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?
Yahoo isn't the only one facing the threat of a proxy battle. Kavan Singh, a 26-year-old entrepreneur who owns a chain of Cold Stone Creamery ice cream stores, wants to freeze Chris Gorog out of his position as Napster 2.0's CEO, which would end his uninspired reign.
Gorog, the former CEO of Roxio, struck a deal to scoop up the once renowned P2P service for just $5 million in 2002, turned it into a legit paid music subscription service, and promised investors an influx of millions of customers. But instead of music listeners turning out in droves, today only about 760,000 subscribers pay a monthly fee to listen to its library of 6 million songs. Since the relaunch 3.5 years ago, stock has plummeted 69 percent, and the company noted a $16 million loss for this fiscal year. Now Singh wants Gorog to step aside.
Along with two other investors, Singh will fight for a board seat at the company's September 18 annual meeting. All three of them blame Gorog and mismanaged marketing for the company's failure to compete, noting that people still associate Napster with illegal activities. "When you tell people they should get Napster, they say, 'What are you trying to do? Get me arrested?'", complains Thomas Sailors, one of the investors running for a board seat.
Whether the ice cream man and his entourage prove successful remains to be seen, but will it even matter, or does Napster have a shot at turning its fortunes around?
By all accounts Amazon's Kindle eBook reader appears to be a resounding success. Despite the gadget's shortcomings -- no PDF support, closed eBook format, poor batter life when using the wireless service, limited magazine selection -- the $359 device sold out almost immediately after going on sale, fetching as much as $1,500 in Ebay auctions. Fast forward to today and the Kindle pushes over 12 percent of Amazon's book sales. And rumor has it that Amazon will soon release a new model, Kindle 2.0, a bigger version of the original in a multitude of colors.
Book sales aside, just how successful has the Kindle been? Because Amazon won't disclose how many of its eBook readers it has sold, nobody knows for sure, but TechCrunch claims to have the inside scoop. "240,000 Kindles have been shipped since November, according to a source close to Amazon with direct knowledge of the numbers," TC reports.
If true, that puts Kindle sales close to the $100 million mark and well over that amount after factoring in book sales, subscriptions, and so on. But that's only the tip of the iceberg. TC notes that Scott Devitt, an analyst at Stifel, Nicolaus & Co., has Amazon on track to sell 500,000 to 750,000 more Kindles within the next four quarters, with a total revenue of up to $355 million after tallying up additional book sales. This, he says, values the Kindle as a $1 billion business for Amazon.
Gamers are pasty, white nerds who pop and sizzle when exposed to the sun's rays, say the old stereotypes. We're socially inept and maladjusted -- unable to carry on a normal human existence. Of course, that's an uninformed viewpoint at best, but neither would I say that all gamers are social butterflies.
As I write this, I'm sitting in QuakeCon's cavernous, dimly-lit BYOC (Bring Your Own Computer) area, where gamers from all walks of life gather to, well, do what they always do: play games. But even though the BYOC is populated by hundreds of people, the air is abuzz with a light hum of voices. The ear-annihilating roar that one would expect from such a colossal crowd is absent. Obviously, not all QuakeCon goers are into the talky-talky.
So, what kind of gamer are you? Do you live for events like QuakeCon? Do you thrive when jostling against the shoulders of others? Or do you mute your headset every time you hop online, preferring instead the subtle company of your own mind? Single-player? Multiplayer? Pick your poison.
Either way, today's Roundup has stories that pertain to your experience -- from some colorful language about Diablo III to Flagship Studios' stunning conclusion (for real this time!). Oh, and another Doom movie, but that story is for me.
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.
Since the advent of web2.0 and the nefarious abundance of fallacy in news stories propagated by the mainstream media, an increasing number of individuals have begun turning to the Internet and subsequently Youtube to find and view political coverage. Youtube has become a haven for political junkies consequently plumping the site with snarky commentary arguing every point of view from here to Guantanamo bay. Recognizing this high degree of politically charged activity Google has decided to debut one of its innovative new technologies on what could be called the 'Youtube Politics Homepage'.
Will this new tech bring about a shift in the way politicians attempt to garner votes? Have Politicians attempted to manipulate the technology in their favor?
By now, everyone's aware that Intel has the fastest chips on the market, and with Nehalem getting closer to release, the chip maker's position doesn't look to change anytime soon. But what you don't know is that Intel also has the faster name. Confused? You're not the only one.
Before clarifying, let's first look at how manufacturers label their processors. Each chip contains a processor-specific character string detailing the manufacturer, make, model, and available features. The two common ones you're probably familiar with include GenuineIntel and AuthenticAMD, neither of which can be changed. That's not the case with VIA's Nano processor (CentaurHauls) and it's here where things get interesting.
Hit the jump to see what happens in PCMark05 just by changing a processor's CPUID.
The list of manufactures not offering a netbook keeps dwindling and will get even smaller by September, DigiTimes says. Citing un-named sources (as they often do), the news site reports Lenovo will make the jump into ultraportable territory joining the ranks of Asus, Acer, MSI, Toshiba, Fujitsu, and, well, maybe it'd be easier to list who's not offering a netbook these days.
DigiTimes surmises Lenovo may turn to Compal Electronics, Wistron,or Pegatron Technology to manufacture its upcoming netbook, all three of which have existing relationships with the OEM. Compal shipped roughly 1.1 million mainstream notebooks to Lenovo in Q2 of this year, with Wistron supplying over 500,000 X-series ultraportables and Pegatron accounting for 200,000 IdeaPads.
Adding to the rumor, DigiTimes claims Lenovo Taiwan's general manager Ken Wong confirmed the company wants to launch a netbook for both consumer and enterprise markets, though no official word has yet been stated.
The divide between desktop computer and home theater PCs continues to shrink, fueling the demand for both larger and quieter hard drives. With this in mind, Hitachi announces two new hard drives the company claims will "deliver low power and quiet acoustics for digital video applications."
The CinemaStar 7K1000.B comes in capacities ranging from 160GB on up to 1TB and utilizes Hitachi's CoolSpin technology. Drives equipped with CoolSpin use a motor speed Hitachi says makes it the "industry's quietest, most energy-efficient 3.5 inch hard drives" on the market.
Hit the jump to learn more about the new CinemaStar hard drives and see one of the trippiest videos ever!