Microsoft's new technology adds Kinect-like gestures to laptops [video]

By on May 9, 2012 at 7:40 AM.

Microsoft's new technology adds Kinect-like gestures to laptops [video]

Microsoft can detect gestures using a computer’s speakers

One of Microsoft’s latest research projects offers gesture controls using a computer’s speakers, microphone and inaudible sounds. The technology is called “SoundWave” and it utilizes the Doppler effect to detect gestures. With the help of a computer’s speakers and microphone, SoundWave can detect the frequency change of a sound wave by using inaudible sounds and measuring the change in feedback as a hand gesture is performed. Even if a user is playing music on his or her laptop or there’s a lot of background noise, SoundWave will still be able to detect gestures. The technology can even detect when a person walks to or away from a computer, and respond by unlocking or locking the device. Microsoft’s video demonstration follows below. More →

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Flashback OS X malware estimated to generate creators $10,000 per day

By on May 1, 2012 at 4:40 PM.

Flashback OS X malware estimated to generate creators $10,000 per day

Flashback OS X virus generates $10K per day

The “Flashback” virus that originated on a series of WordPress blogs and went on to infected more than 600,000 Mac computers last month may have generated its creators thousands of dollars each day. According to antivirus software firm Symantec, the Flashback malware has been generating revenue for its authors by hijacking users’ ad clicks, and due to the widespread nature of the infection, the authors could have been generating up to $10,000 per day. “Flashback specifically targets search queries made on Google and, depending on the search query, may redirect users to another page of the attacker’s choosing, where they receive revenue from the click,” the firm explained, adding that Google never receives the intended ad click. Symantec notes that ad-clicking Trojans are nothing new and a botnet of 25,000 infections could generate an author up to $450 per day. More →

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Crysis 3 gameplay trailer released [video]

By on April 25, 2012 at 2:25 PM.

Crysis 3 gameplay trailer released [video]

Electronic Arts and Crytek last week announced the highly anticipated next installment of the Crysis franchise, Crysis 3, alongside a 19-second teaser trailer. On Tuesday, the two companies issued the official gameplay trailer that showcases the game’s stunning graphics. The third installment of Crysis is set in 2047, and users control protagonist “Prophet” as he returns to New York only to discover that the city is covered by a giant Nanodome created by the evil Cell Corporation. This dangerous new world demands advanced weapons and tactics, such as a lethal composite bow, an enhanced Nanosuit and devastating alien technology that will turn Prophet into the deadliest hunter on the planet. The game, which is built using the latest CryENGINE technology, will be released in Spring 2013 on the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and PC, and is now available for pre-order. The full Crysis 3 gameplay trailer follows below. More →

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Apple to discontinue the 17-inch MacBook Pro, analyst predicts

By on April 23, 2012 at 6:00 PM.

Apple to discontinue the 17-inch MacBook Pro, analyst predicts

Research analyst Ming-Chi Kuo of KGI Securities predicts that Apple may discontinue the 17-inch MacBook Pro model due to weak sales, MacRumors reported on Monday. The analyst has previously offered accurate information regarding the discontinuation of Mac products, specifically the 13-inch Macbook in 2011. Kuo estimates Apple will sell 5.32 million Mac computers in the second quarter of 2012, representing a 35.2% year-over-year increase. The Cupertino-based company is expected to launch an updated line of MacBook computers this summer that will be will be thinner and may feature Retina-resolution displays. More →

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Raspberry Pi Linux PC orders now shipping

By on April 16, 2012 at 4:35 PM.

Raspberry Pi Linux PC orders now shipping

After pre-orders sold out in less than a day, the $35 Raspberry Pi Linux computer faced a number manufacturing hiccups and distribution problems. On Monday, however, the company announced that the first batch of Raspberry Pi single-board Linux computers has finally arrived at distributors and begun to ship worldwide. “This is an exciting and momentous phase for Raspberry Pi as the boards start heading out to customers from our distributors,” said Eben Upton, Raspberry Pi founder and trustee. “We know from the incredible amount of interest in Raspberry Pi that there is a huge impetus among enthusiasts and educators for a product that brings computer programming to the masses, and we encourage these new programmers to share their experiences and results with us.” The Raspberry Pi is smaller than a smartphone and is equipped with a 700MHz processor, 256MB of RAM, an SD card slot, two USB ports, an Ethernet jack and both HDMI and RCA outputs. Read on for the Raspberry Foundation’s press release. More →

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Redesigned iMacs may feature anti-reflective glass displays

By on April 2, 2012 at 9:25 PM.

Redesigned iMacs may feature anti-reflective glass displays

A redesigned family of Apple’s iMac computers may feature anti-reflective displays, DigiTimes reported on Monday. The Taiwanese publication claimed that G-Tech is ramping up its production capacity of cover glass from 1.8 million units a month to 3 million units, and the company is estimated to produce up to 30% of the total cover glass orders for Apple’s iPad in 2012. According to “industry sources,” G-Tech is also expected to supply anti-reflective glass for Apple’s iMac lineup, which will expand the company’s growth within the industry. The next-generation iMacs are rumored to arrive in the second half of the year, and they will reportedly be slimmer and lighter than the current models. More →

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$35 Raspberry Pi Linux PC delayed once again

By on March 30, 2012 at 7:30 AM.

$35 Raspberry Pi Linux PC delayed once again

Development of the Raspberry Pi single-board Linux computer has been rocky thus far. After a high demand once pre-sales were made available, the $35 computer has been plagued with manufacturing hiccups and more recently, two of its U.K. retail partners have refused to distribute the device without proper CE marking — a certification that ensures the manufacturer has complied with European regulations. The Raspberry Pi team did not seek approval because it believed the single-board computer was not a “finished end product” and did not require the certification.  The company said that the first 2,000 boards arrived in the U.K. on Monday, however, and are in the process of getting CE marked “as soon as is humanly possible, in parallel with bringing the remainder of our initial batch into the country.” The Raspberry Pi Foundation did not clarify exactly when it expects the device to receive certification and become available. More →

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Diablo III announced for May 15th, pre-orders now available

By on March 15, 2012 at 10:30 AM.

Diablo III announced for May 15th, pre-orders now available

Blizzard on Thursday announced that its highly anticipated follow-up to the hit game Diablo II will be available on May 15th. Digital copies of Diablo III can be pre-ordered starting Thursday for $59.99. The game’s story picks up twenty years after its predecessor, and a new generation of heroes must now face the forces of evil. Players will be able to choose from a barbarian, a monk, a demon hunter, a witch doctor and a wizard. Blizzard’s fast-paced hack and slash action role-playing game will be available at retailers throughout the United States, Canada, Europe, South Korea, Southeast Asia, Australia, New Zealand and the regions of Taiwan, Hong Kong and Macau. The digital version will be available in Mexico, Argentina, Chile and Brazil as well, but gamers in Latin American countries and Russia will have to wait until June 7th. Read on for Blizzard’s press release. More →

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Raspberry Pi suffers a manufacturing hiccup, possible delays

By on March 8, 2012 at 9:15 PM.

Raspberry Pi suffers a manufacturing hiccup, possible delays

Shipments of the long-awaited Raspberry Pi single-board Linux computer may be delayed due to a “manufacturing hiccup.” The company on Thursday said that during the manufacturing process, the computers were equipped with non-magnetic jacks, which would result in a lack of network connectivity. The Raspberry Pi Foundation claims, however, that there is no need to fret because this is “a very minor problem to fix, and the factory is nearly done working on replacing them on the first set of boards.” The first shipments should still go out to customers in line with the firm’s previously announced time frame, although there might be a “slight delay.” Pre-orders of the $35 dollar computer sold out in less than a day when it went on sale last month. The single-board computer is equipped with a 700MHz processor, 256MB of RAM, SD card support, two USB ports, an Ethernet jack and both HDMI and RCA outputs. More →

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$35 Raspberry Pi Linux PC pre-orders sell out in less than a day

By on February 29, 2012 at 4:35 PM.

$35 Raspberry Pi Linux PC pre-orders sell out in less than a day

As promised, the $35 Raspberry Pi Linux computer was made available for pre-order on Wednesday. The single-board computer is equipped with a 700MHz processor, 256MB of RAM, SD card support, two USB ports, an Ethernet hookup and both HDMI and RCA outputs. Despite the low cost and small size — which is roughly equal to a credit card — the Raspberry Pi computer is powerful enough to run games such as Quake III Arena and power 1080p video. Additionally, the cheaper Model A unit, which removes the Ethernet hookup and a USB port, received an increase from 128MB to 256MB of RAM and will be on sale later this year. “Raspberry Pi provides a revolutionary low cost platform, which opens up programming to a whole new audience,” the company said in a press release. “We are very honoured to have been chosen to work with the Foundation as a distribution partner at the launch of this exciting new tool.” Users interested in the device will have to be patient, however. The Raspberry Pi Twitter account confirmed that Farnell’s stock was depleted after less than a day of pre-order availability, and further inventory is expected in about a month. Read on for the company’s press release. More →

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Ultrabook prices to remain high through 2012, drop in 2013

By on February 14, 2012 at 10:45 PM.

Ultrabook prices to remain high through 2012, drop in 2013

Ultrabooks will remain pricey through the end of this year, with ideal pricing of $600-$700 finally being reached in 2013 according to Digitimes. Due to the high production cost associated with the computers — especially solid state drives, which are 10 times more expensive than traditional hard drive — prices are expected to remain high in order to maintain profitability. As vendors work on reducing costs, ultrabooks have chance to reach $799 in the second quarter of 2012, a significant drop from the $999 price point of the first generation models but still well above the “sweet spot” the new notebook supposedly must hit in order to be more widely adopted. More →

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$35 Raspberry Pi computer to launch later this month

By on February 7, 2012 at 5:35 PM.

$35 Raspberry Pi computer to launch later this month

The low-cost Raspberry Pi Linux computer is set to become available for purchase later this month for $35. The firm behind the budget computer announced on Monday that the first batch of boards will enter manufacturing on February 20th and will be available at the end of the month. The single-board computer is equipped with a 700MHz processor, 256MB of RAM, SD card support and both HDMI and RCA outputs. Despite the low cost and small size — which is roughly equal to a credit card — the Raspberry Pi computer is powerful enough to run games such as Quake III Arena and power 1080p video, however the company intends for the device to be used in schools to teach the basics of computer science. A second Raspberry Pi model with 128MB of RAM will be released for $25 at a later date. More →

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