If you bought music from Walmart.com before February 2008 (when Walmart.com started selling MP3 music), your ability to move music files from PC to PC has a very short shelf life. How short? Try October 9, 2008. That's the date that Walmart.com will shut down the DRM servers that control your ability to play non-MP3 music purchased from Walmart.com.
After 10/9/2008, you won't be able to move your music to another computer or access the songs on your system if you upgrade to another operating system or reinstall your current OS after a crash or to refresh its bits and bytes.
Fortunately, there's a bit of good news. While there's no way to extend the shelf life of that half-gallon of milk you lost a month ago in the back of your refridgerator, Walmart "strongly recommend[s] that you back up your songs by burning them to a recordable audio CD. By backing up your songs, you will be able to access them from any personal computer."
It's almost enough to make you agree with BoingBoing's Cory Doctorow, who posted Walmart.com's message (excerpted above) and added this rejoinder:
Boy, the entertainment industry sure makes a good case for ripping them off, huh? Buy your media and risk having it confiscated by a DRM-server shutdown. Take it for free and keep it forever.
My answer? I buy CDs and rip them myself. What's yours? Hit the jump for your chance to sound off.
You'll often hear enthusiasts describe an overclock as being Prime stable, meaning the system is able to pass the Prime95 stress test for an extended length of time without any errors. But even though it's become a common a torture test, Prime95 was designed primarily as part of a bigger project - the pursuit of prime numbers.
Today the distributed computing project called GIMPS, or Great Internet Mersenne Prime Search, has confirmed it has discovered the largest prime number ever at almost 13 million digits long. The number in question is 243,112,609-1, or listed out in millions of digits is, well, let's not do that. The discovery means the project can now claim a $100,000 bounty offered by the Electronic Frontier Foundation, which was offered to the first to find a prime number in excess of 10 million digits.
Fun fact: Only 45 Mersenne primes have ever been found, with the GIMPS project responsible for 12 of them. A Mersenne prime is one that can take the form of 2n-1 rather than writing out all the digits.
Fun fact 2: The prime number in question was discovered by a UCLA computer, with the GIMPS software installed and maintained by Edson Smith. Don't be surprised to see this appear in a future edition of Trivial Pursuit.
There's a major disappointment resonating from Redmond, and really, you're the only one that can do anything about it. you see, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer doesn't like "not being No. 1," but that's exactly the position his company takes in the search arena. If that's to change - and Ballmer believes Microsoft may be the only company with a fighting chance - he says it will take several more years and lots of cash.
It's going to take us a while," Ballmer said during a speech at the Churchhill Club. "It's a five-year task. We've got a lot to do."
Ballmer went on to say that the Microsoft will have to figure out a way to fundamentally change both the experience and economics of the search industry, claiming his company has "taken some steps in that direction." Of course, we're sure Google would have a different outlook, but ultimately it's you, the web searcher, who decides the outcome. So if you refuse to use Live Search because it sucks compared to Google, at least consider switching so Ballmer can sleep more soundly at night at not having to be not No. 1.
No matter what we may have thought as children, along with growing up comes the sad realization that we'll probably never own a full on replica of the customized Pontiac Trans-Am David Hasselhoff cruised the television airwaves with all through the mid-80s as Michael Knight. But don't despair, because you don't need a near three-decade old sports car to get your geek on as a modern day Knight Rider.
Radioshack on Friday announced it has secured exclusive rights to the Mio Knight Rider GPS. The $270 device comes with a 4.3-inch antiglare touchscreen LCD complete with voice synthesized lights adorning the left and right-hand sides that move in sync with actor William Daniels' (KITT) guidance. And best of all, you can choose from over 150 male and female names, including Michael if you want to get in full character.
Anyone else spellbound by this? How about by this?
As far as moral victories in the browser wars go, Apple's Safari web browser can now claim one of them. The Safari 4 beta scored a perfect 100/100 on the brutal Acid3 web standards test, becoming the first browser to pass all four conditions of the test (browser must use default settings, animation has to be smooth, score must end on 100/100, and must produce a pixel perfect copy of the reference rendering).
In theory, this would make Safari the dominant browser, with Opera 9.52 scoring 84 points, Firefox 3.0.3 at 71 points, and IE7 and IE8 posting rather dismal scores at 14 and 21 points respectively. Somewhat marring Safari's achievement is that whole market share thing, in which Microsoft's Internet Explorer, despite lagging way behind the competition in Acid3's testing, still dominates by a wide margin.
The question is, do you care about the Acid3 test?
Less than two months ago, a class action lawsuit was filed in a Califorina court against AMD/ATI and Nvidia alleging that the two had "conspired to fix, raise, maintain, and stabilize prices of graphics processing chips and cards." Giving the allegation widespread media attention, news and review site TomsHardware managed to obtain a handful of legal documents for the filing, including a few interesting email exchanges among ATI's and Nvidia's top brass.
According to reports, Nvidia has now offered a settlement agreement to the tune of $1.7 million. As outlined, the agreement would have Nvidia and AMD/ATI splitting the total fund, with each company paying $850,000. Not yet a done deal, there aren't any reports of AMD/ATI confirming the settlement agreement, and as detailed in the 8-K form that was filed on September 24, the agreement would still be "subject to court approval."
If it does go through, the money will go to the certified class who brought about the suit, which can include anyone who purchased a graphics card direct from Nvidia or ATI in the U.S. between December 4, 2002 and November 7, 2007.
One of the first questions new system builders ask centers around the amount of RAM to invest in, and it wasn't very long ago when the decision came down to 1GB or 2GB. With the emergence of Vista, and particularly the 64-bit version, the big question now is whether or not to go with 4GB. How long will it be before we see 16GB rigs in quantity?
It could be sooner than you think, and at least one company has already begun preparations. Samsung said it has started sampling 50nm DDR3 devices that ultimately will enable memory modules up to 16GB in capacity. The samples consist of 2Gb (that's lowercase 'b') chips with double the density of current 1Gb parts, while also cutting back on power by over 40 percent.
According to Samsung, the new small form factor paves the way for 8GB RIMMs and 4GB SODIMMs, equating to 16GB and 8GB respectively in dual-die packages. Next up - finding mainstream applications capable of feasting on hordes of memory.
Samsung said it will begin mass producing the 2Gb chips by the end of the year and make 2Gb DDR3 its primary DRAM process technology in 2009. As for pricing? We'll have to wait and see.
The mighty Fudzilla has dropped a rumor that we can expect the first Core i7 to arrive in the US in week 46, between the 10th and 14th of November. They also said that Japanese customers might even be able to buy them as early as the first days of November. They cite unnamed sources.
Intel of course, remains mum only saying to expect it sometime in Q4 of 2008. Intel is more of a tease than my first girlfriend.
As Fudzilla notes there are plenty of X58 based motherboard prototypes that have floated on the internet in the pasted few months from names like MSI, Gigabyte, and Asus. If there is a mid November launch of Core i7, there should be a selection of motherboards available for it, some with overclocking features.
I have only had my Newegg wish list system configured since last March. It has gone through several revisions waiting on Core i7, and the power supply is up in the air depending on the stated needs of the motherboard I pick. I figured on $300 on the CPU and another $300 on the Motherboard. Yeah, I know it is no Dream Machine. However, I have to operate like the government and tell the wife that my stated budget is $1800, when in reality its $2,200 and I am going to run a little over that. Better to beg forgiveness and have a nice new game machine to console myself with, than to ask permission and be denied. I know my limits however and racking up a $5,000 bill on a game system would result in my summary execution. Another $500 bucks I can fix with flowers, chocolate and extra attention (I hope).
Anyone else have a wish list for their new Core i7 system? Tell me about it below!
NBC has lost many battles over the past few years, but it looks as though it might actually win the war over its copy protected media. Executives from the company claim to have found a “template” for protecting their videos from piracy, and it appears as though it’s actually working. You may have noticed lately that copy protected content from NBC and others have been slowly drying up from video swapping sites like YouTube, Dailymotion, Veoh and even Soapbox. And as a result, NBC has been very vocal about the fact that it is generally satisfied with the new systems these services have put in place. As proof NBC cites its recent successes in controlling content from the both the Olympic Games and select Saturday Night Live clips. Clearly NBC views YouTube and other similar services as the primary battleground in protecting their content and attributes a large percentage of online video piracy to being committed out of convenience. According to Rick Cotton NBC’s general council; "What has happened up to now is the ability to access and download infringing content has been trivially simple, and the lesson it teaches people is that if it's that easy it can't be wrong,". NBC however seems to recognize that it needs to find alternatives to these services or risk pushing users to harder forms of piracy such as Bit Torrent. Arguably its full length episodes at both nbc.com and hulu.com do just that. Only time will tell if NBC’s main beef was truly over controlling its content, or simply locking it down to traditional distribution models.
Does the end of copy protected media on sites like YouTube put the death nail in user submitted video? Hit the jump and let us know what you think.
He fears that this will considerably hamper the connectivity of the internet. He has suggested that internet be urgently switched to a new system. That new system is already in use in Japan for linking thousands of earthquake sensors and has been around for almost a decade. The IPv6 as it is called can provide an inexhaustible 340 trillion, trillion, trillion addresses.