We're not sure how Sony envisioned the Blu-ray revolution once HD-DVD was taken out of the game, but the reality has to be different than what was perceived. With the high price of players, consumers continue to show a lukewarm response to the victorious high definition format, even with inflated figures courtesy of Playstation 3 console sales.
In response to how things have shaped up, DigiTimes reports notebook vendors are beginning to change their strategies and kick Blu-ray to the curb. Citing un-named sources, the tech news site claims Asus originally panned to put a Blu-ray drive in its upcoming N80 and N50 laptops, but now only plans to do so with the N50 model. Going forward, Asus will focus it's Blu-ray offerings on large size (and more expensive) notebooks in 2009.
But while Asus has left the door open, Acer looks to be completely abandoning the format with no plans to launch any new Blu-ray notebooks for the remainder of this year.
It's hard to imagine Pretec's newly announced 64GB CompactFlash as being small, but the company has done exactly that by concurrently releasing a 100GB CF card. All that storage doesn't come at a big expense to performance either, with the company claiming a 35MB/s access speed for the 233X CF.
Pretec also announced super high speed 333X 32GB and 50GB CF cards, with each one capable of running up to 50MB/s. Combined with the monstrous 100GB CF card, Pretec can now boast having both the highest capacity and fastest CompactFlash cards on the market.
On a side note, Pretec says it's Q-SATA technology enables users to combine up to four 64GB CF cards configured as a 256GB SATA SSD, a luxury that would run just shy of $1,600.
Much less expensive (but still spendy), the 233X 64GB and 333X 32GB CF cards will carry an MSRP of $399 and $630. We're afraid to ask how much the 100GB model will run, and at least thus far, Pretec is afraid to tell.
One of the commonly accepted keys to success is to write down your goals, and Mozilla has done just that. The open-source software company has identified four areas it would like to improve by 2010:
Deepen Mozilla's role as a centerpiece of the internet
Continue Firefox mindshare and marketshare momentum
Of most interest is Mozilla's focus on mobility and by 2010, the company plans to "have an effective product in the mobile market." That plan appears to include getting its TraceMonkey engine fine tuned to run on ARM processors. Preliminary results look very promising, though it's anyone's guess as to when Firefox Mobile will show up on handheld devices, with Mozilla saying only that it "will ship well before" 2010.
If the old adage 'size matters' holds any merit, Dell has nothing to worry about. The OEM's 17-inch Precision mobile workstation promises a no compromise approach, and at least on paper, that's exactly what users will get.
16GB of RAM
1GB graphics memory
Up to 1TB of storage in a RAID array
The 16GB of memory will be the first thing to jump out when glossing over the system specs, which will come as a boon to anyone into heavy content creation. Dell also says its new mobile line will be able to accommodate up to two 30-inch displays, and a jog wheel gives the Precision a unique twist in the notebook market.
Dell says the new Precision mobile workstations will be available soon, but hasn't committed to a specific release date or official pricing yet.
While SSDs are getting plenty of attention from us (and everyone else) these days, it's way too early to shovel the dirt over the classic spinning-disk hard disk drive technology, eWeeksuggests. You already know a couple of reasons: capacity and price per GB.
However, even if you can afford to give up some storage capaciy and a lot more cash, there are other reasons to think twice before turning your existing hard disk drive into a paperweight. At last week's DiskCon 2008 storage conference, experts cited by eWeek pointed out that NAND flash memory, the most common type of flash memory in use today, drops in performance with use, and that data retention is much shorter than with traditional disk drives.
So who's really excited about SSDs? Corporate data centers. In one case study described at DiskCon, a data center replaced hard disks with SSDs. The installation used one SSD for read, the other for write, and realized a 10x improvement in read/write speed and 5x less power consumption.
So, how do you feel about SSDs? Are you ready to pony up the extra dough and trade off some capacity to give SSDs a try today, or are you waiting until SSDs' price per GB, capacity and long-term behavior more closely mirror what hard disks provide today? See us after the jump for your chance to put in your feedback.
It looks as though today's 12-year-olds are well past the days of building model volcanoes for the school science fair. And if not, well, William Yuan just put the smackdown on the competition
Yuan, a seventh grader from Oregon, set out to improve solar technology, which at the moment could be a lot more efficient. And he appears to have done just that. Yuan's project, which he calls "A Highly-Efficient 3-Dimensional Nanotube Solar Cell for Visible and UV Light," could shake up the energy industry and lead to real change into how solar energy is harnessed and distributed.
For his project, Yuan used a special solar cell capable of harnessing both visible and ultraviolet light, whereas most solar cells use either photovoltaic (only visible light), or thermal. Ultraviolet light holds interest because it can potentially provide more energy than the longer-wavelength members of the electromagnetic spectrum. And if that weren't enough, Yuan designed his project so it could stand freely in three dimensions to collect more light, and to make use of carbon nanotubes to distribute the energy more efficiently than traditional cells.
For his efforts, Yuan received a well deserved $25,000 scholarship, a fellowship at the Davidson Institute for Talent Development, and a various other awards.
There's been much ballywho surrounding Windows 7, Microsoft's anticipated successor to Vista, and we've covered much of it right here on MaximumPC.com. From what is known, Microsoft appears to be working closely with system vendors to ensure Windows 7 enjoys a smooth rollout among preconfigured systems, and to avoid third-party drivers giving the new OS a bad rap in similar fashion to how the software maker suggests early Nvidia drivers did to Vista. But it now looks like users will have to wait until December before spending some hands-on time with Windows 7 beta 1.
In the meantime, a pair of videos showing off two features of the new OS have begun making the rounds. The first one shows the Windows 7 Start menu, which looks no different than Vista's. However, with the mouse pointer hovered over the icon, a search box appears just above it in the video.
The second clip showcases Microsoft's redesigned Calculator application. You can choose from four modes - Standard, Scientific, Programmer, and Statistics - and copy and paste values. A new Options menu brings more functionality to the table, such as quickly calculating specific dates and breaking them down in to years, months, weeks, and days. Templates and unit conversion are also included, giving geeks with a caculator fetish something to salivate over.
Check out the clips and hit the jump to let us know what you think.
Back in June, we reported Intel's dual-core Atom processor had been postponed until September, and since that time, the company's single-core variant has enjoyed widespread success in the nettop world. Demand has been so high that there was speculation of an Atom chip shortage, ultimately prompting a response from Intel.
September has arrived, and as predicted, Intel has now officially begun shipping its 45nm dual-core Atom processor. Intel says the Atom 330 has been designed specifically for nettops. The new chip cranks out 1.6GHz per core supplemented by a very modest 1MB of L2 cache. The 8W TDP chip supports DDR2-667 and is being made available as an integrated package validated with Intel's 945GC Express Chipset.
Is this the chip you've been waiting for before picking up an ultraportable?
Give Ebay some credit - its union with StumbleUpon, which it acquired in May 2007, has lasted longer than some marriages. But now it appears Ebay wants out of its $75 million relationship, assuming Tech Crunch's sources prove reliable.
The news site claims Ebay has hired Deutsche Bank in hopes of stumbling upon a buyer, though the asking price remains unknown, and it's anyone's guess whether or not the auction site can get back what they invested in StumbleUpon. From July 2007 to July 2008, StumbleUpon has dropped from boasting 4.4 million worldwide visitors and 31 million page views to 1.1 million visitors and 25 million page views. Oddly enough, registered users continue to grow and now sits at over 6 million strong, a 20 percent increase over what it was just 5 months ago.
The Cleveland Clinic has bad news for amorous males who tote their cell phones in their pants pocket. According to the Clinic's research, mobile phones left on talk mode can reduce the quality of sperm.
"We believe that these devices are used because we consider them very safe, but it could cause harmful effects due to the proximity of the phones and the exposure that they are causing ot the gonads," says lead researcher Ashok Agarwal.
Agarwal and his team studied semen samples from 32 men with each person's sperm placed in small conical tubes, and then separated them into two groups. One group was kept clear of any cell phone emissions, while the other group sat 2.5 centimeters away from an 850MHz cell phone in talk mode, The researchers did this to simulate active cell phones kept in pants pockets while talking on headsets.
"On average, there was an 85 percent increase in the amount of free radicals for all the subjects in the study," noted Agarwal. "Free radicals have been linked to a variety of diseases in humans including cancer."
But don't panic just yet. By Agarwal's own admission, the small sample size can't be viewed as conclusive, nor does it take into account layers of skin, bone, and tissue that might protect precious sperm.
Even still, how long do you give cell phone manufacturers until they start marketing new models as being semen safe?