03/04/2009

NVidia releases new graphics card

NVidia has introduced new high end graphics cards, the top end Quadro FX5800 has 240 CUDA parallel processing cores and 4GB of high speed shader RAM it has Displayport and dual-DVI outputs.

This isn't a cheap solution the FX5800 costs around $3,300. The lower end cards start at at £300.

NVidia offer drivers for a variety of operating systems including most varieties of Windows, 32 and 64 bit Linux, Solaris x86/64. Unfortunately no MacOS drivers, so unless Apple do something they wont go into a MacPro (which would seem a logical choice for high end cards).

Virgin announce Addict tariff

Virgin's addict tariff is aimed at the mobile Internet user who needs to get their daily fix of social media sites.

£20 gives the user unlimited texts and unlimited data and 10p per minute for phone calls.

It's not quite as good as it sounds though as unlimited of course isn't unlimited as it's 1GB per month for data and 3,000 texts per month - though ignoring the data that means an SMS cost of 1.5p per text (though that's sending 100 texts per day - could be cheap for sending bulk SMS via lots of SIMs).

If a cheaper top-up tariff is chosen i.e. £15/m then there's 600 free texts and for £10/m it's 300 free texts with Internet costing 30p per day limited to 25MB.

It's also worth noting that file sharing and video or voice over Internet calls are not allowed.

Though £20 per month isn't bad for 3,000 text messages and 1GB Internet per month though there are better data deals on other networks.

Fonera v2 coming out 29th April

FON is a service that allows broadband users to share their Internet connection with other FON users (or with the general public). Registered FON users then also get access through any other FON device when they're away from their own premise.

The new Fonera v2 WiFi router has 2 LAN ports and a USB port that may be connected to any USB2.0 device or several through a hub.

The system will then share various USB devices like cameras and scanners and act a print server for connected printers. If disks are connected then these can also be shared, but there's also a bittorrent client built-in to the Fonera so that downloads can be left overnight and be ready in the morning. Disks can be traditional USB hard disks or even pen drives. If the disk contains photos these can automatically be uploaded to Flickr and other sites and videos automatically sent to YouTube.

The Fonera 2 unit will cost 49 Euros.

Ofcom sets mobile termination rates

Ofcom has published mobile termination rates for the mobile networks

The rates below are for Year 1, Year 2, Year 3 and Year 4
Vodafone and O2 5.40 5.09 4.71 TBC
T-Mobile and Orange 5.90 5.39 4.84 TBC
H3G 9.10 7.29 5.83 TBC

The mobile networks are having there revenues reduces severely (but this is in-line with a recent dispute with UK01 a new mobile entrant who also have a rate set which was 3.3p) but it's good for the consumer. Mobile rates have reduced significantly from a few years ago when they were charging 33p per minute.

02/04/2009

Breakfasst with Jeff Pulver and Paul Walsh

This morning's breakfast with Jeff Pulver and Paul Walsh was a lively affair with lots of social networking taking place.

The bacon sandwiches may not have been the best idea, but overall a good event.

Thunderbird - actually a reasonable email client

Reading email can be a pain. Mutt is my preferred Email client, it's text based runs on UN*X/Linux, is fast and just works and is also available from anywhere by ssh'ing into the bix where the mail is stored.

Being text based, it's really good for scanning Email and deleting the rubbish. Emails can also be read and actioned, however being text based it's not good when people send pure HTML Email or Emails with nice attachments.

Being a Linux user (Fedora Core 10 at the moment) which also acts as a mail server (and file server as well as various other things), it means the system is on all the time. Outlook is a fine Email program as is Mail.app, but they mean booting a Windows or Apple machine.

So though the Linux box was on all the time, it was only really used for reading text Email through Mutt.

Then Thunderbird was suggested, it's an Email client from the Mozilla folks and it works. It''s actually quite similar to Outlook in the way it does certain things and if you're used to Outlook it will be relatively painless to use (though setting up Email accounts may not be so easy).

Now attachments are there and can be viewed as can HTML Email (rendered through Firefox or at least its libraries).

Thunderbird is a pretty good Email client for POP3/IMAP Email accounts.

01/04/2009

IBM to buy Sun

IBM's potential purchase of Sun has been speculated recently, however it also seems various large company's procurement departments have been told to hold of making any Sun purchases and speak to IBM.

If the purchase does go ahead what will remain of Sun? Sparc will likely die (or just go over to Fujitsu completely), MySQL will drop to the wayside (or at least dropped off IBM's portfolio - they have enough of their own databases), Solaris will just go Open with little involvement from IBM if any at all.

The only thing that IBM definitely want is Java.

$6.5bn is cheap considering the prices paid for Compaq and others in recent times, but manufacturing chips - however good they are is expensive. This could be the end of an era and Sun may be disappearing over the IBM horizon.