Think about all the ways we converse and communicate online now. RSS/Atom feeds, Twitter, blogging, web discussion forums, social networks, email and others. It gets to be a jumbled mess in just a short time.
Now the folks that brought you Firefox are trying a new experiment in managing all this information in the form of Snowl.
Make the jump to find out what key ideas are going into Snowl's development.
Microsoft’s much delayed SQL Server 2008 is available now. Despite the delay in SQL Server’s launch, MS is patting its back for having released the new version of its popular database product within two to three years of the SQL Server 2005 launch. Apart from the free version, there are a variety of paid ones for both PCs and Windows Mobile devices.
SQL Server 2008 is expected to further strengthen Microsoft’s promising database business. In fact, it made immediate impact on Microsoft’s VP Ted Kummert, who has dyed his hair orange due to the product’s release. Kummert had vowed to dye his air orange if the developers were able to meet the latest launch deadline.
Just in time for the start of the Olympics, Neowin.net reports that Microsoft's Live Search has added many new features to help you keep track of what's happening in Beijing:
Live Search News now includes a direct link to Beijing 2008 Olympics news.
The new xRank Live Search page features an Olympics category where you can track the popularity and news coverage of individual athletes.
Select Video from the Live Search home page and enter Olympics (or follow this link) to search for Olympics-related videos.
Enter an Olympic athlete's name in Live Search, and Live Search will display Olympics-related information first, a feature Microsoft calls Athlete Instant Answer.
Microsoft has also tweaked how searches for Olympics-related keywords work. Search for events such as "swimming" or "USA basketball" and you'll see the latest medal count for the event or the country once the events begin, a feature know as Medal Instant Answer.
And, to round off the Olympic-friendly repackaging of Live Search for Beijing 2008, Microsoft plans to display various Olympics-related images as backgrounds on the Live Search home page http://www.live.com/.
Note that some of these features might not take effect until Olympics competition begins.
The changes to Live Search are convenient if you're a fan of the Olympics, but how do you feel about a search engine's tweaking its results according to current events? Do you like the idea, or does it smack of a bit of "Big Brother?" We'll take your feedback after the jump.
Be warned, a cabal of Russian cyber criminals is on the loose and actively pillaging vast expanses of the internet. The gang slyly assumes the administrative responsibilities of large corporate and government networks and then quickly plants malicious tools on thousands of computers in that network. Security analysts reckon this to be the most well coordinated, systematic use of administrative tools for malicious purposes.
The group’s activities came to light when Joe Stewarts of Atlanta-based computer security firm SecureWorks found that a central program belonging to the Russian bandits was running at a Wisconsin-based Internet hosting facility. He estimated that 100,000 computers had been compromised. He promptly notified a federal law enforcement agency that proceeded to boot of the central program. But the gang, unfazed, quickly relocated the tool to a network in Ukraine.
The surface of the earth was once thought to be flat, and just as it was eventually proven to be round, will technophiles make the same discovery when it comes to surface computing? It's far too early to tell what the future of surface computing has in store, but don't be surprised if years from now your PC looks more like a globe than a flat screen.
Giving a glimpse of such a future, Microsoft showed off its spherical Surface computer during the company's annual Research Faculty Summit in Redmond. Attendees got a chance to play with the prototype that relies on an infrared system to detect hands, fingers, and objects.
"It's really an exploration of ideas," explained Hrvoje Benko, the Microsoft researcher spearheading the project.
Getting touch technology to work on a curved surface was no easy task, but Microsoft researches came up with advanced algorithms to translate images originally intended for a flat PC screen and display them correctly on the rounded globe. So far applications for the Sphere include a picture and video browser, interactive globe visualization, finger painting, and an omni-directional video conferencing application with 360 degrees of panoramic video.
Catch the YouTube video here, which also includes a version of a Pong like you've never seen before.
As Intel gears up to sample Larrabee later this year, the chip maker continues to build hype over the architecture's x86 roots. Intel is quick to point out that developers will be able to program in C or C++ languages just as they're used to doing on x86 processors, giving them an easy way to port applications from other platforms over to Larrabee.
Meanwhile, Nvidia also wants to build hype, but over its competing CUDA architecture. DailyTech has posted Nvidia's comments on the issue, which read:
CUDA is a C-language compiler that is based on the PathScale C compiler. This open source compiler was originally developed for the x86 architecture. The NVIDIA computing architecture was specifically designed to support the C language - like any other processor architecture. Competitive comments that the GPU is only partially programmable are incorrect - all the processors in the NVIDIA GPU are programmable in the C language.
NVIDIA's approach to parallel computing has already proven to scale from 8 to 240 GPU cores. Also, NVIDIA is just about to release a multi-core CPU version of the CUDA compiler. This allows the developer to write an application once and run across multiple platforms. Larrabee's development environment is proprietary to Intel and, at least disclosed in marketing materials to date, is different than a multi-core CPU software environment.
Andrew Humber from Nvidia also went on to clarify that CUDA is a brand name for the C-compiler rather than being two different things.
Anyone else feel chilly when Nvidia and Intel are in the same room?
Gamers have enough trouble trying to come up with a game plan to beat pesky end bosses and single-handedly defeat armies of mutant soldiers. Saving often gives gamers an endless advantage and cheat codes can help in a pinch, but neither of these tactics will do any good against an increasing amount of real-life threats the online gaming scene.
More than just an annoyance, time spend in virtual worlds like Second Life can translate into real currency and it's attracted the attention of organized criminal gangs. According to security software vendor ESET (best known for its NOD32 Antivirus products), "high volumes of malware intended to steal passwords for online gaming and virtual worlds" have been detected since 2007, resulting in a "dramatic upsurge."
The alarming news comes courtesy of ESET's mid-yearly Global Threat Report, which focuses on broad trends in malware over the past six months. In addition to an upsurge in attacks against gamers, ESET notes that malicious software that tries to use the Windows Autorun facility to self-install from removable media continues to flourish.
On the opposite end of the spectrum, the company reports email bound malware is in "dramatic decline," at least when it comes to dirty attachments. Malicious URLs passed through email messages have taken the place of attachments.
Further reading to keep yourself (and your virtual self) protected:
Any gamer would love to own an HD 4870 X2 or GTX 280, but lost in the shuffle of gaming-centric videocards is the hardware aimed at the professional graphics designer. This includes Computer Aided Design (CAD), Digital Content Creation (DCC), and other tasks that have nothing to do with fragging aliens in Crysis or honing team-based tactics in Team Fortress 2. It's this latter group that AMD is aiming its new ATI FirePro series at.
The company claims its new ATI FirePro V5700 and V3700 videocards will boost application performance up to 200 percent over previous generation workstation cards, representing a significant upgrade.
Find out what these cards are packing underneath the hood after the jump.
Power users who have dreamed of outfitting their portable backup solution in a RAID 0 array can now do so thanks to Addonics' new Portable Dual Drive RAID enclosure (AE25RDESU). Nervous Nellies are covered too, with RAID 1 providing a backup for your backup. The handheld device accepts up to two 2.5-inch SATA drives inside its "heat resistant aluminum" chassis, or pick up the optional SATA-CF hard disk adapter and install up to four CompactFlash cards. Other notable features include:
Easy installation and removal of hard drive
USB 2.0/1.1 and eSATA support
RAID configuration with DIP switch or GUI configuration
Supports RAID 0, RAID 1, JBOD, BIG (Concatenation), SAFE50, SAFE33, or GUI mod using built-in hardware RAID
Can be powered by USB port
For backup duties Addonics throws in DriveClone software and the device itself includes a backup button the company claims "can be configured to provide the convenience of one button backup of any critical files or folders."
Pricing has been set to $100 and can be purchased now.
Those Microsoft’s internal studios and development partners that license Havok Physics will also get Havok Animation. If this agreement provides easy access to Havok’s innovative products to Microsoft’s game developers, it also guarantees a loyal consumer base to Havok, which will allow it to push its new and lesser known products – other than Physics - far more easily.