That familiar death-knell typically confined to Bobby Fischer’s favorite pastime is taking a very real step outside the chessboard to corner one of its own. In a sweeping decision from the International Computer Games Association (ICGA), chess engine Rybka — four-time World Computer Chess Championship winner — and its creator, Vasik Rajlich, have been banned for life from chess’ nerd World Cup for the uncredited use of competitor code. Reacting to controversy that the now-deposed winner owed its upper hand to rival engine Fruit’s open-source roots, the ICGA assembled a 34-person panel and reverse engineered its way to a guilty sentence. Adding more insult to title-stripping injury, the gaming association has also demanded Rajlich (pictured above) return all trophies and prize money. It’s a disheartening turn of events in the otherwise exciting man vs. machine board game battle that could have been easily avoided with a public ‘please’ and ‘thank you.’ Checkmate!
Chess engine creator disqualified for cheating, forgot to say thank you originally appeared on Engadget on Thu, 30 Jun 2011 21:16:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.
, chess competition
, vasik rajlich
Does Gmail’s current look seem chaotic and claustrophobic to you? Are you overwhelmed by the myriad mailing options, labels, and chat windows? We aren’t either, but apparently Google sees things differently, and has an interface overhaul planned that’ll simplify things in your webmail world. It looks like the spacious and simple design language from Google + will carry over to all the web services proffered by the gang in Mountain View. For now, it’s available as a couple of simplistic skins to be tried on in the Themes tab of your Gmail settings, with more permanent changes rolling out in the coming months. Google Calendar is slated for a stripped-down wardrobe in the next few days as well, with El Goog promising more cosmetic and functional changes for both services later this summer. In the meantime, the company’s looking for feedback on its new interface so it can fix any issues folks find. We want your opinions, too, so tell us what you think of Google’s new threads in the comments below.
Google says less is more: Gmail and Google Calendar to sport a more spartan look originally appeared on Engadget on Thu, 30 Jun 2011 21:50:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.
, google apps
When it comes to home theater PCs, size matters — and it doesn’t get too much smaller than Sapphire’s original Edge HD mini PC, pictured above. In fact, Sapphire saw no reason to fiddle with the Edge’s diminutive form factor when designing the HD2, and instead poured itself into improving the HTPC’s specs. Not only is the updated mini-rig small enough to mount behind your HDTV, but it also packs a 1.8GHz dual-core Intel Atom, 2GB RAM, and a 320GB hard drive. All this (and 1080p VGA / HDMI out, of course) at 30W, “20 times less power than a typical desktop PC,” according to Sapphire. No word on price (or pics, for that matter), but feel free to jump past the break for an official press release with full specifications.
Continue reading Edge HD2 Mini PC is an HTPC that hides behind your TV
Edge HD2 Mini PC is an HTPC that hides behind your TV originally appeared on Engadget on Thu, 30 Jun 2011 22:40:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.
, intel atom
, mini pc
, typical desktop
Rumor has it that ASUS wont be the only company with a sliding Android tablet this holiday season — DigiTimes claims to have it on good authority that Acer will be launching its own 10.1-inch slate with a peekaboo QWERTY stashed behind the screen. The ARM-powered device is reportedly being manufactured by Compal, but beyond that your guess is as good as ours. By the time it lands we should be getting our first taste of Ice Cream Sandwich, but it’s a pretty safe bet if this unnamed device does ship later this year, it’ll do so with Honeycomb on board.
Acer planning a sliding Android tab for the holidays, won’t fit in your stocking originally appeared on Engadget on Thu, 30 Jun 2011 19:30:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.
, sliding tablet
Many of us are perfectly content viewing only 2D content on our mobile devices, but if you’ve been dying to add a bit more depth to your smartphone’s display, Global Wave may have just what you’re looking for. At the 3D and Virtual Reality Expo in Tokyo, the Japanese company demoed its Pic3D sheet, which converts your Windows-based desktop or laptop, or iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch into a 3D display. The sheet uses a lenticular lens system instead of a parallax barrier for a smoother, more consistent image, yielding a reported 90-percent transmission level and 120-degree field of view. The company’s Windows and iOS apps output video in a side-by-side format, simulating a 3D image. The software also allows you to view side-by-side content from the web, submitting the YouTube URL of a compatible video, for example — perhaps not the most elegant solution, but a good start, if it works. Prices range from
, lenticular lens
One of the blessings — and curses — of this World Wide Web is that it creates a forum for open discussion, where we can communicate anything that our heart desires and feel like someone is listening to us. BGR published an open letter reportedly written by a senior executive at Research in Motion, chastising upper management for its inability to make bold business decisions as it continues to consistently lose market share. The anonymous author listed out several suggestions on how their company could improve its status and work its way back up to the top of the smartphone totem pole. As it turns out, the disgruntled employee was successful in that RIM published a response to the anonymous communication. What exactly were this employee’s suggestions, and how did the folks in Waterloo respond? We’ll break down the letters after the break.
Continue reading RIM gets handed open letter from disgruntled employee, quickly responds in kind
RIM gets handed open letter from disgruntled employee, quickly responds in kind originally appeared on Engadget on Thu, 30 Jun 2011 20:30:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.
Is there anything more tragic than a broken Hohm? Microsoft announced this week that it will be shuttering its utility monitoring service at the close of May 2012, citing a lack of consumer adoption. The news comes a week after Google announced the closing of its competing PowerMeter service. Despite the shutdown, however, Microsoft assures us all that it’s still in the business of developing energy solutions for cities with a wide-ranging list of partners. Hohm itself will continue to operate through the end of May 2012, at which point its users will be rendered Hohmless.
[Thanks to everyone who sent this in]
Microsoft shuts down utility monitoring service, proves you can’t go Hohm again originally appeared on Engadget on Thu, 30 Jun 2011 17:13:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.
, home energy monitoring
Samsung’s mid-sized Galaxy Tab 8.9
has been a bit elusive as of late, but it’s now landed in the spot where all devices go to prepare for their big debut: the FCC. What’s more, this particular model isn’t just WiFi-only like the current Galaxy Tab 10.1 — it also sports 3G connectivity, and the bands specified in the FCC filing indicate that it’s likely headed to AT&T. Interestingly, we’ve already seen this model number (GT-P7300) pop up at the FCC before
, at which point we thought it was the WiFi + 3G version of the Galaxy Tab 10.1. But the more detailed sketch in this latest filing seems to depict a device that’s both smaller and ever so slightly tweaked (including a relocated headphone jack), so it would seem to indeed be the 8.9 after all.
3G-equipped Samsung Galaxy Tab 8.9 hits the FCC with bands for AT&T originally appeared on Engadget on Thu, 30 Jun 2011 17:45:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.
, galaxy tab
, galaxy tab 10.1
, samsung galaxy tab 8.9
How do you solve a consumer education problem like the Chromebook? You put it into the idle hands of urbanite travelers — that’s how. The fast-booting neither laptop, nor netbook entity with negligible storage and not-yet-defined purpose will find a temporary summer home at select Virgin America gates and New York’s Ace Hotel starting Friday. Jet-setters flying between San Francisco and either Chicago O’Hare, Dallas / Fort Worth, or Boston Logan can get an on-the-fly, marketing-fortified crash course in Chrome OS computing by visiting special ‘Chrome zones’ located near departure gates. Virgin’s also thrown in some free in-flight WiFi to ensure you test drive Google’s Cloud-dependent lap-dweller . And if you’re one of the millions of tourists planning on seeing the Big Apple in all its humid splendor, the Ace Hotel’s got an on-the-house stash that lobby lizards can use, but only guests can take out. But the promotional push doesn’t just stop there: all partners involved have bundled specialized travel-planning apps into the experience — sure to be ripe with cooler-than-thou recommendations. It’s a noble attempt by our search giant overlord to make a name for its portable computing entrant, and a helpful distraction from that armrest hog next to you.
Continue reading Chromebook boards Virgin America, checks-in at Ace Hotel for summer vacation
Chromebook boards Virgin America, checks-in at Ace Hotel for summer vacation originally appeared on Engadget on Thu, 30 Jun 2011 18:10:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.
, chrome os
, virgina america
Gadgets can radically alter our lives — they can save us time and money and improve our health. And then there’s the crapgadget, a breed of technology seemingly designed for little more than draining our already microscopic bank accounts. But hey, it’s your money, and if you want to spend it on, say, an inflatable outdoor movie theater, a speaker shaped like a tiny bird, or a case for your iPhone with a terrifying fake beetle attached, that’s your call. If you need us, however, we’ll be recovering from our solo table tennis game by fanning ourselves off with our smartphone. Check out the latest craptastic roundup below, and be sure to vote for your (least) favorite.
Continue reading Crapgadget: ‘money to burn’ edition
Crapgadget: ‘money to burn’ edition originally appeared on Engadget on Thu, 30 Jun 2011 19:00:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.