News Bits: Windows XP SP3, EarthLink supports citywide WiFi, Lenovo IdeaPads customizable

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Toshiba says 25 percent of all laptops to have SSDs by 2011

Toshiba president Shozo Saito is predicting that 25 percent of all notebooks will have Solid State Disks (SSDs) by 2011. Although the NAND flash memory used in SSDs is quite expensive at the moment, Saito predicts that the flash memory market will grow by 133% every year from 2006 – 2010.

Toshiba currently offers SSDs with capacities from 32GB to 128GB, with 512GB coming in the future.

Full Story (Macismumnews.com)
Via (TomsHardware.com)

Windows XP SP3 now available … sort of


Some websites are reporting that Microsoft today released Service Pack 3 for Windows XP, the operating system’s final service pack. It is a 70MB download and only available in a limited number of languages at this time. SP3 is only for 32-bit XP; 64-bit XP will get an update at the same time as Server 2003 since the two are essentially the same.

The version of SP3 that is circulating the web must be manually downloaded at the moment, it will not hit automatic updates until June 10. SP3 adds four Vista features to XP including a kernel change, new product activation module, and two network security features.

Windows XP Service Pack 3 Overview (Microsoft.com)
Via (ArsTechnica.com)

EarthLink backing out of New Orleans WiFi effort

EarthLink will end its participation in New Orleans’ citywide WiFi project on May 18 according to a company spokesman. Before making the decision to shut the network down, EarthLink tried to sell it outright, transfer ownership to the city of New Orleans, and finally tried to transfer ownership to a third party. The company is making moves to transfer its existing WiFi networks in other cities to the cities themselves and wants to terminte all of its WiFi networks.

Full Story (InformationWeek.com)
Via (HotHardware.com)

Lenovo IdeaPad notebooks now fully customizable


The Lenovo IdeaPad U- and Y-series notebooks are now fully customizable. The Y series starts at $669, while the U-series ultraportable starts at $1,899.

Lenovo Product Page
NotebookReview.com review of the IdeaPad Y510
Lenovo IdeaPad U110 Hands-On
Special thanks to forum member Han Bao Quan for submitting this bit

Futuremark releases 3DMark Vantage

Futuremark has released its long-anticipated 3DMark Vantage benchmark, successor of the popular 3DMark06. It is DirectX 10-only and requires Windows Vista. It takes full advantage of multi-core CPUs and has intensive physics, AI, and graphics. The benchmark is designed to stress computers for years to come.

3DMark Vantage has the following system requirements:

  • Dual-core processor with performance equivalent to Intel Core 2 Duo E6600 (2.4GHz), AMD Athlon X2 6000+, or higher
  • Fully DirectX 10-compliant graphics card
  • Monitor with 1280×1024 resolution or higher
  • Windows Vista with Service Pack 1
  • 1GB hard drive space
  • Amount of RAM required by Vista

The Basic edition of Vantage is $6.95, and the advanced is $19.95 for private users. There is a free version available, but it is limited to one test run only. The Basic edition is essentially like the free version of 3DMark06. The Advanced version adds custom testing options and access to all tests.

Futuremark Product Page

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