Nothing is worse than when the government decides to levy another tax someplace. Newegg customers of New York were irked on June 1, 2008 when they found out that Newegg was being required to collect sales tax to orders sent to New York, even though Newegg doesn’t have a store there.
However, Newegg has backed away from that stance, sending out an email from Newegg Company Spokesperson and Vice President of Merchandising, Bernard Luthi, saying that it reversed it’s decision based on feedback from it’s customers.
“This decision was driven by your direct and candid feedback and our continued commitment to you as our valued customers.” He went on to thank customers for their patience as they worked things out.
Of course, New York residents are still responsible for paying their sales tax.
Newegg should be applauded for taking a stand. Collecting taxes for different states, counties, and localities would be a terrible mess for any online retailer to wade through. It would only serve to drive up prices for consumers and stifle internet commerce.
How do you feel about taxes on items purchased over the web?
"Gordon Freeman is a menace to society. When he's not bludgeoning our men with cars and annihilating our demolition teams with their own ordinances, he's white-washing their corpses with paint and treating wild, endangered headcrabs like lowly mammalian bulls. Sure, we enslaved his species and all, but does he have to be such a jerk about it? He toys with us as though this were some sort of game, and we won't stand for it."
--An excerpt from The Combine Times, the final Combine paper to include anything other than obituaries.
--Gordon Freeman's reply
Yeah, Gordon Freeman isn't the most loquacious guy around. He speaks through his actions -- or rather, your actions. But that's what makes him great. He's a videogame character under your direct control. He fights like you, so why shouldn't he think like you?
As you've probably noticed, my particular Gordon Freeman is, well, have you ever imagined what it'd be like if one of the loud-mouthed, rap-prone kids on Xbox Live was tasked with saving all of humanity (and managing a classy goatee)? Am I like that in real life? No, but slipping into the hazard suit of a silent protagonist like Gordon Freeman allows me to project a side of myself into the game that hardly even exists in reality. I'm not constrained by any pre-set personality the man might have, so my imagination washes over the game, and it becomes a whole new experience.
Sure, I enjoy having the tightly braided engagement-lasso of a compelling, whip-smart lead wrapped around my neck as much as anyone, but I also think that such a lead doesn't lend him/herself well to gaming's main strength: interactivity.
So, how do you like your protagonist: strong and silent with a side of whatever you want, or glib -- fried up and delivered just as the developers ordered?
Today's Roundup features heroes of both varieties, along with a smattering of other stories about your favorite industry. From details about WoW's colossal (and free!) pre-WotLK update, to exclusive titles' death knells, there's no way you'll leave this Roundup without something to talk about. Jump past the break for more.
So is PC gaming hosed? That seems to be the case for games that a) are not massively multiplayer, b) don’t have “Sims” in the title, or c) aren’t played by your mom.
But it’s not really as dire as all that. Mass Effect actually made it to number 2, and Sins of a Solar Empire to number 9, on the current NPD PC sales charts.
Those numbers, however, don’t reflect where PC owners are really gettin’ their game on: with casual games. Remember when you would say you were a PC gamer and people would say, “Yeah, me too,” and you’d ask what they played, and they’d say, “Minesweeper and Solitaire.” And you’d chuckle. Good times!
Blu-ray may have won the high-definition format war, but the spoils haven't exactly been anything to brag about. Saddled with high prices, consumers have been turning the other cheek in favor of upscaled DVDs and an increasing emphasis on movie downloads, which looks to get even more popular this fall. But that could all change if 3D movies prove popular for home setups.
Leading the charge is Philips, who will demonstrate 3D on Blu-ray later this month at IFA 2008.The demo is expected to show how Philips' 2D-plus-Depth content format can be applied to Blu-ray, which would open the door for 3D movies to be shown on a variety of displays. Whether or not that matters to home theater buffs remains to be seen, but with a growing amount of 3D movies released on the big screen, those that missed the theater debut would still be able to relieve the experience at home, minus the ginormous screen.
Does this give Blu-ray the edge it needs to gain popularity points?
It’s no secret that the expensive Samsung 245T hosts an S-PVA panel beneath its slim black exterior. But this display’s performance is certainly worth the price. The 245T offers a stunning picture for its class, trumping our longtime favorite 24-inch panel, Dell’s 2407WFP, and even its latest rev, the 2408WFP.
This 1920x1200 display boasts a 97-percent color gamut and the effect is clear. The 245T dishes out notably vibrant blues, reds, and greens, and its color saturation remains strong at even very light levels. To us, the display’s colors feel just right: crisp and bold without any hint of oversaturation. But even if you disagree, the monitor comes with a number of preset options for tweaking the coloration to your exact preferences. We found success using the Mild preset, as Normal made images appear drab and Brilliant made our images look like a supernova.
It remains to be seen whether the recent Mac clone phenomenon will turn out to be a legit business or a series of scams, but either way, things aren't looking good. You may recall reading about Psystar, a recent startup who purports to sell Open Computer setups running Max OS X Leopard. Despite confusion over where the company actually resides, the company appears to be in a legal battle with Apple over multiple counts of violating copyright, trademark, and breach-of-contract and unfair competition laws.
And what of Open Tech, the other Mac cloner who recently hit the headlines? In just three weeks after its official Mac-clone product launch, Open Tech vice president Elijah Samaroo sent an email to Wired.com announcing the sale of Open Tech's web store for a cool $50,000. Unlike Psystar, who sells pre-installed Mac-clones, Open Tech was offering to sell PCs with instructions detailing how to install any OS of choice, including Apple's, but is now prepared to let go of its "trade secrets" if it can find a buyer.
But wait, there's more! Adding more comic relief to the ridiculously high asking price for a shady startup, anyone interested in purchasing Open Tech can use the site's PayPal button to transfer the $50,000 and "as soon as the payment is received the Open Tech Papwork and Documents will be faxed or mailed to you."
Testing a display is two parts science, one part art. It's difficult to measure the performance of a display the same way Maximum PC evaluates other products. There is no benchmark that we can just fire up and then report a score from. Nor can we even test displays in their out-of-box condition. A fair amount of tweaking and visual analysis is necessary to ensure fair display benchmarking. And at the end of the day, determining which monitor reigns supreme is a mix of qualitative testing and the editor's expertise.
Anyone can talk about "visual computing," the big catchphrase of this year's Nvision conference. But few walk the walk as well as Battlestar Galactica's Tricia Helfer. She took part in Monday's keynote address alongside Nvidia CEO Jen-Hsun Huang, sharing how virtualization and computer effects have expanded her acting boundaries and methodology.
But there's always more to Six than what you see at face value. So Maximum PC sat down with Tricia to grill her (as nicely as one chats with someone who gave Starbuck the business) about the kind of technology that really makes her tick, and how she's managed her spaceborne success-turned-geek icon. Even after all that, she still wouldn't drop us any details on the Battlestar series finale--our favorite Cylon truly has a heart of steel.
Forget about your swank two-monitor setup, word on the tech block is that Intel's 4 Series chipset for desktop and notebook displays will support four monitors at the same time. DisplayLink is providing its technology through a license model, and Intel has jumped first in line as a major customer.
Two of the displays will come courtesy of conventional outputs, while the other two can be connected via USB 2.0. Previous to this, DisplayLink support was only provided to displays that included the company's DP-120/160 chips. Also prior, enthusiasts wanting a four-display setup had to rely on graphics cards outputs.
But what about the performance impact? TGDaily noted up to 30 percent CPU utilization with the DP-120/160 chips, so it will be interesting to see how the G45 chipset handles DisplayLink chores.
Electronic Arts' infatuation with rival video game maker Take-Two Interactive have been anything but secret, nor has Take-Two's rejection. In late February, Take-Two publicly rejected EA's unsolicited takeover bid worth roughly $2 billion, a move Take-Two accused of being "opportunistic" with Grand Theft Auto IV nearing release. Not taking the rejection well, EA threatened with a hostile takeover in the following months, but has since backed down.
Now it appears the two game makers may be on the road to recovery, but unlike the previous spats, the current negotiations are being kept secret. According to EA's recent regulatory filing, both companies have signed a confidentiality agreement after agreeing to hold private talks about a potential transaction.
"As a result, EA does not intend to make any further announcements regarding the status of any discussions or negotiations with Take-Two unless and until discussions between EA and Take-Two have been terminated or such parties have entered into a transaction," EA wrote.