An Android-based netbook now seems a near certainty. Asustek’s Samson Hu, who heads the Eee PC business, had told Bloomberg that the company has begun work on an Android-based netbook, but did not promise a commercial version. But Asus isn’t the only one allured by the distinctive price advantage offered by Google’s Android OS. HP has confirmed that it, too, is deliberating upon the use of Android netbooks as an alternative to Windows in netbooks.
Though Asus and HP are only testing waters, Android-based netbooks may become a reality in the near future – perhaps as early as next year. All said, challenging Windows’ ascendancy in the netbook segment won’t be easy for Android.
Crytek boss Cevat Yerli’s desire to be the Miss Cleo of the videogame world is becoming a tad transparent. First, he conjured up visions of the next console generation’s arrival in his crystal ball, and now, he’s predicting that Cloud gaming services like OnLive won’t be viable until – at the earliest – 2013.
"We had our research in 2005 on this subject but we stopped around 2007 because we had doubts about economics of scale. But that was at a time when bandwidth was more expensive," he said.
"We saw that by 2013 - 2015 with the development of bandwidths and household connections worldwide that it might become more viable then."
So why was Crytek’s computer-crippling shooter Crysis plastered all over OnLive’s demo screens at last week’s GDC? Apparently, that was out of Crytek’s hands.
"We're not involved, we just allowed Crysis to be tested on it," he said. "It will be interesting to see how it happens under millions of users. Let's say more than a few hundred users, how it will behave.”
Sounds like he’s really raining on Cloud’s parade. Yeah, we got nothing.
While speakers have been getting thinner and thinner, the geniuses behind Warwick Audio have developed a speaker so thin, you may accidentally wrap your leftover Italian with it.
“FFL technology is a carefully designed assembly of thin, conducting and insulating, materials resulting in the development of a flexible laminate, which when excited by an electrical signal will vibrate and produce sound,” states PhysOrg. “The speaker laminate operates as a perfect piston resonator. The entire diaphragm therefore radiates in phase, forming an area source. The wave front emitted by the vibrating surface is phase coherent, producing a plane wave with very high directivity and very accurate sound imaging.”
This probably means that the speaker won’t work like some newer speakers (by producing electrical charges that excite nearby air molecules, making sound without any vibrations), but instead will work like traditional speakers (but in much tighter wavelengths).
No word yet on just how long we’ll have to wait to see this tech implemented, but according to the site it’s meant to be used in conference rooms and cars.
The Internet is known as a great setting to exchange well-constructed arguments and thoughtful debate. YouTube, however, rarely houses either of these things, and that’s why two Firefox developers have created OpinionCloud, a simple addon that lets you quickly analyze the comments on a video without having to drag through page after page of mindless keyboard smashing.
Now, I’m not saying that every person that has ever commented on a video on YouTube is a neanderthal (though, it is awfully close). I’m saying that while YouTube features a function that lets users hear their own comments before they post them, there’s still plenty one word quips and streams of anger that make their way onto the video sharing site. So, with OpinionCloud you can quickly see what the active YouTube community is saying about a video, without having to sift through all the garbage! And, as an added bonus, if you see a word that catches your eye in the cloud, you can click it and see who used that word.
According to the official page, the addon indexed 9 million YouTube comments to help build its own dictionary of slang terms and phrases, and this number grows each time someone uses it. So, if you think this is for you, be sure to check it out here.
For those of you that still have a Circuit City credit card in your wallet, fret not – the minds at Chase have decided to allow you to use that (still good) card at Best Buy!
In a letter from Chase, Circuit City cardholders were told, “Chase has arranged for you to be able to use your account at Best Buy for all of your consumer electronics needs… In May 2009, we will be sending you a replacement Best Buy branded credit card that you can begin to use as soon as you receive it. Your account number and all of your existing rates, fees and terms will remain the same, which means that any existing regular or promotional financing balances will be treated the same way they are today.”
So, good news! If you hopped on board the sinking boat, you’ll soon be taxied via life raft to the bigger, still floating boat.
“We're happy to announce to the gaming community that as of today, April 1st, 2009, FileFront is a completely independent company again and is no longer part of Ziff Davis Media. All previously suspended services should be active and working again. We thank Ziff Davis Media for their cooperation and willingness to keep the site and community alive,” reads a message from FileFront’s founders.
FileFront also made it excessively clear that its brush with death was in no way an April Fool’s joke – despite the fact that the download service popped out of its casket during the least productive “work day” of the entire year.
So! Since April Fool’s seems to have somehow acquired the ability to – on a whim – resurrect Ziff Davis gaming properties, does this mean EGM also once more walks among the living? Please?
Motion Computing may not have went entirely back to the drawing board, but it did offer some groovy updates to its rugged C5 and F5 tablet PCs. Motion also said its making its redesigned PCs available for use on the Verizon Wireless mobile broadband network.
"Motion Computing is recognized for solutions that improve productivity for highly mobile users by creating devices that are designed to work the way the users do," said Anthony A. Lewis, vice president of open development at Verizon Wireless. "Now with anytime access to the Verizon Wireless network, Motion tablet users, from hospitals to construction sites, can be more productive when away from the office."
The redesigned specs of the two tablets now include 801.11a/g/n, an Intel Core 2 Duo processor, a 64GB solid state drive (SSD), and longer battery life. Motion has also made available an external battery charger. Full specs for the C5 and F5 can be found here and here, respectively.
Both tablets are available now with the C5 starting at around $2,200 and the F5 at $2,800.
If it’s odd to see Samsung’s name on a notebook, you’ll likely get used to it. While the company had previously sold its branded notebooks only overseas, it recently entered the U.S. market with no fewer than five notebook lines, ranging from netbooks to the desktop replacement model we review here, the R610.
Actually, desktop replacement is a bit of a stretch, unless your expectations are pretty minimal. Costing little more than a grand, the R610 is better classified as a budget notebook. And on first look, you might be impressed with what can be had for so little cabbage: a 16-inch glossy screen, a large keyboard and numeric pad, three USB ports, HDMI, dedicated graphics, and a relatively sleek and lightweight design.
But just a little time using the R610 is sure to bring out the critic in any power user. Our first disappointment was with the screen’s image quality. There’s a very narrow sweet spot at which the picture looks good. Stray from that spot either vertically or horizontally and the colors fade or reverse and the contrast is diminished—qualities suggesting this is a 6-bit-color panel, and not a good one at that. The keyboard feels similarly low rent.
In what initially looked to be an April Fool's Day prank, film distributor 20th Century Fox wasn't laughing when it learned its upcoming movie "X-Men: Origins: Wolverine" was viewed by thousands of people a month before the flick is scheduled to show on the big screen. While pirated movies showing up online isn't anything new, this particular leak is rare given that it hadn't even premiered yet.
"The source of the initial leak and any subsequent postings will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of thelaw," 20th Century Fox said. "The courts have handed down significant criminal sentences for such acts in the past."
According to 20th Century Fox, both the FBI and MPAA are investigating the leak. Some estimates peg the illicit release as having been downloaded hundreds of thousands of times in its first 24 hours on the web. However, Eric Garland, chief executive of the file-sharing monitoring firm BigChampagne, said that online viewers would only account for a small percentage of the film's total audience.
Garland did also point out that bad word of mouth could be a concern. The copy that was leaked to the internet was missing many special effects and included temporary sound and music.
Holy moly, what a day it's been in graphics cards. Nvidia and ATI are set to do battle in the mid-range market, the former with today's announcement of the GeForce GTX 275 videocard, and ATI with the launch of its HD 4890 videocard.
While Nvidia's announcement may have been intended to steal some thunder from ATI's HD 4890 launch, it hasn't seemed to make much of a difference. According to news site DailyTech, 50,000 Radeon HD 4980 videocards have already been shipped to retailers, many of which have been sold to end-users before today's launch. A quick glance at the Egg shows several models selling for $250, with mail-in-rebates bringing the price down another $20, including XFX, who recently defected as an Nvidia-only board partner to sell both ATI and Nvidia brand videocards.
Rumored specs turned out to be largely true for ATI's new part. The RV790-based 4890 comes with a core clockspeed of 850MHz, or 100MHz faster than the HD 4870. Other goodies include 1GB of GDDR5 clocked at 975MHz on a 256-bit bus, 800 stream processors, 40 texture units, 16 ROPs, and a 190W rated maximum TDP (60W idle).