Last June, Dell began to charge customers $20.00 to $50.00 to downgrade to Windows XP. It was up to $100.00 by October. Now it seems that they are charging $150.00. At the same time, we recently read that Microsoft claims that 9 out of 10 Vista customers are satisfied. While we don’t believe everything we read, we keep wondering why Dell is punishing XP users and MS’s inhouse research, with figures that include licenses sold as part of a downgrade package, seems cheerfully optimistic. What do you guys think? Remember when Coke came up with a new version and nobody liked it? It just went away.
Read More | Silicon Alley Insider
Microsoft, in a clever move, located an “I’m a PC” recording kiosk outside an Apple Store in Birmingham, England. By the way, if you really are a PC, you can upload a photo or video online and you might find yourself in one of their commercials. The company has already selected several of them in ads that are airing on network TV and are part of a $300 million advertising campaign. We’re all for any idea that doesn’t feature Gates and Seinfeld.
Read More | Apple Insider
Buckypaper may look like regular carbon paper, but is in actual fact Florida State University’s Ben Wang’s material that is 10 times lighter but up to 500 times stronger than steel when stacked and pressed. It has the capability of conducting electricity and dispensing heat. The material is made from tube-shaped carbon molecules 50,000x thinner than a human’s hair. Applications would include energy-efficient aircraft and cars, and more powerful computers. At this point buckypaper, which came out of the discovery of the buckyball (a form of pure carbon,) is only made at half of its strength and is very expensive to produce, FSU is planning to developing it commercially in the next 12 months, according to Wang.
Read More | CNN
Next time your spouse/partner complains that you are on the Internet too much, you can site this study that will be in an upcoming American Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry. The report suggests that middle-aged and older adults who use the Net may get a brain boosting. Using 24 “normal” volunteers between the ages of 55 and 76, half of the group had previous experience surfing. The participants showed similar brain activity when reading a book and those who went online also registered activity in the frontal, temporal and cingulate areas, which are those that control decision making and complex reasoning.
Read More | Live Science
J!NX is a very cool site with t-shirts for the geek who wants to be blunt. We especially dig this comment on Pacman in the form of a light blue tee that comes in 5 sizes for ~$20.00. If that one is too gory for you, check through their newest releases for both men and women for all things gaming and computer oriented. JINX frequently has deals on close-outs and discontinued shirts and stickers.
Read More | JINX
Ever wish you could jump into Second Life? Researchers at the California Institute for Telecommunications and Information Technology (Calit2) almost can with the StarCave, a third generation virtual reality space. The pentagon-shaped room consists of computers, rear-projection walls, and floor screens, and displays over 68 million pixels. The room supports 20/40 vision when the users wear lightweight, polarized sunglasses. At a cost of about a million dollars, the StarCave works by pointing a wand to go through the 3D images and/or zoom.
Read More | UC San Diego News
HP just unleashed a couple of new notebooks earlier today, including their new 16- and 18-inch HDX units, just in time for the holiday season. We were able to spend some time with HP’s Kevin Wentzel to get a look at the entire consumer notebook lineup for this holiday season. It features the aforementioned HDX, a new HP Imprint finish for the dv5 and dv7 Pavilions, and their tablet as well. These things are affordable, and some are even powerful enough to replace your desktop at this point. In fact, we also have a look at HP’s notebook docking station as well, which fits right in with that line of thinking.
Hit the video for the full scoop on everything, and try not to droll over those hot-looking HDXs, mkay?
IDEO and Project Inkwell have come up with their own answer to the OLPC with the Spark. It utilizes wireless networking and combines characteristics of both a laptop and desktop. Designed for students in grades K-12, the PC features a wireless mouse, slim keyboard, and a zipper pocket for a spare battery. We don’t care who is making or selling more of the inexpensive computers, we are simply glad that they just keep coming.
Read More | Tuvie
Over the past few months, I’ve been answering questions submitted by the masses, alongside the likes of writers from Boing Boing, HotHardware, OhGizmo!, ArsTechnica, and more. Toshiba sponsors the site (and also sponsors Gear Live, for the record), which has been something I’ve enjoyed being a part of since it launched. I wanted to share this destination with you, in case you guys happened to have notebook questions that you were having a difficult time getting answered. The site is called Laptop Experts, feel free to look us up and submit your queries. One of us will be happy to help!
Oh, and be sure to check out the Laptop Experts Widget, which lets you have access to the site’s features from your desktop.
Read More | Laptop Experts
We were able to get our hands on one of the new HP TouchSmart computers recently, and were very impressed by what we saw - especially when compared to the original TouchSmart that we saw back at CES 2007. We unbox the new TouchSmart in this episode, showing off the new, sleek form factor, along with all the new wireless accessories that HP has designed to compliment the experience.
What we love most about it, aside from the cool touch screen implementation, is the fact that it is a full featured, powerful computer. Typically, all-in-one computers like these have been underpowered. Not so with the TouchSmart, which is chock-full of RAM (4GB), hard drive space (500 GB), 2.16 GHz Core 2 Duo processor, 256 MB NVIDIA GeForce 9300M GS HD graphics card, and Windows Vista Home Premium SP1 64-bit edition. It even has an integrated ATSC & NTSC TV tuner with PVR and remote.
Check out the video for the full scoop on the new HP TouchSmart.
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