Microsoft releases Live Search Books beta

Microsoft has released a first public version of a search engine that allows Internet users to search through "tens of thousands of out-of-copyright books."

40% efficient solar cell developed

The U.S. Department of Energy has announced a new solar cell that can convert more than 40% of sunlight into electricity. The cell, made by Boeing-Spectrolab, uses mirrors and prisms to boost the sunlight going into the cell. The DOE says the cells could be sold for $3 per watt and make electricity for 8 to 10 cents per KW/hour.

Kingston releases 1200 MHz DDR2 memory

Forget about the $650 liquid-cooled 1.15 GHz memory you may have just ordered for your rig. Turns out that the OCZ PC2-9200 FlexXLC devices aren't cutting edge anymore, just two weeks after their announcement. Bragging rights for the memory with the highest clock speed are moving over to Kingston's HyperX PC9600 modules, which are clocked at 1.2 GHz. The company also offers a PC-9200 version (1.15 GHz).

Axis announces rugged bus, train network camera

Axis Communications today introduced what it claims is the first network camera designed for use in buses and rail vehicles.

Intel demos its first mobile WiMAX chip

Santa Clara (CA) - Intel has announced that it built its first WiMAX baseband chip for laptops. The WiMAX Connect 2300 chip, combined with a radio antenna, could be a long-range replacement for 802.11 Wi-Fi and cellular networks by providing multi-megabit speeds over several kilometers. Intel has also incorporated multiple antennas to increase speed and signal strength.

Xirrus adds draft 11n upgrade guarantee, for a price

Wi-Fi Array maker Xirrus today announced the launch of the Xirrus 802.11n Upgrade Guarantee Program.

Driver texting with BlackBerry causes six car pileup

A man tapping messages on his BlackBerry phone caused a six car pileup on Interstate 5 on Tuesday morning. The Mercer Island, Washington resident was driving in the express lanes in his minivan when he rear-ended a car. That crash careened into four other vehicles which included a passenger bus.

Truphone brings free mobile calls over VoIP

With computer VoIP services like Skype and Vonage continuing to build consumer base, Truphone is a new London-based start-up going a slightly different route - bringing the same technology to cell phones to enable free or inexpensive calls on the go.

Brazil to test $400 Intel laptop in schools

Intel said Tuesday its diminutive low-cost laptop will be evaluated in Brazil next year alongside a cheaper alternative from a nonprofit group seeking to bring computers to poor children worldwide.

Preparing for Windows Vista

I've covered every release since Windows 95 and the path to launching this one is starting to have a much more familiar ring. I've been in production with Vista RTM for a few days and am really starting to like it. It's the little things that have me missing Windows XP less and less. This week, let's chat about your timing for Vista and make sure you have thought through the things you need to do before you make the switch.

Opinion: Intel losses mounting

This news story from TG Daily about AMD's post-ATI-merger rise in the semiconductor rankings should make Nvidia and Intel feel a little light-headed.

Next-gen OQO ultra-portable computer coming

OQO has been selling its portable "model 01" computer more about 26 months without significant changes. The once much anticipated design has settled in a market niche that is now being populated by ultra-mobile PCs (UMPCs). Rumors about a potential successor have flying around for some time, but a FCC filing now confirms that the device will be announced soon.

Toshiba intros 1.8" 100 GB hard drive

Toshiba announced that it has developed a new version of its 1.8" hard drive, offering a capacity of 100 GB. The new drive, which is first to reach triple digits in its segment, is expected to roll out to mobile PCs starting next month and could also make its way into the next-generation video iPod.

Samsung developing smaller, brighter touch-screens

Samsung is developing a new display chip that promises smaller and brighter touch-screen LCD panels. The mobile display driver IC makes the LCD panel itself touch sensitive and eliminates the need for a separate touch screen panel.

Second generation Z-RAM announced

Santa Clara (CA) - Innovative Silicon, which made waves earlier this year by announcing a license agreement with AMD, today said that the second generation of its Z-RAM technology is available. The memory could be used as foundation for much denser L2 cache integrations in microprocessors.

Transcend rolls out new 8GB USB drive

Remember when USB memory sticks only had a mere 256 MB of storage? Those days are long gone and Transcend Information has just announced its new JetFlash V10 USB 2.0 drive with 8 GB of storage. The drive includes some encryption software and integrates a sliding USB connector which protects stick when not in use.

Opinion: Tinsel kills Wi-Fi. Film at 11

This release from AirMagnet gave me a chuckle this morning. Seems it's bad enough that putting up holiday decorations might get you reported to H.R. by those who don't celebrate your particular holiday.

MySpace hit by worm, adware and phishing

A malicious QuickTime movie file is spreading across social networking site MySpace, embedding itself in the user profile pages of infected victims and changing links to point to phishing sites.

Corsair releases FB DIMM 2 GB memory

Corsair has just introduced the Fully Buffered DIMM (FB-DIMM) memory clocked at DDR2 667 MHz speed.

Sony hints at iPod/Zune-like strategy

At Sony's CES preview event today at 30 Rockefeller Center, Sony revealed its holiday plans, its CES gameplan, and talked a lot about about HD video.