Here at Maximum PC, our goal is to bring you – our tear-jerkingly loyal readers – the world’s finest technology-based news. As you can imagine, this takes a tremendous amount of concentration and, well, you’ve seen the headline. After all, it’s kind of difficult to concentrate on news stories and other such frippery when – one screen away -- a Tank’s attempting to knock our head’s round peg into our torso’s square hole. Convergence, ain’t it grand?
Along with placing a “Web” tab on Steam’s in-game overlay screen, today’s update gives Steam’s five strings a tightening – the results of which you can see here:
Updated game overlay web browser to support generic web browsing, including web sites that use flash
Fixed games list scrolling behavior with pageup/pagedown and mouse wheel
Fixed GTA4 backups not restoring correctly
Fixed several cases where matchmaking would not work in Left 4 Dead in using Cafe accounts
Changed Friends to be enabled for Cafe accounts
Removed 'view invites' dialog on startup, now clicking on a group/user invite toast will take you directly to the Community control page
Fixed guest passes not showing immediately in games list
Fixed case where a user would be told a guest pass had expired after they had bought the full game
Improved Steam Windows Service restart logic in serveral places
Once more unto the breach, dear friends. The first iteration of Microsoft’s next operating system has arrived, and things are looking up for the Windows faithful. In fact, the first beta of Windows 7 is so reliable and responsive that it reminds us of the early Windows XP betas. With less than 12 months to go before launch, Windows 7 is in much better shape than Vista was at the same time, and it feels like a much more usable operating system than even XP did during its beta phase.
Windows 7 features a completely overhauled interface along with a host of new features. We give you a quick tour of what to expect.
For most vendors, the goal of CES was to show off their new smaller and sleeker notebook lines featuring all sorts of tiny form-factors and energy efficient processors – but Lenovo has other plans. Lenovo’s newest piece of tech comes not as a portable, but as desktop. Instead of focusing on a netbook, they put their focus solely on a nettop.
Lenovo’s H200 will be featuring an Intel Atom 230 processor at its heart, handle 1GB of RAM standard and will pack a 160GB hard drive. It’s expected that a machine with a processor such as the Atom won’t be very readily accepted in the United States, but at a price point of $400 in today’s economy it does stand a pretty good chance of doing well.
With a struggling and uncertain economy, chances are a trip to Madrid probably isn't in the cards for the immediate future. But just because you might not be planning an overseas vacation doesn't mean you have to miss out on some of the sights; namely the paintings taking residence inside the Prado Museum.
Thanks to a collaboration between Madpixel, Google, and Prado Museum, 14 works are available for viewing through Google Earth at an astounding 14-gigapixel resolution. That's 14 BILLION pixels, and 1,400 times the resolution of a 10MP camera, or up to 100-thousand times that of a normal digital camera. The ultra-high detail allows you to zoom in close enough to see the painter's brushstrokes, Google says.
This marks the first time Google has worked with a first class museum in a project this size, and more artwork is expected to be made available every day for the next two weeks. In the meantime, virtual visitors can also take a tour through a 3D model of the Prado Museum.
It appears the Blu-ray format may finally be picking up steam. At CES, Andy Parsons, president of the Blu-ray Disc Association, described 2008 as a banner year for Blu-ray sales, and the numbers appear to back his claim. Fourth quarter sales saw 28.6 million Blu-ray sales, up significantly from 9.5 million a year prior. There are now nearly 11 million Blu-ray capable players in the U.S., although 6 million of those are PlayStation 3 consoles.
By comparison, in the same three year time frame after release, DVD players totaled 5.4 million units, not far above all non-PS3 Blu-ray players. And with 40 million homes equipped with HDTVs, there's plenty of room for Blu-ray player sales to grow. Helping to do that, 18 new Blu-ray players were announced at CES, including an HDTV with a built-in player by Sharp.
Despite Blu-ray's recent success, Microsoft reiterated it has no plans to integrate Blu-ray capability with its Xbox 360 console. According to Robbie Bach, Microsoft's president of Microsoft's Entertainment & Devices Division, the decision comes down to a combination of not enough users requesting a Blu-ray player, and because it wouldn't help "in the core of what Xbox does, which is gaming."
Seadragon image zooming software is one of the more interesting software technologies coming out of Microsoft Research Labs. Its implementation in web applications is potentially a big leap in the way we view images online. One such implementation is Deep Zoom, an Ajax-powered online viewer that lets you view, zoom, and pan through high-resolution photos and images in a way that is incredibly fast and smooth, regardless of the original image’s pixel density. Companies adopting this tech include the Hard Rock Café, which utilizes it in its music memorabilia showcase. Microsoft also developed and released a mobile application for Seadragon in the form of a really cool iPhone app which lets you view Deep Zoom image files.
But what if you want to turn your own photo albums into a Deep Zoom gallery? With Microsoft’s Deep Zoom Composer, you can now create a high-tech hassle-free photo album allowing you to display your images online using the Seadragon plug-in. We show you how with our comprehensive step-by-step guide!
Given that Jerry Yang has been gone as long as he has, it’s nice that Yahoo’s Board has finally stepped up and named a new CEO. Who’s the new suit that’s going to fill the shoes? Carol Bartz, formerly of Autodesk.
Who is this Carol Bartz, one might ask? Well, according to Roy Bostock, Yahoo’s Chairman, “She is the exact combination of seasoned technology executive and savvy leader that the board was looking for, and we are thrilled to have attracted such a world-class talent to Yahoo. The board is united in its view that her energetic and decisive leadership style, coupled with a proven track record of driving growth, operational excellence and shareholder value, is exactly what Yahoo needs to get back on a path toward achieving its full potential.”
Her main challenge as new CEO will be turning around a struggling media company whose services are used by hundreds of millions of people. Ms. Bartz, we wish you the best of luck and we look forward to seeing what you do with the place!
Afraid to let your teen and pre-teen children online for fear the boogeyman might reach through the screen and take them away? Understandable, given the prominence of social networking sites, which has made it easier than ever for child predators to target new prey. But lest you go in a panic, a long awaited report form the Internet Safety Technical Task Force says children and teens aren't as vulnerable to sexual predation as commonly feared.
The task force, which was formed as a result of a joint agreement between MySpace and 49 state attorneys general, concludes that "actual threats that youth may face appear to be different than the threats most people imagine" and that "the image presented by the media of an older male deceiving and preying on a young child does not paint an accurate picture of the nature of the majority of sexual solicitations and internet-initiated offline encounters."
Hit the jump to find out who the task force identified as the real online danger.
If you've blinked, chances are somebody has released a new netbook. This time that somebody is Archos, which doesn't come as much of a surprise, both because it's been rumored the media tablet maker would enter the netbook market and, well, who isn't these days?
Archos made its netbook splash at CES unveiling what it's calling the "Archos 10." As the name suggests, the new netbook comes with a 10.2-inch display. Other familiar specs include an Intel Atom 1.6GHz processor, 1GB of DDR2 RAM, a 160GB hard drive, 3 USB 2.0 ports, 1.3MP webam, 4-in-1 media card reader, Windows XP, and a 3-cell battery. Sound familiar? Not only has Archo stayed with what's become standard fare, but the Archos 10 is essentially a rebranded Hasee MJ125, according to Gizmodo.