Wednesday, September 30, 2009

NVIDIA Unveils Next Generation CUDA GPU Architecture – Codenamed “Fermi”

nvidia logoNew Ground-Up Design Gives Rise to the World’s First Computational GPUs

NVIDIA Corp. today introduced its next generation CUDA GPU architecture, codenamed “Fermi”. An entirely new ground-up design, the “Fermi” architecture is the foundation for the world’s first computational graphics processing units (GPUs), delivering breakthroughs in both graphics and GPU computing.

“NVIDIA and the Fermi team have taken a giant step towards making GPUs attractive for a broader class of programs,” said Dave Patterson, director Parallel Computing Research Laboratory, U.C. Berkeley and co-author of Computer Architecture: A Quantitative Approach. “I believe history will record Fermi as a significant milestone.”

Presented at the company’s inaugural GPU Technology Conference, in San Jose, California, “Fermi” delivers a feature set that accelerates performance on a wider array of computational applications than ever before. Joining NVIDIA’s press conference was Oak Ridge National Laboratory who announced plans for a new supercomputer that will use NVIDIA GPUs based on the “Fermi” architecture. “Fermi” also garnered the support of leading organizations including Bloomberg, Cray, Dell, HP, IBM and Microsoft.

“It is completely clear that GPUs are now general purpose parallel computing processors with amazing graphics, and not just graphics chips anymore,” said Jen-Hsun Huang, co-founder and CEO of NVIDIA. “The Fermi architecture, the integrated tools, libraries and engines are the direct results of the insights we have gained from working with thousands of CUDA developers around the world. We will look back in the coming years and see that Fermi started the new GPU industry.”

As the foundation for NVIDIA’s family of next generation GPUs namely GeForce, Quadro and Tesla − “Fermi” features a host of new technologies that are “must-have” features for the computing space, including:

  • C++, complementing existing support for C, Fortran, Java, Python, OpenCL and DirectCompute.
  • ECC, a critical requirement for datacenters and supercomputing centers deploying GPUs on a large scale
  • 512 CUDA Cores featuring the new IEEE 754-2008 floating-point standard, surpassing even the most advanced CPUs
  • 8x the peak double precision arithmetic performance over NVIDIA’s last generation GPU. Double precision is critical for high-performance computing (HPC) applications such as linear algebra, numerical simulation, and quantum chemistry
  • NVIDIA Parallel DataCache - the world’s first true cache hierarchy in a GPU that speeds up algorithms such as physics solvers, raytracing, and sparse matrix multiplication where data addresses are not known beforehand
  • NVIDIA GigaThread Engine with support for concurrent kernel execution, where different kernels of the same application context can execute on the GPU at the same time (eg: PhysX fluid and rigid body solvers)
  • Nexus – the world’s first fully integrated heterogeneous computing application development environment within Microsoft Visual Studio

Images, technical whitepapers, presentations, videos and more on “Fermi” can all be found at:

Source: NVIDIA

Gigabyte GeForce Overclocking Contest

Gigabyte is giving all you GPU overclockers out there a chance to show what you've got and how well you can OC that new rig. Starting tomorrow Gigabyte will be holding the “Beat Me If You Dare” Global Online Graphics Overclocking which runs to the end of 2009. Each round of the competition pits users of three specific GPU's, the GeForce GTX260, GeForce GTX275 and the GeForce GTX275 in SLI in a head to head battle to see who can achieve the highest over clock.

The contest will include three rounds, each round consisting of its own unique theme and each utilizing a specific GPU. In October, owners of a GeForce GTX260 are invited to compete. In November, it'll be GeForce GTX275 owners. In December contestants using two GTX275s in SLI are invited to compete.

Contestants will compete based on 3DMark Vantage P scores as well as Resident Evil 5 numbers. Gigabyte will also be doing some overclocking of its own in-house to see what sort of numbers an OEM can achieve.

The champion of each round will receive $1,500 cash. Second prize is a Gigabyte GTX295 graphics card and the third place winning will receive a Gigabyte Ultra Durable VGA GTX285. As an added bonus, any contestant that beats the benchmark set by the Gigabyte team will double his/her prize.

Check out Gigabyte's contest page for the full details.

AT&T and Garmin Announce The Garmin nüvifone G60 Coming Soon to AT&T Customers

AT&T and Garmin Announce a New Mobile Navigation Era with nüvifone, The Navigation Phone

AT&T and Garmin International Inc., a unit of Garmin Ltd. announced the Garmin nüvifone G60 will be available beginning October 4 only for AT&T customers in the U.S. in AT&T stores and online at

The nüvifone G60 provides one of the easiest-to-use location experiences available because it is the only phone to fully integrate the world’s best selling GPS navigator with voice, data and mobile web.

“Personal navigation devices are already all about mobility and taking the Garmin experience everywhere as your mobile phone is truly compelling for customers who travel often,” said Michael Woodward, vice president, Mobile Phone Portfolio, AT&T Mobility and Consumer Markets. “We expect the nüvifone to be the guide for local restaurants, the least-expensive gas and the nearest coffee shop for many customers.”

”The nüvifone weaves location into nearly every facet of its functionality making it ideal for people who depend on location to navigate everyday life,” said Cliff Pemble, Garmin’s president and COO. “The nüvifone has Garmin’s easy-to-use interface, so navigating to a meeting directly from its calendar or contacts pages, or geotagging an email or photograph with a location stamp, is intuitive, useful and fun.”

Navigate with turn-by-turn guidance
The nüvifone G60 has the same core features as a high-end Garmin nüvi and comes preloaded with maps and millions of points of interest (POI) for North America. Customers who purchase a nüvifone will have everything that they need to use the device as an in-car navigation unit including a dashboard and windshield mount. The device can easily be mounted in the car or detached for portable navigational use.

Because the maps reside on the nüvifone customers always have access to navigation and they can receive turn-by-turn voice-prompted directions that speak street names to millions of destinations. If a turn is missed along the route, the nüvifone will automatically recalculate a route and get the user back on track. The nüvifone is able to provide reliable location information in the most challenging conditions because it has a real GPS receiver with Garmin’s HotFix™ technology and assisted GPS.

The nüvifone also has a “Where am I?” feature so users will know their exact latitude and longitude coordinates, nearest address, intersection, hospital, police station and gas station with one touch of the screen. Another great feature of nüvifone is for users who cannot find their car in an unfamiliar spot or crowded parking lot, nüvifone will automatically mark the position in which it was last removed from the windshield mount.

Surf the web

Nüvifone customers are just one click away from a full HTML browser that can be accessed via the nation’s fastest 3G network, or AT&T’s more than 20,000 Wi-Fi hotspots. Garmin’s location link, which parses addresses on the web with latitude and longitude information, allows customers to easily navigate to addresses they discover on the web by simply touching the address. The touch-screen virtual keyboard which includes predictive text, is customizable to QWERTY or A to Z to allow customers to easily type in web addresses or send and receive text messages.

Capture quality photos

The nüvifone G60 also includes a three megapixel camera with auto-focus. The camera automatically geotags images with an exact latitude and longitude reference of where the image was taken. Customers may then save the image so they can navigate back to the location, or email the geo-tagged image to others.

Stay connected

In addition to millions of preloaded POIs, customers can supplement the data with additional free and subscription content. The nüvifone includes free access to AT&T’s Yellow Pages, flight status and converter. Premium Connected Services gives customers subscription access to real-time traffic information, fuel prices, White Pages, weather and more.

Price and Availability

The nüvifone G60 will be available in AT&T stores or at on October 4 for $299 with a two year service agreement after $100 mail-in-rebate. Nüvifone Premium Connected Services which includes traffic updates, white pages, weather, movie, local events and fuel price content are available for $5.99/month after a 30-day trial.

For the complete array of AT&T offerings, visit
Additional information about the nüvifone product line is available at

Source: Garmin Press Release

Monday, September 28, 2009

Campus Moviefest and AT&T Kick Off Annual Student Filmmaking Tour

Campus MovieFest (CMF), the world's largest student film festival, and presenting sponsor AT&T announced today the recent launch of CMF's 2009-2010 World Tour. In its ninth year, Campus MovieFest gives college students everything they need to create original short films on any topic, competing for exposure, cash, and other prizes totaling more than $400,000.

This year CMF will tour more than 50 colleges and universities, CMF grand finales, and top film festivals around the world. Past participants have included first-time filmmakers as well as aspiring professionals.

"We've had an amazing journey since starting CMF as students. Working together with AT&T, we're making this year without a doubt the biggest CMF tour yet, providing masses of students with unforgettable experiences, exposure, and opportunities." said David Roemer, Co-Founder of Campus MovieFest.

"Each year, Campus MovieFest provides a great stage for us to showcase some of our most popular products and services, including our latest Samsung Quick Messaging phones, while providing a vehicle for these talented students to share their unique stories with a global audience," said Mimi Chan, director, Youth Marketing AT&T Mobility and Consumer Markets.

Contest Details
Student teams from participating colleges and universities who sign up for Campus MovieFest will have one week to create their own five-minute films on any topic. Competing student teams will be given access to 24/7 support from CMF and will be provided AT&T mobile phones, Apple computers and Panasonic HD camcorders to use for one week, free of charge.

Entries are judged by a panel of students and staff from each school, with the top 16 movies shown at each school's red carpet finale. Top movies from each school, including AT&T Wild Card Picks selected by text voting, move on to their CMF Regional Grand Finale, followed by the CMF International Grand Finale at Paramount Studios in June 2010.

Awards are also given for winners of special categories, such as the Social Justice category that encourages short movies about solutions to help eliminate domestic inequality, with $20,000 in cash grants for winners from The Elfenworks Foundation. AT&T also presents a Golden Mobile Award for students using groundbreaking AT&T technology in innovative ways in their movies.

AT&T Prize
The top movies from the festival will be shown exclusively on AT&T handsets via AT&T's CV mobile video platform. Text MOVIES to 41234 for more details.

Additionally, AT&T is sponsoring a unique sweepstakes that gives CMF participants the chance to attend one of the world's top film festivals and interview a famous director or producer, as well as other prizes. A sweepstakes winner from three regions of the country – Western, Southern and Northern - will win a trip for two to a leading film festival: Sundance, Tribeca or Cannes, based on region.

For a complete list of sweepstakes prizes, rules and alternative ways to enter, visit the "Mobile" section of the Campus MovieFest website —

Additional Contest Content
Other AT&T-CMF offerings include:

  • CMF Messaging Calendar designed to keep film lovers updated on the latest CMF news directly on their mobile phones. To opt-in to receive the CMF Messaging Calendar, text INFO to 41234.
  • Another sweepstakes open to the broader CMF audience will give fans a chance to win an AT&T prize pack including cash, an Apple MacBook Pro, AT&T Samsung phones, and AT&T gift cards, by simply texting WIN to 41234. More details can be found at, "Mobile" section.

Source: AT&T

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Ever Wanted To Redesign Google Here's Your Chance

WebMynd, designers of a Firefox and Internet Explorer add-on that augments Google's search results to include real-time Twitter updates, Wikipedia articles, YouTube videos, and results from dozens of other places has launched a contest appropriately called that invites designers from around the world to give Google a makeover.

WebMynd has posted all the details about the contest and how this theoretical redisng of Google works on its blog, but here are the basics.

Through the use of CSS RedesignGoogle lets you completely customize the look of Google Search by installing user-submitted designs from an online gallery. A stripped-down version of the WebMynd add-on applies your installed stylesheet whenever you’re on a Google search results page. (You can enable WebMynd’s other features if you like, but they’re turned off by default.) Currently, RedesignGoogle is only available for Firefox, but WebMynd says they will be releasing versions of the add-on for other browsers soon.

Anything about the Google search page that can be manipulated using CSS can be changed with RedesignGoogle. You can check out some examples of what others have created in the RedisgnGoogle gallery. There are a couple of really cool looking examples of what’s possible.
WebMynd offers a web-based CSS editor for creating and previewing your designs, or you can use any preferred tool set or editor you are comfortable with — just paste your stylesheet into the editor when you’re ready to apply it to your own searches and publish it to the Gallery.

The contest started accepting submissions Sept 20th, and will run through November 1. Then, a number of judges (which include Y Combinator’s Paul Graham and members of the WebMynd team) will pick the best designs. The winners will take home a brand new MacBook Air.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

A Year Later Google Project 10^100 Final Themes Announced

A year to the day of it introduction Google's Project 10^100 finally has a list of finalist for the world to vote on. The program, which asked for ideas that could change the world by helping as many people as possible, was originally launched exactly one year ago (in honor of the company’s 10th birthday).

The program was such a hit that it has taken the company an entire year to weed through the more than 150,000 submissions to narrow them down to 16 different overall theme ideas. Voting was meant to start in October of last year and the one final project to be chosen in January 2009. The response was such that Google was a bit overwhelmed, even with more than 3,000 Googlers in offices around the world reviewing the submissions.

In a blog post posted this afternoon Google said they will be accepting votes over the next two weeks. Upon gathering your votes they will send the top selections to an advisory board that will then choose up to five winning ideas that will receive funding. After that, the company will present the finalists and ask for proposals from individuals or organizations that can implement these ideas.

The public is invited to vote for your choice of any of the following sixteen ideas:

Help social entrepreneurs drive change

Create a fund to support social entrepreneurship. This idea was inspired by a number of user proposals focused on "social entrepreneurs" -- individuals and organizations who use entrepreneurial techniques to build ventures focused on attacking social problems and fomenting change. Specific relevant ideas include establishing schools that teach entrepreneurial skills in rural areas; supporting entrepreneurs in underdeveloped communities; and creating an entity to provide capital and training to help entrepreneurs build viable businesses and catalyze sustained community change.

Make government more transparent

Create a website that enables people from any country or municipality to easily learn about the workings of their government, and rally their fellow citizens to take action to improve it. Numerous user ideas embraced variations on the theme of governmental transparency, with specific proposals ranging from publishing details of proposed laws and politicians' voting records to making public budgets searchable online and leveraging social networks to let communities make their voices heard by their representatives by voting on pressing issues.

Provide quality education to African students

Support efforts to increase young Africans' access to quality education. This idea's many user-submitted inspirations include an initiative to provide quality education and facilities to children who lack access; giving leadership training to outstanding young people who will comprise tomorrow's African leaders; and providing an online networking space for knowledge sharing and collaboration among teachers in Africa.

Create real-time natural crisis tracking system

Make rapid-response crisis-mapping data available to help policymakers better coordinate response efforts during hurricanes, earthquakes, tsunamis and other natural disasters. For example, this proposal could involve joining with global partners to develop technology to collect high-resolution imagery and video via satellite, Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) or ground-based communications, and display and aggregate this data for the use of policymakers and international organizations tasked with protecting vulnerable civilians.

Promote health monitoring and data analysis

Predict and minimize medical problems and emergencies through real-time tracking of individuals' health data and analysis of historical data. Several ideas submitted in multiple languages recommend this concept, offering various ideas about which types of monitors and devices to use; which vital signs to measure (with varying levels of invasiveness); which diseases and conditions to track; and so on. The idea could work both in the developed world (through wearable, mobile or in-home devices) and in the developing world (via publicly accessible locations and devices), and the data could be used both to track individuals' health status and to spot community trends and prevent disease outbreaks.

Enhance science and engineering education

Support initiatives that enhance young people's engineering and science education. Users from many countries agreed that encouraging science education was an ideal way to insure the brightest future for technology development itself. Specific ideas ranged from building a virtual science lab and a live multiplayer math game to putting Lego robots and local high-tech professionals in schools.

Create real-world issue reporting system

Build an issue-reporting website that lets people report problems to proper authorities. When software testers find errors, they generally submit them to a tool which automatically routes them to the right team to be fixed. Implementing proposals for this idea might involve creating an analogous system for the real world that lets anyone report a problem of any kind (e.g., a dangerous pothole), and routes problems it deems sufficiently important to the proper authorities (e.g., the relevant road agency). The aim would be to incorporate all the niche applications that users suggested, including reporting crimes to the police and environmental issues to local governments.

Create genocide monitoring and alert system

Build and refine tools capable of disseminating genocide-related mapping and related information in order to save lives. Much of the necessary technology and data-gathering methodology already exists both for general crisis mapping and for early warning systems capable of preventing mass atrocities. A key remaining step is to make this data more widely available to strengthen international aid agency coordination, improve resource allocation, develop timely policy and help evaluate current humanitarian practices.

Build real-time, user-reported news service

Help people find and report timely, important local information. Users have submitted many ideas proposing better access to locally relevant info, including real-time news (fires, natural disasters and road accidents), disease tracking (mobile devices that track people's health status) and personal incidents (calling to report a threatening criminal situation, natural disaster or medical emergency). Implementation of this idea would involve creating a system that enables ordinary citizens to easily report news that's happening around them, from meaningful local events to important global stories.

Drive innovation in public transport

Develop new transportation technologies to help move more people with less energy, greater efficiency and fewer casualties. Millions of people still use methods of transportation invented a hundred or more years ago. Even small improvements in speed, safety, cost and environmental efficiency would have a large impact on people's lives, and on the planet as a whole. With such improvements in mind, transportation-minded users submitted ideas ranging from a hydrogen-powered bicycle to an airship optimized for commuter travel. By aligning with and supporting organizations that share these goals, this proposal aims to drive innovation in this sector and make the best of these ideas a reality.

Make educational content available online for free

Make educational and course materials more accessible online to students worldwide. Lots of educational content is not indexed or accessible on the public web. Various users have proposed finding ways to help content owners put formerly exclusive content online, including offline materials (lectures, textbooks, videotaped workshops) and limited-access materials (scholarly papers, research dissertations); help teachers themselves become more available online (access to online profs, 24/7 homework help, cross-country study groups); and to make all this material and academic help accessible through both computer and mobile platforms.

Create more efficient landmine removal programs

Fund global organizations that are developing efficient strategies for landmine detection and removal. Landmines remain a significant global problem. There are an estimated 110 million landmines still active in 70 countries; they have been blamed for over 5,000 casualties annually, ~70% of which are civilians, and nearly half of those are children.* Effective new landmine-removal programs offer a wide range of societal benefits beyond the obvious development of mine-free areas, including the repatriation of refugees and better distribution of emergency aid. Numerous suggestions for this topic include robotic, human and animal-facilitated detection strategies.

Work toward socially conscious tax policies

Fund the most promising efforts to make the tax system more transparent and better at supporting societal sustainability and development. This idea is inspired by many tax-related ideas from users around the world, including: replacing income taxes with smart consumption taxes; tax discounts for citizens who participate in socially beneficial works; and giving citizens more visibility and control into the allocation of their tax dollars. User ideas in this category highlight tax policy as a perhaps surprisingly fertile area in which intelligent, data-driven analysis could make a huge difference in the effectiveness of the public sector.

Build better banking tools for everyone

Partner with banks and technology companies to increase the reach of financial services across the world. Users submitted numerous ideas that seek to improve the quality of people's lives by offering new, more convenient and more sophisticated banking services. Specific suggestions include inexpensive village-based banking kiosks for developing countries; an SMS solution geared toward mobile networks; and ideas for implementing banking services into school curriculums.

Collect and organize the world's urban data

Support efforts to organize, analyze and make accessible online the world's urban and population data. A majority of the global human population lives in cities, and more people continue to migrate into urban centers. Information about the urban planet is ever more invaluable in helping understand humanity's impact on our surroundings, thus empowering citizens and helping leaders make better-informed decisions. Users interested in this area submitted ideas ranging from creating a website where residents can text or upload photos that highlight city issues to building a comprehensive database of city projects and using mobile phones to collect information about, and eventually be able to predict traffic and congestion patterns.

Encourage positive media depictions of engineers and scientists

Support groups and programs that promote positive depictions of engineers and scientists in popular media. Generally speaking, career services are only offered in earnest during university years, when many opportunities have already passed by. These proposals are designed to encourage more young people to pursue careers in this field by supporting groups that work toward encouraging positive images of engineering and science in pop culture. Our users submitted a number of suggestions for making engineering and science "cool," including online libraries of "day-in-the-life of an engineer" videos, an online channel devoted entirely to IT news, live performances with massive robots, and telling inspirational real-life stories about how individual engineers and scientists have changed the world. This proposal will require finding the right public advocacy groups to partner with in pursuing these objectives.

Google is doing a great thing here and the Project 10^100 is an effort that should be applauded so everyone should get over there and and vote to help them choose the theme or idea they like the most.

Wii Prices Officially Dropped To $199, Xbox 360 Officially Gets A Mail In Rebate

Nintendo has officially announced that beginning Sunday, Sept. 27 the price of its popular Wii game system will be cut from $249 to $199. This follows much speculation and leaked fliers from various sources showing the un-official prices. The new price drops comes on the heals of Microsoft and Sony's reductions last month of their own game systems. Sony's best-selling PlayStation 3 now sells for $299 (down from $399), while Microsoft's high-end Xbox 360 Elite model sells for $299 (down from $399).

To keep a competitive edge in the price wars Microsoft's offering a $50 rebate to anyone who buys their premium Xbox Elite gaming system before October 5th.

Review: Adesso WKB-4000UB Mini Wireless Keyboard

When you need it to be small light weight and ultra portable

Our latest review comes courtesy of Adesso, the company was nice enough to send us out their new WKB-4000UB Mini Wireless Keyboard.

For starters let me say this review is going to be a bit contradictory. I know I know reviews should be clear and concise. Either you really like the product and how it performs or you don't. Reviews are supposed to be fully objective and not subjective. However when it comes to ultra compact devices I tend to be a bit subjective, thus leading to a bit of a contradictory tone in this review.

Adesso WKB-4000UB

WKB-4000UB Features:
  • 2.4GHz wireless RF technology with 12 channels (65000 IDs per channel)
  • Wireless range distance up to 30 feet
  • Compact layout featuring 87 keys in an ultra-stylish design
  • Include power “ON/OFF” switch for increased energy saving
  • Include “Connect” button for easy connection
  • Include Battery Low LED indicator
  • Include 2 AAA Battery
  • Include Mini USB Receiver dongle (Dimensions: 1.65" x 0.75" x 0.25")
  • Magnetic receiver holder on the back of keyboard
  • Power Sleep Mode: 5 minutes (if not used)
  • Keyboard Technology: Scissor Switch
  • Switch Life: six million cycles
  • Switch Travel: 3.0+/- 0.3mm
  • Touchpad: 2 button Glidepoint Touchpad with scrolling feature
  • Touchpad working area: 3” x 1.75”
  • Dimensions: 11.75" x 8.25" x 0.8”
  • Weight: 1.25 lbs.

Mini means small but maybe not small enough

The WKB-4000UB is by far one of the smallest stand alone keyboards I've ever used. Measuring 8.5"x11" this thing is literally as big as a sheet of paper. Netbook owners or owners of sub-compact notebooks would be more than comfortable typing away on this super compact keyboard but those of us that like full sized keyboards likely won't feel at home.

Now here is your first contradiction. One of the first problems I noticed is that its almost not small enough, and let me explain why.

The keyboard itself measures 11.75" x 8.25" x 0.8” with the addition of the 3” x 1.75” credit card sized touch pad and keys you get an overhang of about 3". The added touchpad might be a good feature for some but not for me. The placement and inability to change the sensitivity or turn it off altogether caused several issues with normal day to day use. The main issue was me accidentally brushing it with a thumb or palm thus moving my cursor to the mouse pointer. This was a major issue for me as a blogger and editing my blog posts.

In my opinion that is 3 inches of wasted space. I'd like to see the touchpad removed and either have the space used for media keys, a trackball or not used at all. Cut the keyboard dimensions down in size.

The touchpad is a great addition for some users

Here is contradiction number two. Personally I didn't find much use for the touchpad, actually I loathe the things and never use them, even using a laptop I use a mouse. In our previous review of the Adesso Wireless Media Center Keyboard we actually liked and used the scroll wheel. The scroll wheel had a much better placement and overall a much better feel.

Not being totally subjective I will admit that the touchpad on the WKB-4000UB does have potential. When used as an HTPC keyboard or in conjunction with a POS machine or in a kiosk environment they touchpad could be very beneficial.

I did find it very response and very receptive to input. Tracking was smooth and accurate with nearly no lag. Pressure sensitivity was a bit overly sensitive but not dramatically so. The buttons were decent but they were a bit noisy. The scrolling feature was a nice touch as it makes web page browsing a snap.

Superior range gives you room to roam

Testing the range of keyboards is always a challenge The range of today's wireless keyboards often extends further than a users range of use. This is one area all of the Adesso products I've tested have excelled in, they all have shown excellent range and the WKB-4000UB is no different.

In testing I often exceeded the range of 20 ft line of sight and had little to no issues with 10-15 ft through interior walls and even found it would work adequately at 8-10 ft through exterior walls. This extended range was a great feature and very unexpected considering adapter in tiny compared to others I've used. The range we achieved was wide enough to make it usable in just about any room in an office or small house coupled with its small size the keyboard proved to be excellent for typing on the move. Something I personally do often.

Overall conclusion

While its clear my review is a bit mixed the Adesso WKB-4000UB is a fairly nice keyboard. The range is great, the keys are nice and responsive yet fairly quiet. The overall look and feel isn't as bad as my review might sounds. The size certainly isn't going to appeal to everyone, as I mentioned I found some issues with it but that shouldn't prevent anyone that is looking for a keyboard that is portable enough to be stuck in backpack or briefcase from taking a look at it.

At $89.99 @ Newegg the price tag is a bit higher than I'd expect for what you get, after all other than being small it is pretty much a no frills keyboard. Nevertheless when comparing it to other mini-keyboards with similar features the price is pretty much inline with what you'd expect to pay.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Win A Free Copy Of Windows 7 With The #WinWin7 Twitter Contest

As part of a promotion to reach 77,777 followers by the Windows 7 launch date on October 22nd the Windows Outreach Team on Microsoft’s official Windows Twitter account @MSWindows has been busy giving away some great prizes to their followers.

The #WinWin7 Twitter contest, which officially launched earlier this month, will run throughout the next 7 weeks. The Windows Outreach Team will use the official MS Twitter page @mswindows to give away prizes all based on the number 7 (for Windows 7). Winners must take part in the challenges and are encouraged to invite friends to join in on the fun which all culminates on launch day - October 22nd.

The Windows Outreach Team has already given away great MS items like Microsoft mouse and keyboard combos, gaming keyboards, 7 hot pizzas and 7lbs of candy (yes these are odd prizes). At a given point in the contest the team will select one one lucky follower to give out a copy of Windows 7 to. Starting there, they will continue to give away a copy of Windows 7 for every 2,000 followers (so, at 44,777 then 46,777 and on and on). For those good at math, the more people that join, the more chances everyone has of winning a copy of Windows 7.

All followers of @MSWindows are eligible, both new and old follower. So far they are at 45,228 (as of post time), so we need to enlist another 1,549 followers to reach the next "7" milestone.

When the magical number of 77,777 is reached, the Windows Outreach Team has some great prizes to hand out. No word on what these prizes might be but Microsoft's Brandon LeBlanc promises they will be great prizes.

Ubuntu Announces Ubuntu 10.04 LTS Codenamed The Lucid Lynx

With Ubuntu 9.10 Alpha 6 now out the door and momentum building towards a rocking Karmic Koala release, it is time to name and share the direction and focus for the next step in the Ubuntu evolution that follows Karmic.

Mark Shuttleworth, the founder of the Ubuntu project has announced the next version of Ubuntu:

Two years ago we announced the second LTS release, and what we hoped would become a standard practice of making LTS releases on a predictable two-year schedule, overlayed on our existing six-month schedule of desktop and server releases.

We are now giving a name to the next Ubuntu LTS: The Lucid Lynx.

Ubuntu 10.04 LTS will ship in April 2010 and is the culmination of significant work in Ubuntu, in Debian and across the free software ecosystem. LTS releases are maintained for five years on the server and three years on the desktop, so they are designed for those who are making larger deployments or who otherwise prefer to have a common platform for an extended period.

Lucid will continue our tradition of focusing an LTS on a quality, stable and consistent experience and will require a number of adjustments to the usual plan. Those are documented at, the Lucid Lynx release schedule. In summary, we will be more conservative in the new code we bring into Ubuntu during the development cycle, and we will run a longer test period. Our focus will be stabilisation and bug-fixing across the platform with additional refinements in quality in key areas such as user interface improvements, boot experience, browsing and installing the incredible catalogue of software available for Ubuntu, and continuing our tradition of best-of-breed hardware support. We will maintain the health and security of our lynx with point releases.

The Lynx is a predator that depends on very considered tactical positioning for success. It’s a small cat, which fits nicely with the lean nature of Ubuntu on both the desktop and the server. It’s stylish and sleek, the bow-tie-adorned James Bond of the feline set, so you can bet we’ll make sure it’s dressed for the occasion. The lynx likes to keep things in perspective, sticking to high ground. So do we. And it’s the national animal of Macedonia, a country that has deployed tens of thousands of Ubuntu desktops in schools.

Speed is an essential ingredient in the attack of a lynx, and speed remains our goal. We have improved the boot time in each of the releases during this era of Ubuntu, and expect to complete some of the major improvements required for 10 second booting with Lucid. Fully harnessing Upstart, in collaboration with Debian, will get us even closer to the goal.

Ubuntu 10.04 LTS will be a round dozen Ubuntu releases. 12 great cycles, from a great community that continues to devote itself to the goal of bringing the best stable free software to an audience of people who don’t think of themselves as computer specialists – and shouldn’t have to, either. It’s a wonderful privilege to be part of making it happen. That should put a tuft on your ears.

Source: Ubuntu Fridge

ATI Launches The New ATI Radeon HD 5800 Series

AMD Changes the Game with ATI Radeon HD 5800 Series DirectX 11-compliant Graphics Cards, Harnessing the Most Powerful Processor Ever Created

ati logo

World’s most advanced graphics processor allows consumers to expand, accelerate and dominate their PC experience with first full support for Microsoft DirectX 11

AMD today launched the most powerful processor ever created, found in its next-generation graphics cards, the ATI Radeon HD 5800 series graphics cards, and the world’s first and only to fully support Microsoft DirectX 11, the new gaming and compute standard shipping shortly with Microsoft Windows 7 operating system.

Boasting up to 2.72 TeraFLOPS of compute power, the ATI Radeon HD 5800 series effectively doubles the value consumers can expect of their graphics purchases, delivering twice the performance-per-dollar of previous generations of graphics products.

AMD will initially release two cards: the ATI Radeon HD 5870 and the ATI Radeon HD 5850, each with 1GB GDDR5 memory. With the ATI Radeon HD 5800 series of graphics cards, PC users can expand their computing experience with ATI Eyefinity multi-display technology, accelerate their computing experience with ATI Stream technology, and dominate the competition with superior gaming performance and full support of Microsoft DirectX 11, making it a “must-have” consumer purchase just in time for Microsoft Windows 7 operating system.

“With the ATI Radeon HD 5800 series of graphics cars driven by the most powerful processor on the planet, AMD is changing the game, both in terms of performance and the experience,” said Rick Bergman, senior vice president and general manager, Products Group, AMD. “As the first to market with full DirectX 11 support, an unmatched experience made possible with ATI Eyefinity technology, and ATI Stream technology harnessing open standards designed to help make Windows 7 that much better, I can say with confidence that AMD is the undisputed leader in graphics once more.”

Dominate your competition with Microsoft DirectX 11 support

With the ATI Radeon HD 5800 series of graphics cards, gamers will enjoy gaming supremacy and the ultimate advantage, realizing incredible HD gaming performance and the most engaging experience possible with DirectX 11 gaming done right:
  • Designed and built for purpose: Modeled on the full DirectX 11 specifications, the ATI Radeon HD 5800 series of graphics cards delivers up to 2.72 TeraFLOPS of compute power in a single card, translating to superior performance in the latest DirectX 11 games, as well as in DirectX 9, DirectX 10, DirectX 10.1 and OpenGL titles in single card configurations or multi-card configurations using ATI CrossFireX technology. When measured in terms of game performance experienced in some of today’s most popular games, the ATI Radeon HD 5800 series is up to twice as fast as the closest competing product in its class allowing gamers to enjoy incredible new DirectX 11 games – including the forthcoming DiRT 2 from Codemasters, and Aliens vs. Predator from Rebellion, and updated version of The Lord of the Rings Online and Dungeons and Dragons Online Eberron Unlimited from Turbine – all in stunning detail with incredible frame rates.
  • Generations ahead of the competition: Building on the success of the ATI Radeon HD 4000 series products, the ATI Radeon HD 5800 series of graphics cards is two generations ahead of DirectX 10.0 support, and features 6th generation evolved AMD tessellation technology, 3rd generation evolved GDDR5 support, 2nd generation evolved 40nm process technology, and a feature-rich compute shader, all geared towards delivering the best gaming experience money can buy.
  • The ultimate in game compatibility: The DirectX 11 API was developed on AMD graphics hardware and represents the cornerstone of DirectX 11 gaming. All initial DirectX 11 games were developed and/or continue to be developed on AMD’s DirectX 11 hardware. With more than 20 DirectX 11 games currently in development, this innate optimization for ATI Radeon graphics cards, in combination with monthly ATI Catalyst driver releases, help ensure a stable, reliable and high-performance experience for the latest games.
Accelerate with ATI Stream technology
With the ATI Radeon HD 5800 series of graphics card, PC users can unleash Windows 7 and realize the potential of a better computing experience to help do more with their PC:
  • Harness the home supercomputer: One ATI Radeon HD 5870 graphics card would have been one of the top 15 supercomputers in the world just six years ago – today that same processing power can be found in your home PC, working with high-performance CPUs to deliver a superior experience. 
  • Windows 7 done right: Windows 7 is the first compute-capable operating system and the ATI Radeon HD 5800 series of graphics cards with ATI Stream technology accelerate it like nothing else, being the first and only card to support DirectCompute 11.
  • Create and do more, faster than ever before with ATI Stream technology: Enjoy new features, functionality and improved performance in top media, entertainment and productivity applications made possible by ATI Stream technology.
  • Most expansive support of industry standards: The ATI Radeon HD 5800 of graphics cards fully support both DirectX 11 and OpenCL, ensuring broad application support now and the future.
Expand the PC experience with ATI Eyefinity multi-display technology
Enjoy multi-monitor computing with seamless enablement of the biggest game environments ever seen:
  • The ultimate in seamless flexibility: Arrange one to three displays using the ATI Radeon HD 5870 and ATI Radeon HD 5850 graphics cards, or up to six displays using the forthcoming ATI Radeon HD 5870 Eyefinity graphics card, in a variety of configurations – any mix of portrait, or landscape.
  • See them before they see you: Unlock the potential of multi-monitor gaming at up to 12 x full HD resolution, the largest game environments ever displayed. Experience more visual detail and expanded battlefields that your gaming competitors may lack.
  • Enjoy visual computing in eye-definition: Virtually obsolete scrolling by taking advantage of vast desktop real estate to put more information at your fingertips. Enjoy the best of today’s latest visually-enhanced online applications – social networking, video conferencing, video entertainment, and satellite imagery – all in stunning detail.
Ecosystem support
  • The ATI Radeon HD 5800 series of graphics cards is supported by a dozen add-in-board companies, including ASUS, Club 3D, Diamond Multimedia, Force3D, GIGABYTE, HIS (Hightech Information Systems), MSI, Multimedia, PowerColor, SAPPHIRE Technology, VisionTek and XFX.
Supporting Quotes:

“By incorporating the ATI Radeon HD 5870 graphics processor’s revolutionary DirectX 11 and ATI Eyefinity multi-monitor capabilities into the Alienware desktop gaming system, Dell Gaming continues to lead the industry in delivering performance, immersion and visual experience levels that shatter all previous limitations,” said Arthur Lewis, head of Dell gaming group.

“I had high expectations of AMD’s new DirectX 11 GPUs, but nothing really prepared me for the breathtaking experience that I’m now enjoying,” said Dirk Ringe, vice president, EA Phenomic. “Frame rates are so silky-smooth at ultra high-resolutions, even with all effects turned to max, that the new hardware makes previous hardware look like a quaint antique! The quality of the rendering in BattleForge is something that I used to dream about only a year ago – and the flexibility and power of DirectCompute 11 opens our eyes to a multitude of new possibilities. We applaud AMD’s and Microsoft’s vision in creating the DirectX 11 API and this amazing new hardware and we can say without hesitation that it represents the future of gaming.”

“We were simply astonished by the performance of the DirectCompute 11 hardware in AMD’s DirectX 11 GPUs,” said Ruslan Didenko, project lead, GSC Gameworld. “By meeting the full DirectX 11 hardware spec AMD has created a beast of a GPU that is light years ahead of its DirectX 10.1 and DirectX 10 predecessors. We strongly recommend a full-on DirectX 11 GPU from AMD as very simply the best way to experience our stunning new game, S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Call of Pripyat. A vision of loveliness, in every gut-wrenching detail!”

“Trinigy remains committed to supporting the game development industry with top-notch game engine technology that combines efficiency, creative freedom and performance,” said Dag Frommhold, managing director at Trinigy. “We’re extremely excited to be working with AMD to support their DirectX 11 graphics processors. AMD’s quality drivers and hardware complement our commitment to game developers perfectly by empowering them to produce higher-level in-game graphics than ever before.
Supporting Resources

ATI Radeon HD 5870 Reviews:

Related content:

Source: AMD Press Release

Monday, September 21, 2009

Intel Responds To EU's Published Antitrust Decision

Intel has responded to the European Commission's non-confidential version of its Intel decision which was posted earlier this morning.

Intel says the decision is consistent with what the Commission
filed on May 13, 2009 and the company is still convinced that the Commission's conclusions regarding its business practices are wrong, both factually and legally. Intel has appealed the Commission's decision but notes that they cannot provide a detailed response to the redacted decision immediately, because the company must first obtain permission from the third parties who submitted evidence to the Commission'

You can read more on Intel's response and why they feel theEuropean Commission’s decision is wrong and visit the Competition in the Innovation Economy site for more information.

ASUS Launches Skype Certified Videophone

ASUS Launches Skype Certified Standalone Videophone with Large, Brilliant Touchscreen

Co-developed with Skype, the ASUS Videophone Touch AiGuru SV1T is the Most Intuitive Way to Make Free Unlimited Video Calls without a Computer

ASUS today launched a Skype Certified touchscreen videophone dedicated to unlimited video calling over the Internet—the ASUS Videophone Touch AiGuru SV1T. Part of the videophone product family, it is the first to feature a large 7" touchscreen, greatly speeding up character input and making any video calling experience more intuitive and fun. The touchscreen works in tandem with the standalone device's built-in webcam, speaker, microphone and Wi-Fi capabilities to let users make unlimited video calls for free to other Skype users without the need for a computer. This latest version expands and improves upon the first generation ASUS videophone announced last year.

AiGuru SV1T

The ASUS Videophone Touch AiGuru SV1T's simple-to-use, icon-based touchscreen interface takes the complexity out of Internet calling—making it easy for anyone to make and receive Skype-to-Skype video and voice calls. Users can even participate in conference calls, making the ASUS Videophone Touch AiGuru SV1T an inexpensive, all-in-one voice and video conferencing solution for small businesses. Furthermore, the ASUS Videophone Touch AiGuru SV1T allows users to make calls to fixed and mobile lines at really cheap rates; users can also receive calls from any land or mobile phone line if they have an online Skype number.

"Skype goes beyond traditional voice calling and brings people closer through rich, real-time video communication," said Manrique Brenes, Skype's director of business development and product management for consumer electronics. "The device's touchscreen makes video calling an even easier and more accessible way for people to communicate. It offers the benefits of Skype video calling and exceptional audio quality—allowing friends, families, and small businesses to share their worlds face-to-face without being tied to a computer."

Free Calls Whenever, Wherever

With the ASUS Videophone Touch AiGuru SV1T, free unlimited video and voice calls can be made to anyone on Skype. This lets users make Skype-to-Skype calls whenever the need arises, without having to worry about costs. ASUS Videophone Touch AiGuru SV1T users can also receive calls from Skype users who don't have a videophone.

ASUS Videophone Touch AiGuru SV1T users looking to make calls to fixed and mobile lines can subscribe to one of Skype's popular unlimited calling* subscriptions or purchase Skype credits at

Great Video and Voice Communications Experience

The ASUS Videophone Touch AiGuru SV1T is designed specifically for video calls and is equipped with a large, high-resolution 7" touchscreen and an integrated webcam for greater video call quality. Its built-in microphone and speaker also ensure exceptional sound quality; users who wish to maintain their privacy during calls can opt to use a standard mini-jack headset and microphone.

Easy to Set Up and Easy to Use

The ASUS Videophone Touch AiGuru SV1T offers the quickest, easiest and most fun way to make free video calls—at no point is a computer or additional software required. Users can be up and running in three simple steps:
Connect to a broadband connection, either wirelessly or via an Ethernet cable
Sign-in with an existing Skype name or create a new one
Start video calling

The ASUS Videophone Touch AiGuru SV1T is as easy to use as it is to set up. Its intuitive icon-driven touchscreen interface enables the speedy keying-in of characters, allowing for fast contact searches and the inputting of new contact information.

With its Wi-Fi capability, small footprint and rechargeable battery power supply, the portable ASUS Videophone Touch AiGuru SV1T does not need to be tied to a wall socket nor a computer during use. It can be moved from room to room without the hassle of interrupting or dropping a call.

The ASUS AiGuru SV1T is currently available from several retailers with a starting price of $299.

Source: ASUSTeK

Seagate Ships New Serial ATA 6Gbit/Second Barracuda XT Hard Drives

seagate logoSeagate Ships World's Fastest Desktop Hard Drive; First Drive to Feature Serial ATA 6Gbit/Second Technology

Seagate Teams With Technology Leaders to Bring SATA 6Gbit/s Complete Solutions to Market

Seagate Technology today began global shipments of the world’s fastest, largest-capacity mainstream desktop hard drive – Barracuda XT, a 7200RPM product featuring 2TB of storage capacity and a blazing fast Serial ATA (SATA) 6Gb/second interface. The 3.5-inch desktop drive, the industry’s first to feature a SATA 6Gb/s interface, meets the capacity demands of gaming, digital video-environments and other storage-hungry desktop computing applications while delivering the highest performance in its class.

The introduction of the Barracuda XT drive marks the shift to the next generation of desktop computing speed as Seagate doubles the storage bandwidth of current computers.

“Capacity and performance remain the defining attributes of hard drives for PC gamers, digital multimedia content developers and many other customers requiring high-end systems at home and in the office,” said Dave Mosley, executive vice president of Sales and Marketing at Seagate. “Seagate is meeting these requirements with the first 7200RPM desktop hard drive to combine 2TB of storage capacity with the fastest Serial ATA interface to date.”

crucial memory

The Barracuda XT product, a four-platter drive featuring an areal density of 368 Gigabits per square inch, delivers the highest performance – burst speeds of up to 6 Gigabits per second – for all PC applications, maintains backward compatibility with the SATA 3Gb/second and SATA 1.5Gb/second interfaces, and uses the same cables and connectors as previous SATA generations to ease integration. The hard drive’s SATA 6Gb/s interface enables system builders using SATA 6Gb/s drive controllers to build high-performance desktop PCs, full-tilt gaming rigs, and home and small business servers, and its 64MB cache optimizes burst performance and data transfer speeds.

“Marvell is pleased to be announcing the industry’s first commercially available SATA 6Gb/s solution and working with Seagate to introduce this technology,” said Dr. Alan J. Armstrong, vice president of Marketing, Business Storage Group at Marvell. “Marvell has been working with a broad group of partners and customers to bring this solution to market. As early adopters of Marvell’s SATA 6Gb/s technology, both ASUS and GIGABYTE offer motherboards to complement SATA 6Gb/s hard drives.”

The Serial ATA 6Gb/s Solution: Barracuda XT Drives and Motherboards from ASUS and GIGABYTE

With Barracuda XT drives and SATA 6Gb/s motherboards from ASUS and Gigabyte, computer makers can build the highest-performance PCs, workstations and entry-level servers. ASUS was first to market with a SATA 6Gb/s motherboard; the company’s P7P55D Premium began shipping in August. The new GIGABYTE P55 series GA-P55-Extreme motherboards are also now shipping .

“At ASUS, we are once again at the forefront of innovation by being the first to launch a native SATA 6Gb/s interface on a motherboard,” said Joe Hsieh, corporate vice president & general manager, Motherboard Business Unit & Desktop Business Unit, ASUS. “An expansion bridge integrated into the P7P55D Premium helps achieve real SATA 6Gb/s throughput to support bandwidth-hungry applications. The ASUS solution eliminates transmission bottlenecks in current technology and ensures users truly enjoy faster data speeds and double the storage bandwidth. For other P7P55D Series models, ASUS also provides an expansion card to achieve the same results.”

“GIGABYTE has worked closely with our partners Seagate and Marvell in making the highly anticipated SATA 6Gb/s technology a reality,” said Tony Liao, associate vice president of Marketing at GIGABYTE TECHNOLOGY CO., LTD. “As the leader in motherboard innovation, GIGABYTE is always excited to bring the very latest technologies to market, and with the release of the world’s first SATA 6Gb/s hard drive from Seagate, our customers’ expectations will be blown away with double-the-bandwidth performance for lightning-fast data transfer and storage.”

Seagate to Demonstrate Serial ATA 6Gb/s Technology at IDF

Seagate will demonstrate SATA 6Gb/s technology with technology partners at the Serial ATA International Organization (SATA-IO) booth, #425, at IDF, September 22 - 24 at the Moscone Center in San Francisco, California.

Source: Seagate Press Release

Intel Challenge: "Connect This!" and Win $10,000

intel logo

Submit your idea for an intelligent, connected device that could change the world and you could win $10,000!

Do you have an awesome, fresh idea for an intelligent, connected, embedded device that could change the world? Intel's "Connect This! Embedded Internet Challenge" invites developers, tech enthusiasts and everyone in between to submit proposals describing their best ideas for new or improved applications. Open call for proposals runs September 15 - December 15, 2009 and finalists will be announced in January 2010. Don't forget that the winner has the chance to win up to $10,000! To learn more about the contest criteria, vote on ideas and submit your idea, visit "Connect This! Embedded Internet Challenge."

Connect This! The Embedded Internet Challenge

Prizes & Rules

  • Your chance to win cash prizes! A panel of judges will select the 3 best ideas and award cash prizes to their creators. Also, the idea that receives the most cumulative user votes will receive the Peer Choice Award. The prize structure is as follows:

    • 1st: $10,000
    • 2nd: $5,000
    • 3rd: $2,000
    • Peer Choice Award: $1,000

    Finally, at the end of each month we'll take the top ideas with the most user votes and randomly select one as a "notable idea" to feature on the front page of the site. The creator of each notable idea will receive $200! Enter now »

  • Judging criteria

    Your idea will be critiqued by our expert panel of judges on the following criteria:

    • Innovative use of Intel® Architecture
      Does your design cleverly incorporate the advantages of Intel technology?
    • Valuable societal impact
      Will your idea have a positive impact on humanity?
    • Valuable environmental impact
      Will your idea have a positive impact on the environment?
    • Coolness
      Is your idea fresh and exciting?

    Also, you'll receive additional points for the number of user votes received. So once you've posted your idea, make sure to tell your friends and colleagues to vote for it!

  • FAQs

    • What is Connect This! about?

      Connect This! is an ideation community for embedded designers, technology enthusiasts and university students. Here you can share your idea for a new intelligent, connected device, vote for your favorite user submissions, and discuss/improve user submissions. The top ideas selected by our judges and the community will receive cash prizes.

    • What can I win?

      Cash prizes will be awarded to the three best ideas selected by the panel of judges, the idea that receives the most cumulative user votes and the 'notable idea' randomly selected each monthly. The prize structure is as follows:

      • 1st: $10,000
      • 2nd: $5,000
      • 3rd: $2,000
      • Peer Choice Award: $1,000
      • Notable idea: $200 each, 1 per month
    • What criteria will the judges be looking for?

      Your idea will be critiqued by our expert panel of judges on the following criteria:

      • Innovative use of Intel® Architecture
        Does your design cleverly incorporate the advantages of Intel technology?
      • Valuable societal impact
        Will your idea have a positive impact on humanity?
      • Valuable environmental impact
        Will your idea have a positive impact on the environment?
      • Coolness
        Is your idea fresh and exciting?

      Also, you'll receive additional points for the number of user votes received. So once you've posted your idea, make sure to tell your friends and colleagues to vote for it!

    • What is the deadline for entry?

      Ideas must be submitted by December 15, 2009 to be eligible for a prize. But we'll be giving away prizes every month until then, so go ahead and enter now.

    • Who is eligible?

      The contest is open to legal residents of the 50 United States, United Kingdom, Canada, Germany, India, China, and Taiwan, 18 years or older (20 or older if resident of Taiwan). Intel employees are prohibited from entering.

    • How many ideas can I submit?

      You can submit as many ideas as you'd like, but please only submit one per day.

    • Will Intel spam me or send my information to third parties?

      Absolutely not. We only ask for your email address so we may contact you in the event that you win a prize and to help keep track of your submissions.

      Manage your user profile

    • Where can I see some good examples of intelligent, connected devices?

EU's Antitrust: Commission Publishes Decision Concerning Intel's Abuse of Dominant Position

The European Commission has today published a non-confidential version of its Intel Decision, adopted on 13 May 2009 ( IP/09/745 and MEMO/09/235), together with a summary of the key elements of the Decision. That Decision found that Intel broke EC Treaty antitrust rules (Article 82) by engaging in two types of illegal practice to exclude competitors from the market for computer chips called x86 central processing units (CPUs). These practices harmed consumers throughout the EEA. By undermining its competitors’ ability to compete on the merits of their products, Intel’s actions undermined competition, reduced consumer choice and hindered innovation. On the basis of a significant amount of contemporaneous evidence and company statements, the Decision demonstrates how Intel broke the law.

Intel abused its dominant position in the x86 CPU market by implementing a series of conditional rebates to computer manufacturers and to a European retailer and by taking other measures aimed at preventing or delaying the launch of computers based on competing products (so-called 'naked restrictions'). The Commission's Decision outlines specific cases of these conditional rebates and naked restrictions, as well as how Intel sought to conceal its practices and how computer manufacturers and Intel itself recognized the growing threat represented by the products of Intel's main competitor, AMD.

Conditional rebates

The conditional rebates were as follows:

  • Intel rebates to Dell from December 2002 to December 2005 were conditioned on Dell purchasing exclusively Intel CPUs. For example, in an internal Dell presentation of February 2003, Dell noted that should Dell switch any part of its CPU supplies from Intel to its competitor AMD, Intel retaliation" could be severe and prolonged with impact to all LOBs [Lines of Business]." In a February 2004 e-mail on the consequences of the possible purchase by Dell of AMD CPUs, a Dell executive wrote: "Boss, here's an outline of the framework we discussed with Intel.(…) Intel is ready to send [Intel Senior executive]/[Intel executive]/[Intel executive] to meet with [Dell Senior Executive]/[Dell Senior Executive]/[Dell Executive]. (...) Background: [Intel Senior executive]/[Intel Senior executive] are prepared for [all-out war] if Dell joins the AMD exodus. We get ZERO MCP [name of Intel rebate to Dell] for at least one quarter while Intel 'investigates the details' (...) We'll also have to bite and scratch to even hold 50%, including a commitment to NOT ship in Corporate. If we go in Opti [Dell product series for corporate customers], they cut it to <20%>.

  • Intel rebates to HP from November 2002 to May 2005 were conditioned in particular on HP purchasing no less than 95% of its CPU needs for business desktops from Intel (the remaining 5% that HP could purchase from AMD was then subject to further restrictive conditions set out below). In this regard, in a submission to the Commission, HP stated that " Intel granted the credits subject to the following unwritten requirements: a) that HP should purchase at least 95% of its business desktop system from Intel …". By way of example, in an e-mail written in July 2002 during the negotiation of the rebate agreement between HP and Intel, an HP executive wrote: "PLEASE DO NOT… communicate to the regions, your team members or AMD that we are constrained to 5% AMD by pursuing the Intel agreement".

  • Intel rebates to NEC during the period ranging from October 2002 to November 2005 were conditioned on NEC purchasing no less than 80% of its CPU needs for its desktop and notebook segments from Intel. For example, in a May 2002 e-mail (when the arrangement was concluded), an NEC executive specified that "NEC will (...) increase [worldwide] Intel market share from [...] % to 80%. Intel will give NEC [support] and aggressive [...] price.".

  • Intel rebates to Lenovo during year 2007 were conditioned on Lenovo purchasing its CPU needs for its notebook segment exclusively from Intel. For example, in a December 2006 e-mail, a Lenovo executive stated: " Late last week Lenovo cut a lucrative deal with Intel. As a result of this, we will not be introducing AMD based products in 2007 for our Notebook products".

  • Intel payments to Media Saturn Holding (MSH), Europe's largest PC retailer, were conditioned on MSH selling exclusively Intel-based PCs from October 2002 to December 2007. For example, in a submission to the Commission, MSH stated: "It was clear to MSH in this regard that the sale of AMD-equipped computers would result at least in a reduction of the amount of Intel's contribution payments per Intel CPU under the contribution agreements (and thus in a reduction of the total payments received from Intel, even if the total volume of Intel-CPUs sold by MSH would have remained the same as in previous periods), although MSH never actually tested the issue with Intel.".

Naked restrictions

The naked restrictions uncovered by the Commission were as follows:

  • Between November 2002 and May 2005, Intel payments to HP were conditioned on HP selling AMD-based business desktops only to small and medium enterprises, only via direct distribution channels (rather than distributors), and on HP postponing the launch of its first AMD-based business desktop in Europe by 6 months. For example, in an internal September 2004 HP e-mail, an HP executive stated: “You can NOT use the commercial AMD line in the channel in any country, it must be done direct. If you do and we get caught (and we will) the Intel moneys (each month) is gone (they would terminate the deal). The risk is too high".

  • Intel payments to Acer were conditioned on Acer postponing the launch of an AMD-based notebook from September 2003 to January 2004. For example, in a September 2003 email, an Intel executive reported: "good news just came from [Acer Senior Executive] that Acer decides to drop AMD K8 [notebook product] throughout 2003 around the world. We've been talking with them all the way up to [Intel senior executive]'s […] level recently including [Intel executive], [Intel senior executive] … and [Intel executive]…. They keep pushing back until today, after the call with [Intel executive] this morning, [Acer Senior Executive] just confirmed that they decide to drop AMD K8 throughout 2003 around the world. [Acer Senior Executive] has got this direction from [Acer Senior Executive] as well and will follow through in EMEA [Europe Middle East and Africa region]".

  • Intel payments to Lenovo were linked to or conditioned on Lenovo postponing the launch of AMD-based notebooks from June 2006 to the end of 2006. For example, in a June 2006 e-mail, a Lenovo executive reported that: "[two Lenovo executives] had a dinner with [an Intel executive] tonight (…). […] When we asked Intel what level of support we will get on NB [notebook] in next quarter, [he] told us (…) the deal is base[d] [sic] on our assumption to not launch AMD NB [notebook] platform. (…) Intel deal will not allow us to launch AMD".


The Commission found that Intel generally sought to conceal the conditions in its arrangements with PC manufacturers and MSH. For example:

  • The rebate arrangement with Dell was not subject to a written agreement but was concluded orally at various meetings. In this regard for example, in a submission to the Commission, Dell stated that "there is no written agreement between Intel and Dell concerning the MCP [rebate] discount, rather, the discount is the subject of constant oral negotiations and agreement".

  • There was a written agreement with HP but the relevant conditions remained unwritten. In this regard for example, in a submission to the Commission, HP stated that the "unwritten conditions (...)were stated to be part of the HPA1 agreement by [Intel executive], [Intel executive] and [Intel senior executive] in meetings with HP during the negotiations;

  • The written agreement with MSH contained a provision that the deal was non-exclusive. However, the evidence demonstrates that at Intel's request, the arrangement was in fact exclusive. In this regard for example, in a submission to the Commission, MSH stated that "It was clear to MSH that despite the non-exclusivity clause the exclusive nature of the relationship remained, for Intel, an essential element of the relationship between Intel and MSH. In fact, [MSH executive] recalls that Intel representatives made it clear to him that the changes in the wording of the agreement had been requested by Intel's legal department, but that in reality the relationship was to continue as before, including the requirement that MSH sell essentially only Intel-based computers."

Other statements from computer manufacturers and MSH outline how the various Intel conditions were an important factor in their decisions not to partially switch to or buy more x86 CPUs from AMD, Intel's main competitor in the x86 CPU market. For instance, in a submission to the Commission, HP stated that it "can confirm that Intel's inducements (in particular the block rebates) were a material factor in determining HP's agreement to the unwritten conditions. As a result (...) HP [Business desktop PC division] stayed at least 95% aligned to Intel."

AMD's growing threat

The evidence in the Decision indicates the growing threat that AMD's products represented to Intel, and that Intel's customers were actively considering switching part of their x86 CPU supplies to AMD. For example, in an October 2004 e-mail from Dell to Intel, a Dell executive stated that "AMD is a great threat to our business. Intel is increasingly uncompetitive to AMD which results in Dell being uncompetitive to [Dell competitors]. We have slower, hotter products that cost more across the board in the enterprise with no hope of closing the performance gap for 1-2 years." In a submission to the Commission, Dell also stated that as regards Opteron, "in Dell's perception this CPU generally performed approximately […] better than the comparable Intel Xeon CPU at the time." As regards AMD's Athlon PC CPU, an internal HP presentation from 2002 stated that it "had a unique architecture", was "more efficient on many tasks", and had been "CPU of [the] year [for] 3 consecutive years".

The fact that AMD had improved its products is also recognized by Intel itself. For example, in a 2005 submission to the Commission, Intel stated that "AMD improved its product offerings dramatically with the introduction of its successful Opteron processor". This is also confirmed by contemporaneous documents from Intel. For example, in a 2004 internal Intel e-mail, it is stated that "Opteron is real threat today… Opteron-based single WS [Workstation] benchmarks beat [Intel's] Xeon in all cases."


Before the Commission adopted its final Decision, it carried out a comprehensive investigation of the facts. During the proceedings Intel was able to comment fully on all the Commission's evidence outlined in the Decision. Indeed, the Commission went beyond its legal obligations in safeguarding Intel's rights of defense. For example, despite the fact that Intel chose not to reply to the Commission's supplementary Statement of Objections (see MEMO/08/517 ) by the extended deadline of 17 October 2008 but instead sought to suspend the Commission's case, the Commission took full account of Intel's belated written submissions relating to the supplementary Statement of Objections.

The full text of the decision, together with a summary, is now available on the Europa website:

Source: EUROPA

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Microsoft Offering College Students Windows 7 For $29.99

Microsoft via a promotional site, is offering students with a valid .edu email address copies of Windows 7 for $29.99. According to PC Magazine the site has been identified by an MS spokesperson as a valid deal.

Here is the Web site for the official offer. There students can sign up and find out of they're eligible for the offer. Students can only buy one copy of either Windows Home or Windows Professional, and only via download; a backup DVD can also be ordered.

More details can be found at the MSWindows Twitter page @MSWindows.

The iPhone Dev Team Releases Pwnage 3.1

iPhone and iPod jailbreakers rejoice the iPhone Dev Team has released the newest version of Pwnage meant to be used on iPhone 1st Generation (2G), the iPhone 3G and the iPod touch 1G. 3GS users don't feel left out the dev team has said they are working on a new tool for you as well but because of the changes with Apple’s update techniques (that complicate the 3GS upgrade process) they don't have the tools ready at this time.

With the new PwnageTool utility, which can be downloaded via torrent here, iPhone users can update to a jailbroken iPhone 3.1 OS firmware without worrying about losing the jailbreak or the software unlock.

For full details on using the PwnageTool 3.1 checkout the Dev-Team Blog.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

RapidRepair Does A Zune HD Disassembly

The RapidRepair Team is at it again. Last time it was the new PS3 Slim that got pulled apart and laid out for all to view. This time they are stripping the brand new Zune HD.

Image courtesy of

Inside the Zune disassemblers found an interesting note. Inscribed on the inside cover is the phrase "For Our Princess." It is rumored that at developement team member passed while the device was in development and the rest of her teammates have dedicated the Zune HD to her.

You can see more images as well as the full guide to tearing apart your own Zune Hd by checking out the RapidRepair Zune HD Repair Guide

OCZ Announces New PCI-E Based Z-Drives

ocz logoOCZ Announces Immediate Availability of the Z-Drive, an Innovative Bootable PCI-Express SSD Solution for Enterprise Applications

OCZ Technology Group, Inc., a worldwide leader in innovative, ultra-high performance and high reliability memory and flash-based storage as an alternative to hard disk drives (HDDs), today unveiled the Z-Drive, a PCI-Express Solid State Drive (SSD) designed to meet the stringent demands of enterprise computing clients. Unlike other solutions, the Z-Drive provides a cost-effective formula of performance, reliability, and upkeep for enterprise customers and their applications which require the benefits of solid state drive technology, but have previously been hesitant to adopt competing products due to the sheer cost of implementation.

“Traditional enterprise storage technology typically requires overly complex infrastructure as well costly maintenance, and is often unable to deliver the level of performance required by OEM applications,” said Ryan Petersen, CEO of the OCZ Technology Group. “The new OCZ Z-Drive is an all-in-one high performance plug-and-play bootable PCI-E solid state drive that addresses these challenges head on, and meets the demands of the complete range of enterprise storage and data access requirements. The Z-Drive is designed not only to be higher performing and more reliable than conventional solutions, but also to significantly reduce both the maintenance and overall TCO for our clients.”

The Z-Drive is the result of the latest breakthroughs at OCZ and builds on the company’s expertise in flash-based storage. This proprietary SSD is bootable and takes the SATA bottleneck out of the equation by employing a high-speed PCI-Express architecture coupled with a compact enterprise-grade RAID array. With 8 PCI-E lanes and an internal four-way RAID 0 configuration, the Z-Drive delivers exceptional performance that translates to professional-class data storage in a complete, all-in-one form factor. Additionally, OCZ offers unique customization options for OEM clients that may require tailored hardware or firmware solutions for their business.

To accommodate a wide range of professional applications, the Z-Drive is available in multi-level cell (MLC) and single-level cell (SLC) models referred to consecutively as p84 and e84. Z-Drive pushes the envelope in storage performance versus competing traditional and flash based solutions:

In addition, these impressive speeds are achieved all while providing lower power consumption, superior durability, and shock resistance compared to traditional rotational-based drives, translating into exceptional energy savings and reduced maintenance costs.

An ideal solution for enterprise clients that put a premium on both performance and maximum storage capacity including servers, storage arrays, supercomputing, professional media, and industrial electronics, the Z-Drive is available in 256GB, 512GB, and 1TB (p84 only) capacities to offer ample room for the complete spectrum of applications. The Z-Drive comes backed by a leading 3-year warranty and dedicated technical support, ensuring unparalleled peace of mind.

For more information on the OCZ Z-Drive solutions, please visit the OCZ product pages here.

Pricing and availability information was unavailable at this time.

Source: OCZ Press Release