Windows 8's Metro UI has gotten its fair share of negative press since even before the Developer Preview came out, with a lot of the hate directed towards the lack of that oh-so-familiar Windows Start button. Why'd you have to go and remove the Start button, Microsoft? Yesterday, an MS executive delivered one possible answer: People used it a lot less in Windows 7 than in previous versions of the operating system.
That high profile, open-and-shut international case the U.S. government has against Megaupload is starting to look like it might not be quite so open-and-shut after all. Today, New Zealand Chief Justice Helen Winkelmann found that the warrants used to raid Kim Dotcom's mansion were insufficient and invalid -- and she says that the Megaupload server data taken by the FBI was taken illegally.
Playing around with operating systems in their beta stages can be problematic when it comes to driver support, as Windows 8-rocking gamers can no doubt attest; the graphics card beta drivers released for the various Previews haven't exactly been bug-free. Those error-rife days may be in the past for GeForce owners now that Nvidia has released new WHQL-certified drivers for the Windows 8 Release Preview.
Don't feed the trolls; the axiom may work well for avoiding Godwin's Law in forum postings, but it isn't working so well in courtrooms around the globe. In fact, a new study from the Boston University School of Law says patent trolls -- companies that deal solely in IP litigation rather than actual services and products -- are fatter and hungrier than ever before, costing the economy a whopping $29 billion in 2011. To put things in perspective, trolling "only" cost the economy roughly $6.7 billion in 2005.
How does Microsoft, one of the highest-profile technology companies in the world, create a new, similarly high-profile piece of hardware like the Surface Tablet without anybody in the industry getting a whiff of it? Simple: you lock the designers working on the project into secretive underground facilities with security measures similar to what you'd find at a bank or sensitive data centers.
Remember when it was announced that SandForce 2000 series-based SSDs were only obscurifying data at 128-bit AES encryption, rather than the 256-bit protection promised? Turns out it doesn't matter, because a team of researchers recently managed to crack open a 278 digit, 923-bit long pairing-based cryptography system. That's a new world record and up until the time it happened, breaking cryptography that complex was thought to be impossible.
Linus Torvalds opened a can of worms when he took verbal, caught-on-video issue with what he perceives as a continued indifference towards Linux by Nvidia. Actually, scratch that -- maybe it wasn't what he said, but how he said it, calling Nvidia "the worst company we've ever dealt with" and extending middle fingers and f-bombs in the company's honor. Yesterday, Nvidia's PR team took time to respond to the allegations.
Do you like free tunes? Sure you do. Most major streaming services, however, refuse to give up their mobile music for a song, instead opting to restrict phone-based listening to premium subscribers, with Slacker and Pandora being the two major exceptions. Today, a new competitor is entering the ad-supported mobile arena: Spotify. Later this week, an update to Spotify's iOS app will bring you all the free, unlimited, ad-supported tunes your ears could ever want.
Knowledge is power, and Spiderman always said that great power came with great responsibility, but what we're learning this week isn't making us feel proactive -- instead it's making us want to don our tinfoil hats and curl up in a ball in the deepest corner of our darkest closets. A day after Google filled us in on just how many speech-squashing takedowns it gets from the U.S. government, the company pulled the curtain even farther with a blog post this morning sharing just how many badware-peddling sites are online. It's a lot.
Intel's placing its bets on more than just the company's top-notch fabrication facilities; the company apparently has a stake in creating future generations of robot overlords, as well. Less than a month ago, Intel unveiled a new research project designed to make technology that's smart enough to learn its user's personal quirks and adapt accordingly; then just last week, Intel researchers published a proposal for a new, neuromorphic chip design -- hardware that mimics the human brain.