Few companies wouldn't mind switching places with Google, who posted a $1.25 billion profit, but when you're the undisputed champ of the online world (or if you're Dr. Evil), a measly billion dollars just isn't enough. Along with earnings per share of $3.92, the numbers aren't adding up to what analysts had predicted, leaving many to wonder if the online advertising market might be taking a turn for the worse. Google Cheif Economist Hal Varian sees it differently, saying:
"Consumers are being cautious in their online spending patterns just as they are in the offline spending. Despite the weakness in the economy, advertising seems to be hodling up remarkably well in most sectors. This illustrates the point that we've made several times that during periods of slow economic growth, the last thing an advertiser wants to cut is its spending on search-based advertising."
But Varians comments did little to assuage investors, nor did posting gross sales of $5.37 billion, marking a 39 percent improvement over one year ago and hitting analysts' estimates. The company's shares still managed to drop 10 percent to $479.70 in after-hours trading.
Given the overall growth and $12.7 billion in cash, is the panic justified?
Be wary of the disgruntled IT guy. No really, be wary. He most likely won’t be in to gun anyone down, but he may lock you out of the computer system. That’s just what happened to the City of San Francisco. Terry Childs a network engineer who helped create the city’s new multimillion dollar FiberWan system had reportedly faced disciplinary problems at work. He is now accused of hijacking the city FiberWan system locking out all other Admins.
While the system continues to run normally, administrators can’t make changes to the framework of the system. They’ve called in experts to get into the system but it could take several weeks.
Childs first gave up a bogus password to police. He has now clammed up and is refusing to cooperate. He is currently being held in jail in lieu of $5 million bail.
San Francisco's mayor, Gavin Newsom, described Childs as a formerly well-regarded worker who had apparently turned into a "rogue employee that got a bit maniacal", "He was very good at what he did, and sometimes that goes to people's heads".
Solid state drives (SSDs) are usually considered to be more power efficient, faster, and in some respects more reliable than hard disk drives and they command a hefty premium over other drives. Dell's offering of a 128GB solid-state drive as an option on its Latitude, XPS, Alienware, and Precision laptop models for $649 is a steep drop price drop since many SSDs with half of that capacity still sell for more than $700. Is it really worth it? The IDC released a report that claims the performance gap between SSDs and lower-cost high-performance hard disk drives is not that significant at the system level.
TargetTech.com quotes David Reinsel, one of the authors of the report, "Many tests have been done comparing 4,200 rpm hard drives to SSDs, but 5,400 rpm is now mainstream and even 7,200 rpm disks are available." He adds that the gap between performance in systems with 7,200 rpm 2.5-inch drives and systems with SSDs was much smaller than expected, mainly because of the performance of the system as a whole rather than just the storage device. Reinsel goes on to say, "There will be what's called a 'period of interdependency' with this technology. It isn't just plug and play." He suggests that system redesigns will be necessary in PCs and enterprise systems to gain the full benefit from flash.
If you are the ultra curious type and have ten grand to blow you can grab the report here. My credit card just laughed at me for trying.
Even though SSDs have dropped in price, they still are not a good performance item for the price point. A Fujitsu 120GB 7200 RPM 8MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb OEM notebook drive is going for $99, versus a $640 SSD with the same capacity. The price savings can buy you a lot of other goodies. We will have to wait for systems to be updated to take advantage of SSD drives and of course in the mean time, the price will continue to go down. When will it be the right price point versus performance for you to make the switch?
Cell phone technology has come a long way since it was first introduced, and just as we can't help but snicker when catching a glimpse of the old beige bricks that started it all, it won't be long before today's mobile phones will be considered equally rudimentary. But even with the rapid pace of technology, it took Apple's iPhone to change the game, ushering in what's sure to be a new era of nifty must-have functionality. But what exactly will the post-iPhone cell phone be capable of?
Popular Science whips out its crystal ball so you don't have to, and what they've come up with are five different features that are all destined to come to future cell phones no later than 2009. More than just a wishlist, Popular Science explained the reasoning behind each category and which companies are at work on each technology. PC-grade computing and graphics by late 2009? Sign us up! The list looks sound, but one must-have feature noticeably absent is Sprint's crime deterrent system.
What features would you like to see in tomorrow's cell phones?
Usually when a company releases a product containing with a worm, it's not a good thing. But when that WORM comes in all caps, the nomenclature takes a whole different meaning. In this case, SanDisk has developed a card that can be written to only one time, after which it becomes a read-only card. That's not something that will appeal to home users, but SanDisk's WORM (Write Once Read Many) media means police and courtrooms no longer need to reject SD cards as evidence for fear of tampering.
Potential uses for WORM cards include police witness and suspect interviews, cash registers, electronic voting, security cameras, in-flight 'black boxes,' medical devices containing patient information, and anything else where a permanent one-time write would be desirable. Once written to, SanDisk claims the new cards will retain the data for up to 100 years. "As digital media volume has grown and surpassed traditional analogue media such as film and audio cassettes in the consumer market, law enforcement agencies and other professionals are facing rising costs and lack of supply," said Christopher Moore, director of product marketing for OEM memory cards at SanDisk.
The SD cards currently come in 128MB versions, but beefier WORMs are expected later this year. Yummy.
Last month, Opera Software had announced that the long awaited and much delayed Opera Mobile 9.5 was undergoing alpha testing and the beta version would become available for download on July 15th, 2008. And, miraculously enough, Opera didn’t disappoint this time around and stuck to its promise.
Just to let you know, this release doesn’t offer support for non-touchscreen Windows Mobile phones. You can download the new browser for free and catch a glimpse of the various enhancements. I believe that this news might not excite those who own an Opera 9.5-bearing HTC Diamond or have downloaded a ripped version of the browser.
Whether you work in a large enterprise, small business, or are the network guru to your own home's PCs, the pressure to connect a new system right now can be overwhelming. To find out how you can head off trouble by hardening a new (or reloaded) system before it gets its first whiff of the Internet, join us after the jump.
The man who has been perched atop AMD’s corporate hierarchy since April, 2004, and overseen the company’s horrendous streak of six consecutive quarterly losses – still unbroken, has stepped down as AMD’s CEO. Hector Ruiz will now be replaced by, Dirk Meyer, heir apparent to AMD’s throne of thorns. But he won’t leave AMD altogether and will don the role of executive chairman.
Had AMD advertised for this job instead of roping in Dirk Meyer straightaway, the advertisement would have carried a warning: this job carries a great – possibly grave - risk of hypertension and nervous breakdown, please, apply at your discretion.
Dirk Meyer held the reigns of the team that developed the first Athlon processor and has served as the company’s president and chief operating officer. Leading AMD is a job that will currently find very few takers and so Mr.Meyer might need your best wishes
Phoenix Technologies has announced that its Hyperspace firmware will serve as the inviolable bulwark of NEC laptops. Hyperspace is a Linux-based firmware which ensures that indispensable applications like anti-virus and firewall keep on running even if the main OS is dysfunctional. The firmware works in conjunction with Phoneix’s hypervisor called HyperCore.
The Hyperspace firmware is also capable of running other apps ala Asus’ Splashtop instant-on OS but the version running on NEC notebooks will only support core security apps.The introduction of Hyperspace on NEC’s notebooks will guarantee enhanced levels of security to its customers as the core security apps will be immune to even the most sophisticated malware attacks.
Say what you will about Best Buy's Geek Squad and Circuit City's Firedog computer repair centers, but no matter what amount of ridicule each one might receive in tech circles, those without access to a next-of-kin techspert find themselves using the oft overpriced (and sometimes overzealous) services offered by each. Now Wal-Mart wants a piece of the fix-my-PC pie too.
According to the mega-chain, Dell is testing a repair and installation service for electronics in up to 15 of its stores in the Dallas area. The "Solution Stations" will not only offer PC repair, but HDTV and home theater installation, wireless support, and other electronic services.
"For Wal-Mart, the program provides an opportunity for us to understand more about what our customers need and expect in home installation and technology services, within a specific market," the company said in a statement on its website. Wal-Mart also indicated that the program is a small pilot and that there are currently no plans to expand outside of Dallas beyond the 15 select stores.
And what about pricing? According to the Dallas Morning News, memory installation will run $29 in-store, or $99 if making a house-call. To install a wall-mounted TV, connect cables, and integrate three video components, it is charging $289.
So it's official; you can now get everything and the kitchen sink at Wal-Mart, and that includes PC repair. But would you want to?