Nvidia shares dropped by a fourth today after the company announced it was setting aside a one-time hit of $150 to $200 million dollars to cover warranty and repair costs associated with an "abnormal failure rate" on its mobile graphics cards. The exact sources of the increased GPU problems are unknown at this time, although Nvidia believes the cards' increased thermal issues stem from weaker manufacturing and packing materials.
The ghosts from Apple’s past have returned to haunt the company. A couple of years ago, an internal inquest was launched into the alleged backdating of stock options grants at Apple made between 1997 and 2001. The investigation uncovered several irregularities - and forgeries - that eventually prompted the Securities and Exchange Commission to step in.
Although SEC filed charges against then Apple CFO Fred D. Anderson and general counsel Nancy R. Heinen, the company’s top brass including Steve Jobs were given the clean chit and lauded for their cooperation in the investigation.
However, disgruntled Apple stockholders Martin Vogel and Kenneth Mahoney believe there is more to the stock-option-backdating story than what met SEC’ keen eye. They have initiated a class-action suit against Apple CEO Steve Jobs, already beleaguered Anderson and Heinen, and four others from the Board of Directors.
The plaintiffs alleged that Apple’s blue-eyed boy Steve Jobs was the beneficiary of one such backdated stock option and profited to the tune of $20 million, and that Apple’s account department didn’t deem it necessary to record this spending in their books.
Also up for legal debate will be the catastrophic decline in Apple stocks – that wiped $7 billion in share value within two weeks – after Apple’s announcement of the internal investigation and whether shareholders deserve to be redressed for it.
Microsoft has always recommended disabling antivirus programs before upgrading Windows. Most of us have smiled, nodded, waved, and done whatever we pleased. Unfortunately, some Windows XP SP3 installs failed because antivirus was running - and some installs "worked," but caused big problems with Device Manager and Network Connections.
To find out why it happened and how to fix your system, catch us after the break.
The browser’s launch, as you all would easily recall, was named “Download Day 2008” and is now an urban technology legend. If you played a pivotal role in setting the world record than you can claim your Download Day certificate and flaunt it the way you like.
Now please bend towards your computer screen and conjure up your best clandestine expression because here is a little secret for you all: even those of you who haven’t even downloaded Firefox 3, and thereby have no hand in the record whatsoever, can get the Download Day certificate. Anybody can!
We’re getting closer to July 4th, AKA Independence Day for those of us in the States. Is anyone planning on celebrating with booze and a barbeque, or is the long weekend just a good excuse to start a marathon session of Team Fortress 2? Fellow nerds, the correct answer is obvious. On to the news recap:
WoW dongle even nerdier than the gamers who’ll use it
Don’t forget to download our latest podcast, located in the post right below this one! We shared our thoughts on the Diablo III announcement (spoiler: not all of us are enthusiastic), debated the merits of Vista 64-bit, and caught up on a lengthy backlog of listener questions.
Hit the jump for tonight’s evening discussion topic.
Today's Gaming Roundup isn't afraid to ask questions. Why do gamers hate color? Why is World of Warcraft so big? And why, in almighty God's name, is Star Wars Galaxies getting a trading card game? The Roundup asks, and it also answers -- all just a hop, skip, and jump (past the break) away.
With over a trillion-quantillion subscribers, World of Warcraft players are finding themselves increasingly popular targets for hackers, and nothing stings worse than logging in to Azeroth only to find your character standing in nothing but his scivvies and all his belongs wiped out. All that time spent acquiring digital doodads and neglecting your family, friends, pets, hygiene, job, and other real-life obligations down the drain.
Such scenarios are becoming far too common, and Blizzards offering WoW residents another way to beat back the bad guys, and it won't cost you any mana. Instead, for $6.50 (that's USD, a form of paper and coin currency used in non-virtual landscapes) you can protect your account with Blizzard's Authenticator dongle. Once linked to your account, the dongle generates a one-time six-digit passcode at the press of button to supplement your regular account password. And because the dongle stays separate from your PC, it's impervious to keyloggers and other similar malware.
For all their indispensability, airport security checks never feel pleasing. But a security check becomes most nettling when security officials place a request for your laptop to be scrutinized with X-rays. As things stand, laptops can’t be X-rayed properly while still inside a laptop case and have to be removed. But all this is set to change – at least in the U.S – with the Transportation Security Administration having acceded to allowing a new kind of X-ray friendly case that will allow X-ray machines to scan laptops, while still in the case.
Read on merrily as after the jump lies all the information regarding these checkpoint friendly laptop bags including their expected prices. Also don't be shy to join the discussion in the comments section with other typically insightful Maximum PC readers like you.
Watch TV on the go, you say? Leadtek says 'yes' with the announcement of its new hybrid TV capture card. The WinFast ExDTV2300 H supports the ExpressCard interface, with features that include:
DVB-T and worldwide analog TV reception (NTSC, SECAM, and PAL)
Component input video up to 480p
Full screen stereo/SAP support
DVB-T and FM Radio
The capture card comes with Leadtek's WinFast PVR2 software, which boasts Time Shifting, Scheduled Recording, Power on/off by Remote, and TwinView. Even better, Leadtek throws in an I/R remote allowing you to level-up your couch potato skill-set, whether you're home or not.
Could this be a growing trend? Last year Pinaccle introduced its PCTV HD Pro Stick, a bus-power tuner sized just right for notebooks. Unfortunately, performance was marred by somewhat slow channel surfing, nor did it work with unencrypted QAM signals, but in its favor, Gordon Mah Ung noted the dual-core notebook used to test the device never broke a sweat while playing back or recording HDTV content. This also begs the question; do notebook owners prefer an ExpressCard TV tuner over a USB-based one?
We just received a retail sample of Maxtor's recently announced Central Axis Network storage server sent to the office, and wanted to share with you some photos of the packaging and physical unit. The monolithic storage device sports a familiar-looking enclosure design with single USB (as opposed to two, as listed on the official website), Ethernet, and AC power connectors on the back. Replacing a "one-touch" backup button on the front are three lights to indicate power, hard disk activity, and drive status. We also found a reset button on the base of the unit. The terabyte drive spins at 7200rpm, sports 32Mb of buffer cache, and weighs in at just over a pound and a half.
The Central Axis goes on sale later this month for $290, and keep an eye out for our full review later.
Click through the jump for more sexy unboxing goodness.