Can your PC withstand a torrential downpour? Stealth Computer's new WPC-500F can, along with all kinds of other extreme situations in which we hope to never find ourselves in.
"The WPC-500F provides the most environmental protection of any PC that we have offered to date. The machine is completely sealed on all six sides and can withstand the harshest of environments," stated Ed Boutilier, President and CEO of Stealth.com Inc.
Protected by a rugged, fanless aluminum chassis that pulls double duty as a heatsink, Stealth says its new PC can survive liquids, chemicals, dust, and dirt intrusion and meets IP67/NEMA 6 environmental specifications.
On the inside sits a netbook-like configuration with the base model sporting an Intel Atom 330 dual-core processor (1.6GHz, 512KB cache, 533MHz frontside bus), 2GB of DDR2-667 memory, and an 80GB high temp and high shock HDD (SDD options available).
Not a whole lot separates Asus' upcoming Eee PC 1005HA from the already available 1008HA launched earlier this year. We're talking about a user-replaceable battery, a slightly thicker shell, and, according to Engadget, no more recessed ports and port doors.
Familiar specs include an Intel Atom N270 processor (1.6Ghz), 1GB of DDR2 memory, 160GB hard drive, WiFi, 1024x600 LCD display, and Windows XP. But it's the removable battery that might ultimately make the 1005HA more popular than the 1008HA, even though Asus claims up to 8.5 hours of run time on the stock 6-cell unit.
No word yet on when the new model will ship, but you can grab one on preorder from Amazon for $350.
Microsoft’s open-source Microsoft Public License (MS-PL) is increasingly becoming popular with open-source developers. The MS-PL is still in its infancy having been approved by the Open Source Initiative only a couple of years ago, but it has steadily risen to take the 10th spot among open-source licenses (ranked according to popularity). Around 1.02 percent of all open-source projects are currently licensed under the MS-PL. If it continues in the same vein, it will leave the Mozilla Public License (MPL) behind in the popularity stakes very soon. Microsoft's open-source code hosting service Codeplex is a key force driving the rising popularity of the Microsoft Public License.
Baltimore became the first US city to be blessed with a commercial WiMax service in October, 2008. Though WiMax hasn’t spread like a flu across the country since then, the rate of implementation is expected to pick up a bit in the near future. Clearwire’s WiMax network has now become operational in Atlanta, Georgia and anyone living their can avail the service by purchasing a USB modem and a daily/monthly subscription.
The WiMax network in Atlanta is the biggest of its kind in the U.S and encompasses an area measuring 1,200 square miles. The speeds are expected to hover between four and six Mbps on an average with 15Mbps being the upper limit. Separate USB modems are available for desktops and laptops.
If laptop users will have to fork out $59.99 for the modem, their desktop-doting counterparts will have to pay $79.99 for the desktop-compliant modem. The latter species can also rent the device for a monthly sum of $4.99. The monthly subscription plan costs $40 whereas the service can also be accessed for $10 daily.
The National Security Agency is facing renewed scrutiny over its domestic surveillance program, and Congress is now claiming that their powers may go too far. A review of recent telephone and email intercepts seems to suggest that the agency may be monitoring the conversations of everyday Americans far more than they let on. Longstanding legal issues aside, the N.S.A, as of last year, is expected to only monitor the private communications of US citizens if it can be demonstrated that it was done so as an incidental byproduct of investigating individuals abroad.
Even more troubling, in April, it was disclosed that intercepts of private American communications were far beyond the legal limits for both late 2008 and early 2009, and the extent of the problem is still being investigated. Further supporting evidence was provided by a former N.S.A analyst who claims he was trained in 2005 to use specialized email monitoring software, an application which intelligence officials confirms is still in operation. New Jersey Democratic representative Rush Holt admitted that “Some actions are so flagrant that they can’t be accidental”, but still admits, few lawmakers can deal with the issues because of the technical complexities of the operation. “The people making the policy,” he said, “don’t understand the technicalities.”
It’s easy to see that trying to distinguish between domestic and foreign email correspondence can be difficult, but is the privacy trade off worth the added security benefit? Let us know what you think.
Security and privacy advocates have been pushing online service providers to offer better protection for their customers, and to start offering secure HTTPS connections by default. HTTPS allows you to securely encrypt traffic to and from the server, and for example, protects us from having our usernames, and passwords sniffed out on public networks. Gmail offers users the ability to enable HTTPS as a default connection type (highly recommended), but for the average user, it probably never comes to mind. Email accounts have become a primary hub for password recovery, and many people don’t realize just how painful losing control of one can be until it happens first hand.
This could change in the near future as reported by Google software engineer Alma Whitten in a blog post that claims, we are “looking into whether it would make sense to turn on HTTPS as the default for all Gmail users”. Currently, they are conducting research into the performance impact of rolling this out across the board, but this is a promising step in the right direction. Google is also considering making secure connections the default for other services such as Docs and Calendar.
Secure connections used to be considered very processor intensive for servers, but like anything else, this has become less true as CPU speeds continue to climb. "Unless there are negative effects on the user experience or it's otherwise impractical, we intend to turn on HTTPS by default more broadly, hopefully for all Gmail users," the post says.
One of the biggest concerns for online advertisers these days, is getting the most out of increasingly tight budgets, and protecting themselves from click-fraud can be difficult. Companies bid on search keywords, and depending on the popularity of the term, often pay top dollar to float to the top of the sponsored results list. This model is tested and true, but once they reach their spending limits, they drop off leaving the next highest bidder in their place. Click-fraud artists can be somewhat hard to trace, they often operate through proxies, or sometimes even botnets to mask their IP’s. But after a year of intense investigation, Microsoft has finally tracked down three individuals linked to a number of small corporation names, and is taking them to court.
Microsoft is seeking about $750,000 in damages from British Columbia, Canada residents Eric Lam, Gordon Lam, and Melanie Suen. “We have decided to become more active in the commercial fraud area on the enforcement side,” said Tim Cranton, associate general counsel for Microsoft. “The theory is you can change the economics around crime or fraud by making it more expensive.”
Analysts believe that Microsoft is simply testing the waters with this lawsuit, and primarily hope that it will intimidate people away from a life of online crime. This specific case involved the three accused fraudsters of running up the tabs on keyword searches related to “auto insurance” and “World of Warcraft”. Once they had expended the budgets of their competitors, their network of sites would slowly float to the top, and pickup traffic at bargain prices.
With little legal precedent to lean on, do you think this case will be successful?
In what it claims is the “most thorough study [of its variety] to date,” videogame retailer GameStop has found that digital downloads – like those found on Steam, Impulse, Xbox Live Arcade and other such services – won’t be making any real waves until 2014. Er, what?
And even once the strange, mysterious stardate of 2014 brings widespread acceptance of things like “The Internet,” apparently only 25 percent of customers will “have access to the technology required to download full games.” Also, the study found that, as of now, gamers are only willing to spend $39 per downloadable game, "so publishers will be less incentivized than some in the industry think."
So then, if this really was “the most thorough” study ever, we can assume it included PC gamers. Thus, we can conclude that we’re well within our rights asking the following question: “Are you kidding us, GameStop?” Look at Steam’s lineup, why don’t you? All those major game publishers are there for a reason. Hell, even consoles are beefing up their download services to include full, formerly retail-only games. And don’t even get us started on the iPhone’s app store.
All this? It’s happening right now. Five years is a long time, GameStop, and it already looks like you’re in your rocker, telling young whippersnapper download services to get off your lawn. Now just for fun, let's conduct a little study of our own: readers, how many games have you digitally purchased in the last month?
The MMO market’s not exactly the nicestneighborhood for developers to settle down in these days, but that certainly doesn’t mean carving out a lucrative niche is impossible. Case in point: Lord of the Rings Online. While it may not be the One MMO to rule them all, LotRO is still inhaling customers like hobbits inhale breakfasts. Turbine live producer Aaron Campbell explained:
“If anything, The Lord of the Rings Online is growing. We have no plans to merge servers.”
“And please don’t mention it, it makes me twitch unpleasantly,” he added, probably twitching unpleasantly.
Good to hear that tons of wannabe Frodos and Aragorns are still flocking to LotRO, though. Granted, the game shares a bunch of gameplay similarities with WoW and leverages one of the most powerful brands on earth, so the game's a tad more accessible than other MMOs. But still. Keeping an MMO afloat is no easy task. Good job, Turbine.
In response, Telenor’s Ragnar Kårhus has stated, "This would be the same as demanding that the postal service should open all letters, and decide which ones should be delivered." They have since refused to give into the demands of the IFPI, and stated that they should file the lawsuit if they deem it necessary.