What a difference $500 makes. With $1500, building a gaming PC means being as lean as possible, sacrificing a little here and there to bump the important components to the next tier. But with $2000, your options really open up. The extra dough means you can start considering a solid-state drive or dual-GPU solution. Getting the most bang for your buck is always a consideration, but two grand means you can splurge for cutting-edge components that are priced for early adopters. It also means you have to think about your system's upgrade path, since you don't want to spend so much on a rig with nowhere to go in two years. Lynnfield or Bloomfield? SSD or high-capacity storage? Nvidia or ATI? There are a few no-brainers in our $2000 parts pick, but also a few surprises as well.
So, what's the best gaming system you can get for $2000?
Not only do you have to protect yourself from any number of nefarious online threats, you also have to watch your back as well. You never know when a friend may be readying to ‘accidentally’ plunge in a knife.
Western Digital claims that only a small percentage of WD Box Live users have been affected. Those with incapacitated units are advised to contact Western Digital’s customer service. (Affected commenters at Engadget suggest taking the unit to Best Buy and making an exchange rather than hassle with an RMA.)
Some people have the neatest toys to play with. Jason Holt, a software engineer for Google, relates on the Google Lat Long Blog how he and some co-workers put together an eight-screen display for Google Earth, christened Liquid Galaxy, that shows off the “impressive imagery” of the geo database.
The set-up consists of eight screens, a video projector, and “some spare Linux workstations.” A specially modified Google Earth client is used to synchronize views across multiple computers. The panoramas from Google Earth are played back using a “flipbook” process created earlier to show off images from the Tour de France. The whole thing is held together with a specially constructed steel frame that allows disassembly so it can be transported to conferences.
According to Holt, “It felt more like a ride than a computer program, something between an observation-deck and a glass-walled spaceship. As a result of this totally seamless, immersive experience, we decided to name it the Liquid Galaxy.”
Liquid Galaxy was on display at June’s Google I/O conference, and will make an appearance at the COP15 conference in Copenhagen. Liquid Galaxy’s next U.S. appearance will be at AGU in mid-December.
The quick-and-dirty of the tale is this: Michael Arrington of TechCrunch announced the death of the CrunchPad on November 30. He related the cause of death to be Rathakrishnan and unnamed investors who decided they would be better off without Arrington’s participation. In Arrington’s view he’s part owner of the intellectual property behind the CrunchPad, so without some agreement on terms Fusion Garage wouldn’t have a product to sell.
Rathakrishnan struck back today. Not only is Fusion Garage prepared to produce and sell the 12.1-inch web tablet, it is planning to do so this week. Rathakrishnan also clarified the cause of the TechCrunch-Fusion Garage break-up to be Arrington, who Rathakrishnan says “was completely unable to deliver.”
The background probably isn’t as important as the product itself. Details are limited, but the JooJoo will have a 12.1-inch touchscreen, Wi-Fi, ebook capability, the ability to deliver full HD video, and, according to Rathakrishnan, “the fastest bootup sequence out there.” It will also cost $499, more than double what Arrington had projected.
Whether the JooJoo will see the light of day is another matter. Come Friday we’ll have a better idea on where this little saga goes next.
Mechanical hard drives still hold the advantage when it comes to capacity and price-per-gigabyte, but there's no touching the speed of a quality solid state drive (SSD). OEMs know this, and while mobile PC users might not be willing to pay the premium placed on SSDs, they may be willing to step up to a 7200 RPM hard drive. In fact, Seagate reckons that by 2011, half of all mobile hard drives will spin at 7200 RPM in order to better compete with their pricier brethren.
By 2012, Seagate predicts most mobile PCs -- even netbooks -- will have transitioned to 7200 RPM hard drives. That's good news for power users more concerned with performance than they are with maximing battery life. The theoretical performance difference between a 5400 RPM and 7200 RPM hard drive sits at about 33 percent, but it can be even more, depending on cache, areal density, and other factors.
The move to faster mobile hard drives at lower price points might not bode so well for SSD adoption, however. SSDs will still trump HDDs in everything from boot times to how long it takes to load an application, but it won't be as pronounced as when compared to a 5400 RPM HDD.
According to some chatty sources in the PC industry, Acer has placed orders with Nvidia for the company's upcoming Ion 2 chips, which are being designed to support Intel's Pineview parts (Atom N450, N470, D510, and D410 processors).
This is a somewhat different scenario than with the original Ion platform, which was a chipset with IGP. But Intel's Pine Trail-M (netbooks) and Pine Trail-D (nettop) chips have changed things around by moving the northbridge duties -- memory controller and IGP -- onto the CPU. So this time around, Nvidia's Ion 2 part will be more like a discrete GPU, the sources say.
It's a win-win combo for both sides. Acer's Ion-based AspireRevo nettops have been well received by consumers, and Acer expects the same to be true with its Ion 2-based builds.
Thought T-Mobile's G1 was thick? Take a gander at LG's eXpo smartphone, which is the width of several iPhones stacked on top of one another. But unlike the iPhone or G1, the eXpo sports a pico projector.
Whether or not users will be receptive to a smarphone with a sizable hunchback remains to be seen, but for the time being, that appears to be the trade off in order to outfit a phone with a projector. And we're sure it will draw at least a little interest. In a snazzy video demo, the eXpo is shown beaming a 10-foot projection of the movie Transformers, which played smoothly and looked very good overall.
To be fair, the projector can be removed, leaving the user with a relatively slim phone. It's built around Windows Mobile and comes with a slide-out QWERTY keyboard.
AT&T is now selling eXpo to business customers for $299 minus a rebate.
Borderlands is an undeniably fun game with a killer concept, innovative game mechanics, a gorgeous art style, and kick-ass cooperative gameplay, but it also includes some frustrating design choices that require the player to bend to the limitations of the game. If you can do that, and you enjoy shooters and Diablo-esque action RPGs, you’re going to love this game.
The sales pitch for Borderlands is simple: It’s first-person Diablo… with guns. While exploring a large, open, post-apocalyptic world, you complete quests, collect loot, and go on adventures with up to three of your pals. While it may sound like Fallout 3, Borderland’s shooter heritage is obvious—the combat is fast and furious without the maddening influence of a random-number generator to take your shots off target. The game feels more like Quake than any RPG.
We always take leaked information with a healthy grain of salt, though in this case, it's worth noting that HTC's leaked 2009 lineup turned out to largely true. It's déjà vu for HTC all over again, as the company's 2010 lineup has been leaked to the web.
There are 10 new smartphones in all, with both Windows Mobile and Android devices broken up into four categories: Design / Lifestyle, Social, Performance, and Productivity. And naturally it's the Performance category that's going to draw the attention from power users. According to the roadmap, only one smartphone will fall under this designation. The 'Bravo,' as it's being called, will support DivX playback and 720p video capture through a 5MP AF cam with flash. It will also boast a 3.7-inch AMOLED display and Qualcomm Snapdragon chip racing along at 1GHz. Look for this one to ship sometime in April.
What's interesting about the list is that HTC has seemingly positioned all of its upcoming WinMo devices under the Productivity heading, while Android roams freely about the other categories.
View detailed specs of all 10 upcoming smartphones here.
The two Kansas-area men -- Christopher Myers, 40, and Timothy Weatherly, 27 -- are facing a single count of conspiracy, 30 counts of trafficking in counterfeit goods, and a single count of trafficking counterfeit labels, the U.S. Department of Justice said in a news release.
Legal documents allege that Myers and Weatherly would buy counterfeit Cisco-branded hardware built in China and Hong Kong, slap counterfeit labels on it, and then packet it in counterfeit Cisco boxes. They would even include counterfeit Cisco manuals, according to the Attorney General's Office in Kansas.
The two men may have netted about $1 million from their alleged fraudulent activities. If convicted, they would each face five years in prison and a $250,000 fine on the conspiracy charges, and an additional 10 years and $2 million fine on each trafficking count., eWeek.com reports.