Redmond's ad writers drew blood with their first Laptop Hunters ad: "Congrats, Lauren. It's a PC," last month. They've wasted little time in following it up. This time, it's the guys' turn, and a little higher budget's in the offing: Giampaolo goes shopping for a powerful laptop under $1500. We watch him check out the stats, the keyboards, and hear him dismiss the Mac platform: "Macs, to me, are more about the esthetics, not the computing power." In the end, Giampaolo snags a Windows Vista-based laptop for about $1100. The tag line this time? "It's a PC because I'm really picky."
You can check out (Silverlight required) the continuing Laptop Hunters series at Microsoft's TV commercials website (including last year's painful "Mojave Experiment" and unbearable Gates & Seinfeld misfires). We like the Laptop Hunters commercials, but how about you? If you're on the Mac versus PC fence, do they push you off the fence? If you have Mac-loving friends or family members, what do they think? Join us after the jump for your chance to spill.
Styling a computer is no simple task. Finding exactly how to fit all the complex parts that make a computer hum with life inside a sexy form factor can prove difficult, and, evidently to Sony it is.
With Sony’s latest line of VAIO Type C notebooks, they’ve given in to a high school girl’s daydreams and clad the chassis with a crocodile skin-like surface. Now, while it does look an awful lot like legitimate crocodile, it’s all a rouse – the surface is grooved and pigmented plastic and silicon, rather than covered in genetically modified croc skin.
These notebooks are currently available in Japan with no plans for international release (thank goodness), and running consumers there ¥104,800 (or, a bit more than $1000).
Looks like Acer has been busy readying all kinds of portable PCs to hit the market at once and today announced a whirlwind of new laptops and netbooks. In this case, a whirlwind consists of at least 10 new mobile PCs.
Give credit to news site Engadget for tidying up the entire spectrum of new releases, which includes the Aspire 5935 and 8935, both of which are 18.4-inch laptops with support for up to 4GB of DDR3 memory, biometric fingerprinting, WiFi, Bluetooth, and WiMAX. The 8935 adds 1080p output and up to two hard drives totallng 1TB, whereas the 5935 nixes full HD and can hold only one 500GB hard drive.
Then there's the Aspire 3935, a 13.3-inch ultraportable with a 1366 x 769 LED display, Intel Core 2 Duo processor, WiFi, up to 4GB of DDR3 memory, biometric fingerprinting, and an 8-cell battery.
Other models include three eMachines, a pair of Gateway-branded netbooks, and Gateway's ID series, which sports a 15.6-inch LED backlit display, slot-in DVD drive, webcam with a curtain, multi-gesture touchpad, and more.
Say it isn't so, Amazon! Taking a page from iTunes' recently announced (as in yesterday) variable pricing scale, Amazon has decided to follow suit just one day later. Boo, hiss!
Apple's iTunes yesterday introduced a variable pricing model where songs sell for $0.69, $0.99, and $1.29. The move earned Amazon some short-lived praise for staying under a buck, but that all goes out the window today.
To be fair, the blame more than likely goes to the music studios, who may have raised prices in exchange for serving up DRM-free titles. Amazon and Apple aren't alone in switching to variable pricing, as it appears to have also affected Real's Rhapsody store and Lala. Prices are up at Wal-Mart too, with some songs reaching $1.24.
Reactions to what looks like an industry-wide price hike? Hit the jump and sound off.
Convincing Acer -- who, at last count, was selling more netbooks than Asus and claims 38.3 percent of the market -- that your OS is a suitable alternative to XP or Linux for use on netbooks is no easy task. At a press event earlier this week, Chief Executive Gianfranco Lanci and Jim Wong head of Acer's IT products business line, told reporters that while Acer plans on using Google's open-source Android OS in its upcoming smartphone, it doesn't feel the OS is ready for netbooks.
"For a netbook, you really need to be able to view a full web for the total internet experience," Wong said. "And Android is not that yet."
Lanci echoed Wong's sentiments, adding that Android is better suited for communication, whereas Windows comes at the market from the computing side. According to Lanci, an ideal solution would be to offer both. However Lanci did admit that Acer is currently testing Android on its netbooks, adding "I think everybody in the industry is testing Android on netbooks."
And he's right. HP said last week that it was considering Android for future netbooks, and so too has Asus.
Would you be interested in an Android-powered netbook, or is XP the way to go? Hit the jump and sound off.
Seagate this week unveiled a new line of hard drives that it says are "the ideal solution for the demands of the growing video surveillance market." The SV35.5 series, as it's been dubbed, include a number of features that make it suitable for video surveillance environments, including a "performance-tuned" 140MB/s sustained data rate, ATA-7 streaming commands, enhanced caching capabilities, built-in error recovery for 24/7 streaming, thermal monitoring and reporting, low noise operation, and more.
"The hardware requirements for the surveillance market are especially critical and dictate the use of HDDs that are made specifically for the needs of video system manufacturers and integrators," said Carla Kennedy, senior vice president of Seagate’s Enterprise Product Line Management group. "With its optimized performance and capacity that can store over one full month of high-resolution video, the Seagate SV35.5 Series™ hard drive is a prime example of Seagate delivering a feature-rich solution that customers have requested."
The SV35.5 series takes advantage of perpendicular recording and comes in capacities of up to 1TB. Seagate says its new drives consume anywhere between 5W and 7W while idle, depending on the specific hard drive.
No word yet on price, although Seagate says the SV35.5 is currently shipping to distributors worldwide.
Anyone miss Circuit City yet? For those of you that do, you may be in luck. Sort of. While the bankrupt electronics chain won't be making a brick and mortar comeback anytime soon, it appears Circuit City has some kind of future planned online. Going to Circuit City's website now reads:
"CircuitCity.com is also temporarily closed, although we anticipate the website will reopen in the coming weeks. Please check back for updates."
What exactly the former chain has planned so far remains a mystery. News site TGDaily notes that calls made to the company's office in Richmond, Virginia have gone unanswered, and without any kind of statement from Circuit City or its liquidator, that leaves the online message as the only clue we have to go on.
Circuit City did everything it could to avoid going out of business earlier this year and last year, including closing down over 150 stores and cutting 20 percent of its workforce. But it was unable to find a buyer and, following a controversial liquidation sale, closed its doors for good last March.
How do you celebrate the 1-year anniversary of what's become one of the hottest selling chip series in recent history? Make it faster, and then show it off during a keynote at the Intel Developer Forum (IDF) in Beijing..
It was Intel senior VP and GM of the Ultra Mobility Group Anand Chandrasekher who gave the keynote, which included the first live demo of Intel's next-generation Atom-based MID platform, codenamed "Moorestown." The upcoming platform is due out in 2010 and consists of a system-on-chip that integrates a 45nm Atom CPU, graphics, video and memory controller, and I/O hub.
During the keynote, Intel also announced a pair of new Atom processors for MIDs. First on the lineup is the Z515, which incorporates the new Intel Burst Performance Technology (BPT) and runs at 1.2GHz. But of more interest in the Z550. This chip races along at 2GHz and supports Hyperthreading, and it does so at under 3 watts of power.
PETA has decided – in a nutshell – to grief a bunch of WoW players because they’ve taken to bonking adorable-ish piles of pixels with equally imaginary weapons. Can we do Mac users next?
“That’s right, gamers, get ready: This Saturday, World of Warcraft (WoW) players will have the opportunity to combat a team of four Horde seal killers. We need your help to stop them from bashing in the heads of any more seals!” reads a post on PETA’s blog.
“Activists from across the Eastern Kingdoms and Kalimdor are banding together to put a stop to the atrocious seal slaughter. Anyone who slaughters baby seals for their fur must surely be in service to the evil Lich King.”
So, putting aside the fact that PETA’s storming a sand castle while the real deal lies only a few feet away, what exactly is being protested here? Are we trying to teach Blizzard a lesson for granting an infinitely-respawning virtual seal utopia some form of population control? Because really, in that case, why not just stop subscribing to World of Warcraft altogether?
And, of course, if PETA’s brandishing its Rolling Pin of +10 Guilt at the players, why not do it in a less infuriating way? Honestly, if you – in the process of going about your daily WoW duties – found yourself steamrolled by a bunch of hootin’ and hollerin’ PVPers, would you immediately think, “OH MAN, THE BABY SEALS NEED MY HELP”? Personally, we’d probably take a boot to one of the big-eyed little buggers, if only to relieve our frustration.
So yeah, just donate to Sea World or something. It’ll be a much better use of your time. Unless you just love griefing other players, in which case, go right ahead. It’s a free country.
News spreads like wildfire on the internet. However, print publications and news agencies, which spend their precious human and financial resources on accumulation of news stories, are forgotten in this rapidity. Though many major websites do compensate news agencies, a lot of the websites don’t even bother with properly crediting them. The Associated Press has now adopted a more stringent approach towards unauthorized reproduction of its content.
Dean Singleton, the man who heads the news cooperative, delivered a stern warning to websites that unlawfully reproduce content owned by it. Singleton threatened intransigent offenders with legal action at the cooperative’s annual meeting in San Diego. You will have to make the jump to read Google's riposte.