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Blu-ray sales tank for good reasons

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325w ago - Blu-ray player sales are sucking wind as well they should. According to Cnet, sales of the DRM infected format players are dropping like rocks.

The not so bright people out there had expected sales to skyrocket once the format war was done, but it didn't. They thought was people would ignore the massive defects of Blu-ray and buy like the dumb sheep that they are, handcuffing themselves to the Sony bank account.

Surprise, it didn't happen. US consumers are still dumb sheep, but this time they are realizing what is being done to them and they aren't biting. Sony's hope of having 50% of disc sales this year be Blu-ray are more likely to happen because of falling DVD sales than rocketing Blu-ray.

The format has three problems, DRM infections, BD-J and greed. The greed part is obvious, Sony won the format war and are trying to charge people between 50 and 100% more for a product with marginally better quality. Sure, it looks better, and the 0.07% of people with 7.1 channel audio setups will be overjoyed, but for the rest, it is a small step at best over an upconverting DVD.

Are you going to buy the DVD version for $16.99 on new release sale or $29.99 for the BD? It doesn't take a genius to realize that the next iteration of Hollywood Formula #7 with Big Stars #3 and #8 isn't worth it....
 

More RV770 and RV770X2 Chip details!

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325w ago - ATI said a few things about its new upcoming RV770 chips, and as we've said before you can expect RV770PRO with DDR3, RV770XT with DDR5 support and the top end, R700 aka (RV770X2) with two RV770XT chips in a dual-card configuration.

The new GPUs are 55nm and they are actually an architecture shrink chip with minor architectural changes. Of course, just as RV670, they do support DirectX 10.1 and at the same time, they will bring some significant performance improvements compared to the previous RV670 generation.

The new RV770 chip will also have great improvements in power consumption. The launch date is late Q2 2008, most likely June, but real volume availability is expected in early Q3 2008, probably July.

We still don't know the clocks or the official name.
 

18 Features Windows Should Have, But Doesn't!

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325w ago - Some of the coolest OS features are nowhere to be found in Windows XP or Vista. Here are 18 brilliant features that Microsoft should beg for, borrow, or steal--plus tips on how you can add many of them to your PC now.

Love it or hate it, Microsoft Windows is the world's most dominant operating system. But when you look at some of the hot features found in competitors such as Linux and Mac OS X, both XP and Vista can seem a little incomplete.

From intuitive interface features like Apple's application dock and Cover Flow to basic media capabilities such as ISO burning, Windows often falls short on built-in goodies. And some features that other operating systems offer by default-- such as 64-bit processing and business-networking tools--require a premium-version license in Windows.

We took a good look at a variety of OSs, from the Mac to Linux to PC-BSD and beyond, and we rounded up a list of our favorite features--few of which come standard in any version of Windows. We even considered some operating systems of yore, and recalled a couple of cool features that Microsoft still hasn't caught on to.

Some of these features simply aren't available for Windows at all, owing to the way the OS is designed. But you can add most of them to XP or Vista with the help of third-party applications,...
 

Another Manufacturer says XBox 360 Blu-ray coming this year!

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325w ago - A report from Taiwanese news source Economic Daily News says that Pegatron Technology (a recently formed subsidiary of Asus that shouldn't be confused with the Decepticon leader) has received an order from Microsoft to manufacture a Blu-ray equipped model of the Xbox 360.

According to the report, Pegatron says that it plans to begin production on the HD version of the Xbox 360 soon, with plans to ship within the next six months, aiming for a pre-holiday release.

It won't be the first time we've heard talk about Microsoft gloming on to the format, as the DigiTimes recently pegged manufacturer Lite-On as a Xbox 360 Blu-ray drive maker and Sony executives hinted that its competitor was feeling Blu to the Financial Times.

MS CEO Steve Ballmer recently went on record about the move away from HD-DVD, saying the company will "support Blu-ray in ways that make sense."

Microsoft PR, of course, continues to beat the digital distribution drum and deny the existence of a BRD playing 360. We would of course be shocked to learn that something slipped from the airtight walls of Microsoft early, so we're sticking with unconfirmed rumor at this point.

The EDN report also mentions that a price cut for the Core (Arcade) version of the 360 is planned, but doesn't provide further...
 

HP Scientists develop new Type of Memory Circuit

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326w ago - It took about 40 years to find it, but scientists at Hewlett-Packard said on Wednesday they discovered a fourth basic type of electrical circuit that could lead to a computer you never have to boot up.

The finding proves what until now had only been theory -- but could save millions from the tedium of waiting for a computer to find its "place," the researchers said. Basic electronics theory teaches that there are three fundamental elements of a passive circuit -- resistors, capacitors and inductors.

But in the 1970s, Leon Chua of the University of California at Berkeley, theorized there should be a fourth called a memory resistor, or memristor, for short, and he worked out the mathematical equations to prove it.

Now, a team at Hewlett-Packard led by Stanley Williams has proven that 'memristance' exists. They developed a mathematical model and a physical example of a memristor, which they describe in the journal Nature.

"It's very different from any other electrical device," Williams said of his memristor in a telephone interview. "No combination of resistor, capacitor or inductor will give you that property."

Williams likens the property to water flowing through a garden hose. In a regular circuit, the water flows from more than one direction.

But...
 
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