12/16/2005

AMD Japan to get ammunition for Intel court battle?

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

Advanced Micro Devices said on Friday that a Tokyo court asked Japan’s antitrust regulator to hand over evidence on Intel’s business practices in Japan, providing potential ammunition for AMD’s court cases against Intel.

AMD Japan in June filed two suits against Intel’s Japan unit, seeking $55 million in damages from the world’s largest chipmaker for alleged violations of the country’s antitrust laws.

The lawsuits followed a March ruling by the Fair Trade Commission that Intel had violated antitrust laws by offering rebates to five PC makers that agreed either not to buy or to limit their purchases of chips made by AMD or other rivals.

AMD said in a statement it plans to use the evidence, obtained through the commission’s investigation of Intel’s business conduct in Japan, as part of its suits against Intel in Japan.

Source: News.com

12/15/2005

U.S. Charges Mexican Drug Makers

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

A U.S. grand jury has indicted eight Mexican drug makers on charges they sold steroids to Americans via the Internet in what the Drug Enforcement Administration said Thursday was its largest operation against suppliers of the banned substances.

Indictments in U.S. District Court in San Diego include charges against the eight companies and 11 executives after a 21-month investigation, the DEA said. The businesses sell $56 million worth of steroids to U.S. customers annually, the DEA said.

Alberto Saltiel-Cohen, described by the DEA as a Mexican citizen who owns three of the companies, was arrested in San Diego on Wednesday, the agency said.

Two people suspected of trafficking in steroids were arrested in San Diego and two others were picked up in Laredo, Texas, the DEA said.

Federal agents also have identified more than 2,000 people in the United States who bought steroids from the companies over the Internet. Importing anabolic steroids can be a felony.

Source: AP

Microsoft to move graphics outside OS kernel

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

Microsoft will move the graphics for its next version of Windows outside of the operating system’s kernel to improve reliability, the software giant has told Techworld.

Vista’s graphics subsystem, codenamed Avalon and formally known as the Windows Presentation Foundation, will be pulled out the kernel because many lock-ups are the result of the GUI freezing, Microsoft infrastructure architect Giovanni Marchetti told Techworld.

Source: Techworld

Yahoo signs license with JPEG patent company

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

Search giant Yahoo has decided to take a license out on the so-called JPEG patent with Forgent Networks. Under the deal, Yahoo will pay Forgent royalties but be dismissed from the pending patent suit taking place in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California.

The suit, which involves several remaining defendants, revolves around U.S. patent number 4,698,672. Forgent acquired the patent when it bought Compression Labs in 1997. During an audit of its intellectual property portfolio in the early 2000s, company officials first realized that the patent, in their belief, embodied a method for compressing photographs that was being used by digital camera makers and others.

Several companies have taken licenses out with Forgent. The patent has brought Forgent over $100 million in royalties. If successful in the suit, the patent could be worth close to $1 billion, according to Forgent execs.

Source: News.com

Yahoo hires DARPA director to head research

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

Yahoo has opened an East Coast research center, hiring an artificial intelligence expert and former director at the U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency to head the office and start similar operations in other countries.

Ron Brachman, 56, was named vice president of worldwide research operations, the Internet giant said Thursday.

The new research center in New York City will initially focus on media, microeconomics and e-commerce to help understand “how people get together and do things in markets (and) auctions, (how they) exchange goods and services, and how large groups of people have macroeconomic behaviors,” Brachman said.

Brachman previously served as the director of DARPA’s Information Processing Technology Office.

In his new position, Brachman said he will research data-mining and how to make computer systems adaptive over time. “Recommendations made by online services–understanding similarities between interests and how to recommend things to people–have underlying (artificial intelligence) technology,” he said.

Artificial intelligence can also be used to help fight fraud and help improve targeted advertising, he said. “We can use expert rules and Bayesian reasoning to understand when transactions may be fraudulent,” Brachman said.

Source: News.com

12/14/2005

911 Now Available on Vonage VoIP Service

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

Vonage America, a subsidiary of Vonage Holdings Corp., announced today that all of its customers now have access to 911 services. Today, any Vonage customer in the U.S. who dials 911, will get help when they need it most.

Vonage currently offers E911 or enhanced 911 throughout the U.S., by sending the call, along with the customer’s address and phone number, to the proper local emergency call center based on the caller’s street address. The caller’s information is then displayed on the dispatcher’s screen whenever they dial the digits 9-1-1 from a Vonage phone. In the event local authorities cannot display the Vonage customer’s phone number or address, Vonage offers basic 911. Basic 911 is a service in which the customer’s emergency call is delivered through the traditional 911 network and the call is answered by a trained dispatcher in the local public safety answering point (PSAP), or 911 call center. Finally, Vonage provides an additional safety net to customers if traditional 911 methods fail or are not available: customers receive support from emergency trained personnel at Vonage’s national 911 emergency response center, which is supported by APCO 33 trained personnel and serves customers throughout the U.S.

Dutch church bids for sex.eu

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

A Dutch Full Gospel Church was seconds too late to bid on sex.eu, the most sought after domain name using the European Union’s own top level domain.

The church Volle Evangelie Gemeente Rehoboth in Eersel, close to the Belgian border, was one of the first applicants for the domain name, according to the database of EURid, the European body responsible for registering .eu domain names. The church offered several hundred euros to obtain the domain name for a website where sex would be promoted “the way God wanted it”, according to Chris Vermeulen of the church.

Source: The Register

12/13/2005

Xbox 360 file system de-coded

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

The Xbox 360’s DVD file system has been exposed, a coding group calling itself Pi, has claimed.

The group said it has posted source code for a utility that allows discs’ files to be extracted and displayed as raw data. The group admits there’s not much that can be done with it beyond explore the file-system structure, if anyone is prepared to jump through all the hoops necessary to bring code and disc contents together.

The utility does not bypass copy-protection mechanisms, the group claims. More to the point, even creating and transferring an image of a disc you own is against the law - if only as a violation of the end-user licence agreement.

However, it is likely to provide the foundation for work seeking to attack the content protection put in place by Microsoft.

Source: The Register

TDK ships Blu-ray disks

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

TDK today announces that is has commenced shipping mass-production samples of its bare-type (cartridge-less) BD-R (write-once type) and BD-RE (rewritable type) Blu-ray Discs. The four new products include:

  • BD-R25 (write once, single-side, single-layer, 25GB)
  • BD-R50 (write once, single-side, dual-layer, 50GB)
  • BD-RE25 (rewritable, single-side, single-layer, 25GB)
  • BD-RE50 (rewritable, single-side, dual-layer, 50GB)

To ensure the new discs will be resistant to scratches and dirt even without external cartridges, they will be coated with TDK’s new DURABIS 2 hard coating. DURABIS 2 technology has been specifically formulated for Blu-ray Discs.

12/12/2005

AOL co-founder calls for split of Time Warner

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

As Time Warner nears a decision on a big alliance with Google or Microsoft for its America Online unit, Steve Case, the co-founder of AOL, has spoken out against the plan, aligning himself with the thinking of the financier Carl Icahn, who has called on Time Warner’s board to break up the company.

Case, who recently resigned as a Time Warner director, wrote in an essay in The Washington Post on Sunday that “although I played a key role in bringing AOL and Time Warner together six years ago, it’s now my view that it would be best to ‘undo’ the merger by splitting Time Warner into several independent companies and allowing AOL to set off on its own path.”

Source: News.com

12/11/2005

Sprint to offer full-length movie downloads

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

Using a mobile phone to buy movie tickets and check showtimes is one thing, but Sprint offers the whole movie.

Sprint Nextel Corp. is expected to announce on Monday that it has begun selling a service which allows users of its mobile video phones to watch full-length movies, television shows, concerts and comedy specials.

Provided by vendor MSpot, the service offers unlimited shows and movies for a monthly flat fee of $6.95, on top of regular service charges.

Source: Reuters

12/10/2005

Wikipedia waddles onto DVD and print in Germany

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

German publishing house Directmedia is taking Wikipedia offline. The German version of the online encyclopedia will be available on a DVD and in print, Heise online reports.

The DVD is available as a free 7.5GB ISO image which you can burn on a DVD. A previous version, which was released in the spring, contained only 2.7GB of data. The new DVD has 200,000-300,000 entries, all in German, and contains more than 100,000 images. The publisher only uses articles from writers who are known to be reliable. However, on the previous DVD were at least a hundred copyrighted articles taken from a DDR Lexika. After the slip-up was discovered, Directmedia immediately replaced the DVD image.

The print version of Wikipedia will be sold for a nominal fee - €9.90 - to cover expenses. The publisher can’t claim copyright. Wikipedia publishes everything under a GNU Free Documentation Licence, the same licence used by developers of open-source software.

Source: The Register

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