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Wednesday, August 26, 2009

The Pirate Bay Returns With Guns Blazing

Slashdot It! After initially being taken offline by Swedish authorities, and after its first escape route failed, The Pirate Bay has returned with all guns blazing. With a modified copy of one of Churchill’s most famous speeches, The Pirate Bay team tells the public that they will defend the Internet, with or without the si When The Pirate Bay was shut down yesterday many believed that this was the end for the Internet’s largest BitTorrent tracker. However, despite the fact that the site is set to be sold later this week, the Pirate Bay team worked around the clock to serve their users in these final hours. A mere three hours after it went offline the site reappeared from a different location, but because of technical issues at the new ISP a full comeback took almost a day. The site is back online and the tracker is expected to follow soon. The Pirate Bay team has always anticipated an unwanted disconnection of the site. After their servers were raided in 2006 several measures were taken to ensure that the site could simply come back online from a new location in a few hours, and this is the first time that this backup plan had been executed. With its reemergence the people behind the site hope to show the authorities and the entertainment industry that the war is not over just yet. Perhaps it’s only the beginning of a battle on a different front. The future will tell. A few minutes ago, the Pirate Bay team released the following statement, adapted from Churchill’s famous “We Shall Fight On the Beaches” speech. Make of it what you will. We have, ourselves, full confidence that if all do their duty, if nothing is neglected, and if the best arrangements are made, as they are being made, we shall prove ourselves once more able to defend our Internets, to ride out the storm of war, and to outlive the menace of tyranny, if necessary for years, if necessary alone. Even though large parts of Internets and many old and famous trackers have fallen or may fall into the grip of the Ifpi and all the odious apparatus of MPAA rule, we shall not flag or fail. We shall go on to the end, we shall fight in France, we shall fight on the ef-nets and darknets, we shall fight with growing confidence and growing strength in the air, we shall defend our Internets, whatever the cost may be, we shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the baywords.org, we shall fight on the /. and on the digg, we shall fight in the courts; we shall never surrender, and if, which I do not for a moment believe, the Internets or a large part of it were subjugated and starving, then our Empire beyond the seas, armed and guarded by the Anon Fleet, would carry on the struggle, until, in Cerf’s good time, the New World, with all its power and might, steps forth to the rescue and the liberation of the old. Signed; The Pirate Bay Crew – Now until needed. Update: Users of the anti-virus program Avast report that TPB has been blacklisted as a malicious site after the site returned. Get Daily Updates via Email Protect your computer with Windows Onecare

Apple to retain, redesign plastic MacBook family

Slashdot It! Once rumored for extinction, Apple's entry-level polycarbonate MacBooks are on the verge of a refresh that will solidify them at the base of the Mac maker's notebook offerings for the foreseeable future, AppleInsider has learned. People familiar with Cupertino-based company's plans say the 13-inch portables are presently undergoing an industrial design overhaul that will see them reemerge in the coming months with a slimmer, lighter enclosure and restructured internal architecture to boot. It'll be the first time in more than three years that the plastic Mac notebooks will receive a visual tune-up. Introduced in May of 2006, the white and black systems replaced the PowerPC-based iBook and 12-inch PowerBook as part of Apple's transition to Intel processors and quickly became the best selling Mac of all time, according to statistics from NPD Group. The MacBooks were also among the first Macs to adopt Apple's MagSafe power connector while pioneering several other features that would become staples of future Mac notebook designs, such as shrunken soft-touch keyboards, glossy displays, and a non-mechanical magnetic latches (see: Magnet madness to hit Intel iBook line - Feb 2006). Earlier this spring, Apple restructured its notebook offerings by repositioning its aluminum unibody MacBooks as premium offerings under the MacBook Pro moniker, adding long-requested features such as FireWire and higher-quality displays. This left the company with just a single MacBook offering, a white polycarbonate model that retails for $999 but sticks out like a sore thumb when positioned alongside its peers. Still, sales of the sub-$1000 system have remained surprisingly brisk amid the economic crunch, leaving management little choice but to allocate R&D expenses in its favor. As of press time, Apple's online store indicates that the white MacBook is outselling all other Macs with the exception of the iMac, while similar rankings from high-volume resellers like MacMall also consistently place it in the top 10 best selling Apple-related products overall, ahead of all desktop-based Macs. While it's unclear how many models or configurations Apple will introduce as part the redesign, Ben Reitzes -- an analyst with Barclays Capital who's been following the Mac maker for years -- sees the company offering several, at various price points. "We [...] believe the MacBook line needs to be revamped (there is only one MacBook available now, an old white model) and that we could see a lower priced line soon, positioned below the new MacBook Pro models," he said. Reitzes' comments on price points echo expectations laid out by AppleInsider this past April in its report on more affordable Macs. More specifically, it's believed that Apple is well-positioned to begin offering a model at considerable discount to the $999 entry-level model that exists today, further narrowing the gap with its Windows-based competitors. MacBook Introduced in May of 2006, the current MacBook design has about run its course. Though details are few and far between, Apple is expected to achieve these markdowns through largely existing tactics, such as using lower-end components and previous-generation Core 2 Duo chips and architectures from Intel Corp. Battery life should receive a boost from cutting-edge technology that recently found its way into the company's other notebook offerings, while high-end legacy features like FireWire connectivity are likely to be sacrificed in the tradeoff. This strategy more closely conforms to Apple's DNA than alternatives that were under consideration late last year. For instance, AppleInsider has heard from multiple sources that the company toyed with the prospect of throwing an Intel Atom processor into the existing white MacBook enclosure as interim solution aimed at delivering a low-cost Mac portable for those consumers eying a Mac but hit hard by the recession. However, at least one person familiar with the matter claims the initiative was abandoned indefinitely earlier this year, around the time that management solidified the forthcoming Newton web tablet for a first quarter 2010 roll-out and instituted a significant restructuring of the Apple TV development team. Regardless of how the pieces fell into place, AppleInsider believes the bigger story is how Apple, once discounted for its role as a niche player in the market for premium computing products, is rapidly adjusting to having been broadsided by the sudden economic downturn. In a matter of mere months, it's successfully applied the same fundamentals and expertise that made it king of the luxury computing market to the space reserved for those strapped for cash. And it's doing so with class. Q2CY2010 Lineup An assessment of Apple's portable computing lineup for Q2CY10 based on information presently available to AppleInsider. Come the second quarter of next year, the company -- whose repertoire three years ago lacked a compelling offering for under a grand -- will off a staggering array of portable solutions ranging from $99 to $999. This includes the $99 iPhone 3G, $199-$499 iPhone 3GS, a sub-$999 MacBook family, and a multi-touch tablet device wedged between the latter two when fully subsidized. Apple's new line of low-end MacBooks could be viewed as the last piece to the puzzle in Apple's top-to-bottom line of product offerings, transitioning the company from a premium PC and phone manufacturer to one that offers truly competitive prices on products in both categories. Considering chief executive Steve Jobs's comments just last year that Apple is incapable of making a $500 computer to compete with netbooks that wouldn't be a "piece of junk," such a move would complete a subtle but significant metamorphosis for the Silicon Valley heavyweight, positioning it as an electronics maker offering a compelling portfolio of feature-rich products at virtually every price point. Get Daily Updates via Email Protect your computer with Windows Onecare

20 of the Worst Designed Websites In the World

Slashdot It! We all come across some seriously bad websites in our day-to-day lives on the Internet. It’s just an unavoidable fact of life, like coming across monsters on the way to the market in video games. When you come across these things, you should approach them with a modicum of fear, for it is something you don’t know, after all. But, more than that, you need to be brave, and you need to relish the experience with full sense of humor employed. These are the 20 worst websites we could find from across the world. Space Is The Place 01 Visit the Page Upon entering this magnificent Canadian specimen of web-dominance, your eyes will immediately be drawn to the one of two key things: The rocket-launch gif image from 1992, or the floating head of the site’s patron saint, the departed Mr. Head. Both are hideous, but at least with the floating head you can spend a solid 20 minutes laughing inappropriately. If the yellow on blue on blue-r approach to color schemes isn’t your style, then you may want to steer clear of this place. Read More>>> http://www.manolith.com/2009/08/25/worst-website-designs/ Get Daily Updates via Email Protect your computer with Windows Onecare

Google patches severe Chrome vulnerabilities

Slashdot It! Google has fixed two high-severity vulnerabilities in the stable version of its Chrome browser that could have let an attacker remotely take over a person's computer. With one attack on Google's V8 JavaScript engine, malicious JavaScript on a Web site could let an attacker gain access to sensitive data or run arbitrary code on the computer within a Chrome protected area called the sandbox, Google said in a blog post Tuesday. With the other, a page with XML-encoded information could cause a browser tab crash that could let an attacker run arbitrary code within the sandbox. Chrome 2.0.172.43 (click to download for Windows) fixes the issues and another medium-severity issue. Once Chrome is installed, it retrieves updates automatically and applies them when people restart the browser. Google won't release details of the vulnerabilities until "a majority of users are up to date with the fix," Engineering Program Manager Jonathan Conradt said in the blog post. Get Daily Updates via Email Protect your computer with Windows Onecare

Tuesday, June 02, 2009

Put Ad on Web. Count Clicks. Revise.

Slashdot It! ON a recent Thursday, Darren Herman, the president of Varick Media Management, was sequestered in his SoHo office. He wasn’t scrutinizing a television ad or images from a photo shoot. He was combing through graphs and Excel spreadsheets. Mr. Herman had run 27 ads on the Web for his client Vespa, the scooter company. Some were rectangular, some square. And the text varied: One tagline said, “Smart looks. Smarter purchase,” and displayed a $0 down, 0 percent interest offer. Another read, “Pure fun. And function,” and promoted a free T-shirt. Vespa’s goal was to find out whether a financial offer would attract customers, and Mr. Herman’s data concluded that it did. The $0 down offer attracted 71 percent more responses from one group of Web surfers than the average of all the Vespa ads, while the T-shirt offer drew 29 percent fewer. And Mr. Herman didn’t just compare the messages in the ads — he also looked at the sites where they ran, when they ran and what groups of people responded. From the “Mad Men” era until now, advertising has been about a catchy tagline, an arresting image, the Big Idea. But Mr. Herman and his competitors are bringing some Wall Street-like analysis to Madison Avenue, exploiting the huge amounts of data produced by the Internet to adjust strategy almost instantly. “It’s putting numbers to an industry that never had numbers before,” says Mr. Herman, 27, who started and sold three media and technology companies before founding Varick last summer. “It’s nice to be able to tell your brand manager or the chief marketing officer which audience is interacting with the unit, what time of day, what day of the week, and what the response is on certain types of offers. Before, nobody could really tell you that.” This approach turns marketing “upside down,” says Ron Proleika, the vice president of marketing communications at Windstream Communications, an Internet service provider and a client of Mr. Herman’s. “It forces marketers to stay on their toes and think of thousands of small great ideas instead of one great big one." Major advertising holding companies like WPP, the Publicis Groupe, Havas, MDC Partners and the Interpublic Group are starting data practices, hoping to latch onto what is expected to be the fastest-growing category of online advertising in the next five years. Where the data guys were once an afterthought in a marketing presentation, now they are at the core of the online strategy. What’s more, they can help advertisers save money in traditional media by testing different phrases or images online to see what works before producing an expensive television commercial or magazine ad. Who attracts more clicks in a grape juice ad, for example — the blond girl or the brown-haired boy? The shift to data-based campaigns is forcing marketers to learn new skills and drawing a new breed of worker to Madison Avenue. While most data executives now in the field came from media backgrounds, they are recruiting Wall Street math geniuses because the job requires hourly adjustments in strategy based on numbers. Mr. Herman is trying to hire people from Citigroup and Bank of America, and he hopes that the layoffs in the financial industry will help him do it on the cheap. “It mirrors the financial markets in many ways,” he says, so “that’s where we go." Still, getting advertising agency employees to rely on data is difficult, agencies say. And as people trained on Wall Street migrate to Madison Avenue, executives anticipate battles between creative types and wonks. Traditional ad agencies still don’t have budgets that allow for a lot of digital experimentation, Mr. Herman says. He notes that most traditional agencies “make the bulk of their money in print, radio and television.” So even as this area becomes increasingly technology-driven, old ways of doing business and clients reluctant to embrace radically new approaches mean that the advertising culture won’t change overnight. “At the end of the day,” Mr. Herman says, “the entire process isn’t digital because our clients aren’t.” UNTIL the Internet, advertising required heavy research at the front and back ends. Millions of dollars went into television and print ads, so the advertisers had to get the idea right before they produced one. Determining the effectiveness of those ads was hard. It required follow-up surveys and interviews. And once advertisers began a campaign, they were locked into it — they usually booked TV spots four months before the season began, for instance, and even if a show tanked, they couldn’t always abort their plans. Via NYT Get Daily Updates via Email Protect your computer with Windows Onecare

Cellphone Locator System Needs No Satellite

Slashdot It! Wanderers with phones and other devices that have GPS chips can figure out where they are using signals from satellites thousands of miles up, but those are easily blocked by walls or trees. The founders of Skyhook Wireless discovered some alternative navigational beacons: the signals coming from the Wi-Fi network in the coffee shop across the street, or the apartment upstairs. Skyhook uses the chaotic patchwork of the world’s Wi-Fi networks, as well as cell towers, as the basis for a location lookup service that is built into every iPhone, making it easier to pull up a map or find Chinese food nearby. The start-up was founded in 2003 by Ted Morgan and Michael Shean, who traveled frequently for work and noticed the proliferation of wireless signals each time they cracked open their laptops to check their e-mail. “We were amazed by the sheer growth of Wi-Fi,” Mr. Morgan said in an interview in April at the company’s offices here. “We knew there had to be a new model for mapping location using those signals.” Wi-Fi signals travel only a few hundred feet at most, so if you have a map of the Wi-Fi networks in a given area, you can use those signals to pinpoint a phone’s location. Making that map is the tricky part. When Mr. Morgan and Mr. Shean decided to pursue their idea, they started building a database of Wi-Fi access points, along with cellphone towers, which have much more powerful signals. At first they tried paying taxi drivers to carry equipment that silently recorded the locations of networks as they roamed the streets, Mr. Morgan said. Then they hired full-time drivers to cover ground systematically, much as Google does for its Street View service. Skyhook says it has scanned areas containing 70 percent of the country’s population. “It doesn’t seem realistic to drive up and down every street in the U.S.,” Mr. Morgan said. “But you can.” Skyhook now employs a fleet of 500 drivers to feed a database that spans North America, Asia and Europe. The landscape of signals changes constantly as people and businesses set up and take down wireless networks, so the scanning process never ends. Each Skyhook car contains a laptop outfitted with antennas and equipment that sends out short blasts of radio waves, called probe requests, to detect nearby cell towers and Wi-Fi networks. The system calculates the source of the signals based on their strength and the location of the car. That information is logged in the Skyhook database, which includes more than 100 million wireless networks and 700,000 cellular towers. Skyhook’s big break came in August 2007 when Steven P. Jobs, Apple’s chief executive, requested a meeting with the company. Mr. Morgan said he initially deleted Mr. Jobs’s voice mail message, dismissing it as a prank, but soon realized his mistake. Since then, Apple has sold 37 million iPhones and iPod Touches worldwide, all with Skyhook’s software on them. Mr. Morgan declined to detail specifics of Skyhook’s financial agreement with Apple, other than to say that his company collects a commission for each device sold. When an iPhone owner starts up an application that involves location — like the restaurant finder Urbanspoon or the forecast service WeatherBug — the phone calculates whether it is likely to get the best and fastest information from its own GPS chip or from Skyhook’s system. Skyhook says it can provide a fix on location in seconds, versus up to a minute for GPS, although Skyhook is less useful in areas with few Wi-Fi networks. Skyhook checks a list of nearby Wi-Fi access points and cell towers against its database and triangulates the device’s location within 30 to 60 feet. The company says it is not connecting to those Wi-Fi networks, just detecting their presence. (As a backup, the iPhone can also use cell tower information from Google.) Any new access points and cell towers detected by the iPhone are automatically added to the Skyhook database, making it, in Mr. Morgan’s words, “self-healing.” Apart from Apple, Skyhook also has partnerships with AOL to allow people to see the location of their chat buddies, and with Navteq, a maker of car navigation systems. Skyhook is even embedded into Eye-Fi memory cards for digital cameras, where it keeps track of where photos are taken. The company says it handles 250 million location requests a day. Skyhook has raised $16.8 million in venture capital financing from investors including Bain Capital Ventures and Intel Capital. Mr. Morgan said it was not seeking more financing right now and was working on expanding the business. “If we do that successfully, there will be plenty of good choices for us,” he said, perhaps including a public offering. As Skyhook finds success and more gadgets become “location-aware,” competitors are likely to stake out their own share of the market, said Chetan Sharma, an independent telecommunications industry researcher. Mr. Sharma says that Mexens Technology has a system that relies on user contributions to build a signal map. And a Google service called My Location works on many phones and uses a combination of GPS, cellphone towers and Wi-Fi. A Google spokeswoman, Katie Watson, said the company collected its signal data from several sources, including phones running its software. “Skyhook is certainly ahead of the curve with its service,” Mr. Sharma said. “Whether they will sustain their momentum for the next five years remains to be seen. But they have a lot of opportunities to make it work.” Charles S. Golvin, a principal analyst at Forrester Research specializing in mobile devices and telecommunications, agreed that Skyhook was well positioned. “There are so many more phones coming to the market that have GPS and Wi-Fi,” he said. Mr. Golvin added: “Think about all the other devices with Wi-Fi, like the Nintendo DS, Sony PSP, netbooks, digital cameras.” Mr. Morgan and Mr. Shean are trying to get Skyhook onto as many devices as they can. Programmers who want to build location-based applications for phones other than the iPhone can license its software, and several do. The company has deals to put its software into chips made by Qualcomm and Broadcom, and it plans to announce a partnership with a major manufacturer of netbooks by the end of the year. Mr. Morgan is aware of the competition. “There’s always the threat that Google or some other company will just give that information away for free,” he said. To that end, the company has filed for multiple patents, including ones to protect its methodology for updating its database. Several framed patents hang on the walls of its offices. “But we’re hoping that our six years of driving around in cars, mapping out the various countries, will pay off,” he said. “We’ve done more than 2,000 cities. They have a long way to go.” Get Daily Updates via Email Protect your computer with Windows Onecare

Sony Agrees to Provide Its Older Songs to eMusic

Slashdot It! In another example of struggling major music labels and Internet services finding common ground, Sony Music Entertainment has agreed to make its back catalog of songs available on eMusic, one of the largest music retailers on the Web. EMusic, a company based in New York City, has some 400,000 subscribers who pay a monthly fee to download a certain number of songs. Its service is primarily aimed at adults who are fans of music from independent labels. The company plans to announce on Monday that it will add all Sony Music tracks that are more than two years old, including material from artists like Michael Jackson, Bruce Springsteen and Billy Joel. The major labels had long been skeptical of the economics behind eMusic’s proposition to consumers. Subscribers to eMusic’s “basic” plan, for example, pay $11.99 a month to download 30 songs — or about 40 cents a song, far below the prices on Apple’s iTunes. Songs are in the MP3 format and do not have restrictions against copying. As part of the deal, eMusic says it will slightly raise prices and reduce the number of downloads for some of its monthly plans. Danny Stein, eMusic’s chief executive, said he had been talking to the major labels about adding their music for several years. Talks continue with Warner Music, the Universal Music Group and EMI, he said. He added that many of the independent labels had been asking the company to raise its prices. “We have been looking for a catalyzing event to do it, and we think introducing this vast, quality catalog from Sony is that event,” Mr. Stein said. The deal highlights several shifts in the online music landscape. The major labels gave up their objections to selling songs in the unprotected MP3 format in 2007. They also prevailed upon Apple this year to move to variable pricing in its iTunes store. Apple now sells older songs for 79 cents and new tracks for $1.29. The major labels have also been more willing lately to strike more flexible and less expensive deals with start-ups like Imeem that are trying new approaches to online music. Sony Music and eMusic would not disclose the particulars of their deal. An executive at Sony Music, a subsidiary of the Sony Corporation, said the company was interested in seeing multiple models for digital music coexist on the Web. “We think the model of buying a set amount of music each month under an MP3 allowance is an attractive subscription option for consumers,” said Thomas Hesse, president of Sony’s Global Digital Business unit. “We are supportive of offerings that encourage fans to dig deep into the repertoire of our artists and discover the richness of our catalog.” Get Daily Updates via Email Protect your computer with Windows Onecare

Preparing to Sell E-Books, Google Takes on Amazon

Slashdot It! Google appears to be throwing down the gauntlet in the e-book market. In discussions with publishers at the annual BookExpo convention in New York over the weekend, Google signaled its intent to introduce a program by that would enable publishers to sell digital versions of their newest books direct to consumers through Google. The move would pit Google against Amazon.com, which is seeking to control the e-book market with the versions it sells for its Kindle reading device. Google’s move is likely to be welcomed by publishers who have expressed concerns about the possibility that Amazon will dominate the market for e-books with its aggressive pricing strategy. Amazon offers Kindle editions of most new best-sellers for $9.99, a price far lower than the typical $26 at which publishers sell new hardcovers. In early discussions, Google has said it would allow publishers to set a suggested list price, but that Google would ultimately set consumer prices. “Clearly, any major company coming into the e-book space, providing that we are happy with the pricing structure, the selling price and the security of the technology, will be a welcome addition,” said David Young, chief executive of Hachette Book Group, which publishes blockbuster authors like James Patterson, Stephenie Meyer and Nicholas Sparks. Google’s e-book retail program would be separate from the company’s settlement with authors and publishers over its book-scanning project, under which Google has scanned more than seven million volumes from several university libraries. A majority of those books are out of print. The settlement, which is the focus of a Justice Department inquiry about the antitrust implications and is also subject to court review, provides for a way for Google to sell digital access to the scanned volumes. And Google has already made its 1.5 million public-domain books available for reading on mobile phones as well as the Sony Reader, the Kindle’s largest competitor. Under the new program, publishers give Google digital files of new and other in-print books. Already on Google, users can search up to about 20 percent of the content of those books and can follow links from Google to online retailers like Amazon.com and the Web site of Barnes & Noble to buy either paper or electronic versions of the books. But Google is now proposing to allow users to buy those digital editions direct from Google. Google has discussed such plans with publishers before, but it has now committed the company to going live with the project by the end of 2009. In a presentation at BookExpo, Tom Turvey, director of strategic partnerships at Google, added the phrase: “This time we mean it.” Although Google generates a majority of its revenue from ad sales on its search pages, it has previously charged for content. Three years ago, it opened a Google video store, and sold digital recordings of N.B.A. games as well as episodes of television shows like “CSI” and “The Brady Bunch.” This year, Google said it might eventually charge for premium content on YouTube. Mr. Turvey said that with books, Google planned to sell readers online access to digital versions of various titles. When offline, Mr. Turvey said, readers would still be able to access their electronic books in cached versions on their browsers. Publishers briefed on the plans at BookExpo said they were not sure yet how the technology would work, but were optimistic about the new program. Mr. Turvey said Google’s program would allow consumers to read books on any device with Internet access, including mobile phones, rather than being limited to dedicated reading devices like the Amazon Kindle. “We don’t believe that having a silo or a proprietary system is the way that e-books will go,” he said. He said that publishers would be allowed to set list prices but that Google would price the e-books for consumers. Amazon also lets publishers set wholesale prices and then establishes its own prices for consumers. In selling e-books at $9.99, Amazon effectively takes a loss on each sale because publishers generally charge booksellers about half the list price of a hardcover ­ typically, around $13 or $14. Mr. Turvey said that Google would probably allow publishers to charge consumers the same price for digital editions as they do for new hardcover versions. He said Google would reserve the right to adjust prices that it deemed “exorbitant.” Get Daily Updates via Email Protect your computer with Windows Onecare

Weight management pills

Are you looking for ways to lose the extra weight under the big tummy or belly? then you better read this reviews as I am going to review this website that is going to sell something similar to what you are finding for. safe weight loss pills The website I am going to review today is called getdietsolutions.com They had reviewed all the best website that are selling the thing that you are finding to shed the fats. Check them out.

Weight loss pills

Are you looking for ways to lose the extra weight under the big tummy or belly? then you better read this reviews as I am going to review this website that is going to sell something similar to what you are finding for. weight loss pills The website I am going to review today is called consumerpricewatch They had reviewed all the best website that are selling the thing that you are finding to shed the fats. Check them out.

Monday, June 01, 2009

Thermaltake Xaser S1000 notebook cooler

Thermaltake has introduced a new notebook cooler into their Xaser brand. This time it is an small footprint aluminium cooler with 2 blue LED fans cooling the laptop. So let us take a look at the cooler that Thermaltake has send us.


Thermaltake Xaser S1000 Notebook Cooler 
Thermaltake Xaser S1000 Notebook Cooler

Thermaltake Xaser S1000 Notebook Cooler


Thermaltake Xaser S1000 Notebook Cooler













Inside the review unit includes only the notebook cooler itself, a USB cable, warranty card and the product information card. A simplistic and neat package.

The notebook cooler has two rubber stripes that enhances the grip between the notebook and the cooler. You can adjust the speed of the fan via a speed knob which changes the speed from 200RPM all the way up to 1200RPM. Also on each side of the cooler is a set of ventilation holes.

Thermaltake Xaser S1000 Notebook Cooler
 Thermaltake Xaser S1000 Notebook Cooler


Thermaltake Xaser S1000 Notebook Cooler
The cooler when it is switched on

This low profile notebook cooler is something I would grab if I want a cooler to just disappear seamlessly into the surrounding. Although I would prefer a cooler with larger fans.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Four found guilty in landmark Pirate Bay case

Slashdot It! Four men behind a Swedish file-sharing Web site used by millions to exchange movies and music have been found guilty of collaborating to violate copyright law in a landmark court verdict in Stockholm. The four defendants -- Fredrik Neij, Gottfrid Svartholm Warg, Peter Sunde Kolmisoppi and Carl Lundstrom, three founders and one patron of The Pirate Bay -- were sentenced to one year in jail and also ordered to pay 30 million kronor ($3.6 million) in damages to several major media companies including Warner Brothers, Columbia, Twentieth Century Fox, Sony BMG and EMI. The Pirate Bay allows users to exchange files including movies, music, games and software, but does not host the files itself. It claims more than 3.5 million registered users. The court case, which involved both a criminal case and a civil claim brought by the media companies, marks a key victory for anti-piracy campaigners, who had long targeted the Web site. Should the perpetrators of Internet piracy be punished? Have your say The year-long prison terms are for violating Swedish law, while the damages are compensation to the media giants in the civil case -- though the court ordered the men to pay just one-third of the 110 million kronor ($13 million) which the companies had asked for. Friday's verdict did not include an order to shut down The Pirate Bay site. Its owners have consistently shrugged off legal threats and police raids, posting letters from entertainment industry lawyers on their Web site with mocking responses. When Dreamworks studio demanded that the site act over file-sharing of Dreamworks' movie "Shrek 2," The Pirate Bay threatened to sue for harassment and lodge a formal complaint "for sending frivolous legal threats." "It is the opinion of us and our lawyers that you are ... morons," the response continued, suggesting that studio representatives perform a sexual act. The response closed with an obscenity. Site owners dismissed the effects of a police raid in 2006, saying the site had been down longer on other occasions due to illness or drunkenness than when "the U.S. and Swedish government forces the police to steal our servers ... yawn." Don't Miss * Is online piracy a good thing? * 'X-Men Origins: Wolverine' leaked to Web * Background: A-Z of Internet piracy * Quest: Internet piracy: Is it theft? But Magnus Eriksson, who in 2003 co-founded the "loosely formed group of theorists, artists and programmers" that spawned The Pirate Bay, says there are serious issues at stake. He does not think copyrighted material should be free for everyone, "but that it already is." "The control over what people communicate is lost and we have to adapt to this new state of things," he said via e-mail. "To monitor all communications, fight all new digital technologies and spread a culture of fear in what should be a free and open communication network is not a desirable option." Entertainment companies claim The Pirate Bay has hurt their box office profits, part of an annual loss the Motion Picture Association of America claims to be about $6 billion a year worldwide. "Hollywood studios are businesses. They're there to make money," said association lawyer Thomas Dillon. "It costs $100 million to make a feature film, so of course they're quite keen to get some back. So I don't accept this argument that there's some benefit to culture in allowing people to make copies of commercial films and getting them for free." Monique Wadsted, a Swedish lawyer for the MPAA, said The Pirate Bay was also harming individual artists. A victory for the entertainment companies "will, of course, be for all authors all around the world, some kind of redress... because what is going on now is actually a plundering of the author's works," she said via e-mail. "If some authors find it good to market their products using file-sharing or whatever, they are free to do that," she added. "But that is not what is happening at the moment. What's happening at the moment is that authors' and rights holders' works are file-shared against their will and that is not acceptable." She argued that The Pirate Bay "is specifically tailored for copyright infringement." The prosecution claims the site provides a search engine that helps people find and download copyrighted material including movies, music and games -- in effect, enabling copyright theft. The site's supporters say they're doing nothing wrong under Swedish law because the site doesn't actually put the copyrighted material on the Web site. Internet piracy and illegal downloading from peer-to-peer systems are some of the biggest piracy problems in Europe, the MPAA argues. Internet piracy is growing at a faster rate in Europe than anywhere else in the world, the MPAA says, because of increased broadband use, weak laws, and lenient public perceptions. Sweden's official efforts to battle online piracy have been weak, the MPAA says. Eriksson, the co-founder of the group that led to The Pirate Bay, says the MPAA's argument that file-sharing hurts movie studio revenues is "nonsense." "Cinema is doing better than ever," he said by e-mail. "They only claim this because they calculate losses by looking at the number of downloads and imagining that all of them would have been a purchase if they hadn't been downloaded first." Eriksson said what was at stake in the Swedish courtroom was the future of the Internet itself. "The Internet revolution meant that we created a global network where any digital entity could connect and exchange information with any other," he said. "Anti-piracy efforts must be seen in the light of a counter-revolution against this that goes all the way to the very infrastructure of the net." He suggested that even if The Pirate Bay is convicted of facilitating making works public through its indexing service, which he does not expect, Internet piracy will not stop. advertisement "The prosecution can't understand that The Pirate Bay is just one stratification of a social and technological change that is decentralized," he said. "Piracy does not have a head that you can cut off, and The Pirate Bay is just a technology allowing communication, a part of the Internet infrastructure." Get Daily Updates via Email Protect your computer with Windows Onecare

Fennec Alpha 1 for Windows Mobile

Slashdot It! We are pleased to announce that Fennec Alpha 1 for Windows Mobile 6 is available for download by developers and testers. This is an early developer release intended for testing purposes only. We would like to invite interested Windows Mobile developers and users to join with Mozilla’s developer and user community to help develop, test and refine the product. Since we started getting Fennec compiling on Windows Mobile a few months ago, we’ve made good progress: * JeMalloc, the memory management library developed by Jason Evans and used by Firefox, has been ported to Windows CE and turned on for Fennec. This allows Fennec to manage memory much more efficiently. * Fennec’s user interface controls have been rebuilt to be entirely CSS based. This will allow us to more easily adjust our UI for various screen sizes and resolutions in the future. Its also demonstrates how web technologies can be used to create compelling user interfaces. The look and feel will continue to evolve as we develop the product, but this release should give uses a sense of the direction its going in. * Finally, this release also supports Add-ons. Add-ons are integral to promoting openness and innovation on the web and are unique to Fennec in the mobile space. Its been amazing to see how many great Add-ons have popped up already. Take for instance the gestures module created by Felipe . As with previous releases, Madhava Enros has created a video walk through of this release. Installation This release has been targeted and tested on the HTC Touch Pro. We will be adding support for more devices in future releases. To install on your device, you can either navigate to this cab installer from your phone’s current browser or download it to your desktop and copy it to your device via ActiveSync. Once on your device simply click on the cab and it will install to your device. For more detailed installation instructions, look here and of course, please read the release notes. Again, please note that some carriers filter web traffic to prevent their users from downloading cab files. If downloading the cab simply hangs or you get a message reading “This page contains erros and cannot be displayed,” this is probably what’s happening. In this case you will either need to be connected via WiFi or use the ActiveSync method. The first time you run Fennec it will spend some time creating your profile. This may take a minute or two, please be patient. Known Issues It is not yet recommended to use this release for daily browsing tasks. Certain performance problems will become immediately apparent to the user. Panning has a noticeable delay between the user first touching the page and the page moving. We are certain that other less obvious bugs exist and we invite you to help bring them to light. You can find detailed information on how to file a good bug in bugzilla , our bug tracking system, here . Looking Forward Following the same path we took on Maemo, where the browser now performs quite well, development will now focus on performance improvements. There are known and suspected performance hot spots that need to be investigated and optimized. There are very talented people working on the core Mozilla platform who will continue to speed up things like JavaScript, graphics and the DOM. We are excited about a set of optimizations for drawing that take advantage of graphics processors, which will help Fennec’s graphics performance (i.e. panning and zooming). We are also looking at enhancements to our networking layer to optimize for high latency networks. Now that we have gotten to this point, the fun really begins. If you would like to help us by testing or developing the product, please visit the Mobile Firefox wiki . There you will find some information that we hope is useful in helping you find where to “plug in” to the effort. As always, you can find us on irc in the #mobile channel . Get Daily Updates via Email Protect your computer with Windows Onecare

Meizu talks M8 followup: 3G, GPS, 5-megapixel camera

Slashdot It! The Meizu M8 may have only just recently ceased to be a figment of our collective imagination, but the always talkative J. Wong (Meizu's CEO, if he needs any introduction) is already dropping some hints about the next version of the phone, which may or may not actually be the M9. While there's no word on any changes to the design of the device just yet, it will apparently get a much-needed 3G upgrade (as earlier rumored), along with built-in GPS, a new and improved 5-megapixel camera with an LED flash and, no doubt, entirely new levels of KIRF. Still itching for more vague details?Just wait a bit, Meizu has this down to an art at this point. Get Daily Updates via Email Protect your computer with Windows Onecare

Fujitsu, the world's fastest SPARC64 CPU "SPARC64 VIIIfx"

Slashdot It! Fujitsu, May 14, 15, two days have been held at Tokyo International Forum in Yurakucho, "Fujitsu Forum 2009" at the world's fastest CPU is being developed to refer to the exhibit. Development code name "Venus (Venus)" "SPARC64 VIIIfx" So the speed of floating point calculations 128GFLOPS. 45nm production process is about 2cm in the number of cores integrated on the die angle, around for quite a conventional 4 to 8 and the speed to increase.MERUMORIKONTORORA and also has a memory chip. According to the company's current Intel-made CPU and about 2.5 times the high-speed operation and power consumption is less that one-third. Year 2008 the company shipped about SPARC64 VII than three times the relative performance. The world's fastest CPU was developed by Fujitsu, the CPU vector VPP5000 since it's about 10 years. The test chips on 300mm wafers SPARC64 SPARC64 VIIIfx image of SPARC64 VIIIfx in comparison with current and SPARC64 VII Fujitsu Forum 2009 at the exhibit and future technology "to support technical computing science", "Challenges to the Dream Project," an exhibition of 300mm wafer chip testing. "Space weather, astronomy, science and protecting the global environment of advanced technology to support a project aimed at building future dreams are rich" are introduced. Is expected to deliver a next-generation supercomputer, the environment, weather, transportation, chemical, medical, and will be used in areas such as space. Inoue Aiitirou head of Fujitsu's next-generation TEKUNIKARUKONPYUTINGU Development Division, "the current JAXA SPARC64 VII with (JAXA) in supercomputers running FX1, the world's execution efficiency and 91.2% also achieved the world record time of 60 hours run. 12,000 parallel cores, running on high performance and reliability. SPARC64 VII are generic, 40GFOPS have realized, this will further develop and strengthen the capacity of the floating-point operations for supercomputers, SPARC64 VIIIfx be. As well as high-speed processing, high throughput device to make the most of it has evolved in the lower power consumption. The FX1 JAXA, Japan's performance in the world ranked No 17.In the meantime, the supercomputer is Japan's second billing to the worship, by utilizing the CPU, you can dramatically develop the world's fastest supercomputer, the Community global be. To regain its position as the fastest in the world do. " SPARC64 VIIIfx Basic Overview SPARC64 VIIIfx with the system board. Four-node, and only realized it 512GFLOPS. The system board has a 24 rack units enter Head of Fujitsu's next-generation TEKUNIKARUKONPYUTINGU Inoue Aiitirou Development Division Get Daily Updates via Email Protect your computer with Windows Onecare

RV

With the recession looming to the very extent where companies collapse and your earning drops, and yet u would want to have some fun in a nice RV? Then look no further, I am able to provide u with a review on a website selling RV. They are a nice bunch of people whom I had brought RV from. The website I am reviewing today is called http://www.rv.net/. They sell a huge range of RVs that you can live comfortably in. They are also having a sweepstakes now where u can stand a chance of winning a brand new RV. They are also having promo codes for Goodyear products when you buy their RVs Check them out

Friday, April 17, 2009

Plug-in Standards Necessary for Consumer Acceptance of Electric Vehicles Like the Chevy Volt

Slashdot It! Next week during the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) conference in Detroit, the SAE J1772™ Task Force will continue its work by committee to standardize the components that will soon become part of one of the most common driver interactions with a plug-in electric vehicle - plugging in and charging the battery. In order for plug-in electric vehicles to become part of the mainstream, a plug-in “ecosystem” must be in place when vehicles like the Chevy Volt extended-range electric vehicle hit the market. And for this ecosystem to be robust, there must be commonality, especially when owners are plugging into the electrical grid. Outlet voltages won’t always be the same and the weather will vary based on location, but the vehicle’s charge cord plug and how you use it should always remain the same - regardless of make or model. A vehicle charge cord plug is one of the standard components being developed by automakers under the new committee. A vehicle charge cord plug is one of the standard components being developed by automakers under the new committee. That’s where SAE J1772™ comes into play. You’re already aware we’re working to make the Volt as efficient as possible, but we’re also helping lead the standardization of this plug and how you interact with it as well as the electrical grid. With SAE J1772™, we’re defining what a common electric vehicle conductive charging system architecture will look like for all major automakers in North America, but more importantly, we’re working to resolve general physical, electrical and performance requirements so these systems can be manufactured for safe public use. Through SAE, our industry is working together to answer fundamental questions about plug-in electric vehicles such as battery electrochemistry, optimal battery-size and state of charge, and lifecycle among other issues, but zeroing in on the ergonomics, safety and performance of the charging interface is one of the most basic ways we can help build consumer confidence in plug-ins. Think about it, if you have no reservations or confusion about charging your vehicle, you’re probably going to be more likely to drive one. Drivers shouldn’t have to worry about electromagnetic compatibility, emission and immunity when they need to plug-in - that’s what engineers like me get paid to do. Only by consensus can we ensure the ownership experience of plug-ins will meet all of our customers’ expectations, and fit into the broader ecosystem we all need for plug-ins to be successful. Safe and convenient vehicle charging is just another step to reaching our shared goal, and we expect to have this standard completed by the end of this summer. I look forward to reading your thoughts and comments. Get Daily Updates via Email Protect your computer with Windows Onecare

Car parts

Are you looking for some Ferrari parts that you can buy online and you want some really good parts but at extremely low prices? Then you had came to the right area as I am going to review this website that sell exactly what you are looking for. vauxhall insignia vauxhall corsa vauxhall dealer The website I am reviewing today is called perrys.co.uk. They are selling parts at record low prices and their pricing cannot be beaten by many other websites. They sell things like car mats, oil change kits and many more. You name it, they have it. They also include other high end names also. They also talk about the latest news happening in the car industry so that you can be informed and make the right deals and decision. You can even know when the industry is bottoming out and make a right judgement on the cars that you can buy. Check them out

Web Hosting

With the current economic crysis, it is no wonder people cut back on their spending and stop investing all together. But here is the good news, setting up a business in gloomy time would allow you to iron out some of the major knicks so that you can better take advantage of the next major upswing. What's better than setting up an online business with low or no capital at all. Here is the review for cheap web hosting sites. web hosting The website I am reviewing today is called webhostingchoice.com. They review the best and the cheapest web hosting sites that are on the market so that you can make an informed choice on the cheapest deals in town. They even rate their service level and they also categories them into various themes like Adult, Blog, Email and Business. They also have several articles on scams, quick start and basically how to get started on your new online business. It is good that they can provide you with so many free info. Do they them out before you buy any web hosting plans from other websites. About them Web Hosting Choice is a free research guide to help users choose the right web host for their personal or business website. Our focus is on providing a simple, easy to follow site to help users choose the best web hosting plan most suitable for a small site or for a large e-commerce website.

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

EYE cream

Are you looking for some eye cream? The prices available at other websites are far too expensive for you to take it? Then you better read this review as I am going to review this website that best fits your requirement to buy the cheapest and best eye cream. eye cream The website I am reviewing today is called eyecream.org. They are a nice bunch of people who are selling eyecream at rock bottom prices and they even include some reviews on the different products available online. Check them out

NY City tickets

Are you looking to fly to NY Yankees now? Do you have sufficient cash on hand? Well, no worries, as I am going to review this website that is selling tickets to NY Yankees for a very cheap price. New York Yankees tickets The website I am reviewing today is called selectaticket.com. They sell the tickets at a very cheap price for you and it is no scram. They are verified by major websites like godaddy, control trust and many more. They also have gift cards for you to buy and give as gifts for your friends

Digital Frame

Are you looking to buy a digital frame? Then look no further as I am going to review this website that is selling digital frame at extremely cheap prices but with good quality. digital frame The website I am reviewing today is called buy.com. They are selling a bunch of digital frames at extremely low prices. However, they come from names like Viewsonic and Coby. All very famous brand names. They also sell all kinds of electronics and appliances. Check them out.

Ferrari parts

Are you looking for some Ferrari parts that you can buy online and you want some really good parts but at extremely low prices? Then you had came to the right area as I am going to review this website that sell exactly what you are looking for. Ferrari parts The website I am reviewing today is called ricambiamerica.com. They are selling phones at record low prices and their pricing cannot be beaten by many other websites. They sell things like car mats, oil change kits and many more. You name it, they have it. They also include other high end names also. Check them out

Bathroom Faucet

Are you looking for some bathroom fixes now? Then you better read this review as I am going to reveal this website that is selling the things that you are looking for at a cheaper price and a better quality then the rest. bathroom faucet The website I am going to review today is called faucet.com. They are selling things like Kitchen and bathroom fauce. Free Shipping They also have a free shipping offer where they offer free shipping for people whom spend more than 99 dollars on their purchase. Check them out

Discovery hits Amazon with Kindle patent suit

Slashdot It! Discovery Communications, parent company of the Discovery Channel and Animal Planet, has filed a complaint against Amazon.com alleging that some security and copy protection features in the Kindle and Kindle 2 violate the company's patents. In the lawsuit, filed in U.S. District Court for the District of Delaware, Discovery has asked for unspecified monetary compensation. Amazon representatives were not immediately available for comment. According to a copy of the suit, Discovery charges that Amazon violated its patent for Electronic Book Security and Copyright Protection System. The patent, U.S. 7,298,851, was issued to Discovery Communications by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office on Nov. 20, 2007, per the lawsuit filing (PDF). It was initially filed in 1999. The technology "provides for secure distribution of electronic text and graphics to subscribers and secure storage," Discovery said in the lawsuit. My question is, why did Discovery create technology for an e-book reader? Is the entertainment company preparing to follow Amazon, Sony, and Hearst Corp. into the e-reader space? After talking to a Discovery spokeswoman, she explains that the company's founder, John Hendricks is a bit of an inventor. In the 1990s, Hendricks tried his hand at coming up with systems to digitize content. He explored technologies involving the digitization of TV content as well as e-book systems. In 2004, he sold the TV patents but Discovery kept the e-reader patents. When asked whether Discovery could build an e-book reader, the company's spokeswoman said "We are only focused on the Kindle at this time." Get Daily Updates via Email Protect your computer with Windows Onecare

Angry shareholders say Microsoft squanders billions on pointless R&D projects

Slashdot It! Welcome to the second article in a series on Microsoft shareholder activism. These posts examine why investors, through the power of the stock price, aren't buying the idea that Microsoft has a great future. In this post, one of the top Microsoft securities analysts weighs in, Brendan Barnicle from Pacific Crest Securities. (To summarize his take, "Yeah a lot of people are frustrated … the stock should have grown."). We reveal more details on what activist Craig Montgomery wants Microsoft to change. We'll give you a sneak peek of the third post in the series, a candid interview with an outspoken shareholder who likens Steve Ballmer and Bill Gates to fraudster Bernard Madoff. When we last left off, we had explained Montgomery's viewpoint that Microsoft's lagging share price was not a result of the soft economy. Montgomery of The Crandrea Group is creating a grassroots shareholder activism movement. He thinks – and others interviewed for this story agree – that Microsoft's stock is underperforming and has been for years. One of the biggest problems, Montgomery says, is the astronomical amount of money that Microsoft spends on R&D. Not that he wants Microsoft to stop all R&D spending, but he, like the other investors we talked to, want an R&D reality check. By trimming the now-nearly $8 billion annually R&D budget, it is their belief that Microsoft frees up cash to do something truly game changing – like purchasing a mobile carrier. "During 2007, Apple spent $782 million on R&D, Oracle spent $85 million while Microsoft spent about $7.5 billion. In 2007, Apple annual revenue amounted to $24 billion and net income totaled $3.5 billion," says Montgomery. "According to 2008 annual report, Apple increased revenue to $32 billion and net income to $4.8 billion. During the same period Microsoft spent $8 billion on R&D and increased revenue from $51 billion to $60 billion. Therefore, Apple has a R&D budget that equates to approximately 10% of Microsoft’s; however, during this period Apple increased revenue by $8 billion and Microsoft increased revenue by $9 billion." Some of these billions have gone to Windows Live (and other cloud computing initiatives) and MSN. This should make sense. As software moves from the fat desktop to the cloud, it moves from software licenses to a subscription (which few are willing to pay) and advertising-supported freeware. Ergo, Microsoft needs to create a healthy cloud/advertising/search business Problem is, activists say that what Microsoft has been doing isn't paying off. Montgomery notes that Google has spent about $1 billion annually on R&D in '05 and '06, increasing to $2 billion in '07. Meanwhile, in '05 its online advertising revenue was about $6 billion. In '07 that rose to $16 billion while its market share moved from about 30% to today's range of over 50%. He contrasts that to, in 2005, Microsoft generating online advertising revenue of $1.5 billion (compared with Google's $6 billion), reporting a mere 8% market share. In 2007, Microsoft reported revenue of $2 billion, which it says represents an even tinier 6% of the market. "Google within this period has increased revenue by $10 billion and increased market share by 20%. Despite a larger R&D budget, however, within the same period, Microsoft has increased revenue by $500 million and potentially has lost 2% market share," Montgomery spells out. So, then, if you can't develop your own home grown, you can always buy your way into a potential market with brilliant futures, right?. Wrong again, for Microsoft, says Montgomery. It has bought Motionbridge, Medstory, Jellyfish, Fast Search and Transfer (that one for over 1 billion) and paid an astronomical sum of $6 billion for aQuantive. Then there's investments like Onfolio, bought in 2006, which was integrated into the Windows Live toolbar "and by 2008, Microsoft announced that this was discontinued," Montgomery recounts. "Microsoft needs to stop telling the consumer what it wants and start asking what the customer wants. It is very ironic and yet a very sad commentary that Microsoft is a company that sells CRM software to clients (Microsoft Dynamics CRM)," he says. While Montgomery would like to see Microsoft strike a deal with Yahoo on search – which would give Microsoft an instant about 30% market share in advertising -- he knows that if the company doesn't understand how to aptly serve advertisers, then it would simply be wasting more money. In agreement is shareholder Mike McDonald. McDonald owns 118,000 shares of Microsoft, bought in 2000 at an average price of $36 share (adjusted for splits and dividend payouts). He has since seen the company grow its revenue and profits while his equity has been halved. And he's ticked about it. "I still hold Microsoft so I still hold hope it will achieve what I think is its potential. By now it should have been $100+ per share. We've seen Apple rise and I remember when MS was handing out Apple oxygen because we didn't know if it would survive. (Funny. I don't even use Windows … I love the Mac.) I also believe Bill Gates is a charlatan because what he has said, implied, promised to shareholders and stakeholders and all of these visionary things that he mumbles and jumbles about and doesn't make reality of. MS is spending billions of dollars on R&D. Where is the return on investment? Who is there saying, as IBM eventually did, 'We need to get a return on our R&D, we're a business'?" One big part of the solution, in Montgomery's eyes, is for Microsoft to buy a mobile provider – and not simply to partner with one, as it did with Verizon last month. He notes the math (per Citi analyst Mark Mahaney) that says Microsoft's recent deal to provide search to Verizon mobile users won't be a winner for Microsoft, as it will require each user to conduct 17 searches per month on their phones in the next five years just to break even. He wants Microsoft to leverage its R&D money to buy a mobile carrier – in his mind, the perfect one would be the beleaguered Sprint, with $40 billion in revenue, 40 million mobile subscribers and trading at about $3 per share (at that rate, a market valuation of $7 billion). McDonald agrees that a mobile acquisition would be good for Microsoft – though thinks Research in Motion is a better fit. Pacific Crest Securities' Barnicle isn't gung-ho on either idea. "As for buying a mobile carrier like Sprint, we just saw Microsoft divest itself in cable, its Comcast investment. It didn't work out. They didn't lose much money on that, but it's a similar principle to own its own mobile network so it can then control it … Buying something like Sprint is not something the shareholders would be happy about ... it would send the stock lower." He doesn't see investors wanting Microsoft to buy into any business that the company doesn't know how to run, and when it comes to wireless, operating margins are deterorating even faster than on Windows products. Barnicle says that Microsoft's main problem is an image battered by Vista. "There's the perception that Vista wasn't a successful product launch but it's been fairly successful from a financial standpoint. There have been mounting concerns all decade that Microsoft's business is going to be hurt from open source and that has never materialized, hurt from Google's Web Office application offerings, from open source versions of Office and those things never materialized," he said. "Microsoft has made its numbers. If you look at the Discounted Cash Flow (DCF) analysis, the stock price is suggesting that cash flow is going to decline at 3% a year in perpetuity and that's not going to happen." Barnicle believes that the stock is also suffering from a nostalgia effect -- people remembering its glorious reputation in the 1990s and think it can't grow like that again. "It was a huge growth stock in the 1990s and it has experienced multiple compressions year over year. …Yeah a lot of people are frustrated … the stock should have grown -- if you look objectively at the numbers Microsoft has put up the last couple of years. In 2008 it grew revenue 18% and earnings 21%, it is expected to grow revenues at 2% in 2009, which is good in this economy, and earnings per share is down maybe 6% which is pretty stable. Plus, given its enormous cash position, [the stock is definitely underperforming]." But McDonald says the numbers don't lie and investors are not fooled. Microsoft is losing market share on its high-margin products. Barnicle confirms this, "As for declining net operating revenues, that's part [of the reason the stock has underperformed]. Also declining margins. Investors are also frustrated with Microsoft's investments in its online business and entertainment devices." In the company's defense, he says management is listening to its shareholders and doing what they ask of it. "There are lots of activist shareholders – and these are big, institutional investors. So you see management doing things like the Dutch auction [on a $20 billion buyback of shares in 2006], increased dividends, increased buybacks. They've done all the things investors have asked for and the stock is still underperforming. Shareholders are frustrated and management is frustrated." Shareholders also aren't buying it. Stay tuned for the next installment where we will explore McDonald's guest blog entitled "How to screw up a monopoly." Get Daily Updates via Email Protect your computer with Windows Onecare

Cisco buys Pure Digital Technologies

Slashdot It! Pure Digital Technologies thought small and simple, and it paid off big time. The tiny, eight-year-old start-up famed for its inexpensive and easy to use Flip video cameras has defeated a down economy. On Thursday, the 100-person company wasbought by Cisco Systems, a technology infrastructure giant, for $590 million in stock. The deal caps off a bumpy and unpredictable rise for Pure Digital, which bested the Asian companies that dominate the camera industry from an office located above the Gump’s department store in the heart of San Francisco. “At a time when everybody has just been hammered with stories of misery, this is a really fabulous tale of what is possible against all odds,” said Michael Moritz, a venture capitalist at Sequoia Capital, which invested in Pure Digital. Over the last couple of years, Cisco has expanded beyond selling networking equipment for large computing centers, making inroads into the home via set-top boxes, routers and — most recently — digital stereos. The company has been clear about building upon these efforts by aiming much of its nearly $34 billion in cash at future acquisitions. In Pure Digital, Cisco found a local talent to complement its consumer ambitions and extend its business videoconferencing technology to mobile devices. Pure Digital started selling the Flip line of products in 2007 and has since shipped more than two million units, which cost $150 to $230, depending on the model. The device’s claim to fame has been its minimalism. The Flip recorders have just a few buttons, weigh a few ounces and have 1.5-inch screens. In addition, they arrive without cables, relying on a built-in connector that plugs into a computer’s U.S.B. port for both recharging and transferring video files. Along with the device, Pure Digital offers software that helps shift videos from a personal computer to online services like YouTube and Facebook with the click of a couple of buttons. The simple software, simple design and low cost opened digital camcorders to people put off by more complex devices but still hungry to pass around their videos. “They were able to capitalize on an opportunity to reach consumers that had traditionally shied away from camcorders,” said Ross Rubin, an analyst for NPD Group. Over the last few years, the sales of digital camcorders have either stayed flat or declined, according to Mr. Rubin. Meanwhile, Pure Digital tripled its sales of the Flip products over the last year and now holds close to one-fifth of the market. Sony, the market leader, has since mimicked Pure Digital’s products, as have a host of smaller competitors. The no-nonsense Flip design set Pure Digital’s path on a new trajectory. “We became a profitable business from the day we launched Flip,” said Jonathan Kaplan, the company’s chief. The company started off selling single-use digital still cameras at drugstores. Customers would rent the cameras and bring them to make prints. The business worked, at first. But as nondisposable cameras became increasingly affordable, Pure Digital’s sales tumbled. “The market demand for that product just melted away,” Mr. Moritz said. “We found ourselves selling disposable cameras into a market that was shrinking by the hour.” The company next moved to single-use digital camcorders, also distributed through drugstores, where the videos could be burned onto DVDs. Despite trying various approaches, Pure Digital remained in search of a big hit. Luckily, the company’s partners — and, somewhat surprisingly, computer hackers — helped to nudge it in the right direction. For example, hackers were removing the memory chips from the single-use recorders so they could put videos onto their PCs. In addition, the drugstores asked Pure Digital to limit the accessories it shipped with its cameras, a demand that gave rise to the built-in U.S.B. connector. With such prodding, Pure Digital’s staff hit upon the idea of a cheap, easy-to-use digital camera that could funnel videos between the device, PCs and Web sites. Ever since, the company maintained its simple approach while working to make products more attractive via colorful designs and better-quality video. Cisco’s deep pockets could help Flip, financed by close to $70 million, succeed outside of the United States and Britain, according to Mr. Moritz. “You have to scale up your inventory to satisfy demand in lots of different countries, and that is a very expensive proposition,” he said. Such a consumer play is still a curious one for Cisco. The company tends to operate in the background, providing products that companies use to link phones and computers to the Internet. But Cisco has also made large investments in videoconferencing. The more the Flip encourages consumers to videoconference, the more money the company looks to make selling the routers and switches needed to process the large video files flying off Flip devices and onto YouTube. Less than 5 percent of Cisco’s $40 billion in annual sales comes from consumer products, said Brent Bracelin, an analyst with Pacific Crest Securities. Cisco is already familiar with Pure Digital’s product. The family of John T. Chambers, the chief executive at Cisco, owns eight of the Flip devices, and executives at the company often post their own videos to an internal version of YouTube. In the future, it is expected that Cisco will release versions of the Flip recorders that can connect to wireless networks. There are other surprises in store as well, said Mr. Kaplan. “The Flip will find its way into some very obvious places and maybe some not-so-obvious ones,” he said. Get Daily Updates via Email Protect your computer with Windows Onecare