Microsoft has clamped down its plans to launch an online subscription service for TV shows and movies, according to a report from Reuters. Microsoft were deep in discussion with potential programming partners for over 12 months now, and were, up until recently, planning to launch the service in the upcoming months.
They have done a 180-degree turn on that decision, after deciding that the licensing costs were too high for the business model they envisaged, according to people "familiar with the discussions". One senior media executive who was involved in these talks, said:
They built Microsoft TV, they demoed it for us, they asked for rate cards but then said 'ooh ah, that's expensive.'
Early versions of the service included the same Kinect-based features such as voice and motion control to change channels, and more. Similar to Netflix, Microsoft's service would've allowed a monthly fee for a package of programming from someone other than your local cable or satellite TV company. Being different to Netflix, Microsoft hoped to offer current TV shows and live networks on their service, which made it a much higher cost proposition.
CES 2012: Dell have plans to launch their first consumer tablet late this year, where it will face not only strong competition, but will go head-to-head with releases between now and then, too. With Apple and Samsung playing the David and Goliath battle in the consumer tablet market, how can Dell do something different to make customers not just want, but need their tablet.
Dell have had a successful lead in the boxed PC/notebook build-to-order market, but even now, they face slim profits and a market that doesn't quite want desktops or notebooks, as much, anymore. The enterprise-focused Streak tablet from Dell was just a test, and now they want some of that consumer tablet pie.
Chief Commercial Officer, Steve Felice, said at CES this week:
We have been taking our time. The general failure of everyone that's tried to introduce a tablet outside of Apple. You will see us enter this market in a bigger way toward the end of the year. So we are not really deemphasizing it, we are really being very careful how we enter it. When you are talking about PC, people are more focused on the hardware itself. When you are talking about the tablet or the smartphone, people are interested in the overall environment its operating in. As we have matured in this, we are spending a lot more time in the overall ecosystem.
Microsoft have shuffled their feet a little bit and released two patches for AMD's Bulldozer platform according to the AMD Blog. AMD note that the AMD FX processors sport a unique dual-core module architecture codenamed "Bulldozer", which current versions of Windows 7 were not specifically architected to utilize.
In AMD's initial testing of the upcoming Windows 8 OS, they've seen performance improvements of up to 10-percent in some applications when compared to Windows 7. This comes down to the fact that the system correctly recognizes the AMD FX processor architecture, and cores. AMD put this down to a close collaboration between Microsoft and AMD, where Microsoft completed back-porting of some of the Windows 8 scheduler code for AMD FX processors and baked it into a hotfix, now available, for Windows 7.
CES 2012: Mad Catz have just introduced a very interesting looking console controller. Enter the Mad Catz officially-licensed Major League Gaming (MLG) Pro Circuit controller for the Xbox 360. How is this different to any other controllers, you ask? Well, Mad Catz teamed up with Major League Gaming for one, and second, they engineered a high-end Xbox 360 gaming controller that must be not just seen, but used in order to appreciate.
It sports slip-deterring rubberized grips, a robust braided cable, and just looks beautiful. One thing that Mad Catz have changed up is that the directional pad and thumb sticks are, wait for it, modular. You can rip these puppies out and swap them around! If you like your Xbox 360-style controller, keep it as is. If you like the PlayStation 3-style (where the thumb sticks are side-by-side), then pull them out and change it. Feel like a cool kid? Well, keep it custom and do it your own way.
CES 2012 - This morning we ventured out to the Las Vegas Country Club where the folks over at ioSafe held one of their now famous CES demo-lition events. In previous years they've done things like take media to a shooting arrange to blast the hell out of their drives and have done other things like run over the drive with massive earth movers and such.
This year Robb Moore and his team at ioSafe decided to do something new and setup a "Cage of Death" with a near enough to one million volt Tesla coil operated by Telsa expert Doctor Megavolt. Media were put into a nearby cage at a fairly safe distance from the proceeding bolts of lightning and inside the main cage the brand new ioSafe Thunderbolt drive was put to the test to see how it could with standard an extreme amount of electricity coming right at the device.
After the demo CEO Robb Moore of ioSafe reconnected the drive back to the system and it ended up working just fine. There were a few other little "magic tricks" during the show but we cannot reveal that at this stage since other media are still going to be attending the event tomorrow. The main message was that ioSafe is very serious about protecting your data and will go to big lengths to make that happen...
Well, I know what I want to be when I grow up. 2011 was an amazing year financially for Tim Cook, becoming the CEO of Apple after Steve Jobs passed away, he took in a new salary and a bunch of stock awards. By a bunch, I mean a lot and by a lot, I mean over $377 million worth.
According to Apple's 2012 Proxy Statement, Cook received $377,996,537 in total compensation last year, compared to Jobs' compensation which was exactly $1. Cook only took in $900,000 as a salary in 2011, but received an insanely large bonus in restricted stock units, vesting in two five-year increments and doled out with his appointment to the CEO throne, took his total compensation through the roof.
This isn't the first time Apple gave its CEO a bunch of stock options, back in 2006, Steve Jobs received $646.6 million, most of which was given in stock options. Just imagine that, opening up your Internet Banking page, and seeing all those numbers. I'd most likely find myself on the floor three days later, passing out from pure shock.
CES 2012: We RumorTT'd about this a few days ago, but speaking at a "roundtable with reporters" at CES, Sony's Kaz Hirai answered a question about the possibility of the PlayStation 4 being shown off at E3 later this year. Hirai said:
Andy (House) is absolutely right in that we are not making any announcements at E3. I've always said a 10-year life cycle for PS3, and there is no reason to go away from that.
Now, I'd like to go on record and call BS on this statement of a "10-year cycle", and at least bet we'll see a PS4 before the PS3 has been out for 10 years. Also, wouldn't it be perfect to pretend to let your guard down "hey guys, we're not teasing the PS4 at E3", while Sony are sitting there waiting for Microsoft to either unveil a new console, or hold off expecting Sony to not have anything.
Not only are new consoles needed because the current-gen consoles are ageing (we're in a Full HD era playing sub-HD games at sub-30fps), but Nintendo will catch up and even surpass them in terms of technological capabilities when the Wii U launches. What a slap in the face to the "HD gaming era" we supposedly entered. Sony and Microsoft need less than 5-year cycles, considering the tech pace smartphones and tablets are jumping at.
Thank you, Reddit. For being one of the biggest sites on the Internet opposed to the ridiculous, corrupt crap that is SOPA (Stop Online Piracy Act). We've covered it a few times now and I'm completely, 100-percent opposed to it. This is something where everyone needs to be aware, and pass news around as much as possible to make others aware.
If SOPA is passed, everything you know about the Internet will change, completely. It will not be the same. It's pretty much the censorship of the entire Internet. Reddit, being as strong as they are, and very community-based, are fighting against it. Reddit will be blacking out their entire site on January 18 from 8am-8pm EST (1300-0100 UTC) as a protest.
Reddit will simply display a message about how the PIPA/SOPA legislation would shut down sites like Reddit, and they'll link users to resources where they can learn more, and suggest ways they can take action. They'll also showcase the live video stream of the House hearing, where Internet entrepreneurs and technical experts will be testifying.
CES 2012: Something that has been needed for a while is external graphics for notebooks, but bandwidth has always been an issue. How do you solve this? Well, if you're MSI, you wait until Thunderbolt hits, wait until CES and then show it off in person.
MSI showed off "GUS II", which is a prototype at this stage and was hooked up to a MacBook Pro. GUS II had a Radeon HD 5770 rocking inside, and was rendering the Unigine Heaven demo, driving an external display. Better yet, MSI says that GUS II supports double-wise PCI-Express x16 graphics cards, with power consumption up to 150W. This is the most power available from a single PCIe slot, plus one 6-pin power connector.
Pricing and availability are, as usual, not known at this time. But, with Intel's 22nm Ivy Bridge processors, we could see Thunderbolt pulled into the mainstream and then we could see a sudden rush of external graphics. This means notebooks could be sold with integrated graphics and if you wanted any more GPU juice out of them, you could tap some Thunderbolt-powered external graphics.
The latest happenings from around the web - January 11th, 2012
- ZOTAC GeForce GTX 560 Ti 448 cores vs. GeForce GTX 570 - Hardware-Mag.de
- Sapphire Radeon HD 7970 Quad-CrossFire First Look Performance - HardwareHeaven
- BitFenix Raider Mid-Tower Case Review - Hardware Canucks
- Rosewill Thor V2 Review - TechREACTION