In what's being billed as "Design Excellence for Engineers," 3DConnexion, maker of 3D input peripherals, launched the SpacePilot Pro this week. It's one of the grooviest looking mice we've ever seen and comes with a ton of goodies for CAD professionals, including an integrated color LCD display.
"The SpacePilot Pro's LCD Worldflow Assistant gives at-a-glance visibility, whether it's email, calendar events, or RSS feeds," said Deiter Neujahr, 3DConnexions president. "It's push technology but the user can easily customize what they do and don't want to see. The intention is to focus you on your design work, with fewer interruptions to your workflow and less clutter on your main display."
Other features include keyboard modifiers (ESC, CTRL, ALT, SHIFT), 3D mouse keys, a SpaceNavigator knob capable of left/right, up/down, forward/backward, tilt, spin, and roll maneuvers, function keys, several applets, and a bunch more.
Gamers need not apply, but if you're into CAD, the svelte SpacePilot Pro might be just what you're looking for, provided you're willing to drop $500 on an input peripheral.
Breaking: The Swedish District court holding the infamous Pirate Bay trial issued a Guilty verdict early this morning, sentencing each of the four defendents involved to one year of jail time and split fines of 3.6 million dollars. The founders of the Pirate Bay were found guilty of assisting copyright infringement, even though half of the initial charges against them were dropped shortly after the trial began. The complete verdict can be found here (in Swedish). More news on the ramifications of this trial as it develops.
You are reading Maximum PC because you love to build, and tweak your rig. We will gladly spend hours trying to nudge a few extra clock cycles out of our CPU’s, but why do so many of us refuse to touch our network settings? The vast majority of users simply plug in their network cables, cross their fingers, and sacrifice an AOL CD to the gods who keep Conficker at bay. Truth be told, without going into too much depth up front, there is a really easy way to boost your surfing speed and it requires very little effort at all. This same tool gives you the ability to customize your internet experience further by creating URL shortcuts, or even filtering content, all without extra software.
The tool we are referring to is Domain Name System, or DNS for short. In a nutshell, DNS is your phone book for the internet. It helps translate a friendly internet domain like www.maximumpc.com, into IP address that our computer needs to find servers on the internet. Each time you visit a new website, a DNS query is issued in the background, and you’re none the wiser. Internet service providers supply DNS to all their customers, but these servers tend to be overpopulated, and certainly aren’t a priority to them because it’s difficult for the average user to measure performance. Power users are intimately familiar with how to benchmark raw connection speeds, but before that even becomes a factor, your machine needs IP address which is supplied by your DNS. Even if your smoking fast Fiber Optic connection can handle 18 Mbps, if your ISP’s DNS server wastes several seconds looking up your favorite website, you connection may be sitting in limbo when you could be surfing instead.
Interested in finding out how to improve the responsiveness of your connection and learning more about your DNS options? Hit the jump to find out more.
The memory market is in desperate need of some good news, and it just might be getting it. Citing un-named industry sources, DigiTimes says Taiwan's DRAM chip suppliers are eyeing an early recovery as the spot price of DDR2 1Gb eTT chips continues to rise significantly.
DDR2 chips climbed 6 percent to close at $1.2 yesterday, and is up again slightly to $1.21 today. According to DRAMeXchange, estimated DDR2 contract prices will very likely rise anywhere from 15 to 20 percent sequentially in the second quarter of 2009, after having remained flat since February.
That means if you're looking to score one final DDR2 upgrade this year, now might be the best time to do so.
In what amounts to a virtual corporate staring contest, only less exciting, both Sun Microsystems and IBM appear unwilling to blink first and wants the other to make the first move towards an acquisition. For Sun's part, the company is now saying it would be willing to resume takeover talks with IBM, provided IBM makes a stronger show of commitment to seal the deal.
IBM had previously offered close to $7 billion to acquire Sun, but Sun, skittish that IBM would change its mind in the face of an antitrust review or other barriers, as well as feeling that the amount was too low, rejected the bid and said it would no longer negotiate with IBM exclusively.
Since the talks broke down, Sun's shares have fallen, causing the company to lose about 28 percent of its value. IBM's shares have fallen too, but to a much lesser extent.
Both Sun and IBM refused to comment on what progress, if any, is being made.
Most of us view spam as an annoyance with the greatest cost associated with junk email being our time. However an even bigger price is being paid by the environment, a problem underscored by the startling amount of junk email that now flutters across the web. We're talking about 62 trillion spam messages in 2008 alone, according to a report released by McAfee.
In terms of the environment, McAfee researchers say each piece of junk email emits 0.3 grams of carbon dioxide (CO2), or a combined 17 million metric tons of CO2 for all spam-related emissions in 2008.
"The amount released into the atmosphere is significant," said Dave Marcus, director of security research for McAfee. "Spam has a big carbon footprint. It's something people be aware of."
Most of the spam-related greenhouse gas emission -- 80 percent -- comes from the energy used by PC users to view, delete, and sort for legitimate messages, McAfee says. The silver lining here is that by taking steps to reduce spam, you not only reclaim your inbox, but also can have a noticeable impact on the environment.
California utility Pacific Gas & Electric has announced it will present its proposed agreement with Solaren Corp. in front of state regulators for ratification. PG&E plans to purchase 200 megawatts of space-based solar power from Solaren over the course of 15 years.
Solaren expects to begin producing space-based solar power by 2016. If Solaren’s ambitious plan refuses to take off, the utility won’t suffer financially as it will only be required to pay for the power it receives.
"While a system of this scale and exact configuration has not been built, the underlying technology is very mature and is based on communications satellite technology. For over 45 years, satellites have collected solar energy in earth orbit via solar cells, and converted it to radio frequency energy for transmissions to earth receive stations. This is the same energy conversion process Solaren uses for its (space solar power) plant,” Solaren CEO Gary Spirnak said in an interview published on PG&E’s official blog.
IBM this week announced that members of its Bulk Process Alliance -- Globalfoundris, Chartered Semiconductor, Sasmung Electronics, ST Microelectronics, Infineon Technologies -- have begun jointly developing 28nm, high-k metal gate, low-power bulk complementary metal oxide semiconductor process technology (forgot about saying that three times fast, try doing it just once!).
"Clients can begin their designs today in leadership 32nm HKMG technology and then transition to 28nm technology for density and power advantages, without the need for a major redesign," IBM said. "By assuring a path from 32nm to 28nm technology, this migration methodology offers clients lower risk, reduced cost, and faster time-to-market."
The move to 28nm is an important one that purports to provide 40 percent better performance than current 45nm parts, while also reducing power consumption by 20 percent. Moreover the HKMG technology offers better power leakage characteristics for longer battery life, which added altogether will be a boon for mobile devices.
Asus and HP are both avowedly toying with the idea of Android-based netbooks. Both of them have, in fact, assigned engineers to the task of porting Android to netbooks. But Android won’t remain confined to just cell phones and netbooks by the looks of things.
Nine of last month’s 20 best-selling PC games’ titles contain the word “war” in some way or another, including colonial chart-topper Empire: Total War. Special honors go to Warhammer 40k: Dawn of War II for having “war” in its title twice. Videogames encouraging violence? No way.
Here’s the entire, blood-soaked chart for your viewing pleasure:
Empire: Total War / Creative Assembly / $48
World Of Warcraft: Wrath of the Lich King / Blizzard / $38
The Sims 2 Double Deluxe / EA Maxis / $19
Warhammer 40K: Dawn of War II / Relic / $48
World Of Warcraft Battle Chest / Blizzard / $38
World Of Warcraft / Blizzard / $20
The Sims 2 Apartment Life Exp. Pack / EA Maxis / $19
Spore / EA Maxis / $49
World Of Warcraft: Burning Crusade Expansion Pack / Blizzard / $29
Mystery Case Files: Return to Ravenhearst / Big Fish Games / $20
Command & Conquer: Red Alert 3 / EA LA / $28
StarCraft Battle Chest / Blizzard / $20
Fallout 3 / Bethesda / $49
Civilization IV / Firaxis / $21 (Average)
Empire: Total War - Special Forces Edition / Creative Assembly / $70
The Sims 2 Pets Exp. Pack / EA Maxis / $19
Warhammer Online: Age Of Reckoning / EA Mythic / $29
The Sims 2 University Exp. Pack / EA Maxis / $19
Call Of Duty: World At War / Treyarch / $50
Diablo Battle Chest / Blizzard / $36
With the way mainstream headlines have been going lately, we can’t imagine that “Country X Delcares War on Country Y, Videogames to Blame” is far off.