Most users who have tried Windows 7 like it - a lot, but if you (or your company) are worried about what happens if old hardware or software you rely on won't play nice with the latest Windows version, stop worrying. According to Cnet's Ina Fried and ZDNet's Mary Jo Foley, Windows 7 users will have the option to downgrade from 7 to either Windows Vista or even "the operating system that will not die," Windows XP.
Volume-licensing (aka "Software Assurance") customers have been able to do this for some time, but Microsoft has confirmed that downgrades from 7 to either Vista or XP will be available for at least a while after Windows 7 ships.
If you're on the fence about Windows 7, does the availability of downgrade rights make a difference? Join us after the jump for your chance to sound off.
For some time now Intel has been working on a Linux-based operating system (now in its alpha stage of testing), named Moblin. The goal of Moblin is to provide the Atom CPU a light and fast OS that is far less demanding than a full version of Windows.
According to those in the alpha test, Moblin can offer two second boot times (with some optimization). If all this were true, then it would give us the fastest booting OS available. Intel’s Open Source Technology Center director Imhad Sousou is very much on board as well, stating, “We think that two second boot is possible.”
A two second boot would provide an ideal platform for mobile systems (such as netbooks and MIDs) to operate on. For many, having a system in sleep mode (which drains the battery) is preferable to booting the system each and every time they want to use it. The concept of a two second boot would eliminate the need for this.
So, given the concept of a two second boot, would you be willing to ditch Windows and give Moblin a try? Let us know in the comments!
If you spot a good deal on an LCD monitor, you may consider pouncing. Putting off that purchase could be rolling the dice at higher prices, according to data by iSuppli. The market research company notes that an increase in demand from China, driven by the impact of China's rural consumer stimulus program, has led to rising prices for LCD monitor panels. Also to blame are an increase of orders from brands and retailers, iSuppli says.
"These brand and retail orders mostly stem from demand for inventory replenishment because channels have kept their stockpiles at lower-than-normal levels since the end of 2008," iSupply noted. "With many panel prices for monitors having been drastically slashed to less than cash-cost levels, panel buyers in February started purchasing in droves in order to build a supply of cheap panels."
Increases thus far haven't been anything to warrant hitting the panic button. According to iSuppli, average pricing for most LCDs and small-sized TV panels increased anywhere from $2 to $3 in March compared to February. And while prices are expected to rise some more in the short-term, iSuppli warns that it's too early to say that a recovery is taking place in the LCD industry, as the influx of orders are not expected to be sustained.
The service hasn't even launched yet, but the unapologetically defiant torrent site The Pirate Bay has already received over 100,000 registrants for its new anonymity service, IPREDator. About 113,00 and counting are in queue for the IPREDator service, 80 percent of which are from Sweden, and comes as a slap in the face to Sweden's new IPRED anti-piracy law, for which the service was named after.
Expected to cost about $6 per month,the IPREDator service is a virtual private network (VPN) allowing users to connect to the internet anonymously by hiding their actual IP address and showing only a second IP addy provided by the VPN. Currently in beta stage and by invite only, The Pirate Bay says it will store no traffic data.
IP hiding sites and services have become increasingly popular in Sweden as of late, ever since country's new anti-file sharing measures went into effect.
Citing un-named "sources in the channel," DigiTimes reports that second-tier motherboard maker Abit has decided to quit the consumer electronics branding business. Among the products affected are digital photo frames and digital speakers, neither of which have been prominent sellers in the U.S. market, if at all.
Still, the news comes as another reminder of Abit's fall from grace as a premier motherboard maker who once catered to overclockers. At one time on the level of the likes of Asus, questionable management decisions proved fatal for the Abit of old, who hit hard times financially and sold its brand name to Universal Scientific Industrial (USI) in 2006. Since then, the company has shifted its focus to becoming a second-tier mobo maker, with its latest Abit-brand motherboard being the Intel X48-based IX48 GT3.
More and more custom cooling solutions are starting to appear for Nvidia's GeForce GTX 285 videocards, with one of the more intriguing options belonging to MSI. The company has taken traditional heatpipe designs, fattened them up, and slapped them on its N285GTX SuperPipe OC graphics card.
"Today, MSI is pleased to announce the N285GTX SuperPipe graphics card, which not only brings to bear the powerful NVIDIA GPU - GeForce GTX 285, but, via the revolutionary ‘SuperPipe’ and Twin Frozr thermal design, offers a high performance and thermal efficiency graphics card," MSI wrote in a press release.
The aptly named SuperPipes consiste of 8mm thick heatpipes, which are up to 60 percent thicker than traditional heatpipes. According to MSI, the wider design leads to 90 percent better cooling performance. The N285GTX has been outfitted with five heatpipes in all, two of which are SuperPipes, on an all-metal heatsink with dual fans.
Engineers working together from Fusion-io and Hewlett Packard were able to achieve about 1 million IOPS (input/output per second) and 8GB/s sustained throughput in a custom-built HP ProLiant DL785 G5 server with four quad-core AMD Opteron processors. To reach the high level of IOPS, the server included five 320GB ioDrive Duos and six 160GB ioDrives.
"The ioDrive and ioDrive Duo are to supply the extreme storage performance (for data centers) at a fraction of the power, cooling, and per unit-of-processing-power price compared to traditional solutions," said David Flynn, chief technology officer of Fusion-io, in a statement.
The ioDrive and ioDrive Duos used consist of single level cell (SLC) flash memory and come rated for 48 years with the company's wear leveling algorithm. Both drives also utilize the PCI-E interface.
Things turned semi-chaotic yesterday in Santa Clara, Santa Cruz, and San Benito counties in California when it was discovered that ten fiber optic cables were purposely cut by vandals. At least one of the lines that were cut belongs to AT&T, whose lines were declared national Critical Infrastructure following the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. That means whoever is responsible for the vandalism is in violation of both federal and state laws, and to help make sure that they're caught, AT&T is offering a $100,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of whoever did it.
More than 50,000 landline customers lost service as a result of the cuts, including both residential and business customers, as well as connections for ATMs, internet, and bank card transactions. Hospitals, stores, banks, police and fire departments who rely on 911 calls, computerized medical records, and more were all affected.
Anyone with information that could lead to the capture of those responsible is being asked to call 408-947-7867 or 650-802-4423.
Ever since we nearly died from our childhood playground’s cootie epidemic -- only to be saved when we decided to play doctor -- we’ve known that girls and boys are very, very different. And now, according to the Nielsen Company, there’s yet another reason to slap that “No Girls Allowed” sign on your tree fort: the fairer sex digs PC gaming way more than you.
So, what’s the catch? Well, 55% of all PC gameplay minutes can be attributed to females above the age of 25; that much is true. But guess what many of them are playing? That’s right: Solitaire. Barebones, no frills Solitaire. So much so, in fact, that Solitaire is the single most-played PC game, with 17 million players in December 2008.
The majority of female players – and therefore, most PC gamers – are casual gamers. Granted, Nielsen’s subjects allow their every online move to be monitored by some monolithic company, but other than that, we presume that they’re normal people.
So, what do we take away from this? For one, if you give people a game and the hardware to run it – whether manly man or girly girl – they’ll play it. Bundle Windows with a few games that prominently feature knights, kings, and queens sans the cards and we might be onto something. And second, that curvy Night Elf that keeps interrupting your grinding session with another, far more sinister variety of grinding? Probably a dude.
Do you play MMOs? Do you – as MMO-related Youtube videos have jammed into our noggins on many occasions – also listen to fantasy-oriented power metal? Well, if you’re anything like us, the two tastes go great together until the vocalist starts belting, yet, when he speaks of glorious battle, fails to mention game-specific character classes, locations, and damage stats. Totally kills the immersion of downing the same legendary baddy for the hundredth time.
Well, while Blue Öyster Cult and Warhammer Online haven’t quite satisfied our rigorous demands, they’ve certainly come close. See, as it turns out, clamshell-themed rock and rollers Eric Bloom and Richie Castellano are both card-carrying WAR addicts, so they teamed up with Mythic to put their love into the form of a song, while also avoiding potential lawsuits!
The result, called “Kiss My Axe (While I Drink My Beer)"… doesn’t sound anything like vintage Blue Öyster Cult, but it’s still pretty good. It’s easily the best song about Warhammer Online’s brand new Dwarf Slayer class we’ve ever heard.
So, crank your speakers, put the horns in an upright position, and give it a listen. With any luck, it’ll wash away the taste of listening to DragonForce’s “Through the Fire and the Flames” for the – well, how many times have you downed that raid boss again?