Daily News Brief: Radeon HD 3870 X2 Benchmark Controversy

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HardOCP Speaks Out About Benchmarks

Reviews of AMD/ATI's hotly anticipated Radeon HD 3870 X2 videocard hit the web en masse today, bringing with them a recurring controversy over real-world versus scripted benchmarking. Previously confined mostly to debates over theory, this time around HardOCP's real-world examination produced results contradicting those of many other websites, particularly when compared to competing parts by nVidia. Does this expose a potential flaw in the real-world method, or does it reinforce [H]'s stance against what Kyle Bennett calls " canned benchmarks "? That question has helped spark a 30+ page debate .

Warner Sues Music Search Engine

Warner Bros. has filed a lawsuit against SeeqPod , claiming the website " facilitates mass infringement " of copyrighted works. SeeqPod acts a search engine for songs, providing audio streams so users can listen to queried titles in their browser, including copyrighted titles. Sound familiar? Last.fm offers a similar service, but leaps the legal hurdles with signed licensing deals. SeeqPod has no such deals in place, instead hoping to find protection under the DMCA's " safe harbor " provision.

PayPal Invests in Security

Looking to " significantly " improve their antifraud systems, PayPal will pay $169 million for Fraud Sciences , an Israeli security company specializing in online fraud detection. Fraud Sciences CEO Yossi Barak and founders Shvat Shaked and Saar Wilf will move to PayPal's technology and fraud management teams. They'll have their work cut out for them, as PayPal remains a popular target for phishing scams.

Qtrax Off Track?

In a press release Sunday morning, Qtrax laid claim to being to the first internet file-swapping service to be " fully embraced by the music industry ," boasting a catalog of 30 million tracks from " all the major music labels ." Conflicting with that claim, Warner Music said it " has not authorized the use of our content on Qtrax's recently announced service. " Both Universal Music Group and EMI also denied having licensing deals in place. So what's going on? According to Qtrax president and chief executive Allan Klepfisz, an agreement with Warner on terms is expected " shortly ," with terms already agreed on by the others that are awaiting to be formally signed. Read more here .

MSI Outlook 2008

MSI chairman Joseph Hsu recently discussed the company's goals for 2008 . Popular in the enthusiast community for their range of motherboard options, the discussion mostly revolved around other products instead. Hsu talked about their decision to increase the panel size from 7 to 10 inches on their upcoming low price PC, a move they hope will help differentiate them from the Eee PC, and also touched on expectations for their Smartphone, notebook, and IPC segments.

Buyers Save Billions on eBay

According to independent research by two statisticians from the University of Maryland's Robert H. Smith School of Business, eBay shoppers saved about $7 billion by using the auction site in 2003. Looking at a linear projection based on results from 2003 and 2004, Wolfgang Jank, one author of the study, estimates consumers saved $19 billion in 2007. The study focused on " consumer surplus ," which measures the difference between the top price buyers are willing to pay and what they actually end up paying. More details on the study here .

Sky is Falling

Maybe not literally, but government officials have warned that a large U.S. spy satellite has lost power and could fall back to Earth in March or February. According to anonymous sources (the information is classified as secret), the satellite can't be controlled and may contain hazardous materials. Uncontrolled re-entries aren't new, with the largest incident occurring when a 78-ton abandoned space station fell from orbit in 1979. The debris dropped harmlessly into the Indian Ocean.

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