At this point in the game, we can pretty much recite the core configuration of any new netbook that might appear, and it goes something like this. A 10.1-inch display (give or take an inch), Intel's Atom N270 processor (1.6GHz, 533MHz frontside bus, 512KB L2 cache), 1GB of RAM, a 160GB hard drive, three USB 2.0 ports, WiFi, Bluetooth, a mutlicard reader, and various other odds and ends. So it comes as no surprises that Sharp's Mebius PC-NJ70A follows that blueprint almost to a tee, if not for the combo trackpad / secondary display.
That's right - the PC-NJ70A's trackpad serves double duty as a secondary display with an LCD built right into the palm rest. Protected by a hard transparent material, the little LCD pushes pixels at a respectable 854 x 480 resolution, automatically adjusts brightness levels based on surrounding light, and supports handwriting recognition via the included software.
So far, street prices in Japan are hovering around ¥80,000 (about $817USD). No word yet on when, or if, Sharp plans to sell the Mebius stateside.
Much to the delight of Intel, whose Atom processors have become the de facto standard in all things netbook, the ultraportable PC has proven more popular among the mainstream crowd than Jonas Brothers tickets among tweenage girls. It would seem at this point that netbooks are much more than just a passing fad, but could sales be gearing up to level off?
According to news and rumor site DigiTimes, Taiwan-based netbook vendors say shipment volumes for Q1 are falling short of expectations. The un-cited sources claim that while Acer was estimated to ship two million of its popular Aspire One netbooks in Q1, channel sales didn't hit the mark. The same held true for Asus and its Eee PC sales, which were expected to hit one million units, but fell shy at 900,000. Meanwhile, MSI also reportedly saw lower than expected sales, shipping just 200,000 netbooks.
To make up for the shortfall, channel vendors say both MSI and Acer have started focusing on ultra-thin notebooks.
It's turning out to be a rough month for IBM, who in recent weeks looked like it was going to acquire Sun Microsystems for $7 billion, but lost out to Oracle once takeover talks between big blue and Sun broke down. Had the deal gone through, IBM and Sun would have accounted for about 65 percent of the market for server computers running Unix and 42 percent of the total server market. And maybe better revenue numbers.
Instead, IBM posted an 11 percent drop in its quarterly revenue at $21.7 billion, which was less than Wall Street was expecting, who had forecast $22.6 billion. Net profit for the quarter also dropped 1 percent to $2.3 billion from $2.32 billion one year ago, however this was viewed more of a postive as Wall Street had been expecting a bigger drop in profits.
"These were decent results in light of the challenging economy. Certainly the top line is being impacted by the weak economy," said Andy Miedler, analyst at Edward Jones.
Despite the drop in revenue, IBM has been holding together well when compared to other technology companies. This can be attributed to putting a greater focus on software and services, resulting in a more profitable revenue mix than it had once been. And according to IBM, the company's full-year profit outlook is ahead of pace.
As for losing out to Oracle on the Sun deal, IBM's Chief Financial Officer Mark Loughridge said, "We've been competing with Sun, we know Oracle inside out. They now have the same address and same mail box, but we're talking about the same team that we've been competing against for some time and winning on the field."
Does your car have a USB port? Kick that nasty smoking habit and it just might. By freeing up your car's cigarette lighter, you can then shove Belkin's Micro Auto Charger into the socket and charge your BlackBerry, iPod, or other USB devices.
The Micro Auto Charger comes with a single 1-amp USB "quick-charge port for fastest possible charge" and sits nearly flush with the dashboard, Belkin says. For a little more jingle (and a lot less svelte), Belkin also offers the Dual Auto Charger, which tosses an extra 500mA USB port and USB-to-mini-USB cable into the mix.
You'll have to wait until next month for the Micro Auto Charger, which will sell for $15, or $20 if you want Belkin to include a iPode/iPhone cable. Those interested in the Dual Auto Charger can pick one up now for $30.
If the latest web chatter turns out to be true, then Santa won't be stuffing any 6-core Intel chips in anyone's stockings this year. Instead, news site HKEPC tells us Intel's roadmap for for its 6-core Gulftown chip has been pushed back from Q4 2009 / Q1 2010 to sometime in Q2 2010.
From what we know so far, Gulftown will be worth the wait. Built around the Core i7 architecture, Gulftown will purportedly support HyperThreading, turning those 6 cores into 12. It will also come with two QuickPatch Interconnects (QPIs), 12MB of L3 cache, and hardware encryption support. Perhaps best of all, Intel's 32nm Gulftown likely serve as a drop-in replacement for LGA 1366 socket motherboards and work with current X58 chipsets.
In an understandably controversial move, Konami and Atomic Games recently demonstrated their upcoming “realistic” shooter, Six Days in Fallujah. The game – apparently supervised by the hardened eyes of soldiers who actually fought the debatably good fight – will focus primarily on the Second Battle of Fallujah. And as much as I enjoy the beautifully orchestrated, occasionally tear-jerking fictional plots of games like Call of Duty 4 and Brothers in Arms, I think Konami’s bold leap is a necessary one.
There’s just one problem, though: They’re doing it wrong.
Many publications were recently invited into the trenches of the still deep-in-development title, and – as many dejected “first impressions” articles can attest – Fallujah’s gameplay’s paradoxical lack of realism stands out like, well, Rambo in a shootout. Take this bit, for instance:
“In another clip, the player broke off from his squad, crouched up behind two insurgents who were firing on US soldiers, and took them out from a few feet away like some kind of renegade commando. I may be ignorant of this particular battle, but I've certainly never heard of any Army ninjas breaking off from their squads and capping insurgents solo. Maybe something like that has happened once or twice; either way, the videogamey nature of the moment seemed entirely out of place,” said Shacknews reporter Nick Breckon.
Continue reading to find out why Six Days in Fallujah is in such a schizophrenic state, and how we can salvage it.
"The design goal is to provide an overall update of the system within the same ID and external appearance," OLPC’s VP of hardware development, John Watlington, announced on Friday. The revised version, which is due in November, will feature 1GB DDR2 SDRAM (currently 256MB) and up to 8GB flash storage (currently 1GB). OLPC will abandon the x-86 processor platform and adopt an ARM-based processor in its stead as part of its Generation 2.0 refresh.
How do blokes at the S60 on Symbian Consumer Operations (SOSCO) contend with monotony that usually plagues people at workplaces with such unimaginative names? They savagely slaughter time through such wild undertakings as the porting of Symbian to an off-the-shelf Atom-based motherboard – please do try that at home.
“ A few of the bright and capable guys in the SOSCO (S60 on Symbian Customer Operations) team have Symbian compiling via GCC and now running on an off the shelf Atom based motherboard from Intel,” Lee Williams, Executive Director of the Symbian Foundation, wrote in a blog post.
Williams wrote that the “responsiveness of the UI and upper application layers” impressed him the most. Williams’ bluster apart, the screenshots are rather vapid.
It was roughly three years ago that Ask Jeeves retired Jeeves, and became Ask.com. But, after a long hiatus, the mild mannered Jeeves has made his way back onto the search site… for those living in the UK.
Jeeves, getting the home-team advantage, has changed from a 2D character into a full 3D icon, and can be found, once again, on the search engine’s home page. He will reportedly offer additional search options, as well as interact with the searcher. And, in his own words, “I popped out three years ago to travel the world in a quest for knowledge and I've returned to Blighty armed with answers. During my sojourn research showed the public wanted me back, which I found jolly touching.”
Well Jeeves, welcome back to the land of Internet search engines. Who knows, maybe we’ll see you over here again someday!
Only after a few months of being on the market, HP has decided to cut the price of the Firebird 802 gaming desktop by $500. The price cut includes a $150 cut to the base price, as well as a $350 instant rebate, bringing the $1,799 price down to $1,299.
For those that haven’t been paying attention to the Firebird since release, that $1,299 will get you an Intel Core 2 Quad 9400 processor, 4GB of RAM, a 500GB HDD and two Nvidia GeForce 9800S GPUs, each packing 512MB of DDR3. Not to shabby considering the new price point.
If you’re interested in checking out the Firebird 802 for yourself, be sure direct your browser here, to HP’s site.