Tuesday, November 17, 2009

AMD Introduces ATI Radeon HD 5970

ati logo Massive overclocking potential enables PC gaming enthusiasts to dominate their gameplay with DirectX 11 expand the game experience with ATI Eyefinity technology and accelerate with ATI Stream technology

AMD today announced the flagship installment in the award-winning line of graphics cards, the ATI Radeon HD 5970, the fastest card ever created.1 The new ultra high-end model joins a growing list of the world’s first and only graphics cards to fully support Microsoft DirectX 11 technology and ATI Eyefinity multi-display technology.

radeon hd 5970
Designed to support the most demanding PC games at ultra-high resolutions and image quality settings, the ATI Radeon HD 5970 has unlocked overclocking potential, granting access to every bit of power the card has to offer through ATI Overdrive technology. Now shipping from retailers and available in the channel, the ATI Radeon HD 5970 also launches today in new Alienware Area-51, Area-51 ALX and Aurora desktop PCs.

Record-breaking overclocking capabilities take Dragon Platform technology to the forefront for users that demand the utmost control in performance tuning. The unrivaled overclocking capabilities of the ATI Radeon HD 5970 are enabled by the unique design of the card, which features advanced fan and vapor chamber technologies and a fully vented exhaust to keep the card cool and ensure overclocking headroom using ATI Overdrive™ technology.2 The formidable combination of AMD Phenom II processors, AMD 7-Series chipsets, and ATI Radeon HD graphics deliver comprehensive tuning, immersive entertainment, and outstanding value.

Enthusiasts can expand their field of view, ATI Radeon HD 5970, driving up to three displays at once, delivering an unmatched maximum resolution of 7680x1600 and creating an unparalleled game play experience. For the first time ever, ATI CrossFireX technology leverages the power of multiple graphics processors to deliver even more game performance in 20 of today’s popular titles when using ATI Eyefinity technology, with more to come.

The ATI Radeon HD 5970 graphics card delivers nearly 5 TeraFLOPS of compute power, ensuring superior performance in the latest DirectX 11 games, as well as in previous versions of DirectX and OpenGL titles. With the world’s most powerful graphics core built on 40nm process technology harnessing up to 3,200 stream processors, gamers can enjoy DirectX 11 games now, such as EA Phenomic’s BattleForge and S.T.A.L.K.E.R.:Call of Pripyat from GSC Game World, with many more titles on the way, including:
New features and functionality of ATI Stream technology allow users to harness the ATI Radeon HD 5970 graphics card to enhance their computing experience, helping to improve the performance of enabled media, entertainment and productivity applications. ATI Stream technology and the HD 5970 support both Direct Compute 11 and OpenCL industry standards for application acceleration.
Delivering full-fledged performance when needed, the ATI Radeon HD 5970 also leads in power efficiency by automatically powering down unused GPU resources when not in use, resulting in idle desktop power consumption as low as 42 watts.

The ATI Radeon HD 5970 is supported by a wide range of add-in-board companies, including ASK, Asus, Club 3D, Diamond, Gigabyte, High Tech, MSI, Sapphire, Tul/Power Color, Visiontek and XFX.
To celebrate the launch of the ATI Radeon HD 5970 and to conclude a series of contests created to celebrate AMD’s 40th anniversary year, AMD is announcing the third and final contest designed to give back to AMD fans and supporters. Starting today, fans of AMD on Facebook will be able to enter to win one of 10 Microsoft Xbox 360s or one of 10 Wiis from Nintendo. One gaming system will be given away every weekday for four weeks. Full contest rules and details available online: www.amd.com/40years

“With the arrival of the ATI Radeon HD 5970, the fastest graphics card in the world, we’ve cemented AMD as the unquestioned graphics leader,” said Matt Skynner, vice president and general manager, AMD Graphics Group. “With the holiday shopping season right around the corner, the new card, coupled with the awesome power of ATI Eyefinity technology, is the ultimate setup for serious gamers.”

“The extraordinary performance of the ATI Radeon HD 5970 is a perfect match for the Alienware Area-51, Area-51 ALX and Aurora desktops,” said Frank Azor, senior product planning manager, Dell Gaming. “By offering this level of graphics capability as well as the visual and performance enhancements made possible by DirectX 11 hardware, gamers will benefit from enhanced image quality enabling an incredibly intense gaming experience.”

ATI Radeon 5970 Benchmarks And Reviews

Related Articles

Supporting Resources
Availability And Pricing

The HD 5970 showed online this afternoon at Newegg however like the 5870 it currently isn't listed in stock. Here are a couple links as well as pricing details for anyone interested.

Source: AMD

Google Scholar Now With Legal Opinions

Some of you outside of the academia might not know what Google Scholar if you don't don't feel bad but you should. Google Scholar is one of those essential tools that could possibly help you save some time, money and numerous trips to the library. And now it might help you learn a little about the laws that affect you on a daily basis.

Google Scholar is a free service that helps users search scholarly literature such as peer-reviewed papers, theses, books, preprints, abstracts and technical reports and starting today it allows users to find laws that govern us.

With today's announcement from Google, online users can now use Scholar to find and read full text legal opinions from U.S. federal and state district, appellate and supreme courts. Meaning you can now use a friendly Google type interface to find legal opinions by either by searching for cases (like Planned Parenthood v. Casey), or by topics (like desegregation) or other queries that you are interested in.

Google Scholar is as easy to use as the normal Google web search interface especially with the helpfulness of the "advanced search" options, which can automatically narrow search results to a specific journal or article, specific years or specific states or one of several subject matters. This is very handy for doing research projects, homework or for you geeks out there that just need to know.

The most relevant results will be listed first, in order of the authors ranking, the amount of references that are linked to it and their relevance to other scholarly literature, and the ranking of the publication that the journal appears in. No need to weed through bad pages as all the Web pages that are going to be "scholarly."

MSI Announces Afterburner Overclocking Competition

MSI and Guru3D want to see how far you can OC your GPU

Sick and tired of the cliché that the overclocking competitions are always chasing for the highest performance? What about competing the overclocking percentage this time? MSI - the world leading graphics card and mainboard brand-manufacturer and Guru3D - the world famous graphics card review site, will hold an "afterburner overclocking competition" together. Different kinds of GPUs and different levels of graphics cards can compete in the same competition this time. We "only" compete for the maximum overclocking percentage, and the winner may be not the one who gets the highest 3DMark score! Using N220GT-MD1G to beat R5870-PM2D1G up will no longer be a dream!

Starting from 2009/11/18 to 2009/12/18, players can log in the discussion thread of "MSI afterburner overclocking competition" in the forums of Guru3D and post one system picture as well as one screenshot that includes MSI afterburner overclocking v1.30 and 600 seconds of Furmark burning test by one of the MSI N9000/N200/R4000/R5000 series graphics cards.*

After deadline, MSI will award the top 3 winners based on their overclocking percentage with the prizes including the most exciting products like: MSI R5870-PM2D1G, MSI BigBang Fuzion, and MSI N275GTX Lightning. MSI will also choose 3 lucky people from the rest players to give away limited N9600GT Diamond graphics card.

Besides "Afterburner overclocking competition", MSI will also hold an "Afterburner skin competition", players get to upload the skin that is designed by themselves to the discussion thread of "Afterburner skin competition" for members in Guru3D forum to vote for their favorite skin. MSI will provide prizes including MSI P55-GD80, MSI R4890 Cyclone OC, and MSI N260GTX-T2D896-OC for the top 3 skins winner. Moreover, 3 lucky participants can also earn the N9600GT Diamond graphics cards provided by MSI for joining the vote.

How can you not attract by all these prizes and crazy ideas? Click and join us now: (Click here) Prepare one MSI qualified graphics card to see how far you can reach or design some incredible skins for afterburner to win prizes right away!

Source: MSI

New Hack Kills Windows 7 Activation

According to a recent article published on My Digital Life , hackers have created a pair of hacks that when used will allegedly circumvent the Windows Seven product activation allowing users to run an unactivated version of the OS indefinitely (or at least until MS comes up with a patch).

According to the post the two application work by completely bypassing the windows activation schemes, meaning not only does a user not need to activate their version of Windows they don't even need a legit product key. Simply install the OS and run the two apps and you're done.

RemoveWAT, which was developed by MyDigitalLife users Hazar and nononsence is a Windows 7 crack that completely removes Windows Activation Technologies from the system so that users can validate the illegal pirated copies of Windows 7 as genuine status, forever and permanently. RemoveWAT supports both 32-bit (x86) and 64-bit (x64) and all editions of Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 .

Chew-WGA is a similar Windows 7 crack which is designed to test the security resistance of various software protections built into Windows 6.1.x operating systems. It works by restraining certain components of the software protection platform. Other than restricting access to sppcomapi.dll file, Chew-WGA also patches many SPP related files. Chew-WGA, which currently updated to Chew-WGA v0.9, will make the system to return activated status, and Windows is activated message is displayed in Control Panel’s System Properties.

According to PC World Microsoft said it knew about the hacks and was looking into ways to block them. "We're aware of this workaround and are already working to address it," a company spokeswoman said today. Since this crack works based on the removal of activation component and involves patching, changes and modification to many system files, it is more than likely going to be easily defeated by Microsoft, especially in next WGA update or Service Pack 1 (SP1) for Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2. It should also be noted that the Windows Seven Software Protection Platform (SPP) has worked effectively in many cases to counter unauthorized edit of system files, which may result in features or functionality of Windows being deactivated, reduced, disabled or removed, causing various error message when users wants to perform certain action. Thus, the cracks should never be executed on a system intended for continual use, and should only be used to extend the evaluation period to avoid reinstallation.

In all honesty an end user wanting to use a Windows operating system any longer than 30 days should purchase a license. Running a cracked/hacked version of an OS isn't a viable option for most users out there as often times there are secondary adverse affects not to mention the need to constantly monitor updates, service packs ect for possible fixes to your crack which would leave your system useless.

Rumored Apple Black Friday Deals

Apple may be offering 25% off Macs, 30% off iPods on Black Friday

According to BoyGeniusReport on Nov 27th Apple will be offering up to 30% off on all iPods (excluding iPhone and iPod shuffle), up to 25% off Macs, and up to 15% off all accessories as well as Apple software and hardware.

BGR reports that the info and the flyer posted on their site was leaked by an Apple insider. The flier (pictured below) doesn't show much for details, but what is there, if legit, is fairly juicy. The sale is a one day only deal November 27th with "select" stores opening early.

For more deals on iPods, Macs and other Apple products checkout the MacMall 96 Hour Apple Sale! and get free engraving, a free charger and free Case, with all iPods after mail-in rebates.

Want To See How Your Stimulus Dollars Reached The Science Community, There's A Site For That

ScienceWorksforUS.org, which was unveiled today at a press conference in Washington, D.C, is a joint effort of the Science Coalition the Association of American Universities and the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities to gather data from most of the major research institutions across the country to track where the billions of dollars from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA), also known as the Recovery Act, or the stimulus of 2009.

The site features an interactive 50 states map which not only gives details on the number of grants each state has received but also a total overall dollar amount.

Selecting state individually gives you a further break down showing Universities and organizations that have received grants as well as recent news aggregated from various source about stimulus project in each individual state.

About the site founders

AAU, APLU, and TSC collectively represent more than 200 of the nation’s leading academic research institutions. The associations supported the inclusion of research funding in the Recovery Act because basic research produces both immediate and long-term economic impact, and will lead to solutions to many of the greatest challenges facing our country. Basic research is the foundation on which the United States will improve energy efficiency, reduce dependence on foreign oil, deploy 21st century technologies, save lives, and help bring down the cost of health care. In many communities across the country, research universities are the largest employers and a vital component of the local economy.

The Association of American Universities (AAU) is an association of 62 leading public and private research universities in the United States and Canada organized to develop and implement effective national and institutional policies supporting research and scholarship, graduate, professional, and undergraduate education, and public service in research universities. AAU universities award over one-half of all U.S. doctoral degrees and 55 percent of those in the sciences and engineering. Click here for AAU’s membership list.

Founded in 1887, the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities (A۰P۰L۰U) is an association of public research universities, land-grant institutions, and many state public university systems. Its 219 members enroll more than 4.7 million students, award nearly one-million degrees annually, and conduct nearly two-thirds of all academic research, totaling more than $34 billion annually. As the nation’s oldest higher education association, A۰P۰L۰U is dedicated to excellence in learning, discovery and engagement. Click here for a list of A۰P۰L۰U members.

The Science Coalition is a non-profit, nonpartisan organization representing 48 of the nation’s leading public and private research universities. It is dedicated to sustaining the federal government’s investment in basic research as a means to stimulate the economy, drive innovation and secure America’s global competitiveness. Click here for a list of TSC members.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Dell Confirms They Are Entering The SmartPhone Business

Dell once again has confirmed rumors that they will being making a foray into the smartphone business with the announcement of their new Dell Mini 3 smartphone.Their initial roll out will first begin in China and Brazil through partnerships with two of the world’s largest mobile operators: China Mobile and Claro.

dell mini 3

Many of the details, including whether or not they'll be adding more countries to the list or if we can expect a Dell smartphone here in the states anytime soon have yet to be announced. It seems like a certainty considering the reports that Dell has already submitted the Dell Mini 3iX to the FCC for approval with AT&T, and Dell has already leaked plans both to The Wall Street Journal and to TechPulse 360.

About all we know at this time is that the new Dell Mini 3 smartphones run Google’s Android platform. According to previously leaked specs this is what we can expect of the Mini 3

  • Quad-band GSM/GPRS/EDGE class 12
  • Size: 68.6cc
  • 103g grams weight
  • Dimensions: 58 x 122 x 11.7mm
  • Display: 3.5″ nHD 640×360 LCD, 18-bit, 262K colors
  • OTA capable
  • Microsoft Exchange support
  • Google, AIM, Yahoo and MSN IM support
  • 3 megapixel auto-focus, flash, 8x digital zoom camera with 30fps video shooting mode, built in photo editor
  • USB 2.0, Bluetooth 2.0 + EDR
  • A-GPS
  • On-screen QWERTY keyboard, hardwriting recognition, multi touch UI
  • MicroSD slot

The Mini 3 is expected to go on sale in China by late November and in Brazil by the end of the year, Dell said. A company spokesman said Dell has been working on the phone with China Mobile for about a year.

Update - More details from Dell's official press release

CyberPower Announces Next-Gen Notebook Gaming Systems With Intel Core i7 Mobile Processors

CyberPower Inc. www.cyberpowerpc.com, a manufacturer of custom gaming machines, today announced a new series of notebook gaming systems that feature the brand new Intel Core i7 mobile CPU and chipset.

CyberPower's new Xplorer series all feature Intel's Core i7 Mobile Processors with Intel's new PM55 Express Chipset to provide the best notebook PC experience for gaming, digital media and photo sharing, multi-threaded software and business applications that demand desktop PC processing speed.

CyberPower's Xplorer X7-7700, Xplorer X6-9900, and top of the line Xplorer X7-8500 all unleash the power of a desktop in a laptop. Core i7 features such as Intel's Turbo Boost Technology can accelerate the processor clock speed up to 75 percent to match workloads while Hyper-Threading Technology offers better performance on highly threaded applications.

Leading off the series is the Xplorer X7-7700, which delivers unbeatable performance and value. The X7-7700 notebook features Intel's Core i7-720QM and P55Mobile chipset to deliver smart and efficient processing and computing. The X7-7700 combines the power of the Core i7 mobile processors with an NVIDIA GTS 250 for amazing gaming experience. The base model also includes 4GBs of DDR3 RAM and 500GB 7200 RPM HD for improved performance and load times for work and game. List price of this configuration is $1499.

For the ultimate in portable gaming experience CyberPower's X6-9900 and X7-8500 notebook PCs include all the features found on the X7-7700 but also offer an upgraded 1080P 1920x1080 display, and NVIDIA's GTX 280M graphics card for smooth game play. Customers can take advantage of the full HD 1080P display with a Blu-Ray optical drive for an enhanced movie watching experience. The X6-9900 and X7-8500 are priced at $1885 and $2119.

You can customize your gaming notebooks with three new Core i7 CPUs, which range from the Core i7-720QM, the i7-820QM, and the fastest notebook processor available, Intel's Extreme Edition i7-920XM. All CyberPower gaming notebooks can be customized with accessories, peripherals, and extended warranty coverage and services at CyberPower's website.

Every notebook comes with Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium 64-Bit pre-installed. CyberPower notebooks are backed by a 1-year warranty and lifetime toll-free tech support.

TomTom To Offer Free Upgrade To iPhone App Users

TomTom to update its application for iPhone with major improvements and new features for free

Advanced lane guidance, text-to-speech and the “Help menu” among new features coming soon

Users of TomTom’s popular iPhone navigation application will soon be able to enjoy even more advanced features, with a free update ensuring users always have the best navigation experience. This update, which is being submitted to Apple for review today and will be awaiting their approval, will bring significant and advanced additional features that TomTom fans around the world have come to appreciate.

These are:

Advanced lane guidance giving drivers extra clarity when navigating difficult junctions. For the first time this is in both landscape and portrait mode.

Text-to-speech helping motorists to keep their eyes on the road by enabling street names and places to be read aloud as part of the spoken instructions.

“Help Me” providing direct access to emergency numbers and directions to the nearest emergency providers.
Updated map and safety camera database.

Customisable audio warnings when approaching safety cameras or driving over the speed limit, increasing driver safety and saving money.

iPod player control ensuring drivers can conveniently control their music from within the application.

“The TomTom app for iPhone is a priority for us and we are committed to both its long term development and everyday improvements,” said Benoit Simeray, TomTom’s senior vice president, On-board Mobile. “Current and future customers of our application for the iPhone can count on more great updates from TomTom for free.”

Source: TomTom

YouTube Adding Support For 1080p HD Videos

youtube logoYouTube has announced that starting next week YouTube's HD mode will add support for viewing videos in 720p or 1080p.

How much better will 1080p look over the current 720p offering, well find out for yourself by viewing the 1080p test video.

What does this mean for us end users, well it could lead to tons of added content down the road. YouTube could potentially start offering premium content such as streams of higher resolution HD movies. Might we see a new subscription service from the site? Who knows forsure.

It is possible however that YouTube will add a boost to the user maximum file size limit. The move to 1080p won't mean that users will need to change their uploading habits. Currently videos uploaded from regular users are limited to 10-minutes and or 2GBs. This limit would need to be boosted in order to accommodate the new 1080p videos.

The new higher resolution won't change much for the uploader side. For instance you won't need to change the format you current use YouTube stores videos at whatever resolution you originally used so unless you used 1080p before you won't be affected. 1080p uploaders also won't need to re-upload old videos. Videos that had already been uploaded at 1080p will be automatically re-encoded to play back at the higher resolution.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

MSI Kicks Off Crazy X-Slim Series Notebook Deal For UK AU And IN Customers

Starting today and ending December 31, MSI has teamed up with leading India, UK, Australia and Italy electronics channels and online electronics stores to run a joint promotional activity involving the globally popular MSI X-Slim Series ultra-thin, power-saving notebooks. Visit http://xslimseries.msi.com/ to get the latest information on special offers.

Customers need only access the online e-coupon (found here), print it out, and take it to an MSI notebook retailer or visit MSI cooperative online electronics stores to take advantage of an exclusive discount when purchasing an X-Slim Series X340, X400, X600 and Wind12 U200. The whole series of 12" to 15.6" ultra-thin, power-saving notebooks with amazing entertainment capabilities are eligible for this discount!

The MSI X-Slim series ultra-thin notebooks, in addition to having stylish exteriors, all feature Intel's newest ultra-thin, power-saving architecture with over 9 hours of battery endurance, resulting in better performance and power conservation. The entire product series of "light, slim & aesthetic" models measure less than 1" thick, with some models barely 6mm at their thinnest point. All models weigh less than 2kg and have a perfect balance of performance & aesthetics. They have been called the thinnest notebook computers on the market.

This promotion is a combined promotional effort between MSI and leading online electronics stores and retailers. Consumers can access the joint marketing website http://xslimseries.msi.com/ to understand the latest MSI product trends and sales information and access links to other online stores to take advantage of this deal firsthand.

Source: MSI Global

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Microsoft Pwns Xbox Modders

Microsoft has decided to crack down on Xbox modders by cutting off access to Xbox Live online services to players running modded Xbox consoles. This move could potentially affect anywhere between 600,000 and 1 million players.

According to the report originally posted by InformationWeek, Microsoft has banned as many as a million players from Xbox Live for altering their consoles by physically attaching extra chips or other hardware to play pirated games.

Despite the fact that it is illegal and against the TOS the company can actually can do little to prevent users modifying their machines. Blocking users from features such as the Xbox Live online services is about the only recourse MS has to discourage users from modding their systems.

"All consumers should know that piracy is illegal and that modifying their Xbox 360 console to play pirated discs violates the Xbox Live terms of use, will void their warranty and result in a ban from Xbox Live," Microsoft said in a statement. "The health of the video game business depends on customers paying for the genuine products and services they receive from manufacturers, retailers, and the third parties that support them."

Microsoft said its "commitment to combat piracy and support safer and more secure gameplay for the more than 20 million members of the Xbox Live community remains a top priority." I personally don't see that this move will affect the safety or security of gameplay in anyway, however its understandable that they want to cut down on piracy.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Best Buy Selling $249 Acer Notebook Starting Wed 11/11

Best Buy Unveils Its Lowest-Advertised-Priced Laptop Ever
$249.99 notebook launches robust holiday computing selection

Best Buy will appeal to value-conscious consumers with a dynamic holiday computing selection launching Nov. 11 and featuring the retailer’s lowest-advertised-price laptop ever. Selling in-store and online for $249.99, the Acer laptop delivers solid specifications including an Intel Celeron 900 processor, 2GB memory and a 160GB hard drive, and debuts the extensive seasonal computing offerings at Best Buy.

This holiday, computing selection at Best Buy spans nine popular brands, and includes over 30 laptops, six netbooks, 17 desktops and four all-in-ones. The assortment, coupled with new technologies and promotional offers like the $249.99 Acer laptop, are intended to help both customers who want to upgrade their own gear with the arrival of Windows 7, and who have computing on their wish lists for holiday.

“For many of us, computers are the center of our digital worlds, and Best Buy is committed to remaining a valued partner in this space,” said Jason Bonfig, vice president of computers at Best Buy. “We promise a broad assortment of quality products at a variety of price points, all the major brands, and smart Best Buy Blue Shirts and Geek Squad Agents to help customers feel confident about the choices they’re making.”

From now through the end of December, Best Buy will marshal a distinctive combination of dynamic assortment, exclusive offers and support services to benefit shoppers ready to give the gift of computing this holiday season – whether for loved ones or themselves. The retailer’s holiday line-up includes:

  • Broadest-Ever Selection and Newest Technology.

Best Buy and BestBuy.com carry the nine top computing brands (Acer, Apple, Asus, Dell, Gateway, HP, Sony, Toshiba, Lenovo), and more than 30 laptops, six netbooks, 17 desktops and four all-in-ones. Laptops range in price from $249.99 to $1999.99, and eight desktops are priced under $500. Apple laptops range from $999.99 to $2,499.99. Customers can select from newly popular functionality like embedded broadband/Gobi enabled-laptops and netbooks with the customer’s choice of Verizon, Sprint or AT&T as carrier.

Ultra-thin laptops (13-inch, 14-inch, and 15.6 inch) are also available. Large memory machines (6GB of memory) start at $879.99 and Blu-ray laptops at $699.99. Best Buy also offers a wide variety of accessories including products like the Logitech M305 Pattern Mice, Rocketfish Lapdesk, Golla fashion bags and Incase Netbook Sleeves.

  • Unique Promotions.

Holiday shoppers will be attracted to offers that deliver value through pricing and performance. In addition to the Acer $249.99 laptop, Best Buy will feature computing products such as the Samsung Netbook (1GB/160/6 Cell/Win 7 – available now), the most competitive Windows 7 netbook offer ever, and Best Buy-Dell Limited Edition Exclusive Netbooks, which are individually numbered and designed by world renowned artists.

Throughout the holiday season, six months of anti-virus protection will be free with the purchase of any laptop/desktop/netbook, and one year of Napster will be included free with any Dell computer purchase. In addition, Best Buy continues its popular exclusive HP in-home networking bundle introduced with Windows 7 arrival. Dubbed the “PC Home Makeover,” for only $1,199.99 customers can purchase an HP desktop, monitor, laptop, netbook, wireless router and Geek Squad setup and networking. The exclusive PC Home Makeover offer is available through mid-January.

  • In-Store Service & Post-Purchase Support.

Best Buy Blue Shirts are ready to help customers find the right computer and ensure they have everything they need to get up and running. Geek Squad is available to help set up that new gear, with Agents available in-store, in-home or online. For those customers who want to upgrade to Windows 7 without buying a new PC, Geek Squad has reduced its $129.99 operating system install service charge to just $39.99. The service allows customers to upgrade their Windows XP or Windows Vista operating system to Windows 7 without the hassle of doing it themselves through January.

To learn more about how Best Buy’s holiday computing selection will help make your season jolly, visit your local Best Buy store or www.bestbuy.com/computing.

Source: BusinessWire

*Update 11/10 12:10Am*

The link (click here), is now live and active. The deal is for an Acer Extensa Laptop model EX5230E-2177 with an Intel Celeron 900 Processor. It looks like this is going to be a one day only sale though so anyone wanting to get in on it better jump quickly.

Product Features
  • Quantities limited. Minimum 5 per store. Not available in all BestBuy stores. No backorders.

  • Intel® Celeron processor 900
    Features an 800MHz frontside bus, 1MB L2 cache and 2.2GHz processor speed.
  • 2GB DDR2 memory
    For multitasking power, expandable to 4GB.
  • Multiformat DVD±RW/CD-RW drive with double-layer support
    Records up to 8.5GB of data or 4 hours of video using compatible DVD+R DL and DVD-R DL media; also supports DVD-RAM.
  • 15.4" LCD high-brightness widescreen display
    With 1280 x 800 resolution and a 16:10 aspect ratio showcases movies and games in stunning clarity.
  • 160GB Serial ATA hard drive (5400 rpm)
    Offers spacious storage and fast read/write times.
  • Intel® Graphics Media Accelerator 4500MHD
    For lush graphics. 2 built-in stereo speakers with high-definition audio support.
  • Built-in webcam with digital microphone
    Makes it easy to video chat with family and friends.
  • 3 high-speed USB 2.0 ports
    For fast digital video, audio and data transfer.
  • Built-in 802.11b/g/Draft-N wireless LAN
    Wirelessly connect to the Internet.
  • Built-in 10/100/1000 Gigabit Ethernet LAN
    With RJ-45 connector for quick and easy wired Web connection.
  • Weighs 6.3 lbs. and measures just 1.7" thin
    For portable power.
  • Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium Edition 64-bit operating system preinstalled
    Provides a stable platform for word processing, Web navigation, gaming, media storage and more.
  • Software package included
    With Adobe Reader and more. 60-day trial version of Microsoft Office Professional 2007 also included.
  • ENERGY STAR qualified
    Designed to use less energy and meets strict energy efficiency guidelines set by the Environmental Protection Agency and U.S. Department of Energy.

Panda Security Releases Panda Cloud Antivirus 1.0

Panda Security Unveils First Cloud-Based Security Services for Home Users and SMBs

Panda Cloud Antivirus emerges from beta, offering consumers free protection with industry’s smallest footprint on PC performance

Panda Security, the Cloud Security Company, today unveiled the next generation of its cloud-based anti-malware services for home users and small-to-medium sized businesses (SMBs): Panda Cloud Antivirus and Panda Cloud Protection. Emerging from beta today, Panda Cloud Antivirus 1.0 is the industry’s first, free thin-client anti-virus for consumers, now featuring an even lighter footprint on PC performance. Panda Cloud Protection is a fully hosted, managed security service for SMBs, which provides hands-off protection of endpoints and email. Both security services leverage Panda’s proven Collective Intelligence cloud-scanning system, which guarantees both SMB and home users with the industry’s fastest protection against the newest and most dangerous malware.

“In the cloud and security as a service have the potential for cost savings and for fast deployment, as compared with equivalent-capacity, premises-based equipment,” according to Gartner’s recent Hype Cycle for Infrastructure Protection 2009 report.

Cloud-Based Protection for Consumers

Since its successful beta launch in April 2009, Panda Cloud Antivirus has received acclaim from industry experts and consumers for being the lightest free anti-malware service in the world. As it emerges out of beta, Panda Cloud Antivirus 1.0 offers improved protection against new and unknown viruses with even less impact on users’ PCs. Cloud Antivirus 1.0 provides 100 percent cloud-based protection against malware, spyware, rootkits and viruses. Panda Cloud Antivirus works with Windows XP (32bits), Windows Vista (32bits & 64 bits) and Windows 7 (32bits & 64 bits) operating systems and only consumes 20 MB of RAM. The new service is available in 11 languages and can be downloaded from http://www.cloudantivirus.com.

Cloud-Based Protection for SMBs and their Managed Service Providers

Today’s security software solutions are too costly and difficult to manage for the vast majority of small and medium-sized businesses. Panda Cloud Protection is an incredibly lightweight managed security service that automates all maintenance tasks and allows SMBs to stay focused on their core business, while resting easy about safeguarding their digital assets and information. As a hosted service, Panda Cloud Protection optimizes resource consumption and eliminates the need for any investment in IT infrastructure. SMBs can benefit from a fully-outsourced security service, enabling them to easily monitor and maintain their own protection against malware from anywhere, anytime, or assign responsibility to a managed service provider (MSP).

In addition, by linking to the same Collective Intelligence servers used by Panda Cloud Antivirus, SMB users will benefit from Panda’s vast global knowledgebase of malware which detects and blocks new strains from the cloud in almost real-time.

“For the last 20 years Panda Security has successfully safeguarded our customers’ digital information and identities through creating some of the world’s most innovative security solutions,” said Juan Santana, CEO for Panda Security. “The launch of Panda Cloud Protection and Panda Cloud Antivirus represents an evolutionary step in our ability to combat cybercrime, and one we’re confident the industry will follow. Panda’s new and improved security services leverage our extensive R&D in cloud computing to keep our business and home users protected with as little effort and investment as possible.”

Collective Intelligence

Collective Intelligence, Panda Security’s proprietary cloud-computing technology, leverages the knowledge gathered from the community of millions of Panda users around the world to provide unparalleled proactive malware protection with minimal impact on PC bandwidth. The Collective Intelligence servers automatically detect, correlate and respond to more than 50,000 new malware samples every day. Each new file received is classified automatically within six minutes, a process that takes days for other antivirus products to complete.


According to a recent PC World review of free anti-virus offerings:

"Among all of the free anti-virus software we tested for our latest roundup, Panda Cloud Antivirus was the best app at blocking known malware. The approach is intended to take advantage of the latest signatures without the need for signature-database updates–and if its excellent showing at detecting malware in AV-Test.org’s zoo of half a million samples is any indication, the approach works. Panda’s app produced an impressive 99.4 percent overall detection rate."

Notable new features and upgrades to Cloud Antivirus from the initial beta include:

Source: Panda Security

Can't Get Into Google Voice, Try Ribbit Mobile

ribbit logoIf like me you've been dying to try out the new Google Voice but have yet to have the chance to get you in you might be interested in trying out Ribbit Mobile. Much like Google Voice, Ribbit Mobile is a virtual receptionist of sorts. The service allows you to setup multiple options for tacking you down via phone. From your one basic number you can ring multiple phones at once, meaning a caller simply calls your cell, home or office number and the call is instantly forwarded to any other numbers you provide.

Ribbit Mobile also gives you Web-based access to voicemail, and the feature I like the most it can transcribe messages into text and wil alert you via e-mail or SMS. You can also set notifications to SMS or e-mail you for missed calls even if your cellphone is off, another feature I love.

Other stuff that’s interesting about Ribbit Mobile: It has a “Caller ID 2.0″ feature that integrates your address book with feeds from sources like Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn in order to show you stuff about the people who have called you. It provides embeddable widgets that let people call you from within blogs, Facebook, and other sites.

Currently Ribbit is in a closed, invite only Beta, however I do have 10 invites that I'm willing to pass along to any of our readers that would like to try it out. Just email me a valid email address to RichardM@Geek-News.Net and I'll pass one along.

Wiresoft Offers $24,000 Bounty For Anyone That Can Hack The Firegate Firewall

Wiresoft is so confident in their Firegate hardware firewall that the company has decided to set forth a challenge to all you hackers out there. The company has launched the “Hack Us If You Can Challenge,” which will be open to everyone from November 16th onwards.

If you can hack into Wiresoft’s Firegate hardware firewall and get past its security, you’ll get a nice pot of cash: $24,000.

We feel so confident in our leading edge technology that we are challenging all and any who meet the qualifications to give it their best shot. You will be given twenty four hours to “hack “our Firewall and if you do the check is yours. It’s that simple or is it? Put us to the test and take the challenge. On November 16 at 12:00 PM EST visit our website at www.wiresoft.com to receive an application. Fill it out, agree to the terms and conditions and you will be on your way!! Good luck and let’s see how smart you really are.

Rules & Qualifications
  1. Must be a U.S.or Canadian citizen and working in the United States or Canada
  2. Must not have been convicted of a felony and application acknowledges allowance of a background check at Wiresoft’s discretion.
  3. Must be at least 18 years of age.
  4. Must provide name and address of present employer or school and proof of employment and or enrollment.
  5. This challenge is open to all consultants and independent contractors.
  6. Must provide a photocopy of a government issued photo identification.
  7. Must provide Wiresoft with a static IP address that will be used in the challenge
  8. Must provide name, address, phone, and email of the applicant.
  9. Must agree to stringent confidentiality terms which include: (1) not releasing any information to anyone if they successfully breach the firewall; (2) providing Wiresoft proof of breach by leaving a special message on the firewall; (3) providing Wiresoft with exact information of how they succeeded in the breach, enabling Wiresoft time to fix the breach, and then try to breach it again; and, (4) completely filling out the form provided that will be available on the WS website (containing all of the above information) and have the participant’s signature notarized and then sent hard copy via any means desired to WS company HQ.
  10. Winning applicant agrees that upon acceptance of prize monies, applicant will provide Wiresoft with up to 50 hours of consulting services at no charge to Wiresoft .
  11. Only one prize is available, which is $24,000, to be awarded to the first participant, if any, to breach our firewall and otherwise comply with the rules, qualifications and procedures of this challenge.
  12. Any winning applicant will be solely responsible for all taxes, whether local, county, state and federal taxes and in no way will hold Wiresoft or its officers, employees, sister companies and all companies that have partnered with Wiresoft in promoting the challenge responsible for any taxes due on the applicants winnings.
  13. Applicant will not share with any third party any information whatsoever regarding how it successfully breached the platform without the prior express written consent of Wiresoft’s. This includes all and any social media, Facebook, Twitter, MySpace, etc. Blogging of any kind, any print media, phone or personnel interviews, email, radio, TV, webinar, texting or any other use of communication medium unless approved by Wiresoft in writing.
  14. Any prize monies paid out will be in US Dollars.
  15. Any activity of a criminal or fraudulent nature while participating in the challenge will result in the immediate elimination of the applicant and the forfeiture of any winnings that may have been won by the applicant.
  16. Wiresoft will not be responsible for any agreements that result in the dispute of winnings to various applicants acting as one and Wiresoft will be held harmless in any/all legal procedures that may result from such collaboration.
  17. Wiresoft reserves the right to pay out all winnings only after Wiresoft has investigated thoroughly that all rules, qualifications and eligibility requirement were followed/ fulfilled. Wiresoft will make all determinations in its sole discretion regarding this challenge, including regarding participant eligibility, compliance with rules, qualifications and procedures and whether any participant is entitled to receive the $24,000 prize.
  18. Any applicant who uses stolen or unauthorized use of any technology equipment will be eliminated from the contest and or will forfeit all winnings.
  19. At no time will “crashing” the platform constitute a successful breach .Winning applicant must get in and get out to be successful and to claim the prize money.
  20. Present and or past employees of Wiresoft and their immediate family are not eligible to participate.

  1. Complete and send application to Wiresoft.
  2. Wiresoft will acknowledge via email of receipt of application and provide participant with a general idea of when they can expect to receive the “start the process” email.
  3. Wiresoft will send applicant a link where they will have to enter a user name and password in order to gain access to the IP address for a Firegate. Any IP address being used by a participant that does not match the IP address on the application will be denied access to the Firegate.
  4. Participant will have 24 hours from time and date of email sent by Wiresoft to break through the Firegate firewall. Email will be sent to the participant prior to noon in their respective time zone.
  5. If a breach is achieved, the participant will be directed to perform a certain function that will notify Wiresoft of the breach and will not under ANY circumstances communicate the procedures, pathway or circumstances of the breach to any person, company or agency other than to Wiresoft directly. Doing so will result in the forfeiture of all winnings.
  6. The time period will not begin on a Friday or on a day before a national holiday.

Google Gives The Gift Of Free WiFi At Participating Airports For The Holidays

The holiday season Google is making lift a little easier for holiday travelers by offering free airport WiFi at more than 47 participating airports across the country.

A few weeks ago, Google announced that they'll be working with Virgin America to give free WiFi to all passengers on Virgin flights this holiday season. Not only will they be offering free WiFi on Virgin Flights but starting today and lasting through January 15th, Google has announced that the will be teaming with Boingo Wireless, Advanced Wireless Group, Airport Marketing Income and others to offer free WiFi in 47 airports across the country.

The gift currently includes Las Vegas, San Jose, Boston, Baltimore, Burbank, Houston, Indianapolis, Seattle, Miami, Ft. Lauderdale, Orlando, St. Louis and Charlotte. Additionally, as a result of this project, Burbank and Seattle airports will begin offering airport-wide free Wi-Fi indefinitely. You can see the full list of airports here.

Not to be outdone by Google's free WiFi offer Yahoo has joined the bandwagon and has announced that starting today and running through an entire year they will be offering free Wi-Fi at Times Square in New York City.

As for Microsoft they have been the leaders in this bandwagon race to give away freebies. Originally launched in September at thousands of locations, Microsoft has teamed with mobile ad network JiWire to provide their free WiFi. Micrsoft's WiFi comes with a bit of a twisted added, users must agree to make at least one search on Bing.

The campaign aims to make more people aware of Bing and allow them to try the search engine, according to David Blumenfeld, senior vice president of strategy and business development at JiWire. "We're all creatures of habit, so giving away free Internet access in exchange for one search on Bing is a great way to change user behavior," he says.

No specifics have been released as to where these Microsoft/JiWire hot spots are located just that they are in "
thousands of locations" which are mainly airports and hotels.

Monday, November 09, 2009

Nokia Recalls Millions Of Cell Phone Chargers

Nokia today initiated a charger exchange program, in which consumers owning certain Nokia-branded chargers manufactured by a third-party supplier are recommended to exchange these chargers for free replacements.
During a routine quality control process, Nokia identified a potential product quality issue with certain chargers manufactured by one of its third-party suppliers. The plastic covers of the affected chargers could come loose and separate, exposing the charger's internal components and potentially posing an electrical shock hazard if certain internal components are touched while the charger is plugged into a live socket. Nokia is not aware of any incidents or injuries related to these chargers.
Only a limited number of chargers of certain model types manufactured by a single third-party supplier during a specific time period are within the scope of the exchange program. They are the AC-3E and AC-3U models, manufactured between June 15, 2009 and August 9, 2009; and the AC-4U model, manufactured between April 13, 2009 and October 25, 2009.
For more information, including how consumers can check to see if their chargers are part of this exchange program, Nokia has established a website. Consumers are asked to visit http://chargerexchange.nokia.com or their local Nokia website.
Nokia recommends consumers with chargers within the scope of this exchange program to stop using the charger and exchange it for a free replacement.

Affected chargers may have been sold with a Nokia device or purchased separately as an accessory.Your charger is not impacted by this action if you purchased it before June 15, 2009 for models AC-3U and AC-3E and before April 13, 2009 for model AC-4U or it is a similar charger model manufactured by any other supplier.

An exchange program has been arranged for all markets in which affected chargers have been sold. To minimize inconvenience to customers, the exchange will take place at the country level. To determine if your charger is part of the recall visit the Nokia exchange program website, enter your charger model number, id number and check for validation.

Source: Nokia

Saturday, November 07, 2009

Motorola Droid iPhone Killer Or Just Another Smartphone

The Motorola Droid which has been hailed as the latest in a line of supposed iPhone killers was officially released yesterday amidst what was for the most part a lackluster amount of buzz. But does the new phone live up to the anticipation and hype?

The reviews are pouring in for the Droid phone, which is made by Motorola and is sold exclusively by Verizon. The phone is based on Google's Android operating system and can be had for as little as $149 with a new contract. So far the reviews have been pretty solid with most users stating that the Motorola Droid is the most powerful and fastest Google Android device to date. Whether or not the phone can hold it's own against the iPhone is yet to be seen however sales have reportedly been strong and given the good reviews they are likely to stay that way.

Motorola Droid Reviews

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Super Talent Announces World’s First USB 3.0 RAIDDrive

USB Drives Support UAS Protocol to Attain Transfer Speeds up to 320MB/sec

Super Talent Technology, a leading manufacturer of Flash storage solutions and DRAM memory modules, today announced the new SuperSpeed USB 3.0 RAIDDrive, which supports transfer speeds up to ten times faster than USB 2.0 drives. The new drive, in 32GB, 64GB and 128GB capacities, is fully backward compatible with USB 2.0 ports, but operates at slower speeds.

The USB 3.0 RAIDDrive uses patented “multiple pairs of differential serial data lines technology” for optimal NAND flash performance. “This product underscores Super Talent’s continued leadership in USB drives.” said Super Talent COO, C.H. Lee. “We’ve developed the world’s first mobile USB 3.0 flash drive. It delivers phenomenal performance and it incorporates our own patented technology”.

Capacities: 32GB - 128GB
Dimension: 95mm x 37mm x 13.5mm
Technical Details: - Full compatibility with USB 3.0, 2.0 and 1.1
- Transfer speeds up to 200MB/sec in USB 3.0 port
- Transfer speeds up to 320MB/sec in USB 3.0 port with UAS Protocol driver
- Hot plug and play; Functions like another hard drive
- Slim and sleek casing style
- Windows® 7 compatible
- LED indicates power, busy
- More than 10 years data retention
- Limited lifetime warranty

Measuring 95 x 37 x13 mm, the SuperSpeed drive is a truly portable drive. Like most USB drives, it requires no separate cable. It plugs directly into any USB port. Although this drive will work in USB 2.0, it delivers transfer speeds up to 200MB/sec only in USB 3.0 ports. Using a separate UAS Protocol driver with a USB 3.0 port this SuperSpeed drive can reach up to 320MB/sec transfer speeds. This product will be available in December from Super Talent resellers worldwide. Interested parties can register here for USB 3.0 product availability updates.

Source: Super Talent

Apple Dominates App Store Market Now Features More Than 100,000 Apps

Apple today has confirmed that their all to popular App Store now has over 100,000 apps available for download.

This latest milestone comes on the heals of Apple's September announcement that App Store users had downloaded more than 2 billion apps from the more than 125,000 developers in Apple’s iPhone Developer Program.

“The App Store, now with over 100,000 applications available, is clearly a major differentiator for millions of iPhone and iPod touch customers around the world,” said Philip Schiller, Apple’s senior vice president of Worldwide Product Marketing. “The iPhone SDK created the first great platform for mobile applications and our customers are loving all of the amazing apps our developers are creating.”

Today, iPhone and iPod touch customers in 77 countries worldwide can choose from an incredible range of apps in 20 categories, including games, business, news, sports, health, reference and travel. With the recently introduced iTunes 9, it’s now easier than ever to organize and sync your apps right in iTunes and they will automatically appear on your iPhone or iPod touch with the same layout.

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Black Friday 2009

That's right folks Black Friday 2009 is coming up and ad leaks are already hitting the net. With our slumping economy it appears as though many big retailers like Wal-Mart, Sears and Best-Buy are starting their Black Friday sales early an the ads are being leaked even earlier than years past (or maybe it just seems that way).

Black Friday, or the Friday after Thanksgiving, used to be considered the beginning of the holiday shopping season, the time of year when many retailers see their red ink turn to black, as year end sales push them into profitability. Over the past few years however the luster of Black Friday has begun to tarnish.

The drop comes largely in part to the fact that the economy has been down but add to that the lack of "stellar" deals or influx of better overall deals on other days and Black Friday just has had the appeal. It appears as though Black Friday 2009 might be making a move to turn that around. The release of Windows 7 has made a big mark on the market and it should help push some stellar PC deals. Drops this year in gaming console prices, and some predicted deals in the arena should also help push customers through the door.

So lets get the deal hunting started. Here are a few sites you should bookmark, if you haven't already, and keep track of the deals as they come in.

One of the hotest leaked deals so far comes not on Black Friday but rather a couple weeks earlier. Walmart has decided to start the holiday shipping season on Saturday, November 7. At that time you'll be able to pick up the Arcade Xbox 360 system for $200—the normal price—but for that day the system will come with a $100 gift card. If you are a truly hard core gamer you can put that $100 card towards a shiny new PlayStation 3 which would allow you to pick up an Arcade 360, and a 120GB PlayStation 3, for a mere $400.

If gaming isn't your thing there are several more nicely priced deals such as a Blu-ray player for $150, or a $300 HP G60-519WM laptop. As with several other Walmart laptop deals this looks like it is built exclusively for Walmart by HP. This particular model packs a 15.6-inch WXGA display, along with previously rumored specs including a 2.2GHz Celeron 900 processor, 3GB of RAM, a 250GB hard drive, a LightScribe DVD burner, and some basic Intel GMA 4500M integrated graphics -- not to mention Windows 7 Home Premium, 64-bit edition for an OS.

As more information and details begin to roll in I'll be adding more links and updates soon, so be sure to check back often.

Take Your iPhone To Any Network Thanks To Blacksn0w Unlock

Leading iPhone hacker George Hotz, a 20-year-old New Jersey native who goes by the aliases geohot, has done it again. This time he has jailbroken not only the iPhone 3G but the newest iPhone 3GS.

Hotz has released Blacksn0w, his newest free, unlocking utility that works with the latest iPhone 3G and iPhone 3GS hardware (the latest 05.11.07 baseband, which locked out previous hacks). The unlock works with a new version of Hotz's popular purplera1n jailbreak hack, dubbed blackra1n. Together the hacks can unlock your iPhone from the AT&T network and Apple's app restrictions.

iClarified has made some nice tutorials for anyone wanting to try out the new hacks:
For more details checkout Hotz's blog On the iPhone.

University of Pennsylvania Becomes First U.S. University to Deploy DNSSEC (DNS Security)

The University of Pennsylvania’s Information Systems and Computing (ISC) division has announced its successful implementation institution-wide of Domain Name Security Extensions (DNSSEC) technology. The upenn.edu DNS zone was signed with DNSSEC in early August 2009. Penn is part of an Internet2 and Educause community of early adopters of DNSSEC technology and is the first U.S. university to implement institution-wide.

DNSSEC addresses many security vulnerabilities in the Domain Name System (DNS), the part of the Internet that translates user-friendly names, such as www.upenn.edu , into the numeric network addresses required to deliver information on the Internet. These vulnerabilities have gained greater prominence in recent years as malicious parties have increasingly found ways to exploit the vulnerabilities, using them to distribute falsified DNS information to re-direct Internet users for the purpose of fraud and other criminal activity. DNSSEC provides the ability to incorporate digital signatures for names in the DNS, which can be used to verify their authenticity, and thus foil these attacks. Additionally, DNSSEC enables new capabilities in network applications by allowing them to securely publish a variety of cryptographic keying material in the DNS.

A few U.S. universities have deployed DNSSEC in parts of their infrastructure (testbeds, research departments, or other subdivisions). But Penn is believed to be the first to have completed a DNSSEC deployment on a campus-wide scale. In fact, Penn’s experience with DNSSEC goes back much further. In 2006, it also deployed DNSSEC at MAGPI (Mid-Atlantic GigaPop for Internet2), a regional research and education network it operates as part of the Internet2 project, and which serves most major universities and colleges in the eastern Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Delaware regions.

Additionally, Penn is working with Educause on its plans to deploy DNSSEC in the EDU top level DNS domain, which Educause and Verisign operate under a co-operative agreement with the US Department of Commerce. Penn is one of the earliest participants in the EDU DNSSEC testbed, already in progress. When the project is completed, educational institutions across the country will have the ability to publish a digital signature for their EDU domain names.

Shumon Huque, an IT Technical Director in ISC’s Networking and Telecommunications organization, is leading Penn’s DNSSEC deployment efforts and participation in the Educause testbed. “Higher education can take a leadership role in securing the DNS,” said Huque. “If a few universities in the advanced networking community can fully deploy DNSSEC and share experiences, we can make broad deployment more straightforward for the larger community.”

Anytime/anywhere access to the Internet is critical to higher education’s ability to conduct business.

“The University of Pennsylvania and ISC are honored to have this opportunity to contribute to enhancing internet security. We hope the work we and our colleagues at Louisiana State University, UC Berkeley, Cambridge, and others are doing on this project will produce valuable new knowledge that ultimately will be useful to other education organizations around the world and that it will also translate into useful information to be used by business and industry, making the internet a better and safer place for all of us,” said Penn’s Vice President of Information Systems & Computing, Robin Beck. “Having a safe internet is absolutely critical to the Penn community, which depends upon web-based technology for a myriad of critical functions and services, including our Undergraduate Admissions system, Student Financial Services, Course Registration, and submission and award of research grants, to name just a few.”

Sony Ericsson's Google Android Based XPERIA X10 Coming In 2010

Sony Ericsson XPERIA X10 introduces an open and integrated world of social media, communication and entertainment

  • XPERIA X10 is the flagship phone in a family of phones coming to market during the first half of 2010. The XPERIA X10 will be available in Q1 2010
  • New UX (user experience) platform lets consumers organize everything and discover more with the most open, human and intuitive user experience yet

Sony Ericsson today unveils the XPERIA X10, the first phone in a family of phones to deliver a consistent user experience where communication truly becomes entertainment. Building on Sony Ericsson’s entertainment heritage and combining rich graphics with intelligence capabilities, the XPERIA X10 introduces a new UX platform that will evolve across the product portfolio and expand over time continuously introducing new features and capabilities.

The UX platform builds on top of the Open OS and creates a unique Sony Ericsson user experience by combining best-in-class entertainment features with signature applications, unrivalled integration of social media services and a rich graphical user interface. The XPERIA X10 is the first mobile phone to truly humanise the way people interact with their phones.

Bert Nordberg, President, Sony Ericsson said, “The XPERIA™ X10 and the family of phones launching in the first half of 2010 underpin our commitment to an open and multi-platform strategy that maximises choice for the consumer and delivers the best possible consumer experience. The reaction from our global operator partners to the XPERIA X10 has been extremely positive and we will be rolling out across the world including Japan from the first half of 2010.”

Rikko Sakaguchi, EVP and Chief Creation Officer, Sony Ericsson said, “The XPERIA X10 is a fantastic example of our make.believe philosophy because we are pushing the boundaries of what is possible and demonstrating that anything consumers can imagine, we can make possible. With the X10, we are raising the bar we have set ourselves with entertainment-rich phones like Aino and Satio by making communication more fun and playful, multiplying and enriching opportunities to connect.”

Introducing signature applications like Mediascape and Timescape, the XPERIA X10 lets consumers organise everything in their phone in an intuitive way:

  • Sony Ericsson Timescape manages all your communication with one person in one place. Browse through your conversations the bright way to check out your Facebook, Twitter, photos, emails, and texts all in one go
  • Sony Ericsson Mediascape is the smart way to get all the music, photos and videos you want from your favourite friends and artists. It accesses content from everywhere – your phone, YouTube, PlayNow – and presents everything for you

Intelligence capabilities, integrated into Mediascape and Timescape, can automatically recognise connections between contacts, content and media. By recommending alternative ways to communicate or guiding to new media experiences, consumers can discover more in a truly open way. For example:

  • Pressing the new “infinite button” guides you through the connected world, aggregating all your interactions with one person into one view
  • Intelligent face recognition features recognize up to five faces in any picture, automatically connecting them with your social phonebook and all other related communications with that person.

Sony Ericsson’s open approach gives consumers maximum choice and with the XPERIA X10, users can download any application that they want direct from a wide variety of stores including PlayNow and the Android Market™, co-creating an experience that is entirely unique to them.

Sony Ericsson is also introducing the new Wireless Stereo Headset with FM Radio - MW600. Featuring advanced Bluetooth technology and a built-in FM radio, MW600 lets you stream music to your headset in high fidelity through sound-enhancing ear-buds. With a crystal clear OLED display, easy access controls and RDS radio station information, you don’t even need to take your phone with you to tune in to your favourite radio station.

The XPERIA X10 supports GSM GPRS/EDGE 850/900/1800/1900, UMTS HSPA 900/1700/2100 and UMTS HSPA 800/850/1900/2100

Log on to The Sony Ericsson Product Blog for more information: http://blogs.sonyericsson.com/products

Source: Sony Ericsson

Skype Confirms Open Source Linux Version Coming Soon

skype logoInitially reported by Olivier Faurax (link in French) Skype has now confirmed what it initially emailed Faurax and stated they will be offering an open source version of the Skype UI to "speed up further development".

Faurax originally reported that he had received confirmation following an email to Skype support pushing for an RPM for Mandriva. The unnamed Skype representative replied with the following:

"We understand that many users complain that there is no Mandriva version at present. We are happy to be able to inform you that Skype will from now on be part of the open source community. Therefore Linux developers will be enabled to influence the development of the Skype client for Linux - which will most certainly result in specific versions for the different distributions."

Yesterday Skype confirmed the reports via the Skype Open Source Blog.

"Yes, there's an open source version of Linux client being developed. This will be a part of larger offering, but we can't tell you much more about that right now. Having an open source UI will help us get adopted in the "multicultural" land of Linux distributions, as well as on other platforms and will speed up further development. We will update you once more details are available."

The UI will be open source, whereas other parts such as the network protocol will remain closed but this is still a step in the right direction for all you Linux an open source lovers out there.

Google Helps Simplify The Sign-up Process, Cut The Need For Passwords With Hybrid Onboarding

Never heard of the term hybrid onboarding, don't feel bad neither had I. Apparently that is the new term used to describe a new sign-up/log-in technique implemented across several major sites. These sites that use an existing log-in system based on email addresses use a hybrid OpenID/OAuth protocol and the Portable Contacts API to utilize a users existing information to simplify the sign-up and log-in process. One of the most popular known uses is the OpenID User Interface which allows you to use a single log-in across several major sites.

Google has been working with Plaxo and Facebook to improve the registration success rate for Gmail users. In the past, if you're a Gmail user who got an invitation to use Plaxo or Facebook, you were asked to perform the traditional process of creating a new account with yet another password, and then you might also have been asked to provide the password of your email account so Plaxo or Facebook could look up the list of your friends. With hybrid onboarding, if you click on such an invitation in your Gmail, you'll see a page like one of these:

Clicking the large button on the Plaxo page takes you to a page at Google like this:

If you give consent to share a few pieces of information, you are sent back to Plaxo with all key registration steps finished.

The registration process used to involve more than 10 steps, including requiring you to find one of those "email validation" messages in your inbox. If you've followed the steps above, you can now sign into Plaxo more easily — by simply clicking a button. With this new hybrid onboarding technique Google says your passwords and log-in information will be more secure because the authentication security of these sites will never see a password from you at all. Since you don't have to enter your password on additional sites there is less chance of phishing or cross script hacking.

For more details on hybrid onboarding checkout the Google Code Blog