Archive for June 6th, 2006
Straight from Slashdot: "According to an article in EETimes, Intel's processor sales dropped 52 percent this April as compared with April one year ago. Unit sales dropped 21 percent and prices dropped 40 percent. The article concludes with an industry analyst's assertion that 'Intel has obviously given up on making any money on their current generation of processors and has started a price war with AMD.' The San Jose Mercury News is reporting that Intel has just put several of its money-losing communications businesses up for sale and notes that 'it remains to be seen what Intel will do with its other money-losing businesses, Itanium microprocessors and flash memory chips.' The article quotes an industry analyst saying 'If you look at Intel today, it's hard to find a trace of the technology or the people that they spent more than $10 billion on.' Ouch."
It seems like this stuff gets worse by the day:
Straight from Slashdot: "IPAction.org is reporting on a section of the Reform Act of 2006 that's very shocking and surprisingly not that publicized. From the article: 'This will be a busy week in the House — Congress goes into summer recess Friday, but not before considering the Section 115 Reform Act of 2006 (SIRA). Never heard of SIRA? That's the way Big Copyright and their lackey's want it, and it's bad news for you. Simply put, SIRA fundamentally redefines copyright and fair use in the digital world. It would require all incidental copies of music to be licensed separately from the originating copy. Even copies of songs that are cached in your computer's memory or buffered over a network would need yet another license.'"
Straight from Gizmodo: "After some users discovered that the back vent in some MacBooks were blocked by plastic, and then subsequently blogged about it, Apple’s released a somewhat official statement about the matter through their Support Site:
Some MacBook computers may appear to be running too warm, with the fan running consistently and heat emanating from the top and/or the bottom of the computer.
If this happens with your MacBook, check the rear vent of the MacBook to make sure it’s not blocked.
Some MacBooks may have left the factory with a thin piece of clear plastic covering the rear vent. This is used in the factory to prevent dust from getting into your computer. If your MacBook has the plastic still over the vent, simply remove and discard it."
Straight from Ars Technica: "Googlespotting can be an amusing if sometimes tiresome game, with many stories (such as the GoogleOS and Google Browser) turning out to be nothing more than wishful thinking on the part of eager Internet denizens. However, occasionally the rumors turn out to be true, especially if they are backed up by a reliable source.In this case, the source is the Wall Street Journal, which has reported (subscription required) that Google is planning to release their own spreadsheet application to compete with Microsoft Excel.
This news comes on the heels of the company's March purchase of the web-based word processing application Writely. Writely was billed as "The Web Word Processor," and used AJAX, XML, and ASP.NET technology to deliver a fairly convincing simulation of a word processor, albeit a fairly feature-thin one. The program allowed the import of Microsoft Word documents and featured the ability to easily collaborate with other users, as well as offering quick and easy publishing in HTML format for the web."
Straight from Ars Technica: "Those who have had the budget to throw over a grand at a pair of PCI-Express video cards have had the ability to run dual-SLI setups for some time now. SLI, or scalable link interface, works to combine two or more video cards together to process graphics data in parallel to send a single output to a display. A dual-SLI system requires two PCI-Express cards connected by a small interconnect via which the cards share graphics processing data.NVIDIA has introduced a consumer version of its GX2 video card lineup that makes dual-SLI graphics possible with just a single PCIe slot. Like the OEM-only GeForce 7900 GX2, the GeForce 7950 GX2 is actually two cards stacked on top of one another, each with its own G71 GPU, 512MB of memory, and cooler. Tech Report has an in-depth review of the new graphics card up. I'll pull out some of the key points, but I strongly encourage you to check it out for yourself for the full monty."
Straight from Engadget: "According to a a report from Japan's Ultra One magazine, the PS3 will contain a whole PlayStation 2 chipset inside its massive hulk in order to ensure backwards compatibility. Word is that while Sony has claimed the PS3 is powerful enough to handle full PS2 emulation, the actual software isn't ready yet, so they'll use PS2 chips as a stopgap while they finish up. Obviously, the pricey hardware will mean even more losses to Sony at launch, but supposedly once they figure out emulation they'll pull the chips to lower their costs. If this all turns out to be true, it wouldn't be the hugest surprise, since Sony did the very same thing with the PS2 to gain compatibility with the original PlayStation. The Ultra One article had a few other tidbits of note, including a quote from Sony's Izumi Kawanishi stating that the PS3, as it was announced, is "nothing more than just the basic system." Sony apparently has plenty of upgrades in store for the console, which could make PS3 one of the most diversified (and probably expensive) pieces of "standard" hardware going in the gaming world. They did say that they won't be breaking compatibility, and even if it happens by accident, the console can accept updates over the Internet. Also, the magazine states the console has a "large amount of flash memory," so that no matter what hard drive you end up with, you'll always have the system software running from the included flash."
Straight from Slashdot: "Jonathan Last, writing for a lay audience in the Philadelphia Inquirer, comments on Sony's push for the Blu-ray format: 'Those who ignore history are doomed to repeat it. One of life's more satisfying ironies, however, is that the same fate often befalls those who fixate on history… …Obsessed with owning proprietary formats, Sony keeps picking fights. It keeps losing. And yet it keeps coming back for more, convinced that all it needs to do is push a bigger stack of chips to the center of the table.'"
Straight from Slashdot: "Mike McCurry, former Clinton Administration Press Secretary turned telecommunications industry lobbyist, reacts to his many new critics in the battle over Net Neutrality: "There are millions and millions of good Democrats who get paid by corporations," he said, "and I think every time we bash corporations, we just turn off people who are in the middle of the political spectrum." Among others, top political blogger Markos Moulitsas Zúniga responded swiftly to McCurry's latest assertions: "What a dishonest piece of sh[..] McCurry has become. This is an anti-corporatist jihad, is it? Is that why we are aligned with Microsoft, Google, and eBay? And when did the Christian Coalition and the Gun Owners of America join the 'left'? What a pathetic attempt to marginalize those of us working for net neutrality….McCurry is now a sad, sad, pathetic man.""
Straight from Slashdot: "There's a good article in the IEEE Spectrum, titled 'Death by DMCA', which talks about how whole classes of devices were eliminated, and how others won't even see the light of day as a result of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act. One example is ReplayTV's TiVo-like devices which featured sharing capabilities, along with automatic ad skipping; the company was sued to bankruptcy, and the reincarnated device supported neither sharing nor ad skipping."
Police find eight heads north of Baghdad
"BAQUBA, Iraq, June 3 (Reuters) – Police found the severed heads of seven cousins and a mosque Imam near the town of Baquba on Saturday, a gruesome discovery even by Iraq's standards.
Small paper notes left with the heads and read by ambulance workers identified one as Sheikh Abdel Aziz al-Mashhadani, the Imam of a Sunni Arab mosque near Baghdad. The note accused him of killing four Shi'ite physicians.
Like so many others, the eight were victims of sectarian violence that has pushed Iraq towards civil war.
Three weeks ago the family of the seven cousins received a telephone call saying a relative had an accident and needed blood and was laying in a Shi'ite-run hospital, a relative said.
"Seven cousins went to save him and that's the last we saw of them," said the relative.
Ambulance workers took the heads from an area beside a road and placed them in banana crates for transport to a Baquba hospital.
As the heads were being unloaded from a hospital vehicle, a policeman made a prediction that is common after many attacks.
"This is aimed at stirring sectarian feelings. This will cause a lot of violence," he said."