News Bits: AMD Skywriting, Notebook Fuel Cells, Yahoo for Yahoo!, Upcoming Site Contest

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AMD is writing messages to Intel in the sky above San Francisco

You have to love rivalries, and in the world of processors Intel and AMD is a good one.  The scrappy and much smaller AMD did the equivalent of sticking its tongue out at the giant chip maker Intel by having “AMD Turion 64” written across the skies above a currently running Intel Developer Conference.  AMD Turion 64 is a processor slated to be released next month by AMD that will go head to head with Intel’s Pentium M processor that currently dominates the notebook market.  AMD and notebook manufacturing companies will launch a marketing blitz in mid-April when this processor debuts.  For now they’re just building a little hype and being cheaky in regards to Intel with this marketing.

AMD thumbs its nose at Intel Over the skies of San Francisco where the Intel Developer Conference is taking place

New Fuel Cell for Notebooks Displayed at Intel Developer Conference

I don’t think fuel cells hold much interest for developers at the Intel Developers Forum in San Francisco, but Milennium Cell took the opportunity to show off its fuel cell technology regardless.  Millennium Cell (website: says its implementation of fuel cell batteries for laptops will provide 8 hours of power.  The different thing about this fuel cell is that it uses a metal-hydrogen compound, currently sodium hydride (NaH), which it extracts hydrogen from for power rather than the typical methanol fuel other such batteries use.  At the demo in San Francisco their battery is being used to power an IBM ThinkPad X40 notebook.

8 hours of life sounds good, but the catch is you need a 3″ x 5″ x 1″ plastic box to sit next to the laptop that stores and converts the metallic hydride.  Eventually they hope to incorporate this “plastic box” into the laptop.  I don’t know about you, but I’d love more battery life if I can get it, but not if it means such hassles as carrying a little plastic box with metallic-hydride around with me.  And good luck explaining that funny substance in a plastic box to guards at the airport security gate.  Millennium Cell expects it’s first commercial offering to be available in 2007.  Personally, I’m pessimistic in seeing any cheap and viable alternative to our Lithium-Ion standard batteries for a few years yet.  Let’s hope laptops can simply become more and more efficient with the power they have.



Yahoo for Yahoo!

Hey, it’s Jerry Yang and David Filo goofing off instead of doing their PhD work at Stanford University

Yahoo! offered free ice cream to visitors to its website today as it celebrated 10 years of being available on the web.  Canada, USA, UK, Puerto Rico, South Korea and Australians are all invited to run to their local Baskin Robbins for a cone:

In an interesting personal note, a friend of mine attended Stanford with Jerry Yang, the founder of Yahoo, and according to him most Stanford grad students at the time thought that Jerry was a screw off and wasting his time that should have been invested in PhD research.  Jerry is a very rich person now, but he never finished the PhD.  I suppose he can do that when he retires.

CNET HP Compaq nc6230 Review

CNET just posted a review on the latest release in the HP nc6000 series, that being the nc6230 thin and light notebook.  This is a business notebook with a 14.1″ screen (various resolutions offered), Intel Petium M Sonoma and a fairly light 5.1 lbs of mass and — my personal favorite — a pointing stick on the keyboard just like the ThinkPad series offers.  CNet gives this notebook a 7.4 out of 10 in their rating system.

More: CNET HP Compaq nc6230 Review

Upcoming and Laptop Magazine Contest

Laptop Magazine is a fantastic read, and while they of course cover a bunch of notebooks in the magazine, they actually are much broader than just that and have great reviews on every type of mobile technology.  In my opinion its the best tech review magazine on the stands, sorry PC Mag and PC World.

And so we’re happy to be starting a contest tomorrow on this site that should be kind of fun, and will offer the prize of a free subscription to Laptop Magazine and a T-shirt to go along with that.  We’ll have 5 subscriptions to offer for this first contest.  Make sure to visit Laptop Magazine’s website to enter a currently running contest they have in which you can win an Epson L-500V 5 Megapixel camera.

Laptop Magazine Home Page:

Laptop Magazine Camera Contest:

Laptop Magazine’s latest issue cover

Rugged Notebook Sales Expected to Increase

With no explanation as to why rugged notebook sales should increase, Taiwanese website reports that manufacturers in the land where nearly every notebook is made (also known as Taiwan) expect sales of rugged notebooks to grow exponentially.  It might be because people that are buying SUV and Hummer type vehicles want a bully looking laptop to match their cars.  Okay, that’s a terrible hypothesis but it’s better than none.





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