Our utilities update report is a list of updates for Mac utilities that have been released in the past week. Though a utility can be any tool that helps you perform a routine task (including image manipulation and synchronization), our focus in this column is to bring you those tools that help in troubleshooting Mac hardware and software problems. This week there are updates for a couple of maintenance and data management and recovery utilities, as well as a partition manager and a reusable benchmarking suite.
It began innocently enough--a promotional blog post about Microsoft's newest version of Internet Explorer 9. But in less than a week, it became an illustration of just how rapidly misinformation moves through a hot and increasingly important corner of the software market.
The browser market was already competitive a year ago, but the arrival of IE9, currently in beta testing, has added even more energy to the competition. That's because Microsoft has placed support for a host of modern Web technologies front and center, transforming IE from a drag on the Internet into an ally in developers' efforts … Read more
Most of the time when people mention "benchmarking," they are referring to ways to compare one computer's performance against another's under the same software conditions. While this is useful to find the fastest RAM, quickest hard drive, or any other component that will give you the best bang for the buck, it can also be used to outline when the computer is running slower than expected.
Systems can run slower for a variety of reasons, including full hard drives, connected peripheral devices, large and complex user caches, or also from problems with file and file-system corruption. … Read more
The central concept behind benchmarks was historically pretty simple. What's the horsepower of some vendor's "Big Iron"? After all, most systems--the important ones, anyway--were the big boxes sitting in a data center someplace doing important stuff like booking orders or counting money.
They cost a lot. They were based on proprietary architectures that made low-level technical comparisons between vendors difficult. And they were a core part of an enterprise's business.
This was largely the environment that spawned the benchmark business. Ideally, buyers would run their own tests, using their own applications, but this was difficult … Read more
After a bit of hesitation, Apple released a major update to its WebKit-based Safari browser on Monday. Safari 5 for Windows and Mac comes with several big feature announcements. There's the new Reader option for streamlining articles reading, broader support for HTML5, default support for searches on Bing, and performance improvements. However, the biggest new feature of them all--Extensions--won't be available until later this summer, and depending on what you're looking for in a browser, Safari can be seen as lacking many helpful options.
The official late summer street date for Extensions leaves many questions up for … Read more
Apple's new iPad has legions of eager fans who attribute chameleonlike qualities to it, promoting the tablet as an ideal media player, e-book reader, gaming console, and even a Netbook replacement for basic computing chores.
Most often cited is the iPad's speed, and it indeed feels very quick and responsive, and generally comes off as a powerful tool compared with a standard Netbook, which can feel sluggish even when performing the most basic tasks.
Yet under the hood, it's obvious that a typical $299 Netbook has much more powerful hardware. It's Atom N450 CPU runs at … Read more
LONDON--Let's say you're trying to decide whether to buy a new mobile phone and you like taking photos. The Google Nexus One's 5-megapixel camera has 56 percent more pixels than the iPhone 3GS's 3.2 megapixels, but it's clear the camera isn't 56 percent better.
Now let's say it's 2012 and you're trying to decide whether to buy an Apple iPhone 4GS or a Google Nexus Three. You might be able to make a better choice this time.
Surprisingly few people get to see what goes on inside the glass-walled CNET New York Labs, which is where our editors and Labs team test desktop and laptop computers.
To help keep you in the loop about how systems are benchmarked, field-tested, and reviewed, we've decided to throw the Labs' doors open for a rare tour, and allow a CNET TV crew to get a behind-the-scenes peek at what we do every day.
For the PC review process, we start with new systems getting shipped to the Labs, look at the setup and benchmarking requirements for desktops and laptops, … Read more
The Transaction Processing Performance Council has released a new benchmark called TPC-Energy for measuring how much work computers get done for a given amount of energy.
The move reflects the growing concern with power efficiency given environmental issues such as carbon footprint and financial issues involving the cost of electricity for running computers and cooling data centers.
The group already has developed a variety of server benchmarks: TPC-C and the newer TPC-E for database performance and TPC-H for data warehouse performance. TPC-Energy in effect does a little extra math on those tests to yield a "watts per performance" … Read more
Most people working in Silicon Valley can rattle off a list of influential venture capital firms and individual venture investors. But if you're wondering which of them are being the most actively discussed in the media, you'll find some interesting data available in a new report from ITMemos. (Disclosure: I am an adviser to ITDatabase, the parent company behind ITMemos.)
That Kleiner Perkins, Sequoia, Benchmark and Accel top the list of most quoted VC firms is not terribly surprising. However, Fred Wilson of New York's Union Square Ventures, a significantly smaller firm, tops the list as most … Read more