The PC market isn't the only sector to note its first decline since the dot-com bust. According to the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA), consumer electronics in general is on pace to record its first annual drop in revenue since 2001, the same year the PC market also recorded its last decline prior to 2009.
Revenues are expected to be about $165 billion by the end of the year, down about 7.7 percent from 2008. However, it's not because consumers have reduced their spending. Instead, the CEA blames the lower revenue on lower product prices. In fact, CE spending as a percentage of all durable goods is as high as it has been in 50 years, TGDaily reports.
That might come as little consolation to CE manufacturers unable to cash in on consumer spending, but Blu-ray could turn that around. Despite falling prices of Blu-ray players, the CEA predicts unit shipments to reach nearly six million, a whopping 112 percent jump. That would push Blu-ray revenue over the $1 billion mark, a 48 percent increase over 2008.
You knew it would happen sooner or later, we're just a little surprised it took this long for hackers to release a botnet running on mobile phones. According to Symantec, a piece of malicious software called Sexy Space may be the first documented case.
Like most botnets, Sexy Space relies on quite a bit of user interaction to be effective. Those who ultimately become a zombie in the botnet first receive a text message saying "A very sexy girl, Try it now!" Inside the message is a link that must be clicked, which then asks the potential victim to download software. The software then scours through the user's contact list and sends an SMS with the same message to each person.
Symantec says that this particular botnet is being controlled by a central server, but it remains unclear whether or not the phones respond to remote commands.
We're undoubtedly preaching to the choir on this one, but be wary of any rogue text messages, especially when they ask you to click a link and download software.
If you've ever shopped for a videocard, you may have run across a company called GeCube. The company has been somewhat of a player in the graphics market, producing ATI videocards from the Radeon 7000 PCI series to the much more recent PCI-E Radeon HD 4890. That's as far as the company will go, says news and rumor site DigiTimes.
Citing a Chinese-language Apply Daily report, DigiTimes says Gigabyte has recently released its 61.5 percent stake in GeCube and relinquished its spot on the board of directors. As a result, GeCube decided to sell off its graphics card business, but the company isn't going away completely. Instead, GeCube has already attracted a new partner, and although GeCube isn't saying who the new partner is, going forward the two will apparently work together on a non-graphics card related business.
As of right now, GeCube's website still reflects its graphics business.
Ding! If you're still using AOL's default instant messenger (or Google Talk, or Yahoo! Messenger, or...), then you're missing out on a wide range of alternative features--more than you perhaps though possible in a common messaging application. Or, worse, you're trying to converse with your friends across the various networks by using three or more individual applications at once. While this might have been the only way to bridge the gap between these services before, you can plead ignorance no longer. Start the uninstaller--and this article--and by the time you're finished with both, you'll never go back to the antiquated world of official messaging applications. Third-party is where the real party's at.
What can you expect to find in these open-source and freeware apps? For starters, an interface that combines a number of common messaging networks into a single program. In some cases, you can even lump your friends' various online names across the separate chat networks into a single, unifying alias--click a drop-down box to specify which network you want to reach them on. Beyond that, these programs can bring a number of plugins and external connections to the table. Combine your Facebook and Twitter feeds into your friends list, find out when people are about to message you before they do so, and call your buddies through your messenger interface akin to Skype. And that's just the tip of the IM iceberg.
Get a list of your favorite emoticons ready to go and hit the jump. The competitive world of instant messaging applications awaits!
Asus’s Eee PC kicked off the netbook craze in 2007, and now the grandmaster of small-and-shiny returns with its best Eee ever. The 1000HE combines the 901’s extra-long battery life with the power and capacity of the 1002HA (which we reviewed in March), and throws in a nearly MacBook Pro–style full-size chiclet keyboard.
The 1000HE is the first netbook we’ve reviewed with Intel’s new Atom N280 processor, which kicks up the clocks from 1.6GHz to 1.66GHz, and the front-side bus to 667MHz from 533MHz. Other than that, it’s virtually the same hardware as Asus’s other 10-inch models, like the 1002HA. The 1000HE trades the 1002HA’s brushed-aluminum exterior for glossy fingerprint-prone plastic, with the chiclet keyboard supplanting the 1000HA’s more standard keys.
I recently reformatted my main OS drive. I had copied all of my essential documents to a 1TB Samsung drive. Now that my main OS drive is back in business, I find that the second drive appears to be unformatted. Any time I attempt to access the D: drive, I am prompted to format it. When I boot to my Windows CD, the D: drive appears as a 138GB unformatted partition, with the rest unallocated.
Please, please tell me I have not lost the ability to retrieve all my photos, music, spreadsheets, etc. If I reformat the drive, will I be able to recover the files, using a file recovery app such as Recuva?
Despite the recent push towards going green, power management on the PC has a long ways to go, but a new breakthrough could shakes things up in a big way. Both Rohm Co Ltd and NEC of Japan are working on what's called zero-standby-dissipation IC technology, which is an integrated circuit that waits in Off mode for an input before instantly turning itself on, and then turning right back off.
Already in prototype form and expected to ship in quantity before 2010, the innovative chips are made from nonvolatile logic and merged memory. By making the entire chip nonvolatile, the integrated circuits consume no power when in standby mode, only turning themselves on when power is needed. And because of the logic circuit, the chips do not need data retention, which means power to the entire chip can be cut in standby.
"This technology has enormous potential in applications such as games, where the system is usually sitting and waiting for player input," says an un-named source at Rohm.
Don’t tell Newton: Ramming your hot rod full-speed into a concrete block, idling minivan, or in-game ad billboard in Burnout Paradise doesn’t really slow you down. The game is a steady, fuel-injected dose of momentum from spark plug to finish line. Pushing over Paradise City’s 20 square miles of pavement for just an hour means accumulating new cars, completing events, knocking over barriers to find shortcuts or spontaneous jumps, earning license upgrades, setting street-specific high scores, or just streaking a newfound scenic route with rubber.
The game combines the feel of impulsive, mission-based sandbox titles like Grand Theft Auto and Tony Hawk with loose, forgiving, driving mechanics—making for disposable, whimsical racing with a persistent career and surprisingly good online mode. Every major intersection in the city is a gateway to a racing event. Spin your wheels at a stoplight and you’ll activate a point-to-point race or one of four other variations on the standard sprint: Road-rage events have you side-swiping a set number of opponents within a time limit, stunt runs are all about racking up points with long drifts and high jumps, and in our favorite, “marked man,” you’ll try to escape a set of ominous black sedans before they can smear you into the median. There are vehicle-specific challenges, too, and as you spend more time in Paradise City, you can earn the keys to rival cars roaming the streets by pushing them off the road.
Despite AMD's insistence that it has no interest in pursuing the netbook market, Gateway's first take on the segment resulted in the AMD Athlon Neo-based LT3100, an 11.6-inch netbook chugging along at 1.6GHz. This time around, Gateway takes the traditional route, building its newly introduced LT2000 netbook around the Intel Atom platform.
Sporting a smaller 10.1-inch LED-backlit LCD display, the LT2000 comes equipped with an Intel Atom N270 processor (1.6GHz, 533MHz frontside bus, 512KB L2 cache), 1GB of DDR2-533 memory, two 160GB hard drives, integrated Intel GMA950 graphics, WiFi, built-in webcam, three USB ports, a 3-cell battery, and Windows XP Home with SP3.
Other configurations will also be available in both black or 'Cherry Red.' As spec'd, Gateway lists an MSRP of $300.
"This is a JS engine bug dealing with deep bailing not properly restoring the return value from the result of the (fast native) escape function. We then try to do something with the uninitialized memory and crash in the interpreter," wrote Mozilla's Blake Kaplan in a comment on the bug report.
It didn't take long for researchers to discover that the bug was exploitable and could be used to execute arbitrary code. It's also been squashed in the 3.5.1 update, however researchers have discovered a similar bug that remains. According to Mozilla, it is looking into the issue, but so far doesn't believe the newly discovered bug is exploitable.