AMD Dropping the ATI Brand Name

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

AMD is phasing out the ATI brand for its graphics products—including Radeon and FirePro—and instead will place them under the AMD brand.

Advanced Micro Devices, four years after buying graphics chips maker ATI, reportedly is now ready to let go of the brand.

AMD will take the ATI name off of its products by the end of the year, according to news reports. Instead, the company will put the AMD name on such graphics products as FirePro, Radeon and Eyefinity.

The move comes as AMD is preparing to release the first of its Fusion APUs (accelerated processing units), which put computing and graphics units on the same die.

The first of these APUs, called “Llano” and “Ontario,” are due for release in the first half of 2011, according to AMD officials.


Toshiba developing no-glasses 3-D televisions

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

Japanese electronics maker Toshiba Corp. said Tuesday it is developing technology for a 3-D television that won’t require special glasses.

Company spokeswoman Yuko Sugahara confirmed such technology was in the works. But she declined to comment on a report in the Yomiuri newspaper that the Tokyo-based company plans to start selling the new TVs by the end of the year.

Mainstream 3-D TVs now on sale, such as those from rivals Panasonic Corp. and Sony Corp., require glasses. But there are already screens that don’t require glasses, mainly intended for store displays.

Dell launches $100 smart phone in US on AT&T

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

Dell Inc. said Tuesday its Aero smart phone is now on sale in the U.S. for $99 with a two-year AT&T contract.

The Dell Aero uses an older version of Google Inc.’s Android operating system than many competing phones on the market today. The Aero uses version 1.5, also called “cupcake,” while most phones now use version 1.6 or higher. Dell says it has done a significant amount of work adding features to the base Google system.

The Aero has a 3.5-inch touch screen and a 5-megapixel camera, and it has photo and video editing functions built in. Dell says the Aero can sync with Windows Media Player and music without copy protection from Apple Inc.’s iTunes.


Google Chrome tablet computer ‘on sale in November’

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

Google and HTC are working together on a tablet-style computer to compete with Apple’s iPad, according to reports.

The tablet computer will run Google’s Chrome operating system, and will hit shops in November, possibly in time for Black Friday, the day after Thanksgiving in the United States when electrical goods are traditionally heavily discounted.

According to technology blog Downloadsquad, the tablet will be available on the Verizon mobile network in the United States.

The blog, which cites an anonymous source, says that the Google tablet is likely to be subsidised by Verizon, and therefore will be cheaper than Apple’s iPad. Although the source did not provide the blog with any information about the specifics of the rumoured tablet, Downloadsquad expects the device to be based on NVidia’s Tegra 2 platform, boast a 32GB solid-state drive and a built-in webcam.

Israeli mathematician wins Fields Medal

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

Mathematician Prof. Elon Lindenstrauss of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem has won the prestigious Fields Medal for 2010, the first Israeli to win the honor. The Fields Medal is considered the Nobel Prize of mathematics.

Lindenstrauss, 40, won the Fields Medal for his work on numbers theory. The Fields Medal is awarded every four years to mathematicians under the age of 40, with the goal of encouraging them to make extraordinary achievements. Lindenstrauss will win a C$15,000 prize, a rather small amount in comparison with the $1 million Noble Prize awards.


Microsoft links new smart phones to Xbox Live

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

Microsoft Corp. is bringing its video-game expertise to the forthcoming Windows Phone 7 line, an attempt to capitalize on the success of the Xbox 360 as the software maker tries to compete with Apple Inc.’s iPhone.

Microsoft says a dedicated group inside of Microsoft Game Studios will develop video games for Windows phones, help outside game publishers and scout out small, independent game makers. Video game companies will be able to use the same tools to make a game for a Windows phone or for the Xbox 360 console.

The company is also announcing a preliminary lineup of games that will be available when the phones go on sale during the holidays. The list includes popular Xbox 360 console games such as “Halo Waypoint,” “Crackdown 2: Project Sunburst” and “Guitar Hero 5,” as well as newcomers including “ilomilo,” a puzzle game in which players try to unite cute little cartoon critters separated by increasingly tricky paths and mazes.


First Pulsar Discovery By an @Home Project

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

Three regular folks from Iowa and Germany are being credited with the discovery of a radio pulsar, spinning in space 17,000 light-years away, thanks to an unassuming screensaver program called Einstein @ Home.

The program, which has been downloaded to 500,000 computers around the world over the past five years, almost literally turns volunteers into Einsteins at home. It’s designed to download astronomical data, 2 megabytes at a time, and look for signs of gravity-wave bursts or radio pulsar flashes during times when the computer is otherwise idle.

The pulsar discovery, announced today on the journal Science’s website, marks the first time Einstein @ Home has had a hit. But it won’t be the last. And it gives hope that even more ambitious distributed-computing projects such as SETI @ Home could eventually hit paydirt as well.


Google adds voice commands for Android phones

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

Just because mobile phones are becoming more like small computers doesn’t mean you should have to do a lot of typing on them.

That’s the thinking behind the latest update to Google Inc.’s popular Android software for mobile phones.

The latest version of Android 2.2, released Thursday, includes 10 new voice commands that can be used to operate phones without using a keypad.

Although Google says about 200,000 Android-powered phones are being sold each day, not all of them are equipped with the 2.2 operating system, also known as Froyo. Google’s Nexus One phone already runs on Froyo, but users will need to download free updates through its Android Market. Motorola Inc.’s Droid 2, which went on sale this week, already has the necessary updates. The features are expected to be added to HTC Corp.’s Evo and Incredible phones when they get Froyo in the coming months.

Google’s new “Voice Actions” tool” enables people to dictate their text messages and e-mails. The voice recognition technology automatically translates the spoken words into text.

Phone calls can be made simply by speaking the name of a person or business. The feature can also find and play songs with spoken commands.

Oracle sues Google for patent infringement

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

Oracle Corp. said Thursday it has filed a patent and copyright-infringement lawsuit against Google Inc.

Oracle said in a statement that Google’s Android system for mobile phones infringes on its patented Java technology.

Google spokesman Andrew Pederson said the company can’t comment because it has not yet reviewed the lawsuit.

In its complaint Oracle said Google’s Android operating system software consists of Java applications and other technology. As such, it infringes on one or more parts of seven different patents - something Google should know, Oracle argues, because it has hired former Sun Java engineers in recent years.

Oracle is seeking an injunction to stop Google from further building and distributing Android, plus higher monetary damages for willful and deliberate infringement.


TorrentReactor Buys and Renames Russian Town

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

TorrentReactor, listed among the five most popular torrent sites on the Internet, has surprised friends and foes by acquiring a small town in central Russia. The town formerly known as Gar has reportedly been bought for the equivalent of $148,000 and was quickly renamed after the Russian-based torrent site.


Nearly Half of Windows 7 Users Run 64-Bit Version, Says Microsoft

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

New figures released by Microsoft shows that nearly half of all Windows 7 installations are running on the 64-bit version of company’s flagship operating system (OS). Windows Communications Manager Brandon LeBlanc revealed the figures on the official Windows Team Blog late last week:

“As of June 2010, we see that 46% of all PCs worldwide running Windows 7 are running a 64-bit edition of Windows 7.”

LeBlanc noted that this represents a huge increase in favor of 64-bit Windows. Three-and-a-half years after its release, Windows Vista saw only 11 percent of PCs in the world running the 64-bit version, while the situation with Windows 7 is one in which “running a 64-bit OS is becoming the norm.” Not surprisingly, less than 1 percent of 64-bit Windows XP machines are installed.


Google Kills Waves

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

Only a year after launching its ‘Wave’ communication project, Google has decided to pull the plug on Google Wave since very few people understood the new communication platform, reported CNET. Google Wave is a real-time collaboration tool aiming to combine various forms of online.

communication. It includes email, instant messaging and social networking features to help users work together. The tool was launched last year with a great deal of hype around it. In fact, invitations were selling for up to $70 on eBay at one point, but Google says it attracted very few users after going public earlier this year.

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