News Archive for 06/08/07

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Google and Fox partner for ads

08/07, 10:25pm

Google and Fox Partner

It's hard to know on MySpace and other social networking sites just what users will be looking to buy. Perhaps that's why Google and Fox today announced a partnership that sees Google as the exclusive provider for targeted advertising on most of Fox Interactive starting at the end of this year, including MySpace and many gaming-oriented sites under the GameSpy and IGN banners. General searches will also be handled by Google. To secure the deal, Google has to pay out a minimum of $900 million in share payments over the course of the next few years, until 2010.

CinemaNow says its DVDs work properly

08/07, 5:15pm

CinemaNow DVDs Work

Last week, Electronista reported that an engineer claimed CinemaNow's Burn to DVD feature for downloaded movies was fundamentally broken. Discs burned would allegedly refuse to play in most DVD players, effectively negating the point of paying extra for a physical copy. Not surprisingly, CinemaNow disagrees with that engineer's report. The company sent a statement to the press denying the problem and claiming that its DVDs work in "most" players that can handle recordable discs. CinemaNow also says that its customers are happy and even cast doubt on the sincerity of the engineer in question, suggesting that his anonymity meant he had something to hide. There has yet to be an independent test supporting either CinemaNow or the original claim.

Sony drops plasma TVs altogether

08/07, 5:00pm

Sony Drops Plasma TVs

The battle between LCD and plasma technology for HDTV displays has been raging for years: champions of the former tout LCD's reduced risk of burn-in and the ability to scale to smaller sizes, while advocates of the latter point out the historically brighter and more colorful output of plasmas. It appears plasma was dealt a serious blow, as Sony just recently announced that it would halt production of plasma TVs altogether. The Japanese company had previously started phasing out plasma displays from the lineup, at least in part due to the absence of plasma-capable factories. It's also quite clear that Sony's Bravia and SXRD lineups have been runaway successes whose designs largely compensate for the image quality differences between LCD technology and plasma. Sony's most recent LCDs even offer distinct advantages, such as 1080p resolution at smaller screen sizes (as low as 40 inches).

AMD to drop ATI name

08/07, 4:35pm

AMD to Drop ATI Name

When AMD made it public that it was acquiring ATI, many people wondered what would become of the Canadian graphics card maker. At least one answer became clear today: the ATI name will effectively disappear. Despite what people have read in the press, AMD's Richard Baker says, the deal is a takeover and not a merger; there's no incentive to keep the ATI name since the smaller company is being absorbed entirely. The Radeon brand (and other product names associated with ATI) are likely to remain. It's entirely possible that many of us will see AMD Radeons in our computers before long - but will AMD continue ATI's practice of shipping its own video cards, or follow the nVidia model and leave it up to third-party manufacturers?

Apple Cinema Display prices dropped

08/07, 3:45pm

Cinema Display Price Drop

In the flurry of news about the Mac Pro and Leopard, you may have missed one other important piece of news: Apple cut prices on its Cinema Display line, which puts them in the reach of more people. The 20-inch display only received a modest drop to $699, but the 23-inch display shaved $300 to reach $999 while the 30-inch received a massive $500 price cut to $1999. They're otherwise identical to what Apple announced in 2004, aside from slight LCD panel upgrades over time. The new prices take effect immediately.

OS X Leopard previewed

08/07, 3:15pm

OSX Leopard Previewed

As Apple had announced in advance of WWDC, Steve Jobs previewed OS X Leopard at his keynote speech today. New features include Time Machine, which performs live backups of your data as you change files and lets you visually browse your system's change history; Spaces, which lets you run multiple virtual desktops; and, as speculated, true 64-bit support for Intel Macs that support it (including the new Mac Pro and Xserve). There are also major updates to Dashboard, iCal, iChat, Mail, and Spotlight. See the full PR and a screenshot after the jump.

Mac Pro announced

08/07, 2:50pm

Mac Pro Announced

As virtually everyone was hoping for, Apple finally switched its pro tower line to Intel processors. Gone is the Power Mac; in its place is the Mac Pro, which uses two Xeon 5100 chips in either 2, 2.66, or 3 GHz increments. Expansion is much improved over the G5: there are two optical drive bays and four hard drive bays, which (if you buy through Apple) gives you up to 2 TB of storage. Graphics start at a GeForce 7300 GT and extend all the way to X1900 XT and Quadro FX 4500 cards - which fit in a card space double-sized to accomodate larger cards without sacrificing nearby slots. Most important from our perspective is that Apple only has one stock model at $2499 for 2.66 GHz; if you want more or less, you have to custom-order your system. Full PR and inside/outside photos after the jump.

WWDC: keynote update feed

08/07, 12:30pm

WWDC Keynote Feed

Steve Jobs' keynote at the World Wide Developers Conference will begin shortly. As of 9:30 AM Pacific, Apple's online stores are temporarily down - there will certainly be something new to buy when this is all over. Click "read more" to see the updates as they appear - and please be gentle on refreshing the page! Update: keynote is now over.

Treo Nitro leaked

08/07, 12:00pm

Treo Nitro Leaked

Palm hasn't been as successful in the smartphone market as it once was with PDAs. That may be in part due to the relatively high price of the Treo series: they've almost always been targeted at the higher end of the phone spectrum, which has kept the phones from being as ubiquitous as they could be (an especially dangerous proposition with the cheap and stylish Motorola Q as a rival). This sober reality might soon change with the advent of the budget-oriented Treo Nitro. First hinted at in a Cingular roadmap, the Nitro has now made its public debut through a photo leak. Similar in looks to its Treo 700 bigger brother, the new phone is expected to use PalmOS 5.4 and pack in 64 MB of internal memory alongside an SD slot and a VGA camera. It should be ready for the holiday season and might make a good alternative for those who want a smartphone but have a chronic aversion to Windows Mobile. A full-size photo is waiting after the jump.

AOL releases (and removes) search data

08/07, 11:25am

AOL Releases Search Data

Whether AOL likes it or not, its actions continue to make both positive and negative press. The latest story is one of apparent clumsiness with data. Recently, the company published a research paper online (still available at the time of this post) that studied user behavior during searches. By itself, the article is harmless and even quite interesting. What the publishers didn't consider were the ramifications of also including a compilation of the raw search data as a secondary file. Though the screen names were replaced with random numerical IDs, the data contained large amounts of what was sometimes very personal information that could be traced to specific people. AOL was quick to remove the data yesterday after realizing the potential danger, but it doesn't help the company's image after the large job cuts announced on Thursday.

Blackberry 8100 Stealth leaked

08/07, 10:45am

Blackberry 8100 Stealth

The Blackberry is almost synonymous with business smartphones these days. Take the bus during rush hour and you'll probably see at least one commuter thumbing through their e-mail. One area where Research In Motion's "crackberry" cachet falls flat, however, is in the all-important cool factor. Sony has its Walkman phones, Motorola has its FOUR LTTR phones, but RIM's Blackberries have been strictly for the 9-to-5 crowd. That's why the recent leak of the 8100 Stealth is so exciting: unlike the rest of the lineup, the Stealth is clearly geared towards those who'd rather get news of a friend's party than keep up on the latest board meetings. In addition to a slimmer shape that makes it better-suited to phone calls (as was first seen in the 7100 series), this newest Blackberry will come equipped with a camera for photos and a media player for music. You can also expect EDGE mobile broadband (EVDO may come later) to round out the package when the phone drops at the end of the year. See a full image after the jump.

Franklin USB EVDO modem

08/07, 10:15am

Franklin USB EVDO Modem

Owners of laptops with ExpressCard slots received the good news recently that they could join the ranks of mobile broadband users with the V640 EVDO card for Verizon (and accompanying S640 card for Sprint). But what about those of us without any card slot at all? Thankfully, Franklin Wireless is up to the task with its CDU-550 USB modem. Available through Sprint later in August, the modem runs on USB 2.0 and supports not just Windows, but MacOS X and Linux as well. An early test demonstrates that even UMPC users can expect real performance (and an unsightly protrusion) when on the road. Pricing isn't listed yet, though it will probably compare all too well to the $180 price tag of the ExpressCard adapter.

The Web: 15 years old

08/07, 9:30am

Web 15 Years Old

This week is famous for more than its computer introductions. On August 6th, 1991, Tim Berners-Lee posted a summary of the World Wide Web project to Usenet, describing it as an "easy but powerful global information system." The key feature was hypertext: the ability to create links within a document that take visitors to content elsewhere on the Internet. Of course, few people (even Berners-Lee) could have predicted the results at the time. Today, the Web and hypertext form the backbone of Internet communication, and even the most traditional forms of publishing are being revolutionized: news is no longer the domain of journalists, and encyclopedias now track the most recent trends in pop culture as well as more "serious" material. At the current rate, the next fifteen years of the Web should be at least as dramatic.

Happy silver anniversary, IBM PC

08/07, 9:05am

Silver Anniversary IBM PC

Twenty-five years ago, IBM pulled the wraps off of its original PC. Though some of us march to the beat of a different drummer, it's hard to deny the massive impact the IBM PC had on the computer market. It added greater legitimacy to using personal computers in business - at the time, IBM still had tremendous sway over businesses (the classic saying "nobody was ever fired for buying IBM" was taken very seriously). More importantly, the PC marked the first time a personal computer manufacturer licensed its technology to other companies: by 1983, Microsoft no longer had to tie MS-DOS to IBM computers, and Compaq was producing the first PC clones. It created a computer market where people thought less about which platform they bought and more about the quality of the company they bought from. For better or for worse, the computer market today would be very different without IBM's fateful decision to expand beyond mainframes.

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