Microsoft re-introduced Windows 7 Family Pack in October to coincide with the first anniversary of the launch of the operating system. If you don’t already know, the family pack gives you three upgrade licenses of Windows 7 Home Premium for $149.99, when a single upgrade license alone costs $119.99. But if that sounds like a great deal to you, just wait till we tell you about the limited-time discount Dell is offering on the family pack. The family pack is available for $119.99 – three upgrades for the price of one – from Dell’s online store. However, only when you add Windows 7 Family Pack to your cart does the discount reveal itself.
When Apple recently updated its MacBook Air family of ultraportables, it switched the range entirely to solid-state storage for the speed boost flash memory provides. But it went against the grain by opting for an onboard storage solution, as opposed to the conventional way of wedging it all into an SSD enclosure. This was done in order to make the Air even more ethereal than before.
In fact, the Blade X-gale ultra-thin SSD modules are reportedly same as the ones inside Apple’s ultraportable notebook. According to MacRumors, not only do both come in identical capacities (64GB, 128GB, and 256GB), but also have the same part numbers. The Blade X-gale drives are capable of a maximum sequential read speed of 220MB/s and a maximum sequential write speed of 180MB/s.
"Delivering a product that enables superior user experience in a smaller footprint is the ultimate goal," noted Scott Nelson, vice president, Memory Business Unit, Toshiba America Electronic Components, Inc. "The density of MLC NAND enables the creation of smaller form factor high density storage solutions, and Toshiba, as the technology leader for NAND storage solutions, will continue to innovate in this space."
Adafruit Industries is looking for the first (and probably the only) OK Prize laureate. What’s that you say? The Open Kinect Prize will go to the first person to deliver open-source software drivers for Kinect. Just to make sure that bragging rights and Microsoft’s wrath are not all that the eventual winner gets, the DIY electronics kit supplier has announced a $2,000 prize.
Adafruit has this to say about its maiden “X Prize type project” on its blog: “Anyone around the world can work on this, including Microsoft Upload your code, examples and documentation to GitHub. First person / group to get RGB out with distance values being used wins, you’re smart – you know what would be useful for the community out there. All the code needs to be open source and/or public domain. Email us a link to the repository, we and some “other” Kinect for Xbox 360 hackers will check it out – if it’s good to go, you’ll get the $2,000 bounty!”
Adafruit initially promised a $1,000 bounty, but later doubled it after Microsoft expressed its displeasure at the OK Prize. A MS spokesperson informed Cnet that the device features a number of software and hardware safeguards to reduce the possibility of tampering. Also, the company has vowed to “make advances in these types of safeguards and work closely with law enforcement and product safety groups to keep Kinect tamper-resistant.”
How excited are you about the prospect of using Kinect with a PC?
While there is no dearth of solutions for streaming PC-based movies, music and pictures to your TV, the PC games in your personal collection are still “unstreamable.” Enter AfterCAD, and its GameString Adrenalin service, and personal PC game libraries will become just as “streamable” as other media content.
So what exactly is GameString Adrenalin? AfterCAD is calling it “personal cloud gaming.” It essentially allows for PC games to be played remotely from within any Flash- or HTML5-enabled web browser. The company has even posted a video (below) of World of Warcraft being played on Google TV.
"Our GameString technology represents the next generation in cloud gaming as it doesn't rely on downloads, plugins, java or obscure codecs to work. The proof is in the fact it works with the Google TV right out of the box while other cloud gaming services will have to write an app to run it on,” said Chris Boothroyd, CEO of Aftercad.
“For Game Publishers looking to leverage the cloud to spice up the production values for Flash based social games, it is clear our approach is the way of the future and the way to go."
We can probably all agree that letting kids sit in front of their PC playing videogames or watching TV all day long probably doesn't promote mental health, but how much time is too much? According to a new study, anything longer than two hours per day is psychologically damaging.
"Watching TV or playing computer games for more than two hours a day is related to greater psychological difficulties irrespective of how active children are," lead author Dr. Angie Page from the University of Bristol's Center for Exercise, Nutrition, and Health Sciences said.
To arrive at that conclusion, the PEACH project, as it's called, studied over 1,000 children aged between 10-11 years old.
How do you know when it’s time to replace your gaming rig? When you’ve turned down all of the game settings to minimum and you still have to play at 1024x768. Or you’ve just completed the Steam hardware survey and Valve rejects your score because it’ll drag down the curve. Of course, if you’re asking the question in the first place....
In spec’ing this year’s gaming build, we decided to restrict ourselves to a budget of approximately $1,400. This would provide a nice challenge, but would still give us enough cash to build a powerful and feature-filled machine. If you’ve ever tried to squeeze high-end performance into this price point, you already know that the road to our final configuration wasn’t clear, obvious, or easy.
The truth is that there are many ways to skin a Tribble, and there is no single right config for everyone. To give you some insight into how we arrived at our final destination, we’re going to walk you through our decision-making process.
Last year, Acer officially bumped Dell from its status as the No. 2 PC maker in the world, and now Acer is hoping that its Predator can hunt down one of Dell’s most prized brands: Alienware.
No, we are not making this up. It’s literally Alienware vs. Predator. Sure, we’re writing this while listening to that bootleg of the Predator soundtrack that made the rounds in the 1990s, but c’mon, what else could you think after seeing Acer’s Predator case.
Microsoft Security Essentials (MSE) has been around for nearly an year. All along, the company has maintained that it has no plans of extending the free antivirus software to small businesses, as it is solely intended for consumers and home-based businesses.
However, the company is no longer averse to offering MSE to small businesses, even at the expense of its enterprise security solutions. In an abrupt policy change, MS has announced that it will begin offering “its Microsoft Security Essentials available to small businesses on up to 10 PCs for FREE, beginning in early October!”
“By providing Microsoft Security Essentials to small businesses free of charge, Microsoft extends its commitment to help these companies save money and grow their business by offering no-cost protection from viruses, spyware and other malicious threats,” the company said in a blog post.
The USB 2.0 drive can, of course, also write onto CD-R (24x), CD-RW (16x), DVD-RAM (5x), DVD+/-R (8x), DVD+/-R Double/Dual layer (4x), DVD+RW (8x), and DVD-RW (6x). It also doubles up as a 3D Blu-ray player.
According to Sony, the BDX-S500U will retail for $200 when it becomes available later this month. That said, it is already available from a few online retailers.
We're just going to throw something out there. Kudo Tsunoda, creator of Microsoft's motion controlled Kinect, is whacked out his mind. That's really the only conclusion we can come up with when someone makes outrageous claims, like essentially declaring that the first person shooter genre on the PC is dead.
Yet that's exactly what he did in a recent interview with Game Informer. Here's Tsunoda's take on the evolution of first person shooters.
"If you think about the way that first shooters evolved, they started on the PC," Tsunoda explains. "People for the longest time tried to port shooters from the PC onto the console. And people said the same things that they are saying now about Kinect -- 'It's never going to responsive enough to do this,' or 'You're never going to get a fun first person shooter on the console, it's only made for a keyboard and mouse and that is the way it is supposed to be played.' And as long as everyone was just porting the existing shooters over to the console, they weren't as fun as the PC ones. Of course, they were built for the PC.
"Halo did an awesome job of building a first-person shooter exclusively for the console, and now hardly anyone plays first person shooters on the PC anymore. It's all about the console."
We bolded the quirky comment not only for emphasis, but to make sure we really read what we thought we just read. We get it, Halo enjoys a rabid following, and despite being gimped with a controller, first person shooters are a viable genre on the console. But to declare that hardly anyone on the PC is playing them anymore is just dumb.