AT&T gets bigger, a whole lot bigger with its purchase of T-Mobile. Trust us, mobile plans won't be getting any cheaper. Sprint gets a few consolation prizes, Twitter is 5 years old and we feature the "Morning-After" App.Subscribe: iTunes (MP3) | iTunes (320x180) | iTunes (640x360) | RSS (MP3) | RSS (320x180) | RSS (640x360)… Read more
After a six-and-a-half-year fall into the inner solar system, NASA's compact Messenger probe fired its main engine for 15 tense minutes today to brake into a looping orbit around hellish Mercury, becoming the first spacecraft to take up long-term residence around the solar system's hard-to-reach, innermost planet.
Following pre-programmed instructions, Messenger's main engine ignited on time at 5:54 p.m. PT, beginning the job of slowing the spacecraft enough for capture by Mercury's gravity. Engineers in the Messenger control center at Johns Hopkins University monitored subtle changes in a radio beacon from the spacecraft as … Read more
To quote the iconic 1960s drummer Buddy Miles, the graphics chip market is "going through them changes."
As Nvidia falters, Advanced Micro Devices' ATI graphics unit is on the rise, spurred by "radical" shifts in the market, according to Mercury Research, which tracks the market for GPUs or graphics processing units.
"AMD surpassed Nvidia this quarter in overall shipments...(and) is now the leading supplier of standalone GPU and of notebook standalone GPUs, and the second largest supplier of graphics solutions overall," the Mercury Research report says. Intel is the longstanding No. 1 supplier because it includes the graphics function in its chipsets, which accompany its processors, and more recently is building the function into the central processing unit or CPU.
There are, of course, good reasons why AMD knocked Nvidia out of the No. 2 spot. AMD is gaining in laptop share just as the total mobile graphics market surpasses the total desktop graphics market for the first time, according to Mercury. In particular, AMD's ATI Radeon HD 5000 series (used in both laptops and desktops) saw a "a huge burst" in shipments in the second quarter, Mercury said.
And the composition of the mobile GPU market is changing. "The mobile integrated graphics CPU market...has surpassed both the mobile standalone graphics market and the mobile integrated chip set market for the first time." Translation: the CPU now subsumes the function of the GPU, due to Intel's newest mobile silicon based on the Core i3 and i5 processors. These chips take the GPU function--which had been separate--and combine it with the CPU.
How does AMD fit into this change? Its graphics chips… Read more
Advanced Micro Devices passed Nvidia in graphics chip shipments in the second quarter, according to a report from a marketing research firm on Wednesday, adding to Nvidia's woes.
AMD's ATI graphics unit took 51 percent of the standalone, or "discrete," graphics chip market compared to Nvidia's share that was just shy of 49 percent, according to Mercury Research, a Cave Creek, Arizona firm that tracks graphics chip shipments. This is a sharp reversal from the same period a year ago when Nvidia had about 59 percent of the market and AMD had just under 41 … Read more
Audi may be the first car with its own app store, Mercury dies so Lincoln can live, Chevy Volt and other electric cars are tricky for first responders, Motorola launches safe-driving Android apps, and will the real James Bond Aston Martin please start up?Subscribe with iTunes (audio) Subscribe with iTunes (video) Subscribe with RSS (audio) Subscribe with RSS (video) EPISODE 171 SHOW NOTES
As newspaper ads and other forms of traditional marketing lose their grip, dealers are trying to connect with customers through clinics that explain complicated gadgets and other vehicle features.
Some luxury dealers have used the technique for years. Now dealers of mass-market brands are picking it up.
"The more comfortable [customers] are with the products we sell them, the more apt they are to come back and buy a product from us again," says Kim Winkler, new-car sales manager at Dan Pfeiffer Lincoln-Mercury in Grand Rapids, Mich.
Since January, Pfeiffer's staff has been staying late on the … Read more
Ford Motor Company will be ending production of its Mercury vehicles division in the fourth quarter of this year in order to refocus its resources on building the Lincoln brand. Seriously, who didn't see this coming?
We've found ourselves openly questioning Mercury's continued existence many times over the past year. The Mercury brand was originally created in 1939 as a premium tier of Ford vehicles. However, as the quality of Ford-badged vehicles has increased and Ford has continued to shine the spotlight on Lincoln as its luxury-brand golden child, Mercury has gradually become irrelevant and, frankly, unexciting. … Read more
Chrysler Group and NASA today announced an alliance to share information related to advanced technologies.
Several topics being considered for the three-year collaboration include: materials engineering, robotics, radar, battery systems, and other energy storage mediums.
"This is a great opportunity to share knowledge and data in areas where both Chrysler Group and NASA have a vested interest," Senior Vice President, Chrysler Engineering Scott Kunselman said in a news release. "We value the opportunity to work with NASA and will implement what is learned to further improve our Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep and Ram Truck products."
This isn'… Read more
Chinese manufacturer ZTE is prepping for the release of no less than four Android smartphones later this year. Teased last month at Mobile World Congress, the details are now starting to spill out. The handsets will be called the Blade, the Racer, the Mercury, and the Smooth. Each appears to speak to a different demographic with various form factors and specs.
First up is the Blade, which comes with a 3.5-inch touch display with an 800x480 resolution, an FM radio, Wi-Fi, GPS, and Android 1.6. The Smooth bears more than a passing resemblance to the Palm Pre and … Read more
LAS VEGAS - Ford built up a good cabin tech lead amongst its competitors when it adopted Sync and Sirius Travel Link in 2008, and we didn't think the company could come up with something new for CES 2010. But boy, were we wrong. Ford radically redesigned its cabin tech interface while at the same time adding new features and completely revamping its navigation systems, branding the whole shebang as MyFord.
Ford vehicles equipped with MyFord will get two 4.2-inch color LCDs, one mounted in the instrument cluster and one in the center of the dashboard. The instrument cluster display shows vehicle information such as engine speed, temperature, and trip data, and the one in the dashboard shows audio, phone, and navigation information.
This system can be upgraded to MyFord Touch, which puts the two 4.2-inch LCDs on either side of the speedometer and adds an 8-inch touch-screen LCD to the center of the dashboard.
The Ford Fusion Hybrid served as a test-bed for this new interface, as it has similar LCDs in the instrument cluster, although they don't show nearly as much information. What both allow is driver customization, letting you choose to view the tachometer as an analog gauge or as a simple bar graph, for example.
In designing the new interface, Ford aimed to flatten the menu structure, making it safer for drivers to choose music or place phone calls without having to dig through multiple screens. MyFord also uses a color scheme so the driver can easily see which function is on display, with orange for the phone, green for navigation, red for music, and blue for climate control. These four major menu areas also get a touch-screen button at each corner of the 8-inch LCD, letting driver or passenger quickly access each one.
Another big change involves switching map storage from hard drive to SD card. Ford had been an early adopter of onboard hard drives, which allowed quicker map access for the navigation system than DVDs could. But moving from hard drive to SD card, with a navigation application and maps from Telenav, will be cheaper to manufacture, make it easier for an owner to update the maps, and be more durable, as a hard drive is more likely to fail in an automotive environment than an SD card. … Read more