Google successfully launched the Geo-Eye 1 satellite yesterday that is engineered to transmit high-resolution satellite imagery back to Earth for use by Google and the U.S. government. Google’s founder’s attended the launch event, which coincides with Google’s 10th birthday celebration. Information analyzed by the satellite will be reviewed for national security by the U.S. National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency. Google’s arrangement also allows them sole access to the images, which will be used to improve the Google Maps and Google Earth services. The first high-quality images will be available to Google in 1-2 months.
According to NetApplications, the new Google Chrome web browser release has already overtaken Opera in web browser market share. NetApplications has been monitoring Chrome usage hourly since its release, and reported that it reached a 1.57% market share on 9/4 at 2:00 AM EDT. The usage has dropped some since then, but never below the 0.74% market share held by Opera. At present, Google Chrome is holding at 1.09%.
Sony has released three new Walkman players from the S, E, and B series that suit the needs of different tastes and budgets. The S and E series products also offer full video playback support, including DRM-protected WMV files. The Walkman players allow users to enjoy music from various download stores in addition to stored audio files. The simple drag and drop file transfer makes copying music, videos, and podcasts onto the players quick and easy. The players support most popular audio and video formats, and offer high quality audio and video performance.
Dell has announced a monster new Precision M6300 Mobile Workstation. The 17″ notebook features a powerful quad-core processor, up to 16GB RAM, 1TB disk space via two drives in a RAID0 configuration, 1GB dedicated graphics memory, and an impressive LED-backlit display. Information on system weight has not yet been anounced, but from the specifications, 10lb+ would be a good assumption.
OCZ’s Core V2 60 GB SSDs are now available for purchase online. The affordable price tag of $239 after rebate marks an important milestone in the transition to SSD for data storage. Of course, buyers trade disk capacity for performance, but the $239 cost is in the same range as mechanical hard drive options, making them a viable option for a much wider demographic. The OCZ Core V2 SSDs feature read speeds of 170MB/sec and write speeds of 98MB/sec, which is very attractive for those seeking top system performance. Comparable solid state drives from other companies cost as much as $400 more per disk.
Building on the popularity of the ThinkPad X300 notebook, Lenovo recently released the sub-3 lb ThinkPad X200, which offers a perfect mix of portability and performance. The notebook is one of the first to use Intel’s new Centrino 2 platform to provide the latest technologies and a standard-voltage Core 2 Duo mobile Penryn processor, packed into a 12″ form-factor with a 1280×800 display resolution. Of course, the X200 features the legendary ThinkPad keyboard, the best among laptops. For those who are not comfortable with a TrackPoint (pointing stick), the new X301 may be more preferable, but for the rest, the TrackPoint offers convenient navigation and allows for optimal usage of the available space.
An important note for those who own a VAIO notebook. Sony has issued a massive recall of over 438,000 laptops sold between July 2007 and August 2008 due to overheating problems. Recalled models include Vaio VGN-TZ100, VGN-TZ200, VGN-TZ300, and VGN-TZ2000 series notebooks.
The LG DP889 combines a portable DVD player and digital photo frame into a single 8″ display. It features internal memory for up to 250 photos, a 3-in-1 memory card slot, USB port for direct connection to a digital camera, A/V input and output, and full DVD / DVD±R / DVD±RW / Audio CD / CD-R / CD-RW support. The LG DP889 is available online from Circuit City for $200.
MSI is rumored to be introducing a new version of the MSI Wind U100 ultraportable notebook. The current MSI Wind release features an 80GB disk drive. However, the new edition will boast a 160GB drive. Interestingly, this enhancement seems to be fueled by Microsoft’s new 160GB minimum hard drive requirement for Windows XP licensing. This change may cause a number of other hard drive size increases in the ultraportable segment in the near future.
Logitech is no stranger to the PC peripheral sector. Their mouse, keyboard, and other peripheral offerings are very popular. While numerous gaming keyboards have been released that feature backlighting, the average user did not have many options until now. Logitech claims that the new Illuminated Keyboard is their thinnest design ever. It features the Logitech PerfectStroke key system, which provides longer key travel (3.2 mm) to enhance the typing experience.