Hardware

Sony makes a million 'Moves'

Sony has just announced that the company has shipped one million units of PlayStation Move in North and Latin America within the first 30 days availability. Though Nintendo has already proven that motion-controlled gaming has a place in the mainstream market, we were skeptical about how Sony would fare introducing a similar mechanism.

In our review, we found that the PlayStation Move provided some of the most accurate motion control we've ever seen, but we can't say we were thrilled with the Move's launch lineup. However, there does seem to be a few promising titles for the … Read more

SGI's old-school supercomputer now revved up

These days, the Top500 list of the world's most powerful supercomputers is dominated by cluster designs assembled from many independent computing nodes. But there's still a place in the world for an earlier approach, as evidenced by a new machine called Blacklight at the Pittsburgh Supercomputing Center.

Blacklight is a mammoth $2.8 million shared-memory machine built by SGI for the center. The system comes in two halves, each with 16 terabytes of shared memory. Either half would be the largest such amount of memory so far built, PSC said, and with a bit more programming effort, the … Read more

A Kinect skeptic's take on Ubisoft's first offerings

I'll be the first to admit I'm a complete skeptic when it comes to motion control in games. I like controllers. A lot. And it's going to take a lot to sway my opinion on that.

Microsoft's upcoming Kinect accessory is the farthest you can get away from a controller and still have control of what's happening on the screen. Unlike Sony's and Nintendo's offerings--both of which can be had right now, Kinect, which becomes available at the beginning of next month, uses no controller. Instead, it tracks your body movements with its … Read more

Google acquires mobile-typing company

Google has acquired a start-up called BlindType that aims to dramatically improve typing on Android and iOS mobile devices.

"We're excited to join Google, and look forward to the great opportunities for mobile innovation that lie ahead," BlindType announced on its blog Friday. The company hasn't released the software, though one review in July was favorable.

Mobile-device typing has changed significantly with the iPhone's functional touch-screen keyboard, Android's reasonably advanced word-prediction system, and Swype's technology for sliding fingers over letters. But as any touch typist or hunt-and-peck tapper knows, mobile typing is still … Read more

Fujitsu starts shipping next-gen supercomputer

Fujitsu has begun shipping the brains of a new Japanese supercomputer to be built at the government-funded RIKEN research institute and designed to perform 10 quadrillion mathematical calculations per second.

The system, called K, is massive. It's planned to have 800 racks of computing gear housing 80,000 of Fujitsu's SPARC 64 VIIIfx processors running at 2.2GHz, Fujitsu said. The processors will be interconnected with a high-capacity direct-connection network that permits fast communications between neighbors.

Although the system is under construction now, it won't be ready for production use until 2012, Fujitsu said.

The system initially … Read more

Mozilla Seabird agitates for better mobile phones

Mozilla doesn't plan to build a mobile phone, but it's hoping a new labs project called the Seabird unveiled yesterday will spur others to improving the ever more important devices.

"While mobile CPUs, connectivity and development platforms begin approaching that of desktops, the lagging ability to efficiently input information has grown ever more pronounced," said Billy May, the project leader who produced a a virtual tour of the virtual phone. "The Seabird, then, introduces a few possibilities into how user interaction might evolve with the advancing motion capture and projector driven innovation in the market.&… Read more

Adobe begins 64-bit Flash Player test

Adobe Systems released a preview version of its widely used Flash Player plug-in that catches up to newer trends in Web browser development: 64-bit designs and support for the newly Internet Explorer 9 beta.

The new Flash beta, code-named Square, is available for Mac OS X, Windows, and Linux, siad Adobe's Paul Betlem in a blog post today. The download is on Adobe Labs; note that if you install Square, you'll have to manually update it on your own.

The move isn't a big surprise--in June, the Adobe said 64-bit Flash is a "top priority"Read more

Kodak delivers new camera for social fanatics

Kodak has released a tiny camera designed specifically to help people share images on a variety of social sites, the company said Monday.

Kodak's M590 boasts a 5X optical zoom, image stabilization, and facial recognition. The 14-megapixel camera also includes a 2.7-inch LCD display. It supports Micro-SD and Micro-SDHC.

The M590--at 3.8-inch wide, 2.3-inch high, and 0.6-inch thick, is the "world's thinnest 5X optical zoom digital camera" (at least as of July), according to Kodak.

Kodak also hopes to win over some customers with the device's share feature. After snapping a … Read more

E3 predictions scorecard: How'd we do?

That's a wrap, folks--the 2010 Electronic Entertainment Expo is in the books.

The show produced a decent amount of hardware- and accessory-centric news--though you could be forgiven for thinking it was a rehash of the previous year's show, when nearly everything was first shown off (albeit under different code names).

Just before the show started, CNET editors Dan Ackerman, Jeff Bakalar, and Scott Stein took a stab at predicting the key announcements. How'd they do? Let's take a look:

"Sure bet, take it to the bank!" This category was aptly named--the boys nearly had a sweep here.

Microsoft's Project Natal named/priced/bundled: We got the new name ( Kinect), the release date (Novmeber 4), and plenty of demos and details. But still no confirmation on the price (though it's looking more and more like $149). Score this one a half point. PlayStation Move price, date, launch titles announced: Sony delivered full pricing, bundling, and launch date details, along with a full slate of launch titles. Full point. Rock Band 3 focuses on its new "keyboard" instrument: Behold the keytar. Full point. Additional premium video partners for Xbox Live/PSN: Xbox Live Gold subscribers will get full access to ESPN3's online content--if they're using a supported ISP. However, Sony's PlayStation Plus paid subscription service lacked the same sort of "killer app" video content--so I'm scoring this as a half point. PS3 3D firmware confirmed/dated, with Killzone 3D demo: A pre-E3 firmware update and some newly 3D-ified games meant that the PS3 was firmly in the third dimension by the time E3 started. Sony sealed the deal with an impressive 3D Killzone 3 demo. Full point. New "3D" version of the Nintendo DS: Nintendo's glasses-free 3DS was, indeed, one of the show's big highlights. Full point.

Score: 5/6… Read more

Costumes, creatures, and more from the E3 2010 show floor

Nothing makes an E3 show stand out like the collection of costumed characters, full-size monster sculptures, and movielike props that fill the halls, booths, and even the lobbies of the Los Angeles Convention Center.

It's closer at times to a comic book convention than an industry-only trade show, and a pretty good barometer of how the companies involved feel about the overall health of the expo (a frequent topic on conversation over the past few years).

If this last look at E3 2010 has you nostalgic for some of my hands-on hardware testing, trend-spotting, and photo galleries from earlier this week, click past the break for a handy roundup of all my E3 coverage from this year.

Read more