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Is Windows 8 worth it?

Windows 8 is great!

Back to Windows 7!

What is windows 8?

Posted by Christo [PCD]
Votes: 115
Previous polls


Wednesday 20 June 2007
Microsoft Sues Immersion for Contract Breach Following Sony Deal
Christo [PCD] , Wednesday 20 June 2007 - 17:43:08 //

Microsoft asks Immersion to pay up after Sony regains rumble rights

While Immersion may have closed its books on its legal battle with Sony over the patent rights to force feedback controllers, its chapters with Microsoft on the matter are about to be reopened. Microsoft said on Monday that has filed suit against Immersion for contract breach as a result of the Immersion-Sony settlement.

"We entered into a binding licensing agreement with Immersion and are seeking to have that agreement honored," Microsoft Associate General Counsel Steve Aeschbacher said to CNET in a statement. "Microsoft licenses technology both in and out and relies on these agreements to be honored and enforced. Our request to the court is that all companies and industry partners should play by the same rules and that the binding agreement we signed with Immersion be honored."

During 2002 to 2003, Immersion was in legal battles with Microsoft and Sony over its vibrating controllers. While Sony fought and eventually lost the case (and later came to an agreement), Microsoft negotiated a royalty payment program with Immersion. As part of Microsoft’s deal, Immersion will pay Microsoft should a settlement with Sony be reached.

The lawsuit (PDF), as noted by Seattle P-I’s Microsoft blog, details Immersion’s financial commitment:

"In particular, it provides that if Immersion settles the Sony Lawsuit ... for an amount up to $100,000,000, Immersion shall pay Microsoft the sum of $15,000,000. If Immersion settles the Sony Lawsuit for an amount between $100,000,000 and $150,000,000, Immersion shall pay Microsoft an additional amount equal to 25% of the amount of the settlement in excess of $100,000,000. If Immersion Settles the Sony Lawsuit for an amount in excess of $150,000,000, Immersion shall pay Microsoft an additional amount equal to 17.5% of the amount of the settlement in excess of $150,000,000."

Immersion acknowledges its agreement with Microsoft in its Form 10Q filing, but deflects any form of payment obligations:

"The Company has determined that the conclusion of its litigation with Sony Computer Entertainment does not trigger any payment obligations under its Microsoft agreements. However, in a letter sent to the Company dated May 1, 2007, Microsoft disputed the Company's position and stated that it believes the Company owes Microsoft at least $27.5 million. If Microsoft brings a lawsuit to further dispute the Company's position, the Company intends to oppose Microsoft's claims and vigorously defend the Company's position."

Immersion’s contract with Microsoft outlines a payment should a settlement be reached with Sony, which Immersion believes that it hasn’t as it terms the recent deal as a business agreement. In its annual report, Immersion did spell out to its shareholders that Microsoft could pursue legal action as a result of its agreement with Sony:

"The Company believes that it is not obligated under its agreements with Microsoft to make any payment to Microsoft relating to the conclusion of the patent litigation with Sony Computer Entertainment. However, it is uncertain that Microsoft will accept the Company's position or that the Company will ultimately prevail with its position... In the event that Microsoft were to prevail, the Company would be obligated to pay Microsoft a minimum of $15.0 million for any amounts received from Sony up to $100.0 million, plus 25% of any amounts over $100.0 million and up to $150.0 million and 17.5% of any amounts over $150.0 million."

Immersion has yet to publically respond to the Microsoft lawsuit.

[Submitted by Christo [PCD]]

1 1182352810 Micros

Sunday 03 June 2007
NVIDIA Facing 51 Pending Lawsuits
Christo [PCD] , Sunday 03 June 2007 - 22:05:36 //

NVIDIA under fire for anti-competitive and price fixing business practices

Analysts expect a stormy summer as NVIDIA faces not one, but fifty-one pending lawsuits. The 51 civil complaints filed against NVIDIA claim that the company participated in anti-competitive business agreements and price fixing strategies. Some of these civil suits allege that NVIDIA entered into these agreements with graphics rival AMD.

In March 2007, 42 civil suits were filed against NVIDIA for anti-competitive business practices; 14 of those suits alleged that the company colluded with AMD to fix prices. According to NVIDIA, most of the suits were filed in the Northern District of California. NVIDIA states that while there appear to be many civil suits, all of the suits are putative class-actions, indicating that they are from direct or indirect purchasers of NVIDIA graphics products.

Price fixing occurs when a company enters an agreement with its competitor to set a minimum selling price for a particular product or family of products. In this case, many of the suits allege that AMD (then ATI) and NVIDIA artificially inflated the value of high-end and enthusiast components.

Currently there is roughly an even-split in market share between AMD and NVIDIA, with NVIDIA holding 28.5% of the graphics market and AMD picking up another 23%. AMD saw the biggest loss last year with the introduction of NVIDIA's G80-family GPUs -- the company's high-end GPU.

Late last year AMD and NVIDIA received subpoenas from the U.S. Department of Justice alleging that both companies violated antitrust laws. The suit was sparked after AMD's acquisition of ATI was approved, which lead to the belief that NVIDIA had somehow cooperated with AMD in regards to the acquisition. The fact that AMD and NVIDIA are long time partners also sparked debate, but the U.S. Department of Justice did not reveal any specific allegations against AMD, ATI or NVIDIA.

Along with the U.S. Department of Justice, Intel also issued subpoenas against AMD and ATI, requesting that all documents related to the AMD-ATI merger be reviewed. Intel, also under anti-trust litigation with AMD, was unsuccessful in lobbying for further sanctions. AMD successfully absorbed ATI last year.

AMD senior executives indicated last year that even with ATI under its wing, it will still be cooperating, while simultaneously competing, with NVIDIA for the foreseeable future.

[Submitted by Christo [PCD]]

1 1180898763 NVIDIA

Wednesday 11 April 2007
Memory vending machines begin to tip up
Biofreak , Wednesday 11 April 2007 - 11:17:57 //

Packet of salt \'n\' vinegar, bottle of pop and 2Gb of memory

By INQUIRER newsdesk: Tuesday 10 April 2007, 16:28

WHAT IS BILLED AS the world\'s first Flash memory vending machine has today been installed at London Gatwick Airport\'s North Terminal.

The box will dole out Kingston Memory\'s SD cards, CompactFlash cards and DataTraveler USB drives and other bits and bobs to travellers bustling through the airport.

[Machine with proud parents.]

Kingston is supplying the memory products to Jersey-based firm MyMemory which operates the vending machines. According to Kingston sales director, Ann Keefe, consumers \"want instant access to SD cards and USB drives as they need them 24/7, so vending machines in public spaces was the most obvious solution.\"

The vending machines operate using chip and pin card transactions and are likely to be installed in other in \"high-traffic\" public spaces across the UK, if the scheme proves successful.

[Submitted by Biofreak]

Sunday 11 February 2007
Video Games Improve Vision by 20 Percent
Christo [PCD] , Sunday 11 February 2007 - 13:17:24 //

Research says playing video games improves your bottom line on a standard eye chart

Video games that contain high levels of action can actually improve your vision, claim researchers at the University of Rochester. Their findings, which will appear in the journal Psychological Science, show that people who played action video games for a few hours a day over the course of a month improved by about 20 percent in their ability to identify letters presented in clutter—a visual acuity test similar to ones used in regular ophthalmology clinics.

“Action video game play changes the way our brains process visual information,? says Daphne Bavelier, professor of brain and cognitive sciences at the University of Rochester. “After just 30 hours, players showed a substantial increase in the spatial resolution of their vision, meaning they could see figures like those on an eye chart more clearly, even when other symbols crowded in.?

Bavelier and graduate student Shawn Green tested college students who had played few, if any, video games in the last year. “That alone was pretty tough,? says Green. “Nearly everybody on a campus plays video games.?

At the outset, the students were given a crowding test, which measured how well they could discern the orientation of a “T? within a crowd of other distracting symbols—a sort of electronic eye chart. Students were then divided into two groups. The experimental group played Unreal Tournament for roughly one hour a day. The control group played Tetris, a game the researchers believe is equally demanding in terms of motor control, but visually less complex than the shooter.

After about a month of near-daily gaming, the Tetris players showed no improvement on the test, but the Unreal Tournament players could tell which way the “T? was pointing much more easily than they had just a month earlier.

“When people play action games, they're changing the brain's pathway responsible for visual processing,? says Bavelier. “These games push the human visual system to the limits and the brain adapts to it. That learning carries over into other activities and possibly everyday life.?

The improvement was seen both in the part of the visual field where video game players typically play, but also beyond—the part of your vision beyond the monitor. The students' vision improved in the center and at the periphery where they had not been “trained.? That suggests that people with visual deficits, such as amblyopic patients, may also be able to gain an increase in their visual acuity with special rehabilitation software that reproduces an action game's need to identify objects very quickly.

Students had to quickly identify the orientation of the middle "T" - Action game players could do it better - Image courtesy University of Rochester

[Submitted by Christo [PCD]]

1 1171192484 Video

Saturday 03 February 2007
Bill Gates Speaks on Windows, Criticizes Mac Ads
Christo [PCD] , Saturday 03 February 2007 - 10:21:31 //

Bill Gates takes exception to Apple's "lying" ads

With the launch of Windows Vista, Bill Gates is giving it the proverbial ‘one hundred and ten percent’ in explaining to everyone in the world why they should care about the new operating system.

In response to analyst speculation that Windows Vista could be the last Microsoft operating system of its kind, as we know it, Gates replies to Newsweek, “Well, people have said that at every major Windows release. Java was going to eliminate Windows programming, or thin clients were going to eliminate people buying PCs.?

The Microsoft chairman says that operating systems keep getting better and richer and that there are no shortages of radical things that will be happening in the next release. When asked if Microsoft will be back with a new OS in 2010-2011, Gates was confident enough to say, “Absolutely.?

Gates said that the next version of Windows “will be more user-centric,? meaning that users should be able to move from PC to PC, whether or not it is their own, and still be able to access much of their own information by using Live Services, regardless of where they are. “So even if you drop by a [public] kiosk or somebody else's PC, we can bring down your home page, your files, your fonts, your favorites and those things.?

“In Vista things got a lot better with [digital] ink and speech but by the next release there will be a much bigger bet,? Gates predicted. “Students won't need textbooks, they can just use these tablet devices.?

“Parallel computing is pretty important for the next release. We'll make it so that a lot of the high-level graphics will be just built into the operating system. So we've got a pretty good outline,? he said.

Coming back to the present, one of the big advantages that Windows Vista provides is a platform for users to jump to for getting instantly caught up on a lot of new technology and security features. Although some of the improvements in Vista can already be found in downloadable updates for Windows XP, the majority of users do not take advantage of added features through Windows Update.

Take, for example, Internet Explorer 7, which is offered to all Windows XP users as an optional update. According to Gates, less than a third of Windows XP users downloaded the new browser, and even less take advantage of less advertised new additions. So how many people have upgraded to IE7? “I would say it's less than 30 percent,? Gates replied. “We’ve had this incredible desktop search [available for download] that won every review, and I’ll bet that less than 10 percent of Windows users went and got that. Now with Windows Vista, you get something better. For most users, it’s the first time they’ve seen it at all.?

With Windows Vista, Microsoft expects that the “wow starts now,? as stated by one of its advertising slogans. But in early January, one of the new Apple TV ads pushing the apparent social-cool factor of a Mac depicted poor “PC? as having to undergo surgery just to upgrade to Windows Vista (see the commercial here). While Bill Gates admits that he hasn’t seen that particular ad, he’s taking exception to the depiction of the PC. “I don't think the over 90 percent of the [population] who use Windows PCs think of themselves as dullards, or the kind of klutzes that somebody is trying to say they are,? he said.

“And I don't know why [Apple is] acting like it’s superior. I don't even get it. What are they trying to say?? Gates continues to express his disgust with the Apple ads: “Does honesty matter in these things, or if you're really cool, that means you get to be a lying person whenever you feel like it? There's not even the slightest shred of truth to it.?

“And I don't know why [Apple is] acting like it’s superior. I don't even get it. What are they trying to say?? - Bill Gates on the Mac ads
[Submitted by Christo [PCD]]

1 1170490690 Bill G

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