AMD had some good news this morning. It seems that although they are running far behind Intel in the CPU market and behind nVidia in the desktop GPU market they are the leader in the Discrete Mobile GPU market.
This is an interesting turn of events since nVidia has been shoving its higher end mobile GPUs into everything it can. The reasons for the change are probably less complex than you would think.
The biggest reason is going to be the lingering effect of the defective bump material that is still hurting nVidia. Since the effects of this appeared to be confined to the mobile GPU space it has only impacted consumer confidence in this small area.
AMD for its part was quick to take advantage of the situation and managed to release a few 40nm parts that offer good performance/power/cost ratios. This caused more than a few OEMs to take note and make the switch to AMD products. With a larger number of AMD GPUs and low consumer opinion of nVidia mobile products AMD managed to grab a nice 53% market share. This is a 36.5% increase in market share in the first six months of 2009.
If AMD can turn this new consumer confidence to their advantage (and not sit back and relax) they can possibly gain market share in the desktop market as part of a trickle effect.
More news about the iPhone but this one has a little twist. We always hear about how insanely popular the App Store is. It is on the TV, on the web you name it, there is Apple telling you that.
But you know what? It is not the App store at all, it is the Apps. Yes here I am to state the obvious. People like the idea of downloading and installing different applications for their mobile devices. To prove this point Cydia, the most popular of the third party applications repositories has just passed over 53,000 purchases totaling in almost $.25 million US dollars.
This number will only grow as Apple continues to ostracize its own developers. Look at what happened to GV Mobile, Apple rejected it and now it is available on Cydia. The more arbitrary and inane their approval process the more people will jailbreak their phones just to have access to freedom of choice.
Apple will continue to try and make jailbreaking illegal by tell the lawmakers every lie under the sun from it can cause massive cellular failure to it causes acid rain. But in the end I do not think they will be able to stop the flood of people wanting to use their phones the way they want.
We have reported on the upcoming Apple event in September but now the rumors are firming up. The event now has a date; September 9th. The event also has a focus; Music.
According to the information we have it looks like this will be the event where Apple launches its new music service called Cocktail and the next iPod.
Other rumors claim that the event will announce the Beatles coming to iTunes, etc, etc, etc.
One things that is interesting though, the beginning of September is around when we could see Lynnfield and the P55 hit. We also hear that nVidia is working on an entry level chipset for Lynnfield (although those might not be ready until 2010). It is entirely possible that this events "one more thing" could be the announcement of Macs with these items in them.
With the advent of possible new CPU manufacturing processes and materials come an interesting article saying that they GPU may reach its limit by 2020.
The article is not an Intel product (in response to nVidia's repeated claims that they CPU is dead). No this is from Tim Sweeney, CEO and Founder of Epic Games.
In a recent presentation Sweeney says that by 2020 developers will move away from the highly optimized GPU and push for more flexible code. Thie code will take advantage of parallel processing and move most hardware "fixed functionality" features to software.
The core argument is that processing technology will move forward considerably and that Intel will have success with Larrabee and also factors in nVidia move away from the traditional GPU. Instead working on a GPGPU style.
Sweeney also dives back in time to when many 3D Engines were rendered completely in software this includes games like UnReal, HalfLife and many others. He foresees a future where rendering engines will move back to software eliminating the need for highly specialized architectures and pipelines present in today's GPUs.
If everything can come together (including improvements in storage and memory) then we can expect to see some impressive changes to the PC as we know it in the next 10 years.
With the rumor of an Apple special event in September of course there are rumors about possible new Apple products.
One that is gaining ground is a rumor that the next gen iPod Touch will have a built in camera. This would be a great idea and would give the Touch a feature that many have asked for.
But is this one of the announcements that is really going to happen? With Apple's track record of leaks and hints and hype it very well could be.
Although there is always the possibility that Apple is going to announce new products based on the Core i5 which is set to debut sometime in September also.
Wow this will be of interest to anyone that has an iPhone in the US. Apple and AT&T might have a price to pay for their heavy advertising of features that they will not support.
In the state of Louisiana there is a class action law suit that is being filed against Apple and AT&T for the continued lack of MMS (multimedia messaging system) despite ads by both companies showing this as a major feature.
The suit claims that AT&T has not upgraded its towers to support MMS properly on their network but continue to advertise this service for other phones and even have a package plan for it.
So I am not sure what they are trying to say here, there is a simple fact that AT&T does have MMS support for other phones but not the iPhone. Apple did state that was a major feature of the new iPhone OS 3.0 and the 3G S. But for some reason there is still no support for this option from AT&T.
This law suit could get interesting if more states pick up the torch and march on Cupertino.
This is not the normal tech news, it is sort of an off the wall story that I found funny.
In Texas a judge has banned Microsoft from Selling, Demonstrating or otherwise advertising Word. This is a permanent injunction put in over a patent dispute between MS and I4I.
I4I claims that MS ran off with their code and has been using this in Word 2003 and 2007. The code they are talking about has to do with XML and the way that Word uses it.
I am not going to go into major technical details, but it is sort of funny to hear that MS cannot even demo the products, this means that they are in violation of the order if they send updates, show it on their office.com website.
Now what makes this funny is that apparently other applications use this functionality. It is just MS that is in the hot seat. Apparently there is no money in going after Sun, or Apple. The injunction "prohibits Microsoft from selling or importing to the United States any Microsoft Word products that have the capability of opening .XML, .DOCX or DOCM files (XML files) containing custom XML,"
This is on top of a $200 Million fine from May, an additional $40 Million and just for good measure $37 Mill in interest.
Microsoft says they will appeal
Yesterday we covered a tale of Apple and the Dictionary. This is a harrowing tale of an intrepid developer against the mongering troll.
Nah not really, it is a story about a developer getting the shaft from Apple and after the internet press got a hold the story Apple back peddling.
The complete story is very long and can be found at Daring Fireball as can the follow on part of this particular drama.
After the press splashed this all over the internet Phil Schiller from Apple has written to explain that this was all a misunderstanding.
Apparently Apple did not ask Ninjawords to censor the dictionary because of the words F&(k and S^&t but because there are even MORE vulgar urban slang terms that can be found through Ninjawords.
Ninjawords could not be submitted to the App store as it was at the time since there were not parental controls at all. The developers of Ninjawords chose to edit the dictionary and resubmit. This is when all the fun started; it ended with someone thinking that Apple was requiring both the censorship AND a 17+ Rating.
I am not sure what is the truth in this one, both stories sound a little odd to be perfectly honest with you. For example in one of the actual letters about the rejection they specifically mention F*(k and Sh*& but you can find them in "Dictionary!" which is free on the iTunes store and has a rating of 4+.
Wow I am not sure what Apple is doing at this point with their recent rash of rejections. Either they want to see how far they can push people or they truly are clueless.
According to reports around the web Apple has rejected a dictionary called Ninjawords for containing "objectionable words". Some of the words they found to be too horrible for iPhone/iPod users eyes were Screw and Snatch. Wow, I wonder if they have a certain movie in their iTunes Store…. Guess what? They do.
But the app was not completely rejected. They were allowed to submit the application after removing a few additional horrible words in common usage. They were then slapped with a 17+ rating even after all the words had been removed.
These words can be found in other dictionary applications in the App Store. But I guess they cannot be in this one, this is arbitrary to the last syllable. Maybe they removed that word from their own dictionaries so they do not know what that means.
You know, maybe they are going for an insanity defense with the FTC and FCC. After all what they are doing is rather crazy.
Well the big news this morning is that Google's Eric Schmidt is resigning from the Board of Directors for Apple.
This is not a very big surprise, although it comes at an interesting time. The issue at hand is section 8 of the Clayton Anti Trust act that covers shared directors between companies with competing products.
Google and Apple compete on a number of products, they each have a browser, they each have a smart phone OS, and soon they will each have both a Desktop OS and a cloud based document application.
The resignation will probably cause the current investigation to be withdrawn but that is not always the case. This is especially true with the FCC looking into the issue over Google Voice.
There is nothing like someone accidentally putting sensitive information into a folder that is linked to your P2P share. But this is what happens again and again and again.
This time is was motorcade routes, the Presidential Family safe house and some nice documents covering details of every nuclear facility on the US.
So we have a couple of issues here, the first is simple user ignorance. It is beyond me how and why anyone would have a P2P file sharing application on any work related computer system but on top of that how can they not know that the folder the P2P apps use for sharing are pretty much open to everyone. Anything dropped in there is available on the P2P network you are using.
The next is how the supposedly tech savvy White House staff can allow something like this to happen.
You know, I see why P2P is bad, it is not because of the possibility of illegal file sharing, it is because once again, we see ignorance on the part of individual users and the companies and organizations they work for.
Microsoft and Yahoo! have reached and accord. This accord will benefit both in some interesting ways. Yahoo will use Microsoft servers for their search functions and Yahoo! will handle the display ads.
This combination should have some excellent benefits for both of these companies as they try to catch up with Google.
Originally the idea was for Yahoo to be purchased by Microsoft. However, due to some bad management decisions by the CEO at the time the acquisition never took place. Instead there is just the agreement to work closely together.
Of course, there is always the possibility that someone will try to claim that MS and Yahoo are anti-competitive after all; it is only Apple and Google that are allowed to behave like that.
GlobalFoundries has announced it first customer that is not AMD. Although the news had leaked out that they had a new customer earlier in the week no one was quite sure who the new customer was.
There was talk that it might be nVidia, Samsung, one of the other ARM manufacturers etc. In the end it turns out to be STMicroelectronics.
Right now GF is being asked to make 40nm low power chips, but the exact type has not been disclosed. If GF can make this one work it could open the door to many other customers. This is especially true in the 40nm space where TSMC, GlobalFoundries' largest competitor, is having yield issues with their 40nm process.
All eyes will be on this new relationship to see if the relatively new GF can meet the demands of multiple customers.
Foxconn is trying very hard to dig itself out of a hole. The hole is not a financial hole; it is not a manufacturing hole. No this hole is a potential disaster for the large OEM manufacturer.
The problem started when a 25 year old technician committed suicide over the report of a missing fourth generation iPhone prototype.
According to the time line that is generally accepted on July 9th 16 fourth generation iPhone prototypes were delivered to Young Sun Dan. Young was responsible for packaging, sealing and shipping these to Apple.
There are differing reports about whether Young reported the missing phone before or after Apple received them but either way Foxconn began an investigation.
On July 16th Young jumped from a 12th floor window and fell to his death.
In between the 9th and the 16th there are reports of physical interrogation, unlawful searches, solitary confinement and worse. Foxconn began by denying the accusations but saying the event was sad. Apple followed suit.
The hole began when the suspended the director for Central Security, the turned him over to local police. Then released a statement that Young had a history of losing items (you would think after the first he would not be handling them again). Then they paid the family $44,000 and gave them a Mac PowerBook laptop.
Now they are increasing the payment amount to the family and including a yearly payment. Over in the US that would be called something like "hush money" but in the US the amounts are usually significantly larger.
Either way Foxconn is now, more than ever, under the microscope as all eyes turn to them to see how they handle or fail to handle the situation.
The outcome could affect their relationship with Apple, as Apple will continue to try and distance themselves from the event.
There are rumors of another AIB (add-in-board) maker getting out of the video card business.
This time we hear the GeCube is swearing off making video cards for life. They are moving in another direction and will concentrate on a non-graphics card related business in the future.
The rumor mentions that GeCude has a new partner but not who this is. It also claims that Gigabyte has released its 61.5% stake in GeCube officially signaling the toll of the final bell.
We contacted Gigabyte for confirmation but have not received a reply at the time of writing.
Once again the news of Vision Tek's demise was greatly over rated.
According to an article at Bright Side of News Vision Tek has recently secured some serious capital funding from a "Major International Bank" additionally they have invested in a distribution center in Chicago in the US.
It looks like the original rumor may have been one of those things that happen when one company loses out at the expense of another and on a slow news day like today it is something to write about.
In the end Vision Tek admits being hit hard by the same economic problems that hit everyone else in the computer industry. But they had a plan and were already looking for funding to expand while others were cutting back.
Read more here
Ah the ugly rumor mill is at it again, last year it was that Foxconn would be leaving the channel business as part of an agreement to buy Pegatron (Megatron's little sister). However, this turned out not to be the case.
I hope that the new rumor I am hearing is the same. According to the word on the "Net" VisionTek is heading for bankruptcy. If the rumors are true this would mean that another player in the graphics market would go down.
Back in 2002 the same rumor was floating around but was quickly denied by the company. We can only hope that we hear some good news very soon and that this is just another rumor.
Ah those clever taunters over at The Pirate Bay may have all their fun taken away by the new corporate "suit".
The Pirate Bay usually greats the RIAA and MPAA with scorn, disdain and more than a little ridicule and humor. However, all that is going to change.
In a very stomach churning statement by newcomer Wayne Rosso we hear that the new man in charge has "gotten friendly with a lot of these guys,". This is a 180 degree turn around from the belligerent behavior of the past.
Of course this is a direction the Pirate Bay will have to take if they really want to go legitimate.
The Pirate Bay is in the works of being bought out by Global Gaming Factory. The potential new owners see money and advantage in the power of the bittorrent networking structure. They want to move away from copyright violating content and move to more honest wares.
In the future TPB will offer paid subscriptions to users with each users subscription discounted based on the amount of computer power they contribute to the community. This discount can extend all the way to 100% theoretically.
No one likes a laugh more than I do, (insert long Monty Python skit here). I really did have a clever intro, but in the end what one person thinks is clever ends up being just plain stupid.
However, one person's stupidity is usually great humor for the rest of us.
The UK flavor of GameSpy has a great read posted that I could not resist sharing with everyone. They took the time to cover the best PR Blunders in the world of gaming. I suppose that in some way this could have been inspired by the recent announcement of the inclusion of a pair of working night vision goggles in Modern Warfare 2 Prestige Edition. After all when presented with an example of how to do something right I imagine that you think about how not to do something.
Take a break and give these a read. I think my favorite is still the beheaded goat by Sony.
Have a good laugh here.
Ah the days of hanging in the Mall, with nothing to do but get free refills at the food court. Just you and your friend Brodie...Um wait no that was a movie. Ok never mind.
No matter the Mall will not be the same as now there will be opposing boutique stores. Microsoft has announced that they will open their answer to the Apple store starting this fall.
The announcement was made at the Worldwide Partner Conference (seems like a lot of interesting things are happening there) by Kevin Turner Microsoft Chief Operating Officer.
Tuner said that some stores would open this fall with more to open in 2010. Tuner is a former Wall Mart Exec and has more than a few years of retail experience under his belt.
Turner even made the statment "And stay tuned, because we're going to have some retail stores opened up that are opened up right next door to Apple stores this fall," he said. "Stay tuned, just stay tuned."
Them's fightin words I think
While checking the news tonight I found something both interesting and highly entertaining.
Despite running a very dirty and misleading ad campaign against Microsoft and the PC in general Apple may have quietly asked for the Laptop Hunters ads to be discontinued.
According to Ars Technia, Kevin Turner told the Wolrdwide Partner Conference that Apple's Lawyers called him and stated that Microsoft needed to stop running the Laptop Hunter Ads because Apple had reduced prices on the Mac Books.
Now bear in mind that this is coming from an MSFT exec at a "pep-rally" but if this is true it is one of the funnier stories I have heard.
I do think that the ad campaign has Apple a tad worried as their recent commercials are leaning pretty far over the credibility line as it is. Add to that the success of the netbook and nettop and things can get worrisome.
More information here.