For the first time in… ever, Apple has gone ahead and crushed a rumor. Specifically, about the possibility of there being new Macs before the holidays.
A (previously) circulating rumor about the chances of a new Mac mini or iMac being released before this upcoming holiday season has been debunked by Apple spokesman Bill Evans. Evans, clearly being a man of few words, simply stated, “our holiday lineup is set.”
Translation; this isn’t Apple pulling anyone’s chain. If you’re looking to buy someone a shiny new toy from the Cupertino giant, go right ahead. They’re not going to risk making the Apple faithful or new switchers mad by releasing a new version of a product right after they’ve finished their holiday shopping, so put your mind (but not your wallet) at ease.
While the presidential election might only come around every four years, the monotonous coverage has become all too predictable. Tuning in to your favorite news station will inevitably net pundits from both the Republican and Democratic parties giving a play-by-play analysis of how the voting has gone aided by a blue and red color coded map of the United States. Rinse and repeat in four years.
But this year the process looks to get a bit more interesting from a technological standpoint. Instead of remote interviews showing the candidates on a split screen or a floating window, CNN will look to up its geek cred with the use of holograms.
"Everyone is doing something virtual this election year," says CNN senior VP David Bohrman, the guy who pushed the technology. "Virtual elements in a real set look so much better than a real person in a virtual set."
To make it happen, CNN will use 44 cameras and 20 computers in each remote location to capture 360-degree imaging data of the person being interviewed. The images will then be processed and beamed by computers and cameras located in New York. The end result, if all goes to plan, is that those being interviewed, whether a spokesperson from the Obama or McCain camp, will appear as though he or she is in CNN's television studio.
Will holographic interviews make you more likely to tune into CNN? Hit the jump and post your thoughts.
Back when boutique OEM system builders operated as standalone entities, owning a custom built rig by the likes of a Voodoo PC often required a hefty investment up to several times more than what you could expect to pay if going the DIY route. This scenario has changed somewhat in recent years thanks in part to falling hardware prices and acquisitions by mainstream OEMs. Such is the case with Voodoo PC, who was acquired by HP back in 2006. More recently, HP decided to merge its Voodoo PC unit with its consumer business unit, a move that Raul Sood, CTO for HP's Global Gaming Business, said would "ultimately mean that Voodoo and Voodoo-influenced products will be easier to buy, faster get, they will feature local service, and they have the full power of HP's marketing and sales channel behind them."
Fast forward to today and HP is making good on Sood's promise. Effective immediately, the price of the Voodoo Envy 133 drops a couple of C-notes from $2,100 to $1,900. As an added bonus, each Envy shipped will also include a second battery at no additional charge, an offer that stands until November 30. On the desktop side, the HP Blackbird 002 also gets a price cut and can now be had for $1,800.
Could the days of high-priced boutique builds be nearing an end? Probably not, but gamers on a budget who aren't interested in building their own machine have more options today than in year's past. In addition to HP's price cuts, Alienware (a Dell acquisition) this week announced an affordable dual-GPU CrossFireX gaming notebook.
Whether you place the blame on ISPs for not upgrading their infrastructure or the small number of bandwidth hogs clogging up the pipes (with all legal content, of course), metered bandwidth looks to become the norm rather than the exception. AT&T becomes the latest to jump on board and will begin trials for metered internet access for subscribers living in Reno, Nevada. But that's not the half of it.
Those of you who were outraged at Comcast for having put a 250GB cap in place might want to stop reading now. According to a letter filed electronically with the FCC, AT&T attorney Jack Zimmerman says the size of his company's bandwidth caps will vary based on the service level. Customers on the 768kbps plan will be hit the hardest and have just 20GB to work with, while 6mbps subscribers will be capped at 150GB, or 100GB less than what Comcast is allowing. Should customers go over their service level's limit, a $1 per gigabyte charge will be assessed to the monthly bill.
Customers who want no part of the caps can choose to cancel their service and have their early termination fee waived. We imagine there are readily available alternatives in Reno, but should AT&T's test run spread to other areas, finding another ISP may not always be as easy. AT&T boasts 14.7 million subscribers, enough to rank the company as the largest ISP in the U.S.
While InPhase Technologies and its holographic storage solution has a long ways to go before it reaches Duke Nukem status for a laughably late product, the promised technology is beginning to smell a lot like vaporware. The company has been promising a holographic drive since early 2005, and now nearly four years later, InPhase has pushed back it's first drive ship date until late 2009.
On paper, the technology looks tantalizing. By altering the angle of lasers, data stored as holograms can be read or written and can co-exist in the same physical space. This translates into huge amounts of data to the tune of 800GB and even 1.6TB discs, according to the company's 3-generation roadmap.
The technology requires highly sophisticated and precise optics, development of which has been at the heart of the delays. InPhase had intended to ship it's first $18,000 drive in December, but in sorting out a last minute development problem, the company instead ended up laying off part of its workforce. Rumors suggest that as many has half of InPhase's staff may have been given a pink slip earlier this year.
So here's the big question: Which will come first, Duke Nukem Forever or holographic storage? Hit the jump and give us your prediction.
Pioneer has to be feeling giddy following its most recent court victory. Pioneer had accused Samsung of willfully infringing on two of its patents -- U.S. Patent Numbers 5,182,489 and 5,640,068 -- covering plasma display technology. It took an eight-day trial to convince Hon. David J. Folsom in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas in Marshall, who awarded Pioneer with a $59 million verdict, part of which covers lost profits and royalties.
"We are very pleased with the jury's finding," says Mr. Baxter of McKool Smith, the firm who represented Pioneer. "This was a complicated case and we were fortunate to have jurors that closely examined the facts before reaching their verdict."
And fortunate Pioneer was. The jury ruled in favor of the company on every count brought against Samsung. Not surprisingly, Samsung has yet to comment on the ruling.
Tough times are ahead for Circuit City. The mega electronics chain plans to close 155 stores and evaluate its options moving forward in a restructuring attempt . As part of the store closings, Circuit City also said it will cut 17 percent of its domestic workforce.
"While management is working diligently to secure the support of its vendors and believes it has maintained good relationships with these important partners," the company said in a statement, "the current mix of terms and credit availability is becoming unmanageable for the company.
The store closures are to take place today, with closing sales to begin on November 5. While disappointing for patrons of the brick and mortar outlet, Circuit City's previous CEO Philip Schoonover warned that it could close stores as part of a turnaround plan.
After EA dribbled its drop into the bucket, it was only a matter of time until other mega-publishers hopped in line. Proving the previous statement's veracity, here's THQ.
According to prettymucheveryone -- save for, of course, THQ -- the publisher plans to pack five studios onto the chopping block this week, bringing its total posse down from 16 studios to an economy sized 11.
The development studios being given the go ahead to stroll toward the light are Paradigm (Stuntman Ignition), Helixe, Locomotive, Sandblast Games and Mass Media.
Additionally, Juice Games (known for, uh, racing title Juiced) will remain open, but will lose roughly one third of its staff.
Our prayers are with those who find themselves unemployed. Good luck, everyone.
Coming right after "guns" and just before "violence" on the list of things one should include in a non-cover-based game with projectile-firing ordinances, there's the easy-to-operate first person viewpoint. Apparently, space-faring MMO Tabula Rasa just got the memo -- plopped into its lap by a non-electronic, 1997 carrier pigeon*. Said Graphics Programmer John "Johnny Death" Styles:
"First, what is better than blasting some Bane with your trusty shotty? How about blasting some Bane with your trusty shotty in a first person view? With a FPS view, you can finally get all up-close and personal with your favorite lobster. Just wear your bib because things get pretty messy."
And there's more. If you thought Wolfenstein 3D had trusty shotty groping at the FPS market's spinal cord**, this next doozie will blow your mind. Working scopes. Bam.
Sarcasm aside, however, we have to give JohnnyD and co. props for their final announcement.
"There is nothing better than walking around in a hulking mass of metal and firepower. That is, unless you are sitting in the cockpit of one. Yes, that is right! Click zoom yourself into a cockpit of walking death and lay waste to your foes. Try not to step on your squad."
Garriot's space odyssey was probably snooze-worthy after designing that.
A press release from Valve has heralded the imminent arrival of the Steam Cloud; the ability to access your Steam savefiles and controller configs from any computer. Left 4 Dead will be the first title to have the Cloud functionality, and Valve has said they'll be retrofitting their back catalog with the feature.
According to Valve, the Steam Cloud will "just work." By this they mean that gamers won't have to do anything to get their saves and options into the Cloud; it will all happen automatically. Similarly, when a user logs onto their account on a new computer their data will be downloaded for them by default.
Valve president Gabe Newell explained the philosophy behind the Steam cloud, saying "For some time now, Steam has allowed gamers to log on from any computer in the world and access their applications ... Steam Cloud is a natural extension of the portability Steam affords gamers and developers, and we intend to expand its feature set as it is used in Left 4 Dead and other games coming to Steam."
Left 4 Dead launches on 18th, with the demo (which includes Steam Cloud) coming later this week. Are you psyched? Let us know after the jump.