Quad-core processors, 7200RPM hard drives, faster graphic solutions, and an increasing amount of technical doodads both internal and external all take their toll on a notebook's battery life. To combat this, Sony says it will spend about 40 billion yen (that's $371 million USD for us sitting stateside) toward strengthening its lithium ion battery production operations, representing the first phase of investment in lithium ion batteries the company will take as part of a three year effort to reinforce core areas of its component and semiconductor business.
The money will go towards both new production facilities and to enhance existing lines at Sony's Motomiya Technology Center and Tochiga Technology Center, both of which are used to produce lithium ion batteries. As a result, Sony hopes to almost double its monthly production capacity from the current level of 41 million cells per month to 74 million by fiscal 2010.
Toshiba said it has upgraded its onboard flash memory with a new 32GB embedded module. The upgrade makes use of eight 4GB NAND chips built using a smaller 43nm manufacturing process in a single package, allowing Toshiba to fit twice as much capacity in a similar space as before.
The 32GB modules are expected to show up in smaller portable devices, and because the new design integrates its own controller to manage data traffic, other device makers will be able to drop the package in without having to re-engineer their hardware. Toshiba hasn't said which individual customers are expected to buy the new 32GB packages, but it's worth noting that Toshiba is a key supplier of Apple and we could very well end up seeing the chips used in iPhones and iPod Touches.
Toshiba will start offering samples to clients in September with bulk production to expected to follow shortly after.
The Linux community looks to get a big boost of support, as IBM announced at the LinuxWorld Conference & Expo it San Francisco that plans to work alongside several different Linux vendors to help offer middleware through a bevy of distributors. That's bad news for Microsoft, as IBM's new initiative will potentially give previously reluctant companies the confidence to make the switch.
"Linux has always been about choice," IBM inux Director Inna Kuznetsova said during a press conference. "We're providing a well-recognized alternative for the desktop."
Far from being a new flame, IBM has supported Linux and the open source movement for over a decade, and with distros like Ubuntu and SUSE becoming more user friendly, IBM sees the timing as ripe for a major push. The company has set a goal for 2009 to ship its software bundle to select Linux partners and PC makers, though it did not announce which specific PC partners would be involved.
Brett Favre going to the Jets has given New Yorkers plenty to chatter about, and according to AOL's fourth annual email survey, many of them might be doing it through email. Either that or they're working really, really hard. The survey shows that 62 percent of people check their work email accounts on weekends, and of all the respondents who took the survey, 55 percent of New Yorkers said they are addicted to email communication. By comparison, the national average sits at 46 percent.
"As technology continues to advance, we begin to rely upon it more and more," email productivity expert Marsha Egan said in a statement. "The constant connectivity offered by email and PDA products has people logging on so frequently that they don't have time to do anything else."
Lest anyone dispute that the internet is serious business and email addiction is a real problem, New Yorkers are being offered help to cut the digital chain. Egan, CEO of EganEmailSolutions.com and author of the eBook 12 Steps to Curing Your E-Mail E-ddiction (clever!) has offered to let New Yorkers and residents from other high addiction rate cities join her 12-step program this month for half off.
You knew it would happen sooner or later, and now it has; a Wii controller knockoff for the PC. Sort of. Asus has dubbed its new Wii remote lookalike as the Eee Stick, "an easy-to-sue use yet highly versatile Plug and Play wireless controller for the PC platform that translates users' physical hand motions into corresponding movements onscreen."
Interestingly Asus has no plans of selling the Eee Stick as a standalone peripheral and will instead bundle the motion controller exclusively with select models of the Eee PC and the Eee Box. Huh? We don't understand it either, but Asus justifies the move by saying the Eee Stick is "perfect for gaming on-the-go."
The vibration capable controller connects via a 2.4GHz RF dongle with a broadcast range of 10m. Two AA batteries are required to power the Eee Stick, which Asus claims will provide up to three days (72 hours) of continuous play.
Will the Eee Stick entice potential customers to pick up an Eee PC or Eee Box, or is Asus making a mistake by not offering the controller as a standalone device?
Elpida Memory, Inc. based in Japan announced that it is going to launch a 16-gigabyte Fully Buffered DIMM (FB-DIMM), the world's largest capacity. It is based on its own unique integrated packaging technology (stacked FBGA or sFBGA) with 2-gigabit DDR2 SDRAM. Elpida has achieved development of FB-DIMM products that feature an ultra thin thickness of 7.7mm.
The chip was designed with the ultra high-end servers and workstation market in mind.
Sample shipments of the new 16-gigabyte FB-DIMM will begin later this month. Mass production is expected to get underway in the 4Q of 2008.
Now if they would just come up with 8 Gig DDR3 sticks for my next desktop build, I’d be very happy indeed!
If the $100 laptop wasn’t enough a team at Massachusetts Institute of Technology is working on building a computer for $12, targeting families in Third World countries. They are basing their design on the old Nintendo Entertainment System. The NES used a MOS 6502 processor similar to the Apple IIe and Atari 2600 although it was a customized version for the NES.
The 6502 was designed in 1975. It is an 8-bit processor with a 16-bit address bus and clock speeds around 1 or 2 MHz. It is sure to smoke my digital watch.
Just how far the project will go is uncertain. Nintendo still holds the copyrights to the NES.
It sounds like a truly worthy project! You can check it out here.
In the world of PCs we have it pretty good. Hardware is pretty inexpensive for the performance across the board. It’s well developed and pretty amazing that you can take a conglomeration of parts drop Windows or Linux in it and have the thing work (usually). Overall this makes PCs cheap enough for the masses. Mac’s on the other hand tend to average almost double the cost of the PC average, according to a story by DailyTech:
“Macs have gone from an average price of $1,432 and $1,574, for desktops and laptops respectively in June '06 to $1,543 and $1,515 respectively in June '08. While much lower to start, PCs are now even lower in average sale price. The average PC notebook went from $877 to $700,”
I would have thought that the recent change in Mac using Intel hardware would have enabled them to lower their prices, but that doesn’t seem to be the case.
It has always been comparing Apples to, well, PCs to compare the platforms. Apple controls its production from end to end. Microsoft’s approach is more of a middle of the road approach with its Windows Certified Logo program, and Linux of course goes for the gusto with a completely open approach. Each has it’s advantages and draw backs. What we are seeing now is the result of openness and demand. If Apple wants to catch up it means opening up and letting builders use their OS X on their systems. I can just imagine how that will affect their vaunted stability, even though OS X is Linux at heart with Mac clothing. It will level the playing field and Macs might actually capture a larger market share while reducing their prices.
What do you think? Will we see Apple open it’s OS to system builders?
During my many years of Taekwondo training (no, really) I've seen a fair share of faux-martial artists come and go. Not all of them were masters of the ol' chop-socky, but that doesn't mean they weren't good company. One of those long-since retired combatants was big into games, so naturally, we hit it off. In between feasting on one another's punches and kicks, we talked about all of the latest releases -- mostly on the PC. But, in one major way, we were different: I purchased; he pirated.
Of course, he had a reason. PC games can sometimes be buggy and unreliable -- even going so far as to not run on certain PCs. He raked in torrents as "extended demos," and presumably purchased the games he liked. Even so, I'm not sure if I agreed with his methods. After all, isn't that what regular demos are for? Plus, I never really got the impression that he actually followed through with step two of his little plan.
So, question of the day: Do you pirate games?If so, what's your justification? Do you even call it "pirating"? Don't worry, I'm merely asking as a discussion question -- not to judge anyone.
Today's Roundup contains a few possible methods of diverting cash back into the pockets of those who create games, though I'd wager none of the wannabe saviors really have a concrete idea of how they're going to end the Yarr-ing menace once and for all. On one had, Microsoft sees downloads usurping retail's throne in the near future, which could create an iTunes-like situation for the gaming industry. On the other hand, Turner has decided to toss GameTap to the curb like a box of unwanted kittens (an $18 million box of kittens), so obviously not all is well in the realm of downloadable games. Read about all of that and more after the break.
Mozilla has issued an open invitation to all people with a vibrant imagination, regardless of their calling, to posit ideas that could determine the future of Firefox and the web. It is especially interested in bringing aboard designers that haven’t worked on open source projects hitherto. Mozilla Labs’ website is asking for people to turn in their ideas that can be “a sentence, paragraph, or even bullet-points kick-start the process.” If Mozilla sights real potential in the idea it will turn them into reality. The website also flaunts a number of exciting browser concept videos. If you have any fascinating ideas, feel free to deposit them in the comments section.