Eye-Fi, whose line of Wi-Fi-enabled SD cards caught our attention earlier this year, is back in the news: the new Nikon D90 DSLR joins its stablemate, the D60, as the second Eye-Fi-enabled camera.
What's New in the D90?
The D90, which makes its formal bow at Germany's Photokina trade show in late September, adds the ability to temporarily disable Eye-Fi transfer functions through the camera menu; a useful feature in hospitals, airplanes, or anywhere else where you want to prevent images from flying through the ether.
Cnet posted an article saying that Nvidia is now offering what it calls "native" licensing of SLI to its partners and system builders. Native licensing will not require the use of Nvidia's nForce 200 bridge for the Core i7 and X58 motherboards. That is right, no chip. The difference between native and the nForce 200 is that native SLI allows for more “common configurations”. There were no details on what “common configurations” could mean.Only the boards certified by Nvidia will be Nvidia will be able to enable SLI.
Pure speculation on my part is that it might mean only dual cards in SLI, not 3 or more on the native solution.
We can hope that this is a sign of a thaw in relations befween Intel and Nvidia. Of course Nvidia board certification may not make motherboard manufactuers very happy at the prospect of another hoop to jump through.
In any case, we can at least be assured of having a helping of SLI with our Core i7.
It might not be able to float, but Samsung can get away with claiming its new X360 laptop is lighter than "Air." MacBook Air, that is. At a scant 2.8 pounds, the X360 weighs a smidgen less than Apple's MacBook Air, while also touting a slightly larger screen at 13.3-inches (compared to 12.8-inches). With regards to body fat, the X360 measures 0.66-inches thick on the low end, and 1.2-inches on the fatter end.
Samsung's new ultraportable is based on a Centrino 2 ULV processor with 1GB RAM standard (upgradable to 4GB). For storage duties, buyers can choose between a 5400RPM 120GB hard drive, or a 64GB or 128GB SSD. Visuals are handled with the X4500 integrated graphics allowing the screen to run at 1280x800. Other features include:
7-in-1 card reader
Three USB ports
HDMI / VGA inputs
WiFi and Bluetooth
Integrated 1.3 megapixel webcam
Noticeably missing is an optical drive. Samsung says battery life will be in the vicinity of 6 to 10 hours. No word yet on price or availability.
Starting this week, Microsoft will update the way its Windows Genuine Advantage behaves. The first change will come in how WGA keeps itself updated, with MS saying "in this release we've also added the ability for future updates to WGA Notifications to have both the validation logic, as well as new forms of notifications, installed without additional steps."
But the biggest change comes to how WGA handles installations that fail to pass validation. Taking somewhat of a cue from Vista, users sporting a copy of Windows flagged as non-genuine will be greeted to a plain black background. Users will still be given the ability to change the background to whatever it was before, but every 60 minutes the desktop will go back to black until Windows passes validation.
In addition, Microsoft plans to add a "persistent desktop notification." Similar to a watermark, the non-interactive notification will appear permanently over the system tray as a reminder that the copy didn't pass validation. Users won't be able to click, move, or otherwise manipulate the notification, but it will be translucent over desktop items, and stay hidden under open windows.
Will this latest effort curb software piracy, or is WGA a bad idea to begin with?
Samsung is attempting to answer the question of how low can you go while doing the solid state limbo. The semiconductor company this week said it has begun sampling low-density, higher-performance solid state drives (SSDs) measuring just 30 percent the size of 2.5-inch SSDs. Samsung also says they're highly cost-efficient to manufacture, which should help the technology continue to penetrate the mainstream market.
"We've refined our manufacturing techniques and redesigned our low-density SSDs to get what the low-priced PC market is looking for in the way of improved cost, performance, and availability," said Jim Elliot, VP of memory marking.
Available in 8GB, 16GB, and 32GB flavors, the new multi-level cell SSDs will use the same SATA II controller found on Samsung's recently introduced MLC-based 128GB SSD. The company says the 32GB SSD will read data at 90MB/s and write at 70MB/s, while the 16GB will sport read and write times of 90MB/s and 45MB/s. Bringing up the rear, the 8GB model will also read at 90MB, but write at 25MB/s.
Mass production will start in September 2008. And mass consumption? That question remains to be answered.
Sometimes you have to roll the dice if you're to have a shot at a big payout, and that's exactly what NBC did when it scheduled no less than 2,200 hours of live streaming coverage to be available free of charge on its website. Without enough viewers tuning to turn those pageviews into advertising dollars, the decision could have turned into an epic fail for NBC. Instead, the broadcasting company was able to cash in on the virtual gold.
As of Saturday, NBC reported it had received a staggering 1.2 billion pageviews resulting in an equally impressive 72 million video stream views. Those numbers represent more than the totals for the 2004 and 2006 Games combined.
But NBC wasn't the only big winner in this years' Olympics. According to research firm Nielsen Online, search engine and news aggregation Yahoo was getting 4.7 million unique visitors a day at the Olympics' peak. AOL, ESPN, Sports Illustrated, the Beijing Organizing Committee, The New York Times, and USA Today also saw heavily increased traffic.
Google doesn't often trail the competition in the search engine market, but while others had already implemented a suggest feature to online searches originating from their respective home pages, the same thing was noticeably absent from Google.com. Having a suggest feature means related search queries to the ones you're typing in appear below the search bar. You may have noticed this when typing search queries in Firefox's search box or the Google Toolbar, but up until now, it hasn't been a part of Google.com. So why did it take so long to implement?
"Quality is very important to us, and since so many people visit the Google.com homepage, we wanted to make sure to evaluate and refine our algorithms to provide a good experience using Google Suggest," a Google spokesperson said.
If you're not seeing it just yet, not to worry, your interweb isn't broken - a full roll out is expected to be complete by the end of the week.
In connection with the transaction, approximately 530 members of AMD's dedicated DTV team, in addition to certain employees directly supporting this team, located in six primary design centers around the world, will be invited to join Broadcom. AMD's DTV product line includes all Xilleon integrated DTV processors and complete turnkey reference designs, as well as NXT receiver ICs, the Theater 300 DTV processor, and a line of panel processors that perform advanced motion compensation, frame rate conversion and scaling.
The acquisition of the former ATI DTV business looks like a win for both sides, according to analysts quoted by eWeek. Broadcom expands its already-impressive chipset portfolio (which is already way beyond the communication chips that inspired the company's name), while AMD is able to further concentrate on x86 processors and GPUs. Can Broadcom make it work, when AMD couldn't? According to EDN's Suzanne Deffree, "Broadcom is stellar at integrating in acquired companies. Its M&A skills are a big part of what have built the company into the top industry player it is today."
So, how do you feel about Broadcom's picking up the old ATI DTV biz? For your feedback opportunity, join us after the jump.
Last night, before tossing and turning for a good three hours, I finally finished George R.R. Martin's "A Game of Thrones." I'd been nibbling my way through the book -- a 900-page tome -- since late May, so I was understandably thrilled to see its final page, as well as its wildly out-of-place ad for the "A Game of Thrones" collectible card game. But AGoT's only the beginning of a planned seven-part series that began in 1996. Needless to say, AGoT's sequel has been on shelves, Amazon, and wherever else books are sold since before my age had taken on a second digit, and because AGoT ended on a huge cliffhanger, I nabbed the second book from my local Borders with all the subtlety a frothing nerd could muster, clasping it in my hands with a grip that bystanders described as "air-tight."
However, if I'd voraciously devoured AGoT back in '96, I'm fairly sure my satisfied smile would've flipped upside down. The final chapter felt like a build to the climax, but then -- as though it was a badly planned rollercoaster -- the story just ended, leaving readers dangling for roughly two years. (Yeah, the bad kind of rollercoaster.)
Obviously, literature isn't the only medium that backhands its users this way. Games, too, have a habit of rolling out large, red, inappropriately timed stop signs just when things are getting good. Even worse, development cycles now pack double the staff and take twice as long to complete compared to only a few years ago. Looks like the wait between sequels will only grow more arduous before it tapers off.
So, what's the least satisfying game ending you've ever come across? How did you react? Did you pen an angry email? Boycott the sequel?
This installment of the Roundup features the successor to a top-notch game with an abysmal ending, a peek behind the scenes of a controversial game that's attempting to tell a titanic, cliffhanger-laden tale, and so much more. See the stunning conclusion after the break.