Saturday, November 21, 2009

It's an "it is what it is" metric (which isn't actionable) - #netpromoterscore #netpromoter #NPS -


Friday, November 20, 2009

Net Promoter Score (NPS) like brand sentiment scores are oversimplified averages that are not actionable -


Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Asus TS Mini NAS Windows Home Server Backups Up to 10 PCs [Home Server]


Have you heard of that new service that allows you to connect to the Internet at one gigabit-per-second to access your very own two terabytes of storage space? Me neither. That's probably why you need the Asus TS Mini NAS.

These Intel Atom N280 1.66GHz Windows Home Servers can back up to ten PCs and serve all the files you want. It has two 3.5-inch bays for up to 2 terabytes of storage space, with one Gigabit Ethernet port, and six USB 2.0 ports to add more storage or whatever you want. [Asus via Hot Hardware via Engadget]


Net Promoter Score (NPS) is synonymous with "useless" (is based on bad math, is not actionable) - what say you?


NVIDIA's Fermi-based GeForce 100 GPU makes a Twitter appearance


We'd been hearing that NVIDIA's Fermi chips had been delayed, but they're apparently far enough along for spokesperson Brian Burke to tweet this image of the new Fermi-based GeForce 100 GPU running the Unigine Heaven DX11 benchmark earlier today. That's certainly one way to hit back at ATI's launch of the fastest graphics card ever, the Radeon HD 5970, but we'd much rather have some hard info to work with. We've pinged NVIDIA, we'll let you know if we hear anything.

[Via bit-tech; thanks, Alex]

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NVIDIA's Fermi-based GeForce 100 GPU makes a Twitter appearance originally appeared on Engadget on Wed, 18 Nov 2009 11:57:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Next-generation Flip Video camcorder rumored to boast WiFi


Oh c'mon, don't act surprised. It's just the natural evolution of things. Sony already upended the pocket camcorder market by adding GPS to one of its models, and now with Cisco at the helm (who, by the way, is a networking giant), it looks as if Flip Video's next product will sport an internal WiFi module. Granted, we were already assuming as much after listening to Pure Digital's founder speak of the device's future post-acquisition, but word on the street has it that a new Flip with WiFi will land sometime in 1H 2010. Furthermore, a Cisco spokesperson has been quoted over at Pocket-lint as saying that a new edition will feature "a large screen that slides to reveal the record and menu buttons underneath." We're guessing that we'll hear more about this mythical product as CES draws near, but that MinoHD you were about to buy? Yeah, might wanna lay off.

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Next-generation Flip Video camcorder rumored to boast WiFi originally appeared on Engadget on Wed, 18 Nov 2009 14:18:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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OCZ's Colossus desktop SSD line ships next week


OCZ Technology has been trumpeting its Colossus SSD desktop solution since June, but due to some strange issues with the housing that have been troubling engineers for the past few months, the company has been forced to quietly push back the expected release date. At any rate, the company has informed us that the drives -- which will arrive in 128GB, 256GB, 512GB and 1TB flavors and tout maximum read / writes rates of 260MB/s -- will begin shipping to retailers "next week." If you're lucky, you might catch one or two e-tailers selling their stock early, but first you'll need to figure out where exactly that $300, $650, $1,200 or $2,200 (in order of mention) is going to come from.

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OCZ's Colossus desktop SSD line ships next week originally appeared on Engadget on Wed, 18 Nov 2009 15:52:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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MSI's 21.5-inch multitouch Wind Top AE2220 all-in-one now shipping


MSI's 21.5-inch multitouch Wind Top AE2220 all-in-one now shipping
MSI is on a roll with its Wind Top line of all-in-one machines, the AE2220 being the latest and, for the moment at least, the greatest. Its 21.5-inch screen (curiously .1'' smaller than when originally announced) supports multitouch, backed by Windows 7 Home Premium to ensure you'll never have a completely smudge-free image coming from the ION chipset. 4GB of DDR2 memory is included along with either a 2.2GHz T6600 or 2.1GHz T4300 Intel processor, while storage is now provided by a 500GB drive. Dual PCIe expansion slots gives it some hope of being upgradeable in the future, and VESA wall mount compatibility means you won't even have to clean up your desk. It hasn't shown up at retailers just yet, but Amazon is still listing a pre-order page at $699, $50 under MSRP and what we'd consider to be a very fair price indeed.

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MSI's 21.5-inch multitouch Wind Top AE2220 all-in-one now shipping originally appeared on Engadget on Wed, 18 Nov 2009 16:16:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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AT&T 'hits' back at Verizon's Map for That campaign with an 'ad' of its own


Boy, AT&T sure isn't taking Verizon's Map for That campaign too well. After losing a request for an injunction (for now), the company seems to have decided that the only thing to do in the short term is to start advertising right back at Verizon. Unfortunately, it looks like AT&T threw this one together in a hurry, grabbing a bucket of magnets and a board and sticking them into some abandoned warehouse with Luke Wilson and some Apple-ad-style music. Luke didn't even have time to shave! As for the claims made by Luke's magnetic board, it's hard to take issue with them since they don't really say lot. So AT&T's present and accounted for in this newly minted ad war, but Verizon clearly still has the upper hand... though this is clearly just the beginning. Check out the 30 second spot after the break.

[Thanks to everyone who sent this in]

Continue reading AT&T 'hits' back at Verizon's Map for That campaign with an 'ad' of its own

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AT&T 'hits' back at Verizon's Map for That campaign with an 'ad' of its own originally appeared on Engadget on Wed, 18 Nov 2009 19:31:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Latest SixthSense demo features paper 'laptop,' camera gestures


We've already seen MIT researcher Pranav Mistry's SixthSense projector-based augmented-reality system in some cool demos, but he just gave a TED talk and his latest ideas are the wildest yet. Forget simple projections, he's moved on to taking photos by just making a box with your fingers, identifying books and products on store shelves and projecting reviews and other information on them, projecting flight schedules on boarding passes, and even a new paper "laptop" concept that works by using a microphone on the paper to sense when you're touching it. It's pretty amazing stuff -- check out his whole talk at the read link.

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Latest SixthSense demo features paper 'laptop,' camera gestures originally appeared on Engadget on Wed, 18 Nov 2009 20:11:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Adobe Flash 10.1 Beta Brings Hardware Acceleration to Web Videos [Downloads]


Windows/Mac/Linux: Adobe is offering up a "prerelease" of its inescapable Flash software, adding in GPU acceleration for H.264 video in Windows, multi-touch support, and bug fixes. Anyone with Adobe AIR apps can also grab a 2.0 prerelease of that platform.

Yes, you read right—only Windows gets the graphics-card-powered HD acceleration for now. Even though that matches up nicely with YouTube's expected 1080p HD roll-out, it's a shame that Mac and Linux users get left out in the wilds of jerky video. All platforms get support for multi-touch, however, and tweaks that presumably make Flash a tad bit less of a resource hog.

Adobe AIR 2.0 beta, meanwhile, adds in a whole bunch of native computer functionality, including USB access, better networking compatibility, the ability to open a link or file with its native application (making awkward TweetDeck hacks less necessary), and a faster native WebKit browser, among other improvements.

Both Flash 10.1 prerelease and AIR 2.0 beta are free downloads for Windows, Mac, and Linux systems. Tell us what you're seeing improved, or broken, by the new releases in the comments.

Flash Player 10.1 [Adobe Labs]
Adobe AIR 2 [Adobe Labs, both via TechCrunch]


Build a Cheap But Powerful Boxee Media Center [Media Center]


Adam thinks XBMC is the best media center around, but I roll with Boxee for its awesome streaming web content. Here's how I turned a relatively cheap yet powerful home theater PC into a DIY Boxee Box for my HDTV.

Why go with Boxee? A few reasons, really: it's free to download, it's got a ton of great applications and add-ins, and it was, like XMBC, built with a big-screen interface in mind. When I was done installing it on top of a basic Ubuntu desktop, I had a system that could easily handle 720p and even (with some very easy overclocking) 1080p video files, run Hulu streams in full screen with very little glitching, and let me show off Flickr streams, Facebook photos, Pandora or music, to name just a few of many content streams.

Plus, with Ubuntu installed and set up, you can easily run any other Linux app on your TV—like Hulu Desktop, a huge-screen Firefox, or whatever you can imagine.

You could, of course, wait for the first official Boxee Box to be unveiled in December, then shipped sometime later. This way, however, you get a seriously powerful HTPC that can run most any media center, and tears up HD video streams while doing so.

Many thanks to the fine posters at the Boxee and Ubuntu forums, where I found needed help and inspiration. This ASRock how-to, and wake-on-LAN tutorial, in particular, were lifesavers.

What You'll Need

  • ASRock Ion 330: Like Adam's pick of the Acer Aspire Revo, my HTPC comes with an NVIDIA ION graphics chip that can handle meaty HD video and export through an HDMI cable. My similarly sleek and (mostly) quiet-running system costs $350, $150 more than Adam's ($160 if you absolutely must have it in white), but it's beefier: 2GB of RAM (up to 4GB supported), a dual-core Intel Atom 330 CPU that runs at 1.6 GHz out of the box, but can be overclocked to 2.2 GHz from a simple BIOS switch, a 320 GB hard drive, and a DVD-RW drive. Unlike his Revo, my ASRock doesn't come with USB peripherals or Windows XP, but, then again, we'll only need a USB keyboard and mouse for a little bit with this project.
  • USB keyboard and mouse: For the Ubuntu installation process and BIOS tweaks. After everything's set up, you'll be able to control everything via remote screen access, SSH terminal, or your infrared remote.
  • Boxee for Ubuntu Linux: We'll detail how to install it in our just-set-up ASRock in a bit.
  • Ubuntu 9.04: You'll want the "PC Desktop CD" ISO image, which you can download directly or through BitTorrent. Boxee will soon update to support Ubuntu 9.10, the most current release, but for what you're using it for, you'll hardly notice.
  • A thumb drive or blank CD: The USB drive should be at le! ast 1GB in size, and formatted to FAT 32 for easy compatibility.
  • An IR receiver and Windows Media Center remote: Just like Adam, I'd go with this cheap receiver+remote solution, though anything that claims Media Center compatibility will be much easier to set up with Linux and Boxee.

Setting up Ubuntu is something I've done many times, and it's just as easy on this system. Here's the quick walk-through:

Install Ubuntu From a Thumb Drive or CD

Ubuntu, like XBMC, can run entirely off a thumb drive, or be installed to a hard drive. We're going for the latter option here.

1. Create your Ubuntu installation media:
The fastest and quickest installation is to put the Ubuntu 9.04 desktop ISO you downloaded on a thumb drive using the free Unetbootin tool on a Windows or Linux system.

You can also have Unetbootin automatically download Ubuntu 9.04 for you, or burn the ISO to a CD or DVD, but thumb drive installations are much faster and don't require wasting a disc.

2. Set up your ASRock
Take the unit out of its box, and find a location for it where it can breathe and exhaust a little—not flush against a corner, in other words. Plug in an ethernet cable straight from your router (or Wi-Fi bridge), and connect it to your TV via an HDMI cable. You'll also need to plug in a USB keyboard and mouse to get through the initial setup. Make sure a! ll the c onnects are snug and not stretched, then plug in your USB thumb drive, or power it on and insert your CD/DVD.

3. Install Ubuntu
Make sure your TV is switched to the HDMI source your ASRock box is plugged into. After you power on the ASRock, hit F11 immediately on your keyboard to open the boot options, then select your USB drive.

You'll be launched into Ubuntu's setup screen. Choose your language, then select the "Install Ubuntu" option. You'll launch into a bare-bones Ubuntu desktop and then into the installer application. Most U.S. users can hit Next through the first three language/location/keyboard screens. When it comes time to partition your system's hard drive, though, I'd recommend splitting it into three parts: One for the Ubuntu system, one for a swap partition, and another NTFS-formatted drive for your media. Why NTFS? It makes sharing media from your HTPC box to Windows computers easier, and it can hold gigantic files—like the kind of high-resolution videos you'll be viewing. If media sharing isn't a concern for you, go ahead and tell Ubuntu to use your whole hard disk.

Otherwise, choose the "Specify Partitions Manually," click on the big, unallocated space in the next screen, and hit "Add" at the bottom. Set up Ubuntu's own partition like so:

Hit "OK," then create another partition, about 2 GB, or 2,000 MiB in size, and choose "Linux swap" under the "Use As" heading. Finally, add one more partition by hitting "Add," choose NTFS as its format, and have it use all the rest of your space.

Click through the rest of the setup process, wait for it to finish installing, then reboot your computer and remove your thumb drive or CD when asked to do so.

Setting up Ubuntu

When your system ! boots up next time, you'll get a menu asking which system you want to boot into, with a 10-second timer before it heads to default (which we'll fix soon). Log in with the username and password you gave during setup—something else we'll get to optimizing.

One quick little command we have to run before getting started: Hit Alt+F2, check the "Run in Terminal" box, then enter this line and hit Run:

sudo apt-key adv --keyserver --recv-keys CEC06767

That authenticates a repository with some necessary graphics drivers to install software on this system.

Now, down to the real business. Head to the System menu in the upper-left corner, mouse over the Administration sub-menu, then choose Software Sources. On the first tab, check off the "Proprietary drivers for devices" and "Software restricted ..." options. Head to the Updates tab, and check the unchecked items. Finally, head to the "Third-Party Software" tab.

We're going to add in three lines to this list by hitting the "Add" button at bottom-left and pasting in this text. The first is Boxee's Ubuntu repository for Ubuntu 9.04, and the other two are a Ubuntu repository for the NVIDIA ION chipset inside our HTPC, known as "VDPAU" hardware. Here's all the lines in one spot:

deb jaunty main
deb jaunty main
deb-src jaunty main

Hit! Close, and agree to Reload your software list when prompted. Now head up to System->Administration and select Update Manager. You'll get a list of everything that needs updating, and it might be rather long.

Install the updates, then make a cup of coffee or tea while you're waiting. When you get back, you should be updated and ready to actually install some new stuff.

Installing Video Drivers and Boxee

Let's do this. Head to System->Administration, then select Synaptic Package Manager. Click the "Search" button at the top right, and in the dialog that pops up, change the "Look in:" to "Maintainer," and search for "Snider."

In the results that come back, check off these packages to install. There might be newer versions of them to try out, but I know these work with this system, on this version of Ubuntu, running this version of Boxee:

  • nvidia-glx-185
  • libxine1, libxine1-x

Back at the Synaptic main screen, hit "Search" again, change the "Look in:" to Name, and search for mplayer. Check off the version with "+svn2009" trailing in the "Latest Version" column for installation. Search again for boxee, then check to install it. If you're looking to use an infrared remote, also search out and install the lirc package and whatever dependencies it asks for. Ubuntu's own wiki offers a guide to getting set up with LIRC.

Finally, hit "Apply" in the top toolbar to install all these things on your system.

Convenient Tweaks

Once Synaptic is done installing those goodies (or while it's running, if it's taking a while), head to the System->Administration menu again, and open Login Window. Head over to the Security tab, and enable timed! and aut omatic login for your username:

Assuming you don't expect a burglar to break into your house, fire up your HTPC and start watching your Blu-Ray rip of "Up," you should be fine with these options. They free you from needing a keyboard or mouse to get into Ubuntu, and automatically log you in when resuming from a suspend.

Next up, let's speed up that boot-up process with a quick GRUB menu edit. Hit Alt+F2, and enter this command:

gksu gedit /boot/grub/menu.lst

In the editor that pops up, head down just a bit to the "## timeout sec" section, and change the value there to 0. Just one section down, remove the "#" from in front of "hiddenmenu," if it's there.

Two quick fixes, to make HDMI audio work perfectly for both Ubuntu and Boxee. First up, follow this Boxee forum poster's instructions to set up a .asoundrc file that tells Ubuntu how to route its sound. Next, open up a terminal (Applications->Accessories->Terminal), type in alsamixer and hit enter.

Hit your right arrow key over to where you see the columns for "IEC958," and be sure none of them read "MM," or muted. If they do, hit "M" to unmute them. Hit the escape key when you're done.

Your second-to-last tweak makes Boxee run right at start-up. Head to System->Preferences, choose "Startup Applications," and! hit "Ad d." Give it a name like, oh, Boxee, and make the command /opt/boxee/run-boxee-desktop. Hit OK on that screen, then close out your Startup Applications.

Now, for the final piece: Remote desktop access from any other computer on your network. Head to the System->Preferences menu, select Remote Desktop, and configure your system to accept remote desktop connections, with a password for safety.

If you're the geeky type who knows how to remotely administer a system by SSH command line, be sure to install the openssh-server package in your Boxee box.

Finally, if you're using a Microsoft Media Center remote with your Boxee box, and you've plugged in your USB IR Receiver, you should be good to go in Boxee—it automatically works with the Media Center setup. If you're using something different, like a Hauppage remote, this guide might point you in the right direction. Myself, I mainly use the free Boxee Remote applications found in both the Android Market and Apple App Store to control Boxee and type in text with little fuss.

Running Boxee

Reboot your system, and you should shoot through Ubuntu's boot-up process, arriving straight at Boxee's log in screen.

The only major tweak you'll need to make is to Boxee's audio setup. Head to the Settings menu in the lower-left corner, then to Hardware, and then to the audio tab. Set your settings to look like those on the left, or, in text form:


From there on out, Boxee should be your multimedia workhorse. You can suspend it and wake it up with the power button ! (or a wa ke-on-LAN tool, as detailed at the Ubuntu Forums). You can use it to download torrents, directly drop files into it over SFTP, give it more video feeds, and other tweaks we've covered in our Apple TV/Boxee guide, and in Adam's XBMC guide (the latter mostly for the SFTP guide). If you want to actually use your Ubuntu desktop on your TV, just exit out of Boxee from the log-in screen or the main menu

That's just my own little Ubuntu/Boxee/HTPC setup, but I think it works quite nice. Anything I download can be transferred and played, and any broadcast shows I miss can be caught on Hulu, CBS, PBS, or any of Boxee's other great apps. Got a killer media center setup of your own to share? Tell us about it, and link it, in the comments.


Best Online Backup Tool: Dropbox [Hive Five Followup]


Last week we asked you to share your favorite online backup tools and then we rounded up the five most popular options for a vote. With nearly half the vote at 42%, Dropbox takes home the trophy for favorite online backup tool. It doesn't offer the volume of storage or computer-wide backup that Mozy (21%) and Carbonite (11%) offer but the ease-of-use factor is high and readers loved the simple file syncing.

For more information on the winner and runners up, check out the full Hive Five.


Refine Your Image Search With Google Image Swirl [Image Search]


Google released Image Swirl today, a new experimental Labs feature designed to make it easier to find related images on the internet and tease out elusive images from the millions already on the web.

(Click the image above for a closer look.)

Like its cousin Image Search, Image Swirl is super easy to use. Type in one of more than 200,000 search terms and the webapp serves up thumbnail images grouped in batches of other images with broadly similar qualities. As you drill down, each batch is then sub-grouped with even more relevant attributes, and so on.

This is a pretty spiffy idea, and appears at least as useful as the current image search methods—if not more. It's perfect for those times when you want a specific type of picture—the Statue of Liberty, for instance—but want to eliminate certain attributes, like photos taken at night.

Is this experimental feature something you'd like to see graduate from Labs? Let us know in the comments.


Nokia's N-Series Will Ditch Symbian for Maemo by 2012 [Nokia]


At an official N900 meet-up in London last night, the Maemo marketing team appears to have let slip that Nokia will use the Linux-based OS instead of S60 on all its future flagship N-Series handsets. About time, no?

The S60 5th edition OS (as used on the N97 and N97 mini) might be mature, but it's pretty damn woeful. Maemo 5 (used by the N900) definitely has a better user experience, and though it's not perfect either, it's definitely headed in the right direction. Speaking of which, Nokia's next OS, Maemo 6, could look like this. [The Reality Mobile Project]


Of Course, Microsoft Denies Those Project Natal Pricing 'Rumors' [Rumors]


I trust a mole more than a company spokesperson any day, but Microsoft has officially denied the Project Natal "impulse buy" pricing with 14 games by offering a simple "[the alleged leaks] weren't accurate, they were rumors." [Gamesindustry via Kotaku]


The Asus G51J 3D Laptop Is '3D Done Right' [Laptops]


We reviewed Acer's 3D laptop not so long ago. We found it fun, but reeking of gen 1 quirks. Now Laptop Mag has played with a new 3D laptop by Asus and found it to be pretty fantastic.

The Asus G51J 3D is the first laptop to feature NVIDIA's new 3D vision technology, and it takes advantage of a high performance, 15.6-inch 120Hz LCD that, when coupled with shutter glasses (yup, you still need glasses) garnered these praises from Laptop:

...unlike the TriDef technology that powers Acer's 3D laptop, titles optimized for 3D vision give you a great sense of depth without negatively affecting gameplay. On first person shooters, for example, we found it difficult to aim when using the Acer 5738DG. On the Asus G51J 3D, you don't make any compromises in terms of control or accuracy.

For the 3D tech, you'll take a resolution hit (there's no 3D 1080P display option) and pay a $200 premium, making the full gaming $1,700.

Keep in mind that Acer's system, while utilizing only rudimentary polarized glasses 3D, costs under $800. [Laptop Mag]