2008
10.24

It’s Saturday and there’s more news in the tech field. Here are some particularly interesting, or at least notable, stories:

The Backberry Bold , the feature-rich 3G device from Research In Motion (RIM) will be released on AT&T’s network on November 4th. The price will be $299 with contract. Unlike the Verizon Blackberry Storm, this phone will have a keyboard and, I’m pretty sure, no touch screen.So basically you’re looking at a modern version of your typical Blackberry, which is a good thing.

A few days ago, Apple announced in its earnings call that it has sold over 10 million iPhones this year alone, surpassing RIM to become the 3rd biggest phone manufacturer in the world, by measure of revenue. That’s a lot of iPhones.

In other phone introduction news, Sprint is releasing the HTC Touch Pro on the 26th at Best Buy stores, and the 2nd at all other outlets, including online.The phone, successor to the HTC Mogul Pocket PC phone (on which I’m typing this article) has a slide-out keyboard, high-speed data access and a 3 megapixel camera. It runs Windows Mobile 6.1 plus some HTC enhancements, and will be prices at $300 after a rebate and with a new contract, which will have to include a data plan in order to get the phone. I’ll be upgrading sooner or later, though it may not be for a bit…my next phone upgrade is due late next semester. This is despite the operating system, which has been compared with a Soviet-era tank in the face of the iPhone.

Microsoft’s The Ultimate Steal promotion is back. In one of the few useful ads on the current oredigger.net site, I saw that Microsoft was offering the deal again, and it’s worth looking at for sure. Office 2007 Ultimate Edition is a mere $60, 91% off of retail,Visio 2007 (for flowcharts and such) is $56, and Windows Vista Ultimate, normally around $200, is available for $65. Windows Vista, granted, is an upgrade version, but all you have to do is install it twice, once with no license key entered, then once with the key entered…and you’ve got a legit Windows install for cheap (trust me, I’ve done it before).

Watch out! If you’re playing Oregon Trail, be warned that, sometime in the near future, your app will be replaced without a trace …by Speed Date!?! Unless you’re into that sort of thing, get out while your profile is untainted by such weirdness…

Water-cooled computers are so three years ago…cool your computer with non-nonconducting oil for the latest in ultimate gaming performance. No, seriously…submerge your components in the techno-magical potion for crazy cooling.

Comcast has rolled out its new, higher speeds, based on the Data Over Cable Service Interface Specification (DOCSIS) 3.0 standard. The problem: those speeds aren’t available anywhere around here, and won’t be for awile considering the competitive situation. Currently rollout is in the northeast, as well as in the Twin Cities (MN) market, formerly a test bed for the tech. With the upgrade, customers on the standard tier get their internet speeds doubled for free, and everyone with the higher service tier gets speeds set at 16 megabits per second down, 2 Mbps up (double the download speed in most cases, no change on uploads). In addition, with rental (or eventually purchase) of a new DOCSIS 3 modem, two new tiers are available: a 22 Mbps download, 5 Mbps upload “Ultra” tier for $63 per month, and a 50 Mbps download, 10 Mbps upload “Extreme 50″ package for a whopping $140. The prices on these new tiers seems to be for cable users; expect something higher if you don’t bundle in cable, or if you want business-class service, which will also get the new tiers (the current 16/2 $89-per-month business plan won’t change). Another problem: it sounds like the 250GB residential cap is staying around even with the new, ostensibly more network-congestion-friendly tiers, which spread downloads over multiple channels on the highest-speed offerings. Theoretically this “burden sharing” would allow for less network congestion and thus higher caps, but in reality all the current “channel bonding” technology used in these setups does is restrict single-connection, single-file downloads to as low as one-third the connection’s full bandwidth. In short, when the new tiers do come, heavy users may want to seriously consider upgrading to the $59 “basic” business tier, which will boasts 12/2 download/upload speeds and no usage caps for a price lower than what people are paying now for 8/2, capped, residential service.

The open-source media player Boxee now supports Hulu and CBS videos. The significance? The social media player can be hacked onto an Apple TV, among other platforms.

Time to be more selective on your six-packs, beer-drinkers (I’m assuming you’re legal). Researchers have genetically engineered a brew with ingredients that combat cancer. Plus it’s anti-aging, even when the beer goggles come off. Best. Drinking. Excuse. Ever.

Just because you’re a gamer doesn’t necessarily mean you’re an antisocial nerd (though one can’t rule out the possibility, unfortunately). I’m not the one saying this: a study is. Check it out.

That’s all for now! Check back a week from now for more News Bits, or between now and then for more substantial, topical, articles…I have some good ones coming! Also, check out the new Mines website! It’s now online at www.mines.edu and it looks great!

Share:
  • Digg
  • del.icio.us
  • Facebook
  • Google Bookmarks
  • email

No Comment.

Add Your Comment

Spam protection by WP Captcha-Free