News Archive 2005

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This page contains all the news articles posted on Helpedia during year 2005.

For newer news items, please check the dedicated news page.


Seagate To Buy Maxtor for $2 Billion

CNN Money reports that Seagate will buy Maxtor for nearly $2 billion in stock. Even with Dell as its top purchaser, it wasn't enough to stop the blood loss at Maxtor. The deal is expected to be completed by the latter half of 2006.

The deal comes as Maxtor, whose biggest customer is No. 1 personal computer maker Dell Inc., has been restructuring and battling increasingly stiff competition.

Analysts have said Maxtor has been losing market share to competitors like Seagate and Western Digital Corp. in consumer electronics, one of the fastest-growing businesses for computer storage companies.

This news article was written on December 22, 2005.

Startup Company Readies Long-Lasting Fuel Cell

A new startup company plans to unveil a fuel cell device at CES 2006 that could power mobile devices for days...and possibly even weeks based on usage:

The power pack is made up of two parts: a disposable fuel cell component and connector cable. The fuel cell, which measures 3.2 by 2 by 1.4 inches, will provide the raw power while the connector cable will interface between it and the gadget being charged. Cables for different gadgets, fitted with the correct charging connector and voltage regulator, will be available, said Michelle Rush, a spokesperson for the company.

This news article was written on December 18, 2005.

AMD Says Court Ruling Gives It Another Victory Over Intel

The Sunnyvale company is happy to note that a recent ruling in the Tokyo District Court will give it more ammuniation in its ongoing court case against Intel.

Materials confiscated in searches by the Fair Trade Commission of Japan (JFTC) during raids at Intel and third-party hardware manufacturer offices in Japan can be used by AMD in its ongoing lawsuit against the chip giant. Intel took the opportunity to discredit the actual usefulness of the materials obtained by AMD: "Once again AMD has mischaracterized and exaggerated the impact of a procedural ruling which does not in any way address the merits of AMD's claim," says Chuck Molloy, a corporate spokesman for legal affairs at Intel. "Our only interest in respect to the documents is to ensure that Intel and our customers' confidential information and trade secrets are protected ... AMD's claims of [Intel] hiding materials are absurd."

This news article was written on December 18, 2005.

Quanta Selected to Build $100 Laptop

The $100 laptop has a builder. Quanta has been chosen to produce the laptops which will be used in developing nations. Intel recently balked at the notion of the $100 laptop, but program chair Nicholas Negroponte thinks otherwise:

The initial launch of the product will involve five to 15 million units, the OLPC said. Projects will launch in seven countries, including China, India, Brazil, Argentina, Egypt, Nigeria and Thailand with each receiving one million laptops. Smaller numbers of the devices will be shipped to various projects in other countries as well.

This news article was written on December 15, 2005.

Xbox 360 Gets Cool Reception In Japan

BusinessWeek reports that Japanese customers bought less than half of the available Xbox 360 units available during the consoles debut. Considering that Japan is home to Nintendo and Sony, Microsoft still has an uphill battle with the 360:

Microsoft, which started selling the Xbox 360 in Japan on Saturday, sold 62,135 machines over the weekend, or just 39 percent of the 159,000 consoles it is estimated to have shipped to stores, according to data from market researcher Enterbrain Inc.

The figures indicate a slower start than the original Xbox, which failed miserably in Japan. The first Xbox sold about 123,000 units in the first three days of its launch in 2002, according to Tokyo-based Enterbrain.

This news article was written on December 13, 2005.

Microsoft Tightening Security Defaults In IE 7

Microsoft is doing all it can to ensure that the next version of Internet Explorer is a secure as possible out of the box. The company is making some changes to its security zones to ensure that a user's computer is protected from attacks:

The current version, IE 6, has four classifications for Web sites - Internet, local intranet, trusted and restricted - which allow users to apply different security rules for how the browser interacts with groups of Web sites. The browser uses the settings to determine, for example, whether it will run ActiveX controls without first alerting the user.

The company has been working on improvements to prevent the browser from running malicious code in less restrictive security zones, wrote Microsoft engineers Vishu Gupta, Rob Franco and Venkat Kudulur in Microsoft's IE weblog.

This news article was written on December 13, 2005.

Microsoft Loses South Korea Antitrust Case

The company is forced to pay a fine of $32 million and must also remove its Windows Messenger IM program from Windows operating sytems in S. Korea:

Microsoft Corp. was ordered to separate its instant messaging service from its Windows software and allow rival products on its system in South Korea after losing an antitrust case on Wednesday.

The U.S. software firm, which was also fined about $32 million, said it would appeal the decision by South Korea's Fair Trade Commission (FTC) but did not plan to make good on a threat to withdraw its Windows operating system from the country.

This news article was written on December 9, 2005.

AIM Worm Mimics Talking IM Bots

A new virus is floating through the AIM network and actual carries on a conversation with its potential victim. The virus, IM.Myspace04.AIM, actually converses in a way similar to IM bots like MovieFone or ShoppingBuddy:

"This sophisticated bot attack is programmed such that infected users cannot see the messages the worm is sending on their behalf. When recipients of the malicious message reply to the infected user, the bot running on the infected machine sends follow-up messages," IMlogic said in an advisory.

This news article was written on December 9, 2005.

Search Terms Are a Witness for the Prosecution

Robert James Petrick, 51, didn't exactly point a Web browser to the Internet search engine Google and type in "how do you kill your wife?"

But he came pretty close, say prosecutors in Durham County, North Carolina.

Petrick used Google to search the Internet for references to "body decomposition", "rigor mortis," "neck" and "break" in the days before and after he murdered his wife, Janine Sutphen, then dumped her body in a lake, said Durham County assistant prosecutor Mitchell Garrell.

By "Googling" his wife's murder, Petrick was inadvertently supporting the prosecutor's time line of events.

For instance, the jury learned that Petrick searched for and downloaded a topical map of a lake bed in the days before he dumped the woman's remains in the same body of water.

"We were prepared to go forward with prosecution anyway, and would have succeeded, but no doubt this stuff helped," Garrell said. "We were able to tell the jury things like, 'Here's when she's last seen, and here he's downloading a map of the lake she's found in.'"

The Petrick case goes beyond serving as a textbook example of how police and prosecutors incorporate someone's Internet habits into their investigations and prosecutions.

This news article was written on December 5, 2005.

Feds Allow Adobe And Macromedia To Merge

Federal regulators have given their OK to Adobe and Macromedia to merge. Both companies expect the deal to be finalized on December 3, 2005. Macromedia stock owners will exchange one Macromedia common stock share for 1.38 shares of Adobe common stock.

Adobe had announced their plans to acquire Macromedia back in April 18, 2005. Macromedia is most well known for their Dreamweaver web development software, while Adobe has several famous products such as Acrobat, Photoshop and Illustrator.

This news article was written on December 3, 2005.

Intel To Build A Second 45nm 300mm Wafer Factory

Intel has announced plans to build a new 45nm chip plant in Kiryat Gat, Israel. The $3.5 billion Fab 28 will be Intel's seventh 300mm facility (five are currently operational):

SANTA CLARA, Calif., Dec. 1, 2005 - Intel Corporation today announced plans to build a new 300-millimeter (mm) wafer fabrication facility at its site in Kiryat Gat, Israel. The new factory, designated Fab 28, will extend Intel's manufacturing leadership by producing leading-edge microprocessors in the second half of 2008 on 45 nanometer (nm) process technology. Construction on the $3.5 billion project, Intel's second 45nm factory, is set to begin immediately.

"Intel is committed to widening its lead in advanced semiconductor manufacturing," said Paul Otellini, Intel president and CEO. "Our manufacturing network is a strategic asset of unmatched scope and scale that gives Intel the ability to provide customers with leading-edge products in high volume. Today's announcement of a second 45nm high volume factory reaffirms that Intel platforms will contain the most advanced and innovative technology in the world for years to come."

This news article was written on December 2, 2005.

Adware Maker Sues Over 'High Risk' Designation

180solutions isn't too happy with Zone Labs these days. The company is suing over the fact that Zone Labs considers products like Zango and 180search Assistant to be "high risk" security threats:

"In my opinion, 180solutions is a perfectly legitimate target for anti-spyware companies," said Eric Howes, a spyware researcher at the University of Illinois. "The bottom line is that we continue to find unethical and illegal installations of 180's software."

This news article was written on December 2, 2005.

Google Lets Users Talk To Advertisers

Google is testing out a new service that would allow users to get into closer contact with advertisers brought up by their search results. As long as you have a phone number and feel confident that Google will treat it with respect, you can talk with an advertiser by simply making a few clicks:

A Web surfer can click a phone icon adjacent to an ad, enter his or her own phone number and then click a "connect for free" button. Google's service calls the advertisers's phone number and when the Web surfer picks up the receiver on his phone, he or she hears ringing as the call to the advertiser is connected, according to a Google Click-to-Call frequently-asked-questions page.

This news article was written on November 29, 2005.

Kazaa Ordered To Block 3000 Keywords

Eminem, Kylie Minogue and Madonna are just some of the popular artists whose songs are to be blocked from being illegally distributed on the peer-to-peer network Kazaa following Federal Court orders yesterday.

Justice Murray Wilcox has ordered the owner of Kazaa, Sharman Networks, to modify the file-sharing software to block a list of search terms - primarily artist and song names - to be supplied by the record companies. Justice Wilcox's order follows the record companies' court victory in September against individuals and organisations associated with Kazaa.

The court has ordered Sharman to release a new version of Kazaa by 5 December that includes a non-optional keyword filter, restricting users' ability to illegally access and swap copyright music.

The record companies may also update the list of search terms every two weeks. Once Sharman receives the updated list, it has 48 hours to act on the changes.

This news article was written on November 28, 2005.

Cray Chief Scientist Leaves for Microsoft

Supercomputer maker Cray Inc. on Friday said that cofounder and chief scientist Burton Smith will leave the company to take a job at software maker Microsoft Corp.

Smith will leave the company on December 7, Cray said. He also resigned from his post on Cray's board of directors. The company did not say what Smith's position will be at Microsoft.Microsoft officials were not immediately available for comment.

Cray shares were down 10 cents, or almost 7 percent, to $1.40 in pre-market INET trade.

This news article was written on November 28, 2005.

Texas Sues Sony Over CD Rootkit

Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott announced Monday that he has filed suit against Sony BMG over the use of illegal spyware in its copy-protection mechanism that gained national attention earlier this month.

Abbott also disputed Sony's claims that it had recalled all affected CDs, saying investigators were able to purchase "numerous titles at Austin retail stores as recently as Sunday evening."

The lawsuit notes that Sony's software uses a rootkit "cloaking" technique to hide itself from users and prevent its removal. Abbott says the DRM remains active at all times, even when Sony's media player is not active, which has led to concerns about its true purpose.

"Sony has engaged in a technological version of cloak and dagger deceit against consumers by hiding secret files on their computers," Attorney General Abbott said in a statement. He also highlighted the security concerns brought about by the rootkit.

"Consumers who purchased a Sony CD thought they were buying music. Instead, they received spyware that can damage a computer, subject it to viruses and expose the consumer to possible identity crime."

This news article was written on November 22, 2005.

World's First Working $100 Laptop

A working version of the much talked about $100 laptop was unveiled today. The lime green, hand crank powered unit (one minute of cranking = 10 minutes of run time) was displayed at the World Summit on the Information Society. The laptop features a 500MHz AMD processor, 7" color screen, WiFi connectivity, uses flash memory for storage and runs on Linux.

Even Hector Ruiz, CEO of AMD, which gave $2 million to OLPC, says success will require "developing larger ecosystems around ... tech support, application development, training and business models for the Internet service providers." Those elements aren't close to being in place, and Ruiz thinks the laptop's price won't drop to $100 for two to three years. Yet even skeptics are loath to pooh-pooh Negroponte's activism: "If he can pull it off," Hammond says, "my hat's off to him."

This news article was written on November 17, 2005.

AMD aims for four-core Opterons by 2007

AMD continues to gain momentum with its popular Opteron server processors and it plans to have quad-core versions of the processor in service by 2007.

The new processor will incorporate four cores connected together by a new version of the Hypertransport interconnect technology, and will support double data rate 3 (DDR3) memory, he said at the event, which provides financial analysts and media with a "State of AMD" address that covers the company's technology, customers and financial health.

The server version of this chip will add a third level of cache memory to AMD's processors, allowing server designers to build systems with 16 and 32 processors, Hester said.

This news article was written on November 17, 2005.

Quake 3 Arena Shown On Mobile Phones

Up until now, games on cellular phones have resembled the first Atari 2600 VCS games. But Imagination Technologies has ported Quake 3 Arena for deployment on cell phones, and is showing it off at the Korean Games Conference. Quake 3 Arena was released to the public under GPL licensing and the company has ported the game to Windows CE devices such as the Dell Axim x50/x51 and Windows Mobile phones.

Imagination says that the game achieves 25 frames per second on a Dell Axim x50v, but other devices will probably be slower. The Axim is an actual PDA with a decent processor, the 624 MHz Intel XScale PXA270, which is more powerful than CPUs found in the typical Windows Mobile phone.

This news article was written on November 15, 2005.

Sun announces new T1 chip

Sun is ready to unleash a fireball onto the server market. The company claims (just like car makers whenever they revamp a product line) that the new 1.2GHz UltraSparc T1 (codename Niagara) is more powerful, faster and more efficient than its predecessor. "Niagara" has 8 cores, but there will also be four and six core versions of the processor available (these being Niagra with defective cores).

The UltraSparc T1, code-named Niagara, uses about 70 watts of electricity, closer to that of standard household light bulbs, and less than the 150 watts to 200 watts that most microprocessors in servers consume.

The T1, which has eight processing "cores" on a single piece of silicon to give it more computing power, will be the brains of a line of forthcoming Sun Fire servers due by year's end and that run Sun's Solaris version of the Unix operating system.

This news article was written on November 15, 2005.

ATI Backs Up CrossFire Quality

ATI's CrossFire is still a ways behind NVIDIA SLI when it comes to maturity, widespread support and implementation, but the company is fully committed to platform. [H]|ard|OCP reports that the "Certified by ATI" program will help to ensure that every CrossFire motherboard lives up to the expectations of the enthusiast community (and hopefully not mirror the results of the DFI RDX200 CF-DR).

One thing I have come to know in the last few weeks is just how committed ATI is to their motherboard chipset in the enthusiast marketplace. They certainly want to penetrate that end of the market and are making some solid claims as to moving forward. I think now that many of the motherboard companies will be looking at them to see how they react. Will ATI be there to nurture CrossFire to market if they have to? I hope that this will not be needed, but it is good to see that ATI is being proactive with their "Certified by ATI" program.

This news article was written on November 15, 2005.

Trojan Attacks Microsoft Image Rendering Flaw

Anti-virus vendor Trend Micro Inc. has spotted a Trojan in the wild attacking Windows users via the image rendering flaws patched by Microsoft Corp. two days ago.

The Trojan, identified as TROJ_EMFSPLOIT.A, causes the "explorer.exe" file to crash, causing the taskbar on unpatched Windows machines to disappear.

The "explorer.exe" process is a required file used to manage the Windows Graphical Shell including the Start menu, taskbar, desktop and File Manager. A malicious attack that disrupts those essential services is considered very disruptive.

Trend Micro described the exploit as a "proof-of-concept Trojan" that exploits the Graphics Rendering Engine vulnerability patched by Microsoft earlier this week.

Microsoft rated the flaw as "critical" and warned that a successful exploit could let an attack take "complete control" of unpatched Windows 2000, Windows XP (including SP2) and Windows Server 2003, but the Trojan identified by Trend Micro simply causes a denial-of-service condition.

This news article was written on November 11, 2005.

OpenDocument Format Gathers Steam

With the backing of heavy-hitters in the industry like IBM and Sun Microsystems, the OpenDocument format is gaining momentum as an alternative to Microsoft's dominance in the office suite sector:

"It's more grassroots, starting small and working its way through individual states and agencies," Gallt said, but did not specify which governments were looking into it.

Those state customers are seeking alternatives to Microsoft Office, while the technology providers are looking to loosen Microsoft's grip on the desktop marketplace, said Stephen O'Grady, an analyst at RedMonk. Those factors are what are fueling the growing momentum for OpenDocument, he said.

This news article was written on November 11, 2005.

Leaked Microsoft Memos Highlight Perceived Threat From Google

Information Week has obtained leaked internal Microsoft memos which details the concerns the company has about its competition including Apple, Skype, Adobe and of course Google. Here's a portion of Ray Ozzie's memo to the troops:

"Google is obviously the most visible here, although given the hype level it is difficult to ascertain which of their myriad initiatives are simply adjuncts intended to drive scale for their advertising business, or which might ultimately grow to substantively challenge our offerings," he continued. "We knew search would be important, but through Google's focus they've gained a tremendously strong position."

This news article was written on November 11, 2005.

Qualcomm sues Nokia over patents

Qualcomm has filed suit against Nokia for infringing upon its patents on CDMA technology:

Qualcomm said on Monday it wanted Nokia, the world's No. 1 mobile phone maker, to stop selling or producing products in the United States designed for GSM mobile phone networks and that it was demanding financial damages from the Finnish mobile firm.

This news article was written on November 8, 2005.

California Man Charged with Botnet Offenses

Botnets are big business, at least according to authorities who announced the first U.S. case against an alleged computer hacker, who authorities believe netted $60,000 in cash and a BMW from a personal army of zombie computers.

Federal authorities arrested a 20 year old California man Thursday and charged him with running a network of 400,000 compromised computers called a "botnet", including computers used by the U.S. government for national defense.

Jeanson James Ancheta, of Downey, Calif., was arrested by FBI agents Thursday morning and charged with spreading a Trojan horse program, called "rxbot," and using it to build a network of around 400,000 infected computers.

He is also charged with illegally uploading advertising software ("adware") onto compromised systems.

Huge networks of compromised computers, known as "bots," have become a pressing problem in recent months. Security company Symantec Corp. said that its researchers identified an average of 10,352 bots a day in the first half of 2005, compared to around 5,000 a day in December 2004, according to the company's most recent Internet Threat Report.

This news article was written on November 4, 2005.

Microsoft Ready For Windows Live

Micrsoft is aiming to bring online versions of some of its core software applications to market in the near future. Office Live and Windows Live are two that have been recently announced with more to come:

Gates said that Windows Live is a set of Internet-based personal services, such as e-mail, blogging and instant messaging. It will be primarily supported by advertising and be separate from the operating system itself. Office Live will come in both ad-based and subscription versions that augment the popular desktop productivity suite.

This news article was written on November 3, 2005.

Home Use of Internet Growing, But Divide Still Exists

According to the 2003 census data, over one-third of American households did not own a computer. Of the households that did own a computer, a little more than 50% had Internet access:

Wealthier, more educated households with school-age children were most likely to have Internet access. While only 45 percent of African-American and Hispanic homes had Web access, 67 percent of Asian homes and about 65 percent of white families had access. People over 65 were least likely to have a computer or Internet access.

This news article was written on October 31, 2005.

Blue Gene/L Breaks Its Own Supercomputer Record

Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory and IBM unveiled the Blue Gene/L supercomputer Thursday and announced it's broken its own record again for the world's fastest supercomputer:

The 65,536-processor machine can sustain 280.6 trillion calculations per second, called 280.6 teraflops, IBM said Thursday. That's the top end of the range IBM forecast and more than twice the previous Blue Gene/L record of 136.8 teraflops, set when only half the machine was installed.

In addition, the lab unveiled a lesser known but also powerful machine with a speed up to 100 teraflops. The ASC Purple is built from more conventional IBM server products. Together, ASC Purple and Blue Gene/L cost $290 million. Both will be used for nuclear weapons simulations and other computationally demanding tasks.

This news article was written on October 28, 2005.

Canon Working On Fuel Cells For Cameras And Printers

Canon is developing fuel cell technology for use in printers and digital cameras. Fuel cells are generally more efficient than traditional batteries, but the size/performance ratio isn't quite where it should be:

Canon, the world's top maker of copiers and cameras, is aggressively investing in the development of new products, keen to cultivate new growth drivers as the digital camera market slows and competition in the printer and copier markets heats up.

This news article was written on October 25, 2005.

Google Revenue Nearly Doubles

Google's good fortune continues as it has reported revenue that is up nearly 100% versus this time last year. The company has also added over 800 new employess since July:

The Internet search company saw revenues of $1.578 billion for the quarter that ended September 30, 2005, up 96% from the third quarter of 2004, and up 14% compared to the company's second quarter.

Google's third quarter net income was $381.2 million - $1.32 per diluted share - over six times more than its Q3 earnings a year ago of $52.0 million. Financial analysts predicted Google's quarterly EPS would fall in the $1.26 to $1.44 range.

This news article was written on October 21, 2005.

Information Revealed About Intel Merom

The boys over at DigiTimes have some information on Intel's Merom processor. The chip will be pin-compatible with Yonah and feature an L2 cache of up to 4MB. Merom will also feature a 14-stage pipeline and is built on a 65 nanometer manufacturing process:

First mentioned by sources in 2004, Merom was announced by Intel in August this year at IDF Fall in San Francisco. The processor will be manufactured utilizing 65nm technology. Compared to Yonah, it will have a larger level-two cache (presumably up to 4MB) and will contain some micro-architecture innovations, according to Eden. One of these innovations will be a higher performance 4-issue out-of-order engine with deeper buffers and a pipeline extended to 14 stages.

This news article was written on October 20, 2005.

HP recalls 135,000 battery packs

Hewlett-Packard has recalled 135,000 notebook batteries because of possible overheating issues:

The recalled product was imported from China and Taiwan and used with Pavilion, HP Compaq, Presario and Evo notebooks manufactured from March through September of last year. These machines have a bar code label starting with GC, IA, L0 or L1. The battery packs were sold separately for between $100 and $130.

This news article was written on October 17, 2005.

Maxtor External Drives Up To 1 TB

Maxtor today unveiled its new OneTouch III "Turbo Edition" external drives at the Digital Life Expo in New York. The device comes with with RAID 0/1 and file synchronization capability and extends the consumer OneTouch line of drives into high-end consumer and professional markets.

The OneTouch III will be offered in 600 GByte and 1 TByte capacity versions and will actually contain two individual Maxtor harddrives in one case. The devices support USB2.0, Firewire 400 and Firewire 800 connections and enable the user to protect data by using either RAID 0 striping or RAID 1 mirroring. Striping allows for faster read and write access by splitting up the reads and writes to both drives, while mirroring puts an exact copy on the drives. With mirroring, no data is lost if one drive fails, but the downside is that effective storage capacity is cut in half.

This news article was written on October 16, 2005.

Samsung To Pay $300 Million For Price Fixing

The US Justice Department reports that Samsung has admitted to price fixing in the memory market and will pay a $300 million fine (the second largest criminial antitrust fine in US history):

South Korea's Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd. has agreed to plead guilty to a charge that it conspired to fix the price of memory chips and will pay a $300 million fine, the U.S. Justice Department said on Thursday.

This news article was written on October 14, 2005.

A Modern-Day Tale Of David And Goliath

There's an editorial over at VoodooPC which takes a look at the relationship that both Intel and AMD have with vendors along with some thoughts on AMD's anti-trust lawsuit.

AMD has always had this awesome grassroots approach to the industry, and their relationship building is on a completely different planet from Intel's. AMD has never tried to apply pressure on us to change the "ratio" of AMD/Intel on our systems. AMD has always called on us in good times and in bad, and they've always addressed any issues we've had within minutes of blurting out an email. This news article was written on October 13, 2005.

Yahoo! Releases Podcasting Service

Yahoo! has just released a test version of its new podcasting service. From the (short) article: "Yahoo's new service will allow users to download shows from National Public Radio, the weekly presidential address, and independent shows with subjects ranging from sports to knitting." Additionally Yahoo! Podcast users have the ability to rate shows.

This news article was written on October 10, 2005.

Why Microsoft Hates Blu-Ray

The private feud just became public.

Apparently, Gates yelled at Sony's CEO because the new copy protection Blu-ray has adopted would prevent players from streaming content to the Xbox 360.

Since the PS3 will have Blu-ray support but the Xbox 360 only has a plain DVD drive, this means PS3 will be the only console that can play HD movies. Also, Paramount just announced support for Blu-ray and Warner Brothers may also jump ship. Will VHS vs. Betamax turn out differently this time?

This news article was written on October 8, 2005.

Huge JPEG patent infringement suit against Microsoft, Apple, IBM & others

In a filing in United States District Court on Monday, Forgent Networks, whose subsidiary, Compression Labs, Inc. is the current patent holder for JPEG image compression technology, filed suit principally against Microsoft, plus what appears to be, by the company's count, "approximately 40" technology companies, representing just about everybody that anyone recognizes.

The claim is apparently patent infringement, though details were not provided.

The complete list of parties named in the suit:

  • Acer America Corporation,
  • Agfa Corporation,
  • Apple Computer, Incorporated,
  • BancTec, Inc.,
  • BenQ America Corporation,
  • Canon, USA,
  • Concord Camera Corporation,
  • Color Dreams, Inc.,
  • Creative Labs, Incorporated,
  • Creo, Inc.,
  • Creo Americas, Inc.,
  • Dell Incorporated,
  • Eastman Kodak Company ,
  • Fuji Photo Film Co U.S.A,
  • Fujitsu Computer Products of America,
  • Gateway, Inc.,
  • Google Inc.,
  • Hewlett-Packard Company,
  • International Business Machines Corp.,
  • JASC Software,
  • JVC Americas Corporation,
  • Kyocera Wireless Corporation,
  • Matsushita Electric Corporation of America,
  • Microsoft Corporation,
  • Mitsubishi Digital Electronics America, Incorporated,
  • Oce' North America, Incorporated,
  • Onkyo Corporation,
  • PalmOne, Inc.,
  • Panasonic Communications Corporation of America,
  • Panasonic Mobile Communications Development Corporation of USA,
  • Ricoh Corporation,
  • Riverdeep, Incorporated (d.b.a. Broderbund),
  • Savin Corporation,
  • ScanSoft, Inc.,
  • Sun Microsystems Inc,
  • Thomson S.A.,
  • TiVo Inc.,
  • Toshiba Corporation,
  • Veo Inc.,
  • Xerox Corporation, and
  • Yahoo! Inc.

This news article was written on October 7, 2005.

AMD - Intel Trial Updates

AMD has issued a subpoena to Intel in regards to the anti-trust trial which isn't expected to begin until 2007:

The procedural move targets more than 15 computer makers and a dozen distributors and retailers that AMD believes may possess information related to its claims against Intel.

An AMD spokesman underscored that his company is not suing the companies. "AMD views these third parties as victims of Intel's misconduct and therefore hopes to obtain these documents in the manner least burdensome to them," he said.

This news article was written on October 7, 2005.

Apple to roll out video iPod

On Tuesday, Apple fanned the flames of interest by sending out and e-mailing invitations to an Oct. 12 event at the California Theater in San Jose, Calif., enticing invitees with the text "One More Thing ..." accompanied by a picture of a closed red curtain.

Speculation has immediately centered around another change to Apple's line of iPod music players, and the company has precedent on its side. It was almost exactly a year ago that Apple used the same venue to debut the iPod Photo and U2 iPods at an event that featured Bono and The Edge of the band U2.

This news article was written on October 6, 2005. hacked again got spread eagle yesterday as hackers broke into the site and opened up user accounts to prying eyes:

"We have scanned SpreadFirefox servers and at this time do not believe any sensitive data was taken, but as a precautionary measure we have shutdown the site and will be rebuilding the Web site from scratch," the open-source group said in an e-mail sent to members.

This news article was written on October 5, 2005.

ATI decreases warranty to 1 year

Legit Reviews has a response from the company on their new warranty policy. For those that didn't already know, ATI has reduced the warranty on their video cards from 3 years (and in some cases 5 years) to 1 year:

When we spoke to ATI about the warranty changes they explained that it was done for a number of reasons. After studying the average "return rate over time" charts it was discovered that nearly 90% of all video card returns were done in the first 60 days. This means that consumers very seldom used their warranty on the second and third years per the old warranty plan. Since ATI's warranty plan covers production cards for three years a large inventory of cards has to be kept on hand for warranty work. This inventory is nothing more than a money pit for ATI, as the cards lose value each and every day.

This news article was written on October 5, 2005.

South Korea Introduces Robotic Teachers

The Korean Advanced Intelligent Robot Association (KAIRA) will have 64 educational robots deployed by the end of 2005.

Able to read out English stories and correct pronunciation of English words to children, these robots are going to be supplied to apartment complexes in Seoul, Bucheon and Bundang in Gyeonggi province for testing purposes.

After testing is complete, the Ministry of Information and Communication and KAIRA plan to commercialize the robots as early as 2006. If there exists sufficient demand, education robots will sport other subjects (as mathematics, etc.) apart from English, as well as also target older students.

This news article was written on October 4, 2005.

Forged Maxtor Corp. MaXLine II HDDs appear in Japan

Forged Maxtor Corp. MaXLine II hard disk drives (HDDs) have emerged on the Japanese market, according to local press. Alleged swindlers supply 320GB flavours of the HDDs, whereas Maxtor officially produces only 250GB and 300GB versions of the products for retail channel.

Instead of Maxtor MaXLine II hard disk drives, some unnamed suppliers shipped hard drives that mimic products intended for Maxtor's OEM clients to several stores in Japan. The products do not seem to be genuine, though. The products identify themselves with model number 5A320J0 and come with 320GB capacity, which is not in the MaXLine II lineup intended for retail customers. Such products are not supported by Maxtor, according to Akiba PC Hotline web-site, who quoted Japanese representatives of the HDD maker as saying.

The counterfeit hard drives can be distinguished by incorrect font on the label as well as usage of lower-case 'X' letter in the brand-name: on forged HDDs it is writer MaxLine II, whereas the company calls the drives as MaXLine II.

The original Maxtor MaXLine II hard disk drives with 250GB and 300GB capacities have model numbers 5A250J0 and 5A300J0 respectively. There are 320GB hard disk drives in the Maxtor MaxLine II lineup with model number 5A320J0 designed primarily for OEMs and available across the world, according to Google's search results. The products are listed at Maxtor's web-site, but their specs could not be obtained at press time due to problems with the company's web page.

The HDDs that were, according to the company, either mislabeled or made from unqualified components, or components that did not pass quality assurance procedures, are intended for systems with Parallel ATA-133 interconnection. The hard drives are equipped with 5400rpm motors and 2MB cache.

It is unclear whether the issue is widespread. Maxtor's representatives did not immediately return email seeking for comment.

This news article was written on October 1, 2005.

Laptop for 100$

Who's up for a $100 laptop? MIT researchers have developed a prototype for a $100 laptop which runs the Linux operating system and will be targeted at developing countries...and Massachusetts :-)

The laptop can be powered either with an AC adapter or via a wind-up crank, which is stored in the housing of the laptop where the hinge is located. The laptops will have a 10 to 1 crank rate, so that a child will crank the handle for one minute to get 10 minutes of power and use. When closed, the hinge forms a handle and the AC cord can function as a carrying strap, according to Negroponte. The laptops will be ruggedized and probably made of rubber, he said. They will have four USB ports, be Wi-Fi- and cell phone enabled and come with 1GB of memory.

You can view images of the laptop.

This news article was written on October 1, 2005.

Robotic Sentry Gun

Aaron Rasmussen and his brother Ezra built this awesome robotic sentry gun.

The gun is an airsoft replica of an FN P90 and fires 6mm BBs. Pan and tilt are controlled by two hobby servos using a simple controller. Aaron wrote custom software to watch the usb webcam and track targets. There is a video showing it being tested on Ezra.

This news article was written on September 23, 2005.

Top 10 Best/Worst Tech Products of the Past 10 Years

CNET has two top 10 lists of the Best and Worst products of the past 10 years.

Here's the #1 from the worst list:

I want to say that it was a good idea in the beginning. Bob was born out of Microsoft's goal to improve the Program Manager interface for Windows 3.1. But it was a replacement that just didn't catch on. It also suffered the ignominy of spawning the awful Clippy--the helpful paper clip. Maybe Bob wasn't universally bad, but I've never heard anyone say they miss it. On a side note, according to Wikipedia, "Microsoft Bob was a project managed by Melinda French, Bill Gates's girlfriend at the time. The two later married. Bob was the last project she ever worked on for Microsoft

This news article was written on September 20, 2005.

Sun offers to trade Dell Xeons for Sun Opterons

Aggressive firm Sun Microsystems told AMD resellers that it would give a 20% trade up allowance on qualified Dell systems, so piling the pressure on the Round Rock'n'Rollers.

The deal, presented to AMD's channel partners, said that resellers could save up to $1,900 on servers that Sun claims perform 1.5 times better than the Xeon machines Dell sells.

The firm also reckons that the Sun Fire X4100 and X4200 servers also offer up to 56 per cent savings in power and cooling costs per year.

The offer ends on March 24th next year, and Xeon users are invited to trade in on this web site.

This news article was written on September 14, 2005.

eBay buys Skype

London - Ebay today announced that it will purchase VoIP company Skype in a deal valued between $2.6 and $4.1 billion.

The acquisition will allow the online auction leader to access Skype's 54 million users and further diversify its revenue streams with Skype's VoIP services - while free PC-to-PC-based calls will continue to be offered.

Skype, barely two years old, did not come cheap for Ebay. The online auction house pays $2.6 billion in cash and stock - roughly 371 times the revenue Skype achieved in 2004 - plus a performance-based bonus, which could amount to $1.5 billion and will be due in 2008 to 2009 time frame.

Despite the substantial investment, analysts believe that Skype will pay off for Ebay and create the dominating global VoIP provider on the Internet.

"The foremost benefit for Ebay clearly is to add a voice client to its services and diversify its revenue with an excellent and strong product," said William Stofega, an analyst with IDC. "Ebay purchased an enormous worldwide brand that comes with a wonderful ecosystem already built. Besides that, the company receives a proprietary technology that does not rely on SIP, but on its own signaling protocols."

This news article was written on September 13, 2005.

Google hires the father of the Internet

Google continues its pursuit of nabbing key figures in the tech industy with the hiring of Vint Cerf:

Cerf, who co-designed TCP/IP (Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol), will help Google develop architectures, systems and standards for next-generation applications, the company said.

This news article was written on September 10, 2005.

Dell keeps e-mails and data for AMD

Dell has agreed to cooperate with AMD's subpoena in regards to the antitrust case against Intel. Dell is seen as a key witness in AMD's case against the chip giant:

Dell, the largest PC maker, buys microprocessors exclusively from Intel. The Texas-based PC maker agreed to preserve relevant information and copy hard drives of employees identified as "custodians" - those who were involved in negotiating microprocessor purchases.

This news article was written on September 10, 2005.

eBay considers buying Skype

eBay, the lumbering 500 lb gorilla, is in talks now to purchase Skype. This would mark the latest in a long list of aquisitions by the company in the past year:

EBay Inc. is in talks to acquire Internet-telephone company Skype Technologies SA for between $2 billion and $3 billion, the Wall Street Journal reported on Thursday.

This news article was written on September 10, 2005.

Hardware requirements for Windows Vista

Do you think that your system has what it takes to handle Windows Vista? Your hopes and dreams may be shattered when you find out what kind or rig that Microsoft recommends in order to ideally run Vista:

"If you move from 32 to 64 bit, you basically need to at least double your memory. 2 gigs in 64 bit is the equivalent of a gig of RAM on a 32bit machine. That's because you're dealing with chunks that are twice the size... if you try to make do with what you've got you'll see less performance. But RAM is now so cheap, it's hardly an issue.

"In terms of disks, you're really going to want S-ATA 2hard drives with NCQ capability because it gives the OS the ability to get on with stuff while disk tasks complete. All the tier 1 and tier 2 vendors can provide this capability today.

"Thirdly, the graphics card and system bus is essential. PCI x16 is going to be very important. Any of today's 3D GPUs will be fine... we're not waiting for some mystical monster that may or may not come out. But they need to have 128MB of RAM on it. If they've only got 64 don't panic.

This news article was written on September 7, 2005.

Dothan vs Turion Tests

Laptop Logic has posted a fresh article comparing Intel's much loved Dothan processor to AMD's Turion 64. There are plenty of performance numbers and battery life tests to keep you busy for a while:

This article fully covers the architecture of both the Pentium M and Turion CPU, along with a brief history outlining the various tweaks and optimizations that were performed during their development. To appeal to a broader audience, this article will first discuss the effect of the respective designs rather than delving into any engineering details. Then, the pros and cons of each CPU architecture are discussed, followed by a brief evaluation of price. Finally, the bulk of the article compares the Turion ML-37 against the Pentium M 760 in a myriad of benchmarks, starting from simple synthetic benchmarks to the four main categories of computing: office/business, multimedia, gaming, and scientific use. Battery life is also compared, and the conclusion will provide a brief summary.

This news article was written on August 30, 2005.

Pioneer's BRD-101A white-label Blu-ray burner

Pioneer is showing off their new BRD-101A Blu-ray/DL DVD+-RW drive. One thing it won't read though is regular old CDs.

This news article was written on August 30, 2005.

Three indicted in U.S. spam crackdown

Three low-life spammers have been indicted by an Arizona grand jury and are considered to be in the top 200 as far as spammers go:

Three people accused of sending massive amounts of spam face possible prison sentences after being indicted by a grand jury in Arizona and accused of violating the CAN-SPAM Act of 2003 and other charges, the U.S. Department of Justice said in a statement.

Named in the indictment are Jennifer R. Clason, Jeffrey A. Kilbride and James R. Schaffer. The three are accused of sending spam that advertised pornographic Web sites, the DOJ said in a statement. They made money from commissions that the Web sites paid in return for directing traffic to their sites, the statement said.

This news article was written on August 28, 2005.

Google Opens Gmail Service to Public

Google's GMail service has been opened up to the public after being invitation-only since its inception. The only catch is that you must have a cell phone. Considering that everyone and a grandma has a cell phone these days, that shouldn't be too much of a problem:

The mobile phone requirement was designed to prevent Gmail accounts from being created by robots and stop spammers from signing up multiple times. Google will send an invitation code via SMS, which can then be used to register with Gmail. Only one account may be created per phone number.

This news article was written on August 28, 2005.

GoogleTalk Released

Google has released their GoogleTalk IM application. You can download it here.

This news article was written on August 24, 2005.

Urine-Powered Batteries Developed for Cell Phones

A research team at Singapore's Institute of Bioengineering and Nanotechnology have developed a battery that is powered by urine.

Physicists in Singapore have succeeded in creating the first paper battery that generates electricity from urine. This new battery will be the perfect power source for cheap, disposable healthcare test-kits for diseases such as diabetes, and could even be used in emergency situations to power a cell phone.

This news article was written on August 16, 2005.

Sanyo develops chip for HD DVD, DVD, CD's

Sanyo Electric Co said Thursday that it had developed a signal processing large-scale integrated circuit (LSI) for HD DVDs. Sanyo's chip allows playback and recording of HD DVDs, current DVDs and CDs. By utilizing the product, it is possible to lower costs and reduce the size of the HD DVD drive and HD DVD player hardware.

SANYO plans to release this chip to the market in the second quarter of 2006. With the expected rapid proliferation of products in the consumer electronics field, HD DVD players and recorders that utilize this LSI will quickly appear in the market, according to the company.

"HD DVD is advantageous because of its superior compatibility with current generation DVDs and low cost production for ROM disks. This will prove to be a big edge in popularizing HD DVD ROM contents", Mr. Yodoshi added.

This news article was written on August 12, 2005.

Intel recalls batch of Intel P4 EE processors

Intel is recalling a batch of 3.73GHz P4 EE processors because an improper heatsink was included in the packaging. Only about a hundred or so of the chips were affected by the error:

The batch number is 3502A770, for stock control unit (SKU) Intel Pentium 4 3.73GHz with 2MB cache and 1066MHz processor system bus. Intel Pentium 4 Extreme Edition product that runs at 3.73GHz is designed for extremely fast PCs used by enthusiasts and hobbyists.

This news article was written on August 12, 2005.

Dead After 49 Hours Of Starcraft

A South Korean man who died after playing Starcraft for 49 hours straight:

A 28-year-old South Korean man died of exhaustion in an Internet cafe after playing computer games non-stop for 49 hours, South Korean police said Wednesday.

Lee, a resident in the southern city of Taegu who was identified only by his last name, collapsed Friday after having eaten minimally and not sleeping, refusing to leave his keyboard while he played the battle simulation game Starcraft.

This news article was written on August 12, 2005.

IBM to Release Search Engine as Open Source

IBM plans to release as open-source a sophisticated new search and text analysis technology that is able to find relationships, trends and facts buried in a wide range of unstructured data, including e-mails, Web pages, text documents, images, audio and video.

Called the UIMA (Unstructured Information Management Architecture), the technology is able is able to go beyond the keyword analysis typically used by most search engines to discern the semantic meanings within text and other unstructured data, said Nelson Mattos, vice president of information integration with IBM in San Jose, Calif.

This news article was written on August 8, 2005.

Japan iTunes Hits 1 Million Downloaded Songs

In just four days, 1 million songs have been downloaded at Apple's new iTunes Music Store in Japan, the fastest pace for the service's launch in any of the 20 nations it's now available, including the U.S., a senior executive said Monday.

"We're extremely happy with the results," Eddy Cue, Apple Computer Inc. vice president of applications, said in a telephone interview from Cupertino, Calif., where Apple is based. "We think we've got a huge success."

Apple has not signed a deal with Sony Corp.'s music division, which has some of the most popular Japanese singers and bands under its label. Cue refused to comment on how talks with Sony Music Entertainment are going but said he hoped Sony will join soon.

The popularity of iTunes in Japan has dealt another blow to Sony because it has already surpassed the number of downloads Sony's affiliated online music store gets in a month about 450,000. This news article was written on August 8, 2005.

MS Patch Day: Six Bulletins on Deck

On August 9th, Microsoft is set to release six patches to fix possible serious security holes in its Windows operating systems:

Some of the vulnerabilities carry a maximum severity rating of "critical," meaning they could put Windows machines at risk of an Internet worm, even without any user action.

This news article was written on August 7, 2005.

Razer Copperhead 2000 DPI Laser Mouse

Laptop Logic has the scoop on the new Razor Copperhead laser gaming mouse. Everyone always raves about the Logitech MX510/MX518 for gaming, but this one looks to kick serious butt:

Razer has just released Copperhead, the industry's first laser gaming mouse. The Copperhead offers tracking precision at up to 2000 dpi and the first mouse to utilize Full Speed (12MBps) USB. The 2000 dpi laser sensor uses a 16-bit data path and samples at 1000Hz, compared to other mice that poll at 125Hz. It also has 32 KB built-in RAM memory.

This news article was written on August 7, 2005.

Budget dual-core Athlon from AMD

In order to better do battle with Intel at the low-end of the dual-core market, AMD is launching an entry-level Athlon 64 X2 3800 which runs at 2GHz:

The Athlon 64 X2 3800+ will run at 2GHz and each core will have a 512KB secondary cache for rapid data retrieval. The chip costs $354 in quantities of 1,000. That's less than existing dual-core Athlons, but the chip also doesn't provide the same performance levels as the chips released earlier. The Athlon 64 X2 4200+, for instance, has the same size cache but runs at 2.2GHz.

This news article was written on August 1, 2005.

Apple, HP Call it Quits on iPod Deal

I never quite understood the partnership in the first place, but both companies have severed their deal in which Apple provided Hewlett-Packard with co-branded iPods:

"HP has decided that reselling iPods does not fit within the company's current digital entertainment strategy. As a result, HP plans to stop reselling iPods by the end of this September," Apple spokesperson Natalie Kerris confirmed to BetaNews.

This news article was written on July 30, 2005.

CATALYST Beta Driver 1 for Windows Vista beta 1 (code name Longhorn)

For those of you out there testing Windows Vista Beta 1, here's a Catalyst beta driver from ATI for you to try out.

This news article was written on July 29, 2005.

Intel to borrow from laptops for server chips

Intel's Pentium M architecture has won acclaim from both reviewers and the buying public for its high performance and efficient architecture. Intel is taking some of the techniques used to make its mobile processors great and is applying them to its server chips.

A Xeon chip for blade servers due in the first half of 2006 derives from the Pentium M family, the company's notebook chip family, said Stephen Thorne, marketing manager of the server platform group at Intel. Code-named Sossaman, the chip puts out a maximum of 31 watts, fairly low for server chips, which can boast thermal ceilings of 110 watts.

This news article was written on July 28, 2005.

Beta Testers Get First Look at Windows Vista

The Windows Vista beta is out in the open and over 20,000 testers are now pawing all over it.

The long-awaited first beta for the Windows Vista client release, which was formerly known as Longhorn, officially goes live Wednesday, hitting some 20,000 technical beta testers.

Microsoft also Wednesday released the first beta of the as-yet un-renamed Windows "Longhorn" Server to a limited number of participants in the technical beta program, including hardware manufacturers, OEMs, independent hardware vendors, system builders, independent software vendors and developers.

This news article was written on July 27, 2005.

House backs federal investigation of Rockstar Games

Rockstar is going to need more than a cup of hot coffee to shake off the Feds on this one. It's interesting though that sex provokes such a response from politicians, but drive-bys, cop killing, and drug dealing don't really phase them. Hmmm.......

Just after 7 pm on Capitol Hill today, the House of Representatives voted 355 to 21 to support a Federal Trade Commission inquiry into Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas. The purpose of the probe will be to determine if take-Two Interactive and its publishing subsidiary Rockstar Games deceived the voluntary Entertainment Software Ratings Board when it submitted Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas.

This news article was written on July 27, 2005.

Server Milestone hit by AMD

AMD has punched through the 10% marketshare level with shipments of its Opteron processors. It still has a ways to go to match the dominance of Intel server chips in sales, but there's always that lawsuit to possibly help matters out in the future...

The Sunnyvale, Calif., chip maker, citing fresh figures from Mercury Research Inc. in Cave Creek, Ariz., said it garnered just over 11 percent of x86 server shipments in the second quarter, versus about 7 percent in the first quarter.

This news article was written on July 26, 2005.