How low can you go in the netbook arena? If you're a Taiwan-based company called Aware Electronics, you can apparently go as low as $150 for a netbook, but it doesn't stop there. The A-View, as it's being called, will also sport a detachable 7-inch screen.
The pint-sized, detachable PC is currently being shown at the 2009 Electronics and Components China Sourcing Fair in Hong Kong. Not a whole lot of information has been made available regarding the A-View's hardware, though we do know it comes with up to 512MB of memory, 8GB flash storage, and choice of Windows XP or Linux. Beyond that, it's anyone's guess how Aware Electronics intends to push this out to the masses for just $150, or even if it intends to. According to news and rumor site DigiTimes, Aware is focusing on emerging markets.
It's all fun and games until the prank backfires, spreads like wildfire thanks to the advent of social media, and ends with felony charges and a PR mess to clean up. Or at least that's how it went down for Kristy Hammonds and Michael Setzer, a pair of Domino's Pizza employees who filmed a prank in the restaurant's kitchen and posted it online.
The pranksters will be hard pressed to find any sympathy for the fallout, as their antics included filming an employee "putting cheese up his nose, nasal mucus on the sandwiches, and violating other health-code standards while a fellow employee provided narration," according to a report by The New York Times.
In just a matter of days, the video received over a million views on YouTube and was spreading nearly as fast via Twitter. After being identified, Hammonds and Setzer, who maintain that they never actually delivered the sandwiches, have been charged with delivering prohibited foods.
"We got blindsided by two idiots with a video camera and an awful idea," said a Domino's spokesman, Tim McIntyre. "Even people who've been with us as loyal customers for 10, 15, 20 years, people are second-guessing their relationship with Domino's, and that's not fair."
McIntyre also said the company is also preparing a civil lawsuit.
Perhaps further underscoring the benefit of owning an ultra-small, lightweight netbook, a woman was killed recently by a laptop computer that was lying flat on the backseat of her car before it smashed into her head following a fender bender.
Police say Heather Storey, who was hit by a tow truck, would have walked away from the scene unscathed had the laptop not been in the backseat. Or in a laptop bag. Or secured properly. Or in the front seat.
Our condolences go out to Storey's family and friends, and our warning goes out to you: Secure those gadgets before hitting the road.
Anyone interested in Dell's 8.9-inch Vostro A90 netbook had to hop on a plane (or make other travel arrangements) and cruise over to Japan, but that's no longer the case. The A90 is now being offered in the States, and for a fraction (one-third) of the price.
On the hardware front, the lightweight 2.36-pound netbook sports a pretty basic spec sheet, including Intel's Atom N270 processor (1.6GHz, 533MHz frontside bus, 512KB L2 cache), up to 1GB od DDR2-533 RAM, an 8GB or 16GB SSD, integrated Intel GMA950 graphics, WiFi, 0.3MP webcam, and Windows XP.
The Vostro A90 is available now starting at $350, with the slightly higher end configuration running $425. Tack on another $5 for the patriotic Rolling Stones sticker via Stickerville.com.
In what sounds like a simple formula for success, Dell plans to combine one good thing with another good thing for what it hopes will turn out to be a great thing. Or to be less vague, Dell, who offers both SSDs and encrypted drives, will start adding encrypted SSDs to its notebook lineup sometime this summer.
Samsung will manufacture the drives, which will come in 64GB, 128GB, and 256GB capacities to start. The self-encrypting drives will automatically encrypt data as it is being saved, "an industry first" for SSDs, according to Samsung and Wave Systems.
"Benefits of hardware encryption over today's software-only encryption approaches include faster performance, better security, and an 'always on' feature," Samsung and Wave Systems said in a statement. "Because encryption keys and access credentials are generated and stored within the drive hardware, they never leave its confines and are never held in the operating system or software."
No word yet on exactly when Dell will implement the new SSDs or at what price points.
Rumor has it you can hear chants of 'Le Roi est mort, vive le Roi!' emanating from HP's corporate headquarters in Palo Alto, California. That's because the former No. 2 OEM has dethroned Dell for the No. 1 spot for most PC shipments in both the U.S. and worldwide markets, according to Q1 data released by IDC. And it did so largely on the strength of netbook sales.
"Tight credit and economic concerns have certainly taken a toll on PC shipments in the last couple quarters, but the move to portables, fueled by mininotebooks and falling prices, has mitigated the impact," said Loren Loverde, an analyst with IDC.
Including netbooks and everything else, HP managed to ship 4.1 million units in the U.S., which was enough to edge out Dell, who shipped 3.9 million. Acer was a distant third with 1.5 million, followed by Apple with 1.1 million and Toshiba with just under 1 million.
On the global stage, HP put a bit more distance between itself and Dell, shipping 13 million units compared to Dell's 8.7 million. Acer, meanwhile, closed the gap by shipping 7.3 million.
Yeah, we know why you’re here. And frankly, we’re grateful. We’re fully aware that – if not for the fact that Stardock’s servers are currently screaming under the weight of something akin to the game’s giant stone mascot – you’d be playing Demigod right now. But you’re not. You’re here. However, being the altruists that we are, we have a solution to your problem. First though, here’s why you’re not currently using Demigod to RPG while you RTS.
“The only reason why we haven't had this happen on other games is because we've never had anything like this many users in such a short amount of time. Sins of a Solar Empire was a huge hit but its success came not from an immediate burst of users but rather sustained long term growth which allowed us to keep enhancing the infrastructure as needed with minimal issues for users,” publisher Stardock told 1UP.
But where’s the sudden swarm of players coming from? Mostly, piracy. Apparently, “100k+” warez users have been fervently competing with legitimate customers both in and outside the game.
The good news: Stardock’s working tirelessly to correct the problem, and should have things in tip-top shape within 24 hours. The bad news: that’s 24 hours of waiting. Hey, we never said it was a good solution.
In penance, Stardock is sending a few of its employees to throw down with players, should you need any advice or just a decent opponent to play against.
So, for those who’ve actually stayed atop Stardock’s coveted hill long enough to complete a full game, how is it?
If you told your spouse that the two of you would be together until Duke Nukem Forever hit shelves in an attempt to be absolutely precious, it might be time to start sweating. According to a tweet by 3D Realms man George Broussard, Duke Nukem Forever’s unending development cycle may soon be leaving the death-and-taxes consistency club.
“Closing out a milestone this week. 71 more tasks to do and we started with probably 800-900. Been a good push. Next one starts Monday,” he tweeted.
After some rudimentary math, we’ve determined that – assuming development continues at a nice clip – Duke will be back in business sometime next year. Guess the Mayans were a little off with their apocalypse calculations.
Thanks to some obvious inspiration from Apple, it looks like the Nartron Corporation is going to bring a very iPhone inspired dashboard to Chrysler’s 200C concept car.
The 200C concept will feature a next-gen dashboard system, dubbed iQ Power. Thanks to iQ Power, drivers of the car will be able to use “any smartphone” as a smart key for the car (primarily used to unlock doors and even view a video stream of the car’s interior). And, thanks to some big colorful controls and cover-flow for browsing album art, it’ll no doubt be easy for iPhone users to feel right at home in this environment. iQ Power will even feature a wireless tablet that allows passengers to send music recommendations straight to the driver’s console (though, it seems like a simple tap on the shoulder would work well too).
According to a recent pilot study, students that use Facebook regularly spend less time studying and have lower grade point averages than those that haven’t even signed up for the site.
“We can’t say that use of Facebook leads to lower grades and less studying – but we did find a relationship there,” stated Aryn Karpinski, a doctoral student in education at Ohio State University and a co-author of the study. According to the report, hardcore Facebook users have GPAs between 3.0 and 3.5, while non-users are packing a GPA in the range of 3.5 and 4.0.
However, more than three-quarters of Facebook’s users maintain that their use of the site doesn’t get in the way of their important study time.
A 3.0 isn’t bad, but if having a Facebook account is the difference between a 3.0 and a 4.0, I’ll be the first to close out my account! Though, I get to keep playing WoW, right?