If you thought internet metering was taking things too far, try being a Virgin ISP customer. In a joint venture with the British recording industry group BPI, roughly 800 letters have been sent out to file sharers subscribed to Virgin, with thousands more on the way. These aren't 'Thank you for being a customer' notices, and instead the envelopes read "Important: If you don't read this, your broadband could be disconnected."
Despite the ominous warning and pressure from the BPI to implement a three strikes policy - where users of file sharing networks would be given two warnings and then disconnected on a third offense - Virgin claims the wording was a "mistake," saying:
"It is important to let our customers know that their accounts have been used in a certain way but we are happy to accept it may not be the account holder that's involved. It could be someone else in the family or someone living in a shared house. it could even be someone stealing Wi-Fi. We are not making any form of accusation." - Asam Ahmad from Virgin
Virgin went on to claim that there was "absolutely no possiblity" it would take legal action against its customers under the current campaign, and that it wouldn't hand over user information "under any circumstances." Normally such strong statements would be comforting, but if that's the case, why send out the letters in the first place?
Find out how recipients of the letters have reacted after the jump.
Data Robotics, the creators of Drobo, "The World's First Storage Robot" and DroboShare, which adds network capabilities to Drobo, have taken Drobo to the next level. Endgadget reports that Data Robotics has opened Drobo+DroboShare up to developers through its new Drobo Developer Community (DDC) and SDK program.
To understand why the network media server category has just gotten even bigger, catch me after the break.
As previously rumored, Asus' new Eee PC 904 will sport both a larger keyboard and bigger chassis akin to the Eee PC 1000, while also carrying a comfortable price tag of just £269 when it ships in the UK in mid-July. But in order to reach the low price point (and perhaps cope with Intel's Atom shortage), the new model will feature an Intel Celeron M processor instead of the popular Atom chip. Asus previously indicated the shortage of Atom processors would continue through September, a scenario which has low-cost panel makers more than a little bit nervous.
But the Atom chip isn't the only component playing a disappearing act; Asus plans to go with an 80GB hard drive for storage duties instead of a speedier SSD commonly found on other Eee PCs. Rounding out the spec sheet will be 1GB DDR2 RAM and Windows XP instead of the oft used Linux OS.
No word yet on when U.S. residents can expect to see the 1.4kg ultraportable on store shelves.
Developers concerned about indexing have thus far been hesitant to incorporate Flash into websites because of the challenge involved in making the content searchable. This despite the fact that more than 98 percent of internet-connected computers have Adobe's Flash Player installed. Search engines are able to index static text and lnks within Flash SWF files, but as Adobe points out, "rich internet applications and dynamic Web content have been generally difficult to fully expose to search engines because of their changing states," a problem which also exists in other RIA technologies.
To help get over that hurdle, Adobe announced a new initiative with Google and Yahoo to make Flash files more indexable-friendly by search engines. For its part, Google says it developed an algorithm that explores Flash files in the same way a surfer does, "by clicking buttons, entering input, and so on." Any text visible to a website visitor while interacting with a Flash file is also visible to Google's algorithm. And while Yahoo isn't quite as far along as Google, the collaboration with Adobe means it's now a matter of when, not if, SWF applications become more searchable.
Missing from this latest announcement is any mention of Microsoft and its MSN Search. It remains unclear whether Adobe purposely excluded the Redmond company, which owns Silverlight (a competitng format to Adobe's Flash), or if Microsoft chose not to participate. But regardless of Microsoft's level of involvement, expect to see more Flash content, whether you want it or not.
If Silicon Valley were to color code the tech industry's legal climate the way Homeland Security labels the threat level, then we'd all be seeing red. This week alone we've seen Steve Jobs sued for securities fraud, Google ordered to turn over YouTube viewing data, four Chinese companies fined for selling fake NEC keyboards, a convicted BitTorrent seed farmer stare at a 10 year prision sentence, a fired CEO taking his former employer to court for allegedly snooping his personal Yahoo account, and more. If that's not enough content to keep Law and Order: Silicon Valley up and running during the next writer's strike, then just wait another week or two and you might be able to fill an entire season's worth.
The latest legal drama involves high level espionage between HP and IBM, one of the few remaining scandals not yet covered in recent news. Specifically, HP's former VP is being indicted for allegedly leaking trade secrets from his former employer IBM to HP executives. According to court documents, Atul Malhotra, who was the director of IBM global printer sales between 1997 and 2006, requested and received a multi-page confidential memo from IBM, which authorites claim he emailed to an HP senior vice president two months later after being hired by HP. The subject line read "For Your Eyes Only."
To find out how he got caught, click through the jump.
You are not the only one confronting difficulties retaining uninterrupted possession of your USB Flash drive, but large organizations – or their mortal employees – are also prone to misplacing their USB Flash drives brimming with sensitive data.
But there was a twist in the tale as the captain was eventually nabbed and the drive recovered. But a lieutenant borrowed the flash drive and in turn gave it to a clumsy sergeant who lost it. The sergeant did a pretty good job as the drive has gone missing without a trace. The Japanese military kept the one-year old incident under wraps as it didn’t want the troop deployment maps to be scoured by internet users.
The initial response to AMD’s ATI Radeon 4850 and 4870 GPUs has been very encouraging. In fact, AMD expects the success of the two mid-range cards to help it consolidate its market share. Now there are unconfirmed reports of the high-end ATI Radeon HD 4870 X2 dual-GPU with 2 GB GDDR5 memory being released by the end of this month.
The powerful GPU is expected to be priced about $499. According to Digitimes, its sources expect AMD to begin shipping Radeon 4870 X2 (RV770XT) to PC makers for designing custom cards. ATI’s revival is wonderful for the consumers as Nvidia will be pushed to improve its products and offer them at cheaper rates.
Each day, some big-wig exec says PC gaming is writhing on the ground, scrambling towards the light. Generally, I just scoff and log back in to the 10 million person chatroom that is World of Warcraft. But what about when someone who I actually respect utters the dreaded D-word? Well, I scoff at them in article form, and what better platform to use than the Roundup? Hit the ever-present "read more" link to read all about the aforementioned exec, as well as topics ranging from Gametap to Led Zeppelin, and a few things in-between.
Just in time for Independence Day, Adobe has unfettered the popular PDF file format. Adobe has abandoned proprietary control over the popular PDF format. Now the International Organization for Standardization will assume developmental responsibilities of the file format, which will be developed as an industry standard.
The ISO 32000-1 Document management – Portable document format – Part 1: PDF 1.7 is the official ISO standard that lays down the ground rules for developers of PDF-related applications. Adobe CTO Kevin Lynch said that this move is in keeping with Adobe’s “commitment to openness.” The release of PDF specifications should lead to a much needed rise in the number of PDF creation and editing tools.
We just finished producing our September 2008 issue, which marks the 10-year anniversary of our magazine. The very first issue of Maximum PC was the September 1998 edition, which featured the Dream Machine ’98 on its cover. To celebrate the occasion (and the successful launch of the new website), the staff took a break from building rigs and benchmarking to enjoy some devilishly delicious cake and champagne.
The September issue will also feature a nostalgic retrospective of the past 10 years of Maximum PC, highlighting predictions we got right (and wrong), the amazing tech trends we witnessed develop, and first-hand recollections from past staff members. Gordon shares his favorite lab memories, and ex-intern Brian Lam (of Gizmodo) reveals what he learned from his tenure.
Here’s to the next 10 years!
Hit the jump for another look at the cake -- it's not a lie!