It's an all-too-familiar marketing ploy: download a utility you really want, and get a toolbar for your browser free. This week, Microsoft joined the "download one, get one free" bandwagon, but with a twist: Redmond announced a deal with Sun Microsystems to offer the MSN Toolbar to US users of Internet Explorer whenever they download the Java Runtime Environment. MSN Toolbar offers one-click access to Live Search, direct access to Windows Live Hotmail and Windows Live Messenger, and stories from the MSN network. If you hate toolbars, or your browser's already running your favorite toolbar, you can opt out of the MSN toolbar.
This Microsoft plus Sun pairing represents a big "win" for Microsoft, as Google's toolbar was previously being offered as the freebie with Java. As El Reg points out, this sort of thing is nothing new for Sun and Java. Java's also been used to deliver offers of OpenOffice and the Yahoo! toobar (the latter to Mozilla Firefox browser users only).
So, how do you feel about these combo deals? Would you rather get a coupon for free french fries, or are you comfortable with getting "two for one" downloads"? Join us after the jump and sound off.
Understandably, AT&T might not be the name that one thinks of when they consider a comprehensive online video search. But, remaining open minded (as one tends to do in San Francisco), you can’t help but notice how well the telecommunications giant has pulled off their very first video search site, VideoCrawler.
In conjunction with start-up company Divvo, AT&T has managed to launch VideoCrawler, a search that has more than 1,600 online video outlets latched directly into its brain. Sites such as YouTube and MySpace are among the long list of video channels available.
While they don’t offer any services for uploading your own videos, they do have a pretty impressive collection. So go ahead, search for that clip of the dog that never learned how to bark. Chances are might good that you’ll be able to track it down.
Citing un-named sources at server makers, DigiTimes says Intel plans to launch several quad-core Xeon 5500 and Xeon 3500 Nehalem-based server CPUs and one dual-core Xeon chip in the first quarter of 2009. These include:
The Xeon 5500 series will come with 8MB of L2 cache instead of 12MB, but is expected to be negated by Core i7's QuickPath architecture. The Xeon 3500 series will come with 8MB of L2 cache but will only run in single-socket systems. Prices for the new chips will range from $188 (E5502) on up to $1600 (W5580) for thousand-unit tray quantities.
On the chopping block are seven notebook CPUs, including the Core 2 Extreme X7900 an X7800, and Core 2 Duo T7800 and L7700. These are expected to be phased out in January 2009.
No, it won’t teach you Kung Fu. But what it will do is actually provide a pretty suitable 3D printer for the masses.
Mcor’s Matrix has already been released to the UK, and works with some pretty basic technology. Using some time-honored A4 paper and PVA glue to create complex 3D objects, it provides a nice, cheap alternative to current polymer-based options.
While it won’t be able to make your World of Warcraft character into a FigurePrints quality statuette, it will consume far fewer resources. According to Mcor, up to 40 times less. If something like this is down your alley keep your eyes open in Q1 of 2009, when the Matrix is slated to make its US debut.
While researching an antivirus article here at Maximum PC, we noticed something very curious: a Google AdWords link for “Antivirus xp 2008,” which led to the url “antivirus-world-2009.com.” (Don't go there)
Anyone who’s been paying attention during the last year or so know that "Antivirus xp 2008" is the name of one of the most widespread and obnoxious bits of malware floating around the internet. It hides itself in your system and launches a bogus antivirus program at intervals to warn you that you’ve got spyware and trojans and the sky is falling. Then, it recommends that you buy the pro version of the program, which presumably also does nothing except rip you off. The virus is frequently updated to evade malware removal tools, and is just generally a pain.
If watching movies on your iPod’s screen is getting a little old, your woes might be gone before you know it. Optoma is planning to release their ultra-compact DLP Pico Projector on December 1st, just in time for the holidays!
The Pico has been labeled as the world’s smallest and lightest DLP projector, measuring only 51mm x 105mm x 17mm, and weighing a negligible 120g. Optoma is planning to offer the device at Apple Stores for roughly $500.
Zune owners (really?) need not worry, because it’ll work with other media players as well. Packing up to two hours of batter life, and a built-in 0.5-watt speaker, you’ll be able to watch most of Titanic using just the projector. Lucky you!
Another day brings with it yet another netbook release, but this latest one makes all the rest look like ginormous notebooks by comparison. Korean manufacturer UMID was spotted showing off its pint-sized portable PC with a touch-screen that measures a scant 4.8-inches, more than 2 inches smaller than the typical netbook.
Despite its small stature, UMID's mini-netbook manages to cram a bunch of goodies underneath the hood. Intel's Atom processor makes a predictable appearance, along with the standard fare 1GB of memory and up to 32GB of SSD storage. But UMID also stuffs the netbook with wireless broadband WiBro, a digital TV receiver, HSDPA, WiMAX, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, a webcam, and a micro-SD slot. In addition to Linux and XP, the device also supports Vista.
UMID plans to launch its new tiny netbook sometime in 2009.
Is there no such thing as bad news or is no news good news?
From ATI’s point of view, it’s no news. Speaking Thursday at AMD’s analyst day, ATI’s graphics chief, Rick Bergman said it would continue with a steady as she goes path. That’s no surprise as ATI has recently seen a resurgence in market share, revenue and reception by power users.
Next year, Bergman said ATI would build on its “sweet spot” strategy. Instead of building huge monolithic graphics cards as Nvidia does, it would continue to concentrate on great $200 to $300 parts and combine them to take on Nvdia’s high-end parts.
With no firm hardware to reveal, Bergman took a few shots at Nvidia’s widely reported mobile GPU failures and lack of DX10.1 support which, he said, is the easiest way for developers to get to DX11 next year.
ATI also expects to be the first to get to 40nm with its graphics and chipset parts, Bergman said. He noted that ATI was the first to 65nm, 80nm and 90nm for graphics parts. What isn’t clear is where those 40nm parts would be fabbed. Although strongly hinted that ATI’s graphics chips and chipsets would made on AMD’s recently spin-off fabs, neither Bergman nor Doug Grose, the new senior VP of The Foundry Company, would commit to it. Grose did say that in 2009, The Foundry Company would have the capability to produce those 40nm parts.
Depite the lack of hardware news, Bergman said ATI would have an early present for its users; in December, the company expects to release a free GPU-based encoder that runs on modern Radeon cards. Based on the company’s new Stream API, the Avivo Video Encoder uses the parallel processing power of the GPU to transcode or encode video. Similar functionality has been available for Nvidia products under its CUDA API for months but the encoder is not free and published by Elemental Technologies.
Bergman also said that Avivo Video Encoder with a mid-range Radeon HD 4870 card will actually outperform Nvidia’s top-end GeForce GTX280 card in encoding tasks using Elemental’s Badaboom Media Converter. ATI’s Free Avivo Video Encoder will run on any 4000-series Radeon HD card.
AMD will dub the 45nm die shrink of its consumer enthusiast CPU as Phenom II X4 and laid out plans for its first CPUs with integrated graphics core.
The Phenom II X4 is on tap for late this year and will follow the company’s smaller, faster 45nm Opteron chips. The new chip will feature 8MB of cache and support both DDR2 and DDR3 in the AM3 and AM2+ sockets. Phenom II X4 will be part of AMD’s “Dragon” platform that combines the new chip with DX10.1 graphics, the company’s new Stream GPU processing, OverDrive and Fusion for gaming utility.
AMD also announced plans for a 32nm family of chips as early as 2011. On the top end, a quad-core Orochi with 8MB of cache and DDR3 will hopefully keep enthusiasts happy. Orochi is part of AMD’s Bulldozer family that mysteriously disappeared from the company’s roadmap earlier this year. Until Orochi is available, the 45nm Phenom II X4, previously codenamed Deneb will hopefully fight off Intel’s Core i7 chips.
The move to 32nm will also see the Llano chip. The CPU will feature four cores, 4MB of cache, DDR3 and an integrated graphics core. AMD, meanwhile, confirmed it would be taking on Intel’s Atom chip with its Conesus CPU next year. Conesus will be dual-core, feature 1MB of cache and DDR2. In 2010, Conesus will give way to Geneva which doubles the cache to 2MB.
YouTube superstars will soon have a chance to become, um, YouTube super-duper stars as the video sharing sites gets ready to dive into live programming. YouTube Live, as the show is being called, will kick off on November 22 in San Francisco and feature recognizable stars like Will.i.Am and singer Katy Perry, along with talents from the the likes of 20-year-old Esmee Denters known for her amateur videos singing cover versions of popular songs.
"The value of YouTube is we've created this platform that's been driven by the community, so this is in reaction to that," said YouTube spokesman Chris Di Cesare. "Having a community event that the community values benefits all involved."
Roughly 50 entertainers responsible for more than 2.5 billion video views are scheduled to appear on YouTube Live. The Google-owned video sharing site also said it plans to hold follow-up events to YouTube Live, but made no mention of what those events might entail.