According to a report recently published by the FBI, the most stolen gadgets here in the US are laptops, followed closely by cell phones and their smartphone counterparts. And the report is quick to note that the theft numbers of these items is continuing to rise.
Back in 2008 there were 109,000 stolen laptops, and only 18 percent of those made it back to their owners. During the same year nearly 80,000 cell phones were given the five-finger discount, which is an increase of 33 percent from 2006.
TVs are a hot item on the list as well, with 53,000 of them stolen in 2008. Many of these were LCD TVs, which are apparently much easier to steal thanks to their smaller profile. This number is a 130 percent increase from 2006.
Let this be extra incentive to you, folks! Keep your gadgets safe at all times, don’t let them talk to strangers and hope that if they are taken, that you’re in the lucky fraction that get theirs back. We’d certainly want you to be.
For more than a year, LG has been sitting pretty with the only 6x Blu-ray burner available for retail, but now that Sony’s BWU 300S offers 8x BD-R write speeds, LG’s supremacy has come to an end. Sort of.
The 300S is uncommonly fast—given the right circumstances. The drive managed to fill a 25GB BD-R disc with data in a blistering 13:56 (min:sec), compared with the LG GBW-H20L’s time of 22:16, but only when the drive was fed manufacturer-recommended Panasonic 6x media. And good luck finding that—our online search for the media was fruitless. When using more common 4x media, the 300S stuck closely to that speed rating, taking 22:56 to complete the same task.
According to a report by DigiTimes, Kingston Technology is vouching for memory chip maker ProMOS Technologies and has agreed to act as a guarantor for the latter's application for a syndicated loan worth approximately $148 million. Of that $148 million, which is to be paid by nine local banks, Kingston has reportedly agreed to guarantee somewhere between $44 to $60 million.
Memory chip makers have found themselves in dire straights over slumping memory prices and an unforgiving global economy. The situation has gotten so bad that Qimonda, one of the world's top 10 memory chip suppliers, recently filed for bankruptcy. ProMOS has also been struggling, suffering losses adding up to $675 million in the first three quarters of 2008. Earlier this month, ProMOS submitted its application for a government-led bailout package.
Finally answering the call first made in 2003 and ultimately "deferred to a future release," Sun Microsystems is giving users a 64-bit plugin integrated into Java 6 Update 12. The new update also includes a 64-bit version of Webstart, a framework which offers end-users the ability to start Java applications over a network or the internet.
The 64-bit plugin is required for 64-bit browsers and comes included as part of the Java Runtime Environment. Users planning to run 32-bit and 64-bit browser interchangeably must install both 32-bit and 64-bit versions of the JRE.
In addition to the 64-bit plugin, Java 6 Update 12 offers official Windows 2008 support, better performance, and no less than 140 bug fixes.
Garmin and Asus today announced a "strategic alliance" to build and sell co-branded Nuvifones. The partnership won't result in a new company, but any smarthphone released by either company will be co-branded and carry the Nuvifone name, seemingly ending any speculation of an impending Eee Phone.
"Garmin and ASUS have already begun joint development on a diverse mobile phone product line, which will be known as the Garmin-Asus nüvifone™ series," the two companies stated in a press release. "The companies expect to bring to market several Garmin-Asus nüvifone models in 2009, and a new Garmin-Asus nüvifone model will be announced at the Mobile World Congress trade show in Barcelona, Spain, February 16-19, 2009."
The first smartphone the two new BFFs will release is the Garmin-Asus Nuvifone G60 scheduled for release sometime before June. No word yet on price or carrier, but it appears most likely the G60 will find a home with AT&T and T-Mobile. After that, the two will follow it up with an unannounced model not expected to utilize Google's Android platform. Instead, the followup smartphone will be based on another "major platform," which the smart money puts on Windows Mobile.
The sub-$100 laptop; Bigfoot; Tooth Fairy; AMD's Core i7 killer. You can now add India's $10 laptop to this list of things that don't, and probably never will, exist. Bummer.
India was expected to unveil a low power notebook with 2GB of memory, WiFi connectivity, and storage expansion options all for the incredibly low price of $10 on February 3rd. Perhaps too incredible, because the $10 laptop turned out not to be a laptop at all, nor did it cost just $10. Instead, the $30 device put on display turned out to be a 10 x 5-inch gadget capable of storing information and accessible by connecting it to a laptop. Sounds a lot like a USB key to us, expect this one is apparently capable of printing.
Why do we feel compelled to give a Duke Nukem Forever update at this point?
Seagate this week announced a new line of hard drives aimed at enterprise environments. Dubbed "Constellation," Seagate's new drives come in both 2.5- and 3.5-inch form factors and boast both high capacities and power efficiency.
The 2.5-inch Constellation model comes in 160GB and 500GB capacities offering both 3Gb/s SATA and SAS 2.0 interface (6Gb/s). Seagate says that by utilizing the new SAS protocol, the Constellation hard drives make possible larger external storage topologies, twice the data throughput, and a higher signal strength over longer distances. Dell has already jumped on board as one of the first OEMs planning to offer the Constellation series.
Of more interest to desktop users, the 3.5-inch Constellation ES model comes in 500GB, 1TB, and 2TB capacities, the latter of which currently ranks as the highest capacity hard drive available (Western Digital also recently released a 2TB drive in Australia).
The 2.5-inch Constellation will begin shipping this quarter, with the 3.5-inch Constellation expected to ship in Q3.
Unlike its closest competitor, Activision, Electronic Arts broke its 2008 bank over original IPs like Mirror’s Edge, Dead Space, and Left 4 Dead, instead of the usual sequel-oriented fare. And at first glance, this risky strategy – akin to crawling when you already know how to walk, monetarily speaking – seems to have paid off.
During a conference call held earlier today, EA announced that Mirror’s Edge and Dead Space have roof-run and moon-walked their ways, respectively, to one million sales. Left 4 Dead, meanwhile, managed to pick the brains of 1.8 million retail customers. (Note: EA doesn’t have anything to do with the game’s Steam release, so it couldn’t provide any numbers on that.)
However, this tale of corporations, rebels, and zombies (of both the land and space varieties) doesn’t end happily. In spite of increased revenue, EA called its third quarter fiscal 2009 results “a clear disappointment.” The company posted an overall net loss of $641 million, mostly due to expenses and losses on investments.
Unsurprisingly, after taking such a beating, EA’s bleeding employees. The mega-publisher announced that it will reduce its workforce by 11% and close 12 facilities by the end of March. Roughly 1,100 people will be affected.
Good thing The Sims 3 and Dragon Age are landing soon, though, right? Oh. Never mind.
We were pumped when we heard that Seagate had broken through the terabyte barrier with its 1.5TB Barracuda drive—it’s not only the biggest consumer drive available, but also represents the largest jump in capacity we’ve seen. We typically expect capacity increases to be accompanied by performance decreases, but this drive is quick on its feet despite its gargantuan size.
Thanks to perpendicular recording, the Barracuda manages to pack 1.5TB of capacity onto four 375GB platters on a 7,200rpm spindle with a 32MB cache, which allows it to keep pace with four-platter 1TB drives like the terabyte Barracuda and the WD Caviar Black.
Gizmodo's Wilson Rothman installed Windows 7 Beta on an HP TouchSmart PC over the weekend, and offers a detailed look at how multitouch works, complete with several videos. Some highlights:
If you install Windows 7 Beta on a system that's already running the manufacturer's touch software, a clean install (instead of upgrading from Windows Vista) provides a truer multitouch experience with fewer connfiguration headaches
You can use multitouch as a mouse replacement; running Windows Media Center; zooming, rotating, and drawing; and for gaming