Monday, December 28, 2009

FTC’s Intel Anti-Trust Case Proposes Huge Changes to the Computer Industry

A close reading of the FTC’s contemplated relief for Intel’s alleged conduct shows the government mandating the most sweeping changes ever proposed as to how the Intel-compatible computer market works. No surprise that Intel would be hurt badly by these mandates and have to adjust. But these industry changes would also dramatically change the computer ecosystem, and the consequences would not be good for PC consumers.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

OnComputers Radio show Podcast 12-27-09

This is the On Computers Radio show podcast for 12-27-09. You can listen live every Sunday from 10AM to 1PM Pacific that's 1PM to 4PM Eastern. Join us for the live show and chat. If you prefer, you can download the same MP3 file here via ftp.

Happy New Year Everyone!

Numerous Reports: No Electronics on Random Flights

Lots of reports this morning that, as a result of Friday's attempted in-flight bombing, TSA will selectively ban electronics from the airplane cabin. Which of the following do you routinely check through security and carry on: cell phone, iPod, laptop, digital camera, DVD player, PSP, pager?

Here's the painful rub. Since you can't survive at the other end with, say, no cell phone or laptop on your business trip, you'll have to check your electronics as baggage. Note that airline boxes for checked luggage are a poor match for a laptop. And stolen electronics from luggage are a huge and under-reported problem. Many airlines will Fedex a suitcase to the destination for $80, but that $80 is a large fraction of the passenger airfare. And you'll probably have to clone your cellphone and carry the SIM card with you, assuming SIM cards are not considered electronic.

I cannot think of an action that will stop the U.S. economy dead in its tracks more effectively than grounding the economy's road warriors.

There is no good news in this story. However, Congress is at home. On January 18th, when Congresspeople try to return to Washington and have their Blackberries shunted off to the luggage hold, you may have a reconsideration of this policy.

Links From The Gregg Zone

1) Starting off the last Gregg Zone of the decade I thought it fitting to begin with a link that seems to me to be the best most promising since I started writing the zone. I like this so much in so many ways, when I first saw it last year it made me rethink my whole concept of technology saving us from ourselves. It is such a small and simple idea it makes me wonder why it took so long. Imagine a wind generator so simple it uses no propeller, no fancy bearings, no turbine. You can build one on your desk for between 10 and 15 dollars, with no special tooling, parts, or skills. Scaled up in size I could see these on the roof of my house, the roof of my car helping to recharge the batteries, almost anywhere. If the air flow can be transformed to liquid I can even imagine them using tides, water streams, everywhere. I think the concept of low tech being the next high tech is a very real possibility.
2) Now keeping along the same low tech tinkering leading to new and fantastic high tech ideas. If you are not up on the latest digital sixth-sense concepts coming down the pike. You really need to check this out. I was very impressed to find that a home project type person can build this for about three hundred dollars, off the shelf. The other thing that caught my ear at the end of the first video was the inventor saying he planned to put out the software in open source next year.
3) With the new movie Avatar coming out last week I thought this link I ran across about how to watch it in 3D or Imax and avoid getting a headache or hangover from the special effects might be helpful. I watched a video on peoples impressions of the film and was struck by several saying they felt very disoriented leaving the theater. That got me looking around and I found this.
4) Keeping with my interest in medical advancements and reading about these guys and their anti-aging research, I'm wondering if I was just born a few years to early. Oh well luck of the draw and all that, but it looks like the next few generations may be around for a long time if there is anything to all this.
5) Geek link for the week something I read about coming from Ford the ability to turn your car into a wi-fi mobile hot spot. Allowing anyone in the car access from iPhone, to lap tops, sounds like a real boost for car pooling to me.

Earl's Cyber Steals and Deals

Sears has the Samsung PN50B430 50" 720p Plasma HDTV for $700 for in-store pickup only. Features 720p resolution, built-in ATSC/NTSC/QAM tuner, 2x HDMI inputs, 600Hz refresh rate, and a 2000000:1 dynamic contrast ratio.ENERGY STAR

Electronics Expo via offers the Haier 47" 1080p Widescreen LCD HD Television, model no. HL47K, for $699 with free shipping. That's the lowest total price we could find by $15. Features include a 1920x1080 (1080p) native resolution, 1,500:1 contrast ratio, 500 cd/m² brightness, 6.5ms response time, three HDMI inputs, and VGA, component, and other video inputs.

Dell Home again offers the Samsung 46" 1080p Widescreen LCD HD Television, model no. LN46B500, for $797.99. Coupon code "BQ?GSVLT3DNGVC" cuts it to $777.99. With free shipping, that's tied with our mention from two weeks ago and the lowest total price we could find by $21, although Fry's had it for $140 less back on Black Friday. Sales tax is added where applicable. It features a native resolution of 1920x1080 (1080p), 40,000:1 dynamic contrast ratio, 6ms response time, two HDMI inputs, and VGA, component, and other video inputs. Coupon expires January 2.

Newegg has the Rosewill RNX-N4 IEEE 802.11b/g/n Wireless-N 2.0 Gigabit Router for $40 - coupon code EMCMNNT68 [Exp 01/01/2010] + $2 shipping = $32 shipped. It has decent user reviews, especially for a 'house brand' router.

Staples has the Toshiba Satellite L505D-S5996 15.6" 3GB Laptop for $480 with free shipping. AMD Turion II Dual-Core M500, 3GB, 320GB HD, DVD SuperMulti ATI Radeon 4100, Webcam and microphone, 802.11b/g/n, 6-Cell, Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium 32-bit AMD Turion™ II Dual-Core Mobile Processor M500the Internet 6-Cell lithium ion battery; up to 3 hours, 30 minutes Face-recognition software for added security Dimensions: 15.1"W x 10.2"H x 1.40"/1.55"D (6.2lbs) 1 year warranty

Newegg has the refurbished Linksys WPC600N-RM IEEE 802.11a/b/g, IEEE802.11n Draft 32-bit Cardbus Dual-Band Wireless-N Notebook Adapter WEP, WPA Personal, WPA2 Personal, WPA & WPA2 Enterprise for $15 with free shipping.

Western Digital 640GB SATA 3Gbps Internal Hard Drive for $63 + free shipping offers the Western Digital Caviar Black 640GB Serial ATA 3Gb/s 3.5" Internal Desktop Hard Drive, model no. WD6401AALS, for $69.99. Coupon code "SNOWMAN10" cuts it to $62.99. With free shipping, that's $0.10/GB

$16 SanDisk 8GB Cruzer Micro USB 2.0 Flash Drive for $16 + free shipping
Back at Abe's of Maine is the SanDisk 8GB Cruzer Micro USB 2.0 Flash Drive, model no. SDCZ36-008G-A11, for $15.95 with free shipping ($1.99/GB).