Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and while we described Acer's Predator PCs as looking "hot," we meant it figuratively, not literally. As it turns out, it didn't matter how me meant it, because according to Acer, who has issued a recall, the high-end gaming rigs are prone to overheating posing a potential burn hazard.
"Acer has received two reports of computers short circuiting, resulting in melted internal components and external casing. Neither incident occurred in the U.S. No injuries have been reported," Acer wrote in its recall notice.
Acer said the problem occurs when insulation on the affected machines' internal wiring becomes bent or stripped, causing the wires to overheat. The recall includes model numbers ASG7200 and ASG7700, which Acer says were sold by computer and electronic stores nationwide from May 2008 through December 2008.
If you have one of these models, Acer says you should stop using it immediately and contact them at 866-695-2237 or visit Acer's website.
Last fall, Google Labs introduced "Mail Goggles," a feature which, once enabled, tasks email composers with solving a few simple math problems before firing that off that email that could potentially fire you back, assuming you were about to send an angry letter to your boss from a drunken stupor. But you don't have to be drunk to regret sending an email, so Google Labs' latest feature lets you unsend a Gmail message you might later regret.
Called "Undo Send," you'll have five seconds to take a mulligan on that Gmail message, which gives you enough time to declare 'Oh s**t!' and still unsend that message you inadvertently set for "reply all," but leaves little time for fumbling the mouse in a panicked state.
"Adding a delay could be potentially frustrating," said Keith Coleman, Google product manager. "We may decide to add longer options."
Coleman indicated there's an option to increase the unsend time window to 10 seconds, though after installing this feature, we saw no option beyond 5 seconds.
You can find the "Undo Send" feature in the Labs tab under Settings.
If you're brand new to the DIY PC building scene, you may think Intel chipset-based motherboard owners have always been able to run multiple Nvidia videocards in SLI. You'd also be wrong. It was less than six months ago that Nvidia officially announced it was licensing its SLI technology to several top-tier motherboard makers for Intel's X58 chipset, in exchange for a fee. So we can't imagine anyone over at Nvidia doing cartwheels when end-users find a way to enable SLI on non-SLI certified boards with a relatively simple BIOS hack.
Citing an article in Taiwanese magazine PC Home Advance, TweakTown reports that not only is it possible, but it's been demonstrated on Gigabyte's EX58-UD4 motherboard. The magazine downloaded the latest F6 BIOS for a slightly different model, the EX58-UD4P, which comes with official SLI support, and slapped it on the less expensive non-SLI board.
Because the model numbers are different, the magazine noted the unsupported BIOS can't be installed using the built-in QFlash utility, and instead requires using the DOS-based SPIFLASH utility. Still a relatively easy hack considering no physical modifications to the board itself needs to be done.
It's unclear whether there were any undesirable side effects from using another board model's BIOS in place of the correct one. It's also unclear whether Nvidia will take measures to prevent this and future BIOS hacks from working with future driver releases.
Like a down-and-out, washed-up action movie star, Blizzard’s Battle.net service – once a pimp-my-wagon pioneer of online gaming service form and function – is beginning to look a little silly in a world where relative youngsters like Steam and Xbox Live give the Internet the buddy cop treatment. However, instead of stinking up a beloved franchise or wrestling California into submission, Battle.net’s hopping back into the ring with an all-new image.
Most notably, Battle.net’s new groove (or possibly, the proactive reclamation of its old groove) brings with it a single online identity, which will consolidate all of your Blizzard game accounts into one mega-handle. Currently, merging accounts is optional, but you’ll eventually be forced to Brady Bunch your accounts together and experience convenient organization and other such terrifying prospects.
"As we continue to build additional functionality into the new Battle.net, we will eventually require all active World of Warcraft accounts to migrate over to Battle.net Accounts in order to continue playing," read the official Battle.net site.
The new Battle.net also allows you to manage purchases in Blizzard’s online store, which leads us to wonder if the service might eventually try to compete with Steam. After all, World of Warcraft means Battle.net comes equipped with 11 million users right out of the box. The potential’s certainly there.
Mozilla’s beta for Fennec (also known as Firefox Mobile) went into its early beta stages just this week.
Currently Fennec supports only the Nokia N810 Internet Tablet (running OS2008), as well as Windows, Mac OS X (so long as you have an Intel processor) and Linux. Sadly, it doesn’t appear as if there are any versions for the iPhone and Blackberry users of the world just yet.
According to Fennec’s release notes, “The initial focus of Fennec development was on building a new user experience that reflects Firefox's design principles, adding touch screen support and other interactions appropriate for mobile phones and other handheld devices, while preserving leading features like the Smart URL Bar (‘awesome bar’) and support for add-ons.”
Have you had a chance to give it a try? Hit the jump and let us know what you think!
Earlier this month, Google blamed a bug for causing an "isolated incident" which resulted in some users of Google Docs having their word-processing and presentation documents inadvertently shared. According to Google, the mishap only affected 0.05 percent of documents stored at the site, but that's enough to have privacy advocates turning to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to shut down all of Google's online services until government-approved "safeguards are verifiably established."
"If we were talking about a child safety seat that could not be securely attached to a car passenger seat, the commission in that instance would say to the company, 'Look, you've got to fix that problem,'" Marc Rotenberg, a lawyer and adjunct law professor, said in a telephone interview with CNet on Tuesday. "Consumers are at risk when that product is in the marketplace. We have a similar view of cloud computing at this point: people are at risk."
Leading the charge is the Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC), who submitted a letter to the FTC asking that all Google cloud-computing services be halted, including Gmail. In addition to shutting everything down, EPIC also wants Google to pay $5 million into a "public fund" to benefit advocacy groups.
Is EPIC asking for too much? And equally important, can you manage without Gmail? Hit the jump and sound off.
Discovery Communications, The Discovery Channel’s parent company, is currently locked in a legal battle with Amazon over the Kindle 2, claiming that it violates some of their very own patents.
The lawsuit, which claims that Amazon violated their patent for an Electronic Book Security and Copyright Protection System, was filed all the way back in 1999 and was issued on November 20, 2007. Discovery is asking Amazon for an unspecified amount of cash.
Evidently Discovery’s founder, John Hendricks, is a pretty well known inventor, and back in the 1990’s was working on the technology to digitize content. His patents for digitizing TV were sold, but the e-reader patents were kept.
With IBM having moved away from hardware in the past few years in lieu of focusing more on services business, it might seem odd that Big Blue would be interested in acquiring Sun Microsystems. But analysts say it's Sun's software that IBM really has its eye on.
"The technologies of greatest interest to IBM are Java and Solaris, and those are notably not hardware technologies," said David M. Smith, an analyst at Gartner.
According to The New York Times, the dollar amount being discussed comes close to $7 billion. That breaks down to about $10 per share, or twice Sun's closing price a day before news of the negotiations broke out. Immediately following, shares of Sun shot up just shy of 79 percent on Wednesday to close at $8.89.
Should the merger take place, IBM and Sun would account for about 65 percent of the market for server computers running Unix and 42 percent of the total server market. Citing "a person involved in the discussions," NYT reports an antitrust review would be forthcoming, with the issue being how regulators define the server market. When viewed by numbers of server computers sold, the playing field looks a lot more even, as IBM and Sun would only account for 18 percent of the market.
Shuttle recently announced the latest addition to their nettop line, the 15.6-inch X50, which features a touchscreen.
The Intel Atom 330 powered nettop will be the first of their X Vision line of computers. What exactly will keep these machines all in line with each other isn’t clear just yet. The X50 will measure in at just 1.4-inches thick, and will be powered by Intel’s GMA 950 graphics. Sadly, it’ll only come with 1GB of RAM – relatively low for a desktop.
It’s expected that this little machine will run roughly $499, but no word on when the street date will be.
The promise of hosted application "cloud computing" platforms is the ability to work anywhere, anytime. Unfortunately for Microsoft, the latest storm to obscure the promise of hosted applications hit its Windows Azure development platform last weekend. It was unavailable for 22 hours on March 13 and 14, eWeekreports.
It should be noted that Windows Azure, introduced at last October's Professional Developer's Conference (PDC), is still in its test phase. It's due to become generally available before the 2009 PDC in November, according to eWeek. Although it's still in testing, an essentially day-long outage isn't good news for Azure.
Is Azure the only cloud computing provider to have had problems from time to time? How reliable should cloud computing be? For your chance to sound off, join us after the jump.