He blamed digital distribution and rampant file-sharing for broadcast TV’s woes. He has a point as digital distribution hasn’t even fully taken off and the Youtubes and iTunes might just be the precursor of bigger things to come, and digitally distributed content will hold sway be it game consoles or TVs.
However, broadcast TV is not going anywhere in large parts of the world that still don’t have a high broadband penetration rate. We have all been told how a certain technology or gadget is headed for its grave only for it to survive; even the radio has managed to survived till now. Tell the whole world what you think about broadcast TV’s fate in the comments section.
ATI’s resurrection as a serious contender for the top spot in the GPU industry has much to do with vastly improved technology, cheap mid-level offerings and its ability to meet demand. On the other hand, Nvidia is faced with delays and defects that are beginning to have a bearing on its financial condition. The graphics chip manufacturer has announced that it expects the repair and replacement of certain defected products to cost it $150-200 million.
It has also been forced to lower its financial outlook for Q2, 2009 due to delays and unexpected price cuts. It now expects earnings for Q2 to be between $875 million and $950 million, which would be a steep decline from Q1 earnings of $1.15 billion. If we construe talk of “unexpected price cuts” to be Nvidia’s implicit admission that it didn’t really see the AMD/ATI onslaught coming, we know exactly what is wrong with the company. Complacency!
Ladies and gentlemen, please remember to fasten your Laptops every time you leave home for the airport. A fresh survey by the Ponemon Institute has corroborated a pretty obvious observation, that tons of laptops are lost in the twisty terminals of airports. In fact, the number of laptops lost at U.S airports annually is a truly stupefying 637,000 – about 12,000 laptops a week, according to the survey that encompassed 106 U.S airports.
But despite all the important information that might rest in displaced hard drives, 65% of the hapless travellers who misplace their notebooks don’t report the loss (out of shame, perhaps?). And apparently it is considered ignominious to loose a laptop in corporate circles, as only 1% of those polled admitted to having lost their laptop compared to the 84% people who claim to "know someone" who has. The survey was conducted at Dell’s behest to coincide with the launch of its new Laptop tracking and theft prevention service, Dell Mobility.
Those of you who have lost a laptop – or laptops – can commiserate in the comments section. And those of you haven’t lost one can discuss effective ways to maintain your impeccable track record.
Back in our April 2008 issue, we showed you how to configure and build a $1,500 no-compromises PC. Our budget badass wasn’t just an affordable “lean machine,” it performed admirably in our system benchmarks, earning respectable scores in comparison to our desktop testbed. Now that it’s several months later, and we wanted to give you an update to our component recommendations. Not only have hardware prices dropped since we wrote the story, but new technologies and products have also emerged that give you more for your money. In fact, our no-compromises $1,500 PC now only costs $1,320, that’s including upgraded parts. By Grabthar’s Hammer, what a savings!
Read on to find out how we configured our new Budget Badass.
It looks like stock prices aren't the only thing falling over at Nvidia. Competition continues to heat up in the latest round of GPU leapfrog, and reports flanking from across the web over the weekend were claiming Nvidia would issue price cuts to its add-in board partners (AIBs). The GTX 260 was to be the beneficiary of a $30 chop, while the high-end GTX 280 was to get slashed by $90. Even the 9800 GTX was to receive a $17 snip. Scouring Newegg's selection, it appears the reports were right on the money.
Thanks to Nvidia's annoying Manufacturer Advertised Pricing (MAP) policy, you'll need to do a bit of extra clicking to see the new pricing structure. But assuming your index finger is up to the task, you'll spot several GTX 280 cards selling for $499, and even lower after rebate. GTX 260 videocards have dropped down to $329, and a small handful of 9800 GTX cards have dipped below the $200 mark.
Following Hitachi's annoucement of plans to hit 5TB in a single hard drive by 2010, Pioneer follows suit by proclaiming a major advancement in the optical storage arena with an unprecedented 16-layer optical disc capable of storing 400GB. Presumably intended for distribution as Blu-ray media, Pioneer points out the new disc's 25GB per-layer capacity is the same as that of a Blu-ray disc (BD).
Cross-talk among multiple layers has been a stickling point in the optical industry, but Pioneer claims to have tackled the problem with a specialized disc structure designed to reduce interference from adjacent layers. And what about compatibility with existing Blu-ray players? Pioneer says that because the optical specifications of the lens are the same as those for existing BD discs, there shouldn't be any compatibility concerns between the new 16-layer discs and existing BD media.
Dampening the announcement, the 16-layer discs are read-only. That may change in time, but for the here and now, you'll still need to resort to standard discs or HDDs to store your epic music collection, downloaded videos, and other legally acquired data. Of course, finding someone who owns a Blu-ray drive capable of burning BD discs is more rare than spoting a MacBook victory at Maximum PC.
If Asus was feeling lonely in the subnotebook sector with its Eee PC, they needn't feel that way anymore. MSI, Acer, ECS, and Everex are just a handful of manufacturers to jump on to ultraportable bandwagon looking to cash in on the Netbook craze, and now Gigabyte joins an increasingly crowded list, but with a twist. Literally.
Like so many other ultraportables, Gigabyte's M912V features an Intel Atom processor, but unlike the competition, Gigabyte stuffs the chip into a Tablet PC. This gives users the ability to swivel the 8.9-inch touch screen display a full 180 degrees to lie flat on the keyboard. Other goodies include:
1GB DDR2 memory
160GB SATA hard drive
802.11b/g wireless, Bluetooth
3 x USB ports
Windows XP, Vista Home Basic, or Linux
If PCLaunche's prediction holds true, look for the M912V to debut later this month for $699, not much less than a standard low-end to mid-range notebook. Do ultraportables hold enough appeal to compete in same price sector as their more powerful (and physically bigger) brethren?
Here we go again! It's time for our second look at what's going into the Maximum PC Dream Machine 2008! If you're just joining us, here's the skinny: once a year, the Maximum PC staff descends to its underground lair. After a number of bizarre and dark technological rituals (we sacrifice an iMac), the team emerges with a gift blessed by the Gods of Technology themselves: the Dream Machine. It is, hands-down, the single-greatest computer you could ever hope to assemble based on the year's best (and sometimes unreleased) products!
This is an epic three-part series, and you're on step number two. If you want to start from the beginning, check out our unveiling of the rig's keyboard, mouse, display and hard drive(s). If you're ready for more Dream Machine action, we're taking a look at the system's CPU(s), motherboard, optical drive, and memory this time around.
Grab a cold beverage and prepare to feast your eyes on splendor by clicking that little "Read More" link.
While SSDs continue to come down in price and up in performance, hard disk drives keep ballooning in size. And just when we thought we were becoming spoiled with storage space, Hitachi hits us with a humdinger by announcing plans to release a 5TB hard drive by 2010. That's FIVE freaking terabytes in a single 3.5" drive, or half the storage capacity of the human brain, claims Dr. Yoshihiro Shiroishi from Hitachi. In more concrete terms, 5TB equates to about 5,000 hours of video, or more than a million songs. Throw two drives together and you could store a human brain's worth of porn!
Hitachi's pledge trumps an earlier prediction the company made back in October 2007 when it said 4TB of storage would be likely by 2011. Instead, Hitachi will employ Current-Perpendicular-to-Plant Giant Magnetoresistance (CPP-GMR) magnetic read heads to pack an additional terabyte than initially anticipated, and a year sooner than predicted. CPP-GMR will make it possible to achieve data densities of 1TB or more per square inch, paving the way for even larger hard drives.
Home theater buffs will undoubtedly herald Hitachi's announcement, but what about everyone else? Are we reaching the point of diminishing returns in terms of hard drive space? Post your thoughts in the comments section.
Recently in both the print and online versions of Maximum PC we looked at Nvidia’s CUDA API and what a GP-GPU future might look like. The one wild card in this equitation is the other big player in the graphics card market, ATI. Will ATI play nice by supporting CUDA and licensing PhysX? Or will it go its own way, a result which may end up killing both companies initiatives.