“Beginning November 18th players across North America and Europe will journey with the dwarves deep into Middle-earth to reclaim the ancient kingdom of Khazad-dûm from the minions of Saruman,” said Jeffrey Steefel, executive producer of The Lord of the Rings Online.
And no, this isn't a loquacious announcement that LOTRO has slipped to November 18th, 2009 -- but that'd make far more sense than what Turbine is actually doing.
For the uninitiated (aka, those who don't read article titles), WoW: Wrath of the Lich King -- possibly the most-anticipated MMO expansion ever and one of the few 2008 PC releases that can challenge Spore to a bout of sales-fisticuffs and match the game blow-for-blow -- is crashing down the gates (and probably its own servers) on November 13th. Add to that the fact that LOTRO is basically WoW plus little big-footed people and minus about 9 million players, and you have a painstakingly composed financial suicide note ready to go.
Find out why Turbine chose to face the Lich King's wrath head-on after the break.
The largest and second largest PC manufacturers in the world, HP and Dell respectively, haven’t taken an instant liking to WiMax it seems. The launch of the first commercial WiMax network in Baltimore, earlier this month, inspired OEMs Acer, Aspire, Lenovo and Toshiba to launch WiMax-enabled notebooks. However, Dell and HP did not rush to take advantage of the launch.
Moving to the largest PC supplier HP, even though the company is testing WiMax it has no immediate plans of offering support for the technology in its notebooks. It has asked its customers to explore the option of purchasing WiMax enabled PC card, USB dongle or ExpressCard, if they are keen on using WiMax. Dell and HP want to wait until WiMax becomes available in other major cities.
Many of the modern soldiers are currently saddled with battery packs that can weigh upto 20 pounds. The batteries, of course, are used to power the wide gamut of equipment that a modern soldier carries with him. However, the soldiers can now heave a sigh of relief as a wearable power system is soon going to replace the heavy batteries.
The team of America’s DuPont and Germany’s SFC Smart Fuel CellSFC Smart Fuel Cell has won the $1 million Wearable Power Prize organized by the Pentagon with its M-25 fuel cell. The M-25 weighs only 3.71 kilograms and can provide 20 watts of average power for 96 hours. The wearable system includes a fuel cell and a battery. The army has already begun using the system, though in a limited way.
The Eye-Fi line of Wi-Fi enabled SD cards just keeps getting more social. The October update of the Eye-Fi Manager, in addition to adding à la carte support for geotagging, webshare, and hotspot access service updates, also adds support Twitter and RSS integration. You can use Twitter to tell your contacts when you have new photos posted on line, and RSS support enables you to publish pictures in real-time to your preferred RSS aggregator.
Eye-Fi now offers cards through its online store as well as at an ever-growing list of retailers.
Microsoft’s upcoming internet-based OS, heretofore known only as Windows Cloud, might finally have a name: “Strata.” On the website for their Professional Developers Conference, Microsoft briefly listed a number of cloud computing session under the heading “Windows Strata.” The listing was quickly taken down, but not before observant bloggers picked up on the slip.
Of course, the Strata name is far from a sure thing. Beyond Binary reports that as of Wednesday morning, no trademark had been filed for “Windows Strata,” and that a Microsoft representative said, via e-mail “As you know, Microsoft uses internal code names for pending technologies and from time to time they make their way to the public. We’re looking forward to talking more about our cloud services platform at the Professional Developers Conference in Los Angeles.”
In the mean time, what do you think of the name “Windows Strata?” Tell us after the break.
Browsing the Digg homepage, you’re bound to see a lot of links about videogames, open source, and Barack Obama. For all you readers of the Max PC blog, that might seem like a good thing, but according to founder Kevin Rose, it’s time for that to change. In “The Future of News,” a talk at the Future of Web Apps conference, Rose said that Digg needs to shed its status as a geek bastion and do more for the average web-surfer.
In the talk Rose outlined several of the strategies that Digg will employ to expand its userbase. One thing the site needs to do, he said, is get more users participating. Presently, even though more than 30 million people use the site a month, only 3 million have registered accounts, meaning that the vast majority of people who read Digg aren’t affecting which links make the homepage.
Digg needs to provide an experience that’s relevant to each individual user, Rose stressed. Along these lines, the site intends to allow users to filter out links about subjects they don’t care about, and is developing ways to automatically sort users into groups based on their interests. Also, the site is looking to weight users’ Diggs by their history as an accurate (or inaccurate) predictor of popular links.
Will Digg lose its geek following as it tries to go mainstream? Let us know what you think.
It’s hard not to like Google Earth. It’s free, it’s fun, and now it’s about to get sharper than ever. The GeoEye-1, a commercial imaging satellite sponsored by Google and considered to be the world’s most accurate snapped its first photo on Wednesday, Wired reports.
The satellite takes photos at a maximum resolution of 41 centimeters, high enough—in other words—to spot your dog from space. Unfortunately for Google, the government places restrictions on the max resolution of commercial satellites, meaning that Google will only be allowed to use images with a resolution of 50 centimeters or worse.
And speaking of the government, although Google is the primary corporate sponsor of the GeoEye, the satellite’s number one customer is the US government’s National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency. Eager to avoid an unflattering label, Mark Brender, VP of communications and marketing at GeoEye, says “This is the opposite of a spy satellite. Spies don’t put info on the internet and sell imagery.”
So now Google’s armed with its own not-a-spy satellite. Are you concerned about your privacy, or just psyched for a higher-res Google Earth? Let us know after the break.
Stop us if you've heard this one before. According to the latest rumor, Microsoft plans to offer an external Blu-ray drive for its Xbox 360 console. Wait! On second thought, just hear us out.
We've heard this rumor time and time again, and in each instance, Microsoft has been quick to deny the speculation. So what makes this time any different? Possibly nothing, but it's worth noting that Microsoft hasn't publicly squashed the rumblings, at least not yet. Nor has Toshiba-Samsung Storage Technology Corp (let's just call them TSST), a joint venture that XbitLabs says has been contracted to produce the external drives. If the rumor pans out, the targeted price point will be in the vicinity of $100 to $150.
Hit the jump to learn why Microsoft should go through with this.
It was exactly one week ago that I professed my undying love for Netflix with the same affection often heard from those harboring a grade school crush. At the time, which now seems like so long ago, I thought we had worked through most of our issues, but now I find myself needing to vent.
Today I wake up and find out that should I jump on the Blu-ray bandwagon, it's going to cost me an extra $1 per month. Jessie Teitz, Netflix's VP of marketing, says the surcharge is to cover the "significant cost difference" between Blu-ray and standard DVDs and calls the price hike "pretty modest." And while it may seem silly to begrudge a single George Washington to the one I love, that still works out to a near 6 percent price hike for the 3-DVD plan. And for those of you on the 2-DVD plan for $4.99, the increase works out to a 20 percent jump.
Maybe I shouldn't have let Netflix know how wrapped around its finger I am and only have myself to blame. Or maybe I'm overreacting. After all, I won't be charged anything extra to stream Netflix downloads to my Xbox 360 this fall, nor has the recent Starz catalog caused the subscription rate to rise. I know I'll work through this, I'm just not happy about it at the moment.
Do you feel the same way? Hit the jump and offer up some insight.
Can we all agree that User Account Control (UAC) sucks? Good. Now if only we can get Microsoft on the same page. That shouldn't be too hard considering at this point it's no secret that UAC was designed to annoy, and if Ben Fathi, president of Microsoft's core OS development is to be believed, we're all finally in agreement.
"We've heard loud and clear that you are frustrated," Fathi wrote on his blog. "You find the prompts too frequent, annoying, and confusing. We still want to provide you control over what changes can happen to your system, but we want to provide you a better overall experience."
Fathi goes on to explain that in Windows 7, users logged in as an administrator will be able to determine the range of notifications received. Fathi also says the dialog UI will be more telling, perhaps leading to less of a knee-jerk reaction to automatically click 'Allow' every time the dialog pops up.
Fathi sounds optimistic that the revamped UAC system will be far less hated than it is now, but the question isn't whether or not it will be less hated, but will we still hate it?