Thursday, March 05, 2009

Nvidia Mulls X86 Chip for Low-cost Computers


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Nvidia may develop an integrated x86-based chip for use in low-cost computers, an Nvidia executive said this week, a move that would step up its rivalry with Intel.

Nvidia is considering developing an integrated chip based on the x86 architecture for use in devices such as netbooks and mobile Internet devices (MIDs), said Michael Hara, vice president of investor relations at Nvidia, during a speech that was webcast from the Morgan Stanley Technology Conference on Tuesday.

Why would NVIDIA do this? Because, as a recent and widely linked Jon Peddie report correctly points out, the integrated graphics processor (IGP) will eventually go away, as integrated GPUs move off of the chipset and onto the processor die. IGPs are a huge and very successful part of NVIDIA's volume business, and the company can't afford to see that segment left solely to Intel at a future date when all mobile x86 processors come with an on-board GPU.

If a smartphone maker like Nokia goes with ARM, then it can choose from a variety of suppliers like TI or Qualcomm. This competition among sources is healthy and gets the handset maker a lower price; it also guarantees a supply of ARM chips, because if one supplier goes under you can just move on to the next. Intel can't offer this with x86, but NVIDIA as a credible second source of x86 mobile parts might be enough to get the world's most successful ISA into the phone market.

Before everybody gets their knickers in twists, NVIDIA is not going to show up in your general purpose desktop any time soon. Hara explained that it would most likely be a system-on-chip design for MIDs and netbooks. He spelled out a time frame of two to three years.

There isn't a firm timescale on such a development, though Hara suggested that "two or three years down the road I think it's going to make sense" but adding: "we won't talk much more about what we think about that timeframe, but there's no question it's on our minds."

Such speculation is all well and good; Nvidia already has SoC solutions using ARM CPUs, and it seems likely that tweaking those designs to accommodate an x86 processor wouldn't be particularly complicated. However it does gloss over the slight issue that Nvidia doesn't own an x86 license, which it needs if it wants to sell a CPU.

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Thursday, February 12, 2009

NCsoft confirms new layoffs - PC News at GameSpot

It is so said, that some well known companies have stuff not going well. The NCSoft, famous for the MMO games like Guild Wars and Lineage series, Tabula Rasa, City of Heroes and Villians, Auto Assault, Aion, has some trouble, starting with closing down all Tabula Rasa servers this month.

In September, Korean massively multiplayer online role-playing game company NCsoft announced sweeping plans to restructure its North American and European operations under a single, unified label: NCsoft West. Immediately, the initiative resulted in NCsoft laying off about 30 employees from its Austin, Texas studio and establishing an NCsoft West headquarters in Seattle, Washington.

Today, NCsoft announced what it plans to be the final element of its corporate restructuring efforts, revealing an additional round of layoffs that it expects will affect 70 to 90 employees. The cuts will primarily come in support services, and an NCsoft West representative assured GameSpot that no in-development projects will be adversely affected by the cuts.

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Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Why do they call it the "Big Bang", if there's nothing to it

I really don't understand the huge thing around the "Big Bang" stories going up and down, because there is nothing to it, no threat.

One argument raised against doomsday fears was that collisions at energies equivalent to and higher than those of the LHC have been happening in nature for billions of years apparently without hazardous effects, as ultra-high-energy cosmic rays impact Earth's atmosphere and other bodies in the universe.

There are several reports from other science groups that there are no threat, like the American Physical Society (2nd largest physics organization):

The safety of collisions at the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) was studied in 2003 by the LHC Safety Study Group, who concluded that they presented no danger. Here we review their 2003 analysis in light of additional experimental results and theoretical understanding, which enable us to confirm, update and extend the conclusions of the LHC Safety Study Group. The LHC reproduces in the laboratory, under controlled conditions, collisions at centre-of-mass energies less than those reached in the atmosphere by some of the cosmic rays that have been bombarding the Earth for billions of years.

In fact the goal of the whole project is quite important, and have nothing in connection with black holes:

Also note that the first collisions are planned to take place after the LHC is officially unveiled on 21 October 2008.

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Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Nokia buys out Symbian to create Google rival

With the change in the licensing of the Symbian operating system, something great is going to happen. Nokia has a huge userbase of the operating system, but it is not alone, by using this technology. Maybe some smaller competitors will have a chance to profit out of this change.

Nokia has announced plans to buy out its fellow shareholders in Symbian, the British mobile phone software developer, to create a free mobile phone operating system to compete with rivals such as Google

The Finnish mobile handset maker will pay €264 million (£209 million) for the 52.1 per cent stake in the London-based company it does not already own, buying out Sony Ericsson, Panasonic, Siemens and Samsung.

In addition, Nokia said it will establish the Symbian Foundation, together with other technology and telecoms heavyweights from across the industry, to create one free, open mobile software platform.

Nigel Clifford, chief executive of Symbian, was one of the main speakers during the press conference. He stressed that Symbian is the most widely used mobile-software platform on the planet. "The first 100 million devices took eight years to ship," he told the press conference. "The second 100 million took just two years."

Asked why Symbian is going to give away its licences now, after 10 years, he said: "What we are doing is releasing the deluge that will come from an ecosystem here. In the past, phone makers had to think about which user interface and operating-system combination they would use, then there were developers who had been faced with licence arrangements. This is epoch-making and very different from anything that has happened before."

Of course the entire move is also a clever pre-emptive strike against (most prominently) Google's open source Android OS though it is also likely to rankle feathers at Apple and Microsoft. Ambitiously, the entire unified Symbian OS is also scheduled to go completely open source inside two years with "selective components" at launch.

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Monday, June 23, 2008

What Privacy Policy?

I don't like, when my private data is shared with third party companies... How about You?

In response to a survey answered by 500 privacy and 900 marketing executives in industries ranging from health care to financial services, more than a third of marketing execs said they don't place any limits on the data they share with third parties, such as e-mail marketing agencies or online advertisers. By contrast, 75% of privacy officers believe that their companies limit the sharing of customer data.

More specifically, 80% of marketers said their organizations share e-mail addresses with third parties, compared with 47% of security and privacy officers. Other examples: 65% of marketers said they would distribute a customer's cellphone number, while 47% of privacy execs believe their companies banned the practice. Forty-five percent of marketers believe their companies shared credit card data, compared with 32% of privacy officers, and 29% of marketers believe their firms distribute social security numbers, compared with 7% of privacy professionals.

That disconnect may be one source of the annoying spam that plagues inboxes. Just 44% of marketers surveyed believe their organizations were in compliance with the CAN-SPAM act, a law that requires marketers to request permission to send email messages, disclose the messages' source and offer an opt-out function. Forty percent of marketing execs who responded weren't sure whether their companies followed the law.

Paul Bates, managing director of StrongMail UK, said: "Businesses have a moral, ethical obligation to keep private, personal customer data safe and secure.

"They should not be handing it out to third parties in the hope of making a fast buck. If they choose to do this, and then lose customer data, then they should at least be obliged to admit it."

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Government "Strike Teams" Invade Homes, Harass Flood Victims Perspective: How we went wrong on identity

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Wii firmware update causes outrage

Nintendo's latest Wii firmware download has outraged buyers of Datel's Freeloader device after it was revealed that it renders the add-on useless.
Datel's Freeloader device, which sells for around £10, allows Wii users to play games from any region on any machine.
After Nintendo launched its latest 3.3 firmware update last week, news soon emerged that the download stops the add-on from working.

Digital Spy was told by a 'disgruntled gamer': "I have spent good money buying imported games to play on my Wii and this firmware update has now stopped me from playing any of them.
"I am furious with Nintendo for forcing me to stop playing games I have spent a lot of money on. Surely this is not the way they should be treating loyal followers of the Wii."

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Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots

From the first time you lay eyes on Solid Snake in Metal Gear Solid 4, it's tempting to take him as a metaphor for the game as a whole. Here we have an old warhorse taking one final outing, seemingly out of place in the new world, with a few new technologies at his disposal, but weighed down by aging parts and an awful lot of baggage. And its true that there will be times when MGS4 feels oddly antiquated, and times when you'll wish it could have left a few old, bad habits behind. Yet, all the same, that doesn't stop it being an exceptional game - one of the few must-have titles on PS3, and one of the finest on any platform so far this year.

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Thursday, May 29, 2008

Beyond Good & Evil returns - Xbox News at GameSpot

If you've ever played a good Action Adventure game, Beyond Good & Evil is one of those. The critics liked it very much, although this did not look on the selling. I liked the original game, it was funny, logical and had a great story. Now it looks as the story is going to continue. I was looking at just a few hours before the Ubidays show started, but I unfortunately I missed the live version of it, but some sites have the trailer.

Earlier this month, Rayman creator Michel Ancel told French magazine JeuxVideo that he'd been in preproduction on a sequel to Beyond Good & Evil for a year, but the project had yet to receive a green light from Ubisoft. That go-ahead has apparently been given. The publisher capped off its Ubidays press event with a teaser trailer for Ancel's next project, and the clip featured the porcine sidekick of the original game, Pey'j.

Though no official announcement was made at Ubisoft's morning press conference, a video was shown designed to show off new advancements in graphics engine technology. It also barely concealed a hint that development has already begun on a sequel to the critically acclaimed Beyond Good and Evil.

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