Economy got you down? No longer able to make those day-long trips to your local computer store of choice for all the latest and greatest software tools? Tired of paying top-dollar for programs that don't quite have the functionality you want? Well put away that wallet. We spent the past week showing you the best (and cheapest) software we've been able to find across different themes: graphics design, system optimization, games, and office/productivity, and have compiled our picks into this comprehensive list.
We’re in the midst of one of the worst economic meltdowns in recent history. Stock prices are plummeting, banks are failing, and the cost of food and gas is skyrocketing. So what are people doing to survive this crisis? Buying flat-panel TVs, apparently.
And not just TVs, either. According to the Consumer Electronics Association, sales of videogames, cell phones, laptops and GPS units are thriving, despite the nasty economic climate. The CEA suggests that this is a result of people spending less on travel and other luxuries and more on gadgets, which provide longer-lasting entertainment.
“Consumers are cocooning; hunkering down,” according the Shawn DuBravac, a CEA economist, “and since they are not traveling to see grandma this holiday season, they might as well be able to talk to her on the mobile telephone of their choice.”
So how about it? Has the economy affected your gadget-buying habits, or are you one of the iPhone-buying, grandma-neglecting masses? Let us know after the break.
Asus has recently admitted that some of their Eee Box desktop PC’s have shipped with a virus. While they’ve claimed that they’ve only sent boxes with viruses to Japan, it can be confirmed that other territories have received units as well.
As stated by an email sent out by Asus, the Eee Box’s 80GB hard drive has the “recycled.exe” virus files hidden in the drive’s D: partition. Once the drive is opened, the virus activates and infects the C: drive, as well as any removable drives connected to the system. Symantec states that the malware is likely to be a W32/Usbalex worm, which creates an “autorun.inf” file to trigger “recycled.exe” from D:.
With any luck, Asus will have this under control before they send out their next shipments. Until then though, be sure to look out for any of these new boxes shipping to a desk near you, they could be waiting to take all of your precious information.
Despite all the recent buzz surrounding solid state storage (SSD), it's the clear the technology still has a ways to go before challenging mechanical hard drives in performance superiority. The latest issue of Maximum PC (November 2008, pg. 40) pits several different SSDs against Western Digital's Velociraptor and Samsung's 1TB HD103UJ, and for the most part, the represented SSDs showed they're more suitable for notebooks than a desktop environment. And that's exactly the sector Super Talent is targeting with its newest batch of flash media.
Super Talent announced three new mini PCI-E SSDs it says have been designed specifically for the Asus Eee PC. The three drives - 16GB, 32GB, and 64GB - each boast maximum read and write speeds of 40MB/s and 15MB/s.
"It's a natural extension of our SSD product range to offer SSDs for popular netbook brands," said Super Talent director of marketing Joe James in a press release. "Solid state storage is ideal for entry level mobile PCs."
Super Talent says the new lineup will go in mass product next month with expected street pricing for the 16GB, 32GB, and 64GB models at $53, $79, and $149 respectively.
We'd venture to guess that most Maximum PC readers use Firefox as their primary browser, but when it comes to alternative browsers (those not developed by Microsoft or Mozilla), Opera remains a popular choice due to its feature-set and speed. For fans of the Opera browser, the good gets even better with the latest release, version 9.6.
Among the changes, the new magazine-style RSS feeds are sure to be a hit. The new feature converts any RSS feed into a magazine-like page with the articles laid out in columns, making them more accessible for casual readers to view content before subscribing or bookmarking it.
Other changes include speed enhancements for faster page load times, optimized Opera Mail with a 'low bandwidth mode' to retrieve emails faster when bandwidth is limited, and expansions to Opera Link which now include custom search engines and typed history.
Grab the new download here, hit the jump, and let us know what you think.
The era of quad-core mobile gaming draws closer as Asus gears up to release its G71 gaming notebook. Quad-core processors in notebooks are nothing new, but the G71 will use a true mobile quad-core CPU, specifically the Intel QX9300.
The 17-inch notebook uses a GeForce 9700M GT videocard with 512MB of GDDR3 RAM to push gaming pixels on the display's 1920x1200 resolution. Users can configure up to 4GB of DDR3-1066 memory, and on the non-volatile storage front, up to two 500GB hard drives for a total of 1TB. In other words, it will be a long time before you have to decide between installing a new game or storing porn.
Other features include a 2MP webcam, secondary keyboard display so you can keep an eye on your MSN Messenger IMs while gaming, optional Blu-ray drive, HDMI, eSATA, and everything else you'd expect to find on a modern high-end laptop.
Pricing and availability have not yet been announced, but did we mention it comes with a quad-core processor?
The writing has been on the wall since back in 2007, and now it's official - Google's AdSense for Games is ready to be rolled out. The in-game ads will focus on browser-based Adobe Flash games, giving web-based game developers and publishers the ability to integrate video ads, image ads, or text ads in a variety of placements, including in between level changes.
Today's launch will see Adsense for Games introduced in about two dozen games from publishers Konami, Playfish, Zynga, Demand Media, Mochi Media, and more. To be eligible, Google requires publishers have a minimum of 500,000 game plays with 80 percent of traffic originating from the U.S. or U.K. The application also stipulates that the content must be family safe and targeted at users age 13 and up.
How receptive online gamers will be to the new ads remains to be seen, but an earlier report on the topic suggests there probably won't be any angry mobs à la Spore/Amazon. In a survey of 400 gamers, Macrovision found that 83 percent would have no problem watching a 30-second ad in exchange for free game play, although they probably weren't thinking about Flash based games.
Thoughts on Adsense for Games? Hit the jump and let us know!
Panda Security has released its quarterly report for the third quarter and in it the security vendor notes a sharp rise in the amount of adware. According to Panda, adware accounted for 22.03 percent of adware in Q2, but that number has jumped to 37.49 percent in Q3, which is more than a third of all infections. Panda attributes the trend to the amount of fake antivirus programs in the wild.
The report also puts social networking in the spotlight, the popularity of which has made them particularly prone to cyber attacks. Of the social networking sites, Panda notes that MySpace has been both the first victim and most frequently targeted by hackers.
"Attacks on social networks are not new phenomenon; the first recorded incident occurred in 2005," the report says. "However, attacks have increased ad diversified just as the number of users has grown. These attacks aren't focused exclusively on distributing malware, but also involve phishing, identity theft, or propagation of spam."
Only two companies - Crucial and Corsair - offer system RAM outfitted with activity-indicating LEDs, and of those two, Crucial becomes to the first to port the light show over to DDR3 modules. The kit in question is the Ballistix Tracer PC3-10600, and like previous Tracer models, the DDR3 version sports red and green LEDs running along the top in between the black aluminum heatspreaders.
The new kit needs 1.8V to run at its default 1,333MHz frequency with 6-6-6-20 timings. Normally that wouldn't be cause for concern, but as we learned yesterday, Intel's upcoming Core i7 platform may not play nice with performance memory requiring more than 1.65V and could actually damage the processor. Following the press release of Crucial's new modules, TomsHardware got in touch with Lexar regarding future compatibility, who had this to say:
“We’re working closely with Intel and other motherboard manufacturers,” said the Lexar spokesperson, “to ensure we have Crucial memory products that support the upcoming platforms and technology. We haven’t finalized our products to date, so we’re not able to share specific product details at this point in time. We’re confident we’ll have Crucial products that support these new, upcoming platforms.”
There's no denying Nvidia has seen better days, but is the current situation enough to warrant leaving the chipset business? Back in August when the rumor first surfaced, Nvidia vehemently denied the speculation calling it "completely groundless," but apparently not everyone is convinced.
Nvidia saw its shares tumble nearly 14 percent yesterday following a negative report on the company from Pacific Crest analyst Michael McConnell. In the report, McConnell says "our checks confirm that Nvidia has decided to exit the chipset market next year," while also noting that chipsets are expected to account for 21 percent of Nvidia's revenue. McConnell also suggested Nvidia would likely pre-announce negative financial results for the third quarter ended October.
At the other end of the rumor spectrum, Mac-inites insist next generation MacBooks will come assembled with Nvidia silicon. Word on the web is that Nvidia has been showing off prototypes internally of the upcoming MacBook with Nvidia inside.