Daily News Brief: Last Minute Geek Gifts


Microsoft Hit Hardest in Gambling Settlement

Microsoft, Google, and Yahoo have settled gambling charges to the tune of $31.5 million. Microsoft will the brunt of the fine, forking over $21 million, while Google and Yahoo will pay $3 million and $7.5 million respectively. The charges stem from an investigation into an illegal unregulated online gambling ring, whose ads appeared on the three sites, which falls under the U.S. aiding and abetting statute. But wait, there's more...

AVG Suing Over Fraduluant Software Ads

Microsoft, Google, and Yahoo, are also the center of another ad based lawsuit , along with GoDaddy, this time over counterfeit software. AVG has filed subpoenas under the DMCA against the four companies in an attempt to track down the identities of search advertisers selling counterfeit AVG software, along with trying to ascertain domain registration information.

New Radeon Cards

MadBoxPC has published pictures of three new Radeon videocards set to debut in January. The HD 3450 sports a Display Port, 525MHz core clockspeed, and 800MHz memory on a 64-bit bus. Also 64-bit, MadBoxPC reports the HD 3470 running at a core clockspeed of at least 600MHz, with the memory chugging along at 1000MHz. And finally, the HD 3650 features a somewhat beefier 128-bit bus with a core clockspeed of 800MHz (XT) or 600MHz (Pro), while the memory cruises at 2000MHz.

Software Used to Created Faster ICs

In the race towards smaller nanometer chips with reduced transistors, researchers at UCLA have shown there's another way to make faster silicon. The team of scientists claims they can get " 30 percent less wire length using improved optimization " using software algorithms. Jason Cong, UCLA professor and chair of computer science, likens the placement of tens of millions of nodes to putting together a jigsaw puzzle. Read more here .

AMD/ATI Releases Catalyst 7.12 Drivers

ATI card owners can snag new Catalyst drivers , with version 7.12 being released for both Vista and XP. The drivers include an Avivo update, performance enhancements, and various bug fixes for several games. Grab yourself the Foxit PDF reader , and then read the full release notes in PDF format here .

Chicago's Cell Phone Ban Challenged

No, Chicago didn't step back into the dark ages and ban the use of cell phones outright, but they did make it illegal to chat and drive at the same time. The law has netted hundreds of thousands of dollars in fines, but if a civil rights lawyer gets his way, all that money will have to refunded. The lawyer filed a federal lawsuit alleging that Chicago failed to post the prohibition on signs, which he claims is a violation of state statute. However, critics of the lawsuit point out that the ordinance need not be posted because it doesn't conflict with any state law.

Geek Gift Guides Galore!

Tis the last Daily News Brief before Christmas, and the last weekend to battle the crowds and hunt for stocking stuffers. Stumped on what to get that geek in your life? Here are some gift guides to get you started:

DailyTech's Audio Lover's Holiday Guide: Players and Phones
Engadget's Holiday Gift Guide, 2007
ExtremeTech's Geek Gift Guide 2007
HardwareLogic's 25 Must-Have Gifts for Christmas!
Information Week's Ultimate Holiday Tech Gadget Buyer's Guide 2007
MusicThing's Christmas Gift Guide 2007: Price No Object

To all Maximum PC readers - Happy Holidays!

Around the web