Gaming developer 3D Realms has closed up shop, following news that publisher Take-Two will no longer fund the development of Duke Nukem Forever.
Many remember 3D Reams for the FPS hits Wolfenstein 3D and Duke Nukem, two games that can arguably be marked as laying the foundation of first-person shooters. In 1997, the company announced that it was working on a third installment for the Duke Nukem series.
Many have criticized the aptly named Duke Nukem Forever as its 12 year development left most skeptical that it would ever reach the market. As sad as it may be, it appears the skeptics were correct.
All hope hasn't been lost quite yet however. Take-Two says that while they have pulled funding for the game they still hold the rights to the title, leaving the possibility of another developer letting the title see the light at the end of the tunnel.
Apple just posted its financial results for the second quarter of 2009 and it appear Apple is one of the few companies that are beating the recession.
Apple posted revenue of $8.16 billion and a net quarterly profit of $1.21 billion. That works out to be $1.33 per diluted share. Compared to last year, both revenue and profit were higher making this Apple's best March quarter in the history of the company.
Apple success can easily be attributed to its continued success with the iPod and iPhone. The iPod sold 11.01 million units during the quarter which is a 3% growth. However the big winner is the iPhone which sold 3.79 million units which represents a 123% growth over the same quarter last year.
"We are extremely pleased to report the best non-holiday quarter revenue and earnings in our history," said Peter Oppenheimer, Apple's CFO. "Apple's financial condition remains very robust, with almost $29 billion in cash and marketable securities on our balance sheet. Looking ahead to the third fiscal quarter of 2009, we expect revenue in the range of about $7.7 billion to $7.9 billion and we expect diluted earnings per share in the range of about $.95 to $1.00."
It appears that things have come to an end for abit. Last year the company said that it would no longer manufacture motherboards, but would shift to the consumer electronics market. That seems to have changed now with the struggling global economy and parent company USI says abit will be no more.
The entire company is already in the process of liquidation and should be done in about a month. Marketing director Thore Welling emailed Hexus saying, "After 20 years in the market the abit brand now bids farewell, so it's also time for me now to lock the doors of the marketing department. That's it for good now."
We also rang abit's office in Holland and were told there was no marketing department. We did speak to someone in the finance department who didn't want to reveal her name. She confirmed that not only has abit not been selling mainboards since the start of the year, but has stopped selling any products whatsoever and the office is only being kept going to handle warranties.
It looks like nVidia's latest round of rebranding might come back to hurt them. In a move that many are saying is very misleading nV is rebranding the G92b (same chip that is going into the GTS240/250) as the GTX260 and GTX280 mobile.
Now it is nothing new for companies to rebrand, ATi, nVidia, Via just about everyone does it to some degree. Where the problem starts is that nVidia is labeling the G92b with the same naming convention as a much more advanced part. (GT200). This means that people searching for reviews or information on the GTX280M will also get reviews of the desktop part which is miles above the 55nm chip that will be used in the mobile part.
As of this writing there are rumblings of class actions suits and even legal action from states over this.
Read more here at Theo Valich's Blog.
If Nvidia labeled their mobile parts as GTS240/250, nobody would notice - because it would be a case of rebranding (in all honesty, ATI isn't a saint there either, branding some Mobility Radeon 2000 parts as 3000 series and then rebranding some 3000 chips into 4000). But in this case, the company is deliberately naming GTS240/260 as already shipping desktop parts - GTX260 and 280, both based on GT200 chip.
The list of differences doesn't stop there - we have a GTX280 consisting out of 128 shader processors (GTX280M), or 240 (the original GTX280), different memory controllers (256-bit vs. 512-bit) and the list goes on.
The potential legal part lies in the fact that if consumer types something like "GeForce GTX 280 notebook" in "accepted way of finding information relevant to consumer" such as search engines - consumer will find information and glowing reviews about desktop parts and potentially form a wrong opinion/expectation about the product itself. This is a slippery slope that none of IT companies slipped on, but as computers became a commodity, you can expect more and more watchdogs looking into the land of (rebranded) silicon.
Toshiba announced plans to acquire Fujitsu's hard drive business. The aquisition would make Toshiba the fourth largest global HDD manufacturer, behind Hitachi, Western Digital, and Seagate. Toshiba would still have to increase worldwide sales after the merger by at least 3% to topple Hitachi as the third largets HDD manufacturer.
Toshiba said it plans to purchase about 80% of Fujitsu's storage division in the first part of its 2009 fiscal year and that Fujitsu will continue to hold less than a 20% stake for "a certain period of time."
This should give Toshiba a huge leg up in the 2.5" and 1.8" hdd markets, both with conventional hard drives and SSD's. The purchase price has not been disclosed but it has been estimated the purchase will set Toshiba back at lease $1 billion.
Transmeta is once and for all a thing of the past as they were finally purchased by a Novafora.
This Israeli based Novafora has been around since 2004 and, according to their website, is devoted to delivering highest quality video on any display device, at anytime and anywhere. To do this they plan to build a family of video processors that are optimized for video and networks.
Having acquired Transmeta, the failed brain child of Linus Torvalds, they have some unique IP at their disposal. Looks like the system-on-chip market got some new competition.
Yesterday we published an article titled "BFG, A sinking ship?" and today spent a great deal of time following up with industry sources to uncover a tail spun out of deception and unethical business practices. For many months now a steady yet quiet flow of information has passed through the insider world of the industry, all leaving a negative impression of BFG and where the company is headed. At this point it is too early to draw a definitive line back to the sources of misinformation because it looks more like a draw by numbers picture than a clear snap shot.
Today we touched base with John Malley, Sr. Director of Marketing at BFG Technology Inc. John was very open to discussing both public and private information about the company and many of the sources he believes started this flow of negative information.
"We have caught a few of our competitors trying to compete on unethical grounds in the past and even confronted one individual." More disturbing is that the current bad press appears to come from BFG's own back yard. "Two former BFG employees left on terms left than ideal and have taken it upon themselves to contribute additional misinformation."
This explains the many months of behind the scenes chit chat that has been passing around the industry. To be fair BFG is not the only company that has been the target of the rumor mill in recent months and with the economy is a state of disarray they will not be the last.
When asked about the Best Buy Galaxy press release that was published yesterday John informed us that Galaxy will only carry a couple of low priced SKUs in the retail giant. He went on to say that since BFG focuses on the high end the Galaxy / Best Buy deal should not affect BFG and that Best Buy has been very satisfied with the company. This was later verified at Bestbuy.com and we only see GeForce 8400 GS and 7200 GS cards listed as of today. This is a far cry from the Galaxy invasion we heard about yesterday from sources close to Best Buy.
John went into further details about BFG's 2008 profits, "2008 brought the highest profits to date for BFG and we are not going away anytime soon."
We are certainly glad to hear it and wish BFG the best of luck in 2009.
Despite statements to the contrary earlier in the quarter AMD has now issued a warning that its revenue will be lower than expected.
The warning states a possible 25% drop in revenue due to the slow market. This includes a comment that AMD is missing out on the netbook market due to a lack of participation in that segment.
Read the more here.
On Dec. 4 the chipmaker drastically cut its sales outlook, saying fourth-quarter revenue will drop about 25% from the third quarter's $1.59 billion.
AMD blamed a cratering in demand for chips used in personal computers and servers, the machines that run corporate networks. The company cited "weaker-than-expected demand across all geographies and businesses, particularly in the consumer market." The company is scheduled to report quarterly earnings on Jan. 22. Its warning comes three weeks after a similarly dire outlook from rival Intel (INTC), which cut the low end of its revenue forecast by $1.4 billion on Nov. 12 (BusinessWeek.com, 11/12/08).
More iPhone legal woes are popping up. This time it is the browser that is being subjected to litigation.
EMG Technologies is seeking damages as well as future royalties from the fruity company. All this over the way Safari Browses around the internet.
As the title of the EMG Technologies' patent suggests "Apparatus and Method of Manipulating a Region on a Wireless Device Screen for Viewing, Zooming and Scrolling Internet Content" it seems they have a lot of ground covered.
Read more over at TG Daily here.
Since Apple uses technology outlined in EMG's patent and since Apple does not have a license to the technology, EMG claims that it has "has suffered damage in an amount to be proved at trial." EMG also said that "Apple threatens to continue to engage in the acts complained of herein and, unless restrained and enjoined, will continue to do so, all to Plaintiff's irreparable injury."
In the suit, EMG asks the court to confirm that its patent is valid and enforceable and that Apple has infringed on the patent; to prevent Apple from infringing on its patent; to order Apple to report how it will comply with the injunction within 30 days and to award damage, "including a reasonable
royalty and/or lost profits" as well as "pre-judgment and post-judgment interest."
Straight off of the rumor mill comes the rumblings of mergers out of Old Taipei.
According to Digitimes, due to the economic troubles of the past few months many manufactures are having overstock problems. This has caused many to restructure and introduce inventory control measures at the Tier One level. In some Tier Two cases the thoughts of mergers have arisen as a method for survival
The gloomy news can be found here
First-tier makers Asustek Computer, Elitegroup Computer Systems (ECS), Gigabyte Technology and Micro-Star International (MSI) have already cut capacity and started inventory control measures.
Some second-tier makers are reportedly considering merging with other makers if performance in the next 3-6 months does not pick up. Some have also stopped production and are currently selling off inventory from the second and third quarters with no concrete schedule for restocking.
It's become apparent that Western Digital are looking to broaden their wings further and are currently in discussion with Fujitsu over the possible acquisition of their hard drive business, which would in turn give them a substantial boost in the mobile HDD market.
According to Japanese news-paper Nikkei, which is quoted by IDG News Service, Western Digital plans to acquire Fujitsu's HDD business unit along with plants in Japan, the Philippines and Thailand for ¥70 billion to ¥100 billion (US$661 million to US$944 million). At present the companies are still in talks, but if everything goes well, the agreement is expected to be reached by the end of 2008.
Western Digital commanded 22.5% of the HDD market in 2007, according to IDC, whereas market share of Fujitsu was 7.1%. Even though the combined company (with 29.6% of the market) would not be able to beat Seagate Technologies, which supplied about 35% last year, but Fujitsu has a lot of experience in making hard drives for mobile computers, which would automatically make WD much stronger overall.
You can read the full story at XBit Labs. Of course, both Western Digital and Fujitsu are yet to confirm its authenticity or likeliness of a deal being made.
Hot off the press, Digitimes is reporting that ABIT may begin phasing out its motherboard business after evaluating the success of its forthcoming Intel 4 series lineup of motherboard products. ABIT shipped three million motherboards in 2007 and while that may sound like a large number, it's a mere fraction of what the likes of ASUS and GIGABYTE ship. It had a goal of shipping six million motherboards this year but has since reduced its forecast.
While the report does mention that ABIT is maintaining it does not know anything about the speculation and will continue to develop motherboard products, it wouldn't be a surprise. ABIT's current batch of new motherboards haven't been that exciting and we even saw a motherboard released recently which didn't even include solid capacitors. ABIT used to be the one setting the trends in motherboard technology but now it is clear they are falling behind the eight ball.
We can partly confirm these claims as we have heard first hand that ABIT is already laying off staff and one long time and loyal staff member was not even phoned but sent a letter with the bad news.
Is this the beginning of the end for ABIT? We'll dig for more news during Computex next week.
Ryan Shrout over at PC Perspective is reporting live from an Nvidia press event in its San Jose HQ that Nvidia has acquired RayScale Software, a startup based out of the University of Utah that has built a hybrid renderer.
Ryan says that "... We are obviously very early into the news cycle and will be trying to get more information on what NVIDIA plans to do with this new acquisition. I can tell you that you won't see these techniques in games for some time - both the software and hardware need time to mature and be optimized; but it is coming.
The RayScale group purchase is brand new, and in fact the press release for this announcement won't hit until later today or tomorrow at the best."
This is a rather interesting turn of events especially with Nvidia and Intel currently at war over current and future CPU and GPU technologies.
Acer announced that it will acquire E-TEN Information Systems, a well known and respected manufacturer of smartphone mobile and handheld devices.
The acquisition has been accepted by all parties involved, and the undisputed takeover (to date) will go on, subject to the usual takeover procedures such as approval from shareholders and of course if the government regulators approve.
Acer over the last year has had a strong showing, with its acquisition of Gateway, and Packard Bell strengthening capabilities across their entire range of products, but in particular the mobile technologies. The acquisition of E-TEN will be another feather in the cap for the synergies of the hotly contested mobile devices arena.
Look for great things from the Acer group. The acquisition is expected to close during Q3 2008.
Read more here.
Palit's continuing trend to flourish the graphics card market with quality products at lower prices has allowed them to grow rapidly over the past few years in particular; as such they have swallowed up a multitude of smaller companies along the way, including none other than Gainward.
Now it looks like they're shifting their attention toward Galaxy which was established in Hong Kong in 1994, then went on to become add-in board partner for NVIDIA in 1999.
The first steps of an acquisition have apparently been made by Palit, this to help offload excess stock to the new subsidiary due to an over-ordering issue under the Palit branding.
Digitimes have the scoop.
Not long after the acquisition of PC power supply manufacturer "PC Power & Cooling", OCZ have now swallowed up another company to further extend their portfolio and make their presence felt in another area of the industry.
In the form of an official announcement they have just acquired a high-performance computer system builder "Hypersonic-PC"; this means it shouldn't be too long before we start seeing whole desktop systems and notebooks exclusively using OCZ components such as their RAM and power supplies.
Sunnyvale, Calif.-October 25, 2007-OCZ today announced immediate plans to bring Hypersonic PC into the OCZ Technology Group. Known primarily as the worldwide leader in innovative, high-performance computer memory and power supply units, OCZ acquired Hypersonic PC to employ their rich expertise in high-end system building and take the organization and mobile gaming to the next level. Hypersonic has been paving the way in maximum performance computing since 1996 and established themselves as a leader attributable to their diligent focus on technology, quality, craftsmanship, and world-class support. Under the OCZ Technology Group, the Hypersonic vision can be taken to new heights and grow in key areas of innovation, product development, and market reach.
Dell has launched a new range of PCs and notebooks for the Small Business market and the Vostro range looks to be quite a decent option for those looking for simple, but serious business machines. The desktop systems starts at US$319 for the mini tower version and the slim tower starts at $349.
Both of the desktop systems are based on the Intel G33 chipset. The basic model comes with a Celeron 420 and 512MB of RAM for either model, as well as an 80GB hard drive and a 16x DVD-ROM. You can of course as always configure your own system and Dell offers a wide range of options up to an E6700 processor and various graphics options.
The Vostro notebook range is available in four different models, the 1000, the 1400, the 1500 and the 1700. The 1000 is as the name suggests the most basic model and it comes with an AMD Sempron processor and the ATI Radeon Xpress 1150 chipset as well as 512MB of RAM and a 60GB hard drive. Options with AMD Turion 64 X2 processors are also available. The 15.4-inch screen has a native resolution of 1,280x800 and this model starts at $449.
The remaining three models features an Intel processor and the 1400 and 1500 comes with a Celeron 540M as standard, while the 1700 comes with a Core 2 Duo T5470 (yeah, we don't know exactly what one of those are either, but it's clocked at 1.6GHz, has 2MB of cache and an 800MHz FSB). The 1400 and 1500 starts with 512MB of memory and an 80GB drive, while the 1700 comes with 1GB and 120GB.
The 1400 and 1500 starts at 1,280x800 resolution, but higher resolution options are available. The 1700 starts at 1,440x900, but again, higher resolution options are available. The 1400 starts at $549, the 1500 also starts at $549and the 1700 at $799. All three models are available with optional discrete graphics as well.
You can find out more here
An announcement from Foxconn today talks about all of their goodies currently being showcased at CeBIT. With the main focus on their now well established presence in the graphics card market, found at their booth are a range of overclocked VGA cards, new motherboards, PC cases, coolers and more.
Grab the press release here for more details folks.
Hannover, Germany, March 15th 2007 - Foxconn today announced more details about the new products appearing on its booth at CeBIT, which include overclocked VGA cards, and a number of new motherboards, chassis and coolers.
Through a theme of "creating", Foxconn will celebrate the role of end users and customers in both the component and PC development process. With a display area for customer solutions, visitors will be able to explore Foxconn's relationship with real clients, and on-booth programs will allow end users to participate in PC related activities.
The BitTorrent crew have just launched a new website they call the "BitTorrent Entertainment Network" which will allow people to download stacks of content legally (such as movies, tv episodes, and music videos). Of course in order for it to be legal, one must pay to be able to download the majority of this stuff. In fact, movies are only available on a rental basis at $3.99 for new releases and $2.99 for catalog titles, whilst tv shows and music vids are for keeps at $1.99 each.
More info can be sourced regarding the new site at the DailyTech folks.
BitTorrent today announced the launch of the BitTorrent Entertainment Network, featuring a comprehensive library of downloadable digital entertainment content from 20th Century Fox, Lions Gate, MTV Networks, Paramount Pictures, Warner Bros. and, the latest studio on the bandwagon, MGM. The BitTorrent community can rent movies, purchase television shows and music videos, and even publish and share their own content to be displayed alongside titles from the world's largest studios.
"BitTorrent has the infrastructure, technology and established user base to significantly move the needle on digital distribution with quick, easy and affordable delivery," said Thomas Lesinski, President, Paramount Pictures Digital Entertainment. "The final piece of the puzzle is a wide array of content and Paramount is very pleased to be providing a vast selection of filmed entertainment to the site."
Once again the Dailytech dish up the goods for us as they manage to obtain some more definitive specifications on AMD/ATIs upcoming R600 monster.
In the form of the "Radeon X2900 XTX", these cards will apparently kick off on March 30 with plans for AMD to make sure that they become available in stores on launch day. The full blown variant will sport 1GB of GDDR4 based memory with a cheaper offering to soon follow with 512MB of GDDR3.
Late yesterday DailyTech was briefed on the final details for the upcoming R600 retail specifications, just in time for everyone to go on vacation for Chinese New Year. AMD has briefed its board partners on the specifications that will appear on the marketing material for the card launches.
AMD's guidance claims R600 will feature 700 million transistors. By comparison, the Radeon X1900 series R580 GPU incorporated 384 million transistors into its design; the half-generation before that, R520, only featured 320 million.
DEAL OF THE DAY - Newegg - Canon SD600 6.0MP Digital Camera for Only $206.99 with FREE 3 Business Day Shipping!
Deal of the Day details:
Offer: This is about as low as they've gotten with the exception of one little blip where it dipped to $202 once upon a past. And if you know anything about Canon, you know that they don't keep "old" models around and they simply eliminate certain model lines (in a sense, so that you can't buy last year's fashion for a bit cheaper - they force you to buy their latest and greatest), and with the biggest photo show right around the corner, if you want to get a nice 6 megapixel digital camera that comes with all of the features you'd come to expect, this is a good one to consider.