If there's one company that understands how to hype up a product, it's Art Lebedev Studios, the company responsible for the Optimus Maximus. Oft delayed to the point of being considered vaporware, the OLED keyboard finally saw the light of day after laying not so low for nearly 3 years, and now you can pick one up for just shy of $2,000.
This time around it's the Optimus Aux that's being pimped to the press with new product shots emerging. Formerly known as the Pultius, the renamed Aux is a numeric keypad designed with the same OLED DNA as the Maximus. According to the company's blog, the key rows have been moved closer together in this newest revision (fifteen keys in all), and it now looks to ship with two downstream USB ports instead of one. There's also an upstream USB port, a Kensigton lock hole, and a power socket.
No word on price or availability, but if the past is any indication, expect it to be expensive and delayed.
Screenshots have been appearing all over the net of Windows 7 M3 Build 6780, and one criticism seems to float to the top every time. Users are disappointed that the UI looks exactly like Vista. This reaction although true, should be taken with a grain of salt. Microsoft has a very storied history of leaving user interface tweaks to the very end for a good reason. Popular GUI elements are always in a state of flux among fickle users. Core improvements to the kernel on the other hand, are something that can be worked on at any time while leaving the final layer of Chrome to the very end. A full layout of screen shots of M3 (milestone 3) were posted at thinknext.net and is likely going to be similar to the version Microsoft will show at its upcoming PDC in October. One trend that we can identify now however is the inclusion of the ribbon interface from Office 2007 into core applications like Paint and WordPad. Other than this, things don’t look a whole lot different. Love it or hate it, the ribbon UI seems to be the future of Microsoft applications and is likely to become a trademark of the OS. The latest builds of Windows 7 include Internet Explorer 8 and presumably, given the lengthy turnaround on IE releases, will be the final version included in Windows 7. Currently the OS seems to remain on track for its scheduled launch somewhere between mid 2009 and early 2010. This timetable seems reasonable given that ZDNet’s Mary Jo Foley expressed belief that Windows 7 will enter beta 1 by December of this year. Want to see the evolution of the paint UI from Windows 98 to Windows 7 so far? Hit the jump to see the side by side comparisons.
Google is home to many of the world’s smartest and most creative engineers and its newest plan once again proves they aren’t afraid to pioneer. To sum up Google’s idea in a few words, they plan to take the collective knowledge of mankind and send it out to sea, literally. The search giant is home to countless computer systems which crunch the millions of search terms thrown at it each minute and finding ways to keep costs down is always a challenge. Google hopes that by housing these computers on massive ships out in the ocean it will allow them to use sea water to both cool and power the electronics. Google’s commitment to the environment is commendable and even though data centers currently only represent a small portion of our total power consumption, the Mckinsey consulting firm predicts that by 2020 the carbon footprint of server farms will overtake the entire airline industry. In addition to energy savings, Google also stands to benefit from the tax exempt status that comes from operating in international waters. The high cost of operating data centers has pushed other companies to look for creative ways to save money as well. In fact, both Microsoft and Sun Microsystems are rumored to be looking at similarly bizarre options, though none have yet been confirmed.
Let me just say this; if Google plans to take the cloud and cast it out to sea, I hope my Google Doc’s can survive a hurricane.
The marketing drum at Microsoft beats on and new advertisements have finally surfaced for your viewing pleasure. The new direction in the campaign features a noticeable lack of Seinfeld and churros, but it finally takes on the damaging Mac vs PC ads which Apple first debuted several years ago. For many PC enthusiasts this is the real kick start of the Vista ad campaign, and in many ways is long overdue. For years Apple has stereotyped Windows user’s as pie chart obsessed corporate stooges who resist the very notion that computing can be fun. The Microsoft ads hope to demonstrate the diversity of the over one billion users across the world who use Windows everyday and are proud proponents of the platform. The campaign also features a new face to represent the PC, which ironically turns out to be an internal Microsoft employee named Sean Siler. Sean claims he was one of many who auditioned for the role of the PC and his duties at Microsoft otherwise involve work on IPv6. His email address (provided at the bottom of the ad) sends back an automated out of office response directed toward curious observers. Try it yourself by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org or hit the jump to read the transcript and see the ads for yourself.
The chipmaker claims that Fusion for Gaming can enhance a computer’s performance by up to 10%. Although it might actually prove to be handy, the chances of it being worth as much as AMD’s rhetoric suggests are slim to none. The beta is only meant for Windows Vista 32 and can be downloaded here.
Both her campaign manager and the FBI confirmed the news of her account being hacked, which began circulating after the appearance of the leaked screenshots on WikiLeaks. You will not be able to have a look at the screenshots yourself, in case your peeping faculties have been roused by the news, as they have been taken down.
The hackers are said to have only counted on their social engineering skills – by collecting or guessing personal information required for password recovery – and Yahoo’s flimsy, lax password-recovery process for breaking into her account. All said, the hack has exposed Palin’s inexpedient habit of conducting state business using a personal e-mail account.
After fighting the ill-advised fight for nearly two weeks, the powers that be at EA finally decided to take a walk on the sane side. In a statement released today, EA promised to add a touch of intelligent design to Spore's ridiculously restrictive DRM by doing the following:
Expand the number of eligible machines from three to five.
Continue to offer channels to request additional activations where warranted.
Expedite our development of a system that will allow consumers to de-authorize machines and move authorizations to new machines. When this system goes online, it will effectively give players direct control to manage their authorizations between an unlimited number of machines.
Additionally, the Spore Online Account system will soon receive an overhaul -- allowing up to five unique identities per account.
The question, however, is whether any of this actually matters. Spore is still wrapped in the slimy tendrils of DRM, and just because EA decided to lop off a few doesn't mean the publisher has mopped up all of the bad blood it's managed to accrue. But what's your take?
More price cuts are on the horizon from Intel, with some processors soon to reach their end of life (EOL), say motherboard makers. As DigiTimes reports it, Intel will announce product discontinuance notices (PDNs) for the Core 2 Extreme QX9770 and QX9650 in the first quarter of 2009. PDNs will also be sent out for four quad-core chips, one of which is the Q9450 and ten dual-core CPUs, including the E8300.
Specific numbers haven't been released, but come October 19, Intel is expected to cut the price of the Core 2 Quad Q8200 and Q6600, Core 2 Duo 7300, and Pentium E2220 and E2220 CPUs. Around the same time the chip maker will launch its Core 2 Duo E7400.
In November, look for Intel to release a Core 2 Quad Q8300 clocked at 2.5GHz, Pentium E5300 clocked at 2.6GHz, and a dual-core Celeron E1500 at 2.2GHz. Prices in thousand-unit quantities will sit at $224, $86, and $53 respectively.
And finally, on January 18, 2009, Intel plans to launch the Core 2 Duo E7500 (2.93GHz, $133) and will make the following price cuts:
Core 2 Quad Q8200 from $193 to $183
Core 2 Duo E7400 from $133 to $113
Pentium E5200 from $84 to $76
Pentium E2200 from $84 to $64
Celeron E1400 from $54 to $43
Keep in mind that none of this is official, with Intel declining to comment on the price cuts and product launches.
Windows Live has come a long way since it was first introduced as a Microsoft brand in 2006. The first wave bolted Hotmail, Messenger, and Spaces into a single download. In last year's second wave, tools like SkyDrive, Events, Photo Gallery, LiveWriter, Calendar, and Family Safety joined the family, along with support for mobile devices. This week, Microsoft rolled out its third wave, adding a new member to the Windows Live family (Movie Maker) and new features to several existing programs (Messenger, Photo Gallery, Writer, Toolbar, and more). We've already told you about the new features in Hotmail, so join us after the jump to find out what's new and improved.
Lenovo's X200 tablet appears to bring the whole package. The sex appeal becomes evident at first glance, and it's hard not to want to run your fingers down all 12.1 inches of its touchscreen (damn you, Freud!). But not all the beauty is on the outside, and the X200 sports some pretty respectable specs.
At just 3.5 pounds, the customizable tablet accepts Core 2 Duo processors up to 1.86GHz with up to 4GB of RAM. Optional upgrades include a 128GB SSD, WiMax, integrated webcam, noise canceling mic, and thumbprint reader. Throw the tablet on the optional UltraBase port and the integrated Intel GMA4500 will output 1080P HD content through the DisplayPort.
Lenovo claims just over 4 hours with the standard 4-cell battery, or 10 hours with the 8-cell upgrade.