According to a solicitation notice found on the Internet, the Air Force plans to purchase 2,200 PS3s equipped with 256 MB of memory and 160 GB hard drives. The PS3 is the Air Force’s choice because it provides the best cost-benefit ratio: “With respect to cell processors, a single 1U server configured with two 3.2GHz cell processors can cost up to $8K while two Sony PS3s cost approximately $600. Though a single 3.2 GHz cell processor can deliver over 200 GFLOPS, whereas the Sony PS3 configuration delivers approximately 150 GFLOPS, the approximately tenfold cost difference per GFLOP makes the Sony PS3 the only viable technology for HPC applications.”
These new PS3s will be added to an existing configuration of 336 units, with all connected via each unit’s one gigabit Ethernet port to common 24 port gigabit hubs. The networked PS3s will be driven by Linux using both commercial and in-house developed software.
Ars Technica notes the PS3’s advantage comes from Sony’s subsidy of the price. Sony expects to make up the subsidy on the back-end, from game or TV purchases. While the Air Force probably won’t be in the market for such things, it definitely is happy to take advantage of Sony’s largess in console pricing.
Firefox is a force to be reckoned with in the desktop browser space. But could the Mozilla foundation be looking to port it to the PS3? Playstation Insider claims that Sony and Mozilla are in talks to do just that. "We recently received a tip from a source very close to Sony who says that they have been in talks with Mozilla lately about possibly porting Firefox over to the PS3," said Playstation Insider’s Dustin Rudzinski.
It’s no secret that the Playstation’s current browser is nothing to write home about. So access to a “real” browser would be a real treat for PS3 owners. The tipster didn’t know if any deal had actually been struck, but what a pleasant firmware update that would be. So PS3 owners, if you had Firefox on the console, would you actually use it to browse?
Color us a little confused by this one. Sony has been showing off a surface computer of sorts. The system was constructed with Atracsys and utilizes a camera to track the locations of your fingers, meaning you don’t have to physically touch anything. For some reason, it’s being shown off on a table top… that you touch.
Sony/ Atracsys also showed how the camera system can track facial movements and even calculate mood. The point seems to be that you could interact with a computer without actually touching it. This would be invaluable in an operating room, for example, where sterility must be maintained. Sort of like Natal on the Xbox, apparently. Despite what they’re saying the camera tracking is capable of, Sony is making it look like a glorified Microsoft Surface. Check out the story link above to see the demo video.
Here's a recall you don't see very often. Sony, in cooperation with the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, announced a voluntary recall of some AC adapters in use on certain all-in-one Vaio desktops and Vaio docking stations.
According to the safety notice, faulty insulation inside the AC adapter can fail over time, which then poses an electrical shock hazard. So far there have been four reports of the affected adapters short circuiting, none of which occurred in the U.S., but no one has been injured.
The recall affects AC adapter model VGP-AC19V17. These were supplied with certain all-in-one Vaio desktops (VGC-LT series and VGC-JS2 series) and Vaio docking stations (VGP-PRBX1 and VGP-PRFE1) sold through various outlets between September 200 through October 2009.
If you have one of these adapters, Sony advises turning off the PC and unplugging it right away. You can contact Sony for a replacement either by calling 877-361-4481, or by visiting the firm's website at esupport.sony.com/ac19adapter.
Sony Optiarc America, in particular, produces the Sony line of optical disk drives for DVD, CD, and Blu-ray media formats and is the focus of the investigation. Sony didn’t hint to which products are of interest, but if you like to follow the gossip circles (or have a bit of common-sense) it is likely something to do with Blu-ray.
Blu-ray’s prices have yet to see the traditional price declination expected from a hot technology that has been released over three years ago. In fact, prices have remained steady over that time despite HD-DVD disappearing from the picture.
Further, the technology hasn’t skyrocketed in popularity the way Sony expected and antitrust investigations are not likely to help that process along.
Boy oh boy has 3D technology come a long way since the advent of those horrendous blue and red glasses that are still around today. Taking the technology to a new level, Sony says it has developed a 360-degree 3D display, which it plans to show off during Tokyo's Digital Content Expo 2009 this Thursday.
Sony says no goofy glasses are required to view the stereoscopic, 24-bit color image, which measures just 96 x 128 pixels. The image is viewable from all angles, but Sony didn't say if you'll be able to see the side of the image, depending on where you're oriented in relation to the display.
It's just a novelty at this point, but as research and development continues, Sony said it could see this technology being used as a 3D photo frame or in videophones.
Sony is accepting pre-orders for its newest laptop, the Sony Vaio X Series. Though most would consider this a “netbook” solution due to its hardware, it might be one of the snazziest, albeit most expensive, looking netbooks on the market.
Sony managed to cram an 11.1” widescreen, up to 2GB of RAM and a 128GB SSD and a 2GHz Intel Atom processor into a half-inch body weighing 1.6 pounds. They piled up some extras too: internal Verizon Mobile Broadband, GPS, webcam, and memory card readers. Oh, did I forget to mention, you could get up to 14 hours of use out of the included, extended battery (up to 3.5 hours with the standard).
No doubt, the extended battery increases the size and weight of the book, but all-things-considered it may be worth it to be that long without a power cable.
The price tag is steep (starts at $1299) for netbook-grade performance. You can check out more pics and pre-order your own at the Sony Style site. Is the X Series too rich for your blood?
Countless standards exist for sending data over the air, but even devices that are designed to be 100 percent wireless end up needing to be plugged in eventually. Sure some gadgets like the Palm Pre allow for wireless charging via electromagnetic induction, but somehow the milliamps required to accomplish this just isn’t as impressive as Sony’s latest demonstration which showed a 22-inch LCD being powered wirelessly using a source that was almost 20 inches away.
Currently they are calling the technology “magnetic resonance”, and it works by transferring energy between two coils using a magnetic field. By tuning the coils to the same resonant frequency, energy can be moved safely, even when the two coils are not aligned. It also allows them to keep metal objects that get in the way from heating up.
Early tests show both the promise, and the limitations of this new technology. Currently the power transfer is only 80 percent efficient, and with a range of only 20 inches, they clearly still have some work to do before this goes mainstream. The announcement which was made on Friday was only to demonstrate their progress, and it will likely still be several years before anything like this starts appearing in commercial products.
Okay, so this isn’t a testla coil, but are you comfortable with the idea of electricity being wireless?
To transfer the Digital Copy file from the Blu-ray disc to a PSP, it is necessary that you also own a PS3. Godzilla and The Ugly Truth have been announced as the first Blu-ray titles to have this feature. In related news, the PSP GO is just hours from its tepidly-to-much-awaited launch.
Although, earlier this year, the Chinese Ministry of Industry and Information Technology mandated that the vaguely named “Green Dam Youth Escort” web filtering software be bundled with all new PCs, including the imported ones, it later postponed the July 1 deadline before eventually scrapping its edict last month.
However, it is still mandatory for those administrating public use computers to have Green Dam Youth Escort installed on such machines. But one unnamed Chinese high school is said to have flouted the government’s order by deleting the software from its computers. It is not often that China offers obeisance to outside pressure.