A government spokesperson announced on Wednesday that media persons will not be able to access many politically sensitive websites during their stay in China for the Beijing Olympics. The Chinese had initially shrugged aside the unavailability of many sites as a technical snag on part of the concerned websites.
The International Olympic Committee’s pantomime on the issue was briefly interrupted when it vowed to take up the matter with the Chinese authorities, after reports of the censorship first emerged. But it now remains in its timid stasis and continues to appease the Chinese.
Readers, at least you don't disappoint us like the IOC and, please, show your support for freedom of expression, in the comments section - geeks for freedom!
The net is no place for slowpokes and Netgear hopes to nudge home networks into 802.11n territory with its Wireless-N Upgrade Kit (WNEB3100). For MSRP $149 (cheaper online), the kit comes with Netgear's 5GHz Wireless-N HD Access Point (WNHDE111) and the company's RangeMax DualBand Wireless-N Adapter (WNDA3100). When plugged into an existing router or gateway, the kit gives surfers an easy upgrade path to a speedy dual-band Wireless-N network which any Wi-Fi compliant computer or device can then tap into.
“The Wireless-N Upgrade kit enables customers with existing gateways and routers from their ISPs to easily add the performance benefits of 5GHz Wireless-N to their networks by simply connecting the kit to their existing wireless equipment, eliminating the need to re-wire, reconfigure or replace any existing equipment,” explained Som Pal Choudhury, Senior Product Line Manager for Advanced Wireless at Netgear.
The Access Point can also serve duty as a standalone bridge for connecting game consoles, media receivers, and other similar devices, and supports a wireless 'ad-hoc' mode for multicast point-to-multi-point high definition video streaming and wireless LAN peer-to-peer gaming. And because it comes equipped with automatic Quality of Service (QOS), Netgear claims gaming and movie watching will be lag- and jitter-free.
We thought maybe Jointech's $99 mini laptop would be the first sub $100 notebook to make it big in the market, but Gartner analysts say that the prices of mini-notebooks are unlikely to drop to that magical price range for at least another three years. Analysts warn, though, that the focus of breaking the $100 barrier should be shifted to other issues related to mini-notebooks such as determining relevant hardware specifications and power requirements.
Annette Jump, research director at Gartner, believes that the declining prices of hardware along with the increased demand for the devices could potentially reduce prices by 10 to 15 percent in the next two to three years. Will this decline in prices be enough to break the $100 barrier? Jump believes that in order for mini-notebooks to be successful in the consumer and business realm, they should not be considered a computing device but rather a device to explore the Internet and a way for people to work, play, and communicate.
“We expect to see increased product innovation in the PC market during the next few years,” said Ms. Jump. “Mini-notebooks will create opportunities to reach many buyers across all regions, both in mature markets as additional devices, and in emerging markets as PCs.”
While Meridian's 4096x2160 pixel projector will empty your pockets to the tune of $185,000, it appears Dell is coming out with a projector that will fit inside your pocket. And at just over a pound, it won't weigh you down either.
Details regarding Dell's aptly named pocket projector (surely to undergo a name change) became available after a leaked Powerpoint slide appeared on the web. The slide shows the miniature projector next to a coffee mug and looks almost small enough to fit inside.
According to the slide, the pocket projector uses an LED light source instead of a lamp or bulb, supports SVGA (800x600) and XGA (1024x768) resolutions, and earns a green tag by containing no mercury.
Not leaked, however, was any word on a possible release date or pricing information.
A few weeks ago, Gigaom’s Stacey Higginbotham speculated that cloud computing would not be trusted by large corporations, but now Intel, Yahoo, and HP are looking to change that perspective. These powerhouse companies will have six data centers available for pre-selected researchers to test new applications with the possibility for more data centers to come.
There are many problems and concerns currently with cloud computing but John Manley, director of HP’s strategic research lab, wants to “create an environment that can begin to answer some of these challenges.” Aside from exploring new applications for cloud computing, the companies will allow researchers to look into how such huge scale computing can be reliable, manageable and secure. Manley believes that, "Anytime you get three companies of that stature looking to advance it, is significant. We consider cloud computing to be the next really big thing and the sky's the limit to the services it will enable over the next ten years."
Intel, Yahoo, and HP will each host one data center while the Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore, the University of Illinois, and the Steinbuch Centre for Computing in Germany will host the other three.
Believe it or not, your browser might know more about you than even your spouse. Whether you use Firefox, Internet Explorer, or any of the several alternative browsers, a peek in your browsing history reveals what games you're playing, where you shop, what you shop for, where you booked your upcoming vacation, and it even knows what turns you on. But up until now, your browser had no way of knowing whether you're a male for female. Not anymore.
Try it out for yourself and post your results below.
Much has been made over Intel's Atom processor, the 45nm wonder-chip finding its way into more netbooks than production can seemingly keep up with. But lest the world forget, VIA also has a low power chip of its own, one the company claims delivers "truly optimized performance for the most demanding computing, entertainment, and connectivity applications."
VIA's 65nm Nano processor saw an official launch a full two months ago, but it's Intel's Atom that keeps getting the attention. Is it justified? A pair of review sites looked to answer that question by pitting an Intel Atom 230 (1.6GHz) against a VIA Nano L2100 (1.8GHz), and both sites came to the same conclusion: VIA's Nano is the faster processor.
Clocked 12.5 percent faster the Atom chip, it should come as no surprise to see the Nano L2100 churn out better performance numbers, but it's the margin of victory that might turn a few heads. In some cases, the Nano chip outpaced the Atom by a margin of 15 to 20 percent, showing it deserves more attention than just as an also-ran.
Of course, it's all for naught if VIA can't win the one contest that matters most: Vendor support.
An "abnormal failure rate" among Nvidia's 8M series GPUs hasn't stopped the graphics chip maker from moving forward; the Santa Clara company expanded its lineup last week with the GeForce 9800M and 9700M parts for notebooks. If you've been waiting for these parts to reach the market place, you can now whip out the credit card and place your order.
Best Buy already stocks Toshiba's sexy Qosmio X305-Q701, which comes equipped with Nvidia's 9700M GTS GPU sporting 512MB GDDR3 memory. According to DigiTimes, over 20 other notebook vendors are expected to soon follow suit, including other top tier vendors. Gaming notebooks have also been announced from the likes of Sager, CyberSystem, Infinity, Pioneer Computers Australia, and other regional PC companies.
If Toshiba's Qusmio isn't your style, look forward to a flurry of other 9M based notebooks to make their debut as Intel's Centrino 2 platform emerges full force.
Paypal and relative newcomer Google Checkout will both face off against a new contender in the online payment arena as Amazon jumps into the ring with a service of its own. Called Checkout by Amazon, the new service gives online retailers the option of letting Amazon manage their payments, along with some compelling reason for letting them do so.
Surfers who already have an account registered with Amazon (and who doesn't?) will be able to pay for goods at sites using Checkout by Amazon using billing and shipping details already on file with the mega e-tailer. Sites using the service can also offer customers the same '1-Click ordering' as Amazon, order tracking and management, Amazon's purchase protection policy, and other nuances associated with shopping directly at Amazon.
Learn about fees and another payment service being launched after the jump.
Forget about sliced bread; USB might be the single greatest invention ever. Just don't tell the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (now just called IEEE), who recently approved a new 1394-2008 specification that supports bumping the bandwidth up to 3.2 Gb/s.
"The new standard includes all of the amendments, enhancements, and more than 100 errata which have been added to the base standard over the last 12 years," said Les Baxter, chair of the working group which developed the standard. "This update provides developers with a single document they can rely upon for al of their application needs."
Firewire has fallen in recent years from the high speed interface of choice, particularly for DV transfers, to one that is now used mainly in professional environments. But that could change with the new spec, which introduces support for S1600 (1.6 Gb/s) and S3200 (3.2 Gb/s) while also being backwards compatible with current S400 and S800 ports. And the IEEE isn't finished, as looking ahead it's expected that Firewire will scale to 6.4 Gb/s.
For its part, USB isn't remaining idle and will receive an upgrade to 4.8 Gb/s in version 3.0, though exactly when still remains unknown.