Expect to see between 30 and 50 Ultrabooks "to be launched at CES"

Anthony Garreffa | Laptops | Nov 21, 2011 5:16 AM CST

There are going to be as many as 50 Intel Ultrabooks to be launched at CES in January next year. According to Shawn DuBravac, director of research for show organisers the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA), he expects a truck load of ultrathin laptops to be unveiled in Las Vegas. DuBravac told journalists at a CES Unveiled even held in London:

We expect to see 30 to 50 new Ultrabooks launched at CES.

Up to this point, there has only been a few manufacturers who have announced Ultrabooks, as most of them are awaiting the 22nm refresh of Ivy Bridge before releasing their devices. Intel CEO Paul Otellini is set to give a keynote speech in Las Vegas, where Ivy Bridge is likely to be officially released alongside a large amount of new Ultrabooks.

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You have 30 days to pay me $5,000,000

Anthony Garreffa | Business, Financial & Legal | Nov 21, 2011 3:16 AM CST

I found this video on my stumbles through the [sometimes] strange corners of the Internet, where YouTube user 'n0w1kn0w' posted a video with the title "You have 30 days to pay me $5,000,000...", the video is below, watch it first and then read more below:

Now, it starts off all boring - at one point I thought he was building a mobile bomb that he was going to place in some Government building and then keep it there for 30 days waiting for his $5,000,000, but then the video gets quite serious with n0w1kn0w visiting a pyramid in Egypt, and rolling his remote control car into it.

The video is quite well done and I like the music (usually YouTube videos like this have really bad music tracks). But, lets think of it logically. Let's say he found something secret that The Powers That Be didn't want us to see, proof of aliens? A scroll? A device? Let's assume he found something, that YouTube video would be ripped off the Internet and he'd be thrown in the biggest, darkest hole you could imagine.

Continue reading: You have 30 days to pay me $5,000,000 (full post)

FXI's Cotton Candy, a cloud-client on a USB stick

Norwegian-based start-up FXI, has unveiled their new prototype, codenamed 'Cotton Candy', a cloud-client on a USB stick. Cotton Candy sports a dual-core 1.2GHz ARM Cortex-A9, as well as a quad-core ARM Mali-400MP GPU, 1GB RAM, MicroSD reader, Wi-Fi b/g/n, Bluetooth 2.1 + EDR, USB and HDMI outputs.

This is virtually the same hardware that powers one of the best smartphones on the market, Samsung's Galaxy S II. What is different with Cotton Candy is software. It acts as a cloud-client on-the-go. You could be running a PC with Windows, Linux, or a Mac, an Embedded device or just a TV, you'll be able to plug the Cotton Candy stick into a USB port of a PC or into the HDMI port of a TV. After you've plugged it into the device, that device turns into a portal to the cloud, allowing you to carry your own personal OS on you at all times, whilst having the experience that is identical no matter the device you're next to.

Google's Android OS powers Cotton Candy, so it will turn any device into a larger Android-powered device. Applications will have the ability to both send and receive data to and from the cloud, with control of Cotton Candy through a mouse or keyboard, and if they're not available, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth peripherals, or even a mobile phone.

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Battlefield 3 gameplay trailer of Strike at Karkand

Anthony Garreffa | Gaming | Nov 20, 2011 11:26 PM CST

I've been playing Battlefield 3 a few hours here and there and I just love it. It's an amazing achievement from DICE and the new DLC pack Back to Karkand is set to kick some serious ass. A new gameplay trailer is out and it looks like it's been done on PC this time.

In the video above, Strike at Karkand is shown off, with the streets recognizable from the fan-favorite Battlefield 2. If you pre-ordered Battlefield 3, you'll get Back to Karkand for free, if not, it will set you back $15. Back to Karkand DLC includes four maps, Gulf of Oman, Sharqi Peninsula, Strike at Karkand and my personal favorite, Wake Island. New weapons, vehicles and special assignments are also featured.

PS3 Battlefield 3 gamer? You're in luck, you'll get a week of gaming in before we all do. PS3 gamers gave a week early access to Back to Karkand.

Continue reading: Battlefield 3 gameplay trailer of Strike at Karkand (full post)

Nintendo builds real-life Mario Kart, has help from West Coast Customs

Anthony Garreffa | Gaming | Nov 20, 2011 10:21 PM CST

Nintendo has a grand PR stunt for the launch of Mario Kart 7 which launches on December 4 on the Nintendo 3DS portable gaming console; real-life replicas of the classic Mario Kart and Luigi Bumble V Kart. Yes, real-life replicas!

The replicas were built by West Coast Customs, who are known for their awesome work on the MTV series "Pimp My Ride." Mario's shiny red go-kart comes complete with its glider attachment for flying. Luigi's go-kart includes a cool rear propeller that's used for underwater navigation. In the below picture is Reggie Fils-Aime, president of Nintendo of America:

The karts will sit on display at the LA Auto Show, November 18-27 at the Los Angeles Convention Center. But, there's a really good thing coming from Gamespot here. A competition for the chance to take one of these bad-ass looking go-karts home! The competition is through GameStop's PowerUp Rewards program, where a PowerUp member must make a purchase or trade in a game at GameStop in the month of December.

Continue reading: Nintendo builds real-life Mario Kart, has help from West Coast Customs (full post)

Just a few 240GB Vertex LE 240GB Drives Remaining at 249.99 USD

Chris Ramseyer | Storage | Nov 19, 2011 8:29 PM CST

With all of the X79 news coming out on the 14th you may have missed the Revisiting the Legend: OCZ Vertex LE article that was posted. Our friends at MyDigitalDiscount.com uncovered a batch of drives in a warehouse and are blowing them out.

TweakTown has teamed up with My Digital Discount to offer a coupon code to get the legend for right around $1 per GB on the 240GB model. The coupon code, TT30off240LE is still in effect but only a few drives remain.

The Vertex LE is one of the fastest SATA II drives ever released and was ahead of it's time. It featured 3Xnm flash with 15K P/E cycles, a rarity these days in a world filled with 25nm flash rated at just 5K P/E cycles. After the coupon you can't find a better deal and the 285MB/s read, 270MB/s write speed is pretty nice too:)

Continue reading: Just a few 240GB Vertex LE 240GB Drives Remaining at 249.99 USD (full post)

Antec Eleven Hundred Gaming Series case exclusive video preview

Cameron Wilmot | Cases, Cooling & PSU | Nov 18, 2011 5:40 AM CST

Earlier today we made our way over to the Antec Taipei office where we got given access to an exclusive video preview of the upcoming Eleven Hundred Gaming Series computer case.

The Eleven Hundred is the flagship model in Antec's gaming series of cases which brings with it full E-ATX and XL-ATX motherboard support and support for up to three-way SLI and four-way CrossFireX. It's a stylish looking case which immediately indicates great quality as we have come to expect from Antec cases in the past. It looks just like a typical Antec product with included traditional features we've seen in the past, but it's also mixing in a blend of new features.

On the top of the case is a 200mm exhaust fan with a blue LED and in total the case supports up to nine fans in total for some pretty extreme cooling potential. In the past we've seen Antec including the power and reset buttons towards the front top of their cases, but this time around with the Eleven Hundred they are move to the top front of the case, which is a much better position especially for when the case is sitting on the ground.

Continue reading: Antec Eleven Hundred Gaming Series case exclusive video preview (full post)

Seagate CEO says drive production won't return to pre-flood levels until at least the end of 2012

Anthony Garreffa | Business, Financial & Legal | Nov 18, 2011 3:26 AM CST

The on-going flooding problem in Thailand is only getting worse for the technology industry, with hard drive pricing skyrocketing past what most people would have been able to dream of two weeks ago. People are expecting pricing to rebound soon, but they are wrong, very wrong.

Seagate CEO Stephen Luczo was talking to Bloomberg, where he labels "nonsense" estimates that drive production will return to "pre-flood levels" by next summer. He adds:

This is going to take a lot longer than people are assuming, until the end of 2012 at least. And by then, demand will have gone up.

Continue reading: Seagate CEO says drive production won't return to pre-flood levels until at least the end of 2012 (full post)

Ivy Bridge-E to hit Q4 2012, will be compatible with LGA2011 and X79

Anthony Garreffa | CPU, APU & Chipsets | Nov 18, 2011 1:23 AM CST

If you're just getting over this week's launch of Intel's Sandy Bridge-E CPUs, you might want to hold your breath just a little bit longer. Less than a week since its launch, Sandy Bridge-E is now sounding old with its successor taking shape over at Intel, with a release date for Q4 2012.

That's not the good part, the good part is that according to a leaked internal slide scored at XFastest, Ivy Bridge-E will be compatible with today's Intel X79 platform, and LGA2011 socket. This makes a SB-E upgrade that much better, as 12 months from now you can just buy an Ivy Bridge-E CPU, slot it in and away you go. You might need a BIOS flash to get there, but it makes a SB-E upgrade not so scary.

Ivy Bridge-E will be built on a 22nm silicon fabrication process, and shouldn't be much more than a shrink of SB-E. We could see the shrink allowing some headroom for enabling some of its components that have been locked away for SB-E. The fastest SB-E silicon physically holds 8 cores and 20MB of L3 cache, but the fastest SB-E-based Core processor has just six of those cores, and 15MB L3 cache enabled.

Continue reading: Ivy Bridge-E to hit Q4 2012, will be compatible with LGA2011 and X79 (full post)

Rambus loses $4 billion antitrust lawsuit again Micron and Hynix

Anthony Garreffa | Business, Financial & Legal | Nov 18, 2011 12:01 AM CST

Well, it's finally settled. Rambus was dealt with a pretty big defeat on Wednesday, as a San Francisco jury rejected its claim in a $4 billion antitrust lawsuit against Micron Technology and Hynix Semiconductor. The IP licensing company lost more than 60-percent of its market value following the ruling, where investors' fear that the company won't be able to sustain its business model.

If you didn't know, the case revolved around allegations that Micron, Hynix and others had engaged in price-fixing to keep Rambus' RDRAM memory technology from gaining widespread adoption. If you remember, Intel used RDRAM with the Pentium III and 820 chipset, as well as the Pentium 4 and 850 chipset. If you remember that, you'll also remember how it was quite expensive at the time and DDR ram was just too much of a bully for RDRAM to take off.

According to Rambus, Micron and Hynix conspired to ensure Rambus memory would be more expensive, and therefore a less attractive option to OEMs. The defendants maintained that it was "design flaws, higher manufacturing costs and other drawbacks associated with RDRAM along with Rambus' business practices" that prevented RDRAM from succeeding.

Continue reading: Rambus loses $4 billion antitrust lawsuit again Micron and Hynix (full post)