We still don't know what exactly Sony has up its sleeve, only that "On the 9th of January you will change the way you look at laptops. Forever." Or at least that's what the mysterious tagline read on Sony's pre-launch website before the company inexplicably took it down.
But while the countdown has been whisked away, Sony continues to tease one picture at a time. The latest shots to make it to the web show a full size keyboard like the one on the Vaio TZ, along with a track stick. Not much else is visible from the cryptic pics.
It looks like we'll have to wait for CES for the full skinny. In the meantime, we're left with speculation and leaked specs. According to preliminary reports, the notebook that will apparently knock everyone's socks off will be the smallest in Sony's lineup, likely a netbook running an Intel Atom processor. The presumed netbook will come with an 8-inch LED backlit screen with a 1600x768 resolution, and either a 60GB HDD or 128GB SDD, if reports hold true.
Although the official release of Beta 1 of Windows 7 isn't expected until early January, a leaked copy of what looks like Beta 1's been making the rounds on the Internet for a few days. ZDNet's Ed Bott (a one-time colleague of mine back in the days of Windows Me) has spent some "quality time" with the build, and reports some interesting tidbits from the EULA:
The revision ID at the end of the EULA is: Win7_B.1_PRO_NRL_en-US - so it sure sounds like Beta 1 is on the loose.
There's no limit on the number of installs you can perform, but they stop working on August 1.
Redmond says you can't use Beta 1 in a production environment.
You can install Beta 1 in a virtual machine instead of a normal installation, but only one VM per hardware device.
Potential privacy concerns (such as Customer Experience Improvement Program and automatic error reporting) are turned on by default, but you can turn them off if you prefer.
Beta 1 must be activated.
Releasing benchmark test results to third parties without Microsoft's prior written agreement is not permitted.
If you've already fired up Beta 1, what surprises have you discovered? Hit Comment after the jump and tell us about it.
Blu-ray might not be cheap, but LG is doing everything it can to make the high-definition technology more appealing to consumers still feeling burned over HD-DVD's seemingly untimely demise. LG's BD300 already integrates Netflix-streaming capability, and not only will that carry over to LG's upcoming Blu-ray players in the first half of 2009, but the company says it will also add CinemaNow and YouTube functionality to its new decks.
"As millions of U.S. consumers view and download movies or TV shows through the Internet, they are demanding easier ways to access content and more home entertainment options," said Tim Alessi, director of product development, LG Electronics USA. "From Blu-ray to instant streaming from Netflix to CinemaNow and YouTube, LG is bridging the gap between packaged media and video-on-demand services to provide entertainment solutions for consumers' demand for content."
Blu-ray sales haven't exactly been scorching since HD-DVD's kicked the bucket, with consumers seemingly content to make do with upconverting DVD players. But as broadband service continues to get faster, streaming media has started to emerge as a viable contender in the high definition movie market, leaving many to wonder if digital downloads can co-exist with Blu-ray. It appears so, if LG's upcoming lineup is any indication.
No pricing or availabilty information on the new players has yet been mentioned.
Forgive us if we're starting to sound like a broken record, but AMD continues to find itself struggling to stay afloat. The chip maker's list of financial woes just keeps piling on, and to date we've witnessed high level executives jumping ship, a new CEO take the reins, billions of dollars in quarterly losses, a Phenom(enal) flop (compared to pre-release hype), a major shift in business operations by splitting into separate design and manufacturing companies, and now another round of layoffs.
AMD has been cutting employees more frequently than some people cut their hair. Earlier this year, the Santa Clara chip maker reduced its workforce by 10 percent, and more recently, the company said it would be cutting another 500 jobs to reduce costs. Now AMD is saying it plans to issue another 100 pink slips, for a grand total of 600 job cuts in this quarter alone.
The additional layoffs means AMD will record $70 million in restructuring charges instead of the $50 million it had previously expected. More charges are expected in the first half of 2009, though AMD didn't say what they would amount to.
Here's hoping Phenom II kicks ass and finally reverses the company's fortunes. If not, one has to wonder just how long AMD can keep this up.
Have you ever sat down and itemized the time you spend on the web doing non-work related tasks? You know, things like forwarding jokes via email, updating your Facebook profile, catching up on forum threads, and everything else that's non-conducive to your job. According to a new study, you may be far more unproductive on any given work day than you might have imagined, and collectively, dilly-dallying on the web is costing the economy around $900 billion each year. Yowzers!
Preposterous? Not to Basex, a New York-based research company who has been focusing its efforts on analyzing what it calls "information overload." In its ongoing study, Basex says the average worker loses 28 percent of his time to interruptions, while information workers spend 15 percent of the day searching. All tallied, only 25 percent of the workday is spent on "productive content creation," or in other words, actual work. Technophiles aren't immune to wandering aimlessly on the web, either.
"We recognize that as younger workers come into the workforce, they are more handy with technologies, they're more comfortable using them," Basex CEO Joseph Spira says, "but that doesn't mean they use them any more intelligently."
Hey, that reminds us - stop whatever work you're doing and go sign up for Will Smith's Twitter feed for your chance at winning some cool swag.
Many TVs with the new Intel Media Processor CE 3100, a SoC specifically designed for consumer electronics, will be showcased during the upcoming CES 2009. Intel had unveiled its new SoCs triggered at consumer electronics during the Intel Developer Forum earlier this year.
Yahoo doesn’t want the technology to be restricted to high-end TVs alone. Yahoo’s Patrick Berry, VP of its Connected TV Initiative, told Cnet that he expects internet-enabled consumer electronics devices to become commonplace by 2010.
As previous attempts at providing a rich internet experience through TV sets failed due to unpalatable intricacy of those ill-fated technologies, the two companies have tried to make the Widgets Channel as simple as possible.
The reports of the vulnerability first surfaced after researcher Laurent Gaffie detailed the alleged threat and furnished the proof-of-concept code to make his case. Gaffie’s decision to go public with his findings without informing Microsoft hasn’t gone down well with the company.
After investigating the claims Microsoft acknowledged, in a blog post, that the proof-of-concept code does force WMP to crash but it can not be used for remote code execution.
For those of you using RivaTuner to overclock your Nvidia or ATI videocard, a new version has just been made available. RivaTuner v2.22 includes "a huge number of new stuff to keep you busy," as well as a fully redesigned interface.
The new version squashes a handful of bugs, including a bug in LM63.dll plugin, which caused empty graphs with no data to be displayed in hardware monitoring. Multifunction PCI devices are no longer detected as mutli-GPU devices, and version 2.22 also addresses the pipeline count detection code for Nvidia G98-based GPUs, according to the release notes.
On the feature side, RivaTuner 2.22 brings to the table improved customization features, including the ability for bundling partners to customize the product and system tray icons. Other goodies include simplified beginner oriented profile settings, a better help system, the addition of an on-screen display preview window, improved handling of user profiles, and more.
Read the full list of changes here, and then download RivaTuner 2.22 here.
Given that the economy is down in the dumps, it would be expected that online retailers are treating all of their customers with all the respect that they possibly can… right? Wrong. According to an annual report from Forsee Results more than one-third of the 40 online venues surveyed in a report on retail satisfaction finished with lower scores than they did at this very same time last year.
While many of the retailers’ scores remained the same, a meager one-quarter of them saw an improvement. At the top of the list is Washington’s own Amazon.com, with an 84 percent satisfaction rate, a two percent improvement over last year. All the way at the bottom is Neiman Marcus with a dismal 69 percent. Other notables are Newegg.com’s 78 percent, BestBuy.com’s 73 percent and Dell.com’s 73 percent.
While these percentiles might not give off the impression of poor performance, bear in mind the millions upon millions of people doing business with these companies online during the holiday season. Having a good 30 percent of the people that do business with you walk away unhappy is a very large number indeed.
As we reported earlier this year, Nvidia GeForce 8M series mobile GPUs have seen an abnormally high failure rate . VR-Zone and The Inquirer report that Nvidia has a solution for its OEM laptop partners: buy their new mobile GPUs instead.
The old GPU is known as the NB8E-SE, and is used, according to VR-Zone, in notebooks running the GeForce 8700M GT, 8800M GS, and GeForce 9650M GS. The new GPU, the NB8E-SET (aka the G84-751) uses Hitachi underfill packaging for more reliability.
If you're in the market for a new Nvidia-powered notebook computer, it's worth finding out from the laptop maker if they've switched to the new GPU already. However, what should you do if your new (or not-so-new) notebook has one of the old-design GPUs onboard?
To find out what your options are, join us after the jump.