Ubuntu's Hardy Heron (8.04) operating system has been flapping its wings in full-release form since late April, and now the latest Linux distro lands on pre-configured Dell systems. This isn't the first time Dell has offered Linux as an OS option, but up until now, OEM shoppers looking for a Windows-alternative were stuck using Feisty Fawn (7.04), bugs and all.
So why the nearly three month-long delay? Dell claims it spent that time in development to ensure a smooth rollout with the new OS, as well as testing for peripheral support, including ATI graphics, fingerprint readers, HDMI, and other odds and ends. Linux support has increased leaps and bounds from the pre-Vista days, but the emergence into the mainstream segment has been a relatively recent development, so it comes as little surprise that pre-configured systems using the latest distro release wouldn't be as quick to market as a Windows PC.
Dell currently offers Ubuntu on its Inspiron 530N desktop, Inspiron 1525N laptop, and XPS M1330 laptop machines, and is expected to add its XPS M1530N and new Studio 15N laptops to the lineup by early August.
It was an offer that no sane iPhone owner in the U.S could refute. But alas, AT&T quickly sensed its folly and disowned its promise of free Wi-FI access for iPhone users across its network of more than 17,000 hotspots around the country. It had erroneously published a notice on its website apprising users that it was extending free Wi-Fi access to iPhone owners. The notice vanished from the company’s website after a terse stay that lasted for an hour between 8:30 a.m. PDT and 9:30 a.m. PDT.
Soon after, AT&T explained to Cnet that the announcement was a mistake. And so AT&T excused itself from the mistake that had the entire internet abuzz for a while. But AT&T has made quite a habit of erroneously promising free Wi-Fi access as, in May, it had similarly announced free Wi-Fi access for its Laptop Connect customers only to dismiss it as a mistake.
Forget about ultraportables and low powered laptops, and you can toss that MacBook Air into through the Wind. OCZ apparently wants nothing to do with current fads, and instead looks to appeal to the power user with a penchant for customization. And not just cursory customizations, but a full hands-on, do-it-yourself (DIY) approach. That's the idea behind OCZ's DIY whitebook solutions, and with the release of Intel's Centrino 2 (Montevina) platform, the company has announced a new model taking aim at "the high end gamer."
DIY notebooks can still be considered an emerging market, and OCZ will have to fight against other OEMs offering high-end notebooks already assembled. But as Maximum PC readers are fully aware, building your own rig carries with it a certain intangible, and combined with a bevy of performance-minded options, OCZ hopes its gamble will pay off.
Builders going all out can choose Intel's Core 2 Extreme X9100 processor on a GM47 foundation, slap in up to 4GB of DDR3-1066, and even run two ATI M88XT videocards in Crossfire mode, or a single Nvidia 8800GTX. For those looking to live a little farther away from the performance edge (and save a few greenbacks in the process), OCZ's whitebook can be configured with integrated graphics and a processor with less punch, all the while remaining on Intel's Montevina platform.
If OCZ proves to be right in seeing a growing market for DIY notebooks, enthusiasts might soon find themselves asking that long debated question: Build or buy?
Social networking colossus MySpace has launched a Pan-Asian game development contest. Developers from China, India, Japan and Korea will square off against each other to develop the best social game. The contest stipulates that developers be legal residents of one of the four countries mentioned above and above the age of 18 years. And no development team should have more than three members. The contest will culminate at the Tokyo Game Show and the winning social game will be plastered all over MySpace after being translated into English, Korean, Chinese and Japanese, besides that, cash and other prizes will be up for grabs. Registrations are open right now.
ReadWriteWeb.com is letting the world in on a secret, mainstream users can’t find the address bar. If you’ve ever done over the phone tech support you know this is true. They end up typing into a search engine, or a search engine bar, or into some piece of foul malware that wiggled into their browser. They will type anywhere but in the address bar.
What made ReadWriteWeb notice this trend was a report by Hitwise that showed more than 10% of the searches for the top 10 dating search terms were URLs like match.com and plentyoffish.com and almost all of the queries were something that .com could have been added to for direct navigation.
For competitors this isn’t such a bad thing. If you buy into Adwords your site can come up on a search for a competitor. For instance, type eHarmony on Google and the sponsor links come up with Match.com and LoveandSeek.com. Of course had they just tagged on the .com onto eHarmony in their address bar they would have gone straight there and never saw the links for the other sites.
Is it a bad thing for users? Not really. I make plenty of fat fingered typos and I hate landing on some misspelled domain that is brimming with malware. You avoid that altogether by searching. It is also human nature to take shortcuts. Users know they’ll get there whether they add the .com or not.
It’s not so hot for the companies that shelled out big bucks for the domain name. Domain names haven’t worked so hot since they came out and squatters snatched up as many as they could to sit on waiting for a huge offer. It’s led to some creative names for companies that desperately wanted their domain name to match their company name however.
IBM’s Q2 results paint an idyllic picture as the company not only surpassed financial pundits’ expectations but also defied the gloom that currently shrouds the US economy. The company reported sales worth $26.8 billion in the second quarter and announced a profit of $2.77 billion – up 22%. The better-than-predicted result prompted IBM to revise its financial guidance upwards and now expects to earn $8.75 per share this year. The company has developed a strong immunity against the economic downturn due to the highly consolidated nature of its business and global reach. Its IT service division that caters to disparate businesses remains sturdy as ever.
The earlier version of the open source browser was the first to be updated as the crucial Firefox 18.104.22.168 security update became available on Tuesday (15th July) followed by the 3.0.1 patch for Firefox 3 the next day. In addition to tackling the carpet bombing threat, the updates have also fixed a vulnerability related to the browser’s CSSValue array data, and a minor Mac-only bug.
Solid-State Drives (SSDs) are taking aim at the mainstream market, boasting both faster speeds and suddenly affordable pricing than even just a few short months ago. But even as the price-to-performance ratio becomes much more attractive, reliability remains a concern. Flash memory doesn't contain any moving parts, but the memory is only capable of so many write and erase cycles before it turns into read only memory. That might soon change.
Samsung and Sun Microsystems are co-developing a single-level-cell NAND flash memory device the companies claim will offer "much higher endurance levels than any other flash memory device on the market today." The new memory is said to offer five times the data write-and-erase cycles of existing solutions. Even more impressive, Samsung claims its server-grade SLC memory will provide a 100-fold increase in the number of data transfers over traditional hard drives.
While Samsung and Sun are excited over where flash memory is headed, not everyone shares their same enthusiasm. A Fujitsu executive recently downplayed SSDs saying the technology is still over two years away from being a viable option, and an IDC report indicates that initial comparisons between SSDs and HDDs may have been misleading.
Are we getting close to finally replacing hard drives as the main storage device in today's PCs, or is the recent hype much ado about nothing?
The average user would never dream of paying four figures for a processor, and even today's $1,500 budget boxes can end up being very capable rigs with the right parts selection. Even still, there exists a market for high-end silicon, and Intel's Extreme series always command a premium. But this time around, Intel might be looking to give enthusiasts a break.
Rumor has it that Intel will serve up its delicious 3.2GHz Extreme series Bloomfield processor at just $999 in thousand-unit tray quantities. While that might not appear to be a bargain at first glance, it's a full $500 cheaper compared to the current cream of the crop, the Core 2 Extreme QX9700. If the rumor holds true, the new pricing will mark a return to the way Intel used to price its flagship Extreme model.
Intel is also expected to introduce a performance chip clocked at 2.93GHz at a much easier to swallow $562 price point, and a mainstream model at 2.66GHz for $284.
For those that haven't been following, Intel's much anticipated Bloomfield (Nehalem) processors will introduce a new socket with 1366 pins and finally bring an integrated memory controller to the table.
Few companies wouldn't mind switching places with Google, who posted a $1.25 billion profit, but when you're the undisputed champ of the online world (or if you're Dr. Evil), a measly billion dollars just isn't enough. Along with earnings per share of $3.92, the numbers aren't adding up to what analysts had predicted, leaving many to wonder if the online advertising market might be taking a turn for the worse. Google Cheif Economist Hal Varian sees it differently, saying:
"Consumers are being cautious in their online spending patterns just as they are in the offline spending. Despite the weakness in the economy, advertising seems to be hodling up remarkably well in most sectors. This illustrates the point that we've made several times that during periods of slow economic growth, the last thing an advertiser wants to cut is its spending on search-based advertising."
But Varians comments did little to assuage investors, nor did posting gross sales of $5.37 billion, marking a 39 percent improvement over one year ago and hitting analysts' estimates. The company's shares still managed to drop 10 percent to $479.70 in after-hours trading.
Given the overall growth and $12.7 billion in cash, is the panic justified?