Flip someone the bird and they'll know just what you're telling them. But wave your hand in front of your monitor all you want, and no matter how many times you've watched Obi-Wan use the Force, you're just not going to manipulate your PC. At least not yet.
Toshiba's Qosmio G55-Q802 looks to the change the way you interact with your PC by reading hand signals. Make a fist and move it around to control the mouse pointer, or flip your thumb up like Fonzie to select an object. Force-push won't work, but raising an open palm will tell the system to stop or resume video playback, giving you hands-free media control.
Built around the Centrino 2 platform, an Intel processor performs most of the tasks on the G55, but to read hand signals the laptop will use a quad-core HD processor powered by the same Cell processor found in Playstation 3 consoles. The Cell also lets the PC scan videos and index every new face it finds.
Owning a laptop used to mean being condemned to a low performance hard drive, but that's no longer the case. This past year has seen a surge in both higher performing and higher capacity notebook drives, and as of today, Toshiba tosses its new 2.5-inch 400GB model in to the ring.
The 7200RPM MK4058GSX packs 400 gigs onto just two platters with "an improved read-write head and enhanced magnetic layter to boost areal density to 477Mbit/mm²". Further separating itself from Toshiba's previous flagship 320GB 2.5-inch drive, the new model purports to cut acoustic noise during data seek by 2dB, all the while consuming 20 percent less power than its predecessor.
Five other drives round out the new lineup, coming in 80GB, 120GB, 160GB, 250GB, and 320GB flavors, and all of them support an optional Free Fall Sensor function Toshiba says will detect a failing hard drive and park the head before impact. Look for mass production to kick in late this summer.
Being an early adopter doesn't always net you bragging rights. Just ask your neighbor how his HD-DVD player is working out for him, or your co-worker what he bought with his Apple gift card after being one of the first to own an iPhone. And in the world of PCs, being the first to own a Geforce GTX 280 means you're stuck watching others pay $499 for the same videocard you plopped down $649 for just weeks ago.
It's because of this that XFX's latest announcement comes as an epic win for its customers. The company says it wants to "thank you for your loyalty and believing in the XFX brand," and to prove it, XFX is issuing up to $120 cash back for anyone who purchased an XFX-brand Geforce GTX 280 or 260 videocard between June 16, 2008 and July 11, 2008. This from the same company that offers a double-lifetime warranty on all its videocards.
High definition used to be synonymous with high price, but today everything from HDTVs to now HD camcorders can be had without downgrading that upcoming anniversary gift from a diamond bracelet to a cubic zirconia. But a high definition camcorder for under 200 bones? You betcha.
DXG's new pocket-sized camcorder looks to capture not only the budget market, but tries to appeal to the social computing crowd at the same time. For MSRP $179, the DXG-567V HD packs a 5.0 megapixel CMOS sensor the company claims is capable of H.264 video compression at up to a 1280x720 resolution at 30 frames-per-second. And while it may look like an MP3 player at a glance, DXG says the simplified controls are intended to make it easy to use for "even Grandma Selma." She can even get one in pink if she desires. Or blue, black, or red.
Out of the box, DXG includes ArcSoft's TotalMedia Extreme video editing software, and the company's own Rapid Blog Manager software, so Selma's grandkids have a quick and easy way to upload videos to YouTube's repository of gems like 'Leave Brittany Alone' (NSFW) and, well, this (hey, hey).
You knew it would happen sooner or later, the only question being which company would be the first to offer a 2GB graphics card? PowerColor answers that question today by annoucing the world's first videocard carrying a 2GB frame buffer. Or more accurately, the world's first desktop graphics card packing 2GB of memory, as workstation cards have already reached that milestone.
The fat frame buffer will first appear on PowerColor's PCS HD4850 built on ATI's RV770 core and use GDDR3 memory instead of the newer (and more expensive) GDDR5. PowerColor advertises a "massive memory bandwidth up to 57.6GB/sec" capable of "providing faster graphical performance," though it remains to be seen what impact the additional memory will have on gaming performance. Along with the added memory, PowerColor also says the new card will utilize its Professional Cooling System (PCS), which the company claims will result in up to a 10C drop in temps.
PowerColor certainly seems exciting over its announcements. Question is, are you?
Electronic chips that currently process data transmitted through optic fibers are actually a disability as they bring data speeds down to a crawl. Researchers at the University of Sydney in Australia have developed an alternative to electronic chips. Their chalcogenide glass photonic chip is more congruous to optic fibers as it allows optical data processing.
The new chip will help push internet speeds to an astounding 640 Gbps or 80 GBps – about 100 times faster than today’s networks. And this prodigious boost in internet speeds isn’t supposed to add any extra financial burden on users. Scientists expect the first of these optical chips to see action in about five years from now.
It seems everyone and their mother has jumped onto ultaportable bandwagon, and now it appears the mother of all OEMs will be getting in on the action too. Citing un-named "market sources", DigiTimes says come August, Dell will introduce a low-cost notebook of its own.
Dell's anticipated late entry has given other first-tier vendors the jump, but helping to play catch-up, Dell can be expected to use its leverage as a leader in the OEM market to undercut the competition. DigiTimes claims the Dell E series low-cost laptop will cost just $299, which checks in $100 cheaper than Acer's Aspire One. The anonymous sources also estimate Dell can penetrate the market with 2-3 million units this year.
Intel's long anticipated Centrino 2 platform (previously codenamed Montevina) makes its official debut this week, and a number of top-tier vendors will begin selling configurations to Centrino 2 specifications. Montevina chips are manufactured using high-k metal gate technology on a 45nm die, and Intel promises faster performance, improved mobility features, and support for high-definition graphics on the Centrino 2 platform.
Centrino 2 chips include Intel's second generation Core 2 Duo processors (Penryn) with speeds expected to range from 2.26GHz to 3.06GHz on a 1066MHz frontside bus. Sipping just 29W, the low power draw should result in both a cooler running chip and longer battery life.
The new platform moves away from the GM965 chipset and now uses Intel's Mobile 45 Express chipset. Other goodies include integrated GMA X4500 graphics, Intel's 5000 series wireless chip with support for WiFi and WiMax, flash memory caching (Intel Turbo Memory), and support for DDR3 memory, the first mobile platform ever to do so.
The release of Centrino 2 might also spark tantalizing price cuts as vendors look to clear out old inventory. Know of any good deals? Post them below!
Marking the first significant update to the SPARC line since 2007, Sun Microsystems and Fujitsu are updating their jointly developed line of servers with the SPARC64 VII. Sun and Fujitsu look to position the new processor to compete against IBM's Power processor and Intel's Itanium chip. To help them do that, SPARC64 VII will boast four cores clocked at 2.4GHz or 2.5GHz, with each core sporting two instructional threads for a total of eight per chip, and 6MB of L2 cache. SPARC64 VII will also see a die shrink from 90nm to 65nm.
With an estimated $4 billion to go around in the high-end Unix business, Sun has struggled against IBM and HP, and has had to cut employees in an attempt to offset some of the losses. Even so, Sun and Fujitsu will revamp several of their systems to support the quad-core SPARC VII, including two midrange, rack-mount systems -- the M4000 and the M5000 -- both of which support up to four and eight dual- or quad-core processors respectively. Starting price of the M4000 with a quad-core SPARC VII will check in at just under $35,000.
There are numerous companies that are currently working on technologies they hope would revolutionize the computer navigation landscape. Amongst the audacious researchers pioneering the touchless revolution is John Underkoffler, who owns a gesture tech start-up called Oblong Industries that recently raised $8.8 million in funding. Underkoffler has to his credit the honor of counseling the Minority Report crew regarding the depiction of futuristic technology in the movie.
Forbes reports that he is spearheading an utterly secretive project that deals with a touchless, gesture-based computer interface. All applications would be controlled merely by gestures.
But Oblong is not alone as alternative navigational interface industry leader Gesture Tek and gaming hardware manufacturers like OCZ Technologies, Neurosky, and Emotiv are also in the reckoning. Some of the researchers are really pushing the envelope with technologies that allow users to control applications and games using their gaze and even thought.