It might not be able to float, but Samsung can get away with claiming its new X360 laptop is lighter than "Air." MacBook Air, that is. At a scant 2.8 pounds, the X360 weighs a smidgen less than Apple's MacBook Air, while also touting a slightly larger screen at 13.3-inches (compared to 12.8-inches). With regards to body fat, the X360 measures 0.66-inches thick on the low end, and 1.2-inches on the fatter end.
Samsung's new ultraportable is based on a Centrino 2 ULV processor with 1GB RAM standard (upgradable to 4GB). For storage duties, buyers can choose between a 5400RPM 120GB hard drive, or a 64GB or 128GB SSD. Visuals are handled with the X4500 integrated graphics allowing the screen to run at 1280x800. Other features include:
7-in-1 card reader
Three USB ports
HDMI / VGA inputs
WiFi and Bluetooth
Integrated 1.3 megapixel webcam
Noticeably missing is an optical drive. Samsung says battery life will be in the vicinity of 6 to 10 hours. No word yet on price or availability.
Starting this week, Microsoft will update the way its Windows Genuine Advantage behaves. The first change will come in how WGA keeps itself updated, with MS saying "in this release we've also added the ability for future updates to WGA Notifications to have both the validation logic, as well as new forms of notifications, installed without additional steps."
But the biggest change comes to how WGA handles installations that fail to pass validation. Taking somewhat of a cue from Vista, users sporting a copy of Windows flagged as non-genuine will be greeted to a plain black background. Users will still be given the ability to change the background to whatever it was before, but every 60 minutes the desktop will go back to black until Windows passes validation.
In addition, Microsoft plans to add a "persistent desktop notification." Similar to a watermark, the non-interactive notification will appear permanently over the system tray as a reminder that the copy didn't pass validation. Users won't be able to click, move, or otherwise manipulate the notification, but it will be translucent over desktop items, and stay hidden under open windows.
Will this latest effort curb software piracy, or is WGA a bad idea to begin with?
Samsung is attempting to answer the question of how low can you go while doing the solid state limbo. The semiconductor company this week said it has begun sampling low-density, higher-performance solid state drives (SSDs) measuring just 30 percent the size of 2.5-inch SSDs. Samsung also says they're highly cost-efficient to manufacture, which should help the technology continue to penetrate the mainstream market.
"We've refined our manufacturing techniques and redesigned our low-density SSDs to get what the low-priced PC market is looking for in the way of improved cost, performance, and availability," said Jim Elliot, VP of memory marking.
Available in 8GB, 16GB, and 32GB flavors, the new multi-level cell SSDs will use the same SATA II controller found on Samsung's recently introduced MLC-based 128GB SSD. The company says the 32GB SSD will read data at 90MB/s and write at 70MB/s, while the 16GB will sport read and write times of 90MB/s and 45MB/s. Bringing up the rear, the 8GB model will also read at 90MB, but write at 25MB/s.
Mass production will start in September 2008. And mass consumption? That question remains to be answered.
Sometimes you have to roll the dice if you're to have a shot at a big payout, and that's exactly what NBC did when it scheduled no less than 2,200 hours of live streaming coverage to be available free of charge on its website. Without enough viewers tuning to turn those pageviews into advertising dollars, the decision could have turned into an epic fail for NBC. Instead, the broadcasting company was able to cash in on the virtual gold.
As of Saturday, NBC reported it had received a staggering 1.2 billion pageviews resulting in an equally impressive 72 million video stream views. Those numbers represent more than the totals for the 2004 and 2006 Games combined.
But NBC wasn't the only big winner in this years' Olympics. According to research firm Nielsen Online, search engine and news aggregation Yahoo was getting 4.7 million unique visitors a day at the Olympics' peak. AOL, ESPN, Sports Illustrated, the Beijing Organizing Committee, The New York Times, and USA Today also saw heavily increased traffic.
Google doesn't often trail the competition in the search engine market, but while others had already implemented a suggest feature to online searches originating from their respective home pages, the same thing was noticeably absent from Google.com. Having a suggest feature means related search queries to the ones you're typing in appear below the search bar. You may have noticed this when typing search queries in Firefox's search box or the Google Toolbar, but up until now, it hasn't been a part of Google.com. So why did it take so long to implement?
"Quality is very important to us, and since so many people visit the Google.com homepage, we wanted to make sure to evaluate and refine our algorithms to provide a good experience using Google Suggest," a Google spokesperson said.
If you're not seeing it just yet, not to worry, your interweb isn't broken - a full roll out is expected to be complete by the end of the week.
In connection with the transaction, approximately 530 members of AMD's dedicated DTV team, in addition to certain employees directly supporting this team, located in six primary design centers around the world, will be invited to join Broadcom. AMD's DTV product line includes all Xilleon integrated DTV processors and complete turnkey reference designs, as well as NXT receiver ICs, the Theater 300 DTV processor, and a line of panel processors that perform advanced motion compensation, frame rate conversion and scaling.
The acquisition of the former ATI DTV business looks like a win for both sides, according to analysts quoted by eWeek. Broadcom expands its already-impressive chipset portfolio (which is already way beyond the communication chips that inspired the company's name), while AMD is able to further concentrate on x86 processors and GPUs. Can Broadcom make it work, when AMD couldn't? According to EDN's Suzanne Deffree, "Broadcom is stellar at integrating in acquired companies. Its M&A skills are a big part of what have built the company into the top industry player it is today."
So, how do you feel about Broadcom's picking up the old ATI DTV biz? For your feedback opportunity, join us after the jump.
Last night, before tossing and turning for a good three hours, I finally finished George R.R. Martin's "A Game of Thrones." I'd been nibbling my way through the book -- a 900-page tome -- since late May, so I was understandably thrilled to see its final page, as well as its wildly out-of-place ad for the "A Game of Thrones" collectible card game. But AGoT's only the beginning of a planned seven-part series that began in 1996. Needless to say, AGoT's sequel has been on shelves, Amazon, and wherever else books are sold since before my age had taken on a second digit, and because AGoT ended on a huge cliffhanger, I nabbed the second book from my local Borders with all the subtlety a frothing nerd could muster, clasping it in my hands with a grip that bystanders described as "air-tight."
However, if I'd voraciously devoured AGoT back in '96, I'm fairly sure my satisfied smile would've flipped upside down. The final chapter felt like a build to the climax, but then -- as though it was a badly planned rollercoaster -- the story just ended, leaving readers dangling for roughly two years. (Yeah, the bad kind of rollercoaster.)
Obviously, literature isn't the only medium that backhands its users this way. Games, too, have a habit of rolling out large, red, inappropriately timed stop signs just when things are getting good. Even worse, development cycles now pack double the staff and take twice as long to complete compared to only a few years ago. Looks like the wait between sequels will only grow more arduous before it tapers off.
So, what's the least satisfying game ending you've ever come across? How did you react? Did you pen an angry email? Boycott the sequel?
This installment of the Roundup features the successor to a top-notch game with an abysmal ending, a peek behind the scenes of a controversial game that's attempting to tell a titanic, cliffhanger-laden tale, and so much more. See the stunning conclusion after the break.
Point-n-shoot digital cameras have had the ability to shoot video for quite some time, but the same feature has been noticeably absent among digital SLR (DSLR) cameras. Adding insult to injury, even low end DSLRs typically cost more than high end digital cameras, yet if owners of the latter want to take videos, it meant spending even more money on a camcorder.
Nikon looks to change that trend with the release of its latest digital single-lens reflex camera, the D90, which is the company is billing as the first SLR with video capability. Nikon made it possible to record video by using a faster frame rate and a different way of processing the images.
"The big plus is that you can now shoot video with a great lens," says Steve Heiner, Nikon's senior technical manager.
The D90 will be capable of recording both high definition and standard video clips, but the new functionality won't come cheap. Expect to pay around $1,300 for the D90 with lens when it becomes available in stores next month.
While high end gaming cards like ATI's 4870 and Nvidia's GTX 280 hog all the spotlight, not everyone can afford (or needs) a top of the line card. Picking up the slack at the other end of the spectrum, Nvidia this week silently launched its entry-level 9400 GT graphics card.
The 9400 GT comes with 16 processor cores clocked at 1400MHz, a 550MHz graphics clock, and 512MB of memory chugging along at 400MHz. And thanks in part to the 128-bit bus, Nvidia claims the 9400 GT will run twice as fast as the comparable 8-series graphics card.
Nvidia has set the MSRP to $59, which buys support for DirectX 10, OpenGL 2.1, CUDA general-purpose parallel computing, and hardware HD video acceleration. A cursory glance around the web shows the 9400 GT as being a respectable overclocker, but even after pushing the clocks, it looks to be best suited for HTPC and light gaming duties.
Come September 9, 2008, Microsoft says it will be time to "Say Goobye to Laser." The ad on Microsoft's Hardware website hints that this un-named successor will work better on a variety of surfaces, but the company is saying little about it and showing even less.
That's okay, because it looks like one attentive surfer may have uncovered what Microsoft has in store after stumbling upon the MS Explorer Mini Mouse with "Blue Track" technology. The discovery was made over on Amazon.de, but has since been taken down after Engadget snagged a couple of pics and posted a link to the product. The site says Blue Track is to be based on a blue LED combined with a wide-angle lens, giving the new mouse the ability to work on more surfaces than both laser and optical. With Microsoft remaining tight-lipped, we'll have to wait and see, but the good news is September 8th is less than two weeks away.