Archive for April, 2012

Optionally, the latest version of Opera Software’s online browser, Opera 12 (just released in beta form) is Opera like you’ve never seen it before. That’s because Opera 12, or “Wahoo” if going by its codename, supports themes in case you want to change what’s already a redesigned interface. From Cookie Monster to a cat wearing sunglasses, there are a bunch of themes to choose from, or you can create your own.

Underneath the hood, Opera Software took a page from Chrome and gave plug-ins their own process. That means if a plug-in hangs or crashes, it won’t bring down the entire browser. Opera 12 is also “smarter” and faster with optimized network SSL code and improved tab loading to accelerate start-up and shut-down times.

Perhaps one of the more interesting changes is built-in support for getUserMedia, an API that lets Web apps tap into your webcam and other hardware.

“Woo-hoo! After months of hard work, we’re nearing the finish line on Opera 12,” said Haakon Wium Lie, CTO, Opera Software. “There are so many new things to try. The paged media project has the potential to change the way browsers handle content, and camera support shows just how web applications can compete with native apps. With so many new features, especially for developers, Opera 12 is a platform to build upon. We’re excited to share it with the world and see what people can create.”

Go here if you want to give the beta browser a test run.

Image Credit: Opera Software

Go to Source

If you’re an investor who owns stock in Nintendo, you may have received a financial note that states, “Thank you investor! But our revenue is in another castle!” Not all of it, mind you, but a significant chunk of Nintendo’s revenue was a no-show for the game maker’s fiscal year ended March 31, 2012. Nintendo posted a loss totaling more than half a billion dollars on $8 billion in revenue, part of which is due to selling 3DS handheld consoles below cost.

Nintendo actually sold 13.5 million 3DS devices, a nice number if not for the fact that it’s losing money on hardware. Wii sales, meanwhile, totaled just 9.84 million units, down from 15 million units one year ago. The list goes on. Nintendo DS sales plummeted to 5.1 million units, down from 17.5 million units one year prior, and Wii software sales totaled 102.3 million after topping 171 million a year ago.

Nintendo’s $534.6 million loss is the company’s first downward slide in its more than 30-year reporting history (as a company, Nintendo is well over a century old), according to The New York Times. It’s also a huge turnaround from just one year ago when Nintendo posted a $960.5 million profit on $12.6 billion in sales. The company hasn’t hit the panic button, however, and expects its upcoming Wii U console to turn things around to the tune of $10.1 billion in projected revenue and $246.6 million in net income.

You can view Nintendo’s consolidated financial statement here (PDF).

Go to Source

As far as quantum computing breakthroughs go, this latest one by a team of researchers from the U.S., Australia and South Africa is truly special. According to the researchers, a tiny crystal comprising only 300 atoms developed by them has paved the way for a “huge leap” in computing. A leap so vast, these researchers claim, that it would take a supercomputer larger than the known universe to do the kind of calculations possible with their “quantum simulator,” a special type of quantum computer. Hit the jump for more.

“Computing technology has taken a huge leap forward using a crystal with just 300 atoms suspended in space,” Dr Biercuk, from the University of Sydney’s School of Physics and ARC Centre of Excellence for Engineered Quantum Systems, is quoted as having said in a university news release.

“The projected performance of this new experimental quantum simulator eclipses the current maximum capacity of any known computer by an astonishing 10 to the power of 80. That is 1 followed by 80 zeros, in other words 80 orders of magnitude, a truly mind-boggling scale.”

In a video (below) uploaded to YouTube by the University of Sydney, the Aussie researcher described the system as being a one-atom thick “pancake” of 300 beryllium atoms; however, the technical systems accompanying this trapped-ion quantum simulator take up an entire room. Bieruck and his teammates have detailed their system in a letter published in the journal Nature.

“In our case, we are studying the interactions of spins in the field of quantum magnetism – a key problem that underlies new discoveries in materials science for energy, biology, and medicine.”

“For instance, we hope to study the spin interactions predicted by models for high-temperature superconductivity – a physical phenomenon that has yet to be explained, but has the potential to revolutionise power distribution and high-speed transport.”

There’s one problem, though: it’s not easy to check the accuracy of calculations performed by this tiny beast using conventional computers. Bieruck sees overcoming this problem as the next big challenge for him and his team. In the meantime, you can enjoy your Ivy Bridge-powered rigs and ultrabooks.

Go to Source

Another day, another new graphics driver. But rather than being yet another beta release, the AMD Catalyst 12.4 driver is fully WHQL certified and brings a bevy of useful new features to the virtual table, including Radeon HD 7000 series support for Windows XP, openSuse 12.1 and the just-released Ubuntu 12.04.

The new driver squashes third-screen tearing issues in 3×1 and 1×3 Eyefinity setups and provides bug fixes for a handful of games, including Skyrim, Stalker: Call of Pripyat, Rage and 2007’s Enemy Territory: Quake Wars (WTF?). In addition, AMD reports that texture filtering and super sampling anti-aliasing: level of detail image quality has been improved for the Radeon HD 7000 lineup. Along the same lines, morphological anti-aliasing receives a major boost for Radeon HD 5000, 6000 and 7000 series cards, with AMD claiming that “MLAA now operates up to 80% faster than previous versions.”

If any of that sounds up your alley, you can snag the AMD Catalyst 12.4 driver over on AMD’s website right now.

Go to Source

Eight out of ten geeks agree*: once you’ve taken an SSD’s blazing fast speeds for a whirl, it’s hard to go back to standard HDDs. (The last two geeks horde ripped HD video files like they’re going out of style.) The problem is, the comparatively sky-high price point of SSDs have kept most folks away from their oh-so-sweet performance. New reports indicate that may change in the coming months, however, as the big movers and shakers in the SSD industry lower prices to try and squeeze out the little guys.

Falling NAND chip pricing is the reason that Kingston, Intel, OCZ and Crucial will be able to engage in the “price war” to eliminate smaller companies from the SSD market, DigiTimes reports. The publication’s sources say that the big guys are worried that “inferior products” from bit players may slow down the mass adoption of SSDs through retail channels, so the big guys plan on squashing the competition with a swat of the low-price sledgehammer.

Now, you want to take everything you hear from DigiTimes with a grain of salt, but keep in mind that Intel recently released the budget-priced 330 SSD line with a base model that retails for under $100. The big companies also hope to spur the mass adoption to SATA 3.0 by offering those SSDs at competitive prices to SATA 2.0 SSDs, the publication says.

*Yes, those numbers are completely fictitious.

Go to Source

 Page 3 of 41 « 1  2  3  4  5 » ...  Last »