11/14/2005

Microsoft Offers Business-Class Desktop Search

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

Microsoft Corp. is set to announce a new version of its desktop search feature meant for use in corporate computer networks, as it tries to keep pace with rivals such as Google, Inc.

The Redmond, Wash.-based software giant says the new facet searches for information stored on individual PCs, or among clusters of computers typically found in offices. File sharing and a single starting point for any search are two features of note, according to Microsoft.

Source: eWeek

Cray Supercomputers To Be AMD Opteron Based

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

AMD and Cray Inc. announced that they have signed an agreement that extends their successful relationship through the end of the decade. Cray will continue to use AMD Opteron processors for the microprocessor-based supercomputer products Cray develops during this period. In addition, the two firms will actively collaborate on Cray’s mid-2006 proposal for Phase 3 of the federal government’s DARPA HPCS (High Productivity Computing Systems) program.

Cray and AMD will work closely together on Cray’s mid-2006 submission for Phase 3 of the DARPA HPCS program. The program plans to provide economically viable, next-generation high productivity computing systems for the national security, scientific and industrial user communities that are able to run applications at sustained speeds of one petaflop (million billion calculations per second) or more by the end of the decade.

Source: Yahoo

Microsoft Announces Xbox 360 Day One Launch Lineup

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

Microsoft Corp. today announced that 18 Xbox 360 games, spanning all the popular genres, and 13 Xbox 360 accessories will be available when the video game and entertainment system launches in North America on Nov. 22. Exclusive, thrilling racing games such as “Project Gotham Racing 3,? sports games that hit hard with high-definition graphics and sound such as “Madden NFL 06? and “NBA 2K6,? action-adventure games such as “Kameo™: Elements of Power™,? innovative titles with multiplayer co-op gameplay like “Perfect Dark Zero™,? and intense action exclusives such as “Call of Duty 2? contribute to the broadest and deepest retail launch lineup in console history.

The following Xbox 360 games will be available in North America retail locations on or before the console is launched Nov. 22:

  • “Amped 3? (2K Sports)
  • “Call of Duty 2? (Activision Inc.)
  • “Condemned: Criminal Origins? (SEGA Corp.)
  • “FIFA Soccer 06 Road to 2006 FIFA World Cup? (Electronic Arts Inc.)
  • “GUN™? (Activision)
  • “Kameo: Elements of Power? (Microsoft Game Studios and Rare Ltd.)
  • “Madden NFL 06? (Electronic Arts)
  • “NBA 2K6? (2K Sports)
  • “NBA LIVE 06? (Electronic Arts)
  • “Need for Speed Most Wanted? (Electronic Arts)
  • “NHL 2K6? (2K Sports)
  • “Perfect Dark Zero? (Microsoft Game Studios and Rare Ltd.)
  • “Peter Jackson’s King Kong: The Official Game of the Movie? (Ubisoft)
  • “Project Gotham Racing 3? (Microsoft Game Studios and Bizarre Creations Ltd.)
  • “Ridge Racer 6? (Namco Ltd.)
  • “Tiger Woods PGA TOUR 06? (Electronic Arts)
  • “Tony Hawk’s American Wasteland? (Activision)

Xbox 360 launch titles from Microsoft Game Studios will be competitively priced, with standard editions of “Kameo: Elements of Power,? “Project Gotham Racing 3? and “Perfect Dark Zero? all retailing for $49.99 (U.S. ERP). A two-disc “Perfect Dark Zero? Limited Collector’s Edition will also be available this holiday season for an ERP of $59.99. Xbox 360 accessories will range in price from $11.99 to $99.99.

In addition, to allow gamers to customize and enhance the Xbox 360 experience, 13 Xbox 360 accessories will be available by launch day:

  • Xbox 360 Wireless Controller
  • Xbox 360 Controller (wired)
  • Xbox 360 Wireless Networking Adapter
  • Xbox 360 Universal Media Remote
  • Xbox 360 Faceplates
  • Xbox 360 Hard Drive (20 GB)
  • Xbox 360 Headset
  • Xbox 360 Memory Unit (64 MB)
  • Xbox 360 Play & Charge Kit
  • Xbox 360 Rechargeable Battery Pack
  • Xbox 360 Component HD-AV Cable
  • Xbox 360 S-Video AV Cable (U.S. only)
  • Xbox 360 VGA HD AV Cable

Microsoft Mulling Free, Ad-Supported Desktop Apps

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

Even as Microsoft readies a host of new ad-supported online services to battle rivals, the software maker has been mulling a plan to offer free, ad-supported versions of some of its desktop products, CNET News.com has learned.

Although no specific plans have been made, executives within Microsoft are examining whether it makes sense to release ad-supported versions of products such as Works, Money, or even the Windows operating system itself, according to internal documents seen by CNET News.com.

“As Web advertising grows and consumer revenues shrink, we need to consider creating ad-supported versions of our software,” two Microsoft researchers and an MSN employee wrote in a paper presented to company executives earlier this year. The document was prepared for one of Microsoft’s twice-yearly Thinkweek exercises in which Chairman Bill Gates and others top executives gather to consider potential new avenues for the company.

Source: News.com

Electronic Arts Cuts Prices On Some Video Games

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

Electronic Arts Inc. has reduced prices on some titles by 20 percent to spur sales and thwart competition, an analyst said on Monday.

“NBA Live 06″ and racing titles “Burnout Revenge” and “NASCAR 06″ were among the console games subject to the price cut from $49.99 to $39.99, Banc of America Securities research analyst Gary Cooper said in a client note.

Video game sales have been soft in recent months as consumers await new console technology. Microsoft Corp. is releasing the Xbox 360, the first next-generation gaming machine from a major player, on November 22.

Some video game publishers had predicted that prices on existing console games would be cut by $10 around the debut of the new machines.

EA spokesman Jeff Brown said there is no change in EA’s pricing policy.

“At EA, we make pricing decisions on a title-by-title, market-by-market basis,” Brown said in an e-mail to Reuters.

Source: Reuters

Sony Rootkit Prompts Office Clampdown On CD Use

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

Sony’s decision to include rootkit-like copy restrictions on some of its music CDs is prompting some companies to review whether they allow their staff to use personal CDs at work.

Last week, Trojan horses emerged that avoid detection by using the digital rights management, or DRM, software used by Sony BMG Music Entertainment on some of its audio CDs. This software uses the same techniques used by rootkit malicious software to hide itself from the operating system, which makes it particularly difficult to detect.

Andrew Yeomans, vice president of global information security at Dresdner Kleinwort Wasserstein, said that he is already assessing whether the Europe-based investment bank needs to tighten up its controls.

“I’m reviewing the autorun settings for music CDs, but not planning to ban their use,” Yeomans said. “We certainly don’t want arbitrary software to be installed.”

Source: News.com

Dell Is Now Accepting PayPal Payments

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

Dell is now accepting PayPal payments from U.S. consumer and small business customers, the company said on Monday. The company, whose direct-delivery model helped it grow faster than the overall PC market for years, said it is adding the payment option in advance of “Black Friday,” the traditional start of the holiday shopping season.

Source: News.com

Sony’s EULA Worse Than Its Rootkit?

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

If you think the Sony rootkit is bad, check out the accompanying EULA! From the EFF’s summary: ‘If your house gets burgled, you have to delete all your music from your laptop when you get home. … Sony-BMG can install and use backdoors in the copy protection software or media player to “enforce their rights” against you, at any time, without notice. … Forget about using the music as a soundtrack for your latest family photo slideshow, or mash-ups, or sampling.

Source: Slashdot

File System Performance Record for Sandia National Labs

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

Sandia National Laboratories, DataDirect Networks, Cluster File Systems, Inc. and Voltaire combined solutions to deliver 15 Gigabytes per second to Sandia’s high performance RoSE Visualization Cluster.

The RoSE clusters are designed to visualize, analyze and manage output from two of the world’s most powerful supercomputers, Red Storm and Thunderbird. These supercomputers enable simulations with extraordinary precision and fidelity, and the size of the output is enormous. Each output can be tens of terabytes in size.

“A high-performance file system solution is central to the operation of Sandia’s RoSE clusters, especially for challenging tasks like interactive visualization of large simulation results,” said Milt Clauser, Distinguished Member of the Technical Staff at Sandia National Laboratories. “Working with DataDirect Networks, Cluster File Systems and Voltaire enabled us to achieve our goals.”

In August, RoSE’s high performance parallel file system solution underwent a series of tests and achieved record-setting performance exceeding 15 Gigabytes/second. Since then, the file system has been delivering solid performance in a production computing environment on the Red RoSE cluster.

Intel brings virtualisation to desktop chips

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

Intel is set to launch two new desktop processors that come with hardware support for virtualisation technologies - although users won’t be able to take advantage of the technology for some time.

The new single-core Intel Pentium 4 672 and 662 processors are almost identical to the 670 and 660 Pentium 4 processors in Intel’s product lineup, except the new chips have transistors dedicated to improving the performance of virtualisation software, said Chad Taggard, director of advanced technologies marketing with Intel.

Virtualisation technology allows PC and server users to run multiple operating environments on a single processor, allowing one machine to be carved into several “virtual” computers.

For example, users could access corporate applications in one operating environment, while using a different one for personal applications. IT managers could exercise tight control over corporate applications and prevent viruses or malware from moving from the personal environment to the rest of the company’s network.

Source: Techworld.com

AOL, Warner To Bring Old TV Shows Online

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

Dozens of old television shows including “Welcome Back Kotter” will be available online and free-of-charge under a deal between America Online Inc. and Warner Bros., the companies announced.

In the latest alternative to traditional TV viewing, a new broadband network, called In2TV, will be launched in early 2006 by AOL and Warner Bros. Domestic Cable Distribution, the companies said Monday.

Besides the TV shows, In2TV will include games, polls and other interactive features.

“Welcome Back Kotter,” “Sisters” and “Growing Pains” are among the 30 series to be offered initially. They will be grouped on channels by genre, including comedy, drama, animation, sci-fi and horror, action-adventure and “vintage TV.”

In2TV plans to offer more than 100 TV series and at least 300 episodes per month in the first year, the companies said.

The shows will be delivered through AOL Video on Demand, AOL Video Search and AOL Television. At the time of launch, the programs will be available exclusively on AOL and will not be in syndication on TV, AOL official said.

Source: AP

Google Gets Analytical

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

Google is set to launch on Monday a free Web analytics service that will let companies see exactly how visitors interact with their Web site and how their advertising campaigns are faring.

The free hosted service, which will be available in English and 16 other languages, is based on technology from San Diego-based Urchin, which Google acquired in March.

Urchin’s products previously cost $495 a month and were reduced to $199 a month by Google. The full-featured analytics applications based on Urchin’s technology replace the simple tracking tool that’s now available with Google AdWords.

Google Analytics will let Web site owners see exactly where visitors to their site are coming from, what links on the site are getting the most traffic, what pages visitors are viewing, how long people stay on the site, which products on merchant sites are being sold and where people give up in multistep checkout processes, said Paul Muret, an engineering director at Google and one of the founders of Urchin.

Google Analytics will be integrated with Google AdWords and will offer a new interface within existing AdWords accounts. Marketers can also use it to track banner, e-mail, nonpaid and paid search advertising campaigns from other ad service providers.

Source: News.com

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