Rumor has it that Intel is prepped to launch its new SSDs in the next two weeks. According to sources speaking to the The Inquirer, the new solid state disks will feature that smaller 34nm NAND Flash developed by Intel and Micron. As usual, the smaller manufacturing processes should allow for higher density SSDs (as high as 320GB) at a reduced cost to manufacture. In fact, INQ says, "there will be drives big enough to replace the HDDs in most, if not all laptops." With Intel already cutting SSD prices we remain optimistic that this rumor is true.

[Via TrustedReviews]

This post has been written by Thomas Ricker on Jun 29th 2009 at 5:38AM couresy of


As recently as May Sony has itself stated that a PSP phone "could happen," and now a report from Nikkei business daily states that Sony is planning on putting together a team as early as next month to build product that would act as a combination of a PSP and a Sony Ericsson handset. It makes plenty of sense, both as a differentiation from Nintendo and as a confrontation of the looming iPhone threat — and hey, it might also act as a decent salve over the lukewarm reception of the pricey PSPgo. Unfortunately, if Sony is just about to get started on this, we likely wouldn’t be looking at any resulting product for a while to come. Sony declined comment according to Reuters, which doesn’t mean a whole lot, but it’s worth keeping in mind that we’ve been hearing this sort of rumoring since back when the N-Gage (as a product) was still almost relevant.

[Via Mac Rumors]

This post has been written by Paul Miller on Jun 28th 2009 at 4:03AM couresy of

ARRL Field Day 2009

June 27, 2009


Today is Field Day, the annual event where thousands of hams across the nation publicly demonstrate their emergency communication abilities. You can find hams constructing emergency stations in parks, schools, backyards and shopping malls operating using only emergency power supplies. If you are interested in getting started with ham radio but don’t have a license, today is a great day to do so. Field Day is one of the few opportunities when you can operate without a license at the GOTA (get on the air) stations (which are supervised by licensed hams).

You can find your local field day station on the ARRL Web station locator.

This post has been written by Diana Eng on Jun 27, 2009 01:30 AM couresy of

We’ve already seen some zinc-air batteries hit the market, and now it sounds like lithium-based cells will be the next type to use air as a cathode. The only problem? Those of you who were awake in 10th grade chemistry might remember that exposing lithium metal to water causes it to explode — which is why a company called PolyPlus has partnered with the government to develop a unique waterproof lithium metal-air battery that keeps the boom-boom in but lets the buzzy-buzz out. The coating allows lithium ions to seep out while preventing water to get in, and because the membrane protects the cell, the battery won’t discharge in storage. If that sounds a little pie-in-the-sky, well, it is — PolyPlus founder Steven Visco called lithium metal "the holy-grail battery material." Us, we’re a little more skeptical, but we’re loving the sounds of prototypes that deliver the juice of current laptop batteries at one-fifth the weight — hook us up, boys.

This post has been written by Nilay Patel on Jun 27th 2009 at 5:41AM couresy of

Construction crews have now started building the deepest underground science laboratory in the world, which scientists will use to study dark matter.

"The fact that we’re going to be in the Davis Cavern just tickles us pink," Case Western Reserve University researcher Tom Shutt told the Associated Press.  The cavern used to be a gold mine that has been abandoned for some time now.  The part of the mine called Davis Cavern is named after Ray Davis Jr., a scientists who used the mine to study solar neutrinos in the 1960s.

The research lab, located at a depth equivalent to six Empire State buildings, will be used to help scientists study dark matter.  Being almost 5,000 feet under the Earth’s surface is an ideal location as cosmic rays likely won’t interfere with research, but it will be some time before researchers are able to begin working there.

Engineers and construction crews must now stabilize and repair some of the tunnels, and add new safety infrastructure to prevent tunnel collapse.  Research already is being conducted at 4,850 feet, with Congress mulling two labs that would go even deeper than the one now being built.  

Case Western Reserve University, Brown University, and a couple of other universities and research groups are helping develop the new underground science laboratory.  Around a dozen total collaborators plan to research dark matter at the facility.

The Large Underground Xenon (LUX) detector equipment — a project aimed at studying the Big Bang explosion — is expected to be the first dark matter experiment.

Dark matter is a popular topic of research because many astronomers believe galaxies may have never formed without dark matter.  Furthermore, the theory behind dark matter and what it is remains a mystery — learning more about dark matter may help physicists finally figure out if the universe is expanding or contracting.

The lab should be fully operational by 2016.

This post has been written by Michael Barkoviak on June 26, 2009 2:20 PM couresy of

EVE Online patch Apocrypha 1.3 is slated for a Monday June 29 deployment. CCP Games is pushing ahead with their Need for Speed initiative, which aims to streamline the game’s performance and provide a better play experience. They’re making some database changes with the next Apocrypha patch that should improve what you experience in your game client with inventory management, but beyond addressing "The Jita Problem" there will be a fair number of changes in the next patch.

On that topic of speed, players should notice a huge change with starbase deployment (or hasty tear downs): players will be able to anchor, online, or unanchor offensive and defensive starbase structures in half the time it took previously. (Ninja POS deployment?) Perhaps more significant to some players than others, station reprocessing will be much faster — apparently refining stacks of items will be up to 25 times faster than before. Also, some of those changes to Tech III production we’ve mentioned before are going into effect on Monday, and should ultimately be a boost for Tech III. Apocrypha 1.3’s changes extend far beyond what is mentioned here; players heavily invested in wormhole exploration and the production it fuels should look closely at the patch notes to see how CCP’s changes to the game might affect them.

This post has been written by James Egan on Jun 26th 2009 at 8:00PM couresy of

Google’s open source Android operating system is maturing and beginning to attract a more diverse audience of third-party developers. To accommodate the growing need for more power and flexibility, Google is opening up the platform to additional programming languages and new kinds of development.

The Android userspace is largely dominated by Java technologies that run on top of Google’s custom Dalvik Java virtual machine. At launch, Java was the only officially supported programming language for building distributable third-party Android software. That’s starting to change as Google introduces new options. On Thursday, the company announced the availability of the Android Native Development Kit (NDK) which will allow developers to build Android software components with C and C++.

The NDK will enable developers to code some of the performance-sensitive parts of their programs in C and reuse existing C code on the Android platform. It comes with some limitations, however, and is not intended to serve as a full alternative to Android’s Java development model.

The NDK does not provide access to platform framework APIs. It’s intended to be used alongside Java to code individual parts of programs that require existing C libraries or higher performance. JNI is used as the bridge between Java and native code.

The NDK includes a cross-compiler toolchain for generating ARM binaries that can be deployed in Android APK packages. Google says that native code should be used sparingly and is not appropriate for the vast majority of third-party Android applications. The company also points out that using it could reduce portability and have other negative consequences.

"The NDK will not benefit most applications. As a developer, you will need to balance its benefits against its drawbacks; notably, using native code does not result in an automatic performance increase, but does always increase application complexity," the documentation says. "Typical good candidates for the NDK are self-contained, CPU-intensive operations that don’t allocate much memory, such as signal processing, physics simulation, and so on."

In addition to delivering support for native code, Google is also extending Android to support popular dynamic scripting languages. Earlier this month, Google launched the Android Scripting Environment (ASE) which allows third-party developers to build simple Android applications with Python and Lua.

The ASE provides access to platform framework capabilities through a JSON RPC bridge. This means that scripts which run on top of the ASE can actually leverage other capabilities of the operating system, such as controlling the ringer volume, toggling WiFi, making calls, detecting the user’s current location, launching activities, and handling intents. One of the most compelling aspects of the ASE is that it allows users to code new scripts on the device itself.

Support for alternate programming languages could make Android a bit more appealing to third-party developers. NDK opens the door for bringing more sophisticated processor-intensive functionality to the platform and ASE lowers the barriers to entry by providing a path for rapid development and quick scripting.

This post has been written by Ryan Paul on June 26, 2009 3:03 PM couresy of