cards, make cash payments, pay bills and fund other accounts. MoneyPak is powered by Green Dot’s industry-leading cash acceptance network, and costs $4.95 or less. For more details, visit

About Green Dot Corporation:
Green Dot is the leading provider of prepaid financial services in the United States, and owns and operates the Green Dot Network, which is the largest cash loading and reloading network in the United States. The company offers consumers a comprehensive portfolio of financial products and services through thousands of leading retailer locations nationwide including Walmart, CVS/pharmacy, Fred Meyer, Kmart, Kroger, Radio Shack, Ralphs, Rite Aid, Smiths and Walgreens. Green Dot’s products include Green Dot MasterCard and Visa branded prepaid debit cards and the Green Dot MoneyPak. The Green Dot MoneyPak provides a convenient and efficient way for consumers to load cash to prepaid cards, use cash to make purchases and pay bills, and add cash to a variety of accounts. Green Dot is headquartered in the greater Los Angeles area. To learn more about MoneyPak, visit Green Dot and MoneyPak are registered trademarks of Green Dot Corporation.

Source: PayPal

Monday, October 05, 2009

Intel Core i7 Custom Desktop Challenge

Contest: Intel Core i7 Custom Desktop Challenge -- Will Your Vision of Tomorrow Rock the World?

Intel Corporation has begun a multi-country "Intel Core i7 Custom Desktop Challenge" for PC enthusiasts to build desktops powered by Intel Core i7 and Core i5 processors that envision the possibilities of tomorrow's technology – from new gaming PCs to innovative platforms for home automation.

The contest is promoted in coordination with local Intel Channel Partner members, sponsors (CPU Magazine, Extreme Tech, PC Magazine) and other media publications and blogs.

Participants can choose to compete in two contest categories with final winners receiving prizes such as gift cards (up to US $1,500), Intel Processors, an Intel Atom processor-based netbook, a Flip HD pocket camcorder, 160GB Intel solid-state drives and more. The contest categories are:

  • Mod Creativity: a mod PC desktop that showcases innovations in lighting, cooling, liquid emersion, cut case and creativity.
  • Lifestyle Innovation: a futuristic home automation PC platform to improve one's lifestyle through wireless media centers, lighting automation and security integration.

Submission and Contest Rules: Interested participants can submit entries from Oct. 5 through 11:59 p.m. PST on Nov. 16. Final submissions will be judged on five factors by a panel of judges comprised of sponsors, Intel employees and industry experts. Contestants will be awarded up to ten points per factor, for a total of 50 points. The five factors are:

  • Overall mod creativity
  • Mod paint job/creativity
  • Technical enhancements
  • Demonstration creativity
  • Futuristic vision

Final submissions will also be entered into the "People's Choice" competition. From Nov. 23 through Dec. 7, entries will be displayed on the contest Web site ( where individuals around the world can vote for their favorite mod. In addition to the "People's Choice" winner, 12 final winners will be selected for prize categories such as "Best in Show," "Best Mod Creativity," "Best Lifestyle Innovation," "Best in Country" (one prize for each country) and "Best Video." All 13 final winners will be notified on Dec. 14.

The contest runs from Oct. 5 through Dec. 14, 2009 and is open to anyone 18 years or older who wants to build a desktop that demonstrates a bold vision made possible by Intel's newest, smartest and fastest processors. Participating countries are Belgium, Canada (except Quebec), Japan, Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, United Kingdom and the United States.

Sunday, October 04, 2009

Adobe Unveils First Full Flash Player for Mobile Devices and PCs

Close to 50 Open Screen Project Participants Support New Browser Runtime for Multiple Platforms

Adobe Systems Incorporated today unveiled Adobe Flash Player 10.1 software for smartphones, smartbooks, netbooks, PCs and other Internet-connected devices, allowing content created using the Adobe Flash Platform to reach users wherever they are. A public developer beta of the browser-based runtime is expected to be available for Windows Mobile, Palm webOS and desktop operating systems including Windows, Macintosh and Linux later this year. Public betas for Google® Android™ and Symbian OS are expected to be available in early 2010. In addition, Adobe and RIM announced a joint collaboration to bring Flash Player to Blackberry smartphones, and Google joined close to 50 other industry players in the Open Screen Project initiative.

Flash Player 10.1 is the first consistent runtime release of the Open Screen Project that enables uncompromised Web browsing of expressive applications, content and high definition (HD) videos across devices. Using the productive Web programming model of the Flash Platform, the browser-based runtime enables millions of designers and developers to reuse code and assets and reduce the cost of creating, testing and deploying content across different operating systems and browsers. Flash Player 10.1 is easily updateable across all supported platforms to ensure rapid adoption of new innovations that move the Web forward.

The browser-based runtime leverages the power of the Graphics Processing Unit (GPU) for accelerated video and graphics while conserving battery life and minimizing resource utilization. New mobile-ready features that take advantage of native device capabilities include support for multi-touch, gestures, mobile input models, accelerometer and screen orientation bringing unprecedented creative control and expressiveness to the mobile browsing experience. Flash Player 10.1 will also take advantage of media delivery with HTTP streaming, including integration of content protection powered by Adobe Flash Access 2.0. This effort, code-named Zeri, will be an open format based on industry standards and will provide content publishers, distributors and partners the tools they need to utilize HTTP infrastructures for high-quality media delivery in Flash Player 10.1 and Adobe AIR 2.0 software.

To learn more about Flash Player 10.1 and to see video demos visit Adobe Labs.

“With Flash Player moving to new mobile platforms, users will be able to experience virtually all Flash technology based Web content and applications wherever they are,” said David Wadhwani, general manager and vice president, Platform Business Unit at Adobe. “We are excited about the broad collaboration of close to 50 industry leaders in the Open Screen Project and the ongoing collaboration with 19 out of the top 20 handset manufacturers worldwide. It will be great to see first devices ship with full Flash Player in the first half of next year.”

"We are excited to join Adobe and other industry leaders in the Open Screen Project," said Sundar Pichai, vice president of Product Management at Google. "This initiative supports our common goal to move the Web forward as a platform and to spur innovation in the industry through technology such as Adobe Flash."

“Adobe Flash technology provides a key experience on new Windows phones, enabling people to enjoy rich Flash based games, videos and other interactive Web content on the go,” said Stephanie Ferguson, general manager, Product Management, Microsoft Corp. “We look forward to bringing in the new capabilities of Adobe Flash Player 10.1 to the Windows phone browser when it becomes available.”

“Motorola is excited to be one of the first handset manufacturers to ship Android based devices with Flash Player support early next year,” said Christy Wyatt, vice president of software applications and ecosystem at Motorola. “As the No.1 platform for video on the Web, uncompromised browsing of Flash technology based content is essential for a rich mobile experience and something users expect from Motorola today.”

“As a longtime partner of Adobe, and more than 400 million Nokia phones shipped with existing Flash technology to date, we are excited to see Flash Player becoming a reality for mobile phones and other mobile devices,” said Purnima Kochikar, vice president, Forum Nokia. “Nokia is excited about full Flash Player coming to devices and we are committed to supporting Flash Player 10.1 on mobile devices in 2010.”

Open Screen Project
Led by Adobe, the Open Screen Project includes close to 50 industry leaders working together to provide a consistent runtime environment across mobile phones, desktops and other consumer electronic devices. The initiative addresses the challenges of Web browsing and standalone applications on a broad range of devices, and removes the barriers to publishing content and applications seamlessly across screens. Participants of the initiative include Antena 3, Atlantic Records, ARM, BBC, Burda, Cell, Chungwha Telecom, Cisco, Comcast, Conde Nast, Daum, Disney Interactive, Fox Mobile, Google, HTC, Intel, LG Electronics, Lionsgate, Marvell, Motorola, MTV Networks, NBC Universal, Nokia, NTT DoCoMo, NVIDIA, OpenTV, Palm, Paramount, QNX Software Systems, Qualcomm,, RIM, RTL, Samsung, Sony Ericsson, Texas Instruments, The New York Times, Toshiba, Verizon Wireless, Ziilabs and many others. For more information about the Open Screen Project visit

Source: Adobe

AT&T Unveils Lineup of Full Web Browsing Phones

att logoNew Quick Messaging and Touch Screen Phones from Pantech and Samsung to Arrive in Time for the Holidays

AT&T today announced four new mobile phones, two each from Pantech and Samsung that feature full Web browsers as well as physical and virtual keyboards. The Pantech Reveal™ and Impact™ will join the Samsung Mythic™ and Flight™ at the head of AT&T's quick messaging and touch-screen phone portfolio heading into the holiday season.

The new phones are the first to come preloaded with AT&T's new richer and faster HTML mobile browser and service, combining the best of full HTML browsing with unique features for personalizing favorite bookmarks and local searches. The new mobile platform utilizes advanced data compression from Opera Software, allowing for much faster delivery of HTML Web pages.

"Customers expect to see the hottest mobile phones at AT&T stores and we've upped the ante for consumer handsets with our quick messaging phone portfolio over the past year," said Jeff Bradley, senior vice president, Devices, AT&T Mobility and Consumer Markets. "Not only do these four new consumer phones have either a virtual or physical full keyboard, they now come with our richer and faster mobile browser."

Pantech Reveal
On shelves October 18 in red and blue, Reveal is a slim and snappy slider that features an open-faced numeric keypad on the front of the phone which slides up to uncover a full keyboard underneath. Uniquely, both sets of keys stay active simultaneously, giving users fast access to numbers and letters at the same time. Whether updating your status with new pictures and videos, or texting, IMing or emailing friends, Reveal keeps you connected to your digital life at every turn. Reveal utilizes AT&T Navigator and the power of 3G to make GPS, surfing the Web and listening to music fast and convenient.

Pantech Impact
Bringing a new form factor along with a more color choices to the quick messaging portfolio, Impact features an OLED touch screen that lets users send text messages, make calls, and control their music library without having to open the phone. Impact's screen features haptic controls which register each key-press with a soft, tactile buzz. A sideways flip of the phone reveals a full physical keyboard and a second display screen, allowing for a fuller experience when typing longer messages. Additionally, Impact's bright screen and tri-band 3G functionality, lets users manage social networks and explore the Internet with quickness and ease. Available in two colors, pink and blue.

Samsung Mythic
A touch screen-only device, the AT&T Mobile TV-capable Mythic will be available in black in November. The large 3.3 inch touch screen scrolls left to right on the home screen for additional applications with the touch of a finger. With the swipe of a finger you are a touch away from your favorite apps including AT&T Navigator, AT&T Social Net, and more. Samsung's TouchWiz™ user interface allows for quick access to your favorite features and has specially designed widgets to customize and personalize the way you use your phone.

Samsung Flight
The next generation messaging device from Samsung, the Flight has a vertical sliding form factor, with full keyboard underneath. A textured design and subtle ridge on the back make it easy to text or use the touch screen with one hand. The main display features a unique user interface which provides one-touch access to functions like shortcuts, favorites and messaging. The Flight, available in red and silver color options, will be available in November.

New AT&T Mobile Browser
"The new browser powering the service brings the best of the open Web to consumer feature phones while making the mainstay of the mobile Web easy to find and also delivering local tools and bookmarking management," said Ted Woodbery, vice president of Wireless Data, Voice and Ancillary Products for AT&T Mobility and Consumer Markets. "It's a rich hybrid experience that gives you a HTML experience similar to your PC browser at home — and works really well on a feature phone. Plus, it gives you easy, one-click access to the tools and content you find most valuable."

AT&T's new mobile browser gives customers three windows to the Web. From the homepage, users can easily browse the global Internet as well as assign bookmarks and shortcuts or set other preferences so they have quick access to their favorite content. A second window gives users location-aware local news and weather; one-click results for nearby restaurants, nightlife venues, ATMs and other points of interest; and access to maps, driving directions and traffic information. A third window delivers the latest headlines from popular news, sports and entertainment sites.

Additionally, customers accessing from their PC can customize their mobile page by sending shortcuts to popular Web sites through a "Send to Mobile" feature.

For the complete array of AT&T offerings, visit For photos of the new phones, visit

Source: AT&T

Saturday, October 03, 2009

MSI Afterburner GPU Tweaking Utility

MSI announces graphics card tweak utility "Afterburner"

Boost MSI graphics card performance with powerful overclocking, tweaking and monitoring function

The world-leading graphics card and mainboard manufacturer, MSI, today announces all-in-one graphics card tweak utility “Afterburner”. All MSI graphics card users can download it for free on Afterburner website today. The powerful overclocking, tweaking, and monitoring features of Afterburner are incomparable among competitors. The MSI graphics card users can immediately enjoy the overclocking performance and tweaking pleasure brought by Afterburner now.

The powerful over-voltage and overclocking function
Afterburner fully supports the GPU/Shader/Memory clock adjustment of NVIDIA and ATI graphics cards. Beside general overclocking features, Afterburner has the exclusive over-voltage technology, which supports NVIDIA and ATI high-end product-line and MSI award-winning Lightning series. With these graphics cards, the extra over-voltage function will be activated, and can highly boost the graphics card overclocking capability and make the games runs more smoothly. According to the internal test result, MSI N275GTX Lightning core clock can be overclocked to the awesome 1175MHz and reached the unprecedented 85% overclocking capability.

Advanced Fan Speed Control
In addition, Afterburner has exclusive advanced fan speed control feature. Generally speaking, fan speed of a normal graphics card is fixed by BIOS, but now users can customize different fan speed under different temperature trigger points with this Afterburner exclusive feature, so it can be set depending on users’ favor and hardware configuration no matter in necessity of higher cooling efficiency or a quieter operating environment. With highly acclaimed MSI Twin Frozr and Cyclone thermal design, the high flexibility of Afterburner Advanced Fan Speed Control feature can be more highlighted.

The accurate Monitoring and Profile feature
To show the graphics card operating status more accurately, Afterburner provides a complete monitoring function: all important information including the GPU core clock, memory clock, temperature, voltage, and fan speed have a real-time on-screen-display monitor in games and real-time information in Windows Tray Icon. And in the monitoring window the maximum/minimum value can be easily recorded and enables users to know well the graphics card condition and change different settings according to this information.

All the adjustment above can be saved as 5 profiles in Afterburner, users can quickly switch to different settings with hotkeys. Afterburner can even automatically switch to different profiles between 2D and 3D mode so that users will have a quiet and cool environment in Windows and high performance in 3D games. It can always provide the best experience under both two conditions.

Totally free download
From today MSI graphics cards users can download the latest version of Afterburner and discuss with worldwide Afterburner users in the forum. In the future, MSI will frequently update Afterburner to newer version to enhance its feature and stability, and then brings users the best tweaking experience and overclocking performance.

Afterburner Official Website:

Key features of MSI Afterburner:

  • Up to 85% overclocking capability
  • iOver voltage function to significantly increase overclocking potential
  • Core/Shader/Memory clock adjustment
  • Core/Shader clock Link/Unlink capability

  • Clock/Voltage/Temperature/Fan Speed/Frame rate real-time monitor
  • Maximum/Minimum value for easy record of system condition
  • Real-time On-Screen-Display information in games
  • Real-time information in Windows Tray Icon
  • Detach mode for hardcore monitor style

  • 5 Profile to easy save/load user customized setting
  • Profile hot-key for easy and quick switch in games
  • 2D/3D automatic profile switching for difference scenario

Special Function
  • Advanced fan speed control for different speed under different temperature trigger points
  • Mutil-GPU independent or synchronous control for clock/voltage/fan speed
  • Information button for graphics card driver version, BIOS version, identification, OSD status and update link
  • User Customized skin function
  • Apply overclocking setting at system startup

Source: MSI Global

Thursday, October 01, 2009

Google Sites Surpasses 10 Billion Video Views in August - comScore, Inc

comScore, Inc., a leader in measuring the digital world, today released August 2009 data from the comScore Video Metrix service, showing that 161 million U.S. Internet users watched online video during the month, the largest audience ever recorded. Online video reached another all-time high in August with more than 25 billion videos viewed during the month, with Google Sites accounting for more than 10 billion.

Top 10 Video Content Properties by Videos Viewed

Google Sites continued to rank as the top U.S. video property in August as it surpassed the 10 billion videos viewed threshold, representing 40 percent of all videos viewed online. accounted for 99 percent of all videos viewed at the Google Sites property. Microsoft Sites ranked second with 547 million (2.2 percent) followed by Viacom Digital with 539 million videos viewed (2.1 percent) and Hulu with 488 million (1.9 percent).

Top U.S. Online Video Content Properties* by Videos Viewed
August 2009
Total U.S. – Home/Work/University Locations
Source: comScore Video Metrix
Property Videos (000) Share (%) of Videos
Total Internet 25,366,195 100.0
Google Sites 10,051,924 39.6
Microsoft Sites 546,547 2.2
Viacom Digital 539,471 2.1
Hulu 488,255 1.9
Fox Interactive Media 380,115 1.5
Yahoo! Sites 355,226 1.4
Turner Network 298,991 1.2
CBS Interactive 168,993 0.7
Disney Online 162,934 0.6
AOL LLC 156,871 0.

*Rankings based on video content sites; excludes video server networks. Online video includes both streaming and progressive download video.

Top 10 Video Content Properties by Viewers

More than 161 million viewers watched an average of 157 videos per viewer during the month of August. Google Sites attracted 121.4 million unique viewers during the month (82.8 videos per viewer), followed by Microsoft Sites with 54.9 million viewers (10 videos per viewer) and Yahoo! Sites with 51.6 million viewers (6.9 videos per viewer).

Top U.S. Online Video Content Properties* by Unique Viewers
August 2009
Total U.S. – Home/Work/University Locations
Source: comScore Video Metrix
Property Unique Viewers (000) Average Videos per Viewer
Total Internet 161,109 157.4
Google Sites 121,393 82.8
Microsoft Sites 54,859 10.0
Yahoo! Sites 51,583 6.9
Fox Interactive Media 48,914 7.8
Viacom Digital 42,415 12.7
Hulu 38,513 12.7
CBS Interactive 35,688 4.7
Turner Network 28,151 10.6
AOL LLC 28,092 5.6 24,229 4.1

*Rankings based on video content sites; excludes video server networks. Online video includes both streaming and progressive download video.

Top Video Ad Networks by Potential Reach

In August, Tremor Media ranked as the #1 video ad network with a potential reach of 68 million viewers, or 42.2 percent of the total viewing audience. YuMe Video Network ranked second with a potential reach of 59.1 million viewers (36.7 percent penetration) followed by ScanScout Network with 57.6 million viewers (35.7 percent).

Top U.S. Online Video Ad Networks by Potential Unique Viewers
August 2009
Total U.S. – Home/Work/University Locations
Source: comScore Video Metrix
Property Unique Viewers (000) Viewer Penetration
Total Internet : Total Audience 161,109 100.0
Tremor Media - Potential Reach 68,010 42.2
YuMe Video Network - Potential Reach 59,100 36.7
ScanScout Network - Potential Reach 57,581 35.7
Broadband Enterprises Video Network - Potential Reach 54,858 34.1
BrightRoll Video Network - Potential Reach 53,369 33.1 Video Network - Potential Reach 52,996 32.9
SpotXchange Video Ad Network - Potential Reach 47,304 29.4
Break Media Video Ad Network - Potential Reach 35,672 22.1
Digital Broadcasting Group (DBG) - Potential Reach 26,537 16.5
TidalTV – Potential Reach 21,101 13.1

Other notable findings from August 2009 include:

  • The top video ad networks in terms of their actual delivered reach were: Tremor Media Video Network (19.5 percent penetration of all online video viewers), BrightRoll Video Network (16.2 percent penetration), and (14.8 percent penetration).
  • 81.6 percent of the total U.S. Internet audience viewed online video.
  • The average online video viewer watched 582 minutes of video, or 9.7 hours.
  • 120.5 million viewers watched nearly 10 billion videos on (82.6 videos per viewer).
  • 44.9 million viewers watched 340 million videos on (7.6 videos per viewer).
  • The average Hulu viewer watched 12.7 videos, totaling 1 hour and 17 minutes of videos per viewer.
  • The duration of the average online video was 3.7 minutes.

Source: comScore Press Release

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

NVIDIA Unveils Next Generation CUDA GPU Architecture – Codenamed “Fermi”

nvidia logoNew Ground-Up Design Gives Rise to the World’s First Computational GPUs

NVIDIA Corp. today introduced its next generation CUDA GPU architecture, codenamed “Fermi”. An entirely new ground-up design, the “Fermi” architecture is the foundation for the world’s first computational graphics processing units (GPUs), delivering breakthroughs in both graphics and GPU computing.

“NVIDIA and the Fermi team have taken a giant step towards making GPUs attractive for a broader class of programs,” said Dave Patterson, director Parallel Computing Research Laboratory, U.C. Berkeley and co-author of Computer Architecture: A Quantitative Approach. “I believe history will record Fermi as a significant milestone.”

Presented at the company’s inaugural GPU Technology Conference, in San Jose, California, “Fermi” delivers a feature set that accelerates performance on a wider array of computational applications than ever before. Joining NVIDIA’s press conference was Oak Ridge National Laboratory who announced plans for a new supercomputer that will use NVIDIA GPUs based on the “Fermi” architecture. “Fermi” also garnered the support of leading organizations including Bloomberg, Cray, Dell, HP, IBM and Microsoft.

“It is completely clear that GPUs are now general purpose parallel computing processors with amazing graphics, and not just graphics chips anymore,” said Jen-Hsun Huang, co-founder and CEO of NVIDIA. “The Fermi architecture, the integrated tools, libraries and engines are the direct results of the insights we have gained from working with thousands of CUDA developers around the world. We will look back in the coming years and see that Fermi started the new GPU industry.”

As the foundation for NVIDIA’s family of next generation GPUs namely GeForce, Quadro and Tesla − “Fermi” features a host of new technologies that are “must-have” features for the computing space, including:

  • C++, complementing existing support for C, Fortran, Java, Python, OpenCL and DirectCompute.
  • ECC, a critical requirement for datacenters and supercomputing centers deploying GPUs on a large scale
  • 512 CUDA Cores featuring the new IEEE 754-2008 floating-point standard, surpassing even the most advanced CPUs
  • 8x the peak double precision arithmetic performance over NVIDIA’s last generation GPU. Double precision is critical for high-performance computing (HPC) applications such as linear algebra, numerical simulation, and quantum chemistry
  • NVIDIA Parallel DataCache - the world’s first true cache hierarchy in a GPU that speeds up algorithms such as physics solvers, raytracing, and sparse matrix multiplication where data addresses are not known beforehand
  • NVIDIA GigaThread Engine with support for concurrent kernel execution, where different kernels of the same application context can execute on the GPU at the same time (eg: PhysX fluid and rigid body solvers)
  • Nexus – the world’s first fully integrated heterogeneous computing application development environment within Microsoft Visual Studio

Images, technical whitepapers, presentations, videos and more on “Fermi” can all be found at:

Source: NVIDIA

Gigabyte GeForce Overclocking Contest

Gigabyte is giving all you GPU overclockers out there a chance to show what you've got and how well you can OC that new rig. Starting tomorrow Gigabyte will be holding the “Beat Me If You Dare” Global Online Graphics Overclocking which runs to the end of 2009. Each round of the competition pits users of three specific GPU's, the GeForce GTX260, GeForce GTX275 and the GeForce GTX275 in SLI in a head to head battle to see who can achieve the highest over clock.

The contest will include three rounds, each round consisting of its own unique theme and each utilizing a specific GPU. In October, owners of a GeForce GTX260 are invited to compete. In November, it'll be GeForce GTX275 owners. In December contestants using two GTX275s in SLI are invited to compete.

Contestants will compete based on 3DMark Vantage P scores as well as Resident Evil 5 numbers. Gigabyte will also be doing some overclocking of its own in-house to see what sort of numbers an OEM can achieve.

The champion of each round will receive $1,500 cash. Second prize is a Gigabyte GTX295 graphics card and the third place winning will receive a Gigabyte Ultra Durable VGA GTX285. As an added bonus, any contestant that beats the benchmark set by the Gigabyte team will double his/her prize.

Check out Gigabyte's contest page for the full details.

AT&T and Garmin Announce The Garmin nüvifone G60 Coming Soon to AT&T Customers

AT&T and Garmin Announce a New Mobile Navigation Era with nüvifone, The Navigation Phone

AT&T and Garmin International Inc., a unit of Garmin Ltd. announced the Garmin nüvifone G60 will be available beginning October 4 only for AT&T customers in the U.S. in AT&T stores and online at

The nüvifone G60 provides one of the easiest-to-use location experiences available because it is the only phone to fully integrate the world’s best selling GPS navigator with voice, data and mobile web.

“Personal navigation devices are already all about mobility and taking the Garmin experience everywhere as your mobile phone is truly compelling for customers who travel often,” said Michael Woodward, vice president, Mobile Phone Portfolio, AT&T Mobility and Consumer Markets. “We expect the nüvifone to be the guide for local restaurants, the least-expensive gas and the nearest coffee shop for many customers.”

”The nüvifone weaves location into nearly every facet of its functionality making it ideal for people who depend on location to navigate everyday life,” said Cliff Pemble, Garmin’s president and COO. “The nüvifone has Garmin’s easy-to-use interface, so navigating to a meeting directly from its calendar or contacts pages, or geotagging an email or photograph with a location stamp, is intuitive, useful and fun.”

Navigate with turn-by-turn guidance
The nüvifone G60 has the same core features as a high-end Garmin nüvi and comes preloaded with maps and millions of points of interest (POI) for North America. Customers who purchase a nüvifone will have everything that they need to use the device as an in-car navigation unit including a dashboard and windshield mount. The device can easily be mounted in the car or detached for portable navigational use.

Because the maps reside on the nüvifone customers always have access to navigation and they can receive turn-by-turn voice-prompted directions that speak street names to millions of destinations. If a turn is missed along the route, the nüvifone will automatically recalculate a route and get the user back on track. The nüvifone is able to provide reliable location information in the most challenging conditions because it has a real GPS receiver with Garmin’s HotFix™ technology and assisted GPS.

The nüvifone also has a “Where am I?” feature so users will know their exact latitude and longitude coordinates, nearest address, intersection, hospital, police station and gas station with one touch of the screen. Another great feature of nüvifone is for users who cannot find their car in an unfamiliar spot or crowded parking lot, nüvifone will automatically mark the position in which it was last removed from the windshield mount.

Surf the web

Nüvifone customers are just one click away from a full HTML browser that can be accessed via the nation’s fastest 3G network, or AT&T’s more than 20,000 Wi-Fi hotspots. Garmin’s location link, which parses addresses on the web with latitude and longitude information, allows customers to easily navigate to addresses they discover on the web by simply touching the address. The touch-screen virtual keyboard which includes predictive text, is customizable to QWERTY or A to Z to allow customers to easily type in web addresses or send and receive text messages.

Capture quality photos

The nüvifone G60 also includes a three megapixel camera with auto-focus. The camera automatically geotags images with an exact latitude and longitude reference of where the image was taken. Customers may then save the image so they can navigate back to the location, or email the geo-tagged image to others.

Stay connected

In addition to millions of preloaded POIs, customers can supplement the data with additional free and subscription content. The nüvifone includes free access to AT&T’s Yellow Pages, flight status and converter. Premium Connected Services gives customers subscription access to real-time traffic information, fuel prices, White Pages, weather and more.

Price and Availability

The nüvifone G60 will be available in AT&T stores or at on October 4 for $299 with a two year service agreement after $100 mail-in-rebate. Nüvifone Premium Connected Services which includes traffic updates, white pages, weather, movie, local events and fuel price content are available for $5.99/month after a 30-day trial.

For the complete array of AT&T offerings, visit
Additional information about the nüvifone product line is available at

Source: Garmin Press Release

Monday, September 28, 2009

Campus Moviefest and AT&T Kick Off Annual Student Filmmaking Tour

Campus MovieFest (CMF), the world's largest student film festival, and presenting sponsor AT&T announced today the recent launch of CMF's 2009-2010 World Tour. In its ninth year, Campus MovieFest gives college students everything they need to create original short films on any topic, competing for exposure, cash, and other prizes totaling more than $400,000.

This year CMF will tour more than 50 colleges and universities, CMF grand finales, and top film festivals around the world. Past participants have included first-time filmmakers as well as aspiring professionals.

"We've had an amazing journey since starting CMF as students. Working together with AT&T, we're making this year without a doubt the biggest CMF tour yet, providing masses of students with unforgettable experiences, exposure, and opportunities." said David Roemer, Co-Founder of Campus MovieFest.

"Each year, Campus MovieFest provides a great stage for us to showcase some of our most popular products and services, including our latest Samsung Quick Messaging phones, while providing a vehicle for these talented students to share their unique stories with a global audience," said Mimi Chan, director, Youth Marketing AT&T Mobility and Consumer Markets.

Contest Details
Student teams from participating colleges and universities who sign up for Campus MovieFest will have one week to create their own five-minute films on any topic. Competing student teams will be given access to 24/7 support from CMF and will be provided AT&T mobile phones, Apple computers and Panasonic HD camcorders to use for one week, free of charge.

Entries are judged by a panel of students and staff from each school, with the top 16 movies shown at each school's red carpet finale. Top movies from each school, including AT&T Wild Card Picks selected by text voting, move on to their CMF Regional Grand Finale, followed by the CMF International Grand Finale at Paramount Studios in June 2010.

Awards are also given for winners of special categories, such as the Social Justice category that encourages short movies about solutions to help eliminate domestic inequality, with $20,000 in cash grants for winners from The Elfenworks Foundation. AT&T also presents a Golden Mobile Award for students using groundbreaking AT&T technology in innovative ways in their movies.

AT&T Prize
The top movies from the festival will be shown exclusively on AT&T handsets via AT&T's CV mobile video platform. Text MOVIES to 41234 for more details.

Additionally, AT&T is sponsoring a unique sweepstakes that gives CMF participants the chance to attend one of the world's top film festivals and interview a famous director or producer, as well as other prizes. A sweepstakes winner from three regions of the country – Western, Southern and Northern - will win a trip for two to a leading film festival: Sundance, Tribeca or Cannes, based on region.

For a complete list of sweepstakes prizes, rules and alternative ways to enter, visit the "Mobile" section of the Campus MovieFest website —

Additional Contest Content
Other AT&T-CMF offerings include:

  • CMF Messaging Calendar designed to keep film lovers updated on the latest CMF news directly on their mobile phones. To opt-in to receive the CMF Messaging Calendar, text INFO to 41234.
  • Another sweepstakes open to the broader CMF audience will give fans a chance to win an AT&T prize pack including cash, an Apple MacBook Pro, AT&T Samsung phones, and AT&T gift cards, by simply texting WIN to 41234. More details can be found at, "Mobile" section.

Source: AT&T

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Ever Wanted To Redesign Google Here's Your Chance

WebMynd, designers of a Firefox and Internet Explorer add-on that augments Google's search results to include real-time Twitter updates, Wikipedia articles, YouTube videos, and results from dozens of other places has launched a contest appropriately called that invites designers from around the world to give Google a makeover.

WebMynd has posted all the details about the contest and how this theoretical redisng of Google works on its blog, but here are the basics.

Through the use of CSS RedesignGoogle lets you completely customize the look of Google Search by installing user-submitted designs from an online gallery. A stripped-down version of the WebMynd add-on applies your installed stylesheet whenever you’re on a Google search results page. (You can enable WebMynd’s other features if you like, but they’re turned off by default.) Currently, RedesignGoogle is only available for Firefox, but WebMynd says they will be releasing versions of the add-on for other browsers soon.

Anything about the Google search page that can be manipulated using CSS can be changed with RedesignGoogle. You can check out some examples of what others have created in the RedisgnGoogle gallery. There are a couple of really cool looking examples of what’s possible.
WebMynd offers a web-based CSS editor for creating and previewing your designs, or you can use any preferred tool set or editor you are comfortable with — just paste your stylesheet into the editor when you’re ready to apply it to your own searches and publish it to the Gallery.

The contest started accepting submissions Sept 20th, and will run through November 1. Then, a number of judges (which include Y Combinator’s Paul Graham and members of the WebMynd team) will pick the best designs. The winners will take home a brand new MacBook Air.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

A Year Later Google Project 10^100 Final Themes Announced

A year to the day of it introduction Google's Project 10^100 finally has a list of finalist for the world to vote on. The program, which asked for ideas that could change the world by helping as many people as possible, was originally launched exactly one year ago (in honor of the company’s 10th birthday).

The program was such a hit that it has taken the company an entire year to weed through the more than 150,000 submissions to narrow them down to 16 different overall theme ideas. Voting was meant to start in October of last year and the one final project to be chosen in January 2009. The response was such that Google was a bit overwhelmed, even with more than 3,000 Googlers in offices around the world reviewing the submissions.

In a blog post posted this afternoon Google said they will be accepting votes over the next two weeks. Upon gathering your votes they will send the top selections to an advisory board that will then choose up to five winning ideas that will receive funding. After that, the company will present the finalists and ask for proposals from individuals or organizations that can implement these ideas.

The public is invited to vote for your choice of any of the following sixteen ideas:

Help social entrepreneurs drive change

Create a fund to support social entrepreneurship. This idea was inspired by a number of user proposals focused on "social entrepreneurs" -- individuals and organizations who use entrepreneurial techniques to build ventures focused on attacking social problems and fomenting change. Specific relevant ideas include establishing schools that teach entrepreneurial skills in rural areas; supporting entrepreneurs in underdeveloped communities; and creating an entity to provide capital and training to help entrepreneurs build viable businesses and catalyze sustained community change.

Make government more transparent

Create a website that enables people from any country or municipality to easily learn about the workings of their government, and rally their fellow citizens to take action to improve it. Numerous user ideas embraced variations on the theme of governmental transparency, with specific proposals ranging from publishing details of proposed laws and politicians' voting records to making public budgets searchable online and leveraging social networks to let communities make their voices heard by their representatives by voting on pressing issues.

Provide quality education to African students

Support efforts to increase young Africans' access to quality education. This idea's many user-submitted inspirations include an initiative to provide quality education and facilities to children who lack access; giving leadership training to outstanding young people who will comprise tomorrow's African leaders; and providing an online networking space for knowledge sharing and collaboration among teachers in Africa.

Create real-time natural crisis tracking system

Make rapid-response crisis-mapping data available to help policymakers better coordinate response efforts during hurricanes, earthquakes, tsunamis and other natural disasters. For example, this proposal could involve joining with global partners to develop technology to collect high-resolution imagery and video via satellite, Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) or ground-based communications, and display and aggregate this data for the use of policymakers and international organizations tasked with protecting vulnerable civilians.

Promote health monitoring and data analysis

Predict and minimize medical problems and emergencies through real-time tracking of individuals' health data and analysis of historical data. Several ideas submitted in multiple languages recommend this concept, offering various ideas about which types of monitors and devices to use; which vital signs to measure (with varying levels of invasiveness); which diseases and conditions to track; and so on. The idea could work both in the developed world (through wearable, mobile or in-home devices) and in the developing world (via publicly accessible locations and devices), and the data could be used both to track individuals' health status and to spot community trends and prevent disease outbreaks.

Enhance science and engineering education

Support initiatives that enhance young people's engineering and science education. Users from many countries agreed that encouraging science education was an ideal way to insure the brightest future for technology development itself. Specific ideas ranged from building a virtual science lab and a live multiplayer math game to putting Lego robots and local high-tech professionals in schools.

Create real-world issue reporting system

Build an issue-reporting website that lets people report problems to proper authorities. When software testers find errors, they generally submit them to a tool which automatically routes them to the right team to be fixed. Implementing proposals for this idea might involve creating an analogous system for the real world that lets anyone report a problem of any kind (e.g., a dangerous pothole), and routes problems it deems sufficiently important to the proper authorities (e.g., the relevant road agency). The aim would be to incorporate all the niche applications that users suggested, including reporting crimes to the police and environmental issues to local governments.

Create genocide monitoring and alert system

Build and refine tools capable of disseminating genocide-related mapping and related information in order to save lives. Much of the necessary technology and data-gathering methodology already exists both for general crisis mapping and for early warning systems capable of preventing mass atrocities. A key remaining step is to make this data more widely available to strengthen international aid agency coordination, improve resource allocation, develop timely policy and help evaluate current humanitarian practices.

Build real-time, user-reported news service

Help people find and report timely, important local information. Users have submitted many ideas proposing better access to locally relevant info, including real-time news (fires, natural disasters and road accidents), disease tracking (mobile devices that track people's health status) and personal incidents (calling to report a threatening criminal situation, natural disaster or medical emergency). Implementation of this idea would involve creating a system that enables ordinary citizens to easily report news that's happening around them, from meaningful local events to important global stories.

Drive innovation in public transport

Develop new transportation technologies to help move more people with less energy, greater efficiency and fewer casualties. Millions of people still use methods of transportation invented a hundred or more years ago. Even small improvements in speed, safety, cost and environmental efficiency would have a large impact on people's lives, and on the planet as a whole. With such improvements in mind, transportation-minded users submitted ideas ranging from a hydrogen-powered bicycle to an airship optimized for commuter travel. By aligning with and supporting organizations that share these goals, this proposal aims to drive innovation in this sector and make the best of these ideas a reality.

Make educational content available online for free

Make educational and course materials more accessible online to students worldwide. Lots of educational content is not indexed or accessible on the public web. Various users have proposed finding ways to help content owners put formerly exclusive content online, including offline materials (lectures, textbooks, videotaped workshops) and limited-access materials (scholarly papers, research dissertations); help teachers themselves become more available online (access to online profs, 24/7 homework help, cross-country study groups); and to make all this material and academic help accessible through both computer and mobile platforms.

Create more efficient landmine removal programs

Fund global organizations that are developing efficient strategies for landmine detection and removal. Landmines remain a significant global problem. There are an estimated 110 million landmines still active in 70 countries; they have been blamed for over 5,000 casualties annually, ~70% of which are civilians, and nearly half of those are children.* Effective new landmine-removal programs offer a wide range of societal benefits beyond the obvious development of mine-free areas, including the repatriation of refugees and better distribution of emergency aid. Numerous suggestions for this topic include robotic, human and animal-facilitated detection strategies.

Work toward socially conscious tax policies

Fund the most promising efforts to make the tax system more transparent and better at supporting societal sustainability and development. This idea is inspired by many tax-related ideas from users around the world, including: replacing income taxes with smart consumption taxes; tax discounts for citizens who participate in socially beneficial works; and giving citizens more visibility and control into the allocation of their tax dollars. User ideas in this category highlight tax policy as a perhaps surprisingly fertile area in which intelligent, data-driven analysis could make a huge difference in the effectiveness of the public sector.

Build better banking tools for everyone

Partner with banks and technology companies to increase the reach of financial services across the world. Users submitted numerous ideas that seek to improve the quality of people's lives by offering new, more convenient and more sophisticated banking services. Specific suggestions include inexpensive village-based banking kiosks for developing countries; an SMS solution geared toward mobile networks; and ideas for implementing banking services into school curriculums.

Collect and organize the world's urban data

Support efforts to organize, analyze and make accessible online the world's urban and population data. A majority of the global human population lives in cities, and more people continue to migrate into urban centers. Information about the urban planet is ever more invaluable in helping understand humanity's impact on our surroundings, thus empowering citizens and helping leaders make better-informed decisions. Users interested in this area submitted ideas ranging from creating a website where residents can text or upload photos that highlight city issues to building a comprehensive database of city projects and using mobile phones to collect information about, and eventually be able to predict traffic and congestion patterns.

Encourage positive media depictions of engineers and scientists

Support groups and programs that promote positive depictions of engineers and scientists in popular media. Generally speaking, career services are only offered in earnest during university years, when many opportunities have already passed by. These proposals are designed to encourage more young people to pursue careers in this field by supporting groups that work toward encouraging positive images of engineering and science in pop culture. Our users submitted a number of suggestions for making engineering and science "cool," including online libraries of "day-in-the-life of an engineer" videos, an online channel devoted entirely to IT news, live performances with massive robots, and telling inspirational real-life stories about how individual engineers and scientists have changed the world. This proposal will require finding the right public advocacy groups to partner with in pursuing these objectives.

Google is doing a great thing here and the Project 10^100 is an effort that should be applauded so everyone should get over there and and vote to help them choose the theme or idea they like the most.

Wii Prices Officially Dropped To $199, Xbox 360 Officially Gets A Mail In Rebate

Nintendo has officially announced that beginning Sunday, Sept. 27 the price of its popular Wii game system will be cut from $249 to $199. This follows much speculation and leaked fliers from various sources showing the un-official prices. The new price drops comes on the heals of Microsoft and Sony's reductions last month of their own game systems. Sony's best-selling PlayStation 3 now sells for $299 (down from $399), while Microsoft's high-end Xbox 360 Elite model sells for $299 (down from $399).

To keep a competitive edge in the price wars Microsoft's offering a $50 rebate to anyone who buys their premium Xbox Elite gaming system before October 5th.

Review: Adesso WKB-4000UB Mini Wireless Keyboard

When you need it to be small light weight and ultra portable

Our latest review comes courtesy of Adesso, the company was nice enough to send us out their new WKB-4000UB Mini Wireless Keyboard.

For starters let me say this review is going to be a bit contradictory. I know I know reviews should be clear and concise. Either you really like the product and how it performs or you don't. Reviews are supposed to be fully objective and not subjective. However when it comes to ultra compact devices I tend to be a bit subjective, thus leading to a bit of a contradictory tone in this review.

Adesso WKB-4000UB

WKB-4000UB Features:
  • 2.4GHz wireless RF technology with 12 channels (65000 IDs per channel)
  • Wireless range distance up to 30 feet
  • Compact layout featuring 87 keys in an ultra-stylish design
  • Include power “ON/OFF” switch for increased energy saving
  • Include “Connect” button for easy connection
  • Include Battery Low LED indicator
  • Include 2 AAA Battery
  • Include Mini USB Receiver dongle (Dimensions: 1.65" x 0.75" x 0.25")
  • Magnetic receiver holder on the back of keyboard
  • Power Sleep Mode: 5 minutes (if not used)
  • Keyboard Technology: Scissor Switch
  • Switch Life: six million cycles
  • Switch Travel: 3.0+/- 0.3mm
  • Touchpad: 2 button Glidepoint Touchpad with scrolling feature
  • Touchpad working area: 3” x 1.75”
  • Dimensions: 11.75" x 8.25" x 0.8”
  • Weight: 1.25 lbs.

Mini means small but maybe not small enough

The WKB-4000UB is by far one of the smallest stand alone keyboards I've ever used. Measuring 8.5"x11" this thing is literally as big as a sheet of paper. Netbook owners or owners of sub-compact notebooks would be more than comfortable typing away on this super compact keyboard but those of us that like full sized keyboards likely won't feel at home.

Now here is your first contradiction. One of the first problems I noticed is that its almost not small enough, and let me explain why.

The keyboard itself measures 11.75" x 8.25" x 0.8” with the addition of the 3” x 1.75” credit card sized touch pad and keys you get an overhang of about 3". The added touchpad might be a good feature for some but not for me. The placement and inability to change the sensitivity or turn it off altogether caused several issues with normal day to day use. The main issue was me accidentally brushing it with a thumb or palm thus moving my cursor to the mouse pointer. This was a major issue for me as a blogger and editing my blog posts.

In my opinion that is 3 inches of wasted space. I'd like to see the touchpad removed and either have the space used for media keys, a trackball or not used at all. Cut the keyboard dimensions down in size.

The touchpad is a great addition for some users

Here is contradiction number two. Personally I didn't find much use for the touchpad, actually I loathe the things and never use them, even using a laptop I use a mouse. In our previous review of the Adesso Wireless Media Center Keyboard we actually liked and used the scroll wheel. The scroll wheel had a much better placement and overall a much better feel.

Not being totally subjective I will admit that the touchpad on the WKB-4000UB does have potential. When used as an HTPC keyboard or in conjunction with a POS machine or in a kiosk environment they touchpad could be very beneficial.

I did find it very response and very receptive to input. Tracking was smooth and accurate with nearly no lag. Pressure sensitivity was a bit overly sensitive but not dramatically so. The buttons were decent but they were a bit noisy. The scrolling feature was a nice touch as it makes web page browsing a snap.

Superior range gives you room to roam

Testing the range of keyboards is always a challenge The range of today's wireless keyboards often extends further than a users range of use. This is one area all of the Adesso products I've tested have excelled in, they all have shown excellent range and the WKB-4000UB is no different.

In testing I often exceeded the range of 20 ft line of sight and had little to no issues with 10-15 ft through interior walls and even found it would work adequately at 8-10 ft through exterior walls. This extended range was a great feature and very unexpected considering adapter in tiny compared to others I've used. The range we achieved was wide enough to make it usable in just about any room in an office or small house coupled with its small size the keyboard proved to be excellent for typing on the move. Something I personally do often.

Overall conclusion

While its clear my review is a bit mixed the Adesso WKB-4000UB is a fairly nice keyboard. The range is great, the keys are nice and responsive yet fairly quiet. The overall look and feel isn't as bad as my review might sounds. The size certainly isn't going to appeal to everyone, as I mentioned I found some issues with it but that shouldn't prevent anyone that is looking for a keyboard that is portable enough to be stuck in backpack or briefcase from taking a look at it.

At $89.99 @ Newegg the price tag is a bit higher than I'd expect for what you get, after all other than being small it is pretty much a no frills keyboard. Nevertheless when comparing it to other mini-keyboards with similar features the price is pretty much inline with what you'd expect to pay.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Win A Free Copy Of Windows 7 With The #WinWin7 Twitter Contest

As part of a promotion to reach 77,777 followers by the Windows 7 launch date on October 22nd the Windows Outreach Team on Microsoft’s official Windows Twitter account @MSWindows has been busy giving away some great prizes to their followers.

The #WinWin7 Twitter contest, which officially launched earlier this month, will run throughout the next 7 weeks. The Windows Outreach Team will use the official MS Twitter page @mswindows to give away prizes all based on the number 7 (for Windows 7). Winners must take part in the challenges and are encouraged to invite friends to join in on the fun which all culminates on launch day - October 22nd.

The Windows Outreach Team has already given away great MS items like Microsoft mouse and keyboard combos, gaming keyboards, 7 hot pizzas and 7lbs of candy (yes these are odd prizes). At a given point in the contest the team will select one one lucky follower to give out a copy of Windows 7 to. Starting there, they will continue to give away a copy of Windows 7 for every 2,000 followers (so, at 44,777 then 46,777 and on and on). For those good at math, the more people that join, the more chances everyone has of winning a copy of Windows 7.

All followers of @MSWindows are eligible, both new and old follower. So far they are at 45,228 (as of post time), so we need to enlist another 1,549 followers to reach the next "7" milestone.

When the magical number of 77,777 is reached, the Windows Outreach Team has some great prizes to hand out. No word on what these prizes might be but Microsoft's Brandon LeBlanc promises they will be great prizes.

Ubuntu Announces Ubuntu 10.04 LTS Codenamed The Lucid Lynx

With Ubuntu 9.10 Alpha 6 now out the door and momentum building towards a rocking Karmic Koala release, it is time to name and share the direction and focus for the next step in the Ubuntu evolution that follows Karmic.

Mark Shuttleworth, the founder of the Ubuntu project has announced the next version of Ubuntu:

Two years ago we announced the second LTS release, and what we hoped would become a standard practice of making LTS releases on a predictable two-year schedule, overlayed on our existing six-month schedule of desktop and server releases.

We are now giving a name to the next Ubuntu LTS: The Lucid Lynx.

Ubuntu 10.04 LTS will ship in April 2010 and is the culmination of significant work in Ubuntu, in Debian and across the free software ecosystem. LTS releases are maintained for five years on the server and three years on the desktop, so they are designed for those who are making larger deployments or who otherwise prefer to have a common platform for an extended period.

Lucid will continue our tradition of focusing an LTS on a quality, stable and consistent experience and will require a number of adjustments to the usual plan. Those are documented at, the Lucid Lynx release schedule. In summary, we will be more conservative in the new code we bring into Ubuntu during the development cycle, and we will run a longer test period. Our focus will be stabilisation and bug-fixing across the platform with additional refinements in quality in key areas such as user interface improvements, boot experience, browsing and installing the incredible catalogue of software available for Ubuntu, and continuing our tradition of best-of-breed hardware support. We will maintain the health and security of our lynx with point releases.

The Lynx is a predator that depends on very considered tactical positioning for success. It’s a small cat, which fits nicely with the lean nature of Ubuntu on both the desktop and the server. It’s stylish and sleek, the bow-tie-adorned James Bond of the feline set, so you can bet we’ll make sure it’s dressed for the occasion. The lynx likes to keep things in perspective, sticking to high ground. So do we. And it’s the national animal of Macedonia, a country that has deployed tens of thousands of Ubuntu desktops in schools.

Speed is an essential ingredient in the attack of a lynx, and speed remains our goal. We have improved the boot time in each of the releases during this era of Ubuntu, and expect to complete some of the major improvements required for 10 second booting with Lucid. Fully harnessing Upstart, in collaboration with Debian, will get us even closer to the goal.

Ubuntu 10.04 LTS will be a round dozen Ubuntu releases. 12 great cycles, from a great community that continues to devote itself to the goal of bringing the best stable free software to an audience of people who don’t think of themselves as computer specialists – and shouldn’t have to, either. It’s a wonderful privilege to be part of making it happen. That should put a tuft on your ears.

Source: Ubuntu Fridge