According to Nvidia's Form 10-K filing for the fiscal year ended January 25, 2009, the graphics chip maker has spent $43.6 million to cover warranty and product replacement claims for GPUs suffering from a "weak die/packaging material set."
Nvidia had original set aside a one-time charge of $196 million when it was discovered some of its notebook graphics were failing at an "abnormal rate."
"The previous generation MCP and GPU products that are impacted were included in a number of notebook products that were shipped and sold in significant quantities," Nvidia said in the filing. "Certain notebook configurations of these MCP and GPU products are failing in the field at higher than normal rates. While we have not been able to determine a root cause for these failures, testing suggests a weak material set of die/package combination, system thermal management designs, and customer use patterns are contributing factors."
Given that only $43.6 million -- or 22 percent of the original amount -- has been spent so far, you can take this in one of two ways. Either the problem isn't as widespread as originally thought and the remaining $152.4 million will be more than enough to cover future claims, or there are a lot of mobile GPUs in the wild still to fail from the packaging defect.
If you thought Empire: Total War and Dawn of War II were forcing the sun to beam a little too brightly over the RTS landscape, here’s some cold reality to yank your bloom setting back down to normal levels. Speaking with Crispy Gamer, THQ VP Julie MacMedan said that, if her beleaguered benefactor can’t offload Rise of Nations/Legends developer Big Huge Games within “the near future,” the studio won’t be giving anyone a rise ever again.
“In addition,” read the statement, “THQ informed the staff at its Big Huge Games studio in Timonium, MD, that it plans to close the studio if a sale is not completed in the near future. These actions were unfortunate but were necessitated by the difficult economic environment.”
THQ recently laid-off 600 employees, and was given a 50-50 chance of survival by Dr. Analyst. Really, it’s every man for himself at this point.
Freecom recently released their 2.5-inch ToughDrive Sport hard drive that has been built to endure “even the toughest conditions.” What exactly entails the toughest conditions though? We have no idea.
The ToughDrive comes in three different flavors, 250GB, 320GB and 500GB. To make sure that the drive is kept safe from hackers (and the occasional tech-savvy tribal woodsman) it comes with secure 256-bit password protection MD5 hardware. The drive can also transfer data at up to 480Mbit/sec through its built in USB 2.0 connection, and will weigh only 9.2 ounces.
“Business-user or consumer… we all carry our data with us and we all require it to be there when we need it," wrote Freecom in a press release. "Imagine what can happen when you’re on the move, for example biking, commuting to the office, running to catch a flight …. and suddenly your external hard drive accidentally falls from your notebook case or jacket pocket… it breaks, and hundreds of hours of video’s, music, your work, gigabytes of spreadsheets, documents, photo’s are all gone. Not anymore!”
According to an survey conducted by the Computing Research Association, the number of majors and pre-majors in American computer science programs was up 6.2 percent from 2007. This marks the first time in six years that enrollment in computer science has increased.
"This could be a sign that we are beginning to make headway as well as increased attention, increased interest, and increased investment," said Andrew A. Chien, director of research at Intel.
Since the dot-com implosion starting in 2000, the field has seen a startling decline, leading some to warn about the effect it would have on the nation's ability to compete in the global economy. But in the past few years, there has been much effort to allay potential students' fears that computer science entails little more than sitting cooped up in front of a PC banging out code. That has helped lead to a 9.5 percent increase in the number of new undergraduate majors in computer science, and cut the decline in new bachelor's degrees from 20 percent to 10 percent.
Despite the increase, computer science remains of most interest to men, at least according to enrollment and graduation figures. Women accounted for a consistent 11.8 percent of computer science bachelor degrees in 2008.
Microsoft makes its way to the increasingly popular green movement by announcing to its more than 90,000 employees plans to reduce its carbon emissions by more than 30 percent by 2012.
"As a technology company, we believe that our footprint goals will be met by leveraging software and technology," Microsoft's sustainability chief Rob Bernard wrote in a blog post. "We will work to provide advances in our building operations, we will continue to expand our use of our Unified Communications tools...and will look for new ways to reduce our use of resources in our datacenters by continuing to push the envelope on innovation in how datacenters are designed, built, and operated."
Bernard said Microsoft's goal can be achieved by improving energy use in its buildings and operations, reducing air travel, and increasing the use of renewable energy. Some of that work has already begun, and Bernard claims Microsoft was able to save over $90 million on travel by utilizing remote conferencing.
Comcast has frozen more than 8,000 users names and passwords for Comcast email addresses, a full two months after they were uncovered on the document-sharing site, Scribd.
Scribd reportedly has removed the list thanks mostly to The New York Times’ Brad Stone, who told them once he caught wind of the matter. Stone, who was contacted by one of the customers on the list, writes, “The list on Scribd was one of four results, and it also included his password, which was a riff on his love for a local sports team. Statistics on Scribd indicated that the list, which was uploaded by someone with the user name vuthanhan2004, had been viewed over 345 times and had been downloaded 27 times.”
Comcast claims that the accounts information ended up on the list through a series of phishing attacks on users, and that it wasn’t an internal leak.
UPDATE: There will be another chance to win at 4PM PST today! We’ve given out t-shirts, small toys, and even a personal beverage cooler in our weekly Twitter trivia contest (hosted by @willsmith), but this month, we’re raising the stakes by giving away one HP Mini 1001 netbook! Starting next week, our Illustrious Editor-in-Chief will challenge his Twitter followers with a series of three technology trivia questions. Correct answers will score you one entry in our random drawing, which we’ll conduct on Tuesday, March 24th. One lucky grand prize winner will score the netbook (Approximate value, $490 USD) and five first place winners will get a Left 4 Dead t-shirt, courtesy of Valve Software. We won’t be announcing the times of the trivia questions on the website, so subscribe to Will’s Twitter feed to make sure you don’t miss out!
Read on for the official rules and more photos of the prize!
It looks like Comcast and Sony are looking to take a bite out of the Apple pie that is retail marketing, by opening up their very own joint retail store that will push Sony’s tech and Comcast’s services.
“At Sony Style Comcast Labs, trained staff show consumers how to unlock the full potential of their devices by demonstrating how Comcast's advanced delivery services integrate beautifully with Sony's hardware products and entertainment content,” said Stan Glasgow, President and COO of Sony US.
If anyone out there is looking to check out this store on its first day, the location will cut the ribbon today at the Comcast Center in Philadelphia, on 17th and JFK Boulevard.
According to the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA), this and other blacklisted hyperlinks will cost webmasters $11,000 a day if published on a website. The hefty fine applies to any site containing a banned URL, which was demonstrated last week when the AMA threatened the host of an online broadband disccusion forum after a user posted a link to a banned anti-abortion website.
According to The Syndney Morning Herald, the ACMA's blacklist doesn't significantly impact web browsing by Australians, but that could change if the Federal Government implements its mandatory internet filtering censorship plan.
The newest site added to the ACMA's blacklist includes Wikileaks, who drew the ACMA's ire after it published a leaked document containing Denmark's lists of banned websites. Wikileaks had also posted Thailand's censorship, noting that both lists have expanded from child porn to other material including political discussions.
"We note that, not only do these incidents show that the ACMA censors are more than willing to interpret their broad guidelines to include a discussion forum and document repository, it is demonstrably inevitable that the Government's own list is bound to be exposed itself at some point in the future," Electronic Frontiers Australia said. "The Government would serve the country well by sparing themselves, and us, this embarrassment."
The Australian Government's internet censorship trials are due to begin shortly, however none of the major ISPs have been invited to participate. O_o
With the netbook craze in full swing and Intel's Atom processor opening all kinds of doors for smaller, low power devices, you can expect to see some groovy gadgets make it to market. And after two years in development, maybe we'll soon see Lenovo's svelte-looking pocket-sized PC.
Currently in concept form, the "Pocket Yoga" is an extension of a folding notebook with a detachable keyboard, says Johnson Li, director of Lenovo's Beijing Innovation Center. And like its larger inspiration, the Pocket Yoga comes covered in leather, a fitting touch for a device shaped like a large wallet.
From a usability standpoint, a 360 hinge transforms the Pocket Yoga into a multifunction device. Open at a normal angle and you can use it as a laptop complete with full-function keyboard. Flip the cover all the way back and it suddenly becomes a tablet notebook.
Ensuring that geek stays chic, the leather-covered Pocket Yoga comes with a belt. And ensuring that chic stays geek, that belt turns into a mouse when removed. Pretty slick.
No word on projected price or availability, but we already want one.