It seems there's always a notebook battery recall taking place, and the latest round comes from a handful of PC manufacturers using Sony-manufactured batteries. Potentially affected units stands at 100,000 worldwide, with 35,000 of those in the U.S.
The affected lithium-ion batteries were manufactured by Sony Energy Devices Corporation of Japan. The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission says the batteries could overheat and pose a fire hazard, a likely result given the complaints that have trickled in so far. According to the CPSC, there have already been 19 reports of overheating batteries, and all but 2 of those reports also indicated flames or fire. Two consumers report suffering minor burns, and 10 have complained of property damage.
No OEM has been more affected by the latest recall than HP. Out of the 35,000 batteries recalled in the U.S., 32,000 are being used in HP systems. These include the HP Pavilion dv1000, dv8000, and zd8000 sold from December 2004 to June 2006.
Other popular vendors include Toshiba and it's Satellite A70/75, P30/35, M30X/M35X, and M50/55 notebooks, as well as Tecra A3, A5, and S2 systems sold from April 2005 to October 2005 (3000 in all), and about 150 Dell Latitude 110L, Inspiron 1100, 1150, 5100, 5150, and 5160 notebooks sold between November 2004 to November 2005.
Notebook owners sporting one of the potentially affected units are advised to remove the battery and head over to CPSC's website for more information on how to contact the manufacturer to obtain a free replacement.
Edited 10/31/08 for clarification on the number of units affected and to include CPSC information.
Leaked screenshots of Microsoft's upcoming Windows 7 OS are nothing new, and we expect even more frequent peeks with beta releases floating around the web. That's the case with GottaBeMobile.com, who is currently participating in the Windows 7 beta and is showing off several screenies of the new OS running on a Tablet PC.
As would be expected, much of the focus remains on the Tablet Input Panel (TIP) and how the TIP tab operates. This includes how-to animations that display when clicked and show how to correct a word, how to delete, split a word, how to join, and an option to hide the videos. And in a departure from Vista, handwriting to the TIP is auto recognized inline instead of displaying the recognition results in a bubble below the word.
GottaBeMobile promises that there are more screenshots to come, so if this is your bag of tea, consider adding the site to your favorites.
Dell this week has launched a new line of OptiPlex desktop rigs, starting with the company's new flagship OptiPlex 960. The 960 comes wrapped in three different chassis designs -- mini-tower, desktop, and SFF -- with a configurable interior that lets consumers choose from both Intel's Core 2 Duo and quad-processor lineup, onboard or add-in graphics, and up to 8GB of DDR2 RAM. The new OptiPlex also looks to go green with what Dell claims is a 43 percent reduction in power consumption compared to previous OptiPlex models. Other improvements include a sturdier frame, significant noise reduction (up to 60 percent), and beefed up security through full drive encryption.
Among the OptiFlex refresh also sits Dell's FX160. The FX160 is Dell's first ever thin client, and can be configured to support either a Virtual Remote Desktop thin client environment or an On-Demand Desktop Streaming environment. Underneath the hood is an Intel Atom processor.
The new OptiPlex rigs are available now with starting prices ranging from $399 (FX160) on up to $863 (960).
Back before broadband, it was common to find retailers selling pre-built computers for hefty discounts, provided you agreed to sign up for a multi-year dial-up plan. By and large, the concept of discounted hardware in exchange for an ISP commitment has largely went by the wayside, but it may be making a comeback, with a twist.
Don't worry, no one is asking you to commit to three years of AOL on a 56K connection. Instead, HP is considering selling netbooks for a significant discount when bundled with a wireless service contract. While a new concept in the U.S., cellular service providers are already doing this in Asia and Europe. One such example is Taiwanese carrier Far EasTone Communications Ltd., who sells an Asus Eee PC for a scant $29 with a two-year commitment.
"The big picture for these netbooks is that kind of model," Kevin Frost, who runs HP's consumer notebook business unit, said in an interview. "That's the longer-term model."
Frost didn't mention which U.S. wireless providers are being actively pursued, but did say that Verizon and AT&T could be potential candidates. Whether or not either of those companies would be interested remains to be seen, but if it's going to happen, expect it sooner than later while the netbook market is red hot.
Would you be interested in a discounted netbook with a wireless service plan? Hit the jump and tell us what you think.
He heavily extolled Blu-ray, which he believes is a huge asset for media editing professionals and enterprises - a demographic that Psystar can now serve.
Psystar is certainly trying its best to get under the skin of Apple whose patience must be wearing thin. Around a fortnight ago, Apple and Psystar agreed to an “Alternative Dispute Resolution”. Prior to that, in July, Apple had slapped a lawsuit against Psystar. The latter soon returned the favor by filing a lawsuit of its own against Apple.
How cool would it be if you could tidy up your long-to-the-point-of-swaying-in-the-breeze toe nails and save $50 million? Because that's essentially what EA did today in the process of announcing its quarterly earnings.
Everyone's favorite 37.5% of the industry laid-off 600 employees -- a mere 6% of its workforce. Apparently, that'll save the company a whopping $50 million.
"These are challenging economic times around the world, and it's impossible for any business leaders to predict the future," said spokesperson Mariam Sughayer. "However, EA has made good progress in improving product quality, building a holiday lineup of titles that is extremely strong, filling our new IP pipeline, and expanding our Direct-To-Consumer and online businesses. As well, our talent remains the best in the industry."
If nothing else, Spore was a major success -- serving 2 million marginally happy customers over the course of three weeks.
Check out the full press release on EA's investors' site, if you'd like to overwrite your childhood memories with numbers. So many numbers.
Taiwanese company Silicon Integrated Systems has dismissed rumors that it is going to shut down its PC chipset business. It is now going to concentrate its resources on developing southbridges. SiS will persist with its PC chipset business and satisfy whatever demand there is for its products until 2011. It is currently concentrating on providing notebook chipsets. SiS supplies notebook chipsets to around 20 notebook manufacturers. Cut-throat competition and the precarious state of the global economy have made life difficult for SiS.
We love our moms. They're really super great. Hell, we love moms in general (especially yours). But moms loving StarCraft II? Two hobbies will become one, if producer Chris Sigaty has his way.
“We’ve trying to make sure that it’s perfectly balanced for e-sport, but look — I’m going to try to get my mom to play this game," he told MTV Multiplayer. "I mean, I know she can’t [micromanage] at the level that these pro gamers can, so we’re actually experimenting back in the opposite direction… so that even the layman can come in and get a grasp of these cool things in the game.”
So how will Blizzard snap some of the sharper edges off StarCraft's fire-trail fast gameplay? Sigaty wouldn't elaborate beyond wanting to "make it much easier for [non-gamers] to explore whether it would interest them.”
While this new disproportionately large quadrant of Blizzard's target audience certainly has the potential to wreck things for everyone else, we choose to remember WoW. If anyone can take a tiny, hole-the-wall niche and stretch it into a Grand Canyon -- while still keeping gameplay deep and challenging -- it's Blizzard.
Malware-infected PCs have for long betrayed their users’ most precious financial secrets to internet robbers. But researchers at IBM have developed a USB device to ensure that online banking transactions remain unaffected by malware infections. The device, which is called Zone Trusted Information Channel, can also repel man-in-the-middle attacks.
It secures online transactions by establishing a direct channel to a bank’s online transaction server through a computer’s USB port. As the transaction at the user’s end is made on ZTIC’s own hardware - no reliance on any PC-based software, it is not vulnerable to malware or man-in-the-middle attacks. The prototype is now ready to undergo trials.
Although the idea of a stand-alone security/authentication solution isn’t entirely new – Paypal already offers a stand-alone security device to its users, IBM’s endeavor is slightly different as it looks to be keen on offering a universal solution.
Straight out of the “surprise!” file, Microsoft’s Live search engine is down in usage while Yahoo’s has finally gained some ground. Despite Microsoft’s offering serious perks to the members of Club Internet to use their search engine, they just weren’t able to come through in traffic, as claimed by researcher ComScore Inc.
According to ComScore, Yahoo’s portion of the Internet search engine pie has gone up from 19.6 percent to 20.2 percent. Unfortunately for Microsoft though, their percentage has dropped from an already low 8.9 percent down to 8.5 percent. Not surprisingly, Google took care of 62.9 percent of the searches made, and still has a very demanding lead.
At this rate Microsoft is going to have to cook up some pretty exciting perks to lure users back over to Live. (Try this one out: “Search for a date with Scarlett Johansson.” Thank me later.)