In what's turning out to be a game of cat and mouse, Apple last week disabled support for Intel's Atom processor through a Snow Leopard update, a tactic the Hackintosh community insisted would present only a temporary setback. They were right, thanks to a Russian hacker known as "teateam," who says he has restored support for Atom-based Hackintoshes running Snow Leopard 10.6.2.
"The problem originates in a revision to the kernel in 10.6.2. The changes Apple made to the latest mach_kernel removes support for [Atom] processors, leaving updated netbooks in a useless state," InsanelyMac member "blkhockypro19" explained in a forum post.
TeaTeam's hack appears to address the issue, though Jeff Porten of MacWorld warned that performing the crack is not something to be taken lightly.
"You'll need to roll up your Terminal sleeves for a few simple steps here," said Porten. "And, of course, replace the kernel of your operating system -- the fundamental code that underlies everything else in Mac OS X -- with a file you've downloaded from the Internet."
Not only that, but it's only a matter of time until Apple releases another update that, in all likelihood, breaks support again. Apple hasn't been sympathetic to the Hackinstosh community, and even went so far as to serve Wired.com a cease and desist order after the tech site posted a video with instructions on how to hack a netbook to run Mac OS X.
Asus said it was switching to Nvidia's Ion platform for future netbooks, and making good on that promise, the Eee PC maker on Thursday announced the Eee PC 1201N Multimedia Netbook.
Up until now, a multimedia netbook could be considered an oxymoron, if not a cruel joke, but that certainly isn't the case here. Pushing the boundaries between a netbook and notebook, the 1201N sports a 12.1-inch LED display and comes built around Nvidia's pixel-pushing Ion platform. That's great for graphics, but it doesn't stop there. Instead of the ubiquitous Atom N270 processor found in most netbooks, Asus equipped the 1201N with Intel's Atom 330 dual-core processor.
On the storage front, the new netbook comes with a 250GB hard drive and 500GB of online Asus WebStorage. The online storage space is provided for free for the first year, and after that, you'll have to pony up for a subscription plan.
Other specs include 2GB of DDR2 memory, Wi-Fi, three USB2.0 ports, a 6-cell battery good for up to 5 hours of run time, and Windows 7.
Blu-ray has had the high-definition market all to itself for quite some time now, yet here we are still talking about the format's adoption rate. That's because pricing, for the most part, has kept BD players out of the living room, but according to Taiwan-based BD player makers, that's about to change. Kind of.
Sources say the average retail price for Blu-ray players will drop from $193 to just $77. Such a significant price drop would surely boost consumer demand, but there's a catch. While prices are coming down, such a dramatic decrease won't occur until 2012, still more than a year away.
On the desktop front, blank media is expected to come down in price as well. By 2012, the average retail price is expected to drop from $5 to $1.50, the same sources say.
A rising number of data flubs has caused some to question whether the benefits of cloud computing truly outweigh the risks, but is that really a fair assessment? The eggheads at Kroll Ontrack don't think so, who point out that the recent spike in data losses with corporate enterprises is simply the result of human error.
"While advanced storage options such as virtualization and cloud computing offer corporations storage optimization, human processes are still at the root of these solutions, instructing the technology as to how to perform," said Phil Bridge, managing director at Kroll Ontrack UK. "The complextity of these systems often requires a steep learning curve. With reported IT spending at a low, human error is increasingly common."
According to Kroll Ontrack, some of the biggest mistakes attributed to the human element include pulling the wrong drive while trying to pull a failed disk in a RAID array, accidentally deleting a business-critical database and restoring it with a corrupt or incomplete backup, attempting to force failed drives back online when rebuilding a bad array, accidentally deleting files, volumes, virtual machines, or a SAN LUN with no backup in place, and reformatting the wrong SAN LUN during a server migration.
Now is not the time to abandon the PC as a gaming platform, not with all the money at stake. According to Jon Peddie Research, gamers will spend over $32 billion next year upgrading their PCs, and that's the kind of number that draws the attention of hardware vendors. Enter Nvidia, who suddenly felt the urge to reiterate its commitment to the gaming industry.
"Gaming remains our bread and butter focus area. However, there are other opportunities for us to explore as the company grows, such as the HPC sector," explained Bryan Del Rizzo, a spokesman for Nvidia.
Del Rizzo was responding to rumors that Nvidia was no longer interested in gaming for the HPC (high performance computing) market, calling the notion "completely unfounded" and "ludicrous," TGDaily reports.
"Look, I understand that some people might be feeling anxious because we haven't published detailed information about Fermi-based GeForce cards," said Del Rizzo. "But, I can assure you that data is forthcoming. The wait will be worth it, especially when people understand what products based on Fermi are capable of."
So there you have it: PC gaming is alive and well, and so is Nvidia's interest in catering to computer gamers.
It's been a little while since anyone has pronounced the PC a dead platform for gaming, and the next time someone does, you can help that person remove their cranium from their hind quarters with some hard figures. Not only is the PC doing well, it's doing exceptionally well, suggests data put together by Jon Peddie Research (JPR).
JPR's latest report predicts that PC gaming hardware sales will reach $21.26 billion by the end of the year, which is an increase of nearly $1.2 billion over 2008. But that's nothing compared to how much hardware the research firm predicts will fly off the shelves in 2010. According to JPR, PC gamers will spend $27.62 billion next year investing in gaming systems, accessories, and upgrades.
"The largest influence on the high forecasted growth rate is due to purchasing delays for systems and upgrades in 2008/2009 as consumers circled the wagons and took a conservative position on discretionary spending. A recovering economy, processing advancements, and higher quality gaming offerings will all contribute to a healthy year for PC gaming hardware in 2010."
What's even more remarkable about the increased spending is that PC hardware has never been cheaper. For the most part, gone are the days where a high-end videocard commanded $600, and it's now possible to piece together a respectable gaming rig for well under a grand.
Going forward, JPR says hardware sales will continue to climb, reaching $32.75 billion in 2010, and $34.76 billion in 2012.
NZXT has been on a roll churning out affordable cases that, at least on paper, appear to belie their low price tag with features typically reserved for more expensive enclosures. The same can be said for NZXT's newest chassis, the Tempest EVO.
Constructed of all black steel, the EVO edition expands on the original Tempest's design with better cooling potential and more attention to cable management schemes. Cooling duties are provided by four 120mm fans (dual intake, one side, and one rear). NZXT said it even redesigned the fan blades to push more air at lower noise levels.
The mid tower Tempest EVO targets enthusiasts looking for server-level performance. The E-ATX form factor is now supported, and there are slots for up to 8 hard drives.
"The original Tempest is one of our most successful designs due to its optimal airflow capabilities," said Johnny Hou, Chief Designer at NZXT. "With the additional improvements the Tempest EVO brings to the equation, it's destined to be a top performer in its class."
The Tempest EVO is available now for with an MSRP set to $100.
It looks like the ever-elusive Apple tablet will stay out of sight a little longer than last planned. According to the latest chatter from component makers, Apple plans to postpone the launch from next March to sometime in the second half of 2010.
Apparently Apple has decided to fiddle with its component selection, including a model that will launch with a 9.7-inch OLED panel from LG. Another model said to be in the works will sport a 10.6-inch TFT LCD panel.
Outside of the rumored panel choices, we still don't have any information on what hardware Apple plans to use, but the chatty sources were able to estimate a price. Most 9.7-inch OLED panels run about $500, which typically makes up about 30 percent of the device's total cost. That being the case, Apple's tablet could end up commanding $1,500 to $1,700, the sources say. However, those figures are based on today's prices, and OLED panels are dropping in costs. By the time the second half of 2010 rolls around, the Apple tablet could drop to $1,200 to $1,500, based on the above scenario.
As for the 10.6-inch LCD tablet, sources expect the device to cost anywhere from $800 to $1,000.
To kick off it's tenth anniversary, boutique system build iBuyPower has launched its second-gen Chimera 2 gaming system. Like the original, the follow-up act sizzles on stage with a fiery exterior, but with a "completely redesigned signature Chimera Inferno II Chassis."
The color scheme now wraps around the entire chassis, with the chimera flame design covering 4 exterior surfaces (front, right, left, and top panels). Underneath it all sits either a Phenom II X3/X4 or Core i5/i7 foundation, depending on which base configuration you start out with. The Core i5 base comes standard with a Core i5 750 processor, Asus P7P55D LE motherboard, 4GB of DDR3-1333 memory, an ATI HD 5750 videocard, 750GB hard drive, 700W PSU, 22X DVD burner, and Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit. Surprising affordable, pricing starts at $1,100 (or $999 if building around AMD).
Don't feel like buying one? To celebrate its 10th birthday, iBuyPower said it's giving away a Chimera 2 system with a Killer Xeno Pro Gaming card.
"We are excited to be celebrating our tenth anniversary and wanted to thank all our customers that helped make it happen with a giveaway and hot new system," said Darren Su, VP of iBuyPower. "The Chimera 2 gaming systems are fully loaded and feature a new aggressive design sure to impress."
To enter, follow iBuyPower on Twitter and/or Facebook became a Fan of iBuyPower on Facebook or follow them on Twitter, and then fill out the contest entry form here. Good luck!
During the TEDIndia conference, Pranav Mistry, inventor of SixthSense, a wearable device that enables new interactions between the real world and world of data, demoed several gesture control concepts and posted a video for all to see.
Among the concepts is an ultrasonic pen capable of drawing in three-dimension using IR LEDs and and an ultrasonic receiver. While not of interest to the average user, something like this could be a boon to architectures and engineers working on cutting edge designs.
But it's the augmented reality portion of the video that drew applause from the crowd. Armed with a tiny camera that acts as a digital eye, Mistry demonstrated how it's possible to take a picture just simulating the gesture of snapping a photo without a digital camera in his hand.
"I'm more excited that you can actually take it outside. Rather than getting your camera out of your pocket, you can just do the gesture of taking a photo and it takes a photo for you," Mistry said.