CES 2008 may not have been a show for big wows, but there was plenty to talk about, at least on the computers and hardware front. For starters, Lenovo introduced three IdeaPads, the company's first consumer-oriented laptops for the U.S. market. (Lenovo also announced a corresponding line of desktops, predictably named IdeaCentre, for release in Europe, though we expect the line to reach our shores soon.)
A lot of computer gear these days seems to be following the Hummer/SUV trend of the auto industry from the early '90s: the bigger and tougher the better. We've seen, for example, military-grade laptops, keyboards, and even nuke-proof USB drives. So why should LCDs be left out?
Specialty equipment maker Stealth Computer plans to fill that void with the "TuffTouch," a 17-inch touch-screen monitor encased in aluminum alloy for "harsh environment applications," according to the company. The 1,280x1,024 monitor can also be ordered with a built-in "Little PC"--and it'… Read more
Like every year, the Consumer Electronics Show is jam-packed with gadgets, from shiny new cell phones to giant TVs.
But this year, reporters scouring the CES show floor found a few goodies for the foodies too.
CNET News.com's Ina Fried sat down Wednesday with Mark Bolger of Microsoft's surface computing team to see what types of applications the tabletop technology could be used for. One of the ideas they've come up with is a system called Wine Bar that would allow restaurant-goers to select from a restaurant's wine list based on their taste preferences. So … Read more
After a busy first day in Las Vegas, here are the highlights from the editors covering computers and PC hardware at the show.
CPUs and GPUs Intel, AMD toss in their chips at CES Mobile Penryn: Early test results ATI releases new laptop graphics Nvidia announces new chipsets, Hybrid SLI New PC platforms from Intel will face hurdles
I'll be the first to admit that the appearance of an ominously blue, ominously blank screen followed by an instant shut-down smacks of malware. Well, it smacks of something, and file-eating, process-disrupting intruders are the most likely cause.
They're also the most convenient excuse for explaining away perplexing computer abnormality. As Sara from Southend, U.K., reminds us, however, that might not be exactly the case.
Complete your scans, by all means, but if nothing suspicious turns up, start looking at your hardware, particularly if it's a few years old. Dust, crumbs, and other crud pile up, … Read more
The behavior of computer-generated crowds in movies and video games could soon appear much more realistic, thanks to new software that gives each character a complex personality of its own.
Read the full report at Technology Review: "Virtual Extras"
PC makers rarely flood CES with new product announcements, preferring to hit either the lucrative holiday season just before, or else timing their latest wares to new technologies from component makers such as Intel, AMD, and Nvidia. That's not to say there won't be plenty of new laptops and desktop to see at CES, and we expect a few surprises along the way.
On the desktop front, AMD's Phenom processors and the next generation of Intel quad-core chips should bring quad-core PCs to the mainstream masses with new low prices. More power for fewer bucks always works … Read more
Efforts to purchase eco-friendly and energy-efficient IT equipment have expanded notably since the spring, according to 130 companies surveyed by Forrester Research.
Some 38 percent of corporations said they take environmental concerns into account when making purchasing decisions, a jump from 25 percent surveyed in April.
The top reason for going green was slashing energy costs, cited by 55 percent of respondents. Doing the right thing for the environment was the next most popular motivation, noted by half of those surveyed. And 95 percent called environmental concerns either somewhat or very important to operations.
However, the study found that most … Read more
I figured I knew Nick Carr's central thesis behind his new book, The Big Switch: Our New Digital Destiny, before I started. I've read Nick's blog religiously for years and was fortunate to have him keynote last year's Open Source Business Conference.
The thesis runs something like this: IT didn't used to matter very much because interchangeable software systems widely used throughout industries means IT no longer provides a basis for competitive differentiation (see pages 56-57). In the next phase (dubbed "utility computing"), traditional IT matters even less: data centers are the new utilities, allowing more efficient deployment of software applications than any one company could hope to build on its own. Jack into the network of data and services and get on with your business.
What I wasn't anticipating was where such nonchalance could lead socially. This comes in the second half of the book, and left me wishing that Nick's arguments weren't so lucidly advanced. It would have been nice to caricature his argument and move on. Unfortunately, I'm not sure that's possible.
But first Utopia, before further discussion of Carr's Dystopia.… Read more