Friday, September 24, 2010

UK Survey finds kids more proficient with tech than reading

A company from the UK called Protect your Bubble commissioned a survey about kids and technology that looked at kids from 3 to 10 years old to see what they could do in relation to tech. According to the survey results, many of the kids were more proficient with tech than they were with reading and writing. I can certainly see this as accurate in many cases. My son was using a computer alone by three to play a game called Reader Rabbit.

kidatcomptuer sg

The study found that 47% of the 3,000 parents that participated thought their kids knew more about gadgets than they do. Another 19% of those parents say that when they can’t figure out the computer, they turn to their kids and 16% get kids to work the DVD player.

The top ten things a kid can do alone according to the study include turn on the TV at number one. Next is get dressed, followed by write their name. In the fourth spot is turn on a computer, next is work a DVD player, and sixth is ride a bike. Number eight on the list is read a book, nine is use Sky+, and the last is make their own breakfast. My kids are better at using a computer than making breakfast. A computer doesn’t spill everywhere.

AVA Direct ships X7200 desktop replacement gaming computer

AVA Direct makes a bunch of different computers that are aimed at gamers and computer enthusiast. The latest new desktop replacement aimed at computer gamers to ship from the company is called the X7200. The new X7200 notebook has some very nice specifications and should be very powerful.

avadirectx7200 sg

The machine supports a pair of the new NVIDIA GTX 480M GPUs with 50% more RAM and cache than previous graphics processors. The machine has new storage and memory options as well and a pair of USB 3.0 ports. The machine can be fitted with up to 12GB of RAM and has enough room for 2TB of storage for normal HDDs or 1TB of SSD storage.

AVA Direct also states that it will sell a workstation version of the machine in the future with a pair of Quadro 5000M GPUs and 6-core Xeon processors. The starting price for the X7200 is about $2700 with a quad core processor, 3GB of RAM, and a single GTX 480 GPU.

Microsoft takes PC vs. Mac trolling to Facebook

Microsoft takes PC vs. Mac trolling to Facebook

Microsoft has launched a PC versus Mac campaign on Facebook, via its Windows Australia account. The page is under its own "PC or MAC" tab, where users can try to pick who the PC user is based on uploaded pictures, and then share their results with their Facebook friends.
There's even an option to upload your own photo and fill out a "PC or Mac personality survey" for others to guess "where your allegiances lie." In addition to the usual questions, the survey asks what you associate with (cocktails or beer, safety or risks, folder or "scruncher," texting or calling, dj or bands, voyeur or performer) as well as five yes or no "have you ever" questions (borrowed someone else's ID, forgotten mother's day, "wagged" school, gone skinny dipping, or snuck into a cinema without paying). Some of the answers are used on the main page when your picture is paired with another's so that users can pick who the PC user is, while the rest live in your profile.

Every week there is a HP Pavilion dv6-3030TX Notebook and a copy of Windows 7 Home Premium you can win for describing in 25 words or less "How you would use a Windows 7 laptop to get off a desert[ed] island."

Microsoft's plan is to break the stereotype that Apple started with its "Get a Mac" campaign that ended a couple of months ago (i.e., PC user = older business type, Mac user = young and cool). Last month, Microsoft added a PC versus Mac section to its Windows 7 website, and is now taking the trolling to Facebook.

SteelSeries Introduces the Shift Gaming Keyboard

SteelSeries has introduced a new gaming keyboard called the SteelSeries Shift. The Shift is supposed to redefine the customizable keyboard market. The Shift adapts to games through interchangeable keysets with pre-defined mods and common commands. Players at either the Professional level or Novice level, will be able to create multiple layers of macros for every key and fully remap every key on the entire keyboard. The Shift is designed to reduce reaction time in First Person Shooters, and increase Actions Per Minute in Real Time Strategy titles and can even do advanced macros (including timed delays) in Massive Multiplayer Online games. The Shift is available now for an MSRP of $89.99.
SteelSeries Shift

Adobe shows off plenoptic lenses that let you refocus an image after it's taken

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Marvell unveils 1.5GHz triple-core application processor, all current smartphones look on in envy

Marvell's decided to whip out the "game changer" tag for its latest slice of silicon, but when you read the spec sheet that accompanies it, you might be willing to forgive it. Just this once. The new Armada 628 application processor delivers three cores, two of which crank along at 1.5GHz, and enough graphical prowess to churn 200 million triangles a second. You might remember we were once impressed by the Hummingbird's 90 million -- yeah, not so much anymore. The 628 is capable of 1080p 3D video and graphics (meaning it can sustain two simultaneous 1080p streams, one for each eye) and pledges to have an "ultra" low power profile: more than 10 hours of 1080p video or 140 hours of music playback are on offer. If that's not enough, it's also the first mobile SOC to include USB 3.0 support, adding yet another speed crown to its bulging resume.

Free Microsoft Security Essentials now for small business, too

Microsoft Security Essentials has won a lot of praise since its introduction last year. The anti-malware software is unobtrusive and reasonably effective, and its price—free—can't be beat. One fly in the ointment has been the software's licensing terms; MSE is only licensed for home users. Businesses have to look elsewhere for their anti-malware needs.

That's set to change, at least a little, next month. From early October, small businesses—defined here as those with ten PCs or fewer—can use MSE, too. Microsoft claims that enterprise security software is too expensive, complicated, and hard to use for these organizations, hence its decision to expand the reach of MSE.
While it's interesting to see yet another definition of "small business" from Redmond (Small Business Server is good for up to 75 desktops, and the forthcoming cloud-based Small Business Server "Aurora" is for companies with up to 25 users), this is certainly a good move.

Free anti-virus for home users has been around for a long time, but most of the free products include similar restrictions to MSE—if you want to use them on corporate desktops, you have to pay for the privilege. Microsoft's entry into the free anti-virus market was met with mixed reactions by its competitors, with some voicing antitrust concerns even when MSE was a consumer-only product. This foray into the corporate anti-malware market is sure to raise the hackles of the company's competitors once more.