Whether you place the blame on ISPs for not upgrading their infrastructure or the small number of bandwidth hogs clogging up the pipes (with all legal content, of course), metered bandwidth looks to become the norm rather than the exception. AT&T becomes the latest to jump on board and will begin trials for metered internet access for subscribers living in Reno, Nevada. But that's not the half of it.
Those of you who were outraged at Comcast for having put a 250GB cap in place might want to stop reading now. According to a letter filed electronically with the FCC, AT&T attorney Jack Zimmerman says the size of his company's bandwidth caps will vary based on the service level. Customers on the 768kbps plan will be hit the hardest and have just 20GB to work with, while 6mbps subscribers will be capped at 150GB, or 100GB less than what Comcast is allowing. Should customers go over their service level's limit, a $1 per gigabyte charge will be assessed to the monthly bill.
Customers who want no part of the caps can choose to cancel their service and have their early termination fee waived. We imagine there are readily available alternatives in Reno, but should AT&T's test run spread to other areas, finding another ISP may not always be as easy. AT&T boasts 14.7 million subscribers, enough to rank the company as the largest ISP in the U.S.
While InPhase Technologies and its holographic storage solution has a long ways to go before it reaches Duke Nukem status for a laughably late product, the promised technology is beginning to smell a lot like vaporware. The company has been promising a holographic drive since early 2005, and now nearly four years later, InPhase has pushed back it's first drive ship date until late 2009.
On paper, the technology looks tantalizing. By altering the angle of lasers, data stored as holograms can be read or written and can co-exist in the same physical space. This translates into huge amounts of data to the tune of 800GB and even 1.6TB discs, according to the company's 3-generation roadmap.
The technology requires highly sophisticated and precise optics, development of which has been at the heart of the delays. InPhase had intended to ship it's first $18,000 drive in December, but in sorting out a last minute development problem, the company instead ended up laying off part of its workforce. Rumors suggest that as many has half of InPhase's staff may have been given a pink slip earlier this year.
So here's the big question: Which will come first, Duke Nukem Forever or holographic storage? Hit the jump and give us your prediction.
Pioneer has to be feeling giddy following its most recent court victory. Pioneer had accused Samsung of willfully infringing on two of its patents -- U.S. Patent Numbers 5,182,489 and 5,640,068 -- covering plasma display technology. It took an eight-day trial to convince Hon. David J. Folsom in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas in Marshall, who awarded Pioneer with a $59 million verdict, part of which covers lost profits and royalties.
"We are very pleased with the jury's finding," says Mr. Baxter of McKool Smith, the firm who represented Pioneer. "This was a complicated case and we were fortunate to have jurors that closely examined the facts before reaching their verdict."
And fortunate Pioneer was. The jury ruled in favor of the company on every count brought against Samsung. Not surprisingly, Samsung has yet to comment on the ruling.
Tough times are ahead for Circuit City. The mega electronics chain plans to close 155 stores and evaluate its options moving forward in a restructuring attempt . As part of the store closings, Circuit City also said it will cut 17 percent of its domestic workforce.
"While management is working diligently to secure the support of its vendors and believes it has maintained good relationships with these important partners," the company said in a statement, "the current mix of terms and credit availability is becoming unmanageable for the company.
The store closures are to take place today, with closing sales to begin on November 5. While disappointing for patrons of the brick and mortar outlet, Circuit City's previous CEO Philip Schoonover warned that it could close stores as part of a turnaround plan.
After EA dribbled its drop into the bucket, it was only a matter of time until other mega-publishers hopped in line. Proving the previous statement's veracity, here's THQ.
According to prettymucheveryone -- save for, of course, THQ -- the publisher plans to pack five studios onto the chopping block this week, bringing its total posse down from 16 studios to an economy sized 11.
The development studios being given the go ahead to stroll toward the light are Paradigm (Stuntman Ignition), Helixe, Locomotive, Sandblast Games and Mass Media.
Additionally, Juice Games (known for, uh, racing title Juiced) will remain open, but will lose roughly one third of its staff.
Our prayers are with those who find themselves unemployed. Good luck, everyone.
Coming right after "guns" and just before "violence" on the list of things one should include in a non-cover-based game with projectile-firing ordinances, there's the easy-to-operate first person viewpoint. Apparently, space-faring MMO Tabula Rasa just got the memo -- plopped into its lap by a non-electronic, 1997 carrier pigeon*. Said Graphics Programmer John "Johnny Death" Styles:
"First, what is better than blasting some Bane with your trusty shotty? How about blasting some Bane with your trusty shotty in a first person view? With a FPS view, you can finally get all up-close and personal with your favorite lobster. Just wear your bib because things get pretty messy."
And there's more. If you thought Wolfenstein 3D had trusty shotty groping at the FPS market's spinal cord**, this next doozie will blow your mind. Working scopes. Bam.
Sarcasm aside, however, we have to give JohnnyD and co. props for their final announcement.
"There is nothing better than walking around in a hulking mass of metal and firepower. That is, unless you are sitting in the cockpit of one. Yes, that is right! Click zoom yourself into a cockpit of walking death and lay waste to your foes. Try not to step on your squad."
Garriot's space odyssey was probably snooze-worthy after designing that.
A press release from Valve has heralded the imminent arrival of the Steam Cloud; the ability to access your Steam savefiles and controller configs from any computer. Left 4 Dead will be the first title to have the Cloud functionality, and Valve has said they'll be retrofitting their back catalog with the feature.
According to Valve, the Steam Cloud will "just work." By this they mean that gamers won't have to do anything to get their saves and options into the Cloud; it will all happen automatically. Similarly, when a user logs onto their account on a new computer their data will be downloaded for them by default.
Valve president Gabe Newell explained the philosophy behind the Steam cloud, saying "For some time now, Steam has allowed gamers to log on from any computer in the world and access their applications ... Steam Cloud is a natural extension of the portability Steam affords gamers and developers, and we intend to expand its feature set as it is used in Left 4 Dead and other games coming to Steam."
Left 4 Dead launches on 18th, with the demo (which includes Steam Cloud) coming later this week. Are you psyched? Let us know after the jump.
You've bought computer parts online, right? If you have, then we're sure you've experienced the Herculean ordeal of trying to free a delicate little part (say, a memory card) from its nigh-unbreakable PVC prison. Well, today Amazon has shown that they feel our pain, announcing a new initiative to eventually offer all their products with less obnoxious, extraneous packaging.
The initiative extends beyond tech stuff and beyond just PVC blister packs. The retail giant says that the plan won't just save our fingers, but the environment too. For instance, the press release says that for a single toy pirate ship, the new packaging "eliminates 36 inches of plastic-coated wire ties, 1,576.5 square inches of printed corrugated package inserts and 36.1 square inches of printed folding carton materials. Also eliminated are 175.25 square inches of PVC blisters, 3.5 square inches of ABS molded styrene and two molded plastic fasteners."
For right now Amazon's only going to be offering the new packaging on items from certain sourcces, like Microsoft and Transcend, but says "our vision is to offer our entire catalog of products in Frustration-Free Packaging."
Sounds pretty good, right? Do you think we can expect other retailers to follow suit? Let us know after the break.
For many of us, the idea of building your own laptop seems pretty farfetched. But OCZ is looking to change all of that with a recently announced15” DIY gaming notebook. The notebook will be based on Intel’s Centrino 2 processor and ATI’s Radeon HD3650 integrated graphics. According to OCZ, these will “provide a premium gaming experience that lets gamers power through all of today's most advanced and graphic-intensive games and applications with DirectX 10.1 compatibility.”
“At OCZ, empowering the enthusiast end-user in the mobile gaming space is an exciting opportunity for us, and with the powerful technology found in our latest Intel Centrino 2 based notebook we are again at the forefront of this growing market,” states Ryan Edwards, Director of Product Management, in OCZ’s the press release. “With OCZ DIY notebooks, end-users have complete control of the cost/performance ratio of key components, giving consumers the opportunity to personalize a true gaming and multi-tasking powerhouse notebook by using a validated component list and our easy to follow step-by-step manual included with every DIY package.”
While the notebook isn’t one that you’ll be building from the ground up, there are plenty of great options to give it a DIY feel. In the box you’ll get the case of the machine, which features a 15” screen, optical drive, and motherboard while the HDD (or SSD), memory and processor are your call. Thanks to some conveniently placed covers, all it takes to install the components is a screwdriver a little bit of know-how. OCZ even provides a catalog of components that work in each slot, so you’ll have a short list of parts to choose from when deliberating on what to use.
For true DIY’ers, this isn’t much to concern yourself with. But if you’re someone looking for a way to get your feet wet in the DIY scene (and it truly is the place to be), this isn’t a bad place to start. Follow the simple instructions and the fundamentals of building a PC are all yours.
Recently YouTube's really been ramping up its efforts to bring viewers a more cinematic online-video-viewing experience, a trend that continues as they bring home all the sophistication of foreign cinema with a new auto-translate features for subtitles. Ok, maybe that's a bit of an exaggeration. After all, machine translation being what it is, it's not particularly likely that you'll get more then a bare-bones understanding of what's going on, but at least that's better than nothing.
Of course, the functionality will only be available for videos which have had subtitles or captions uploaded with YouTube's recently-added caption feature, which is currently only a tiny percent of the videos online.The YouTube blog explains how to use the feature: "To get a translation for your preferred language, move the mouse over the bottom-right arrow, and then over the small triangle next to the CC (or subtitle) icon, to see the captions menu. Click on the "Translate..." button and then you will be given a choice of many different languages."
What do you think of the feature? Is it just another gimmick, or is it going to open YouTube up to greater cross-cultural participation? Let us know after the jump.