Shawn Fanning, the former Northeastern University student who created Napster and popularized peer-to-peer sharing, could never have imagined all the fuss the technology would create nearly a decade later. Comcast earlier this year drew ire over throttling Bittorrent traffic, and now AT&T is taking a hard lined stance against its wireless customers engaging in P2P activities.
FCC Republican Robert McDowell asked AT&T about its policy regarding P2P traffic over its wireless network, and in a letter, Robert Quinn, AT&T senior VP for regulatory affairs, said in no uncertain terms that its customers are strictly forbidden from usng P2P services.
"AT&T's terms of service for mobile wireless broadband customers prohibit all uses that may cause extreme network capacity issues, and explicitly identify P2P file sharing applications as such a use," Quinn wrote.
Unlike Comcast, who drew criticism both for throttling internet traffic and for initially denying it was doing so, Quinn also wrote in his letter that AT&T does not use network management tools to block the use of P2P applications, and that its customers are warned in writing that they could have their service terminated if caught violating the policy.
Social networking site Facebook finds itself needing to update its data center infrastructure to support new media applications, and Intel will be the one to help them do it. The two companies on Thursday announced a joint agreement that will see Facebook use "thousands" of Xeon 5400 quad-core processors built on a 45nm manufacturing process.
More than just hardware support, Intel will also work with Facebook to optimize its software for use with the bevy of Xeon chips, giving extra focus to making the software take advantage of the additional processor cores. Moreover, Intel will look to send a message that its microarchitecture can support the massive data centers that will support cloud-computing infrastructures.
"It's a big win for Intel in the general category of web infrastructure and by that I mean categories like cloud computing," said John Spooner, an analyst with Technology Business Research. "Facebook has a large computing infrastructure that delivers these types of web services on demand and it requires the same level of service and infrastructure as a cloud-computing provider."
Facebook wouldn't comment on which OEMs would build the new servers, but according to eWeek, multiple sources have confirmed Dell and HP would be involved.
Intel just passed its 40th anniversary and the nostalgic occasion had CTO Justin Rattner musing about the future of technology. He foresees new breakthroughs in medical technologies, specifically with regards to nanoscale chips capable of moving through our bodies. Additionally, he predicts more realistic robotic intelligence, and a blurring of reality between humans and machines. Chuckle if you may, but in his 35 years at Intel, Rattner has witnessed some pretty amazing advances in technology, many of which Intel was at the forefront of. When the microprocessors first debuted in 1971 they contained about 2,300 transistors. It has since ballooned to over 820 million and the personal computer has become ubiquitous in our everyday lives.If Moore’s law holds true, and we have no reason to think otherwise, the future may indeed be a very different reality from what we understand today. According to Rattner, “In the next 40 years, computer chips will extend beyond our computers and phones, as people want to become more entrenched in virtual worlds and computers learn to react to our motions and thoughts.”
So what do you think the future holds? Hit the jump and let us know!
Marketing research firm iSuppli has reported on the status of the hard drive industry, and from the sounds of it, we just can’t get enough storage.In the first quarter of 2008, hard drive vendors shipped over 137 million units in a seemingly futile attempt to satiate consumer’s appetites for inexpensive storage. Despite the 21 percent increase in sales over the same period last year, many HDD vendors such as Seagate continue to struggle. iSuppli speculates that lower prices and a disproportionate demand for lower margin desktop drives are to blame. This is a trend that is likely to continue as SSD’s continue to plummet in price and become the storage medium of choice for mobile devices mainly due to its durability. Despite the challenges conventional hard drive makers face in the mobile market, iSuppli is forecasting strong demand in the second quarter with shipments estimated to be up by as much as 16 percent over 2007. Seagate continues to lead the pack with profits of $363 million, followed by Western Digital at $298 million, and Hitachi at $65 million. This is excellent news specifically for Hitachi who has been struggling to pull itself out of the red. So has our insatiable appetite for digital media made mass storage devices recession proof?
Silicon Valley has played host to innumerable tech startups that promised to be the next Intel or Google only to vanish away without a trace, or an apology for their erroneous claims. Now Tomshardware’s Wolfang Gruener, who claims to have successfully portended Google’s spectacular rise, has placed his bet on Ncomputing to be the next Google.
It isn’t exactly the most perilous punt ever, as Ncomputing is in one of the hottest tech niches of our times, i.e. highly affordable, no-frills computing. No, Ncomputing isn’t building the cheapest netbook or low-cost PC. It is doing things differently by pioneering a viable cloud computing solution for plebeians. Its $70 computing device is like a set-top-box that can be connected to a monitor, keyboard and mouse, and can share the resources of a full-fledged Windows or Linux PC - using an Ethernet connection - to allow a user to surf the internet, watch media and use other essential applications.
The thought provoking details that will rile up a storm inside any geek worth his bytes are "after the jump".
What a month August is shaping up to be, and we're only on day one! First, ArsTechnca exposes a major memory benchmarking flaw in Futuremark's PCMark05 suite, and if that weren't enough to have enthusiasts crying scandal, DigiTimes reported this morning (much to the chagrin of Nvidia's brass) that Nvidia plans to quit the chipset business.
According to DigiTimes, anonymous sources "close to the situation at one of Taiwan's top motherboard makers" are privy to Nvidia's alleged decision to stop making chipsets and instead transfer its chipset team to work on GPU projects. If true, the news would end any speculation that Apple might be looking to Nvidia to provide chipsets for its next round of MacBooks.
The story has been spreading like wildfire, and it didn't take long for Nvidia to offer an official response denying the allegations. Hit the jump to see what the graphics chip maker (and continued chipset maker) had to say.
3D graphics technology has grown by leaps and bounds since 3DFX first laid its Voodoo on the computing world, and today's videocards boast everything from multiple GPUs in a single package to the promise of physics processing. And not just for gaming, fanatical Folders can crunch through more proteins by utilizing their GPU, or decode a high definition movie on their new big screen TV.
Leading the charge into this new era of 3D computing are Nvidia and ATI, two companies who have recently started going at each others' throats with aggressive price cuts and a deluge of new videocards while simultaneously chasing the performance crown. But for all their battles, both old and new, it's Intel, CPU maker extraordinaire, who continues to lead the market.
Find out how much catching up Nvidia and ATI have to do after the jump.
While other parts of the economy are definitely feeling the slowdown from the energy pinch, Intel remains upbeat and expects no slowdown in global demand for personal computers.
Eweek quotes Intel Chairman, Craig Barrett, "We gave a relatively upbeat business forecast, saying that despite the economic problems in the United States our business is so international that we didn't see any slowdown in the PC market."
He also seemed to brush off the European Union’s recent antitrust charges saying that price reductions for microprocessors and computers have an "anti-inflationary nature". While prices are rising globally, prices for computers and processors have dropped which he calls a testimony to high competition in the sector.
On the high end of desktop processors where Intel currently dominates, it is more like a boxer keeping his opponent on the ropes. AMD currently doesn’t have anything to compete directly with Intel’s high end and Intel would like to keep it that way by slashing its prices and keeping AMD safely behind. Good for consumers right now, but without serious competition those prices will go up someday and there may be less reason for rapid innovation.
Barrett went on to say "It looks as the market is functioning as it should, because every year consumers are getting more for less. We continue to say that, please just look at the facts, don't just listen to a competitor complaint."
Last year the European Commission accused Intel of giving computer makers rebates to limit their use of rival AMD's chips or avoid them altogether. They issued additional charges against Intel earlier this month, saying Intel had paid a retailer off to avoid offering computers with chips made by AMD.
It certainly sounds like Intel will use any tool it can lay its hands on to stay ahead of AMD, and when you’re the size of Intel, what is a little economic downturn?
Microsoft, which is more often on the receiving side of patent infringement claims, now finds itself on the other side of the legal fence and is taking Primax Electronics to task.
Microsoft is upset over several patents on two different technologies used in computer mice. The first is U2, which allows a mouse to connect to both USB and PS/2 ports and then auto detects the port that is being used. The other, TiltWheel, adds additional cursor movement abilities via mouse tipping (not related to cow tipping).
CNet quotes Microsoft Deputy General Counsel Horacio Gutierrez as saying that they filed a complaint with the International Trade Commission against Primax Electronics only after "repeated attempts to engage in meaningful license terms over the past two years."
Microsoft is known to have an open policy with licensing its intellectual property. They license for years at a time and have more than 20 companies that are part of its hardware technology licensing program.
Microsoft does not sound like it is landing in the realm of Patent Troll here; they actually make the products and have other companies licensing the patents. What do you think? Is Microsoft being a Patent Troll or is it just guarding its intellectual property? Sound off below!
Intel can not only lay claim as the current king of chip technology, but its upcoming Nehalem microarchitecture looks poised to keep the silicon studs on top of the competition well into 2009. AMD has yet to threaten Intel's position ever since Conroe, and while the company remains confident under Dirk Meyer as the new head honcho, it's still playing catch up to Intel's 45nm technology.
The situation gets a little more competitive when switching from CPUs to GPUs, and according to Tomshardware, sources at both ATI and Nvidia are saying they will each have a 40nm GPU manufacturing process by the first half of 2009, possibly to be unveiled at next year's CeBit.
Assuming either company meets their target, the accomplishment will unseat Intel as the technological leader in terms of the smallest chip structures, even if only for a short time. The road won't stop at Nehalem and Intel is already busy developing 32nm CPUs, which many expect to be shown off in prototype form at the company's spring development forum in H1 2009. Volume shipments could come as early as Q3 next year.
Even so, if 40nm GPUs materialize as reported, it will mark the first time GPUs will overtake CPUS in terms of production nodes. That won't necessarily make it a better chip, but you can expect plenty of fanfare should Nvidia and/or ATI dethrone the silicon king.