News http://www.maximumpc.com/taxonomy/term/4/ en Google to Change Privacy Policy Following Investigation by UK Data Watchdogs http://www.maximumpc.com/google_change_privacy_policy_following_investigation_uk_data_watchdogs_2015 <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u166440/google_logo_0.jpg" alt="Google Logo" title="Google Logo" width="200" height="124" style="float: right;" />UK regulator will not fine Google</h3> <p>Google has been dealing with government regulators from 28 different countries since the company changed its <a title="Google explains policy change" href="http://www.maximumpc.com/article/news/google_tries_setting_record_straight_privacy_policy_changes" target="_blank"><span style="color: #ff0000;">privacy policy</span></a> back in 2012. In the wake of being fined by Spain and France, <strong>Google has agreed to change its privacy policy</strong> after Britain’s data protection regulator stated that the privacy policy was too vague.</p> <p>On Friday, the Information Commissioner’s Office said in a statement that Google would be required to sign a “formal undertaking” that it would make changes to its policy by June 30 while taking further steps within the next two years. As a result of this agreement, the UK will not fine Google, unlike France and Spain where regulators fined the company in addition to asking for changes.&nbsp;</p> <p>“We’re pleased that the ICO has decided to close its investigation,” a spokesman from Google said.</p> <p>Back in 2012, Google had consolidated over 60 of its existing privacy policies into one and began to pool the data it collected on individual users across its various services such as YouTube, Google+, and Gmail without providing users a way to opt out. Shortly after implementing these changes, data protection regulators from 28 European countries gave Google a deadline, after asking the company to <a title="Regulators ask Google to delay" href="http://www.maximumpc.com/article/news/european_regulators_ask_google_delay_privacy_policy_changes" target="_blank"><span style="color: #ff0000;">delay the changes</span></a> to its policies, after discovering that the new approach didn’t comply with EU rules.&nbsp;</p> <p>Prior to the UK’s agreement with Google, Spain fined the company 900,000 euros ($1.02 million) while France leveled a 150,000 euros fine at the company. The fines may be a drop in the bucket for Google, which reported an annual revenue of <a title="Google banks millions" href="http://www.maximumpc.com/google_banks_billions_search_so_why_are_investors_concerned_2014" target="_blank"><span style="color: #ff0000;">$66 billion</span></a> in 2014, but other countries are still considering their approach to the situation.&nbsp;</p> <p><em>Follow Sean on&nbsp;<a title="SeanDKnight Google+" href="https://plus.google.com/+SeanKnightD?rel=author" target="_blank"><span style="color: #ff0000;">Google+</span></a>, <a title="SeanDKnight's Twitter" href="https://twitter.com/SeanDKnight" target="_blank"><span style="color: #ff0000;">Twitter</span></a>, and <a title="SeanDKnight Facebook" href="https://www.facebook.com/seandknight" target="_blank"><span style="color: #ff0000;">Facebook</span></a></em></p> http://www.maximumpc.com/google_change_privacy_policy_following_investigation_uk_data_watchdogs_2015#comments Google Google privacy policy Ico Information Commissioner’s Office privacy policy uk News Fri, 30 Jan 2015 21:25:29 +0000 Sean D Knight 29345 at http://www.maximumpc.com Adobe Files Lawsuit Against Forever 21 for Pirating Software http://www.maximumpc.com/adobe_files_lawsuit_against_forever_21_pirating_software_2015 <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u166440/adobe_logo.jpg" alt="Adobe logo" title="Adobe logo" width="200" height="199" style="float: right;" />Autodesk and Corel join lawsuit</h3> <p>It comes as no surprise that businesses will cut corners to reduce costs by any means necessary. Such measures might result in removing free items or services for consumers, but for fashion retail chain Forever 21, cutting corners also includes pirating software. A decision that has resulted in <strong>Adobe, along with Autodesk and Corel, filing a lawsuit against Forever 21</strong> that claims the retail chain pirated their software.</p> <p>According to the <a title="Adobe complaint PDF" href="https://cdn3.vox-cdn.com/uploads/chorus_asset/file/3357050/adobevsforever21.0.pdf" target="_blank"><span style="color: #ff0000;">complaint</span></a>, Forever 21 pirated 63 different instances of Adobe software that includes copies of Illustrator, Acrobat, and Photoshop while Autodesk and Corel included copyright infringement claims concerning AutoCAD, WinZip, PaintShop Pro, and other programs. The complaint goes on to say that the retail chain “continued their infringing activities even after being contacted by Adobe regarding the infringement.”&nbsp;</p> <p>As a result of Forever 21’s “willful, intentional, and malicious copyright infringement” the companies are asking that the court issue an injunction and be compensated an unspecified amount for the lost revenue, court costs, and additional damages.&nbsp;</p> <p>What means Adobe used to discover that Forever 21 was pirating and using its software was not disclosed though Adobe, on its <a title="Adobe FAQs page" href="http://www.adobe.com/antipiracy/faq.html" target="_blank"><span style="color: #ff0000;">website</span></a>, encourages employees to turn in their employers stating, “If your employer is not responsive or you choose not to inform your employer of the violation, you should report the violation to the Software &amp; Information Industry Association (SIIA) or the Business Software Alliance (BSA).”&nbsp;</p> <p>However, Adobe is no stranger to people pirating its software. But back in 2013, the company moved to a <a title="Adobe cloud-based software" href="http://www.maximumpc.com/article/news/adobe_says_goodbye_creative_suite_hello_creative_cloud2013" target="_blank"><span style="color: #ff0000;">cloud-based subscription model</span></a> for Photoshop and other software. The move was met with some resistance and resulted in many people searching for pirated versions of the software.</p> <p>So now we have to ask, will this lawsuit cause Forever 21 to lose its shirt? Sound off in the comments below!</p> <p><em>Follow Sean on&nbsp;<a title="SeanDKnight Google+" href="https://plus.google.com/+SeanKnightD?rel=author" target="_blank"><span style="color: #ff0000;">Google+</span></a>, <a title="SeanDKnight's Twitter" href="https://twitter.com/SeanDKnight" target="_blank"><span style="color: #ff0000;">Twitter</span></a>, and <a title="SeanDKnight Facebook" href="https://www.facebook.com/seandknight" target="_blank"><span style="color: #ff0000;">Facebook</span></a></em></p> http://www.maximumpc.com/adobe_files_lawsuit_against_forever_21_pirating_software_2015#comments Adobe autodesk Corel Forever 21 lawsuit piracy software piracy News Fri, 30 Jan 2015 19:31:50 +0000 Sean D Knight 29343 at http://www.maximumpc.com Cyanogen Wants to Take Google Away From Android, Microsoft Could Help http://www.maximumpc.com/cyanogen_wants_take_google_away_android_microsoft_could_help_2015 <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/cyanogenmod.jpg" alt="CyanogenMod" title="CyanogenMod" width="228" height="198" style="float: right;" />An unusual plot in mobile</h3> <p><strong>Famed Android modder Cyanogen and his self-titled startup could end up with an ally in Microsoft</strong>. How so? Word around the web is that Microsoft is a minority investor in a $70 million round of equity financing, which would value the company at around $500 million. However, that's only part of the story. The other part of the emerging storyline has to do with a bold statement recently made by Cyanogen CEO Kirt McMaster.</p> <p>"I'm the CEO of Cyanogen. We're attempting to take Android away from Google," McMaster said while introducing himself and his company at a "Next Phase of Android" event.</p> <p>According to <a href="http://gizmodo.com/cyanogen-wants-to-take-android-from-google-and-microso-1682656573" target="_blank"><em>Gizmodo</em></a>, his comment drew some laughs from the crowd, though a day later <a href="http://blogs.wsj.com/digits/2015/01/29/microsoft-to-invest-in-rogue-android-startup-cyanogen/" target="_blank"><em>The Wall Street Journal</em></a> reported that Microsoft was investing in Cyanogen. Suddenly McMaster's statement seems a little less funny and a lot less wild, especially if you're Google.</p> <p>Here's the thing about Android -- it's an open-source operating system that doesn't cost hardware makers a dime, though there are certain strings attached. If a device maker wants to access Google's search engine, YouTube, or even the Play Store, then the device must include other Google apps and make Google search the default.</p> <p>According to <a href="http://arstechnica.com/gadgets/2015/01/microsoft-to-invest-in-cyanogen-hopes-to-take-android-away-from-google/" target="_blank"><em>Ars Technica</em></a>, there's also an "anti-fragmentation clause" that prohibits OEMs from selling Android devices without Google Play. Cyanogen's ROMs don't come with any such clauses or restrictions.</p> <p>Where does Microsoft fit into all this? We're not sure, though it would be interesting if it managed to get Bing featured as the default search in future Cyanogen ROMs. And depending on how much skin Microsoft wants to have in the game, it could help Cyanogen negotiate deals with hardware makers -- as it stands, Cyanogen recently inked a deal with Micromax, a smartphone maker in India, to ship handsets with Cyanogen installed.</p> <p>It's an odd arrangement given that Microsoft wants to grow its own Windows platform on mobile. At the same time, it also makes sense to gamble on Cyanogen, considering how large the market is for Android devices.</p> <p><em>Follow Paul on <a href="https://plus.google.com/+PaulLilly?rel=author" target="_blank">Google+</a>, <a href="https://twitter.com/#!/paul_b_lilly" target="_blank">Twitter</a>, and <a href="http://www.facebook.com/Paul.B.Lilly" target="_blank">Facebook</a></em></p> http://www.maximumpc.com/cyanogen_wants_take_google_away_android_microsoft_could_help_2015#comments android cyanogen cyanogenmod Google microsoft News Fri, 30 Jan 2015 18:45:14 +0000 Paul Lilly 29342 at http://www.maximumpc.com AMD Takes a Chip Shot at Nvidia's GTX 970 Controversy, Cuts Radeon R9 290X Pricing http://www.maximumpc.com/amd_takes_chip_shot_nvidias_gtx_970_controversy_cuts_radeon_r9_290x_pricing <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/amd_4gb.jpg" alt="AMD 4GB" title="AMD 4GB" width="228" height="171" style="float: right;" />Did anybody <em>not</em> see this coming?</h3> <p>What do you do when you see your enemy <a href="http://www.maximumpc.com/gamers_petition_geforce_gtx_970_refund_over_error_specs_2015">twisting in the wind</a>? You strike, of course, and that's exactly what AMD predictably decided to do as rival Nvidia goes into damage control concerning the memory controversy on its GeForce GTX 970 graphics card. <strong>AMD and its partners have lowered the price of their Radeon R9 290X graphics cards to as low as $280 after rebate, or $300 without</strong>.</p> <p>Credit AMD for waiting until precisely the right time to drop pricing. Had AMD done this when news first broke that there were performance issues on the GTX 970 when accessing onboard memory above 3.5GB, it would have been jumping the gun. From a strategic standpoint, it's brilliant to roll out the price cuts immediately after an Nvidia employee said he would help GTX 970 customers <a href="http://www.maximumpc.com/nvidia_will_help_disgruntled_gtx_970_owners_get_refund_says_driver_update_coming_2015">obtain a refund</a> on their card, if they in fact decide to return it and are unable to get a refund on their own.</p> <p>AMD's price cut could end up being the deciding factor for anyone who was on the fence about keeping their GTX 970 card. In reality, Nvidia's card is still a fantastic GPU for the money, at least for most users, and Nvidia originally said it's working on a driver update that should improve memory performance. That bit has since been edited out of the original post, though we suspect Nvidia will still try to fine tune things.</p> <p>Nevertheless, picking up a competitive card for as much as $50 less than the GTX 970 will be tough for some gamers to ignore, especially those who have yet to upgrade. And to make sure the point is driven home, AMD's technical communications lead, Robert Hallock, took a jab at Nvidia on Twitter by <a href="https://twitter.com/Thracks/status/560511204951855104" target="_blank">posting a picture</a> of the Radeon R9 290 with the caption, "4GB means 4GB."</p> <p>Speaking of which, the Radeon R9 290 can be found on Newegg for as little as $250 after rebate, or $270 without.</p> <p><em>Follow Paul on <a href="https://plus.google.com/+PaulLilly?rel=author" target="_blank">Google+</a>, <a href="https://twitter.com/#!/paul_b_lilly" target="_blank">Twitter</a>, and <a href="http://www.facebook.com/Paul.B.Lilly" target="_blank">Facebook</a></em></p> http://www.maximumpc.com/amd_takes_chip_shot_nvidias_gtx_970_controversy_cuts_radeon_r9_290x_pricing#comments amd Build a PC Gaming geforce gtx 970 graphics card Hardware nvidia price cut radeon R9 290x Video Card News Fri, 30 Jan 2015 16:49:04 +0000 Paul Lilly 29341 at http://www.maximumpc.com Google Banks Billions on Search, So Why are Investors Concerned? http://www.maximumpc.com/google_banks_billions_search_so_why_are_investors_concerned_2014 <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/google_search.jpg" alt="Google Search" title="Google Search" width="228" height="160" style="float: right;" />Search is still Google's primary cash cow</h3> <p>Let's get one thing straight -- most businesses would happily switch places with Google based on the financial figures alone. The sultan of search pulled in $66 billion in revenue for all of 2014, up 19 percent year-on-year. That's thanks in part to a strong finish, with Google reporting consolidated revenues of $18.10 billion for the quarter ended December 31, 2014, a jump of 15 percent compared to the same quarter a year prior. <strong>Google's profit in the fourth quarter alone came to $4.76 billion, up from $3.38 billion in the fourth quarter of 2013</strong>, so why are some investors nervous?</p> <p>There are a few reasons. As <em>The New York Times</em> <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2015/01/30/technology/google-earnings-revenue-squeezed-profit-misses-estimate.html?_r=0" target="_blank">points out</a>, Google's net revenue growth in the last three months of 2014 slowed to 10 percent when compared to the same quarter a year ago. That's still not bad from a purely numbers perspective, though behind the curve when compared to recently reported results by two other tech giants, Facebook and Apple.</p> <p>If continuing to nitpick, there are some other red flags, one of them being that the cost-per-click dropped 3 percent sequentially. This is the amount Google can charge advertisers for placing ads on its network, and according to a <a href="http://www.bbc.com/news/business-31047843" target="_blank"><em>BBC</em> report</a>, the takeaway for investors is that Google is having a tough time raising the price it charges for mobile ads. That's concerning, since consumers are increasingly turning to mobile to access the Internet.</p> <p>The other cause for some concern (from investors) is the lack of a safety net if Google's search business should take a turn for the worse for whatever reason. Revenue from Google's own sites makes up more than two-thirds of its overall business. And though Google has its hands in multiple different areas, like self-driving cars, none of them are big money makers.</p> <p>Google's stock has taken a hit as a result -- it's lost 8.1 percent in the past three months, now trading at around $531. And if you go back to February of last year, it was trending around $609.</p> <p>Much ado about nothing? That might be going too far in the other extreme, though as is often the case when it comes to investors, it might be much ado about little. I've seen these same complaints for years when it comes to dissecting Google (as well as other large tech firms). But the bottom line is Google is still coming out ahead each quarter, and by billions of dollars.</p> <p>You can catch the rest of Google's <a href="https://investor.google.com/earnings/2014/Q4_google_earnings.html" target="_blank">financial report here</a>.</p> <p><em>Follow Paul on <a href="https://plus.google.com/+PaulLilly?rel=author" target="_blank">Google+</a>, <a href="https://twitter.com/#!/paul_b_lilly" target="_blank">Twitter</a>, and <a href="http://www.facebook.com/Paul.B.Lilly" target="_blank">Facebook</a></em></p> http://www.maximumpc.com/google_banks_billions_search_so_why_are_investors_concerned_2014#comments financial report Google revenue search News Fri, 30 Jan 2015 16:23:22 +0000 Paul Lilly 29340 at http://www.maximumpc.com Newegg Daily Deals: Microsoft Windows 8.1 64-Bit, MSI Radeon R9 270 Gaming, and More! http://www.maximumpc.com/newegg_daily_deals_microsoft_windows_81_64-bit_msi_radeon_r9_270_gaming_and_more <!--paging_filter--><p><img src="/files/u69/win_81.jpg" alt="Windows 8.1" title="Windows 8.1" width="300" height="225" style="float: right;" /><img src="/files/u154082/newegg_logo_small.png" alt="newegg logo" title="newegg logo" width="200" height="80" /></p> <p><strong>Top Deal:</strong></p> <p>So you've made the decision to replace that pirated copy of Windows XP with a legitimate OS, is that it? Or perhaps you're building a new system. Either way, take a moment or three to check out today's top deal for <a href="http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16832416776&amp;cm_mmc=BAC-MaximumPC-_-DailyDeals-_-Other-N82E16832416776-_-0202&amp;nm_mc=ExtBanner&amp;AID=5555555" target="_blank">Microsoft Windows 8.1 64-bit</a> for <strong>$80</strong> with free shipping (normally $100 - use coupon code: [<strong>EMCAKNX36</strong>]). In case you missed it, here's the thing -- Windows 10 is coming, which would normally make buying an OS at this stage a silly thing. However, Windows 10 will be a <a href="http://www.maximumpc.com/microsoft_offer_windows_10_free_upgrade_windows_7_and_windows_81_users">free upgrade</a> for Windows 7 and 8.1 customers! So, if you need a new copy of Windows today, you can buy now without kicking yourself later.</p> <p><strong>Other Deals:</strong></p> <p><a href="http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16824025041&amp;cm_mmc=BAC-MaximumPC-_-DailyDeals-_-DISPLAY-N82E16824025041-_-0202&amp;nm_mc=ExtBanner&amp;AID=5555555" target="_blank">LG 27-inch 5ms HDMI Widescreen LED Backlight LCD Monitor IPS 200</a> for <strong>$180</strong> (normally $200 - use coupon code: [<strong>EMCAKNX34</strong>])</p> <p><a href="http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820231468&amp;cm_mmc=BAC-MaximumPC-_-DailyDeals-_-MEMORY-N82E16820231468-_-0202&amp;nm_mc=ExtBanner&amp;AID=5555555" target="_blank">G.Skill Ripjaws X Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 2133 (PC3 17000) Desktop Memory</a> for <strong>$66</strong> with free shipping (normally $76 - use coupon code: [<strong>EMCAKNX28</strong>])</p> <p><a href="http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814127769&amp;cm_mmc=BAC-MaximumPC-_-DailyDeals-_-GPU-N82E16814127769-_-0202&amp;nm_mc=ExtBanner&amp;AID=5555555" target="_blank">MSI R9 270 Gaming 2GB 256-Bit GDDR5 HDCP Ready CrossFireX Support Video Card</a> for <strong>$130</strong> with free shipping (additional $20 Mail-in rebate)</p> <p><a href="http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822148910&amp;cm_mmc=BAC-MaximumPC-_-DailyDeals-_-INT-HDD-N82E16822148910-_-0202&amp;nm_mc=ExtBanner&amp;AID=5555555" target="_blank">Seagate Barracuda 2TB 7200 RPM 64MB Cache SATA 6.0Gb/s 3.5-inch Internal Hard Drive</a> for <strong>$83</strong> with free shipping (normally $90 - use coupon code: [<strong>ESCAKNX79</strong>])</p> http://www.maximumpc.com/newegg_daily_deals_microsoft_windows_81_64-bit_msi_radeon_r9_270_gaming_and_more#comments daily deals Newegg News Fri, 30 Jan 2015 13:32:09 +0000 Paul Lilly 29339 at http://www.maximumpc.com Your Broadband Speeds Are About to Quadruple, But Not If Carriers Can Help It http://www.maximumpc.com/your_broadband_speeds_are_about_quadruple_not_if_carriers_can_help_it <!--paging_filter--><h3>The FCC has a dream, but it needs to dream bigger.</h3> <p>In the February issue of Maximum PC magazine, I wrote about the lack of true broadband speeds in Silicon Valley. This didn't even come close to addressing the entire U.S. It was literally a rant about Silicon Valley, of all places, that lacked broadband speeds competitive with the rest of the world. Well, it looks like this situation is going to change for the better <a href="http://www.theverge.com/2015/1/29/7932653/fcc-changed-definition-broadband-25mbps">according to a report on <em>The Verge</em></a>.</p> <p>According to FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler, "we are never satisfied with the status quo. We want better. We continue to push the limit, and that is notable when it comes to technology."</p> <p style="text-align: right;"><img src="/files/u191083/fcc_tom_wheeler.jpg" alt="FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler" title="FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler" width="700" height="394" style="vertical-align: middle;" /><br /><em>FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler. (Andrew Harrer / Bloomberg)</em></p> <p>In the 2015 Broadband Progress Report, the FCC passed a vote that <a href="http://www.maximumpc.com/fcc_changes_definition_broadband_increases_download_speed_25mbps_2015">changes the minimum download speeds on broadband</a> connections from 4Mbps to 25Mbps, and uploads from 1Mbps to 3Mbps. While this doesn't seem like a lot--and it isn't--it's still a huge improvement for a large percentage of the population. In fact, if the upgrade seems too paltry to you still, FCC Commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel says 100Mbps should be the bare minimum.</p> <p>100Mbps!</p> <p>"We invented the internet. We can do audacious things if we set big goals, and I think our new threshold, frankly, should be 100Mbps. I think anything short of that shortchanges our children, our future, and our new digital economy," Commissioner Rosenworcel said.</p> <p>But things aren't all rosy. The National Cable &amp; Telecommunications Association (NCTA) sent its objections to the FCC indicating that the FCC "dramatically exaggerate the amount of bandwidth needed by the typical broadband user."</p> <p><strong>I'm going to say it right now: this is shit.</strong></p> <p>For the country that played the leading role in developing the infrastructure of our modern internet, these political and lobbying bodies don't really give two-cents about your requirements as a user. What's important to them are the interests of the broadband providers. Naturally, Verizon was unhappy with the FCC's changes.</p> <p>A Verizon spokesperson who spoke to <em><a href="http://arstechnica.com/business/2015/01/tons-of-att-and-verizon-customers-may-no-longer-have-broadband-tomorrow/">Ars Technica</a></em>, said "we currently do not have any plans to enhance that." Meanwhile, the NCTA told the FCC that 25Mbps isn't required for good 4K streaming--something Netflix is pushing for.</p> <p>The issue around broadband runs deep. Local municipalities are often sectioned out, dominated by only one or two major providers. Living communities are even worse. The community where I live only provides Verizon services. Then there are the government and political wrangling that goes on. Last but not least, infrastructure is a problem too. Companies deter from investing heavily in infrastructure improvements because they're costly. The cost often comes from very old legacy infrastructure that requires tearing up.</p> <p>Alan Frisbie, who subscribes to the magazine, wrote in to let me know that the area he resides in, is already fortunate to get 768Kbps downstram and an abysmal 385Kbps upstream--for $50 per month. And because AT&amp;T has an iron hold on Alan's area, he's unable to get other services. For users like Alan, who are essentially jailed to their providers, the FCC's vote couldn't come sooner.</p> <p>"The fastest U-verse service they offer in my area is 768K downstream and 384K up, for $50 a month. The only alternative is a T-1 (1.5 megabits) line for $432 a month. DSL is not offered here," said Alan.</p> <p>The only way this kind of situation changes for the better of everyone, is to stand up, and speak out. The gorilla in the room are the very providers that bring broadband to you, and they are against delivering improvements. Lining shareholder pockets seem more like the priority.</p> <p>If we reviewed U.S. broadband speeds at Maximum PC, we would give it a score of -10 and an ass-kicking.</p> http://www.maximumpc.com/your_broadband_speeds_are_about_quadruple_not_if_carriers_can_help_it#comments broadband cable internet dsl fcc ISP verizon fios News Fri, 30 Jan 2015 02:51:38 +0000 Tuan Nguyen 29336 at http://www.maximumpc.com FCC Changes Definition of Broadband, Increases Download Speed to 25Mbps http://www.maximumpc.com/fcc_changes_definition_broadband_increases_download_speed_25mbps_2015 <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u166440/fccseal.jpg" alt="FCC Seal" title="FCC Seal" width="200" height="200" style="float: right;" />New benchmark means 55 million people do not have access to broadband</h3> <p>Back in 2010, the Federal Communications Commission ruled that broadband would be defined by having a download speed of 4Mbps and an upload speed of 1Mbps minimum. However, the internet has experienced an exponential growth and an increase in media consumption. As a result, <strong>the FCC has voted to change the definition of broadband by increasing the minimum download speed to 25Mbps and the minimum upload speed to 3Mbps</strong>.</p> <p>The change in definition was announced alongside the publishing of the FCC’s 2015 Broadband Progress Report which reveals, under the new benchmark, that 17 percent (55 million people) of all Americans do not have access to 25Mbps/3Mbps speeds. In addition, the report states that around 35 percent of schools lack access to fiber and, in turn, would likely lack access to broadband speeds of 100Mbps per 1,000 users.&nbsp;</p> <p>“While significant progress in broadband deployment has been made, due in part to the Commission’s action to support broadband through its Universal Service programs, these advances are not occurring broadly enough or quickly enough, the report finds,” reads a statement on the <a title="FCC website" href="http://www.fcc.gov/document/fcc-finds-us-broadband-deployment-not-keeping-pace" target="_blank"><span style="color: #ff0000;">FCC’s website</span></a>. “The report concludes that more work needs to be done by the private and public sectors to expand robust broadband to all Americans in a timely way, and the accompanying Notice of Inquiry seeks comment on what additional steps the FCC can take to accelerate broadband deployment.”</p> <p>Do you think the new 25Mbps/3Mbps minimum is adequate for today’s internet consumption or should it be higher? Sound off in the comments below!</p> <p><em>Follow Sean on&nbsp;<a title="SeanDKnight Google+" href="https://plus.google.com/+SeanKnightD?rel=author" target="_blank"><span style="color: #ff0000;">Google+</span></a>, <a title="SeanDKnight's Twitter" href="https://twitter.com/SeanDKnight" target="_blank"><span style="color: #ff0000;">Twitter</span></a>, and <a title="SeanDKnight Facebook" href="https://www.facebook.com/seandknight" target="_blank"><span style="color: #ff0000;">Facebook</span></a></em></p> http://www.maximumpc.com/fcc_changes_definition_broadband_increases_download_speed_25mbps_2015#comments 25Mbps broadband definition broadband fcc Federal Communications Commission Internet News Fri, 30 Jan 2015 02:25:47 +0000 Sean D Knight 29337 at http://www.maximumpc.com Sapphire Adds Triple Fan Cooler to 8GB Radeon R9 290X, Tweaks Clocks and Lowers Cost http://www.maximumpc.com/sapphire_adds_triple_fan_cooler_8gb_radeon_r9_290x_tweaks_clocks_and_lowers_cost_2015 <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/sapphire_radeon_r9_290x_8gb_0.jpg" alt="Sapphire Radeon R9 290X 8GB" title="Sapphire Radeon R9 290X 8GB" width="228" height="225" style="float: right;" />More than just a big frame buffer</h3> <p>Sapphire was the first company to release an 8GB version of AMD's Radeon R9 290X graphics card, though it's no longer the only one -- a handful of other graphics card players jumped on board after AMD gave them a <a href="http://www.maximumpc.com/amd_bumps_ram_8gb_radeon_r9_290x_announces_civilization_beyond_earth_bundle" target="_blank">reference design</a> to play with. Be that as it may, <strong>Sapphire is intent on standing out from the crowd, so it went and retooled its 8GB R9 290X with a triple fan cooler</strong> and some other changes.</p> <p>According to Sapphire, its Tri-X triple fan cooler is the first in the industry to use a central 10mm heatpipe in addition to four subsidiary heatpipes for even heat distribution throughout the heatsink. The fans themselves have dust repelling bearings with dual ball races and are equipped with aerofoil section blades. Topping it off is a fan cowling designed to guide the airflow for maximum cooling efficiency, Sapphire says.</p> <p>The company also points out that it builds its own PCB rather than outsourcing production. In this instance, its using a 6-phase VDDC power design.</p> <p>You'll find 8GB of GDDR5 memory on the new card, along with a 512-bit interface. The memory is "now clocked at 1375MHz (5.5GHz effective) delivering higher bandwidth than earlier models."</p> <p>Other features include a dual BIOS design, two 8-pin power connectors, and engine clock of up to 1020MHz.</p> <p>As for pricing? Good question -- Sapphire said the card comes it at a "slightly lower cost" but didn't specifiy an exact price. It's also not showing up in retail yet, though we'll update this article when/if we hear back from them. In the meantime, you can see more of the card on its <a href="http://www.sapphiretech.com/presentation/product/?cid=1&amp;gid=3&amp;sgid=1227&amp;pid=2548&amp;psn=&amp;lid=1&amp;leg=0" target="_blank">product page</a>.</p> <p><em>Follow Paul on <a href="https://plus.google.com/+PaulLilly?rel=author" target="_blank">Google+</a>, <a href="https://twitter.com/#!/paul_b_lilly" target="_blank">Twitter</a>, and <a href="http://www.facebook.com/Paul.B.Lilly" target="_blank">Facebook</a></em></p> http://www.maximumpc.com/sapphire_adds_triple_fan_cooler_8gb_radeon_r9_290x_tweaks_clocks_and_lowers_cost_2015#comments 8GB Build a PC Gaming graphics card Hardware radeon R9 290x sapphire Video Card News Thu, 29 Jan 2015 18:45:34 +0000 Paul Lilly 29334 at http://www.maximumpc.com Leaked Roadmap Details AMD's Unreleased 'Godavari' APU Line http://www.maximumpc.com/leaked_roadmap_details_amds_unreleased_godavari_apu_line_2015 <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/amd_a_series.jpg" alt="AMD A Series" title="AMD A Series" width="228" height="136" style="float: right;" />A dozen APUs are planned for this summer</h3> <p><strong>A Chinese-language website has posted what it claims is a legitimate roadmap of AMD's forthcoming "Godavari" APUs</strong>. You can think of Godavari as a Kaveri refresh, as the new parts will feature the same Steamroller architecture for both the CPU and GPU portions. If the leaked roadmap proves accurate, AMD is planning to release a dozen Godavari APUs this summer, culminating in the A10-8850K.</p> <p>That unlocked part will feature four cores (and a four thread design) clocked at 3.7GHz base and 4.1GHz boost. It will also have a Radeon R7 graphics core based on AMD's Sea Islands GCN architecture with 512 streaming scores and 856Mhz clockspeed. Other bits include 4MB of L2 cache, DDR3 memory support up to 2,133MHz, and a 95W TDP. According to <em><a href="http://wccftech.com/amd-godavari-apu-lineup-leaked-a108850k-lead-pack-12-apus-planned-summer-2015/" target="_blank">wccftech</a>, </em>pricing will close to the current generation A10-7850K APU at about $149.</p> <p>Most of the 12 new chips will be branded as AMD's A-8000 series and will remain compatible with current boards based on the FM2+ platform via BIOS updates. It's not yet known what internal optimizations AMD might be making with Godavari, though from the roadmap, the new chips will feature faster clockspeeds without bumping up TDPs. Performance should improve anywhere from 5 percent to 15 percent.</p> <p>Two of the new chips will be branded as Athlon parts. They include the Athlon X4 870K, a quad-core part clocked at 3.5GHz base and 3.7GHz boost with 4MB of L2 cache and a 95W TDP, and the Athlon X4 850K, also a quad-core chip but clocked at 2.9GHz base and 3.2GHz boost and with a 65W TDP.</p> <p>You can view the <a href="http://chinese.vr-zone.com/141759/codename-is-godavari-include-a10-apu-and-athlon-cpu-will-released-by-amd-in-first-half-01292015/" target="_blank">full roadmap here</a>.</p> <p><em>Follow Paul on <a href="https://plus.google.com/+PaulLilly?rel=author" target="_blank">Google+</a>, <a href="https://twitter.com/#!/paul_b_lilly" target="_blank">Twitter</a>, and <a href="http://www.facebook.com/Paul.B.Lilly" target="_blank">Facebook</a></em></p> http://www.maximumpc.com/leaked_roadmap_details_amds_unreleased_godavari_apu_line_2015#comments amd apu Godavari Hardware processor roadmap News Thu, 29 Jan 2015 17:44:52 +0000 Paul Lilly 29333 at http://www.maximumpc.com Qantas Teams with Samsung to Test Virtual Reality on Airplane Flights http://www.maximumpc.com/qantas_teams_samsung_test_virtual_reality_airplane_flights_2015 <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/qantas_samsung_vr.jpg" alt="Qantas and Samsung VR" title="Qantas and Samsung VR" width="228" height="152" style="float: right;" />Join the mile high VR club</h3> <p>Imagine that you're 40,000 feet above the ground, but instead of peering out a small oval window and looking at clouds (or darkness), you turn your head and see a dingo wandering about. Don't worry, it's not on the plane's wing feasting on wires and electronics, he's in your Gear VR headset. This is what Australian airline Qantas is working towards. <strong>Along with Samsung, Qantas has launched a new trial entertainment service that gives fliers a Gear VR headset during their flight</strong>.</p> <p>At the outset, the initiative is being tested in Sydney and Melbourne International First Lounges, along with first class cabins on select A380 services. The trial will last for three months, after which Qantas will assess customer feedback, presumably so it can decide whether to expand the program or nix it.</p> <p>Qantas sees multiple possibilities here. From a marketing standpoint, the company can partner with third-parties to provide 3D content that might inspire tourism to a particular attraction or region. In fact, Qantas is already working with Tourism NT, which will provide a special 3D experience from Kakadu National Park. Whether or not they'll include dingoes in that experience isn't known, but there's plenty to experiment with there.</p> <p>For live-action content, Qantas has partnered with Jaunt -- it's not clear exactly what the company has in store, though it will include "destination footage."</p> <p><img src="/files/u69/qantas_samsung_vr_first_class.jpg" alt="Qantas and Samsung VR in First Class Cabin" title="Qantas and Samsung VR in First Class Cabin" width="620" height="413" /></p> <p>"From an inflight entertainment perspective, it’s an industry first," <a href="http://www.qantasnewsroom.com.au/media-releases/qantas-samsung-unveil-industry-first-virtual-reality-experience-for-travellers" target="_blank">said Olivia Wirth</a>, Qantas Group Executive, Brand, Marketing &amp; Corporate Affairs. "Qantas is committed to being at the forefront of innovation to give our passengers the very best and latest in-flight experiences, like accessing the virtual worlds of their favorite Hollywood blockbusters from the comfort of their seat 40,000 feet above the ground."</p> <p>The initiative will kick off in mid-February in the First Class Lounge in Sydney and Melbourne, and in mid-March on select A380 flights between Australia and Los Angeles for first class fliers.</p> <p><em>Follow Paul on <a href="https://plus.google.com/+PaulLilly?rel=author" target="_blank">Google+</a>, <a href="https://twitter.com/#!/paul_b_lilly" target="_blank">Twitter</a>, and <a href="http://www.facebook.com/Paul.B.Lilly" target="_blank">Facebook</a></em></p> http://www.maximumpc.com/qantas_teams_samsung_test_virtual_reality_airplane_flights_2015#comments Gear VR Hardware Qantas samsung virutal reality vr News Thu, 29 Jan 2015 16:50:02 +0000 Paul Lilly 29332 at http://www.maximumpc.com Bill Gates Talks HoloLens, Drinking Water Made From Human Waste in Third Reddit AMA http://www.maximumpc.com/bill_gates_talks_hololens_drinking_water_made_human_waste_third_reddit_ama_2015 <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/bill_gates_drinking_water.jpg" alt="Bill Gates Drinking Water" title="Bill Gates Drinking Water" width="228" height="152" style="float: right;" />Microsoft co-founder talks a little of everything in his third Reddit AMA appearance</h3> <p>Guilty as charged -- we used the bit about drinking water made from human waste as a hook, and we'll do you a solid by not wasting any time getting right down to it. According to Bill Gates, the short answer is that it's "just like drinking any other kind of water, except that people get a little freaked out about it." He also has a sense of humor about it, which he proved by posting a photo in Reddit's <a href="http://www.reddit.com/r/photoshopbattles/comments/2tzqlh/psbattle_drinking_poop_water/" target="_blank">Photoshop Battles </a>sections.</p> <p>Moving on, <strong>there's quite a bit more to digest from Bill Gates third Reddit AMA session</strong>, including his thoughts on HoloLens, life regrets, and more.</p> <p>As for regrets, even billionaire philanthropists have them, and one that Bill Gates laments is not having learned any foreign languages.</p> <p>"I feel pretty stupid that I don't know any foreign languages. I took Latin and Greek in High School and got A's and I guess it helps my vocabulary but I wish I knew French or Arabic or Chinese," Gates said. "I keep hoping to get time to study one of these - probably French because it is the easiest. I did Duolingo for awhile but didn't keep it up. Mark Zuckerberg amazingly learned Mandarin and did a Q&amp;A with Chinese students - incredible."</p> <p>Regarding HoloLens, Gates think its "pretty amazing" and calls it the "start of virtual reality." At the same time, VR technology has to address the issue of nausea.</p> <p>"Making the device so you don't get dizzy or nauseous is really hard -- the speed of the alignment has to be super, super fast. It will take a few years of software applications being built to realize the full promise of this," Gates said.</p> <p>He also shared some thoughts on Microsoft under the direction of CEO Satya Nadella, though not in great detail. He noted that Nadella gets to take a fresh view of the company, both its strengths and weaknesses, adding that "a new person gets to step back and change the focus in some ways. He is off to a great start."</p> <p>It's an interesting read, as he answers a ton of questions. You can check it out <a href="http://www.reddit.com/r/IAmA/comments/2tzjp7/hi_reddit_im_bill_gates_and_im_back_for_my_third/" target="_blank">here</a>, or filter just his replies by clicking <a href="http://www.reddit.com/user/thisisbillgates" target="_blank">here</a>.</p> <p><em>Follow Paul on <a href="https://plus.google.com/+PaulLilly?rel=author" target="_blank">Google+</a>, <a href="https://twitter.com/#!/paul_b_lilly" target="_blank">Twitter</a>, and <a href="http://www.facebook.com/Paul.B.Lilly" target="_blank">Facebook</a></em></p> http://www.maximumpc.com/bill_gates_talks_hololens_drinking_water_made_human_waste_third_reddit_ama_2015#comments ama Bill Gates Hololens microsoft reddit News Thu, 29 Jan 2015 16:18:09 +0000 Paul Lilly 29331 at http://www.maximumpc.com Nvidia Will Help Disgruntled GTX 970 Owners Get a Refund, Says a Driver Update is Coming http://www.maximumpc.com/nvidia_will_help_disgruntled_gtx_970_owners_get_refund_says_driver_update_coming_2015 <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/gtx_970.jpg" alt="Nvidia GeForce GTX 970" title="Nvidia GeForce GTX 970" width="228" height="156" style="float: right;" />Upcoming driver could improve GTX 970's memory performance</h3> <p>Nvidia really stepped in a pile of PR poo when it was discovered that there was an internal communication gaffe over the way the GeForce GTX 970 handles its 4GB of onboard memory and the resulting specs. In short, the GTX 970 has 56 ROPs and 1,792KB of L2 cache instead of matching the GTX 980's 64 ROPs and 2,048KB of L2 cache as originally advertised. However, <strong>Nvidia wants to make things right and has offered to help GTX 970 owners obtain a refund</strong>, if need be. Should you go that route?</p> <p>In most cases, probably not. Before reading any further, however, we highly recommend familiarizing yourself with the situation by <a href="http://www.maximumpc.com/gamers_petition_geforce_gtx_970_refund_over_error_specs_2015" target="_blank">reading this</a>. Don't worry, we won't go anywhere -- we'll be right here when you get back.</p> <p>Finished? Great, now here's the deal. Nvidia stated on its forum that it's working on a driver update that will do a better job managing the memory scheme on the GTX 970, and expects to improve performance. Granted there's only so much that can be done on the software side to address a physical design, but given that Nvidia built the card the way it did, it stands to reason that it also knows how to properly tune it. We'll see.</p> <p>If you ultimately decide that you don't want the card, however, that's your choice, and Nvidia says it will help you obtain a refund if you're unable to do so on your own. Here's the <a href="https://forums.geforce.com/default/topic/803518/geforce-900-series/gtx-970-3-5gb-vram-issue/post/4438090/#4438090" target="_blank">full statement</a>.</p> <p style="padding-left: 30px;">"Hey,</p> <p style="padding-left: 30px;">First, I want you to know that I'm not just a mod, I work for Nvidia in Santa Clara</p> <p style="padding-left: 30px;">I totally get why so many people are upset. We messed up some of the stats on the reviewer kit and we didn't properly explain the memory architecture. I realize a lot of you guys rely on product reviews to make purchase decisions and we let you down.</p> <p style="padding-left: 30px;">It sucks because we're really proud of this thing. The GTX 970 is an amazing card and I genuinely believe it's the best card for the money that you can buy. We're working on a driver update that will tune what's allocated where in memory to further improve performance.</p> <p style="padding-left: 30px;">Having said that, I understand that this whole experience might have turned you off to the card. If you don't want the card anymore you should return it and get a refund or exchange. If you have any problems getting that done, let me know and I'll do my best to help.</p> <p style="padding-left: 30px;">--Peter"</p> <p>It's important to note that Peter says he'll do his best to help, which is different than saying Nvidia will take care of things. In other words, if you're having trouble getting a refund, there's a chance you'll be stuck with it anyway. However, given the PR hit Nvidia's already taken on this one, we suspect those scenarios will be few and far between, if at all.</p> <p>For most people, what this boils down to is that your GTX 970 is going to get even faster courtesy of some forthcoming optimizations.&nbsp; And for the few that are truly affected by the way the GTX 970 handles memory above 3.5GB, you now have someone at Nvidia that's willing to help you obtain a refund.</p> <p><em>Follow Paul on <a href="https://plus.google.com/+PaulLilly?rel=author" target="_blank">Google+</a>, <a href="https://twitter.com/#!/paul_b_lilly" target="_blank">Twitter</a>, and <a href="http://www.facebook.com/Paul.B.Lilly" target="_blank">Facebook</a></em></p> http://www.maximumpc.com/nvidia_will_help_disgruntled_gtx_970_owners_get_refund_says_driver_update_coming_2015#comments Build a PC driver geforce gtx 970 gpu graphics card Hardware nvidia Video Card News Wed, 28 Jan 2015 19:13:53 +0000 Paul Lilly 29330 at http://www.maximumpc.com Microsoft Sticks a Fork in Surface 2 and Windows RT http://www.maximumpc.com/microsoft_sticks_fork_surface_2_and_windows_rt_2015 <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/surface_2_4.jpg" alt="Surface 2" title="Surface 2" width="228" height="133" style="float: right;" />Windows RT becomes a footnote</h3> <p>Looking back through the years, it's pretty easy to pick out certain forgettable versions of Windows. You know the ones -- Windows ME, Windows Vista (before the first Service Pack), and now Windows RT, the most recent of the bunch. <strong>Microsoft has reportedly stopped producing Surface 2 tablets</strong>, which also means that the future of Windows RT is nonexistent at this point. You'll have to excuse us for not weeping.</p> <p>Microsoft has moved on, with the Surface Pro 3 contributing heavily to $1.1 billion in Surface revenue during Microsoft's most recent quarter, up 24 percent year-over-year. Surface Pro 3 tablets outsold Surface 2 during the quarter by a ratio of three to one, making it an easy decision for Microsoft to focus on its newest hardware and leave the old behind.</p> <p>"We are no longer manufacturing Surface 2; however, those still eager to buy Surface should visit Microsoft Retail Stores, MicrosoftStore.com, third-party retailers, and resellers for the latest availability," <a href="http://www.theverge.com/2015/1/27/7918209/microsoft-is-no-longer-manufacturing-the-surface-2" target="_blank">Microsoft told <em>The Verge</em></a>.</p> <p>Windows RT has been a dead OS walking almost from the moment it arrived. Microsoft already had the challenge of convincing users to adopt a brand new interface in Windows 8, but to also pile on a gimped version that couldn't run x86 programs was too much to ask. As a result, Microsoft ended up taking a <a href="http://www.maximumpc.com/microsofts_failed_surface_rt_strategy_leads_900_million_charge_unsold_inventory">$900 million charge</a> on unsold Surface RT inventory a year and a half ago.</p> <p>Manufactures could still build devices running Windows RT if they really want to, but with even Microsoft giving up on the OS, there wouldn't be much point.</p> <p><em>Follow Paul on <a href="https://plus.google.com/+PaulLilly?rel=author" target="_blank">Google+</a>, <a href="https://twitter.com/#!/paul_b_lilly" target="_blank">Twitter</a>, and <a href="http://www.facebook.com/Paul.B.Lilly" target="_blank">Facebook</a></em></p> http://www.maximumpc.com/microsoft_sticks_fork_surface_2_and_windows_rt_2015#comments Hardware laptop microsoft notebook operating system OS Software surface 2 tablet windows rt News Wed, 28 Jan 2015 18:27:13 +0000 Paul Lilly 29329 at http://www.maximumpc.com Former Opera Boss Just Built a New Browser Called Vivaldi http://www.maximumpc.com/former_opera_boss_just_built_new_browser_called_vivaldi_2015 <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/vivaldi.jpg" alt="Vivaldi" title="Vivaldi" width="228" height="182" style="float: right;" />New browser seeks feedback from power users</h3> <p>Jon von Tetzchner, co-founder and former CEO of Opera Software, is back in the browser game with a new startup. It's called Vivaldi Technologies, of which Tetzchner is also the co-founder and CEO of, and <strong>he's just made a technical preview of his Vivaldi browser available</strong> to the public. While still early in development, it's already fleshed out with features that may attract Opera fans, like mouse gestures and a speed dial interface for displaying your favorite tabs on the new tabs page.</p> <p>Why build a new browser? Tetzchner explains that he's disappointed with the direction Opera has taken in recent years, noting that it's no longer serving its community of users and contributors who helped build it.</p> <p>"So we came to a natural conclusion: We must make a new browser. A browser for ourselves and a browser for our friends. A browser that is fast, but also a browser that is rich in functionality, highly flexible and puts the user first. A browser that is made for you," Tetzchner explains.</p> <p>The build that's available is the first technical preview, and it's intended to show the direction the browser is headed towards. It's missing some key features and needs a lot more optimizing, though even in its early form, there's quite a bit to play with. You'll even find some new goodies, like being able to combine multiple sites into a single tab -- a feature that could come in handy if you're looking to organize similar sites.</p> <p>You can take notes, too, leaving yourself reminders of why you thought a site was worth bookmarking, or for any other reason.</p> <p>As this is a work in progress, the Vivaldi team is seeking feedback. If you're interested in kicking the browser's tires and (optionally) offering up your thoughts, <a href="https://vivaldi.com/" target="_blank">head here</a> and give it a download.</p> <p><em>Follow Paul on <a href="https://plus.google.com/+PaulLilly?rel=author" target="_blank">Google+</a>, <a href="https://twitter.com/#!/paul_b_lilly" target="_blank">Twitter</a>, and <a href="http://www.facebook.com/Paul.B.Lilly" target="_blank">Facebook</a></em></p> http://www.maximumpc.com/former_opera_boss_just_built_new_browser_called_vivaldi_2015#comments browser Internet jon von tetzchner Opera Software Vivaldi News Wed, 28 Jan 2015 17:53:43 +0000 Paul Lilly 29328 at http://www.maximumpc.com