EU Batters Intel With More Charges
Intel, the world's largest chipmaker, fluctuates between having around 80 to 90 percent of the global microprocessor market, something some would term a monopoly, but which the business world terms more accurately as a "dominant position". After a lengthy investigation -- featuring such assignment as raids of Intel offices in Europe -- the EU decided it had enough evidence to file formal charges. The EU charged Intel with abusing its dominant position by using price slashing and illegal rebates to drive smaller chipmakers out of business and trying to create a monopoly.
Obviously, Intel disagreed. Now the European Commission (EC), the EU's business monitoring unit, has battered Intel with a fresh round of charges. It claims it has evidence that Intel bribed a leading European retailer not to stock products containing chips made by rival AMD. It also charges Intel with paying the retailer to delay the release of a product containing AMD chips. AMD had previously made such claims, but was unable to prove them, thus far. It also accused Intel of giving illegal incentives to switch to its chips.
The EC has given Intel eight weeks to respond formally to the charges. Intel officials say that they are "disappointed" by the charges. The EC paints Intel as a bully in the report, stating that it "used its considerable muscle to provide substantial rebates to a leading European PC retailer - conditional on it selling only Intel-based PCs."
A statement from Intel rebuffed this view and accused the EU of conspiring with rival AMD, arguing, "The issuance of a second Statement of Objections suggests that the Commission supports AMD's position that Intel should be prevented from competing fairly and offering price discounts which have resulted in lower prices for consumers. The allegations stem from the same set of complaints that our competitor, AMD, has been making to regulators and courts around the world for more than 10 years."
The chip giant will have to make another formal response against the three new charges in Brussels. Under its laws, if the European Union finds Intel to be guilty, it can fine it up to 10 percent of its international yearly revenue. This could amount in as much as $4B USD, as Intel's yearly income is around $40B USD. The E.U. Competition Commissioner Neelie Kroes, who approved the fines against Microsoft, believes that Intel may be a "bigger threat to competition" than Microsoft, so such a fine is not unimaginable.
Intel is making record profits while it
The MPAA Thinks You're Stupid
However, now that it's 2008--a time when you can have your uterus outfitted with a tiny plasma screen so your unborn child can just watch Dora and maybe stop kicking you for five seconds--people don't have such dramatic physical reactions to film. Most of us understand that movie bullets aren't going to suddenly fly out of the screen and into our bodies as we sit there, prone, in the theater.
Still, the Motion Picture Association Of America doesn't want to take any chances, which is why they told the director of Watchmen, Zack Snyder, that he couldn't have a guy pointing a gun at the audience in the trailer. Snyder replaced the gun with a walkie-talkie. This way, if anyone from 1903 watches the trailer, instead of ducking and/or running for their life, they'll just curl up into a ball, rock back and forth, and mumble, "What world is this? What is happening to me? Where am I?"
From MTV Movies Blog:
Academics hack London's transport payment system
A computer hack that makes it possible to defraud London's transport
payment system can be made public, according to a court ruling in the
Researchers at the Radboud University in Nijmegen planned to publish details in October on how to hack a chip used in millions of electronic passes for entering buildings and public transport systems, including London's.
The chip is used in the city's Oyster cards that are used to pay for journeys by pressing them against a card reader at the beginning and, sometimes the end of journeys.
But the chip's manufacturer, NXP based in the Netherlands, argued that it would make it easy for criminals to break into security systems and commit fraud on public transport systems.
NXP, founded by electronics company Philips, fears substantial damage and security risks for its clients worldwide, the court in Arnhem in the east of the Netherlands said.
But the court ruled that the university's right to publish was part of the freedom of speech and that the publication of scientific research on the chip's faults could help to take appropriate countermeasures.
"Damage to NXP is not the result of the publication of the article, but of the production and sale of a chip that appears to have shortcomings," the court said.
The university had first informed the Dutch government and NXP in March that it had developed a method to crack NXP's Mifare Classic chip with widely available commercial components and at low cost, but delayed publication of details.
'Damage to customers'
Christophe Duverne, a senior vice president at NXP, said it would take months or even years for some users of the chip to adapt their systems, and that the publication was therefore different from software hacks for which manufacturers can issue a patch much more quickly.
"What we are doing is defending our customers," Duverne said.
"We don't mind them publishing the effects of what they have discovered to inform society, I think this is absolutely fine, but disclosing things in detail including the algorithm ... is not going to benefit society, it will create damage to society."
A spokesman for the university did not want to discuss consequences for the chip's users.
Transport for London, which runs London's public transport system, had no immediate comment.
Sony launches Blu-ray Disc player BDP-S350
Creative EP-630i headset for iPhone and iPod
Creative recently introduced its newest headset, designed for use with Apple's iPhone and iPod. The EP-630i uses a pair of in-ear buds, which come with three different silicone covers to ensure users find an ideal fit. Each earbud is powered by a 9mm Neodymium magnet to deliver above average sound quality.
The headset, available in black only, includes an integrated microphone with a built-in button that allows users to answer or end calls in between listening to music on the iPhone. The gold-plated 3.5mm 4-pole plug makes this possible, and the Y-configuration cord is nearly 4 feet long, with an oxygen-free copper cable to maximize sound quality.
The headset will be available in Singapore starting in September of 2008, priced at the equivalent of $59. A US release date is expected soon.
BFG also offers rebate to GeForce GTX 200 owners
What's also nice is that in addition to the rebate BFG offers qualified customers $50 off their next graphics card, if it's the same GT200-powered model they already have (so if they go SLI that's another 50 bucks in yuor pocket).
AMD CEO Hector Ruiz Steps Down
AMD has seen its share of ups and downs over the years, but the company has had it especially hard ever since its acquisition of ATI Technologies in 2006. Since then, the company has experienced numerous quarters of losses, announced job cuts, and has watched as top executives abandoned the chip giant.
Most recently, AMD announced that it would take another $880 million USD charge due to the poor performance of ATI's Consumer electronics division.
Today, AMD CEO Hector Ruiz stepped down from his position with the company. Ruiz joined the company in January 2000 and became CEO in April 2002. Ruiz will be replaced by the current Number 2 in charge, Dirk Meyer. Ruiz will stay on as the executive chairman of AMD's Board of Directors.
The future looks uncertain as the man who has become the face of AMD moves on to greener pastures. Meyer will have to find a way to get AMD back on a track to profitability and get its first 45nm processors out the door to combat Intel.
Ruiz's departure comes at a time when AMD is trying to fight off a surging Intel. Intel just recently announced a 25 percent increase in quarterly profits at the same time AMD was reporting losses. Intel also this week launched its Centrino 2 platform which aims to take much of the air out of AMD's Puma platform.
AMD, however, has obtained better success on the graphics front with its new Radeon HD 4850 and 4870 graphics cards which are the current "bang for the buck" kings. AMD garnered so much praise from reviewers and consumers alike that NVIDIA responded with price cuts to its recently introduced GeForce GTX 260 and GTX 280 graphics cards.
AMD may also have a little bit of help on its side in the form of an official FTC investigation into Intel's business behavior. But the fact remains, whatever the outcome of the FTC investigation, AMD still has to deliver a competitive product to stay alive in this cutthroat industry.
San Francisco's IT System Lockout Continues
Administrators still cannot access San Francisco's main IT system, thanks to a now jailed employee who changed all the passwords and won't give them to authorities.
An IT employee who is charged with gumming up the works at the City and County of San Francisco's main data center by changing access passwords for administrators could have been stopped short of crippling access to the system if IT management had had the right security software in place.
Terry Childs, 43, of Pittsburg, Calif., pleaded not guity in court July 17 at his arraignment on four felony counts of computer tampering. Childs remains in custody in lieu of $5 million bail. Childs, who makes $127,000 per year and has worked for the city for five years, has a bail hearing set for July 23.
Childs, a computer network administrator for the Department of Technology, is charged with tampering with the system's FiberWAN [Fibre Channel-connected wide area network], which contains San Francisco's sensitive Human Resources, payroll and other personal data. He created an administrative password that provided him superior access to the network.
Childs, who was arrested July 13, refuses to divulge to authorities the new secret password he concocted
Windows, commercial OS's maybe gone in 5-10 years
Download: GPU-Z 0.2.6
GPU-Z is a lightweight utility designed to give you all information about your video card and GPU.
Here is the list of changes :
- Added full support for HD 4870 X2
- Added support for reading clocks on newer ATI drivers (R700)
- Fix for realtime clock sensor showing double memory speed on RV770 GDDR5
- Added detection for GeForce 9800 GT, GeForce 9300 GE
- Added support to start GPU-Z minimized (use -minimized)
- Added tray icon when GPU-Z is minimized
- Fixed crash when uploading large BIOS files
- Fixed rare crash that could happen on some NVIDIA cards
- Added detection for Intel Q43. G45 and some variants of G35, G965, GM965
Inno3D GeForce 9800 GTX Overclock Edition review
Inno3D GeForce 9800 GTX Overclock Edition review
A reference based GeForce 9800 GTX, yet pre-tested and qualified to run at higher clock-speeds. That and a better bundle as Inno3D is now bundling a DX10 title with the OC edition, namely Company of Heroes, Opposing fronts from THQ. Interested already ?
Well read on then as with the recent GeForce 9800 GTX card price-drops .. pricing became really interesting !
You can find the review here:
Scientists develop long-life flash memory
A new type of flash memory is being developed, according to today's reports, which not only takes up less space and uses less electricity than the current flash memory technology, but also lasts much longer as well. The ferroelectric chips under development by the National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology as well as the University of Tokyo will outlive current flash memory by a factor of about 10,000. Today's flash memory chips have a life of about 10 years, and can be re-written only an average of 10,000 times.
The practical size of current flash memory chips maxes out at about 20 nanometers, for durability and service life reasons, among others, with the next generation coming in at 30nm. The prototype ferroelectric NAND flash memory the scientists are developing can be scaled down to 10nm, and that's just at the beginning stages of its development.
Part of the reason the ferroelectric chips last so much longer is their rewriting voltage of less than six volts, as opposed to the higher, near 20 volt rewriting of conventional flash chips. Either technology uses a wear-levelling process where all cells are used equally, and those that wear out are retired, which means flash memory capacity eventually decreases down to nothing, rendering the storage device it's used in useless.
Flash memory, unlike hard drive storage, can be smaller and is more resistant to abuse, as it has no moving parts. For the same reason, flash memory is also faster. It's used in a wide range of devices, from cell phones and portable digital media players, to laptops computers and video game systems.
EVGA's GeForce 9800 GTX+
Wow, that could easily be marketed for a "The Hulk" game. I already check with Point of View yesterday, the GeForce 9800 GTX+ will be available starting next week at a retail price of 169 EUR here in Europe. EVGA also announed the product under SKU 512-P3-N873-AR. The cards are all clocked at default nd features a 738 MHz GPU, 1836 MHz-clocked shaders and 512MB of GDDR3 memory set to 2200 MHz.
The GeForce 9800 GTX+ has a price tag of just $200. Mind you that right now I'm working on a GeForce GTX+ SLI review as well. Now then, if you can't take the color green very well .. close your eyes:
Trailer: Call of Duty World at War E3 2008
Here's the E3 trailer for Call of Duty: World at War, an upcoming first-person shooter under development by Treyarch and published by Activision for the PC, PS3, Xbox 360, Wii. The newest installment in the Call of Duty series goes back to its roots, for better and for worse.
Treyarch will be handling the development this time around and they're taking the series back to World War II. On the bright side, Treyarch is basing its game on the Pacific Theatre, a part of WW2 that hasn't been explored by any Call of Duty game before it.
Trailer: Singularity Trailer
Activision has released the first trailer for Singularity, Raven Software's upcoming first person shooter in development for PC, PS3 and Xbox 360.
The trailer runs for about a minute and contains in-game footage. I really like the style - some kind of industrial spooky atmosphere and the electric effects are looking great. Let's hope they aim higher than mediocrity with this one. Anyway, definitely check out the trailer, it's worth to check it out.
Patriot Memory- released their "Warp" Solid State Drives
Built with NAND flash rather than traditional magnetic platters as the storage medium, Patriot's Warp SSD's offer faster read/write speeds, uses less power and are more rugged and reliable versus traditional HDD drives. In addition Warp's SSD offers Error Checking and Correction (ECC) as well as proprietary wear-leveling algorithms which ensure both data integrity and prolonged life of the SSD's.
"Solid state drives are the future of data storage," said Jay Meng, Flash Product Manager for Patriot Memory. "With so many advantages over traditional HDD's, Patriot's Warp SSD's will undoubtedly become the mobile professionals and enthusiasts first choice for data storage."
For more information about Patriot's Warp Solid State Drives and other memory module and flash memory solutions, please contact your Patriot Sales Representative or visit http://www.patriotmemory.com.[/QUOTE]
New Sony Vaio - hilarious FAIL
Thank to Jurgen from POV for actually noticing this one. You know, whenever a big company like Sony announces a new product they make pictures available to press and partners for them to use. Every now and then they goof up. So in the internet tradition of "Fail!" threads (we actually have one here at Guru3D.com) I just had to post this product photo of the new Sony Vaio FW series.
But what happens when we zoom in ? Okay, so maybe you have to be a bit geeky to actually understand the fun of this, but for a manufacturer to distribute photo's of a new Laptop ... not booting up ? Too much fun. Ah subtleties.
Oh and can I just say, I love high-res photo's ;)
NVIDIA denies rumors mass GPU failures
NVIDIA on Wednesday denied rumors that the majority of its GeForce 8M mobile graphics chips are flawed. The video hardware maker contradicts the earlier reports that all G84 and G86 video chipsets are more likely to fail and tells Ars Technica that only a subset of its graphics processing units (GPUs) are at increased risk, with just a "very small percentage" of that group likely to die early. When that happens depends entirely on the specific notebook and is more likely to happen with systems running intensive tasks or in warm climates, the company says.
The chip designer has already taken the steps of developing a software driver that downclocks affected chips to prevent them from overheating, and has made sure that none of its in-production chips suffer the same flaw. Desktop parts have never been affected, the copmany says.
NVIDIA's assertions haven't been corroborated elsewhere but potentially assuage worries that all of the affected chipsets would die early. The G84 and G86 platforms are used throughout much of the company's GeForce 8M series and are used in many mid- to upper-range notebooks, including those from Apple, Dell, HP, and other major PC builders.