Australia’s Internet Scheme

Earlier this month, Australian Prime Minister, Kevin Rudd, gave the go-ahead on a vast project that will establish a national high-speed network providing 90% of homes and businesses in Australia with fiber-optic 100Mbps Internet, courtesy of the government; the last 10% will be covered with a 12Mbps connection via wireless and satellite. Not only will a vast amount of taxpayers be guaranteed an Internet connection, but this will also provide 37,000 jobs at the apex of construction, a plus in these troubling times. Now CSIRO has jumped on the bandwagon with ideas of how to provide the last 10% (and anyone else who wants a wireless option) with a solid wireless Internet connection with speeds eventually reaching 100Mbps versus the government's proposed 12Mbps. They'll be utilizing the analog TV infrastructure for widespread wireless, which is obviously largely in place already. All in all, both networks most likely won't be available to any of the public for at least five years.

Instant-On to Any PC with Xandros’ Presto

Instant-On is an attractive to have for any system, but most commercial OSs haven't been able to accomplish this. Users are generally left waiting the few minutes to boot, and for some people in a hurry, that's simply not good enough. The aptly named program known as Presto is available for $19.95, and is installable on most any Windows computers. It installs a Xandros-based partition and boots up quite instantly. "Presto allows on-the-fly computing to check email, browse the web, chat with friends, make Skype calls, create documents, download media, apps and games, or enjoy music, videos, and movies stored in a user’s Windows folders." I'd say that's worth $20, and they're also offering to work with OEMs to get it on new computers on a mass scale.

ARM’s Feeling Lucky; Netbook ‘Battle’ Just Beginning?

Thus far it seems that netbooks with Windows XP and Intel Atom processors have been the most successful, leaving little room for other players. There have been those who doubt ARM's longevity in this particular market, so we decided to interview some of the folks at ARM. They told OSNews that the company is confident about its current and future mobile markets, and Linux, which will soon be on various ARM-powered netbooks, is one of the reasons why.

AspireRevo: First Ion-Based Nettop by Acer

We've been waiting a while to see NVIDIA's Ion-based computers, and now Acer is taking the lead in this race by debuting the first Ion "nettop" since the ones shown off at CES by NVIDIA: the Acer AspireRevo. This little 7.1- x 7.1- x 1.2-inch box sports an 1.6GHz Intel Atom, up to four gigabytes of RAM, a 250 GB hard drive, Four-in-one card reader, six USB sockets, Ethernet, and HDMI and VGA outputs while running Windows Vista Home Premium or Basic. It'll be able to play any of your 1080p content, of course. There isn't any word on when Acer will start rolling these out to consumers nor what the said consumers will be paying, but since it's likely that other Ion-based nettops will begin to appear at large come summer, the AspireRevo will most likely be up for grabs near the end of the second quarter. I suppose it's safe to say that the desktop equivalent to the netbook is coming.

Conficker Worm: Hoax or Criminally Genius Scheme?

Many have gotten antsy the past months about the Conficker worm, and all with good reason. Though the worm hasn't done much of anything (yet) except spread like the plague, it's infectious if one doesn't have his or her Windows operating system up-to-date with the most recent security updates. The worm is supposed to execute on April 1st, and the computer world is holding its breath to see if a disaster comparable to the hyped-up supposed Y2K doomsday will ensue or if it's just someone's idea of a sick April Fool's Day joke.

8-Bit Game Creator Now Available for Order

Not only can this nifty old-school 8-bit computer play all of your old NES games (with a converter, of course), but you can also program your own mind-challenging games, stimulating chiptune music, and "circuit-bending art" with this affordable keyboard, mouse, and controller combination. The package includes the keybaord, mouse, two game controllers, an OS cartridge (containing a GUI in Madarin Chinese as well as an English DOS prompt, BASIC programming language and sprite manipulator, and an 8-bit music composer), RCA cables, and a nine-volt power supply. What's more is that it ships in 3-5 business days, so you can relive the golden days of Saturday mornings with the NES before the week is out.

Western Digital Acquires SiliconSystems, SSDs to Follow

Western Digital, a leading maker of the traditional hard drive, supposedly felt a little out of the loop as they still hadn't really caught on to the solid-state disk bandwagon. Instead of playing a long game of catch-up, they simply forked out $65 million in cold cash and bought the technology they needed in the form of the aptly-named SiliconSystems, Inc. SiliconSystems has been making millions of SSDs for embedded systems for the past several years and will find a nice new home after integrating into the Western Digital Empire, henceforth being known as the "WD Solid-State Storage business unit." Since they're combining forces "immediately," here's to bigger and better SSDs in the near future.

Full Windows 7 Possible on Samsung Netbooks, Linux Too

Techradar had a day touring Samsung's European forum and had the chance to interview Samsung's Head of Worldwide Sales and Marketing, Kyu Uhm. During the session, Uhm mentioned that future Samsung netbooks will undoubtedly include Windows 7, but having a full version as opposed to the sorry Starter Edition was iffy. It was also mentioned that future Samsung netbooks installed with a Linux distribution was a slight possibility if enough customers truly wanted it.

Android to Get Flash

BSQUARE is reportedly porting Adobe's Flash to Android on behalf of "a global Tier 1 carrier." It's still unknown whether or not Flash on Android will be restricted to only those contracted under this global carrier's service, but it's an advancement in the field nevertheless. Details at this point are few and far between, but it's assumed that Google and Adobe condone this action or else BSQUARE wouldn't go waving it about; BSQUARE also has "built an Android competency" not to mention that they purchased NEC's Adobe Flash Technology Consulting and Distribution Business back in December, so they seem to have the skill to do the job well.

Contiki Operating System 2.2.3 Released

Contiki released their newest version of the Contiki OS, 2.2.3. Contiki is an open source OS that is generally used to run very portable, networked embedded systems and wireless sensor networks. The typical RAM and ROM footprint of a Contiki configuration is two kilobytes and 40 kilobytes, respectively; if that's not 'highly portable,' I don't know what is. New features in 2.2.3 include checkpointing, which stores the complete execution state of a system in a single file; per-packet power profiling, which allows fine-grained breakdown of power consumption; announcements, which make neighbor and route announcements protocol-independent; and Deluge, a bulk data dissemination protocol. New ports to the Meshnetics ZigBit and Sentilla JCreate modules were also released.

Apple Offers HD Movies in iTunes Store

iTunes and iPod users can now enjoy the fruits of HD movies as offered by Apple's iTune store. Starting today, HD movies can be bought and downloaded for $19.99 apiece, and Apple's also promising movie rentals for $4.99 within 30 days after new releases. Downloads include both the standard HD file as well as an iPhone/iPod-ready SD file. The store already had 1200 "stunning" HD videos for rent, now has a growing arsenal of ones for purchase, and Apple intends to steadily add to that arsenal as time goes on. The press release is really pushing that vampiric film "Twilight" for pre-order, so go out and purchase your favorite tale of a spineless teenager with less emotion than a stick (no offense to sticks) today, now in flying HD colors.

Wind River Linux Reaches 3.0

Wind River, a device software optimization company, just announced Wind River Linux 3.0, based off of Linux kernel 2.6.27 and GCC 4.3, and reportedly it is the most feature-rich OS offering from the company thus far. It includes more than 500 packages, which is about 250 more than in previous versions. Wind River Linux is designed for specific industries including aerospace and defense, consumer, industrial, networking, and medical, and was previously segmented in different packages for different features and hardware support for each industry, but has now been consolidated into one standard system.

Intel’s SIMD Accelerator Gives Better Graphics, Saves Energy

Details are sparse, but Intel has let out word of a spiffy new graphics accelerator designed for mobile devices. This SIMD (Single Instruction, Multiple Data) accelerator renders graphics more efficiently than any other available component in that it renders them faster and at higher quality and-- here's the kicker-- it consumes ten times less energy than similar available components, providing longer battery life. Again, there's not much to go on at the moment, but Intel says that these lovely little buggers will definitely be showing up in future mobile devices be they MIDs, UMPCs, or netbooks.

Linux Up in Servers, Down in Netbooks; Android to the Rescue?

According to a Novel-sponsored IDC survey, Linux seems to be gaining popularity among businesses implementing servers, and it has a bright outlook for both server and desktop installations in the coming future. On the other hand, netbooks have seen less and less default OEM installations of Linux. Windows now has over 90 percent of netbook sales, quashing any hopes of an open source revolution in the form of netbooks. Android, however, may be able to change things.

Google Chrome for Linux On Its Way: Take It for a Spin

In addition to the Chrome 2.0 beta, work for the Linux version of Chrome is on its way. Its official name is currently "Chromium," and Google Chrome for Linux doesn't officially exist yet. For the sake of argument, however, Google Chrome for Linux is on its way whether it's currently in a Chromium and pre-alpha state or not, and now Ubuntu users can get a hold of Chromium to take for a spin. In this article, learn how to install the current build of Chromium to test on your Ubuntu or Ubuntu-based system and see several screenshots of the budding browser.

Cloudera Distribution of Hadoop Available, Makes Hadoop Easy

Hadoop, the same software that lies at the heart of successful companies such as Google, Facebook, Yahoo!, and others, has been proven time and again with said companies to be a successful data management server, keeping data secure and fault-free spread across multiple servers. It isn't the easiest piece of software to configure, however, which is why the Cloudera company has just announced a freely downloadable and easier to use custom distribution of Hadoop to bring the power of entities like Google to smaller businesses.

OLPC Dumping x86, Urges Microsoft to Port Windows

One Laptop Per Child is planning to end the production of its XO-1 laptop as well as drop AMD's x86 Geode processor. OLPC intends to replace these with a low-powered ARM alternative in the XO-2 laptop, which is slated for release in about 18 months. Even though the current XO-1 model consumes a mere five watts, OLPC feels thats the biggest problem. "We're seeing some very impressive system-on-chip designs that provide both fundamentally low-power demands and the kind of fine-grained power management ... in the XO-1," said Ed McNierney, chief technology officer at OLPC. Though using ARM architecture will reduce power consumption, it puts using the full-fledged Windows OS on their laptops in jeopardy. The company is currently wrestling Microsoft in order to try to get them to develop a full version of Windows to be able to run on ARM processors. It's not likely Microsoft will budge on the subject as ingrained as x86 is and how seemingly little there is in it for them, but we've been surprised before.