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Nvidia does battle with Intel, Moore's Law

50°
350w ago - Nvidia CEO and co-founder Jen-Hsun Huang's jeremiad against Intel heralds future melees with the chip giant over computer graphics technology. Behind the sound and fury lurks Moore's Law.

Most observers agree that the graphics processing unit (GPU) is gaining on the central processing unit (CPU) as the single most important piece of silicon inside the PC. "When you start looking at a PC today, the (central) processor means less and less," according to Jim McGregor, an analyst at In-Stat. The GPU is simply becoming a better way for PC makers to differentiate in a landscape dominated by Intel CPUs, he said.

The question is, who is going to be the largest provider of that differentiation and what form will it take? The pressure on Nvidia--expressed by Huang on Thursday at an analyst meeting--is understandable, as the company seeks to fend off both Intel and AMD, who are increasingly focused on graphics, said McGregor. "Nvidia faces serious challenges. One of their big customers (AMD) went out and acquired a competitor (ATI) and then (you have) Intel saying we're going into your territory." That has put Nvidia on edge. Intel, not surprisingly, is the biggest threat.

"Intel is going to be as competitive as they can possibly be," said Dean McCarron, founder and principal of Mercury Research. "There...
 

Turn your game console into a media hub

50°
350w ago - The Good: Universal plug-and-play (UPnP) application; works with all three video game consoles and other IP-enabled devices; no real limits to how much content you can accumulate with the software

The Bad: Graphical user-interface isn't the sleekest; learning curve might be intimidating at first, particularly when it comes to Web content; still no Mac or Linux support.

The Verdict: Bringing all that PC and Web content to your TV at the same time.

One of the biggest unknowns for someone who owns both a computer and next-gen video game console is that the two devices can talk to each other. You just need the right software to bridge them together.

TVersity is a well-known application among those who've shown a real interest in utilizing the IP-enabled features that are built into their game consoles. The software makes it easy to stream video and audio files you have stored on your computer, so that you can watch or listen to them on your living room big screen TV.

ASSEMBLING AN ARMY OF CONTENT

The Playstation 3, Xbox 360 and even the Nintendo Wii have capabilities that can turn them into would-be media hubs. Considering that they have Web browsers (minus the 360), Wi-Fi and online "stores" where you can buy new content, it shouldn't come as a big surprise...
 

This Is Not a Test: Calibrate Your HDTV?

50°
350w ago - BUYING an HDTV usually starts with research. You then may make a decision based on what it looks like in the store.

Take the set home and the picture may look slightly different. Some colors are brighter than others, and the contrast between dark and light colors is heightened.

Now you need to calibrate the TV. Photographers and graphic artists have been doing color calibrations for years on their monitors in order to ensure that colors on screen accurately match what will appear in print or on a Web site. But now, with more consumers owning high-definition TVs – where every pixel pops off the screen – calibration becomes more important than with the old cathode-ray tube TV.

The easiest way to do it is to ask the electronics store to adjust it for you. It may also be one of the most expensive options. Geek Squad, the service arm of Best Buy, charges about $300 for the in-home service. But other people may find satisfactory results either with software included on some DVDs or by buying a special disc that takes the viewer through calibration steps.

The manufacturers tweak red, green and blue settings a bit to make the colors pop. They intensify blue, causing red and green to overcompensate in the image. Some people may like that look. But it creates an HDTV that is not only...
 

Five reasons why Vista beats Mac OS X

550°
351w ago - The conventional wisdom, that Mac's OS X is superior to Windows Vista, is flat-out wrong. In fact, despite much belief to the contrary, Vista is a superior operating system. Here are five reasons why.

Reason #1: Vista runs more software

Mac OS X is a very pretty operating system, but beauty runs only skin deep. An operating system by itself is a poor thing -- it's the applications that run on top of it that matter. And here's where Mac OS X falls short. It can't run much common software, including enterprise applications and games.

Virtualization software like Parallels Desktop for Mac won't solve the problem. Parallels can't run even the most basic Vista games such as FreeCell, Hearts, Pinball, Solitaire and Minesweeper, because it doesn't support DirectX 9. And virtualization software creates big problems for enterprises with regard to volume licensing, technical support, creating standard enterprisewide images and so on. So it's no good for running enterprise applications either. Vista beats OS X here, hands down.

Reason #2: Vista is safer

As I've written before, Vista is a more secure operating system than Mac OS X. Mac OS X was easier to crack in a recent hacking contest. And security researcher Dino Dai Zovi had this to say about Vista versus Mac OS X when...
 

Sony lacks manufacturing capacity to meet Blu-ray demand?

50°
351w ago - Despite Blu-ray's utterly devastating victory earlier this year, Sony may be in a spot of trouble. Seems the company has a bit of a problem manufacturing the discs (I swear I've heard that before), and since it's the the biggest producer of The Blu (that's how cool kids say Blu-ray), it could be the biggest obstacle to the format's success.

Not that that really matters, since in five years we'll have a new format. Demand for The Blu is expected to JUMP this year to 48 million units; Sony only has the capacity to manufacture 38 million, and that's after an upgrade to its facilities.

And while I'm thoroughly post-disc (technically), I did have my eye on the PS3, more or less because I could use it as a Blu-ray player.

But then I heard the system doesn't output DTS-HD, so what's the point? :P
 
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