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It's been confirmed with Microsoft directly that the RTM (not RC) build of Windows 7 will allow the user to run it unactivated for up to four months before requiring an activation key; a completely legal procedure.
"You can run the -rearm trick a total of three times," said Leonard. "If you perform a -rearm at the end of each 30-day period, you end up with 120 days of full, unfettered Windows 7 use, without having to supply an activation key."
Windows Secrets website explains that it's possible to install without needing to input an activation key (just hit next when prompted for one). You then have 30 days to activate, after which the OS will go into reduced functionality mode. But as explained above, it's possible to enter a basic command up to three times to renew the 30 day period.
By the time your four months are up, to save you the hassle of reinstalling the OS you can enter a legit Win7 key and continue on your merry way.
Asus has maintained its lead over Apple in RESCUECOM's reliability report for the second quarter running.
Now the report is interesting as it only deals with trouble calls that are placed with RESCUECOM directly. This makes it at the very least inaccurate in terms of true reliability.
Still we can see an interesting localized trend here. Asus has been increasing its market presence beyond of the Ad-in and component segments for the last few years. They are increasingly a one stop shop for many, many products. These products on the whole are well put together and designed for the average consumer. Typically when a manufacture does this there are growing pains involved.
These pains are usually product reliability ad service related. Asus seems to have somehow avoided these and are pushing good quality out of the gate.
Of course Asus has had its share of problems, they have recently had to change the way their support site works (it is now its own separate site) and revamped their customer support as whole to keep up with the massive presence in the market.
Only time will tell of Asus can maintain the apparent high-quality of their products. But if they do I imagine that we might see a few new Apple adds about it.
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+.