The Acer Hornet will have an asking price of under $300. The petite PC will also have a motion-sensing controller a la Nintendo Wii. The controller is not only meant for gaming but also for generic control. According to Nvidia, the first Ion-based notebooks, netbooks and PCs are just around the corner – to hit retail in the second quarter.
Bandwidth caps are the latest and greatest ways for ISPs to keep people in check, and while some ISPs do have admittedly sizeable caps (such as Comcast’s 250GB/month and AT&T’s slightly less impressive 150GB/month), Time Warner’s is a pathetic 40GB/month, and starting soon, those living in the Lone Star State won’t be the only ones subject to it.
Austin, San Antonio, Rochester, NY and Greensboro, NC will be the next cities that will have to deal with the diminutive bandwidth cap. And, a note to people in these locations, every gig you go over your cap, it’ll cost you a buck.
Now, that’s not to say that a buck all on its own is a big deal, but when you consider that downloading four conservatively sized HD movies, at 5GB a piece, takes up half of your monthly allotment, there’s something to ponder. And, if you enjoy the perks of HD video on Hulu and YouTube, there’s more to worry about. And gamers, if you like to buy your games on Steam, you’d better watch yourselves too! Those megabytes sure can add up quickly, and so can your bill.
Sweden recently enforced a new anti-piracy policy that lets copyright holders quickly acquire the identity of major pirates and prosecute them directly through the courts, without any police intervention at all – and a many took notice.
According to Netnod, a Swedish web tracking firm, web traffic on the day the policy went into place dropped from 120GB/s to 80GB/s. But, the drop is likely temporary according to the VP of Sweden’s (I kid you not) Pirate Party, Christian Engstrom, who states, “Today, there is a very drastic reduction in internet traffic. But experience from other countries suggests that while file-sharing drops on the day a law is passed, it starts climbing again… One of the reasons is that it takes people a few weeks to figure out how to change their security settings so that can share files anonymously.”
Still, the law has been under fire due to its allowing major corporations to circumvent the police by means of direct lawsuits. Obtaining specific information is as easy as going to the uploader’s ISP, who will then get his IP and identity.
What do you think? Is it fair to let copyright holders protect their products at any cost, or is it the beginning of a long line of abuse from major corporations? Let us know after the jump.
This is why we are technology writers and not mathematicians. After some careful calculations, we've discovered that we are actually still technically on the 99th episode of the No BS Podcast. That means that we have no choice by to save our 100th episode spectacular until next Friday. We sincerely apologize for the wait, but in the meantime, Will, Nathan and Gordon bring you another lengthy and informative Q&A session in episode 99A (and the return of Gordon's rant of the week). Your patience will be rewarded handsomely!
We also have come into posession of a ton of SteelSeries keyboards and headsets, speaker systems, and even more t-shirts to give away in our weekly Twitter contest. Be sure to sign up for @willsmith's feed to get in on the action.
Do you have a tech question? A comment? A tale of technological triumph? Just need to get something off your chest? A secret to share? Email us at email@example.com or call our 24-hour No BS Podcast hotline at 877.404.1337 x1337--operators are standing by.
Usually, I don’t write about Google, because googling it is so hard. But ambiguity isn’t enough to thwart my interest in Google’s recent movement in the world of books. Google Books (originally Google Print) has come to a settlement with publishers that will, in essence, make it the default collecting society for out-of-copyright books—with no congressional oversight.
It’s the result of 1337 legal hacking. In 2004 Google announced plans to scan in-copyright books that were part of university holdings, something no other book scanner had talked about doing. In 2005 the publishers and authors sued Google in a move that sent waves of not shocked at all through the copyright community. It was closely watched by sad copyright wonks (moi) as possibly defining fair use online.
Google skipped all that and instead suggested amassing a library no one could duplicate and selling the books. The publishers went along for a cut of the action. Thing is, because Google settled, it’s a deal only Google gets.
As Engadget puts it, the Windows Mobile news coming out of this week's CTIA Wireless 2009 trade show can be summed up in two words: "pretty" and "support" (for the upcoming Windows Mobile 6.5 operating system).
Want a phone where "pretty" is more than case-deep? Designer Isaac Mizrahi, Design Museum London, and the Council of Fashion Designers are teaming up with Redmond to create fashionable wallpapers for the 6.5 version of Windows Mobile. On the support side, Microsoft announced support from over 25 companies for its Windows Mobile Marketplace (Word 2003 DOC link).
For more about what Redmond put on display, join us after the jump.
A-Data's newest external hard drives employ you to "enjoy technology with a touch of style." And by that, A-Data means you should decide between rolling with sweet pink, sapphire blue, purple, or a white color scheme for your portable storage needs.
The color selection comes courtesy of A-Data's CH91 external HDD line. Coated in a metal-like paint spray, the new drives are available in capacities up to 500GB (250GB and 320GB also available) and support Microsoft's ReadyBoost technology. The USB powered drives measure 134mm x 82mm x 16.7mm, feature a blinking LED to indicate power and activity, and comes with a USB Y cable, suede pouch, and backup software.
Dell’s business oriented notebook line of Vostros haven’t seen an update in quite some time, but the long awaited upgrades are admittedly worth the wait.
The new and improved notebooks include the 13.3-inch Vostro 1320, the 15.4-inch Vostro 1520 and the granddaddy of them all, the 17-inch Vostro 1720. These will all come with video conferencing software installed, if you include the built-in webcam and microphone, and feature the option of an SSD. And, those looking for extra security can take note of a fingerprint reader and an encrypted HDD option with Wave Systems software.
They’re available now for $619 (1520), $679 (1320), and $699 (1720) on Dell’s website.
No rest for the weary, especially Windows users. Following the Conficker.c scare that, up to this point, hasn't lived up to the hype, a Microsoft Security Advisory (969136) warns of a newly discovered vulnerability in PowerPoint.
"Microsoft is investigating new reports of a vulnerability in Microsoft Office PowerPoint that could allow remote code execution if user opens a specially crafted PowerPoint file," said the advisory. "At this time, we are aware only of limited and targeted attacks that attempt to use this vulnerability."
Microsoft said the vulnerability is caused when PowerPoint accesses an invalid object in memory when parsing a specially crafted PowerPoint file. The security hole makes it possible for attackers to gain the same user rights as the local user.
No fix is currently in place, however Microsoft indicated it may release a patch before the next monthly security update. In the meantime, PowerPoint users are advised not to open or save Office files from un-trusted sources (thanks for that gem, MS!).
BenQ promises that its E2400HD LCD monitor will provide “a brand-new standard for personal digital audiovisual entertainment….” And while we’ve grown weary of marketing hyperbole, at first glance, this 24-inch panel has the specs to back up this statement. The E2400HD sports a 1080p HDMI interface and utilizes a 16:9 aspect ratio (rather than the more common ratio of 16:10 for widescreen panels), two features that should improve the movie-watching experience. OK, perhaps “brand-new standard” is a bit overboard, but as we unboxed it, we did think that a 1080p 24-inch monitor for less than $400 was certainly intriguing—even if it sports a 6-bit panel.
A 16:9 aspect ratio should, theoretically, provide a better image when viewing high-def widescreen movies because a 16:10 monitor has to either stretch an image by 10 percent or add black bars to the top and bottom of the image to compensate for the additional space. In our tests with multiple DVD movies, however, those ubiquitous horizontal black bars appear during playback. While TV shows and many movies (typically romantic comedies) are filmed in a native 16:9 aspect ratio, many films are matted using a wide 2.35:1 aspect ratio where you’ll still see black bars. Therefore, while the BenQ is capable of displaying a movie in its original widescreen glory, many DVDs will still not be able to utilize all of the screen’s space.