Perhaps feeling confident from its first legal victory last month in its ongoing legal battle against Apple for selling Mac clones that allegedly violate the Mac OS X end-user license agreement, Psystar is far from waving the white flag and is instead waving another Mac clone it claims is "Smaller, Faster, and Sexier."
The baseline configuration for the Open (3), as it's being called, includes Intel's Core 2 Duo E7200 processor (upgradeable to a quad-core Q8200 CPU), 2GB of DDR2-800 RAM, a 500GB hard drive, 20X DVD burner, GeForce 8400GS videocard with 256MB video memory, 802.11n WiFi, and much to the chagrin of Apple, Mac OS X Leopard v10.5.
"We are making the Open Computer a better fit for our users' environments in more ways than one," said Rudy Pedraza, Psystar president. "The smaller size will definitely make it easier to place in a home or small office but, at the same time, the increased performance will allow it to easily take the place of traditionally-sized machines. Core2Quad processors greatly enhance performance in computationally-intense applications such as 3D rendering and movie editing. A quad-core in a desktop that is under four inches thick is the direct result of the feedback we've received from the public."
With the release of the Open (3), Psystar has phased out the mini-tower for a "slim form-factor" the company claims is 47 percent smaller.
Giving Amazon's Kindle and Kindle 2 some competition in the eBook market, Fujitsu has at long last released its full-color eBook reader called FLEPia. Fujitsu had first shown off the FLEPia in concept form back in 2006 and has been drumming up interest with periodic glimpses ever since.
The FLEPia comes in both black and white unit colors and features an 8-inch XGA (1024 x 768) touchscreen capable of displaying 260,000 colors. Other specs include 802.11b/g WiFi connectivity, Bluetooth capability, embedded stereo speakers and a headphone connector, and an SD card memory card slot with support for up to 4GB, enough to hold 5,000 paper-based books 300-pages each.
Measuring less than a half an inch thick, Fujitsu says its FLEPia will last up to 40 continuous hours before having to be recharged. According to Fujitsu, the device doesn't require power to maintain a screen display because the color ePaper employed displays text and images by reflecting external light. The only time the FLEPia consumes power, says Fujitsu, is during re-draw, in which power consumption would be about 1/50 that of a standard notebook.
The Japanese version ships with Windows CE 5.0, giving end-users an internet browser, email, and other software.
The FLEPia starts shipping in Japan on April 20th for 99,750 Yen, which converts to a little over $1,000 USD.
Intel's crazy-popular Atom processor already dominates the netbook and nettop segments, but that might turn out to be only a glimpse of things to come. By the end of the year, look for Atom CPUs to have found a home in more than half of all entry-level desktops. What the Caesar?
Citing un-named industry sources in Taiwan, DigiTimes says Intel has had to adjust its target shipment ratio of single-core Atom 230 and dual-core Atom 330 processors as a percentage of total CPU shipments with nettops and entry-level desktops. And what an increase Intel puportely projects. According to the report, Intel expects Atom growth to increase from 4 percent (nettops) and 6 percent (desktops) in the first quarter to 10 percent and 52 percent, respectively, by the fourth quarter of 2009.
As a result, DigiTimes says Intel's 65nm dual-core Celeron E1000-series and 45nm single-core Celeron 200-series CPUs will account for less than a fifth of th shipment makeup by the end of the year.
If the projections hold true, both entry-level and mid-range desktop pricing is likely to go down.
According to Nvidia's Form 10-K filing for the fiscal year ended January 25, 2009, the graphics chip maker has spent $43.6 million to cover warranty and product replacement claims for GPUs suffering from a "weak die/packaging material set."
Nvidia had original set aside a one-time charge of $196 million when it was discovered some of its notebook graphics were failing at an "abnormal rate."
"The previous generation MCP and GPU products that are impacted were included in a number of notebook products that were shipped and sold in significant quantities," Nvidia said in the filing. "Certain notebook configurations of these MCP and GPU products are failing in the field at higher than normal rates. While we have not been able to determine a root cause for these failures, testing suggests a weak material set of die/package combination, system thermal management designs, and customer use patterns are contributing factors."
Given that only $43.6 million -- or 22 percent of the original amount -- has been spent so far, you can take this in one of two ways. Either the problem isn't as widespread as originally thought and the remaining $152.4 million will be more than enough to cover future claims, or there are a lot of mobile GPUs in the wild still to fail from the packaging defect.
If you thought Empire: Total War and Dawn of War II were forcing the sun to beam a little too brightly over the RTS landscape, here’s some cold reality to yank your bloom setting back down to normal levels. Speaking with Crispy Gamer, THQ VP Julie MacMedan said that, if her beleaguered benefactor can’t offload Rise of Nations/Legends developer Big Huge Games within “the near future,” the studio won’t be giving anyone a rise ever again.
“In addition,” read the statement, “THQ informed the staff at its Big Huge Games studio in Timonium, MD, that it plans to close the studio if a sale is not completed in the near future. These actions were unfortunate but were necessitated by the difficult economic environment.”
THQ recently laid-off 600 employees, and was given a 50-50 chance of survival by Dr. Analyst. Really, it’s every man for himself at this point.
Freecom recently released their 2.5-inch ToughDrive Sport hard drive that has been built to endure “even the toughest conditions.” What exactly entails the toughest conditions though? We have no idea.
The ToughDrive comes in three different flavors, 250GB, 320GB and 500GB. To make sure that the drive is kept safe from hackers (and the occasional tech-savvy tribal woodsman) it comes with secure 256-bit password protection MD5 hardware. The drive can also transfer data at up to 480Mbit/sec through its built in USB 2.0 connection, and will weigh only 9.2 ounces.
“Business-user or consumer… we all carry our data with us and we all require it to be there when we need it," wrote Freecom in a press release. "Imagine what can happen when you’re on the move, for example biking, commuting to the office, running to catch a flight …. and suddenly your external hard drive accidentally falls from your notebook case or jacket pocket… it breaks, and hundreds of hours of video’s, music, your work, gigabytes of spreadsheets, documents, photo’s are all gone. Not anymore!”
According to an survey conducted by the Computing Research Association, the number of majors and pre-majors in American computer science programs was up 6.2 percent from 2007. This marks the first time in six years that enrollment in computer science has increased.
"This could be a sign that we are beginning to make headway as well as increased attention, increased interest, and increased investment," said Andrew A. Chien, director of research at Intel.
Since the dot-com implosion starting in 2000, the field has seen a startling decline, leading some to warn about the effect it would have on the nation's ability to compete in the global economy. But in the past few years, there has been much effort to allay potential students' fears that computer science entails little more than sitting cooped up in front of a PC banging out code. That has helped lead to a 9.5 percent increase in the number of new undergraduate majors in computer science, and cut the decline in new bachelor's degrees from 20 percent to 10 percent.
Despite the increase, computer science remains of most interest to men, at least according to enrollment and graduation figures. Women accounted for a consistent 11.8 percent of computer science bachelor degrees in 2008.
Microsoft makes its way to the increasingly popular green movement by announcing to its more than 90,000 employees plans to reduce its carbon emissions by more than 30 percent by 2012.
"As a technology company, we believe that our footprint goals will be met by leveraging software and technology," Microsoft's sustainability chief Rob Bernard wrote in a blog post. "We will work to provide advances in our building operations, we will continue to expand our use of our Unified Communications tools...and will look for new ways to reduce our use of resources in our datacenters by continuing to push the envelope on innovation in how datacenters are designed, built, and operated."
Bernard said Microsoft's goal can be achieved by improving energy use in its buildings and operations, reducing air travel, and increasing the use of renewable energy. Some of that work has already begun, and Bernard claims Microsoft was able to save over $90 million on travel by utilizing remote conferencing.
Comcast has frozen more than 8,000 users names and passwords for Comcast email addresses, a full two months after they were uncovered on the document-sharing site, Scribd.
Scribd reportedly has removed the list thanks mostly to The New York Times’ Brad Stone, who told them once he caught wind of the matter. Stone, who was contacted by one of the customers on the list, writes, “The list on Scribd was one of four results, and it also included his password, which was a riff on his love for a local sports team. Statistics on Scribd indicated that the list, which was uploaded by someone with the user name vuthanhan2004, had been viewed over 345 times and had been downloaded 27 times.”
Comcast claims that the accounts information ended up on the list through a series of phishing attacks on users, and that it wasn’t an internal leak.
UPDATE: There will be another chance to win at 4PM PST today! We’ve given out t-shirts, small toys, and even a personal beverage cooler in our weekly Twitter trivia contest (hosted by @willsmith), but this month, we’re raising the stakes by giving away one HP Mini 1001 netbook! Starting next week, our Illustrious Editor-in-Chief will challenge his Twitter followers with a series of three technology trivia questions. Correct answers will score you one entry in our random drawing, which we’ll conduct on Tuesday, March 24th. One lucky grand prize winner will score the netbook (Approximate value, $490 USD) and five first place winners will get a Left 4 Dead t-shirt, courtesy of Valve Software. We won’t be announcing the times of the trivia questions on the website, so subscribe to Will’s Twitter feed to make sure you don’t miss out!
Read on for the official rules and more photos of the prize!