Archivi giornalieri: 25/03/2011
Lasers destroy missiles, missiles shoot down satellites, and soon, satellites may tell both where to aim, as the United States successfully managed to track an entire ballistic missile launch from “birth-to-death” with its prototype Space Tracking and Surveillance System. After a year and a half in orbit, two Northrop Grumman-built satellites managed the feat last week, in what the company’s calling “the Holy Grail for missile defense.” While we’re not reading about any plans to mount any lasers on the satellite’s… ahem… heads, Space News reports that the US Navy will attempt to relay the satellite tracking data to its Aegis ships with interceptor missiles on board, and hopefully obliterate incoming projectiles with the extra range and reaction time that satellite coordinates afford. The Navy has reportedly scheduled its first game of space-based Missile Command for next month.
Mobile gaming rigs don’t tend to be particularly upgradeable, so it’s important to get all the horsepower you can up front. With that in mind, MSI’s latest is delivering a little more oomph than its last lap-warmer. It’s the GX680 and it’s rocking an Intel Core i7 2630QM processor paired with GeForce GT 555M graphics, NVIDIA’s latest bid at laptop pixel-pushing supremacy. That card has 1GB of GDDR5 memory onboard, while the system itself can be configured with up to 16GB of DDR3 — rather a lot for a laptop. A 15.6-inch, 1080p display is available, along with dual 750GB HDDs, which can be configured in RAID 0 if you like living dangerously. Blu-ray is also on offer, along with a THX certified Dynaudio sound system that is said to deliver audio “heretofore found only in cinemas.” No price yet, but as always with MSI that kind of hyperbole comes for free.
Adobe Photoshop is the tool of choice for most Web and Graphic designers and this is why we always try to publish many articles with tutorials, plugins and effects. The collection of tutorials from this article contains illustration, retro designs, photo effects and manipulations, 3D Effects, and many more. It is always good to see and learn new techniques for graphic designers so feel free to check them out and enhance your Adobe Photoshop skills.
Killing time until the iPad 2 finally becomes available across Europe later today? Well, now you can stoke the flames of anticipation by taking a gander at this here wood cover made specifically for the magnet-infused new Appletablet. It comes from a single piece of cherry wood and rolls up into a stand, providing a pair of landscape positions and a sturdy base for keeping the slate vertical should you wish to gaze upon it in portrait mode. Frankly, Apple should’ve been the one to come up with this refinement on its Smart Covers, though at least a small company like Miniot spares us the overblown rhetoric about life-changing gear purchases. Price isn’t too bad, either, with orders starting at €50 later on today.
MSI has announced that starting today it will ship its first PCs powered by the AMD Dual Core Processor E-350 in North America. The 15.6-inch CR650 notebook and the Wind Top AE2050 All-in-One PC will be the first wave of North American products from MSI using the new AMD accelerated processor.
The CR650 notebook is a multimedia powerhouse with a 16:9 widescreen display and has AMD Radeon HD 6310 Discrete-Class graphics chip. It comes with Windows 7 Home Premium, supports DirectX 11, and MSI’s Cinema Pro technology to maximize graphics performance. Watch 720p HD videos or record your own with the built-in 720p HD webcam. The webcam can be used with Easy Face Logon for quick and easy logins. It also comes with an HDMI out to let you connect your laptop to TVs.
The All-in-One Wind Top AE2050 sports the same video card as the CR650 and comes with a 20-inch 16:9 screen. The Wind Top is highly power efficient using only 65 watts per hour compared to traditional PCs the it is able to save nearly 74% in energy. It also comes with Windows 7 Home Premium, a 500GB 3.5” SATA II hard drive, and 2 GB DDR3 Ram. The Wind Top is equipped with two USB 3.0 ports with a transfer rate of up to 5Gbps, and ten times faster than USB 2.0. The newest version of MSI Wind Touch allows for a multi-touch interface that gives users a more convenient way to use the computer.
Although the device hasn’t launched yet, many prospective customers believed the PlayBook’s greatest weakness would be its lackluster app selection, especially when compared to the ecosystems Apple and Google have established. Eradicating those concerns, RIM has just announced that its upcoming tablet will be able to run Android apps. The company will release two “app players” that provide an environment for the PlayBook to run BlackBerry Java and Android 2.3 apps, which will be available through the BlackBerry App World. That functionality will arrive this summer and could open the door to more than 250,000 apps if the entire Android Market is available.Additionally, RIM said it will release a native SDK allowing the masses to develop C/C++ applications for the PlayBook’s BlackBerry Tablet OS, which is based on QNX Neutrino. These options “will provide our users with an even greater choice of apps and will also showcase the versatility of the platform,” said RIM co-CEO Mike Lazaridis. RIM will demo the new app players and the BlackBerry Tablet OS SDK at BlackBerry World in Orlando, Florida from May 3 to May 5. The PlayBook is slated to launch in North America on April 19 with models ranging from $499 for 16GB of internal storage to $699 for 64GB, or about the same pricing as Apple’s second-generation iPad.
It didn’t take long for the system builders over at CyberPower PC to pounce on Nvidia’s brand new dual-GPU GeForce GTX 590. This is the card gaming enthusiasts have been waiting for, the one Nvidia touts as the “fastest graphics card on the planet” (be sure to read our in-depth review of the GTX 590, in which we put that claim to the test), so naturally CyberPower PC saw fit to design a new series of high-end desktops around Nvidia’s flagship GPU.
We were there, talking you through the entire thing in our liveblog, but if you want a more personal taste of what Samsung’s CTIA Wireless 2011 keynote was like, the company’s thoughtfully put it up on YouTube for general consumption. It features the introduction of the audacious new Galaxy Tab 8.9 and 10.1 models, both ever so slightly thinner than Apple’s iPad 2, with the latter also claiming the title of being “the thinnest and lightest large-screen tablet in the industry.” You can see it above, right alongside the Galaxy S II, which is in itself one of the skinniest smartphones you can hope to buy. Make your way past the break for the full presentation.
Samsung's original Galaxy Tab 10.1 renamed the Tab 10.1V, thicker Galaxy Tab 8.9 no more than a trade show dummy (Video)
Samsung certainly stole the award for best tablet at CTIA this year, but it didn’t do so without confusing us a bit. Sure, its new rail thin Galaxy Tab 8.9 and 10.1 are impressive and we’re loving those price points, but the company also had its older and thicker Galaxy Tab 10.1 on display to show off its TouchWiz 4.0 software. On top of that, it also had a heftier versions of the 8.9 on display at its booth for similar demo purposes. So, what happens to those older models? Well, the 10.1 will still be hitting Vodafone overseas, and as such it’s being renamed the 10.1V. In fact, Pocket-Lint has heard that the UK won’t actually get the new thin version, although we’re guessing that could always change in the future. As for the thicker 8.9-inch model pictured above, Samsung was making it quite clear at its booth that it wasn’t planning to release that product to the public. It even had that nice little sign up there to make sure it crystal clear to any onlookers. Whether that 8.9-inch tablet was intended for release and then scrapped after the iPad launch, we’ll never know.
Researchers enable tactile feedback for e-readers using real paper, just like the olden days (video)
Brainiacs from Osaka University have created what they’ve called the Paranga — a device that fulfills the lack of tactile feedback of page turns when using an e-reader. It’s got a built in sensor that detects when the book is being bent and will rotate a roll of paper strips against your thumb. The force exerted against the device will control the speed of the paper roll. Although it’s not accurate enough to turn one page at a time, the researches believe that if foil is used instead of paper, the voltage will be discharged as soon as a page is turned, ensuring single-page accuracy. If you want to see a video of the Paranga imitate page-turning, press play on the embed below the break.
Remember that Google Voice integration for Sprint we mentioned recently? Today at CTIA we got to see it in action, and it promises to take us one step closer to our robot overlords — well, those of us who are Sprint customers, anyway. The most exciting feature is that the integration works with almost any Sprint number and device, and is not limited to just smartphones or the newly minted Nexus S 4G. Basically, you can pick your Sprint number or your Google Voice number to be your mobile number, and switch between them if necessary. Either way, this is the number that appears on other people’s phones when you call them, and you still benefit from all the Google Voice perks. See it for yourself in our video after the break.
We finally got our hands on the elusive Samsung Nexus S 4G for Sprint at CTIA here today and it’s pretty much what you’d expect: a Nexus S with its GSM / HSPA radio swapped for a set of Sprint-compatible CDMA / EV-DO and WiMAX radios. While the Nexus S 4G lacks a SIM slot, it’s actually 0.3mm thicker than the Nexus S — that’s the thickness of a business card, and is meaningless for all practical purposes. The phone also features a 4G signal indicator in the status bar, along with a 4G sub-menu in the wireless settings. Our demo unit was running Android 2.3.4 (!) — a version we have not yet come across — but we were told that neither the hardware nor the software are final at this point. So don’t be surprised if the production model receives a few tweaks before launch. Perhaps a Sprint logo? Enjoy the gallery below, and hop past the break for our hands-on video.
Itching to put some sweet, crunchy AOSP Honeycomb on your hardware of choice? You might have quite a wait, as BusinessWeek reports that Google will not release the Android 3.0 source code in the near future, and we just received confirmation of the same. Google forwarded us the following statement, which pretty much says it all:
Android 3.0, Honeycomb, was designed from the ground up for devices with larger screen sizes and improves on Android favorites such as widgets, multi-tasking, browsing, notifications and customization. While we’re excited to offer these new features to Android tablets, we have more work to do before we can deliver them to other device types including phones. Until then, we’ve decided not to release Honeycomb to open source. We’re committed to providing Android as an open platform across many device types and will publish the source as soon as it’s ready.
It’s fairly clear that the company’s motivation here is the same as it’s been all along — Google wants to restrict Android to the devices it was designed for. Though the company long insisted that earlier versions of Android were not for tablets, manufacturers quickly adapted the source code to slates anyhow, and we can imagine the company wasn’t thrilled some of the middling results. At that time, Google’s only weapon was to deny access to Gmail, Maps and Android Market, which it did liberally (with a few exceptions to the rule) but this time it sounds like it’s simply withholding the “entirely for tablet” source code instead of sending cease-and-desist letters out. Another explanation, however, could just be that Honeycomb’s not ready for primetime without some OEM help — last we checked, smartphone support was a far cry from final, and even the finished Motorola Xoom still has a few software kinks to work out. Here’s hoping a nice cold bowl of Ice Cream will smooth things over with the open source community before long.
No, that’s not the Apollo command module you’re looking at up there. What’s old is new again in space design, and what’s floating weightless above this text is a photo of humanity’s next great chariot into space. It’s the Orion spacecraft from Lockheed Martin, commissioned for NASA and designed to carry a crew of four not just for trips into orbit but well out into the solar system. Lockheed Martin has just taken the wraps off the thing for the first time, also showing off its new Space Operations Simulation Center (SOSC), located neither in Houston nor Cape Canaveral. It is instead dug into built atop the bedrock in Colorado, theoretically isolating it from seismic and other disturbances so that the testing crew can do their thing without any outside interference. In that bunker the ship is currently testing ahead of a planned first launch in 2013, taking a crew into orbit as soon as 2016. Mars? That might be another few years.
Last year, we expressed a yearning for something we called the Continuous Client that would allow us to pick up on one device where we left off on another, and in less than a year we saw the advent of HP’s “Touch-to-share” technology, but our dreams weren’t fully fulfilled — we longed for a platform that would offer seamless sharing across all of our devices. Well, it’s like we rubbed a bottle and KonnectUs popped out. The cloud-based software is a collaborative effort between Sensus and Open Exhibits that enables you to transfer files and information across platforms — including Windows, iOS, and Android — with a simple swipe of your finger. As it turns out, KonnectUs was built with museums in mind, but the company is offering APIs for integration into third party applications — so maybe the perfect world isn’t that far off after all. Oh, that’s right — we still don’t have a robot to shake our martinis after a hard day at the office. Video after the break.
Peeping Toms and would-be spies, rejoice! The Vue wire-free video cameras have reached the second generation and now add motion detection and a more rugged outdoor version to the mix. Pricing is a mixed bag: kits start at $199 and include a motion detection camera, the base station, and the mounting base. Extra cams can be had for $159 for an individual outdoor camera with motion detection, indoor camera with motion detection is $129, and a run of the mill indoor camera is $99. The brilliant bit here is this is pretty much a zero setup affair: attach the cameras to the included magnetic mounts (with adhesive, no less), fire up the base station, and off you go. As with many devices launched recently, mobile apps are key, and the Vue’s apps are a decent bunch. We had a peek at both the BlackBerry and iPhone flavors — Android is also supported — and either will allow video from the remote cameras to be recorded, some small amount of zoom and pan, grab screen shots, and have a peek at all your cameras at once. The required online service to manage it all is free for the first year and $19.95 per year after; you can keep opting for the free version after the first year, but lose the mobile app support, pan / zoom, and all recording features. What’s the fun in that?
1,024 total CUDA cores, 94 ROPs, and 3GB of GDDR5 RAM on board. Yup, the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 590 is indeed a pair of GTX 580 chips spliced together, however power constraints have meant that each of those chips is running at a tamer pace that their single-card variant. The core clock speed is down to 607MHz, shaders are only doing 1.2GHz, and the memory clocks in at 3.4GHz. Still, there’s a ton of grunt under that oversized shroud and reviewers have put it to the test against AMD’s incumbent single-card performance leader, the Radeon HD 6990. Just like the GTX 590, it sports a pair of AMD’s finest GPUs and costs a wallet-eviscerating $699. Alas, after much benchmarking, testing, and staring at extremely beautiful graphics, the conclusion was that AMD retains its title. But only just. And, as Tech Report points out, the GTX 590 has a remarkably quiet cooler for a heavy duty pixel pusher of its kind. Dive into the reviews below to learn more, or check the new card out on video after the break.
Jabra was parading its Freeway in-car speakerphone last night at CTIA so we took a chance to watch the show. So what separates it from the myriad of like devices? Well, for one it sports 3 speakers for decent stereo audio quality — for a change — a couple mics to reduce ambient noise, a motion sensor that turns the set on automatically when you hop in the car, and voice control for just about every control on the device. Talk time is touted as 14 hours with 40 days standby time and retail pricing looks pinned at $129. Our demo included some music playback in a very noisy space, and while the high end sounded a bit harsh we were suitably impressed coming from a rather thin and light device. Follow on for a few more pics of the Jabra Freeway.