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Google I/O Day 2 Keynote wrap-up Part I: Chrome Just Keeps Getting Better

Trak Lord | Mobile Devices | Wed, May 11 2011 1:03 PM CDT

And now for the second day of Google I/O 2011, which of course brings another keynote speech to kick off the day. Yesterday we saw Android @ Home, Project Tungsten, and some pretty cool NFC demonstrations. Today Vic Gondutra started us off setting the stage (literally) for today's big topic: Chrome. After rehashing the awesome Samsung Tab that everyone in the audience received yesterday, he mentioned that they also came with Verizon Wireless Hotspots, capable of 20mps download.

Google I/O Day 2 Keynote wrap-up Part I: Chrome Just Keeps Getting Better | TweakTown.com

He gave the stage over to Sundar Pichai, SVP of Chrome, who briefly spoke about how awesome Chrome is- the proof of which is that Chrome has doubled their user base since last year's I/O, 160 million up from 70. He gives the stage over to Ian Ellison Taylor of Chrome, who educates the audience on some of the cool dev features, like Speech, Javascript and GPU acceleration.

Chrome now runs javascript almost exponentially better than it, or other browsers for that matter did in 2008.In addition to the javascript improvements, Chrome's GPU acceleration allows it to run tons of objects before the frames per second drop below 60. Taylor showed the ever-popular Fish Demo, starting with a 100 fish and going to 250, 500, and then 1000 before the FPS even flinched. When he ran it on WebGL, the FPS stayed above 60 all the way up to 10,000 fish swimming around.

You didn't have to do anything, (Chrome) just got faster.

Continue reading: Google I/O Day 2 Keynote wrap-up Part I: Chrome Just Keeps Getting Better (full post)

OCZ whips up a storm with the new Agility 3, Solid 3 SATA III SSDs

Anthony Garreffa | Storage | Tue, May 10 2011 10:02 PM CDT

OCZ has put all of their eggs in one basket and that basket just happens to be the SSD market, that basket is also starting to pay off and the pay off comes in the form of some new SSDs with some impressive performance. The new line of SSDs include a 2.5-inch Solid 3 SATA III SSD and the Agility 3 SATA III SSD. Both of these drives are set to offer twice the performance of previous versions and are also more cost effective than current 6Gbps SSDs on the market.

OCZ whips up a storm with the new Agility 3, Solid 3 SATA III SSDs 54 | TweakTown.com

Ryan Peterson, CEO of OCZ Technology Group says:

With increased availability of SATA III platforms, the demand for the latest generation SSDs has grown rapidly. We are addressing this demand with new products that offer both the best performance and value for consumers. The new Agility 3 and Solid 3 SSDs make it easier than ever for consumers take advantage of the new SATA III interface. When coupled with the speed and reliability benefits that our SSDs offer over traditional hard drives, it makes the two new series the ideal choices for mobile and desktop applications.

Continue reading: OCZ whips up a storm with the new Agility 3, Solid 3 SATA III SSDs (full post)

ASUS cuts back Eee PCs, only 350k sold in April, iPad is to blame. New 'killer' model coming soon

Anthony Garreffa | Mobile Devices | Tue, May 10 2011 9:50 PM CDT

ASUS has felt some serious heat in its Eee PC line, mostly from tablet-based products like the iPad. ASUS sold just 350, 000 netbooks in April after tablets still "significantly impacted the demand". ASUS aren't taking this fight laying down, instead they're set to release a new "killer" Eee PC in June and also an ultra-budget model which should retail below $199.

ASUS cuts back Eee PCs, only 350k sold in April, iPad is to blame. New 'killer' model coming soon | TweakTown.com

No details of the new Eee PC have been made but rumors are that it might include a dual-core Atom N570 or an AMD Fusion-based processor. ASUS are hurting in sales and whilst notebook sales are still relatively strong (3.1 million shipped notebooks by the end of spring) it's nowhere near as good as the numbers we see from Apple. Netbook sales are set to drop below 1.3 million shipped in the winter and this is primarily because of the iPad.

Continue reading: ASUS cuts back Eee PCs, only 350k sold in April, iPad is to blame. New 'killer' model coming soon (full post)

Video: Check Out Razer's Hydra In Action With Portal 2

Trak Lord | Gaming | Tue, May 10 2011 5:08 PM CDT

Every time a company comes out with a wacky new controller offering dexterity tangential to the normal hum-drum controller (which by the way, worked fine for me for years), I'm always a little suspect. Remember the Nintendo Glove? Though way ahead of its time and a prophetic shoutout to the Wii, it was a disaster. Anyone remember the short-lived PlayStation Glove controller? The buttons from the regular controller were spread throughout the fingers and you could play one handed? Apocalyptically terrible. So when I heard about Razer and their new Hydra motion sensor PC controllers, I had my doubts. Until I saw the following video:

The dual interface looks amazing! It's like playing with two Wii controllers that talk to each other! Not only that, but this level is part of the Sixense Motion Pack DLC- levels specifically designed for the controllers! They're of course compatible with the regular Portal 2- as well as 125 PC games, right off the bat. And more DLC to come, promises Razer. I'm pretty psyched to (literally) get my hands on these and mess around with compatible games. All you WASD traditionalists should stop hating long enough to give these a try to. Check out their website in the links above for more info.

Continue reading: Video: Check Out Razer's Hydra In Action With Portal 2 (full post)

Google I/O: Springpad, Golf Tour, New York Times Talk Why Chrome Web Store Works

Trak Lord | Mobile Devices | Tue, May 10 2011 4:49 PM CDT

Google's Chrome Browser has a growing number of applications available on its web store and it's only logical that Google has devoted an entire schedule block to concentrating on the benefits and capability of a browser that now has 120 million users, and counting. Google gathered representatives of three different companies to tell their success stories regarding their Chrome web apps. First up was Jason Horman Chief Architect of Springpad, the online task tracker.

Google I/O: Springpad, Golf Tour, New York Times Talk Why Chrome Web Store Works 117 | TweakTown.com
Google I/O: Springpad, Golf Tour, New York Times Talk Why Chrome Web Store Works 118 | TweakTown.com
Google I/O: Springpad, Golf Tour, New York Times Talk Why Chrome Web Store Works 119 | TweakTown.com

Springpad is a task application that tracks your tasks, movies, books etc. in order to compile databases for your life. It started off as a website service linked to a mobile application they released a while back. The success of their mobile app in contrast with what Horman described as a service that relied too heavily on the website led Springpad to develop a web app using Chrome. Horman noted how seamless the transition was between mobile and web, and that Chrome facilitated maintaining a similar UX. Springpad doubled its web app users for its first few months in just two months, and has seen a 500% increase in the amount of "saves" since its initial web app launch. 50% of daily time on the app altogether is spent through Chrome, with an average of 30 minutes a day.

Continue reading: Google I/O: Springpad, Golf Tour, New York Times Talk Why Chrome Web Store Works (full post)

Google I/O: Android @ Home & Project Tungsten

Trak Lord | Mobile Devices | Tue, May 10 2011 12:10 PM CDT

10:08 US PST:

I am floored. Absolutely floored. Engadget livebloggers were unnerved by the people weeping in the audience, but I completely understand it now. Joe Brit and Hugo just finished up the Keynote by giving everyone in the audience the new Samsung Tablet, but let's talk about what Joe Brit revealed: The new Android @ Home network, which allows you to use your house as an android accessory. We're not just talking TVs and communicating with wireless capable devices- in fact, the complete opposite. This is cutting-edge NFC that lets a CD talk to a box, or your phone to turn lights on and off.

Google I/O: Android @ Home & Project Tungsten | TweakTown.com

I'm thinking thermostats, toasters, refrigerators-pretty much the sky is the limit right now. Google has partnered with Light Signs, a company that will be providing LED light bulbs controllable by Android by the end of the year.

We'd like to think of your entire home as an Android accessory

You take the last word out of that sentence and that's where we're headed with this. Brit talked about the development possibilities, including an alarm clock that slowly raises the lights in your room. Or designing a gaming experience that interfaces with your home to provide more immersive sensations. Imagine, you're in Hoth on a Star Wars level and the temperature drops in your room. Or lights flash every time you frag someone in Quake (which they demoed during the speech)

Continue reading: Google I/O: Android @ Home & Project Tungsten (full post)

Intel Smart Response SSD cache tech tested on GIGABYTE Z68

Cameron Wilmot | Storage | Tue, May 10 2011 8:17 AM CDT

Late last week GIGABYTE invited us to the fancy Miramar Garden hotel in Taipei where they were setup to shoot their own promo videos of its forthcoming Intel Z68 based motherboards launch.

We went along to check them out and snap some photos for our preview of the Z68 UD3H and UD7. Inside the hotel suite GIGABYTE had two identical systems setup with the Z68 UD7 platform with the only difference being that one was configured with an SSD using Intel's new Smart Response caching technology and the other just with a standard hard drive configuration.

What is Intel Smart Response Technology? In short since we can't go into extensive detail here, it is in my opinion a way of gaining some of the benefits of an SSD without blowing your bank account or having to settle for limited storage space. The idea is that you can pick up an affordable 20GB SSD, put it in a RAID array with your large spinning hard drive and regular data that is most often accessed is cached on the SSD for quicker access.

Intel Smart Response SSD cache tech tested on GIGABYTE Z68 01 | TweakTown.com

It's not like you will see the full benefits of going out and picking up say a high-performance 200GB+ SSD and running your complete OS and programs on it, but in the video above, you can see there are some gains to be had and at what should turn out to be a reasonable cost of entry.

Continue reading: Intel Smart Response SSD cache tech tested on GIGABYTE Z68 (full post)

GIGABYTE employee victim of hacking or AMD product leak prank?

Cameron Wilmot | Motherboards | Tue, May 10 2011 4:51 AM CDT

We all know hacking is a fact of life, be it for good or bad. However, I don't think the topic of this news relates all that much to hacking.

Colin Brix is a manager at GIGABYTE headquarters here in Taipei and someone I have worked with as a contact for product samples and tech questions for many years. From the information we have seen so far, he seems to be the victim of a fairly serious prank today and one that the Taiwanese motherboard maker is taking very seriously.

A website by the name of Rumor Pedia claimed to be have sent a screenshot by someone named Kirllos who managed to 'infiltrate' GIGABYTE's internal work network using "mega-d botnet". Mind you, this bot was disabled by security company FireEye back on November 6, 2009, according to sources on Wikipedia. This screenshot is filled with a vast amount of inconsistencies relating to 'leaked' details about an upcoming processor from AMD. It also showed benchmarks using popular tests such as Super PI and others. This type of leak by a company employee tends to have very serious consequences, as you can imagine.

GIGABYTE employee victim of hacking or AMD product leak prank? | TweakTown.com

The screenshot includes an apparent MSN Messenger chat window with Colin and Alain Sam Lai, an engineer at GIGABYTE. The big issue though is that the details in the MSN chat window are incorrect (read: faked) ranging from his display name, email and even the picture...

Continue reading: GIGABYTE employee victim of hacking or AMD product leak prank? (full post)

Diablo 3 gets external beta testing in Q3 of this year, no official release date but the hope of releasing it this year

Anthony Garreffa | Gaming | Mon, May 9 2011 8:58 PM CDT

Diablo fan? Want Diablo 3 real, real bad? Well, just close your eyes a little bit longer and make that wish and it may come true as soon as July of this year! External beta testing of Diablo 3 is set to start in Q3 of this year. It was revealed in Activision's first quarter investor call where president and co-founder of Blizzard Entertainment, Mike Morhaime, revealed the company-wide beta testing of Diablo 3.

Diablo 3 gets external beta testing in Q3 of this year, no official release date but the hope of releasing it this year | TweakTown.com

Mike also gave some updates on the status of Diablo 3 saying:

On the 'Diablo 3' front, I'm pleased to report that we began internal, company-wide testing last week. The game is looking great and we are currently targeting a Q3 launch for external beta testing. The development team is working hard to try to launch 'Diablo 3' this year, but I want to be clear. We do not have an official release date or window yet.

Continue reading: Diablo 3 gets external beta testing in Q3 of this year, no official release date but the hope of releasing it this year (full post)

NVIDIA To Acquire Icera For $367 Million

Trak Lord | Business, Financial & Legal | Mon, May 9 2011 6:58 PM CDT

GPU giant meets Baseband & RF superstar, and $367 Million later an acquisition is born. Everyone at both companies is clearly excited about the deal, but nothing will be set in stone until a conference call held between the two companies Thursday, May 12, at 2:00PM PDT. Anyone at all can listen in to the call to find out more details, just dial 706-679-2572- no password or meeting number required! NVIDIA and Icera will also webcast the call, and you can listen in here and here. More details below in the press release.

NVIDIA To Acquire Icera For $367 Million | TweakTown.com

SANTA CLARA, CA -- (Marketwire) -- 05/09/2011 -- NVIDIA announced today that it has agreed to acquire Icera, a leading innovator of top-performing baseband processors for 3G and 4G cellular phones and tablets.

Icera has more than 550 patents granted or pending worldwide, and its high speed wireless-modem products have been approved by more than 50 carriers across the globe. By combining the companies' products and technologies, including NVIDIA's Tegra processor, NVIDIA will enhance its position as a leading player in the growing mobile market.

The acquisition, for $367 million in cash, has been approved by both companies' boards of directors and is expected to be completed, subject to customary closing conditions, in approximately 30 days.

Continue reading: NVIDIA To Acquire Icera For $367 Million (full post)

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