Archive for May, 2012

Running a silent PC isn’t possible if you’ve got a rig that generates a lot of heat — at least, it isn’t possible today. The cooling specialists at Noctua have announced that they’ve teamed up with a company called RotoSub to create the world’s first fan with Active Noise Cancellation, and they plan on showing off a working prototype of a Noctua NF-F12 running the tech at Computex next week.

Engadget first pointed us towards the news, but Noctua has also written a press release about the joint venture. Said press release includes a short primer on the tech behind the active noise cancellation:

Active Noise Cancellation is the technique of using sound waves to reduce noise by means of an effect called phase cancellation or destructive interference.

Basically, ANC uses sound waves to cancel out other sound waves. Rotosub has developed a system that lets the fan itself emit a sound that largely cancels out the, um, actual fan sound. To us, it sounds a bit trippy (if nevertheless scientifically valid), but Noctua thinks that with the RotoSub ANC technology its NF-F12 fan will be able achieve 80 percent more airflow and 120 percent more static pressure while maintaining its current noise level. Not too shabby, that.

RotoSub hopes to have the fan-based ANC fine-tuned and ready to ship within the next year. The Rotosub website has a brief animated graphic showing how its fan technology works as compared to traditional ANC methods if you’re interested.

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Microsoft’s been promising to launch the Windows 8 Release Preview during the first week of June for a while now, but an accidentally published (and quickly retracted) Microsoft blog post says that the latest build of the company’s new operating should actually hit the Internet today. Hey, tomorrow’s June 1st — that makes this the first week of the month, right?

The article, penned by Chuck Chan (aka Vice President on the Windows Development team) was only live on the Windows Hardware and Driver Developer Blog for a few minutes yesterday, but several people saw it in that time frame — and Neowin was conscious enough to snap a quick screenshot of the slip-up. The article, post-dated for today, says that Microsoft is “very excited to make available today the Windows 8 Release Preview on the Windows Dev Center.”

Check out the full text in the Neowin-provided screenshot below, and be on the lookout for that Release Preview; Neowin’s sources say that it should indeed go live later this afternoon.

UPDATE: ….aaaaaand here it is! We’d love to hear your thoughts about the Release Preview, so feel free to share ’em below.

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Shakespeare’s Juliet famously said “that which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet,” which is good news for AMD, seeing as how the Sunnyvale chip maker isn’t allowed to call its own thin and light notebooks ‘Ultrabooks,’ a term Intel created for a new generation of laptops that follow specific design guidelines, one of them obviously being the use of Intel processors. There’s nothing stopping AMD from promoting its own equivalent, but Intel may have a trump card.

According to, Intel struck an agreement with Devicescape to use its connection manager technology so that Ultrabook owners can have access to Wi-Fi hotspots around the globe. Of course, Intel doesn’t build its own Ultrabooks or tablets, but it does provide manufacturers with reference blueprints and Wi-Fi radios.

The licensed software works automatically when it detects a Wi-Fi hotspot, regardless of whether the system is awake or in sleep mode.

“Smart Connect will work on lid open and lid closed scenarios,” Devicescape CEO David Fraser told Gigaom in an email. “So, you’ll be automatically connected no matter the state of your PC.”

It’s not yet clear if Intel plans to charge users for the service or include it au gratis, the latter of which could be a deciding factor for users torn between an Intel-based or AMD-based laptop or tablet.

Image Credit: Flickr (Dana Spiegel)

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2K Sports said it plans to ship NBA 2K13, the twelfth installment of its NBA videogame simulation franchise and the followup to NBA 2K12, on Tuesday, October 2, 2012 in the U.S. for the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, PSP, Wii, and our beloved Windows PC. Noticeably absent from that list of systems is Nintendo’s upcoming Wii U console, which 2K Sports promised to support at “a later date” sometime during the system’s launch window.

Fans of the franchise who pre-order NBA 2K13 for the Xbox 360 or PS3 will receive bonus content in the form of a new downloadable All-Star package. The add-on will let gamers host their own NBA All-Star game along with side events like the Three Point Shootout, BBVA Rising Stars Challenge, and Slam Dunk Contest.

“The NBA All-Star package is our way saying ‘thank you’ to fans for their ongoing love of the NBA 2K series,” said Jason Argent, vice president of marketing for 2K Sports. “This content provides a ton of depth and value to our fans, and it’s just the beginning of a lot of big news about NBA 2K13.”

As the to Wii U version, 2K Sports pegged the “holiday season” as a timeline for the game’s release on that platform. That’s a pretty strong indication that Nintendo plans to release the console this year, with an announcement likely coming at E3 in June. It’s at E3 that Nintendo also plans to announce a list of launch titles.

“Guess what the initial game releases will be for th Nintendo’s new home console, Wii U? Soon we’ll scratch off to reveal the names!,” Nintendo posted on its Wii U Facebook Timeline.

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Google this week announced a second generation Chromebook model from Samsung, the Series 5 550, which dispenses with the previous generation Chromebook’s Atom N570 processor and replaces it with a dual-core Celeron B867 chip sporting Sandy Bridge DNA. That’s well and good if you’re into Chromebooks, except that companies like Asus and HTC aren’t tripping over themselves trying to launch second generation Chromebook models of their own.

Just the opposite, actually. Citing sources entrenched in the upstream supply chain, DigiTimes claims both Asus and HTC have backed off of plans to cooperate with Google in launching their own brand Chromebooks. The reason has nothing to do with Chrome OS specifically and everything to do with lackluster sales. According to DigiTimes, Samsung and Acer never managed to crack 200,000 (each) first generation Chromebook sales.

Is Chrome OS and the concept of cloud computing to blame? It’s tough to say. First generation Chromebook devices didn’t come out of the gate with particularly tantalizing hardware, in part because the platform relies so heavily on the cloud, but they also saw intense competition from the then-booming netbook sector. Now that netbooks are almost out of the picture, Chromebooks may have a better shot at finding buyers who aren’t willing to step up a more expensive Ultrabook model.

Image Credit: Acer

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