It's no longer hard to find a Christmas gift that runs Linux, thanks to the popularity of Google's Android. The Tuxy possibilities go far beyond tablets and smartphones, however, as we highlight in a list of 27 top gift picks for 2011.
Archive for December, 2011
Intel this year has been both helped and hurt by the booming media tablet space, according to analysts at IHS Isuppli. Sales increased for the chips used in data centers to support cloud computing, but revenue from the company's Atom processor — featured in most netbooks — fell 32 percent year over year in the third quarter.
AMD announced the Radeon 7970, based on a 28nm manufacturing process and said to be its fastest-ever GPU (graphics processing unit). The move follows the introduction of 13 new entries in the company's A-Series (“Llano”) series of processors for laptops and desktops, including two models that can be overclocked.
Lanner announced a fanless industrial PC that includes dual Ethernet ports, digital I/O, six serial ports, and dual video outputs. The LEC-2110 is powered by a dual-core Intel Atom D525 processor, accepts up to 4GB of RAM, has a CompactFlash slot, and is available with either a PCI or PCI Express expansion slot.
Habey announced two ultra-compact PCs with a choice of VGA or HDMI ports, plus SATA, gigabit Ethernet, and USB connections. The BIS-6624 features an Intel Atom Z510 (1.1GHz) or Z530 (1.6GHz) and adds CompactFlash and SD slots, while the BIS-6625 uses an Atom E640 (1GHz) or E660 (1.3GHz) and adds a third mini-PCIe slot.
Intel has demonstrated smartphone and tablet reference designs equipped with its upcoming, low power “Medfield” Atom processor. Running Android 2.3 and Android 4.0, the prototypes received a positive appraisal from MIT Technology Review, which praised their “Blu-ray quality” video and a camera burst mode that can capture “10 full-size eight-megapixel images at a rate of 15 per second.”
Motorola Mobility's Android devices infringe on aspects of one Microsoft patent, according to a preliminary ruling by the International Trade Commission (ITC). But in a move that has left both sides claiming victory, the judge declined to find Motorola Mobility in violation of six other Microsoft patents.
Vecow announced six fanless PCs that support Intel's “Sandy Bridge” range of Core processors. The EC-5500 devices include dual drive bays and CFast slots, three or five Ethernet ports, Mini PCI slots, eSATA ports, plus options such as removable disks and digital I/O, according to the company.
MEN Micro announced a rugged box computer with a 1.5GHz AMD G-Series T52R processor and two gigabit Ethernet interfaces with M12 connectors. The “BC1” is equipped with 1GB of soldered DDR3 RAM, mSATA and SATA storage, and Mini PCI Express expansion, according to the company.
Winmate announced a rugged handeld computer that runs Android 2.3, Windows CE 6.0, or Windows Mobile 6.5 on a 720MHz Texas Instruments OMAP3530 processor. The S430T includes a 4.3-inch screen with capacitive touch and 800 x 480 pixel resolution, 512MB of RAM and 512MB of flash storage, a five megapixel camera, and IP67 dust and water protection, according to the company.
Only a week after releasing CentOS 6.1, the CentOS project finished up version 6.2 of its CentOS community version of Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL), while Oracle launched Oracle Linux 6.2 — a RHEL 6.2 clone that adds the company's Unbreakable Enterprise Linux kernel. Meanwhile, Red Hat released a beta of its long-lifecycle RHEL 5.8 platform and announced strong third quarter earnings.
Samsung's Galaxy Nexus is now the “king fish” of Android communicators in screen size, speed, and operating system functionality, according to this eWEEK review. But, its 4.65-inch screen makes the $300 device a challenge to hold by those whose hands are average-sized or smaller, the author adds.
Archos announced a seven-inch Android 3.2 (“Honeycomb”) tablet due to ship in January for under $200. The Archos 70b is equipped with a 1.2GHz processor, and offers a 1024 x 600 capacitive touchscreen, 8GB of storage, HDMI output, and support for Google apps and Android Market, says the company.
Android tablet computers will grow from 32 percent global market share in the third quarter to an estimated 40.3 percent through the fourth quarter, reducing Apple's iPad share to 59 percent, projects IDC. The growth in Android tablets is due largely to the popularity of the low-cost Kindle Fire and Nook Tablet, says the study.
AT&T is ending its $39 billion bid for T-Mobile, a proposed merger that had drawn considerable pushback from federal regulators and rival carrier Sprint. AT&T also announced it will pay T-Mobile parent Deutsche Telekom some $4 billion in breakup fees.
Bsquare announced a new version of its test automation suite, now with improved intelligent text recognition and language capabilities. TestQuest 10 supports Android, BlackBerry, and Windows CE target devices; integrates into Visual Studio Professional 2010; and runs under 32- and 64-bit Windows 7 environments, the company says.
Cricket Communications announced its most powerful Android smartphone, a four-inch Android 2.3 handset with a 1.4GHz processor and an eight-megapixel camera. Priced at $250 without contract and $55 per month in fees, the Huawei Mercury is the first U.S.-destined variant of the Huawei Honor, being released this month in a variety of global markets.
Panasonic, Samsung, Sandisk, Sony, and Toshiba announced they'll collaborate on a content-protection scheme targeting SD cards and other flash memory devices. The “Next Generation Secure Memory Initiative” will involve PKI (public key infrastructure) and will be robust enough to protect HD video content, according to the companies.
Adobe launched Flash Player 11.1 — its final mobile browser plug-in for Android smartphones and tablets — along with AIR 3.1. While it's set to give way to HTML5, Flash 11.1 adds support for Android 4.0 plus a variety of performance, stability, and device update enhancements, according to the company.
Motorola Mobility's Droid Xyboard 10.1 tablet brings the iPad some solid competition thanks to its Android 3.2 Honeycomb operating system, thin profile, HD display, 1.2GHz dual-core processor, and compatiblity with Verizon's 4G LTE network. Yet, Motorola should take the hardware button design and new stylus option back to the drawing board, this eWEEK review adds.