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If you feel that Windows starts too slowly most days, Microsoft is considering an option that could help.

The company is surveying select users on whether an “instant on” feature, which would rush a usable desktop to your screen in just seconds, is something they’d like included with Windows.

“The concept is called ‘Instant On.’ Instant On takes your computer from being completely powered down or turned off to being usable for a few specific activities in a very short amount of time,”

“The Instant On experience is different from “Full Windows” because it limits what activities you can do and what applications you can have access to,” the survey states.

Faster boot times are clearly a priority for Microsoft and could be included in Windows 7, the next planned release of the operating system.

“For Windows 7, a top goal is to significantly increase the number of systems that experience very good boot times. In the lab, a very good system is one that boots in under 15 seconds,” engineer Michael Fortin said

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NASA’s Phoenix spacecraft has discovered evidence of past water at its Martian landing site and spotted falling snow for the first time, scientists reported Monday.

With summer waning, less sunlight is reaching the spacecraft’s solar panels on Mars.

Soil experiments revealed the presence of two minerals known to be formed in liquid water. Scientists identified the minerals as calcium carbonate, found in limestone and chalk, and sheet silicate.

But exactly how that happened remains a mystery.

“It’s really kind of all up in the air,” said William Boynton, a mission scientist at the University of Arizona at Tucson.

A laser aboard the Phoenix recently detected snow falling from clouds more than two miles above its home in the northern arctic plains. The snow disappeared before reaching the ground. hoenix landed in the Martian arctic plains in May on a three-month mission to study whether the environment could be friendly to microbial life. One of its biggest discoveries so far is confirming the presence of ice on the planet.

Scientists long suspected frozen water was buried in the northern plains based on measurements from an orbiting spacecraft. The lander also found that the soil was slightly alkaline and contained important nutrients and minerals.

Scientists think there could have been standing water at the site in the past or the ice could have melted and interacted with the minerals.

 

Mars today is frigid and dry with no sign of water on the surface, but researchers believe the planet once was warmer and wetter.

NASA extended the three-month mission through the end of the year if Phoenix can survive that long. With summer waning, less sunlight is reaching the spacecraft’s solar panels.

The Playstation 4 won’t feature Blu-ray.

The Playstation 4 should be made available in the next three to five years. During that time, Sony will need to work on getting Blu-ray into more homes and try to supplant DVD as the leader in the media space.

But how will it do that? The main advantage DVD still enjoys is that it’s mobile and ubiquitous.

It took DVD almost a decade to reach that kind of saturation and Blu-ray simply doesn’t have that much time. With companies like Apple, Amazon, Netflix, and others quickly moving towards a home environment that doesn’t require a disc, but rather a download or streaming service, Blu-ray can’t compete.

It’s becoming easier and easier to stream movies from your computer to your HDTV. A Roku Netflix box means Blu-ray isn’t even needed anymore, and cable companies offer VOD service for those that don’t feel like popping a DVD into the player. And as broadband speeds increase making HD downloads more relevant, Blu-ray finds itself squeezed out by the past and the future.

And all the while, Sony is left to make the decision of whether or not it wants to tie its next video game console to an irrelevant format.

Google has Launched its Beta version of the new browser Named “Chrome”. Google stated correctly that earlier when browsers were first invented, watching videos, chatting, and even playing Web-based games didn’t exist. Google wants to focus on the applications and pages users are viewing rather than just the browser. Right now only the Windows version of Chrome is available to download from the site itself and it has been released in 43 languages and in 122 countries.

Chrome is based on the open-source project Webkit, the same rendering engine used by Apple Safari.

Microsoft is leading Google with a gap of a  decade. It is said that the place at which Google is today was acquired by Microsoft 10 years before. “Google’s a great company, got some great products, but you know in some respects I think Google is where Microsoft was 7 or 10 years ago”, Peter Cullen, Microsoft’s chief privacy strategist.

“Google had not invested enough to build privacy into its products. Microsoft has over 40 full-time people invested in privacy and over 400 part-time people. Google hasn’t–at least from what I read about them–evolved to that.”

“We think about privacy as part of the core design…We have thought about how to design privacy into the product, as opposed to how to react to the negative impressions,” he commented.

AMD Chief Marketing Officer Nigel Dessau says AMD will pass on the low-cost notebook or netbook market for now, although Web sites are offering interesting details about a low-cost AMD notebook chip. Dessau is also looking to strengthen AMD’s Opteron brand after problems with the quad-core version of the processor.

Advanced Micro Devices is taking a pass on the low-cost notebook market for now, but new marketing chief Nigel Dessau says the chip maker will continue to watch the so-called “netbook” space as it continues to develop.

Dessau, who took over as AMD’s senior vice president and chief marketing office in March, said in a telephone interview AMD is interested in how the low-cost notebook market will develop, but has no immediate plans to offer specific processors for these laptops.

We are not saying it’s not an important segment and we’re not saying it’s not a growing segment,” Dessau said. “What we are saying is that we are a smaller company and we have to focus on what we do well at this point. We are watching that segment rather than playing in it, but as it matures we’ll see where it goes. At this moment, we are going to focus on what we do best.

AMD, which has placed an emphasis on processors that are low-cost and use less power, would seem to be well positioned to enter this market with an x86 processor.

Google is doing a great benefit to all the mobile users all over the world by providing them the latest information on Summer Olympics 2008  in Beijing .

Searching for any Olympic sport on Google’s mobile Web site will bring up, in addition to the regular search results that Google would normally offer, a timetable of Olympic schedules and results for that event. The search also works in 35 other languages, and Google has created an additional mobile Web site as a general repository of Olympic information.

When results start to come in, mobile searches for things like “swimming medals” and “French medal count” will bring up relevant Olympic data too.

The Olympics tie-ins are a little bit more extensive on Google’s regular browser search; other search engines, such as Yahoo, are doing something similar. Google is also serving ads on NBC’s online-video coverage of the Olympics using its DoubleClick technology.

If text-based mobile search just isn’t fancy enough for your precious handset, NBC will be serving up mobile video to customers of Verizon’s V-Cast service, thanks to a partnership between the two companies.