Just this week Hulu launched their new service, Goog—err, Hulu Labs in the interest of letting their users get a more hands on approach to the development of the site.
“To help us learn from user feedback […], we’re excited to open up a new Hulu Labs section on the site today. At Hulu Labs, we’ll provide sneak peeks at some of the upcoming releases from our product roadmap, some of which are personal projects and hobbies our devs have been cooking up,” wrote Eric Feng, Hulu’s CTO on their official blog. “From new recommendation algorithms to tools for building custom widgets to a time-based view for browsing your favorite shows, we’ll be sharing a variety of these new creations with you at Hulu Labs and looking forward to your thoughts on how to make these products better.”
They also released the beta for Hulu Desktop, an application that has been optimized to let you watch all of your favorite shows (so long as they’re hosted on Hulu) on your desktop or media center PC. The UI has been designed with a small Microsoft or Apple remote in mind, making it a very reasonable contender for all the media center PCs out there.
You've seen the demos of multitouch, and you might even have a PC that supports Windows 7's multitouch, but what can you do with it? If you're in the market for a PC that supports multi-touch, Microsoft is making a multitouch PC even more appealing by announcing its Microsoft Touch Pack for Windows 7.
Microsoft Touch Pack is a product of the collaboration between the Windows and Surface development teams, and as a result, Microsoft Touch Pack includes three Microsoft Surface applications and three casual games. Here's what you get:
Microsoft Surface Globe enables you to navigate the Virtual Earth 3D version of the world by touch, and lets you get local information as you "fly" by particular places.
Microsoft Surface Collage brings one of the original Microsoft Surface "touch and move the photos" demos to life, adding the ability to convert a collage into a desktop background.
Microsoft Surface Lagoon is a multi-touch enabled screensaver - watch fish gather around your "submerged" finger.
Casual gamers can enjoy the Rube Goldbergesque Microsoft Blackboard, a mashup of death rays and air hockey in Microsoft Rebound, and float origami on the water in Microsoft Garden Pond.
To find out who gets their hands on Microsoft Touch Pack first, join us after the jump.
Former IBM mergers and acquisitions chief David Johnson finds himself on the potentially wrong end of a lawsuit seeking to prevent him from accepting employment with Dell. According to IBM, the new job would allegedly run afoul an agreement Johnson signed preventing him from working with rival companies.
"Mr. Johnson has possession of valuable confidential information and cannot undertake a senior strategy position at Dell without violating his obligations to IBM," said Edward Barbini, a spokesman for IBM. "Mr. Johnson repeatedly received significant compensation in exchange for agreeing to noncompete provisions."
For the last nine years, Johnson oversaw mergers and acquisitions and was privy to other strategic deals, according to the lawsuit. However, it remains unclear exactly what position Johnson was offered with Dell.
"Characterizations by others of his role are speculative," said David Frink, a spokesman for Dell. "Without exception, Dell respects the trade secrets and intellectual property of others."
The general consensus among consumers is that DRM sucks, and the often draconian measures used to prevent copyright infringement do very little, if anything, to prevent software piracy. The argument is that DRM only shackles the honest consumer, while pirates figure ways around the copyright schemes regardless. But could DRM also be giving otherwise law-abiding citizens cause to cross the legal line?
That's exactly what DRM is doing, according to the first empirical study of its kind in the UK. In a new paper titled, "Technological accommodation of conflicts between freedom of expression and DRM: the first empirical assessment." Cambridge law professor Patricia Akester says she spent the last several years interviewing lecturers, end users, government officials, rights holders, and DRM developers to see what affect DRM was actually having.
In one example, Akester cited a situation in which a blind person who bought a legal electronic copy of the Bible from Amazon could not utilize text-to-speech. Amazon's policy is not to refund eBooks once they've been downloaded, and the publisher proved little help. Seemingly out of options, Lynn Holdsworth, the individual in question, ended up tracking down an illegal copy without the text-to-speech limitation. Not exactly what one envisions as the typical pirate.
You can read Akester's lengthy paper here, or view the shorter version here.
Facebook this week announced that Russian investment firm Digital Sky Technologies (DST) made a $200 million investment into the social networking site in exchange for preferred stocks. The deal gives DST nearly a 2 percent equity stake in Facebook, and for you number crunchers, values the company at a healthy $10 billion.
"This investment demonstrates Facebook's ongoing success at creating a global network for people to share and connect," said Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg. "We've worked hard to bring than 200 million people -- 70 percent outside of the U.S. -- onto Facebook to share with friends, family, and co-workers. A number of firms approached us, but DST stood out because of the global perspective they bring."
And the $200 million. Facebook had previously said that it doesn't expect to generate positive cash flow until sometime next year, so the cash infusion during a global recession comes well timed.
Zalman has attracted more than a few fans of air cooling (pun only slightly intended) with its CNPS line of high-end heatsink/fan combos, and the company's newest entry -- the CNPS 10X Extreme -- trades in its signature circular heatpipe design in favor of a block design.
The new cooler supports a variety of sockets, including Intel's 775, 1366, and upcoming 1156, and AMD's AM3, AM2+, AM2, 754, 939, and 940. The nickel-plated cooler also comes with what Zalman says is the "world's first RPM controllable PWM fan speed controller," which overrides the motherboard's PWM signal for manual fan speed control, or can alter the signal for low, medium, or high. Best of all, Zalman says the PWM mate can be installed on the case's exterior, when far too often that isn't the case.
Five heatpipes run up through the 10X, which checks in at a hefty 920g. Other specs include aluminum fins, copper base, and noise levels between 20 - 30dBA.
No word yet on availability or price, though you can spy a handful of pics here.
A couple months ago, Big Huge Games was all snug in its grave, just about ready to roll over and go to dead. THQ cut a large portion of the Rise of Nations/Legends developer’s staff, declaring that it had a 50-50 chance of survival. Meanwhile, Big Huge Games reportedly axed its in-development titles, presumably severing the only ties that bound the developer to this world. At the last second, though, baseball star Curt Schilling has leapt in to save the day.
Or at least, his company has, anyway.
38 Studios, named after the incredibly humble Curt Schilling’s jersey number, recently acquired Big Huge Games’ big huge mess of stuff: technology, properties, works-in-progress – everything.
Apparently, Big Huge will be put to work on 38’s “Copernicus” property, a fantasy confab with input from the likes of Spawn creator Todd McFarlane and fantasy author R.A. Salvatore. As such, Copernicus is intended to be a sort of multimedia blitzkrieg, culminating in an Unreal Engine 3-based MMO.
However, Big Huge will serve its new master by developing a Copernicus RPG for current-gen consoles and the PC.
“The acquisition enables us to develop and deliver top-quality games in multiple genres that are based in a shared world, ultimately maximizing the value of our Copernicus MMOG and the intellectual property as a whole,” explained 38 Studios CEO Brett Close.
Now let’s just hope the Copernicus property isn’t retroactively upstaged in the creativity department by Big Huge Games’ own Rise of Legends. After all, the fantasy genre isn’t looking quite as spry as it once did, and Rise of Legends’ steampunk-meets-magic approach actually gave it a nice kick in the pants for once. Forcing those fine folks to work in a generic fantasy setting would be such a waste.
SATA 3.0 will double transfer speeds to 6Gbps, and will be fully backwards compatible with earlier versions of SATA. And, for those of you looking forward, you’ll enjoy the new streaming commands for isochronous data transfers between audio and video applications, and the Low Insertion Force (LIF) connector for smaller 1.8-inch drives.
It’s expected that there will be demonstrations of SATA 3.0 at Computex, but there’s no real word on how long it’ll take for this technology to make its way to the masses.
According to reports, AMD’s six-core Istanbul server processor is set to be unveiled this upcoming Tuesday.
The chip is slated for its official unveiling at the Computex conference on June 2nd. It is meant to rival Intel’s Dunnington processor, and will sport 6MB of L3 cache to share amongst the cores. Each core will also have 512 KB of L2 cache per, and will presumably feature DDR3 support (depending on the socket).
According to the chip’s lead architect, Hans de Vries, AMD will be pitting two of these against one of Intel’s offering, thanks to the size of the chip. The Istanbul chip is reported to only take up 300 square millimeters, while the Dunnington is expected to take up 700 square millimeters.
Early looks at Intel’s new Core i7 chips have surfaced on retail sites, allowing all of us to see just what Intel has in store for the future.
The new chips are scheduled to launch on May 31, according to the web retailer PCs for Everyone. According to several sites, the new chips will consist of the Core i7 Extreme 975 (which will have a clock speed of 3.33GHz) and the Core i7 950 (which will run at 3.06GHz). These two will reportedly sell at $1,129 and $649 respectively.