The Evangelist

Worldwide Technology News

I realize I haven't had much time to publish new articles to the blog lately.

In light of this, I would simply like to wish everybody a happy, healthy new year.

Stay tuned, there is more to come.

-The Evangelist

For those of you who haven't heard, an official native port of Google Chrome is now available for Mac OS X and Linux.

Before this, Crossover Chromium offered an alternative way to run Chrome on OS X and Linux.

It should be noted that these are still in beta, and therefore there still may be bugs that need to be worked out.

The Linux port can be downloaded as either 32- or 64-bit .deb or .rpm packages for both Debian-based distributions such as Ubuntu and distributions that use the Red Hat Package Manager, such as Fedora.

Image is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 3.0 License. Please see the page on Wikimedia Commons for more information.

There can be no doubt that netbooks have become extremely popular over the course of the last two years. While many (including AMD, as was discussed in Why Intel's Atom May Revolutionize Mobile Computing) doubted that there would be much of a market for netbooks at first, this doubt would be quickly eliminated by the sheer amount of netbooks flying off of the shelves.

Netbooks certainly have their advantages over other classes of portables. They are lighter, smaller, and cheaper than your average laptop. While there are some ultraportables such as the MacBook Air that are typically slimmer and more powerful, they come at a hefty price.

Netbooks are useful for those who are on the go and don't need that much processing power. Students can undoubtedly benefit from the advantages of a leightweight and cheap computer.

That isn't to say that netbooks aren't useful around the house as well. They make for great secondary machines, so that they user has processing power when they need it and mobility when they don't.

Intel's Atom processor has become the mainstay of most netbooks. The processors have truly revolutionized mobile computing by helping to create the netbook market.

A number of operating systems are now preloaded onto netbooks. Microsoft's Windows XP Home Edition has historically been the popular choice because it is lightweight and because XP is still very popular. Microsoft is now pushing their much-improved Windows 7 onto netbooks.

In addition, Linux has made some headway on netbooks. Projects such as Moblin and Ubuntu Netbook Remix (UNR) have been created to create distributions optimized for use on netbooks. These interfaces make it easier to get to what you want and help the user cope with the smaller screen size.

Unlike the highly portable devices of yesteryear, netbooks have become an unqualified success.

The only question that remains is where netbooks are headed next. The category is rapidly changing, and innovative new classes of devices are being created, such as the smartbook.

LinkImage is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 2.5 License. Please see the page on Wikimedia Commons for more information.

Google's Chrome OS has the potential to challenge Microsoft on the netbook front. The interface is sleek and very minimalist, much like netbooks themselves.

The operating system is based on Linux, and is specifically designed for netbooks. It's interface is similar to that of Google's Chrome web browser.

Instead of desktop apps, LinkGoogle Chrome OS will take advantage of Google's extensive cloud services such as Google Docs and Gmail.

Netbooks with Google Chrome OS installed will probably be cheaper than their Windows counterparts, although it is hard to tell what will happen (as Microsoft will undoubtedly want to keep their dominance). Chrome OS netbooks will include solid state drives. While these drives surely won't be able to store as much information, with Google's cloud services it is doubtful that much storage will be needed.

Back in October 2008, I wrote a couple articles about Apple's Brick. At the time, there were quite a few rumors as to what Brick would be, from a new Mac Mini design to a Mac netbook. Of course, the "Brick" turned out to be a manufacturing process for the MacBook line of laptops.

With the introduction of Brick, a unibody aluminum 13" MacBook and 15" MacBook Pro were released. Later, the 13" MacBook would be replaced by a 13" MacBook Pro and a 17" MacBook Pro would be added to the lineup.

Image licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 2.0 License. Please see the page on Wikipedia for more information.

When the line was originally released, the only option was a glossy display. A matte display is optional on the 15" and 17" versions for those who would prefer that option.

The mouse button has been integrated into the new glass touchpad, eliminating another button in traditional Apple style.

Image licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 2.0 License. Please see the page on Wikipedia for more information.

There's no doubt that the new unibody MacBook Pros are a leap forward in design. Sure, unibody laptops probably won't supplant traditional processes anytime soon, especially for cheaper models, but the fact remains that the unibody design not only looks better, it makes for less pieces of plastic and breakable parts.

Image licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 2.0 License. Please see the page on Wikipedia for more information.

It's been a while since I mentioned Opera in a post. The browser has a mere 1.50% of marketshare according to Wikipedia, coming in behind Microsoft's Internet Explorer, Mozilla's Firefox, Apple's Safari, and Google's Chrome. Considering Opera's quality as a browser and how many features it has pioneered before other browsers, it is surprising how little marketshare Opera has.

Opera has some unique and interesting features rarely found in other browsers (and often requiring plug-in extensions). The browser has a built-in BitTorrent client for downloading files via torrent (which, contrary to what some may believe, has legitimate uses; I will be covering this in an upcoming article). It also features an IRC client, a feed reader, and an email client.

Opera, while not open source, is free for PCs and cellular phones. On the PC side of things, it supports Windows, Linux, Mac OS X, and even FreeBSD and Sun Microsystem's Solaris. Opera is also available for Nintendo's Wii (free) and DS gaming systems (free for the DSi), as well as a number of smartphone platforms.

It has all of the features you would expect from a typical web browser today such as tabbed browsing, a download manager, and zooming. In addition, it supports mouse gestures (an innovative feature that can make navigation easier for some users) and excellent built-in security features to make browsing safer.

The latest release of Opera also includes an innovative new feature called "Opera Unite". This allows the user to run a web server that can stream media, share files such as videos and pictures, and even host a website. While there are plenty of other frameworks out there for doing the same things, Opera Unite is unique in that it aims to bring it to the average user and make it relevant for them.

To download the Opera browser, or to see all that Opera has to offer, visit the Opera website at

The Flock browser has come far since my last post about it in 2008.

PC World ranked it number 6 on their "100 Best Products of 2008". It was the CNET "Webware 100" winner for best browser. In addition, it has won some other awards and has even been covered in the New York Times.

Flock's concept is certainly a logical one: social media has become incredibly popular; integrating this media with the browser can undoubtedly prove useful. Flock can connect with sites such as Twitter, MySpace and Facebook to track updates from friends and other information.

Flock also has a built-in email client, blog editor, and feed reader.

While Flock might not be good for those who don't like their browser to be loaded down, it certainly has some great features for those who want to keep in touch without having to have tabs open with all of their social networking sites all the time.

Ah, the Pirate Bay. It would be difficult to find another site that is so loved by some and yet so loathed by others.

Back in July 2008, I posted an article about IPETEE, the Pirate Bay's proposal to encrypt the internet. Since then, the site has been experiencing a number of problems. Some are worried that action against the site will cause it to disappear from the internet altogether. At any rate, the site has come into the spotlight due to its popularity, making it nothing less than a giant target for lawsuits and criminal proceedings.

At any rate, not much has come of IPETEE, considering it's lofty ideals and goals. It's a bit sad to see a plan that could have so much potential benefit not get anywhere after a huge announcement, but this seems unfortunately typical for vaporware.

All of that said, I hope that there has been continuing work on IPETEE or something similar. The concept was interesting because it would not require that client applications have special support in most circumstances; instead, traffic would be encrypted after it is passed from the program and decrypted before it is passed to the program. This makes it much more practical and useful than encryption for individual programs.

While IPETEE may be far from reality, there are steps you can take to make your experience more safe, secure, and private. Firstly, for email communications, look into GnuPG. Second, look for https:// in the address bar when you are purchasing items off the internet or doing banking. Third, make sure that you have a good working firewall - such as the freeware one from ZoneAlarm - before you surf the internet. All the encryption in the world won't protect you from snoopers if you're computer isn't secure. Lastly, make sure that you have wireless encrypted access set up on your router if you use wireless in your home.

For such a simple device, the Peek has proved to be immensely successful.

Now, the company has introduced the Twitter Peek, a device that aims to bring Twitter (and just Twitter) to the palm of your hand and do it right.

It's no surpise that the innovators at Peek chose the immensely popular social blogging site for their new device. Twitter is undoubtedly one of the most popular social sites on the internet, and interest in the service continues to spread. While many use Twitter to post the latest updates on what they're up to, Twitter has been used for many other things as well. It is a useful tool for businesses to stay in touch with their customers, a way for campaigning politicians to spread their messages, and has even been used to organize protests.

One might wonder why anyone would but a device simply to Tweet when they can simply use a computer, a cell phone, or PDA to send tweets. At the same time, one needs to look at the original Peek: you can send an email using a computer, a cell phone, or a PDA. But that doesn't mean that the Peek hasn't done well.

One great the about the Twitter Peek is that you can get a "Lifetime Service Plan", which means that you don't have to pay for additional service again, as you would with a cell phone. The Peek, of course, is a lot more mobile than even a notebook. Also, unlike a PDA, you don't have to be within the range of a Wi-Fi hotspot.

At any rate, if you are into Twitter or you just want a simple device to access your email without any hassles, Peek has an excellent product lined up for you.

Those who are longtime readers might remember my article on Mac Mini Web Servers.

A lot has happened at Apple since then, and Apple is now selling the Mac Mini with their new Snow Leopard Server preinstalled.

This special Mini comes complete with two 500GB 5400 RPM hard drives, 4GB of memory, and a 2.53GHz Intel Core 2 Duo processor, making for a great server setup in a small package. The model does not come with a CD drive; this, however, isn't too surprising for a server edition.

So, what does this mean for a consumer? For one, you can now buy a server for your home that is dead simple to set up and configure. Apple has made desktop computer very simple, and extending this simplicity to the home server only seems natural. Secondly, it means that you can get such a package at a reasonable price. OS X server is usually quite expensive; in this case, it is included with the package.

If Apple plays their cards right, they could have quite a hit on their hands.

Over the next two weeks, I will be posting follow-ups to various past articles.

Through this series, titled "Deja Vu: A Look Back", I hope to explore how the landscape has changed since the articles were posted.

It is my hope that you enjoy these retrospectives.

-The Evangelist

With smaller devices becoming more and more powerful, could larger laptops become obsolete for all but power users?

In recent years, the power of small mobile devices has clearly increased at an incredible rate. While devices such as the iPhone, netbooks, and other mobile internet devices (MIDs) certainly aren't extreme multitasking machines, they get the job done and do it well.

There's no doubt that these devices are gaining great popularity; sources suggest that the iPhone has 10.8% of the smartphone market, while other reports suggest that netbook sales may rise to 22 million units this year.

All of this begs a question: why lug around a full size notebook computer when all of the tasks (or the vast majority of them) that you need to do may be possible using a much smaller device. Sure, you might not get a large screen or crystal-clear sound, but is all of that really necessary? Clearly many are saying "no, it's not."

Some might point to the rise and fall of similar devices in the past. Ultraportable devices always seemed to be more of an item for a limited audience, and many turned out to be flops (for example, see Apple's MessagePad series of PDAs and their eMate 300, which resembles a small netbook). However, I would argue that those devices were ahead of their time and the technology simply was not ready. Now, with the increasing use of wireless internet and the increasing power of these portable devices (to the extent that a number of netbooks can handle HD movie playback), the gap between what users want (and need) and the world of portable gadgets is closing rapidly. In addition, these devices don't come with a ridiculous price tag, as products of these sizes used to.

In addition, one other problem that used to exist with portable devices is in the process of being overcome: the inability of many devices to take advantage of the full breadth of the internet. This was clearly one of Apple's biggest concerns with the iPhone. Now, the news comes that Flash Player, on which a great deal of online content such of videos is based, will be coming to many smartphones.

Modern mobile devices are clearly quite capable of handling both entertainment and business tasks. While most are not as open of a platform as a standard computer, and "freeware" might be harder to come by, mobile apps do have their advantages. They tend to stick to one thing and therefore try to do that one thing right, as where PC apps can sometimes overdo or overcomplicate tasks.

All of this said, there should be no doubt that standard laptops aren't going to disappear (at least not overnight). Having a decent amount of power on the go is still important to many users. It is simply a matter of what tool will fit the job best.

I just wanted to take a minute to thank Twitter Bookmarks for sponsoring and supporting this blog.

Twitter Bookmarks is a useful resource for those into Twitter, with apps and tools to help you make the most out of Twitter.

For more information, please visit

A message many consumers can sympathize with

For many consumers, it can seem like it is you against the technology. Indeed, the very technology that is supposed to make our lives easier can seem to complicate things. This is especially true when new versions of software are released that, while they may have more features, typically introduce interface changes that may confuse users and can also have bugs in all of those new features.

This is especially relevant at the moment, with the recent release of Apple's Mac OS X Snow Leopard and Microsoft's impending release of Windows 7.

Despite the fact that Apple's Mac operating systems are typically known for their reliability and easy of use, Snow Leopard has not been without its problems. Most notable is a recently discovered bug that could cause the administrator account's data to be deleted. This, however, requires some unique circumstances and isn't exactly easily reproduced unless you are really trying to cause it. On the other hand, there have been compatibility problems, which has far greater potential to affect the experience of users. In addition, Snow Leopard does not come with Rosetta installed by default. While this results in a smaller default installation (as Apple has touted), it also means that the user has to install Rosetta before they can use any of their old PowerPC applications.

Also affected by Snow Leopard are those users who can't upgrade to Snow Leopard: those still using PowerPC Macs. Some of these users feel as if they are being "left behind" by Apple. While Windows users could theoretically install Windows 7 even on a relatively old PC (it has been demonstrated running on Pentium II PCs, although I wouldn't recommend using such a system for day-to-day work), even Mac users who bought PowerPC computers more recently cannot upgrade. It should be noted, however, that more and more applications are Intel-only, so Apple is not alone in this move.

On the other hand, Windows 7 presents its own unique problems. Although Windows 7 seems to at least be faster and more responsive than the much-derided Windows Vista, the difference doesn't appear to be by that great. Worse yet, Windows XP users will still face some of the incompatibility problems they experienced (or would have experienced) with Vista.

Users coming straight from Windows XP may still have problems finding some things due to the differences in the way things like the control panel are set up. While I feel that Windows 7's way of doing things is actually better, those who are used to doing things the Windows XP way will undoubtedly have problems.

The Windows 7 taskbar definitely has the potential to confuse users. While it is possible to switch to the classic taskbar, quite a few inexperienced users may not realize this is even possible, and may be thoroughly annoyed by the new feature.

Another problem is that while Windows XP Mode can help on the software compatibility side, the processor must have hardware support for virtualization in order for it to work. This has the potential to confuse the consumer even more considering the fact that Intel's budget processors typically do not have support for hardware virtualization, and support for virtualizating even among distinct product families can be inconsistent. AMD has been far more consistent, which could prove the be beneficial to the company. If retailers fail to make it clear to users which PCs are XP Mode compatible and which ones aren't, many users with old software could be especially angered when they find out that their new (or existing) computer with a copy of Windows 7 that supposedly supports the feature can't run it.

Of course, what many users are failing to realize is that Windows XP had the same kinds of problems when it was first released. It was criticized for its instability as well as its incompatibility with many old DOS applications as well as some older Windows apps. Of course, Windows XP improved greatly with service pack releases, and XP is currently the most widely used version of Windows.

Of course, there is no real solution to these problems. If new operating systems didn't include any new features, the companies that produce them wouldn't be able to sell them using their current business models. And, when you think about it, the thought of not having moved on from Windows 9x to Windows XP is absurd now. Somewhat ironically, the time between the release of Windows 95 and the release of Windows XP was a bit over 6 years, while the time between the release of XP and the upcoming release of Windows 7 will have been 8 years. While this is a testament to the quality of Windows XP, only so much life can be had out of an operating system in the consumer market. On the other hand, the lifecycles of some products are ridiculous. It's not Microsoft's fault that hardware vendors don't bother to create drivers for newer operating systems. It's also not Microsoft's fault that many of these drivers are subpar, and can be the cause of "Windows" instability; consider that if Microsoft were to enforce stricter standards, even fewer device makers might create updated drivers for new operating systems. Apple only avoids these problems because of the limited set of hardware on which OS X runs.

There are, of course, some ways to alleviate some of these problems.

One interesting possibility would be a subscription-based operating system. This could offer vendors a way to not force people to buy a completely new operating system every couple of years while still having a valid business plan. Newer elements could be modularized and added to compatible systems in the future, while underlying modules (such as those relating to drivers) could remain the same if compatibility would be broken by an update. This, of course, would introduce its own problems. Not everybody has an internet connection, and those who don't would likely be forced to call in. At any rate, it would likely require some time to renew the subscription. It could also anger consumers and make them feel as if they don't really have control over their computers.

As far as processor virtualization support goes, the key would be more consistency across product lines and at least being consistent when using such a feature (or a lack thereof) in order to segment the market. Intel has announced that hardware virtualization will be added to some additional processors.

In the end, consumers can do a few things to keep their experience is positive as possible. Before buying a product, check for reviews online. For example, go to Google and enter the name of the product you are thinking about buying and "review". It is even better if you can enter the specific model of the product that you are looking at buying, to see if it might be an older version and/or might have problems not present in other iterations of the same product. Also, proprietary formats, particularly connectors, can be a headache if there is not enough industry investment into them. Look into these technologies carefully, and be wary that they might not work with every device, and if they break, you might not be able to replace them easily.

Finally, don't forget one important fact: there are people out there that would be happy to help you, whether you are a beginner or seasoned veteran in the tech world. Chances are that there is a forum for your product (or type of product) where you can get help from others. Doing so can make what would otherwise be a major problem into a learning experience, and you just might find that the technology isn't so unfriendly after all.

The Evangelist is now on the Entrecard Marketplace! Entrecard members should see my listings page for more information.

Current listings include text and 125x125 spots. I hope that this helps support the community.

-The Evangelist

Google has been developing an open-source plugin for Internet Explorer dubbed "Chrome Frame" that allows web pages to be rendered by Google's Chrome layout engine rather than the one built in to Internet Explorer.

This affords the user a number of benefits. Perhaps most importantly to Google, Chrome Frame enables the draft HTML5 standard in IE. This will be required for the use of Google Wave, Google's new powerful communication and collaboration tool.

In addition, Chrome Frame can also offer better Javascript performance thanks to the Chrome layout engine.

The only caveat is that, as of when this article was written, web developers have to add a tag to their web pages in order to render Chrome tab. It is my hope that Google extends the Chrome Frame capability to all pages at the user's discretion, allowing users who are familiar with the Internet Explorer interface to take advantage of Google's excellent layout engine.

Potential downloaders should also keep in mind the fact that Chrome Frame is, as Google describes it, in an "early stage." This means that there still might be some bugs and some glitches with the software.

Those who are interested should visit Google's page on Chrome Frame for more information.

Just in case anybody noticed that I have been apparently getting hits from Google searches for "refererx", I just wanted to clarify a few things.

This blog is not associated with RefererX and does not use it. I couldn't even find how the visitor got to this blog through that search.

Moreover, this blog has never sold anything, marketed anything for anyone for pay, received any products or services for review, or been paid for a review. Due to the new regulations being put out, I will be creating a disclosure page to explain our current policy.

That said, I want to reaffirm that this blog is dedicated to creating unique and interesting articles on technology topics.

-The Evangelist

Many of you have probably noticed (and maybe even read about) the UFO logos that have been popping up on Google as of late (for example, there is one up today, September 15, 2009, link to the image itself).

There has been much speculation as to what these logos are for, because they don't seem to commemorate anything too special like Google's typical logos do. This has led some to believe that they are marketing a specific movie. However, given Google's history, I doubt that they sold something as important as the logo as advertising. Also, the logo doesn't link to anything that would suggest a movie.

One theory that came to my mind is that it might be some kind of esoteric recruitment scheme like the one Google did a few years back. It is of interesting note that in the first logo with the UFO, the second o was being abducted and the file name of the image was go_gle.gif. With this second image, the l appears to have been written in by a tractor (or otherwise not made by the UFO, as it is not as distinct) and the file name is goog_e.gif.

So, what do you think the reason behind Google's UFO logos is? Or, do you think they're doing it for no reason at all. Share your thoughts in the comment section by clicking on the title of this article and scrolling down.


Opinions and comments are welcome. To post, simply click on the title of this article and scroll down.

The blog is currently being updated. Sorry for any trouble this may cause.

-The Evangelist

AMD once edged past Intel to attain the performance crown. Now, the chip maker faces an uphill challenge.

You might remember that years ago AMD held the performance crown with their Athlon 64 processors. Intel struggled to catch up, adding 64-bit capability to their processors. The Netburst microarchitecture (Pentium 4) proved to be unable to catch up with AMD's innovation no matter how many gigahertz Intel put into their high-end processors; therefore, Intel turned to their older P6 microarchitecture (Pentium 3) to create the Core microarchitecture, which has since allowed Intel to reclaim its performance crown.

Even with the performance crown, AMD faced the fact that Intel was a marketing giant. While many enthusiasts, gamers, and other demanding users turned to AMD, Intel still held the mainstream market due to a number of factors. Most manufacturers sold mostly Intel computers. Some did not sell AMD computers at all. The public perception of Intel was also a large factor; many recognized Intel as the processor manufacturer, and looked to buy an Intel computer. I would like to note that one time, I talked to a user that was unsure of whether or not all of their software would be compatible with an AMD processor because they had always bought Intel.

Now that Intel has reclaimed the performance crown, AMD has had to compete in other ways. One way they have successfully done this is by offering exceptional value through lower prices. Of course, they have not been sitting around; AMD has forged ahead with their Phenom and, more recently, Phenom II processors. At the same time, Intel has come out with their Nehalem microarchitecture. Based on this microarchitecture are Intel's new 45nm Xeon server processors as well as the Core i7 and Core i7 Extreme processors for the high-end desktop market as well as the first of Intel's Core i5 processors, which will aimed more at mainstream computing. Eventually Intel will switch over to a 32nm process. he high-end processor for servers and desktops will then be Core i9, a six-core processor. At the lower end will be the Core i3 and a Pentium-branded processor.

Image copyright Imperator3733. See the image summary on Wikipedia for more information.

So, the question becomes this: how will AMD continue to compete? It is fairly clear that Intel is also trying to get into the lower-end market with the Core i3 and their Pentium branded processors. If Intel is able to keep prices low enough and performance good enough on these lower-end chips, will AMD be able to compete? This is a complicated question, and there is no easy answer.

AMD's Phenom II processors are based on 45nm technology, and have improved performance from the original Phenoms. Benchmarks, however, show that high-end Phenom IIs still lag behind Intel's high-end Core i7 chips. While the Phenom IIs might cost less, those who demand performance at the high-end are bound to turn to Intel. AMD does, however, have quite a bit of potential at the mid-range to lower end. The Athlon II X2 and Phenom II X2 chips appear to be very good for the price according to benchmarks.

The other big question is this: where does AMD go next? It would appear that the next step is still AMD Fusion; these processors would function as both a CPU and GPU, eliminating the need for a separate graphics card. Intel will be exploring similar technology with some of their upcoming processors with the codenames "Clarkdale" and "Arrandale." However, given Intel's history with GPUs and the fact that these are intended to be mainstream-market processors, these processors won't be ideal for gaming or more intense graphics. One interesting thought is that, just as in the current Macbook Pro laptops with graphics that can be switched from dedicated to integrated to save power, perhaps computers with this technology could also an include a dedicated graphics card and be able to switch back and forth depending on performance needs or lack thereof at a given moment.

Since AMD now has ATI's resources, their Fusion processors could possibly deliver better graphics than Intel's will, but at this point this is just pure conjecture. According to Wikipedia's article on AMD Fusion, these processors may skip the 32nm process and instead be based on a 22nm process. This could give AMD a chance to get ahead once again, although there is no guarantee that AMD's processors will have superior performance simply because of the smaller process. Only the future will tell the fate of the two major x86 processor manufacturers, both of which face the challenges of the economic recession.


Opinions and comments are welcome. To post, simply click on the title of this article and scroll down.

Before I get started, I just want to clarify a few things, so as to not confuse anyone: I have no problem with internet media such as blogs (which should be obvious considering the fact that this is a blog). This article is simply my analysis of one of the reasons that internet and alternative media have virtually ruined the traditional media. This is an opinion-editorial, and this article simply represents the opinion of the author. Please do not take it as absolute fact, or anything else that it is not intended to be.


It is clear that the popularity of internet media has greatly damaged the traditional media. Many online sources of news provide their articles for free. In these troubled times, it should come as no surprise that people are turning to free online news in order to save money.

But there is another reason that the internet has basically ruined traditional media, one that is often overlooked. First, one unavoidable truth: the quality of information on the internet is not always ideal. Sensationalist and even false information is commonplace. Now, in their effort to keep up with internet media, the traditional media has turned to the internet for stories and information. Unfortunately, it would seem that in an effort to garner better ratings, they turn to these sensationalist stories.

While this might seem fine and dandy, it also has one unfortunate side effect: there are no original stories, and the quality of the stories that are released are generally fairly low. When faced with the proposition of looking at websites such as Google News for the latest aggregated news stories or watching the news or reading a newspaper, I imagine that many "netizens" would choose Google News. The cream-of-the crop stories are towards the top, and all of the extra gobbledygook has been removed. My point is this: to try to compete with the internet media, the traditional media is trying to become more like the internet media. I simply do not believe this will work.


Opinions and comments are welcome. To post, simply click on the title of this article and scroll down.

I have been busy with various things lately, and as a result I haven't been able to post for a while. At the same time, I have still been getting a steady stream of viewers, and I appreciate the patience of all of those who are still waiting for my latest post.

Rest assured, I will be posting some new articles for your enjoyment soon.

Again, thank you for your patience.

-The Evangelist

The Evangelist has always been an open forum for discussion, and commenting on articles has always been allowed. The format of a blog allows for the discussion of topics that you can first read about and get acquainted with.

It is our belief, however, that a blog is just one type of great forum for thought and discussion. There may be topics that you want to talk about in tech that aren't discussed here, and we realize that.

That's why we're opening the Evangelist Media Forums. The forums are still in the process of being fully set up, but they are fully-functioning, so please feel free to use them.

It is my belief that this will add another level of depth to the discussion here, and I do hope you enjoy it.

To comment on this post please click on the name of the article at the top of this post and scroll down.

I would like to wish everyone in observance a happy Easter.

May this time of renewal remind you of the promise of tomorrow.

To comment on this post please click on the name of the article at the top of this post and scroll down.

The Evangelist has from our first day been a part of, a community of bloggers who have come together to not only network with other bloggers but also expose our blogs to new visitors from other member blogs of the network.

Originally, the intent was to earn credits on Entrecard by "dropping" your card on other blogs with an Entrecard widget, by displaying advertisements from other bloggers, or by winning them in contests. You could also (as you can now) buy credits from Entrecard. Of course, people did try to sell credits, but these activities were prohibited. This meant that Entrecard was its own contained virtual economy. The more recent addition of the marketplace helped to cement this.

Of course, because Entrecard credits were created every time a person dropped on another blog or bought credits, inflation became rampant with so many more credits in the system. This resulted in higher and higher taxes on various transactions.

The good people at Entrecard have been trying, of course, to keep their economy afloat. Too high a tax on transactions would make certain actions prohibitively costly. Conversly, if they failed to tax enough, inflation would destroy their economy.

Because of these reasons, and to cover their own operating costs and be viable, Entrecard recently revamped their entire economy. This has meant that they are now accepting paid ads. With this, a new CashOut service will become available tomorrow, Saturday, April 10. This will allow Entrecarders to get paid for 75% of the value of the credits they cash in. The other 25% will at least partially go to operating expenses and growth.

These paid ads have caused quite the controversy, so I simply wanted to give this statement:

The Evangelist will be running paid advertisements. Many of these advertisements are for Entrecard blogs, and so we feel that, in running them, we are still supporting the community. Also, it is my belief that advertisers who pay in Entrecard credits will still get their money's worth.

It is my hope that the Entrecard community can see it in themselves to come together and support the community regardless of whether or not they choose to run paid ads.

It is simply a bit too late to change things back to the way they were. It is my hope that the two-widget system comes to fruition sooner rather than later. When the two-widget system becomes available, I will use it to run both Entrecard and paid ads, so as to support the community to the best of my ability.

To comment on this post please click on the name of the article at the top of this post and scroll down.

Intel has put out a press release on the future of their Atom processor platform.

Two new Atom processors were announced at the Intel Developer Forum, which was held in Beijing. One of these processors, the Z515, will be made for smaller mobile internet devices (which will likely be very popular in markets such as China). It will be able to run at up to 1.2GHz thanks to Intel's Burst Technology Performance Technology, which is a definite improvement over the previous generation of processors for this form-factor. The other new processor, the Z550, will break the 2GHz mark for the Atom processor, and do it within the less than 3-watt envelope. No doubt this will present AMD's Neo with some competition in the higher-end market.

Along with this, Intel will release their new Moorestown platform, which should reduce idle power consumption by ten times, a great improvement. It would seem that Intel will beat AMD to their own motto of "The Future is Fusion." Moorestown will feature System on Chip technology (which was codenamed Lincroft). This will mean that the processor, graphics, and other controllers will be integrated into a single package, which should be great for the next generation of small form-factor mobile internet devices.

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If you have been following tech news lately, you may have seen that Google has been under attack by a number of newspapers because of its Google News news aggregator.

From what I can gather from various sources these newspapers believe that Google is effectively "stealing their content" by aggregating it.

Looking at this, one should first consider that Google makes no money off of the service. It is just like many other Google services that Google provides with no other benefit to themselves but marketshare. Of course, they do make money when you go to parts of their site that contain advertising, but that's irrelevant.

Second, we should look at the fact that Google only reprints part of an article along with the headline from sources, and displays other headlines from other sources on the same topic right below. This means that Google is not showing an entire article on their site, but instead just a tiny snippet (which is not even a summary). This means that a person can read the snippet of material, and if it interests them, click on the link. This ultimately results in the reader ending up at a newspaper's website.

Newspapers may think that people are turning to Google News instead of their newspapers. The problem is that these days people are looking more and more for news from varied sources on topics that interest them, and not just the topics that one newspaper discusses in their papers and on their websites. It is my belief that, if it weren't for Google, almost none of the people that currently come through Google would view articles from these newspapers.

I can completely understand why the newspapers are doing this. Times are tough, and the newspapers need readers. But if the newspapers aren't willing to have their content aggregated, the fact is that many people may turn to alternative sources of media, such as blogs and independent news-sites. It's not as if this hasn't already started happening, at any rate.

I believe that newspapers can stay relevant. They simply need to encourage their readers to participate more, and provide new avenues to allow their readers to do this. Television news stations have already been taking advantage of this by allowing viewers to send in news stories and pictures they have taken related to news stories and the weather.

It's difficult to tell what will happen in this scenario. Google needs the news sources for its aggregator. On the other hand, the newspapers would be shooting themselves in their feet if they pursued this and Google chose not to pay up royalties to them for linking to their content but instead simply removed them from the site. At any rate, it seems that the current setup is extremely fair, and both Google and the newspapers benefit immensely. I would hate to see this relationship become unstable; I would venture to guess that the newspapers really have more to loose on their end.

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There is one more feature that I forgot to mention in the previous post.

I know that some posts here on The Evangelist can be long and take a while to read, especially the feature posts. I also believe that you, the readers, would probably enjoy being able to take my posts to go. That's why I'm launching The Evangelist To Go. With this new feature, you will see a link at the bottom of every post that says "The Evangelist To Go - Download Article Audio." When you click this link, you will be able to download a .wav file with the article read for you. This way, you can put the article on your MP3 player, portable media player, or other device. This feature will also be useful if you would prefer to hear, rather than read, the article.

You can test this new feature out using the link below. Feel free to state what you think in the comments by clicking the title of this article above and scrolling down to the comments.

The Evangelist To Go - Download Article Audio

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Toshiba has announced a new mini camcorder that will retail in the UK for 129.99 pounds (about $181.61 USD).

The camera is touted as being able to produce 1080p-quality video in an incredibly small package. It features a 4x digital zoom and a 2.5in LCD screen. In addition, it can function as a digital camera to take 5 megapixel pictures.

The camera has a built-in SD card slot, which will allow for a good deal of storage which can easily be transferred to a computer (as opposed to the harder transfer process from DVD and HDD Hard Disk Drive video recorders to computers).

While this product isn't as advanced as larger recorders, the device will be great for YouTube-style filming and other activities where lugging around a full-sized camera is difficult.

I haven't had a lot of time to update the blog lately, so I figure I'll start things back out with a bang.

You may have already noticed that you can now rate my posts on the blog. You can select your rating of 1-5 stars right below the title of every post. This is an easy way for you to tell me what content you enjoy, which in turn will allow me to give you more of what you like best.

The comments feature has been completely redone. All previous comments will remain in their current format. All new comments, however, will not. To post a comment, you can simply click on the title of the post to go to the page for that post. Once there, you can scroll down to find the new comments system from JS-Kit. You can now post as an anonymous guest or use a JS-Kit profile, Haloscan profile, OpenID, or even connect with a Facebook or Yahoo account. Obviously, The Evangelist never sees any of your data. There are a number of additional features available as well, such as rich text formatting and post ratings.

I will probably be looking for someone else with some experience with hardware to write for the blog. I am simply only one person, and I can only do so much. The Evangelist is here to produce informative and useful content for its readers, as it always has been. As of the time of this post, I have not 'monetized' the blog at all. Whoever would be willing to take this post would clearly be a volunteer. If you are interested, please say so in the comments for this post.

More recently, The Evangelist's theme was changed to "Worldwide Technology News." It would seem to me that the blog has met that definition. Since the revamp, visitors from 30 different countries have visited us. The top five based on percentage of readership since then have been the United States with 36%, the United Kingdom with 8%, the Philippines with 7%, India with 6%, and Germany with 5%. You can see the full stats here.

To wrap things up, I hope you enjoy the new features, and continue to come back to The Evangelist for your technology news.

Earth Hour 2009 is from 8:30-9:30 P.M. on today, March 28, 2009 at your local time.

In honor of this event, my next articles will be about conserving power while getting the most out of your electronics.

For more information and to participate in this event, please visit

You have probably heard of digital photo frames before. They have caught on to a reasonable extent, offering the ability to view digital photos without having to print them out, have prints made, or view them on a computer. Essentially, the frames can replace a traditional photograph, and display multiple photos in a slideshow to top it off. Different frames have widely varying features, of course.

The key feature of the new AgfaPhoto frame is its display. The AF5105MS with a 10-inch display and the AF5135MS with a 13-inch display both feature a 1280x800 screen resolution, making for a clearer image. They also feature a speaker, something that has become standard on more recent models. The integrated card reader accepts secure digital (SD), secure digital high capacity (SDHC), compact flash, MS, and multimedia card (MMC) formats. In addition, the frames come with 256MB of flash storage, which allows for some storage without the need for external storage.

The frame will be available in a choice of either white or black, and will there will be a number of customizable options available for purchase from the manufacturer.

A 6-Cell battery is now available on the HP Official Store for the HP Mini 1000 and Compaq Mini 700 series of netbooks.

The batteries that come standard with the netbook are 3-cell. This, of course, allows HP to design an overall smaller netbook that weighs and costs less, which is one thing that their netbook does have over many competing products. The downside to this, of course, is that you get less battery life on a charge.

I'm sure that many will road warriors will appreciate this product. You can grab it from the store for $95.99. If you are in the market for a new one, you might be happy to hear that when customizing your netbook you can get the 6-cell batter for just $40.00, or get one 3-cell and one 6-cell for $119.00, making for a great option for those who will need both portability and long run-time.

The War Is On

If you have been following this blog or technology news in general, you probably remember reading that AMD was not planning on competing with Intel's Atom because they perceived the market to be very small. Even whilst this statement was being made, Intel was making a killing off of all of the netbooks being sold with Intel Atom processors.

It came as no surprise, then, when AMD decided that they wanted a slice of the pie (as mentioned in Meet The Atom's Competition). AMD had said that their new processor, now known as the Athlon Neo (formerly known by its codename Huron), would target the market for portables primarily between netbooks and laptops. This seemed a tad odd, considering the fact that most people who are in the market for a netbook only want a small secondary machine that does the basics and surfs the internet, and all for a fairly low price. They can't to do as much as notebooks, but they aren't meant to; it seems as if AMD is missing this. The Neo is meant to have more power, but this will only result in a larger end product, which basically contradicts the original idea behind the netbook in the first place. Sure, they probably have a niche market in those who want a decent amount of power in a smaller package at a reasonable price. But this market is small; for those who really need power in an ultraportable package there are products like the Macbook Air, although the Air has a far more considerable price tag.

The first 'notebook' to contain the Neo will be the HP Pavilion dv2, which will feature a 12.1" screen, hard drive capacity of up to 500GB, up to 4GB of RAM, the option of ATI Mobility Radeon HD 3410 discrete graphics (which makes it seem similar to the Atom-equipped Asus N10 with the GeForce 9300M Graphics Processing Unit), an expresscard slot, and an optional external Blu-Ray drive with an Athlon Neo MV-40 processor at the heart of the operation. The projected base price is $699, and it is due to be released this April. The Neo MV-40 is, unlike the Atom (which is currently based on a 45nm process), based on a 65nm process, which is no different than AMD's current processors, so these processors will run hotter than the Atom and draw more power, resulting in lower battery life (due to the 34W thermal envelope). It is single-core, has a clock of 1.60GHz, 512KB of L2 cache, and 64-bit support (which the Atom does not have). The laptop will also use the AMD Yukon platform. As far as size, the notebook will weigh just 3.8 pounds for a standard configuration and be only .93 inches thick. While this means that the Pavilion dv2 will be very small for a standard laptop, it is by no means as portable as the typical netbook.

AMD has revealed that they have plans to release dual-core Neo processors as part of their future Congo platform. It is clear from benchmarks that AMD's Athlon Neo is more powerful than the single-core Intel Atom in most cases and the dual-core Atom in some cases. When a dual-core Neo chip comes out it will probably beat out the Atom as well.

What will be really interesting to see is whether or not Intel takes this threat seriously. An article over at Cnet suggests that they may be cooking up a response to the Neo for the same target market based on the Core architecture. If they are, these processors would have less power than ULV Core 2 Duo processors which are used in expensive ultraportables and the Intel Atom, which is exactly the same market that the Neo is targeting. At any rate, I am sure that Intel will not stand still.

There is one final thing to consider when it comes to the Athlon Neo. Current economic conditions may actually help with Neo become sucessful. When it comes time for people to but a new notebook, current economic conditions will likely dictate that they purchase on a budget. At the same time, these people will be looking not for a netbook but for a regular laptop that can run all of their programs (and perhaps some games). This is where the Neo can possibly thrive. A number of factors will have to be met in order for this to happen, however. First, the manufacturers will have to be willing to take a risk in manufacturing these notebooks. Second, they stores will have to be willing to take a risk in carrying them. Then, finally, you have all of the factors that will contribute to people actually buying them, such as marketing materials and the attitude of those who work at the stores that sell the notebooks toward notebooks based on Neo processors.

At any rate, even if AMD and Intel aren't competing in the exact same market, they are competing in two close degrees of a larger market. If AMD hits the right spot in the market and the conditions are right, they could be quite sucessful with the Neo. On the other hand, if they are unlucky, their ranges of different products aimed at this small market will only serve to confuse and frustrate consumers. I really do want to see AMD succeed. They just have to be very careful, because every time they do come up with a sucessful product, Intel is a step behind with its massive Research and Development machine. And if one thing is for certain, it's that AMD has far more to loose than Intel.

I just wanted to let all of my readers that I am working on another blog related to flight simulation.

I have been working on more articles for The Evangelist, and trust me when I say that this blog will not suffer due to the new blog. The setup has been what is taking so long.

I will be posting a link so you can take a look soon.

-The Evangelist

If you have been following this blog for a while, you may have read my previous post about Scour, a social search engine.

Since them, Scour has certainly come a long way. They won Mashable's Open Web Award for Best Search and Social Search Engine, facing the likes of Google with its popularity and new searchwiki social features.

If you haven't checked Scour out yet, you should think about giving it a try. The results are incredibly relevant because of the social rankings and, to top it off, you can earn points for every search which can be redeemed for debit gift card.

Dell fans rejoice, the spec sheet for the long-awaited Latitude XT2 have finally been leaked by Dell.

The XT2 is Dell's newest tablet, and the specs sure show it. With either a 1.2 GHz or 1.4 GHz Core 2 Duo Ultra Low Voltage (ULV) Processor, a 12.1" LCD display and more, the XT2 is certainly a decent next-gen tablet.

The Australian PC Authority website is reporting that Nvidia has a team working on a chip using the x86 microarcitecture without a license, something they are unlikely to get.

This would obviously present legal problems for Nvidia if they are producing a chip. The article takes a fairly negative stance on Nvidia's alleged choice to begin designing a chip without a license.

I do, however, think that this brings up a fact that could have ramifications: there is an oligopoly in the x86 microprocessor market. And then we consider the fact that x86 processors are used in most personal computers these days. It makes me wonder of Nvidia would have a chance of getting in on the market by fighting Intel, claiming that the lack of competition is unfair. It seems highly unlikely that this would work, but it will be interesting to see if this will happen if they do end up in a lawsuit.

Then again, Nvidia might not be working on an x86 architecture chip at all. Litigation (or lack thereof) will probably be a good indicator of whether Nvidia will really go through with this.

In honor of the recent re-launch of The Evangelist, the blog now sports a new look. It is my hope that the new design will make the blog more accessible.

Recent posts are now accessible from the top left pane right above the posts. There is also a new live traffic feed which shows where all visitors to the blog are coming from in the right-side pane.

In addition, our motto has changed to Worldwide Technology News.

I hope you enjoy the new features, as well as the upcoming articles here on The Evangelist.

Rumors that Intel's new Larrabee Graphics Processing Unit (GPU) may power Sony's next generation game console, here tanatively called the PlayStation 4, have been spreading like wildfire. Intel is aiming to have a high-end product that may even be able to beat the offerings from the current big two high-end graphics card producers, Nvidia and ATI (AMD).

It makes sense that Intel would try to get Larrabee on to at least one console based on how well consoles sell for gaming. Since Larrabee is intended to be a high end product, it would make sense for Intel to work specifically with Sony if the high-end PlayStation 3 is any indicator of what we can expect from the fourth iteration of the console.

Larrabee would clearly shine on a console, where some games would be written with the GPU specifically in mind and therefore be able to take advantage of the specific advantages of the GPU (as opposed to computer games, which are almost always designed to be compatible across powerful enough offerings from the major players).

If the Larrabee were to make its way on to one or more consoles, it would certainly be good for Intel due to the amount of sales that a console would bring as well as the publicity such a deal would likely get.

The question is, however, will this happen? Certainly, there is a risk. Intel has made huge claims with Larrabee. There is the danger that Intel might not be able to come through with what they have promised with the first generation product. Intel may be able to swing Sony or another console manufacturer by showing them what they actually have. The bottom line will still be that there is a risk for any console manufacturer who chooses Larrabee. On the other hand, they already know what they would be dealing with from ATI and Nvidia. At the same time, there is no doubt that if Intel does come through with Larrabee they will have a strong product, so the chance may be one worth taking.

Recently, the rumor has been fueled by an article from The Inquirer claiming that Larrabee will indeed power the PlayStation 4. I'm not going to guess as to whether or not the information is accurate; there have been a long history of incorrectly confirmed (and denied) rumors in the technology world, so it hardly seems worth betting on.

Perhaps, if Sony has decided to go with Larrabee, they will eliminate the Cell processor from their console. Many developers were unhappy with Sony's choice because of the complexity of writing code for the architecture and using it to its full potential. Perhaps Sony plans to switch to a standard Power processor, or even an offering from Intel.

One thing to consider is that, with current economic conditions, any of the console makers would have to have a reason to use Larrabee. The article from The Inquirer states that Intel is paying Sony for the deal. At the very least, a large discount would make sense.

Another interesting possibility is that if the PlayStation 4 were to run on an Intel processor, Sony may be able to market it as an easy platform to port existing PC games to, which would certainly please many developers. Also, the PlayStation 4 may be able to run a standard x86 Linux distribution which could run all Linux games and applications if Sony were to go with an Intel x86 processor for their console. The danger of this is that Sony would either have to use a software emulator or a put a Cell processor in the PlayStation 4 if they wanted it to retain backwards compatibility with the PlayStation 3.

Only the future will tell whether or not Larrabee will be found in the PlayStation 4, or any other console for that matter.

If an article from the New York Times is any indication, the United States could be facing a shortage of the Digital Television (DTV) converter boxes that many need in order to make the transition from broadcast analog to digital television that the government has required.

I think that it is a smart move to force technology forward like this so as to keep the country as a whole competitive technologically. On the other hand, it seems to me that the effort should have been more organized. Now I don't think we should throw the full weight of this on the government because I'm sure people didn't run out immediately and use their coupon to buy a converter but instead decided to wait until the last minute before their coupons expire. And then there are those who have been waiting to get a coupon to get one of the boxes.

Perhaps both the people participating in and those running the program will learn a lesson now that the transition has been delayed and will move with greater alacrity. If everything goes smoothly, there will be more converters out when additional coupons are sent out, so everyone can hopefully get one before the cut-off date.

I apologize for my lack of activity. I have been extremely busy lately and so have not had a chance to write more articles. Rest assured, more are on the way.

I would like to invite anybody to send comments to jonmonreal.alt(at)