Tuesday, August 12, 2008

AMD Launches ATI Radeon HD 4870 X2, World’s Fastest Graphics Card

AMD today announced what is being labeled as the world’s fastest graphics card, the ATI Radeon HD 4870 X2. Also announced today is the ATI Radeon HD 4850 X2 graphics card.

Based on an advanced 55nm design and leading DirectX® 10.1 support, the ATI Radeon HD 4800 X2 series delivers engineering elegance and the industry’s most compelling feature set. The ATI Radeon HD 4870 X2 is immediately available from e-tailers worldwide priced at USD $549 SRP, while the ATI Radeon HD 4850 X2 is scheduled to be available in September at an estimated price of USD $399.

“The ATI Radeon HD 4800 X2 series is proof that our graphics strategy is working. The response from OEMs, system integrators, game developers, press, and most importantly, from gamers regarding the ATI Radeon HD 4800 series products has been incredibly positive. Now, only a few short weeks after the launch of those products, AMD reclaims the ultimate performance crown and continues to deliver winning products to market in the ATI Radeon HD 4800 X2 series,” said Rick Bergman, senior vice president and general manager, Graphics Products Group, AMD. “The ATI Radeon HD 4800 X2 series continues AMD technology leadership with support for DirectX 10.1, tessellation, and now 2GB of frame buffer. The new products join a line-up of stellar offerings, all of which are designed to give gamers experiences that approach eye-definition computing.”

The graphics chips used on the 4870 X2 run at clock speeds of 750MHz, while the chips used on the 4850 X2 run at 625MHz. Another difference lies in the graphics memory used on the two cards. The 4870 X2 has 2G-bytes of GDDR5 (graphics double data rate 5) memory, while the 4850 X2 has 2G bytes of GDDR3 memory.

AMD ATI Radeon 4870 X2 reviews:

Source: AMD

Once You Know, You Newegg

Monday, August 11, 2008

Steve Jobs Confirms iPhone Kill Switch

Apple CEO Steve Jobs has confirmed the existence of the so-called "kill switch" capability, some form of application blacklist built into the new 3G iPhone. Jobs came forward with the information following last week's ruckus over early reports of just such a function.

The admission came from Jobs at the bottom of a story in today's Wall Street Journal about Apple's first month of sales at its App Store.

Apple needs it in case it inadvertently allows a malicious program -- one that stole users' personal data, for example -- to be distributed to iPhones through the App Store. "Hopefully we never have to pull that lever, but we would be irresponsible not to have a lever like that to pull," he says.

Hacker Jonathan Zdziarski was the first to discover the mechanism that periodically checks in with an Apple Web page for applications that should be removed. Until Jobs' comments, Apple had refused to discuss the matter.

Zdziarski, author of the books iPhone Forensics and iPhone Open Application Development, offered up information on his blog on how disable the functionality using the iPhone Dev Team's Pwnage Tool.

So far there are no confirmed cases of Apple deactivating any iPhone applications remotely, however the company has been criticized for removing applications from the App Store without explanation. One such application was Nullriver's NetShare, which makes it possible for iPhone customers to use their high-speed Internet connections to provide Web access to a PC.

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Mozilla Labs Introduces "Aurora", The FireFox Of The Future

Mozilla Labs and Adaptive Path have unveiled their spectacular new Web 3.0 concept browser, codenamed Aurora.

Aurora has been designed with the intent of creating what Mozilla feels will be the Web of the future, featuring an integrated Web and desktop environment. "With Aurora, we set out to define a plausible vision of how technology, the browser, and the Web might evolve in the future by depicting that experience in a variety of real-world contexts."

Aurora (Part 1) from Adaptive Path on Vimeo.

The Aurora browser demonstration shows a highly advanced way of collaborating data between two users from information gathered on the web. The information gathered and collated as "objects" can then be seamlessly dragged and dropped on to the desktop and dynamically manipulated.

The video shows two people (Alan and Jill) working in different offices comparing rain reports. In the demonstration Alan invites Jill to join him on a weather report page, where they each highlight important bits of information on the page for each other.

The video follows Jill as she enters a 3D visual bookmarking system in which related pages are grouped by cells, modeled after cells in the human body. Recently opened pages appear closer to the screen, and gradually fall back the longer they're ignored.

Aurora shows what could be a potential integration of all your desktop, web, networking and communication needs.

The guys at Mozilla Labs and Adaptive Path are quick to point out a few notes and points of clarification about Part 1 of Aurora:

  • This is not a demonstration of a real product. What you see in the video is a visualization of our ideas created by animators. Technologically, much of Aurora would be difficult or impossible to implement today. However, we expect everything you see to be possible in some form in the future.
  • We don’t expect this kind of change to happen all at once. There are many intermediate steps we’d expect interfaces to take between the present day and Aurora.
  • There’s a difference between “lots of stuff” and “clutter”, and the difference is relevance. In the spatial view, distance communicates time, but opacity communicates contextual relevance. If something isn’t relevant to what you’re doing right now in Aurora, it literally becomes invisible. When you change contexts — like moving from a music feed to a news site — the relevance of objects changes, and their opacity shifts accordingly.
  • The device Jill uses in Part 1 is real: It’s called the Novint Falcon, and it’s a 3D haptic controller. It not only allows movement in three dimensions, but it also simulates forces and textures. It’s currently being sold as a gaming peripheral, but we think it has the potential for broader applications. We didn’t work out exactly what the haptics of Aurora would be, but from the presence of the Falcon you can assume that it has some.
  • Yes, there are easter eggs.

For more information and videos on the Aurora project visit Adaptive Path.

Saturday, August 02, 2008

FCC Rules Against Comcast In BitTorrent Blocking Case

In a precedent-setting decision the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has ruled against Comcast, finding the cable operator in violation of net neutrality rules by a margin of 3-2, but it will not issue fines.

The FCC asserted a new authority and ordered the cable giant to stop certain practices that interfere with online traffic. At a meeting in Washington, the agency called Comcast's actions inconsistent with "an open and accessible Internet."

The ruling came following a complaint by Free Press and Public Knowledge as well as a petition for declaratory ruling, the Commission concluded that Comcast has unduly interfered with Internet users’ right to access the lawful Internet content and to use the applications of their choice. Specifically, the Commission found that Comcast had deployed equipment throughout its network to monitor the content of its customers’ Internet connections and selectively block specific types of connections known as peer-to-peer connections.

The Commission’s determination that Comcast was not engaging in reasonable network management is supported by the overwhelming weight of expert testimony in the record. For example, Professor David Reed of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, widely respected as one of the architects of the Internet, said that “[n]either Deep Packet Inspection nor RST Injection” — Comcast uses both to manage its network — “are acceptable behavior.”

The Commission announced its intention to exercise its authority to oversee federal Internet policy in adjudicating this and other disputes regarding discriminatory network management practices with dispatch, and its commitment in retaining jurisdiction over this matter to ensure compliance with a proscribed plan to bring Comcast’s discriminatory conduct to an end.
Under the plan, within 30 days of release of the Order Comcast must:
  • Disclose the details of its discriminatory network management practices to the Commission
  • Submit a compliance plan describing how it intends to stop these discriminatory management practices by the end of the year
  • Disclose to customers and the Commission the network management practices that will replace current practices
Source: FCC.gov (word doc/PDF)

Thursday, July 31, 2008

VMware Offers ESXi Hypervisor For Free

VMware, Inc., the global leader in virtualization solutions from the desktop to the datacenter, earlier this week announced they will be providing for free their stand-alone OS-independent virtualization software ESXi hypervisor.

In December 2007, VMware announced significant improvements with ESXi – its third-generation stand-alone hypervisor. With the industry’s smallest footprint and OS-independence, ESXi sets a new bar for security and reliability. ESXi 3.5 update 2, available today, meets the criteria for mass distribution: (1) ease of use and (2) maturity and stability now having been ‘battle tested’ for six months with customers. The leading server manufacturers have all embedded VMware ESXi, including Dell, Fujitsu-Siemens, Hitachi, HP, IBM, and NEC. ESXi can be downloaded now from www.vmware.com/products/esxi/

According to Gartner Vice President Distinguished Analyst Tom Bittman, “Virtualization is one of the most impactful trends in computing. The availability of free hypervisors will undoubtedly grow the market and provide a compelling reason for companies that have not virtualized their environment to begin doing so. This is especially true for small to medium business customers and customers in emerging markets. The hypervisor itself is really just a foundation. The business model and real value in virtualization is evolving toward a virtualized infrastructure and the management and automation tools leveraging the hypervisor.”

“VMware has always believed that virtualization needs to be ubiquitous. We want to accelerate the day that x86 servers and desktops are fully virtualized,” said Raghu Raghuram, vice president of products and solutions, VMware. “With the explosive growth of multi-core capacity, improvements in virtualization-aware hardware, and performance improvements in our virtualization software, we believe that no technical hurdles remain for 100% virtualization. Now we are removing financial hurdles as well. ESXi is mature enough and easy enough to use that it can be the entry point into virtualization for those companies just taking their first steps with the technology.”

Source: VMWare

Connecting to Green: D-Link’s Environmentally Conscious Wireless Router

The following is a guest post from Erin Laing from CXTEC

The introduction of D-Link’s Xtreme NT line of wireless routers has created a new green initiative for Wi-Fi computer networking. This new technology adds eco-friendly features that have the potential of reducing the devices’ power consumption by 40% without sacrificing the performance of PC gaming, or more popular game consoles such as Microsoft XBOX and Sony Playstation families. A packet-processing engine integrates into the router, providing bandwidth priority over other applications. It also supports the latest wireless networking security standards, which package Wi-Fi Protected Access (WPA and WPA-2), and advanced firewall features.

In order to reduce power emissions, the new features automatically detect link statuses and network cable length and then adjust the power accordingly. The new routers, which connect through network cables, will also feature Wi-Fi scheduling which allows customers to program Wi-Fi radio signals that can be turned on and off to further save energy consumption. Although this aspect may not be original, D-Link has allowed this feature to be easier than competitive models and also provides a user-selectable radio shutdown option that is adjustable by day and start/end times.

These products are RoHS and WEEE-compliant. This means they are officially certified and safe from hazardous materials and made of recycled materials to be disposed of properly. Furthermore, the routers support IPv6. Prices range from $150-$350.

AT&T Wireless Bans P2P Users

AT&T told an FCC official on Friday that it plans to ban wireless phone subscribers from using file-sharing applications and threatens to terminate service of anyone caught doing so.

"AT&T's terms of service for mobile wireless broadband customers prohibit all uses that may cause extreme network capacity issues, and explicitly identify P2P file sharing applications as such a use," said Robert Quinn, AT&T's senior vice president of federal regulatory affairs.

AT&T made the statement last week in response to a question posed by FCC Republican Robert McDowell. McDowell asked AT&T about its policy on P2P traffic over its wireless network at an FCC forum in July.

AT&T tries to justify its actions of banning P2P applications stating "A small number of users of P2P file sharing applications served by a particular cell site could severely degrade the service quality enjoyed by all customers ... " Quinn said.

Quinn noted that AT&T has not terminated anyone because "the vast majority of our customers abide by their contractual commitments."

Source: Multichannel News

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Whats So Cool About Cuil?

On Monday the much-hyped new search engine Cuil (actually pronounced "cool") was touted as the next Google killer, fast forward a few hours and the bandwagon began to lose its stem as several issues plague the promising new site.

Founded by husband-and-wife team Tom Costello and Anna Patterson, a search-engine researcher from Stanford University and a Google technical lead, and Russell Power, another former Google executive, Cuil aims to rank the relevance of search results by content analysis rather than by popularity.

In terms of looks and performance, Cuil seemed to be very responsive and the start page looks good, at least when the service is up. It took me several hours to actually get a chance to try the service out as it seemed they where plagued by interruptions. "Due to overwhelming interest, our Cuil servers are running a bit hot right now," was the only message I got when trying to perform a search. "The search engine is momentarily unavailable as we add more capacity."

Upon its release Cuil was hyped up by many bloggers and respected reports that seemingly had never even tried the service. However once the smoke and mirrors cleared and users began to actually test out the functionality many of the very same supports turned their backs and quickly jumped ship.

Among the many complaints from first time users was the lack of relevant search results. "I tried it for an hour," wrote a commentator on the TG Daily Website. "Any multi-word search generated completely useless results, which seemed completely random. By contrast, Google comes up with quality, relevant results. Cuil works about as well as if I typed random URLs into the browser. Absolutely useless!"

Not only are users experiencing unrelated search terms but they appear to also be getting hit with unrelated images. Because of quirks in Cuil's search algorithm, search results of some brands are popping up with pictures of competing or even irrelevant brands.

Cuil Vice President of Communications Vince Sollitto just told eWeek.com that Cuil's engineers are working on the problem. Sollitto indicated that the bug was a bump in the road of the company's challenge in trying to provide an image next to every search result.

So whats so cool about Cuil, so far as I see it not much. Cuil is boasting an index of 120 billion Web pages, "three times more than any other search engine." However Google supposedly has an index of over a trillion unique URLs.

The one area that Cuil actually succeeds in the cool factor is that according to their privacy policy they actually promises privacy: "When you search with Cuil, we do not collect any personally identifiable information, period. We have no idea who sends queries: not by name, not by IP address, and not by cookies (more on this later). Your search history is your business, not ours."

Given time Cuil may be a great search engine, but its apparent that they have many issues and many challenges ahead before they can be the next best thing. Are they a Google killer? I highly doubt that. Google is to strong a force in the market and simply works too well.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Microsoft Tricks Vista Haters With "Mojave", But Does It Really Mean Anything

Microsoft's "Mojave Experiment" was a marketing idea that Microsoft put into action about two weeks ago. The experiment has recently received a huge amount of coverage, mostly due to the fact that Microsoft duped people into believing they were using a new OS rather than just using Vista.

Over the course of three days, Microsoft showed 120 Mac, Linux, Windows XP, and Windows 2000 users in San Francisco an HP Pavilion DV 2000 with 2GB of RAM that had on it a "new" version of Windows, codenamed "Mojave."

When asked about their experience with Mojave, over 90 percent said they were impressed with what they saw. That's when Microsoft told them they had actually been using Windows Vista all along.

Currently very little is know about the projects participants, their previous experiences with Vista, amount of computer knowledge or why they had a negative perception of Vista. But the question remains, does duping people into liking the "flash" that Vista has to offer really mean anything?

If you hand select a PC install only a limited amount of programs on it and sit an average user in front of it they probably would be "wowed" by Vista. After all how many home users really look under the hood of the systems they are running. We don't know what types of tasks the participants were asked to do nor do we know how much control over the PC they actually had. But I'm guessing they were limited to basic tasks.

Now the argument can easily be made that despite early technical challenges, of which there were many, Vista's biggest problems today are primarily ones of perception. Users that tried out Vista in its early stages saw numerous issues many of which most likely have been fixed.

This however doesn't mean that these perceptions are wrong it simply means Microsoft should have worked hard to put their best foot forward and put together a better OS to begin with. I'd never completely write off using Vista simply because I had issues with it in the beginning if I did I wouldn't be using XP or any PC for that matter, once I build a system that I know will be completely Vista compatible and capable I'll probably try it again. The fact that I have 2 free copies sitting in my desk and XP is going to be getting harder to buy helps that decision a little!

Monday, July 28, 2008

Software Piracy May Be eBay's Next Legal Hurdle

The Software Information Industry Association (SIIA) has been keeping a close eye on eBay and the voluminous amount of counterfeit software that is being listed on the popular auction site. The shear volume of counterfeit software has raised red flags for the SIAA, so much so that they are now contemplating a law suit that would be representing hundreds of software vendors.

The SIAA has made several attempts at helping eBay reduce sales of illegal software. Despite a few years of discussions, eBay refuses to do more than just take down auctions of software that the SIIA has identified as pirated.

"Once notified, they will do something," Keith Kuperschmid, senior VP of intellectual property policy and enforcement for SIIA, told InformationWeek. "What they won't do is what we consider pre-emptory, proactive measures."

Those measures include placing a notification in the buyer feedback section that the seller has had pirated items removed from the site; penalize sellers of illegal software, even if it's their first offense; and develop technology to try to find repeat offenders who use multiple identities on eBay.

The reason the SIIA wants eBay to do more is because so much pirated software is sold on the site that the group can't identify all the offenders, Kuperschmid said. The SIIA estimates that 75% of the software sold on eBay is illegal.

EBay's refusal to take these steps has led to SIIA discussions of taking eBay to court. The latest talks among members were in May. SIIA members include many big names in software, such as IBM and Oracle.

Over the last several months eBay has faced many challenges in courts over counterfeit goods. Should the SIAA proceed with a lawsuit it would likely be one of the first and largest such suits focus on copyright infringement instead of trademark infringement, as in previous cases.

The Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) of 1998 and other copyright law sets out strong standards for secondary copyright infringement, said Kupferschmid. U.S. copyright law allows lawsuits for vicarious infringement, when the defendant has the ability to stop infringing activity and has a direct financial interest in the infringement.

This year, the SIIA has filed 32 lawsuits against eBay sellers accused of marketing counterfeit software. This week, an Oregon man was sentenced to four years in prison for identity theft and for selling counterfeit software on eBay, after the SIIA complained about him.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Google Snatching Up Digg For $200million?

The rumor mill has been running wild with speculation the Google will soon be buying Digg for a reported $200 million. The rumors began about a week ago when images on Web sites suggested Google was testing voting methods.

According to VentureBeat, Digg has been on the selling blocks since late last year, with an initial asking price of $300 mill. Michael Arrington over at TechCrunch reported yesterday that Google was in final negotiations to acquire Digg for “Around $200 Million”.

Feedback on the buyout rumors have been varied. Many long time diggers are concerned to say the least. Digg commenter Hiji writes, "This is the beginning of the end. In a few years all the major blogs and social-media sites will be owned by large corporations, putting us right back where we started."

For more interest remarks on the possible buyout check out the following Digg posts:

Child Online Protection Act (COPA) Dealt Another Death Blow

A federal appeals court Tuesday agreed with a lower court ruling that struck down as unconstitutional a 1998 law intended to protect children from sexual material and other objectionable content on the Internet.

The decision by the 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Philadelphia is the latest twist in a decade-long legal battle over the Child Online Protection Act. The fight has already reached the Supreme Court and could be headed back there.

The Child Online Protection Act or COPA, which has not taken effect and at this rate won't ever take effect, would bar Web sites from making harmful content available to minors over the Internet. The act was passed the year after the Supreme Court ruled that another law intended to protect children from explicit material online — the Communications Decency Act — was unconstitutional in the landmark case Reno v. American Civil Liberties Union.

Source: The Associated Press: Court affirms online content law unconstitutional

DirectX 11 Details Revealed

At a recent GameFest 2008 event Microsoft revealed a few of the details concerning DirectX 11, the latest edition of its PC gaming graphics API.

Similar to DirectX 10, the software will be only be available on Windows Vista and future versions of Microsoft's operating system (Sorry XP users). DirectX 11 will add new "compute shader" technology that Microsoft says will allow GPUs to be used "for more than just 3D graphics," allowing developers to utilize video cards as parallel processors.

DirectX 11 will support tessellation, a feature which can potentially assist developers in making models appear smoother when seen up close. Multi-threaded resource handling is also incorporated, making it easier for games to utilize multi-core processors in a user's machine.

Microsoft also disclosed that DirectX 11 will add features to existing DirectX 10-compatible hardware, though it was not immediately clear what those features may be.

A launch date for the new software was not provided, though Microsoft is expected to release more information in the near future. The bullet points, as provided by Microsoft, are listed below.

  • Full support (including all DX11 hardware features) on Windows Vista as well as future versions of Windows
  • Compatibility with DirectX 10 and 10.1 hardware, as well as support for new DirectX 11 hardware
  • New compute shader technology that lays the groundwork for the GPU to be used for more than just 3D graphics, so that developers can take advantage of the graphics card as a parallel processor
  • Multi-threaded resource handling that will allow games to better take advantage of multi-core machines
  • Support for tessellation, which blurs the line between super high quality pre-rendered scenes and scenes rendered in real-time, allowing game developers to refine models to be smoother and more attractive when seen up close
Source: Shacknews

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Intel Announces New Price Cuts

intel logo
As previously reported here on Geek-News.Net Intel has announced the latest round of prices drops, slashing the price of seven processors by up to 31%.

The largest of the cuts was on the 3.16-GHz Core 2 Duo E8500 which was reduced 31% in price from $266 to $183 as of July 20. The price of the Core 2 Duo 2.53-GHz E2700 chip was cut by 15% to $113, and the 3-GHz E8400 by 11% to $163. In addition, the price tag for the company's Core 2 Q6600 2.4-GHz quad processor was reduced from $224 to $193, a 14% drop.

There was also three different price cuts in the Xeon server processor family, with prices of both the X3220 and the X3210 reduced by 12%. The price of the E3110 dropped by 11%.

Source: Intel CPU Price List

Monday, July 21, 2008

Nvidia GeForce 9700M, 9800M Specs Emerge

Specifications on Nvidias newest line of mobile GPU's have been leaked and things look fairly impressive.

The cards line up with specs as follows:

9700M GT
Core G96
32 shaders
625MHz core clock
1,550MHz shader clock
128-bit Memory interface
800MHz memory clock

9700M GTS
Core G94
530MHz core clock
1,325MHz shader clock
256-bit Memory interface
800MHz memory clock

9800M GTS
Core G94
64 shaders
600MHz core clock
1,500MHz shader clock
256-bit Memory interface
800MHz memory clock

9800M GT
Core G94
96 shaders
500MHz core clock
1,250MHz shader clock
256-bit Memory interface
800MHz memory clock

9800M GTX
Core G92
112 shaders
500MHz core clock
1,250MHz shader clock
256-bit Memory interface
800MHz memory clock

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

1 Million iPhones Sold? Maybe Not

Earlier this week Apples press release boasted that they had reached 1 million sales for the new 3G iPhone, a number some analysts were quick to criticize. Gene Munster, a financial analyst at Piper Jaffray, had originally stated that he determined the actual amount of 3G iPhones sold as of Monday to measure less than 500,000.

Munster later revised his own analysis of the sales figures, according to Fortune he now acknowledges that "First weekend estimates exceeded our 425k estimate based on strength in international and improvement in activation process throughout the weekend."

Munster now estimates that 400,000 iPhones were sold in the United States, 250,000 in the United Kingdom and an average of 18,000 each in the other 19 countries. He now speculates that sales must have accelerated over the weekend as Apple cleared up its iTunes activation problems:
“We underestimated the number of phones sold per hour throughout the weekend and Apple’s recovery from activation issues. While we believe Friday’s 24 phones per hour is probably a close guess for Friday, the number likely increased significantly on Saturday and Sunday, well above our previous estimate of 28 phones per hour.”

So did Apple truly sale 1 million 3G iPhones? We can't be certain of that. Apple counts "sales" as any device it has sold to wireless network operators such as AT&T. The network operators then re-sell the devices to actual end users. Some of those 1 million phones that were shipped to Apple's partners might still be sitting unsold, we may never know.

As Steve Jobs said “iPhone 3G had a stunning opening weekend, It took 74 days to sell the first one million original iPhones, so the new iPhone 3G is clearly off to a great start around the world.”

Add in the second press release, where Apple announced that iPhone and iPod touch owners have downloaded more than 10 million applications from the App Store since it launched last week and Apple has had on hell of a week.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Nvidia Cuts GTX 260/280 Prices, XFX Offers Cash-back

In response to competition from AMD/ATI unit Nvidia has slashed the price of its new GeForce GTX 260 and 280 graphics processors. The new pricing comes only a few short weeks after it launched the chips, a move that has left many Nvidia loyalist displeased.

Nvidia said Sunday night that the GeForce GTX 280, which was originally $649, will now be available for $499 and the GTX 260 previously priced at $399 will be available for $299.

The sudden price drops have angered many consumers, with bulletin boards and forums being hit with tons of complaints. Price drops are to be expected however not this large and this quickly.

In a very classy move, graphics card manufacturer XFX has decided to refund some of the purchase price. XFX announced their GTX Cash Back program

Being the First Has Its Rewards
If You’re an XFX GeForce® GTX 280 or GeForce® GTX 260 Owner
Being the first to do anything is a rewarding experience. And now, if you were one of the first to purchase one of our XFX GeForce GTX 280 or GeForce GTX 260 graphics cards, there’s another potential reward in your future—cold hard cash*.

Sudden changes in the market have caused the price for the XFX GeForce GTX 280 and the XFX GeForce GTX 260 to drop. As a result, we want to thank you for your continued loyalty and for believing in the XFX brand. And, to show our commitment to you, we are issuing up to $120 CASH BACK to customers who purchased one of these cards between June 16, 2008 and July 11, 2008. The actual amount of cash back will be determined based on the model purchased, as well as the date and price of the purchase.

All I can say is kuddos to XFX for backing your customers! And bravo to ATI/AMD to taking it to Nvidia and putting a great deal of pricing pressure on them.

iPhone Dev Team Jailbreaks 3G iPhone

The iPhone Dev Team has posted a video of what it claims is “the world’s first jailbroken iPhone 3G running our own software.” The video was posted to their blog earlier this morning, while its not an official release announcement it shows some promise.

Jailbreaking, allows users wanting to use the latest iPhone the option to run non-Apple-sanctioned applications on the device.

The iPhone Dev Team are updating "Pwnage" to jailbreak and/or unlock iPhones running firmware 2.0. However, the big caveat, according to Geohot, is that there is currently no way to unlock the 3G iPhone — only first-gen iPhones running 2.0. The new baseband on the iPhone 3G — the part that was exploited to allow the unlock on first-gen devices, and which has not been updated on those first-year phones — currently has no known exploits, and while there are known exploits to jailbreak it, unlocking is an entirely different matter.

eBay Cleared In Tiffany Counterfeiting Lawsuit

ebay logo
According to U.S. District Judge Richard Sullivan’s 66-page ruling (PDF), eBay’s current efforts at enforcement – which primarily involves responding to takedown requests from copyright and trademark holders – are more than sufficient to keep the site out of liability for inadvertently brokering counterfeit goods.

“It is the trademark owner's burden to police its mark and companies like eBay cannot be held liable for trademark infringement based solely on their generalized knowledge that trademark infringement might be occurring on their websites,” wrote Sullivan.

This is a much-needed legal win for eBay who has not fared well as of late in other legal arenas. A French judge recently sided with LVHM - maker of Louis Vuitton handbags - in a similar suit, ordering eBay for fork over $60m in damages. Just prior to that suit eBay was forced to pay French luxury group Hermes for damages resulting from the sale of counterfeit handbags.

Should the victory stand it would set a legal precedence here in the states that could save sites like eBay millions of dollars. However it will do little to save them from on-going legal battles elsewhere in the world.

The lawsuit also has important implications for nearly every industry affected by piracy and copyright or trademark infringement. A victory for Tiffany would have set precedent that named content and platform providers – a description that fits a wide variety of names, including eBay and video-sharing site YouTube – as primary enforcers in other companies’ trademarks.

This would have potentially opened the door to hundreds of thousands of lawsuits. By ruling in favor of eBay judge Sullivan has effectively cleared many sites of wrong doing. This ruling may even inadvertently have a major impact on file sharing and torrent sites.


Aug 11, as expected Tiffany's has appealed the previous decision of Judge Richard Sullivan that absolved eBay of any responsibility for counterfeit Tiffany items that appeared on the online auction site.

"The effect of this is that eBay can continue to profit at the expense of consumers and trademark holders," Patrick Dorsey, general counsel for Tiffany & Co., said in a statement. "In our view, this approach makes no sense as a matter of law or policy."

Tiffany maintains that eBay should "be compelled to investigate and take action to protect its customers and stop the illegal conduct" once it becomes aware that a specific brand like Tiffany is being counterfeited and sold on its site.

eBay has been battling Tiffany and other luxury retailers over counterfeiting for years. Monday's filing from Tiffany requests that the court overturn the July decision.

"We do not believe the law allows auction sites like eBay to continue to turn a blind eye to this problem while reaping profits from the listing and sale of counterfeit merchandise," Tiffany lawyer James B. Swire, a partner with Arnold & Porter, said in a statement. "Stated trademark law does not impose a duty on Tiffany to police eBay's site: eBay designed the site and has the responsibility to police it."

Monday, July 14, 2008

Rock Band 2 Track List Revealed

The gang over at Joystiq are reporting that Harmonix and MTV Games have unveiled the full song list for the upcoming release of Rock Band 2. There will be a total of 84 songs on the disc, and an additional 20 songs available as free DLC after the game's release. The set list is comprised entirely of master recordings, and features AC/DC, Guns N' Roses, Bob Dylan, Metallica, Pearl Jam and more.

Rock Band 2 On-Disc Track List:

1. AC/DC "Let There Be Rock"
2. AFI "Girl's Gone Grey"
3. Alanis Morissette "You Oughta Know"
4. Alice in Chains "Man in the Box"
5. Allman Brothers "Ramblin' Man"
6. Avenged Sevenfold "Almost Easy"
7. Bad Company "Shooting Star"
8. Beastie Boys "So Whatcha Want"
9. Beck "E-Pro"
10. Bikini Kill "Rebel Girl"
11. Billy Idol "White Wedding Pt. I"
12. Blondie " One Way or Another"
13. Bob Dylan "Tangled Up in Blue"
14. Bon Jovi "Livin' on a Prayer"
15. Cheap Trick "Hello There"
16. Devo "Uncontrollable Urge"
17. Dinosaur Jr. "Feel the Pain"
18. Disturbed "Down with the Sickness"
19. Dream Theater "Panic Attack"
20. Duran Duran "Hungry Like the Wolf"
21. Elvis Costello "Pump It Up"
22. Fleetwood Mac "Go Your Own Way"
23. Foo Fighters "Everlong"
24. Guns N' Roses "Shackler's Revenge"
25. Interpol "PDA"
26. Jane's Addiction "Mountain Song"
27. Jethro Tull "Aqualung"
28. Jimmy Eat World "The Middle"
29. Joan Jett "Bad Reputation"
30. Journey "Anyway You Want It"
31. Judas Priest "Painkiller"
32. Kansas "Carry On Wayward Son"
33. L7 "Pretend We're Dead"
34. Lacuna Coil "Our Truth"
35. Linkin Park "One Step Closer"
36. Lit "My Own Worst Enemy"
37. Lush "De-Luxe"
38. Mastodon "Colony of Birchmen"
39. Megadeth "Peace Sells"
40. Metallica " Battery"
41. Mighty Mighty Bosstones "Where'd You Go"
42. Modest Mouse "Float On"
43. Motorhead "Ace of Spades"
44. Nirvana "Drain You"
45. Norman Greenbaum "Spirit in the Sky"
46. Panic at the Disco "Nine in the Afternoon"
47. Paramore "That's What You Get"
48. Pearl Jam "Alive"
49. Presidents of the USA "Lump"
50. Rage Against the Machine "Testify"
51. Ratt "Round & Round"
52. Red Hot Chili Peppers "Give it Away"
53. Rise Against "Give it All"
54. Rush "The Trees"
55. Silversun Pickups "Lazy Eye"
56. Smashing Pumpkins "Today"
57. Social Distortion "I Was Wrong"
58. Sonic Youth "Teenage Riot"
59. Soundgarden "Spoonman"
60. Squeeze "Cool for Cats"
61. Steely Dan "Bodhitsattva"
62. Steve Miller Band "Rock'n Me"
63. Survivor "Eye of the Tiger"
64. System of a Down "Chop Suey"
65. Talking Heads "Psycho Killer"
66. Tenacious D "Master Exploder"
67. Testament "Souls of Black"
68. The Donnas "New Kid in School"
69. The Go-Go's "We Got the Beat"
70. The Grateful Dead " Alabama Getaway"
71. The Guess Who "American Woman"
72. The Muffs "Kids in America"
73. The Offspring "Come Out & Play (Keep 'em Separated)"
74. The Replacements "Alex Chilton"
75. The Who "Pinball Wizard"

Bonus Songs
76. Abnormality "Visions"
77. Anarchy Club "Get Clean"
78. Bang Camaro "Night Lies"
79. Breaking Wheel "Shoulder to the Plow"
80. The Libyans "Neighborhood"
81. The Main Drag "A Jagged Gorgeous Winter"
82. Speck "Conventional Lover"
83. The Sterns "Supreme Girl"
84. That Handsome Devil "Rob the Prez-O-Dent"