Everyone assumed the high definition format war was over after movie studios abruptly bailed on the HD-DVD format seemingly over night, but could it be just beginning? China certainly hopes so, whose China Blue HD (CBHD) just received a shot in the arm from Warner Brother's announcement that it plans to support the format with several films in the first half of 2009.
Like HD-DVD, CBHD players and media are comparatively inexpensive next to Blu-ray. According to the Optical Memory National Engineering Research Center (OMNERC), who jointly produced the CBHD format with the DVD Forum, converting an existing DVD production line to CBHD costs just $800,000, significantly lower than the $3 million it takes to switch to Blu-ray. Add low licensing fees to the mix and you have a format that's easier on the wallet for Chinese customers than Blu-ray.
Studios appeared uninterested in backing the CBHD format when the group tried to promot itself in the fall of 2008. With Warner Brothers jumping on board, it will be interesting to see if other studios follow suit, especially since a pricing advantage wasn't enough to keep HD-DVD afloat. And with the announcement of a new Blu-ray licensing firm, which is expected to result in lower priced players and media by mid-year, CBHD's window of opportunity might be closing fast.
Corsair, who is best known for making memory products, appears ready to jump into the computer case market. It isn't unusual for component manufacturers to branch off from their specialized product line(s), but to our knowledge, no other memory maker builds PC enclosures.
The prototype case, which is being shown off at CeBIT, sports an all-black paint job, including the interior. Corsair's going with a two-chamber design similar to Antec's P180/P190, with the PSU sitting at the bottom. There's enough room for 5.25-inch drives, along with a hatch that hides four hot-swappable hard drives.
According to review site Legit Reviews, Corsair's full tower chassis stands at 24 inches high by 24 inches deep and 9 inches wide, and will weigh between 20 and 25 pounds when empty. The case owes its weight to a mostly steel construction, although the front panel is made of aluminum.
The un-named case will likely start shipping in Q2 2009 for between $250 to $300.
This morning Asus showed off one of their newest gaming related products, the Eee Stick, which is intended to get more people into gaming. The Eee Stick will come in many different colors, and oh yeah, they look and act exactly like a Wiimote.
There’s no word yet on what crowds Asus hopes to get with their Eee Sticks, but it is clear that they’re looking to make their own stake in the casual gaming crowd.
Currently there’s no word on pricing or availability.
If you’re any kind of fan of adding WiFi to your digital camera, you may want to check out Eye-Fi’s latest cards, which will double the previous storage cap and add support for uploading videos.
The new versions are the 4GB Explore Video, which will run you $100 and the 4GB Share Video, for only $80. The Explore will automatically geotag photos and videos for you, and offers hotspot access at over 10,000 locations. The Share loses the ability to geotag, and only allows users to send photos and videos to the Web and your home computer.
These new cards are available today. If you’re not looking for all of the fancy frills and are happy with the 2GB space limit, you get the old cards for only $50.
A little while back Asus was toying with the idea of fitting a home theater PC inside a keyboard, and now we can happily say that this product is finally on its way.
The Eee Keyboard will come with wireless HDMI and a small touchscreen, and is expected to arrive in May or June, costing only $400-$600. Jerry Shen, Asus’ CEO, says that there are two models being worked on, a wired and a wireless version. It’s reported that the wireless capability is the difference between the $400 and $600 machines.
Underneath the hood it will have a 1.6GHz Atom processor, 1GB RAM, a 16 or 32GB SSD, WiFi and Bluetooth built in. It will also feature wireless HDMI, 2 USB 2.0, VGA, HDMI and audio in/out ports.
The official release of Windows 7 might still be several months away, but that isn't stopping Nvidia from preparing for Vista's successor with new graphics drivers aimed at Windows 7 beta users. The new drivers are available now, and Nividia promises this is just the start of a regular driver release schedule. Remember that shortly after Vista debuted, Microsoft blamed buggy Nvidia drivers for giving the OS a bad rap.
"Since its release last month, the Windows 7 Beta has been eagerly tested by hundreds of thousands of NVIDIA GeForce owners, who are excited about the many graphical improvements Microsoft has added into the upcoming operating system," said Ujesh Desai, vice president of GeForce desktop business at NVIDIA.
Nvidia says it has been working closely with Microsoft so that its new drivers will take full advantage of the additional features and functionality Windows 7 brings to the table. Kicking off with v181.71, Nvidia's graphics drivers support the new Windows Display Driver Model (WDDM) v1.1. The drivers also support SLI on DX9, 10, and OpenGL applications, PhysX, CUDA, and Direct3D, Direct2D, and DirectWrite.
Holy high stakes, Batman, is Psion really seeking $1.2 billion from Intel in defending its claim to the netbook trademark? The answer is yes, and in addition to seeking compensation for all of "Intel's profits resulting from infringement, unfair competition, and unfair trade practices," as Psion alleges, the company also wants to collect punitive damages. Psion is also seeking to pluck the domain name www.netbook.com from Intel's hands.
If you haven't been following, Psion's trademark claim is based on a pair of ARM-based "netBook" and "netBook Pro" computers launced in 1999, which it appears to have stopped selling in 2003. Psion renewed the trademark in 2006, and then last December the company started sending out cease-and-desist notices to various OEMs and other firms over use of the term "netbook." Nobody listened, but it didn't matter, because it appears Psion was simply laying the groundwork for the suit we're seeing today.
Two weeks ago Dell filed a petition with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office asking that it cancel Psion's netbook trademark, for which Intel endorsed. Among the reasons listed is that "Psion has abandoned the 'netbook' mark" and does not currently offer laptops under the Netbook trademark. But Psion says this isn't true and has offered up a table of netBook-based revenue from 1999 through 2009, which as ArsTechnica points out, the numbers "are somewhat suspect." For example, according to Psion's numbers, customers purchased $2 million in accessoris for just $135,000 worth of netBooks.
Predictions on how it will all unfold? Hit the jump and tell us what you think!
ATI today announced a pair of mobility chips -- ATI Mobility Radeon HD 4860 and HD 4830 -- built off of AMD's new 40nm manufacturing process, purportedly making them the first-ever 40nm notebook GPUs.
Both the HD 4860 and HD 4830 come with 640 stream processor, 826 million transistors, support for DirectX 10.1, dual integrated DisplayPort, HDMI with 7.1 surround sound, and are CrossFireX ready. The 128-bit HD 4860 boasts a 650MHz core clockspeed and GDDR5 memory clocked at up to 4Gbps. The HD 4830 (also 128-bit), meanwhile, ships with a core clockspeed ranging from 450MHz to 600MHz, and GDDR3 clocked between 800MHz to 900MHz.
"It's not just 40nm process technology that makes these chips so potent, they are based on the same award-winning TeraScale engine of our ATI Radeon™ HD 4800 desktop series," Rick Bergmen, senior VP and GM for AMD's graphics products group, wrote in a blog post. "Combining this gaming power with our ATI Avivo™ HD technology and Unified Video Decoder will keep all your HD content humming along at full 1080p resolution with bright colors and seamless playback on your HD display. We've also packed in our power-saving technologies like ATI PowerPlayTM, ATI PowerXpressTM, and ATI Switchable Graphics™ technologies so that you can keep gaming, watching and surfing a little longer."
Bergmen went on to say that 40nm desktop parts are "coming soon," with at least one site having already posted benchmarks of what's believed will be ATI's first 40nm-based desktop graphics release.
As for the 40nm Mobility parts, Asus is scheduled to ship laptops using the new processors in the second half of 2009.
Update 3/4/09 AMD has has posted more pictures of its new Mobility chips, along with a video showing the Mobility Radeon HD 4860 running a on a desktop system uing the MXM modules (no notebooks are currently shipping with the part).
Don't fret if you missed out on one of the many celebrations around the globe toasting 1234567890 Day, we hear the Unix crowd can get a bit rowdy anyway. Now there's another reason to shed that pocket protector and let loose with your friends - Square Root Day!
You only have nine chances every century to celebrate Square Root Day, with this one falling on 3/3/09 (do the math).
"These days are like calendar comets, you wait and wait and wait for them, then they brighten up your day -- and poof -- they're gone," said Ron Gordonn, a Redwood City teacher.
While we can't understand why there wouldn't already be excitement over the holiday, Gordon started a contest to get people buzzing about the event. The winner, determined by who has the biggest Square Root Day event, will receive (wait for it...) $339.
Miss your chance to celebrate and you'll have to wait until April 4, 2016 for the next Square Root Day.
If going strictly by the spec sheet, Eurocom's Phantom i7 notebook would nail every boutique OEM right between the eyes. This is the most decked out notebook we've ever seen, and also one you're likely never to see unless Eurocom decides to position the Phantom beyond workstation and server markets.
We're talking either a Core i7 965 Extreme or a not-yet-announced Core i7-based Xeon X5580 (3.2GHz) processor, up to 12GB of triple-channel memory at debut and twice that much later in the year, up to FOUR hard drives in a RAID 0, 1, or 5 array, and either an Nvidia GeForce Go GTX 280M 1GB or Quadro FX3700M discrete graphics to push pixels on the 17-inch, 1600 x 1050 LCD display.
It all adds up to a 12-pound monster with a maximum power consumption rated at about 220 watts. Eurocom spokesman Matt Bialic says the Phantom i7 will last about 60 minutes before needing to recharge the battery.
Look for the Phantom i7 to ship by the end of March starting at $3,000. A fully configured Phantom will cost more than $5,000.