After many weeks of lead-up – web announcements, press releases, tweets, and FaceBook fan page updates -- we’re proud to announce the Maximum Tech channel of this website is now open and ready to indulge you with news, reviews, how-tos, features and videos on personal technology. You can access the channel directly by hitting the blue Maximum Tech button in our top navigation bar, or by navigating to MaximumTech.com, where you’ll be redirected to the channel page itself.
We at Maximum PC have been covering the broader range of personal technology -- you might know it as “consumer electronics” or “CE” -- ever since we relaunched this web site in 2007. Now it’s time to step up our game with more content about the products, trends and raw technologies we’ve already been covering. Yes, the main focus of the Maximum Tech channel will be on “traditional” CE (smartphones, tablets, home entertainment, etc), but we’re also intent on providing deep-dive explorations into the periphery of all the technology products that affect our daily lives: appliances, fitness equipment, watches, sunglasses, toys, and, yes, even lasers.
Hit the jump to read more about the Maximum Tech channel launch.
The Inspiron M501R And M5030 laptops have more in common than just their AMD processors. Both the laptops boast a 15.6-inch display, 4GB of RAM and 320GB hard drive (up to 500GB). To boot, both carry sub-$1000 price tags. However, the M501R ($799.99) packs a heavier punch with a quad-core Phenom N930 processor and ATI Mobility Radeon HD550 graphics. The M5030 features an AMD Athlon II P320 processor and Mobility Radeon HD425 graphics.
Facebook was quick to deny rumors that it's working on a mobile phone. After catching wind of a TechCrunch story on late Saturday night / early Sunday morning that the social networking site is "building the software for the phone and working with a third party to actually build the hardware," a Facebook PR jumped in to kill the speculation.
Straight and to the point, the PR dude said the report "is not accurate," adding "Facebook is not building a phone." End of story, right?
Perhaps so, but TechCrunch isn't convinced, who points out that Google also denied it wasn't working on a Google Phone prior to the Nexus One launch. And technically, if Facebook is pinging a third-party developer to construct the device, then it wouldn't be lying for the social networking giant to say that it's "not building a phone", but that's splitting hairs.
Motorola late last week kicked out an update for its Milestone XT720 smartphone that adds a couple of cool features. First, it bumps the device's CPU up from 550MHz to 720MHz, so it should seem a little snappier as a result. Secondly, the other-the-air (OTA) update adds DLNA support.
According to Motorola Europe's Facebook page, the update only applies to users living in the U.K. or Germany. For those that do, the software update is available now.
"We have also produced a top 5 tips and tricks video to maximize the camera functionality of the device," Motorola Europe announced.
It's a bit late for a Father's Day gift, but if your dad also happens to be a geek -- or owns a computer -- you can add new life to his vinyl records with the Crosley Radio Revolution CR6002 travel turntable.
Crosley's built a product line of nostalgic looking devices, but this portable turntable is anything but. Sure, it plays those old 33 1/3 and 45 RPM records, but it doesn't look anything like the record players you've seen back in the day. In addition to a modern look and USB connectivity, the CR6002 also comes with few modern amenities. Take a peek:
Software suite for ripping and editing audio content
Intel has confirmed the leak of its HDCP master key, but since any implementation would have to be done in hardware, the chip giant claims it isn’t worried. On Friday however they also confirmed that they would take swift and decisive legal action against anyone planning to produce a product that circumvents HDCP in any way.
“There are laws to protect both the intellectual property involved as well as the content that is created and owned by the content providers,” said Tom Waldrop, a spokesman for the company, which developed HDCP. “Should a circumvention device be created using this information, we and others would avail ourselves, as appropriate, of those remedies.”
The leaked master key is a particularly devastating blow since it is used to create all of the lower level keys that are embedded within devices. It makes creating HDCP compliant recording devices a simple task, and its only a matter of time before black market devices begin to appear.
Intel still hasn’t released how the master key was exposed, or if any criminal investigation is pending. The news is especially painful for movie studios who just a few months ago convinced the FCC to let them remotely switch off analog ports on cable boxes for certain content. It remains to be seen what long-term impact this will have on copy protection for HD content, but Intel is clearly willing to back its mistake with an army of lawyers.
Google Voice is popping up in more and more places these days, and the search giant is finding it increasingly difficult to avoid being labeled as a common carrier. Google on the other hand claims that since it doesn’t charge for the service, they should be exempted from the classification and all the onerous regulations that would apply. Analysts on the other hand are not so sure this justification will hold up, and new features such as Gmail integration and video calling are increasingly blurring the lines.
Google can get away with shenanigans such as blocking calls to rural areas since it is nothing more than a free service at the moment, but if the regulators get involved it could be an entirely different story. It would be interesting to see if Google maintains the same level of commitment if the laws end up turning against them, and they are forced to comply with the same rules as local phone carriers.
Japan's Brother Industries recently showcased a head-mounted transparent display, called AiRScouter, which projects images directly onto the retina, conjuring up a rather “mysterious effect” – that of watching a display hanging in air about one meter in front of the eyes. The head-mounted display, based on the company's propriety Retinal Imaging Display (RID), made its maiden public appearance in 2008. However, it wasn't going to have a proper name until an year later when Brother unveiled a more advanced prototype.
"Firstly, we expect this display will be used in industrial applications. Using the AirScouter, it's possible to look at a manual or the like while working on site. The advantage of this is, it reduces the time lost in moving around. Also, a camera can be attached, so pictures of the work site can be sent to head office. This makes it possible to work in collaboration, while receiving instructions from experts in the office,” the company said in a release.
“Apart from industrial applications, this display could be used in AR technology, combining the real and virtual worlds. In the future, it'll be possible to connect a smartphone to the AiRScouter, so the display of the smartphone can be seen on the head-mounted display.”
Brother plans to begin shipping the AirScouter before the end of fiscal 2010.
It took 14 months, thousands of user protests, and an FCC investigation, but the Google Voice iPhone application has finally been approved. The app enables free phone calls within the United States, along with steeply discounted international calling, a move that likely won’t sit well with AT&T who charges a much higher rate for long distance calling. Google Voice also offers free voicemail transcriptions, the ability to listen to voicemail messages live, and several other indispensable call forwarding and number management tools.
The good news for iPhone users helps underscore Apple’s recent commitment to loosening up the reigns on app store approvals, but its hard to mistake this act of charity as anything less than a move to keep up with the competition. The iPhone platform finds itself increasingly competing for developer time with Android, WebOS, and now even Windows Phone 7.
Has Apple’s recent change of heart convinced you the iPhone is worth looking at? Or did you ditch the Retina display for an OLED long ago?
OnLive's cloud-based gaming service launched in June with Wi-Fi support conspicuously missing from its armory. While OnLive's lack of Wi-Fi support was never really a pressing concern for the vast majority of the world's population, it did matter to both the service's early adopters and detractors, with some admittedly ardent fans even stooping to such abject lows as building Ethernet loopback adapters to pass off their Wi-Fi connection as a wired one.