It looks like the Japanese market has been given the exclusive on Dell’s new multi-touch Studio One 19. This all in one comes with a choice of color, and a Core 2 Quad under the hood. There’s also 4GB of memory, a 750GB HDD, 6x USB ports, and Nvidia GeForce 9400 graphics. Given that this is a media PC, there’s a built in Blu-ray player as well.
The Studio One 19 is being sold for ¥149,800 (which is roughly $1,538) over in Japan. It’s expected to reach the American market this Spring.
Google’s adverts have long been a prevalent part of surfing the net. While the ads that we normally see on blogs featuring AdSense and the text based ads on the sidebar of our Google search page seem like they’re looking out for us, the powers that be at Google are planning to make these ads a bit more sophisticated.
“Today we are launching ‘interest-based’ advertising as a beta test on our partner sites and on YouTube,” writes Susan Wojciciki (Google’s VP of Product Management) on Google’s blog. “These ads will associate categories of interest — say sports, gardening, cars, pets — with your browser, based on the types of sites you visit and the pages you view. We may then use those interest categories to show you more relevant text and display ads.”
Tailoring advice such as this to each user does allow for audiences to be targeted easier when advertisers take aim, Wojciciki believes “that interest-based ads will create the same virtuous cycle, by giving users more relevant ads, while generating higher returns for advertisers and publishers.” We’ll just have to wait and see!
At a glance, it'd be easy to mistake Patriot's newest Warp SSD for a Western Digital VelociRaptor hard drive. That's because like the VelociRaptor, Patriot plans to include a bracket with the Warp drive that converts the 2.5-inch drive into a 3.5-inch form factor.
Keep in mind that Western Digital's IcePAK was designed to help keep its 10K RPM hard drive cool. Patriot's bracket, which Fudzilla says is made out of aircraft-grade aluminum, will undoubtedly lend additional cooling prowess to the Warp SSD, but SSDs don't typically get hot in the first place.
As for the drive itself, the third-gen SSD checks in at 256GB and boasts increasingly common read and write speeds of 240MB/s and 160MB/s, respectively.
No word yet on availability or price, however according to Fudzilla, Patriot plans to give the bracket away for free with the Warp SSD.
Japan-based electronics firm Hitachi Displays Ltd. has plead guilty to price fixing charges on the sale of LCD panels and has agreed to pay $31 million as part of its deal with the U.S. Justice Department.
"The case should send a strong message to multinational companies operating in the United States that when it comes to enforcing the U.S. antitrust laws we mean business," Acting Assistant Attorney General Scot Hammond said in a statement.
Hitachi, who admitted to fixing prices on screens sold to Dell for use in desktop monitors and notebook displays from 2001 to 2004, isn't the only display maker to be accused of price fixing. LG, Sharp, and Chungwha Picture Tubes all struck similar plea agreements last year, with LG having agreed to pay a $400 million fine for panels sold between 2001 and 2006. All tallied, the U.S. government will have garnered over $600 million in criminal fines from LCD price fixing.
According to a report on Laptopmag.com, Office Depot associates "routinely lie about notebook stock" and would rather turn notebook customers away if enough isn't being spent on extras. Laptopmag.com says they themselves experienced this firsthand, and following a blog on the topic, users who purport to work for the retail chain chimed in with user comments suggesting it's true.
"At store level, OD puts too much pressure on sales consultants and managers to sell the PPPs (Product Protection PLans) & TDS (Tech Depot Services)," a reader going the moniker Office Depot Employee wrote. "I know of several stores in my market that will 'feel out' the customer to see if they are the type to purchase these services. If the customer lets on that they only want the computer and no services...then that store simply claims to be out of stock!"
The reader went on to say that employees are required to sell at least 30 percent on upgrades or risk getting written up or even fired.
Laptopmag.com says it contacted one of the readers (Rich, last name withheld) who comment on the story, who also provided a pay stub to prove he works for Office Depot. According to Rich, lying about notebook stock is not official Office Depot policy, but that store managers are held to a strict minimum "attachment rating" and could face disciplinary action if it falls below 30 percent. Instead of a percentage, sales associates must upsell $200 each week.
Hit the jump and tell us what your Office Depot experience has been like.
Pop the champagne and ready the party hats, IBM announced it has ranked #3 overall on the 100 Best Corporate Citizens List, an annual list published by the Corporate Responsibility Officer (CRO) magazine, and beat out all other technology companies making the list.
"Some believe the current economic climate dictates corporate citizenship efforts be put on hold. At IBM we believe just the opposite. A strong commitment to corporate citizenship strengthens our brand and increases shareholder value," said Stanley S. Litow, vice president of Corporate Citizenship and Corporate Affairs at IBM.
To come up with the list, CRO magazine looks at the largest publicly traded companies in the U.S. and uses publicly accessible documents to determine who the leaders are in seven categories. These include environment, climate change, human rights, philanthropy, employee relations, finance, and governance, with environment and employee relations being given the most weight.
Ahead of IBM are Bristol Myers-Squibb (1) and General Mills (2). Some other popular tech companies making the list include Intel (13), AMD (46), Dell (34), Microsoft (47), and Apple (77).
If all you can remember getting with your baseball cards is a stick of hardened bubble gum, then maybe you were born into the wrong generation. Or the right one, depending on your outlook. Today's baseball card collectors know nothing of the chewy goodness that came with the hobby years ago, and instead are being encouraged to sit in front of their webcam to bring their cards to life.
It's all part of Topps' new 3D Live series. Place one of the special cards in front of a webcam and a three-dimensional avatar of the player appears on the computer screen. As you rotate the card, so too does the avatar. By going to ToppsTown.com, you can play a catching or batting game with the cards you acquire. There's a term for this meshing of real-world and computer generated data, and it's called "augmented reality."
"This is the 'Beam me up, Scotty' version of a baseball card that will get kids to buy more," said Steve Grimes, chief digital officer at Topps. "We see this baseball season as a redefining moment for us."
And not a moment too soon, either. The sports trading card business has plummeted from a $1 billion per year business to a comparatively small $200 million per year. Technology is seen as hurting the industry, as collectors can easily and quickly look up sports facts online for any player.
On a related note, if you happen to score a 3D Live card of Manny Ramirez and find that his avatar refuses to play on your PC, nothing is amiss - it's just Manny being Manny.
We've seen some interesting advances in battery technology as of late -- ZPower, for example, promises we'll see its silver-zinc batteries in at least one notebook line later this year -- but don't count lithium ion out. A new breakthrough in lithium battery technology could lead to either a higher storage density than what's being used today, or the ability to charge and discharge much faster.
How it works is that the lithium resides in a material designed to move through the battery quickly, paving the way for charges to be shifted in and out of storage at a much faster rate than what's possible when relying on lithium ions to act as the primary charge carrier. The process involves creating a disorganized lithium phosphate coating on the surfaces of LiFePO4 crystals. Tweaking the ratio of iron to phosphorous in the starting mix and heating the material to 600C under argon for several hours, a material with a glass-like coating is created with high lithium mobility. This allows lithium to move quicklly through the outer coating.
The end result is a battery that can fully discharge in under 10 seconds, a feat that previously would have required using supercapacitors. Capacity retention is improved too, as after 50 charge and recharge cycles, no significant change in the total capacity of the battery was noted.
We’re not even sure what a “next-gen” is anymore (The next batch of consoles? Current PCs? What’s the Wii?), but whatever it is, it’s almost here, according to gaming’s own bells-and-whistles-slinging Xzibit-equivalent, Crytek.
This month’s GDC Expo, which runs from March 25-27, will see the unveiling of Crytek’s most ambitious project yet: CryEngine 3. The “all-in-one game development solution” promises to allow for development on most any machine – DX9, DX10, Xbox 360, PS3, etc. -- provided that said machine isn’t afraid of staring straight into the face of oblivion and watching it blink and contort its retched features at an infuriating 13 frames per second.
However, the engine certainly seems to be designed with “upcoming” systems in mind.
“Our complete game engine solution enables realtime development, ensures teams are able to maximise their own creativity, saves budget and creates greater gaming experiences. Also with our solution developers can start working on their next generation games today,” said Cevat Yerli, CEO & President of Crytek.
“CryEngine 3 is a revolutionary change from our previous PC-only engines – and we’re applying a similar revolution to the service we provide to developers using the software to create extraordinary games.”
The question, then, is whether or not Crytek’s newfound desire to join the cool kids club will lead its wandering gaze to spend less time hovering on the PC gamers who first gave it some love. However, knowing Crytek’s penchant for mind-blowing graphics – in addition to current-gen consoles’ somewhat surprising ability to remain graphically relevant at this stage in the game -- we doubt our concerns will matter too much in the long run.