It appears the Blu-ray format may finally be picking up steam. At CES, Andy Parsons, president of the Blu-ray Disc Association, described 2008 as a banner year for Blu-ray sales, and the numbers appear to back his claim. Fourth quarter sales saw 28.6 million Blu-ray sales, up significantly from 9.5 million a year prior. There are now nearly 11 million Blu-ray capable players in the U.S., although 6 million of those are PlayStation 3 consoles.
By comparison, in the same three year time frame after release, DVD players totaled 5.4 million units, not far above all non-PS3 Blu-ray players. And with 40 million homes equipped with HDTVs, there's plenty of room for Blu-ray player sales to grow. Helping to do that, 18 new Blu-ray players were announced at CES, including an HDTV with a built-in player by Sharp.
Despite Blu-ray's recent success, Microsoft reiterated it has no plans to integrate Blu-ray capability with its Xbox 360 console. According to Robbie Bach, Microsoft's president of Microsoft's Entertainment & Devices Division, the decision comes down to a combination of not enough users requesting a Blu-ray player, and because it wouldn't help "in the core of what Xbox does, which is gaming."
Given that Jerry Yang has been gone as long as he has, it’s nice that Yahoo’s Board has finally stepped up and named a new CEO. Who’s the new suit that’s going to fill the shoes? Carol Bartz, formerly of Autodesk.
Who is this Carol Bartz, one might ask? Well, according to Roy Bostock, Yahoo’s Chairman, “She is the exact combination of seasoned technology executive and savvy leader that the board was looking for, and we are thrilled to have attracted such a world-class talent to Yahoo. The board is united in its view that her energetic and decisive leadership style, coupled with a proven track record of driving growth, operational excellence and shareholder value, is exactly what Yahoo needs to get back on a path toward achieving its full potential.”
Her main challenge as new CEO will be turning around a struggling media company whose services are used by hundreds of millions of people. Ms. Bartz, we wish you the best of luck and we look forward to seeing what you do with the place!
Afraid to let your teen and pre-teen children online for fear the boogeyman might reach through the screen and take them away? Understandable, given the prominence of social networking sites, which has made it easier than ever for child predators to target new prey. But lest you go in a panic, a long awaited report form the Internet Safety Technical Task Force says children and teens aren't as vulnerable to sexual predation as commonly feared.
The task force, which was formed as a result of a joint agreement between MySpace and 49 state attorneys general, concludes that "actual threats that youth may face appear to be different than the threats most people imagine" and that "the image presented by the media of an older male deceiving and preying on a young child does not paint an accurate picture of the nature of the majority of sexual solicitations and internet-initiated offline encounters."
Hit the jump to find out who the task force identified as the real online danger.
If you've blinked, chances are somebody has released a new netbook. This time that somebody is Archos, which doesn't come as much of a surprise, both because it's been rumored the media tablet maker would enter the netbook market and, well, who isn't these days?
Archos made its netbook splash at CES unveiling what it's calling the "Archos 10." As the name suggests, the new netbook comes with a 10.2-inch display. Other familiar specs include an Intel Atom 1.6GHz processor, 1GB of DDR2 RAM, a 160GB hard drive, 3 USB 2.0 ports, 1.3MP webam, 4-in-1 media card reader, Windows XP, and a 3-cell battery. Sound familiar? Not only has Archo stayed with what's become standard fare, but the Archos 10 is essentially a rebranded Hasee MJ125, according to Gizmodo.
Thin is in, or so Samsung seems to think with a trio of new slim MagicStation desktop PCs. But don't let the size fool you; Samsung has stuffed what amounts to a respectable spec sheet into each model.
The most slender of the three, the DM-X100, is fully configurable just like the somewhat wider DM-R100 and DN-Z100 models, and comes packed with a 2.66GHz Intel Core 2 Duo processor, Nvidia GeForce 9600M graphics, 3GB of RAM, a 320GB hard drive, and Vista Home Premium in its standard configuration. Other odds and ends include WiFi, media card reader, a wireless keyboard, and the typical assortment of ports in a package just under 8 pounds.
No word yet on price or availability, although it appears Samsung will first target Korea with these new models.
In what some might view as a dark day in e-commerce, a New York Supreme Court judge has dismissed a lawsuit by Amazon.com and Overstock.com over a new law that requires online retailers to collect sales tax. Despite not having a physical presence in the state, the cleverly conceived law taxes any online retailer who has an affiliate marketing program in New York.
At stake is an estimated $73 million for New York this fiscal year. But lawyers representing Amazon and Overstock contend that the law violates the Commerce Clause of the U.S. Constitution and the Due Process Clauses of the Fourteenth Amendment to the Constitution, and were seeking an permanent injunction prohibiting New York from enforcing the law. Judge Bransten didn't see it the same way.
"The neutral statute simply obligates out-of-state sellers to shoulder their fair share of the tax collection burden when using New Yorkers to earn profit from other New Yorkers," the judge wrote.
Amazon and Overstock are expected to appeal the ruling with the New York State Supreme Court Appellate Division, and failing that, it would then go the New York State Court of Appeals. And yes, being a constitutional issue, this could also end up being heard by the U.S. Supreme Court.
Tom's Hardwarereports that Western Digital will be first to market with a 2TB drive. The WD20EADS is a part of WD's GreenPower series, and uses four 500GB platters. Other specs include 32MB of cache and a seek time of 8.9ms.
Although Tom's Hardware reports that the drive will run at 5400RPM or 7200RPM, you should take the claim of 7200RPM with a grain of salt until we get our hands on actual hardware for testing. As this analysis from SilentPC on the first GreenPower drive indicates, GreenPower drives normally run at the slower speed.
How much will the first 2TB drive set you back? Around $210-240, rumors say, but we'll all know for sure when the drive hits retail shelves later this week. Will you be lining up for the first 2TB drive, or would you rather have a couple of 1TB drives? Join us after the break and sound off.
The global economy currently has a nimiety of bad news, which seems to be coming from all corners at a cataclysmic speed. Just a week after Intel revised its fourth-quarter guidance downwards, Nvidia has also followed suit. The company has lowered its fourth-quarter revenue guidance and now expects revenues to decline by 40 percent to 50 percent compared to the third quarter.
Just like other major chip manufacturers, including Intel, Nvidia also lays the blame on plummeting demand. It also blames “inventory reductions by Nvidia's channel partners in the global PC supply chain.” Nvidia will post its fourth-quarter results on February 10th.
The world’s largest manufacturer of hard-disk drives took everyone by surprise on Monday when it announced that it had replaced two of its topmost executives, CEO William Watkins and COO Dave Wickersham.
Chairman Stephen Luczo, who was CEO prior to Watkins’ appointment to the post, is the new CEO. As for Wickersham’s replacement, Seagate’s executive vice president and CTO Robert Whitmore will be stepping into his shoes.
The bad news doesn’t stop there: the company has announced that it is going to relieve 800 of its US-based employees from their duties. Furthermore, the company had lowered its fourth-quarter guidance sometime back.