The surface of the earth was once thought to be flat, and just as it was eventually proven to be round, will technophiles make the same discovery when it comes to surface computing? It's far too early to tell what the future of surface computing has in store, but don't be surprised if years from now your PC looks more like a globe than a flat screen.
Giving a glimpse of such a future, Microsoft showed off its spherical Surface computer during the company's annual Research Faculty Summit in Redmond. Attendees got a chance to play with the prototype that relies on an infrared system to detect hands, fingers, and objects.
"It's really an exploration of ideas," explained Hrvoje Benko, the Microsoft researcher spearheading the project.
Getting touch technology to work on a curved surface was no easy task, but Microsoft researches came up with advanced algorithms to translate images originally intended for a flat PC screen and display them correctly on the rounded globe. So far applications for the Sphere include a picture and video browser, interactive globe visualization, finger painting, and an omni-directional video conferencing application with 360 degrees of panoramic video.
Catch the YouTube video here, which also includes a version of a Pong like you've never seen before.
Buffalo’s 500GB DriveStation Combo 4 external drive is the fastest USB drive we’ve ever tested, and it even holds its own on an eSATA connection. That’s thanks to a propriety technology called TurboUSB that squeaks additional speeds out of the device.
We admit it, sexy chipsets such as Nvidia’s nForce 790i SLI Ultra and Intel’s X48 get all the ink, but in reality, most of the world runs on plain-vanilla chipsets such as Intel’s new P45. And the truth is, you don’t necessarily give up performance or features when you choose a middle-of-the-road board; in fact, the affordable MSI Platinum has just about everything you’d want in a motherboard.
Power users who have dreamed of outfitting their portable backup solution in a RAID 0 array can now do so thanks to Addonics' new Portable Dual Drive RAID enclosure (AE25RDESU). Nervous Nellies are covered too, with RAID 1 providing a backup for your backup. The handheld device accepts up to two 2.5-inch SATA drives inside its "heat resistant aluminum" chassis, or pick up the optional SATA-CF hard disk adapter and install up to four CompactFlash cards. Other notable features include:
Easy installation and removal of hard drive
USB 2.0/1.1 and eSATA support
RAID configuration with DIP switch or GUI configuration
Supports RAID 0, RAID 1, JBOD, BIG (Concatenation), SAFE50, SAFE33, or GUI mod using built-in hardware RAID
Can be powered by USB port
For backup duties Addonics throws in DriveClone software and the device itself includes a backup button the company claims "can be configured to provide the convenience of one button backup of any critical files or folders."
Pricing has been set to $100 and can be purchased now.
CrunchGear reports that the 177.79 Forceware driver release is going to have the drivers to activate PhysX on the GPU for GeForce 8000, 9000, and 200 series videocards. The estimated release date is August 12th, although these drivers are available in beta here. I was not able to verify this in the release documentation. No mention was made of PhysX support. The CrunchGear story is based on a TechReport article about the first look at on GPU PhysX acceleration. Unfortunately, I am limping along on my 7600GT, which is not supported for PhysX under CUDA yet.
Have any brave souls jumped into the beta drivers with a Geforce 8000 or better video card to test the PhysX waters? Tell me what you think about it below!
Given its small size, we didn’t expect maximum cooling performance from Arctic Cooling’s Alpine 7 Pro. And while the Alpine 7 Pro doesn’t set any performance records, in some situations it does match the capabilities of our cooler of choice, Thermaltake’s DuOrb. Given the sheer size difference between this 9x9x3cm cooler and the, well, monstrous DuOrb, the Alpine 7’s performance was a pleasant surprise.
Some days, we almost miss Toshiba’s signature battleship gray notebook PCs—the latest look for the company’s long-running Satellite series is just a bit too much. After a few hours of use, our Satellite P305-S8825 was covered with fingerprints. And that was with clean paws! If you like snacking on Pringles while surfing the web, this rig will look as hygienic as the sneeze guard at a Baskin-Robbins after a class of third-graders has visited.
You knew it would happen sooner or later, and now it has; a Wii controller knockoff for the PC. Sort of. Asus has dubbed its new Wii remote lookalike as the Eee Stick, "an easy-to-sue use yet highly versatile Plug and Play wireless controller for the PC platform that translates users' physical hand motions into corresponding movements onscreen."
Interestingly Asus has no plans of selling the Eee Stick as a standalone peripheral and will instead bundle the motion controller exclusively with select models of the Eee PC and the Eee Box. Huh? We don't understand it either, but Asus justifies the move by saying the Eee Stick is "perfect for gaming on-the-go."
The vibration capable controller connects via a 2.4GHz RF dongle with a broadcast range of 10m. Two AA batteries are required to power the Eee Stick, which Asus claims will provide up to three days (72 hours) of continuous play.
Will the Eee Stick entice potential customers to pick up an Eee PC or Eee Box, or is Asus making a mistake by not offering the controller as a standalone device?
Elpida Memory, Inc. based in Japan announced that it is going to launch a 16-gigabyte Fully Buffered DIMM (FB-DIMM), the world's largest capacity. It is based on its own unique integrated packaging technology (stacked FBGA or sFBGA) with 2-gigabit DDR2 SDRAM. Elpida has achieved development of FB-DIMM products that feature an ultra thin thickness of 7.7mm.
The chip was designed with the ultra high-end servers and workstation market in mind.
Sample shipments of the new 16-gigabyte FB-DIMM will begin later this month. Mass production is expected to get underway in the 4Q of 2008.
Now if they would just come up with 8 Gig DDR3 sticks for my next desktop build, I’d be very happy indeed!
The NZXT Khaos looks like it would be a sleek addition to Maximum PC’s “best of” case club. We like how NZXT is attempting to bring an aesthetical refresh to case construction by toying around with the thick aluminum exterior of the chassis itself: curved edges and indented, grilled valleys add a modernistic look to the otherwise drab framework of a traditional rectangular case.