Still like the Boston Celtics' chances of winning the NBA championship despite the likelihood of Kevin Garnett missing the entire playoffs? No matter who you think will win, if you're looking to place a bet online, you'll need to trust an overseas gambling site in order to put your money where your mouth is. That's because the U.S. Congress chased away U.S.-based online gambling outlets several years ago as part of the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act of 2006, a law which some say may be overturned, according to a report in The New York Times.
Representative Barney Frank, Democrat of Massachusetts, is expected to lead the charge at overturning the 2006 bill in matter of days.
"He supports the repeal and wants to move forward on it," said Steve Adamske, communications director for the House Financial Services Committe.
Despite the 2006 Act, online gambling generated revenue of $6 billion last year in North America, or more than a quarter of the global total of $22.6 billion. That's a $5 billion increase from 2006. According to PricewaterhouseCoopers, if the ban is overturned, the U.S. government could potentially pocket more than $50 billion over the next 10 years.
Those who oppose overturning the ban point out that online gambling makes it too easy to get in over your head and can break up families. Some sports leagues also voiced concern that online betting could increase the risk of game-fixing.
Should the ban be repealed? Hit the jump and post your thoughts.
Following a board meeting last week, VIA has come to the conclusion that it needs to cut capital to NT$5.17 billion ($153.4 million USD), a 60 percent reduction. A shareholder meeting on June 19th will decide when the reduced capital will take place. As a result of the planned reduction, VIA said it expects shares to improve to $NT11.36, or almost three times as much as the current NT$4.50 share price.
VIA didn't say what effect the reduced capital would have on its Nano processor roadmap, which could put the heat on Intel in coming months. Citing un-named market sources, news and rumor site DigiTimes notes that demand for Intel's Atom netbook CPUs has been slowing down lately in the wake of price cuts by low-end notebooks. The sources also attributed the reduced demand to consumer anticipation of the next generation of Atom processors, currently scheduled for the second half of this year.
Citing people familiar with the situation, USA Today claims Verizon and Apple are at least talking about developing an iPhone for Verizon. If that were to happen, it would be the first time Apple has produced an iPhone for a CDMA wireless network, and come as a blow to AT&T, who has exclusive U.S. distribution rights until sometime in 2010.
"Breaking the iPhone exclusivity with AT*T is a huge thing," says Roger Entner, head of telecom research for Nielsen. "That would send shivers into AT&T's stock and senior leadership."
AT&T's iPhone deal has proved to be a lucrative one, as evidenced last week when the telco posted impressive wireless numbers. According to AT&T, it has signed up 1.6 million iPhone customers during the quarter, with 40 percent of them beng new to AT&T. It's mobile revenue was also up 40 percent.
AT&T would still boast the faster network if Verizon started selling iPhones, but Verizon's aggressive ad campaign, combined with the iPhone's immense popularity, would likely be a recipe for success, even if a bitter one for AT&T.
Hold the boat, Blu-ray, a breakthrough in optical storage technology could prove to be game changing, according to General Electric. GE today announced that its researchers have successfully demonstrated a threshold microholographic storage material they say can support 500GB of storage capacity in a standard DVD-sized disc. That breaks down to about 20 times the storage capacity of a standard Blu-ray disc and is equivalent to 100 regular DVDs, the company says.
"GE’s breakthrough is a huge step toward bringing our next generation holographic storage technology to the everyday consumer," said Brian Lawrence, who leads GE’s Holographic Storage program. "Because GE’s micro-holographic discs could essentially be read and played using similar optics to those found in standard Blu-ray players, our technology will pave the way for cost-effective, robust and reliable holographic drives that could be in every home."
GE's holographic storage technology makes use of the entire volume of the disc material rather than just the surface. Three-dimensional patterns represent bits of information, a process GE has been working on for over six years but has only just now turned a corner with the latest breakthrough.
Hot on the heels of the Pirate Bay trial, which just recently ended (not without considerable controversy), another trial is just now getting started. This one, however, involves RealNetworks and its RealDVD ripping program, a $30 piece of software that has drawn the ire of the Movie Picture Association of America (MPAA).
At the heart of the issue is RealDVD's ability to make digital copies of DVDs to a user's hard drive while still retaining the DVD-copy protection. The process even adds a further layer of DRM to the files it rips, so as far as RealNetworks is concerned, the program doesn't run afoulof the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA).
Naturally, the MPAA vehemently disagrees, even going so far as to say the software should be called StealDVD instead of RealDVD. Even more troubling for the MPAA is the RealNetworks' plan to develop DVD-saving software for manufacturers of DVD players. Facet, as it's being called, would allow Toshiba, Sony, and other companies to sell players capable of copying DVDs and save them internally. A prototype capable of storing about 70 movies has already been made, and it's expected that similar devices would sell for around $300 or less.
"The movie industry wants people to buy DVDs an so do we," said Bill Way, VP and general counsel of RealNetworks. "They have a real problem with piracy, and we are not that problem. I don't think our product will make the problem one iota bigger. I think it gives people an opportunity to make digital copies of their movies in a legal way."
Right or wrong, it will now be up to the courts to decide.
Mainstream Media’s fascination with the Conficker virus is somewhat amusing, but the actions of the world’s most famous computer trogan on the other hand are not. According to Fox News, Conficker is finally starting to show signs of life and has begun organizing thousands of machines into a botnet to send email spam and spread malware.
Anybody running anti virus or Windows update is pretty much protected from Conficker at this point, but amazingly this still leaves millions of machines to worry about. It remains to be seen how much longer Conficker will continue to plague the web, but hopefully at the very least this brings computer security to the minds of mainstream users.
So Conficker is spreading spam and spyware? Anyone surprised?
If a web 2.0 service goes offline in the middle of the night does it make a sound? Well, if your Yahoo quietly pulling the plug on your free web hosting service, you hope not! As sad as it may be for us nostalgic types, after more than a decade of hosting free community webpages, this once innovative and powerful brand will finally come to a close later this year.
The trademark of the GeoCities service was the neighborhood system which allowed users to assign their page to a specific community of like minded websites. They were also founded during a period when only a handful of developers were publishing content for the web. Neighborhoods such as “Hollywood” and “Silicon Valley” were abandoned shortly after Yahoo took control of the company in 1999. It was purchased at the peek of the dot com bubble for $3.57 billion dollars, and like many other web properties scooped up at this time, it wasn’t worth as much as they’d hoped.
Yahoo is also known for having made several unpopular changes to the service shortly after acquisition which some users blame for its slow downward spiral. One of these changes for example was a modification to the terms of service which allowed Yahoo to lay claim to any content hosted on its service. Many of these decisions were eventually reversed, but with the rapidly falling costs of web hosting, it was only a matter of time before it folded in. Yahoo has stopped accepting new applications, and existing users are being encouraged to upgrade to one of their paid web hosting packages.
Did you ever host a website on Geocities? Share your memories after the jump.
SSD prices have been improving steadily over the past year, but they are still priced out of reach for the average user in any type of practical capacity. That being said, our readers are Maximum right? So for those of you who have been considering SSD’s, you might want to hold out just a bit longer.
The newest entrant into the category comes from OCZ who is preparing to launch their new solid state drive, and the specs are pretty impressive. The new “Z-Drive” will bypass SATA bottlenecks by hooking directly onto a spare PCIe slot. The architecture of the drive has also clearly been tuned for performance with the four Vertex controllers being configured in a four-way RAID 0.
On paper this drive is capable of read speeds up to 510MB/sec, and write speeds to match idling out around 480MB/sec. Of course we won’t be able to verify these speeds until we get one in the lab, but if true, it could be one of the fastest consumer drives to date. The initial launch will see three different capacities made available, 250GB, 500GB, and 1TB. Pricing hasn’t been released just yet, but as with any new cutting edge SSD, expect it to cost more than most PCs.
Yeah – this is getting pretty ridiculous. Just when you thought Valve’s market-dominating Steam service couldn’t cut any more off its game prices without bleeding money, they go and prove everyone wrong.
This weekend, Valve’s offering the Orange Box – a complete steal even at its original price – for $9.99. For those who haven’t been keeping score, the Orange Box contains Half-Life 2, Half-Life 2: Episodes One and Two, Half-Life 2: The Lost Coast, Portal, and Team Fortress 2. Really, the only things this virtual incarnation of said box lacks are, well, actual oranges and any sort of box. But hey, you’re saving the trees for cheap, and isn’t that basically the American Dream?
So, six amazing games. Ten bucks. Breathing lightly on piggy bank will yield you that kind of scratch. Seriously, if you haven’t played these games, what are you even waiting for? Afraid you might lose your job while utterly engrossed in your new purchases? Well, if Steam keeps topping itself like this, you probably won’t need much money to keep your gaming appetite sated anyway.
Sure, YouTube is already the home of such viral favorites as Chocolate Rain and the dramatic chipmunk, but let’s face it – it took you far too long to hear about these web gems. But, thanks to YouTube’s newest feature in progress, RealTime, waiting to hear about a video will be a thing of the past.
YouTube RealTime will allow users to see which of their friends are online, what video they’re watching, and even comments that they’ve left, all in a toolbar that will be visible no matter where you are on the site. So, if you log onto YouTube to watch something, but you’re just not sure what you’re in the mood for, check out what your pals are getting in to!
Currently RealTime is under an invite only embargo, but each person that receives an invite will get 25 of their own to pass out. So, if you’re lucky enough to get one, why not share the love with other Maximum PC commenters? Hook a brother up!