The Internet’s 43 years old this year—that’s the same age as The RZA and Patton Oswalt—putting 1969 in the running for Best Year Ever. But for all we know about the Wu-Tang Clan and KFC Famous Bowls, the mass majority of users surfing the interwebz know next to nothing about its history. To get you up to speed we’ve put together a pictorial timeline of 20 of the most significant events in the history of the Internet, from its inception right up to the meme, kitteh and rickrolling phenomenon it is today.
It’s been about 10 years since multicore processors burst on the scene, and we’re now seeing several innovative variations. At first, chip designers simply replicated CPU cores, filling their silicon with copies of the same brain. Now they are exploring alternatives—and these variations will change the way we benchmark performance and compare processors.
We test three "do-everything" packages for media creation and management to find the one that strikes the perfect balance of features, performance, and ease-of-use
When friends or family members you haven’t seen in years suddenly show up at your front door, the proper thing to do is invite them in, find out whom they’re married to these days, and then reminisce about old times over a tall glass of Guinness. What you don’t do is drag out a two-ton box full of photo albums and Super-8 tapes and bore your company to tears, like you might have done before the digital era drop-kicked that kind of coma-inducing behavior into obsolescence. That might still work for your computer-illiterate parents, but this is a different time, and you’re much more likely to have your memories and adventures preserved as digital bits scattered all over your hard drive. In the back of your mind, you keep meaning to organize your digital photos, home movies, and even your epic music collection, and wouldn’t it be rad to mash them together? After all, a home-brewed DVD with a custom soundtrack and visual effects would dazzle your friends and relatives in ways a simple photo album and unorganized video can’t.
This is where fully fledged media suites come into play. They not only help you organize and spice up your digital collection, they’re also capable of converting music and videos into formats better suited for portable devices, like your handheld game player, smartphone, or tablet. Today’s media suites are all about managing and manipulating your content so you can view it whenever, wherever, and however you want, and not simply burning to disc like you did in the 1990s.
To help you choose the right one, we rounded up three of the biggest, most popular media suites around: CyberLink Media Suite 9 Ultra, Nero 11 Platinum, and Roxio Creator 2012 Pro. Each one brings a barrelful of tricks to the digital party, so we narrowed our focus to the tasks you’re most likely to use over and over again. Specifically, we’re testing for Blu-ray/DVD/3D playback, DVD/Blu-ray burning, basic video and photo editing chores, and transcoding. Is there a suite that stands head and shoulders above the others? Let’s find out!
CES reminds the best of us of our frailty. Eyes, nose, lips, and hands dried out by the desert air; feet and knees signaling that they weren't designed to traverse miles of flat concrete per day, we nonetheless carried on motivated by our obsession with computer tech. Our physical sufferings were rewarded with gifts of new and cool laptops, enclosures, motherboards, mobile devices, connected home hubs, and even a robot or two.
Soon, we'll haul our carcasses to the airport and attempt to revive. But for now, check out more new gear from CES 2012!
There are certain perks to working as a tech journalist: coffee is free and plentiful, trade shows are equal parts fun and frantic, and most of all, we get the chance to play with lots and lots of new toys. I’ve personally had the luck to be able to swap handsets pretty much bi-weekly for the last couple of months, and find it kind of a bummer that Windows Phone 7 hasn’t really been embraced as the solid mobile platform that it is (I said it’s a bummer, I didn’t say we didn’t see it coming).
Regardless of the numbers, WP7 is one of our favorite mobile platforms, outshining Android in almost every aspect. Don’t believe me? Well, allow me to try and change your mind.
My favorite games of the year were Bastion, Skyrim, and the Witcher 2. Wow, that was easy. And hey, I already wrote extensively about allofthem. Convenient! So instead, I'm gonna discuss some of 2011's lesser-known greats. Previously, I turned into a quivering pile of mush on BioShock 2: Minerva's Den and The Binding of Isaac. And now, a game that may very well top both of them: masterful indie heart-breaker To The Moon.
To The Moon made me cry. Like, eight times. And I don't mean in the “single dramatic tear meandering down my cheek” sense. I'm talking about gushing waterfalls of salty face liquid. You'd have thought everyone I'd ever known and loved acted like they never knew or loved me and then promptly died. Of a disease whose main side effect is tragic irony.
And that's weird, because I figured myself one who'd be impervious to the game's barrage of gut-wrenching sadness bullets. I mean, its two controllable (notice I didn't say “main”) characters often turn humor into a weapon of mass face-palm-worthy irritation, and – aside from largely unneeded end-of-area puzzles – there's hardly even any interactivity to speak of. You walk around and click on predetermined objects. That's it. I'm a gamer. Why should I care about any of that?
However, if nothing else, let To The Moon serve as a lesson on why reductionist thinking is Bad and Wrong. Because if I'd given the game the cold shoulder over those concerns – or even just written it off as another tear-jerking, smile-seeking indie missile – I'd have missed out on one of the most genuinely heartfelt stories I've ever experienced. Videogame or not.
CES, that craziest of trade shows, is underway again and two of our intrepid editors are exploring the show floor and getting a first look at some of this years biggest tech products. We'll have a more detailed writeup about CES 2012 tomorrow, but for now take a look at some of the most interesting things we've spotted so far.
Read on for images of 36 killer new products from CES 2012!
Depending on your state of awareness and the depth of your internet search habits, you may have noticed that not everyone posting content to the internet can speak or write in English. Shocking, right? You could disregard the foreign characters and move on to the next page returned to you by your search results, but there’s a very good possibility that the piece of information you’ve been looking for is hidden amidst all those crazy looking words. Instead of risking the loss of an important piece of data, Chrome users can turn to Google Translate, our Browser Extension of the Week.
Last year, the editors of MaximumPC magazine tossed a challenge my way. “David, design your own dream machine.” So I wrote a column, specifying what kind of hardware I felt should be inside the box. The result was the Star Trek themed PC, designed by Mike Okuda and built by Bill Owen and the other fine folks at MNPCTECH.
But despite the lustworthy appeal of this machine, there’s another more important point to make. As much fun as it is to build an impressive dream machine and show it off at Comic-Con, the ultimate goal of any computer has to be functionality, because MaximumPC isn’t just about maximum specs or even maximum performance. It’s about maximum usability.
We're suckers for games around these parts, and smart phone games are no exception. Many of the compelling games for Windows Phone are Xbox Live titles, but certainly not all of them. One game which is a perfect example of what independent developers are capable of is ARMED.