Back before broadband, it was common to find retailers selling pre-built computers for hefty discounts, provided you agreed to sign up for a multi-year dial-up plan. By and large, the concept of discounted hardware in exchange for an ISP commitment has largely went by the wayside, but it may be making a comeback, with a twist.
Don't worry, no one is asking you to commit to three years of AOL on a 56K connection. Instead, HP is considering selling netbooks for a significant discount when bundled with a wireless service contract. While a new concept in the U.S., cellular service providers are already doing this in Asia and Europe. One such example is Taiwanese carrier Far EasTone Communications Ltd., who sells an Asus Eee PC for a scant $29 with a two-year commitment.
"The big picture for these netbooks is that kind of model," Kevin Frost, who runs HP's consumer notebook business unit, said in an interview. "That's the longer-term model."
Frost didn't mention which U.S. wireless providers are being actively pursued, but did say that Verizon and AT&T could be potential candidates. Whether or not either of those companies would be interested remains to be seen, but if it's going to happen, expect it sooner than later while the netbook market is red hot.
Would you be interested in a discounted netbook with a wireless service plan? Hit the jump and tell us what you think.
He heavily extolled Blu-ray, which he believes is a huge asset for media editing professionals and enterprises - a demographic that Psystar can now serve.
Psystar is certainly trying its best to get under the skin of Apple whose patience must be wearing thin. Around a fortnight ago, Apple and Psystar agreed to an “Alternative Dispute Resolution”. Prior to that, in July, Apple had slapped a lawsuit against Psystar. The latter soon returned the favor by filing a lawsuit of its own against Apple.
Taiwanese company Silicon Integrated Systems has dismissed rumors that it is going to shut down its PC chipset business. It is now going to concentrate its resources on developing southbridges. SiS will persist with its PC chipset business and satisfy whatever demand there is for its products until 2011. It is currently concentrating on providing notebook chipsets. SiS supplies notebook chipsets to around 20 notebook manufacturers. Cut-throat competition and the precarious state of the global economy have made life difficult for SiS.
Malware-infected PCs have for long betrayed their users’ most precious financial secrets to internet robbers. But researchers at IBM have developed a USB device to ensure that online banking transactions remain unaffected by malware infections. The device, which is called Zone Trusted Information Channel, can also repel man-in-the-middle attacks.
It secures online transactions by establishing a direct channel to a bank’s online transaction server through a computer’s USB port. As the transaction at the user’s end is made on ZTIC’s own hardware - no reliance on any PC-based software, it is not vulnerable to malware or man-in-the-middle attacks. The prototype is now ready to undergo trials.
Although the idea of a stand-alone security/authentication solution isn’t entirely new – Paypal already offers a stand-alone security device to its users, IBM’s endeavor is slightly different as it looks to be keen on offering a universal solution.
Unlike traditional plasma screens, with light-emitting cells located between sheets of glass, Shinoda’s display will use cells inside of incredibly thin glass tubes. These tubes allow the screen to be thinner than current plasma displays, and also allow it to be flexible.
The screen of the prototype is 3 meters by 1 meter, and only a millimeter thick. As if that weren’t enough, the screen is light (1.4kg) and energy efficient (600 watts) as well. Sadly, the technology isn’t ready for use in TVs and monitors yet—it can’t display resolutions higher than 960 by 360 pixels, but we should start seeing it in public display capacities as early as next April or May.
Assuming this technology does become suitable for consumer displays, how do you think it’ll change the commercial landscape? Tell us your thoughts after the break.
As the UK's PC Pro website puts it, SecondLight is like "Surface on steroids." A product of Microsoft's Cambridge, England research labs, SecondLight projects an image through the table, enabling a translucent surface placed on top of the Surface tabletop to display additional information, such as place names, an interior view of an object, and much more.
To learn more about how SecondLight works, join us after the jump.
Lucid has now raised $32 million in all. It intends to use the funds to propagate its multi-GPU HYDRA technology, which is an alternative to Nvidia SLI and ATI Crossfire multi-GPU solutions.
“Our recent announcements and engagements with major partners have demonstrated that we can deliver and commercialize our technology,” said an optimistic Offir Remez Hydra, Lucid’s founder and VP of business development. Hydra scores over SLI and Crossfire due its unique ability to extract 100% linear performance from each of the GPUs – it supports up to four GPUs from the same manufacturer.
Lucid can pat its back for having secured fresh funding when most venture capitalists have pulled in their horns as the global economy wades through a turbulent storm.
It can be kind of hard to get excited over advances in advertising technology, but this new video from RealFiction is enough to get us interested. It shows off the company’s new holographic display, called the Dreamoc, which combines physical and virtual elements to create a pretty compelling effect.
The video shows a cell phone placed inside the display’s pyramidal glass case, with a rotating hologram “emerging” from the devices display. It’s a snazzy effect, and definitely worth a watch.
There’s no word on how much the display will cost, or how widely available it will be, so it’s too soon to say whether the Dreamoc’s going to be just a toy for the most upscale retailers or if you’ll see one in your neighborhood GameStop. Either way, it’s always good to see advances in the commercial application of 3D imagery. Hopefully it won’t be too long before this sort of technology becomes practical for consumer displays.
When most people think of Logitech the first thing that comes to mind is hardware. Webcams, mice, keyboards, just about anything that you can consider a peripheral. But all that is about to change thanks to their latest acquisition, SightSpeed, which they hope will take them right into the software game.
So what’s it cost to for a hardware giant, such as Logitech, to get their fingers deep into the software game? As it turns out, only $30 million in cash (the deal is expected to close in early November). The addition of the 25-person company to Logitech’s roster comes with the goal of creating solid video communication software to go along with their extremely popular webcams. Current users of SightSpeed are open to use a free version of their software, or a premium version that costs either $9.95 per month or $99.95 a year.
As of right now there’s no telling if the software of the fancy new acquisition will cost anything to use, or if it’ll be an upgrade on the software bundled with the cameras, but with any luck more details will emerge soon.
It was at the beginning of 2008 that the Blu-ray/HD DVD format war came to an end, and it looks like the beginning of 2009 is going to see the start of a new battle. Blu-ray just got a new competitor, and if maker Royal Digital Media can deliver on their promises, it could mean big trouble for Sony’s format.
News of the new format broke by way of a press release from DreamStream, who RDM has contracted to provide military-grade, 2,048-bit encryption for the discs. Compared to Blue-rays paltry 128-bit encryption, the new format should prove significantly more of a challenge to crack, which must look good to publishers looking to protect their IP.
RDM says that their as-of-yet-unnamed HD disk will be able to hold 100GB of data, and will support 1920p video. That means that a single disc will be able to hold about 4 hours of super-HD content.
The best part about RDM’s new format? According to the press release, it’s based on “inexpensive red laser technology” and therefore the discs and players will cost about as much as traditional DVDs and players.
The format is scheduled to launch as soon as the beginning of 2009. It’s going to be interesting to see if they can keep their promises. If they can, is this going to spell the end of Blue-ray? Tell us what you think after the jump.