The study used an MRI to measure the brain activity of a group of seniors while they performed simulated internet search tasks, and also as they read a book. According to Dr. Gary Small, the tests showed that “when older people read a simulated book page, we see areas of the brain activated… When they search on the Internet, they use the same areas, but there was much greater activation particularly in the front part, which controls decision-making and complex reasoning.”
Of course, greater brain activity is good for keeping sharp (hence the popularity of Nintendo’s Brain Age series of games) so this study means that searching the net could help keep you firing on all cognitive cylinders as you age. However, the increased activity was only found in those who had experience with searching the internet, so if you have any older relatives who are still net-illiterate, it might be time to give them a few lessons in the fine art of Googling.
Full-blown instant-on technology is considered by some to be the holy grail of computing, whereby once you hit the power button, your PC's ready to go. It's safe to assume we won't see this implemented in its entirety anytime soon, but steps have already been taken in that direction. Asus' SplashTop OS makes it possible to fire up Pidgin, Skype, or a browser all before booting into the main operating system, and similar functionality can be found on some Dell Latitude notebooks and even Voodoo's Envy. These Linux-based systems on a chip are all the rage and appear to have drawn the attention of Microsoft.
In a recent Microsoft survey sent out to select users, the software giant pinged consumer interest in "Instant On" technology. The survey notes that "Instant On takes your computer from being completely powered down or 'turned off' to being usable for a few specific activities in a very short amount of time." The survey goes on to ask participants a series of related questions, such as what value they place on Instant On technology and what types of applications would they expect to be able to use.
So what exactly does Microsoft have planned? It could be nothing, or it could be feature to pop up in Windows 7. Or maybe the next iteration of Centrino will come standard with Instant On. The list of possibilities goes on and on, but at the very least, the company's exploring user interest and is aware of the trend.
Hit the jump and tell us what you think Microsoft is up to, and whether or not you care.
Two days ago, Microsoft announced that the code name “Windows 7” was in fact more than a code name, and that the OS would actually be released under the moniker. Since then, there’s been some head-scratching about what exactly Windows 7 will be the seventh of. Today, Mike Nash posted again to clear up the confusion, and explain exactly how Microsoft arrived at the name.
In brief, Nash explained that the up through Windows 3.0, each release got its own number. Then, they started getting a little more conservative with release numbers, with NT still being part of version 3, and all the 9x platforms making up 4.0. 2000 and XP comprised number 5, and Vista is 6.0.
So, naturally it’s called Windows 7 because it’s Windows 7.0, right?
Err, no. Windows 7 is actually Windows 6.1. He explains the reasoning for this as follows:
“We learned a lot about using 5.1 for XP and how that helped developers with version checking for API compatibility. We also had the lesson reinforced when we applied the version number in the Windows Vista code as Windows 6.0-- that changing basic version numbers can cause application compatibility issues.”
So Windows 7 is certainly not the seventh Windows release, and it’s not Windows 7.0, either. It’s just… Windows 7. What do you think of the name? Hit the jump and let us know.
EMC earlier this year acquired storage and network security solutions company Iomega Corporation, who is perhaps best known for its line of Zip and Jaz drives. Today Iomega announces the first co-produced storage drive between the two companies, resulting in the StorCenter ix2. For $300, consumers get a network storage solution the company describes as being "smaller than a large dictionary." The price point works out to $0.30 per gigabyte.
"These are market-based prices," Iomega division president Jonathan Huberman said. "It's ridiculous how cheap these things are, but it is what it is. A great value for the consumer."
Upping the bang for buck factor, a 2TB version is also being made available for $479, or about $0.24 per gigabyte. Of course, the StorCenter ix2 offers more than raw hard drive space. The unit comes with EMC's Retrospect backup software, virus encryption technology, and RAID 1. A bult in media server and Bluetooth, UPnP (Universal Plug and Play), and DLNA (Digital Living Netwrok Alliance) media device capabilities also come part of the package.
LaCie has always been good about their design, and that trend looks like it’s going to continue with designer Neil Poulton’s HAL 9000 inspired 5big Network Drive.
The 5big is aimed at small and medium sized workgroups with nerves of steel, and a need for a ton of storage. It will feature five hot-swappable Serial ATA drive bays that can hold up to 7.5 terabytes of storage total (more than HAL 9000 had, I bet). Should 7.5 terabytes not be enough, you can always add additional drives through the included USB ports.
The drives that you decide to put in the 5big can be put in several different raid arrays, including RAID 5, RAID 5+Spare, RAID 6, RAID 10 and RAID 0. And thanks to an included Gigabit Ethernet port, anyone connected to your local network can access it.
And don’t worry, should you decide to get a new network drive somewhere along the line you won’t be having the same issues that a certain Dave Bowman did.
The wait is almost over for anyone who has been anticipating Intel's upcoming processor lineup based on the Nehalem architecture. Citing un-named "industry sources," TGDaily says the new processors will launch on November 17, a little over one month from now. That won't be a paper launch either, as Intel CEO Paul Otellini said during the company's Q3 quarter conference call that Core i7 processors have already begun shipping.
While nothing is yet official, rumors regarding the three desktop processors expected to make the initial Core i7 debut remain unchanged from earlier speculation. These include the Core i7-965XE clocked at 3.2GHz, Core i7-940 clocked at 2.93GHz, and Core i7-920 clocked at 2.66GHz. According to those same sources, pricing in thousand tray quantities will be set at $999, $562, and $284 for the 965XE, 940, and 920 respectively.
Also coinciding with the desktop parts, Intel is expected to release high-performance server chips codenamed Nehalem-EP.
We're not so naive to think that male enhancement, weight-loss, and prescription medication solicitations will stop infiltrating our inbox and filling up our spam queue, but perhaps after the Federal Trade Commission's latest bust they'll be a little less frequent. The FTC said on Tuesday it had shut down one of the largest global spam networks allegedly responsible for sending billions of unsolicited emails.
The FTC received some 3 million complaints in connection with spam tied to the HerbalKing operation, which is said to have operated in the United States, China, New Zealand, and other nations. According to the FTC, HerbalKing received $400,000 in Visa credit car charges in a single month, leading a U.S. District Court to freeze the various defendants' assets.
As is typical of spam rings, HerbalKing utilized botnets to mass-mail recipients. Mega-D, believed to be the group's largest botnet, was responsible for 35,000 zombie PCs capable of sending out a whopping 10 billion email solicitations per day. But the list of infractions goes well beyond violating the Can-Spam Act of 2003. The FTC accuses HerbalKing of unlawful operation of a pharmacy, making false claims regarding the safety of herbal products containing potentially harmful ingredients, selling medication without proof of a prescription, and more.
The open source productivity suite Open Office 3.0 moved from beta form into a final release on Monday but was ill prepared for the demand that would follow. Enough users flocked to OpenOffice.org to crash the website, and two days later the site still remains semi-operational. The main page - the only one that's functioning - is adorned with several download links and the following message:
"Apologies - our website is struggling to cope with the unprecedented demand for the new release 3.0 of OpenOffice.org. The technical teams are trying to come up with a solution. Thank you for your patience."
The free alternative (retail version runs $70 and includes technical support and intellectual property indemnification) to Microsoft's Office suite is now more compatible with Office, including letting users immediately read documents saved in the .docx, .xlsx, or .pptx formats.
Have you kicked the tires on Open Office 3.0 yet? Hit the jump and give us your impression.
Samsung this week announced plans to re-enter the U.S. computer market with a lineup ranging from ultraportable to desktop replacements aimed at business professionals. On the lighter side, Samsung's X-Series looks to position itself as a strong competitor to Apple's MacBook Air, and the company isn't shy about letting this be known.
"These products really go after Apple and Sony," said Bret Berg, senior product manager for Samsung's U.S. computer division. "This is the MacBook Air killer."
Samsung will look to back that statement with its X360, a 2.8-pound notebook measuring 1.2 inches at its thickest point and sporting a 13.3-inch display. For $1,900, the X360 comes with a 1.2GHz Intel Core 2 Duo U9300 processor, a 120GB hard drive, and 4GB of DDR3 1066MHz RAM, whereas the $2,500 model steps up to a 1.4GHz U9400 chip and a 128GB solid-state drive, or twice the storage space of the Apple Air selling for $2,600.
For those who need a little more screen real estate, the X460 bumps up to a 14.1-inch display while adding in discrete graphics (GeForce 9200M GS 256MB) and a DVD burner. Like its slightly smaller sibling, the X460 will come in two flavors. The $1,700 version buys a 2.0GHz Intel Core 2 Duo P3750 processor and 250GB hard drive space, or pony up $100 more for a 2.26GHz P8400 chip and a 320GB hard drive.
E-tailers will start carrying the new lineup in mid-November.
Researchers around the globe are trying to make solar panels more efficient and inexpensive. Now, a semiconductor material discovered in the 1990’s might come to their aid.
SIOnyx, a startup stationed in Massachusetts, is leading efforts to commercialize black silicon, which is being tipped to supplant silicon in future solar panels as it’s 100 to 500 times more photosensitive than silicon.
Black silicon is being incorporated into sensor-based chips that will in turn be used in night vision equipment. It will inevitably be integrated in future digital cameras and video cameras.