Circuit City files for Chapter 11 bankruptcy
Circuit City, one of the top five retailers in the US for selling games, has filled for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. This move comes on the heals last week of its decision to close 155 stores in the US. The even worse news? Circuity City announced it would lay off 700 more workers in addition to the workers that would be displaced by the closing of its 155 stores.
The company's decision is believed to be prompted by a rapidly worsening credit crunch as part of a weaker US economy, which has put pressure on Circuit City to reduce its more than $2.3 billion debt. Some companies have insisted on upfront payment for goods delivered to the stores rather than allowing the company to put items on credit. Circuit City has just $3.4 billion in assets.
Apart from broader business decisions, the company's bankruptcy is believed prompted by the rapid expansion of Best Buy, which targets the same general electronics audience and regularly strikes exclusive deals for special products such as the iPhone 3G, which is normally only available through either Apple or AT&T shops. Best Buy has said it may occupy the spaces of stores like Circuit City or its similarly troubled equivalent CompUSA to expand its reach in certain areas.
RICHMOND, Va., Nov 10, 2008 /PRNewswire-FirstCall via COMTEX News Network/ -- Circuit City Stores, Inc. (NYSE: CC) today announced that it has filed a voluntary petition for reorganization relief under Chapter 11 of the United States Bankruptcy Code in the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Eastern District of Virginia ("Bankruptcy Court") in Richmond, Va. The company plans to continue operating the business without interruption as management focuses on developing and executing a comprehensive corporate restructuring plan. Circuit City's Canadian operations also will be seeking protection under the Companies' Creditors Arrangement Act in Canada ("CCAA").
In conjunction with the filing, Circuit City is seeking customary authority from the Bankruptcy Court that will enable it to continue operating its business and serving its customers in the ordinary course. The requested approvals include requests for the authority to make wage and salary payments and continue various benefits for employees as well as honor customer programs such as returns, exchanges and gift cards. In addition, Circuit City has negotiated a commitment for a $1.1 billion debtor-in-possession (DIP) revolving credit facility to supplement its working capital. The DIP facility replaces the company's $1.3 billion asset-based credit facility and is being provided by the same lenders. The facility provides additional immediate liquidity while the company works to reorganize the business and will permit the company to pay vendors and other business partners for goods and services received after the filing.
Nvidia Unveils Quadro FX 5800 with 4GB memory
Nvidia has just unveiled its latest addition to the Quadro line of cards with the FX 5800 which packs a whopping 4GB of memory and seems to be based on the same GT200 GPU as the company's fastest desktop offerings. The Quadro FX 5800 is launching at $3,499, and its spec sheet looks well furnished: 240 stream processors, fill rate of 52 billion texels per second, 128-bit precision, true 10-bit color support, 102GB/s memory bandwidth (which should translate to an 800MHz GDDR3 clock speed, if my math is right), and "interactive 4D modeling with time lapse capabilities."
Nvidia says the Quadro FX 5800 should be well suited to applications like "oil and gas exploration, medical imaging, styling and design, and scientific visualization." For reference, the GeForce GTX 280-Nvidia's speediest desktop card-has a 48.2 billion texels/second fill rate and a gig of RAM clocked at 1107MHz. Nvidia's numbers suggest the Quadro FX 5800 might actually be more power-efficient than its desktop counterpart, too. The company quotes maximum power consumption of 189W for the Quadro and "Maximum Graphics Card Power" of 236W for the GTX 280. Look for the Quadro FX 5800 in future workstations and from Nvidia's usual professional GPU partners, including PNY Technologies, Leadtek, and Elsa.
Point of View offer Duo Bundle
POINT OF VIEW, well known for its range of NVIDIA based Graphics cards, is announcing today the release of a new Special Edition duo game bundle. If you purchase a GeForce GTX 260 or 280 you'll receive for free a full copy of both Far Cry 2 and Brother in Arms: Hell
Lawsuit against EA using Securom
The folks over at GamePolitics learned that a pair of new class-action lawsuits were lodged against Electronic Arts in October. Both suits were filed with the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California and both target EA's use of the controversial SecuROM digital rights management (DRM) software on the company's PC games.
In the first case, a Pennsylvania man, Richard Eldridge, alleges that the Spore Creature Creator Free Trial Edition secretly installed SecuROM on his PC, a violation that Eldridge terms "deceptive and unlawful." From the suit:
The inclusion of undisclosed, secretly installed DRM protection measures with a program that was freely distributed constitutes a major violation of computer owners' absolute right to control what does and what does not get loaded onto their computers, and how their computers shall be used...
[SecuROM] cannot be completely uninstalled. Once installed it becomes a permanent part of the consumer's software portfolio...
EA's EULA for Spore Creature Creator Free Trial Edition makes utterly no mention of any Technical Protection Measures, DRM technology, or SecuROM whatsoever...
In the second case, Dianna Cortez of Missouri, described as "an avid Sims player," makes similar claims against EA over the publisher's alleged inclusion of SecuROM on The Sims 2: Bon Voyage, which she purchased in September, 2007. Cotrez claims that she immediately experienced problems with her PC :
After installing Bon Voyage, Ms. Cortez began having problems with her computer. She had previously made backup Sims 2 game content on CDs, but her computer's disc drive would no longer recognize that content, reporting the CDs as empty. She could not access files that were saved on her USB flash drive or iPod, either...
Cortez alleges that she was only able to get rid of SecuROM by reformatting her PC. She accuses EA of engaging in "unfair business practices" as well as conduct that is "immoral, unethical, oppressive [and] unscrupulous..."
The new suits are the second and third filed recently by consumers in regard to EA's use of SecuROM. A woman named Melissa Thomas filed a similar suit in relation to Spore in September. Thomas and new plaintiff Richard Eldridge are represented by the same law firm.
GlacialTech UFO V51 Core i7 Cooler
- Dual silent fan
- Light weight design
- Battleship design concept
- Good air-flow design
- High quality polish bottom
- High performance thermal compound
- Multi-solution for Intel and AMD
- The cool air could cool the surrounding components (Memory, VRM, chipsets and etc.)
- Pure copper base"
Silverstone Raven RV01 On Sale On Nov 18th
Silverstone is planning a launch on their upcoming Raven RV01 case in China on the 18th of November in line with the Intel Core i7 official launch and is expected to retail at US$179 (price varies in different countries).
Among the key features are 90 degrees motherboard mounting, natural airflow layout with positive pressure design, dual 180mm silent fans, optional liquid cooling support, 6 removable hard drive trays with hot-swappable SATA adapter.
RightMark Audio Analyzer Updated to 6.2.1
A new version is the result of two years of development by best experts in digital audio. RMAA raises the bar of comfort and functionality for spectrum analyzers. That's why it is a program of choice for enthusiasts, professionals, and audio magazines around the world; and some manufacturers are developing new devices with the mandatory testing of their quality in RMAA.
In short, the program at the moment is a de-facto standard providing quick and easy measurement of technical parameters, without the need to spend tens of thousands of dollars on specialized measurement systems.
What's new in RMAA 6.2.1:
New library IPP 5.3.4 (added support for Core 2 Duo mobile CPUs);
More information about CPU features and enabled IPP optimizations.
RMAA 6.2.1 as well as the English manual is available freely in the RightMark Download section.
Download - Click here
Datamore Porté hard drive enclosure is stylish
The Datamore Port
Canon XH A1 and XH G1 High Definition camcorders
Building on the success of the XH A1 and XH G1 High Definition (HD) camcorders, Canon has introduced the newly refined and upgraded hand-held XH A1S and XH G1S HD camcorders. Both Canon camcorders incorporate enhanced features for improved operation, including greater image control and improved audio capabilities. Whether it is for corporate video production, wedding and events, or filmmaking, the new Canon XH A1S and XH G1S HD camcorders help professional videographers realize their creative vision.
Using the custom display settings feature, a camera operator can tailor the display to match their shooting style. These include 22 items and 40 sub-items for selection of status information that can be shown in the camcorders' 2.8" widescreen LCD or color EVF. The Canon XH A1S and XH G1S HD camcorders incorporate an expanded array of controls for customizing the image, display and operation to match individual needs. Utilizing the industry's most affordable digital video recording media
USB 3.0 specification to be unveiled this month
CNET notes the USB 3.0 specification will be unveiled on November 17:
On November 17 the SuperSpeed USB (USB 3.0) Developers Conference, hosted by the USB Implementers Forum in San Jose, Calif., will unveil the USB 3.0 specification to the industry, according to a statement Wednesday from the Implementers Forum.
The USB 3.0 specification, a next-generation high-speed connection standard due in 2009, is significant because all future PCs and devices will use connectors based on it. The spec is also expected to offer 10 times the speed of USB 2.0--used in virtually all PCs introduced in the last few years--or roughly 5 gigabits per second.
We have some more details in this news-item here.
Call of Duty World at War VGA performance test
Hours for the actual release, Activision will bring us the fifth part in the Call of Duty series, Call of Duty 5: World at War. We'll do our usual thing for these titles, have a quick chat about the title, look at image quality a couple of screenshots, and then we'll test it with sixteen graphics cards from both ATI and NVIDIA.
The performance should not really be an issue for any modern graphics card as we have shown you today. Mainly the reason behind this is of course that the COD4 graphics engine was used. Surely it has a coupe of tweaks here and there to improve the look and feel of the game. The reality remains though that the title still looks fantastic. The creators managed to give the game that important look and feel, so if you are into the genre, you'll absolutely love this title.
Have a peek at our 16 part VGA performance check, click here to read the article.
Inno3D doing a Graphics Plus package bundle
Inno3D is releasing a new software bundle with some of their products. It's a relatively small company and as such is harder for them to do these deals. They offer really nice products as you know, you probably read many of our Inno3D iChill reviews.
Inno3D will bundle Warmonger (free download anyway ?), Far Cry 2 and then top it off with a trial copy of Badaboom transcoding software as well. So this is the deal:
- All GeForce 9 series products and newer will receive the Badaboom & Warmonger bundle, which unless I'm mistaken I believe you can download straight from the web for free anyway.
- Interesting though, all GeForce GTX 260 and 280 buyers will get that bundle and a full copy of Far Cry 2 as well.
Granted the Warmonger titles sucks badly as you can download it for free and it surely would have been nice to see a full copy of Badaboom. But the inclusion FC2 with the GTXes is not bad.
Pioneer LX01BD HTIB Blu-Ray playerin Europe
Pioneer has formally introduced the LX01BD, a HTIB (Home Theater In a Box) with Blu-ray support in Europe market. Designed to complement its Kuro line of LCD and Plasma displays, the all-in-one package includes a 5.1 channel speakers in high gloss piano finish, remote control with LCD touch screen, BD player with profile 1.1 and a 400 watts audio and video processing unit.
The Blu-ray player features only BonusView capability, which means you can do PIP but it lacks BD-Live support to access additional web content. Videos can be outputted at 1080 24fps and the unit is capable of processing DTS-HD MA and Dobly TrueHD advanced HD audio codecs.
Engineered to offer excellent sound quality in a small package, the LX01BD combines a dual-drive subwoofer and omni-surround speakers in dodecahedron shape with Multi-Channel Acoustic Calibration and Front Stage Surround Advance processing system to generate a 360-degree realistic surround sound effect.
HDMI connectivity includes two inputs and one output terminals with deep color support. It's priced at nearly $3,151
NVIDIA Q3 profits on the decline
COM-BAT makes a robotic surveillance wonder
Rambus files complaint against NVIDIA with ITC
The NVIDIA products in question include graphics processors as well as media and communications processors that use DDR (double data rate) memory controllers, including the GDDR3 memory it uses for newer graphics cards. Not only will NVIDIA's named standalone products be affected, but also system manufacturers who built their PCs with the parts already installed, including ASUS, BFG Technologies, Biostar Microtech, Diablotek, MSI, Palit Multimedia, Pine Technology and Sparkle Computer.
Rambus VP and general counsel Tom Lavelle went on the record to say the move is 'necessary' to protect shareholders and in fairness to paying licensees. The ITC is expected to rule on the necessity of an investigation within 30 days.
Mirror's Edge Launch Trailer
Gameplayer has gone live with the world's first review the game that looks to mix parkour inspired gameplay with a true first-person perspective. According to this review they've had mixed results, with the game receiving an 8/10.
Microsoft Windows 7 Released mid 2009
Microsoft's Windows 7 was looking good running on an ASUS laptop (with bamboo paneling) at WinHEC. The OS is set to ship in mid 2009, much earlier than expected. (Source: Ina Fried/CNET News)Windows 7 is set to drop mid-year 2009, says Microsoft
At Microsoft's Windows Hardware Engineering Conference (WinHEC), an important yearly event for the tech giant, new hardware details on the upcoming Windows 7 weren't the only revelation that Microsoft had in store. Perhaps the most significant development of the conference came as a minor clarification -- Microsoft set a solid timeframe for when it plans to release Windows 7, barring unforeseen problems.
Originally, speculation was that Microsoft might field a Windows Vista successor in 2011 or 2012 as there was over 5 years between the release of Windows XP and Windows Vista. However, with less than glowing reception of Vista, largely due to poor hardware partner support and a large footprint, Microsoft stepped up its efforts to launch its new Windows OS, which would set right the places where Vista went wrong.
Early this year, 2010 was what some Microsoft executives were saying to expect for a release date. However, as the year progressed, Microsoft's top executives became increasingly optimistic that the OS could be delivered in late 2009. Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer first floated the possibility of a 2009 release earlier this year. Microsoft director Doug Howe showed slides in a WinHEC presentation that all but confirmed a 2009 release -- and even earlier than expected. His slides stated that Microsoft will be releasing Windows 7 mid-year, in time to be included on the machines to be sold during the holiday buying season. Mr. Howe stated, "Definitely the holiday focus is going to be on 7" [via dailytech].