One of the greatest inventions to come to the PC is that of the Universal Serial Bus (USB). It doesn't matter whether you're in the market for a spiffy new keyboard or a digital camera, because nearly every gadget today plugs into any of the many USB ports found on any modern computer. Why can't all digital devices be as easy to work with?
If Doug Palmer's vision ever comes to fruition, they will be. Palmer, an engineer at the UC San Diego division of the California Institute for Telecommunications and Information Technology (Calit2), wants to eradicate wall warts. No, he's not referring to unsightly growths on your home's walls, but the many different external power adapters for all of your gizmos and gadgets.
From smart displays capable of identifying its viewers to a recent push for more rich media ads, privacy seems to be taking a backseat to ad revenue. But while companies toy with ways to make more money through online ads, at least one person in Congress wants to make sure your rights aren't getting trampled in the process.
Rep. Edward Markey (D-Mass) has seen enough and believes online monitoring services working on behalf of the advertising community should make their intentions clear and be required to obtain approval before tracking your online activities. He's not talking about innocent cookies, but deep packet inspection (DPI) technologies.
"First, there is a distinction in the detail, type, and amount of data collected," Markey said. "As opposed to individual websites that know certain information about visitors to its websites and affiliates, deep packet inspection technologies can indicate every website a user visits and much more about a person's web use," he said.
Not everyone shares Markey's same concerns. Robert Dykes, CEO of NebuAd, claims his company doesn't run afoul of privacy rights and translates visitor's IP addresses it gathers into anonymous identifiers. Furthermore, Dykes claims an opt-in program would cause "major harm" to the current infrastructure of the internet, which thrives on advertising revenue.
Does Dkyes have a point, or is markey right on the money?
Sun can lay claim as the first company to release a one terabyte tape drive with its StorageTek T10000B, but the company didn't have long to celebrate. Raining on their parade, IBM has released a one terabyte tape drive of its own, only this one runs 33 percent faster than Sun's.
The new IBM TS1130 tape drive can store up to one terabyte of uncompressed data per cartridge at 160MB/sec, or 40MB/sec faster than the T10000B, allowing the new model to complete backups up to 54 percent faster than the previous generation drive.
IBM describes the tape drives as being able to hold the text of one million books, and to keep that data from becoming corrupt, the TS1130 uses a special head overcoat technology IBM claims will lengthen the overall life expectancy of the drive. The TS1130 also utilizes a "Giant Magnetoresistive (GMR) head design that leverages IBM's world-record achievement of developing a more sensitive read-write head for the magnetic tape system." In other words, expect fewer data read errors.
The new drive uses existing 3592 rewritable and WORM (Write Once Read Many) cartridges, offering backwards compatibility with Gen 1, 2, and 3 formats supporting both read and write for Gen 2 and read only for Gen 1. And backwards compatibility is a good thing too, as IBM says the TS1130 will carry a starting price of $39,050, with an upgrade option from existing drives for a more manageable $19,500. Ouch.
CNet reports that the development of Windows 7 is going well. According to Windows unit head Bill Veghte:
The product is tracking very, very well. We are committed and looking good, relative to our commitment--[shipping Windows 7] three years from general availability of Windows Vista.
That wasn't the only good news for Windows fans in Veghte's talk, though. The Mojave Project, which provides Windows XP users a chance to "taste-test" Vista under the code name Mojave, is making inroads (read our take here). Veghte also cited recent internal figures showint that 89% of users are "satisfied" or "very satisfied" with Windows Vista, and 83% would recommend Vista to friends or family.
Veghte also states that Internet Explorer 8, which we told you about earlier this year, will be available in final form later this year.
What are your plans for Windows Vista or Windows 7? See us after the jump for a chance to talk back!
Intel’s dual-core Atom will see the light of the day in Q4 and is slated to be released on September 21, 2008, according to Fudzilla. It will be the first dual-core processor in the power efficient Atom family that has emerged as a popular powerplant for netbooks. The dual-core Atom 330 will set you back by $43, which is quite reasonable as the Atom 230 single-core processor is priced $29. The Atom 330 with its 1.6 GHz clock speed, 533 FSB and 1 MB L2 cache will be ideal for budget rigs. Once the Atom 330 release is out of the way, all eyes will be on the launch of 1.87 GHz Atom processors.
Yesterday, I discussed, in brief, gaming's trend toward the future -- generally at the expense of the past and even the present. Coincidentally, I think that trend ties in well with another point of discussion yesterday's Roundup shoved into the limelight: PC gaming's "death." A good many of you seemed to think I'd love nothing more than to drag the ol' PC out back, aim down the sights, and end its miserable existence.
You couldn't have been more wrong.
PC gaming is, in my mind, thriving. Oh sure, consoles may rake in more mullah, but PC gaming never stops blazing trails into the future. Do I think we should grind to a halt and take a look around every once in a while? Sure. But never should we stagnate, or else our industry really could slump into a lifeless heap. PC gaming, whether it be through MMOs, services like Steam, or even its colossal casual market, is console gaming's crystal ball. "That's what I want to be when I grow up!" I can almost hear Sony, Microsoft, and Nintendo's petite blocks of plastic excitedly screech.
With that said, however, progress is a series of trials and errors. Today's Roundup casts its gaze upon a few recent missteps, from MMOs' lack of true emotion, to E3 2008, to, er, the iPhone. Oh, I didn't just go there; I rented a room, saw the sights, and brought back a refrigerator magnet. Read more for all of that -- and more.
Despite Microsoft's claims of having sold 180 million Windows Vista licenses since the OS's launch, there are plenty of XP owners who have to decided to skip this round and wait for Windows 7. Some of them aren't even willing to give Vista a first look, let alone a second one, and these are the one Microsoft is targeting with Mojave.
What exactly is Mojave? As far the XP faithful are concerned, it's the code name for a brand new OS Microsoft has been working on. And to them, it is brand new, but for the rest of us, it's simply Vista with a new name. That's right; Microsoft is trying to dupe Vista's skeptics into not only giving the OS a test run, but get them to admit they like it. And it's working. Microsoft last week rounded up several XP users who had negative impressions of Vista and showed them Mojave. According to Cnet, over 90 percent gave positive feedback on what they thought was a new OS, with Microsoft recording their reactions after being told Mojave is really Vista.
" We have a huge perception opportunity, said Windows unit business chief Bill Veghte. "We are going to try a bunch of stuff."
The idea got started just two weeks ago in an email from Microsoft's David Webster to several higher ups, including Veghte, and it didn't take long for the cameras to start rolling. Footage could start airing publicly as early as next week, but will it be enough to convince staunch XP users into upgrading?
Asus' Eee PC is quickly becoming the iPod of the ultraportable market, and if the latest rumor turns out to be true, it will even have an assortment of accessories to go along with the low power notebook. According to German site Eee PC News, Asus will soon add an attractive looking external hard drive that connects via USB. But that's not all. The site also shows photos of an external optical drive and a 3G connection card called the T500, which also looks to fit into a USB port.
If true, add the peripherals to the growing list of Eee branded products. And if not, props to a damn convincing Photoshop job.
As if the tech community needed any more proof that DRM schemes only serve to hurt paying customers, Yahoo has decided to remind everyone why the whole concept sucks in the first place. Come September 30, Yahoo will shut off support for Yahoo Music, locking customers who purchased their tracks through the service from being able to transfer their tunes to a new hard drive or PC.
Here we go again. Microsoft pulled the same stunt when it pulled the plug on its MSN Music service. Amid community outcries, the software giant eventually caved to pressure and reversed its decision, offering customers a reprieve "until at least the end of 2011."
Who knows if Yahoo will end up doing the same thing, but as it stands now, customers who want to keep playing their purchased music after the end of September are being prevented from transferring their songs to another machine or even performing a clean OS install on their existing PC. Or they can choose to transfer their music library to RealNetwork's Rhapsody music service. And while customers decide between losing their music or jumping through hoops, pirates will continue to snag the songs they want through Limewire, Piratebay, and everywhere else where pirated music runs rampant.
OS X has remained an Apple fiefdom and any attempts at liberating the OS have been frowned upon by the company. Earlier this month, Apple initiated legal proceedings against Psystar that sells a Mac-clone. However, the law suit seems to have had very little deterrent value as yet another manufacturer has announced plans to launch its own Mac-clone, though, with a difference – not an endorsement.
Open Tech Inc. has announced the Open Tech Home and the Open Tech XT open PCs that will easily allow users to run OS X. The similarity between Psystar’s outright Mac-clone and Open Tech’s upcoming PCs ends here as the latter’s offerings won’t come with OS X pre-installed, instead, users will have to install it on their own using a meticulously crafted set of instructions. Open Tech believes that this move will shield it from any legal action. But Apple's legal department might hold a different opinion.