You knew it would happen sooner or later, and now it has; a Wii controller knockoff for the PC. Sort of. Asus has dubbed its new Wii remote lookalike as the Eee Stick, "an easy-to-sue use yet highly versatile Plug and Play wireless controller for the PC platform that translates users' physical hand motions into corresponding movements onscreen."
Interestingly Asus has no plans of selling the Eee Stick as a standalone peripheral and will instead bundle the motion controller exclusively with select models of the Eee PC and the Eee Box. Huh? We don't understand it either, but Asus justifies the move by saying the Eee Stick is "perfect for gaming on-the-go."
The vibration capable controller connects via a 2.4GHz RF dongle with a broadcast range of 10m. Two AA batteries are required to power the Eee Stick, which Asus claims will provide up to three days (72 hours) of continuous play.
Will the Eee Stick entice potential customers to pick up an Eee PC or Eee Box, or is Asus making a mistake by not offering the controller as a standalone device?
Elpida Memory, Inc. based in Japan announced that it is going to launch a 16-gigabyte Fully Buffered DIMM (FB-DIMM), the world's largest capacity. It is based on its own unique integrated packaging technology (stacked FBGA or sFBGA) with 2-gigabit DDR2 SDRAM. Elpida has achieved development of FB-DIMM products that feature an ultra thin thickness of 7.7mm.
The chip was designed with the ultra high-end servers and workstation market in mind.
Sample shipments of the new 16-gigabyte FB-DIMM will begin later this month. Mass production is expected to get underway in the 4Q of 2008.
Now if they would just come up with 8 Gig DDR3 sticks for my next desktop build, I’d be very happy indeed!
If the $100 laptop wasn’t enough a team at Massachusetts Institute of Technology is working on building a computer for $12, targeting families in Third World countries. They are basing their design on the old Nintendo Entertainment System. The NES used a MOS 6502 processor similar to the Apple IIe and Atari 2600 although it was a customized version for the NES.
The 6502 was designed in 1975. It is an 8-bit processor with a 16-bit address bus and clock speeds around 1 or 2 MHz. It is sure to smoke my digital watch.
Just how far the project will go is uncertain. Nintendo still holds the copyrights to the NES.
It sounds like a truly worthy project! You can check it out here.
In the world of PCs we have it pretty good. Hardware is pretty inexpensive for the performance across the board. It’s well developed and pretty amazing that you can take a conglomeration of parts drop Windows or Linux in it and have the thing work (usually). Overall this makes PCs cheap enough for the masses. Mac’s on the other hand tend to average almost double the cost of the PC average, according to a story by DailyTech:
“Macs have gone from an average price of $1,432 and $1,574, for desktops and laptops respectively in June '06 to $1,543 and $1,515 respectively in June '08. While much lower to start, PCs are now even lower in average sale price. The average PC notebook went from $877 to $700,”
I would have thought that the recent change in Mac using Intel hardware would have enabled them to lower their prices, but that doesn’t seem to be the case.
It has always been comparing Apples to, well, PCs to compare the platforms. Apple controls its production from end to end. Microsoft’s approach is more of a middle of the road approach with its Windows Certified Logo program, and Linux of course goes for the gusto with a completely open approach. Each has it’s advantages and draw backs. What we are seeing now is the result of openness and demand. If Apple wants to catch up it means opening up and letting builders use their OS X on their systems. I can just imagine how that will affect their vaunted stability, even though OS X is Linux at heart with Mac clothing. It will level the playing field and Macs might actually capture a larger market share while reducing their prices.
What do you think? Will we see Apple open it’s OS to system builders?
During my many years of Taekwondo training (no, really) I've seen a fair share of faux-martial artists come and go. Not all of them were masters of the ol' chop-socky, but that doesn't mean they weren't good company. One of those long-since retired combatants was big into games, so naturally, we hit it off. In between feasting on one another's punches and kicks, we talked about all of the latest releases -- mostly on the PC. But, in one major way, we were different: I purchased; he pirated.
Of course, he had a reason. PC games can sometimes be buggy and unreliable -- even going so far as to not run on certain PCs. He raked in torrents as "extended demos," and presumably purchased the games he liked. Even so, I'm not sure if I agreed with his methods. After all, isn't that what regular demos are for? Plus, I never really got the impression that he actually followed through with step two of his little plan.
So, question of the day: Do you pirate games?If so, what's your justification? Do you even call it "pirating"? Don't worry, I'm merely asking as a discussion question -- not to judge anyone.
Today's Roundup contains a few possible methods of diverting cash back into the pockets of those who create games, though I'd wager none of the wannabe saviors really have a concrete idea of how they're going to end the Yarr-ing menace once and for all. On one had, Microsoft sees downloads usurping retail's throne in the near future, which could create an iTunes-like situation for the gaming industry. On the other hand, Turner has decided to toss GameTap to the curb like a box of unwanted kittens (an $18 million box of kittens), so obviously not all is well in the realm of downloadable games. Read about all of that and more after the break.
Mozilla has issued an open invitation to all people with a vibrant imagination, regardless of their calling, to posit ideas that could determine the future of Firefox and the web. It is especially interested in bringing aboard designers that haven’t worked on open source projects hitherto. Mozilla Labs’ website is asking for people to turn in their ideas that can be “a sentence, paragraph, or even bullet-points kick-start the process.” If Mozilla sights real potential in the idea it will turn them into reality. The website also flaunts a number of exciting browser concept videos. If you have any fascinating ideas, feel free to deposit them in the comments section.
MAPP provides advance notification to third-party security providers of vulnerabilities that are being addressed by Microsoft security updates, such as the ones rolled out each month on "Patch Tuesday." MAPP is designed to help stop exploits that are launched between the announcement of upcoming patches and the availability of patches. MAPP starts in October, according to eWeek.
Security providers can learn more about MAPP by downloading the fact sheet (MS Word 97-2003 format). For additional insight from a former military and government security specialist who now works for Microsoft, see Steve Adegbite's blog entry about MAPP.
The Microsoft Exploitability Index will provide ratings of how likely each vulnerability is to being successfully exploited. The index will rate each vulnerability at one of three levels:
Consistent exploit code likely
Inconsistent exploit code likely
Functioning exploit code unlikely
Microsoft's fact sheet suggests (MS Word 97-2003 format) that vulnerabilities with the "Consistent" rating should be treated as the most serious threats, followed by the others. To get more insight into the need for this index, see Microsoftie Mike Reavey's blog entry (Reavey is part of the Microsoft Security Response Center). The index will be included with each new security bulletin, also starting in October.
For your chance to sound off about Microsoft's newest security initiatives, see us after the jump.
The future of computing may find its roots in optics technology, and if so, there's a good chance the brainiacs from Berkeley will be the ones ushering in the new era. The newest breakthrough comes courtesy of mechanical engineering professor Xiang Zhang and his team of researchers who managed to pass light through a gap just 10 nanometers wide, the equivalent of only five times the width of a single piece of DNA. Prior to this, the record stood at 200 nanometers, or about 400 times smaller than the width of a human hair.
"There has been a lot of interest in scaling down optical devices," Zhang said. "It's the holy grail for the future of communications."
As research associate Rupert Oulton puts it, light and matter make strange bedfellows, and because their characteristic sizes are on vastly different scales, linking electronics and optics is a difficult task, no matter how much researchers would like to do so. But the processor of confining light can alter the interaction between light and matter, so just as computer engineers keep cramming more and more transistors into computer chips, optics researchers are continually looking to squish more light into smaller wires. Ideally, researchers would like to cram light down to the size of electron wavelengths for force light and matter to cooperate.
Get all the geeky details in Berkeley's press release.
The rumor mills stand vindicated as far as the buzz about Comcast acquiring Daily Candy goes. But the magnitude of the deal is way more than what the initial reports suggested. The popular newsletter that rants about a range of things from lifestyle to fashion has been bought by Comcast for a whopping $125 million. Daily Candy was founded in 2000 and later sold to Pilot Group Ventures for $3 million in 2003 by its founder Dany Levy. Reports suggest that even Viacom was keen on adding Daily Candy to its bouquet of prime internet real estate. Daily Candy’s outgoing owner, Bob Pittman, expects it to turn in $25 million in revenues.
While the world still waits for notebooks built around Intel's Centrino 2 platform to hit the market in full force, the chipmaker is already looking forward to its next big release. If the latest rumors turn out to be true, Intel needn't look very far, either, as the company is said to be on schedule to launch it's next-generation notebook platform, Calpella, by the the third quarter of 2009.
Calpella parts are expected to be second generation Nehalem chips, and like first generation Nehalem processors, Calpella will deviate from current northbridge and southbridge chipset arrangements, instead integrating the memory controller onto the CPU itself. Citing un-named sources, DigiTimes reports a single integrated chipset codenamed Ibex Peak-M will handle the remaining duties.
Ibex Peak-M will also reportedly support Intel's next-generation Clarskfield and Auburndale CPUs, the latter of which will come with an integrated graphics core setting the stage for a showdown with AMD's upcoming Fusion.