Daily News Brief: AMD's Back in Black!


AMD Unveils Black Edition Processor

AMD had enthusiasts speculating what to expect come September 25th, touting a dark side on their website to be revealed on said date. And while the hopeful dreamed of an early Phenom release, the surprise AMD instead sprung on the world was a second processor in their Black Edition lineup. The Black Edition X2 5000+ part is identical to the regular version, save for an unlocked multiplier and lack of a bundled heatsink/fan (it's a retail CPU). The new processor joins the 6400+ Black Edition released last month.

No XBox 360 Price Cut Planned for Holiday

Microsoft's manufacturing cost will go down when the XBox 360 switches to a 65nm CPU platform in time for the holidays, but DailyTech surmises that current pricing will likely stay the same. Instead, console gamers may find additional value with the inclusion of two bundled games; Forza Motorsport 2 and Marvel Ultimate Alliance. The assumption comes after spying the bundles on BestBuy's website at current pricing, which have since been taken down. Marketing images have also been spotted, giving credence to DailyTech's speculation.

XP Life Support Extended

Earlier this week we noted Microsoft was making it easier for Vista Business and Ultimate users to downgrade to XP. Now we've learned that MS will also extend XP availability to OEM system builders through June 2008, instead of making the cutoff in January as previously indicated. Windows corporate vice president Mike Nash contends Microsoft is " pleased " with the response to Vista, but are the customers? These two moves combined with Dell's decision to reintroduce XP as an OS option perhaps paints a different picture, with less roses...

Apple Hacks Back

Apple warned that those with the gall to unlock their iPhones and choose their own service provider would soon find their pricey gadget inoperable, and they're making good (bad?) on their claim. The 1.1.1 (3A109a) update is available through iTunes, and users are already reporting that their phones no longer work afterwards. But it's not just hacked phones that may be at risk, some owners of unmodified iPhones have complained of deleted contacts, photos, and music after applying the update.

Disney Abandons Cell Phone...Again

In other end-of-life cell phone news, Disney's pulling the plug on their branded cell phone service targeted towards kids. The Disney handsets went through Sprint Nextel Corp., and allowed parents to track their children's location, as well as set limits on how and when the phone was used. Unable to get large retailers on board, Disney will no longer sell the phone and service, and will continue to service existing phones until the end of the year. This is the second time Disney has closed the door on cell phone service, having previously partnered up with ESPN before shutting down one year ago.

iPod Earbuds Turn it Down

Concerned that today's youth (just like yesterday's youth) are killing their ear drums by playing music way too loud, Ingemi Corp. decided to attack the problem head on . Their new iHearSafe earbuds appear to be a regular set of earphones, except they contain a small volume-reducing circuit that limits the decibel level to 85, roughly the equivalent of city traffic noise. It's tough to imagine kids being thrilled with noise-capped earbuds, but hey, if they're getting an iPod this Christmas, sympathy goes out the window, and so does their risk for hearing damage by listening to loud music (above 85 dB) for an extended period.

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