Toshiba had last year chosen its Qosmio range of notebooks to lift the curtain on its SpursEngine chip, which is a co-processor based on the Cell Broadband Engine found in the PS3. SpursEngine-powered Qosmios are capable of some impressive graphical feats like real-time graphics processing and video upscaling (SD to HD).
Toshiba’s new Qosmio laptops, which bear the might of its quad-core SpursEngine chip, will arrive in Japanese stores on Friday with the promise of enhancing internet video. Two previous iterations of the Qosmio used the immense power of the SpursEngine at their disposal to upscale DVD video, but left streaming video untouched.
Google Labs has launched a new service called Google News Timeline that charts the manner in which a news story develops. Stories are laid out neatly in columns, where each column displays the top news stories for a particular day, week, month or decade depending on what the user opts for. Users can search for a particular news story within a specified timeframe and trace its course through history. A button, which bears the ambiguous title “Add More Queries”, lets you specify additional news sources to go with the default sources, Time Magazine and Wikipedia Events. It can become a handy research tool for online scribes.
Sure, your iPhone is pretty cool. It lets you check your email, stocks, Facebook page and even your Twitter. But, can you write calligraphy on it? Wait, you can? Oh. Well, at any rate, it looks like some designers have created a concept of a calligraphy board that allows users to practice their scripture skills without all that messy ink and paper.
Designers Soonkyu Jang, Chung Lee and Yonghuk Yim recently decided to take a big step for linguists, by showing the world their concept for the electronic calligraphy board. While initially the board would only come with tools to teach users Korean, there’s no doubt that other languages would be available within months.
No word on how much it would cost, or if it’s even going to see the light of store shelves.
Windows 7 brings enterprises more security with less annoyance, says Paul Cook, director of Microsoft's Windows Client Enterprise Security, Cnet reports. Cook's remarks come as the annual RSA security conference opens.
How much less annoying? 29% fewer UAC prompts, according to Cook, and UAC can be fine-tuned to meet any Windows 7's user's requirements.
But there's more to Windows 7 security than a less nagging UAC. To learn more about how Windows 7 Enterprise and Ultimate editions and Windows Server 2008 R2 work together for more security and to discover why a new BitLocker feature enables Windows XP users to access BitLocker media, join us after the jump.
Some researchers over at the Neural Interfaces Technology Research & Optimization Lab at the University of Wisconsin have been spending their time working on some wicked cool technology. But, most notably, their EEG controlled interface, dubbed “The Brain-Twitter Interface” (seriously) has garnered some heavy attention – and for good reason.
For many, their only experience with locked-in syndrome was the episode of House featuring Mos Def a few weeks back. But, in the interest of real people that are actually stuck in that situation, this brainwave controlled hat can help you type out words on a screen, allowing potentially complex thoughts to be communicated even by a vegetable.
More importantly, this opens the door for all of your thoughts to be communicated to text in real time, right away. That’s right Twitter users, there’s a very slight chance that in the not too distant future you could cut out the middleman between you and your followers – your hands.
It looks like MSI has created yet another version of their Wind netbook, this time with the slightly upgraded Wind U100 PLUS.
The U100 PLUS comes with a 1.66GHz Atom N280 processor, an 945GMS chipset, Intel’s GMA950 graphics, up to 2GB of DDR2 RAM, a 1,204 x 600 10-inch LCD, 160GB HDD, 4-in-1 card reader, VGA output, three USB ports, a standard 3-cell battery with the option of upgrading to 6-cell, WiFi, Bluetooth, and a 1.3 megapixel webcam.
Earlier this year, Maximum PC Editor-in-Chief Will Smith challenged Nvidia "to stop trying to convince us that closed APIs are good, and instead embrace OpenCL." Fast forward to today and the graphics chip maker still isn't ready to kill CUDA, but it did become the first to release an OpenCL driver and Software Development Kit (SDK) in pre-beta form. Nvidia says its goal is to solicit early feedback in anticipation of a beta release to be made available in coming months.
"The OpenCL standard was developed on Nvidia GPUs and Nvidia was the first company to demonstrate OpenCL code running on a GPU," said Tony Tamasi, senior VP of technology and content at Nvidia. "Being the first to release an OpenCL driver to developers cements Nvidia's leadership in GPU Computing and is another key milestone in our ongoing strategy to make the GPU the soul of the modern PC."
If you haven't been following along at home, OpenCL is short for Open Computing Language and is an open programming framework paving the way for developers to tap into the power of GPUs for general-purpose computing, otherwise known as GPGPU (General Purpose GPU). The open standard has the potential to work on most modern GPUs, and not just Nvidia hardware like the company's CUDA platform. But don't read this as Nvidia giving up on CUDA. On the contrary, Nvidia feels OpenCL reinforces the ideas behind CUDA, and has bumped up the CUDA release schedule to include three releases planned for 2009.
Earlier this month, a pair of bigwigs over at Acer said during a press event that the company plans on using Google's open-source Android OS in its upcoming smartphones, but doesn't feel the OS is ready for netbooks. Just don't tell that latter part to Chinese company SkyTone, the first company (we're aware of) to release an Android netbook.
SkyTone, who's best known for its Skype headsets and kiddie PCs, lists on their website the Alpha-680 Google Android netbook. Available in pink, red, yellow, white, or black, the low cost netbook comes equipped with a 7-inch LCD screen, ARM11 533MHz processor, 128MB of DDR2 (upgradeable to 256MB), a 1GB SSD (upgradeable to 4GB), WiFi, memory card slot, two USB 2.0 ports, and of course Google's Android OS.
ComputerWorld describes the rig as a "glorified cellphone...without the glory," and we'd have to agree. It's unclear when it will be available for purchase and for how much, but even if it checks in somewhere between $100 and $200, Dell's $199 Vostro A90 would make the Alpha-680 a tough buy.
It's been a wild downward ride in the memory market these past twelve or so months, one in which DRAM makers are more than eager reverse course. And that's exactly what's happening. According to data gathered by DRAMeXchange, DRAM contract prices have climbed in the second half of April. The data shows that prices of 1GB DDR2-667 DIMMs has gone up $9 and 2GB DDR2 $18, representing a 6 to 11 percent gain.
And this is just the beginning, says DRAMeXchange. Citing un-named market sources, the firm says Elpida Memory will most likely discontinue shipments to the spot market, while both Powerchip Semiconductor Corporation (PSC) and Kingston also plan to limit their shipments, at least until June. This could prove to be significant, as Elpida and PSC account for almost 60 percent of the sport market. Elpida's goal is to raise quotes by as much as 50 percent.
But before you panic and stock up on all the RAM you can afford, DRAMeXchange predicts DRAM spot prices will only increase to a range of $1.20 to $1.50, up from $1 to $1.20. This means DDR2 modules will probably go up, but not by as much as Elpida (and other DRAM makers) are hoping.
Having completed its metamorphosis into separate design and manufacturing firms, AMD probably feels as though a major weight has been lifted from its shoulders. However, the company still has some financial ground to make up. On the bright side, AMD's first quarter revenue of $1.77 billion remained flat (rather than tumbling backwards) compared to the fourth quarter of 2008. However, it also represents a decrease of 21 percent compared to the first quarter of 2008.
"AMD’s sequential microprocessor unit and revenue growth in difficult economic conditions demonstrate we can grow in an environment where customers are looking for maximum value," said Dirk Meyer, AMD president and CEO. "We delivered on a number of important priorities in the first quarter. We launched GLOBALFOUNDRIES, maintained our cadence of new product and platform introductions, and made solid progress on our restructuring activities. The result is a more nimble AMD, capable of achieving long-term success based on our strengths designing and integrating industry-leading computing and graphics technologies."
Despite turning in a $416 million first quarter loss, Meyer said AMD is "well positioned" as people have become more discerning for paying only what they need. Moving forward, the chip maker plans to switch over completely to 45nm this quarter and expects a positive cash flow for the second half of 2009.