Perhaps further underscoring the benefit of owning an ultra-small, lightweight netbook, a woman was killed recently by a laptop computer that was lying flat on the backseat of her car before it smashed into her head following a fender bender.
Police say Heather Storey, who was hit by a tow truck, would have walked away from the scene unscathed had the laptop not been in the backseat. Or in a laptop bag. Or secured properly. Or in the front seat.
Our condolences go out to Storey's family and friends, and our warning goes out to you: Secure those gadgets before hitting the road.
Anyone interested in Dell's 8.9-inch Vostro A90 netbook had to hop on a plane (or make other travel arrangements) and cruise over to Japan, but that's no longer the case. The A90 is now being offered in the States, and for a fraction (one-third) of the price.
On the hardware front, the lightweight 2.36-pound netbook sports a pretty basic spec sheet, including Intel's Atom N270 processor (1.6GHz, 533MHz frontside bus, 512KB L2 cache), up to 1GB od DDR2-533 RAM, an 8GB or 16GB SSD, integrated Intel GMA950 graphics, WiFi, 0.3MP webcam, and Windows XP.
The Vostro A90 is available now starting at $350, with the slightly higher end configuration running $425. Tack on another $5 for the patriotic Rolling Stones sticker via Stickerville.com.
In what sounds like a simple formula for success, Dell plans to combine one good thing with another good thing for what it hopes will turn out to be a great thing. Or to be less vague, Dell, who offers both SSDs and encrypted drives, will start adding encrypted SSDs to its notebook lineup sometime this summer.
Samsung will manufacture the drives, which will come in 64GB, 128GB, and 256GB capacities to start. The self-encrypting drives will automatically encrypt data as it is being saved, "an industry first" for SSDs, according to Samsung and Wave Systems.
"Benefits of hardware encryption over today's software-only encryption approaches include faster performance, better security, and an 'always on' feature," Samsung and Wave Systems said in a statement. "Because encryption keys and access credentials are generated and stored within the drive hardware, they never leave its confines and are never held in the operating system or software."
No word yet on exactly when Dell will implement the new SSDs or at what price points.
Rumor has it you can hear chants of 'Le Roi est mort, vive le Roi!' emanating from HP's corporate headquarters in Palo Alto, California. That's because the former No. 2 OEM has dethroned Dell for the No. 1 spot for most PC shipments in both the U.S. and worldwide markets, according to Q1 data released by IDC. And it did so largely on the strength of netbook sales.
"Tight credit and economic concerns have certainly taken a toll on PC shipments in the last couple quarters, but the move to portables, fueled by mininotebooks and falling prices, has mitigated the impact," said Loren Loverde, an analyst with IDC.
Including netbooks and everything else, HP managed to ship 4.1 million units in the U.S., which was enough to edge out Dell, who shipped 3.9 million. Acer was a distant third with 1.5 million, followed by Apple with 1.1 million and Toshiba with just under 1 million.
On the global stage, HP put a bit more distance between itself and Dell, shipping 13 million units compared to Dell's 8.7 million. Acer, meanwhile, closed the gap by shipping 7.3 million.
Yeah, we know why you’re here. And frankly, we’re grateful. We’re fully aware that – if not for the fact that Stardock’s servers are currently screaming under the weight of something akin to the game’s giant stone mascot – you’d be playing Demigod right now. But you’re not. You’re here. However, being the altruists that we are, we have a solution to your problem. First though, here’s why you’re not currently using Demigod to RPG while you RTS.
“The only reason why we haven't had this happen on other games is because we've never had anything like this many users in such a short amount of time. Sins of a Solar Empire was a huge hit but its success came not from an immediate burst of users but rather sustained long term growth which allowed us to keep enhancing the infrastructure as needed with minimal issues for users,” publisher Stardock told 1UP.
But where’s the sudden swarm of players coming from? Mostly, piracy. Apparently, “100k+” warez users have been fervently competing with legitimate customers both in and outside the game.
The good news: Stardock’s working tirelessly to correct the problem, and should have things in tip-top shape within 24 hours. The bad news: that’s 24 hours of waiting. Hey, we never said it was a good solution.
In penance, Stardock is sending a few of its employees to throw down with players, should you need any advice or just a decent opponent to play against.
So, for those who’ve actually stayed atop Stardock’s coveted hill long enough to complete a full game, how is it?
If you told your spouse that the two of you would be together until Duke Nukem Forever hit shelves in an attempt to be absolutely precious, it might be time to start sweating. According to a tweet by 3D Realms man George Broussard, Duke Nukem Forever’s unending development cycle may soon be leaving the death-and-taxes consistency club.
“Closing out a milestone this week. 71 more tasks to do and we started with probably 800-900. Been a good push. Next one starts Monday,” he tweeted.
After some rudimentary math, we’ve determined that – assuming development continues at a nice clip – Duke will be back in business sometime next year. Guess the Mayans were a little off with their apocalypse calculations.
Thanks to some obvious inspiration from Apple, it looks like the Nartron Corporation is going to bring a very iPhone inspired dashboard to Chrysler’s 200C concept car.
The 200C concept will feature a next-gen dashboard system, dubbed iQ Power. Thanks to iQ Power, drivers of the car will be able to use “any smartphone” as a smart key for the car (primarily used to unlock doors and even view a video stream of the car’s interior). And, thanks to some big colorful controls and cover-flow for browsing album art, it’ll no doubt be easy for iPhone users to feel right at home in this environment. iQ Power will even feature a wireless tablet that allows passengers to send music recommendations straight to the driver’s console (though, it seems like a simple tap on the shoulder would work well too).
According to a recent pilot study, students that use Facebook regularly spend less time studying and have lower grade point averages than those that haven’t even signed up for the site.
“We can’t say that use of Facebook leads to lower grades and less studying – but we did find a relationship there,” stated Aryn Karpinski, a doctoral student in education at Ohio State University and a co-author of the study. According to the report, hardcore Facebook users have GPAs between 3.0 and 3.5, while non-users are packing a GPA in the range of 3.5 and 4.0.
However, more than three-quarters of Facebook’s users maintain that their use of the site doesn’t get in the way of their important study time.
A 3.0 isn’t bad, but if having a Facebook account is the difference between a 3.0 and a 4.0, I’ll be the first to close out my account! Though, I get to keep playing WoW, right?
How about an iTunes-style interface that shows web page or content thumbnails in the main pane with media libraries, browsing history, surflists, and statistics in the left pane? Or, how about tabs, applications, and work spaces in the left pane to take full advantage of today's widescreen displays? Either way, the once-sharp distinctions between a web browser interface and an operating system management interface like Windows Explorer have become very blurry. While the jury's still out on the Firefox of the future's interface, it looks as if the Ubiquity command-line interface will definitely make it into Firefox by version 3.6.
Are you ready for a new browser experience? Take a look at the prototypes, mockups, and demos, then join us after the jump for your chance to sound off.
Over this past weekend a reported glitch caused 57,310 books, primarily those with gay and lesbian themes, to lose their important sales ranking on Amazon. The sales ranking, which allows users of Amazon to find best sellers easier, is important not only to potential readers but to authors as well. And, while according to Amazon it was “an embarrassing and ham-fisted cataloging error” that caused the removal, a hacker is taking credit as well.
While Amazon maintains that the error was caused by a “glitch in our systems,” a (yet unnamed) hacker took credit for it, claiming that he used bugs on Amazon to trick people into flagging gay-themed books as inappropriate. The whole issue even caught the attention of Twitter users, who began using the hash tag “#amazonfail.”
Though, according to Mark R. Probst, author of “The Filly,” a gay western romance aimed at young adults, “I believe it was an error. I don’t think it was anything malicious they were trying to do.”
However, others aren’t so easily convinced. Author Daniel Mendelsohn, whose memoir “The Elusive Embrace” lost its ranking, says, “There are mistakes and there are mistakes. At some point in this process, which I don’t understand because I’m not a computer genius, the words gay and lesbian were clearly flagged, as well as some kind of porno tag. I say, do I want my book in anyone’s mind to be equivalent to a porno? And the answer is no.”