Microsoft’s Zune is seldom in the news, for its much feted rival, the Apple iPod, hogs all the limelight. Now, Philadelphia City Paper’s Neal Santos has revealed that he spotted soon-to-be-President Barack Obama with a Microsoft Zune in a gym. Although Santos was too mesmerized to talk to Obama, he did notice the President-elect hop onto the “machine next to me and broke a mean sweat while reading a copy of USA Today and listening to his Zune.”
He later claimed in a subsequent blog that he knows exactly what a Zune looks like and that he was sure to have spotted Obama with one. However, he isn’t sure whether it was his personal Zune. The blogosphere allows scribes to freely dump such harmless stories, though of no real import, on their blogs.
It looks like Microsoft’s lawyer fueled banhammer has been in full swing lately (surprise, surprise), having just filed 63 lawsuits against online retailers in 12 countries that have been supposedly selling counterfeit Microsoft software.
The lawsuits have reportedly been filed against sellers of counterfeit copies of Windows XP for the most part. “Pirates want to counterfeit all of our products but there always is a trend as a product nears the end of its life cycle,” said Matt Lundy, senior attorney with Microsoft’s anti-piracy and anti-counterfeiting team. “They're not going to cease selling XP because Microsoft has.”
The pirates were clearly none-too-bright either. Given that they were selling the software on sites such as Amazon, eBay and even Microsoft’s MSN shopping network, they were asking to get caught.
For the third year in a row, PC parts vendor Directron.com is giving away college scholarships to three individuals. Even better, Directron has bumped up the first place reward from $800 to $1,000. Second and third place scholarships remain at $500 and $300 respectively. And if this year's outcome follows the past two, Directron may reward several honorable mentions with smaller sized scholarships or store-credits.
To take a shot at one of the scholarships, U.S. residents are asked to submit a two-page single-spaced essay on any topic related to computers. There are several formats to choose from, which include fiction, non-fiction, short story, instruction manual, or a poem. Just be sure your submission contains "perfect spelling and grammar."
Directron says it will judge the submissions equally on the academic merit of the writing, and the originality and creativity of the content. More than just lip service, in 2006 the first place scholarship was awarded to Jason Kao, who broke down his essay into subjects, the first being "I <3 computers." So do we, Jason.
Deadline to enter is January 10th, 2009, with winners being announced shortly after on January 16th, 2009. If you're having trouble picking out a subject, Directron lists several potential candidates, though you'll probably have to go that extra creative mile if going the pre-selected route.
One of the advantages with Firefox that has helped it move up in market share is the perception of a more secure browser over Microsoft's Internet Explorer. Whether or not IE has managed to level the security playing field is a topic for another post, but there's at least one new piece of malware specifically designed to go after just Firefox users.
"Trojan.PWS.ChromeInject.A filters data sent by the user to over 100 online banking websites," BitDefender warned in a press release. "The banking websites include: bankofamerica.com, chase.com, halifax-online.co.uk, wachovia.com, paypal.com, and e-gold.com."
One the malware identifies one of the websites, it records the user's login information and forwards it along to a server in Russia, and not for safe keeping.
The NFL has long been a goliath in American entertainment, and tonight they’ll join forces with 3ality Digital and RealID to bring viewers the Chargers and the Raiders in full digital 3D.
The first ever 3D broadcast has been made available to audiences in three US cities, Boston, Hollywood and New York City (sorry, Raiders fans). The contest between the two teams will be transmitted to RealID 3D-enabled theaters that incorporate almost pixel-perfect quality. Supposedly, those watching the 3D enabled games will have the feeling that they’re actually on the field with the players.
There’s no doubt that those watching the game from home tonight will see excerpts after commercial breaks of what the theaters look like, but it might be some time before this technology makes its way to the masses. Sadly, you’ll probably have to wait a few more years before you can tackle TO’s hologram.
A search ad deal between Yahoo and Google announced back in June might have helped dramtically change Yahoo's fortunes. The company said it would generate $800 million from the proposed deal, and $250 million to $450 million in incremental operating cash flow within the first year. Instead, Yahoo made nothing from the deal, because Google pulled out amid fears of a protracted antitrust suit.
Those fears were very much justified, as we've now learned that the U.S. Department of Justice was a mere three hours away from filing the inevitable suit, according to Sandy Litvack, the lawyer hired by the Justice Department.
"We were going to file the complaint at a certain time during the day," Litvack said in an interview with American Laywer's AmLaw Daily. "We told them we were going to file the complaint at that time of day. Three hours before, they told us they were abandoning the agreement."
It's hard to tell whether or not Google made the right decision, but from Litvack's standpoint, he admitted to being "pretty confident" in the government's case.
Unhappy holidays are ahead for 8 percent of Adobe's workforce. That translates to 600 full-time employees who, instead of receiving a Christmas bonus, will instead be handed a pink slip.
The news comes amid lackluster fourth quarter earnings, which the company said would be between $912 million to $915 million, less than the $925 million to $955 million from its previous outlook. It's also less than what Wall Street was predicting, which had the company pegged to pull in $930 million.
Adobe blamed the situation on weaker than expected demand for its Creative Suite 4 (CS4), calling it "the main cause for the shortfall in fourth quarter revenue." It all leads to restructuring for Adobe, and the company said it would take $44 million to $50 in pre-tax charges.
But Adobe has its work cut out for it, as 2009 doesn't look to be shaping up any better. The company is currently projecting revenue for Q1 2009 to be between $800 million to $850 million. Meanwhile, Wall Street had predicted the company would fare a bit better to the tune of $846 million to $1.02 billion.
AMD looks poised to kick off 2009 with a bang. Earlier this week, rumors surfaced of an updated CPU roadmap for the chip maker, which showed the suits in Santa Clara gearing up to release six new Phenom II X4 processors, along with various Athlon-branded chips. According to DigiTimes, AMD also has a few new chipsets on tap for the new year.
On the lower end, AMD will release its 760G chipset, an entry-level IGP part based on the RS780 architecture. DirectX10 and Shader Model 4.0 will both be represented in the760G, but noticeably absent will be the company's Unified Video Decoder (UVD), Hybrid CrossFireX technology, and HDMI and DisplayPort connectors.
A bit higher on the performance scale will be AMD's 790FX and 790GX IGP chipsets, both of which will support AM3 and the SB750 southbridge. Later in the year, AMD will introduce its RS880 IGP chipset, followed by the RD890 in September.
Judging by the reader comments in past news blurbs regarding bandwidth caps, the general consensus appears to be that they suck, regardless of the limit being imposed. Not only have opponents attacked the concept of a set cap, but many of you voiced concerns over the inability to track your internet usage to know when you're approaching the newly imposed GB ceiling. Come January, that's going to change for some customers.
According to DSLReports, Comcast will start offering its subscribers a bandwidth usage meter, possibly by the first week in January. However, Comcast is being careful not to commit to a set date, saying it will first test the meter out with an employee trial.
"When that testing is complete, we plan to launch the meter to all of our high-speed Internet customers, said Comcast spokesperson Charlie Douglas. "It will be available for free via a customer's Comcast.net account and it will enable them to very easily keep track of their aggregate data usage each month."
Would a free bandwidth meter make the 250GB easier to swallow? Hit the jump and sound off.