According to a new study by Nielsen-Online, social networks and blogs are now the 4th most popular online activity. Collectively referred to as "Member Communities," Nielsen says these are visited by over two-thirds of the online population, putting them "ahead of personal email." It's also the fastest-growing sector out of the top four, which also includes search, portals, and PC software and email.
"Social networking has become a fundamental part of the global online experience," says John Burbank, CEO of Nielsen Online (PDF). "While two-thirds of the global online population already accesses member community sites, their vigorous adoption and the migration of time show no signs of slowing. Social networking will continue to alter not just the global online landscape, but the consumer experience at large."
Facebook, which ranks as the most popular social network, draws three out of every 10 people online each month across the nine markets tracked. And it's not limited to any single age group. According to Nielsen, the biggest increase in visitors during 2008 came from the 35-49 demographic.
The report, titled "Global Faces and Networked Places," attributes some of the growth to the prominence of mobile phones, noting a "big increase over last year" in the number of users visiting Member Communities through their handsets.
Surprised by any of this? Hit the jump and sound off.
Four-monitor support in a single-slot, low-profile, half-length videocard? You betcha. That's exactly what AMD's offering up with the release of its professional ATI FirePro 2450 multi-view graphics card.
"The ATI FirePro 2450 offers the reliability professionals expect and the efficiency IT departments require. IT managers want a card they can test once, deploy virtually anywhere, and count on to run reliably,” said Janet Matsuda, senior director, AMD Professional Graphics. “The low power consumption enables cool, energy-efficient operation, as well as superior reliability and longevity. The compact form factor can be deployed in nearly any system. This accelerator is perfect for customers who need more than two displays, such as in financial services and process control."
The FirePro 2450 comes equipped with 512MB of GDDR3 memory, variable speed fan sink, maximum resolution of 1920 x 1200, DirectX 10.1 and OpenGL 2.1 support, native PCI-E x16 and x1, and support for up to four independent DVI or VGA monitors.
According to AMD, the new card consumes less than 18W on average for 2D business usage, and no more than 32W when fully stressed.
The ATI FirePro 2450 is available now with an MSRP of $499.
Think your quad-VelociRaptors in a RAID 0 array are hardcore? Try 'hardly impressive,' at least when compared to the scintillating setup Samsung put together consisting of 24 -- TWENTY FOUR -- 256GB SSDs running in RAID. The goal? To show the world how awesome SSDs are via a YouTube video.
"While one SSD gives you an amazing 220MB/s access speed, we could actually use more of them together to build something extreme," Samsung narrated in a YouTube video. "Through RAID, we could theoretically combine 24 in tandem to make the world's most power consumer computer. Now that would prove SSD awesomeness."
Even without the massive collection of SSDs, Samsung's testbed impresses with two quad-core QX9775 processors, two HD 4870 X2 videocards in a CrossFire configuration, a custom 4GB 800MHz FB-DIMM, and two 1000W power supplies. But with the SSDs hooked up, Samsung's setup is nothing short of astonishing.
After playing around with stripe sizes, Samsung managed to break 2000MB/s (2GB/s). But Samsung didn't just strut its stuff with synthetic benchmarking. The video shows all of Microsoft Office opening in just 0.5 seconds, or instantaneously. This was followed by opening up all of the system's Start menu programs (53 in all) in a mere 18 seconds. Want more? Try copying a 700MB DVD rip from one location to another in 0.8 seconds.
And yes, it can play Crysis. See for yourself right here.
Swedish cops seized a server containing 16,000 pirated movies in a raid they conducted last month. It is claimed that the server belonged to a file-sharing ring called Sunnydale and was being operated furtively at a location outside Stockholm from where it was seized.
Antpiratbyrån, a private copyright advocacy group, claims that the entire Sunnydale file-sharing ring, which consists of 10 servers, has been rendered ineffective due to the raid.
But The Pirate Bay co-founder Peter Sunde refuted Pontén’s tall claim. "More than 800,000 people have uploaded to The Pirate Bay, so I don't believe it's the source of everything. But it is possible that it's a major source," he told Swedish newspaper Svenska Dagbladet.
Youtube houses arguably one of the largest music-video collections on the internet, which even features some hard-to-find musical gems. Dan Nelson, a 15-year-old developer, has built an iTunes-esque, free-music service that streams Youtube music to the user’s desktop. His downloadable music player is called Muziic.
Muziic can be considered the notional progeny of Youtube and iTunes: it delivers free music available on Youtube in a seamless manner one associates with iTunes. But its adolescent creator is yet to secure Google’s endorsement.
Google’s gripe may emanate from the fact that there is no mechanism in Muziic to display the advertisements that usually accompany Youtube videos. So Muziic is effectively depriving Google of ads revenue that is lawfully its due. Having used Muziic, this author can vouch for its utility. But will it be music to Google’s ears?
Along with introducing a myriad of new notebooks to the public this year, Asus is looking to update their gaming notebook, the G71, at CeBIT as well.
The G71Gx, Asus’ update on an old favorite, has been upgraded to hold an Nvidia GeForce GTX 260M graphics card (the fastest available), an Intel Centrino 2 processor, up to 12GB of DDR2, and 1TB of storage.
There’s no word yet on pricing or availability for this new beastie, but we can expect that it will cost a pretty penny.
Turn out the lights, the party is officially over. Circuit City's chain-wide liquidation sale came to end yesterday, marking the final day of operation for any of the former electronics chain's stores that had remained open in an attempt to clear out inventory.
Circuit City, who fell on rough times last year, did everything it could to try stay in business, including closing down over 150 stores and cutting 20 percent of its workforce, securing a massive loan to pay off debt, and trying to find a buyer interested in keeping the store afloat. But on January 16th of this year, Circuit City announced it would close all of its remaining 567 U.S. stores.
The liquidation sale that followed was met with a bit of controversy when reporter Nydia Han for ABC Action News sent a camera crew into a local Circuit City and found that several of the liquidation prices were higher than Best Buy's regular pricing.
Reaction to Circuit City's departure? Hit the jump and offer up an obituary.
Now that people wearing white earbuds has become the norm, it looks like inventor Kazuhiro Taniguchi is planning to make us all look goofy again.
With the announcement of some new earbuds that allow facial expressions to let you work your gadgets, there’s a small chance that we’ll be making funny faces for all the right reasons. According to Taniguchi, “You will be able to turn on room lights or swing your washing machine into action with a quick twitch of your mouth... An iPod can start or stop music when the wearer sticks his tongue out, like in the famous Einstein picture. If he opens his eyes wide, the machine skips to the next tune. A wink with the right eye makes it go back.”
While the idea of it is pretty neat, something tells me that most markets won’t be willing to go through this just to skip a track on their favorite playlist.
In what's sure to have Google blushing and cloud-based computing opponents hollering "told you so!," the search company issued a notice to users of its Document and Spreadsheet products alerting them that some of their documents may have been inadvertently shared with others.
"This inadvertent sharing was limited to people with whom you, or a collaborator with sharing rights, had previously shared a document," Google Docs Team wrote in a notice. "The issue only occurred if you, or a collaborator with sharing rights, selected multiple documents and presentations from the documents list and changed the sharing permissions. This issue affected documents and presentations, but not spreadsheets."
Google blamed the mishap on a bug, which the company claims to have now fixed. In the meantime, Google said it used an automated process to remove collaborators and viewers from the documents it identified as being affected, and those will need to be re-shared by the owner.
According to Google, this was an isolated incident that affected less than .05 percent of all documents.
Hit the jump and tell us whether or not this sours your outlook on cloud computing.