Sony has reached an agreement with Corel to use the latter’s InstantON technology in future Vaio P-series netbooks. Vaio Ps with Corel’s instant-on OS will begin appearing on American store shelves later this month. A lot of PC manufacturers are incorporating instant-on solutions in their netbooks.
The technology allows users to perform tasks like web browsing without having to wait for the main OS to boot. Though both the companies waxed eloquent about the inclusion of Corel’s Instant On technology in the world’s lightest 8 inch notebook, it still doesn’t seem enough to justify the netbook’s $900 price tag.
Of the new internet startups that have emerged in the past few months, one of our favorites has to be Boxee, the streaming social media center from the team that created the acclaimed XBMC frontend. Boxee (currently still in Beta) combines popular video and podcast streams from CBS, ABC, and PBS into one slick and functional media center that turns any connected computer into an internet TV receiver. One of the best features was that it supported streaming from Hulu, which meant users could navigate through thousands of hours of content (e.g. all of Arrested Development) without opening a web browser.
Unfortunately, that is no longer the case.
Just today, Boxee announced that they would be discontinuing support for Hulu streaming after content providers complained and demanded that the Boxee service be shut off. In a sobering blog post, Boxee CEO Avner Ronen informed users that as of this Friday, Hulu streaming would be unavailable via their service. “We have many content partners who are generating revenue from boxee users and we will work with Hulu and their partners to resolve the situation as quickly as possible,” said Ronen. In the Boxee beta, content from Hulu retrained all of the advertising that users would see when watching a video on Hulu.com, so the issue doesn’t appear to be related to missed ad revenue opportunities. Ronen also stated that Boxee beta testers streamed 100,000 videos from Hulu just last week alone.
And what did Hulu have to say for itself? Read on.
This is starting to get ugly. It's bad enough watching Intel and Nvidia go at each other over licensing disputes (remember how long we waited for SLI on Intel chipsets?), but the two aren't showing any signs of letting up. In response to Intel's recent lawsuit, which alleges Nvidia has no right to produce chipsets that are compatible with any Intel processor that has an integrated memory controller, the GPU/chipset maker had some choice words for Intel.
"We are confident that our license, as negotiated, applies," said Jen-Hsun Huang, president and CEO of Nvidia. "At the heart of this issue is that the CPU has run its course and the soul of the PC is shifting quickly to the GPU. This is clearly an attempt to stifle innovation to protect a decaying CPU business."
Huang has never been one to mince words, at one time declaring his company would "open a can of whoop-ass." Now less than a year later, the quote-worthy CEO has declared the CPU just another run-of-the-mill component taking a backseat to the GPU.
Nvidia's press release went on to talk up the company's Ion platform, and was quick to point out that it "offers 10x the performance of Intel's current three chip design." Huang also said that given the broad and growing adoption of Nvidia's platforms, including the Ion, he's not the least bit surprised Intel is disputing a four-year-old contract.
Acer’s 8.9-inch Aspire One has largely been accepted as the sales leader in the netbook market. It’s been so hot that Acer, trying to fix what’s not broken, is looking to release a larger Aspire One AOD150, which will boast a 10.1-inch screen and a doubled battery life for the same $350.
The new Aspire One will have an Intel Atom N270 under the hood with integrated 945GSE graphics, 1GB of DDR2, a 160GB HDD and Windows XP Home edition. And to power it all, there will be a six-cell, 4,400mAh lithium-ion battery that will keep it all moving for up to six hours.
The AOD150 is currently available; so if you’re looking to upgrade the diminutive computer in your life, don’t hesitate to check it out.
You know that couple that is always at odds with each other, turning parties and other get-togethers into awkward affairs? The worst part is when they both turn to you to pick a side, and all you're trying to do is have a good time. For power users, that couple is Intel and Nvidia. We don't know what it is with these two, but just when their relationship appears to be on an upswing, another squabble breaks out.
After years of butting heads, Intel and Nvidia just recently came to agreement over licensing the GPU maker's SLI technology for use on Intel chipsets, and all appeared to be right in the world. But now the two are at it again, this time with Intel taking the offensive. Intel has filed suit against Nvidia this week claiming that the four-year old chipset license agreement between the two does not cover both its current and any future CPUs with integrated memory controllers.
"Intel has filed suit against Nvidia seeking a declaratory judgment over rights associated with two agreements between the companies," Intel said in a statement. "The suit seeks to have the court declare that Nvidia is not licensed to produce chipsets that are compatible with any Intel processor that has integrated memory controller functionality, such as Intel’s Nehalem microprocessors and that Nvidia has breached the agreement with Intel by falsely claiming that it is licensed. Intel has been in discussions with Nvidia for more than a year attempting to resolve the matter but unfortunately we were unsuccessful. As a result Intel is asking the court to resolve this dispute."
Nvida contends that the license agreement is still valid, however admits that it has been "working with Intel to come to some kind of agreement" for the past year. And despite the lawsuit, Nvidia says it has no plans of changing its roadmap, including those chipsets which extend to future processors.
Reportedly, Acer is looking to become the number one notebook supplier by 2011. The current king, Hewlett-Packard has a lead on both Acer and Dell who are “neck-and-neck” with a12 percent market share.
Acer’s Chairman, J.T. Wang, suspects that an opportunity now exists that will catapult him to this success. He states that their goals are aggressive, but they have increased PC shipments by 31 percent in Q4 2008, and all the while in the midst of a struggling market.
According to reports, Acer now owns 12 percent of the overall PC market, compared to Dell’s 13 percent and HP’s 19 percent. Wang states that both American and Japanese computer makers have “underestimated the demand for netbooks,” which account for 30 percent of their sales.
The first Android-based device, the T-Mobile G1, might have not pronounced iPhone’s death warrant - just like numerous other so-called iPhone-killers before it failed to, but it has done a decent job as a “commercial prototype.”
A reasonable number of people may be keenly awaiting the advent of future Android devices after the steady start provided by the T-Mobile G1. However, nothing is known about upcoming Android devices with the exception of the HTC Magic.
The Magic has a 3.2-inch QVGA touch screen and, barring its lack of a physical QWERTY keyboard, closely mimics the G1. The phone has a 3.2-megapixel camera, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi and HSDPA/WCDMA (900/2100MHz).
So you’re looking for a new gaming rig, but all those Mid-ATX beasties just aren’t what you’re looking for, huh? Direct your eyes to Shuttle’s new SDXi Carbon, a beautiful, power packed box with a price tag to match!
The SDXi Carbon measures in at only 7.3 x 7.9 x 12.2-inches and packs a 3GHz Core 2 Duo E8400. It has the option of 2, 4, or 8GB of RAM, anywhere from 250GB to 2TB of HDD capacity, an Nvidia powered GPU, gigabit Ethernet and optional WiFi.
And it’ll all cost you a beefy $2,599, at its very base. What’s all this about a recession now?
Less than a month after Fujitsu announced it would end production of read/write heads for hard drives, the company has sold off its HDD business to Toshiba. The two companies are aiming to have the transfer completed in the first quarter of 2009. Previously, Fujitsu was engaged in takeover talks with Western Digital, but the two couldn't agree on terms.
"Fujitsu will facilitate the transfer by bringing its HDD-related businesses and functions together in a new company," Fujitsu wrote in a press release. "Toshiba will acquire about an 80 percent stake in this company and make it a Toshiba Group subsidiary. In order to promote a smooth transfer, Fujitsu will continue to hold a stake of under 20 percent in the new company for a certain period of time, after which it will become a wholly owned subsidiary of Toshiba."
Toshiba, who is already a player in the 2.5-inch HDD market, looks to reinforce its position, while also moving in on the enterprise HDD market, an area Fujitsu has been very active. Toshiba is also looking at the solid-state drive (SSD) market, "fusing Toshiba's NAND flash memory technology with Fujitsu's enterprise HDD technology." Despite the heavy focus in the past several months, SSDs have been intentionally overlooked by Fujitsu, who has been turned off random write performance.
Toshiba said it will aim to raise its share in the overall HDD market to over 20 percent by 2015.
Safe surfing remains the best defense against internet-borne attacks, but it won't provide you that warm fuzzy feeling that an additional layer of protection offers should you slip up. And if you share your PC, your safe computing regime goes straight out the window if your roommate wanders haphazardly across the web.
In an attempt to beef up security, Linksys announced it is teaming up with Trend Micro to integrate the latter's Home Network Defender internet security software into its routers to help block malicious sites from doing harm. Previously offered as a software application, Home Network Defender will be integrated with the Linksys WRT310N and WRT610N routers, offering protection to any computers connected to the network.
The software integration is meant to deny access to sites it deems unsafe with user-adjustable sensitivity controls, as well as embed parental controls and user-activity reporting into the above mentioned routers. What it won't do is offer anti-virus protection, however Linksys says that four licenses of Trend Micro Antivirus plus AntiSpyware will come included as part of the deal.
Existing WRT310N and WRT610N have the option of upgrading their router's firmware for the new software integration, which will carry a 30-day complimentary trial. After that, the service runs $60/year.