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Both Amazon (NASDAQ: AMZN) and eBay (NASDAQ: EBAY) have come out for the better after Cyber Monday with both companies share pricing heading north thanks to word that online retail sales were on the rise when compared to the same day last year. There's also no doubt that word on the Kindle and its success for Amazon helped a lot when it came to the bump in share price.
Cyber Monday has been around since 2005 when used by Shop.org, who are part of the National Retail Federation. It's the following Monday after Black Friday, which is one of the most important shopping days for American retailers and marks the launch of the holiday shopping season.
Not all online retailers felt the increase in share prices though with overstock.com (NASDAQ: OSTK) and Blue Nile (NASDAQ: NILE), another two large online retailers, not getting any movement with both prices falling slightly.
My fascination with computers and hardware came out of a fascination with video games. I started on consoles and migrated to gaming PCs as time went by. Eventually the PC and its related hardware were as interesting to me as video games, such is the evolution of many a gamer and hardware enthusiast.
Of all the video games I have played over the years, some of my most favorite have been in the Call of Duty franchise. The latest game in the franchise, Modern Warfare 2 launched this month and racked up over $500 million in sales during its first five days of availability.
Activision has now announced that the entire Call of Duty franchise has surpassed $3 billion in sales around the world. That is a lot of video games sold and makes the franchise one of the most successful ever. It should also guarantee that fans have new CoD games to play for the foreseeable future.
This might come as a bit of a shock to die hard torrent lovers; turns out Mininova, one of the most popular torrent trackers on the net, has officially just gone legit and thus limits its activities to a content distribution service.
Mininova first launched their content distribution service in 2007 which allows producers and artists to easily distribute their content for free through Mininova.
The launch of Content Distribution has proven to be a success. Countless content owners have used Content Distribution to distribute their content (e.g. albums and documentaries) for free to millions of users. For example, the Dutch band Silence is Sexy released their complete album on Mininova and received the Interactive Award 2009 for doing so. The Dutch television broadcaster VPRO decided to start using Content Distribution in 2009 in order to distribute documentaries.
But I'm sure there's many sad faces out there after reading this. No more downloads of your favourite TV shows etc. - With that said, though, there's a large amount of others out there to use ;)
Shuttle is well known for making its line of XPS computers that include some AIO machines and several cool SFF PCs aimed at gamers and other computer users. With Black Friday this week and Cyber Monday coming next week the deals are rolling in.
Shuttle has announced that it will be offering up to 50% off some of its XPS computers at select retailers. Exactly what retailers will be giving the deals are unknown, Shuttle won't say just yet. I bet its Newegg or TigerDirect.
"We cannot release yet which stores will have these deals, but expect it to be at one of the major retailers or online retailers," said Nicolas Villalobos, Manager at Shuttle Computer Group in Los Angeles, "If anything, one of the popular deal sites who are aggressively tracking Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals should have this information once it's available. Just know that it will be 'Pink'."
If you are a Mac owner who smokes cigarettes and you need warranty work you may be out of luck. According to reports form Bit-tech some Mac owners have been refused warranty work when the PC was found to have been used in a home or office where there was smoking.
The official response from Jobs himself, states, "due to nicotine being present on the Occupational Safety and Health Administration's list of substances hazardous to health, Apple workers would not be expected to work with machines which were contaminated with cigarette smoke hazard."
As you might have expected there has been some financial fallout from the surprise settlement between Intel and AMD. Presently AMD stock is up $1.09 to $6.41 (20.49%), while on the other side, Intel saw a very small gain of +$.03 (.15%). But this is not the only fallout.
Intel has just updated its Q4 financial expectations as they intend to take the hit from the $1.25 billion USD check to AMD all in Q4. They have changed their earlier statement to reflect a total R&D spending plus MG&A (Mergers and Acquisitions) to $4.2 billion (up from 2.9 billion). Tax rate is expected to drop by 20%, which is down from 26%. Everything else is unchanged.
Which brings us to the real cost of this. $1.25 billion is a large amount of money; make no mistake - this is not a small settlement. But in terms of total cost to Intel it is. By AMD agreeing to drop all of its complaints (although the New York case is still on according to AMD), Intel will actually save money as there has been a growing momentum against Intel. This means they would have more than likely lost their case In Japan and other countries that AMD was pursuing them in. The potential loss could have been significantly higher than what Intel is paying out right now.
Still Intel has been having a very good year and is capable of recovering from this event in any case. AMD on the other hand just got a nice check that represents a little less than half of their outstanding debt. We do have to wonder, now that Intel has agreed to abide by a set of acceptable business practices, if the suit in New York will also be dropped or settled quickly?
As we said before, the thing to keep your eye on now is the dispute between Intel and NVIDIA. The reason this is so big is that with the new agreement you no longer have to own a FAB to make an x86 CPU. This could open the doors for NVIDIA and give them the "in" they so often claim they are not even interested in.
If you have money, they say the time to buy is when the economy is down. The time to buy a new car was certainly when the cash for clunkers program was running thanks to the poor economy. HP is taking advantage of the economy and has announced that it will be buying 3Com.
The deal values 3Com at $7.90 per share for a total value of $2.7 billion. HP says that the purchase will give it a much better presence in China and that it will allow the company to expand its switching offerings.
The merger will also allow HP to add routing solutions to its line. The deal is subject to customary closing conditions and has been approved by the boards of both 3Com and HP. Shareholders still need to approve the deal as well as regulators. The merger is expected to complete in the first half of 2010.
It looks like AMD and Intel's long running fight over anti-trust and competition has finally come to an end.
Today we have received news that AMD and Intel have reached a settlement. But the settlement does not just cover the matter of Intel's alleged anti-competitive behavior, but also the x86 cross licensing agreement that has been at issue ever since the Global Foundries spin off.
The terms of the agreement are listed below (taken straight from the press release)
Under terms of the agreement, AMD and Intel obtain patent rights from a new 5-year cross license agreement, Intel and AMD will give up any claims of breach from the previous license agreement, and Intel will pay AMD $1.25 billion. Intel has also agreed to abide by a set of business practice provisions. As a result, AMD will drop all pending litigation including the case in U.S. District Court in Delaware and two cases pending in Japan. AMD will also withdraw all of its regulatory complaints worldwide. The agreement will be made public in filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
The settlement is great news on a few levels. First it brings the long running squabble between AMD and Intel to a close (globally). It gives AMD a much needed cash injection ($1.25 billion will go a long way) and allows for the sharing of technology between the two companies. These all add up to an excellent future for the consumer as AMD can stop bleeding out money on lawsuits and complaints around the world and get back the business of competing with Intel in a very serious manner.
Maybe the extra money can go towards helping AMD to finalize Bulldozer and get it to the public quicker than their current plans; if so this would be very good news indeed as Bulldozer is the first CPU from AMD that shows true promise in a very long time.
Of course, now all eyes are turning towards the NVIDIA versus Intel squabble. After all, if Intel settled with AMD, maybe a settlement with NVIDIA is in the near future (and perhaps an x86 CPU with it)
One would have presumed that come launch of Microsoft's online store, it would soley be flooded with nothing more than MS owned products, both hardware and software. But if you head on over and check it out as of now you will see that they're going well beyond with third party hardware and software including Sony netbooks, Mavis Beacon Teaches Typing software etc.
AMD/ATI partner VisionTek is making efforts to branch out into market segments other than just VGA and it begins by partnering with Bigfoot Networks, the company behind the Killer NIC for gamers, said to provide much better performance (lower pings and CPU usage) than traditional NICs.
VisionTek call it the Killer Xeno Pro and we learn that this variant uses a PCI-e x1 interface and comes with a much better software package.
Pricing and availability is yet to be disclosed.