PC makers have been decrying the impact of low margin netbooks on their bottom line for over a year now, but Intel is trying to calm their fears by making new predictions for the future of mobile computing. Numbers posted at the end of March peg netbook sales at around 16 per cent of all portable computer purchases, but Intel claims the steadily decreasing cost of ultra-thin laptops will help to keep that number from growing. The ultra-thin category is traditionally dominated by new ultra low voltage CPU’s, which offer better performance than both Celeron, and Atom processors, with an increasingly more reasonable price premium. According to Intel’s marketing chief, Sean Maloney, "Atom is eating into Celeron. And we're quite fine with this".
Maloney predicts that ultra-thin laptops will start offering stiff competition for high end netbooks priced above $400, primarily because the price difference has shrunk in some cases to as little as a $200. Intel’s internal projections released during the May 12th presentation shows sales increasing exponentially near the end of the year, and clearly, this is where they expect to see the bulk of their growth in the portable PC market.
Intel predicts that future growth markets for netbooks will be children and cellphone providers who bundle 3G service with the computer to further subsidize the price to consumers. Do you think people only buy netbooks because they are cheap? Or are some people just looking for a good ultra-portable?
An enterprising antique hardware collector known only as “Phreakmonkey” on You Tube has recorded and posted a video showcasing what the internet would have looked like in 1964. After detailing his lovingly preserved Livemore Data Systems “Model A” Acousitc Coupler 300 Baud Modem, he then proceeds to demonstrate how he uses it to establish a connection to the net.
Oddly enough, my 10 Mbps cable modem choked on the streaming video a bit, but my faith in my ISP was quickly restored when I compared it to the 300 characters per second this speed demon maxed out at.
This modem is about as (un)maximum as it gets around here, but it certainly is an interesting watch for nostalgic types who enjoy taking a look back at the history of digital communication.
In an unprecedented attempt to maintain some form of creditability, the Wikipedia arbitration committee has unanimously voted to crack down on the Church of Scientology by banning all IP address assigned to the organization and its associates. The conclusion of this case marks the longest running dispute proceedings in the websites history, and the full ban goes into effect immediately. The ruling also represents the single largest ban handed down by the encyclopedia monolith, an accomplishment that I doubt the Church will be adding to their entry any time soon.
The accusations made by the Wikipedia board include several counts of failing to maintain impartiality, and using the service to promote its own personal agenda. Multiple editors from the same IP range were logged in and were accused of coordinating their efforts to force through changes. This type of behavior is clearly prohibited in the terms of service, and also prevents people from using the wiki to publish original research that cannot be properly supported.
During the dispute it was argued by the Church that those editing from Scientology IPs were acting without direction from the Church itself, however, a former member of the Scientology Office of Special Affairs suggests otherwise. "The guys I worked with posted every day all day," Tory Christman tells The Reg. "It was like a machine. I worked with someone who used five separate computers, five separate anonymous identities...to refute any facts from the internet about the Church of Scientology."
So did Wikipedia handle this properly, and more importantly, do you still trust their neutrality.
If you think about it, all MMOs’ days are, in a sense, numbered -- what with finite amounts of money for servers and all -- but The Matrix Online’s days have now hit the point where people actually care to count. In exactly two months, the periodically slow-moving MMO will finally grind to a halt.
“Now we’ve seen how far the rabbit hole goes and it’s time to wake up from that dream (or go back to sleep, depending how you look at it). On July 31, 2009, we will be jacking out for the last time. It’s a bittersweet moment for everyone involved with the game; as a player or as a developer,” said producer Daniel Myers on the game’s forum.
However, just because the world’s ending doesn’t mean everyone’s gonna stop their slow-mo chop-socky to kiss each other goodbye. Nope – this one’s going out with a bang, via an earth-shattering end-of-the-world event.
“The team will also be whipping up an end-of-the-world event,” Myers explained. “It won’t be quite the same as having over 100 developers in the game as Agents like when we ended beta, but we have 4 years of tricks up our sleeve. It’ll be a chance to revisit all the things that make MxO the memorable experience it is. And how could we pull the plug without crushing everyone’s RSI just one more time?”
Four years culminating in one day. If you miss this, you’ll probably regret it for the rest of your life – and then again when your life is recreated in a computer simulation run by robot masters that’d give even Mega Man the shakes. So yeah, jump on this while you have the chance.
Alienware is set to debut it’s new “allpowerful” gaming notebook at E3 next week, but conveniently enough, the detailed specs have been broken early by Gizmodo and I forced myself to read this twice just to make sure I wasn’t mistakenly looking at a desktop. The m17x crams in two 1GB Nvidia GeForce GTX 280m graphics cards, along with the new Intel Core 2 Extreme Quad.
It can also optionally be configured with up to 8GB of DDR3-1333, a 1TB hard drive (or optional 512GB SSD), as well as blue ray. Another amazing feature is the crystal clear 1920x1200 17” display, a resolution that is still somewhat rare in the notebook category. Additionally, since we all know this type of graphics horsepower can be somewhat power hungry, if your looking to do non-gaming tasks, it also has a build in Nvidia 9400M to help with battery life if all you need is aero glass. As for input/outputs, it comes with an impressive load out of options which includes 4USB, eSATA, as well as Display Port & HDMI.
The pricing is expected to start at around $1,800, but don’t expect to get all the features listed above at that price point.
Hate TF2’s new random drop item system? Hate TF2’s old achievement-based system a smidge less? Well then, this news should… make you smile? A little? Come on. Ah, there it is.
As with other classes, the Spy and Sniper can now acquire new items from more than just the rotting wheels of fortune that are their enemies’ perforated corpses. Yep, achievements are back, but random drops are here to stay as well. Now you just have options. Lucky you!
One key difference between these unlocks and the others, though: Spy and Sniper gear comes at 5, 11, and 17 achievements, whereas other classes’ come at 11, 17, and 22. Spy, Sniper, and hassle – one of these things is not like the other.
Yesterday Microsoft officially announced their brand new search engine, Bing.
Bing, which will be come available over the next few days, is the product of the Kumo project (which remains the internal codename). What Microsoft hopes will set Bing apart is its completely reworked algorithms. Each search page will be customized based on what you search (health, travel, shopping, news, sports). The algorithms will not only determine the order of results on the page, but the layout as well. Each section on display can include guided refinements or a list of related searches.
To see more of Bing before its official release, be sure to check out screenshots here, at TechCrunch.
According to the rumor mill, Comcast is going to release a 100Mb service sometime in the not-too-distant future.
Currently, the fastest available service from Comcast is 50/20Mb, and will run consumers roughly $189 per month. There’s no word yet on how much this rumored service will cost, but going from the current model, we can gather that it will be costly.
We’ll be sure to keep our eyes on this as it develops.
Just this week Hulu launched their new service, Goog—err, Hulu Labs in the interest of letting their users get a more hands on approach to the development of the site.
“To help us learn from user feedback […], we’re excited to open up a new Hulu Labs section on the site today. At Hulu Labs, we’ll provide sneak peeks at some of the upcoming releases from our product roadmap, some of which are personal projects and hobbies our devs have been cooking up,” wrote Eric Feng, Hulu’s CTO on their official blog. “From new recommendation algorithms to tools for building custom widgets to a time-based view for browsing your favorite shows, we’ll be sharing a variety of these new creations with you at Hulu Labs and looking forward to your thoughts on how to make these products better.”
They also released the beta for Hulu Desktop, an application that has been optimized to let you watch all of your favorite shows (so long as they’re hosted on Hulu) on your desktop or media center PC. The UI has been designed with a small Microsoft or Apple remote in mind, making it a very reasonable contender for all the media center PCs out there.
You've seen the demos of multitouch, and you might even have a PC that supports Windows 7's multitouch, but what can you do with it? If you're in the market for a PC that supports multi-touch, Microsoft is making a multitouch PC even more appealing by announcing its Microsoft Touch Pack for Windows 7.
Microsoft Touch Pack is a product of the collaboration between the Windows and Surface development teams, and as a result, Microsoft Touch Pack includes three Microsoft Surface applications and three casual games. Here's what you get:
Microsoft Surface Globe enables you to navigate the Virtual Earth 3D version of the world by touch, and lets you get local information as you "fly" by particular places.
Microsoft Surface Collage brings one of the original Microsoft Surface "touch and move the photos" demos to life, adding the ability to convert a collage into a desktop background.
Microsoft Surface Lagoon is a multi-touch enabled screensaver - watch fish gather around your "submerged" finger.
Casual gamers can enjoy the Rube Goldbergesque Microsoft Blackboard, a mashup of death rays and air hockey in Microsoft Rebound, and float origami on the water in Microsoft Garden Pond.
To find out who gets their hands on Microsoft Touch Pack first, join us after the jump.