AMD to intro second-gen DX11 GPUs next week

Advanced Micro Devices plans to unveil a new line of DirectX 11 graphics cards next week, CEO Dirk Meyer said in the chipmaker's earnings call yesterday.

According to Meyer, AMD will host "launch activities next week" for a second-generation of Direct X11 cards. He added that AMD plans to release "all the family members of that product line I'll call it, by the end of this quarter."

AMD expects to ship "several hundred thousand or hundreds of thousands of units" of the new graphics card during the quarter.

Microsoft's DirectX 11 technologyRead more

Is this the sexiest Cadillac ever?

Everywhere we went in the 2011 Cadillac CTS Coupe, we were met with turned heads and upturned thumbs. People couldn't get enough of looking at the angular coupe and, when the opportunity presented itself, asking us about it.

The CTS Coupe is a good-looking car with a profile that screams speed even when resting in a parking lot and neat touches such as handle-free doors that make this Caddy look more like a 2051 model than a 2011. We wouldn't turn down the extra performance if someone tossed us the keys to a rip-snorting CTS-V, but our tester'… Read more

As brick-and-mortar audio shops fade away, who loses?

It's one thing to buy a CD or a toaster oven online, but what about audio components? Wouldn't it be great to compare one speaker with another? With receivers it's impossible to gauge the touch and feel of the controls online. Sure, professionally written reviews can steer you in the right direction, but in the final analysis buying a hi-fi or home theater is mostly about personal taste. Buying "the best" at the cheapest price isn't always the ideal option; I think it should be more about getting the product that's right for you.

Sadly, expert advice isn't so easy to find, now that more and more independent brick-and-mortar audio shops have closed. That's no concern for buyers who happily forgo the advantages offered by the shops in favor of the lowest possible price. The online retailer can easily afford to give greater discounts; they don't have to pay high rent for a showroom, have hundreds of thousands of dollars invested in demonstration units, provide on-site service technicians, and pay sales commissions. They can pass some of their savings onto their customers. Everybody wins, or do they?

I don't think so; it's the buyer who is losing out. Yes, the online discounters and factory-direct companies can always undercut the independent brick-and-mortar guys, but how do their customers know they're buying the speaker, amplifier, or turntable that best suits their needs? Have they listened for themselves and heard three or four competing speakers with their own ears? And if they wind up with a malfunctioning piece of brand new gear, they'll have to deal with it on their own. They won't get a "loaner" to use while they wait for the repair or replacement unit. Hookup questions will be answered by an anonymous person on an 800 line, not by the sales person at the local shop who knows you by name. … Read more

Will phones and 3D Web boost new OpenGL?

Khronos Group, the industry consortium that develops OpenGL, announced a new version of the graphics interface on Monday that it hopes will compete better with Microsoft's DirectX--and that could get a boost from 3D Web technology.

OpenGL 4.1, released just a few months after OpenGL 4.0, is an interface that programs can use to tap directly into a variety of graphics hardware. It's the 3D interface of choice for Mac OS X, Linux, and many 3D design applications, but when it comes to the biggest consumer market, games, DirectX rules the roost.

OpenGL 4.1 adds … Read more

ABC taps YouTube Direct for local video curation

As rumored last month, YouTube this week unveiled its latest partnership: a collaboration with ABC's local Bay Area news station that makes it easier for users to upload relevant local content they've snapped on their cell phone or other mobile video device.

On YouTube's blog, YouTube's news manager Olivia Ma says that ABC will then choose uploaded videos to run as part of local TV news coverage as well as on ABC7's Web site.

Alongside video content it's already received, or curated from known local YouTube users, ABC is encouraging users to go out … Read more

The 404 621: Where turn right we must (podcast)

The recent popularity of GPS functionality built into smartphones and stock vehicles might eventually phase out third party portable navigation devices entirely, but folks who currently own Tom Tom systems can now hear their driving directions read by classic Star Wars characters like Yoda and Darth Vader. Tom Tom will release one Star Wars character a month, available as a $13 download- check out this hilarious promo for the Yoda version.

July 13 is the official Embrace Your Inner Geek Day so we're celebrating this annual holiday by doing...the same thing...we And just for kicks, … Read more

More people grabbing directions via mobile phones

People are increasingly relying on their mobile phones to deliver maps and directions on the go, according to ComScore.

Data released by ComScore on Friday discovered that 14 percent of all mobile phones users in the U.S., or 33.5 million people, accessed maps on their devices at least once a month over the three months ended April, a 44 percent rise from the same period in 2009.

The number of mobile users who retrieved maps one to three times a month rose 47 percent to 17.1 million, while those accessing maps once a week climbed 60 percent … Read more

YouTube Direct gets San Francisco tryout


Is YouTube getting into the local news business? No. Not really.

But! SF Weekly has a weird, confusing tale about YouTube's sort-of secretive efforts to launch a "local news experiment" in San Francisco. You can read the whole thing here, but the gist is that staffers at the Google site have tapped local bloggers, reporters, etc., to gauge their interest in a project where "citizen videographers--anyone with a video-capable phone or camera, really" helps cover local news.

Since the YouTube folks have been vague about what they're up to, and have told potential participants … Read more

Google adds biking directions to Android's Google Maps

Any urbanite knows that directions aren't created equally. Pedestrians can usually go wherever their feet can take them, but road traffic has to contend with hated one-way streets. Don't even get us started on cyclists. Luckily for bike riders toting Android phones in their messenger bags, a few days after Google added directions specifically for cyclists, the Maps team rolled biking guidance into the Android app.

Now cyclists who download the updated Google Maps 4.2 application from the Android Market can find optimal routes for their two-wheelers--both in the directions module and as a map layer that … Read more

CoPilot Live HD, first iPad navigation app, approved

Having survived the crucible that is Apple's App Store approval process, CoPilot Live HD has become the first available iPad-specific GPS application. The app is a reworking of the iPhone version of the CoPilot Live app for iPhone, featuring a revised interface that takes better advantage of the iPad's larger screen.

The app features 2D and 3D maps of North America stored locally on the device, so users won't need to maintain a data connection while navigating from point A to B. However, the app will need to make use of the iPad's GPS antenna for … Read more