GameTap, for those unfamiliar, is a self-described “games on demand service” that zaps thousands of games – some aged and impenetrable, others still warm and wrapped in soggy design document – straight to your PC. It’s pretty neat! However, if you’re just now finding out about the goose that lays golden games, please refrain from getting too excited; GameTap’s vaunted free games section won’t be quite the looker it once was come next week. Said GameTap’s official blog:
“As many of you know, over the past year or so we’ve released well over one hundred games for free, in order to entice people to sample what GameTap has to offer and, hopefully, subscribe to our service. This strategy has worked incredibly well for us, and now we’re ready to move on.”
“Starting next week, we’re going to return a large chunk of our free games back to the Gold vault. They will still be available, but only to GameTap Gold subscribers.”
97 games, including heavy-hitters like Deus Ex, Psychonauts and, well, Daikatana (there’s always a silver lining) will be yanked out of the pet shop window, bringing Gametap’s free section down to a comparatively paltry 40. Weekly trials of select games will also be available.
So then, does this turn of events have you unbolting the padlock on your credit card, or does GameTap have some ‘splainin’ to do?
At this year’s CES AMD showed off a new platform named Yukon that featured a single-core Athlon Neo processor. The machine from HP that it was inside rivaled the MacBook Air in thickness, was cooled passively to prevent noise and size, and impressed most that saw it.
Coming in the wake of such an impressive little chip, is the Neo’s next version, a dual-core that will be coming inside a platform codenamed Congo. The Congo will be a dual-core version of the Neo that is aimed at ultraportable laptops, but not quite netbooks.
Its expected that the chip will be available on the consumer market in the second half of this year, will run at a little more than 1.6GHz, and should be the driving force behind plenty of 12 to 14 inch notebooks.
Credit card payment processor Heartland Payment Systems, which is based in Princeton, fears that its card data might have fallen in the wrong hands. On Tuesday, it formally warned credit card holders about it and advised them to vet their card statements exhaustively and to report any abuse.
The company has revealed that its computer network was found to be infested with malware. They are nearly convinced that the cardholders’ names and numbers have been stolen. The company hasn’t divulged any technical details of the malware attack.
As it turns out, both Seagate and Maxtor-brand SATA drives can be affected by firmware problems. So, how can you find out exactly which models may be on the naughty list and when Seagate has a firmware fix that's ready for prime time? Join us after the jump for details.
Logitech’s income has dropped significantly from $133.6 million to $40.5 million over the course of Q3 last year to Q1 this year.
It hasn’t yet been reported on what exactly has caused the gigantic drop in value for the company, but it is expected that the struggling economy has a lot to do with it. Because of this, they will be cutting much of their spending on researching and developing the higher end products.
“We already made some decisions to trim some products that were interesting, but maybe more high end,” stated Jerry Quindelen, Logiech’s CEO. Products that “aren’t perfect for this timeframe and set of conditions” will most likely be delayed.
Their layoff plans hope to save them $50 million this year, and will come to the tune of around 500 jobs.
Qualcomm has bought AMD’s handset division for $65 million. AMD has disposed of the handset business to exclusively focus on its fundamental businesses. The handset business has only spewed losses and caused despair ever since it fell into AMD’s lap as part of its 2006 acquisition of ATI.
Qualcomm has agreed to retain some of the existing employees involved in the handset division, although the exact figure hasn’t been revealed. Qualcomm will use the technology, which has changed hands as part of the deal, to develop more advanced graphics and audio solutions for mobile devices.
Samsung and Elpida will be introducing new 50nm DDR DIMMs this year that will feature higher densities and speeds, while lowering latencies, power consumption and costs.
Thanks to Elpida’s new 50nm process that uses fluoride immersion lithography with copper interconnect technology; there will be a 25 percent speed boost from the very first generation of these new sticks of DDR3.
Samsung’s process is aimed specifically at making 2GB DDR3 sticks, and is presumed to become their prime creation process this year. They’re reporting a 60 percent increase in productivity over their DDR2 equivalents.
The prices of all this fancy new DDR3 is expected to drop from 100 percent down to only 10 percent by the time Lynnfield and Windows 7 launch in Q3 of this year. And according to the International Data Corporation, DDR3 sales will account for 29 percent of the total DRAM units sold in 2009. From there, it’s expected to boost to 72 percent in 2011.
There are numerous websites that allow you to download Youtube videos – and videos hosted on other sites – directly to your desktop. All of them have capitalized on the lack of a downloading feature on Youtube. However, they might just have to conceive a superb contingency plan as Youtube has jeopardized their very existence by inaugurating an indigenous download feature.
The feature is currently only available on President Obama’s Youtube channel as Google appears to be testing waters. You can check it out at this link.
Citing un-named notebook makers, DigiTimes says Intel will launch its next generation Atom processor, currently codenamed Pineview, in the second half of 2009. The new chip will come in both single- and dual-core flavors, although the dual-core variant will only be used in nettops, DigiTimes says.
The new chip will be built using a 45nm manufacturing process with built-in Northbridge functions, such as an integrated memory controller and graphics. Intel is expected to pair the new chip with its upcoming Tiger Point Southbridge to create a new, lower cost netbook platform currently codenamed Pine Trail-M.
But not only will future netbooks cost less as a result of Pineview, but they might be smaller too. By integrating the Northbridge with the CPU, Pineview requires significantly less motherboard space by up to 60 percent, bringing the total down from 2,174mm squared (Atom N270 + 945GC) to 773mm squared. The new platform will also cut back the amount of PCB layers from six to four, while also reducing maximum TDP from 8W to 7W.
In other words, look for tomorrow's netbooks to be smaller, faster, consume less power, and easier on the wallet.
Doogie Houser may have been performing surgery at 14, the age the fictional sitcom character became the youngest licensed doctor in the country, but we bet he couldn't build a PC. But little Marko Calasan can, a real 8-year-old boy who has become the youngest Microsoft-certified IT computer system administrator. Calasan, who is being called the Mozart of Computers, edges out 9-year-old M Lavinashree of India as the youngest certified IT Pro.
"The Microsoft officials gave me computer games and DVDs with cartoons when I passed the exams because I am a child. That was nice, but I’m not really interested in those things," Calasan toldThe Times.
What young Marko is interested in is becoming a computer scientist when he grows up and has aspirations of creating a new operating system.