Apple announced on late Friday that it’s Ping Social networking service has hit 1 million users since its launch 48 hours ago. Few doubted that the service would be an instant hit since, like Google Buzz, it was shoehorned into existing products that we are forced to use everyday.
According to Apple “One-third of the people who have downloaded iTunes 10 have joined Ping,“ said Eddy Cue, vice president of Internet Services. “As many more people download iTunes 10 in the coming weeks, we expect the Ping community to continue growing.“
It will be interesting to see if Ping catches on in any meaningful way, but it has a number of interesting limitations to overcome. Anyone who tried out the service since launch will know that unless you’re a Lady Gaga or Yo-Yo Ma fan most of your favorite artists have yet to establish a profile. This is likely because of the veil of secrecy maintained around all Apple products, but they would have been far better off risking an information leak than unveiling a service that many will try once, get frustrated with and never return to.
We are also left scratching our heads as to why we need to use iTunes to check our feed, haven’t these guys heard of a web browser? Time will tell if they can iron out the kinks, but can we at least agree iTunes did not need any more features?
Bigfoot Networks, makers of the original Killer NIC (see our review in the Holiday 2006/2007 issue, page 70) is back again with a new product and more big promises. According to Bigfoot Networks, the new Killer 2100 is the world's fastest online gaming network card, which isn't hard to believe considering the extremely niche market it's competing in.
"Killer 2100 is the fastest network card available for online games, period," said Michael Howse, CEO, Bigfoot Networks. "From its completely redesigned user interface and race-inspired outer casing to its high-performance Game Networking DNA software, everything about Killer 2100 screams speed and maximum performance."
Like the original, the Killer 2100 comes with a dedicated 400MHz network processor, but this time around Bigfoot doubled up on the onboard memory to 128MB of DDR2 RAM and the card now plugs into a PCI-E x1 slot. If you're new to Bigfoot's aftermarket NICs, the Killer cards work their mojo by using their own optimized network stack instead of the one built into Windows, and according to Bigfoot, you can expect up to 10x lower latencies versus an onboard NIC.
Reviews of the original have been mixed, with our own evaluation noting an "imperceptible ping reduction," though frame rates did go up anywhere from 3 to 10 percent when using the Killer NIC for online gaming. We've yet to test the new Killer 2100, so we'll reserve judgment until we do.
Bigfoot says the new card is "coming soon" with an MSRP set at $129.
I recently started playing COD4, and at my favorite server, I get a ping of 50–60ms on a 5Mb/s connection. I wanted to get my ping down a bit more, so I upped the connection first to 10Mb/s and then to 16Mb/s, but alas, still no difference. My modem is an older Linksys BEFCMU10, but the router is a newer D-Link 4100 GamerLounge. I’m considering a purchase of a Bigfoot Networks Killer NIC M1 but hate to throw more money at the problem, only to have little or no results. Is there anything I can do to lower my ping? Please help me, Doctor!