In what Dell describes as "fashion meets function," the OEM has introduced an octuplet of color configurations for its refreshed Inspiron desktop line. That's more than what's found in some crayon boxes and includes Piano Black, Pure White, True Blue, Formula Red, Tangerine Orange, Spring Green, Plum Purple, and Promise Pink. The Promise Pink is a collaboration with Susan G. Komen for the Cure program to fight breast cancer - for every Promise Pink laptop or Mini Dell sells, it donates $5 to the cause.
The colorful Inspiron desktop line also includes a wide range of processor selections, such as Intel's Celeron, Core 2 Duo, and Core 2 Quad, and AMD's Sempron, Athlon, and Phenom X4 CPUs. Other configuration options include integrated Intel graphics or discrete ATI Radeon graphics, up to 8GB of memory, up to 750GB of storage on the slim tower and up to 1TB on the mini-tower, optional 19-in-1 media card reader, optional HDMI port, 6 USB 2.0 ports, and dual optical drive options.
Dell says its new slim and mini-tower Inspiron desktops debut today in China, with U.S. availability expected this spring starting at $299.
As ultraportable PCs become more powerful and increasingly feature-rich, it might soon be difficult to discern where netbooks stop and standard notebooks begin. Such is nearly the case with Asus' new Eee 1004DN, the first Eee ever to integrate a Super-Multi optical disc drive.
The addition of a CD/DVD burner addresses a common complaint among netbook and potential netbook owners, particularly those who might want to use one as their primary PC (Protip: Don't do it). Other specs on the 1004DN are decidedly more standard-fare and include a 10-inch LED-backlit 1024 x 600 display, Intel's Atom N280 processor (1.66GHz, 512k L2 cache, 667MHz frontside bus), up to 2GB DDR2 memory, Intel GMA 4500M graphis, up to 120GB hard drive, 1.3MP webcam, and 6-cell battery.
Nvidia this week introduced a bunch of new Quadro-series professional videocards spanning from the sub-$100 entry-level solution all the up to the high end that will hit your wallet to the tune of four digits.
"Our mission with Quadro is to help customers solve the world's most challenging visual computing problems," stated Dan Vivoli, executive vice president of marketing at Nvidia. "We learn every day from them and are humbled by their brilliance. The new lineup, with the flagship Quadro FX 4800, sets the stage for the next ten years of innovation."
On the lower end is the Quadro NVS 295, which the company says will support up to two 30-inch displays at maximum resolutions. Other cards in the new lineup, along with Nvidia's claimed standout traits, include:
Quadro FX 5800 - first and only 4GB, ultra high-end solution suitable for large-sclae models and datasets
Quadro FX 4800 - ultra high-end solution
Quadro FX 3800 - single slot solution with support for SLI, multi-OS, and SDI
Quadro FX 1800 - best price performance for workstation graphics
Quadro FX 580 - best-in-class entry-level solution
Quadro FX 380 - up to 50 percent faster performance
Nvidia's Quadro-based workstation cards are available now through system manufacturers such as Dell, Fujistu-Siemens, HP, and Lenovo, as well as workstation system integrators and Nvidia channel partners.
As Blu-ray players and media continues to go down, the cost of adding Blu-ray to your Netflix subscription is going up. Again. Back in October of last year, Netflix implemented a $1 surcharge to customers who wanted to add access to Blu-ray rentals to their monthly subscription plan, saying the price hike was to cover the "significant cost difference" between Blu-ray and standard DVDs. Netflix called it a "pretty modest" surcharge at the time, but now you could be paying up to $9 extra per month to add Blu-ray to your plan.
"We’re committed to providing a high quality Blu-ray experience for our members who choose to add Blu-ray access, and in order to do that we need to adjust Blu-ray pricing. As a result, the monthly charge for Blu-ray access is increasing for most plans and will now vary by plan," wrote Jessie Teitz, Netflix's VP of marketing, in a blog post.
Hit the jump to see how the new pricing breaks down.
Citing the Commercial Times, Dow Jones reports Taiwan-based chip maker VIA Technologies will likely sell a stake to US-based graphics chip maker Nvidia through a private placement. Subject to shareholder approval, up to 300 million shares are up for grabs at between NT$9 and NT$12 ($0.27 to $0.35 USD).
Without an official comment from Nvidia, we can only speculate on what the GPU maker's motives might be, but there are two interesting things to note. First is the recent rift between Nvidia and Intel that has the two taking shots at each other. For Intel's part, the CPU maker has taken its disdain for Nvidia's Ion platform public. By cozying up to VIA, Nvidia could perhaps be looking to distance itself from Intel's Atom processor and declare all-out netbook warfare by implementing VIA's Nano processor into its Ion platform.
Secondly, Nvidia has indicated interest in building an x86 CPU. According to Michael Hara, Nvidia's senior VP of investor relations and communications, it's a matter of 'when' and not 'if.'
During a GDC panel last week, Blizzard designer Jeffery Kaplan claimed that WoW players tear into 16 million quests per day, as though possessed by some deep-seated, primal need for collection of tiny animal innards.
Since July 2009, Blizzard’s favorite fans have completed a grand total of 8,570,222,426 quests. Hemet Nesingwary must be a very happy man.
We’re going to go lie down now. Numbers shouldn’t be that large. It just isn’t natural.
And you thought the majority of today’s first-person shooters were only easy on the eyes. As it turns out, playing a fast-moving, state-of-the-art action game might be less like a warm glass of milk for your poor peepers, and more like a monolithic can of Monster.
According to a study conducted by Daphne Bavelier of the University of Rochester in New York, a few rounds of games like Call of Duty or Unreal Tournament may be enough to improve your eyes’ contrast sensitivity. Translated into the hip vernacular you kids have grown so accustomed to: Capping fools, punks, or whatever these are could save you from dying in a fire.
“People who used a video-game training program saw significant improvements in their ability to notice subtle differences in shades of gray, a finding that may help people who have trouble with night driving,” noted the study.
While undoubtedly cool, the study’s results were far from expected. Apparently, contrast sensitivity doesn’t typically undergo significant change without an alteration to the optics of the eye -- glasses or surgery, for example.
The games played by each group, for those interested, were Call of Duty 2 and Unreal Tournament 2004 for the “action” group, and The Sims 2 for the non-action group. The first group saw a 43 percent improvement in contrast sensitivity, while the second saw none – possibly due to blindness or some other malady that our cruel universe has chosen to afflict upon those who are not truly hardcore.
Don’t sit too close to the screen, huh? Oh how the tides have turned.
Imagine charging your iPod or cellphone just by jumping on the treadmill and getting your heart pumping faster. Sounds far fetched, but according to researchers at the School of Material Science and Engineering at the Georgia Institute of Technology, it's also feasible. The researchers say they can convert low-frequency vibrations, like body movements or the beating of a heart, into electricity by using zinc oxide nanowires to conduct the electricity.
"This research will have a major impact on defense technology, environmental monitoring, biomedical sciences, and even personal electronics," said lead researcher Zhong Lin Wang.
The nanowires are piezoelectric, meaning they generate electric energy when subjected to mechanical stress. They can be grown on metals, ceramics, polymers, and clothing. By developing them into production, Wang and company say they could be used by military troops to run electronic devices. Wang also pointed out the possibility of powering biosensors implanted under the skin. All it takes to generate energy is movement.
No announcement has been made on when to expect commercial development, however there's no lack of funding for the work, which includes the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, the Department of Energy, the National Institutes of Health, and the National Science Foundation.
According to Google, if you’ve got valuable documents out on their Google Docs suite of applications, you shouldn’t worry your pretty little head off. According to them, the alleged issues are smoke and mirrors.
In an official blog post by Jonathan Rochelle, Google Docs’ Product Manager, he explains, “At Google, we treat the privacy and integrity of our users' data with the highest priority. We quickly investigated, and we believe that these concerns do not pose a significant security risk to our users. If you want the details, read on...”
The blog post continues to meticulously break down and debunk the issues that the analyst, Ade Barkah, had brought to their attention.
Though, Google did admit that earlier this month a glitch in Docs caused some user documents to be exposed to those without proper permissions. The problem occurred amongst users that had previously shared documents, but reportedly affected less than 0.05 percent of the documents.
At this month’s GDC AMD and Havok teamed up to show off the latest advances in their development of OpenCL, a new programming language that will allow physics processing to swap from the CPU to GPU on the fly.
The concept behind OpenCL is simple; it’s a system that will allow the load from physics processing to shift from different pieces of hardware on the fly. For example, if a gamer has a high end GPU but a slower processor, OpenCL can detect this and move a bulk (if not all) of the physics processing to the GPU, alleviating some of the stress from the CPU. And this system works vice versa, for slower GPUs but high end CPUs.
What’s even better is that OpenCL will work across all platforms. While PhysX currently only works with Nvidia GPU’s, OpenCL will work with AMD and Intel processors, as well as Nvidia and ATI GPUs. So, no more concerns about compatibility!
Sadly, at GDC the demo that was on display was only on an individual piece of hardware, the switch between CPU to GPU wasn’t shown. AMD was clear to state that their demo was only a proof-of-concept, and that the development process is still ongoing.