News articles search results by Bryan McDaniel
New high air flow mid tower case from CM
Cooler Master had quite a bit of success with their first "High Air Flow" case, the HAF 932 full tower (read the Neo review). Looking to capitalize on that success with a slightly smaller chaise, Cooler Master is back with the HAF 922.
The new mid tower supports up to seven fans, including three 200 mm fans (which can be swapped out with smaller 140 or 120 mm), which allow for maximum air movement and quiet operation, while a bottom mounted PSU with it's own intake helps assist in heat management. And like the big brother, the 922 sports a rugged, beastly exterior.
"Building the mean, dream machine is now well within reach."
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When Mac OS X 10.6 or 'Snow Leopard' is released later this year, the new operating system will also introduce an update to Apple's QuickTime media player. With QuickTime X users will be able to take videos of their desktop. While screen recording features have long been available via third party applications, the integration into QucikTime and essentially OS X itself, should come in handy for educators, developers, and even gamers looking for a simple solution to creating video documentation and aids.
To further expand upon the screen recording capabilities of QuickTime X, Apple will also include a video sharing option to allow videos to be uploaded to YouTube, MobileMe Gallery, and a number of other services. While other services have yet to be named, I wouldn't be surprised if video uploads to Facebook and Flickr were included as well. When Apple released iPhoto '09 it included support for uploading photos to both services.
Mozilla updates two versions of their web browser on the same day
Hot on the heals of the Firefox 3.0.9 security update, Mozilla has released another update for the popular web browser. Firefox 3.0.10 addresses a "major stability issue". While I've not experienced any stability issues with 3.0.9, it must have been a pretty big deal for a new release in such a short time frame.
In addition to Firefox 3.0.10, Mozilla has released the Firefox 3.5 Beta 4. This is the first (non-nightly) release to see the 3.5 version number, the three previous beta releases were for version 3.1, however Mozilla decided that based on the number of changes going into the browser that a more significant version increment was required.
Changes in Firefox 3.5B4 include:
- Improved controls for managin private data, including a Private Browsing Mode, or "Porn Mode" as it is often referred to.
- Improvements to the Gecko layout engine (version 1.9.1)
- Suport for new web technologies, including:
- HTML5 <video>
- HTML5 <audio>
- HTML5 offline data storage
- JS query selectors
- SVG transformations
- downloadable fonts and other new CSS properties
Expected to become self aware in the year 2011
You may soon turn on the TV to find a computer competing against human contestants on Jeopardy. Watson, a program named after IBM founder Thomas J. Watson Sr., is IMBs latest attempt to push artificial intelligence to the next level and to to prove that its researchers can make significant technical progress by picking “grand challenges”.
IBM and the producers of "Jeopardy!" have negotiated a set of rules for the show. Watson will receive all of the questions electronically, and will respond with a synthesized voice. A Blue Gene supercomputer will be sent to Los Angeles for the contest, but will not be connected to the Internet. Instead the system will use information that it has indexed before the show. IBM would not provide details on how large Watson's database.
The show's producers are considering who should compete against the program. One likely candidate is Ken Jennings, who holds the longest winning streak on the show. In 2004, Ken won 74 games in a row before being defeated. Personally I hope to see Sean Connery and John Connor.
Watson is not IBMs first venture into AI that competes against humans. In 1997, an IBM supercomputer called Deep Blue, defeated chess world champion Garry Kasparov. Garry claimed that the match was unfair, but was able to achieve a draw in a later match against a different version.
America's largest online retailer, Amazon.com, is reporting a very good first quarter. Net sales saw a 18% increase to $4.89 billion during the first quarter, the same quarter last year was $4.13 billion. Amazon reports net sales would have grown 25% compared with first quarter 2008, if it excluded the $268 million due to the "unfavorable impact from year-over-year changes in foreign exchange rates throughout the quarter."
The company's operating income increased 23% to $244 million, compared with $198 million from the previous year. Again, the impact related to exchange rates saw a huge impact, if the related $32 million were to be excluded the increase would have been 39%.
Amazon's net income increased by 24% to $177 million, compared with net income of $143 million from the same time last year.
“We’re grateful and excited that Kindle sales have exceeded our most optimistic expectations,” said Jeff Bezos, founder and CEO of Amazon.com.
A number of highlights from Amazon's first quarter:
- Kindle 2 eBook reader released
- Kindle App for the iPhone and iPod Touch released via the Apple App Store
- Amazon App for BlackBerry released
- Amazon MP3 music service launched in Germany
- Amazon Video Games Trade-In service beta launched
- Items shipped on behalf of sellers who utilized Fulfillment by Amazon increased by more than 300% from the prior year.
Decision reached in lawsuit filed in 2007
A court in Texas has found Apple guilty in a patent infringement case originally filed in 2007 by Palo Alto, CA based OPTi Inc.
The patent issued in June 2002 is officially called "predictive snooping of cache memory for master-initiated accesses" and describes a method to efficiently transfer data among the CPU, memory, and other devices.
Apple attempted to have the suit and patent thrown out due to "prior art and obviousness." The jury sided with OPTi and ordered Apple to pay $19,009,728 as a "reasonable royalty for infringement."
In 2003 OPTi closed down its manufacturing and sales business in order to focus on it's lawsuits, which now appear to be the company's sole focus and source of income. Similar lawsuits to this one has been filed by OPTi against AMD, Broadcom, Silicon Storage, SMSC, VIA, and other companies. All suits have been filed in the same Texas court that found Apple guilty.
Apple has not commented on the verdict and is unlikely to do so. With almost $29 billion in cash the $19 million that Apple was ordered to pay probably wont put a dent in the books.
The XBMC team is happy to announce the first, and with any luck only, beta release of XBMC Media Center 9.04. The release comes just over two weeks after the availability of the first alpha and includes over 350 "code fixes" as well as brings PPC processor support in XBMC for Mac. XBMC remains under a feature freeze and will continue to be until 9.04, also known as Babylon, is released.
For those of you that may be asking "what the heck is XBMC?" XBMC is a multiple platform, open source media center and entertainment HUB. In addition to supporting a ton of audio, video, and image formats, XBMC can be further extended via custom plugins and scripts. XBMC is available on the following platforms:
- Mac OS X 10.4 and 10.5 Intel and Power PC
- Apple TV via USB "patchstick"
- Ubuntu Linux 8.04, 8.10, and 9.04
- Microsoft Windows XP and Vista
- XBMC Live - runs from a CD or USB drive
- XBMC for the Original Xbox - requires a mod chip
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Google and T-Mobile USA have a reason to celebrate. The T-Mobile G1 (also known as the HTC Dream) smartphone, powered by the Google Android OS, has been sold over one million times since it debuted in October. The G1 was among the first phones to utilize T-Mobile's new 3G network, and according to the numbers now accounts for two thirds of all devices on T-Mobile's 3G service.
The news came Monday as part of the first quarter earnings report, the same report that stated stated net customer additions fell by 50%.
While the news is good for T-Mobile, it may actually be even better news for Google. Aside from being powered by a Google OS, the G1 is also highly intigrated with other Google applications such as GMail, Google Calendar, and Google Maps. The news of the success on T-Mobile's network could encourage other companies to build phones around Android. Acer, Samsung, Motorola, and Sony Ericsson are all reportably working on plans for Android powered devices.
Security researchers claim that the iServices Trojan Horse botnet, or iBotnet, has been activated. While this is the first known Mac specific piece of malware, it is not the first time that Mac OS has seen malware. The iBotnet, which was first discovered in January, is believed to be installed alongside pirated copies of Apple iWork '09 and Adobe Photoshop CS4.
Antivirus programs for the Mac, while not used my many Mac users, have been updated to remove the program. Infected users may notice an increased CPU usage as the iBotnet issues a denial-of-service attack against websites. It is a safe bet that users can also identify that they are infected by the illegal copy of software installed on their Mac.
In addition to the usage of Antivirus software, it may be possible to remove iBotnet by simply deleting the System/Library/StartupItems/DivX and/or System/Library/StartupItems/iWorkServices folders from your Macintosh hard drive. SecureMac is also offering a free tool for users to remove iBotnet.
It is believed that only a few thousand Mac systems are infected with the botnet and it is not a danger to the average Mac user.
Should Mac users run out now and purchase antivirus software? Not yet. While the number of Macs continue to grow, so will the number of attacks. Users can stay safe simply by following a few basic rules; these same rules also apply to users of Microsoft Windows:
- Do not download pirated software.
- Do not use your root or administrator account for daily usage.
- Keep your operating system and applications updated
- If not using a third party firewall, enable the one included with your OS. OS X, XPSP2, and Vista all have a basic firewall.
- Separate your Mac or "PC" from the internet with a router, even if you only own one system.
Of course, you can always get a jump start on the inevitable issues to come by purchasing an antivirus product. You may not need it for years to come, but better safe than sorry, right?
Promises to deliver ultimate overclocking ability
PowerColor announced today its newest addition to the AMD HD 4890 family, the PCS+ HD 4890. PCS+, PowerColor’s Professional Cooling System PLUS is designed to deliver "the ultimate overclocking ability".
PowerColor’s PCS+ HD 4890 utilizes ZEROtherm’s exclusive cooling system, a 52-piece fin and 4 heat pipes to keep the card cool while the stylish black nickel coated surface enhances hardness and anti-oxidizing. The card also features an enhanced fan control to automatically adjust speeds as needed.
“The PCS+ series features the overclocking abilities of our top-of-the-line graphics cards,” said Ted Chen, CEO of TUL Corporation. “Our performance and enthusiast minded consumers will be pleased with this latest edition. The PowerColor PCS+ HD4890 is a well balanced and extremely overclockable card. There are not a lot of products that can compete with this card at its price.”
In addition, PowerColor is also releasing a special edition game bundle, the PCS+ HD 4890 Battle Forge edition.
|PowerColor PCS+ HD 4890|
Sales fall for the first time in twenty-three years
For the first time in their 23 year history as a public company Microsoft saw a decline in sales. Sales dropped 6% from last year to $13.7 billion, which fell short of analysts expectations of $14.1 billion. Total net income for the company fell by a staggering 32% to $2.98 billion.
Microsoft estimates PC sales may be down by as much as 7 to 9 percent, and people are opting to purchase cheaper netbooks rather than notebooks and PCs. While a Microsoft operating system, usually Windows XP, is available on most netbooks the company does have competition from Linux based netbooks and could face increased competition if Google's Android OS makes its way to the platform.
Microsoft cut 1,400 jobs during the quarter, another first for the company. They expect they will have to cut another 3,600 jobs by mid-2010.
The news wasn't all bad for Microsoft, the company's server business saw a 7% rise in revenue and a 24% increase in earnings.
Other notes from Microsoft's financial report:
- Entertainment and devices division (Xbox 360 and Zune) had a 2% revenue decline and an operating loss of $31 million from the same time last year.
- Sales in the business division dropped 5%.
- Sales in the division that produces Vista fell 16%
- Online Services division lost $575 million in the quarter, and sales dropped 14% from the same time last year.
Down 1,600 employees from first quarter
Things looked good for Apple when they reported their second quarter earnings. They exceded excitations and managed to post profits wile most other companies struggle with the current economic situation. iPhone sales were up, iPod sales were up, and while Mac sales were down 3% Apple still managed 2.22 million sales.
While some have been calling Apple "recession proof" it's obvious that even Apple has had to make adjustments to its business. According to a filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, Apple retail stores are now employing 1,600 fewer full time employees than they did in the previous quarter. It is unlikely that these employees were laid off and more likely that they were shifted to part-time or simply positions that were not refilled when someone left the company.
Apple opened 45 new retail stores this year, but only one store during the recent quarter. Apple has said that they plan to open fewer stores in 2009. Apple currently has more than 250 retail stores worldwide.
It's only been nine months since Apple opened up the App Store for the iPhone and iPod Touch, but they have just passed a major milestone; one billion apps downloaded. While this is of course great news for Apple, it is even better news for one lucky person will soon be receiving a $10,000 iTunes Gift Card, an iPod touch, a Time Capsule, and a MacBook Pro.
The road to a billion hasn't been smooth sailing for Apple. The app store has often met criticism for the delay in approval of new apps, denial of apps for no apparent reason, removal of apps without warning, and even the approval of offensive apps. Just this week, Apple allowed a $0.99 app into the app store called Baby Shaker, which you guessed it, allows you to mimic shaking a baby. The app was removed from the app store on Wednesday.
The official Billion App Countdown page lists the top 20 all-time paid and free apps to date. Now that we know what the most popular apps are, what are your favorite and must have apps?
It is a sad day for many, as we learn that Yahoo! will be pulling the plug on the once extremely popular, personal website service GeoCities. New registrations at GeoCities have been disabled, though existing users can continue to use the service and all features. GeoCities users are being strongly encouraged to move to a full hosting package with Yahoo Hosting.
Yahoo isn't providing any other real information at this time, other than it will be closing GeoCities at the end of the year. They promise to provide more details, including how to back up your data later this summer.
While sad news, I cannot really say this was unexpected. When was the last time you heard someone talk about a GeoCities website or even visited one? This day everyone talks about their Wordpress, FaceBook, MySpace, and Twitter profiles.
Do you have a fond GeoCities memory that you'd like to share with Neoseeker? We'd love to hear your eulogy of the service so many of us grew up knowing.
Great firewall of China extends reach
Plurk, a fancier version of (and competitor to) Twitter has discovered that they are being blocked by the great firewall of China. Plurk's lead developer, Amir Salihefendic, says that they have no clue why they are being targeted, have received no warnings from the Chinese government, and are not in contact with them.
Plurk grew quickly in popularity during the last year as Twitter suffered problem after problem after problem. While the site never managed to catch the publicity of Twitter, it does have a number of hard core fans and has become extremely popular in Indonesia, Taiwan, and the Philippines.
While similar in concept to Twitter, Plurk varies drastically in that messages appear on a horizontal timeline and replies are actually viewable from the original message allowing for what many feel gives the site a more community feel.
Were you an early adopter of HD-DVD? Now that Blu-ray has won the war, do you have a large collection of HD-DVD disks gathering dust? Warner Bros. is now offering a trade up program called Red2Blu, where you can trade in your old HD-DVDs for brand new copies in Blu-Ray. Of course, this only applies to WB titles.
The program limits you to 25 items per household. To participate, visit the Red2Blu program website, select the titles you want to trade up, then send in $4.95 per title + $6.95 S&H along with the original HD-DVD packaging artwork / box sleeve. The sleeve must be in good condition, or it will not be accepted. If you take full advantage of the program it will cost you roughly $130. Oh, and if you have a multi-disk series or collection you want to upgrade you'll have to send in each cover from each disk in the collection cutting into your 25 limit.
While this may sound like a great deal, item # 13 from the program terms has some people a little more than concerned, the item is as follows.
The replacement Blu-ray version of the Participating Title may have different special features and/or bonus material than contained on the HD DVD version of the Participating Title, including much less or no special features and/or bonus material, and/or the Blu-ray version may have a different aspect ratio (e.g., may be full screen instead of wide screen or vice versa) and/or the Blu-ray version may have a different rating or no rating.
The program is available only for US residents, and requires you to be at least 18 years old. Program ends December 31, 2009 for those interested.
Earlier this year Lord Cater proposed a Universal Service for broadband in the United Kingdom. Those plans have now been backed by the UK government, which means everyone should have access to 2Mb/s broadband by the year 2012. Speaking at the House of Commons, the chancellor of the Exchequer Alistair Darling said, "I am allocating extra funding for digital investment, to help to extend the broadband network to almost every community."
The backing of 2Mb/s plan was contained in the Budget Report released yesterday, and according to the Treasury the cost would be met in part by underspend from the BBC's promotion of Digital TV switchover.
While Lord Carter's plan may now be backed by the UK government, it still is not clear how exactly the Universal Service will be delivered; either through fixed line, satellite or wireless broadband access. This additional level of detail will be available this summer when the government releases the final version of the Digital Britain report.
A few weeks ago, we covered a story about a teenager that send 10,000 text messages in one month, causing her parents to receive a $4,756.25 bill from Verizon. Not to be out done, two men in Philadelphia, PA spent the month of March attempting to break the record for the most text messages sent in a month. The result of the efforts by Nick Andes, 29, and Doug Klinger, 30? A total of 217,000 text messages and an itemized bill for Andes that totaled $26,000.
The bill was not only huge from a monetary perspective, but literally as well as it measured several inches thick. The bill arrived in a box from T-Mobile, which according to Andes "cost $27.55 to send to me". Not expecting such a large bill due to his unlimited text messaging plan, Andes did what anyone would have done and panicked calling T-Mobile immediately. The company has credited his account, and is currently looking into the charges.
The current record holder for text messaging is Deepak Sharma in India who sent 182,000 text messages in 2005. Guinness World Records hasn't returned calls in response to this attempt, or if it would certify the record. Between the two, Andes sent the most messages totaling more than 140,000 texts, while Klinger sent about 70,000. Andes admited that most of the messages sent were simple or one word phrases such as "LOL" and "Hello".
Beats its own guidance and analysts estimates
While many companies are releasing their first quarter financial information this week, Apple is already closing their second quarter for 2009 and the news is good. In a press release issued earlier today, Apple reported an 8.16% increase in revenue with $8.16 billion, compared to $7.94 billion a year ago. Profits over last year were up by more than 15%.
Despite the economy, which many companies are blaming for financial troubles during their quarterly reports, Apple appears to be trucking along. After seeing AT&T's Q1 report, which gave a lot of praise to Apple's iPhone, we expected to see a strong number of sales in that area.
- Apple iPod saw 11.01 million sales in the quarter, compared to 10.644 last year (same quarter).
- iPhone sales were up 123%, with 3.8 million sales, compared to 1.7 million last year (same quarter).
- Apple's Mac lineup saw a slight decrease, dropping down 3% with 2.22 million sales, compared to 2.289 million last year (same quarter).
Apple also had an increase in cash by 3% over Q1, they now have $29 billion in the bank.
“We are extremely pleased to report the best non-holiday quarter revenue and earnings in our history,” said Peter Oppenheimer, Apple’s CFO. “Apple’s financial condition remains very robust, with almost $29 billion in cash and marketable securities on our balance sheet. Looking ahead to the third fiscal quarter of 2009, we expect revenue in the range of about $7.7 billion to $7.9 billion and we expect diluted earnings per share in the range of about $.95 to $1.00.”
Send an instant message from anywhere
Microsoft has updated Windows Live Hotmail to include a web based messenger (Windows Live) client. The feature was first implemented in France, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Spain, and the UK last month and now comes to the US, Brazil, Canada, China, Germany, Norway and the Netherlands. Additional countries will get the feature in the coming months.
Of course, the major benefit for the service is that you do not have to download a client to a computer, very handy when you are at someone else's house.
The web messenger allows you to sign-in (or out) so you don't kick yourself offline if you happen to be logged into another computer or on the Xbox 360.
With email messages, you now have the ability to "reply by chat" which is great if you need to get clarification about something real quick. This is almost identical to the Gmail version, a feature that I use quite often.
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