If you can't beat 'em, buy 'em, and most would agree that Netflix has grown too large (and too strategic) to beat. So who wants to buy them? If you believe the latest rumor, Amazon wants to buy the online DVD rental service, news of which has sent Netflix stock soaring to the highest it's been in 11 weeks.
"There's heavy call buying and the stock is up on renewed takeover talk, with Amazon being mentioned specifically," said Fred Ruffy, the senior options strategist at WhatsTrading.com. "It's pretty typical of speculative buying."
While Netflix and Amazon both compete in the Internet video business, not everyone is convinced a takeover makes much sense. Michael Pachter, an analyst for Wedbush Morgan Securities, points out that Amazon has distribution centers all across the U.S., meaning the company would have to collect sales tax in those states. Should that happen, subscribers would likely end up footing the bill.
As expected, both Amazon and Netflix said they don't comment on rumors or speculation.
“The decision to shift a release date is never an easy one, especially with a product as highly anticipated as BioShock 2. We felt that it was essential to invest the additional time to ensure that this title will deliver what its fans expect and deserve,” said Take-Two CEO Ben Feder.
“As a result, we will now be launching sequels to several of our strongest franchises - including BioShock 2, Mafia II, Max Payne 3 and Red Dead Redemption - during the next fiscal year.”
As a result of that result, Take-Two’s 2009 is looking pretty sparse. We’re all for heart-pounding finishes, but Take-Two’s all-or-nothing 2010 plan is just wild. This is like when action heroes fall from great distances, only to fire off their grappling hooks at the last feasible second; sure, you know the hero’s not going to make any sort of craterous impact, but damn, Take-Two, 2010 had better be the best year ever. After all, Spider Man can’t swing by and catch everyone.
And if 2010 doesn't go your way, we imagine a number of your investors will be plumeting from buildings hoping not for someone to catch them, but for death's sweet, concrete flavored embrace.
Facebook dragged social aggregator Power.com to court about six months ago. Though the news was soon followed by whispers of an out-of-court settlement being near, there has been none. Power.com has now decided to take the fight to the opposition by countersuing it.
Power.com allows users to manage their accounts on some of the major social networks on the internet – it removed Facebook after it got sued - through its website. Users don’t even need to register to use the website; instead, they can log in using the id/password combination they use to access any one of their accounts on MySpace, Hi5, Orkut, LinkedIn or Twitter.
Facebook had accused Power.com of using its data without securing prior consent. The former was mainly rankled by the fact that Power.com was storing user credentials.
Power.com has accused Facebook of obstructing users from transferring their data in the fashion they see fit. The social aggregator has requested the court to order Facebook to cease such unlawful, anticompetitive practices and to award monetary damages to the plaintiffs (defendants in the original suit filed by Facebook). Why don’t you be the judge, jury and executioner in the comments section? Give us your take on Data Portability.
I recently started playing COD4, and at my favorite server, I get a ping of 50–60ms on a 5Mb/s connection. I wanted to get my ping down a bit more, so I upped the connection first to 10Mb/s and then to 16Mb/s, but alas, still no difference. My modem is an older Linksys BEFCMU10, but the router is a newer D-Link 4100 GamerLounge. I’m considering a purchase of a Bigfoot Networks Killer NIC M1 but hate to throw more money at the problem, only to have little or no results. Is there anything I can do to lower my ping? Please help me, Doctor!
According to a report in the Apple Daily, a Chinese newspaper, Acer plans to launch the dual-OS netbook in August. Acer chairman JT Wang believes a dual-OS netbook is a much safer way of throwing Android at the deep end as compared to an Android-only netbook.
You probably pay your cell phone, cable TV, Internet, and several other bills online, and even so, you probably also receive a stack of mail in your mailbox every day. Enter the Swiss postal service which, starting in June, will offer subscribers a digital delivery option.
The service, called Swiss Post Box, will send subscribers scanned images of their unopened envelopes to their email address. Subscribers can then decide which ones they want opened and have the contents scanned so that it can be read online. In addition, the Swiss Post Box will offer to archive contents, send unopened letters to another address, or shred and recycle unwanted mail, The New York Times reports.
"There are very few things you get that you actually have to have in your hand," said Michael Laprade, a two year subscriber to Earth Class Mail, a Seattle-based company licensing its technology to the Swiss postal service.
The new service will start at about $18.35 per month. In the U.S., Earth Class Mail subscribers pay anywhere from $10 to $60 per month depending on how much mail is scanned.
Old school adventure gamers who own an Apple iPhone may soon have reason to raise up a mug of grog, and those who have never matched wits with LeChuck might be in for a treat. In a not-so-subtle Twitter update, LucasArts stopped just short of saying it would release The Secret of Monkey Island: Special Edition on the iPhone.
"For our Monkey fans - an iPhone sized wallpaper. No reason. Wink wink nod nod," LucasArts tweeted.
LucasArts plans to release the remastered adventure game for the PC and Xbox 360 on July 15th, just two days from now, and the Twitter message is being seen as a (strong) hint that the game will also find its way to the iPhone, though it's anyone's guess as to when that might be.
The remastered title will feature high definition graphics, original cast member voice-overs, renewed music score, a new interface, an in-game hint system, and the ability to switch between Special Edition and Classic Modes at any time during gameplay, LucasArts says.
Along with the latest build of Windows 7 (build 7600), it would appear that the Technical Preview of Office 2010 has made its way to the public realm of the Internet as well.
Office 2010 is reported to come in 32 and 64-bit flavors (possibly with both on one DVD). Both of these can be found online, so you can snag the version that best suits your needs. The leaked version of Office 2010 comes with Access 2010, Excel 2010, InfoPath 2010, OneNote 2010, Outlook 2010, PowerPoint 2010, Project 2010, Publisher 2010, SharePoint Designer 2010, SharePoint Workspace 2010, Visio 2010, and Word 2010.
Admittedly, the version of Office 2010 is a leak, so you’ll have to find a download all on your own. After all, we can’t in all good consciousness condone such activity.
According to a recent article by Network World, hackers have figured out a new technique to log your keys that involves either cheap lasers or power outlets.
The power outlet method works by keylogging the electrical impulses created with each keystroke, allowing would-be hackers to see everything you type, simply because you’ve decided to juice up your machine. However, you’re safe should you be running on battery power – and this is where the lasers come in.
The second method works by pointing a cheap laser, one that’s slightly better than a laser pointer, at a shiny part of a laptop. A receiver is then aligned to capture the reflected light beam, and record the vibrations that are caused by striking each key. The vibrations are then fed into a sound card, where “the vibration patterns received by the device clearly show the separate keystrokes.”
While I’m a bit skeptical of the second method (with all the different variations in keyboards, builds, sizes, and shapes of laptops, it’s got to be difficult to hammer out a foolproof system), they’re both something to look out for. In order to cover your back, it’s suggested that you “make sure there is no line of sight to the laptop, move position frequently while typing and pollute the signal by striking random keys and later deleting them with the backspace key.”
Distributed computing is one of the wonderful ways that you can use your PC to contribute to more thoughtful, worldly causes than keeping your room warm during a cloudy summer day. These projects, made up of members from all corners of the world (even Maximum PC's own forums), make use of your computer during its idle periods. Whether they're come as a screensaver that launches after a set period of time, or a background application that launches after a certain period of CPU inactivity, these free applications divvy out the tasks of a large, complicated project to a number of people at once.
Why should you care? Because distributed computing is a nice way to use a minimal amount of your system's resources--resources that you wouldn't be using anyway--to contribute to something greater than yourself. It's entirely altruistic in its purpose. Very, very few distributed computing projects have some kind of monetary award attached to the work, and you'd have to score a major knock-out in your individual contribution to the project to see the result. That is, your computer would have to be the one that finds the next huge prime number, or major breakthrough in protein analysis, or something to that effect. If you're in it for a reward, you might as well develop a program that estimates lottery odds.
You'll find that entities like Maximum PC, amongst others, have teams of people contributing to these distributed computing projects. It's a great way to make friends and fellow geeks--in fact, I'd probably be strung up by this site's forum folk if I didn't include a shout-out to their work on the Folding@Home project. Click the jump to find out how you can get involved in this and other awesome distributed computing efforts. +10 Light Side points for you.