Sure, the thought of putting colorful RFID stamps all over your personal affects sounds like it could be cool at first, anyone with foresight can quickly come to the conclusion that it would get old. Fast.
Even still, Violet has released the Mir:ror, a small disc that you connect to your computer which then relays information on any RFID stamps (called Ztamp:s) to your computer, triggering something to happen. For example, Ztamp:s placed on the corner of a physical file could open all digital files associated with it with a single wave (see more examples in the video, here).
So, if for some reason your computer’s mouse is just too much for you to use, you can pick up the Mir:ror for just $59, and get additional Ztamp:s by the dozen for $20.
iBuyPower! Tiger Direct! With their powers combined, they are budget computing!
Well, in all seriousness, iBuyPower and Tiger Direct have teamed up to bring you the Gamer Power 906. The 906, which packs an Intel Core 2 Quad Q8300 Processor, 4GB DDR2 RAM, an Nvidia 9600GT 1GB graphics card, 500GB HDD and a 600-watt PSU will play games well, and sell for just $710.
You can pick one of your very own up at CompUSA or Tiger Direct, and it’ll even come with pretty neon lights. Honest!
Nvidia has been quite the busy body in the console market as of late. Earlier this week the graphics chip maker announced it had signed a tools and middleware license agreement with Sony to offer its PhysX technology software development kit (SDK) for use on the PlayStation 3 console, and then two days later, made a similar announcement regarding Nintendo's Wii console.
"Nintendo has reshaped the home entertainment and video game market with the success of the Wii console. Adding a PhysX SDK for Wii is key to our cross-platform strategy and integral to the business model for our licensed game developers and publishers,” said Tony Tamasi, senior vice president of content and technology at NVIDIA. “With NVIDIA PhysX technology, developers can easily author more realistic game environments for the evolving demands of a broad class of Wii gamers."
Three months ago, AMD had painted a gloom-and-doom future for Nvidia's PhysX technology, saying "There is no plan for closed and proprietary standards like PhysX. As we have emphasized, with our support for OpenCL and DX11, close and proprietary standards will die."
AMD wasn't just being a wet blanket, as they weren't the only ones to question to closed standards when it comes to in-game physics. This makes Nvidia's latest partnership with two major console makers a particularly interesting one, which could very well end up seeing more widespread PhysX support trickling over to the PC as a result.
According to news and rumor site DigiTimes, Intel doesn't have much in the way of upcoming Core i7 processor price cuts, but if you're looking to piece together a Core 2 machine, look for some pretty significant reductions in the near future.
Citing un-named motherboard makers, the site claims Intel will drop pricing on several quad-core processors on April 12. These include:
Core 2 Quad Q9300 - $266 down to $213 (19.92%)
Core 2 Quad Q9550S - $369 down to $320 (13.28%)
Core 2 Quad Q9400S - $320 down to $277 (13.44%)
Core 2 Quad Q8200S - $245 down to $213 (13.06%)
On May 31, DigiTimes says Intel will introduce a handful of new processors, among them the Core i7 975 (3.33GHz) for $999 and Core i7 950 (3.06GHz) for $562.
Hit the jump to see what other new processors Intel has in store for May, along with what other price cuts to expect this summer.
Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and while we described Acer's Predator PCs as looking "hot," we meant it figuratively, not literally. As it turns out, it didn't matter how me meant it, because according to Acer, who has issued a recall, the high-end gaming rigs are prone to overheating posing a potential burn hazard.
"Acer has received two reports of computers short circuiting, resulting in melted internal components and external casing. Neither incident occurred in the U.S. No injuries have been reported," Acer wrote in its recall notice.
Acer said the problem occurs when insulation on the affected machines' internal wiring becomes bent or stripped, causing the wires to overheat. The recall includes model numbers ASG7200 and ASG7700, which Acer says were sold by computer and electronic stores nationwide from May 2008 through December 2008.
If you have one of these models, Acer says you should stop using it immediately and contact them at 866-695-2237 or visit Acer's website.
Last fall, Google Labs introduced "Mail Goggles," a feature which, once enabled, tasks email composers with solving a few simple math problems before firing that off that email that could potentially fire you back, assuming you were about to send an angry letter to your boss from a drunken stupor. But you don't have to be drunk to regret sending an email, so Google Labs' latest feature lets you unsend a Gmail message you might later regret.
Called "Undo Send," you'll have five seconds to take a mulligan on that Gmail message, which gives you enough time to declare 'Oh s**t!' and still unsend that message you inadvertently set for "reply all," but leaves little time for fumbling the mouse in a panicked state.
"Adding a delay could be potentially frustrating," said Keith Coleman, Google product manager. "We may decide to add longer options."
Coleman indicated there's an option to increase the unsend time window to 10 seconds, though after installing this feature, we saw no option beyond 5 seconds.
You can find the "Undo Send" feature in the Labs tab under Settings.
If you're brand new to the DIY PC building scene, you may think Intel chipset-based motherboard owners have always been able to run multiple Nvidia videocards in SLI. You'd also be wrong. It was less than six months ago that Nvidia officially announced it was licensing its SLI technology to several top-tier motherboard makers for Intel's X58 chipset, in exchange for a fee. So we can't imagine anyone over at Nvidia doing cartwheels when end-users find a way to enable SLI on non-SLI certified boards with a relatively simple BIOS hack.
Citing an article in Taiwanese magazine PC Home Advance, TweakTown reports that not only is it possible, but it's been demonstrated on Gigabyte's EX58-UD4 motherboard. The magazine downloaded the latest F6 BIOS for a slightly different model, the EX58-UD4P, which comes with official SLI support, and slapped it on the less expensive non-SLI board.
Because the model numbers are different, the magazine noted the unsupported BIOS can't be installed using the built-in QFlash utility, and instead requires using the DOS-based SPIFLASH utility. Still a relatively easy hack considering no physical modifications to the board itself needs to be done.
It's unclear whether there were any undesirable side effects from using another board model's BIOS in place of the correct one. It's also unclear whether Nvidia will take measures to prevent this and future BIOS hacks from working with future driver releases.
Like a down-and-out, washed-up action movie star, Blizzard’s Battle.net service – once a pimp-my-wagon pioneer of online gaming service form and function – is beginning to look a little silly in a world where relative youngsters like Steam and Xbox Live give the Internet the buddy cop treatment. However, instead of stinking up a beloved franchise or wrestling California into submission, Battle.net’s hopping back into the ring with an all-new image.
Most notably, Battle.net’s new groove (or possibly, the proactive reclamation of its old groove) brings with it a single online identity, which will consolidate all of your Blizzard game accounts into one mega-handle. Currently, merging accounts is optional, but you’ll eventually be forced to Brady Bunch your accounts together and experience convenient organization and other such terrifying prospects.
"As we continue to build additional functionality into the new Battle.net, we will eventually require all active World of Warcraft accounts to migrate over to Battle.net Accounts in order to continue playing," read the official Battle.net site.
The new Battle.net also allows you to manage purchases in Blizzard’s online store, which leads us to wonder if the service might eventually try to compete with Steam. After all, World of Warcraft means Battle.net comes equipped with 11 million users right out of the box. The potential’s certainly there.
Mozilla’s beta for Fennec (also known as Firefox Mobile) went into its early beta stages just this week.
Currently Fennec supports only the Nokia N810 Internet Tablet (running OS2008), as well as Windows, Mac OS X (so long as you have an Intel processor) and Linux. Sadly, it doesn’t appear as if there are any versions for the iPhone and Blackberry users of the world just yet.
According to Fennec’s release notes, “The initial focus of Fennec development was on building a new user experience that reflects Firefox's design principles, adding touch screen support and other interactions appropriate for mobile phones and other handheld devices, while preserving leading features like the Smart URL Bar (‘awesome bar’) and support for add-ons.”
Have you had a chance to give it a try? Hit the jump and let us know what you think!
Earlier this month, Google blamed a bug for causing an "isolated incident" which resulted in some users of Google Docs having their word-processing and presentation documents inadvertently shared. According to Google, the mishap only affected 0.05 percent of documents stored at the site, but that's enough to have privacy advocates turning to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to shut down all of Google's online services until government-approved "safeguards are verifiably established."
"If we were talking about a child safety seat that could not be securely attached to a car passenger seat, the commission in that instance would say to the company, 'Look, you've got to fix that problem,'" Marc Rotenberg, a lawyer and adjunct law professor, said in a telephone interview with CNet on Tuesday. "Consumers are at risk when that product is in the marketplace. We have a similar view of cloud computing at this point: people are at risk."
Leading the charge is the Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC), who submitted a letter to the FTC asking that all Google cloud-computing services be halted, including Gmail. In addition to shutting everything down, EPIC also wants Google to pay $5 million into a "public fund" to benefit advocacy groups.
Is EPIC asking for too much? And equally important, can you manage without Gmail? Hit the jump and sound off.