Amazon this week announced some changes to its Personal Document Service, with the biggest one coming to its fee structure. Starting May 4th, no longer will it cost a dime for every document Kindle owners send to their eBook reader (via Whispernet, the Sprint-based EV-DO network that delivers books and user conent to the Kindle), where they're automatically converted for viewing. Instead, Amazon is switching to a consumption-based billing model and will charge 15 cents per megabyte, which will be rounded up to the next whole megabyte.
The other change is the addition of RTF and DOCX file formats. These will be added to the current supported file types, which includes DOC, HTML, JPEG, GIF, PNG, BMP, TXT, AZW, MOBI, and PRC. PDF documents are also somewhat supported, although Amazon warns that "Some complex PDF and DOCX files might not format correctly on your Kindle."
For those looking to avoid fees altogether, Amazon reiterated that users can still send their personal documents as an email attachment to "name"@free.kindle.com, where they will be converted and emailed back to the recipient free of charge.
(Disclaimer: Tomorrow, in this case, refers to any point after today. After all, Valve’s not so great with providing release dates, so – surprise, surprise – these items will be ready when they’re ready.)
After a recent patch saddled Team Fortress 2 with a mysterious 50-slot “backpack” – promising further instructions at a later date – players were left wondering what strange turns lied ahead for Valve’s cel-shaded shooter. Well, check your answers and make sure your name’s on the paper, because time’s up. In an interview with Shacknews, Valve’s Robin Walker divined Team Fortress 2’s future. The gist of it all: hats soon and RPG mechanics later.
Obviously, the backpack holds things, as are backpacks’ wont. (Though, in a game where sandwiches can be considered accomplices in murder, it’s always good to check.) Apparently, the deceptively deep storage device will play host to all sorts of items, beginning with your non-equipped head-slot items. For now, hats – scheduled for release before the Sniper update -- won’t do much more than give your opponents some stylish new targets, but Walker held out hope for more down the line.
“Right now they're all cosmetic only, but it's obviously more interesting if they become more than that, so we're still thinking about that. Shipping them without gameplay changes seems like a good way to tackle the first problem, which is to ensure we don't break our silhouette based class identification. It also starts us on another path that we're interested in, which is allowing players to have some control over their appearance.”
As for items with actual stat bonuses – as well as some fly threads for the remainder of your character’s bland, sensually unappealing form – Valve plans on taking things one step at a time depending on player feedback. If the wheel needs a +12 damage modifier, it’ll get one. Otherwise, why reinvent it?
Other important tidbits: Unlockables won’t be coupled with achievements anymore, more “Meet the” videos are still on the way, and deleted backpack items won’t be gone forever following the next patch.
Information overload, right? Well, process it and then come back. In the meantime, we’ll be redrawing this comic with TF2 characters and drinking in the sweet taste of possibility. Valve, please. We need this.
USB flash drives are meant to do a very simple job. Try telling that to manufacturers who apparently regard them as a canvas that should, from time to time, tolerate their whimsical artistic and technological cravings. Our beautiful planet has been blessed with USB flash drives of various ilks, be it the radical or the rank outrageous.
Google had to go down on its knees, reach out for its checkbook and write a $125 million check to settle its legal disputes with authors and publishers, who had been opposing its Google Book Search service. The settlement has yet to receive court approval and that will not happen until October 7, 2009 – the date for the final hearing. But Google can be rest assured that there is going to be no dearth of hurdles during the intervening period.
Tuesday, Microsoft clarified exactly what Windows 7 users will need if they want to run XP Mode (officially known as XP Virtual Machine). Although it appeared initially that XP Mode would include Windows XP SP3, Cnet's Ina Fried reports that users will need to supply their own licensed copies of Windows XP SP3 to go along with the free XP Mode download for Windows 7 Professional, Enterprise, or Ultimate editions.
As we reported Monday, XP Mode will indeed require hardware virtualization support in the processor, meaning that low-end processors as well as some older mid-range and high-end processors from Intel and AMD won't support XP Mode. Microsoft also states that computers will need at least 2GB of memory to run XP Mode. Thankfully, potential XP Mode users won't need to wait until after Windows 7 ships to see if XP Mode works for them: Fried states that Microsoft will roll out a beta of XP Mode at the same time as Windows 7 RC - May 5th for most of us.
To find out who will be happiest with XP Mode, and how to manage it, join us after the jump.
You’ve got a digital camera, you’ve got a cell phone, and along with these you’ve probably got a few SD cards laying around that you just don’t use anymore. It looks like someone at LaCie had the very same issue, and decided to turn them into an extremely easy to use flash drive.
The LaCie DataShare is compatible with all SD and MicroSD cards currently on the market (SD/SDHC/Class 1 to 6), and comes with two separate sides, that let you discern your private data from your public data.
If this looks like something you could make use out of, be sure to check it out on LaCie’s site here, where it’s currently on sale for $9.99.
If you thought that the television news networks were the only ones trying to get the best out of a panic, you thought wrong. Those ever-persistent cretins that inhabit the Internet are fast at work, scheming their way to a quick buck, all thanks to the Swine Flu.
It looks like most Swine Flu related scams that have been circulating by means of email that typically contain a link to a phishing website, or have an attachment with malicious code. One such email features an Adobe PDF named “Swine influenza frequently asked questions.pdf,” according to representatives with Symantec. This PDF contains Bloodhount.Exploit.6, which is known to place InfoStealer code onto the victim’s computer.
So, aside from watching your real back, make sure to watch your virtual one as well. The Swine Flu is no joke, and neither is your personal information.
So you’re a fan of multiplayer gaming, but you haven’t tried a LAN party yet. What’s holding you back? If it’s the (admittedly) huge hassle of packing up your entire computer, iBuypower has got you covered with their latest PC.
The LAN Warrior, which is a mega tower with a nylon strap attached, comes with your choice of an Intel Core i7 processor, a 1000W power supply, an Asus Rampage II Gene X58 motherboard, up to 24GB of RAM, and either dual Nvidia or ATI graphics cards.
The machine starts at only $1000, and is available now.
Uttering what every geek longs to hear (albeit admittedly not from an OEM), Dell says it's new multitouch Studio 19 all-in-one PC "Begs to be Touched." Those touches first came from Japan, where the Studio 19 debuted a month and a half ago, and is now being brought to the States for local groping.
Starting at $800, a base configuration includes an Intel Pentium Dual core E5200 processor (2.5GHz, 2MB L2 cache, 800MHz frontside bus), 3GB of DDR2-800 RAM, a 320GB 7200RPM hard drive, integrated Nvidia GeForce 9200 graphics, slot load DVD burner, and Windows Vista Home Premium 64-bit. Several configuration options are available, including upgrading the proc to a Core 2 Quad Q8200 (2.33GHz, 6MB L2 cache, 1333MHz frontside bus), 4GB of RAM, up to a 750GB hard drive, GeForce 9400 integrated graphics, and slot load Blu-ray player.
All but one of the configurations come with an 18.5-inch touchscreen LCD with a 16:9 aspect ratio and 1366x768 resolution. Only the $700 model doesn't include touchscreen functionality, as well as less RAM (2GB) and Vista Home Basic 32-bit.
The latest graphics rumor making the rounds for the past month was that Nvidia would be releasing a single-PCB version of its dual-GPU GeForce GTX 295 videocard, however it was unclear what other changes the design alteration would result in. At least until now.
According to news and rumor site Fudzilla, the slimmer, single-PCB GTX 295 looks to be more about cutting costs than adding performance. Following in ATI's footsteps, Nvidia will place both GPUs on a single circuit board, which should help the company save a bit on manufacturing.
However, only the memory is said to getting a small boost, with Nvidia increasing the reference design's frequency from 1000MHz on the dual-PCB version to 1100MHz on the single-PCB. Both the core and shaders clockspeeds will remain the same at 576MHz and 1242MHz, respectively, and despite shelving the second PCB, it will still be a dual-slot card. It will also be half an inch longer, Fudzilla says, measuring a full eleven inches.
If the rumor holds true, look for the revised card to show up by the middle of May with no change to its price point.