For those of you who've lost hope that you'll ever have a robot butler or drive a hovercraft, here's a glimmer of possibility: a jet pack! Thunderbolt Aerosystems has developed the Thunderpack, a "rocket belt" that can propel you through the air at up to 75 miles per hour. Okay, so it will only fly for 45 seconds. And it'll cost you $100,00 to buy one. Then there's the fact that I'm sure a few safety-freakish representatives of Congress will do everything in their power to keep these out of the … Read more
First Virgin Galactic's SpaceShipTwo unveiling and now a new jetpack? Somebody forgot to tell me that it's Worldwide Wacko Futurist Pipe-Dream Week.
A company called Thunderbolt Aerosystems announced this week the release of the Thunderpack, which "represents more than a decade's worth of effort to apply modern rocket fuels and propulsion technologies to create a practical and economical personal air vehicle." It'll fly you around for a total of 75 seconds. That's certainly an improvement over a jetpack at the Wirefly X Prize Cup in 2006 that could stay aloft for a mere … Read more
It's called the Vista Service Pack 1 Release Candidate Refresh. It's supposed to be a bug-fixin', feature-enhancin' behemoth that makes Windows Vista leaner, meaner, taller, and sexier.
It'll do your dishes and take out your garbage, too.
Microsoft released this "Release Candidate Refresh" late last week--just one month after the initial release candidate made its debut. The company asserted that it wants additional information from testers, which indicates that even more bugs need to be fixed. But what does RC Refresh really do? Is it really that large? Most importantly, do you need it?
Microsoft on Tuesday said it will make publicly available a beta version of Windows XP Service Pack 3. But, like a car salesman pitching the new Corvette over the old jalopy, Microsoft argued that a switch to Vista is the better move.
"While Windows Vista provides the most advanced security and management capabilities of any Windows operating system, Windows XP SP3 will ensure PCs running Windows XP will have the latest updates, as well as compatibility with the Network Access Protection functionality of Windows Server 2008," Microsoft said in a statement.
Lest anyone misread that as an endorsement, … Read more
Because Microsoft often gets rapped for delivering products late, it seems worth noting that, on Tuesday, Dec. 11, 2007, it delivered a product early.
The new update, which has gotten a whole lot less attention than Vista SP1, adds largely performance and stability improvements, along with making the server components of Office fully compatible with the forthcoming Windows Server 2008 update.
"These enhancements span the software applications and servers that home and office workers use each … Read more
Microsoft on Tuesday said that it has reached the "release candidate" with the first service pack for Windows Vista, with plans to make the test software available publicly next week.
It is releasing the test code this week to the 15,000 or so people who have been beta testing SP1 already, and will also make it available on Thursday to those in the MSDN and TechNet developer programs.
"We feel really good and we look forward to receiving feedback from our larger set of testers," said David Zipkin, a senior product manager on the Windows … Read more
Microsoft said Monday that it has expanded its testing of Windows XP Service Pack 3, to include subscribers of its MSDN and TechNet programs. Last month, Microsoft made available a test version of XP Service Pack 3 to a group of about 15,000 testers.
The update is significant in that it is the largest change in some time to Microsoft's most-used operating system. However, the XP update is largely a collection of previously issued bug fixes and security updates.
A public beta is scheduled for some later date, with a goal of having it released in final form … Read more
Microsoft late last week released an updated test version of Windows XP Service Pack 3 to about 15,000 beta testers. The update, the third such service pack for the six-year-old operating system is due out in final form in the first half of next year. The company said before its final release it expects to issue a public test version of the service pack, though it did not provide more specificity than at "a later date."
"We are targeting (the first half of) 2008 for the release of XP SP3," Microsoft said, "though our … Read more
The U.S. District Court of Massachusetts has granted iRobot its requested injunction against Robotic FX's Negotiator robot.
iRobot has alleged that the Negotiator robot built by Robotic FX infringes on two of its patents for the PackBot military robot.
iRobot is also suing Robotic FX's president, Jameel Ahed, as an individual. The company has accused the former iRobot employee of misappropriating confidential PackBot information he had access to while working at iRobot and using it in his company's Negotiator robot.
"The precise terms of the injunction follow in a separate Order, which shall be issued … Read more
Microsoft's Windows Live services are living up to its name by going live, losing the "beta" label, and becoming available as a free, Windows suite of six Web-connected applications.
The suite includes Windows Live Mail, which integrates with Hotmail and supports POP and IMAP. Among the other complete desktop services are Windows Live Messenger and Windows Live Writer for composing blog posts. Windows Live Photo Gallery manages picture albums that can be uploaded to Microsoft Spaces, MSN Soapbox, or Yahoo's Flickr.
Also final are Windows Live Spaces for blogging, the Windows Live Events invitation service, as … Read more