Microsoft is making a rapid about face on their DRM AND use game policies. Despite their original statements that people should get an Xbox 360 if they want to play offline they are now removing the 24-hout check in period for disk based games. They are also removing the restrictions they had in place for trading and selling used games. Microsoft is claiming that they did this due to user feedback, but for some reason we think it was more about Sony’s announcement and the way gamers shifted loyalties so fast.
After showing that they were not willing to go down the same restrictive road that Microsoft was with their new console Sony has followed Microsoft down a different road… well sort of. Many of you will remember Microsoft’s Xbox 360 and the red ring of death. Typically this was caused by overheating, but there were a few cases where an update appeared to herald a new round of dead consoles. Sony is copying this trend; not on purpose to be sure, but that is little comfort to owners of the PlayStation 3 that just installed the latest update.
nVidia is best known as the maker of heavy duty GPUs although most know about their mobile product Tegra (and the components that go into it). Between these two items nVidia has a very good product portfolio. However, nVidia has not always been limited to GPUs and SoCs. At one time they also developed and manufactured their own Chipsets. These were required to utilize SLI (Scalable Link Interface) that has its roots from 3dfx which nVidia grabbed when they bought the latter. nVidia’s chipset business did not last that long due to a number of reasons and they were eventually forced to let it drop and instead license the right to use SLI out to other companies.
We have been following the Apple price fixing trial over the last few weeks and have been very interested in some of the coverage that has been coming out. One of the biggest things that we have noticed is a tendency from nay press outlets to try and skirt over the issues. In particular many news sites are more than willing to completely absolve Apple of all guilt simply because the most damning emails the DoJ is using were draft emails from Steve Jobs. What is unusual about this is that many of these same sites were not willing to do the same During the Samsung V Apple trial (and also the Intel Anti-Trust case). It begs the question; why does Apple get the free pass? Still press bias or bad reporting aside the fact that these emails are drafts is really irrelevant. They show knowledge or and/or intent to set prices and force them onto a competitor.
Once upon a time Nokia was a giant in the industry. They towered over everyone even Apple and held the market with their own OS Symbian for a number of years.
Editor’s Note – We delayed our release of the Haswell review due to some performance issues we saw with some of our tests. We reached out to Intel and all of the companies that provide our testing software to ensure that our numbers were accurate. We did find that at least Sisoft’s SANDRA suite needed to address the use of the AVX2 instructions in Haswell. We are also in the process of validating LightWave 11 for use in the lab (and other new tests). Additionally we removed the gaming tests from this review, due to problems encountered with the updated games we are using. We intended to publish our gaming tests at a later date. This should help show off Haswell and the new Z87 chipset in a better light than some of the current tests. So without further commentary lets dive into our Haswell review
There is an interesting movement going on right now that has both good and bad consequences if it is brought to life. We are talking about the push by some law makers to put “kill switches” into cellphones. The thought behind this is that a would-be thief might think twice if he knew that a phone could be turned off rapidly just like a credit card. The Movement is called “Secure our Smartphones” and while they appear to have their hearts in the right place, there is something not quite right in what they are proposing. Sadly whenever we see such a big push to disable or control products and devices there comes with it a concern about abuse.
After the massive leak about the NSA’s PRISM project many people are understandably upset and members of congress have been pulled into closed door meetings to be briefed on the details of what the program is doing. At the same time the companies named in the leaked slides are rushing to perform damage control and protect their businesses from losing customers. So far most of these have come as flat-out denials of any complicity or knowledge of project PRISM. Sadly, even if they were involved most National Security Letters or data requests also come with a gag order preventing them from giving any details or even acknowledging the event. This makes the claims from Microsoft, Google and others seem a tad hollow in the face of what is going on.
Almost two years ago we wrote an editorial on why Microsoft had problems when it came to launching new product (and keeping them in the market). The evidence of this is quite clear in past and present products from Windows Vista to Windows 8/RT. Microsoft has its own way of analyzing market data and their own telemetry data that they collect (which they admit is a small percentage of their user base). With Windows Vista Microsoft ignored user complaints about an implementation of HDCP (High Definition Content Protection) that would be “always on” and interrogate everything a user does to make sure it is compliant with third party DRM requirements (pronounce that MPAA and RIAA), this had such a large impact on performance that the OS was quickly replaced with Windows 7.
Yesterday Apple had their WWDC and on its close their stocks fell 6 points to close around $439 at the end of the day. This dip was not unexpected and we have seen it happen before just we always see Analysts get into a frenzy leading up to WWDC feeling that Apple must have something good up their sleeves this time. We saw frenzy start on last week (June 3-7 2013) and peak over the weekend when the usual sites started talking about how bad things must be at Samsung to suffer a 6% drop in share price. From there the usual media hype continued… until we saw everything fall apart at WWDC.