With weak demand from the digital photo frame market - in part possibly as a result of pre-existing malware infestations - LCD panel makers are hoping low-cost notebooks will pick up the slack and drive sales of medium-sized shipments in the second half of the year. But according to DigiTimes, a growing concern among panel makers is that a shortage of Intel Atom processors might affect their July shipments of 7- to 10-inch panels, the same ones used in low-cost notebooks and several mobile internet gadgets. Painting an even gloomier picture, Asus president Jerry Shen said last month the Atom shortage could last until September, giving LCD panel makers a major case of the summertime blues.
Earlier this week OCZ announced a new lineup of low cost SSDs, trumping Super Talent's MasterDrive MX series in both price and performance. In an attempt to address the former, Super Talent has begun bundling Ubuntu with its SSDs and will continue to do so right through to September 30th.
"Bundling an excellent OS plus applications package like Ubuntu helps MasterDrive MS customers get up and running that much faster and easier. This is a great value add that doesn't increase the cost." - Joe James, Super Talen Marketing Director
And James is right, it doesn't increase the cost. Of course, it doesn't increase the value (or performance) of the MasterDrive MX line either. But it might increase the perceived value of Ubuntu, which if you head over to Ubuntu.com, you can download the Linux distro free of charge. Or if you'd prefer a hard copy without firing up Nero, you can put in a request for a free CD and they'll even throw in a handful of stickers. Sadly, neither option will cost you a cent, not even shipping, and who wants a free OS? Pshaw! Super Talent's bundle tackles this problem, and you'll have to fork over at minimum $299 (30GB). Or if you really want that copy of Ubuntu to come laced with uber value, you have the option of paying up to $649 (120GB). Now all you Windows owners with a predisposition to paying for your OS can finally get your Linux on without feeling like you cheated the system, something Amazon couldn't offer with its paltry $12.99 price tag.
Nvidia shares dropped by a fourth today after the company announced it was setting aside a one-time hit of $150 to $200 million dollars to cover warranty and repair costs associated with an "abnormal failure rate" on its mobile graphics cards. The exact sources of the increased GPU problems are unknown at this time, although Nvidia believes the cards' increased thermal issues stem from weaker manufacturing and packing materials.
With over a trillion-quantillion subscribers, World of Warcraft players are finding themselves increasingly popular targets for hackers, and nothing stings worse than logging in to Azeroth only to find your character standing in nothing but his scivvies and all his belongs wiped out. All that time spent acquiring digital doodads and neglecting your family, friends, pets, hygiene, job, and other real-life obligations down the drain.
Such scenarios are becoming far too common, and Blizzards offering WoW residents another way to beat back the bad guys, and it won't cost you any mana. Instead, for $6.50 (that's USD, a form of paper and coin currency used in non-virtual landscapes) you can protect your account with Blizzard's Authenticator dongle. Once linked to your account, the dongle generates a one-time six-digit passcode at the press of button to supplement your regular account password. And because the dongle stays separate from your PC, it's impervious to keyloggers and other similar malware.
Watch TV on the go, you say? Leadtek says 'yes' with the announcement of its new hybrid TV capture card. The WinFast ExDTV2300 H supports the ExpressCard interface, with features that include:
DVB-T and worldwide analog TV reception (NTSC, SECAM, and PAL)
Component input video up to 480p
Full screen stereo/SAP support
DVB-T and FM Radio
The capture card comes with Leadtek's WinFast PVR2 software, which boasts Time Shifting, Scheduled Recording, Power on/off by Remote, and TwinView. Even better, Leadtek throws in an I/R remote allowing you to level-up your couch potato skill-set, whether you're home or not.
Could this be a growing trend? Last year Pinaccle introduced its PCTV HD Pro Stick, a bus-power tuner sized just right for notebooks. Unfortunately, performance was marred by somewhat slow channel surfing, nor did it work with unencrypted QAM signals, but in its favor, Gordon Mah Ung noted the dual-core notebook used to test the device never broke a sweat while playing back or recording HDTV content. This also begs the question; do notebook owners prefer an ExpressCard TV tuner over a USB-based one?
We just received a retail sample of Maxtor's recently announced Central Axis Network storage server sent to the office, and wanted to share with you some photos of the packaging and physical unit. The monolithic storage device sports a familiar-looking enclosure design with single USB (as opposed to two, as listed on the official website), Ethernet, and AC power connectors on the back. Replacing a "one-touch" backup button on the front are three lights to indicate power, hard disk activity, and drive status. We also found a reset button on the base of the unit. The terabyte drive spins at 7200rpm, sports 32Mb of buffer cache, and weighs in at just over a pound and a half.
The Central Axis goes on sale later this month for $290, and keep an eye out for our full review later.
Click through the jump for more sexy unboxing goodness.
We find ourselves wondering how a company like NZXT can do a better job of creating a budget version of Antec’s gamer line than Antec itself. That’s not to say the Three Hundred is a bad case; it just has little that’s special.
Hit the jump to discover what, if anything, the Three Hundred has to offer.
Blighted chip maker AMD has something to cheer about as it has made some significant gains in the global microprocessor market in the last one year. According to research firm iSuppli, AMD accounted for 13% of the global revenue share, which, although down 1.1% from Q4, is an improvement of 2.2 points from Q1 of 2007.
While AMD hangs in there with long term gains, Intel witnessed good growth in Q1, 2008. Intel’s global revenue market share stood a 79.7%, up 1.2% from the preceding quarter. But there is a slight blemish for Intel as it yielded 0.7% share to its archrival over a year’s span.
The next twelve months present a huge opportunity to chip makers as the ultra-portables market beckons with its promise of riches. But AMD hasn’t still fully divulged its plans for the lucrative low-voltage processor market.
Let's set aside Crysis, heavy encoding, and the few other specialized tasks capable of making a high end rig writher in agony. For everything else, we're at a point where the software needs to catch up with the hardware, and that hasn't always been the case. Remember when your anti-virus program would kick in, preventing you from being able to open a Word document or perform other mundane tasks with any sense of urgency? Neither Intel's brute-force, gazillion stage pipeline nor AMD's Rainman approach to efficiency were enough to get over the performance hump, and it took the advent of mulitple core processors to blow the doors open to multitasking.
Now that dual- and quad-core processors are mainstream parts, the roles have been reversed. There exists only a handful of programs developed to intelligently utilize additional cores, and even less that take advantage of the additional computing power effectively. Toss benchmarking by the wayside and you probably won'tt be able to discern between a dual-core E8200 (2.66GHz) system, and one equipped with a quad-core Q9450 (2.66GHz). For that to change, developers must learn how to program for not only today's hardware. but tomorrow's too.
Find out what 'unwelcome advice' Intel has for developers after the jump.
Does something about this case look familiar? That’s the first thing we said when pulling NZXT’s Tempest out of the box. Save for a few minor modifications to the chassis, this case is a carbon copy of Antec’s Nine Hundred chassis. It’s built like the Nine Hundred, performs like the Nine Hundred, and even glows like the Nine Hundred, thanks to its front- and side-panel blue LED fans.
And yeah, that's a good thing. Hit the jump for deets.