Holy high stakes, Batman, is Psion really seeking $1.2 billion from Intel in defending its claim to the netbook trademark? The answer is yes, and in addition to seeking compensation for all of "Intel's profits resulting from infringement, unfair competition, and unfair trade practices," as Psion alleges, the company also wants to collect punitive damages. Psion is also seeking to pluck the domain name www.netbook.com from Intel's hands.
If you haven't been following, Psion's trademark claim is based on a pair of ARM-based "netBook" and "netBook Pro" computers launced in 1999, which it appears to have stopped selling in 2003. Psion renewed the trademark in 2006, and then last December the company started sending out cease-and-desist notices to various OEMs and other firms over use of the term "netbook." Nobody listened, but it didn't matter, because it appears Psion was simply laying the groundwork for the suit we're seeing today.
Two weeks ago Dell filed a petition with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office asking that it cancel Psion's netbook trademark, for which Intel endorsed. Among the reasons listed is that "Psion has abandoned the 'netbook' mark" and does not currently offer laptops under the Netbook trademark. But Psion says this isn't true and has offered up a table of netBook-based revenue from 1999 through 2009, which as ArsTechnica points out, the numbers "are somewhat suspect." For example, according to Psion's numbers, customers purchased $2 million in accessoris for just $135,000 worth of netBooks.
Predictions on how it will all unfold? Hit the jump and tell us what you think!
ATI today announced a pair of mobility chips -- ATI Mobility Radeon HD 4860 and HD 4830 -- built off of AMD's new 40nm manufacturing process, purportedly making them the first-ever 40nm notebook GPUs.
Both the HD 4860 and HD 4830 come with 640 stream processor, 826 million transistors, support for DirectX 10.1, dual integrated DisplayPort, HDMI with 7.1 surround sound, and are CrossFireX ready. The 128-bit HD 4860 boasts a 650MHz core clockspeed and GDDR5 memory clocked at up to 4Gbps. The HD 4830 (also 128-bit), meanwhile, ships with a core clockspeed ranging from 450MHz to 600MHz, and GDDR3 clocked between 800MHz to 900MHz.
"It's not just 40nm process technology that makes these chips so potent, they are based on the same award-winning TeraScale engine of our ATI Radeon™ HD 4800 desktop series," Rick Bergmen, senior VP and GM for AMD's graphics products group, wrote in a blog post. "Combining this gaming power with our ATI Avivo™ HD technology and Unified Video Decoder will keep all your HD content humming along at full 1080p resolution with bright colors and seamless playback on your HD display. We've also packed in our power-saving technologies like ATI PowerPlayTM, ATI PowerXpressTM, and ATI Switchable Graphics™ technologies so that you can keep gaming, watching and surfing a little longer."
Bergmen went on to say that 40nm desktop parts are "coming soon," with at least one site having already posted benchmarks of what's believed will be ATI's first 40nm-based desktop graphics release.
As for the 40nm Mobility parts, Asus is scheduled to ship laptops using the new processors in the second half of 2009.
Update 3/4/09 AMD has has posted more pictures of its new Mobility chips, along with a video showing the Mobility Radeon HD 4860 running a on a desktop system uing the MXM modules (no notebooks are currently shipping with the part).
Don't fret if you missed out on one of the many celebrations around the globe toasting 1234567890 Day, we hear the Unix crowd can get a bit rowdy anyway. Now there's another reason to shed that pocket protector and let loose with your friends - Square Root Day!
You only have nine chances every century to celebrate Square Root Day, with this one falling on 3/3/09 (do the math).
"These days are like calendar comets, you wait and wait and wait for them, then they brighten up your day -- and poof -- they're gone," said Ron Gordonn, a Redwood City teacher.
While we can't understand why there wouldn't already be excitement over the holiday, Gordon started a contest to get people buzzing about the event. The winner, determined by who has the biggest Square Root Day event, will receive (wait for it...) $339.
Miss your chance to celebrate and you'll have to wait until April 4, 2016 for the next Square Root Day.
If going strictly by the spec sheet, Eurocom's Phantom i7 notebook would nail every boutique OEM right between the eyes. This is the most decked out notebook we've ever seen, and also one you're likely never to see unless Eurocom decides to position the Phantom beyond workstation and server markets.
We're talking either a Core i7 965 Extreme or a not-yet-announced Core i7-based Xeon X5580 (3.2GHz) processor, up to 12GB of triple-channel memory at debut and twice that much later in the year, up to FOUR hard drives in a RAID 0, 1, or 5 array, and either an Nvidia GeForce Go GTX 280M 1GB or Quadro FX3700M discrete graphics to push pixels on the 17-inch, 1600 x 1050 LCD display.
It all adds up to a 12-pound monster with a maximum power consumption rated at about 220 watts. Eurocom spokesman Matt Bialic says the Phantom i7 will last about 60 minutes before needing to recharge the battery.
Look for the Phantom i7 to ship by the end of March starting at $3,000. A fully configured Phantom will cost more than $5,000.
Bad news for the computer industry. According to market research company Gartner, PC shipments will plummet nearly 12 percent in 2009, recording the worst decline the industry has ever seen. This even after contracting sales in emerging markets for the first time.
"The PC industry is facing extraordinary conditions as the global economy continues to weaken, users stretch PC lifetimes, and PC suppliers grow increasingly cautious," said George Shiffler, research director at Gartner.
The 12 percent free fall translates into 257 million computers expected to be sold, but its even worse for desktops, whch are expected to slide a staggering 32 percent from last year. Laptops, meanwhile, are expected to go up by 9 percent, no doubt the result of strong netbook sales, a sector that had been keeping the worldwide PC market growing up to this point.
Street Fighter IV may claim to have lived out its early days on the street, but that’s a damn lie. In reality, the current king of fighters spent less of its time scrounging together street cred and more picking up virtual credits in the backs of arcades ploughed flat by herds of rail-thin DDR players.
However, a quick look at the wreckin’ machine’s boxy guts reveals a shocking secret: It’s a PC. Runs Windows and everything. So why delay the game’s PC punch-out until after consoles take it for a ride?
"Well the answer is the game's not done," Capcom VP Christian Svensson said after calling accusations of piracy-avoidance “completely absurd.” "So, to put things into perspective, the Street Fighter IV team is working on two things right now. They're finishing the PC SKU, and people are like, well the arcade was the PC, how hard can it be? Well we had all of these additions for the console version in terms of content that didn't exist on the PC. All of that needs to be rolled back in.”
“All of that takes time. The testing on PC in particular is a very, very time consuming process. Testing and optimisation versus obviously when we're working on console or an arcade board for that matter, it has a known configuration that we can optimise for out of the gate," he explained.
“Your next question to me is probably, well why don't you just hold the console versions until the PC is done? The answer is the unfortunate financial realities of making our numbers within certain financial years or quarters drives when we have to actually get some stuff out of the door.”
“The other part of this is while the PC is an important part of our business today, the forecast does not justify holding back the lion share of the revenues that comes from consoles to make it happen.”
It wasn’t long ago that Intel first started talking about programmable matter (their concept for an amorphous blob formed from microscopic glass spheres that can take any shape). Thanks to a video from CNN, the idea makes a lot more sense by showing the concept in action.
Now, the video is all pre-rendered, the concept still remains. The short video shows a group of designers messing with the frame of a car, as well as changing its color and even cracking it open to check out the seat configuration.
The video also mentions that Intel is “on the edge of discovery” with programmable matter. So, while it’s admittedly the thing that dreams are made of today, it won’t be for quite some time that this is a readily available resource.
At today’s DEMO conference Always Innovating plans to debut their new netbook, which will offer 10 to 15 hours of battery life, weighs under two pounds and will feature a touchscreen, all for less than an Amazon Kindle.
Always Innovating will offer a base model of the netbook for $299 that will not feature a touchscreen, but will have an ARM Texas Insturments OMAP3 processor, a 1024x600 8.9-inch screen, 8GB of flash storage, 802.11b/g/n WiFi, Bluetooth, and 6 USB ports. For $100 more, you can upgrade to the touchscreen version.
It’s reported that the Touch Book will be available in the U.S. around May or June 2009.
At CeBIT Asus showed off a new concept for a laptop that gets rid of the keyboard in favor of a second screen. The two screens are both touch, and when coupled with software allows for virtual interface devices (such as resizable keyboards and trackpads) to be implemented.
Sadly, this dual panel laptop is currently the product of a corporate-sponsored entry to a design competition, so it is entirely possible that it will never hit the market. Though, we’ll keep our fingers crossed that it will.
You might not realize it, but unless you unplug your computer or turn off the power strip it's plugged into, your PC still consumes electricity when turned off. We're only talking about one to four watts for the average system, but that's enough for Fujitsu-Siemens to dub its new Esprimo 7935 system as a "zero-watt" PC.
According to Fujitsu-Siemens, the new enterprise desktop consumes no energy whatsoever when turned off, and does so without having to pull the plug. While no big deal for the average consumer, a business with several computers could potentially cut back on its power bill by a significant amount if its PCs aren't constantly pulling electricity during overnight off-hours.
The new PC also boasts an 89 percent efficient power supply, a motherboard with no halogen or lead, and conforms to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) Energy Star 5.0 standard.
Look for the Esprimo 7935 to start shipping in the second half of 2009. No word yet on price.