Someone cue up Queen's "Another One Bites the Dust" and don't stop playing until the memory chip market has been fully weeded out. It was only a week ago that Germany-based chip maker Qimonda became the first major memory chip maker to file for bankruptcy, and now Spansion Japan appears to be on the chopping block as well.
Originally spun off by AMD in 2005 to create flash memory, Spansion now owes just shy of $810 million, making it the biggest bankruptcy filing in Japan's manufacturing sector this year. However, the company maintains that its operations will continue on as normal.
"Spansion Inc. does not expect the filing in Japan to materially affect its global operations," the company said Monday. "Spansion Japan Ltd. will continue its operations and intends to pay, in a timely manner, for all goods and services that it obtains after the date of filing."
How the bankruptcy court decides to proceed remains to be seen, but it would have a number of options available, from letting Spansion continue to operate as it restructures, to full-scale liquidation.
It’s expected that Asus will begin selling their wildly popular netbooks in Walmart stores during the second half of this year. Given that they’re already being sold in Target and Best Buy, this doesn’t seem that outlandish.
The information (which comes courtesy of an “anonymous market source in Taiwan”) also noted that Asus is expected to market notebooks through Walmart as well. And while this doesn’t mean that they’ll be boasting the Eee line as their big seller, given the current economic perils, it’s very likely.
Asus is looking to increase their netbook shipments in the US from 650,000 in 2008 to over 1 million this year. If they add Walmart to their vendor list, this possibility becomes very likely.
Thanks to Paul Synott, one of Dell’s UK representatives, it’s expected that the Mini 10 will be released on February 27th. And while this release date is extremely exact, it’s still leaving many skeptical.
Why the skepticism? Well, Dell reps have been known to occasionally give out wrong information, and when it comes to a machine like this, one that was announced at CES and then immediately forgotten, information that suddenly surfaces must be taken with a grain of salt.
No word yet on pricing or specs, but just as the possibility of the actual release, we’ll have to keep our eyes on Dell to see what happens.
Procrastinators take note, your window of opportunity to beta test Microsoft's next operating system is closing fast. You have until 11:59 PM PST today to begin downloading Windows 7 (from Microsoft, anyway), and will have until 9 AM PST Thursday to finish the download, Microsoft said. It's the general public who are being cut off by tonight's deadline; MSDN and TechNet subscribers will still have access.
If you miss the deadline, you'll have another opportunity when Microsoft releases its next test version of Windows 7, which the software maker says will closely resemble the final release. When that version of Windows 7 will arrive has not yet been announced.
This is also a good time to remind users that Windows Vista beta testers who submitted a legitimate bug report ended up being eligible to receive a free copy of Vista Business or Ultimate. Microsoft has made no mention of doing anything similar for Windows 7 beta testers, so you'll have to decide for yourself how motivated you are to spend some hands-on time with Vista's successor.
It is finally happening! Microsoft is now changing over to a 64-bit operating system by default instead of 32 bit. Windows Server 2008 R2 will be the first operating system to feature 32 bit optional. This means that all the applications included with Windows Server 2008 R2 will be native 64 bit. It appears Microsoft is now ready to embrace the 21st century and begin shipping their new server operating systems as 64 bit only.
For the system administrators that still want to run 32-bit applications inside of Windows Server 2008 R2 they will have to install WoW64. This application support layer is not included by default with the operating system.
Hit the jump for more information and what this means to regular home users.
How exactly can Intel afford to drop $7 billion upgrading its U.S. factories over the next two years when the economy is in the dumps and few in the tech industry seem to be making a profit? Maybe a better question is how can Intel afford not to keep investing?
The news of the massive investment was made public today by Intel CEO Paul Otellini, who was giving a speech in Washington. But what's perhaps most interesting about the $7 billion figure over two years is that rival chip maker AMD has lost almost as much over the past two years, and has split into separate design and manufacturing firms. Two different companies with two very different approaches; who's will pay off in the long run?
Despite what has been the worst PC market in a long time, Intel says its $7 billion investment is the most it has ever spent transitioning to new manufacturing technology. Part of the money will go towards new machinery at factories in Oregon, Arizona, and New Mexico, all of which will be capable of producing 32nm wafers.
"From our perspective this is a cheaper, better technology," Otellini said. "Spending this money will lower our costs and give us more competitive products. It's something that's fundamental to our business model."
And fundamentally different than AMD's approach. Maybe there's a lesson to be learned here.
The story of Old Yeller is about a dog who wins the heart of teenager Travis Coates tasked with helping manage the family farm while his father is away on a cattle drive. But by the time his father returns, Yeller becomes infected with rabies while fending off a rabid wolf. Travis is left with little recourse but to shoot the dog.
Now imagine the above summary in video form lasting for about 20 minutes. Would you pay $10 to watch it? HarperCollins thinks so, and has kicked off the concept by launching a video edition of Jeff Jarvis' "What Would Google Do?" that it's now selling through Amazon's digital-download store for $9.99.
"We're looking to create new revenue streams," said Brian Murray, chief executive of HarperCollins. "There is a tremendous amount of search and discovery of video on the Web. Some consumers won't spend the money or invest hours in reading a book, but they will watch a 23-minute video."
Depending on the interest the video book concept generates, HarperCollins said it could release up to six more before the end of the year, all of which would be produced in-house. Twenty-five percent of the net revenue would go towards the author.
Hit the jump and tell us what you think about the future of video books, but first a protip: HarperCollins has made available the entire text of "What Would Google Do?" for free right here. We'd summarize it for you, but then we'd have to charge you.
Big blue is seeing green, and it wants its business partners to see the same color. To that end, IBM has launched its "Ready for Energy & Environment" validation program for business partners, which currently sits at 100,000 strong. But out of those, only a very small number will qualify.
"We've set a fairly high bar," said IBM's ISVs and developer relations VP Chris Wong. "Only 30 or so partners will make it through the first year."
IBM says that in order for a business partner to pass validation and earn an endorsing mark, its products and services must first meet "stringent criteria" geared towards reducing energy, water, and paper materials. IBM didn't say what those criteria are, saying only that they were "established by the IBM Energy & Environment Review Board" and "are based on IBM's long history of environmentally responsible practices in its own operations."
Business partners who meet IBM's eco-friendly requirements will be allowed to market their product or service as "Ready for IBM Energy & Environment," as well as participate in various IBM marketing campaigns.
Multiverse might be on the verge of revolutionizing web-based gaming, or so it claims. Using its technology platform, Multiverse says it's possible for developers to create 2D, browser-based versions of a full-scale downloadable 3D game, and then allow players to interact between them.
"Now, you can have proven genres of videogames, really popular games, like shooters, real-time strategy, sports, and things that exist on consoles or specially installed games, and those types of games can live in your web browser without a download," said Corey Bridges, Mulitverse co-founder.
To showcase the technology, Multiverse released a simple Flash game called Battle that runs on Facebook, MySpace, Friendster, and Kongregate. According to Bridges, Battle is one of the first-ever multiplayer, real-time, action or combat-based Flash games. And unlike most multiplayer Flash games, Battle isn't turn-based.
But the real value to developers in having a 2D to 3D cross-over capability might come from being able to offer free online trials where potential game buyers can jump in and play with other people without requiring a download.
Whether or not Multiverse's platform catches on, only time will tell. But according to Bridges, we may not have to wait long. He says a small handful of developers have begun taking their in-development 3D worlds and "are making a window into those worlds that can be done in Flash."
Well, kinda. GameStop has reopened its palace doors to Dawn of War II and – by virtue of its inclusion with the game -- would-be assassin Steam, but THQ’s Saints Row II and 2K’s NBA 2K9 remain conspicuously absent.
Upon its removal from GameStop’s pre-order list, Dawn of War II was thought to be the opening volley in a scuff between storefronts – retail vs. online, to be specific. GameStop employees, however, insisted that the retail giant merely exhausted its pre-order supply for a short period of time.
Certainly, GameStop’s passive refusal to slow its waterfalls of boiling oil for Saints Row II and NBA 2K9 seems a little odd, but re-stocking Dawn of War II – PC gaming’s first heavy-hitter of 2009 – pretty much puts the kibosh on any sort of cold war between GameStop and Steam.