Filed under: StorageYou read that right. Bit-tech has it from "several sources close to the hard drive industry" that Western Digital is working on a 20,000RPM followup to its new 10,000RPM VelociRaptor performance champ. Same 2.5-inch format, same 3.5-inch housing only now designed to better cancel out the drive's noise. The idea is to take on SSDs in terms of performance while offering substantially greater capacity as flash memory prices continue to fall. We'll just have to pretend that power consumption, vibration, and ruggedness aren't a concern.Read | Permalink | Email this | Comments
Friday, June 06, 2008
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Posted by Augustine at 7:17 PM
Filed under: Laptops
Posted by Augustine at 7:15 PM
Filed under: Displays
Posted by Augustine at 7:15 PM
Firefox with Greasemonkey: The Gmail Right Click Menu adds a custom right-click menu to your Gmail inbox to take you to common Gmail navigation points. Currently that includes most of the links in the default Gmail sidebar, like your inbox, starred email, and drafts, along with a quick compose link. The script is still very new, but the developer has plans to incorporate labels and keyboard shortcuts, making this one very cool and promising script. Gmail Right Click Menu is free, requires Firefox with Greasemonkey.
Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales is trying out the technique that succeeded in putting together an online encyclopedia—opening it up so that anyone can edit it—to improving search results. Wales' user-edited search engine Wikia Search is now out of alpha and open to the public for edits. Search for a term on Wikia Search and rate the results to change their ranking, edit link titles and descriptions, and add links to results. To see what's perhaps Wikia Search's best feature, click the Annotate link. This lets you select a section of text on the web page to clip and add to the result.
For example, in a search for "Lifehacker," the Lifehacker Wikipedia page came up first and the actual web site second, so ranking Lifehacker.com high moved it up to the first position. Then clicking annotate (which loaded the Lifehacker.com front page in a separate frame), and selecting "Tech tricks, tips and downloads for getting things done" added that text to the result itself. The obvious problem here is the very real possibility of spammers and evil SEO-types running amok. Only time will tell if the Wikipedia approach will actually make for better or worse search results.
The internet is a glorious and exciting world, but unless you're properly protected with a good antivirus application, it can also be a dangerous one. We've come a long way since the days of Norton, with handfuls of excellent freeware software that can keep your computer safe from malware just as well as their bloated, more expensive counterparts. On Tuesday we asked you to share your favorite antivirus application, and today we're rounding up the five most popular answers. Hit the jump for an overview of the five best antivirus applications and to cast your ballot for the best antivirus app of the group.
AVG Anti-Virus (Freeware and Shareware)The lightweight AVG Free provides protection against the various nasties floating around the internet. Like many of the options in the Hive Five, AVG provides freeware (with limitations) and commercial versions of their software, but most users find AVG Free is all they need—though many users prefer versions prior to the most recent 8.0 release.
NOD32 (Shareware)NOD32 is best known for its speed and small system footprint, but users also swear by NOD32 as a comprehensive and bulletproof solution. At $40/year for a home license, it's not free, but NOD32 die-hards claim the pricetag is well worth it.
Avast Antivirus (Freeware and Shareware)Available in both freeware (Home) and shareware (Professional) flavors, Avast Antivirus is the happy home of many an AVG-switcher. Avast is slightly heavier on system resources, but users argue its excellent protection more than makes up for the increased footprint. The freeware version will cost you an email address to get a free registration code from their website.
Avira AntiVir (Freeware and Shareware)According to many of its users, Avira is the go-to freeware app for detecting viruses and other malware that other antivirus apps miss. Like several of its peers, Avira is available in both freeware (Personal) and shareware (Premium) versions, and most people find the freeware alternative plenty to suit their needs. One downside to Avira on install is pop-up ads enabled by default (adware, anyone?), but you can disable the ads with a couple of clicks.
Kaspersky Anti-Virus (Shareware)Fans of shareware antivirus app Kaspersky point out its consistently strong ratings in malware protection as well worth the $60 license. Kaspersky also boasts an extremely quick response time to new viruses, earning it a special place in the hearts and system trays of its users.
Now that you've seen the best, it's time to vote:
This week's honorable mention goes out to ClamWin, the only open-source option featured in the bunch.
If you've got more to share, whether your antivirus-app of choice made the list or not, let's hear more about your favorite in the comments. If you give a new antivirus app after reading through some of your other options, you may want to check out the harmless EICAR virus test to see what your new antivirus tool looks like when it catches a new virus.
Adam Pash is a senior editor for Lifehacker who loves a good antivirus app. His special feature Hive Five appears every Thursday on Lifehacker. Subscribe to the Hive Five RSS feed to get new installments in your newsreader.
Buying locally-grown produce saves money on gas and gets fresher vegetables onto your plate, and now several web services connect local farmers with consumers. The NY Times' Michelle Slatalla points out several such services, including Spud.com in California, Greenling.com in Texas, Naturaldirect.com in Illinois, Organicstoyou.org in Oregon and Mypersonalfarmers.com in New York State.
These web sites differ from the earlier generation of produce-delivery ones for two reasons: they all deliver products from local farms to nearby customers (whereas in the past it was rare to find an online organic produce delivery service that didn't rely solely on a wholesaler). Second, these new sites all allow users to easily customize their standing-order box weekly.
That means you can select the particular size box for your household, and choose to say, only get grapefruits, strawberries, and avocados grown within 500 miles of your home. I've gotten a weekly box of local veggies for almost a year now, and while it forces you to learn what to do with an armful of fresh shard faster than you ever planned, it's also made me cook and eat at home more, and reduced grocery store trips a whole lot. Are you a local veggie delivery type? Got any tips and tricks for dealing with the box? Let us know in the comments.
Posted by Augustine at 7:30 AM
Starting at 6PM Pacific Time tonight, Google will start rolling out Gmail Labs, an experimental area of new Gmail features that will be familiar and very welcome to users of the Better Gmail Firefox extension. Once your Gmail account is Labs-enabled, you'll get a Labs tab in the Settings area of your account where you can enable 13 new experimental Gmail features, including signature tweaks, mouse gestures, keyboard shortcuts, and even a game. After the jump, get an exclusive sneak preview at the new Gmail Labs experimental features, with screenshots.
First, let's get right to the good stuff. Take a gander at the 13 new experimental features Gmail Labs adds:
Better Gmail and Better Gmail 2 users will be familiar (and hopefully very happy) with Fixed Font, Signature Tweaks, Custom Keyboard Shortcuts, and Hide Unread Counts. Google says it will start its user rollout in about an hour or so, which will continue over a span of the next few days or weeks. I've just gotten my account enabled here at the Google campus, so as I play with each feature, I'll add more screenshots to this post.
Update: Here are some more details and screenshots of the Gmail Labs features in action.
SuperstarsNow you can flag, star, and otherwise mark messages using up to 12 different colored and shaped icons. When you enable Superstars, you get a new section in the General settings area, which looks like this.
Click on the star button on a message repeatedly to cycle through all the Superstar choices. Looks like Superstars is more a visual indicator than anything; you can't search by all the messages superstarred the check, for example.
Quick LinksBasically a souped-up version of the Gmail Saved Searches Greasemonkey user script, Quick Links adds a module to the Gmail sidebar where you can store links to searches, views, and even individual messages. Go to the view you want—like all messages that have PDF file attachments using the
has:attachment PDFGmail search—then click "Add Quick Link" to save what's essentially a Gmail view or message bookmark there.
Email AddictThe Email Addict feature adds a "Take a Break" link to the top of your Gmail inbox, that looks like this:
When you click it, you get 14 minutes off from dealing with email:
SnakeyOk people, Snakey is a straight-up time-waster, meant to give you something to do while you're procrastinating responding to email. The Snakey developer told me that he originally put it together for users to play while they waited for their inbox to load, but then thought it would be better to not make users wait at all—and give them the choice to play. As you can see from the screenshot, I suck (my high score is only 30 after 3 games!) and I hear that it's not easy to break 150 (but I'm sure you will try.)
Custom Keyboard ShortcutsJust as you'd expect from the name, the custom keyboard shortcuts feature lets you map Gmail actions to the keys of your choice. While this isn't quite as cool as Gmail Macros, it's nice for folks who want to archive their messages via keyboard, but have something against the Y key (for example.) Click on the thumbnail on the right to pop up the full list of available key mappings and actions.
Random SignatureAdd a random quote to your email pulled from an RSS feed by enabling Random Signature. By default, Random Signature uses a feed from BrainyQuote.com, but you can set it to the feed of your choice in the signature settings.
The Gmail team announced the new Gmail Labs at a press event at the Googleplex today which I attended with several other tech bloggers and reporters. After the announcement, Keith Coleman (the Gmail product manager who we interviewed a few months back), took us on a tour of the Gmail "pod" or workspace. The best part? On a whiteboard where developers got to brainstorm feature ideas, they had taped a printout of Lifehacker readers' Gmail features wishlist. Not kidding. When I get home tonight, I will post photographic evidence.
Posted by Augustine at 7:29 AM
Hey marketers: Looking for a cheap way to engage music fans? Creative Commons remix site ccMixter may be for sale.
Posted by Augustine at 7:08 AM
Intel Capital announced eight diverse investments yesterday at its annual CEO Summit in San Francisco. Amid the online video plays and Internet retail moves, there was a single cleantech investment. Intel, along with GE and Catamount Ventures, has invested an undisclosed sum into Grid Net, a smart-grid software developer.
The San Francisco-based startup was founded in 2006 and has built software for the power grid that is based on the telecom and networking worlds, using open standards and protocols. Like its peers and competitors in the industry, the company is working to create a power grid that is “self-healing,” “self-optimizing,” “open,” “resilient,” and “secure.” (Though, it’s worth noting that the company is not officially a member of the GridWise Alliance, one of the larger smart grid consortia.)
Grid Net announced a collaboration with GE and Intel earlier this year. Under that agreement, GE’s new WiMAX SmartMeter products integrate Grid Net's PolicyNet firmware and the Intel WiMAX Connection chipsets. One of Grid Net’s missteps could be that it is betting heavily on the continued expansion of WiMAX, a 4G wireless broadband standard. But WiMAX development has been anything but smooth, with Intel itself recently putting up a cool $1 billion to bail out a WiMAX carrier.
Intel is also not the only tech giant dabbling in smart grid plays. IBM recently formed a partnership with Australian utility Country Energy to deploy its Intelligent Utility Network Down Under. Meanwhile, Cisco and Oracle (and GE, for that matter) are working with Silver Spring Networks, a startup similar to Grid Net, as part of their Technology Alliance Program. As one of the biggest, dumbest networks in the country - our electrical grid - starts to smarten up, expect to see more big players looking to get a slice of the pie.
Posted by Augustine at 6:17 AM
Sound & Vision has a nice roundup of vacation spots for those of us who'd rather stay in with an expensive media center than work on our burns by the pool. They take a look at some of the world's top hotels boasting the finest in A/V gear. But I'm not sure that I'd spend $100,000 a night just to watch TV at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel, even with the pricey gear they're packing. Correction: That's actually the price of the gear in the room. Check it:
The Mandarin's top tier units feature Bang & Olufsen 65-inch plasma and 40-inch LCD televisions along with matching B&O 5-zone sound system, Creston TPMC-8X remote (ready to control your TV and air conditioning), LG Blu-ray/HD DVD combo player and an Xbox 360 to round it all out.
But to save some dough, we might "rough it" at the Elounda Peninsula in Crete, Greece. Starting at just $630 a night for a junior suite (and peaking at around $14,000 for the best rooms) they offer private beaches along with a 45-seat symmetrical shared theater with Barco IQ-G300 projector. Hit the link for all of Sound & Vision's top picks. [Sound & Vision]
Posted by Augustine at 6:12 AM