Firefox fans were bristling with enthusiasm on Tuesday, June 17, and with good reason -- it was Firefox Download Day. Two days later, Mozilla is already reaping the rewards. According to analysis conducted by StatCounter,
usage of Firefox 3 skyrocketed from 7.8% of total Firefox users to
18.9%. Meanwhile, Internet Explorer felt the pressure of Firefox 3's
newly expanded girth, dropping from 56.3% market share to 55.4%, while
Firefox moved up to a cool, breezy 36%. So let's give it up for
Mozilla. Their creative marketing strategy has certainly earned them
some applause and a pint of Guinness -- a joke which I totally did not
steal from the press release.
Ace corporate raider Carl Icahn - who has been vigorously pressing upon Yahoo’s board for a deal with Microsoft - has launched his blog The Icahn Report. He might use his blog to announce his course of action in the Microsoft-Yahoo takeover saga.
Although his blog doesn't currently feature anything regarding his on-going proxy battle with Yahoo, it does have fervid posts like "Corporate Democracy is a Myth" with Carl Icahn stamped all over them. Only time - and perhaps his blog - will tell whether he still favors a deal with Microsoft or is statisfied with the recent deal between Yahoo and Google.
Gamers have become quite the pampered bunch in recent years, drawing manufacturers' attention with everything from precision sensitive mice to ultra light gaming headphones. Now thanks to LapWorks, video gamers can now add an ergonomic lap-spanning gaming platform to the pantheon of peripherals aimed at increasing your fragging ability from the comfort of your couch. Weighing less than 2 pounds, the Gamers Desk purports to ease back strain by alleviating the need to hunch over your coffee table while you line up that perfect headshot in front of your swank HDTV.
We thought only Western Digital was dipping drives into the Skittles
rainbow, but SimpleTech’s new line of USB drives are just as colorful
as their Western Digital counterparts. The devices in the Signature
Mini line range in capacity from 120GB to 320GB and come in seven
colors. We tested the 250GB Mini Kiwi, a 5,400rpm, 2.5-inch drive
that’s one of the fastest portable storage devices we’ve reviewed.
There's never been a better time to get more GPU bang for your gaming buck, but if you're shopping for an Nvidia graphics card, be prepared to be inconvenienced. Why? Because for some inexplicable reason, Nvidia has decided to enforce Manufacturer Advertised Pricing (MAP), which prevents e-tailers from advertising a price below a pre-determined cutoff point. So instead of seeing the actual price you can expect to pay, you must first add the item to your shopping cart before seeing the final cost. E-tailers that choose not to comply will face a series of penalties, but it's you, Joe Consumer, that really pays for this new pricing strategy.
Back in November, the Darpa Urban Challenge video demonstrated the state of the art in autonomous automotive technology (...that's robot cars to you and me).
Today, General Motors and Carnegie Mellon announced the continuation of their programs to press towards making the Johnny-Cab driver from Total Recall a reality.
"Autonomous vehicles will change the face of transportation" says Carnegie Mellon professor Raj Rajkumar, co-director of the new $5 million Collaborative Research Lab (CRL). "Imagine being virtually chauffeured while doing your e-mail, eating breakfast and watching the news." says GM R&D VP Larry Burns.
...Or imagine your car deciding to blow you out the airlock and then drop massive megatonnage on your homeworlds. Buckle your seatbelt anyway...
(image credit: alfredsmind.ca)
Standing accused of two separate federal cases involving drug distribution and securities fraud, ex-Broadcom Corp. head and current billionaire Henry T. Nicholas III entered pleas of ‘not guilty,’ while William J. Ruehle, Broadcom’s former CFO, also pleaded not guilty today in the securities case. Federal narcotics charges allege Nicholas III slipped ecstasy into drinks of business associates, and both men stand accused of securities fraud through stock-option backdating. If convicted on all charges, Nicholas could face a 340+ year prison sentence – yikes! Broadcom makes microchips for cell phones and broadband internet devices.
Axiom Audio’s Audiobyte speakers have convinced us it’s time to retire the M-Audio Studiophile LX4 system we’ve long used as a reference point for speaker reviews. They also surprised us in a number of ways: They’re made in Canada, not China; the amplifier comes in its own enclosure, as opposed to being hidden in one of the speaker cabinets; and the subwoofer is passive! We think we're in love.
Much has been made of the incredible speed advantages PCI Express offers over PCI. Beyond GPUs, however, we haven’t found much worthy of occupying those slots. Asus hopes to change that with its Xonar D2X card—the first soundcard we’ve reviewed that makes use of the PCI Express interface. The D2X is basically a PCI-E version of the Xonar D2 (reviewed April 2008). In our review of the Xonar D2 we lamented the card’s lack of advanced EAX support, something Asus has tried to fix here. But do their workarounds, well, work?
If you’re already gaming with a G92-based 8800 GTS, there’s very little reason to move up to a G92-based 9800 GTX such as PNY’s XLR8. The architecture in both GPUs is nearly the same, with 128 stream processors, a 256-bit interface, and 512MB of GDDR3. Slightly faster clock speeds yield only a modest bump in performance. That’s not to say the 9800 brings nothing to the table, but you’ll have to decide for yourself whether its offerings are worth the price.