Items tagged with life

Is there life ahead for batteries, or are we doomed to live with heavy, clunky cells that die far too soon? We have seen gentle increases in battery life over the years, with some more modern notebooks gaining 10+ hours when combined with low-power chipsets. But we're still a long, long way from having every single notebook able to stay on throughout a trans-atlantic flight. The good news is that there are companies and researchers working hard on fixing it. There's a hope for a future with more incredible batteries, and a few good minds at the University of Illinois are heading up the newest research. The engineers have developed a form of ultra-low-power digital memory that is faster and uses... Read more...
Is the battery revolution upon us? Based on all the broken promises we've seen of revolutionary advancements over the past decade, we're guessing not, but we're certainly hopeful that EcoloCap Solutions is onto something. We've said for years now that battery life needs to improve in a big way on notebooks, and PC makers just need to be more honest about real-world figures from the start. But really, we just need better batteries overall--batteries that last longer and cost less. EcoloCap has just received preliminary results of the independent tests of it Nano Lithium Battery conducted by Exponent, an engineering and scientific consulting firm of Phoenix, AZ, and things are looking good so far.... Read more...
It's a topic we cover often because it's near and dear to our hearts. It's battery life, and it's finally starting to get the attention that is has long deserved in the industry. We've seen article after article point out that battery life claims on laptops are flawed in one way or another, and AMD's own Pat Moorhead is stepping forward this week with some facts and figures to back that up. For whatever reason, AMD has taken a strong, vocal stance against shoddy battery life claims. They've had it with PC manufacturers pumping out notebook after notebook with crazy claims, ones that they can't possibly deliver. Take any laptop of your own, for example. Has it ever fully lived up to the claims... Read more...
Back in the day, it was somewhat unusual for a company to issue revamped versions of popular machines. Instead, they'd simply pop out another model so it was quite clear that an update had taken place. These days, consumers seem to "get" that technology changes frequently, and that models are updated from time to time with new hardware.Such is the case with MSI's drop-dead gorgeous X-Slim X340. The ultraportable's name hasn't changed, its design is the same and even that attitude is still in place, but a newer edition definitely brings a few twists to the table. As of now, MSI is offering the X340 with an extended 8-cell battery, which is said to more than double its battery life to a reported... Read more...
About 10 years ago, in mid-November 1998, Valve Software released the first installment of one of the greatest and most enduring gaming franchises in history; Half-Life. The original Half-Life won Game of the Year awards in over 50 publications and set the bar for story-driven first-person shooter for years. It was also quite the technological achievement for the heady days of the late nineties, creating one of the most realistic and immersive environments of the period. The game's modding community also launched some of the most memorable multiplayer frag fests of all time, such as Counter-Strike and Team Fortress, all of which are still enjoyed by thousands of gamers daily. It can also lay... Read more...
In the almost seventy years that the photojournalism magazine LIFE magazine was published, the publication amassed a huge collection of images. Some of the images in this collection even date back to eighteenth-century etchings and nineteenth-century photographic glass plates. The total collection of images in the LIFE archive numbers approximately 10 million--the vast majority of which have never been published before. With Google's help, that is all about to change. Google and LIFE have already digitized about 2 million of these images; starting today, Google is making all the images publicly available online. Google promises that it will be bringing the entire library of 10 million images... Read more...
LifeLock, which is an ID theft protection service, but which has both been written about earlier in unflattering terms as well as sued by Experian, has been sued again, this time by a competitor. On Wednesday NAMESAFE sued LifeLock over search ads that it said were purchased by LifeLock, which used the NAMESAFE trademark yet directed users to LifeLock's web site. According to a press release issued by NameSafe on Friday, "We have discovered that LifeLock has been sponsoring advertisements on most major search engines including (among others) Google, Yahoo, Lycos, MSN, Dogpile, and AOL, that deceptively led consumers to Lifelock.com. Specifically, when you searched 'Namesafe.com' in any major... Read more...
California's hands-free mobile phone law goes into effect on July 1st. Starting on that date, California drivers will no longer be able to use hand-held phones, but will instead either need to use a hands-free device, whether it's a headset or integrated into the car.A study released Monday by the non-partisan Public Policy Institute of California (PPIC) estimates that California will have 300 fewer traffic fatalities a year once the law goes into effect. According to Jed Kolko, PPIC research fellow and study author, if such a ban were extended across the U.S., thousands of lives could be saved.In a study released Monday, Jed Kolko, a fellow at the nonpartisan Public Policy Institute of California,... Read more...
It has often been said that patience is a virtue. Patience can also be profitable. For the last 10 years or so, ZPower--a battery technology company in California--has been been busy toiling away on a silver-zinc rechargeable technology that aims to replace the lithium-ion battery technology that is so ubiquitous of late in portable products:"ZPower's efforts are based on existing silver zinc technology, offering greater power density (essentially, how much electricity a battery can hold) than lithium ion, thus requiring fewer recharges before becoming useless. The battery will hold a charge about 40 percent longer than the normal four-hour period."Getting laptops to regularly last past four... Read more...
The first 30,000 pages of what will eventually become 1.8 million pages for the entire Encyclopedia of Life.Feedback on these first pages will shape the ultimate design and functionality of all 1.8 million pages of the encyclopedia, scheduled for completion by 2017. It will also help inform priorities for content development. "It is exciting to anticipate the scientific chords we might hear once 1.8 million notes are brought together through this instrument," says Jim Edwards, executive director of the Encyclopedia of Life, EOL, based at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, DC. The site crashed yesterday as the site appeared to be too popular to "live."... Read more...
Online video games are serious business, with millions playing games around the world. Usually the pwning occurs in the virtual world, but sometimes as in this case, the line gets blurred and it crosses into the real world.It all started when two clans - the Coo-clocks, made up of mostly students, and the so-called Platanium with more experienced gamers of over thirty - started fighting to wipe out each other on screen.   33-year-old Albert used to spend hours in front of his computer. On the web he had his own clan and a dozen of warriors. Just days before the New Year in a virtual battle his clan killed a member of the hostile Coo-clocks.  Days later the enemies agreed to meet... Read more...
To say that the AMD K10 has suffered delays is an understatement.  Many in the industry were honestly expecting this holiday season to feature a heavyweight CPU bout for the ages, but sadly it looks like we'll have to wait just a little bit longer.While the entire world is getting ready for that bout, it seems that AMD has decided to transition many of their existing K8 CPUs over to the 65 nm manufacturing process.“The AMD Athlon 64 X2 5600+ will be the first to jump on the new 65nm K8 bandwagon with a 65W TDP. The previous Windsor-based chip of the same featured an 89-Watt TDP. AMD will also add 100 MHz to the core frequency of the Athlon 64 X2 5600+, now rated at 2.9 GHz. Total L2 cache... Read more...
Just about everybody has heard of Second Life, and how many retailers have purchased a virtual store and even hawked virtual goods with a real-world likeness.  But a recent report is showing, not surprisingly, that the hype inspired but such stories as mostly that, hype.In fact it seems that Second Life has become less than attractive to many advertisers by comparison to newer web-communities:“According to the recently published Yankee Group Note, Wither Second Life?, the growth rate of Second Life users has slowed since its peak in October 2006, while user engagement (as measured by average time spent per user) has leveled off at just 12 minutes per month. This is in stark contrast to other... Read more...
Google's GrandCentral has promised its clients a single phone number "for life."  Unfortunately, after local carriers dropped out, Grandcentral had to change the numbers of 400 clients. GrandCentral, which Google acquired last month, had to change about 400 of the supposedly perpetual numbers it had assigned to clients. By doing so, the call-management company may be creating for these clients the main problem GrandCentral was founded to solve. The numbers had to be changed after a "local carrier partner" recently notified Google it would stop its service and thus would be unable to connect calls to the GrandCentral numbers issued in its coverage area. How could you complain... Read more...
Second Life is fairly unique amongst a crowd of Dwarf & Goblin infested online worlds, as it doesn’t focus on gold coins, levels or even experience points.  Residents of Second Life go about a wide array of tasks, almost all of which could be easily done in the real world.  There are still limits to what people can or should do, but scripting tools allow tech savvy users to expand those possibilities to include things like sexual acts.So what happens when real life software piracy intrudes on the world of Second Life?  Especially when it involves the piracy of above mods.We’re finding the answer to that now as 46-year-old Ken Alderman’s company, Eros LLC, is suffering a decline in sales.... Read more...
SIGGRAPH, short for Special Interest Group for Computer GRAPHics, is an annual conference on computer graphics attended by tens of thousands of computer professionals from the computer graphics, CAD, rendering and interactive technology industries. At this year's conference, held in San Diego from August 5th to 9th, NVIDIA will premier an animated short film called "The Plush Life". The film, which features two plush characters named Lundo and Flint and their adventures while joyriding in their 1969 Buick Electra, is the brainchild of Timothy Heath of the NVIDIA Digital Film Group and is the first of several films which will showcase NVIDIA's Gelato GPU-accelerated rendering software. The film,... Read more...
Advertisers have decided that they want to have a presence in Second Life, even though they don't know what it is, really. Throwing money at a technology you don't understand? Check. Inflated traffic figures?  Check. A vague sense of urgency coupled with 6 and 7 figure outlays? Check. No way to measure return? Check. Hey, look, they've put the nineties back together again and they call it Second Life. Once you put in several hours flailing around learning how to function in Second Life, there isn't much to do. That may explain why more than 85 percent of the avatars created have been abandoned. Linden's in-world traffic tally, which factors in both the number of visitors and time spent,... Read more...
The Church of England is up in arms after discovering that Manchester Cathedral made its video game début in "Resistance: Fall of man," a title which the church claims promotes gun violence. The game in one particular level sends the player through Manchester Cathedral to continue his adventure of slagging aliens and saving the world. The Church of England has been battling rising gun violence in Manchester and as a result, sees Sony's inclusion of the cathedral in a violent videogame as directly undermining the church's efforts.  The Church is not only requesting that the level be modified or completely removed from the game, but that Sony also make a donation to the church to help aid its battle... Read more...
Bill Gates and Steve Jobs.  Those two names are icons in our industry and have been referred to as anything from nearly symbiotic to oil and water.  So what happens when the two of them sit down in the same room for a conference?  A mutual admiration society is formed: "Both opened their portion of the event by praising each other's work. Jobs quickly centered on Gates' central role in the early computer industry as the first to build a company solely around software, rather than depending on customized hardware. "That was huge," Jobs said. "Bill was really focused on software." Gates returned the favor by centering on Apple's achievements instead of his own, centering on the company's populist... Read more...
All Hot Hardware lovers dream of a world of a enormously powerful processor with a command line. A baby is like that. So is Google: As Google nears 10,000 employees, though, it's become impossible to keep up with the 100 or so public products and projects that have come and gone. Some, like Gmail and Google Earth, are huge hits. Others, like the discontinued Google Answers, fizzle. In between are a few low-profile applications with real potential, most of which can be found on a mini-site called Google Labs. Here's my short list of Google's coolest obscure apps. A marvelous business, Google.... Read more...
Sony Computer Entertainment wanted to make sure you could play your PS2 games on a PS3. So they put PS2 hardware right in it. That won't last, and an emulator will eventually replace it. So will all your PS2 games work on the PS3 emulator? Beats me. Beats them too: SCE has so far set out the principle to secure the PS3's compatibility with the PS2 using an emulator that works on the Cell. According to SCE, it decided to mount the EE and GS on the PS3 to guarantee operation of certain game titles, which do not use the library recommended by SCE. The company, however, said the EE and GS will be "removed before long" (Kutaragi), indicating... Read more...
  This year's DigitalLife show in New York City seemed to be just a bit more festive, a bit more "real-deal", or perhaps we should just say a bit more well-attended from both an exhibitor and audience perspective?  In fact, since Ziff Davis picked up the gig, it has turned out to be like a mini-CES here on the east coast. There was also a big focus on gaming and entertainment this year, perhaps picking up where the dilapidated and now defunct E3 left off. As always, there were sights to see and excitement in the air.  Or was that just Carmen Electra?  Mmmm...Carmen -- Fetching as ever.  Sort of like the effect she has on most men, turning them... Read more...
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