The upsurge of netbooks in the past several months serves as proof positive that users are more concerned with mobility than they are raw power, and so one could argue OCZ is taking a certain risk by releasing Intel Extreme Memory Profile (XMP) SO-DIMMs. But lest we forget, desktop replacements have become surprisingly affordable as of late, which was underscored by Gateway's P-7811FX notebook, and enthusiast-oriented notebook memory may just find a niche audience.
"XMP is for performance what 3D is for games, and the introduction of the profiles allows on-the-go enthusiasts to make the most of their Intel mobile platforms," commented Dr. Michael Schuette, VP of Technology development at OCZ Technology. "As a result of our involvement with Intel from the very beginning of the mobile XMP concept, today we are releasing 2GB high performance SO-DIMMs designed as a no-compromise solution to complement Intel's mobile computing platform for the ultimate user experience."
OCZ claims it's XMP-ready memory will boot at its rated specs (DDR3-1066MHz, CL6-6-6-16) on any Intel Core 2 Extreme or Centrino 2 system without any tinkering.
No word yet on when OCZ's XMP PC3-8500 notebook memory will be available or at what price.
No one has been more critical of Microsoft's first attempts at responding to Apple's "I'm a Mac" ads than myself, and I still contend that those quirky commercials featuring Jerry Seinfeld missed the mark wider than Brett Favre in a critical game (you Jets fans still steaming over a 3-interception, 24-17 loss to the Miami Dolphins know what I'm talking about). Judging by the comments in those earlier blogs (see here and here), either expectations were disparingly low, or other PC users really did find a certain charm in talking about chewy computers or watching Bill Gates do a geriatric robot.
This time around I'm more than willing to give credit where credit is due, and it belongs to Microsoft for its latest offensive against Apple. Microsoft has finally zeroed in on the high price tags that accompany Macs, and it isn't letting up. The first ad featured a woman named Lauren on the hunt for a 17-inch laptop under $1,000, and not surprisingly, she wasn't able to find one in an Apple store. "I'm just not cool enough to be a Mac person," she concluded. Not long after, a second ad emerged, this time upping the ante to $1,500 and featuring a member of the opposite sex who surmised that "Macs, to me, are about the aesthetics more than they are the computing power. I don't want to pay for the rent, I want to pay for the computer."
See what happens when a mother-and-son duo take on Microsoft's "Laptop Hunters" challenge after the jump.
Ever wonder what happens when you take a Jensen #75 and connect it to a lego Technic motor using a rubber band? Neither have we, but thanks to YouTuber twdunbar, we now know, and it's pretty damn cool. Using the parts just mentioned, twdunbar fashioned together a Steampunk-inspired USB charger for his iPod, but it can also be used for other devices.
"The motor is being driven and so it acts like a generator, which feeds into a voltage regulator circuit to give a continuous 5V to the iPod (or any USB device)," twdunbar wrote on his YouTube video page.
Check out the video here, and if you're into the whole Steampunk thing, drop these links into your browser:
As if the 5,000 laid off at Microsoft weren’t enough of a warning signal that times are tough, the Redmond based software giant is also being forced to close down its on campus bar just a few days before its official opening. The pub was set to debut alongside several other retail outlets offering everything from cell phones, to haircuts, but apparently it didn’t make the final cut.
You would think with all the layoffs that were recently announced, they would want somewhere employees could go and drown their sorrows, but according to Microsoft Spokesman Lou Gellows, "We had to take another look at this. We are sensitive to the business environment and that meant not having a pub."
This cut is but one of many in a larger initiative designed to deal with non essential expenses. Employees are encouraged to look for ways to save on everything from external vendors, to travel expenses. The pub which was scheduled to launch on Monday had already hired staff, and had installed beer taps. Not exactly the long weekend they were hoping for I would imagine.
Times are tough, but even if people aren’t buying Vista, they’re still buying beer aren’t they?
To an internet based company, server infrastructure is the secret sauce that can really help a company pull ahead of its competitors. It determines the quality of service its customers will receive, and their cost and efficiency will have a huge impact on the bottom line of the company. To Google this secret was a carefully guarded one, with few outside of the company having any real details. The only thing that we knew for sure is that they were built in house using parts that are generally available to every PC builder. This all changed last week when Google decided to lift the veil of secrecy to a group of IT professionals.
Each server measures about 3.5 inches thick, and is designed in a custom rack for easy stacking. Each unit sports two x86 processors either from Intel or AMD, contains two hard drives (presumably configured as a raid 1), and eight memory slots. These components are mounted on a Gigabyte motherboard, and protected by built in 12-volt battery that also serves as a UPS.
The built in battery was perhaps the biggest secret that was revealed and is a slap in the face to traditional thinking when it comes to large scale battery backup. Typically, server farms employ massive uninterruptable power supplies in the event of a power failure. The biggest problem with this approach according to Chris Malone from Google is the ability to scale it perfectly for the number of servers, and inefficiencies inherent with the technology. “Large UPSs can reach 92 to 95 percent efficiency, meaning that a large amount of power is squandered. The server-mounted batteries do better, Jai said: "We were able to measure our actual usage to greater than 99.9 percent efficiency."
Google’s approach to server infrastructure is defiantly unique, and it’s use of low cost customer grade hardware defiantly helped them survive the early years on razor sharp margins.
Welcome to Maximum PC's 100th Podcast Spectacular! This week, we visit with a ton of old friends, talk about Nathan's new PC, Pallette-Swap Ninja, and listen to a reader question. This week's show features the talents of: Dan Amrich, Kat Auch, Captain Spaulding, Norman Chan, Nathan Edwards, Gordon Mah Ung, Will Smith, Jeremy Williams--and we have a very special guest appearance by Tekzilla's Veronica Belmont! We sincerely apologize for the wait, but we hope it's been worth it! Enjoy the show!
We also have come into posession of a ton of SteelSeries keyboards and headsets, speaker systems, and even more t-shirts to give away in our weekly Twitter contest. Be sure to sign up for @willsmith's feed to get in on the action.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org or call our 24-hour No BS Podcast hotline at 877.404.1337 x1337--operators are standing by
New legislation proposed on April 1st will give a whole new meaning to geeks who like to joke that the President has his finger on the button. If the proposed legislation comes to pass, the president will have the ability to shut down public and private networks, including internet traffic should the need arise. This power is part of a new cybersecurity emergency plan that is designed to help protect the US against attack, but also gives the government unprecedented control over our networks.
The critics of this bill however are lining up, and are voicing their concerns over how this power could be abused. According to Leslie Harris of the Center for Democracy and Technology, “This is pretty sweeping legislation. Seems the President could turn off the Internet completely or tell someone like Verizon to limit or block certain traffic. There is a lot to worry about in this bill.”
Since the bill is still in its early stages, it is unclear what amendments will be made, or if it will even be passed at all. West Virginia Democratic Senitor John Rockefeller made it clear to the media that this is the first draft of the proposal, and that they will be in close contact with internet-centric companies who obviously have a lot more at stake here than the average user.
Obama may soon have the power to nuke the real world, and World of Warcraft. Are you comfortable with this?
Wizards of the Coast upset a lot of geeks yesterday. From table-top dice throwers to the online retailers that sell their products, all who dabble in the funny world of Dungeons and Dragons depend on the game's tomes of information to run their fantasy worlds. Whether you're a twentieth-level enthusiast whose lined his (or her) bookshelves with Player's Handbooks, Dungeon Master's Guides, Monster Manuals, and legions upon printed legions of supplemental adventures... or you're just a fledgling geek with one 20-sided die to his name, the printed Dungeons and Dragon materials are your bread and butter.
Wizards of the Coast, arbiters of the D&D universe, has been trying to cross over into the digital realm by giving retailers the option to sell downloadable PDFs of core D&D material. But that's all past-tense now: WotC abruptly pulled the plug on the project yesterday, leaving those who originally purchased the cyber-materials with no available resource, save for going out and buying the tangible, printed books.
The reason? Piracy. Which makes about much sense as a Lich Paladin, given that anyone can freely download the requisite D&D materials straight off of WotC's Web site for free. Yes, WotC's d20 system -- the underlying mechanics behind the company's third-edition D&D product -- is completely open-source.
I have a Soyo A7V Dragon Plus motherboard, AMD Athlon XP 1800+, VisionTek ATI Radeon 1600 X1600XT Extreme Gamer Edition, Creative Extreme Gamer Fatality Pro, Adaptec Duo Connect, and Linksys Standard Ethernet Card.
A week ago, my 425W RaidMax power supply started shooting sparks and fried a capacitor. I swapped it out with a 300W Skyhawk PSU. Now my computer keeps locking up with a high-pitched squeal, and the only thing I can do is push the reset button or unplug my computer. Often it will lock up within five or 10 minutes after rebooting. It happens when I’m listening to music, playing games, or watching movies, both online and off. Sometimes it locks up after Windows starts. It doesn’t lock up with that squeal all the time, only most of the time. I believe it probably has something to do with my audio card, but then it just might be as simple as my power supply lacking sufficient power.
I’ve looked online and could only come up with answers for the audio card and nVidia-related hardware; my problem is conveniently named the “Squeal of Death.” Is there any way
I can fix this with my current hardware configuration? Or will I have to get new hardware? —Kavan Scott
Ah, the French. Sure, they may be the butt of many a joke, but its situations like these that remind us that they’re (usually) well deserved.
While the “Creation and Internet” bill (a bill that would allow ISPs to take actions against customers accused of illegally downloading copyrighted material) won preliminary approval in French Parliament last week, it would appear that too few members supporting the bill showed up to the hearing that ultimately saw it denied.
According to reports, the bill was expected to pass, but a low turnout caused the bill’s opposition, the French Socialist party, to defeat it by a vote of 21 to 15. And while President Nicolas Sarkozy’s own UMP party was able to propel him to the highest office in France, they were unable to turn down that third crêpe, and missed out on the hearing.
This isn’t the last we’ll hear of it though – the UMP party does intend to reintroduce an amended version within the month. Maybe this time they’ll show up?