Just as we nerds have overhyped some technologies, we've also overlooked some even better alternatives. PC World has put on its thinking cap and posted its picks for the ten most overrated technology products and services - and alternatives that deserve a closer look.
So, How Would You Rate These Contenders?
Ultra-portable laptops versus mini-laptops
Microsoft Zune versus Apple iPod Touch
Windows XP versus Windows Vista
To discover which ones get the overrated razz, and which ones deserve some unexpected love, join us after the break.
Yahoo has single-handedly disproved Moore’s law, by finally updating their online calendar after 10 long, tech rich years. Tonight they will be rolling out a new drag-and-drop Ajax based calendar in a closed beta to Yahoo Mail users in the U.S., UK, India, Taiwan and Brazil (sign ups can be found here).
The upgraded calendar doesn’t do much that Google’s isn’t already capable of, but it does play nice with iCal and CalDAV and has a slew of new features, including; layering (viewing multiple calendars in different colors or subscribing to someone else’s calendar), zooming in when adding an appointment, integration with Flickr, setting email or SMS reminders, and a to-do list.
With this addition to their juggernaut of offerings, Yahoo should increase their market share in online calendars, despite already being the leader. Of their 285 million Yahoo Mail users, 8.1 million use the calendar compared to the 5 million that use Google’s.
Asus has recently admitted that some of their Eee Box desktop PC’s have shipped with a virus. While they’ve claimed that they’ve only sent boxes with viruses to Japan, it can be confirmed that other territories have received units as well.
As stated by an email sent out by Asus, the Eee Box’s 80GB hard drive has the “recycled.exe” virus files hidden in the drive’s D: partition. Once the drive is opened, the virus activates and infects the C: drive, as well as any removable drives connected to the system. Symantec states that the malware is likely to be a W32/Usbalex worm, which creates an “autorun.inf” file to trigger “recycled.exe” from D:.
With any luck, Asus will have this under control before they send out their next shipments. Until then though, be sure to look out for any of these new boxes shipping to a desk near you, they could be waiting to take all of your precious information.
We'd venture to guess that most Maximum PC readers use Firefox as their primary browser, but when it comes to alternative browsers (those not developed by Microsoft or Mozilla), Opera remains a popular choice due to its feature-set and speed. For fans of the Opera browser, the good gets even better with the latest release, version 9.6.
Among the changes, the new magazine-style RSS feeds are sure to be a hit. The new feature converts any RSS feed into a magazine-like page with the articles laid out in columns, making them more accessible for casual readers to view content before subscribing or bookmarking it.
Other changes include speed enhancements for faster page load times, optimized Opera Mail with a 'low bandwidth mode' to retrieve emails faster when bandwidth is limited, and expansions to Opera Link which now include custom search engines and typed history.
Grab the new download here, hit the jump, and let us know what you think.
The writing has been on the wall since back in 2007, and now it's official - Google's AdSense for Games is ready to be rolled out. The in-game ads will focus on browser-based Adobe Flash games, giving web-based game developers and publishers the ability to integrate video ads, image ads, or text ads in a variety of placements, including in between level changes.
Today's launch will see Adsense for Games introduced in about two dozen games from publishers Konami, Playfish, Zynga, Demand Media, Mochi Media, and more. To be eligible, Google requires publishers have a minimum of 500,000 game plays with 80 percent of traffic originating from the U.S. or U.K. The application also stipulates that the content must be family safe and targeted at users age 13 and up.
How receptive online gamers will be to the new ads remains to be seen, but an earlier report on the topic suggests there probably won't be any angry mobs à la Spore/Amazon. In a survey of 400 gamers, Macrovision found that 83 percent would have no problem watching a 30-second ad in exchange for free game play, although they probably weren't thinking about Flash based games.
Thoughts on Adsense for Games? Hit the jump and let us know!
Panda Security has released its quarterly report for the third quarter and in it the security vendor notes a sharp rise in the amount of adware. According to Panda, adware accounted for 22.03 percent of adware in Q2, but that number has jumped to 37.49 percent in Q3, which is more than a third of all infections. Panda attributes the trend to the amount of fake antivirus programs in the wild.
The report also puts social networking in the spotlight, the popularity of which has made them particularly prone to cyber attacks. Of the social networking sites, Panda notes that MySpace has been both the first victim and most frequently targeted by hackers.
"Attacks on social networks are not new phenomenon; the first recorded incident occurred in 2005," the report says. "However, attacks have increased ad diversified just as the number of users has grown. These attacks aren't focused exclusively on distributing malware, but also involve phishing, identity theft, or propagation of spam."
EndWar, a voice-controlled RTS hoping to finally end the war against finger-straining controller-based console RTSes, may soon be expanding its supply lines into PC territory. Even better, the news comes from a source PC gamers can't help but respect: former Total War dev Michael de Plater.
“Yeah,” he said, when asked if a PC version of EndWar is in the cards. “There’s no reason not to.”
"Console RTS. Crap. Next." Right? Wrong. de Plater, currently creative director on EndWar, continued:
“The stuff I worked on previously was Total War, which are PC games. In many ways, gameplay-wise, it’s a modern warfare, Tom Clancy version of Total War.”
We're not completely sold, but de Plater's words certainly put a damper on our parade of cynicism. Besides, we can't wait to talk a big game while simultaneously attempting to back it up -- and type up articles for your enjoyment, all at the same time. It'll be a nice excuse for our awfulabysmal unique RTS skills.
We don't get excited about much these days. When all we could muster over Deus Ex 3 deets was a guarded "Neat," it began to dawn on us that we might be suffering from chronic peace of mind, and that made us kind of upset, but not really. Fortunately, the kings of inapproPriate capitaLization have alerted various media outlets that they plan to trot out their highly anticipated collaborative effort on October 21. It's been all but confirmed that the LucasArts-BioWare tango has birthed a Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic MMO. And we're totally stoked.
The invitation, stamped with both LucasArts and BioWare's respective logos, boasts that "The wait is over," and gives members of the press a come-hither look with promises of "the official unveiling of the game that's been rumored about for years."
Gamasutra notes that the public may not see the game until a few days after the unveiling, thanks to embargos. Even so, we're marking down the minutes until BioWare and LucasArts yank the curtain off their latest (final?) group project. We'll make sure to give you a heads-up when it happens, assuming our keyboard doesn't malfunction while it's floating in a puddle of our drool.
At this month’s Professional Developer Conference Microsoft will be handing out the software development kit for their Surface tabletop computer. In an announcement made on the PDC’s site, Robert Levy sates that attendees will be able to “learn how you can become a part of the expanding partner ecosystem for Microsoft Surface and leverage your existing investments in WPF (Windows Presentation Foundation) and Visual Studio to build engaging end user applications. Attendees will receive access to the Microsoft Surface SDK.”
This announcement comes as a sigh of relief to developers, who have been promised the SDK for some time now. The only known companies with access to the SDK are AT&T and Starwood hotels, whose projects are unknown. Microsoft has also been stating that the multitouch interface will be part of Windows 7, but is yet to detail how.
Let’s just hope that Chris Taylor and his boys get started on their version of Supreme Commander for the Surface ASAP!
RealNetworks has temporarily suspended the sale of its RealDVD software in accordance with Judge Marilyn Hall Patel’s request. The DVD copying tool is the bone of contention between the Motion Pictures Association of America (MPAA) and RealNetworks. The two are currently locked in a legal battle.
The case will come up for hearing in the U.S. District Court in San Francisco on Tuesday. Judge Marilyn Hall Patel will be hearing the matter. Although most MPC readers are in favor of DVD copying, they have very little sympathy for RealDVD due to its encryption features and $30 price tag.