As if Microsoft didn’t have enough on its plate in advance of the October 22 launch date for its latest operating system, Windows 7, an old, familiar friend is entering the fray. Like a second player that adds a quarter and interrupts your progression in an arcade fighting game, Google is bringing its open-source Android operating system out of the handheld market and into the PC world.
Acer netbooks are the target for Android’s first foray beyond the mobile market. The company has announced that it will begin offering both Microsoft-based operating systems and Google’s Android platform for a majority of its netbooks—or “mini-notebooks,” as Microsoft now prefers to call them. Acer’s latest Aspire One netbook will be the first of its kind to offer Android as an alternative platform, and you’ll be able to pick one up in the third quarter of this year.
The move is a boon for the open-source world… sort-of. For Android is as open as it is Linux, which is to say that it might be based on the Linux kernel, but it’s not a Linux operating system. Similarly, although Android comes close to fulfilling the philosophy and licensing requirements to deem it a full, open-source product, a few qualifiers exist that give cause for concern. Together, these two issues combine to create a troubled picture for Android’s future outside of the mobile market.
Brace yourselves for this one. Hulu -- the free video streaming service that has others, like YouTube, trying to emulate it -- may not be totally free in the not too distant future. Or at least that's how Jonathan Miller, News Corp.'s new chief digital officer, envisions things.
According to AOL's Daily Finance website, Miller said he sees Hulu making at least some of its content available only to paid subscribers. At the same time, he was also quick to clarify that he won't attend his first Hulu board meeting until next week, meaning his speculation doesn't necessarily reflect that of Hulu's.
"In my opinion the answer could be yes," Miller said. "I don't see why over time that shouldn't happen. I don't think it's on the agenda for Monday [but] it seems to me that over time that could be a logical thing."
Keep in mind that News Corp. co-owns Hulu and it's Miller's job to find ways of getting revenue from from News Corp.'s properties.
In other words, enjoy Hulu while you can - in the long run, it may all have been just an extended free trial.
While the high-speed infrastructure is still being laid in most parts of the country, Motorola has made sure you won't have to wait on the hardware to catch up. That's because the company has started selling its SB6120 cable modem, what the company claims is the first ever DOCSIS 3.0 modem to launch in retail, through Fry's Electronics stores.
"We're witnessing the greatest advancement in DOCSIS cable modems in more than ten years, and Fry's Electronics is at the forefront of the retail DOCSIS 3.0 movement," said Alan Lefkof, corporate vice president and general manager, Motorola Broadband Home Gateways and Software. "We are pleased to work with Fry's Electronics and to provide consumers with high-end modem that will work with any form of DOCSIS network their cable operators provide."
Motorola says these are the same modems that are available to cable operators, which offer up to 4 times the speed of DOCSIS 2.0
CyberPower this week announced a new line of high-end gaming PCs under its also new Fang series nomenclature, which it says has been co-developed with Intel and "other leading manufacturers." The company kicks off the new line with the flagship Black Mamba Venom and Cobra Venom, both of which come overclocked and sport a customized BIOS, as designated by the Venom tag.
"The Fang series with Venom incorporates a special BIOS to allow for higher overclocking," CyberPower stated in a press release. "The BIOS supports real-time readings of CPU speed and additional options for QPI signal and CPU Clock Skew features, all of which improve overclocking capability."
On the higher end, the configurable Black Mamba Venom comes standard with Intel's just-released Core i7 975 Extreme Edition processor factory overclocked to 4GHz, and EVGA X58 Classified or Gigabyte X58 Extreme motherboard, 6GB of tri-channel DDR3 memory, a pair of 300GB Velociraptors in a RAID 0 array with a 1TB hard drive for storage duties, two Nvidia GTX 285 videocards in SLI, and a 6X Blu-ray writer all housed in Cooler Master's Storm Sniper chassis.
The slightly lower end Cobra Venom sports the same processor along with X58 motherboard options, while dropping down to a single 1TB hard drive, a single GTX 285 videocard, and a combo Blu-ray/HD-DVD player housed in Azza's Solano 1000 case.
The Black Mamba and Cobra Venom will start at $4,000 and $2,400 respectively. No word yet on availability.
Intel today announced it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire all outstanding Wind River Systems common shares for $11.50 in cash, valuing the deal at around $884 million. The near billion dollar investment represents a 44 percent markup over Wind River's Wednesday closing price of $8, says the Associated Press.
"This acquisition will bring us complementary, market-leading software assets and an incredibly talented group of people to help us continue to grow our embedded systems and mobile device capabilities," said Renee James, Intel vice president and general manager of the company's Software and Services Group. "Wind River has thousands of customers in a wide range of markets, and now both companies will be better positioned to meet growth opportunities in these areas."
The acquisition is expected to strengthen Intel's processor and software offerings for embedded systems and mobile devices such as smartphones, MIDs, and even in-car "info-tainment" systems, Intel says. On that latter point, Wind River Systems announced just over a year ago it was collaborating with Intel to develop an open-source platform for the automotive industry, one which would be optimized for Intel's now-popular Atom processor.
Despite being the sequel to what was possibly last year’s best PC game, Valve’s recently unveiled Left 4 Dead 2 seems to be public enemy number one on gamers’ lists of E3 announcements they love 2 hate. Why? Answers range from “Team Fortress 2 got free stuff! Why not L4D?” to “L4D2’s too colorful!” Valve, though, believe it or not, isn’t out to bleed its loyal fans dry (at least, not outside its game). There is, in fact, a method to this madness. Valve’s Chet Faliszek explained:
“In Team Fortress you can do one map, and it's a standalone map and it tells its internal story and you're good. In Left 4 Dead, when we started talking about new characters, all of a sudden we were talking about maps, then all of a sudden we were talking about campaign, and then director 2.0, hey, we're in the swamps,” he told Shacknews.
How can Valve hope to accomplish all of this in only a single year? Well, in a sense, the developer’s outsourcing that. To a robot.
Left 4 Dead’s A.I. Director 2.0 does everything the first Director did – and more. Along with positioning zombies such that you’re always positioned on the edge of your seat, the rapidly evolving A.I. will now control weather and dynamic pathing. Faliszek elaborated on the latter of those two terms.
“Dynamic pathing changes--so in the next map in this campaign, they go through an above-ground cemetery, a haunted old cemetery with crypts above ground, and it actually changes the path every time you play. And also how spawning the creatures, and the pacing of the game,” he noted.
So then, Valve’s created an A.I. that’s quickly learning how to deviously toy with and eventually murder humans? And Valve is allowing that A.I. to slowly assume control of its company? That doesn’t sound like a threat at all. We’re just going to go back to complaining about videogames now.
Loud bellows can be heard at the ongoing Computex tradeshow in the Taiwanese capital. Nvidia is the one making all the noise with a bagful of Ion-based small form factor products. There are 21 Ion-based products being showcased at the event, including the Acer Desktop AspireRevo, Asus All-in-one eeeTop ET2002 and MSI All-in-one Windtop AE2201. Many of these products had not been heard of prior to Computex. The Ion platform has been at the receiving end of Intel’s contempt. But even Intel must be keenly observing the first wave of Ion-based products at Computex.
According to a new study by the Harvard School of Business’ Bill Heil and Mikolaj Piskorski, men on Twitter are far more likely to follow other men over women.
According to the study, they “found that an average man is almost twice more likely to follow another man than a woman. Similarly, an average woman is 25% more likely to follow a man than a woman. Finally, an average man is 40% more likely to be followed by another man than by a woman. These results cannot be explained by different tweeting activity - both men and women tweet at the same rate.”
What’s more interesting is that there are more women on Twitter than men. “Females hold a slight majority on Twitter: we found that men comprise 45% of Twitter users, while women represent 55%.”
Though, I’d like to take this chance to say that I’m an equal opportunity follower. It doesn’t matter if you’re Will Smith or Veronica Belmont, I’ve got no problems following Twitterers of either gender. (Oh, and don’t let your gender deter you from following me!)
Netbook owners are all too familiar with the perils of watching any type of processor hungry HD video on our tiny beloved machines. But, thanks to a recent announcement by Adobe, those days are coming to a close (sort of).
The announcement, which came in two parts (from Nvidia and Broadcom) promises full hardware acceleration for Flash video, mostly by means of upgrades to Adobe’s plugin. This upgrade will guarantee smooth playback of HD flash video.
Sadly, most current-gen netbook owners won’t get to see any of these advances, because in order to put them to use you’ll need to have a machine based on Nvidia’s Tegra solution, or an Atom powered netbook with Broadcom’s Crystal HD video accelerator addon.
This advance will be making its way to consumers in the first half of 2010.
All that's missing from Logitech's newest flight simulation controller is a cockpit. The Flight System G940, as it's being dubbed, is the company's first ever force-feedback flight sim peripheral and has enough pieces to keep hardcore flight sim fans busy, and those new to the genre thoroughly overwhelmed. And that's just fine with Logitech.
"There's nothing ordinary about a G-series gaming peripheral, and the G940 is no different," said Ruben Mookerjee, Logitech's director or product marketing for gaming. "We approached this project with the goal of redefining the flight sim experience. Whether you're flying an A380, an F/A-18 Hornet, or a Comanche helicopter, when you want to feel the wind on your winds, control engines together, or independently or master tricky maneuvers, the G940 behaves and feels like the real thing -- from takeoff to landing."
The three-component G940 comes with a force feedback joystick and dual throttle and rudder pedals, along with no less than 250 programmable button options integrated in a fully featured Hands On Throttle-and-Stick (HOTAS) design.
Logitech says its G940 will start shipping in September with an MSRP set for $299.