Earlier this week Intel announced the additions of two dual-core CPUs to their CULV platform, which will target entry-level ultra-thin notebooks.
The announcement came in the form of the Celeron 740 and the SU2300. They will feature core clocks of 1.3GHz and 1.2GHz respectively, and both will feature an identical 1MB L2 cache, 10W TDP and an 800MHz FSB.
No official word yet on how much notebooks featuring these will cost or when they will arrive.
After being out of the office last week, the gang is back to talk about this week's biggest tech headlines. Will and Norm recap their adventure at the Electronics Entertainment Expo, Gordon gets riled up over Apple's WWDC announcements, and we collectively anticipate upcoming Facebook's vanity URL service. facebook.com/willsmith, unfortunately, has already been claimed. We also try a bold experiment: using Bing as our default search engine for a week. How long before someone gives up and goes back to Google? And as always, we answer a few listener questions and bring you Gordon's rant of the week. All this plus more in this edition of the No BS podcast!
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.
In what's fast become a crowded lineup, OCZ has released yet another SSD series, this latest one called the Agility. The 2.5-inch SATA II SSD is being aimed at mainstream desktop and notebook users not looking to spend a fortune on solid state storage.
"The new Agility Series of SSDs are the latest addition to the OCZ lineup of solid state drives and are designed for cost-conscious consumers seeking the performance and reliability benefits of SSDs at an aggressive price," said Ryan Edwards, Director of Product Management at OCZ.
On the surface, that sounds like another way of saying the new drives will be slow, but that isn't the case, OCZ says. Helped in part by a 64MB cache buffer, the 60GB and 120GB models will offer read, write, and sustained write speeds of up to 230MB/s, 135MB/s, and 80MB/s respectively. The 30GB model will check in a little slower at 185MB/s, 100MB/s, and 60MB/s for its read, write, and sustained write speeds.
While Asus ambitiously prides themselves on being innovators in design akin to Apple, they’re taking aim at Nintendo in the video game console market as well.
According to Jonathan Tsang, the Vice Chairman of Asus, they have “polished off” a video game system that they claim will rival the Wii. “We have a product we think is better than the Wii. But the content is complicated,” stated Tsang in an interview.
Asus’ problem isn’t with the hardware currently, but rather with the software. They have plenty of ways to design and produce a system, but their support on the software side is lacking. A console with no games isn’t bound to be very successful.
“Sometimes it is a chicken-and-egg problem,” Tsang continued. “We don’t have the chicken, so cannot have the egg.”
Twitter has been one of the hottest topics in the past several years, being linked to everything from potential terrorists attacks to celebrity slugfests, and even an upcoming Twitter-based reality show. Turns out it's also pretty effective marketing tool capable of boosting sales by millions of dollars.
Try $3 million, to be exact, which is how much Dell said Twitter helped the OEM rake in from followers who clicked through its posts. Of those sales, Dell made $1 million in the past 6 months alone.
"We're going to watch it over time to make sure it's tracking at the right level," said Lionel Menchaca, Dell's chief blogger. "It is trending upward and that's what we're going to be looking at overall."
Compared to Dell's $12.3 billion revenue for Q1 of this year, $3 million in sales doesn't seem like much. But no matter how much the world's second largest PC maker brings in, it's tough to scoff at millions of dollars, especially for those from the outside looking in and wondering what Twitter can do for them.
The Chinese government is requiring all PC makers selling into the China market to bundle Green Dam Youth Escort web filtering software as of July 1, as we reported earlier this week. This software, already widely used in China's schools and elsewhere, has plenty of flaws, BBC News reports:
Unencrypted connections between client PCs and the company's servers, which could lead to information theft or the PCs being turned into botnet nodes for malware attacks
Filtering only Internet Explorer browsers, not Firefox
Support only for Microsoft Windows
Inaccurate web site blocking (pictures of pigs blocked, but not pictures of African women)
Potential privacy risks for users because the software logs all web pages the user attemps to access
Right now, it seems as if Green Dam Youth Escort is incapable of meeting its specified goals of "healthy development of the internet" and "effectively manag[ing] harmful material for the public and prevent it from being spread," while providing a terrific opportunity for malware providers. Have you encountered similar problems with web filtering software? Join us after the jump to sound off.
In a way, Alpha Protocol reminded me of fellow E3 sleeper hit Scribblenauts. See, both games stumped me – Scribblenauts through a clever, mind-bogglingly detailed word entry system, and Alpha Protocol because no matter where I tried to poke holes in its concept and execution, developer Obsidian Software was always one step ahead. Of all the games I saw at the show, Alpha Protocol was the only one that really had me silently mumbling, “They thought of everything.”
At first glance, you could be forgiven for thinking Alpha Protocol and Mass Effect were separated at birth. After all, both are chock full of smooth-talking macho main characters, third-person gun-centric dead-making, and a cast of mouthy side characters who serve as a peanut gallery to your morally motivated actions. Thing is, Alpha Protocol takes many of those shared fundamentals and does them up in suave spy style, resulting in an RPG that’s both streamlined and familiar. The bottom line: if you generally like BioWare RPGs but think they could use a few tweaks here and there, keep reading.
After a quick look at the character customization screen, our presenter tossed main character Michael Thorton straight into a mission. The objective: infiltrate a Russian Mafia compound and make life difficult for the Russians primarily by shooting them. However, seconds into the mission, a gun-toting mercenary named Sie, whose tank top was wholly unsuited to the snowy weather, bounded onto the scene. Working with an organization called the VCI, she was also out to spill some Mafia blood. Thus, our silver-tongued spy did his thing.
Here, we saw the game’s conversation system in action. Like Mass Effect, Alpha Protocol presents you with a series of phrases that get at the gist of your character’s response without actually blabbing the whole thing. There’s a twist, though: chit-chat in Alpha Protocol is on a timer. Nope – students of the Captain Shepard “stare blankly ahead for fifteen minutes while trying to untie your tongue” school of conversation etiquette aren’t welcome here. As a result, conversation never skips a beat, making speech an involving, straight-to-the-point action – not unlike that of the spy movies that inspired the game.
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When it comes to handing out fines, the European Commission doesn't mess around. Just last month the EC ____ slapped Intel with a record setting $1.45 billion after finding the chip maker guilty of anticompetitive practices, while in 2004, the EC slammed Microsoft with what today would amount to about a $790 million fine.
The aforementioned incidents no doubt weighing on Microsoft's mind, the software maker will release a version of Windows 7 in Europe with Internet Explorer 8 stripped out.
"To ensure that Microsoft is in compliance with European law, Microsoft will be releasing a separate version of Windows 7 for distribution in Europe that will not include Windows Internet Explorer," Microsoft said in a memo. "Microsoft will offer IE8 separately and free of charge and will make it easy an convenient for PC manufacturers to preinstall IE8 on Windows 7 machines in Europe if they so choose."
Probably a good move, as European regulators earlier this year warned that bundling a browser in Windows would likely violate European antitrust law.
File this one under unconfirmed, but word on the web is that Intel plans to release a six-core Nehalem chip before the end of the year. Citing "sources close to Intel," Bit-tech says existing X58 motherboard owners should be able to drop the new chip into their motherboard with only a BIOS update, giving current Core i7 owners a tantalizing upgrade path to look forward to.
Not much else is known about the supposed six-core Nehalem, however those same sources did say the new chip won't fall into the Core i7 naming scheme. The name is still being worked out
Should this come to fruition, Intel would be the first to market with a six-core consumer desktop CPU. AMD earlier this month released a six-core part well ahead of schedule, but it's a server chip and not a desktop part. Intel also has an existing six-core processor in Xeon form, also intended for servers.
Nvidia this week released a new set of mobile GPU GeForce drivers, version 186.03 (WHQL certified). The new drivers support GeForce 8M, 9M, 100M, and 200M-series notebook graphics.
Several new features come with the GeForce 186.03 release, including full OpenGL 3.0 support, support for CUDA 2.2, and support of Ambient Occlusion, which Nvidia says "adds realism to scenes by reducing the intensity of ambient lights on surfaces blocked by surrounding objects." Lots of double-digit performance upgrades are included, too:
Up to 25 percent faster in The Chronicles of Riddick: Assault on Dark Athena
Up to 22 percent faster in Crysys: Warhead with antialiasing enabled
Up to 11 percent faster in Fallout 3 with antialiasing enabled
Up to 14 percent faster in Far Cry 2
Up to 45 percent faster in Mirror's Edge with antialiasing enabled
Dell owners take note - before downloading the new drivers, Nvidia says anyone who owns a Dell Inspiron 1420, Dell XPS M1330, or Dell XPS M1530 should first install an SBIOS update, found here.