Can your PC withstand a torrential downpour? Stealth Computer's new WPC-500F can, along with all kinds of other extreme situations in which we hope to never find ourselves in.
"The WPC-500F provides the most environmental protection of any PC that we have offered to date. The machine is completely sealed on all six sides and can withstand the harshest of environments," stated Ed Boutilier, President and CEO of Stealth.com Inc.
Protected by a rugged, fanless aluminum chassis that pulls double duty as a heatsink, Stealth says its new PC can survive liquids, chemicals, dust, and dirt intrusion and meets IP67/NEMA 6 environmental specifications.
On the inside sits a netbook-like configuration with the base model sporting an Intel Atom 330 dual-core processor (1.6GHz, 512KB cache, 533MHz frontside bus), 2GB of DDR2-667 memory, and an 80GB high temp and high shock HDD (SDD options available).
Originally filed in 2005, Microsoft has now been granted US Patent No. 7,536,726. More specifically, the software giant now owns the patent for intentionally crippling your PC until you cough up the cash for that pirated OS.
Navigating through the legalese, the patent paves the way for "making selected portions and functionality of the operating system unavailable to the user or by limiting the user's ability to add software applications or device drivers to the computer. Additionally, various techniques can be used to remove or reduce the functional limitations of the computer."
The snarky side in us says not to worry, because Microsoft will only hold your system ransom until you pay an "agreed upon sum of money." And the rational side says, really, don't worry, because this should only effect pirates anyway, and even then, Microsoft appears to be softening its stance.
You knew it was coming sooner or later. Microsoft's Laptop Hunters commercials have hit a sore spot with Apple after attempting to expose the MacBook as an overpriced, underpowered (but pretty) platform, so it was only a matter of time before Apple fired back.
Starring Justin Long and John Hodgman (who else?), the latter stands in front of a long line of suited PCs. Two by two, a handful of of PCs are disqualified as an actress lists what's she's looking for (big screen, fast processor), until she lobs and oft-used Apple bomb.
"I just need something that works without crashing or viruses or a ton of headaches," the actress demands.
Disgusted, Hodgman and the remaining PCs march off-screen, leaving Justin Long (Mac) as the remaining option. You can check it out here, then hit the jump and post tell us what you think.
The sharp and steady decline in PC chip shipments in recent times can be likened to a tailspin. Market research firm IDC has published its appraisal of PC chip shipments in the first quarter of 2009. PC chip shipments are still in a nosedive per IDC, though the pace of their descent has decreased considerably.
Intel shipped 33 percent less Atom processors during the first quarter compared to the fourth quarter of 2008. The decline in Atom shipments isn’t entirely surprising as suppliers have amassed a huge stockpile of Atom processors.
The first quarter bought some relief for AMD as its market share improved by 4.6% to reach 22.3 percent. AMD improved its standing in both the PC and mobile markets at the expense of Intel, which had its market share trimmed down to 77.3 percent from 82 percent in the previous quarter.
What a refreshing change of pace to have a major videogame publisher step forward and not only refrain from ringing the death knell for PC gaming, but to annoint the PC as the platform for games moving forward. That's what Electronic Arts (EA) has done, almost in as many words.
"In terms of distribution, the way we look at a lot of what's happening in the future is, we've got probably a billion PCs out there in the world," said Eric Brown, CFO for EA. "Very rapidly the PC is becoming the largest gaming platform in the world, just not in a packaged-good product."
The comments came during a quarterly earnings call in which EA talked about the digital download market. According to Brown, the online portion of EA's business model is seeing growth by as much as 60 percent year over year.
In a time when it's become vogue to diss on the PC as a gaming platform, EA's comments to the contrary almost makes you forget about the whole SecuROM/Spore debacle. We said 'almost.'
Sometimes the best way to get your point across is to wield a large kitchen knife and take out your frustration with repeated stabs to the object of your ire, so long as it's an inanimate object. Or at least that's how YouTube user Haurum approached the situation after becoming frustrated with a damaged hinge on his MacBook Air.
Let's just leave it at that and let the video do the rest.
We’ve all seen the laptop hunters in action over the past several weeks and though you may not have noticed it at first, these ads represent a significant shift in tactics. The new marketing campaign by Microsoft takes a much less passive aggressive stance than in the past, and for the first time, charges head on into their primary competitor. In the previous campaign which featured a diverse group of actors claiming to be PC’s, Apple is never specifically mentioned, but clearly if you’re not a Mac you’re a PC right?
Microsoft’s strategy up to this point has been to ignore Apple completely, and to never give them the satisfaction of being acknowledged publically as a valid alternative to Windows. This new campaign is much less subtle about the value of a PC when compared to a Mac, and it is not surprising that they have invoked a response from Apple as a result.
According to an Apple spokesman “The one thing that both Apple and Microsoft can agree on is that everyone thinks the Mac is cool. With its great designs and advanced software, nothing matches it at any price." So close, yet so far”. Certain publications such as BusinessWeek would also have us believe that Anti Virus software and Geek Squad visits will make up the price difference between a $699 HP & a $2,800 Mac, but we don’t buy that argument either. One thing is certain however; we can likely expect Apple’s next ad campaign to respond in kind, making this the start of a very interesting and public war between the two rivals.
If you're to take Intel at its word (and earnings report), then forget any talk of the PC industry continuing to decline. According to CEO Paul Otellini, the immediate future looks bright, especially for the No. 1 chip maker.
"We believe PC sales bottomed out during the first quarter and that the industry is returning to normal seasonal patterns," Otellini said in a statement. "Intel has adapted well to the current economic environment and we're benefiting from disciplined execution and agility. We're delivering a product portfolio that meets the needs of the changing market, spanning affordable computing to high-performance, energy-efficient computing."
Backing up his claims, Intel reported a first quarter profit of $647 million, or 11 cents per share, on revenue of $7.1 billion. Wall Street was expecting earnings of 2 cents on revenue of $6.98 billion.
But does Intel's success translate to a recovery in the PC market as a whole? While Intel has been riding high on sales of its Atom processors and managed to beat expectations for Q1, the company wasn't as forthcoming when it came to forecasting Q2.
No one has been more critical of Microsoft's first attempts at responding to Apple's "I'm a Mac" ads than myself, and I still contend that those quirky commercials featuring Jerry Seinfeld missed the mark wider than Brett Favre in a critical game (you Jets fans still steaming over a 3-interception, 24-17 loss to the Miami Dolphins know what I'm talking about). Judging by the comments in those earlier blogs (see here and here), either expectations were disparingly low, or other PC users really did find a certain charm in talking about chewy computers or watching Bill Gates do a geriatric robot.
This time around I'm more than willing to give credit where credit is due, and it belongs to Microsoft for its latest offensive against Apple. Microsoft has finally zeroed in on the high price tags that accompany Macs, and it isn't letting up. The first ad featured a woman named Lauren on the hunt for a 17-inch laptop under $1,000, and not surprisingly, she wasn't able to find one in an Apple store. "I'm just not cool enough to be a Mac person," she concluded. Not long after, a second ad emerged, this time upping the ante to $1,500 and featuring a member of the opposite sex who surmised that "Macs, to me, are about the aesthetics more than they are the computing power. I don't want to pay for the rent, I want to pay for the computer."
See what happens when a mother-and-son duo take on Microsoft's "Laptop Hunters" challenge after the jump.
Last week, it was rumored that Acer would unveil the very first Ion-based nettop this week. That rumor has been vindicated by Acer. The AspireRevo, as the diminutive nettop is called, was unveiled on Tuesday by Acer and Nvidia.
The nettop features up to 4GB of RAM, a maximum of 250GB hard drive, HDMI/VGA outputs and six USB 2.0 ports. To put the stats into perspective, the nettop measures 7.1 x 7.1 x 1.2 inches (about the same size as a hardcover book). Its pricing and release date are still awaited.