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[H] Enthusiast Archives: January 2010Archive Listing

Sunday January 31, 2010

Southwest Airlines Will Finally Get WiFi

If you’ve been paying attention, you might recall this article last year regarding Southwest Airlines getting WiFi in Q1 2010. Well, they’re a bit behind schedule but according to this company blog, purchasing has started and installs will begin in Q2 2010. Still no pricing details though.

We’ll begin installing the equipment in the second quarter of 2010. We expect to install equipment on around 15 aircraft per month initially, with the goal of increasing that number to 25 aircraft a month as we ramp up the process. With this schedule, we estimate that our full fleet of more than 540 planes will be outfitted with wi-fi service by early 2012.


Gaming [H]eadlines

Game releases for 1/31-2/6 @ ShackNews

Hands-on preview: Aliens vs. Predator multiplayer @ Gamespy

Supreme Commander 2 preview @ Gamespot

New Diablo III screens @ Joystiq

Games of February 2010 @ GameTrailers

[H]ardware Roundup

Cases & Cooling

NZXT Tempest Evo @ BmR

CoolAge X120F CPU cooler @ bit-tech


Intel Core i3 530 on Linux @ Phoronix

Intel Pine Trail explored with ASUS Eee PC 1005PE @ HWZone


ASUS P7P55 WS Supercomputer @ Bjorn3D

ASRock H55DE3 @ Hardware Secrets

ASRock P55 Extreme @ ThinkComputers

Power Supplies

Nexus RX-5300 530W @ PC Perspective

Jersey Modular Edition 750W @ HWHeaven

Israel Testing UAV Ambulance

The Israel Defense Force is testing a new UAV called the "Air-Mule" that's being used as an unmanned aerial ambulance for emergency evac. It's a pretty cool little vehicle that can pull injured people out of some tight spots that conventional aircraft can't reach. I wonder if the US has something like this.

Urban Aeronautics, the company producing the UAV, is one of the world's leading companies in the development of propellers which are installed inside the aircraft instead of outside. The advantage of this location of the propeller is that it allows the aircraft to carry out a wider range of operations in narrow places as well Ė as opposed to conventional airplanes and helicopters which can only operate in open areas.


All About EPUB, the iBookstore Standard

If you're considering an iPad for the e-reader functionality or just want more information about iBookstore and EPUB, Apple blog TUAW has you covered. EPUB is an open standard and can be read by other e-readers like the Nook and Sony's Reader.

It's a free and open standard format created by the International Digital Publishing Forum (IDPF), and it's designed for reflowable content that can be optimized to whatever device is being used to read a book file. The IDPF has championed EPUB as a single format that can be used by publishers and conversion houses, as well as for distribution and sale of electronic books.


WiMAX 2 Coming Next Year

The US is still getting comfortable with WiMAX and now there's word that a revision being called WiMAX 2 is being planned for testing in 2011. If all goes well, Clearwire will start rolling out 802.16m in 2012. Any of you guys using WiMAX yet? What do you think?

So what do we know about this WiMAX sequel? Well for one, it will be backward compatible with 802.16e, the WiMAX standard currently used by operators in the United States. This means that when Clearwire upgrades to the new standard it will be able to do so at a relatively low cost and with minimal disruption.


Distracted Driving Laws Don’t Deter, Study Finds

The insurance industry recently conducted a study and found that laws that are supposed to stop distracted driving are not having the desired results. Insurance claims data from states that banned mobile device use while driving (CA, NY, CT, Washington DC) indicate that claims did not go down after such laws were put into place.

Jonathan Adkins, a spokesman for the governors association, said the new study "raises as many questions as it answers." The group is concerned that bans on handheld devices simply encourage more drivers to use handsfree devices, which, it says, are just as risky.


Google Nexus One Coming to AT&T;?

Engadget found a FCC filing that shows a Nexus One label that apparently supports 3G on AT&T;’s network in the US. If it’s true, maybe the patience you showed just after it launched shall be rewarded, grasshoppa.

If you look into the RF reports a bit, you'll immediately notice that the new handset supports 3G on WCDMA Bands I, II, and V, meaning that it'll work on AT&T; (and Rogers, Bell, and Telus for the Canadians in the room) along with most of Europe. Same label style, nearly identical model ID, different bands -- we think we know what's going on here.


Can Flash Be Saved?

There has been a lot of hate toward Adobe and Flash in particular lately. With the recent revelation that the iPad will not support Flash, a lot of scrutiny has been placed on Adobe. Apple doesn’t turn away from a popular service lightly and they’re not the only ones, according to popular blogger Robert Scoble.

Google is widely seen as the only company right now that is challenging Apple at all (and even then, Google’s Android is clearly #2 in the race and doesn’t look like it will be able to challenge iPhone/iPad this year). After playing a bunch of great games on the iPhone, I don’t agree with the claims that Flash is needed anymore. If Adobe is losing people like me and the developers that decide the future of the web, they are in big trouble.


Get Paid to Find Bugs in Google Chrome

Google wants to improve Chrome and one of the ways it’s going to do that is by tapping into the general public with an incentive most people can appreciate: cold, hard cash. Find a bug in Chrome or Chromium, get paid between $500 and $1337. I see what you did there, Google!

The concept for an incentive program is not new, as Google notes in their blog post. It's based on a similar venture created by the folks at Mozilla, the organization behind the Firefox web browser. Like Mozilla, Google's rewards also start at $500 for most issues. The payment of $1337, the number a nod to the geeky internet slang called "leet speak," will be reserved only for critical bugs that would have had a major impact if left unpatched.


Saturday January 30, 2010

Net Neutrality May Worsen BitTorrent Experience

TorrentFreak has an article that takes a look at the ongoing Net Neutrality battle and explains how things could actually be worse for BitTorrent users when all is said and done. This means that the blocking going on by Comcast and other ISPs worldwide may not cease, even if Net Neutrality regulations pass. Even if you’re not a pirate, this will affect you because many companies (Blizzard, CCP, various Linux projects, Amazon, etc) use BitTorrent as a legitimate way to distribute patches and downloads to wide user base.

Under the proposed plans, ISPs could simply manage their networks by slowing down connections that use "too many" TCP connections, one of the key characteristics of BitTorrent traffic. There are plenty of arbitrary rules that may look reasonable and neutral, but will specifically (not exclusively) hinder BitTorrent transfers to ease the strain on the network.


Apple Makes Significant Profit on iPad Hardware Sales

A bill-of-materials (BOM) analysis revealed that Apple stands to make $208 on each $499 iPad sold. That figure jumps to $446 per top-end $829 iPad. While some makers lose money on hardware, especially during launches (see Xbox 360, PS3, etc), so that they can make it up in licensing and software sales, Apple doesn’t appear to be bound by those restrictions. Hey, if it works for Amazon's Kindle, it’s bound to work for a company with a much wider (and devoted) fanbase, right?

High profit margins are standard for Apple, which earlier in the week boasted that its corporate margin for 2009's final quarter was 40.1%. Some products, in fact, have estimated margins even higher than Marshall's iPad numbers: The consensus for the iPhone 3GS is above 60%, for example.