The latest happenings from around the web - August 20th, 2010
- Desktop PC Platform - Statistical Obituary @ Benchmark Reviews
- HP Pavilion dm4 Notebook @ tbreak
- IBUYPOWER Paladin XLC Phantom Series System @ Legit Reviews
- First unboxing and review of the Acer Aspire One D255 with Google Android and XP Home @ Netbooknews
- Lenovo ThinkCenter M90z All-In-One @ Hot Hardware
- Intel kills 750 - crowns new champion @ Kitguru
- AMD "Thuban" - the third time @ Planet3DNow
RIM has always had a $2.99 USD minimum set price for apps in their App World store. This is getting ready to change with RIM's announcement that the rule has been lifted and 99 cent and $1.99 apps will now be available for developers to release in App World 2.0, which has been released from beta today and become official.
RIM looks to be hoping to make more in volume sales instead of depending on profit margins, and this drop in price may also bring more developers to the BlackBerry scene since the idea seems to work so well on other platforms like Apple's App Store. App World 2.0 is also bringing improvements like non-PayPal credit card payments, more app browsing options, and the ability to use BlackBerry ID to move free and paid apps between devices when you upgrade your phone.
The Pou Chen Group, a significant investor in Elitegroup Computer System (ECS), as well as many other IT product makers in Taiwan, has reportedly begun pulling out of the IT industry and is aggressively looking for a buyer for their 17.52% stake in ECS.
A reshuffling of executives is expected to happen in September as those related to Pou Chen will be moved out of operational roles after the Pou Chen Group's share in the company is sold according to market watchers. ECS has not commented on the possible changes.
There's a new player in town on the PC chassis scene, and their name is BitFenix. Their first splash is going to be a big one, as their highly anticipated Colossus E-ATX case has been officially announced today.
Built "specifically for gamers and PC enthusiasts from the ground up," the Colossus case boasts features like USB 3.0 ports on the front I/O, user customizable LED lighting and fan controls, and surfaces covered with Betfenix's "SofTouch" coating that protects the case from stains. There's even a place to lock away valuables in the top of the chassis with the included BitFenix S3.
If you were so inclined, you could hack your PS3 right now to allow you to play games from the HDD or install homebrew software that you might want. The catch is that most of those hacking solutions involve opening up the case and voiding your warranty. That can be a big hassle for a lot of gamers.
A company called PS Jailbreak has announced a new hacking solution that doesn't require you to open up your PS3 or add any chips to the machine. It will work with the old fat PS3 and the new PS3 Slim as well. The device is a USB flash drive that you plug into the PS3. Once plugged in a GUI launches and walks you through the setup of the software.
I would bet that many gamers out there have seen the amBX setup that Philips unveiled a long time ago. The system had fans, lights, and speakers that were designed to increase your immersion in games by making the room glow the colors of the computer screen. The little fans would blow in your face when you flew or drove for more immersion as well.
Mad Catz is a big maker of gaming gear for consoles and for computers with the Saitek brand under its wing. Mad Catz has announced that it has some new gear coming that uses amBX technology. One of the products is a pair of lights that glow to match the game environment, which honestly seems boring.
External storage solutions have been around for a very long time and they are getting better all the time with more storage capacity and better performance. As the amount of data people store on their computers grows, the time it takes to back up a machine gets longer and longer. Many don't have the time or patience to wait for USB 2.0 backups to complete.
This is where USB 3.0 comes in with much greater bandwidth allowing large backups to be completed more quickly. Samsung has announced a new version of its S2 Portable external HDD that has USB 3.0 connectivity. The new drive uses a 2.5-inch HDD inside that spins at 7200 rpm. The drive also uses Samsung features to make it quieter when in operation.
Intel and McAfee are two companies that most are familiar with. Intel is the largest maker of processors in the world and McAfee is one of the largest PC security companies around with antivirus software and more. Intel has announced that it plans to purchase McAfee at $48 per share in cash. The value of the deal is about $7.68 billion.
The purchase will allow Intel to offer a combination of software and hardware that will be able to better protect customers when they go online. Intel claims that the purchase will also improve its mobile wireless strategy. Presumably, that means more security for mobile devices like MIDs and smartphones as Trojans and other attacks become more common on these devices.
Anyone who has built an HTPC machine that they want to use in the living room for streaming video and content to their TV and for playing video games knows that there are tradeoffs that have to be made. The tradeoffs come when you are using a HTPC chassis that only allows low profile video cards, the more powerful video cards don't typically fit into these cases.
PowerColor has announced that it has a new video card made specifically for HTPC machines called the HD5750 Low Profile Edition. The low profile card uses a pair of cooling fans to keep the card cool even though it is going to be in a compact space. The dual fans and the heat sink cover the GPU, memory, and the MOSFET to cool all heat generating components on the card.
It wasn't all that long ago when it was thought to be impossible for man to set foot on Mars. But that hasn't stopped the likes of NASA researching continuously to find out if there's a way to accomplish it without kicking the bucket (short or long term).
However, recent studies have determined that a mission to the Red Planet would be a significant health concern for those willing to suit up for the 3 year return trip (if a one year stay on the planet is factored in).
Researchers at Marquette University in Milwaukee, Wisconsin have taken samples of tissue from nine US and Russian astronauts who spent around six months on the International Space Station. Biopsies were taken 45 days before launch and again on the day of return. The results showed dramatic muscle atrophy which was caused by a prolonged period in zero gravity.