QuoteFor more than 20 years, the PC has relied on the BIOS (Basic Input/Output System), a small set of fixed software routines normally built into a chip on the motherboard. This hangover from a distant past is causing more and more problems, said Mark Doran, Intel's principal engineer behind the Extensible Firmware Interface (EFI) that aims to humanely kill the antique technology.
"When I started, I got senior managers together from across Intel and asked them what would happen if we had a blank sheet of paper to replace the BIOS," Doran said. "It turned into a three-day bitch session." He said that the original designers of the IBM PC BIOS had no idea that it would survive this long. "They thought that 250,000 machines would see it through to the end of its life," he said.
QuoteAll the companies are talking up efforts against spam at a time when consumers and the media are hyperaware of its growing, loathsome presence in e-mail in-boxes. ISPs record an up to threefold increase in the number of unsolicited e-mail sent to members in the last year; and as a result, they're fielding record consumer complaints, despite spam-blocking software that cuts back on the majority of it. Under pressure from rivals, Net access providers are seeking to offer consumers a service that is free of spam.
QuoteAnother technique for expanding the memory capacity of current 32-bit chips is through physical memory addressing, said Dean McCarron, principal analyst of Mercury Research. This involves altering the chipset so that 32-bit chips could handle longer memory addresses. Intel has in fact already done preliminary work that would let its PC chips handle 40-bit addressing, which would let PCs hold more than 512GB of memory, according to papers published by the company.
QuoteThursday's decision will likely have a major impact on providers of high-speed Internet access, particularly digital subscriber line (DSL) services that use the local phone loop. As a result of the vote, the Baby Bells--Verizon Communications, BellSouth, SBC Communications and Qwest Communications International--will not be required to give their rivals both access and discounted rates for broadband facilities such as fiber-optic networks that they might build in the future.
QuoteBy lowering its quarterly expenses to $800 million, AMD projects it will break even in the second quarter and return to profitability during the second half of 2003. The plan assumes AMD will combine lower costs with higher unit shipments of its Athlon XP PC processors and flash memory products.
QuoteFor comparison, he explained, imagine normal magnetic sensors can read a signal that begins with a strength of 1 and swings between an "off" reading at 0.8 and "on" at 1.2. The new sensors can read a range that swings between minus 1000 and plus 1000. That degree of sensitivity means terabits of data -- or trillions of bits -- could be crammed into a square inch of disk space. About 160 terabits comprise the entire contents of the Library of Congress.
QuoteLinksys is aiming to sell the device in early to mid-May for under $200. The Media Navigator is essentially an access point with a digital to analog converter and allows consumers to browse a network for PCs and access audio files and images stored on a PC. The device will be able to connect to a network wirelessly, using the 802.11b standard or over an Ethernet connection. The Media Navigator also will come with a remote control to make it easy for the consumer to navigate the network and choose which files on the PC to access.
QuoteMicrosoft's electronic signature would allow the software to run on an unmodified Xbox. Currently, an Xbox must be outfitted with a "mod chip"--a gray-market add-on that overrides security features in the console--to run Linux or any other unapproved software. Microsoft has pursued a variety of legal and technical means to thwart mod chips, on the grounds that the devices aid software piracy.
QuotePrescott will be based on the same basic NetBurst architecture of the Pentium 4, but will come with a number of improvements, Burns said. The chip will come with 1MB of cache, twice as much as current Pentium 4s, and 13 new instructions--computing pathways for handling specific tasks such as multimedia processing.
The chip, which is being shown off at the conference in a concept PC with two screens code-named Marble Falls, will also come with an enhanced version of hyperthreading--a technology introduced late last year to the Pentium 4--and an 800MHz bus, the data path between the processor and the outside world. Current Pentium 4 chips come with a 533MHz bus, which will soon be accelerated to 800MHz.
QuoteIn a statement, Boise, Idaho-based Micron said it is looking to lower its costs while continuing to invest in next-generation 0.11-micron manufacturing technology. Micron has about 18,500 workers, according to spokesman Phil Martin.
The company is still finalizing which positions will be cut, but it expects to notify workers within the next seven days, Martin said. The majority of the company's employees--some 11,000--are based in Idaho.
QuoteThe company last week began offering $10,000 for information that leads to the conviction of people who use its software to pirate movies.
The major studios sued 321 last December, saying the company promotes copyright infringement by offering products that allow people to copy DVDs. Specifically, the suit claims 321 is violating the Digital Millenium Copyright Act by selling its DVD Copy Plus and DVD-X copy programs.
QuoteYet the 18th-century clergyman's theories on probability have become a major part of the mathematical foundations of application development.
Search giant Google and Autonomy, a company that sells information retrieval tools, both employ Bayesian principles to provide likely (but technically never exact) results to data searches. Researchers are also using Bayesian models to determine correlations between specific symptoms and diseases, create personal robots, and develop artificially intelligent devices that "think" by doing what data and experience tell them to do.
QuotePrescott and the Pentium-M--formerly known as Banias--will mark an evolutionary breaking point. Right now, Intel desktop and notebook chips come with slightly different capabilities, but derive from the same basic design.
By contrast, the Pentium-M will feature a distinct design geared toward reducing power consumption and will be optimized to run in wireless computers. Intel, in fact, will begin to tout how the chip and companion wireless components have been certified to work with networking gear from Cisco Systems, according to sources. By the end of 2003, the Pentium-M will become the predominant notebook chip from Intel, according to Don MacDonald, director of mobile platforms at Intel.
QuoteAfter decades of relatively ungoverned exploration and exploitation, rules of the road may be coming to the final frontier. They resemble some of the norms already long established for travelers on Earth: don't litter and stay in your lane. On Monday in Vienna, a panel of scientists from space agencies around the world will submit to the United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs recommendations for designing and flying space vehicles to reduce the amount of debris they produce and cut their chances of colliding with one another.
QuoteDoctoral student David Hanson of the University of Texas at Dallas displayed K-bot, an artificial human face equipped with "infinite possible expressions," which he said can mimic the human face and respond to sociably to people. Yet K-bot cost only about $400 to build, Hanson told United Press International, although its software sometimes fails to perform. Indeed, one of his attempts to display the device -- at the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science -- fell apart when K-bot refused to respond to control. Nonetheless, Hanson said, a human-like face is going to be vital for many robots of the future.
QuoteThe first three Chinese to enter into orbit will be selected from a group of 12 currently receiving training, the paper said, contradicting previous reports describing a pool of 14 candidates.
QuoteEverything about the CBBS was 1970s state of the hobbyist's art: a single 173-kilobyte 8-inch floppy disk to store everything, 300-baud modem, 8-bit processor running at a megahertz or so, and -- blimey -- 64kb of memory. Christensen wrote the BIOS and all the drivers (as well as the small matter of the bulletin board code itself), while Suess took care of five million solder joints and the odd unforeseen problem. Little things were important: the motor in the floppy disk drive ran from mains electricity instead of the cute little five volts of today -- things burned out quickly if left on. So the floppy had to be modified to turn itself on when the phone rang, keep going for a few seconds after the caller had finished to let the rest of the computer saved its data, and then quietly go back to sleep. Tell the kids of today that...
QuoteThe satellite belonging to international telecoms satellite consortium Intelsat is to provide telephone, television and Internet services for the Americas, Europe and Africa for the next 13 years.
QuoteAccording to Sophos, a corporate anti-virus company, users of the KaZaA file-sharing system and IRC instant messaging are duped into opening a file that contains compromising pictures of Zeta-Jones and other sexy celebrities, such as Britney Spears, Shakira and Sarah Michelle Gellar.
QuoteRedwood can transfer data at 6.4GHz, while the current version of HyperTransport goes up to 1.6GHz, according to Rich Warmke, director of marketing for Rambus. Still, a new version of HyperTransport is expected in 2004 that will likely be faster.
QuoteIntel says it has now expanded the interpreter licensing for the GPL version, adding a variant of the BSD license, which is more liberal than the GPL. The dual licensing essentially bypasses a GPL provision that requires all improvements to GPL-covered software to also be brought under the GPL--which means now improvements may be made proprietary as well as open-source.
QuoteSilicon wafers, which serve as a base material for building semiconductors, reached shipments of nearly 4.7 billion square inches last year, up nearly 19 percent over the previous year, according to a report released late Thursday by the Semiconductor Equipment and Materials International
QuoteWhen ENUM domains become active, users will be identified by their telephone number including the country code. What that means is a phone number such as +46-8-9761234 would be mapped to the 184.108.40.206.220.127.116.11.6.4.e164.arpa Internet address in a process that is expected to become automated and transparent to the user.
QuoteThe nine companies promoting Blu-ray Disc technology--a next-generation recordable DVD format using blue-violet lasers--announced Thursday that licensing will begin Feb. 17. Blu-ray Disc technology allows for 27GB storage capacities on a single-sided 12cm disc. DVDs hold 4.7GB of data. Hitachi, LG Electronics, Matsushita Electric Industrial, Pioneer, Royal Philips Electronics, Samsung Electronics, Sharp, Sony and Thomson are known as the "Blu-ray Disc Founders" and have been pursuing a broad acceptance of the format.