IBM’s Q2 results paint an idyllic picture as the company not only surpassed financial pundits’ expectations but also defied the gloom that currently shrouds the US economy. The company reported sales worth $26.8 billion in the second quarter and announced a profit of $2.77 billion – up 22%. The better-than-predicted result prompted IBM to revise its financial guidance upwards and now expects to earn $8.75 per share this year. The company has developed a strong immunity against the economic downturn due to the highly consolidated nature of its business and global reach. Its IT service division that caters to disparate businesses remains sturdy as ever.
Few companies wouldn't mind switching places with Google, who posted a $1.25 billion profit, but when you're the undisputed champ of the online world (or if you're Dr. Evil), a measly billion dollars just isn't enough. Along with earnings per share of $3.92, the numbers aren't adding up to what analysts had predicted, leaving many to wonder if the online advertising market might be taking a turn for the worse. Google Cheif Economist Hal Varian sees it differently, saying:
"Consumers are being cautious in their online spending patterns just as they are in the offline spending. Despite the weakness in the economy, advertising seems to be hodling up remarkably well in most sectors. This illustrates the point that we've made several times that during periods of slow economic growth, the last thing an advertiser wants to cut is its spending on search-based advertising."
But Varians comments did little to assuage investors, nor did posting gross sales of $5.37 billion, marking a 39 percent improvement over one year ago and hitting analysts' estimates. The company's shares still managed to drop 10 percent to $479.70 in after-hours trading.
Given the overall growth and $12.7 billion in cash, is the panic justified?
Phoenix Technologies has announced that its Hyperspace firmware will serve as the inviolable bulwark of NEC laptops. Hyperspace is a Linux-based firmware which ensures that indispensable applications like anti-virus and firewall keep on running even if the main OS is dysfunctional. The firmware works in conjunction with Phoneix’s hypervisor called HyperCore.
The Hyperspace firmware is also capable of running other apps ala Asus’ Splashtop instant-on OS but the version running on NEC notebooks will only support core security apps.The introduction of Hyperspace on NEC’s notebooks will guarantee enhanced levels of security to its customers as the core security apps will be immune to even the most sophisticated malware attacks.
Ping any enthusiast forum about security software and you'll likely get conflicting recommendations. But one thing most advanced PC users seem to agree on is that there are better, faster alternatives than Symantec's Norton software. With the release of Norton Internet Security and Norton Antivirus 2009, Symantec is telling those users to take another look.
Helping them do that, Symantec today has gone live with public betas for both programs, which the company purports are "designed to set a new industry standard for speed and performance." Symantec calls it their "zero-impact" performances goal and says it has implemented more than 300 improvements running the gamut from scanning engine tweaks to a better user interface. Even the installation looks to waste no time, with Symantec touting a one-minute install time and "less than half the memory usage of the next leading competitor."
Why the sudden interest in speed? "Based on customer feedback, we viewed performance as the key feature for this release. Our goal is to create the fastest security product in the world, hands down," said Rowan Trollope, Senior VP of Consumer Products.
Find out what else is new with Norton 2009 after the jump.
Yikes! Google, the online monolith of all things, well, online, has made it incredibly easy for spammers to find out your real name. That means instead of seeing "Dear Sir" at the beginning of male organ enlargement solicitations, pill peddlers and every other unsavory seller can more easiy address you by name. Of course, if you're in the market for male miracle growth, then perhaps that's not such a bad thing.
In any event, a SecuriTeam blog outlines all the gritty details on how the exploit works, and to rub even more egg on Google's face, the blog chose to uncover the identity of admin at gmail dot com for its short tutorial. The bug works by entering a gmail address under the 'share this calendar' tab, adding them, and then saving. While the true identity isn't revealed at first, navigating back to the page is all it takes to see the person's real name. We haven't seen an exploit this stupidly simple since John Halderman discovered how to circumvent music CD copy protection just by holding down the shift key.
Oh, and feel to drop Drew a line. Not only did he give permission to post his Gmail info, but he did it with the full expectation that he'll find true love from a reader of these news posts.
This time last year, most of us would have predicted that Blu-ray and HD-DVD would still be going at it, but even with a victor now declared in the high definition format war, digital downloads and streaming content are ruling the roost, just as Michael Bay prophesized (minus the corporate conspiracy theory). Hoping to become king of the digital hill, Amazon.com is introducing a new online store of TV shows and movies.
What's that you say, Unbox isn't new? That's right, but this isn't Unbox. Amazon Video on Demand departs from the company's first attempt at offering a digital video download service, and this time around, customers will not be required to download special software to the watch programs they buy. And in another departure from Unbox, the new service will extend support beyond just Windows PCs and TiVo set-top boxes.
Find out what else Amazon Video on Demand brings to the table and when it will be available after the jump.
Social networking sites are about to get a lot more chatty. Meebo, the Web-based instant messaging company, said it is taking its IM technology to partner sites this fall. When members sign on to compatible social-media sites, they'll be able to load up their buddy list, while also being able to detach the buddy list window. And when surfing away from one social site to another, users can still chat with their site-specific friends by migrating buddy lists into the Meebo client. It's all part of an effort Meebo is calling Community IM, and so far, sites said to be on board include:
According to ComScore, the above list gives Meebo access to 55 million users worldwide, and co-founder and CEO Seth Sternberg hopes to have even more partners jump on board by the time the service launches. Ad revenue will be shared, and Meebo claims its small, targeted ads receive much stronger "click through" rates than those found on other social networking sites like Facebook.
With a development team of just 40 strong, is Meebo being overly ambitious, or are they another success story in the making?
Sorry about yesterday. E3 is a harsh mistress, and when I returned to my hotel at 4 AM, I decided you guys wouldn't really care about a Roundup whose time had long passed. So anyway, let's jump right in. Read more to find out all about E3, Flagship Studios' death knells, and much, much more.
Flip someone the bird and they'll know just what you're telling them. But wave your hand in front of your monitor all you want, and no matter how many times you've watched Obi-Wan use the Force, you're just not going to manipulate your PC. At least not yet.
Toshiba's Qosmio G55-Q802 looks to the change the way you interact with your PC by reading hand signals. Make a fist and move it around to control the mouse pointer, or flip your thumb up like Fonzie to select an object. Force-push won't work, but raising an open palm will tell the system to stop or resume video playback, giving you hands-free media control.
Built around the Centrino 2 platform, an Intel processor performs most of the tasks on the G55, but to read hand signals the laptop will use a quad-core HD processor powered by the same Cell processor found in Playstation 3 consoles. The Cell also lets the PC scan videos and index every new face it finds.
MTV is busy optimizing popular comic book Invincible, using a process called Bomb-xx, for distribution through iTunes, Xbox Live and MTV Mobile, besides airing it on MTV2. The enhanced version of the comic book will not be a conventional animation but, on the contrary, an audio visual compilation prepared using actual scans of the comic.
One can perceive it to be something between a usual comic and an animated cartoon. The first six installments of the series will become available through the abovementioned digital distribution services on August 22.
It is indeed a novel idea as this way the peculiarities of the comic might not be compromised as is usually the case when a comic is turned into an animated cartoon. Not all comics travel well across to TV screens just like most videogames turn out to be contemptible movies.