We hate jumping the gun on things, but we’re feeling pretty confident in our expert assessment that StarCraft II might just drop in 2009. Hell, it’s about time. Today’s announcement that the sci-fi head of Blizzard’s quality-focused hydra is “in the final stretch,” then, already has us jumping the gun on StarCraft II’s release date. And you know how much we hate that.
“We don't want to lie about the Beta, and we don't even want to lie about the next Battle Report. When we know a date (for anything) for certain, we'll let you know,” said StarCraft II lead designer Dustin Browder.
“Hang in there. We're in the final stretch,” he added.
So yeah, that’s basically the article. Thanks for coming out tonight, everyone! It’s been great.
Online behavioral advertisers have received a dressing down from the Federal Trade Commission. In fact, Federal Trade Commissioner Jon Leibowitz - not convinced they are doing enough - has asked advertisers to remain prepared for the “day of reckoning” that may be fast approaching. He has also threatened that FTC might wield its subpoena authority to extract necessary information from these companies.
Last week, the FTC staff issued a report titled Self-Regulatory Principles for Online Behavioral Advertising. The FTC staff has revised its online behavioral principles. It wants users to have the choice of preventing advertisers from collecting their information. The report has also asked advertisers to store private information till it is necessary.
Though the FTC staff, in the report, hasn’t blatantly threatened advertisers, it has still delivered a strict warning behind a diaphanous veil of measured words.
Sick and tired of trying to find the right charger for your cell phone? Whether you're shopping for a new charger or trying to figure out which of the chargers in your desk drawer matches your phone, the industry's current lack of standards could make you just a little bit crazy - especially when you're staring at a blinking battery level display and you're expecting a very important call.
Thankfully, there's good news - if you can wait a few years. Today, GSMA (the mobile phone trade association) announced an agreement between virtually all of the world's major cell phone makers to stop the insanity and adopt a common charging connector standard: Micro-USB. The announcement, appropriately enough, was made at the 2009 Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, CNet's 3GSM World blog reports.
To find out who's teaming up, who's snubbing the new standard, and how soon you can expect to see the standard adopted, join us after the jump.
Lenovo is looking to release an Atom N280 based IdeaPad S20 netbook featuring a larger than usual 12-inch screen. This netbook’s screen size would defy Intel’s limitations on netbooks, stating that devices can’t have screens larger than 10-inches if they are to be considered a netbook.
Reportedly, this will cause Intel to charge Lenovo an extra $10 per processor. But, Lenovo hopes that the size of their machine will boost their netbook sales by avoiding the fierce 10-inch division altogether.
The IdeaPad S20 (with the Atom N280, a GN40 chipset, and Windows XP) is expected to cost roughly $586, but no word yet on availability.
While waiting for Nvidia to release SLI profiles for newly released games is indeed glamorous, it looks like EVGA is taking initiative into their own hands and releasing what they like to call the EVGA SLI Enhancement Patch.
This workaround basically adds SLI profiles created by EVGA before Nvidia adds their own versions to their drivers. According to EVGA, they’re looking to have SLI support for games available within one day of release.
Currently, they’re only supporting users with Windows Vista, but if demand by XP users is great enough they certainly won’t rule out the possibility. If you’re looking to check it out, feel free to download it here (registration required).
In the land down under they’ve got a lot of neat things that are all their own, the John Butler Trio, dingoes, babies for them to eat, and now holographic car salesman. PDM, Australia’s number one digital media company has just launched the first life-size “Holographic Virtual Assistant” at the Audi Centre Sydney, Rosebery.
The holograph works with 3M’s dynamic Vikuiti rear projection film and rear mounted photo projector technology. Given Vikuiti’s particular digital content abilities, it’s allowed PDM to convert a 10mm thick piece of Perspex into a virtual, talking person.
The virtual assistant provides most of the essential information that one would need when looking to buy an Audi. What the dealership is offering, and targeted information depending on who is in the building at that time is all provided.
According to Allan Brinck, the Dealer Principal, “The Audi brand prides itself on innovation and quality and being a progressive brand, we are once again leading the way with this cutting-edge installation. We have been aware of PDM’s track record of innovation in the Australian marketplace for quite some time. The Virtual assistant is a great way for us to connect with our customers and a great example of Audi’s progressive brand coming to life.”
OCZ has been pretty clear that the delays on their Vertex drives was due to the state of their firmware, and now that they appear to have that part out of the way, they’re boasting some mighty impressive numbers.
The latest version of their firmware speeds up sequential read and write performance, so much that it can keep up with Intel’s X-25E Extreme series. But, the Vertex will feature lower prices and higher capacities.
The Indilinx Barefoot SSD controller that the Vertex uses was initially specified to work at 200MB/s sequential read and 160MB/s sequential write, whereas the latest version was able to blow those old numbers out of the water, now moving at 250MB/s sequential read and 240MB/s sequential write.
Most of the talk involving 32nm usually includes an Intel or AMD processor roadmap, but in the mobile world, it's ARM who is garnering the attention. The company this week demonstrated its first 32nm mobile chip. The Cortex processor is built on IBM's high-k metal-gate technology and boasts reduced power consumption to the tune of 10 percent, ARM says.
Developers will have access to the 32nm Cortex design starting this year, but ARM doesn't expect production to ramp up until sometime in 2010. And while no potential customers for the new chip have yet been named, ARM regularly licenses its chip designs to several processor makers, including Samsung, Freescale, Texas Instruments, and Toshiba. Because Samsung supplies the current iPhone CPU, there has already been speculation that ARM's new 32nm chip could be used in the next generation of iPhones.
"This silicon proof is a key step in our roadmap to demonstrate the technical synergy between leading ARM processors, ARM Physical IP, and the Common Platform process technology that delivers best-in-class performance, lowest power consumption and rapid time-to-market,"said Ian Drew, EVP Marketing, ARM. "It also shows that we are fully committed to affording our Partners the earliest possible opportunity to deploy ARM technology, in particular the Cortex-A9 processor and future processors, on the 32/28nm process."
ARM's new chip comes as part of a previously signed three-way deal with IBM, Samsung, and Singapore-based Chartered Semiconductor to not only develop low-power 32nm chips, but 28nm as well.
Contrary to popular belief, the practice of counting cards is not illegal, nor is it considered cheating. But as private establishments, casinos can (and do) remove and even outright ban patrons who are caught tipping the odds in their favor. And what is illegal is using any kind of device to aid in counting cards, which then makes the practice a felony.
As such, Nevada gambling regulators have put the word out to casinos about a new card counting application available to iPhone and iPod touch owners. Nevada first learned of the program after officials at an Indian casino in California discovered some of its customers were using the app.
On a related note, should someone call or text your iPhone in the middle of a Blackjack game, it's probably best to ignore it. Not only would the alternative be obnoxious, but given the above, it could get you escorted out of the casino. And if you believe what you saw in the movie 21, having your trendy phone confiscated could be the least of your worries.
If you're Intel, you have to be ecstatic at the recent trend towards owning a netbook. At a time when many tech companies are posting big losses, the surprising success of netbooks is helping Intel to weather the storm through sales of its Atom processor. But if you're Microsoft, the mood might be decidedly different, even if the company isn't letting on.
On one hand, Microsoft should be thrilled to see more PCs end up in the hands of end users, but that only applies if they come equipped with a Windows-based operating system. And while many netbooks now come configured with Windows XP, Linux is much more prevalent on netbooks than it is on notebooks, which is the result of both underpowered hardware and a desire to keep costs low.
The bad news for Microsoft is that the trend towards netbooks doesn't look to be letting up any time soon. Recent IDC figures show that if you take Atom processor sales out of the equation, total PC shipments are down almost 22 percent. As netbooks continue to sell, that means more users are becoming familiar with Linux, and at a time when Linux is far more user friendly than even one or two years ago.