The Evangelist

Worldwide Technology News

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.