Dr. Aric Sigman, a psychologist and author living in the UK, argued his case at a conference of childcare specialists that children under the age of nine should not be allowed to use a computer. It's not that they'll muck things up, but the other way around - computers are wreaking havoc on their brains, Dr. Sigman says.
"There is evidence to show that introducing information and communication technology (ICT) in the early years actually subverts the very skills that government ministers said they want children to develop, such as the ability to pay attention for sustained periods," Dr Sigman said.
"The big problems we are seeing now with children who do not read, or who find it difficult to pay attention to the teacher, or to communicate, are down to attention damage that we are finding in all age groups."
We think he might have said more, but quite frankly, we had a tough time paying attention. Must have been all that Oregon Trail from back in grade school.
Around this time last month, Valve officially opened up its Steam platform to the Mac community, and in doing so helped chip away at the argument that Macs suck for gaming. What they also did was reveal some interesting statistics about the machines their users are running.
As Steampowered forum member and Mac user "90rmbrown" points out, "facts are facts," and according to the latest Steam Hardware Survey, the average Steam gamer running an Apple computer has a beefier system than those running a Windows-based PC, at least in some areas. Mac users, for example, have more RAM (4GB vs 2GB) on average, while half of those running a Mac have an Internet connection of 2Mbps or higher, compared to 28 percent of PC users. Mac users are also more likely to have a dual-core processor running at 2.3GHz to 2.69GHz, or higher.
Before you whip out the pitchforks and light the torches, there are some things to note here. The sample size of Mac users is significantly smaller than that of PC users, so the hardware breakdown is dubious at best. And where it really counts for gaming -- in the graphics department -- PC gamers have more video RAM, and probably beefier videocards as well.
So what can we take from all this? As Sean Portnoy at ZDNet writes, PC gamers are still getting by with older hardware, while the early influx of Mac users with refreshed hardware could benefit from better graphics. Other than that, there isn't a whole lot to say -- we'll still take a PC over a Mac any day, especially when it comes to gaming.
What hardware are you running? Hit the jump and post your specs.
Steve Jobs can say what he wants about tablets replacing PCs in the same manner that urban automobiles have replaced farm trucks in the past few decades (his comparison, not ours), the fact of the matter is the PC market is doing just fine, according to market research firm iSuppli. More than just fine, first quarter PC shipments skyrocketed by nearly 23 percent over the same period from last year, representing the highest annual surge iSuppli has ever recorded since it began keeping tabs on the market in 2003.
"Early 2009 represented one of the weakest periods in the history of the PC market, as consumer and corporate demand plunged due to the economic downturn," Matthew Wilkins, principal analyst for compute platforms at iSuppli, said in a statement. "With economic conditions improving, PC sales rebounded in early 2010."
PC makers shipped some 81.5 million units during the first quarter, driven in large part by high demand in Asian markets, iSuppli said. During the same period in 2009, shipments sank to just 66.5 million units.
While Hewlett Packard (HP) remains the market leader with a 19.6 percent share, Asus by far benefited the most from the increased demand, noting a whopping 136.2 percent year-over-year growth rate. The next closest was Lenovo, which noted a 58.5 percent growth rate, followed by Acer with 47.1 percent.
Apple may boast a greater market cap than its sworn enemy now, but not a lot has actually changed: Microsoft still is the top dog in the world computer market and the Mac seems comfortably entrenched in the perennial-runner-up-to-the-PC role.
Apple's vastly improved market capitalization and the investor confidence it reflects can be attributed to its dominance in the PMP and phone segments. What started out as a MP3 player has blossomed into a device and software ecosystem that currently spans three segments and knows no parallel.
Steve Jobs avowedly learnt a valuable lesson in 1997: “We have to let go of a few notions here. We have to let go of the notion that for Apple to win, Microsoft needs to lose.” Those words appear to have acquired a prophetic aura.
Looking through some of the past reader comments, we're well aware that many of you would rather stick bamboo under your fingernails than read about anything related to Apple, but before you put yourself through all that, give this one a chance. You know those 'Get a Mac' commercials that get your blood boiling? Well, you'll never have to watch a new one again.
As Justin Long said was going to happen, Apple has officially canned the long-running ads featuring him and John Hodgman (as the PC guy) squaring off against one another in what seemed like a new skit every week at one point. Not only that, but it appears Apple even pulled the gallery of QuickTime ads from its website.
In its place (and here's where you'll want to stop reading) is a page explaining "Why You'll Love a Mac." If you're curious but just can't get yourself to click the link, Apple's reasons include "Better Hardware," "Better Software," "Better OS," "Better Support," and "It's Compatible."
As smartphones continue to become more powerful and handheld tablet computing gains steam, some say the demise of the dedicated PC is imminent, but don't count Dell among those who would ring the death knell.
"What's converging is the data, not the device," Dell CEO Michael Dell told attendees of the Citrix Synergy user conference in San Francisco during a keynote speech. "It's not clear that one device replaces another."
According to Dell, users are more likely to carry several devices with each one focused on a specific task rather than an all-encompassing gadget.
"Some are better for carrying with you. Others for consuming content, others are better for creating content," Dell added.
In other words, Dell is saying don't expect a smartphone, tablet, or other mobile device to eventually become the multi-function computer users gravitate towards for work, communication, social networking, and entertainment all in one.
"In 2010, for the first time, PCs cross a million a day. A million PCs a day -- built, shipped, and sold in the industry," Otellini said. "By 2014, that number basically doubles, it approaches 700 million units (annually) as the near-addressable market for our company."
Five years from now, Otellni said he expects Intel to be shipping about a billion processors per year in all device markets, including desktops, notebooks, tablets, handhelds, and everywhere else. In particular, Intel is confident that its Atom processor -- and netbooks in general -- will remain relevant for a long time to come, even as tablets become more popular.
"This market (Netbooks) that we created will grow north of 20 percent year-on-year this year," Otellini said. "It's got a 15 percent CAGR (compound annual growth rate). Still no sign of material cannibalization of the notebook market by Netbooks. (Netbooks are) in the range of 40 million units (annual) and nicely growing."
Don't take that to mean Intel doesn't recognize the potential market for tablets. Otellini went on to acknowledge that the "tablet estimates are big numbers, 73 to 88 percent CAGR."
Digital Storm on Monday announced a new gaming PC, the Black OPS Assassin. So what separates this one from all the rest? According to Digital Storm, the Black OPS Assassin is the "industry's most vastly superior vertically cooled" rig around.
"Assassin is the system that performance enthusiasts have been waiting for. The pairing of exceptional components, patented processes and bleeding-edge design enables components to be pushed far beyond what any other gaming PC on the market today can promise," remarked Rajeev Kuruppu, Digital Storm’s Director of Product Development. "The ability to effectively remove component damaging and performance inhibiting heat is phenomenal, but I’m astonished by how quietly we were able to accomplish this. The phrase whisper quiet is an understatement."
Cooling duties are handled by three 180mm fans at the bottom of the chassis to push cold air vertically through the system before exhausting hot air from the top, whereas most traditional setups push air from the front to the back (horizontally). Combined with liquid cooling, Digital Storm claims the Assassin opens the door to "outrageous overclocking potential."
Pricing starts at about $2,400 and includes an Intel Core i7 930 processor, 6GB of DDR3-1600 RAM, EVGA X58 motherboard, GeForce GTX 470 videocard, and Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit.
PCs are starting to sell in a big way again, according to the latest data released by market research firm IDC. The worldwide PC market grew by 24.2 percent in the first quarter of 2010, representing a dramatic turnaround from one year ago when the market declined by 7 percent.
"The strong first quarter builds on the fourth quarter rebound and shows rising confidence in the PC supply chain and commercial client base along with persistent demand from consumers," said Loren Loverde, vice president, IDC Worldwide Trackers. "The commercial gains are a cornerstone of market rebound that we have been expecting and are now seeing in the data."
For the most part, the PC market has suffered through a series of quarterly declines dating back to the third quarter of 2008. IDC attributed the recent upswing to the continued recovery in emerging markets, improved business segments, and the growth of specialized products such as all-in-one PCs.
All the major PC vendors benefited from the growth, but none more than Lenovo, which saw a 58.3 percent year-over-year increase in sales. Not surprising, Acer wasn't far behind with a 42.5 percent increase.
In what research firm Gartner is calling a "robust recovery" in certain parts of the world, PC shipments around the globe ballooned to 84.3 million units in the first quarter of 2010. That's a 27.4 percent increase from the same quarter in 2009, and higher than the 22 percent growth Gartner had predicted.
"The stronger-than-expected growth was led by a robust recovery in the Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) PC market, which grew 24.8% in the first quarter of 2010," said Mikako Kitagawa, principal analyst at Gartner. "All other regions recorded double-digit growth rates, although the US and Latin America were slightly lower than what we had expected.
"These first-quarter results indicate that the professional PC market is gradually picking up, driven by PC replacements in mature markets," Kitagawa said. "With a relatively positive macroeconomic outlook, business demand was more forthcoming. Major PC replacement demand driven by Windows 7 will become more apparent in the second half of 2010 and the beginning of 2011."
PC shipments in the US totaled 17.4 million units in the first quarter, representing a 20.2 percent growth rate from one year ago. That's the second consecutive quarter of double-digit shipment growth. Toshiba was a big benefactor in all this, which saw shipments jump by 50 percent as the result of competitive pricing and promotions.