With all the talk and attention focused on Google's Android platform and Apple's still trendy iPhone (even as AT&T's service wigs out), it seems easy to forget about RIM and the BlackBerry - just ask Wall Street.
RIM on Thursday reported a 59 percent increase in third-quarter income, made possible by a flurry of new subscribers and record sales of the company's BlackBerry. And all but 20 percent of those new subscribers were non-corporate customers, which would indicate that BlackBerrys are holding their own in the popularity contest alongside the iPhone, Palm Pre, Droid, and other hot smartphones.
"The consumer side is growing real fast," co-Chief Executive Jim Balsillie said on a conference call with analysts. "It's not like this isn't a competitive space with big companies trying to do well and yet we're No. 1."
RIM managed to sell 10 million BlackBerry phones during the third-quarter alone, beating its previous record of 8.3 million set in the second-quarter. To put it into perspective, Apple sold 7.4 million iPhones in the most recent quarter.
Yesterday we posted a blurb referencing comments Nvidia made to news and rumor site Fudzilla, in which the graphics chip maker talked up its upcoming Ion 2 platform as being a faster solution than an Atom platform built around Intel's upcoming Pine Trail architecture. So does that mean you should hold off on buying a netbook?
Not at all, Nivida's Ken Brown says, who got in touch with us to clarify a few points. Regarding the performance benefits of Ion 2 over Pine Trail, Brown said all of that is correct, but that "is also true for current generation Ion-based PCs. Pine Trail will not deliver a significantly better experience than current-generation Atom-based PCs (link). Ion based systems which are available today will provide a much better experience than Pine Trail for HD video, games, media conversion, and other applications that people want to run."
In addition, Brown stated that first-generation Ion parts will also deliver anywhere from 5-10x faster graphics performance than Pine Trail, so for anyone who needs a graphically-charged netbook today, waiting isn't necessary.
LaCie announced today a brand new storage option made available by USB 3.0’s massive throughput. John O’ Neill, VP of Marketing at Symwave boasted, “The end user experience of external storage is undergoing a very significant upgrade with the launch of USB 3.0 products. We are pleased to be leading the market transition with such a strong partner like LaCie.”
Lacie integrated Symwave’s dual SATA bridge controller, which touts burstable read speeds of 275MB/s, enough to perform real time streaming and editing of HD files. The 2Big USB 3.0 RAID drive will sport up to 4TB of storage and should be available early in 2010. The new product will be showcased at CES 2010 in January as well.
Take your pick: astromancy, pendulum reading, spirit boards, tasseography, cartomancy, crystallomancy, or even cheiromancy. It all amounts to the same thing: making stuff up about the future based on the thinnest (if any) real world information. Now center stage in the world of ‘let’s pretend’ is speculation about a possible Google Chrome OS netbook, produced by none other than Google.
What’s the basis for this projection? The obligatory unnamed sources, a vague posting on the company web site, and an unsubstantiated report of a request-for-proposal being issued to an unidentified manufacturer. Wave a handful of bones over the mix and all signs point toward Google releasing something in time for the 2010 holiday season.
Anything concrete, like actual specifications? Sure, it will have an ATOM processor, unless something else is used, like Nvidia’s Tegra. Memory and hard drive? Naturally. And mobile enabled? You bet, with it more than likely tied to a carrier (or two) with a subsidy for subscribers. It’s the stuff of dreams.
Making things up about the future doesn’t mean it won’t happen. But, just as with Bigfoot or UFOs, I’ll reserve my excitement until something tangible is trotted out.
News and rumor site Fudzilla claims to have had an "interesting chat with key people involved in Nvidia's Ion project," all of which sounded pretty confident about the company's next generation Ion, or Ion 2.
As previously reported, the new Ion chip will act like a discrete GPU, a necessary transition because of how Intel has designed Pinetrail. It will also support Windows 7, boast over 5 hours of battery life, and according to Nvidia, has the potential to run 5 to 10 times faster than Atom with Pine Trail graphics. And while Pinetrail will only be able to play Flash content in SD, Ion 2 will support both SD and HD playback, according to Fudzilla's chit-chat. On top of it all, Ion 2 will support Blu-ray and 1080p, as well as mainstream gaming.
So what's the caveat? Put simply, Ion 2 will cost more than an Atom platform built around Pine Trail. That doesn't seem to bother Nvidia a whole lot, who says that its customers will put a higher value on HD, Blu-ray, transcoding, video editing, and casual gaming capabilities.
Let's hope Google's Android platform doesn't turn out to be some devious plot at taking over the world, because if it is, there will be no stopping them. In addition to powering a bevy of smartphones, a couple of netbooks, and even an e-book reader or two, Asus will use the open-source OS in an upcoming robot.
Thankfully it's not one of those malicious robots hell-bent on destroying the human population like you see on some sci-fi flicks. Quite the opposite, actually, as the EeeBot (what else would Asus call it?) will be an educational robot with other software and services as part of several technology projects funded by the Taiwanese government.
As described in an outline on a government website, the goal is to build an affordable robot to interact with kids. The EeeBot project will focus on building content and services around the robot to subsidize the cost of the hardware, and Asus will work on both hardware and software as part of the project.
Sources from panel makers say there's a shortage of LCD monitors, a problem they attribute to monitor makers and brand vendors having lower-than-usual panel inventory levels, news and rumor site DigiTimes reports.
The sources note that panel makers were expecting a low fourth quarter and took to reducing output, but are now being caught off guard by a flurry of orders now that panel prices have dropped below cost levels.
A panel shortage doesn't bode well for the mobile market, which is expected to ship a ton of notebooks going into 2010. This has notebook makers scrambling to secure LED supplies as they compete with LCD TV makers for inventory. LED-backlit LCD TV shipments are expected to increase six-fold to more than 30 million units in 2010, with LED-backlit notebooks expected to account for 80 percent of the 160 million notebooks (not counting netbooks) to be shipped next year.
EVGA's latest tool puts the art of overclocking in the palm of your hand, and quite literally we might add. The company's just-announced EVBot looks like a media player and is described as a "very simple and straightforward [device] much like your mobile phone."
Unlike like your smartphone, the EVBot hooks up to your EVGA-powered system by way of a motherboard connector and three separate VGA port connections. Once plugged in, you'll have the ability to adjust a ton of different voltages and a handful of clock frequencies, and all on-the-fly. Just some of the settings you can tweak include the CPU vCore, CPU VTT, CPU PLL vCore, CPU host frequency, PCI-E Frequency, CPU clock skew, CPU amplitude, and so on.
The EVBot communicates via the SMBus (System Management Bus) and includes a hardware monitor for keeping an eye on CPU temps, VREG temps, CPU vCore, and CPU frequency. It also boasts a feature called Opt Booster, which automatically gives your processor a temporary clockspeed boost every few seconds beyond the overclocked settings.
But don't go writing your BIOS's obituary just yet, because only select EVGA owners need apply. EVBot only works with the following:
EVGA X58 Classified 4-Way Motherboard
EVGA X58 Classified Motherboard
EVGA P55 Classified Motherboard
EVGA P55 FTW 200 Motherboard
EVGA P55 FTW Motherboard
EVGA GTX 285 Classified Graphics Card
The EVBot is available now marked down to $80 (from $100) direct from EVGA.
A few months ago Intel launched the Intel Core i7 Custom Challenge, in which modders were encouraged to submit their best case mods to a panel of judges at Intel in hopes of winning up to $10k in prizes.
Well, the results are in. You can check out pictures of the winning mods at the contest site. One particular standout was the Best for Mod Creativity winner that modded a boombox to house his i7 Extreme PC.
Intel launched the contest to generate more hype around the i5 and i7 processors and the flexibility of their components.
Which ones do you like best, and which ones could have been done better?
There are three main thrusts to the FTC’s complaint against Intel. The first is that Intel used its dominate position in the market to cow computer makers, such as Dell and Hewlett-Packard, to buy only Intel CPUs. Intel would either threaten to withhold product, or enter into exclusive deals with computer makers that prevented them from marketing computers built with chips from other makers, such as CPUs from Advanced Micro Devices (AMD).
Second, according to the FTC, Intel designed crucial software, which the FTC identifies as a “compiler”, so it deliberately hampered the performance of chips from competitors. Intel failed to disclose their tinkering with the software, thus deceived computer makers about the performance differences between Intel and its competitors.
Third, the FTC says that Intel is now engaging in these same tactics in the graphics processing market. The FTC argues that GPUs are becoming more powerful, lessening the need for sophisticated CPUs, which undermines Intel’s market dominance. To protect its position, Intel is waging its battle against the likes of Nvidia, over which it holds a substantial financial and market advantage.
According to Richard A. Feinstein, Director of the FTC’s Bureau of Competition, “Intel has engaged in a deliberate campaign to hamstring competitive threats to its monopoly. It's been running roughshod over the principles of fair play and the laws protecting competition on the merits. The Commission’s action today seeks to remedy the damage that Intel has done to competition, innovation, and, ultimately, the American consumer.”