Lenovo unveils $130 PC on a stick

Lenovo is hitting a new PC market in a small way. On Tuesday, the popular PC vendor announced its latest creation — a PC on a stick. Starting at $130, the new Ideacentre Stick 300 is designed to deliver the performance of a Windows PC but in a bite-sized portion. The mini-PC is only 3.94 inches wide, 1.5 inches deep and .59 inches high, so it’s not much larger than your average USB stick. Why a PC on a stick? Portability is the main draw. You can carry the IdeacentreRead More

Windows 8.1 finally edges past XP on the desktop

Almost two years after its release, Windows 8.1 has finally surpassed XP in the desktop OS market. Looking at Web traffic among desktop operating systems for the month of June, Web tracker Net Applications pegged Windows 8.1 at a 13.1 percent share, up slightly from 12.8 percent in May. Over the same time, XP’s share plummeted to 11.9 percent from 14.6 percent the previous month. No. 1 Windows 7 also grabbed more fans as its share of Web traffic rose to 60.9 percent last month from 57.7 percent in May.Read More

Yahoo tests Google-powered search results, ads

Yahoo and Google are testing ways — yet again — to work together. The companies confirmed to The New York Times that they’re currently testing a partnership that will see Google supply search results and search ads to Yahoo. The discovery was first reported Wednesday by Aaron Wall of SEO Book, a company that specializes in search engine optimization. At this point, the arrangement is only a test and may not translate to an actual deal. “As we work to create the absolute best experiences for Yahoo users, from timeRead More

Teaching kids to code, using Minecraft’s building blocks

Parents might be happy to know their kids can get a head start in the competitive slipstream of computer programming by doing something they already enjoy — playing video games. That’s the goal of Server Design 1, a new online course rolled out Tuesday by Youth Digital, a tech education company that teaches kids to code, develop apps, and design 3D modeling. The company’s new program allows kids to create their own worlds, with their own rules, all while playing the popular video game Minecraft with their friends. “You getRead More

Alienware Alpha updates its custom gaming PC with improved ‘HiveMind’ interface

Dell is hitting reset on the software bundled with its Alienware Alpha gaming desktop. The console-like desktop is ditching its Alpha UI user interface for a new version, called HiveMind, which adds extra multimedia functionality and many more customization options. Packing gaming components into a small square box for around $500 in the US, the Alienware Alpha hardware originally shipped with a custom software layer on top of Windows 8, allowing gamers to boot it up and launch right into a menu for playing games. The new HiveMind menu. DellRead More

NASA’s New Horizons weathers trouble just days from Pluto

After its decade-long journey to the edge of our solar system, a NASA spacecraft ran into some technical problems just 10 days short of when it’s supposed to make its closest approach to Pluto and send back reams of unprecedented new information about the ex-planet. On Saturday, NASA reported that New Horizons, which launched in 2006, “experienced an anomaly this afternoon that led to a loss of communication with Earth. Communication has since been re-established and the spacecraft is healthy.” During the hour and 21 minutes that New Horizons’ missionRead More

Windows 10 likely to land at PC makers this week

Microsoft keeps wending its way past the mile markers en route to getting Windows 10 out to the public on time. The software titan is putting the finishing touches on the operating system software and will finalize its prerelease development by July 10, The Verge is reporting, citing people who claim to have knowledge of the company’s plans. This version of Windows 10, called “release to manufacturing,” will then be sent to PC makers to be bundled into their products. Windows 10, which is slated to launch on July 29,Read More

Renee James, Intel’s highest-ranking woman, to depart

Intel President Renee James will step down to seek a CEO job elsewhere, ending a career of more than 25 years at the world’s largest chipmaker. The move, announced Thursday, means Intel will be losing its highest-ranking woman at a time when CEO Brian Krzanich has been pushing for greater diversity at his company and in the tech industry at large. James landing in a corner office at another tech firm could mark progress in this broad effort, though may weaken Intel’s own diversity push in the process. However, AichaRead More

Get an Acer Chromebook 11 for $109.99

I’m crossing fingers, toes and everything else I can think of that this doesn’t sell out 5 minutes from now. Because it’s crazy-insane great. For a limited time, and while supplies last, Acer (via eBay) has the refurbished Acer Chromebook 11 CB3-111-C8UB for $109.99 shipped. That’s one of the lowest laptop prices I’ve ever seen. (Thanks to reader Mark for sharing!) What can I tell you about Chromebooks that you don’t already know? They boot and shut down almost instantly. They don’t slow down over time, and don’t hit youRead More

Windows 10 gets its own Minecraft, coming July 29

How many more platforms can Minecraft be announced on? Does Windows 10 count? At today’sMineCon conference, a worldwide gathering for Minecraft players, Microsoft announced Minecraft: Windows 10 Edition Beta will be arriving on Windows 10 on launch day, July 29. It joins the many other places you can already play Minecraft: Windows, Mac, Windows Phone, iOS,Android, Xbox 360, Xbox One, PS3, PS4 and PS Vita. Windows already has Minecraft, but this additional variant aims to be more tuned to what Windows 10 offers. Minecraft is Microsoft’s Tetris. Since purchasing Mojang,Read More