It’s unfortunate to see Microsoft so clearly working backwards in a progressive music market. In a world run by DRM-free services like Amazon, Lala and Apple, its confusing to see a giant like Microsoft moving towards DRM when it comes to loading music on mobile phones.
According to Hugh Griffiths, Microsoft’s Head of Mobile at Microsoft UK, “It's a first step. We're doing this in conjunction with a third-party provider. We'll be looking to enhance the service if we get some interest from consumers. They certainly tell us that they like listening to music while they are out and about, on their mobile phones.”
On top of that, there’s currently no announced way for customers to move music between their mobile phone and their computer. And, to further dig the grave of the service, the tracks will be selling for nearly $2 (American) per song, compared to Apple and Amazon’s 79 – 99 cents.
Lets just hope that either Microsoft takes their stake out of the DRM-fueled music game before some unsuspecting people get swindled into buying crippled music, or they drastically change their tactics.
Now that we’ve got Barack Obama in the White House, correct oath or not, the planned $6 billion stimulus package should finally be on its way. But, according to a recent study, most Americans that don’t already have broadband simply don’t want it.
Many Americans don’t see broadband as the saving grace that those that have it do. For example, 19 percent of dial-up users said that nothing would get them to upgrade, not even lowered prices. Of the 25 percent that don’t regularly use the Internet at all (too busy watching mid-day reruns of MacGyver), one third stated that they’re not even interested in going online, whereas an additional 10 percent claimed that they thought it was too difficult.
While many of these statements may hold water today, one can only hope to see what this planned broadband stimulus will bring to the table. Perhaps a healthy dose of cheap, fast broadband is just what the doctor ordered? Plus, it’s difficult to think about all of the modems still making that wretched screech after all these years.
Last year it was Biostar -- and not Asus, DFI, or Gigabyte -- who set a frontside bus world record with its Biostar TPower I45 motherboard, and further blurring the lines between traditional enthusiast branding and companies better known for taking the budget end of the spectrum, A-Data -- not OCZ, Corsair, or Kingston -- has just broken a benchmarking record of its own.
"A-DATA® Technology Co., Ltd., a worldwide leading manufacturer in high performance memory products, announced today that its XPG™ DDR3 memory modules have broke a new world record on SuperPi 32m," A-Data stated in a press release. "The record was set by utilizing the DFI Lanparty UT X58 motherboard and XPG X Series v2.0 memory, the DDR3-2133X v2.0 2GBx3 triple-channel kit."
The new record now sits at 6min 40sec 360ms, which required overclocking A-Data's triple-channel DDR3-2133X v2.0 kit to 2237MHz with 8-7-7-21 latencies. A-Data didn't say how much voltage it took to reach that frequency, but if we had to guess, we'd say it ran high. The same kit comes rated at 2.05V-2.15V with 10-10-10-30 latencies at its stock frequency.
CodaOctopus Colmek describes its new Stinger 553 rig as "a rugged tactical small form factor PC," but calling it a bomb shelter for your PC hardware would have been just as appropriate. Protected by an aluminum alloy chassis that's both corrosion and splash resistant, CodaOctopus Colmek says it built the Stinger 553 to MIL-STD-810F and MIL-STD-461E environmental standards and MIL-STD0404E power supply voltage standards. That means it can withstand freezing rain, high humidity, gunfire vibration, sand, dust, fungus, and a host of other unpleasantries.
On the inside sits an intel Atom processor, 2GB of RAM, 128GB SSD, and Windows XPe, WinCE, Linux, or VxWorks. Rounding out the spec sheet are 8x USB 2.0 ports, 4x SATA ports, 7x RS-232 serial ports, and more..
It looks as though the United States will not only get its first Chief Technology Officer (CTO), but according to the Agenda for Homeland Security, the Obama administration also plans to hire a new national cyber advisor. The report, which was released on Wednesday, lists several goals for combating terrorism, including ways to protect information networks.
Chief among the goals of protecting information networks is to "declare the cyber infrastructure a strategic asset and establish the position of national cyber advisor who will report directly to the president and will be responsible for coordinating federal agency efforts and development of national cyber policy."
Other related goals listed in the report include initiating a safe computing R&D effort, protect the IT infrastructure, prevent corporate cyber-espionage, develop a cyber crime strategy to minimize the opportunities for criminal profit, and mandate standards for securing personal data and require companies to disclose personal information data breaches.
In a recent blog entry, the Google Desktop team outlined exactly why it is the search giant has favored keeping its widgets open source for the community. These include:
Source code can be a valuable learning tool. The gadgets not only show you how to develop Desktop gadgets (and) integrate with Google APIs, but also provide other tidbits of knowledge such as how to calculate phases of the moon or StarDates.
The images and graphics are also open-sourced....We hope people can take advantage of our graphic designers' talents.
We get warm fuzzy feelings by simply supporting the cause. It fosters a spirit of openness and collaboration between the team and developer community.
And really, who can argue with warm fuzzy feelings? Silly as it may sound, CNet says it might also be the most important reason, even from a business perspective, as open source makes a great recruiting and retention tool for top employees, which can be vital as companies try to weather a struggling economy.
Hit the jump and tell us what gives you warm fuzzy feelings.
Here’s the scoop: Battlefield Heroes, EA’s free-to-play, browser-based FPS, is just about ready for the big show, but needs your help in the make-up room. And get this! So does Relic’s massively anticipated RTS Dawn of War II. Who will you rescue? Now allow us to blow your mind: you can have both.
For Battlefield, you need only follow this link to the dank den of EA’s sleeping monster. Once there, simply create an EA account, fill out a sign-up form and wait. Doing these steps out of order is inadvisable.
Dawn of War II’s beta will officially brighten up PC gamers’ days on January 28th, but if you’d like early access (read: you could be playing it RIGHT NOW), you’ll need a copy of Dawn of War: Soulstorm. Luckily, Soulstorm just so happens to have been marked down to $7.50 on Steam. However, note that this sweet deal (75% off!) is temporary and will expire on January 28th.
Now go! Don’t worry about us; we only want your happiness!
“Huh?! Oh – hello there. Sorry if we seem a tad shaken; we’ve been playing the newly released F.E.A.R. 2: Project Origin demo, and the default control scheme must’ve jammed our pretzeled fingers right into an alt-tab. Guess we should have seen that coming after the first F.E.A.R.’s somewhat cumbersome default controls, but then, we can’t lean around corners anymore, so forgive us for our lack of vision.
Now then, we’re just going to hop back into the game and—hey! Is that crying? Oh my, we think it’s a little girl. And she’s all alone, her tears softly landing atop the spilled jars of strawberry jam she was clearly trying to sell. Talk to you later, everyone; we’re off to become some little girl’s hero!”
Nvidia recently announced that they’ll be releasing a new “professional video editing accelerator bundle” based on their Quadro CX platform. The bundle consists of a Quadro CX video card and Adobe Premiere Pro CS4, and they claim that it will be able to encode H.264 video four times faster than a dual-core CPU.
Nvidia reports that rendering times for a one-hour movie requires 10 hours on a dual-core CPU, whereas with their Quadro CX it would only take two hours and 35 minutes.
So if you’re looking to get yourself into the video editing game with a powerful bundle like this one, be sure to act fast. The bundle will be going for $1,999 until March 31, 2009. After that, the bundle will jump up to $2,299.
Along with Sony, it looks like Microsoft is going to be heavily cutting jobs. The Redmond based software-maker is looking to cut nearly 5,000 jobs (or 5 percent of their workforce) over the next 18 months. Nearly 1,400 of these layoffs happened immediately.
“Economic activity and IT spend slowed beyond our expectations in the quarter, and we acted quickly to reduce our cost structure and mitigate its impact,” said Chief Financial Officer Chris Liddell in a statement. “We are planning for economic uncertainty to continue through the remainder of the fiscal year, almost certainly leading to lower revenue and earnings for the second half, relative to the previous year. In this environment, we will focus on outperforming our competitors and addressing our cost structure.”
Reportedly, they’ll be delaying raises and lessening their vendor and contractor workforce as well. Microsoft projects that moves like these will cut its annual operating costs by $1.5 billion and reduce fiscal-year 2009 expenditures by $700 million.