Daily News Brief: Intel Announces Atom Processor Line

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How Low (Wattage) Can You Go?

The low wattage limbo has become the funkiest tech dance around, and Intel's grooving to the beat. Last week the chip giant announced their ultra-low voltage Diamondville platform , and now they're talking about a sub-1W processor line called Atom . With a TDB in the 0.6 to 2.5 watt range, the new chips will employ a 45nm manufacturing process with hi-k metal gate technology, and reach speeds up to 1.8GHz. Look for multiple core support on a wafer measuring less than 25 mm². Full press release here .

Internet: Wired Up

Most of us take for granted the underlying infrastructure that makes it possible to email vacation pictures to Aunt Ruth who lives three states over, but there exists several ' Meet-Me rooms ' where ISPs come together and connect to each other. Downtown Los Angeles houses the world's densest MMR, connecting more than 260 ISPs responsible for providing internet access to most of California and parts of the rest of the world. MMRs typically aren't seen by the general public, until now. Take a pictorial tour here .

Supreme Court Upholds SPAM Conviction

Jeremy Jaynes is making history, only he's not as cheerful about it as most computer users are. Arrested in 2003 before Congress passed the CAN SPAM act, Jaynes was convicted in 2005 on three counts of Virginia Computer Crimes Act code violations, each one carrying a 3 year prison sentence. Last Friday, Virginia's Supreme Court upheld what amounts to the first US felony conviction for spamming, denying the defendant's free speech claim. More here .

Robotic Work Force

In what could pass for a B-movie sci-fi flick, Japan's vision for the future includes robotic helpers , and lots of them. Robots already perform tasks such as making sushi, planting rice, serving as receptionists, greeting company guests, and much more, but their roles could increase in the coming decade or two. With a fifth of Japan's population now 65 or older, robots are being called upon to replenish the work force and provide care for the elderly. Sound farfetched? Government funding is already in place, and Japan's Trade Ministry is calling for 1 million industrial robots installed by 2025.

Return to Dark Castle

Nostalgic Dark Castle fans rejoice, it looks like the third installment might just see the light of day after all. Originally making an appearance on Macs over 20 years ago in black-and-white form with a quick follow up in 1987 (Beyond Dark Castle), Return to Dark Castle was initially planned for a 2000 release, but suffered numerous delays. Now for the first time ever, publisher Super Happy Fun Fun (seriously) has released a demo , with a release date promised " very, VERY soon ." No word yet on when to expect a PC port.

SpeedFan 4.34 Beta

Recently married, SpeedFan developer Alfredo Milani Comparetti found time to offer up SpeedFan 4.34 beta 40. The latest version marks the last beta release expected before going final, and adds to the list of improvements, which include improved CPU identification routines, a crash fix for some DFI motherboards, improved NVIDIA chipset support, and several other tweaks. You'll need to register to gain access to the Beta Area .

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