According to VIA's recently revealed processor roadmap, the company will begin mass producing dual-core Nano CPUs in June of 2010. The late entry would appear to give Intel a significant head start, as the chip maker has already launched its dual-core Atom 330 CPU. But unlike Intel's chip, VIA's dual-core Nano will zero in on both netbooks (notebooks) and nettops (desktops) instead of strictly nettops.
However, Intel might still beat VIA to the punch with Pineview, the company's dual-core Atom part with an integrated graphics solution. That is, if Intel makes the new chip available for netbooks. If not, Intel would be leaving the door open for VIA to step in as the only one to offer a dual-core solution for the uber popular netbook sector. Moreover, despite Nano's lack of penetration thus far, benchmarks typically show the chip outpacing Intel's Atom, albeit while also consuming more power.
Meanwhile, it seems nobody knows exactly what AMD has planned. The chip maker previously announced it was skipping the netbook market, but at the same time would target mini-notebooks. Should the markets overlap, or if AMD has a competitive change of heart, it could make for an interesting three-way battle royal.
Intel has released a new mainstream Core 2 Quad processor in the Q8300. The new 45nm chip comes clocked at 2.5GHz on a 1333MHz front side bus just like the Q9300, but with 4MB of L2 cache instead of 6MB. Look for the chip to sell for around $224.
The new CPU will also likely mark the end of the line for Intel's Core 2 Quad lineup, at least for the immediate future. Of course, Intel will continue to make quad-core processors, just not for the suddenly defunct Core 2 platform. Instead, the company appears to moving all of its efforts to Core i7 and, as Stanley Huang, director of marketing and technical services of Intel's Asia Pacific division said in a statement, boosting Centrino 2's penetration rate.
Huang also reaffirmed that the company's Calpella platform is on schedule despite rumors that it might be delayed for a 2010 launch.
Joining Peter Molyneux, Good Old Games, and Stardock in a swelling anti-DRM chorus, Valve president Gabe Newell has voiced his concerns about DRM's diabolical rule. The big G-man's opinion? Most DRM (ahem) is "just dumb."
"As far as DRM goes, most DRM strategies are just dumb. The goal should be to create greater value for customers through service value (make it easy for me to play my games whenever and wherever I want to), not by decreasing the value of a product (maybe I'll be able to play my game and maybe I won't)," Newell said in an email to a fan named Paul Reisinger (who promptly posted the response on his Live Journal page).
"We really, really discourage other developers and publishers from using the broken DRM offerings, and in general there is a groundswell to abandon those approaches," he added.
Of course, this is a huge about-face for Valve, whose Steam platform once coated games in a jawbreaker-esque, nigh-impenetrable DRM shell. Luckily, Newell and co. had the sense to mash that particular padlock with a crowbar, rendering its DRM far more tolerable.
Nice preaching on Newell's part, though. Choir, do you have anything to add?
It looks like Netgear has been keeping busy fixing the world’s problems. First they made tech green and now they’re responding to the generic home theater PC, with the (early) introduction of the Digital Entertainer Elite.
Thanks to some shots from the FCC, we can get a first look at the Netgear Digital Entertainer Elite that’s expected to be announced at CES. The all-in-one features the ability to play every digital format that you’d want at rates up to 40Mbps, the same as Blu-ray. And while it may not have a TV tuner, it does include a Wireless-N adapter.
On top of the component, optical and SCART outputs, it’ll feature HDMI so you can watch all your favorite media at up to 1080p. Also, should you find yourself packing movies onto a SATA HDD, you can toss that in there as well.
No word yet on pricing, but keeping in mind that it’ll feature the ability to play just about any type of digital media that you can think of, it’s safe to bet that it’ll cost a pretty penny.
In recent times, there have been quite a few reports about some enterprises having professed their liking for Windows XP. The consumers and enterprises that have vowed to abstain from Windows Vista, or plan on running old software owned by them, are scampering for used XP-toting PCs.
There is no dearth of Windows XP PCs as millions of users are supplanting their old PCs with newer ones that run Vista; a Gartner study pegged the number of discarded XP PCs in 2007 at 197 million.
Kaplan advises consumers to be slightly more cautious while purchasing secondhand PCs online as they are very likely to come loaded with a pirated version of XP.
The talk of Vista and XP is known to have elicited some passionate responses from Maximum PC readers in the comments section before and so you are expected to be ready with your astute views on this occasion as well.
The Malaysian website Tech ARP, which previously figured out the release schedule for Windows Vista SP1 and Windows XP SP3, has looked into its crystal ball again and predicts Vista SP2 will be released to manufacturing in April 2009. First, though, a release candidate (RC) will be released in February.
So, what will be the big attractions in Vista SP2?
Windows Search 4.0
Bluetooth 2.1 Feature Pack
Native Blu-Ray recording
Windows Connect Now support for easier Wi-Fi connections
UTC timestamp support in the exFAT file system to enable correct file synchronization across timezones
Keep in mind that Vista SP2 will only install on systems running Vista SP1.
Some users wonder if Vista SP2 is coming too quickly after the release of Vista SP1. To find out how the release schedule for Vista SP2 compares to other service pack releases for past Windows versions, and for your chance to comment, join us after the break.
Acer, the world’s #3 PC manufacturer, is on the brink of releasing a new netbook to accompany the Aspire One, and an all-in-one desktop computer that’s aimed directly at competing with Asus’s Eee Top and Apple’s iMac.
The netbook will measure 10.2”, cost roughly $500 and will be powered by Intel’s Atom processor. It’s reported that the system will include Vista and offer storage capacities of up to 320GB. Thanks to the size of the screen, it’s claimed that the display will sport a horizontal resolution of 1024 pixels, allowing users to view the entire width of most web pages (like this one!).
Also, thanks to some unconfirmed reports, rumors have been swirling about the possibility of Acer launching a cheap all-in-one desktop next year. The system will supposedly be aimed at competition with Apple’s iMac and Asus’ Eee Top.
While the battle between Windows and Linux wages on, a similar struggle is set to take place in the cloud. Instant-on computing has been gaining ground, helped in large part by Asus pushing a custom version of SplashTop on select motherboards and Eee PCs, and now Good OS steps into the browser-based OS fray.
If the name looks familiar, it's because the company's gOS Linux debuted in Wal-Mart's ill-fated $199 Everex gPC. But this time around, Good OS is focusing entirely on the cloud with an instant-on derivative appropriately called Cloud. The company showed off its browser-based OS running on Gigabyte touch-screen netbooks at the Netbook World Summit in Paris today.
"We are excited to preview the Gigabyte Touch-Screen Netbook with Cloud and Windows together," said a Good OS spokesperson. "With Cloud, Gigabyte Netbooks will power on to the Internet in seconds, while still supporting killer applications together with Windows XP."
Instead of loading a typical desktop, Cloud runs entirely in a browser that looks nearly identical to Google's Chrome. At the bottom of the browser, an integrated dock gives quick access to several apps and Web 2.0 portals. But like SplashTop, Cloud isn't meant to replace the main OS, and instead run alongside it.
Good OS plans to make more details available at CES in January, 2009.
While the news of the 400GB Pioneer disc isn’t necessarily new, the fact that it’s made it to production is. Just today at the IT Month fair in Taiwan, Pioneer announced that their 400GB Blu-ray disc would be hitting mass production sometime in 2010.
The disc’s ability to pack so much storage is all thanks to a breakthrough in the material used to create reflective layers. According to Pioneer High Fidelity Taiwan, this also allows the pick-up head of the disc to match that of current Blu-ray technology, allowing the discs to be played using current drives.
Pioneer’s plan to release the disc to the public in 2010 is followed swiftly by the release of rewritable discs in 2010-2012. Though, 1TB discs will quickly follow in 2013, according to the current roadmap.
Talk to any Mac-inite and he'll tell you how secure his Mac is compared to your Windows-based PC. And admittedly, he's right. But is it because Mac OS X is inherently more secure than Windows, or do virus writers simply not give a damn when there are so many Windows users to target? Justin Long doesn't say, and instead insinuates that Mac users needn't worry about malware - see for yourself.
In what might be an ironic twist, Apple's ad campaign has helped Macs increase its market share and potentially draw attention to the platform as a viable target. For the first time ever, Apple is telling its users to install antivirus software.
"Apple encourages the widespread use of multiple antivirus utilities so that virus programmers have more than one application to circumvent, thus making the whole virus writing process more difficult," Apple posted on its support site.
But don't take that to mean that Apple suddenly thinks its operating system is wrought with security holes. As Dave Marcus, director of security research and communications at McAfee points out, malware is targeting data and not a specific OS. Vulnerabilities in Flash and the Safari web browser, for example, have given rise to non-OS attacks.
Reaction to Apple's recommendation? Hit the jump and post your thoughts.