264w 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,...
264w 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...
264w 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.
264w ago - Hot on the heels of last week's report from ABI Research noting that many consumers may not see the picture quality difference between Blu-ray and standard DVDs comes the latest Blu-ray sales figures from NPD Group. And they're not pretty.
According to NPD, sales of Blu-ray standalone players plummeted 40 percent from January to February, then rose a scant 2 percent from February to March. The general consensus was that once Toshiba dropped its support for the HD DVD format early this year, sales would increase.
In fact, sales of Blu-ray standalone players remain so low that NPD has not yet released actual numbers, for fear that it would be easy to identify individual retailers. The research group will start to give actual figures later this year, said Ross Rubin, director of industry analysis at NPD.
The end of the format wars clearly did little to boost Blu-ray's prospects. Like others, Mr. Rubin said the much cheaper upconverting standard DVD players are winning consumers' hearts and wallets.
The price of upconverting players is hovering around $70. And this week, Amazon is giving them away for free when consumers purchase certain Samsung TVs. The result: a 5 percent uptick in upconverting DVD player sales in the first quarter of 2008, compared to same quarter a year ago, and...
265w ago - Since the high definition format war has been decided and Blu-ray is slowly but surely moving into more and home homes, video enthusiasts may be looking for the next thrill: Red just announced its Red-ray player, the only "Beyond HD" playback device we are aware of - supporting movies with a resolution of up to 4096 x 2048 pixels.
Have you ever wondered why Blu-ray players are marketed as "Beyond HD" devices? This phrase has always bothered us as one of those deceiving marketing phrases. High Definition is defined as 720p, 1080i and 1080p resolutions (1280 x 720, 1920 x 1080i, 1920 x 1080p pixels) and since Blu-ray reaches up to 1080p, it is 'just' HD.
If you want to go "beyond" HD you will have to increase the specifications of the standard and especially its resolution. RED has done just that and has become the only Beyond HD company we know of.
RED just announced its Red-Ray player, a media playback device for DVDs and DL DVDs holding content 4K (4096 x 2048), 2K (2048 x 1024) and regular 16:9 4K (3996 Ã-- 2160) formats, as well as 1080p, 720p and regular DVD (480p). Blu-ray discs and HD DVD discs are not supported, while you can play videos from SD and Compact Flash memory cards. The player is expected to debut sometime in 2009 and of course it will not be cheap: Pricing has not been...